Federal Register Vol. 80, No.171,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 171 (September 3, 2015)

Page Range53235-53456
FR Document

80_FR_171
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 53455 - National Wilderness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53453 - National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53451 - National Preparedness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53449 - National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53447 - National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53445 - National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53441 - National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 53358 - In the Matter of China Fruits Corporation, Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 53280 - U.S. Institutional Investor RoadshowPDF
80 FR 53324 - Notice of Open Public Meetings and Teleconferences for the National Park Service Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission ProgramPDF
80 FR 53263 - Safety Zone; Portland Dragon Boat Races, Portland, OregonPDF
80 FR 53281 - Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 53382 - In the Matter of the Review of the Designation of Revolutionary Struggle aka Epanastatikos Aghonas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 53382 - In the Matter of the Designation of the Revolutionary Organization 17 November aka Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri, aka 17 November, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 53382 - In the Matter of the Designation of Revolutionary Organization 17 November aka Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri aka 17 Novembert as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 53382 - U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 53331 - Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 53331 - Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 53325 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Notice To Delete an Existing System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 53326 - Agency Information Collection; Renewal of a Currently Approved Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 53308 - Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee Meeting-September 2015PDF
80 FR 53310 - Agency Information Collection Activites; New Information Collection RequestPDF
80 FR 53389 - Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee VacancyPDF
80 FR 53311 - Advisory Committee; Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, RenewalPDF
80 FR 53330 - The Lead in Construction Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
80 FR 53263 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Gray Triggerfish; July Through December SeasonPDF
80 FR 53277 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 53324 - EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 53240 - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Agricultural Act of 2014 Nondiscretionary ProvisionsPDF
80 FR 53293 - Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects and Colorado River Storage Project-Rate Order No. WAPA-169PDF
80 FR 53284 - State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB)PDF
80 FR 53284 - High Energy Physics Advisory Panel MeetingPDF
80 FR 53285 - Electricity Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 53283 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Performance Report FormPDF
80 FR 53310 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 53327 - Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components Thereof: Commission Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337; Termination of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 53383 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 53385 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle OperatorsPDF
80 FR 53384 - Pipe Line Contractors Association; United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry; Application for ExemptionPDF
80 FR 53309 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10357 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, MinnesotaPDF
80 FR 53309 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10242 Bank of Florida-Southwest Naples, FloridaPDF
80 FR 53309 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10241 Bank of Florida-Southeast Ft. Lauderdale, FloridaPDF
80 FR 53323 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
80 FR 53282 - Visiting Committee on Advanced TechnologyPDF
80 FR 53313 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 53313 - Home Visiting ProgramPDF
80 FR 53312 - National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships Cooperative AgreementPDF
80 FR 53314 - Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 53314 - Washington; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 53315 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 53319 - Designation of the Republic of Yemen for Temporary Protected StatusPDF
80 FR 53257 - Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other ChangesPDF
80 FR 53328 - WTO Environmental Goods Trade Negotiations: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment, Second List of ArticlesPDF
80 FR 53277 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-29, Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 53278 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-30, Quarterly Survey of Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of U.S. Carriers, and the BE-37, Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and ExpensesPDF
80 FR 53283 - Defense Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 53279 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-9, Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 53311 - Compressed Medical Gases-Warning Letters for Specific Violations Covering Liquid and Gaseous Oxygen; Withdrawal of Compliance Policy GuidePDF
80 FR 53364 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for a Market Data Product Known as EDGX Book ViewerPDF
80 FR 53370 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for a Market Data Product Known as EDGA Book ViewerPDF
80 FR 53353 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees a Market Data Product Known as BYX Book ViewerPDF
80 FR 53360 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for a Market Data Product Known as BZX Book ViewerPDF
80 FR 53369 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 53375 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Require Members To Report Transactions in TRACE-Eligible Securities as Soon as PracticablePDF
80 FR 53358 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Reduce the Minimum IRS Guaranty Fund Contribution of IRS Clearing MembersPDF
80 FR 53377 - Full Circle Capital Corporation et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 53265 - Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments)PDF
80 FR 53318 - Board of Visitors for the National Fire AcademyPDF
80 FR 53266 - Rescinding Spent Fuel Pool Exclusion RegulationsPDF
80 FR 53343 - Texas Engineering Experiment Station/Texas A&M University System Nuclear Science Center ReactorPDF
80 FR 53350 - Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Independent Spent Fuel Storage InstallationPDF
80 FR 53340 - Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4PDF
80 FR 53336 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3PDF
80 FR 53339 - Application for a License To Export High-Enriched UraniumPDF
80 FR 53332 - GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC, Vallecitos Nuclear CenterPDF
80 FR 53347 - ZionSolutions, LLC; Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 Independent Spent Fuel Storage InstallationPDF
80 FR 53387 - Expedited Public Transportation Improvement InitiativePDF
80 FR 53353 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 53243 - Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments)PDF
80 FR 53352 - Survey Renewal for FY 2015-Request for CommentPDF
80 FR 53440 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Small Entity Compliance GuidePDF
80 FR 53439 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Technical AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 53436 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; EPEAT ItemsPDF
80 FR 53435 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; IntroductionPDF
80 FR 53286 - H2 Refuel H-Prize Final Guidelines UpdatePDF
80 FR 53235 - Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative AgreementsPDF
80 FR 53274 - Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule)PDF
80 FR 53272 - Contact Lens RulePDF
80 FR 53391 - 2015-2017 Enterprise Housing GoalsPDF

Issue

80 171 Thursday, September 3, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Orders: Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other Changes, 53257-53263 2015-21880 Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports, 53243-53256 2015-21782 PROPOSED RULES Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments), 53265-53266 2015-21865 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Portland Dragon Boat Races, Portland, OR, 53263 2015-21947 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: EPEAT Items, 53436-53438 2015-21746 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 53440 2015-21752 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Introduction, 53436 2015-21740 Technical Amendments, 53439-53440 2015-21748 NOTICES Meetings: Defense Policy Board, 53283 2015-21876 Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States, 53277-53278 2015-21878 Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States, 53279-53280 2015-21875 Quarterly Survey of Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of U.S. Carriers, and Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses, 53278-53279 2015-21877 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Performance Report Form, 53283-53284 2015-21900 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Western Area Power Administration

RULES Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, 53235-53240 2015-21693 NOTICES Meetings: Electricity Advisory Committee, 53285-53286 2015-21901 High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, 53284-53285 2015-21902 State Energy Advisory Board, 53284 2015-21903
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES H2 Refuel H-Prize Final Guidelines Update, 53286-53293 2015-21733 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency NOTICES Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee, 53308-53309 2015-21918 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receiverships: Bank of Florida—Southeast, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 53309 2015-21890 Bank of Florida—Southwest, Naples, FL, 53309 2015-21891 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, MN, 53309 2015-21892 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Emergencies and Related Determinations: Washington, 53314-53315 2015-21883 Final Flood Hazard Determinations, 53315-53318 2015-21882 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Amendment No. 1, 53314 2015-21884 Meetings: Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy, 53318-53319 2015-21835 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES 2015-2017 Enterprise Housing Goals, 53392-53433 2015-20880 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 53310 2015-21916 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, 53385-53387 2015-21894 Exemption Applications: Pipe Line Contractors Association; United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, 53384-53385 2015-21893 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 53383-53384 2015-21895 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 53310-53311 2015-21897 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Contact Lens Rule, 53272-53274 2015-21577 Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule), 53274-53276 2015-21578 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Expedited Public Transportation Improvement Initiative, 53387-53389 2015-21790 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered Species Permit Applications, 53323-53324 2015-21889 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Charter Renewals: Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, 53311-53312 2015-21914 Compressed Medical Gases: Warning Letters for Specific Violations Covering Liquid and Gaseous Oxygen; Withdrawal of Compliance Policy Guide, 53311 2015-21874 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service RULES Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Agricultural Act Nondiscretionary Provisions, 53240-53243 2015-21906 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 53277 2015-21908 General Services General Services Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: EPEAT Items, 53436-53438 2015-21746 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 53440 2015-21752 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Introduction, 53436 2015-21740 Technical Amendments, 53439-53440 2015-21748 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Home Visiting Program, 53313 2015-21886 National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships Cooperative Agreement, 53312-53313 2015-21885 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

NOTICES Meetings: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee, 53324 2015-21907
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China, 53281-53282 2015-21946 U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow, 53280-53281 2015-21973 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components Thereof Commission Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337, 53327-53328 2015-21896 WTO Environmental Goods Trade Negotiations: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment, Second List of Articles, 53328-53330 2015-21879 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: EPEAT Items, 53436-53438 2015-21746 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 53440 2015-21752 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-84; Introduction, 53436 2015-21740 Technical Amendments, 53439-53440 2015-21748 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, 53282-53283 2015-21888 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 53313-53314 2015-21887 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Gray Triggerfish; July Through December Season, 53263-53264 2015-21910 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission Program, 53324-53325 2015-21949 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences, 53331 2015-21927 Advisory Committee for Geosciences, 53331-53332 2015-21926 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Rescinding Spent Fuel Pool Exclusion Regulations, 53266-53272 2015-21834 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 53350-53352 2015-21819 Texas Engineering Experiment Station/Texas A and M University System Nuclear Science Center Reactor, 53343-53347 2015-21820 Exemptions: ZionSolutions, LLC; Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 53347-53350 2015-21794 License Amendment Applications: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, 53336-53339 2015-21817 Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4, 53340-53343 2015-21818 License Applications To Export High-Enriched Uranium, 53339-53340 2015-21802 License Renewal Applications: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC Vallecitos Nuclear Center, 53332-53336 2015-21801 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Lead in Construction Standard, 53330-53331 2015-21913 Office Special Office of the Special Counsel NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey Renewal for FY 2015, 53352-53353 2015-21780 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 53353 2015-21787 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Proc. 9309), 53441-53444 2015-22327 National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (Proc. 9310), 53445-53446 2015-22328 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (Proc. 9311), 53447-53448 2015-22329 National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (Proc. 9312), 53449-53450 2015-22330 National Preparedness Month (Proc. 9313), 53451-53452 2015-22331 National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (Proc. 9314), 53453-53454 2015-22332 National Wilderness Month (Proc. 9315), 53455-53456 2015-22333 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 53326 2015-21919 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 53325-53326 2015-21924 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Full Circle Capital Corp. et al., 53377-53381 2015-21866 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 53360-53364 2015-21870 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 53353-53358 2015-21871 Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc., 53358-53360 2015-21867 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 53370-53375 2015-21872 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 53364-53369 2015-21873 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 53369-53370, 53375-53377 2015-21868 2015-21869 Trading Suspension Orders: China Fruits Corp., 53358 2015-21975 State Department State Department NOTICES Designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri, aka 17 Novembert, 53382 2015-21929 Revolutionary Organization 17 November; aka Epanastatiki Organosi 17 Noemvri, aka 17 November, 53382 2015-21930 Revolutionary Struggle, aka Epanastatikos Aghonas, 53382-53383 2015-21931 Meetings: U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 53382 2015-21928 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee, 53389-53390 2015-21915 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Designation of the Republic of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status, 53319-53323 2015-21881 Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Rate Orders: Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects and Colorado River Storage Project; Final Firm Power Rate and Transmission and Ancillary Services Formula Rates, 53293-53308 2015-21904 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Federal Housing Finance Agency, 53392-53433 2015-20880 Part III Defense Department, 53436-53440 2015-21746 2015-21752 2015-21740 2015-21748 General Services Administration, 53436-53440 2015-21746 2015-21752 2015-21740 2015-21748 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 53436-53440 2015-21746 2015-21752 2015-21740 2015-21748 Part IV Presidential Documents, 53441-53456 2015-22327 2015-22328 2015-22329 2015-22330 2015-22331 2015-22332 2015-22333 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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80 171 Thursday, September 3, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 2 CFR Part 910 RIN 1991-AC02 Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements AGENCY:

Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Energy (DOE) is adopting, a rule amending the administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements with for-profit organizations. The regulations modify title provisions, and requirements related to the handling of real property and equipment acquired with federal funds. The regulations also add provisions related to export control requirements and supporting U.S. manufacturing, reporting on utilization of subject inventions, novation of financial assistance agreements, and changes of control of recipients.

DATES:

Effective: October 5, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Colligan, Procurement Analyst, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Acquisition Management, Contract and Financial Assistance Policy Division MA-611, Telephone: (202) 287-1776. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Summary II. Procedural Requirements A. Review under Executive Order 12866 B. Review under Executive Order 12988 C. Review under the Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Review under the Paperwork Reduction Act E. Review under the National Environmental Policy Act F. Review under Executive Order 13132 G. Review under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review under Executive Order 13211 J. Review under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review under Executive Order 13609 L. Approval by the Office of the Secretary of Energy M. Congressional Notification I. Summary

The Department makes substantial use of financial assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements) to for-profit organizations to meet its mission goals. To manage these awards, the Department added requirements specifying changes and additions to its Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. On May 15, 2014, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 27795) that detailed changes to the rules for for-profit recipients.

DOE is amending the rule by adding provisions concerning: (1) The Department's title to and interest in property purchased by financial assistance recipients with Federal funds; (2) the Department's ability to monitor and control the use of Federal funds, property purchased with those funds, and any intellectual property developed with such funds; (3) the related issues of novation (that is, the transfer of a financial assistance agreement from one recipient entity to another) and of change of control of a recipient (that is, a transfer of control of the recipient entity from one individual, group of individuals or entity, to another); (4) reporting by recipients regarding the utilization of inventions developed with Federal funds; and (5) export controls applicable to inventions and technology developed with Federal funds, and support for U.S. manufacturing of inventions and technology developed with Federal funds.

DOE received no comments from members of the public in response to the NOPR. Nevertheless, DOE made the following technical changes to the text of the rule to address the codification of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 and the relocation of the Department's Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements from 10 CFR part 600 to 2 CFR part 910 (79 FR 76024). As a result, the regulatory text proposed as amendments to part 600 are adopted unchanged as amendments to part 910.

(1) The text proposed as § 600.304 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.372.

(2) The text proposed as § 600.321 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.360.

(3) The text proposed as § 600.326 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.364.

(4) The text proposed as § 600.327 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.366.

(5) The text proposed as § 600.354 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.368.

(6) The text proposed as § 600.355 is renumbered and adopted as § 910.370.

III. Procedural Requirements A. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Today's regulatory action has been determined to be a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993). Accordingly, this rule was reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.

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

DOE emphasizes as well that Executive Order 13563 requires agencies to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible. In its guidance, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has emphasized that such techniques may include identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes. DOE believes that today's Final Rule is consistent with these principles, including the requirement that, to the extent permitted by law, agencies adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs and, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches maximize net benefits.

B. Review Under Executive Order 12988

With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Executive agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard and promote simplification and burden reduction.

With regard to the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law; these regulations meet the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of a regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will not have a significant impact on small entities as it applies to only for-profit entities (excluding small non-profits, individuals or other small entities not set up as a for-profit.) This rule also excludes small for-profit entities receiving awards through SBIR and STTR programs from many requirements. Historically the awards made by DOE under Subchapter D are to businesses considered large in their industry or field. Accordingly, DOE certifies that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and, therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared.

D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule would require the preparation and submission of a UCC financing statement for awards where the Federal share exceeds $1 million. This collection of information is required for the Department to protect the taxpayers by clarifying the rights to real property and equipment purchased under financial assistance awards.

The collection of information for DOE financial assistance awards has been approved by OMB under control number 1910-0400. Collection of the UCC-1 form is covered by this control number.

E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

DOE has concluded that promulgation of this rule falls into a class of actions which would not individually or cumulatively have significant impact on the human environment, as determined by DOE's regulations (10 CFR part 1021, subpart D) implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Specifically, this rule is categorically excluded from NEPA review because the amendments to the DEAR are strictly procedural (categorical exclusion A6). Therefore, this rule does not require an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment pursuant to NEPA.

F. Review Under Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132, 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have federalism implications. Agencies are required to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and carefully assess the necessity for such actions. DOE has examined today's rule and has determined that it does not preempt State law and does 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. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) generally requires a Federal agency to perform a detailed assessment of costs and benefits of any rule imposing a Federal Mandate with costs to State, local or tribal governments, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more. This rulemaking does not impose a Federal mandate on State, local or tribal governments or on the private sector.

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

Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277), requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule or policy that may affect family well-being. This rule will have no impact on family well-being. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

I. Review Under Executive Order 13211

Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”, 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a Final Rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution and use. Today's rule is not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

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

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

K. Review Under Executive Order 13609

Executive Order 13609 of May 1, 2012, “Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation,” requires that, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the principles and requirements of Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866, each Federal agency shall:

(a) If required to submit a Regulatory Plan pursuant to Executive Order 12866, include in that plan a summary of its international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulations, with an explanation of how these activities advance the purposes of Executive Order 13563 and this order;

(b) Ensure that significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts are designated as such in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, on RegInfo.gov, and on Regulations.gov;

(c) In selecting which regulations to include in its retrospective review plan, as required by Executive Order 13563, consider:

(i) Reforms to existing significant regulations that address unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements between the United States and its major trading partners, consistent with section 1 of this order, when stakeholders provide adequate information to the agency establishing that the differences are unnecessary; and

(ii) Such reforms in other circumstances as the agency deems appropriate; and

(d) For significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts, consider, to the extent feasible, appropriate, and consistent with law, any regulatory approaches by a foreign government that the United States has agreed to consider under a regulatory cooperation council work plan.

DOE has reviewed this rule under the provisions of Executive Order 13609 and determined that the rule complies with all requirements set forth in the order.

L. Approval by the Office of the Secretary of Energy

The Office of the Secretary of Energy has approved issuance of this rule.

M. Congressional Notification

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

List of Subjects in 2 CFR Part 910

Accounting, Administrative practice and procedure, Grant programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Issued in Washington, DC, on: August 21, 2015. Patrick M. Ferraro Director, Office of Acquisition Management. Joseph F. Waddell, Director, Office of Acquisition Management, National Nuclear Security Administration.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Energy is amending part 910 of chapter II, title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

PART 910—UNIFORM ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS, COST PRINCIPLES, AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL AWARDS 1. The authority citation for part 910 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 6301-6308; 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.; 2 CFR part 200.

2. Revise § 910.360 to read as follows:
§ 910.360 Real property and equipment.

(a) Prior approvals for acquisition with Federal funds. Recipients may purchase real property or equipment with an acquisition cost per unit of $5,000 or more in whole or in part with Federal funds only with the prior written approval of the contracting officer or in accordance with express award terms.

(b) Title. Unless a statute specifically authorizes and the award specifies that title to property vests unconditionally in the recipient, title to real property or equipment vests in the recipient, subject to all terms and conditions of the award and that the recipient shall:

(1) Use the real property or equipment for the authorized purposes of the project until funding for the project ceases, or until the real property or equipment is no longer needed for the purposes of the project, as may be determined by the contracting officer;

(2) Not encumber or permit any encumbrance on the real property or equipment without the prior written approval of the contracting officer;

(3) Use and dispose of the real property or equipment in accordance with paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) of this section; and

(4) Properly record, and consent to the Department's ability to properly record if the recipient fails to do so, UCC financing statement(s) for all equipment purchased with Federal funds (Financial assistance awards made under the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program are exempt from this requirement unless otherwise specified within the grant agreement); such a filing is required when the Federal share of the financial assistance agreement is more than $1,000,000, and the Contracting Officer may require it in his or her discretion when the Federal share is less than $1,000,000. These financing statement(s) must be approved in writing by the contracting officer prior to the recording, and they shall provide notice that the recipient's title to all equipment (not real property) purchased with Federal funds under the financial assistance agreement is conditional pursuant to the terms of this section, and that the Government retains an undivided reversionary interest in the equipment. The UCC financing statement(s) must be filed before the contracting officer may reimburse the recipient for the Federal share of the equipment unless otherwise provided for in the relevant financial assistance agreement. The recipient shall further make any amendments to the financing statements or additional recordings, including appropriate continuation statements, as necessary or as the contracting officer may direct.

(c) Remedies. If the recipient fails at any time to comply with any of the conditions or requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, then the contracting officer may:

(1) Notify the recipient of noncompliance in accordance with 2 CFR 200.338, which may lead to suspension or termination of the award;

(2) Impose special award conditions pursuant to 2 CFR 200.205 and 200.207 as amended by 2 CFR 910.372;

(3) Issue instructions to the recipient for disposition of the property in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section;

(4) In the case of a failure to properly record UCC financing statement(s) in accordance with paragraph (b)(4) of this section, effect such a recording; and

(5) Apply other remedies that may be legally available.

(d) Title to and Federal interest in real property or equipment offered as cost-share. As provided in 2 CFR 200.306(h), depending upon the purpose of the Federal award, a recipient may offer the fair market value of real property or equipment that is purchased with recipient's funds or that is donated by a third party to meet a portion of any required cost sharing or matching. If a resulting award includes such property as a portion of the recipient's cost share, the recipient holds conditional title to the property and the Government has an undivided reversionary interest in the share of the property value equal to the Federal participation in the project. The property is treated as if it had been acquired in part with Federal funds, and is subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section and to the provisions of 2 CFR 200.311 and 200.313.

(e) Insurance. Recipients must, at a minimum, provide the equivalent insurance coverage for real property and equipment acquired with Federal funds as provided to property owned by the recipient.

(f) Additional uses during and after the project period. Unless a statute and the award terms expressly provide for the vesting of unconditional title to real property or equipment with the recipient, the real property or equipment acquired wholly or in part with Federal funds is subject to the following:

(1) During the Project Period, the recipient must make real property and equipment available for use on other projects or programs, if such other use does not interfere with the work on the project or program for which the real property or equipment was originally acquired. Use of the real property or equipment on other projects is subject to the following order of priority:

(i) Activities sponsored by DOE grants, cooperative agreements, or other assistance awards;

(ii) Activities sponsored by other Federal agencies' grants, cooperative agreements, or other assistance awards;

(iii) Activities under Federal procurement contracts or activities not sponsored by any Federal agency. If so used, use charges must be assessed to those activities. For real property or equipment, the use charges must be at rates equivalent to those for which comparable real property or equipment may be leased.

(2) After Federal funding for the project ceases, or if, as may be determined by the contracting officer, the real property or equipment is no longer needed for the purposes of the project, or if the recipient suspends work on the project, the recipient may use the real property or equipment for other projects, if:

(i) There are Federally sponsored projects for which the real property or equipment may be used;

(ii) The recipient obtains written approval from the contracting officer to do so. The contracting officer must ensure that there is a formal change of accountability for the real property or equipment to a currently funded Federal award; and

(iii) The recipient's use of the real property or equipment for other projects is in the same order of priority as described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(iv) If the only use for the real property or equipment is for projects that have no Federal sponsorship, the recipient must proceed with disposition of the real property or equipment in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(g) Disposition. (1) If, as determined by the contracting officer, an item of real property or equipment is no longer needed for Federally sponsored projects, or if the recipient has suspended work on the project, the recipient has the following options:

(i) If the property is equipment with a current per unit fair market value of less than $5,000, it may be retained, sold, or otherwise disposed of with no further obligation to DOE.

(ii) If the property is equipment (rather than real property) and with the written approval of the contracting officer, the recipient may replace it with an item that is needed currently for the project by trading in or selling to offset the costs of the replacement equipment.

(iii) The recipient may elect to retain title, without further obligation to the Federal Government, by compensating the Federal Government for that percentage of the current fair market value of the real property or equipment that is attributable to the Federal participation in the project.

(iv) If the recipient does not elect to retain title to real property or equipment or does not request approval to use equipment as trade-in or offset for replacement equipment, the recipient must request disposition instructions from the responsible agency.

(2) If a recipient requests disposition instructions, the contracting officer must:

(i) For either real property or equipment, issue instructions to the recipient for disposition of the property no later than 120 calendar days after the recipient's request. The contracting officer's options for disposition are to direct the recipient to:

(A) Transfer title to the real property or equipment to the Federal Government or to a third party designated by the contracting officer provided that, in such cases, the recipient is entitled to compensation for its attributable percentage of the current fair market value of the real property or equipment, plus any reasonable shipping or interim storage costs incurred; or

(B) Sell the real property or equipment and pay the Federal Government for that percentage of the current fair market value of the property that is attributable to the Federal participation in the project (after deducting actual and reasonable selling and fix-up expenses, if any, from the sale proceeds). If the recipient is authorized or required to sell the real property or equipment, the recipient must use competitive procedures that result in the highest practicable return.

(3) If the contracting officer fails to issue disposition instructions within 120 calendar days of the recipient's request, the recipient must dispose of the real property or equipment through the option described in paragraph (g)(2)(i)(B) of this section.

3. Add § 910.364 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 910.364 Reporting on utilization of subject inventions.

(a) Unless otherwise instructed, a recipient that obtains title to an invention made under an award shall submit annual reports on the utilization or efforts to obtain utilization of the invention for at least 10 years from the date the invention was first disclosed to DOE (Utilization Reports). Utilization Reports shall include at least the following information:

(1) Status of development;

(2) Date of first commercial sale or use;

(3) Gross royalties received by the recipient;

(4) The location of any manufacture of products embodying the subject invention; and

(5) Any such other data and information as DOE may reasonably specify.

(b) To the extent data or information supplied in a Utilization Report is considered by the recipient to be privileged and confidential and is so marked by the recipient, DOE agrees that, to the extent permitted by law, it shall not disclose such information to persons outside the Government.

4. Add § 910.366 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 910.366 Export Control and U.S. Manufacturing and Competitiveness.

(a) Export Control. Any recipient of any award for research, development and/or demonstration must comply with all applicable U.S. laws regarding export control.

(b) U.S. Manufacturing and Competitiveness. It is the policy of DOE to ensure that DOE-funded research, development, and/or demonstration projects foster domestic manufacturing. Funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), therefore, may require that applicants submit a “U.S. Manufacturing Plan” in their applications. Such FOAs may encourage U.S. Manufacturing Plans to include proposals by recipients and any sub-recipients to manufacture DOE-funded technologies in the United States; however, the FOAs will also state that these plans should not include requirements regarding the source of inputs used during the manufacturing process. Regardless of whether such plans will be part of the merit review criteria or a program policy factor, and to the extent legally permissible, all awards subject to this subpart, including subawards, for research, development, and/or demonstration, must include a provision that provides plans by the recipient and any subrecipients to support manufacturing in the United States of technology developed under the award. The recipient and any subrecipients must agree to make those plans binding on any assignee or licensee or any entity otherwise acquiring rights to any subject invention or developed technology covered under the award. A recipient, subrecipient, assignee, licensee, or any entity otherwise acquiring the rights to any subject invention or developed technology may request a waiver or modification of U.S. manufacturing plans from DOE. DOE will determine whether to approve such a waiver in light of equitable considerations, including, for example, whether the requester satisfactorily shows that the planned support is not economically feasible and whether there is a satisfactory alternative net benefit to the U.S. economy if the requested waiver or modification is approved.

5. Add § 910.368 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 910.368 Change of control.

(a) Change of control is defined as any of the following:

(1) Any event by which any individual or entity other than the recipient becomes the beneficial owner of more than 50% of the total voting power of the voting stock of the recipient;

(2) The recipient merges with or into any entity other than in a transaction in which the shares of the recipient's voting stock are converted into a majority of the voting stock of the surviving entity;

(3) The sale, lease or transfer of all or substantially all of the assets of the recipient to any individual or entity other than the recipient in one or a series of related transactions;

(4) The adoption of a plan relating to the liquidation or dissolution of the recipient; or

(5) Where the recipient is a wholly-owned subsidiary at the time of award or novation, and the recipient's parent entity undergoes a change of control as defined in this section.

(b) When the Federal share of the financial assistance agreement is more than $10,000,000 or DOE requests the information in writing, the recipient must provide the contracting officer with documentation identifying all parties who exercise control in the recipient at the time of award.

(c) When there is a change of control of a recipient, or the recipient has reason to know a change of control is likely, the recipient must notify the contracting officer within 30 days of its knowledge of such change of control. Such notification must include, at a minimum, copies of documents necessary to reflect the transaction that resulted or will result in the change of control, and identification of all entities, individuals or other parties to such transaction. Failure to notify the contracting officer of a change of control is grounds for suspension or termination of the award for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the award.

(d) The contracting officer must authorize a change of control for the purposes of the award. Failure to receive the contracting officer's authorization for a change of control may lead to a suspension of the award, termination for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the award, or imposition of special award conditions pursuant to 2 CFR 910.372. Special award conditions may include but are not limited to:

(1) Additional reporting requirements related to the change of control; and

(2) Suspension of payments due to the recipient.

6. Add § 910.370 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 910.370 Novation of financial assistance agreements.

(a) Financial assistance agreements are not assignable absent written consent from the contracting officer. At his or her sole discretion, the contracting officer may, through novation, recognize a third party as the successor in interest to a financial assistance agreement if such recognition is in the Government's interest, conforms with all applicable laws and the third party's interest in the agreement arises out of the transfer of:

(1) All of the recipient's assets; or

(2) The entire portion of the assets necessary to perform the project described in the agreement.

(b) When the contracting officer determines that it is not in the Government's interest to consent to the novation of a financial assistance agreement from the original recipient to a third party, the original recipient remains subject to the terms of the financial assistance agreement, and the Department may exercise all legally available remedies under 2 CFR 200.338 through 200.342, or that may be otherwise available, should the original recipient not perform.

(c) The contracting officer may require submission of any documentation in support of a request for novation, including but not limited to documents identified in 48 CFR Subpart 42.12. The contracting officer may use the format in 48 CFR 42.1204 as guidance for novation agreements identified in paragraph (a) of this section.

7. Add § 910.372 to subpart D to read as follows:
§ 910.372 Special award conditions.

(a) In addition to the requirements of 2 CFR 200.205, the following actions may require the use of Specific Conditions as identified in 2 CFR 200.207:

(1) Has not conformed to the terms and conditions of a previous award;

(2) Has a change of control as defined in § 910.368;

(3) Fails to comply with real property and equipment requirements at § 910.360; or

(4) Is not otherwise responsible.

[FR Doc. 2015-21693 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Parts 271, 273, 274, and 275 RIN 0584-AE48 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Agricultural Act of 2014 Nondiscretionary Provisions AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Program) regulations to codify certain nondiscretionary provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “2014 Farm Bill”).

This final rule excludes medical marijuana from being treated as an allowable medical expense for the purposes of determining the excess medical expense deduction under SNAP. This rule also amends multiple SNAP regulations pursuant to nondiscretionary changes under the 2014 Farm Bill related to Quality Control (QC). This rule updates the QC error tolerance threshold to no more than $37 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. For FY 2015 and thereafter, the QC tolerance level will be set annually based on an adjustment in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). In addition, this rule eliminates USDA's ability to waive any portion of a State's QC liability amount, except as provided in SNAP regulations that requires State agencies to use SNAP High Performance Bonus Payments only for SNAP administrative expenses including investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution, and actions to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. Finally, this rule amends SNAP regulations pertaining to the use of SNAP benefits to pay for container deposit fees. The 2014 Farm Bill prohibits SNAP benefits from being used to pay for container deposit fees in excess of any State fee reimbursement required to purchase food in a returnable bottle or can.

DATES:

This rule will become effective on November 2, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vicky T. Robinson, FNS, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room #418, Alexandria, VA 22302, 703-305-2476.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background General

On February 7, 2014, the President signed the 2014 Farm Bill. Amendments exclude medical marijuana from allowable medical expense deductions for SNAP purposes, update the QC error tolerance threshold for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and index this amount for FY 2015 and thereafter based on an adjustment in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), eliminate the Department's ability to waive any portion of a State's QC Liability amount except as provided in SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 275.23(f), ensure that State agencies may use High Performance Bonus Payments only for SNAP administrative expenses, and prohibit SNAP benefits from being used to pay for container deposit fees in excess of the State fee reimbursement.

Medical Marijuana

USDA is amending SNAP regulations at 7 CFR part 273 in accordance with Section 4005 of the 2014 Farm Bill. Under Section 4005, USDA is instructed to promulgate regulations to explicitly prohibit States from utilizing the excess medical deduction to deduct medical marijuana costs from a household's income for SNAP purposes.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance that has no currently accepted medical use and cannot be prescribed for medicinal purposes. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1)(C). SNAP is a Federal program and must conform to Federal law regarding illegal substances. Therefore, marijuana and other Schedule I controlled substances are not allowable medical expenses under SNAP. USDA is incorporating this requirement into the regulations at new subsection 7 CFR 273.9(d)(3)(iii)(B).

Error Tolerance Threshold

Section 16 (c)(1)(A)(ii)(I) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 was amended by Section 4019 of the 2014 Farm Bill to require that the Secretary set the tolerance level for excluding small errors for fiscal year 2014, at an amount not greater than $37. Until that point in time, the QC tolerance level was at $50, meaning only variances that exceed $50 were included in the calculation of the payment error rate. This threshold does not excuse a State from following correction or claims procedures for any over or under issuance that is under the tolerance level. Typically, changes that affect the QC review period are made effective the upcoming fiscal year so that State and Federal QC reviewers can prepare for the procedural and systematic changes required. However, since the QC review period for FY 2014 had already begun when the Act was signed, the Department was required to take immediate action at that point on announcement of a new threshold, and established the new $37 threshold through an implementing memorandum on March 21, 2014. This rule codifies what was put in place via that implementing memorandum.

Section 4019 of the 2014 Farm Bill also requires USDA to adjust FY 2014's threshold by the percentage by which the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) is adjusted under Section 3(u)(4) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. The Department uses three TFPs to establish benefit levels, one for the 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia, one for Alaska, and one for Hawaii. Although there are different TFPs used in SNAP benefit calculation, the Department is required to have one national performance measure for State payment error rates. For that reason, the Department has concluded that it has no discretion in using a single TFP-related adjustment mechanism for all States.

For FY 2015, the Department adjusted the threshold amount by using the TFP for the 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia as the TFP baseline for all 53 State agencies, resulting in a tolerance level of $38 for FY 2015. In this final rule, the Department is establishing that the threshold will be adjusted each year by using the TFP for the 48 contiguous States and District of Columbia. A policy memo will be issued to States notifying them of the adjustment to the threshold amount at the start of each QC review period.

Liability Amount Determinations

After each fiscal year, in accordance with regulatory requirements, a determination is made for each State agency as to whether or not that FY's QC Error Rate would lead to the State being assessed a liability amount. State agencies assessed liabilities are given the opportunity to pay their liabilities in full or designate 50 percent of the liability amount as at-risk for repayment if a liability amount for an excessive payment error rate is established for the following FY. State agencies must then designate the other 50 percent of the liability amount to be used for new investment in approved activities to improve the administration of SNAP. In addition, States have the right to appeal their QC Liability amount in order to provide justification for why they were otherwise unable to effectively administer the program for that fiscal year.

Previously USDA had the authority to waive all or a portion of the liability, regardless of whether or not a State chose to appeal their QC Liability amount. While the Department has not utilized this authority with the current sanction system, the 2014 Farm Bill has provided that no portion of a State agency's liability amount is allowed to be waived by the Department, thereby negating existing regulatory provisions at § 275.23(f). Therefore, to comply with this change, the Department is removing the regulatory language which allowed USDA such authority at § 275.23(e)(1)(i) and moving the language at § 275.23(e)(1)(ii), § 275.23(e)(1)(iii), and § 275.23(e)(1)(iv) up to become § 275.23(e)(1)(i) and § 275.23(e)(1)(ii), and § 275.23(e)(1)(iii).

High Performance Bonuses

Previously, although the Department encouraged States to invest performance bonus money into program improvements and preventing fraud, there were no restrictions on how States could spend the bonus money they received. However, section 4021 of the Act now requires State awardees to spend their bonus money exclusively on SNAP administrative expenses. Congress' intent, written in the Act, is for States to use this bonus money to “carry out the program established under this Act (the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008), including investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution; and actions to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.” Therefore, USDA is adding regulatory language that prohibits the use of bonus payments for household benefits, including incentive payments, and requires States awarded SNAP High Performance Bonuses to inform the Department of their intended plans for said bonus payments prior to expenditure in order to verify they will be used in a manner with which they were intended.

Container Deposit Fees

In accordance with Section 4001 of the 2014 Farm Bill, SNAP benefits may not be used to pay for container deposit fees in excess of the amount of any fee reimbursement established under State law. SNAP benefits may only be used to pay the amount required by the State and only for containers that meet the criteria covered in the State law. If an entity other than the State, such as the manufacturer, imposes a deposit fee in excess that must be paid to purchase a food product, the fee cannot be paid with SNAP benefits. Instead, the fee must be paid separately in cash or other form of payment. The prohibition applies regardless of whether the fee is included in the shelf price posted for the item.

SNAP regulations already provide that clients who purchase, with SNAP benefits, products that have container deposits for the purpose of subsequently discarding the product and returning the container in exchange for a cash refund of the deposit may be disqualified from the Program for trafficking. This provision helps strengthen SNAP regulations to prevent fraud and abuse by limiting the ability of SNAP clients to use their benefits to pay for container deposit fees and, therefore, reducing the amount of the cash refund they would be able to obtain when returning the container.

Currently the following ten States have some type of State container deposit fee requirement: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. State law establishes the deposit amount and the types and sizes of containers covered by the law. When purchasing a container with a State deposit requirement, the consumer pays the deposit to the retailer and receives a refund when an empty container is returned to a retailer or redemption center.

If a SNAP eligible product has a State deposit fee associated with it, the product remains eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. In addition, the State deposit fee may be paid with SNAP benefits; however, any additional deposit fee amount in excess of the State deposit fee must be paid in cash or another form of payment other than SNAP benefits.

In order to codify this provision of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Department is modifying the definition of “Eligible Foods” at 7 CFR 271.2 to exclude any deposit fees in excess of the amount of the State deposit fee, regardless of whether the fee is included in the shelf price of the food or food product.

USDA is also amending SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 274.7, so that program benefits may not be used to pay for deposit fees in excess of the amount of the State fee reimbursement required to purchase any SNAP-eligible food item contained in a returnable bottle or can.

II. Procedural Matters Issuance of a Final Rule

The Department has determined that this rule is appropriate for final rulemaking because we believe these amendments to be noncontroversial and because these provisions are nondiscretionary as they are required by the Act.

Regulatory Impact Analysis

This final rule has been designated as not significant by OMB.

Executive Order 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 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). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.

This final rule has been determined to be not significant and was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in conformance with Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires Agencies to analyze the impact of rulemaking on small entities and consider alternatives that would minimize any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities. Pursuant to that review, it has been certified that this final rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local and Tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, the Department generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures by State, local or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the Department to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the most cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

This final rule does not contain Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and Tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Executive Order 12372

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Programs under 10.551. For the reasons set forth in the final rule in 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, and related Notice (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), this program is excluded in the scope of Executive Order 12372 which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials.

Executive Order 13175

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

FNS has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under EO 13175. On February 18, 2015, the agency held a webinar for tribal participation and comments. If a Tribe requests consultation, FNS will work with the Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided where changes, additions and modifications identified herein are not expressly mandated by Congress.

Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132 requires Federal agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory actions on State and local governments. Where such actions have federalism implications, agencies are directed to provide a statement for inclusion in the preamble to the regulations describing the agency's considerations in terms of the three categories called for under Section (6)(b)(2)(B) of Executive Order 13132. USDA has considered this rule's impact on State and local agencies and has determined that it does not have Federalism implications.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have preemptive effect with respect to any State or local laws, regulations or policies which conflict with its provisions or which would otherwise impede its full and timely implementation. State agencies were required to apply the threshold changes in this rule to all cases as of the FY 2014 QC review period. All other changes in this rule were effective immediately upon enactment of the Act, except the medical marijuana and container deposit fees changes which are not intended to have retroactive effect unless so specified in the Effective Dates section. Prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of the final rule, all applicable administrative procedures must be exhausted.

Civil Rights Impact Analysis

The Department has reviewed this rule in accordance with the Department Regulation 4300-4, “Civil Rights Impact Analysis,” to identify and address any major civil rights impacts the rule might have on minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. After a careful review of the rule's intent and provisions, the Department has determined that this rule will not in any way limit or reduce the ability of protected classes of individuals to participate in SNAP. USDA has no data pertaining to the medical marijuana change. The change to container deposit fees does not apply to the certification determinations made on the intended beneficiaries of the SNAP. Quality Control procedures are designed to evaluate the accuracy of the application of SNAP certification policy and therefore, the evaluation procedures do not impact protected classes or individuals.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Information collections associated with the changes to the Quality Control error tolerance threshold have been approved under following OMB control numbers: 0584-0074, Worksheet for SNAP Quality Control Reviews (expiration date May 31, 2016), and 0584-0299 Form FNS-380-1, Quality Control Review Schedule, Form FNS-380-1 (February 29, 2016). Other changes in this rule do not contain information collection requirements subject to approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994.

E-Government Act Compliance

USDA is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, 2002, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 271

Food stamps, Grant programs—social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 273

Administrative practice and procedures, Aliens, Claims, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Fraud, Grant programs—social programs, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security, Students.

7 CFR Part 274

Food stamps, Grant programs—social programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 275

Administrative practice and procedure, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR parts 271, 273, 274, and 275 are amended as follows:

PART 271—GENERAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS 1. The authority citation for part 271 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

§ 271.2 [Amended]
2. In § 271.2, amend the definition of Eligible foods by adding, at the end of paragraph (1), the words “and any deposit fee in excess of the amount of the State fee reimbursement (if any) required to purchase any food or food product contained in a returnable bottle, can, or other container, regardless of whether the fee is included in the shelf price posted for the food or food product”:
PART 273—CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS 3. The authority citation for part 273 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

4. In § 273.9, revise paragraph (d)(3)(iii) to read as follows:
§ 273.9 Income and deductions.

(d) * * *

(3) * * *

(iii) Prescription drugs, when prescribed by a licensed practitioner authorized under State law, and other over-the-counter medication (including insulin), when approved by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional.

(A) Medical supplies and equipment. Costs of medical supplies, sick-room equipment (including rental) or other prescribed equipment are deductible;

(B) Exclusions. The cost of any Schedule I controlled substance under The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., and any expenses associated with its use, are not deductible.

PART 274—ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS 5. The authority citation for part 274 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

6. In § 274.7, add paragraph (j) to read as follows:
§ 274.7 Benefits redemption by eligible households.

(j) Container deposit fees. Program benefits may not be used to pay for deposit fees in excess of the amount of the State fee reimbursement required to purchase any food or food product contained in a returnable bottle or can, regardless of whether the fee is included in the shelf price posted for item. The returnable container type and fee must be included in State law in order for the customer to be able to pay for the upfront deposit with SNAP benefits. If a SNAP eligible product has a State deposit fee associated with it, the product remains eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, and the State deposit fee may be paid with SNAP as well; however, any fee in excess of the State deposit fee must be paid in cash or other form of payment other than with SNAP benefits.

PART 275—PERFORMANCE REPORTING SYSTEM 7. The authority citation for part 275 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

8. In § 275.12, revise paragraph (f)(2) to read as follows:
§ 275.12 Review of active cases.

(f) * * *

(2) Basis of issuance of errors. If the reviewer determines that SNAP allotments were either overissued or underissued to eligible households in the sample month, the State agency shall code and report any variances that directly contributed to the error determination that were discovered and verified during the course of the review. For fiscal year 2014, only variances that exceed $37.00 (the threshold) shall be included in the calculation of the underissuance error rate, overissuance error rate, and payment error. For fiscal years 2015 and thereafter, this QC tolerance level shall be adjusted annually by the percentage by which the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) for the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia is adjusted. If the State agency has chosen to report information on all variances in elements of eligibility and basis of issuance, the reviewer shall code and report any other such variances that were discovered and verified during the course of the review.

9. In § 275.23: a. Revise paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (iii). b. Remove paragraph (e)(1)(iv).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 275.23 Determination of State agency program performance.

(e) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Require the State agency to invest up to 50 percent of the liability in activities to improve program administration (new investment money shall not be matched by Federal funds) and

(ii) Designate up to 50 percent of the liability as “at-risk” for repayment if a liability is established based on the State agency's payment error rate for the subsequent fiscal year, or

(iii) Choose any combination of these options.

10. In § 275.24, add paragraph (a)(8) to read as follows:
§ 275.24 High performance bonuses.

(a) * * *

(8) Bonus award money shall be used only on SNAP-related expenses including, but not limited to, investments in technology; improvements in administration and distribution; and actions to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

(i) Bonus payments shall not be used for household benefits, including incentive payments.

(ii) State agency awardees shall submit their intended spending plans of bonus payments to FNS to verify appropriate use.

Dated: August 27, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-21906 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1205 [Doc. # AMS-CN-14-0098] Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments) AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.

DATES:

This direct rule is effective November 2, 2015, without further action or notice, unless significant adverse comment is received by October 5, 2015. If significant adverse comment is received, AMS will publish a timely withdrawal of the amendment in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not include personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publically disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

Comments, identified by AMS-CN-14-0098, may be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. In addition, comments may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to Cotton Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. A copy of this document may be found at: www.regulations.gov .

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shethir M. Riva, Chief, Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118) (Act) were enacted by Congress under Subtitle G of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-624, 104 stat. 3909, November 28, 1990). These amendments contained two provisions that authorize changes in the funding procedures for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. These provisions provide for: (1) The assessment of imported cotton and cotton products; and (2) termination of refunds to cotton producers. (Prior to the 1990 amendments to the Act, producers could request assessment refunds.)

As amended, the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (7 CFR part 1205) (Order) was approved by producers and importers voting in a referendum held July 17-26, 1991, and the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 10, 1991, (56 FR 64470). A proposed rule implementing the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1991, (56 FR 65450). Implementing rules were published on July 1 and 2, 1992, (57 FR 29181) and (57 FR 29431), respectively.

This direct final rule would amend the value assigned to imported cotton in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR 1205.510(b)(2)) that is used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion assessment on imported cotton and cotton products. The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported—levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products—levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton.

Section 1205.510(b)(2) of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations provides for assigning the calendar year weighted average price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton to represent the value of imported cotton. This is so that the assessment on domestically produced cotton and the assessment on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products is the same. The source for the average price statistic is Agricultural Prices, a publication of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the Department of Agriculture. Use of the weighted average price figure in the calculation of supplemental assessments on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will yield an assessment that is the same as assessments paid on domestically produced cotton.

The current value of imported cotton as published in 2014 in the Federal Register (79 FR 36183) for the purpose of calculating assessments on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram. Using the Average Weighted Price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton for the calendar year 2014, this direct final rule would amend the new value of imported cotton to $0.012013 per kilogram to reflect the price paid by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton during 2014.

An example of the complete assessment formula and how the figures are obtained is as follows:

One bale is equal to 500 pounds.

One kilogram equals 2.2046 pounds.

One pound equals 0.453597 kilograms.

One Dollar per Bale Assessment Converted to Kilograms

A 500-pound bale equals 226.8 kg. (500 × 0.453597).

$1 per bale assessment equals $0.002000 per pound or $0.2000 cents per pound (1/500) or $0.004409 per kg or $0.4409 cents per kg. (1/226.8).

Supplemental Assessment of 5/10 of One Percent of the Value of the Cotton Converted to Kilograms.

The 2014 calendar year weighted average price received by producers for Upland cotton is $0.690 per pound or $1.521 per kg. (0.690 × 2.2046).

Five tenths of one percent of the average price equals $0.007604 per kg. (1.521 × 0.005).

Total Assessment

The total assessment per kilogram of raw cotton is obtained by adding the $1 per bale equivalent assessment of $0.004409 per kg. and the supplemental assessment $0.007604 per kg., which equals $0.012013 per kg.

The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram of imported cotton. The revised assessment in this direct final rule is $0.012013, a decrease of $0.000715 per kilogram. This decrease reflects the decrease in the average weighted price of Upland cotton received by U.S. farmers during the period January through December 2014.

Import Assessment Table in section 1205.510(b)(3) indicates the total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number that is subject to assessment. This table must be revised each year to reflect changes in supplemental assessment rates and any changes to the HTS numbers. In this direct final rule, AMS is amending the Import Assessment Table.

AMS believes that these amendments are necessary to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products are the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, changes reflected in this rule should be adopted and implemented as soon as possible since it is required by regulation.

B. Good Cause Finding That Proposed Rulemaking Is Unnecessary

Rulemaking under section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) ordinarily involves publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register and the public is given an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule; however, an agency may issue a rule without prior notice and comment procedures if it determines for good cause that public notice and comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest for such rule, and incorporates a statement of the finding with the underlying reasons in the final rule issued.

As described in this Federal Register document, the amendment to the value used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion Program importer assessment will be updated to reflect the assessment already paid by U.S. farmers. For the reasons mentioned in section A of this preamble, AMS finds that publishing a proposed rule and seeking public comment is unnecessary because the change is required annually by regulation in 7 CFR 1205.510.

Also, this direct-final rulemaking furthers the objectives of Executive Order 13563, which requires that the regulatory process “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty” and “identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.”

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, AMS is publishing a separate document that will serve as a notice of proposal to amend part 7 CFR part 1205 as described in this direct final rule. If AMS receives significant adverse comment during the comment period, it will publish, in a timely manner, a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule. AMS will then address public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. AMS will not institute a second comment period on this rule. Any parties interested in commenting must do so during this comment period.

C. Regulatory Impact Analysis Executive Order 13175

This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation would not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to access 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). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. This action has been designated as a “non-significant regulatory action” under § 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and therefore, review has been waived, and this action has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

Executive Order 12988

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

The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 12 of the Act, any person subject to an order may file with the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) a petition stating that the order, any provision of the plan, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and requesting a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such person is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, the Secretary would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the District Court of the United States in any district in which the person is an inhabitant, or has his principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review the Secretary's ruling, provided a complaint is filed within 20 days from the date of the entry of the Secretary's ruling.

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has examined the economic impact of this rule on small entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such action so that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (importers) as having receipts of no more than $7,000,000. In 2014, an estimated 20,000 importers are subject to the rules and regulations issued pursuant to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. Most are considered small entities as defined by the Small Business Administration.

This rule would only affect importers of cotton and cotton-containing products and would lower the assessments paid by the importers under the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram of imported cotton. The proposed assessment is $0.012013, which was calculated based on the 12-month weighted average of price received by U.S. cotton farmers. Section 1205.510, “Levy of assessments”, provides “the rate of the supplemental assessment on imported cotton will be the same as that levied on cotton produced within the United States.” In addition, section 1205.510 provides that the 12-month weighted average of prices received by U.S. farmers will be used as the value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying the supplemental assessment on imported cotton.

Under the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, assessments are used by the Cotton Board to finance research and promotion programs designed to increase consumer demand for Upland cotton in the United States and international markets. In 2013 (the last audited year), producer assessments totaled $36.9 million and importer assessments totaled $42.2 million. According to the Cotton Board, should the volume of cotton products imported into the U.S. remain at the same level in 2014, one could expect a decrease of assessments by approximately $2,442,758.

Importers with line-items appearing on U.S. Customs and Border Protection documentation with value of the cotton contained therein which results in an assessment of two dollars ($2.00) or less will not be subject to assessments. In addition, imported organic cotton and products may be exempt from assessment if eligible under section 1205.519 of the Order.

There are no Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

In compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) the information collection requirements contained in the regulation to be amended have been previously approved by OMB and were assigned control number 0581-0093, National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs. This rule does not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved.

A 30-day comment period is provided to comment on the changes to the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations proposed herein. This period is deemed appropriate because this rule would decrease the assessments paid by importers under the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. An amendment is required to adjust the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, the change in this rule, if adopted, should be implemented as soon as possible.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1205

Advertising, Agricultural research, Cotton, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, AMS amends 7 CFR part 1205 as follows:

PART 1205—COTTON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION 1. The authority citation for Part 1205 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

2. In § 1205.510, paragraph (b)(2) and the table in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) are revised to read as follows:
§ 1205.510 Levy of assessments.

(b) * * *

(2) The 12-month average of monthly weighted average prices received by U.S. farmers will be calculated annually. Such weighted average will be used as the value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying the supplemental assessment on imported cotton and will be expressed in kilograms. The value of imported cotton for the purpose of levying this supplemental assessment is $1.2013 cents per kilogram.

(3) * * *

(ii) * * *

Import Assessment Table [Raw cotton fiber] HTS No. CONV. FACTOR. Cents/kg. 5007106010 0.2713 0.32591 5007106020 0.2713 0.32591 5007906010 0.2713 0.32591 5007906020 0.2713 0.32591 5112904000 0.1085 0.13034 5112905000 0.1085 0.13034 5112909010 0.1085 0.13034 5112909090 0.1085 0.13034 5201000500 0 1.2013 5201001200 0 1.2013 5201001400 0 1.2013 5201001800 0 1.2013 5201002200 0 1.2013 5201002400 0 1.2013 5201002800 0 1.2013 5201003400 0 1.2013 5201003800 0 1.2013 5204110000 1.0526 1.26449 5204190000 0.6316 0.75874 5204200000 1.0526 1.26449 5205111000 1 1.2013 5205112000 1 1.2013 5205121000 1 1.2013 5205122000 1 1.2013 5205131000 1 1.2013 5205132000 1 1.2013 5205141000 1 1.2013 5205142000 1 1.2013 5205151000 1 1.2013 5205152000 1 1.2013 5205210020 1.044 1.25416 5205210090 1.044 1.25416 5205220020 1.044 1.25416 5205220090 1.044 1.25416 5205230020 1.044 1.25416 5205230090 1.044 1.25416 5205240020 1.044 1.25416 5205240090 1.044 1.25416 5205260020 1.044 1.25416 5205260090 1.044 1.25416 5205270020 1.044 1.25416 5205270090 1.044 1.25416 5205280020 1.044 1.25416 5205280090 1.044 1.25416 5205310000 1 1.2013 5205320000 1 1.2013 5205330000 1 1.2013 5205340000 1 1.2013 5205350000 1 1.2013 5205410020 1.044 1.25416 5205410090 1.044 1.25416 5205420021 1.044 1.25416 5205420029 1.044 1.25416 5205420090 1.044 1.25416 5205430021 1.044 1.25416 5205430029 1.044 1.25416 5205430090 1.044 1.25416 5205440021 1.044 1.25416 5205440029 1.044 1.25416 5205440090 1.044 1.25416 5205460021 1.044 1.25416 5205460029 1.044 1.25416 5205460090 1.044 1.25416 5205470021 1.044 1.25416 5205470029 1.044 1.25416 5205470090 1.044 1.25416 5205480020 1.044 1.25416 5205480090 1.044 1.25416 5206110000 0.7368 0.88512 5206120000 0.7368 0.88512 5206130000 0.7368 0.88512 5206140000 0.7368 0.88512 5206150000 0.7368 0.88512 5206210000 0.7692 0.92404 5206220000 0.7692 0.92404 5206230000 0.7692 0.92404 5206240000 0.7692 0.92404 5206250000 0.7692 0.92404 5206310000 0.7368 0.88512 5206320000 0.7368 0.88512 5206330000 0.7368 0.88512 5206340000 0.7368 0.88512 5206350000 0.7368 0.88512 5206410000 0.7692 0.92404 5206420000 0.7692 0.92404 5206430000 0.7692 0.92404 5206440000 0.7692 0.92404 5206450000 0.7692 0.92404 5207100000 0.9474 1.13811 5207900000 0.6316 0.75874 5208112020 1.0852 1.30365 5208112040 1.0852 1.30365 5208112090 1.0852 1.30365 5208114020 1.0852 1.30365 5208114040 1.0852 1.30365 5208114060 1.0852 1.30365 5208114090 1.0852 1.30365 5208116000 1.0852 1.30365 5208118020 1.0852 1.30365 5208118090 1.0852 1.30365 5208124020 1.0852 1.30365 5208124040 1.0852 1.30365 5208124090 1.0852 1.30365 5208126020 1.0852 1.30365 5208126040 1.0852 1.30365 5208126060 1.0852 1.30365 5208126090 1.0852 1.30365 5208128020 1.0852 1.30365 5208128090 1.0852 1.30365 5208130000 1.0852 1.30365 5208192020 1.0852 1.30365 5208192090 1.0852 1.30365 5208194020 1.0852 1.30365 5208194090 1.0852 1.30365 5208196020 1.0852 1.30365 5208196090 1.0852 1.30365 5208198020 1.0852 1.30365 5208198090 1.0852 1.30365 5208212020 1.0852 1.30365 5208212040 1.0852 1.30365 5208212090 1.0852 1.30365 5208214020 1.0852 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0.7615 0.91479 6211201535 0.3515 0.42226 6211201540 0.7615 0.91479 6211201545 0.2929 0.35186 6211201550 0.7615 0.91479 6211201555 0.41 0.49253 6211201560 0.7615 0.91479 6211201565 0.2343 0.28146 6211202400 0.1233 0.14812 6211202810 0.8016 0.96296 6211202820 0.2466 0.29624 6211202830 0.3083 0.37036 6211203400 0.1233 0.14812 6211203810 0.8016 0.96296 6211203820 0.2466 0.29624 6211203830 0.3083 0.37036 6211204400 0.1233 0.14812 6211204815 0.8016 0.96296 6211204835 0.2466 0.29624 6211204860 0.3083 0.37036 6211205400 0.1233 0.14812 6211205810 0.8016 0.96296 6211205820 0.2466 0.29624 6211205830 0.3083 0.37036 6211206400 0.1233 0.14812 6211206810 0.8016 0.96296 6211206820 0.2466 0.29624 6211206830 0.3083 0.37036 6211207400 0.1233 0.14812 6211207810 0.9249 1.11108 6211207820 0.2466 0.29624 6211207830 0.3083 0.37036 6211320003 0.6412 0.77027 6211320007 0.8016 0.96296 6211320010 0.9865 1.18508 6211320015 0.9865 1.18508 6211320025 0.9865 1.18508 6211320030 0.9249 1.11108 6211320040 0.9249 1.11108 6211320050 0.9249 1.11108 6211320060 0.9249 1.11108 6211320070 0.9249 1.11108 6211320075 0.9249 1.11108 6211320081 0.9249 1.11108 6211330003 0.0987 0.11857 6211330007 0.1233 0.14812 6211330010 0.3083 0.37036 6211330015 0.3083 0.37036 6211330017 0.3083 0.37036 6211330025 0.37 0.44448 6211330030 0.37 0.44448 6211330035 0.37 0.44448 6211330040 0.37 0.44448 6211330054 0.37 0.44448 6211330058 0.37 0.44448 6211330061 0.37 0.44448 6211390510 0.1233 0.14812 6211390520 0.1233 0.14812 6211390530 0.1233 0.14812 6211390540 0.1233 0.14812 6211390545 0.1233 0.14812 6211390551 0.1233 0.14812 6211399010 0.2466 0.29624 6211399020 0.2466 0.29624 6211399030 0.2466 0.29624 6211399040 0.2466 0.29624 6211399050 0.2466 0.29624 6211399060 0.2466 0.29624 6211399070 0.2466 0.29624 6211399090 0.2466 0.29624 6211420003 0.6412 0.77027 6211420007 0.8016 0.96296 6211420010 0.9865 1.18508 6211420020 0.9865 1.18508 6211420025 1.1099 1.33332 6211420030 0.8632 1.03696 6211420040 0.9865 1.18508 6211420054 1.1099 1.33332 6211420056 1.1099 1.33332 6211420060 0.9865 1.18508 6211420070 1.1099 1.33332 6211420075 1.1099 1.33332 6211420081 1.1099 1.33332 6211430003 0.0987 0.11857 6211430007 0.1233 0.14812 6211430010 0.2466 0.29624 6211430020 0.2466 0.29624 6211430030 0.2466 0.29624 6211430040 0.2466 0.29624 6211430050 0.2466 0.29624 6211430060 0.2466 0.29624 6211430064 0.3083 0.37036 6211430066 0.2466 0.29624 6211430074 0.3083 0.37036 6211430076 0.37 0.44448 6211430078 0.37 0.44448 6211430091 0.2466 0.29624 6211499010 0.2466 0.29624 6211499020 0.2466 0.29624 6211499030 0.2466 0.29624 6211499040 0.2466 0.29624 6211499050 0.2466 0.29624 6211499060 0.2466 0.29624 6211499070 0.2466 0.29624 6211499080 0.2466 0.29624 6211499090 0.2466 0.29624 6212105010 0.9138 1.09775 6212105020 0.2285 0.2745 6212105030 0.2285 0.2745 6212109010 0.9138 1.09775 6212109020 0.2285 0.2745 6212109040 0.2285 0.2745 6212200010 0.6854 0.82337 6212200020 0.2856 0.34309 6212200030 0.1142 0.13719 6212300010 0.6854 0.82337 6212300020 0.2856 0.34309 6212300030 0.1142 0.13719 6212900010 0.1828 0.2196 6212900020 0.1828 0.2196 6212900030 0.1828 0.2196 6212900050 0.0914 0.1098 6212900090 0.4112 0.49397 6213201000 1.1187 1.34389 6213202000 1.0069 1.20959 6213900700 0.4475 0.53758 6213901000 0.4475 0.53758 6213902000 0.3356 0.40316 6214300000 0.1142 0.13719 6214400000 0.1142 0.13719 6214900010 0.8567 1.02915 6214900090 0.2285 0.2745 6215100025 0.1142 0.13719 6215200000 0.1142 0.13719 6215900015 1.0281 1.23506 6216000800 0.0685 0.08229 6216001300 0.3427 0.41169 6216001720 0.6397 0.76847 6216001730 0.1599 0.19209 6216001900 0.3427 0.41169 6216002110 0.578 0.69435 6216002120 0.2477 0.29756 6216002410 0.6605 0.79346 6216002425 0.1651 0.19833 6216002600 0.1651 0.19833 6216002910 0.6605 0.79346 6216002925 0.1651 0.19833 6216003100 0.1651 0.19833 6216003300 0.5898 0.70853 6216003500 0.5898 0.70853 6216003800 1.1796 1.41705 6216004100 1.1796 1.41705 6217109510 0.9646 1.15877 6217109520 0.1809 0.21732 6217109530 0.2412 0.28975 6217909003 0.9646 1.15877 6217909005 0.1809 0.21732 6217909010 0.2412 0.28975 6217909025 0.9646 1.15877 6217909030 0.1809 0.21732 6217909035 0.2412 0.28975 6217909050 0.9646 1.15877 6217909055 0.1809 0.21732 6217909060 0.2412 0.28975 6217909075 0.9646 1.15877 6217909080 0.1809 0.21732 6217909085 0.2412 0.28975 6301300010 0.8305 0.99768 6301300020 0.8305 0.99768 6301900030 0.2215 0.26609 6302100005 1.1073 1.3302 6302100008 1.1073 1.3302 6302100015 1.1073 1.3302 6302213010 1.1073 1.3302 6302213020 1.1073 1.3302 6302213030 1.1073 1.3302 6302213040 1.1073 1.3302 6302213050 1.1073 1.3302 6302215010 0.7751 0.93113 6302215020 0.7751 0.93113 6302215030 0.7751 0.93113 6302215040 0.7751 0.93113 6302215050 0.7751 0.93113 6302217010 1.1073 1.3302 6302217020 1.1073 1.3302 6302217030 1.1073 1.3302 6302217040 1.1073 1.3302 6302217050 1.1073 1.3302 6302219010 0.7751 0.93113 6302219020 0.7751 0.93113 6302219030 0.7751 0.93113 6302219040 0.7751 0.93113 6302219050 0.7751 0.93113 6302221010 0.5537 0.66516 6302221020 0.3876 0.46562 6302221030 0.5537 0.66516 6302221040 0.3876 0.46562 6302221050 0.3876 0.46562 6302221060 0.3876 0.46562 6302222010 0.3876 0.46562 6302222020 0.3876 0.46562 6302222030 0.3876 0.46562 6302290020 0.2215 0.26609 6302313010 1.1073 1.3302 6302313020 1.1073 1.3302 6302313030 1.1073 1.3302 6302313040 1.1073 1.3302 6302313050 1.1073 1.3302 6302315010 0.7751 0.93113 6302315020 0.7751 0.93113 6302315030 0.7751 0.93113 6302315040 0.7751 0.93113 6302315050 0.7751 0.93113 6302317010 1.1073 1.3302 6302317020 1.1073 1.3302 6302317030 1.1073 1.3302 6302317040 1.1073 1.3302 6302317050 1.1073 1.3302 6302319010 0.7751 0.93113 6302319020 0.7751 0.93113 6302319030 0.7751 0.93113 6302319040 0.7751 0.93113 6302319050 0.7751 0.93113 6302321010 0.5537 0.66516 6302321020 0.3876 0.46562 6302321030 0.5537 0.66516 6302321040 0.3876 0.46562 6302321050 0.3876 0.46562 6302321060 0.3876 0.46562 6302322010 0.5537 0.66516 6302322020 0.3876 0.46562 6302322030 0.5537 0.66516 6302322040 0.3876 0.46562 6302322050 0.3876 0.46562 6302322060 0.3876 0.46562 6302390030 0.2215 0.26609 6302402010 0.9412 1.13066 6302511000 0.5537 0.66516 6302512000 0.8305 0.99768 6302513000 0.5537 0.66516 6302514000 0.7751 0.93113 6302593020 0.5537 0.66516 6302600010 1.1073 1.3302 6302600020 0.9966 1.19722 6302600030 0.9966 1.19722 6302910005 0.9966 1.19722 6302910015 1.1073 1.3302 6302910025 0.9966 1.19722 6302910035 0.9966 1.19722 6302910045 0.9966 1.19722 6302910050 0.9966 1.19722 6302910060 0.9966 1.19722 6302931000 0.4429 0.53206 6302932000 0.4429 0.53206 6302992000 0.2215 0.26609 6303191100 0.8859 1.06423 6303910010 0.609 0.73159 6303910020 0.609 0.73159 6303921000 0.2768 0.33252 6303922010 0.2768 0.33252 6303922030 0.2768 0.33252 6303922050 0.2768 0.33252 6303990010 0.2768 0.33252 6304111000 0.9966 1.19722 6304113000 0.1107 0.13298 6304190500 0.9966 1.19722 6304191000 1.1073 1.3302 6304191500 0.3876 0.46562 6304192000 0.3876 0.46562 6304193060 0.2215 0.26609 6304910020 0.8859 1.06423 6304910070 0.2215 0.26609 6304920000 0.8859 1.06423 6304996040 0.2215 0.26609 6505001515 1.1189 1.34413 6505001525 0.5594 0.67201 6505001540 1.1189 1.34413 6505002030 0.9412 1.13066 6505002060 0.9412 1.13066 6505002545 0.5537 0.66516 6507000000 0.3986 0.47884 9404901000 0.2104 0.25275 9404908020 0.9966 1.19722 9404908040 0.9966 1.19722 9404908505 0.6644 0.79814 9404908536 0.0997 0.11977 9404909505 0.6644 0.79814 9404909570 0.2658 0.31931 9619002100 0.8681 1.04285 9619002500 0.1085 0.13034 9619003100 0.9535 1.14544 9619003300 1.1545 1.3869 9619004100 0.2384 0.28639 9619004300 0.2384 0.28639 9619006100 0.8528 1.02447 9619006400 0.2437 0.29276 9619006800 0.3655 0.43908 9619007100 1.1099 1.33332 9619007400 0.2466 0.29624 9619007800 0.2466 0.29624 9619007900 0.2466 0.29624
Authority:

7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

Dated: August 28, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-21782 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1218 [Document Number AMS-FV-14-0089] Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other Changes AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule expands the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (Council) under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Council administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule increases the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This will help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This rule also adds eligibility requirements for the public member, clarifies the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increases the number of members needed for a quorum. This rule also prescribes late payment and interest charges for past due assessments. These changes will help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council.

DATES:

Effective Date January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Maureen T. Pello, Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, P.O. Box 831, Beavercreek, Oregon 97004; telephone: (503) 632-8848; facsimile (202) 205-2800; or electronic mail: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under the Order (7 CFR part 1218). The Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425).

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

Executive Orders 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). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This action has been designated as a “non-significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process.

Executive Order 13175

This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation will not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and will not have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. Section 524 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7423) provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity.

Under section 519 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7418), a person subject to an order may file a written petition with USDA stating that an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, is not established in accordance with the law, and request a modification of an order or an exemption from an order. Any petition filed challenging an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed within two years after the effective date of an order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, USDA will issue a ruling on the petition. The 1996 Act provides that the district court of the United States for any district in which the petitioner resides or conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to review a final ruling on the petition, if the petitioner files a complaint for that purpose not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of USDA's final ruling.

Background

This rule expands the membership of the Council under the Order. The Council administers the Order with oversight by USDA. Under the program, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to increase the demand for highbush blueberries. This rule increases the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This will help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This rule also adds eligibility requirements for the public member, clarifies the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increases the number of members needed for a quorum. This rule also prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. These changes will help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council at its meeting on October 3, 2014.

Expanding the Council's Membership

Section 1218.40(a) of the Order currently specifies that the Council be composed of no more than 16 members and alternates appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). Ten of the 16 members and alternates are producers. One producer member and alternate are from each of the following regions within the United States: Region #1 Western Region; Region #2 Midwest Region; Region #3 Northeast Region; and Region #4 Southern Region. One producer member and alternate are from each of the top six blueberry producing states, based upon the average of the total tons produced over the previous three years. Currently, these states include Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, New Jersey, and California. Average tonnage is based upon production and assessment figures generated by the Council.

Of the remaining six Council members and alternates, three members and alternates are importers. One member and alternate must be an exporter, defined in § 1218.40 as a blueberry producer currently shipping blueberries into the United States from the largest foreign blueberry production area, based on a three-year average (currently Chile). One member and alternate must be a first handler, defined in § 1218.40 as a United States based independent or cooperative organization which is a producer/shipper of domestic blueberries. Finally, one member and alternate must represent the public.

Section 1218.40(b) of the Order specifies that, at least once every five years, the Council will review the geographical distribution of the production of blueberries in the United States and the quantity of imports. The review is conducted through an audit of state crop production figures and Council assessment records. If warranted, the Council will recommend to the Secretary that its membership be altered to reflect changes in the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and the quantity of imports. If the level of imports increases, importer members and alternates may be added to the Council.

Council Recommendation Adding Two State Producer Positions

The Council met on October 3, 2014, and reviewed domestic production and assessment data for the pasts three years (2011-2013). This data for the top blueberry producing states is summarized in Table 1 below.

1 Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2013 Summary, July 2014, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, p. 34.

2 Council assessment records 2011-2013.

Table 1—Production 1 and Assessment 2 Figures From 2011-2013 State 2011 Tons Assessments paid 2012 Tons Assessments paid 2013 Tons Assessments paid 3-year average Tons Assessments paid Michigan 36,000 $434,775 43,500 $528,782 57,500 $668,678 45,500 $544,075 Oregon 32,750 363,726 36,000 433,326 44,750 517,579 37,833 438,210 Washington 30,500 319,635 35,000 334,242 40,800 361,595 35,433 338,491 Georgia 32,500 343,694 38,500 347,666 34,000 359,681 35,000 350,347 New Jersey 31,000 321,123 27,000 285,502 25,080 288,578 27,693 298,401 California 21,050 286,696 20,450 301,212 25,700 366,494 22,400 318,134 North Carolina 18,500 189,061 20,250 198,090 21,200 190,904 19,983 192,685 Florida 11,700 131,538 9,050 88,246 10,750 124,576 10,500 114,787 Mississippi 5,250 27,096 4,500 28,610 3,650 17,566 4,467 24,424 Indiana 800 3,007 750 3,160 1,600 7,751 1,050 4,639

As shown in Table 1, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, and Florida, respectively, were the top eight highbush blueberry producing states based on the 3-year average of both production and assessments paid from 2011-2013. Mississippi and Indiana, respectively, were the ninth and tenth highest blueberry producing states from 2011-2013. Blueberry production in Florida, the smallest producer of the top eight producing states, was more than double that of Mississippi.

Since the Council's inception in 2001 and continuing until 2006, there were five state positions on the Council; producers from Michigan, Oregon, Georgia, New Jersey, and North Carolina held those five positions. In 2006, a sixth state position was added to the Council, with the State of Washington earning a seat (71 FR 44553; August 7, 2006). Production shifted in the coming years, and by 2014, California became the sixth top blueberry producing state and earned a position on the Council, with its 3-year average production surpassing that of North Carolina.

After reviewing state production data, the Council recommended revising its membership so that one producer member and alternate from each of the top eight producing blueberry states have seats on the Council, based upon the average of the total tons produced over the previous 3 years. Thus, the number of state positions on the Council will be increased from six to eight. Based upon recent production figures, this will allow North Carolina and Florida to each have a state member and alternate seat on the Council. Section 1218.40(a)(2) is revised accordingly.

Adding One Importer and One Exporter Position

The Council also reviewed import data and compared it to domestic data. Table 2 below shows the domestic (U.S.) production figures and quantity of imports from 2011-2013 as well as assessments paid for domestic and imported blueberries for those years. The table also shows the 3-year average of domestic production, imports and assessments paid for 2011-2013.

3 Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts, p. 9.

4 U.S. Customs and Border Protection data 2011-2013.

5 Council financial audit records 2011-2013.

Table 2—U.S.3 and Import 4 Quantities and Assessment 5 Data From 2011-2013 Year Domestic (U.S.)
  • assessments
  • Import
  • assessments
  • U.S. crop
  • (tons)
  • Imports
  • (tons)
  • 2011 $2,151,682 $1,525,936 221,600 124,549 2012 2,434,646 1,601,966 236,700 132,133 2013 2,577,953 1,795,164 265,600 151,005 3-Year Average 2,387,177 1,641,022 241,303 135,896 Percent of Total 59% 41% 64% 36%

    As shown in Table 2, the quantity of imported blueberries as well as assessments paid by importers has increased from 2011-2013. Based upon a 3-year average of total assessments paid under the program, domestic blueberries account for 59 percent of assessments paid and imports account for 41 percent of assessments paid. Additionally, based on a 3-year average of the total tonnage covered under the program, domestic production accounts for 64 percent of the tonnage and imports account for 36 percent of the tonnage.

    The Council also reviewed import data by country. Table 3 below shows the quantity of imports by country from 2011-2013 as well as the 3-year average.

    6 Customs data 2011-2013.

    Table 3—Quantity of Blueberries From Foreign Production Areas 2011-2013 6 Foreign blueberry production areas shipping into the United States Quantity (tons) 2011 2012 2013 3-year
  • average
  • Chile 76,889 69,754 84,673 77,105 Canada 30,374 70,767 48,149 49,763 Argentina 9,001 14,830 13,813 12,548

    As shown in Table 3, Chile and Canada, respectively, were the top two foreign production areas shipping blueberries into the United States from 2011-2013. Argentina has been the third top foreign production area shipping blueberries into the United States, although the quantity of Argentinian imports is much lower than the quantity of blueberries from Chile and Canada.

    Regarding membership on the Council, representatives from Canada were the exporter member and alternate from the time of the Council's inception and continuing through 2009. Since 2010, representatives from Chile have been the exporter member and alternate on the Council.

    Upon reviewing import data, the Council recommended adding one importer member and one alternate to its membership. This will increase the number of importer positions from three to four. The Council also recommended adding one exporter member and one alternate to its membership to represent foreign producers currently shipping blueberries into the United States from the second largest foreign blueberry production area, based on a 3-year average. This will increase the number of exporter positions from one to two, allowing exporters from both Chile and Canada to be represented on the Council. Section 1218.40(a) of the Order is amended accordingly.

    Thus, the number of Council members will increase from 16 to 20. Of the 20 members, 12 will be domestic producers, 4 will be importers, 2 will be exporters, and 1 each will be a handler and public member. Of the 18 Council members representing domestic producers, importers and exporters, 66.7 percent will represent the domestic industry and 33.3 percent of the Council will represent imports or foreign production. This will realign the Council's membership to better reflect the geographic distribution of domestic and imported blueberries.

    Other Changes Public Member Eligibility

    The Council reviewed other Order provisions regarding its membership and operations. The Council recommended revising paragraph (a)(6) of § 1218.40 to clarify eligibility requirements for the public member and alternate member positions. Specifically, the Council recommended that the public member and alternate not be a blueberry producer, handler, importer, exporter or have a financial interest in the production, sales, marketing or distribution of blueberries.

    Diversity

    The Council also recommended adding language to the Order to clarify its ability to serve the diversity of the industry. The Council recommended adding a new paragraph (c) to § 1218.40 to specify that, when the industry makes recommendations for nominees to serve on the Council, it should take into account the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population, size of the operations, methods of production and distribution, and other distinguishing factors to ensure that the recommendations of the Council take into account the diverse interest of persons responsible for paying assessments, and others in the marketing chain, if appropriate.

    Nominations and Appointments

    The Council recommended minor revisions to § 1218.41 of the Order regarding nominations and appointments. The procedures to nominate state and regional producers, as well as importers, exporters, first handlers, and public members will not change. The section is merely revised to add clarity regarding the process for nominating members in states with and without a state blueberry commission or marketing order.

    The Council also recommended adding language to § 1218.41 to expand the number of nominees submitted to the Secretary for consideration. Paragraph (a) of § 1218.41 currently provides that, when a state has a blueberry commission or marketing order in place, the state commission or committee will nominate members to serve on the Council. At least two nominees must be recommended to the Secretary for each member and each alternate position. The Council recommended that other qualified persons who are interested in serving in the respective state positions but are not nominated by their State marketing order or commission be designated by the State organization and/or Council as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary. Section 1218.41(a) is revised accordingly.

    Likewise, paragraph (d) of § 1218.41 currently provides that nominations for the importer, exporter, first handler, and public member positions be made by the Council. Two nominees for each member and each alternate position are submitted to the Secretary for consideration. The Council recommended that other qualified persons who are interested in serving in these positions but are not recommended by the Council be designated by the Council as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary. The current paragraph (d) in § 1218.41 is modified accordingly and becomes paragraph (c).

    The Council also recommended adding a new paragraph (d) to § 1218.41 to specify that producer, handler and importer nominees must be in compliance with the Order's provisions regarding the payment of assessments and filing of reports. This will help ensure that only persons in compliance with the Order's obligations serve on the Council. Further, this section will clarify that producer and importer nominees must produce or import, respectively, 2,000 pounds or more of highbush blueberries annually. This will bring the Order in line with how the program has been administered since its inception. Section 1218.41 is revised accordingly.

    Council Procedures

    The Council recommended revisions to § 1218.45 regarding procedures. First, the Council recommended increasing the number of members needed for a quorum. Paragraph (a) of § 1218.45 currently specifies that nine members are needed for a quorum, which is a majority of the current 16-member Council. Increasing the number of Council members to 20 warrants increasing the number members needed for a quorum to 11, which will be a majority of the 20-member Council.

    The Council also recommended adding flexibility to its procedures so that members participating in Council meetings may cast votes on issues either in person or by electronic or other means as deemed appropriate. Specifically, a new paragraph (f) is added to § 1218.45 to specify that all votes at meetings of the Council and committees may be cast in person or by electronic voting or other means as the Council and Secretary deem appropriate to allow members participating by telephone or other electronic means to cast votes.

    Past Due Assessments

    The Order specifies that the funds to cover the Council's expenses shall be paid from assessments on producers and importers, donations from persons not subject to assessments and from other funds available to the Council. First handlers are responsible for collecting and submitting reports and producer assessments to the Council. Handlers must also maintain records necessary to verify their reports. Importers are responsible for paying assessments to the Council on highbush blueberries imported into the United States through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs). The Order also provides for two exemptions. Producers and importers who produce or import less than 2,000 pounds of blueberries annually, and producers and importers of organic blueberries are exempt from the payment of assessments.

    Section 1218.52(e) of the Order specifies that all assessment payments and reports must be submitted to the office of the Council. Assessments on imported blueberries are collected by Customs prior to entry into the United States. Assessments on domestic blueberries for a crop year must be received by the Council no later than November 30 of that year. A late payment charge shall be imposed on any handler who fails to remit to the Council, the total amount for which any such handler is liable on or before the due date established by the Council. In addition to the late payment charge, an interest charge shall be imposed on the outstanding amount for which the handler is liable. The rate of interest must be prescribed in regulations issued by the Secretary.

    Assessment funds are used for research and promotion activities that are intended to benefit all industry members. Thus, it is important that all assessed entities pay their assessments in a timely manner. Entities who fail to pay their assessments on time may reap the benefits of Council programs at the expense of others. In addition, they may utilize funds for their own use that should otherwise be paid to the Council to finance Council programs.

    The Council recommended prescribing rates of late payment and interest charges for past due assessments in the Order's regulations. A late payment charge will be imposed upon handlers who fail to pay their assessments to the Council within 30 calendar days of the date when assessments are due. This one-time late payment charge will be 5 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued.

    Additionally, interest at a rate of 1 percent per month on the outstanding balance, including any late payment and accrued interest, will be added to any accounts for which payment has not been received within 30 calendar days of the date when assessments are due. Interest will continue to accrue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid to the Council.

    This action is expected to help facilitate program administration by providing an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in a timely manner, with the intent of creating a fair and equitable process among all assessed entities. Accordingly, a new Subpart C is added to the Order for provisions implementing the blueberry Order, and a new § 1218.520 is added to Subpart C. Late payment charges and interest on past due assessments are not applicable for assessments on imported blueberries because the assessments are collected by Customs at the time of entry.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of this final rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on such entities.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (first handlers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no more than $7.0 million.

    There are approximately 2,000 domestic producers, 80 first handlers and 200 importers of highbush blueberries covered under the program. Dividing the highbush blueberry crop value for 2013, $715,958,000,7 by the number of producers (2,000) yields an average annual producer revenue estimate of $357,979. It is estimated that in 2013, about 60 percent of the first handlers shipped under $7.0 million worth of highbush blueberries. Based on 2013 Customs data, it is estimated that almost 90 percent of the importers shipped under $7.0 million worth of highbush blueberries. Based on the foregoing, the majority of producers, first handlers and importers may be classified as small entities. We do not have information concerning the number of exporters and their size.

    7 Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2014 Summary, July 2014, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), p. 10.

    Regarding value of the commodity, as mentioned above, based on 2013 NASS data, the value of the domestic highbush blueberry crop was about $716 million. According to Customs data, the value of 2013 imports was about $563 million.

    This rule amends §§ 1218.40, 1218.41 and 1218.45 of the Order regarding Council membership, nominations, and procedures, respectively. The Council administers the Order with oversight by USDA. Under the program, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to increase the demand for highbush blueberries. This rule increases the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This will help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. Authority for this action is provided in § 1218.40(b) of the Order and section 515(b) of the 1996 Act.

    This rule also prescribes charges for past due assessments under the Order. A new § 1218.520 will be added to the Order specifying a one-time late payment charge of 5 percent of the assessments due and interest at a rate of 1 percent per month on the outstanding balance, including any late payment and accrued interest. This section will be included in a new Subpart C—Provisions for Implementing the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order. Authority for this action is provided in § 1218.52(e) of the Order and section 517(e) of the 1996 Act.

    Regarding the economic impact of the rule on affected entities, expanding the Council membership and other changes to the Order's membership provisions impose no additional costs on industry members. Eligible producers, importers and exporters interested in serving on the Council would have to complete a background questionnaire. Those requirements are addressed later in this rule in the section titled Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements.

    Prescribing charges for past due assessments imposes no additional costs on handlers who pay their assessments on time. It merely provides an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in compliance with the Order. For all entities who are delinquent in paying assessments, both large and small, the charges will be applied the same. As for the impact on the industry as a whole, this action helps facilitate program administration by providing an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in a timely manner, with the intent of creating a fair and equitable process among all assessed entities.

    Additionally, as previously mentioned, the Order also provides for two exemptions. Producers and importers who produce or import less than 2,000 pounds of blueberries annually, and producers and importers of organic blueberries are exempt from the payment of assessments. Of the 2,000 producers, it is estimated that 1,860 producers and 180 importers produce or import over the 2,000-pound threshold and pay assessments under the program.

    Regarding alternatives, the Council has been reviewing its membership and contemplating adding new members to reflect changes in the geographic distribution of blueberries for the past few years. As previously mentioned, in 2014, California became the sixth top blueberry producing state, which earned that state a member and alternate seat on the Council, while North Carolina lost its member and alternate seat. The Council formed a subcommittee that considered various options. One option was to eliminate the four regional producer positions and allocate nine seats to producers representing the nine top producing blueberry states and one seat to a producer representing all other producing states (producer at-large). Another option considered was to increase the number of state producer positions from six to seven so that North Carolina would have a seat. The Council also considered maintaining the status quo. Ultimately the Council recommended revising the Order so that the top eight producing blueberry states would be represented on the Council.

    The Council also considered adding two importers rather than one importer and one exporter to its membership. However, upon reviewing the import statistics, the Council concluded that it was important to have foreign producer representation from the top two countries shipping blueberries into the United States represented on the Council. Thus, the Council recommended adding one importer and one exporter member and alternates to the Council.

    Regarding requirements for late assessments, the Council considered not prescribing rates for late charges and interest. However, the Council concluded that the rates should be codified along with the applicable date when charges would be applied so that the Order is clear on what is required. Additionally, the 1996 Act requires that the rates be prescribed by the Secretary.

    Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection and recordkeeping requirements that are imposed by the Order have been approved previously under OMB control number 0581-0093. Eligible producers, importers, exporters, handlers, and public members interested in serving on the Council must complete a background questionnaire (Form AD-755) to verify their eligibility. This rule results in no changes to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and imposes no additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on blueberry producers, importers, exporters, handlers or public members.

    As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. Finally, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

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

    Regarding outreach efforts, this action was discussed by the Council at meetings in October 2012, in 2013, and at executive and subcommittee meetings held in 2014. The Council met in October 2014 and unanimously made its recommendations. All of the Council's meetings are open to the public and interested persons are invited to participate and express their views.

    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2015 (80 FR 26469). The Council mailed copies of the rule to all known highbush blueberry producers and importers of record. The Council also included notifications about the proposed rule in its newsletters and posted the proposal on its Web site. Finally, the proposal was made available through the Internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending July 7, 2015 was provided to allow interested persons to submit comments.

    One comment was received during the comment period. The commenter supported the proposed changes regarding the Council's membership, but recommended changes to the proposed interest and late payment charges for delinquent assessments. The commenter expressed concern with imposing a fixed interest rate on late assessments and opined that a fixed rate could become unreasonable if future interest rates fluctuated. The commenter also recommended that the late payment charge be capped at 3 percent of the assessments due rather than the proposed rate of 5 percent.

    USDA has concluded that the proposed 1 percent fixed interest rate per month on outstanding balances due the Council and the proposed 5 percent charge on late assessments, are both reasonable fees. Under the blueberry program, assessments on domestic blueberries are due once per year to the Council (by November 30). Thus, handlers have all year to make their one payment to the Council. Handlers will also have a 30-day grace period before interest or late payment charges are applied. Additionally, the rates are comparable to those specified in other research and promotion programs. Finally, if the Council determined different rates were warranted, it could make that recommendation to USDA and the rates could be revised through rulemaking. Thus, no changes have been made to the proposed rule based on this comment.

    After consideration of all relevant matters presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Council and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, is consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the 1996 Act.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1218

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Blueberry promotion, Consumer information, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1218 is amended as follows:

    PART 1218—BLUEBERRY PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION ORDER 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1218 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7411-7425; 7 U.S.C. 7401.

    2. In § 1218.40, revise the introductory text of paragraph (a), revise paragraphs (a)(2), (3), (4), and (6) and add a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 1218.40 Establishment and membership.

    (a) Establishment of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. There is hereby established a U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, hereinafter called the Council, composed of no more than 20 members and alternates, appointed by the Secretary from nominations as follows:

    (2) One producer member and alternate from each of the top eight blueberry producing states, based on the average of the total tons produced over the previous three years. Average tonnage will be based upon production and assessment figures generated by the Council.

    (3) Four importers and alternates.

    (4) Two exporters and alternates will be filled by foreign blueberry producers currently shipping blueberries into the United States from the two largest foreign blueberry production areas, respectively, based on a three-year average.

    (6) One public member and alternate. The public member and alternate public member may not be a blueberry producer, handler, importer, exporter, or have a financial interest in the production, sales, marketing or distribution of blueberries.

    (c) Council's ability to serve the diversity of the industry. When making recommendations for appointments, the industry should take into account the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population, size of the operations, methods of production and distribution, and other distinguishing factors to ensure that the recommendations of the Council take into account the diverse interest of persons responsible for paying assessments, and others in the marketing chain, if appropriate.

    3. Section 1218.41 is revised to read as follows:
    § 1218.41 Nominations and appointments.

    (a) State representatives. (1) When a state has a state blueberry commission or marketing order in place, the state commission or committee will nominate members to serve on the Council. At least two nominees shall be recommended to the Secretary for each member and each alternate position. Other eligible persons interested in serving in the respective state positions but not nominated by their State marketing order or commission will be designated by the State organization and/or Council as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary.

    (2) Nomination and election of state representatives where no commission or order is in place will be handled by the Council staff. The Council staff will seek nominations for members and alternates from the specific states. Nominations will be returned to the Council office and placed on a ballot which will then be sent to producers in the state for a vote. The final nominee for member will have received the highest number of votes cast. The person with the second highest number of votes cast will be the final nominee for alternate. The persons with the third and fourth highest number of votes cast will be designated as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary.

    (b) Regional representatives. Nomination and election of regional representatives will be handled by the Council staff. The Council staff will seek nominations for members and alternates from the specific regions. Nominations will be returned to the Council office and placed on a ballot which will then be sent to producers in the region for a vote. The final nominee for member will have received the highest number of votes cast. The person with the second highest number of votes cast will be the final nominee for alternate. The persons with the third and fourth highest number of votes cast will be designated by the Council as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary.

    (c) Nominations for the importer, exporter, first handler, and public member positions will be made by the Council. Two nominees for each member and each alternate position will be recommended to the Secretary for consideration. Other qualified persons interested in serving in these positions but not recommended by the Council will be designated by the Council as additional nominees for consideration by the Secretary.

    (d) Producer, handler and importer nominees must be in compliance with the Order's provisions regarding payment of assessments and filing of reports. Further, producers and importers must produce or import, respectively, 2,000 pounds or more of highbush blueberries annually.

    (e) From the nominations, the Secretary shall select the members and alternate members of the Council.

    4. In § 1218.45, revise paragraph (a), redesignate paragraphs (f), (g), (h), and (i) as paragraphs (g), (h), (i) and (j), and add a new paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 1218.45 Procedure.

    (a) At a Council meeting, it will be considered a quorum when a minimum of 11 members, or their alternates serving in their absence, are present.

    (f) All votes at meetings of the Council and committees may be cast in person or by electronic voting or other means as the Council and Secretary deem appropriate to allow members participating by telephone or other electronic means to cast votes.

    5. Add Subpart C, consisting of § 1218.520, to read as follows: Subpart C—Provisions for Implementing the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order
    § 1218.520 Late payment and interest charges for past due assessments.

    (a) A late payment charge will be imposed on any handler who fails to make timely remittance to the Council of the total assessments for which they are liable. The late payment will be imposed on any assessments not received within 30 calendar days of the date when assessments are due. This one-time late payment charge will be 5 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued.

    (b) In addition to the late payment charge, 1 percent per month interest on the outstanding balance, including any late payment and accrued interest, will be added to any accounts for which payment has not been received within 30 calendar days of the date when assessments are due. Interest will continue to accrue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid to the Council.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21880 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0492] Safety Zone; Portland Dragon Boat Races, Portland, Oregon AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Portland Dragon Boat Races Safety Zone from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on September 12, 2015 and 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on September 13, 2015. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of maritime traffic, including the public vessels present, on the Willamette River during the Portland Dragon Boat Races. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1341 will be enforced from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on September 12, 2015 and 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on September 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Mr. Ken Lawrenson, Waterways Management Division, MSU Portland, Oregon, Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone regulation for the Portland Dragon Boat Races detailed in 33 CFR 165.1341 during the dates and times listed in DATES.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.1341 and 33 CFR 165 Subpart D, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port. Persons or vessels wishing to enter the safety zone may request permission to do so from the on scene Captain of the Port representative via VHF Channel 16 or 13. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.1302 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. D.J. Travers, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21947 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 141107936-5399-02] RIN 0648-XE004 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Gray Triggerfish; July Through December Season AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS implements accountability measures for commercial gray triggerfish in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. NMFS projects commercial landings for gray triggerfish, will reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) for the period July through December by September 8, 2015. Therefore, NMFS is closing the commercial sector for gray triggerfish in the South Atlantic EEZ on September 8, 2015. This closure is necessary to protect the gray triggerfish resource.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, September 8, 2015, until January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Hayslip, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic includes gray triggerfish and is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

    The final rule implementing FMP Amendment 29 recently divided the commercial ACL (equal to the commercial quota) for gray triggerfish in the South Atlantic into two 6-month fishing seasons and allocated 50 percent of the total commercial ACL (quota) of 312,324 lb (141,668 kg), round weight, to each fishing season, January 1 through June 30, and July 1 through December 31 (80 FR 30947, June 1, 2015), as specified in 50 CFR 622.190(a)(8). However, because the final rule implementing FMP Amendment 29 occurred halfway through the 2015 fishing year and commercial landings of gray triggerfish accumulated, only 63,918 lb (28,992 kg) out of 156,162 lb (70,834 kg), round weight, remained for the 2015 commercial ACL (quota) for the July 1 through December 31 fishing season. This quota amount was calculated as the difference between the total commercial ACL (312,324 lb (141,667 kg), round weight) and the amount of commercial landings that had occurred by July 1, 2015 (248,406 lb (112,675 kg), round weight).

    Under 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for gray triggerfish when the commercial quota specified in § 622.190(a)(8)(i) or (ii) is reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota for South Atlantic gray triggerfish will be reached by September 8, 2015. Accordingly, the commercial sector for South Atlantic gray triggerfish is closed effective 12:01 a.m., local time, September 8, 2015, until the start of the next fishing season on January 1, 2016.

    The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having gray triggerfish on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such gray triggerfish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 8, 2015. During the closure, the bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(8), and the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c), apply to all harvest or possession of gray triggerfish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. Also, during the closure, the sale or purchase of gray triggerfish taken from the South Atlantic EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on the sale or purchase does not apply to gray triggerfish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 8, 2015, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

    For a person on board a vessel for which a Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, the bag and possession limits and sale and purchase provisions of the commercial closure for gray triggerfish apply regardless of whether the fish are harvested in state or Federal waters, as specified in 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1)(i).

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of gray triggerfish and the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(q)(1)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment.

    This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial sector for gray triggerfish constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule implementing FMP Amendment 29, which established the split commercial season for gray triggerfish, and the rule that established the closure provisions have already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect gray triggerfish since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL.

    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21910 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 171 Thursday, September 3, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1205 [Doc. # AMS-CN-15-0013] Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments) AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    AMS proposes to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations by decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. The amendment is required each year to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.

    AMS is publishing this amendment as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the action is contemplated by statute and required by regulation and the agency anticipates no significant adverse comment. AMS has explained its reasons in the preamble of the direct final rule. If AMS receives no significant adverse comment during the comment period, no further action on this proposed rule will be taken. If, however, AMS receives significant adverse comment, AMS will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. In that case, AMS will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. AMS will not institute a second comment period on this rule. Any parties interested in commenting must do so during this comment period. This proposed rule is a companion document to the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) direct final rule (published today in the “Rules and Regulations” section of the Federal Register).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publically disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

    Comments, identified by AMS-CN-15-0013, may be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. In addition, comments may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to Cotton Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. A copy of this document may be found at: www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shethir M. Riva, Chief, Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    As noted above, in the “Rules and Regulations” section of today's Federal Register, the direct final rule being published would amend the value assigned to imported cotton in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR 1205.510(b)(2)) that is used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion assessment on imported cotton and cotton products. The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported—levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products—levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton.

    Section 1205.510(b)(2) of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations provides for assigning the calendar year weighted average price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton to represent the value of imported cotton. This is so that the assessment on domestically produced cotton and the assessment on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products is the same. The source for the average price statistic is Agricultural Prices, a publication of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the Department of Agriculture. Use of the weighted average price figure in the calculation of supplemental assessments on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will yield an assessment that is the same as assessments paid on domestically produced cotton.

    The current value of imported cotton as published in 2014 in the Federal Register (79 FR 36183) for the purpose of calculating assessments on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram. Using the Average Weighted Price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton for the calendar year 2014, the direct final rule would amend the new value of imported cotton to $0.012013 per kilogram to reflect the price paid by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton during 2014.

    An example of the complete assessment formula and how the figures are obtained is as follows:

    One bale is equal to 500 pounds.

    One kilogram equals 2.2046 pounds.

    One pound equals 0.453597 kilograms.

    One Dollar per Bale Assessment Converted to Kilograms

    A 500-pound bale equals 226.8 kg. (500 × 0.453597).

    $1 per bale assessment equals $0.002000 per pound or $0.2000 cents per pound (1/500) or $0.004409 per kg or $0.4409 cents per kg. (1/226.8).

    Supplemental Assessment of 5/10 of One Percent of the Value of the Cotton Converted to Kilograms

    The 2014 calendar year weighted average price received by producers for Upland cotton is $0.690 per pound or $1.521 per kg. ($0.690 × 2.2046).

    Five tenths of one percent of the average price equals $0.007604 per kg. (1.521 × 0.005).

    Total Assessment

    The total assessment per kilogram of raw cotton is obtained by adding the $1 per bale equivalent assessment of $0.004409 per kg. and the supplemental assessment $0.007604 per kg., which equals $0.012013 per kg.

    The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram of imported cotton. The revised assessment in this direct final rule is $0.012013, a decrease of $0.000715 per kilogram. This decrease reflects the decrease in the average weighted price of Upland cotton received by U.S. Farmers during the period January through December 2014.

    Import Assessment Table in section 1205.510(b)(3) indicates the total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff Schedule number that is subject to assessment. This table must be revised each year to reflect changes in supplemental assessment rates and any changes to the HTS numbers. In this direct final rule, AMS is amending the Import Assessment Table.

    AMS believes that these amendments are necessary to ensure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products are the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, changes reflected in this rule should be adopted and implemented as soon as possible since it is required by regulation.

    The amendment proposed by this document is the same as the amendment contained in the direct final rule. Please refer to the preamble and regulatory text of the direct final rule for further information and the actual text of the amendment. Statutory review and Executive Orders for this proposed rule can be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the direct final rule.

    A 30-day comment period is provided to comment on the changes to the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations proposed herein. This period is deemed appropriate because this rule would decrease the assessments paid by importers under the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. An amendment is required to adjust the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, the change in this rule, if adopted, should be implemented as soon as possible.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21865 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 51 [Docket Nos. PRM-51-29; NRC-2012-0215] Rescinding Spent Fuel Pool Exclusion Regulations AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking; denial.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a petition for rulemaking (PRM), PRM-51-29, submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the Commonwealth or the petitioner). The petitioner requested that, in light of information gained from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, the NRC rescind its regulations that make a generic determination that spent fuel pool storage does not have a significant environmental impact for nuclear power plant license renewal actions. The NRC is denying the petition because the NRC finds no basis to consider a rulemaking to revise such regulations.

    DATES:

    The docket for the petition for rulemaking, PRM-51-29, is closed on September 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0215 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0215. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jenny Tobin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2328; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. The Petition II. Reasons for Denial III. Conclusion IV. Availability of Documents I. The Petition

    On June 2, 2011, before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Attorney General, Environmental Protection Division, requested a waiver of the NRC's generic determination regarding spent fuel pool (SFP) storage impacts in the Pilgrim nuclear power plant (NPP) license renewal proceeding. The petitioner also requested that, if the ASLB rejected the Commonwealth's waiver, then the NRC should consider the waiver request to be a PRM. Specifically, the petitioner requested that the NRC's regulations in § 51.71(d) 1 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) and table B-1 2 in appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51 be revised because these regulations, according to the petitioner, incorrectly “generically classify the environmental impacts of high-density pool storage of spent fuel as insignificant and thereby permit their exclusion from consideration in environmental impact statements (EISs) for renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses.”

    1 10 CFR 51.71 is entitled, “Draft environmental impact statement- contents”; § 51.71(d) describes the analysis required to be included in the draft EIS. For license renewal, the draft supplemental EIS (1) relies on supporting information in NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” for generic issues and (2) provides an analysis for the site-specific issues.

    2 Table B-1 is entitled, “Summary of Findings on NEPA Issues for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants,” and is the codification of the GEIS. In table B-1, generic issues are designated as “Category 1” issues and site-specific issues are designated as “Category 2” issues.

    The petitioner asserted that the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident provides “new and significant” information that would affect the NRC's impact analysis for SFPs in license renewal. The petitioner contends that this event provides the justification for its request that the NRC revise 10 CFR 51.71(d) and table B-1 in appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51. The petitioner made the following three claims:

    1. The impacts from the onsite storage of spent fuel are understated in NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” because the Fukushima Dai-ichi event indicates that the probability-weighted consequences of a spent fuel pool accident are greater than what was considered in the GEIS.

    2. The impacts from the onsite storage of spent fuel are understated in the license renewal GEIS analysis because the mitigation measures implemented at NPPs after the September 11, 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks will not effectively mitigate the impacts of SFP accidents, given the new information gained from the Fukushima accident along with the NRC's policy of imposing secrecy on the mitigation measures, and the mitigation measures were improperly relied upon in the denial of PRM-51-10.3

    3 The request presented in the petition is essentially identical to the request presented in another PRM submitted by the Commonwealth on August 25, 2006, PRM-51-10 (ADAMS Accession No. ML081890124) (although the basis for the request in each case is unique). The State of California also submitted a petition, PRM-51-12, in 2007 that was nearly identical to PRM-51-10. The NRC denied PRM-51-10 and PRM-51-12 on August 8, 2008 (73 FR 46204). The NRC's denials of these two petitions were upheld. New York v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 589 F.3d 551 (2nd Cir. 2009). The arguments presented in support of PRM-51-10 are similar to those presented in support of this petition.

    3. The license renewal GEIS impact analysis must address spent fuel storage impacts on a site-specific, rather than generic basis.

    On December 13, 2011, the ASLB denied the Commonwealth's waiver petition (LBP-11-35). On March 8, 2012, in Memorandum and Order CLI-12-06, the Commission affirmed the ASLB's denial of the waiver request and granted the Commonwealth's alternative request that its waiver request be treated as a PRM; the petition was referred to the NRC staff. The NRC assigned the petition Docket No. PRM-51-29. The NRC published a notice of receipt of the petition in the Federal Register (FR) on December 19, 2012 (77 FR 75065), and supplemented the notice on December 31, 2012 (77 FR 76952). The NRC did not request public comment on the petition because sufficient information was available for the NRC staff to form a technical opinion regarding the merits of the petition, which is similar to the Commonwealth's previous petition (PRM-51-10).

    For the purposes of this review, the issues that the petitioner raised about the Pilgrim NPP licensing proceeding were considered generically, to the extent practicable. Other statements concerning the Pilgrim NPP license renewal proceeding, including those concerns related to the risk of severe reactor accidents, are beyond the scope of this PRM.

    II. Reasons for Denial

    The NRC complies with Section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) in its consideration of NPP license renewal applications through the implementation of its environmental protection regulations in 10 CFR part 51. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.95(c), the NRC relies upon its environmental impact statement, NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS] for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” as the basis for environmental reviews of NPP license renewal actions. The NRC published the GEIS in May 1996 (1996 GEIS) and then revised and updated it in June 2013 (2013 GEIS).4 The GEIS reflects lessons learned and knowledge gained during previous license renewal environmental reviews and describes the potential environmental impacts of renewing the operating license of a NPP for up to an additional 20 years. The findings of the GEIS have been codified into table B-1, “Summary of Findings on NEPA Issues for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants,” in appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51.5

    4 The NRC's regulations in 10 CFR 51.95(c) require, for the consideration of potential environmental impacts of renewing a NPP's operating license under 10 CFR part 54, that the NRC prepare an environmental impact statement, which is a supplement to the 2013 GEIS. At the time the petition was filed in 2011, 10 CFR 51.95(c) referred to the initial 1996 GEIS. The NRC published a notice of issuance for the updated 2013 GEIS on June 20, 2013 (78 FR 37325).

    5See Baltimore Gas and Elec. Co. v. NRDC, 462 U.S. 87, 100-01, 103 S. Ct. 2246 (1983) (upholds use of generic environmental analyses) and Massachusetts v. NRC, 708 F.3d 63, 68 (1st Cir. 2013) (“the Supreme Court has held that the NRC is permitted to make generic determinations to meet its NEPA obligations”).

    The NRC classifies the license renewal issues described in the GEIS as either generic or site-specific. Generic issues (i.e., environmental impacts common to all nuclear power plants) are addressed in the GEIS. Site-specific issues are addressed initially by the license renewal applicant (i.e., a nuclear power plant licensee seeking a renewal of its operating license under the NRC's license renewal regulations in 10 CFR part 54) in its environmental report, which is required by 10 CFR 51.45, and then by the NRC in a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) prepared for each license renewal application. The plant-specific SEIS and the GEIS, together, constitute the NRC's NEPA analysis for any given NPP license renewal action. In table B-1, the “Onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel” issue has been classified as a Category 1, or generic, issue with an impact level finding of “small.” The “Onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel” finding states “[t]he expected increase in the volume of spent fuel from an additional 20 years of operation can be safely accommodated onsite during the license renewal term with small environmental effects through dry or pool storage at all plants.” The designation of an issue as a Category 1 (generic resolution) issue in the GEIS does not mean that potential impacts cannot be considered in a license renewal SEIS. If there are changes in plant operating parameters or new and significant information pertinent to an evaluation of impacts, these are considered during preparation of plant-specific supplements to the NRC's license renewal GEIS.

    Under 10 CFR part 51, neither the applicant's environmental report nor the NRC's SEIS is required to address issues previously resolved generically, as set forth in the GEIS and table B-1, absent new and significant information. Section 51.92(a)(2) requires a supplement to an EIS if there is new and significant information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the license renewal or its impacts. The NRC standard for the evaluation of “new and significant” information is that the information must present “a seriously different picture of the environmental impact of the proposed project from what was previously envisioned.” 6 Therefore, to be “significant,” any information must lead to a conclusion seriously different than that currently set forth in the GEIS.7

    6Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri (Callaway Plant, Unit 2), et al, CLI-11-05, 74 NRC 141, 167-68 (2011) quoting Hydro Resources, Inc., CLI-99-22, 50 NRC 3, 14 (1999) (alteration in the original) (supporting citations omitted) (“To merit this additional review, information must be both `new' and `significant,' and it must bear on the proposed action or its impacts. As we have explained, `[t]he new information must present a seriously different picture of the environmental impact of the proposed project from what was previously envisioned'.”); see also Sierra Club v. Froehlke, 816 F.2d 205, 210 (5th Cir. 1987) (alteration added) (supporting citations omitted) (“In making its determination whether to supplement an existing EIS because of new information, the [United States Army, Corps of Engineers] should consider `the extent to which the new information presents a picture of the likely environmental consequences associated with the proposed action not envisioned by the original EIS'.”); Wisconsin v. Weinberger, 745 F.2d 412, 418 (7th Cir.1984) (supplementation required where new information “provides a seriously different picture of the environmental landscape.”).

    7See Regulatory Guide 4.2, Supplement 1, Preparation of Supplemental Environmental Reports for Applications to Renew Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses, Chapter 5 (September 2000), and Revision 1 published June 20, 2013 (78 FR 37324).

    The petitioner claimed that the Fukushima nuclear accident, including possible damage to the SFP, provides new and significant information that requires the NRC to reconsider its impact findings in the license renewal GEIS. With respect to the March 2011 Fukushima accident, a Japanese government report, issued in June 2011, found that the Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4 spent fuel pool, the one believed to have sustained the most serious damage, actually remained “nearly undamaged.” 8 The report noted that visual inspections found no water leaks or serious damage to the Unit 4 spent fuel pool. Additionally, on April 25, 2014, the NRC issued a report entitled, “NRC Overview of the Structural Integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4.” The results indicated that the structural integrity of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool was sound.

    8 See “Report of Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety-The Accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations,” IV-91. English version available athttp://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/kan/topics/201106/iaea_houkokusho_e.html, last visited on July 15, 2015.

    With respect to the Fukushima event, the Commission has taken action to mitigate beyond design basis external events, including imposing new requirements to develop mitigating strategies for beyond design basis external events, to install hardened severe accident capable vents for boiling water reactors with Mark I and II containments, to install reliable SFP water level instrumentation, to re-evaluate seismic and flooding hazards, and to enhance emergency preparedness capabilities.9

    9 Order EA-12-051, “NRC Order on Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation,” dated March 12, 2012; Order EA-12-049, “NRC Order on Mitigating Strategies,” dated March 12, 2012; Order EA-13-109, “NRC Order on Severe Accident Capable Hardened Vents,” dated June 6, 2013; 10 CFR 50.54(f) letters were issued on March 12, 2012, to NPP licensees for seismic/flooding re-evaluations and assessing emergency response capabilities.

    The accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP in Japan led to additional questions about the safe storage of spent fuel and whether the NRC should require the expedited transfer of spent fuel from spent fuel pools to dry cask storage at nuclear power plants in the United States. This issue was identified by the NRC staff subsequent to the “Near-Term Task Force [NTTF] Review of Insights from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident” report. At the time this issue was identified, the NRC staff recognized that further study was needed to determine if regulatory action was warranted. On October 9, 2013, the NRC released a report, NUREG-2161, “Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor” (the “Spent Fuel Pool Study”). Additionally, the NRC conducted a regulatory analysis in COMSECY-13-0030, “Staff Evaluation and Recommendation for Japan Lessons Learned Tier 3 Issue on Expedited Transfer of Spent Fuel,” dated November 12, 2013. This study and the regulatory analysis concluded that SFPs are very robust structures with large safety margins, and that regulatory actions to reduce the amount of fuel in the spent fuel pool were not warranted. The Commission subsequently concluded in SRM-COMSECY-13-0030, issued on May 23, 2014, that further regulatory action need not be pursued in light of the low risk of accident for SFP storage.

    As will be discussed in more detail in response to Issues 1 and 2, the event at Fukushima Dai-ichi does not provide any new and significant information that would have materially altered the conclusions in the GEIS, or in its underlying assumptions.10

    10 While the ASLB and Commission were principally concerned with the petitioner's claims regarding reactor accidents, not SFP accidents (both were held to be out of scope of the Pilgrim NPP license renewal process), the condition of the SFP at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4, did not support the petitioner's position that impacts from the earthquake constituted new and significant information. In LBP-11-35, the ASLB observed that the event at Fukushima did not demonstrate new and significant information in the Pilgrim NPP license renewal proceeding.

    In the petition, the Commonwealth raises three principal arguments; each is summarized and evaluated in the subsequent discussion.

    Issue 1: The Petitioner Asserts That the Impacts From the Onsite Storage of Spent Fuel Are Understated in the License Renewal GEIS Analysis Because the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Event Indicates That the Probability-Weighted Consequences of a Spent Fuel Pool Accident Are Greater Than What Was Considered in the GEIS

    The petitioner argued that the Fukushima event provided new and significant information challenging the generic conclusions in the license renewal GEIS. Specifically, the petitioner claimed that “the Fukushima accident shows . . . there is a substantial conditional probability of a pool fire during or following a reactor accident” and that “[t]his relationship between a pool fire and a core melt accident is not addressed in the License Renewal GEIS” or the denial of PRM 51-10 (73 FR 46204; August 8, 2008).11 Further, the petitioner referenced a report by Dr. Gordon Thompson, “New and Significant Information from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident in the Context of Future Operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant” (the “Thompson Report”), to support its argument that the GEIS understates the probability and impacts of an SFP accident.

    11 PRM at 27.

    NRC Response to Issue 1

    The evaluation of the environmental impacts of the onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel during the license renewal term, including potential spent fuel pool accidents, was documented in the 1996 GEIS and reaffirmed in the 2013 GEIS. Based on this evaluation, the “Onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel” NEPA issue in table B-1 has been classified as a Category 1 issue, or as a generic issue, with a probability-weighted impact level finding of “small.” 12

    12 For most table B-1 NEPA issues, the NRC determined whether the impacts of license renewal would have a small, moderate, or large environmental impact. The statements of consideration for the June 20, 2013, rulemaking note that “[a] small impact means that the environmental effects are not detectable, or are so minor that they would neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any important attribute of the resource. A moderate impact means that the environmental effects are sufficient to alter noticeably, but not destabilize, important attributes of the resource. A large impact means that the environmental effects would be clearly noticeable and would be sufficient to destabilize important attributes of the resource” (78 FR 37285).

    First, the petitioners' assertion that the Fukushima event revealed a previously unconsidered aspect of spent fuel storage is incorrect. In response to PRM-51-10, the Commission rejected a similar argument regarding the probability “that a severe accident at the adjacent reactor would result in a SFP zirconium fire.” 13 The Commission noted that a series of unlikely events must occur for a severe reactor accident to lead to a spent fuel pool fire, including the accident itself, “[c]ontainment failure or bypass,” “[l]oss of SFP cooling,” “[e]xtreme radiation levels precluding personnel access,” “[i]nability to restart cooling or makeup systems due to extreme radiation doses,” “[l]oss of most or all pool water through evaporation,” and “[i]nitiation of a zirconium fire in the SFP.” 14 As a result, the Commission concluded that “the probability of a SFP zirconium fire due to a severe reactor accident and subsequent containment failure would be well below the Petitioners' 2E-5 per year estimate.” 15 The agency cited the denial of the PRM in the 2013 update to the GEIS.16 Therefore, the Commission has previously considered the probability of a severe reactor accident causing a spent fuel pool fire and found it to be low. Petitioners have not demonstrated how information regarding the Fukushima accident provides a seriously different picture of this issue.

    13 73 FR at 46210.

    14Id.

    15Id.

    16 2013 GEIS at E-38.

    Moreover, the NRC has completed several studies of SFP safety, including NUREG-1353, “Regulatory Analysis for the Resolution of Generic Issue 82, `Beyond Design Basis Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools';” NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants;” and NUREG-2161, “Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling-Water Reactor.” These studies have all concluded that SFPs continue to provide adequate protection of public health and safety and are consistent with the findings in the 2013 GEIS that onsite storage of spent fuel during the license renewal term would have a small impact on the environment.

    On September 19, 2014, the Commission published the “continued storage” final rule (formerly known as the “waste confidence rule,” 79 FR 56238) and its associated generic environmental impact statement (NUREG-2157, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel”), amending 10 CFR 51.23 to revise the generic determination on the environmental impacts of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond the licensed life for operation of a reactor. The final rule also makes conforming changes to the “Onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel” issue finding under the “Waste Management” section in table B-1 in appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51. The final rule revises the finding to address both the impacts of onsite storage during the license renewal term and adds generic determinations of the environmental impacts of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond a reactor's licensed life (i.e., those impacts that could occur as a result of the storage of spent nuclear fuel at at-reactor or away-from-reactor sites after a reactor has permanently shut down and until a permanent repository becomes available). The continued storage final rule affirms that the environmental impacts from the onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel, including potential spent fuel pool accidents, are small during the short-term storage timeframe (i.e., 60 years of continued storage after permanent shut down, after which the continued storage rule assumes that spent fuel will be moved to dry storage). This finding is consistent with the finding of the license renewal GEIS. Further, the Commission stated in the final rule that the direct and indirect environmental impacts of continued storage can be analyzed generically and that the impact determinations are not expected to differ from those that would result from individual site-specific reviews for the continued storage period. In reaching this result, the agency responded to a comment that suggested that the underlying analyses did not appropriately account for the possibility of a severe reactor accident leading to a spent fuel pool accident.17 The NRC disagreed with this comment, in part, based on the conservative aspects of the agency's previous studies of SFP accidents.18

    17 NUREG-2161 at D-438 to D-440.

    18Id.

    As previously discussed, a report issued by the Japanese government in June 2011 found that the SFP at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4, the SFP which presented the highest safety concern among the SFPs, remained nearly undamaged. This report notes that from the analysis of nuclides in the water extracted from the spent fuel pool, it appears that no extensive damage occurred to the fuel rods. No serious damage to the pool, including water leaks, was found from visual inspections of the pool's condition. Additionally, on April 25, 2014, the NRC issued a report entitled, “NRC Overview of the Structural Integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4.” The results indicated that the structural integrity of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool was sound. Consequently, the petitioners have not shown that the Fukushima event constitutes new and significant information regarding the probability of a SFP fire. For the reasons discussed previously, the PRM does not provide a seriously different picture of the agency's previous analyses of a spent fuel pool accident, which have all concluded that despite the potential for large consequences of a severe spent fuel pool accident, the probability-weighted consequences are small due to the low probability of such an event.

    Issue 2: The Petitioner Asserts That the Impacts From the Onsite Storage of Spent Fuel Are Understated in the License Renewal GEIS Analysis Because the Mitigation Measures Implemented After the September 11, 2001 (9/11), Terrorist Attacks Will Not Effectively Mitigate the Impacts of SFP Accidents, Given the New Information Gained From the Fukushima Accident Along With the NRC's Policy of Imposing Secrecy on the Mitigation Measures, and the Mitigation Measures Were Improperly Relied Upon in the Denial of PRM-51-10 (73 FR 46204)

    The petitioner claimed that information about the Fukushima accident undermines the following two conclusions from the Commission's denial of PRM-51-10 (73 FR 46204; August 8, 2008): (1) Post-9/11 mitigation measures relied upon by the NRC would permit recovery of lost water from spent fuel pools, and (2) the NRC's policy of imposing secrecy on these mitigation measures would not impair their effectiveness. With regard to the first claim, the petitioner argued that lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi event undermine the Commission's reliance on post-9/11 mitigation measures that enable recovery of lost water from SFPs to prevent the onset of fire or other accidents, and that therefore, the Commission's denial of PRM-51-10 must be reconsidered. With regard to the second claim, the petitioner referenced statements in a declaration provided by Dr. Gordon Thompson that the “NRC's excessive secrecy degrades the licensee's capability to mitigate an accident.” The petitioner asserted that by keeping the post-9/11 mitigation measures secret, “the NRC also raises the risk that first-responders from the surrounding community, who may be called upon to assist in the implementation of [the mitigation measures], will not have sufficient understanding of them to implement them effectively.”

    The petitioner's 2006 petition (PRM-51-10) requested changes to the Commission's generic findings regarding the environmental impacts from onsite spent fuel pool storage during the license renewal period of an operating NPP. In its denial (73 FR 46204; August 8, 2008), the NRC noted that spent fuel pools are “massive, extremely-robust structures designed to safely contain the spent fuel discharged from a nuclear reactor under a variety of normal, off-normal, and hypothetical accident conditions (e.g., loss of electrical power, floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes).”

    The petitioner asserted that the Fukushima accident demonstrates that the conclusions in the denial of PRM-51-10 were incorrect, and that in light of the new information about the Fukushima event, the NRC should reevaluate its impact analysis in the license renewal GEIS because the new information undermines the staff's position that the post-9/11 mitigation measures would prevent the onset of a spent fuel pool fire following an attack or other severe accident by permitting recovery of lost water.

    NRC Response to Issue 2

    The petitioner's fundamental claim is that new and significant information from the Fukushima accident undermines the conclusions the Commission reached in denying PRM-51-10. As previously discussed, a report issued by the Japanese government in June 2011 found that the SFP at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4, which presented the most safety concern, remained nearly undamaged. This report notes that no extensive damage in the fuel rods appears to have occurred, based on an analysis of SFP water. No serious damage to the pool, including water leaks, was found from visual inspections of the pool's condition. Additionally, on April 25, 2014, the NRC issued a report entitled, “NRC Overview of the Structural Integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4.” The results indicated that the structural integrity of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool was sound.

    As the Commission noted in its 2008 denial of PRM-51-10, and as demonstrated by NUREG-1738 and subsequent SFP studies: (1) Spent fuel pools are robust structures capable of withstanding numerous hazards, (2) additional mitigation strategies are available to maintain cooling in the event of an incident that results in a loss of cooling water, and (3) the risk of SFP accidents is very low. Indeed, subsequent studies, such as NUREG-2161, conclude that spent fuel risks at the reference plant are very low. The Spent Fuel Pool Study also found that for the specific reference plant and earthquake analyzed, SFPs are likely to withstand severe earthquakes without leaking.

    The NRC's regulatory approach for maintaining the safety and security of power reactors, and therefore SFPs, is based upon robust designs that are coupled with a strategic triad of preventive/protective systems, mitigative systems, and emergency-preparedness and response. Licensees develop protective strategies in order to meet the NRC design-basis threat. As noted in the Commission's denial of PRM-51-10 and PRM-51-12 (73 FR 46204), studies conducted by Sandia National Laboratories also confirmed the effectiveness of additional mitigation strategies to maintain spent fuel cooling in the event the pool is drained and its initial water inventory is reduced or lost entirely. Based on this more recent information, and the implementation of additional strategies following September 11, 2001, the probability, and accordingly, the risk, of a SFP zirconium fire initiation is expected to be less than reported in NUREG-1738 and previous studies. Taken as a whole, these systems, personnel, and procedures provide reasonable assurance that public health and safety, the environment, and the common defense and security will be adequately protected.

    In addition, following the Fukushima Dai-ichi event, the NRC issued Order EA-12-049, which requires, in part, that licensees establish plans and procedures associated with restoring and maintaining SFP cooling capability following a beyond-design-basis external event. These enhancements will provide additional capability for mitigating events that result in SFP draining, beyond those already required. Therefore, as discussed previously, the NRC does not simply rely on the post September 11, 2001, mitigating strategies to conclude the probability of an SFP accident is small. Rather, the NRC relies on the robust nature of the SFPs, the low probability of a SFP fire, and other mitigating measures, as well. Moreover, petitioners concede that measures to add water were ultimately successful at Fukushima, and observations to date have not revealed any cladding damage.19 Consequently, the petitioner's information in PRM-51-29 regarding the effectiveness of measures does not present a seriously different picture of this issue.

    19 COMSECY-13-0030 at 2.

    The petitioner also asserted that treating the mitigation measures as sensitive information impacts their effectiveness. Certain aspects of the enhancements are security-related and not publicly available, but in general include the following: (1) Significant reinforcement of the defense capabilities for nuclear facilities; (2) better control of sensitive information; (3) enhancements in emergency preparedness to further strengthen the NRC's nuclear facility security program; and (4) implementation of mitigating strategies to deal with postulated events potentially causing loss of large areas of the plant due to explosions or fires, including those that an aircraft impact might create. These measures are outlined in greater detail in a memorandum to the Commission entitled, “Documentation of Evolution of Security Requirements at Commercial Nuclear Power Plants with Respect to Mitigation Measures for Large Fires and Explosions,” dated February 4, 2010.

    Plant-specific mitigation strategies are designated as security related information in accordance with the Commission's guidance in SECY-04-0191, “Withholding Sensitive Unclassified Information Concerning Nuclear Power Reactors from Public Disclosure.” However, there is publicly-available, industry-developed guidance on implementing these requirements. Specifically, the NRC endorsed NEI 06-12, “B.5.b Phase 2 & 3 Submittal Guideline,” in a letter from the NRC to NEI dated December 22, 2006. The NRC found NEI-06-12 is a generally acceptable means for licensees to meet the NRC's requirements associated with mitigating potential loss of large areas due to fires or explosions, as explained in SECY-11-0125, “Issuance of Bulletin 2011-01, `Mitigating Strategies'.” Therefore, the agency has made sufficient information available to the public regarding mitigation strategies. Moreover, petitioners have not alleged that the measures used to restore cooling to the SFPs during the Fukushima accident were developed under similar secret conditions or indicated how any such secrecy hindered the effectiveness of those measures.20

    20E.g., Thompson Report at 21-23.

    Because the petitioner has not provided new and significant information about the 9/11 mitigation measures with respect to the effectiveness of the measures to provide water to the SFPs, there is no need to supplement the GEIS.

    Issue 3: The License Renewal GEIS Impact Analysis Must Address Spent Fuel Storage Impacts on a Site-Specific, Rather Than Generic Basis

    The petitioner asserted that the NRC's generic findings in table B-1 in appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51 with respect to the Category 1 onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel issue would not be supportable where the Fukushima accident otherwise demonstrates that the environmental impacts could be significant and argued that these impacts must be evaluated on a plant-specific Category 2 basis. The petitioner specifically argued that the NRC has not considered the new information previously presented by the petitioner in PRM-51-10 that contradicts the NRC's conclusions regarding the environmental impacts of the onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel.

    NRC Response to Issue 3

    Spent fuel storage impacts during the license renewal term were evaluated in the 1996 GEIS. The NRC staff concluded that the impacts would be small for all plants and, therefore, the onsite storage of spent fuel during the license renewal term was designated a Category 1 issue. Specifically, the Commission concluded in the 1996 GEIS that continued storage of existing spent fuel and storage of spent fuel generated during the license renewal term can be accomplished safely and without significant environmental impacts, and that radiation doses will be well within regulatory limits. The 2013 update to the GEIS confirmed the 1996 evaluation.

    Further, the Commission affirmed the treatment of SFP storage impacts as Category 1 in 2008 upon denying the two petitions for rulemaking (PRM-51-10 and PRM-51-12). The two petitions requested that the NRC initiate a rulemaking concerning the environmental impacts of the high-density storage of spent nuclear fuel in SFPs. The two petitions asserted that “new and significant information” shows that the NRC incorrectly characterized the environmental impacts of high-density spent fuel storage as “insignificant” in the 1996 GEIS for the renewal of nuclear power plant licenses. Specifically, the petitioner at that time asserted that spent fuel stored in high-density SFPs is more vulnerable to a zirconium fire than the NRC concluded in its analysis in the 1996 GEIS. On August 8, 2008, the Commission denied the petitions, stating:

    Based upon its review of the petitions, the NRC has determined that the studies upon which the Petitioners rely do not constitute new and significant information. The NRC has further determined that its findings related to the storage of spent nuclear fuel in pools, as set forth in NUREG-1437 and in Table B-1, of Appendix B to Subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, remain valid. Thus, the NRC has met and continues to meet its obligations under NEPA. For the reasons discussed previously, the Commission denies PRM-51-10 and PRM-51-12.

    Likewise here, because the impacts from SFP storage have been consistently demonstrated to be small and because the events in Japan do not challenge the NRC's assumptions or conclusions as to the applicability of its generic impact determination for spent fuel storage during license renewal, the NRC has determined that the petitioner's assertions do not present an adequate basis for the NRC to forego using a generic environmental analysis.

    III. Conclusion

    For the reasons described in Section II of this document, the NRC is denying the petition under 10 CFR 2.803. The petitioner did not present any information that would contradict conclusions reached by the Commission when it established or updated the license renewal rule, nor did the petitioner provide new and significant information to demonstrate that sufficient reason exists to revise the current regulations. The NRC elected not to request public comments on PRM-51-29 because it had sufficient information to make a determination.

    The events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant have and will continue to inform improvements to the NRC's regulation of nuclear energy. Building upon the conclusions of the NTTF, the NRC is actively implementing significant enhancements through orders, rulemaking, and other regulatory initiatives. With regard to the petitioner's arguments that the events in Japan demonstrate that post-9/11 enhancements that enable the recovery of lost cooling water in SFPs will be ineffective, the petitioner did not provide sufficient information to support this claim, especially in light of the Commission's experiences and other studies noted previously.

    Therefore, the NRC denies the petitioner's request to revise regulations that make generic determinations about the environmental impacts of onsite spent fuel storage in license renewal environmental reviews.

    IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons as indicated. For more information on accessing ADAMS, see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Document ADAMS Accession Number/Federal Register Citation/URL CLI-11-05, Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri (Callaway Plant, Unit 2), September 9, 2011 http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/orders/2011/2011-05cli.pdf. CLI-99-22, Hydro Resources, Inc., July 23, 1999 http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/orders/1999/1999-022cli.pdf. COMSECY-13-0030, “Staff Evaluation and Recommendation for Japan Lessons Learned Tier 3 Issue on Expedited Transfer of Spent Fuel,” November 12, 2013 ML13329A918. Declaration of Dr. Gordon R. Thompson in Support of Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Contention and Related Petitions and Motions, June 1, 2011 ML111530345. Documentation of Evolution of Security Requirements at Commercial Nuclear Power Plants with Respect to Mitigation Measures for Large Fires and Explosions, February 4, 2010 ML092990438. Federal Register notice—Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, September 19, 2014 79 FR 56238. Federal Register notice—Environmental Review for Renewal of Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses Final Rule, June 5, 1996 61 FR 28467. Federal Register notice—License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants; Generic Environmental Impact Statement and Standard Review Plans for Environmental Reviews, Issuance of NUREG-1437 and NUREG-1555, June 20, 2013 78 FR 37325. Federal Register notice—PRM-51-10, NRC denial of Petition for Rulemaking, August 8, 2008 73 FR 46204. Federal Register notice—PRM-51-29, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Notice of Receipt, December 19, 2012 77 FR 75065. Federal Register notice—PRM-51-29, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Supplemental Information, December 31, 2012 77 FR 76952. Federal Register notice—Revisions to Environmental Review of Renewal of Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses Final Rule, June 20, 2013 78 FR 37282. Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, NUREG-1437, Revision 1 (Volumes 1-3), June 21, 2013 ML13107A023. LBP-11-35, Memorandum and Order, denial of waiver in Pilgrim adjudicatory proceeding, December 13, 2011 ML11332A152. NEI 06-12, “B.5.b Phases 2 & 3 Submittal Guideline, Revision 2,” Project 689, December 14, 2006 ML070090060. NRC Overview of the Structural Integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Unit 4, April 25, 2014 ML14111A099. NUREG-1353, “Regulatory Analysis for the Resolution of Generic Issue 82, `Beyond Design Basis Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools,' ” April 30, 1989 ML082330232. NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants” (2013 GEIS), June 20, 2013 ML13107A023. NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants” (1996 GEIS; Volumes 1 and 2), May 31, 1996 ML040690705, ML040690738. NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,” S102686, February 28, 2001 ML010430066. NUREG-2157, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel” ML14196A105, ML14196A107. NUREG-2161, “Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling-Water Reactor” (Spent Fuel Pool Study), October 9, 2013 ML14255A365. Order EA-12-049, NRC Order on Mitigating Strategies, March 12, 2012 ML12054A735. Order EA-12-051, NRC Order on Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation, March 12, 2012 ML12056A044. Order EA-13-109, NRC Order on Severe Accident Capable Hardened Vents, June 6, 2013 ML13143A321. PRM-51-10, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, August 25, 2006 ML062640409. PRM-51-29, from Mathew Brock, Commonwealth Of Mass. Petition for Waiver of C.F.R. Part 51 Subpart A, Appendix B or In Alternative Petition For Rulemaking to Rescind Regulations Excluding Consideration Of Spent Fuel Storage Impacts, June 2, 2011 ML12254A005. Regulatory Guide 4.2, Supplement 1, Revision 1, “Preparation of Environmental Reports for Nuclear Power Plant License Renewal Applications,” June 20, 2013 ML13067A354. Report of Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety—The Accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations, June 2011 http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/kan/topics/201106/iaea_houkokusho_e.html. Sandia Letter Report, Revision 2, Mitigation of Spent Fuel Pool Loss-of-Coolant Inventory Accidents And Extension of Reference Plant Analyses to Other Spent Fuel Pools, November 30, 2006 ML120970086. Sandia Report: MELCOR 1.8.5 Separate Effect Analysis of Spent Fuel Assembly Accident Response, June 30, 2003 ML062290362. SECY-04-0191, “Withholding Sensitive Unclassified Information Concerning Nuclear Power Reactors From Public Disclosure,” October 19, 2004 ML042310663. SECY-11-0125, “Issuance of Bulletin 2011-01, “Mitigating Strategies,” September 12, 2011 ML111250360. SRM-COMSECY-13-0030, Staff Evaluation and Recommendation for Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 Issue on Expedited Transfer of Spent Fuel, May 23, 2014 ML14143A360. The Thompson Report, “New And Significant Information From The Fukushima Daiichi Accident In The Context Of Future Operation Of The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant,” June 1, 2011 ML12094A183. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21834 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 315 Contact Lens Rule AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is requesting public comments on the Contact Lens Rule, which requires that eyecare prescribers provide a copy of a consumer's prescription to the consumer upon completion of a contact lens fitting and verify or provide prescriptions to authorized third parties. The Rule also mandates that a contact lens seller may sell contact lenses only in accordance with a prescription that the seller either: (a) Has received from the patient or prescriber; or (b) has verified through direct communication with the prescriber. The Commission is soliciting comments about the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory impact of the Rule as part of its systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guides. All interested persons are hereby given notice of the opportunity to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the Rule.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/contactlensrule online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Instructions for Submitting Comments part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Contact Lens Rule, 16 CFR part 315, Project No. R511995” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/contactlensrule by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Contact Lens Rule, 16 CFR part 315, Project No. R511995” on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alysa Bernstein, Attorney, (202) 326-3289, or Bonnie McGregor, Federal Trade Investigator, (202) 326-2356, Division of Advertising Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In 2003, Congress enacted The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act, 15 U.S.C. 7601-7610, and pursuant to the Act, the Commission promulgated the Contact Lens Rule on July 2, 2004.1 The Rule went into effect on August 2, 2004.

    1 Contact Lens Rule, 16 CFR part 315.

    The Contact Lens Rule is intended to facilitate the ability of consumers to comparison shop for contact lenses while ensuring that contact lenses are sold only in accordance with a valid prescription. The Rule requires that eyecare prescribers provide a copy of a prescription to the consumer upon completion of a contact lens fitting and verify or provide prescriptions to authorized third parties.2

    2 16 CFR 315.3(a).

    The Rule specifies that a prescriber may not require the purchase of contact lenses as a condition of providing the prescription or verification, may not require payment in addition to, or as a part of, the fee for an eye examination, fitting, and evaluation as a condition of providing the prescription or verification, and may not require the patient to sign a waiver or release as a condition of releasing or verifying the prescription.3 The prescriber is also prohibited from requiring immediate payment before the release of a prescription, unless the prescriber requires immediate payment when an exam reveals that the consumer does not need ophthalmic goods.4

    3 16 CFR 315.3(b).

    4 16 CFR 315.4.

    The Rule also places certain restrictions on sellers. It mandates that sellers sell contact lenses only in accordance with a prescription that is either presented to the seller or verified by direct communication with the prescriber.5 The Rule sets out the information that must be included in a seller's verification request, and directs that a prescription is only verified under the Rule if: (1) A prescriber confirms the prescription is accurate, (2) a prescriber informs the seller that the prescription is inaccurate and provides an accurate prescription, or (3) if the prescriber fails to communicate with the seller within eight business hours after receiving a compliant verification request.6 The Rule states that if the prescriber informs the seller within eight hours of receiving the verification request that the prescription is inaccurate, expired, or invalid, the seller shall not fill the prescription.7

    5 16 CFR 315.5(a).

    6 16 CFR 315.5(b)-(c).

    7 16 CFR 315.5(d). If the prescription communicated by the seller is inaccurate, the prescriber shall correct it. Id.

    Sellers may not alter a prescription, but for private label contact lenses, may substitute identical contact lenses that the same company manufactures and sells under a different name.8 Sellers and others involved in the manufacture, assembly, processing and distribution of contact lenses are prohibited from representing that contact lenses may be obtained without a prescription.9

    8 16 CFR 315.5(e).

    9 16 CFR 315.7.

    The Contact Lens Rule sets a minimum expiration date of one year after the issue date of a prescription with an exception based on a patient's ocular health.10 The Rule also implements the Act by providing that “state and local laws and regulations that establish a prescription expiration date of less than one year or that restrict prescription release or require active verification are pre-empted.” 11

    10 16 CFR 315.6.

    11 16 CFR 315.11(a). The Rule states further that “[a]ny other state or local laws or regulations that are inconsistent with the Act or this part are prempted to the extent of the inconsistency.” 16 CFR 315.11(b).

    II. Regulatory Review of the Contact Lens Rule

    The Commission periodically reviews all of its rules and guides. These reviews seek information about the costs and benefits of the agency's rules and guides, and their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained assists the Commission in identifying those rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. Therefore, the Commission solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact and benefits of the Rule; possible conflict between the Rule and State, local, or other Federal laws or regulations; and the effect on the Rule of any technological, economic, or other industry changes since the Rule was promulgated.

    III. Issues for Comment

    The Commission requests written comment on any or all of the following questions. These questions are designed to assist the public and should not be construed as a limitation on the issues on which public comment may be submitted. The Commission requests that responses to its questions be as specific as possible, including a reference to the question being answered, and reference to empirical data or other evidence upon which comments are based wherever available and appropriate.

    1. Is there a continuing need for the Rule? Why or why not?

    2. What benefits has the Rule provided to consumers? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    3. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to consumers?

    a. What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    b. How would these modifications affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    c. How would these modifications affect the benefits to consumers?

    4. What impact has the Rule had on the flow of truthful information to consumers and on the flow of deceptive information to consumers?

    5. What significant costs, if any, has the Rule imposed on consumers? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    6. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to reduce any costs imposed on consumers?

    a. What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    b. How would these modifications affect the benefits provided by the Rule?

    7. What benefits, if any, has the Rule provided to businesses, including small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    8. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to businesses, including small businesses?

    a. What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    b. How would these modifications affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    c. How would these modifications affect the benefits to consumers?

    9. What significant costs, if any, including costs of compliance, has the Rule imposed on businesses, including small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    10. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to reduce the costs imposed on businesses, including small businesses?

    a. What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    b. How would these modifications affect the benefits provided by the Rule?

    11. What evidence is available concerning the degree of industry compliance with the Rule?

    12. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to account for changes in relevant technology or economic conditions? What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    13. Does the Rule overlap or conflict with other federal, state, or local laws or regulations? If so, how?

    a. What evidence supports the asserted conflicts?

    b. With reference to the asserted conflicts, should the Rule be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    IV. Instructions for Submitting Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before October 26, 2015. Write “Contact Lens Rule, 16 CFR part 315, Project No. R511995” on the comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, such as a Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information.

    In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comments to be withheld from the public record. Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comment online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/contactlensrule by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this document appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Contact Lens Rule, 16 CFR part 315, Project No. R511995” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex C), Washington, DC 20024.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this document and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before October 26, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21577 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 456 Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule) AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is requesting public comment on its Trade Regulation Rule entitled “Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule),” which requires eye care practitioners to release eyeglass prescriptions to their patients (“Eyeglass Rule”). The Commission is soliciting comments about the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory impact of the Rule as part of its systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guides. All interested persons are hereby given notice of the opportunity to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the Rule.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ophthalmicruleanprm online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Instructions for Submitting Comments part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Eyeglass Rule, 16 CFR part 456, Project No. R511996” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ophthalmicruleanprm by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Eyeglass Rule, 16 CFR part 456, Project No. R51199” on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alysa Bernstein, Attorney, (202) 326-3289, or Bonnie McGregor, Federal Trade Investigator, (202) 326-2356, Division of Advertising Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Eyeglass Rule requires an optometrist or ophthalmologist to provide the patient with one copy of the patient's eyeglass prescription, at no extra cost, immediately after an eye examination is completed.1 It defines a prescription as “the written specifications for lenses for eyeglasses which are derived from an eye examination, including all of the information specified by state law, if any, necessary to obtain lenses for eyeglasses.” 2

    1 16 CFR 456.2 (a) and (c). A provider may withhold a patient's prescription until the patient has paid for the eye examination, but only if the provider would have required immediate payment if the examination had revealed that no ophthalmic goods were needed. Section 456.2(a).

    2 16 CFR 456.1(g).

    The Rule prohibits an optometrist or ophthalmologist from conditioning the availability of an eye examination on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase ophthalmic goods from the optometrist or ophthalmologist,3 or providing the patient with a notice waiving the liability or responsibility of the provider for the accuracy of the exam or the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller.4

    3 16 CFR 456.2(b).

    4 16 CFR 456.2(d).

    The Commission first promulgated the Eyeglass Rule in 1978 based on a finding that many consumers were being deterred from comparison shopping for eyeglasses because eye care practitioners refused to release prescriptions, even upon a patient's request, or charged an additional fee for release of a prescription.5

    5 Advertising of Ophthalmic Goods and Services, Statement of Basis and Purpose and Final Trade Regulation Rule, 43 FR 23992, 23998 (June 2, 1978). The Commission also found that some practitioners refused to conduct an examination unless the patient agreed in advance to purchase eyeglasses from the prescriber and that some practitioners conditioned the release of a prescription on the signing of a waiver of liability. Id.

    In 1985, the Commission published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) requesting comments on certain issues relating to the Rule, including whether or not the prescription release requirement should be modified to require that prescriptions be given only to patients who request them, modified to require only that eye care practitioners offer, rather than automatically provide, prescriptions to patients, and whether the Rule should be extended to require that optometrists and ophthalmologists provide a duplicate copy of prescriptions to patients who lost or misplaced the original.6 After considering the Rulemaking record, the Commission decided in 1989 to retain the Rule's requirement that prescriptions be automatically released.7 The Commission did not receive substantial evidence indicating that the practice of refusing to release duplicate copies of eyeglass prescriptions to patients who had lost or misplaced the originals was prevalent and as a result determined that rulemaking in that area would not be appropriate.8

    6 Ophthalmic Practice Rules; Proposed Trade Regulation Rule; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 50 FR 598, 602 (Jan. 4, 1985).

    7 Trade Regulation Rule; Ophthalmic Practice Rules; Final Trade Regulation Rule, 54 FR 10285, 10303 (Mar. 13, 1989). Citing to significant non-compliance with the automatic release requirement of the Rule and a lack of consumer awareness about prescription rights, the Commission determined that there was not sufficient evidence in the record to conclude that the automatic release provision was no longer needed. Id.

    8 54 FR 10285, 10303 (Mar. 13, 1989).

    In 1997, the Commission issued a Request for Public Comment regarding the Rule, inviting comments on the overall costs and benefits of the Rule, and asking again if the automatic prescription release requirement should be modified.9 In 2004, following comments from numerous parties, the Commission determined to retain the Eyeglass Rule without modification.10

    9 Ophthalmic Practice Rules; Request for Public Comments, 62 FR 15865 (Apr. 3, 1997).

    10 Ophthalmic Practice Rules; Final Rule; 69 FR 5451 (Feb. 4, 2004).

    II. Regulatory Review of the Eyeglass Rule

    The Commission periodically reviews all of its rules and guides. These reviews seek information about the costs and benefits of the agency's rules and guides, and their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained assists the Commission in identifying those rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. Therefore, the Commission solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact and benefits of the Rule; possible conflict between the Rule and State, local, or other Federal laws or regulations; and the effect on the Rule of any technological, economic, or other industry changes.

    III. Issues for Comment

    The Commission requests written comment on any or all of the following questions. These questions are designed to assist the public and should not be construed as a limitation on the issues on which public comment may be submitted. The Commission requests that responses to its questions be as specific as possible, including a reference to the question being answered, and reference to empirical data or other evidence upon which comments are based whenever available and appropriate. Please also provide evidence of the prevalence of any unfair acts or practices that any proposed modification would address.

    A. General Issues

    1. Is there a continuing need for the Rule? Why or why not?

    2. What benefits has the Rule provided to consumers? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    3. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to consumers?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    (c) How would these modifications affect the benefits to consumers?

    4. What impact has the Rule had on the flow of truthful information to consumers and on the flow of deceptive information to consumers?

    5. What significant costs, if any, has the Rule imposed on consumers? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    6. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to reduce any costs imposed on consumers?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the benefits provided by the Rule?

    7. What benefits, if any, has the Rule provided to businesses, including small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    8. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to increase its benefits to businesses, including small businesses?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    (c) How would these modifications affect the benefits to consumers?

    9. What significant costs, if any, including costs of compliance, has the Rule imposed on businesses, including small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    10. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to reduce the costs imposed on businesses, including small businesses?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the benefits provided by the Rule?

    11. What evidence is available concerning the degree of industry compliance with the Rule?

    12. What modifications, if any, should be made to the Rule to account for changes in relevant technology or economic conditions? What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    13. Does the Rule overlap or conflict with other federal, state, or local laws or regulations? If so, how?

    (a) What evidence supports the asserted conflicts?

    (b) With reference to the asserted conflicts, should the Rule be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    B. Specific Issues

    1. Should the definition of “prescription” be modified to include pupillary distance? Why or why not?

    (a) What evidence supports such a modification?

    (b) How would this modification affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    (c) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers?

    2. Should the Rule be extended to require that prescribers provide a duplicate copy of a prescription to a patient who does not currently have access to the original? Why or why not?

    (a) What evidence supports such a modification?

    (b) How would this modification affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    (c) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers?

    3. Should the Rule be extended to require that a prescriber provide a copy to or verify a prescription with third parties authorized by the patient? Why or why not?

    (a) What evidence supports such a modification?

    (b) How would this modification affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses?

    (c) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers?

    IV. Instructions for Submitting Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before October 26, 2015. Write “Eyeglass Rule, 16 CFR part 456, Project No. R511996” on the comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, such as a Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information.

    In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comments to be withheld from the public record. Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comment online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ophthalmicruleanprm by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this document appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Eyeglass Rule, 16 CFR part 456, Project No. R511996” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this document and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before October 26, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21578 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    80 171 Thursday, September 3, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 31, 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 or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if they are received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    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.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: SuperTracker Information Collection for Registration, Login, and Food Intake and Physical Activity Assessment Information.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0535.

    Summary of Collection: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) supports and promotes the health of all Americans by producing and promoting up-to-date science-based nutrition guidance. The authority to collect the information can be found under Subtitle D of the National Agriculture Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3171-3175) and 7 CFR 2.19(a)(3). Pursuant to 7 CFR 2.19(a)(3), the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated authority to CNPP for, among other things, developing materials to aid the public in selecting food for good nutrition; coordinating nutrition education promotion and professional education projects with the Department; and consulting with the Federal and State agencies, the Congress, universities, and other public and private organizations and the general public regarding food consumption and dietary adequacy.

    Need and Use of the Information: SuperTracker can assist the public in making diet and physical activity choices. Users voluntarily go to the SuperTracker.usda.gov Web site to submit information. The information obtained from users is stored in a user account, which is maintained by USDA information technology (IT) staff. If the information is not collected, users will not be able to assess individual food intake and physical activity status.

    Description of Respondents: Individual or households.

    Number of Respondents: 3,600,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Monthly.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,767,898.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21908 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-29, Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 2, 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 email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Christopher Stein, Chief, Services Surveys Branch (SSB) BE-50, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone: (202) 606-9850; fax: (202) 606-5318; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States (BE-29) is a survey that collects data from U.S. agents of foreign ocean carriers who handle 40 or more port calls in the reporting period by foreign ocean vessels, or have total annual covered expenses of $250,000 or more for all foreign ocean vessels handled by the U.S. agent. The covered expenses are: (1) Port call services such as pilotage, towing and tugboat services, harbor fees, and berth fees; (2) cargo-related services such as loading, unloading, and storing cargo at U.S. ports; (3) fuels and oils (bunkers) purchased in U.S. ports; (4) other vessel operating expenses such as stores and supplies, vessel repairs, and personnel expenses in the United States; and (5) other expenses such as U.S. agents' and brokers' fees and commissions and expenses related to maintaining U.S. offices, such as rent, advertising, and wages.

    The data collected on the survey are needed to monitor U.S. trade in transport services to analyze the impact of U.S. trade on the U.S. and foreign economies, to compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, to support U.S. commercial policy on trade in transport services, to conduct trade promotion, and to improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities. The data are used in estimating the transport component of the U.S. international transactions accounts (ITAs) and national income and product accounts (NIPAs). The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is proposing no additions, modifications, or deletions to the current BE-29 survey to minimize respondent burden while considering the needs of data users. Existing language in the instructions and definitions will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to clarify survey requirements.

    II. Method of Collection

    Form BE-29 is an annual report that must be completed within 90 days after the end of each calendar year. BEA contacts potential respondents by mail in January of each year. Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    BEA offers electronic filing through its eFile system for use in reporting on the BE-29 annual survey form. For information about eFile, go to www.bea.gov/efile. In addition, BEA posts all its survey forms and reporting instructions on its Web site, www.bea.gov/ssb. These may be downloaded, completed, printed, and submitted via fax or mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0012.

    Form Number: BE-29.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 83 annually (69 reporting mandatory data and 14 file exemption claims).

    Estimated Time per Response: 3 hours is the average for those reporting data. 1 hour is the average for those not reporting data. Hours may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company size and complexity.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 221.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended).

    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 will 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 28, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21878 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-30, Quarterly Survey of Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of U.S. Carriers, and the BE-37, Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 2, 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 email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instruments and instructions should be directed to Christopher Stein, Chief, Services Surveys Branch (SSB) BE-50, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone: (202) 606-9850; fax: (202) 606-5318; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Quarterly Survey of Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of U.S. Carriers (BE-30) is a survey that collects data from U.S. ocean freight carriers (owners and operators) whose total covered revenues or total covered expenses incurred outside the United States were $500,000 or more in the previous year or are expected to be $500,000 or more during the current year. The covered revenues are: (1) Revenue on cargo outbound from U.S. ports and the associated shipping weight; (2) revenue on cargo inbound into the United States and the associated shipping weight; (3) revenue on cross-trade cargoes; (4) charter hire (with crew) and space leasing revenues from foreign residents. The covered expenses are: (1) Fuel expenses in foreign countries; (2) expenses in foreign countries other than fuel expenses; and (3) charter hire (with crew) and space leasing payments to foreign residents. A report is not required from U.S. ocean freight carriers whose total annual covered revenues and total annual covered expenses are below $500,000.

    The Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses (BE-37) is a survey that collects data from U.S. airline operators engaged in the international transportation of goods and/or passengers and whose total covered revenues or total covered expenses incurred outside the United States were $500,000 or more in the previous year or are expected to be $500,000 or more during the current year. The covered revenues are: (1) Revenue derived from carriage of export freight and express from the United States to points outside the United States; (2) revenue derived from carriage of freight and express originating from, and destined to, points outside the United States; (3) revenue derived from transporting passengers originating from, and destined to, points outside the United States; (4) revenue from transporting passengers to and from the United States and the associated number of passengers; (5) interline settlement receipts from foreign airline operators. The covered expenses are: (1) Expenses incurred outside the United States for fuel and oil, station and maintenance bases, wages, and other goods and services purchased abroad (except aircraft leasing expenses); (2) aircraft (with crew) leasing expenses; and (3) interline settlement payments to foreign airline operators. A report is not required from U.S. airline operators whose total annual covered revenues and total annual covered expenses are below $500,000.

    The data collected on these surveys are needed to monitor U.S. trade in transport services to analyze the impact of U.S. trade on the U.S. and foreign economies, to compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, to support U.S. commercial policy on trade in transport services, to conduct trade promotion, and to improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities. The data are used in estimating the transport component of the U.S. international transactions accounts (ITAs) and national income and product accounts (NIPAs).

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is proposing no additions, modifications, or deletions to the current BE-30 survey and minor additions and modifications to the current BE-37 survey to minimize respondent burden while considering the needs of data users. Existing language in the instructions and definitions will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to clarify survey requirements.

    II. Method of Collection

    Forms BE-30 and BE-37 are quarterly reports that must be completed within 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. BEA contacts potential respondents by mail the end of each calendar quarter. Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    BEA offers electronic filing through its eFile system for use in reporting on the BE-30 and BE-37 quarterly survey forms. For information about eFile, go to www.bea.gov/efile. In addition, BEA posts all its survey forms and reporting instructions on its Web site, www.bea.gov/ssb. These may be downloaded, completed, printed, and submitted via fax or mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0011.

    Form Number: BE-30 and BE-37.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of BE-30 Responses: 280 annually (70 filed each quarter: 62 reporting mandatory data and 8 exemption claims).

    Estimated Number of BE-37 Responses: 128 annually (32 filed each quarter: 31 reporting mandatory data and 1 exemption claim).

    Estimated Time per Response: 4 hours is the average for those reporting data. 1 hour is the average for those not reporting data. Hours may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company size and complexity.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,524 (1,024 for the BE-30; 500 for the BE-37).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collections 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 collections 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 28, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21877 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Services Surveys: BE-9, Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 2, 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 email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Christopher Stein, Chief, Services Surveys Branch (SSB) BE-50, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone: (202) 606-9850; fax: (202) 606-5318; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Quarterly Survey of Foreign Airline Operators' Revenues and Expenses in the United States (BE-9) is a survey that collects data from U.S. offices, agents, or other representatives of foreign airline operators that transport freight, express, and passengers to or from the United States and whose total covered revenues or total covered expenses were $5 million or more in the previous year or are expected to be $5 million or more during the current year. The covered revenues are freight revenue on merchandise exported from, or imported into, the United States. The covered expenses are expenses incurred in the United States for: (1) Fuel and oil; (2) wages and salaries paid to employees in the United States; (3) agents' and brokers' fees and commissions for arrangement of freight and passenger transportation; (4) aircraft handling and terminal services, aircraft (with crew) leasing expenses; and 5) all other expenses incurred in the United States except leasing (without crew) expenses.

    Respondents are also asked to report: (1) Shipping weights on which freight revenues were earned; (2) the number of passengers transported to/from the United States; and (3) revenues associated with these passengers.

    The data collected on the survey are needed to monitor U.S. trade in transport services to analyze the impact of U.S. trade on the U.S. and foreign economies, to compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, to support U.S. commercial policy on trade in transport services, to conduct trade promotion, and to improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities. The data are used in estimating the transport component of the U.S. international transactions accounts (ITAs) and national income and product accounts (NIPAs).

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is proposing minor additions and modifications to the current BE-9 survey to minimize respondent burden while considering the needs of data users. Existing language in the instructions and definitions will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary to clarify survey requirements.

    II. Method of Collection

    Form BE-9 is a quarterly report that must be completed within 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. BEA contacts potential respondents by mail the end of each calendar quarter. Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    BEA offers electronic filing through its eFile system for use in reporting on the BE-9 quarterly survey form. For information about eFile, go to www.bea.gov/efile. In addition, BEA posts all its survey forms and reporting instructions on its Web site, www.bea.gov/ssb. These may be downloaded, completed, printed, and submitted via fax or mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0068.

    Form Number: BE-9.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 184 annually (46 filed each quarter: 180 reporting mandatory data and 4 exemption claims).

    Estimated Time per Response: 6 hours is the average for those reporting data. 1 hour is the average for those not reporting data. Hours may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company size and complexity.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,084.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended).

    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 will 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 28, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21875 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an opportunity to participate in the U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Global Markets, Office of Africa is seeking representatives of 15 U.S. institutional investors to participate in the launch of the U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow. The Roadshow will provide a platform for U.S. institutional investors and African government representatives to discuss and implement best practices for reducing governance risk, strengthening capital markets and increasing long-term investment flows. The program is designed to help U.S. financial institutions and exporters participate in large-scale business opportunities arising from transformational infrastructure projects in Africa. Representatives of several African governments, including one or more heads of state, are expected to participate in the launch event. U.S. institutional investors and U.S. investment fund managers that represent U.S. institutional investors are invited to express interest in participating in the launch event and on-going roadshow.

    DATES:

    The launch event will be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2015. Space is limited. Requests to participate in the launch event must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 18th, 2015. The U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow is an on-going program. Requests will be accepted on an on-going basis for the duration of the program to be added to the distribution list for information about the program and about upcoming events.

    ADDRESSES:

    The launch event will be held in New York, New York. The address will be provided to invited participants. Future Roadshow events are expected to occur in the United States and Africa. To express interest in participating in the launch event or to be added to the Roadshow distribution list for information about the program and about upcoming events, please submit your request to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joe Wereszynski, the United States Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: 202-482-4729, email: [email protected]de.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with McKinsey & Company, will hold a one day event in New York, New York to launch an U.S. Institutional Investor Roadshow for Africa. The Roadshow is a U.S. Department of Commerce program that will provide a platform for leading U.S. institutional investors, such as state pension and teacher retirement funds, and African government officials to discuss and implement best practices for reducing governance risk, strengthening capital markets and increasing long-term investment flows. At the same time, the program will help U.S. financial institutions and exporters to learn about and how to pursue opportunities to participate in large-scale business opportunities arising from transformational infrastructure projects in Africa. The goal of the Roadshow is to bring a new level of transparent and flexible private sector funding while providing private sector tools to improve the investment climate to allow more U.S. companies to close business deals.

    The Roadshow is an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to the need expressed by African leaders and the U.S. private sector for increased access to long-term private capital to fund large scale infrastructure projects in Africa. It is a direct follow-up to the 2014 U.S.-Africa Business Forum and an official recommendation made by the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. For more information on the Roadshow concept, please see the official recommendations made by the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa: http://www.trade.gov/pac-dbia/docs/PAC-DBIA-Report_Final.pdf. The inaugural launch in New York, New York will be the first event in a series of high-level engagements that are expected to be scheduled to take place across the continent of Africa. The Global Market's Office of Europe, Middle East and Africa has entered into a joint project with McKinsey and Company to organize and hold the launch event. The launch event will comprise of approximately 20-25 individuals consisting of U.S. Government officials, government officials from African countries (expected to include at least some government Ministers and one or more heads of state), and representatives of U.S. institutional investors. The program will include keynote speeches, panels, and other presentations by attendees from both government and business. The program will include an overview of the financial business climate, a discussion of some of the leading proposed African infrastructure projects, and roundtable discussions on reactions to the proposed projects (including how to structure projects to attract foreign investment and factors that the U.S. private sector looks for and considers when assessing whether to invest).

    Public Participation: U.S. institutional investors or U.S. investment fund managers that represent U.S. institutional investors (state pension and teacher retirement funds), are eligible to apply for participation. Please note that space is limited at the launch event and applying does not guarantee participation. All applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. Due to space limitations, participation is limited to no more than two representatives of each participating U.S. institutional investor or U.S. investment fund managers that represent U.S. institutional investors. If you are interested in being considered as a participant for the September 29, 2015 launch event, you must apply by sending an email to the address below by September 18th, 2015. The email must include the name of the proposed participant(s), title(s), company name, business contact information, a brief bio of the proposed participant(s), and a description of the company's interest in the event (including any relevant past, on-going, or planned investments or intent to invest in infrastructure and/or in Africa). Investment fund managers also must certify that they represent U.S. institutional investors. Do not include any business confidential or proprietary information in the request. Requests to participate in the launch event will be evaluated by the Department of Commerce and McKinsey and Company based on (1) level of institutional interest, knowledge of, or experience investing in infrastructure projects and/or in Africa, (2) experience and ability of the proposed participant to engage in a substantive discussion of factors influencing U.S. institutional investment decisions in the infrastructure sector in African markets, and (3) level of proposed participant within the company to be represented. Decisions will be made without regard to political considerations; referrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant's submission and not considered during the selection process.

    To apply send an email to: [email protected]

    If you are interested in being added to the distribution list for information about this program and about upcoming events, send an email to [email protected] with your name and contact information.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Joe Wereszynski, Senior Policy Advisor for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21973 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-888] Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 3, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 1, 2015, the Department initiated the second sunset review of the Order on Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof (ironing tables) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 The Department determined that it was appropriate to conduct an expedited review. The Department finds that revocation of this antidumping duty order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping up to the rate identified in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    1See Initiation of Five-year (“Sunset”) Review, 80 FR 24900 (May 1, 2015) (Sunset Initiation).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Hoefke, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4947.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The antidumping duty order on ironing tables from the PRC was published on August 6, 2004.2 The sunset review on the antidumping duty order on ironing tables from the PRC was initiated by the Department on May 1, 2015 pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act.3

    2See Notice of Amended Final Determination at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Floor-Standing, Metal Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China, 69 FR 47868 (August 6, 2004).

    3See Sunset Initiation.

    The Department received a notice of intent to participate from Home Products International, Inc. (Petitioner), within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). Petitioners are manufacturers of a domestic like product in the United States and, accordingly, are domestic interested parties pursuant to section 771(9)(C) of the Act.

    On May 27, 2015, the Department received an adequate substantive response to the notice of initiation from Petitioners within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department did not receive any responses from the respondent interested parties, i.e., ironing tables producers or exporters from the PRC. On the basis of the notice of intent to participate and adequate substantive response filed by Petitioners and the inadequate response from any respondent interested party, the Department decided to conduct an expedited sunset review of this order pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order consists of floor-standing, metal-top ironing tables, assembled or unassembled, complete or incomplete, and certain parts thereof. The subject tables are designed and used principally for the hand ironing or pressing of garments or other articles of fabric. They are typically imported under heading 9403.20.0011 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with the subject metal top and leg components are imported under heading 9403.90.8040. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the “Issues and Decision Memorandum for Final Results of Expedited Second Sunset Review of Antidumping Duty Order on Floor-Standing, Metal-Top Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China,” (Decision Memorandum) dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    The issues discussed in the Decision Memorandum are the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping, and the magnitude of the margins of dumping likely to prevail if the order was revoked. The analysis addresses the impact of the Final Modification for Reviews  4 on this review. Parties can find a complete discussion of all issues raised in this review and the corresponding recommendations in the Decision Memorandum, which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    4See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(c)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the antidumping order of ironing tables from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average margins up to 157.68 percent.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a). Timely written notification of the destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    The Department is issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218.

    Dated: August 27, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21946 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT or Committee), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will meet in open session on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time and Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The VCAT is composed of fifteen members appointed by the NIST Director who are eminent in such fields as business, research, new product development, engineering, labor, education, management consulting, environment, and international relations.

    DATES:

    The VCAT will meet on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time and Wednesday, October 7, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel, 68 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Shaw, VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1060, telephone number 301-975-2667. Ms. Shaw's email address is [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 278 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    The purpose of this meeting is for the VCAT to review and make recommendations regarding general policy for NIST, its organization, its budget, and its programs within the framework of applicable national policies as set forth by the President and the Congress. The agenda will include updates on NIST activities and a review of the various NIST partnership models. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Committee's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda. On Wednesday, October 7, approximately one-half hour in the morning will be reserved for public comments and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about 3 minutes each. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20899, via fax at 301-216-0529 or electronically by email to [email protected]

    All participants are required to pre-register. Please submit your name, time of arrival, email address and phone number to Stephanie Shaw by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, September 29, 2015.

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21888 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Defense Policy Board (DPB). This meeting will be closed to the public.

    DATES:

    Quarterly Meeting: Monday, September 21, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Tuesday, September 22, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Pentagon, 2000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-2000.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Ann Hansen, 2000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-2000. Phone: (703) 571-9232.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended) (“the Sunshine Act”), and the Federal Advisory Committee Management Act; Final Rule 41 CFR parts 101-6 and 102-3 (“the FACA Final Rule”).

    Purpose of Meeting: To obtain, review and evaluate classified information related to the DPB's mission to advise on: (a) Issues central to strategic DoD planning; (b) policy implications of U.S. force structure and force modernization and on DoD's ability to execute U.S. defense strategy; (c) U.S. regional defense policies; and (d) other research and analysis of topics raised by the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary or the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

    Meeting Agenda: Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on September 21 through the end of the meeting on September 22, the DPB will have secret through top secret (SCI) level discussions on national security issues regarding geopolitical implications of China's island “reclamation” program.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to the Sunshine Act and the FACA Final Rule, the Department of Defense has determined that this meeting shall be closed to the public. The Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), in consultation with the Department of Defense FACA Attorney, has determined in writing that this meeting be closed to the public because the discussions fall under the purview of Section 552b(c)(1) of the Sunshine Act and are so inextricably intertwined with unclassified material that they cannot reasonably be segregated into separate discussions without disclosing secret or higher classified material.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer or Point of Contact: Ann Hansen, [email protected]

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the membership of the DPB at any time regarding its mission or in response to the stated agenda of a planned meeting. Written statements should be submitted to the DPB's Designated Federal Officer (DFO); the DFO's contact information is listed in this notice or it can be obtained from the GSA's FACA Database—http://www.facadatabase.gov/.

    Written statements that do not pertain to a scheduled meeting of the DPB may be submitted at any time. However, if individual comments pertain to a specific topic being discussed at a planned meeting, then these statements must be submitted no later than five business days prior to the meeting in question. The DFO will review all submitted written statements and provide copies to all committee members.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21876 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0083] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Performance Report Form AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://wwww.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0083. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Darryl Davis, 202-502-7657.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Performance Report Form.

    OMB Control Number: 1840-0787.

    Type of Review: A reinstatement of a previously approved information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Government.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 15.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 180.

    Abstract: The Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship program was designed to issue grants to the states to provide scholarships to outstanding secondary school graduates who demonstrated an interest in teaching careers at the preschool, elementary, or secondary level. Although the program is no longer funded, the annual performance report is necessary to monitor and evaluate the compliance of the remaining state education agencies.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21900 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) AGENCY:

    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open live Board meeting of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463; 86 Stat.770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    October 6, 2015 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    October 7, 2015 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Renaissance Washington DC Dupont Circle, 1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Li, Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585. Phone number 202-287-5718, and email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: To make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy regarding goals and objectives, programmatic and administrative policies, and to otherwise carry out the Board's responsibilities as designated in the State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-440).

    Tentative Agenda: Updates on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs and initiatives; the QER Team within the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA); the Office of Technology Transitions to discuss updates and provide recommendations on the Weatherization Assistance Program; and update members of the Board on routine business matters.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Michael Li at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. The Chair of the Board is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 90 days on the STEAB Web site, www.steab.org.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 28, 2015. LaTanya Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21903 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY High Energy Physics Advisory Panel Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Friday, October 2, 2015 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kogut, Executive Secretary; High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP); U.S. Department of Energy; SC-25/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: (301) 903-1298.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Panel: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on scientific priorities within the field of high energy physics research.

    Tentative Agenda • Discussion of Department of Energy High Energy Physics Program • Discussion of National Science Foundation Elementary Particle Physics Program • Reports on and Discussions of Topics of General Interest in High Energy Physics • Public Comment (10-minute rule)

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. A webcast of this meeting will be available. Please check the Web site below for updates and information on how to view the meeting. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding any of these items on the agenda, you should contact John Kogut at (301) 903-1298 or by email at: [email protected] You must make your request for an oral statement at least 5 business days before the meeting. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Panel will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available on the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics Advisory Panel Web site, at: (http://science.energy.gov/hep/hepap/meetings/).

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 28, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21902 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Electricity Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Electricity Advisory Committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92- 463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    The meeting dates are:

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015 (12:00 p.m.-5:55 p.m. Wednesday, September 30, 2015 (8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matthew Rosenbaum, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8G-017, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 586-1060 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: The Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) was re-established in July 2010, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C., App.2, to provide advice to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, executing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and modernizing the nation's electricity delivery infrastructure. The EAC is composed of individuals of diverse background selected for their technical expertise and experience, established records of distinguished professional service, and their knowledge of issues that pertain to electricity.

    Tentative Agenda: The meeting of the EAC is expected to include an update on the programs and initiatives of the DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the DOE grid modernization efforts. The meeting is also expected to include panel discussions on high penetration of energy storage, Clean Power Plan system impacts and interactions, and Clean Power Plan compliance options, as well as a discussion of the plans of the Clean Power Plan Working Group. Additionally, the meeting is expected to include a discussion of the plans and activities of the Energy Storage Subcommittee, the Power Delivery Subcommittee, and the Smart Grid Subcommittee.

    Tentative Agenda: September 29, 2015 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. EAC Leadership Committee Meeting 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Registration 1:00 p.m.-1:10 p.m. EAC Ethics Briefing 1:10 p.m.-1:20 p.m. Welcome, Introductions, Developments since the June 2015 Meeting 1:20 p.m.-1:35 p.m. Update on the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability's Programs and Initiatives 1:35 p.m.-1:55 p.m. Update on the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative 1:55 p.m.-2:05 p.m. EAC Member Discussion of the Grid Modernization Initiative Working Group Plans 2:05 p.m.-3:35 p.m. High Penetration of Energy Storage Panel 3:35 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Break 3:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m. EAC Energy Storage Subcommittee Activities and Plans 4:00 p.m.-4:50 p.m. EAC Power Delivery Subcommittee Activities and Plans 4:50 p.m.-5:50 p.m. EAC Smart Grid Subcommittee Activities and Plans 5:50 p.m.-5:55 p.m. Wrap-up and Adjourn Day One of September 2015 Meeting of the EAC Tentative Agenda: September 30, 2015 8:00 a.m.-9:20 a.m. Clean Power Plan System Impacts and Interactions Panel 9:20 a.m.-9:40 a.m. EAC Member Discussion of Clean Power Plan System Interactions Panel 9:40 a.m.-9:50 a.m. Break 9:50 a.m. -11:10 a.m. Clean Power Plan Compliance Options Panel 11:10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. EAC Member Discussion of Clean Power Plan Compliance Options Panel 11:30 a.m.-11:50 a.m. EAC Member Discussion of Clean Power Plan Working Group Plans 11:50 a.m.-11:55 a.m. Public Comments 11:55 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Wrap-up and Adjourn September 2015 Meeting of the EAC

    The meeting agenda may change to accommodate EAC business. For EAC agenda updates, see the EAC Web site at: http://energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-advisory-committee-eac.

    Public Participation: The EAC welcomes the attendance of the public at its meetings. Individuals who wish to offer public comments at the EAC meeting may do so on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, but must register at the registration table in advance. Approximately 5 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but is not expected to exceed three minutes. Anyone who is not able to attend the meeting, or for whom the allotted public comments time is insufficient to address pertinent issues with the EAC, is invited to send a written statement to Mr. Matthew Rosenbaum.

    You may submit comments, identified by “Electricity Advisory Committee Open Meeting,” by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Matthew Rosenbaum, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8G- 017, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    Email: [email protected] Include “Electricity Advisory Committee Open Meeting” in the subject line of the message.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and identifier. All comments received will be posted without change to http://energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-advisory-committee-eac, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket, to read background documents or comments received, go to http://energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-advisory-committee-eac.

    The following electronic file formats are acceptable: Microsoft Word (.doc), Corel Word Perfect (.wpd), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), plain text (.txt), Microsoft Excel (.xls), and Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt). If you submit information that you believe to be exempt by law from public disclosure, you must submit one complete copy, as well as one copy from which the information claimed to be exempt by law from public disclosure has been deleted. You must also explain the reasons why you believe the deleted information is exempt from disclosure. DOE is responsible for the final determination concerning disclosure or nondisclosure of the information and for treating it in accordance with the DOE's Freedom of Information regulations (10 CFR 1004.11).

    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. If comments are submitted by regular mail, the Department requests that they be accompanied by a CD or diskette containing electronic files of the submission.

    Minutes: The minutes of the EAC meeting will be posted on the EAC Web page at http://energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-advisory-committee-eac. They can also be obtained by contacting Mr. Matthew Rosenbaum at the address above.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21901 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy H2 Refuel H-Prize Final Guidelines Update AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Updates to the H2 Refuel H-Prize Competition Guidelines.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 28, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced in the Federal Register the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize competition, allowing teams from across the United States to compete to develop systems that generate and dispense hydrogen from resources commonly available to residences (electricity or natural gas) for use in homes, community centers, businesses or similar locations, to supplement the current infrastructure roll-out and reduce barriers to using hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The Federal Register notice announcing the competition included the H2 Refuel H-Prize Competition Guidelines. The purpose of today's notice is to update the H2 Refuel H-Prize Competition Guidelines. Substantive changes in this update provide additional information on communication expectations for finalists, expand the process used to resolve ties, correct a typographical error in the dispensing time criteria table, define how availability will be calculated, and provide a method to determine a winner in the event that no entry receives at least a minimum score of one for each of the scoring criteria (not including bonus criteria). In addition, language is added for clarification where necessary. The section on the draft guideline public comments and responses is deleted. Finally, minor errors are corrected and contact information is updated.

    DATES:

    —Competition opened—October 29, 2014. —Competition ends—October 31, 2016: Data will be analyzed to determine winner Award of $1 million prize, if the Panel of Judges determines that there is a winning entry.

    For more information regarding the dates relating to this competition, see, section III. Competition requirements and process, Key Dates, in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    The H-Prize Web site is http://hydrogenprize.org, where updates and announcements will be posted throughout the competition.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions may be directed to—

    Technical information: Katie Randolph at 240-562-1759 or by email at [email protected]

    Prize contest: Emanuel Wagner, Contest Manager, Hydrogen Education Foundation, at 202-457-0868 x360 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    Fuel cells powered by hydrogen from renewable or low-carbon resources can lead to substantial energy savings and reductions in imported petroleum and carbon emissions. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) are much more efficient than today's gasoline vehicles, and when fueled with hydrogen, produce only water vapor at the tailpipe. The hydrogen fuel can be generated from a range of domestic sources. While the commercial sale of FCEVs is rapidly approaching, infrastructure remains a major challenge, with only approximately 50 fueling stations in the United States, only 10 of which are operating as public stations.

    The H-Prize was authorized under section 654 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-140). As efforts to build a hydrogen fueling station infrastructure are getting underway, the H2 Refuel H-Prize is intended to incentivize the development of small-scale systems for non-commercial fueling to supplement the larger-scale infrastructure development.

    The H2 Refuel H-Prize anticipates award of a $1 million prize to the top refueler system entry that can produce hydrogen using electricity and/or natural gas, energy sources commonly available to residential locations, and dispense the hydrogen to a vehicle, providing at least 1 kg per refueling. Systems considered would be at the home scale and able to generate and dispense 1-5 kg H2/day for use at residences, or the medium scale, generating and dispensing 5-50 kg H2/day. Medium scale systems would serve a larger community with multiple users daily, such as a large apartment complex or retail centers to fuel small fleets of vehicles (e.g., light duty automobiles, forklifts or tractors).

    Interested parties can register and find more information, updates and pages where teams can discuss the prize at the H-Prize Web site: http://hydrogenprize.org. The Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF) is currently administering the prize for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and DOE will coordinate prize activities with HEF.

    Teams will have a year to design a system that generates and dispenses hydrogen fuel that meets the criteria and identify a location where it can be installed and used. Twelve months after the competition opens, teams will be required to complete registration and submit system designs and blue prints, plans for installation, and preliminary data to demonstrate that the system satisfies the minimum criteria (see Criteria section). Teams will also need to provide documented evidence of cooperation from the installation site. Of the teams that meet all of the minimum criteria, the top entries will be selected as finalists to enter the testing phase. The selected teams will then have seven months to install and begin operating their systems. The systems must be compatible with remote monitoring equipment to allow remote monitoring for the testing period; compatibility requirements will be posted on the H-Prize Web site. Starting 21 months after the competition opens, the finalist systems will be remotely monitored and tested, and approximately two months of data will be collected. At least one on-site visit will be performed to verify data and perform tests that cannot be done remotely. Teams must also provide requested information to a DOE designated entity for independent verification of the cost of the system and the cost of the generated hydrogen. The scoring criteria will be ranked and weighted.

    Proposed Timeline Current tentative date Activity March 2014 Draft Guidelines posted for public comment. April 2014 Comment period closes. October 2014 Competition opens.
  • H-Prize Website opens, including an online system to facilitate teaming and partnerships.
  • Teams design systems, collect data, identify installation location, and registers for the prize ahead of data submission deadline.
  • September 2015 Rules and Guidelines updated. October 2015 Preliminary data submission deadline.
  • Teams will submit data, provide designs and blueprints and information about installation site, to indicate that the system is capable of meeting the base criteria.
  • December 2015 Finalist teams are announced—go to testing stage.
  • Finalist Teams install systems and get them up and running.
  • July 2016 Remote monitoring equipment will be installed by the designated data analysis team to begin system testing. October 2016 Competition ends—data is analyzed to determine winner. December 2016 (tentative) Anticipated winner announcement.
    II. Prize Criteria and Testing Finalist Selection Phase

    Twelve months after the competition opens, teams interested in competing must have completed registering for the competition and submit all required information. To be considered, an entry must meet the initial selection criteria defined below. Teams will be required to submit data that demonstrates the system's ability to meet the indicated criteria. The top teams to provide convincing evidence that the entry could satisfy the minimum criteria will be selected as finalists for testing. Specific instructions will be posted on the H-Prize Web site detailing the required information. In addition to the required technical criteria data, teams will submit system descriptions and preliminary designs and installation concepts which will be evaluated by an expert panel to determine if the entries are likely to meet reasonable usability, cost and safety criteria. Usability refers to the ability of the system to be installed and used at the intended locations (e.g., considering footprint and noise), and to be easily operated by the average user (e.g., with minimum training and time). Because a goal of the H-Prize is to advance commercial applications of hydrogen energy technologies, the potential of the systems to ultimately be commercialized will also be evaluated, and a description of a pathway to commercial production of the systems, including manufacturing, will be requested. To evaluate the potential safety of the system, certain information will be requested, including a safety plan and a hazard analysis; specific instructions will be available at the H-Prize Web site. A safety page on the H-Prize Web site will provide updated information on safety issues and requirements for the safety plan and hazard analysis. To be selected as a finalist, contestant designs, installation details and safety plans must be judged adequately safe by a panel of safety professionals.

    Minimum/Maximum Criteria Table Criteria Home Community Minimum dispensing pressure 350 bar. Maximum dispensing time (standard fill) 10 hours 60 minutes. Min. hydrogen dispensed per day 1 kg 5 kg. Hydrogen purity Meets SAE J2719 (Hydrogen Fuel Quality for Fuel Cell Vehicles). Fill method Compliant with relevant codes (for automobiles, SAE J2601 Fueling Protocols for Light Duty Gaseous Hydrogen Surface Vehicles) and ensures that delivered hydrogen does not exceed the pressure and temperature limits of the vehicle storage tank. Safety Meets relevant safety codes and standards for installation in target location. Finalist Competition

    The finalist teams will have seven months to install their systems at a location of their choosing before testing begins. Among other considerations, entries must meet the safety codes and standards in effect at the installation location appropriate to the system. Further, all required permits and approvals must be received prior to system operations.

    Each entry will be scored in six different technical and cost criteria:

    —Dispensing pressure —Dispensing time —Number of standard fills per day —Tested availability —Total installed system cost (capital + installation) —Direct user cost per kg

    The criteria and scoring ranges are listed in more detail below.

    Testing for the technical criteria will be performed remotely over a period of 2 to 3 months, with at least one on-site inspection to verify data and perform testing that cannot be done remotely. Summary level testing results will be published. The base criteria listed in Minimum/Maximum Criteria Table will be tested to ensure that all entries meet those requirements. A standard fill is defined as the delivery of 1 kg of hydrogen to a vehicle tank.

    The cost criteria will be evaluated by an independent auditing entity. Teams will be required to submit cost information for the system entered into the competition, such as the bill of materials for the system, required parts for installation and system operating costs during the testing period, including information such as invoices and receipts for the equipment and other purchases. Specific details on required information will be provided to finalist teams after selection.

    Entries will receive scores for the tested criteria as described below, with different multipliers for each of the criteria. When testing is complete, the data will be analyzed to determine scores. Once all results have been analyzed, judges will evaluate the results and determine the scores based on the published scoring criteria, and confirm entry eligibility based on the base criteria and eligibility requirements. After resolving any ties (see tie resolution process below), the eligible team with the highest score will be the winner.

    Once selected, finalists are expected to communicate with HEF and DOE throughout the competition about any events that impact ability of the system to be completed and installed, and meet eligibility requirements by the beginning of testing (e.g., major delays in installation, safety events); and/or complete the testing by the October 31, 2016 deadline.

    Installation Site Criteria

    Any site in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia can be used for the installation of the refueler, as long as there is access for installing equipment for remote monitoring, at least one on-site visit for in-depth testing, and at least one visit by the press and public.

    To meet testing requirements, the fueling system should be used at an average of at least 50% planned capacity per week (e.g., for a home system designed to dispense 1 kg/day, at least four 1-kg “fills” per week; for a community system designed to produce 20 kg/day, it should dispense at least 70 1-kg “fills” per week). If on-site hydrogen use is below this level, simulated fills can be used for testing. Simulated fill protocols will be posted on the H-Prize Web site before testing begins.

    Entries must meet the safety codes and standards in effect at the installation location. Teams are encouraged to consider the relevant SAE, ASME and NFPA codes and standards.1

    1 Codes and standards to consider include but are not limited to SAE J2719, ASME B31-12, ASME B31-3, ASME BPV Code, NFPA 2 and NFPA 70. Depending on the system, some codes and standards may not apply.

    Prize Criteria

    The criteria were developed through discussion with experts in the field, including members of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee, other DOE offices, and federal agencies, and from responses to a Request for Information (DE-FOA-0000907: RFI—Home Hydrogen Refueler H-Prize Topic, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/financing/solicitations_detail.html?sol_id=600) and public comments on the draft criteria (79 FR 15737).

    Each of the criteria is assigned a 1-5 point scale connected to different ranges. The initial evaluation for winner selection will only consider entries that receive at least the minimum score for each category (not including bonus criteria). In the event that no entry receives at least the minimum score for each category, the process used to determine the winner is defined in the Addendum to the Guidelines below. If any entry receives at least the minimum score for all categories, the Addendum will not be used and the winner will be determined as described below. For some criteria, the ranges for home and community systems may be different. A score multiplying factor will be used to weight the different criteria.

    Dispensing pressure Score Home Community 1 350 bar or higher. 2 400 bar or higher. 3 500 bar or higher. 4 600 bar or higher. 5 700 bar or higher (ultimate goal).

    Dispensing Pressure refers to the pressure of the hydrogen dispensed to the vehicle. Intermediate pressures are listed to incentivize advancements towards low-cost systems that can meet the ultimate target of 700 bar.

    Dispensing time Score Home Community 1 10 hours/kg or less 60 minutes/kg or less. 2 8 hours/kg or less 30 minutes/kg or less. 3 5 hours/kg or less 15 minutes/kg or less. 4 2 hours/kg or less 10 minutes/kg or less. 5 30 minutes/kg or less 3 minutes/kg or less.

    Dispensing time is the time required to dispense a standard fill of hydrogen to a vehicle, including time required to connect the system to the vehicle and begin the hydrogen flow. Home systems may have longer fueling times, up to overnight, while multi-user systems are expected to have shorter fueling times.

    Number of standard fills per day Score Home Community 1 1 or more 5 or more. 2 2 or more 10 or more. 3 3 or more 20 or more. 4 4 or more 40 or more. 5 5 or more up to 50.

    The standard fills per day will be based on the highest number of actual or simulated fills completed in a 24 hour period.

    Tested availability Score Home Community 1 80% or higher. 2 85% or higher. 3 90% or higher. 4 95% or higher. 5 98% or higher.

    Availability will be tested over a period of two to three months, during which time system usage will need to be at least 50% of the planned capacity per week. Any time spent on repairs or non-routine maintenance during the testing period will count as non-available, even if compensated for (e.g., repairs done during scheduled down-time, or using stored hydrogen). The following equation will be used to calculate availability:

    A = (168−Tr−Td−Te)/168 (for weekly calculations; 24hours/day × 7 days = 168 hours) Tr = repair time (time (h) between when a repair or non-planned maintenance intervention is initiated and the system is returned to operational status). Td = delay time (time (h) between when a failure occurs [system can no longer fill or generate hydrogen] and a repair is initiated). Te= Maintenance time in excessive of original planned maintenance time

    Finalists will be required to collect detailed maintenance logs. A template will be provided at a future date. Contestants must provide a preventative/planned maintenance schedule including anticipated downtime and cost (labor and materials) for each planned maintenance event during the submission phase. Planned maintenance cannot exceed 50 hours over the two months. Any maintenance exceeding the original planned amount will be counted against availability in the equation above as Te.

    Total installed system cost (capital + installation) Score Home Community 1 $25k/kg/day or less $15k/kg/day or less. 2 $20k/kg/day or less $12.5k/kg/day or less. 3 $15k/kg/day or less $10k/kg/day or less. 4 $10k/kg/day or less $7.5k/kg/day or less. 5 $5k/kg/day or less $5k/kg/day or less.

    Total Installed System Cost will be based on the actual cost for the system equipment (including balance of plant to the nozzle interface) as well as the installation costs. To eliminate installation cost variations based on geographic location or demonstration site type (e.g., actual home or community site vs. lab installation), DOE will have installation costs estimated by an independent entity based on the system feedstock (i.e., natural gas or electricity), capacity, fuel pressure, type (community vs. home), etc. The total cost for scoring will be based on the amount of hydrogen dispensed per day, up to the upper range for the system category (5 kg/day for the home system, 50 kg/day for the community system)—for example, a home system designed and demonstrated to dispense 1 kg/day with a total installed system cost of $24,000 would score 1 point, while a system designed to dispense 2 kg/day at the same cost would receive a score of 3. Teams will be expected to provide information such as the bill of materials for all components. Details of the specific information requested will be provided to the teams selected for testing. If the system proposed provides heat and/or power in addition to hydrogen for refueling, the total installed system cost of the entire system will be considered when scoring this criterion. Integrated systems that provide heat and/or power in addition to hydrogen for refueling will be awarded bonus points (see bonus points below).

    Direct user cost per kg Score Home Community 1 $20 or less. 2 $17 or less. 3 $14 or less. 4 $11 or less. 5 $8 or less.

    Direct user cost per kg will be based on feedstock inputs and actual operations and maintenance costs during the testing period, divided by the amount of hydrogen that is produced and used. The direct user cost per kg excludes the capital and installation costs, which are included in the total installed system cost category. Feedstock cost inputs will be based on actual usage, using a single price for all entries for each input to eliminate regional variation, based on the EIA 2014 projections for average price to all users: $0.098/kWh for electricity and $6.60/million BTU for natural gas. A single price for water will also be set and used to calculate the direct user costs. All generated and used hydrogen is counted in determining the $/kg—for example, a system that generates 10 kg/day, where 4 kg is used to fuel vehicles and 5 kg is used in a fuel cell to produce power would divide the daily user costs by 9.

    Scoring Scoring criteria
  • category
  • Score
  • multiplier
  • Dispensing pressure 3 Dispensing time 1 Standard fills per day 1 Tested Availability 2 Total installed system cost 2 Direct user cost per kg 1

    A bonus score of up to 3 points will be awarded for integrated systems in order to offset the additional costs associated with adding heat and/or power, based on how much heat or power is provided.

    Bonus points Points Heat or power supplied 1 Supply at least 35 gallons of hot water per day. 1 Supply at least 25,000 BTU/hr of space heating. 1 Supply at least 10 kWh electricity per day. Scoring Example Example A—Makes All the Lowest Scores Criteria category Result Category score Score
  • multiplier
  • Total scores
    Dispensing pressure 360 bar 1 3 3 Dispensing time 8 hours 1 1 1 Standard fills per day 1 1 1 1 Tested Availability 81% 1 2 2 Total Installed System Cost $23k/kg 1 2 2 Direct user cost per kg $19/kg 1 1 1 Bonus categories None 0 0 0 Total 10
    Example B—Mixture of Scoring Levels Criteria category Result Category score Score multiplier Total scores Dispensing pressure 475 bar 2 3 6 Dispensing time 3 hours 3 1 3 Standard fills per day 3 3 1 3 Tested Availability 88% 2 2 4 Total Installed System Cost $18k/kg 2 2 4 Direct user cost per kg $11/kg 4 1 4 Bonus categories Supplies hot water 1 1 Total 25 Judging and Testing

    A panel of independent judges will be assembled from experts in relevant fields, selected by DOE in consultation with HEF. Judges may be selected from organizations such as the Hydrogen Safety Panel, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technical Advisory Committee, National Labs, and relevant federal agencies. An independent testing entity will be selected to perform remote and on-site technical data collection, and an independent auditing oversight entity will collect and analyze the cost data.

    Tie Resolution Process

    If the results for any of the technical criteria for different entries differ by less than the measurement error range, then those systems will be considered tied for that category and given the higher of the two scores (for example, if the pressure measurement error range is 5%, and Entry A has a dispensing pressure of 499 bar and Entry B has a pressure of 500 bar, both will be given 3 points for the category).

    If the top entries' total scores are tied, the entry with the highest measured pressure will win; if the pressure measurements are within the measurement error, the entry with the highest measured availability will be selected as the winner. If the availabilities measurements are within the measurement error, the system with the most standard fills per day will be selected as the winner. If the number of standard fills per day is the same, the system with the shortest dispensing time will be selected as a winner. Otherwise, the entry with the highest score will win.

    III. Competition Requirements and Process Eligibility

    This H-Prize Competition is open to contestants, defined as individuals, entities, or teams that meet the following requirements:

    1. Comply with all Registration and H-Prize Competition Rules and Requirements as listed in this document and in any updates posted on the H-Prize Web site and/or the Federal Register;

    2. In the case of an entity: be organized or incorporated in the United States, and maintain for the duration of the H-Prize Competition a primary place of business in the United States;

    3. In the case of all individuals (whether participating singly or as part of an entity or team): Be a citizen of, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence into, the United States as of the date of Registration in the H-Prize Competition and maintain that status for the duration of the H-Prize Competition;

    4. A team may consist of two or more individuals, entities, or any combination of both. All team members listed on the contestant roster must meet the requirements of individuals or entities.

    5. Provide the following documentation:

    a. In the case of U.S. Citizens: provide proof of U.S. Citizenship with Registration, as follows:

    i. Notarized copy of U.S. Passport, or

    ii. Notarized copies of both a current state-issued photo ID issued from one of the 50 States or a U.S. Territory and a birth certificate;

    b. In the case of aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States: Provide notarized copy of Permanent Resident Card (Form 1-551)(green card) with Registration;

    c. In the case of entities: Provide a copy of the entity formation documentation (e.g. Articles of Incorporation) showing the place of formation, as well as a self-certification of the primary place of business;

    6. The contestant, or any member of a contestant, shall not be a Federal entity, a Federal employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, or an employee of a National Laboratory acting within the scope of his or her employment;

    7. Sign a waiver of claims against the Federal Government and the HEF. See 42 U.S.C. 16396(f)(5)(A);

    8. Obtain liability insurance, or satisfactorily demonstrate financial responsibility, during the period of the H-Prize Competition. See 42 U.S.C. 16396(f)(5)(B)(i);

    9. Name the Federal Government as an additional insured under the registered participants' insurance policy and agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims. See 42 U.S.C. 16396(f)(5)(B)(ii);

    10. Teams and Entities:

    a. Each team or entity will designate a team leader as the sole point of contact with H-Prize Competition officials.

    b. Team or entity members will be identified at the time of Registration on the contestant roster. Members participating on multiple teams will be required to disclose participation to each team.

    c. Changes to contestant rosters will be allowed up to 72 hours prior to the award presentation, provided citizenship and immigration requirements are met.

    Registration Process

    After announcement in the Federal Register, registration and all required eligibility documentation must be completed through the Web site http://hydrogenprize.org no later than one week before the initial data submission deadline. Early registration is encouraged.

    H-Prize Competition Schedule

    Once registered, teams will receive all notices and rules updates, including answers to questions asked by the contestants. The public Web site, http://hydrogenprize.org, will also post this same information, including publicity about various teams and sponsors. Contestants are encouraged to utilize the Web site as a means of highlighting any information they would like to convey to the public or potential sponsors. There are no entry fees.

    On October 29, 2015 contestants will be required to submit initial data (including information on how the data was gathered and measured) and requested financial information for evaluation by a designated panel of judges. Instructions for the initial data submission will be posted on the Web site and sent electronically to the designated contact person for each contestant.

    Testing and evaluations are planned to be completed in October 2016. The winner will be determined after all testing data has been analyzed to determine scoring and any ties resolved as described above. DOE plans to select and announce a winner within three months after the close of the competition.

    Intellectual Property

    Intellectual property rights developed by the contestant for H-Prize technology are set forth in 42 U.S.C. 16396(f)(4). No parties managing the contest, including the U.S. Government, their testing laboratories, judges or H-Prize administrators will claim rights to the intellectual property derived by a registered contestant as a consequence of, or in direct relation to, their participation in this H-Prize Competition. The Government and the contestant may negotiate a license for the Government to use the intellectual property developed by the contestant.

    Cancellation and Team Disqualification

    A contestant may be disqualified for the following reasons:

    • At the request of the registered individual or team leader;

    • Failure to meet or maintain eligibility requirements (note that at the time of the prize award, if it is determined that a contestant has not met or maintained all eligibility requirements, they shall be disqualified without regard to H-Prize Competition performance);

    • Failure to submit required documents or materials on time;

    • Fraudulent acts, statements or misrepresentations involving any H-Prize participation or documentation; or,

    • Violation of any federal, state or local law or regulation.

    DOE reserves the right to cancel this prize program at any time prior to the completion of system testing.

    Liability and Competition Costs

    The Department of Energy, H-Prize, the Hydrogen Education Foundation and any sponsoring or supporting organization assume no liability or responsibility for accidents or injury related to the Prize.

    The entrants are responsible for costs associated with participating in the competition including but not limited to designing, installing and operating their systems.

    Key Dates —October 29, 2014: Competition opens —October 29, 2015: Preliminary data submission date —July 2016: Finalist system testing begins —October 31, 2016: Competition ends, data will be analyzed to determine winner —December 2016: Anticipated award of $1 million prize, if the Panel of Judges determines that there is a winning entry Addendum

    Since opening the competition, feedback has been received that two of the criteria may be overly ambitious and not achievable given technology status and competition timeline. As a result, DOE reassessed the criteria and determined that the total installed system cost and the availability criteria for both home systems and community system are very ambitious. Therefore, the following decision tree is provided to determine a winner in the event that no finalist receives at least a minimum score in each scoring category (scoring criteria does not include bonus criteria). In that scenario, the following decision tree will be used to determine the winner. If any entry receives at least the minimum score for all scoring criteria, the Addendum will not be used and the winner will be determined as previously described.

    BILLING CODE 6450-01-P EN03SE15.003 Issued in Washington, DC on August 27, 2015. Sunita Satyapal, Fuel Cell Technology Office Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21733 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-C
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects and Colorado River Storage Project—Rate Order No. WAPA-169 AGENCY:

    Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of final firm power rate and transmission and ancillary services formula rates.

    SUMMARY:

    The Deputy Secretary of Energy confirmed and approved Rate Order No. WAPA-169 and Rate Schedule SLIP-F10. Through this notice, the Western Area Power Administration (Western) places firm power rates for Western's Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects (SLCA/IP) into effect on an interim basis. The Deputy Secretary also confirmed Rate Schedules SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1. Through this notice, Western places firm and non-firm transmission and ancillary services formula rates on the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) transmission system into effect on an interim basis. The provisional rates will be in effect until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirms, approves, and places these into effect on a final basis or until these are replaced by other rates. The provisional rates will provide sufficient revenue to pay all annual costs, including interest expense, and repay required investments and irrigation aid within the allowable periods.

    DATES:

    Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on October 1, 2015, and will be in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Lynn C. Jeka, CRSP Manager, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, Western Area Power Administration, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, UT 84111-1580, (801) 524-6372, email [email protected], or Mr. Rodney G. Bailey, Power Marketing Manager, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, Western Area Power Administration, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, UT 84111-1580, (801) 524-4007, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Western proposed the rates for the SLCA/IP firm power and CRSP transmission and ancillary services rates on December 9, 2014 (79 FR 73067). On January 15, 2015, Western held a public information forum in Salt Lake City, Utah. On February 5, 2015, Western held a public comment forum in Salt Lake City, Utah. After considering the comments received, Western announced the rates for the SLCA/IP firm power and CRSP transmission and ancillary services.

    The existing Rate Schedule SLIP-F9 for SLCA/IP firm power and Rate Schedules SP-PTP7, SP-NW3, SP-NFT6, SP-SD3, SP-RS3, SP-EI3, SP-FR3, and SP-SSR3 for CRSP Transmission and Ancillary Services were approved under Rate Order No. WAPA-137 1 for a 5-year period beginning October 1, 2008, and ending September 30, 2013. The Deputy Secretary of Energy approved Rate Order No. WAPA-161 2 on September 6, 2013, extending the rates through September 30, 2015.

    1 FERC confirmed and approved Rate Order No. WAPA-137 on June 19, 2009, in Docket EF08-5171. See United States Department of Energy, Western Area Power Administration, Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects, 127 FERC ¶ 62,220 (June 19, 2009).

    2 Rate Order No. WAPA-161, approved by the Deputy Secretary of Energy on September 6, 2013 (78 FR 56692, September 13, 2013), and filed with FERC for informational purposes only.

    The existing firm power Rate Schedule SLIP-F9 is being superseded by Rate Schedule SLIP-F10. The current capacity rate and energy rate under WAPA-137 remain sufficient to cover Operations Maintenance & Replacements and required repayment. Western will continue to use the existing energy charge of 12.19 mills/kWh and capacity charge of $5.18/kWmonth. However, the composite rate, which is used for comparison purposes only and is not part of the billing component, will decrease from 29.62 to 29.42 mills/kWh. The composite rate is calculated by dividing the average revenue requirement for the rate-setting period by the average energy sales. The change in the composite rate is driven in large part by changes in the average energy sales due to changes in Project Use energy requirements. Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will be in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Under this rate action, Western makes the following changes to the existing rates as originally proposed:

    1. The firm power rate will continue to include a cost recovery mechanism to adequately maintain a sufficient cash balance in the Upper Colorado River Basin Fund (Basin Fund) when, among other things, the balance is at risk due to low hydropower generation, high prices for firming power, and funding for capitalized investments. The Cost Recovery Charge (CRC) is not a component of the firm power rate because the rate is set to collect sufficient revenue for repayment in the Power Repayment Study (PRS) and is not tied to the cash balance of the Basin Fund. Western is modifying the CRC by adopting a tiered implementation approach to afford Western discretion in implementing a potential CRC. Under the current criteria, if the CRC is triggered, Western must initiate the CRC regardless of the balance in the Basin Fund. This may potentially cause a CRC to be initiated when it is not necessary due to the projected ending balance of the fund being higher than the minimum amount Western's management has determined as an acceptable ending balance. Allowing Western to have discretion will ensure a CRC is only initiated when the projected ending balance of the Basin Fund is below $40 million.

    2. Western is adopting forward-looking methodology used to calculate the Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement (ATRR). This methodology allows Western to recover costs in line with the FY following when the cost occurred. In addition to annual audited financial data, Western will use projections from the 10-Year Plan and current year-to-date financial data for the annual rate calculation. This is a change in the manner in which the inputs for the rate are developed, rather than a change to the formula rate itself. Western will use a “true-up” procedure to ensure that no more and no less than the actual transmission costs are recovered for the year.

    3. Western proposes to use a formula-based rate for the Regulation and Frequency Response Ancillary Service that will more accurately reflect the incurred costs rather than using the SLCA/IP firm power capacity rate. This proposed change will be more in line with other Western Federal transmission providers.

    4. Add a rate schedule for Unreserved Use, SP-UU1. The rate will be set at 200 percent of the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center's (CRSP MC) current transmission rate. Currently, the CRSP MC is using an “Unauthorized Use” charge that is at 150 percent of the current transmission rate. Increasing the charge to 200 percent brings the CRSP MC in line with other Western Federal transmission providers in the Balancing Authority (BA).

    5. Update all CRSP rate schedules that use the BA rates to reference the appropriate BA rate schedule.

    After reviewing customer comments, Western is not finalizing the following proposals in the Rate Order:

    1. Western will not use the proposed composite rate of 29.93 mills/kWh, but will continue to charge the energy and capacity rates from the SLIP-F9 Rate Schedule. Western agrees with the customers' assessment that the current rate remains sufficient to recover costs and repayment (see item 2. below).

    2. The CRSP MC forecasts 5 years of firming purchased power in the PRS using the April, 24-month hydrology study from the Bureau of Reclamation. This reflects the firming purchase power requirements between projected generation and contract obligations. For the remaining out-years, a forecast of $4 million a year is projected to cover operational costs for the Energy Management and Marketing Office in Montrose, Colorado. Western proposed to add the projected $4 million to the first 5 years based on anticipated annual operational needs beyond firming purchases. Western will not include the addition of the $4 million per year increase at this time. Consistent with the procedures at 10 CFR part 903, Western will consider whether to refine the purchase power cost estimates.

    By Delegation Order No. 00-037.00A, effective October 25, 2013, the Secretary of Energy delegated: (1) The authority to develop power and transmission rates to Western's Administrator, (2) the authority to confirm, approve, and place such rates into effect on an interim basis to the Deputy Secretary of Energy, and (3) the authority to confirm, approve, and place into effect on a final basis, to remand or to disapprove such rates to FERC. Existing Department of Energy procedures for public participation in power rate adjustments (10 CFR part 903) were published on September 18, 1985.

    Under Delegation Order Nos. 00-037.00A and 00-001.00F, and in compliance with 10 CFR part 903 and 18 CFR part 300, I hereby confirm, approve, and place Rate Order No. WAPA-169, the provisional SLCA/IP firm power rate, CRSP firm and non-firm transmission rates, and ancillary services rates into effect on an interim basis. The new Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be promptly submitted to FERC for confirmation and approval on a final basis.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary of Energy. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DEPUTY SECRETARY

    In the matter of: Western Area Power Administration Rate Adjustment for the Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects and Colorado River Storage Project; Rate Order No. WAPA-169

    ORDER CONFIRMING, APPROVING, AND PLACING THE SALT LAKE CITY AREA INTEGRATED PROJECTS FIRM POWER, COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT TRANSMISSION AND ANCILLARY SERVICES RATES INTO EFFECT ON AN INTERIM BASIS

    These rates were established in accordance with section 302 of the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7152). This Act transferred to and vested in the Secretary of Energy the power marketing functions of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) under the Reclamation Act of 1902 (ch. 1093, 32 Stat. 388), as amended and supplemented by subsequent laws, particularly section 9(c) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)), and other acts that specifically apply to the project involved.

    By Delegation Order No. 00-037.00A, effective October 25, 2013, the Secretary of Energy delegated: (1) the authority to develop power and transmission rates to Western Area Power Administration's (Western) Administrator, (2) the authority to confirm, approve, and place such rates into effect on an interim basis to the Deputy Secretary of Energy, and (3) the authority to confirm, approve, and place into effect on a final basis, to remand or to disapprove such rates to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Existing DOE procedures for public participation in power rate adjustments (10 CFR part 903) were published on September 18, 1985.

    Acronyms and Definitions

    As used in this Rate Order, the following acronyms and definitions apply:

    AHP: Available Hydropower. ATRR: Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement. Balancing Authority: The responsible entity that integrates resource plans ahead of time, maintains load-interchange-generation balance within a designated area, and supports interconnection frequency in real-time. Basin Fund: Upper Colorado River Basin Fund. BFBB: Basin Fund Beginning Balance as used in the CRC formula. BFTB: Basin Fund Target Balance as used in the CRC formula. Capacity: The electric capability of a generator, transformer, transmission circuit, or other equipment. It is expressed in kW. Capacity Rate: The rate which sets forth the charges for capacity. It is expressed in $/kWmonth and applied to each kW of the Contract Rate of Delivery (CROD). CDP: Customer Displacement Power. Composite Rate: The rate for firm power which is the total annual revenue requirement for capacity and energy divided by the total annual energy sales. It is expressed in mills/kWh and used for comparison purposes. CRC: Cost Recovery Charge. A mechanism to assist in recovery of purchased power costs during financial hardship. CRCE: CRC Energy (GWh) as used in the CRC and PYA formulas. CRCEP: CRC Energy Percentage of full SHP as used in the CRC and PYA formulas. CROD: Contract Rate of Delivery. The maximum amount of capacity made available to a preference customer for a period specified under a contract. CRSP: Colorado River Storage Project. CRSP Act: An act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct, operate, and maintain the Colorado River Storage Project and Participating Projects, and for other purposes. (Act of April 11, 1956, ch. 203, 70 Stat. 105.) CRSP MC: The CRSP Management Center of Western Area Power Administration. Customer: An entity with a contract that is receiving firm electric service and transmission from Western's CRSP MC. DOE Order RA 6120.2: A DOE order outlining power marketing administration financial reporting and ratemaking procedures. DSW: The Desert Southwest Region of Western Area Power Administration. EA: SHP Energy Allocation (GWh) as used in the CRC formula. EAC: Sum of customers' energy allocations subject to the PYA formula. Energy: Power produced or delivered over a period of time. It is expressed in kilowatthours. Energy Rate: The rate which sets forth the charges for energy. It is expressed in mills/kWh and applied to each kWh delivered to each customer. FA: Funds Available as used in the CRC formula. FA1: Basin Fund Balance Factor as used in the CRC formula. FA2: Revenue Factor as used in the CRC formula. FARR: Additional revenue to be recovered as used in the CRC formula. FE: Forecasted purchased energy as used in the CRC formula. FFC: Forecasted average energy price per MWh as used in the CRC and PYA formulas. Firm: A type of product and/or service always available at the time requested by the customer. FRN: Federal Register notice. FX: Forecasted energy purchased expense as used in the CRC formula. FY: Fiscal year is the period from October 1 to September 30. GWh: Gigawatthour. The electrical unit of energy that equals 1 billion watt-hours or 1 million kWh. HE: Forecasted hydro energy as used in the CRC formula. Integrated Projects: The resources and revenue requirements of the Collbran, Dolores, Rio Grande, and Seedskadee projects blended together with the CRSP to create the SLCA/IP resources and rate. kW: Kilowatt. The electrical unit of capacity that equals 1,000 watts. kWh: Kilowatthour. The electrical unit of energy that equals 1,000 watts produced or delivered in 1 hour. kWmonth: Kilowattmonth. The electrical unit of a monthly amount of capacity. kWyear: Kilowattyear. The electrical unit of a yearly amount of capacity. Load: The amount of electric power or energy delivered or required at any specified point(s) on a system. Load-Ratio Share: Network customer's hourly load (including its designated network load not physically interconnected with Western) coincident with Western's monthly CRSP transmission system peak. MAF: Million Acre-Feet. The amount of water required to cover 1 million acres, 1 foot in depth. Mill: A monetary denomination of the United States that equals one-tenth of a cent or one-thousandth of a dollar. Mills/kWh: Mills per kilowatthour. A unit of charge for energy. MW: Megawatt. The electrical unit of capacity that equals 1 million watts or 1,000 kilowatts. MWh: One million watt-hours of electric energy. A unit of electrical energy which equals 1 megawatt of power used for 1 hour. NATRR: Net Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement. NB: Net Balance as used in the CRC formula. NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.). Non-firm: A type of product and/or service not always available for use when requested by the customer. NR: The net revenue remaining after paying all annual expenses as used in the CRC formula. OASIS: Open Access Same-Time Information System. O&M: Operation and Maintenance. OM&R: Operation, Maintenance, and Replacements. PAE: Projected Annual Expenses as used in the CRC formula. PAR: Projected Annual Revenue without the CRC as used in the CRC formula. Participating Projects: The projects participating with CRSP according to the CRSP Act of 1956 (43 U.S.C. 620). PFE: Prior year actual firming energy as used in the PYA formula. PFX: Prior year actual firming expenses as used in the PYA formula. Pinch Point: The nearest future year in the PRS where cumulative expenses and required payments equal cumulative revenues. Power: Capacity and energy. Preference: The provisions of Reclamation Law which require Western to first make Federal power available to certain entities. For example, section 9(c) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)) states that preference in the sale of Federal power shall be given to municipalities and other public corporations or agencies and also to cooperatives and other nonprofit organizations financed in whole or in part by loans made under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Price: Average price per MWh for purchased power as used in the CRC formula. Project Use: Power used to operate the CRSP Participating Projects facilities under Reclamation Law. Proposed Rate: A rate that has been recommended by Western to the Deputy Secretary of Energy for approval. Provisional Rate: A rate which has been confirmed, approved, and placed into effect on an interim basis by the Deputy Secretary of Energy. PRS: Power Repayment Study. PYA: Prior Year Adjustment as used in the CRC formula. RA: Revenue Adjustment as used in the PYA formula. Rate Brochure: A document explaining the rationale and background for the rate proposal contained in this Rate Order dated January 2015. Ratesetting PRS: The PRS used for the rate adjustment proposal. Reclamation Law: A series of Federal laws, viewed as a whole, that create the originating framework under which Western markets power. Revenue Requirement: The revenue required to recover annual expenses, such as O&M, purchased power, transmission service expenses, interest, deferred expenses, repayment of Federal investments, and other assigned costs. RMR: Rocky Mountain Region of Western Area Power Administration. SHP: Sustainable Hydropower as defined in the firm power contracts for SLCA/IP. SLCA/IP: Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects. The resources and revenue requirements of the Collbran, Dolores, Rio Grande, and Seedskadee projects blended together with the CRSP to create the SLCA/IP rate. Supporting Documentation: A compilation of data and documents that support the Rate Brochure and the Proposed Rate. TRC: Transmission Revenue Credits. True-up: True-up to actuals. Western will reconcile actual transmission costs against projections and adjust the transmission revenue requirements in a subsequent fiscal year. This ensures Western will recover no more and no less than the actual costs for that year. TSTL: CRSP Transmission System Total Load. WACM: Western Area Colorado Missouri. WL: Waiver Level as used in the CRC formula. WLP: Waiver Level Percentage of full SHP as used in the CRC formula. WPR: Work Program Review. The work plan is a draft estimate of costs that are expected to be included in the Congressional Budget for Western and Reclamation and the basis for budget estimates to be used in the PRS. WRP: Western Replacement Power as defined in the firm electric service contracts for SLCA/IP. Effective Date

    Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will be in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Public Notice and Comment

    Western followed the Procedures for Public Participation in Power and Transmission Rate Adjustments and Extensions, 10 CFR part 903, in developing these rates. The steps Western took to involve interested parties in the rate process were:

    1. Western publicly announced the rate action on June 24, 2014, during the formal customer meeting, to all SLCA/IP customers and interested parties.

    2. Western published an FRN on December 9, 2014 (79 FR 73067), announcing the proposed rates for the SLCA/IP firm power and CRSP transmission and ancillary services rates, initiating a public consultation and comment period and setting forth the dates and locations of public information and public comment forums.

    3. On December 12, 2014, Western's CRSP MC mailed an announcement of the January 15, 2015, public information forum to all SLCA/IP Preference customers, CRSP transmission customers, and interested parties, along with the Rate Brochure, which contains a copy of the published FRN proposal. This information was also posted to the CRSP MC Web page, http://www.wapa.gov/crsp/ratescrsp.

    4. On January 15, 2015, Western held a public information forum in Salt Lake City, Utah. Western provided detailed explanations about the proposed SLCA/IP firm power rate and the CRSP transmission and ancillary services rates. Western provided the Rate Brochure, supporting documentation, and informational handouts at this meeting.

    5. On February 5, 2015, Western held a public comment forum in Salt Lake City, Utah, to provide the public an opportunity to comment for the record. Western reiterated that the comment and consultation period ended March 13, 2015.

    6. Western received eight comment letters during the consultation and comment period. All comments have been considered in preparing this Rate Order.

    Comments

    Written comments were received from the following organizations:

    Arizona's Generation and Transmission Cooperatives, Arizona Arizona Tribal Energy Association, Arizona Colorado River Commission of Nevada, Nevada Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, Arizona Deseret Power Electric Cooperative, Utah Irrigation and Electric Districts of Arizona, Arizona Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Colorado Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Utah

    Representatives of the following organizations made oral comments:

    Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, Arizona Deseret Power Electric Cooperative, Utah Project Description

    The SLCA/IP consists of the CRSP, Collbran, and Rio Grande projects, which were integrated for marketing and ratemaking purposes on October 1, 1987, and two participating projects of the CRSP that have power facilities, the Dolores and the Seedskadee. The goals of integration were to increase marketable resources, simplify contract and rate development and project administration by creating one power rate and ensure repayment of the projects' costs. The Integrated Projects maintain their individual identities for financial accounting and repayment purposes, but their revenue requirements are integrated into the SLCA/IP PRS for ratemaking. The present CRSP point-to-point, network, and non-firm transmission rates, outlined in Rate Schedules SP-PTP7, SP-NW3, and SP-NFT6 became effective on October 1, 2008. On September 6, 2013, the Deputy Secretary of Energy extended the SLCA/IP firm power and CRSP transmission and ancillary services rates through September 30, 2015.

    Power Repayment Study—Firm Power Rate

    Western prepares a PRS each year to determine if revenues will be sufficient to repay, within the required time, all costs assigned to the SLCA/IP. Repayment criteria are based on applicable laws and policies, including DOE Order RA 6120.2. To meet Cost Recovery Criteria outlined in DOE Order RA 6120.2, revised studies and rate adjustments have been developed to demonstrate that sufficient revenues will be collected under provisional Rates to meet future obligations.

    The current capacity rate and energy rate under Rate Schedule SLIP-F9 remain sufficient to cover OM&R and required repayment. Western will continue to use the existing energy charge of 12.19 mills/kWh and capacity charge of $5.18/kWmonth. However, the composite rate, which is used for comparison purposes only and is not part of the billing component, will decrease from 29.62 to 29.42 mills/kWh. The composite rate is calculated by dividing the average revenue requirement for the ratesetting period by the average energy sales. The change in the composite rate is driven in large part by changes in the average energy sales due to changes in Project Use energy requirements.

    Comparison of Current and Proposed Firm Power Rates Current Rate
  • October 1, 2008-
  • September 30, 2015 *
  • Proposed Rate
  • October 1, 2015
  • Total
  • Percent
  • Increase
  • Rate Schedule SLIP-F9 SLIP-F10 Energy (mills/kWh) 12.19 12.19 0 Capacity ($/kWmonth) 5.18 5.18 0 Composite Rate (mills/kWh) 29.62 29.42 −1 *Approved under Rate Order No. WAPA-137 for a 5-year period beginning October 1, 2008, and ending September 30, 2013. The Deputy Secretary of Energy approved Rate Order No. WAPA-161 on September 6, 2013, extending the rates through September 30, 2015.
    Cost Recovery Charge

    Western will continue the CRC calculation and assessment in the provisional rate schedule as it has historically been established and will implement an additional triggering mechanism as shown in the below table. The CRC will use “tiers,” as outlined in the table, to quantify the need for a CRC based on the balance of the Basin Fund and Western's ability to meet contractual requirements. Western will implement the CRC per the criteria in the tiers.

    CRC Based on the Tiers Below Tier Criteria, if the BFBB is: Review i Greater than $150 million, with an expected decrease to below $75 million Annually. ii Less than $150 million but greater than $120 million, with an expected 50-percent decrease in the next FY iii Less than $120 million but greater than $90 million, with an expected 40-percent decrease in the next FY iv Less than $90 million but greater than $60 million, with an expected 25-percent decrease in the next FY Semi-annual (May/November). v Less than $60 million but greater than $40 million with an expected decrease to below $40 million in the next FY Monthly.

    The CRC is based on a Basin Fund cash analysis only and is independent of the PRS calculations. In the event that expenses significantly exceed estimates and in order to adequately recover and maintain a sufficient balance in the Basin Fund, Western will calculate and assess a CRC. The CRC is designed to maintain a Basin Fund Target Balance (BFTB) for the following FY. The minimum Basin Fund targeted carryover balance is $40 million. The methodology for calculating the CRC is addressed in the Schedule of Rates for Firm Power Service, SLIP-F10. Western will continue to include a mechanism that allows for the recalculation of the CRC if annual water releases from Glen Canyon Dam fall below 8.23 million acre-feet, regardless of the Basin Fund balance.

    CRSP Transmission Service Rates

    Transmission formula rates, including those for Firm and Non-Firm Point-To-Point Transmission Service and Network Integration Transmission Service, are designed to recover the annual costs of the CRSP Transmission System. The transmission rates include the cost of Scheduling, System Control, and Dispatch Service. Western will continue to bundle CRSP transmission service in the SLCA/IP Power rate.

    A penalty for unauthorized use of transmission will now be assessed under a new rate schedule, SP-UU1. Unreserved Use Penalties will include the basic rate for the transmission service used and not reserved plus a penalty equal to 200 percent of the basic rate.

    Transmission losses, as posted on the RMR OASIS, are assessed for all real-time and prescheduled transactions on transmission facilities inside the Western Area Colorado Missouri (WACM) balancing authority.

    According to DOE Order RA 6120.2, Western is required to recover revenues for investments in the first year following the FY in which the investment goes into commercial service. Adopting the forward-looking methodology to calculate the Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement (ATRR) will allow Western to better recover costs in the FY following occurrence. In addition to annual audited financial data, Western will use projections from the 10-Year Plan, the Budget Year Workplan, and current year-to-date financial data for the annual rate calculation. The 10-Year Plan and the Budget Year Workplan used in the forward-looking calculations are provided to customers at annual customer meetings. This is a change in the manner in which the inputs for the rate are developed, rather than a change to the formula rate itself.

    Western will use a true-up procedure to ensure that the actual transmission costs are recovered for that year. When the annual audited financial data is available, Western will calculate the actual ATRR for that year. Western will compare the actual ATRR to the projected ATRR and apply the difference as an adjustment to the ATRR in a subsequent year.

    Firm Point-to-Point

    The firm point-to-point transmission rate will be based upon annual audited financial data and projections to the end of the current FY, using the annual forward-looking methodology described in the preceding paragraphs. The ATRR, as also described above, will be offset by appropriate revenue credits. The resultant NATRR will be divided by the capacity reserved for firm power and transmission commitments, including the total network integration loads at system peak, to derive a cost/kWyear. Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will be in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded. The cost/kWyear is calculated using the following formula:

    (1) ATRR-TRC=NATRR (2) NATRR    ——————    TSTL Where: ATRR = Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement: The costs associated with facilities that support the transfer capability of the CRSP transmission system, excluding generation facilities. These costs include investment costs, interest expenses, depreciation expense, administrative and general expenses, and operation and maintenance expense, including transmission purchases. Transmission purchases reflect those costs associated with CRSP contractual rights. TRC = Transmission Revenue Credits: The revenues generated by the CRSP transmission system not related to the revenues from the sale of long-term firm transmission. NATRR = Net Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement: The Annual Revenue Requirement minus Transmission Revenue Credits. TSTL = CRSP Transmission System Total Load: The sum of the total CRSP transmission capacity under long-term reservation including the total network integration loads at system peak. Non-Firm, Point-to-Point Transmission

    The provisional rate for non-firm, point-to-point, CRSP transmission service is a mills/kWh rate, which is based upon the firm point-to-point rate and may be discounted. This rate will be concurrent with the firm, point-to-point rate and will also be reviewed annually. Transmission availability will be posted on Western's OASIS.

    Network Transmission

    The provisional rate for network transmission service is a formula calculation based on the annual transmission revenue requirement. There will be no changes from the existing network integration transmission service formula under Rate Schedule SP-NW3 to the provisional network integration transmission service formula under Rate Schedule SP-NW4.

    Ancillary Services Discussion

    Western will offer six ancillary services pursuant to its Tariff: (1) Scheduling, system control, and dispatch service; (2) reactive supply, and voltage control from generation or other sources service; (3) regulation and frequency response service; (4) energy imbalance service; (5) spinning reserve service; and (6) supplemental reserve service. The ancillary services formula rates are designed to recover only the costs associated with providing the service(s). These services will be offered either by CRSP or the WACM balancing authority. Sales of regulation and frequency response, energy imbalance, spinning reserve, and supplemental reserve services from SLCA/IP power resources are limited since Western has allocated the SLCA/IP power resources to preference entities under long-term commitments. Western will continue to use market-based rates to determine its rate for spinning and supplemental reserves under the Rate Schedule SSP-SSR4. The availability of ancillary service will be determined based on excess resources available at the time the services are requested, except for scheduling, system control, and dispatch service; and reactive supply, and voltage control from generation or other sources, which are required to be provided in conjunction with the sale of CRSP transmission services.

    Certification of Rates

    Western's Administrator certified that the provisional rates for SLCA/IP firm power and CRSP transmission and ancillary services under Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 are the lowest possible rates consistent with sound business principles. The provisional rates were developed following administrative policies and applicable laws.

    SLCA/IP Firm Power Rate Discussion

    Pursuant to Reclamation Law, Western must establish power rates sufficient to recover O&M expenses, purchased power expenses, interest expenses, and repayment of power investment and irrigation aid.

    The CRSP MC forecasts 5 years of firming purchased power in the PRS using the April, 24-month hydrology study from Reclamation. This 5-year forecast reflects the firming purchase power requirements between projected generation and contract obligations. For the remaining out-years, a forecast of $4 million a year is projected to cover operational costs for the Energy Management and Marketing Office in Montrose, Colorado. Western proposed to add the projected $4 million to the first 5 years based on anticipated annual operational needs beyond firming purchases. Western will not include the addition of the $4 million per year increase at this time and will, consistent with the procedures at 10 CFR part 903, consider whether to refine the purchase power cost estimates.

    The current capacity rate and energy rate under Rate Schedule SLIP-F9 remains sufficient to cover OM&R and required repayment. Western will continue to use the existing energy charge of 12.19 mills/kWh and capacity charge of $5.18/kWmonth. However, the composite rate, which is used for comparison purposes only and is not part of the billing component, will decrease from 29.62 to 29.42 mills/kWh. The composite rate is calculated by dividing the average revenue requirement for the ratesetting period by the average energy sales. The change in the composite rate is driven in large part by changes in the average energy sales due to changes in Project Use energy requirements.

    Statement of Revenue and Related Expenses SLCA/IP Firm Power Comparison of 5-Year Rate Period (FY 2016-FY 2020) Total Revenues and Expenses [$000] Item Existing Rate
  • 2010 Workplan
  • Provisional
  • 2017 Workplan
  • Change
  • Amount
  • Ratesetting Period: Beginning year 2010 2016 Pinchpoint year 2025 2025 Number of ratesetting years 16 10 Annual Revenue Requirements: Expenses Operation and Maintenance: Western $40,514 $52,631 $12,117 Reclamation 30,092 34,535 4,443 Total O&M 70,606 87,166 16,560 Purchased Power 5,163 10,279 5,116 Transmission 10,525 10,421 (104) Integrated Projects requirements 7,286 8,611 1,325 Interest 3,693 6,177 2,484 Other 2,984 14,587 11,603 Total Expenses 100,257 137,240 36,983 Principal payments Deficits 0 0 0 Replacements 28,652 32,084 3,432 Original Project and Additions 17,936 2,232 (15,704) Irrigation 38,744 12,317 (26,427) Total principal payments 85,332 46,633 (38,699) Total Annual Revenue Requirements: 185,589 183,873 (1,716) (Less Offsetting Annual Revenue:) Transmission (firm and non-firm) 18,045 19,640 1,595 Merchant Function 8,309 9,918 1,609 Other 7,687 5,118 (2,569) Total Offsetting Annual Revenue 34,041 34,676 635 Net Annual Revenue Requirements: 151,548 149,197 (2,351) Energy Sales 5,116,346 5,071,804 (44,542) Capacity Sales 1,434,946 1,407,920 (27,026) Composite Rate (mills/kWh) 29.62 29.42 −.20
    Basis for Rate Development

    The provisional rates will provide sufficient revenue to pay all annual costs, including interest expense, and repayment of power investment and irrigation aid within the allowable periods. Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will be in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded. Provisions for transformer losses adjustment, power factor adjustment, WRP administrative charge, and CDP administrative charge adjustments are part of the provisional rates for SLCA/IP firm power. Western will not modify the provisions and methodologies for these adjustments, which will remain as specified in Rate Schedule SLIP-F10.

    CRSP Transmission Service Discussion

    The firm and non-firm transmission formula rates apply to all transmission-only sales. The provisional formula rates include transmission rates as described in Rate Schedules SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, and SP-NFPT-7. The transmission rates include the cost for scheduling, system control, and dispatch service. The cost of transmission service for Western's SLCA/IP long-term firm electric service will continue to be included in the SLCA/IP firm power rate. Transmission services are outlined in Western's Tariff.

    Change to Forward-Looking Transmission Rates

    Western changed the inputs used to calculate the ATRR to recover transmission expenses and investments on a current basis rather than a historical basis. The change allows Western to more accurately match cost recovery with cost incurrence. Western will use current, year-to-date costs as the basis for projecting the full current year's transmission costs for the upcoming year in the annual rate calculation, rather than using only historical information.

    When the actual annual audited financial data are available, Western will calculate the actual revenue requirement for that year. Revenue collected in excess of the actual revenue requirement will be included as a credit in the ATRR in a subsequent year. Similarly, any under-collection of the revenue requirement will be included as a charge in the ATRR in a subsequent year. This true-up procedure will ensure that Western recovers no more and no less than the actual transmission costs for that year.

    Unreserved Use Penalties

    Unreserved use of the transmission system (Unreserved Use) occurs when a transmission customer uses transmission service that exceeds its reserved capacity or an eligible customer uses transmission service it has not reserved. Western will assess Unreserved Use Penalties against a customer that has not secured reserved capacity or exceeds its reserved capacity at any point of receipt or any point of delivery. Unreserved Use may also be assessed due to a transmission customer's failure to curtail transmission when requested.

    A customer that engages in Unreserved Use will be assessed a penalty charge of 200 percent of the CRSP transmission service rate for Firm Point-to-Point Transmission Service as follows:

    1. The Unreserved Use penalty for a single hour of Unreserved Use will be based upon the rate for daily Firm Point-to-Point Service.

    2. The Unreserved Use penalty for more than one assessment for a given duration (e.g., daily) will increase to the next longest duration (e.g., weekly).

    3. The Unreserved Use penalty charge for multiple instances of Unreserved Use (e.g., more than one hour) within a day will be based on the rate for daily Firm Point-to-Point Service. Multiple instances of Unreserved Use isolated to 1 calendar week will result in a penalty based on the charge for weekly Firm Point-to-Point Service. The penalty charge for multiple instances of Unreserved Use during more than 1 week during a calendar month will be based on the charge for monthly Firm Point-to-Point Service.

    A transmission customer that exceeds its firm reserved capacity at any point of receipt or point of delivery or an eligible customer that uses transmission service at a point of receipt or point of delivery that it has not reserved will be required to pay, in addition to the Unreserved Use Penalties, for all applicable Ancillary Services identified in Western's Tariff based on the amount of transmission service it used and did not reserve.

    Unreserved Use Penalties collected will be included as a credit in the calculation of the ATRR in a subsequent year.

    Comments

    The comments and responses regarding the firm power, transmission, and ancillary services rates, paraphrased for brevity when not affecting the meaning of the statement(s), are discussed below. Direct quotes from comment letters are used for clarity where necessary. The rate process issues discussed are (1) Purchased Power Component, (2) Transmission and Ancillary Services, (3) Unreserved Use Charge, (4) Firm Electric Service Rate Adjustment, (5) Cost Recovery Charge, and (6) Miscellaneous.

    1. Purchased Power Component

    Comment: Many customers commented that Western should, in consultation with customers, refine the purchased-power, cost-estimating tools, rather than adopting the proposed methodology.

    Response: Western will not add $4 million to the first 5 years of purchased power projections to meet the operational contingencies of the Energy Management and Marketing Office in Montrose, Colorado. Consistent with the procedures at 10 CFR part 903, Western will consider whether to refine the purchase power cost estimation.

    2. Transmission and Ancillary Services

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concerns about Western changing to a forward-looking transmission rate methodology, stating Western has no data to show the historical method of using actual data from 2 years prior is insufficient in collecting adequate revenues.

    Response: Western appreciates the customers' concerns. The change allows Western to more accurately match cost recovery with cost incurrence. Western will use current, year-to-date costs in addition to a review of the Construction Work in Progress financial report and the 10-Year Capital Plan by the CRSP MC as the basis for projecting the full, current year's transmission costs for the upcoming year in the annual rate calculation, rather than using only historical information. The method is a change in the manner in which the inputs for the rate are developed, rather than a change to the formula rate itself.

    Comment: A commenter raised concern about how the forecast and true-up information would interface and be consistent with the work program review and asset management processes.

    Response: The data sources, which will be used for the transmission cost projections, are reviewed annually at the 10-Year Capital Plan customer meeting prior to the annual rate calculation. In addition to these current year financial data, coupled with a mid-year review by the CRSP MC of which investments should be completed by the end of the current FY, will ensure that the most accurate projections will be used in the annual transmission rate recalculation. The true-up process is independent of the work program review and asset management process.

    Comment: Some commenters stated that the additional labor for Western associated with the forward-looking methodology would also likely create additional burden on the customers.

    Response: Western's staff appreciates and understands the customers' concern, but does not foresee any burden to the customer in this process. Western's staff prepared a parallel transmission rate recalculation for the FY 2014 rate using the forward-looking methodology, and this required only 8 hours of additional labor to process the true-up to actuals from the previous FY projections. Western believes the impact on the workload will be negligible.

    Comment: A commenter expressed concern that the forward-looking methodology may result in an over-collection of funds from the SLIP customers.

    Response: Western will true-up the estimates with actual costs and loads at the end of each FY. Revenue collected in excess of Western's actual net revenue requirement will be returned through a credit adjustment to the ATRR in a subsequent year. Actual revenues that are less than the net revenue requirement will be recovered through an adjustment to the ATRR in a subsequent year. The true-up procedure will ensure that Western will recover no more and no less than the actual costs for the year from the SLIP customers.

    3. Unreserved Use Charge

    Comment: A commenter stated “There is insufficient due process afforded a customer if Western adopts a change to terms and conditions for transmission service in the context of a rate proposal.”

    Response: The public process followed in implementing this new rate schedule for an Unreserved Use Charge affords transmission customers adequate opportunity to comment on the proposed penalty.

    4. Firm Electric Service Rate Adjustment

    Comment: Many comments were received expressing a concern that the SLIP-F9 rate is sufficient to pay all required costs and should not be adjusted at this time.

    Response: Based on Western's decision to postpone implementation of the $4 million operational contingency in the first 5 years for purchase power, Western agrees with the customer's assessment that the current rate remains sufficient to recover costs and repayment. Both the energy rate of 12.19 mills per kilowatthour (mills/kWh), and the capacity rate of $5.18 per kWmonth will remain the same. However, the composite rate, which is used for comparison purposes only and is not part of the billing component, will decrease from 29.62 to 29.42 mills/kWh. The composite rate is calculated by dividing the average revenue requirement for the ratesetting period by the average energy sales. The change in the composite rate is driven in large part by changes in the average energy sales due to changes in Project Use energy requirements.

    5. Cost Recovery Charge (CRC)

    Comment: Customers commented in support of the proposed revision to the CRC as outlined in the rate brochure, specifically tables 8-11, and believe that the discussions between the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA) and Western pursuant to the 1992 Agreement 3 regarding the Basin Fund, cash management, and returns to Treasury are important elements of the CRC consultation and decision-making process.

    3 Letter Agreement No. 92-SLC-0208 and Agreement No. 96-SLC-0315.

    Response: Western appreciates the customers' support. Western will implement the proposed CRC revision and will continue with the customer-consultation process.

    6. Miscellaneous

    Comment: Many customers expressed appreciation for the level of detail and description contained in the December 2014 Rate Brochure and Western's timely written response to questions posed at the Information Forum in advance of the Comment Forum.

    Response: Western appreciates the customers' support.

    Availability of Information

    Information about this rate adjustment, including PRSs, comments, letters, memorandums, and other supporting material made or kept by Western and used to develop the provisional rates, is available for public review at the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, Western Area Power Administration, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah, or at Western's Web page: https://www.wapa.gov/regions/CRSP/rates/Pages/rate-order-169.aspx.

    RATEMAKING PROCEDURE REQUIREMENTS Environmental Compliance

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and DOE NEPA Regulations (10 CFR part 1021), Western has determined that this action is categorically excluded from preparing an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. A copy of the categorical exclusion determination is posted at the CRSP MC Web page, https://www.wapa.gov/regions/CRSP/rates/Pages/rate-order-169.aspx.

    Determination Under Executive Order 12866

    Western has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under Executive Order 12866; accordingly, no clearance of this notice by the Office of Management and Budget is required.

    Submission to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    The interim rates herein confirmed, approved, and placed into effect, together with supporting documents will be submitted to FERC for confirmation and final approval.

    ORDER

    In view of the foregoing and under the authority delegated to me, I confirm and approve on an interim basis Rate Schedules SLIP-F10, SP-PTP8, SP-NW4, SP-NFT7, SP-SD4, SP-RS4, SP-EI4, SP-FR4, SP-SSR4, and SP-UU1 to become effective on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary of Energy. Rate Schedule SLIP-F10 (Supersedes Schedule SLIP-F9) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER SALT LAKE CITY AREA INTEGRATED PROJECTS SCHEDULE OF RATES FOR FIRM POWER SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SLIP-F10 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Available:

    In the area served by the Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects.

    Applicable:

    To the wholesale power customer for firm power service supplied through one meter at one point of delivery or as otherwise established by contract.

    Character:

    Alternating current, 60 hertz, three-phase, delivered and metered at the voltages and points established by contract.

    Monthly Rate:

    DEMAND CHARGE: $5.18 per kilowatt of billing demand.

    ENERGY CHARGE: 12.19 mills per kilowatthour of use.

    COST RECOVERY CHARGE:

    To adequately recover and maintain a sufficient balance in the Basin Fund, Western uses a cost recovery mechanism, called a Cost Recovery Charge (CRC). The CRC is a charge on all SHP energy.

    This charge will be recalculated before May 1 of each year, and Western will provide notification to the customers. The charge, if needed, will be placed into effect on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2020. If a Shortage Criteria is necessary, the CRC will be re-calculated at that time. (See Shortage Criteria Trigger explanation below.) The CRC will be calculated as follows:

    WESTERN HAS THE DISCRETION TO IMPLEMENT A CRC BASED ON THE TIERS BELOW. Table—CRC Tiers Tier Criteria, If the BFBB is: Review i Greater than $150 million, with an expected decrease to below $75 million ii Less than $150 million but greater than $120 million, with an expected 50-percent decrease in the next FY Annually. iii Less than $120 million but greater than $90 million, with an expected 40-percent decrease in the next FY iv Less than $90 million but greater than $60 million, with an expected 25-percent decrease in the next FY Semi-Annual (May/November). v Less than $60 million but greater than $40 million with an expected decrease to below $40 million in the next FY Monthly. Table—Sample CRC Calculation Description Example Formula STEP ONE Determine the Net Balance available in the Basin Fund. BFBB Basin Fund Beginning Balance ($) $85,860,265 Financial forecast. BFTB Basin Fund Target Balance ($) $64,395,199 BFBB − (Tier % * BFBB), or BFTB for Tier i and Tier v 1. PAR Projected Annual Revenue ($) w/o CRC $232,780,000 Financial forecast. PAE Projected Annual Expenses ($) $226,649,066 Financial forecast. NR Net Revenue ($) $6,130,934 PAR − PAE. NB Net Balance ($) $91,991,199 BFBB + NR. STEP TWO Determine the Forecasted Energy Purchase Expenses. EA SHP Energy Allocation (GWh) 4,952 Customer contracts. HE Forecasted Hydro Energy (GWh) 4,924 Hydrologic & generation forecast. FE Forecasted Energy Purchase (GWh) 504 EA − HE or anticipated. FFC Forecasted Average Energy Price per MWh ($) $34.23 From commercially available price indices. FX Forecasted Energy Purchase Expense ($) $17,262,512 FE * FFC *1000. STEP THREE Determine the amount of Funds Available for firming energy purchases, and then determine additional revenue to be recovered. The following two formulas will be used to determine FA; the lesser of the two will be used. FA1 Basin Fund Balance Factor ($) $17,262,512 If (NB > BFBB, FX, FX − (BFTB − NB)). FA2 Revenue Factor ($) $17,262,512 If (NR > − (BFBB − BFTB), FX, FX + NR + (BFBB − BFTB)). FA Funds Available ($) $17,262,512 Lesser of FA1 or FA2 (not less than $0). FARR Additional Revenue to be Recovered ($) $0 FX − FA. STEP FOUR Once the FA for purchases have been determined, the CRC can be calculated, and the WL can be determined. WL Waiver Level (GWh) 5428 If (EA < HE, EA, HE + (FE * (FA/FX))), but not less than HE. WLP Waiver Level Percentage of Full SHP 110% WL/EA * 100. CRCE CRC Energy (GWh) 0 EA − WL. CRCEP CRC Energy Percentage of Full SHP 0% CRCE/EA * 100. CRC Cost Recovery Charge (mills/kWh) 0 FARR/(EA * 1,000). Notes: 1—Use CRC Tiers Table to calculate applicable value. Narrative CRC Example

    STEP ONE: Determine the net balance available in the Basin Fund.

    BFBB—Western will forecast the Basin Fund Beginning Balance for the next FY.

    BFBB = $85,860,265

    BFTB—The Basin Fund Target Balance is based on the applicable tiered percentage, or minimum value, of the Basin Fund Beginning Balance derived from the CRC Tiers table with a minimum BFTB set at $40 million.

    BFTB = BFBB less 25 percent, see Tier iv (BFBB < 90 million, BFBB > 60 million) = $85,860,265 − $21,464,066 = $64,395,199

    PAR—Projected Annual Revenue is Western's estimate of revenue for the next FY.

    PAR = $232,780,000

    PAE—Projected Annual Expenses is Western's estimate of expenses for the next FY. The PAE includes all expenses plus non-reimbursable expenses, which are capped at $27 million per year plus an inflation factor. This limitation is for CRC formula calculation purposes only, and is not a cap on actual non-reimbursable expenses.

    PAE = $226,649,066

    NR—Net Revenue equals revenues minus expenses.

    NR = PAR − PAE = $232,780,000 − $226,649,066 = $6,130,934

    NB—Net Balance is the Basin Fund Beginning Balance plus net revenue.

    NB = BFBB + NR = $85,860,265 + $6,130,934 = $91,991,199

    STEP TWO: Determine the forecasted energy purchases expenses.

    EA—The Sustainable Hydro Power Energy Allocation (from Customer contracts). This does not include Project Use customers.

    EA = 4,952 (GWh)

    HE—Western's forecast of Hydro Energy available during the next FY developed from Reclamation's April, 24-month study.

    HE = 4,924 (GWh)

    FE—Forecasted Energy purchases are the difference between the Sustainable Hydro Power allocation and the forecasted hydro energy available for the next FY or the anticipated firming purchases for the next year.

    FE = EA − HE or anticipated purchases = 504.33 (GWh, anticipated)

    FFC—The forecasted energy price for the next FY per MWh.

    FFC = $34.23 per MWh

    FX—Forecasted energy purchase power expenses based on the current year's, April, 24-month study, representing an estimate of the total costs of firming purchases for the coming FY.

    FX = FE * FFC * 1000 = 504.33 * $34.23 * 1000 = $17,263,215.90

    STEP THREE: Determine the amount of Funds Available (FA) to expend on firming energy purchases and then determine additional revenue to be recovered (FARR). The following two formulas will be used to determine FA; the lesser of the two will be used. Funds available shall not be less than zero.

    A. Basin Fund Balance Factor (FA1)

    If the Net Balance is greater than the Basin Fund Target Balance, use the value for forecasted energy purchase power expenses (FX). If the net balance is less than the Basin Fund Target Balance, reduce the value of the Forecasted Energy Purchase Power Expenses by the difference between the Basin Fund Target Balance and the Net Balance.

    FA1 = If (NB > BFTB, FX, FX − (BFTB − NB)) = $91,991,199 (NB) is greater than $64,395,199 (BFTB) then: = $17,263,215.90 (FX)

    If the Net Balance is greater than the Basin Fund Target Balance, then FA1 = FX.

    If the Net Balance is less than the Basin Fund Target Balance, then FA1 = FX − (BFTB − NB).

    B. Basin Fund Revenue Factor (FA2)

    The second factor ensures that Western collects sufficient funds to meet the Basin Fund Target Balance so long as the amount needed does not exceed the forecasted purchase expense (FX):

    In the situation when there is no projected revenue:

    FA2 = If (NR > − (BFBB − BFTB), FX, FX + NR + (BFBB − BFTB)) = $6,130,934(NR) is greater than ($21,464,066) then: = $17,263,215.90 (FX)

    If the Net Revenue (loss) value does not result in a loss that exceeds the allowable decrease value of the Basin Fund Beginning Balance ( − (BFBB − BFTB)), then FA2 = FX.

    If the Net Revenue (loss) results in a loss that exceeds the allowable decrease value of the Basin Fund Beginning Balance ( − (BFBB − BFTB)), then FX + NR + (BFBB − BFTB).

    FA—Determine the funds available for purchasing firming energy by using the lesser of FA1 and FA2.

    FA1 and FA2 are equal, so:

    FA = $17,263,215.90 (FX)

    FARR—Calculate the additional revenue to be recovered by subtracting the Funds Available from the forecasted energy purchase power expenses.

    FARR = FX − FA = $17,263,215.90 (FX) − $17,263,215.90 (FA) = $ 0.00

    STEP FOUR: Once the funds available for purchases have been determined, the CRC can be calculated and the Waiver Level (WL) can be determined.

    A. Cost Recovery Charge: The CRC will be a charge to recover the additional revenue required as calculated in Step 3. The CRC will apply to all customers who choose not to request a waiver of the CRC, as discussed below. The CRC equals the additional revenue to be recovered divided by the total energy allocation to all customers for the FY.

    CRC = FARR/(EA * 1,000) = $0.00 charge

    B. Waiver Level (WL): Western will establish an energy WL that provides Western the ability to reduce purchase power expenses by scheduling less energy than what is contractually required. Therefore, for those customers who voluntarily schedule no more energy than their proportionate share of the WL, Western will waive the CRC for that year.

    After the Funds Available has been determined, the WL will be set at the sum of the energy that can be provided through hydro generation and purchased with Funds Available. The WL will not be less than the forecasted Hydro Energy.

    WL = If (EA < HE, EA, HE + (FE * (FA/FX)) = 4,952 (EA) is not less than 4,924 (HE) then: = 4,924 (HE) + (504.33 (FE) * ($17,263,215.90 (FA)/$17,263,215.90 (FX)) = 5,428 (GWh) is the Waiver Level

    If SHP Energy Allocation is less than forecasted Hydro Energy available, then WL = EA

    If SHP Energy Allocation is greater than the forecasted Hydro Energy available, then

    WL = HE + (FE * (FA/FX))

    PRIOR YEAR ADJUSTMENT:

    The CRC PYA for subsequent years will be determined by comparing the prior year's estimated firming-energy cost to the prior year's actual firming-energy cost for the energy provided above the WL. The PYA will result in an increase or decrease to a customer's firm energy costs over the course of the following year. The table below is the calculation of a PYA.

    PYA CALCULATION Description Formula STEP ONE Determine actual expenses and purchases for previous year's firming. This data will be obtained from Western's financial statements at the end of the FY. PFX Prior Year Actual Firming Expenses ($) Financial Statements. PFE Prior Year Actual Firming Energy (GWh) Financial Statements. STEP TWO Determine the actual firming cost for the CRC portion. EAC Sum of the energy allocations of customers subject to the PYA (GWh) FFC Forecasted Firming Energy Cost—($/MWh) From CRC Calculation. AFC Actual Firming Energy Cost—($/MWh) PFX/PFE. CRCEP CRC Energy Percentage From CRC Calculation. CRCE Purchased Energy for the CRC (GWh) EAC * CRCEP. STEP THREE Determine Revenue Adjustment (RA) and PYA. RA Revenue Adjustment ($) (AFC-FFC) * CRCE * 1,000. PYA Prior Year Adjustment (mills/kWh) (RA/EAC)/1,000. Narrative PYA Calculation

    STEP ONE: Determine actual expenses and purchases for previous year's firming. This data will be obtained from Western's financial statements at end of FY.

    PFX—Prior year actual firming expense PFE—Prior year actual firming energy

    STEP TWO: Determine the actual firming cost for the CRC portion.

    EAC—Sum of the energy allocations of customers subject to the PYA CRCE—The amount of CRC Energy needed AFC—The Actual Firming Energy Cost are the PFX divided by the PFE AFC = (PFX/PFE)/1,000

    STEP THREE: Determine Revenue Adjustment (RA) and Prior Year Adjustment (PYA).

    RA—The Revenue Adjustment is AFC less FFC times CRCE RA = (AFC − FFC) * CRCE) * 1,000

    PYA = The PYA is the RA divided by the EAC for the CRC customers only.

    PYA = (RA/EAC)/1,000

    The customer's PYA will be based on its prior year's energy multiplied by the resulting mills/kWh to determine the dollar amount that will be assessed. The customers will be charged or credited for this dollar amount equally in the remaining months of the next year's billing cycle. Western will attempt to complete this calculation by December of each year. Therefore, if the PYA is calculated in December, the charge/credit will be spread over the remaining 9 months of the FY (January through September).

    Shortage Criteria Trigger:

    In the event that Reclamation's 24-month study projects that Glen Canyon Dam water releases will drop below 8.23 MAF in a water year (October through September), Western will recalculate the CRC to include those lower estimates of hydropower generation and the estimated costs for the additional purchase power necessary. Western, as in the yearly projection for the CRC, will give the customers a 45-day notice to request a waiver of the CRC, if they do not want to have the CRC charge added to their energy bill. This recalculation will remain in effect for the remainder of the current FY.

    In the event that hydropower generation returns to an 8.23 MAF or higher during the trigger implementation, a new CRC will be calculated for the next month, and the customers will be notified.

    CRC Schedule for customers

    Consistent with the procedures at 10 CFR 903, Western will provide its customers with information concerning the anticipated CRC for the upcoming FY in May. The established CRC will be in effect for the entire FY. The table below displays the time frame for determining the amount of purchases needed, developing customers' load schedules, and making purchases.

    CRC Schedule Task Respective dates under Table CRC tiers1 i, ii, and iii iv2 v3 24-Month Study (Forecast to Model Projections) April 1 April 1
  • October 1
  • Monthly Study.
    CRC Notice to Customers May 1 May 1
  • November 1
  • Monthly.
    Waiver Request Submitted by Customers June 15 Within 45 days Within 30 days. CRC Effective October 1 August 1
  • February 1
  • Updated Monthly.
    Notes: 1 This schedule does not apply if the CRC is triggered by the Glen Canyon Dam annual releases dropping below 8.23 MAF. 2 If it is determined during the additional reviews, under tier iv, that a CRC is necessary, customers will be notified that a CRC will be implemented in 90 days. Western will provide its customers with information concerning the anticipated CRC and give them 45 days to request a waiver or accept the CRC. The established CRC will be in effect for 12 months from the date implemented unless superseded by another CRC. 3 If it is determined during the additional reviews, under tier v, that a CRC is necessary, customers will be notified that a CRC will be implemented in 60 days. Western will provide its customers with information concerning the anticipated CRC and give them 30 days to request a waiver or accept the CRC. The established CRC will be in effect for 12 months from the date implemented unless superseded by another CRC.

    Billing Demand:

    The billing demand will be the greater of:

    1. The highest 30-minute integrated demand measured during the month up to, but not more than, the delivery obligation under the power sales contract, or

    2. The Contract Rate of Delivery.

    Billing Energy:

    The billing energy will be the energy measured during the month up to, but not more than, the delivery obligation under the power sales contract.

    Adjustment for Waiver:

    Customers can choose not to take the full SHP energy supplied as determined in the attached formulas for CRC and will be billed the Energy and Capacity rates listed above, but not the CRC.

    Adjustment for Transformer Losses:

    If delivery is made at transmission voltage but metered on the low-voltage side of the substation, the meter readings will be increased to compensate for transformer losses as provided in the contract.

    Adjustment for Power Factor:

    The customer will be required to maintain a power factor at all points of measurement between 95 percent lagging and 95 percent leading.

    Adjustment for Western Replacement Power:

    Pursuant to the contractor's Firm Electric Service Contract, as amended, Western will bill the contractor for its proportionate share of the costs of Western Replacement Power (WRP) within a given time period. Western will include in the contractor's monthly power bill the cost of the WRP and the incremental administrative costs associated with WRP.

    Adjustment for Customer Displacement Power Administrative Charges:

    Western will include in the contractor's regular monthly power bill the incremental administrative costs associated with Customer Displacement Power.

    Rate Schedule SP-NW4 ATTACHMENT H to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-NW3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT NETWORK INTEGRATION TRANSMISSION SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-NW4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    The transmission customer will compensate the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center each month for Network Integration Transmission Service under the applicable Network Integration Transmission Service Agreement and the formula rate described herein.

    EN03SE15.000

    A recalculated Annual Transmission Revenue Requirement for Network Integration Transmission Service will go into effect every October 1 based on the above formula and updated financial and operational data. Western will notify the transmission customer annually of the recalculated annual revenue requirement on or before September 1.

    Billing:

    Billing determinants for the formula rate above will be as specified in the service agreement. Billing will occur monthly under the formula rate.

    Adjustment for Losses:

    Losses incurred for service under this rate schedule will be accounted as agreed to by the parties in accordance with the service agreement. If losses are not fully provided by a transmission customer, charges for financial compensation may apply.

    Rate Schedule SP-SD4 SCHEDULE 1 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-SD3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT SCHEDULING, SYSTEM CONTROL, AND DISPATCH SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-SD4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    Scheduling, System Control, and Dispatch service is required to schedule the movement of power through, out of, within, or into a control area. The transmission customer must purchase this service from the transmission provider. The charges for this service will be included in the CRSP transmission service rates.

    Formula Rate:

    Provided through the Western Area Colorado Missouri (WACM) Balancing Authority under Rate Schedule L-AS1, or as superseded.

    Rate Schedule SP-RS4 SCHEDULE 2 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-RS3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT REACTIVE SUPPLY AND VOLTAGE CONTROL FROM GENERATION AND OTHER SOURCES SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-RS4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    To all CRSP transmission customers receiving this service.

    Formula Rate:

    Provided through the Western Area Colorado Missouri (WACM) Balancing Authority under Rate Schedule L-AS2, or as superseded.

    Rate Schedule SP-FR4 SCHEDULE 3 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-FR3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT REGULATION AND FREQUENCY RESPONSE SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-FR4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    To all CRSP customers receiving this service.

    Formula Rate:

    Provided through the Western Area Colorado Missouri (WACM) Balancing Authority under Rate Schedule L-AS3 or as superseded. If the CRSP MC has regulation available for sale from Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects resources, the rate will be calculated using the formula below.

    EN03SE15.001 Rate Schedule SP-EI4 SCHEDULE 4 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-EI3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT ENERGY IMBALANCE SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-EI4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    To all CRSP transmission customers receiving this service.

    Formula Rates:

    Provided through the Western Area Colorado Missouri (WACM) Balancing Authority under Rate Schedule L-AS4, or as superseded.

    Rate Schedule SP-SSR4 SCHEDULES 5 & 6 TO TARIFF (Supersedes Schedule SP-SSR3) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT OPERATING RESERVES—SPINNING AND SUPPLEMENTAL RESERVE SERVICES (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-SSR4 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    To all CRSP transmission customers receiving this service.

    Character of Service:

    Spinning Reserve is defined in Schedule 5 of Western Area Power Administration's Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    Supplemental Reserve is defined in Schedule 6 of Western Area Power Administration's Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    Formula Rate:

    The transmission customer serving loads within the transmission provider's balancing authority must acquire Spinning and Supplemental Reserve services from CRSP, from a third party, or by self-supply.

    Rate Schedule SP-PTP8 SCHEDULE 7 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-PTP7) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT FIRM POINT-TO-POINT TRANSMISSION SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-PTP8 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    The transmission customer will compensate the Colorado River Storage Project each month for Reserved Capacity under the applicable Firm Point-To-Point Transmission Service Agreement and the formula rate described herein.

    EN03SE15.002

    A recalculated rate will go into effect every October 1 based on the above formula and updated financial and operational data. Western will notify the transmission customer annually of the recalculated rate on or before September 1. Discounts may be offered from time-to-time in accordance with Western's Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    Billing:

    The formula rate above applies to the maximum amount of capacity reserved for periods ranging from 1 hour to 1 month, payable whether used or not. Billing will occur monthly.

    Adjustment for Losses:

    Losses incurred for service under this rate schedule will be accounted for as agreed to by the parties in accordance with the service agreement. If losses are not fully provided by a transmission customer, charges for financial compensation may apply.

    Rate Schedule SP-NFT7 SCHEDULE 8 to Tariff (Supersedes Schedule SP-NFT6) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT NON-FIRM POINT-TO-POINT TRANSMISSION SERVICE (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-NFT7 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    The transmission customer will compensate the Colorado River Storage Project each month for Non-Firm, Point-to-Point Transmission Service under the applicable Non-Firm, Point-to-Point Transmission Service Agreement and the formula rate described herein.

    Formula Rate:

    Maximum Non-Firm Point-To-Point Transmission Rate = Firm Point-To-Point Transmission Rate

    A recalculated rate will go into effect every October 1 based on the above formula and updated financial and load data. Western will notify the transmission customer annually of the recalculated rate on or before September 1. Discounts may be offered from time-to-time in accordance with Western's Open Access Transmission Tariff.

    Billing:

    The formula rate above applies to the maximum amount of capacity reserved for periods ranging from 1 hour to 1 month, payable whether used or not. Billing will occur monthly.

    Adjustment for Losses:

    Power and energy losses incurred in connection with the transmission and delivery of power and energy under this rate schedule shall be supplied by the customer in accordance with the service contract. If losses are not fully provided by a transmission customer, charges for financial compensation may apply.

    Rate Schedule SP-UU1 SCHEDULE 10 to Tariff UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CENTER COLORADO RIVER STORAGE PROJECT UNRESERVED USE PENALTIES (Approved Under Rate Order No. WAPA-169)

    Effective:

    Rate Schedule SP-UU1 will be placed into effect on an interim basis on the first day of the first full-billing period beginning on or after October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until FERC confirms, approves, and places the rate schedules in effect on a final basis through September 30, 2020, or until the rate schedules are superseded.

    Applicable:

    The transmission customer shall compensate the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) each month for any unreserved use of the transmission system (Unreserved Use) under the applicable transmission service rates as outlined herein. Unreserved Use occurs when an eligible customer uses transmission service that it has not reserved or a transmission customer uses transmission service in excess of its reserved capacity. Unreserved Use may also include a customer's failure to curtail transmission when requested.

    Penalty Rate:

    The penalty rate for a transmission customer that engages in Unreserved Use is 200 percent of CRSP's approved transmission service rate for point-to-point (PTP) transmission service assessed as follows:

    (i) The Unreserved Use Penalty for a single hour of Unreserved Use is based upon the rate for daily firm PTP service.

    (ii) The Unreserved Use Penalty for more than one assessment for a given duration (e.g., daily) increases to the next longest duration (e.g., weekly).

    (iii) The Unreserved Use Penalty for multiple instances of Unreserved Use (e.g., more than 1 hour) within a day is based on the rate for daily firm PTP service. The Unreserved Use Penalty charge for multiple instances of Unreserved Use isolated to 1 calendar week would result in a penalty based on the rate for weekly firm PTP service. The Unreserved Use Penalty charge for multiple instances of Unreserved Use during more than 1 week in a calendar month will be based on the rate for monthly firm PTP service.

    A transmission customer that exceeds its firm reserved capacity at any point of receipt or point of delivery or an eligible customer that uses transmission service at a point of receipt or point of delivery that it has not reserved is required to pay for all ancillary services identified in Western's Open Access Transmission Tariff that were provided by the CRSP and associated with the Unreserved Use. The customer will pay for ancillary services based on the amount of transmission service it used and did not reserve.

    Rate:

    The rate for Unreserved Use Penalties is 200 percent of Western's approved rate for firm point-to-point transmission service assessed as described above. Any change to the rate for Unreserved Use Penalties will be listed in a revision to this rate schedule issued under applicable Federal laws and policies and made part of the applicable service agreement.

    [FR Doc. 2015-21904 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611; FRL-9933-55-ORD] Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee Meeting—September 2015 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), gives notice of a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Subcommittee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 24, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will continue on Friday, September 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. All times noted are Eastern Daylight Time and are approximate. Attendees should register by September 16, 2015, at the following Eventbrite Web site: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-bosc-sustainable-and-healthy-communities-subcommittee-tickets-17480310078. Requests for the draft agenda or for submitting written comments will be accepted up to September 22, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the EPA's Main Campus Facility,C111-C, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611, by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: Send comments by electronic mail (email) to: [email protected], Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611.

    Fax: Fax comments to: (202) 566-0224, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611.

    Mail: Send comments by mail to: Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee Docket, Mail Code: 2822T, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Room 3334, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611. Note: This is not a mailing address. Deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0611. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee Docket, EPA/DC, William Jefferson Clinton West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the ORD Docket is (202) 566-1752.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Designated Federal Officer (DFO) via mail at: Jace Cujé, Mail Code 8104R, Office of Science Policy, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; via phone/voice mail at: (202) 564-1795; via fax at: (202) 565-2911; or via email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    General Information: The BOSC was established by the EPA to provide advice, information, and recommendations regarding the ORD research programs. The BOSC is federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the BOSC SHC Subcommittee will hold a meeting to deliberate on the future direction of ORD's SHC research program.

    This meeting is open to the public. Any member of the public interested in receiving a draft agenda, attending the meeting, or making a presentation at the meeting may contact Jace Cujé, DFO, via any of the contact methods listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. Proposed agenda items for the meeting include, but are not limited to, the following: Overview of materials provided to the subcommittee; Overview of ORD; Overview of ORD's SHC Research Program; Poster sessions; SHC Tools Café; Program and Regional Office perspectives; Public comments; and Subcommittee discussion. Members of the public wishing to provide comment in person should register by September 16, 2015, via the Eventbrite site noted above and contact the DFO directly.

    Written Statements: Written statements for the public meeting should be received by the DFO via email at the contact information listed above by September 21, 2015. Written statements should be supplied in one of the following electronic formats: Adobe Acrobat PDF, MS Word, MS Power Point, or Rich Text format.

    Oral Statements: In general, each individual making an oral presentation at the public meeting will be limited to a total of three minutes. Each person making an oral statement should also consider providing written comments so that the points presented orally can be expanded upon in writing. Interested parties should contact the DFO in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by September 16, 2015, to be placed on the list of public speakers for the BOSC meeting.

    For security purposes, all attendees must provide their names to the DFO and register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-bosc-sustainable-and-healthy-communities-subcommittee-tickets-17480310078 by September 16, 2015. Upon entering the EPA building, attendees will be required to sign in with the security desk, go through a metal detector, and show government-issued photo identification to enter the building. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to allow sufficient time for security screening.

    Information on Services for Individuals with Disabilities: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Jace Cujé at (202) 564-1795 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Jace Cujé, preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting, to give the EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: August 27, 2015. Fred S. Hauchman, Director, Office of Science Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21918 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10241 Bank of Florida—Southeast Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Bank of Florida—Southeast, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Bank of Florida—Southeast on May 28, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21890 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10242 Bank of Florida—Southwest Naples, Florida

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Bank of Florida—Southwest, Naples, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Bank of Florida—Southwest on May 28, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21891 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10357 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, Minnesota

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, Minnesota (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Rosemount National Bank on April 15, 2011. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21892 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activites; New Information Collection Request AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission) announces plans to submit a Generic Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collect information for requests for dispute resolution services submitted to its Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, the FMC invites comments from the public on the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] (as attachments preferably in Microsoft Word or PDF), or mail comments to: Vern W. Hill, Managing Director, Office of the Managing Director, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call Donna Lee at (202) 523-5800. When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information collection request title for reference. Comments submitted in response to this Notice will be included or summarized in the ICR to OMB. All comments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Request for Dispute Resolution Service.

    OMB Control Number: New.

    Type of Review: New Generic Information Collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Companies or individuals seeking ombuds or mediation assistance from the Federal Maritime Commission's Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services.

    Estimated Total Number of Potential Annual Responses: 1,000.

    Estimated Total Number of Responses for each Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours per Response: 20 minutes.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 333.

    Abstract: As requested by the shipping public and the regulated industry, the FMC, through CADRS, provides ombuds and mediation services to assist parties in resolving international ocean cargo shipping or passenger vessel (cruise) disputes without resorting to litigation or administrative adjudication. These functions focus on addressing issues that members of the regulated industry and the shipping public may encounter at any stage of a commercial or customer dispute. In order to provide its ombuds and mediation services, CADRS needs certain identifying information about the involved parties, shipments, and nature of the dispute. In response to requests for assistance from the public, CADRS requests this information from parties seeking its assistance. The collection and use of this information on a cargo or cruise dispute is integral to CADRS staff's ability to efficiently review the matter and provide assistance. Aggregated information may be used for statistical purposes. Currently, this information is collected in a non-uniform manner in response to requests for CADRS assistance. http://www.fmc.gov/resources/requesting_cadrs_assistance.aspx.

    As required by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA), 5 U.S.C. 571-574, the information contained in these forms is treated as confidential and subject to the same confidentiality provisions as administrative dispute resolutions pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 574. Except as specifically set forth in 5 U.S.C. 574, neither CADRS staff nor the parties to a dispute resolution shall disclose any informal dispute resolution communication.

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. The FMC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.

    Request for Comments

    The FMC solicits written comments from all interested persons about the proposed collection of information. The Commission specifically solicits information relevant to the following topics: (1) Whether the collection of information described above is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information would have practical utility; (2) whether the estimated burden of the proposed collection of information is accurate; (3) whether the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected could be enhanced; and (4) whether the burden imposed by the collection of information could be minimized by use of automated, electronic, or other forms of information technology.

    The FMC will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.10. FMC will issue another Federal Register announcement pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 40101 et seq.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21916 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 28, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Independent Bank Group, Inc., McKinney, Texas; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Grand Bank, Dallas, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 31, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21897 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3043] Compressed Medical Gases-Warning Letters for Specific Violations Covering Liquid and Gaseous Oxygen; Withdrawal of Compliance Policy Guide AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the withdrawal of Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) Section 435.100, entitled “Compressed Medical Gases—Warning Letters for Specific Violations Covering Liquid and Gaseous Oxygen.”

    DATES:

    The withdrawal is effective September 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary E. Kennelly, Office of Regulatory Affairs, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 4338, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-9577.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) on medical gases was originally issued on November 5, 1987, in the Agency's Manual of Compliance Policy Guides. In a notice published in the Federal Register of September 16, 1992 (57 FR 42757), FDA announced the availability of a revised CPG on this topic entitled “Compressed Medical Gases—Warning Letters for Specific Violations Covering Liquid and Gaseous Oxygen” (CPG 7132a.16). Subsequently, the Agency's Manual of Compliance Policy Guides was reorganized and this material became Section 435.100. The CPG provided guidance to FDA district offices for issuing warning letters to firms that are engaged in filling cylinders with gas(es) for medical use that are not operating in conformance with the adulteration, misbranding, and/or new drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

    On March 15, 2015, FDA implemented the revised Compliance Program Guidance Manual (CPGM) 7356.002E, entitled “Compressed Medical Gases,” available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/ComplianceProgramManual/UCM125417.pdf. CPGM 7356.002E instructs FDA staff regarding a range of subjects, including, but not limited to, the inspections and investigations, regulatory and/or administrative action, and the issuance of warning letters related to compressed medical gases. As the CPGM 7356.002E articulates FDA's current thinking on issuing warning letters related to compressed medical gases, CPG Section 435.100 is withdrawn.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Steven Solomon, Deputy Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21874 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3137] Advisory Committee; Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, Renewal AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; renewal of advisory committee.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the renewal of the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs (the Commissioner). The Commissioner has determined that it is in the public interest to renew the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee for an additional 2 years beyond the charter expiration date. The new charter will be in effect until the August 27, 2015, expiration date.

    DATES:

    Authority for the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will expire on August 27, 2017, unless the Commissioner formally determines that renewal is in the public interest.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moon Hee V. Choi, Division of Advisory Committee and Consultant Management, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31, Rm. 2417, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-9001, N[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.65 and approval by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 45 CFR part 11 and by the General Services Administration, FDA is announcing the renewal of the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee. The Committee is a discretionary Federal advisory committee established to provide advice to the Commissioner. The Committee advises the Commissioner or designee in discharging responsibilities as they relate to helping to ensure safe and effective drugs for human use and, as required, any other product for which FDA has regulatory responsibility.

    The Committee reviews and evaluates available data concerning the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter (nonprescription) human drug products, or any other FDA-regulated product, for use in the treatment of a broad spectrum of human symptoms and diseases and advises the Commissioner either on the promulgation of monographs establishing conditions under which these drugs are generally recognized as safe, effective, not misbranded, and on the approval of new drug applications. The Committee serves as a forum for the exchange of views regarding the prescription and nonprescription status, including switches from one status to another. The Committee may also conduct peer review of Agency sponsored intramural and extramural scientific biomedical programs in support of FDA's mission and regulatory responsibilities.

    The Committee shall consist of a core of 10 voting members including the Chair. Members and the Chair are selected by the Commissioner or designee from among authorities knowledgeable in the fields of internal medicine, family practice, clinical toxicology, clinical pharmacology, pharmacy, dentistry, and related specialties. Members will be invited to serve for overlapping terms of up to 4 years. Almost all non-Federal members of this committee serve as Special Government Employees. The core of voting members may include one technically qualified member, selected by the Commissioner or designee, who is identified with consumer interests and is recommended by either a consortium of consumer-oriented organizations or other interested persons. In addition to the voting members, the Committee may include one non-voting member who is identified with industry interests.

    Further information regarding the most recent charter and other information can be found at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/NonprescriptionDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/default.htm or by contacting the Designated Federal Officer (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). In light of the fact that no change has been made to the committee name or description of duties, no amendment will be made to 21 CFR 14.100. This document is issued under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app.). For general information related to FDA advisory committees, please visit us at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Jill Hartzler Warner, Associate Commissioner for Special Medical Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21914 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships Cooperative Agreement AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Single-Case Deviation from Competition Requirement for Program Expansion for the National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships Cooperative Agreement at Family Voices, Grant Number U40MC00149.

    SUMMARY:

    HRSA announces its intent to award a program expansion supplement in the amount of $118,700 for the National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships (NCFPP) cooperative agreement. The purpose of the NCFPP cooperative agreement, as stated in the funding opportunity announcement, is to improve the health delivery system and quality of life for children (and youth) with special health care needs (CSHCN) and their families. Strategies may include: (1) Family-centered care, (2) cultural and linguistic competence, and (3) shared decision-making for families of CSHCN at all levels of decision-making (individual, peer, community, etc.). Family/Professional Partnership program activities are primarily carried out through federal leadership strategies, the NCFPP cooperative agreement and state implementation grants in the form of Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. The purpose of this notice is to award supplemental funds to coordinate among leadership trainings for families partnering on state and national level system and service improvements by Family Voices, the cooperative agreement awardee who serves as the NCFPP, during the budget period of 6/1/2015- 5/31/2016.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Intended Recipient of the Award: Family Voices, Inc.

    Amount of the Non-Competitive Award: $118,700.

    Period of Supplemental Funding: 6/1/2015-5/31/2016.

    CFDA Number: 93.110.

    Authority: Social Security Act, Title V, Section 501(a)(1)(D), (42 U.S.C. 701(a)(1)(D)).

    Justification

    The Institute of Medicine Report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century established shared decision-making and patient/family centered care as key elements of a quality health care system. National quality indicators of family/professional partnership, shared-decision-making, and patient/family-centered care show that children (and youth) with special health care needs (CSHCN) benefit from family/patient-centered care by improved transition from pediatric to adult health care systems, fewer unmet needs and fewer problems accessing needed referrals. Several MCHB programs rely on families as key partners in the improvement of overall systems and services, based on their personal experiences and their work with other families. There is a need for coordination among leadership trainings, including ongoing mentoring and technical assistance, for families partnering on state and national level system and service improvements. Meeting these needs would support a sustainable approach to leadership development that can be maintained by both individuals and organizations, linking together key MCHB investments by supporting State Title V agencies.

    The purpose of the NCFPP cooperative agreement, as stated in the funding opportunity announcement, is to improve the health delivery system and quality of life for CSHCN and their families. Strategies may include: (1) Family-centered care, (2) cultural and linguistic competence, and (3) shared decision-making for families of CSHCN at all levels of decision-making (individual, peer, community, etc.). Family/Professional Partnership program activities are primarily carried out through federal leadership strategies, the NCFPP cooperative agreement and state implementation grants in the form of Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. In 2013, following objective review of its application, HRSA awarded Family Voices cooperative agreement funding for the NCFPP. If approved, this would be the first project expansion supplement for this project.

    For over two decades Family Voices has brought the voice of families of CSHCN to the healthcare arena and demonstrated the value of family perspectives in shaping healthcare systems and services to maximize outcomes for families and their children. Its infrastructure is based on a network of family-led organizations at the national, state, and local levels including the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers and Family Voices State Affiliate Organizations. It facilitates the work of a community of family leaders through peer mentoring, training, and technical assistance. It partners with key MCHB programs and stakeholders including State Title V agencies.

    Results were recently released from a survey of state Title V organizations' progress in engaging families and consumers. From this information, Family Voices recognized a need for ongoing development of a continually renewed pipeline of family leaders from diverse racial and cultural communities and from populations served across all MCHB programs. Thus, they submitted a proposal requesting to supplement the NCFPP cooperative agreement with activities to meet this need.

    The proposed project aligns with NCFPP's current project plan in its efforts to increase the capacity of families, Title V and other providers to strengthen the primary care workforce through family/professional partnership learning opportunities (Goal 2). Family Voices, working with MCHB, would coordinate with other MCHB-funded initiatives to identify needs and develop a framework for an evidence-based/informed family leadership training aimed at supporting family leaders participating at state and national levels. To support this primary activity, it would also develop an inventory of current resources related to family leadership development, create a National Family and Youth Leadership Team, and provide technical support and assistance to family leaders to ensure they have the ongoing capacity to participate in community, state, and national systems change.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LaQuanta Person Smalley, MPH, Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 13-103, Rockville, Maryland 20857; [email protected]

    Grantee/Organization name Grant No. State FY 2015
  • authorized
  • funding
  • level
  • FY 2015
  • estimated
  • supplemental
  • funding
  • Family Voices, Inc U40MC00149 NM $475,000 $118,700
    Dated: August 27, 2015. James Macrae, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21885 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Home Visiting Program AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Single-Case Deviation for a 12-month project period extension with full funding to the Home Visiting Research Network Cooperative Agreement to the Johns Hopkins University, Grant Number UD5MC24070.

    SUMMARY:

    HRSA has issued a 12-month project period extension with full funding for the Home Visiting Research Network Cooperative Agreement (HVRN) for the current budget period to Johns Hopkins University (JHU). JHU will continue responsibility for the HVRN and receive one year of additional funding for year 4 in the amount of $299,000 for Grant Number UD5MC24070, during the budget period of 7/1/2015-6/30/2016 to support the objectives of the HVRN.

    The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program is authorized by the Social Security Act, Title V, Part D, Section 511(h)(3) (42 U.S.C. 711(h)(3)).

    The Home Visiting Research Network carries out a continuous program of research and evaluation activities in order to increase knowledge about the implementation and effectiveness of home visiting programs, with the goal of improving health, development, and family outcomes for mothers, infants, and young children.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Intended Recipients of the Award: The Johns Hopkins University.

    Amount of the Non-Competitive Award: $299,000.

    CFDA Number: 93.505.

    Current Project Period: 07/01/2012-06/30/2015.

    Period of Low-Cost Extension: 7/1/2015-6/30/2016.

    Authority: Social Security Act, Title V, Part D, Section 511(h)(3) (42 U.S.C. 701(h)(3)).

    Justification

    HRSA has awarded a 12-month project period extension with full funding of the approved Federal direct cost budget authorized for the current budget period to Johns Hopkins University for the Home Visiting Research Network (HVRN) for the purpose of continuing the HVRN for an additional year.

    The current HVRN recipient continues to achieve the original goals required by HRSA and an additional award year will further accelerate the project to build on its national leadership in the field of home visiting research, seamlessly continue its cultivation of new funders to support new network translational and practice-based research, and capitalize on the increasing visibility of MIECHV which engages more communities, stakeholders and investors.

    Not only will this additional year allow for uninterrupted growth of the network activities, but also this additional time will also allow HRSA to better align future HVRN funding opportunity announcements with current home visiting research needs based on the outcomes of the FY 2014 performance improvement assessment and benchmark improvement needs.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Willis, MD, FAAP, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-86, Rockville, Maryland 20857; [email protected]

    Grantee/Organization Name Grant No. State FY 2014
  • authorized
  • funding level
  • FY 2015
  • estimated
  • funding level
  • The Johns Hopkins University UD5MC24070 MD $462,069 $299,000
    Dated: August 27, 2015. James Macrae, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21886 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 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 contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel Production Assistance for Cellular Therapies (PACT)—Cell Processing Facilities.

    Date: September 29, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Susan Wohler Sunnarborg, Ph.D. Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7182, Bethesda, MD 20892 [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel, Production Assistance for Cellular Therapies (PACT) Coordinating Center.

    Date: September 29, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Susan Wohler Sunnarborg, Ph.D. Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7182, Bethesda, MD 20892 [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 28, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21887 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4235-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002] Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (FEMA-4235-DR), dated August 5, 2015, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: August 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is hereby amended to include additional categories of work under the Public Assistance program for those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of August 5, 2015.

    The island of Saipan for Public Assistance [Categories C-G] (already designated for Individual Assistance and debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    The island of Tinian for Public Assistance [Categories C-G] (already designated for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21884 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3372-EM; Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002] Washington; Emergency and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the State of Washington (FEMA-3372-EM), dated August 21, 2015, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective date: August 21, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated August 21, 2015, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

    I have determined that the emergency conditions in certain areas of the State of Washington resulting from wildfires beginning on August 13, 2015, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the State of Washington.

    You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas. Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Benigno Bern Ruiz, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

    The following areas of the State of Washington have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

    The counties of Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21883 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001] Final Flood Hazard Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications of Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or regulatory floodways on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and where applicable, in the supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports have been made final for the communities listed in the table below.

    The FIRM and FIS report are the basis of the floodplain management measures that a community is required either to adopt or to show evidence of having in effect in order to qualify or remain qualified for participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In addition, the FIRM and FIS report are used by insurance agents and others to calculate appropriate flood insurance premium rates for buildings and the contents of those buildings.

    DATES:

    The effective date of October 16, 2015 which has been established for the FIRM and, where applicable, the supporting FIS report showing the new or modified flood hazard information for each community.

    ADDRESSES:

    The FIRM, and if applicable, the FIS report containing the final flood hazard information for each community is available for inspection at the respective Community Map Repository address listed in the tables below and will be available online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov by the effective date indicated above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Luis Rodriguez, Chief, Engineering Management Branch, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4064, or (email) [email protected]; or visit the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) online at www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes the final determinations listed below for the new or modified flood hazard information for each community listed. Notification of these changes has been published in newspapers of local circulation and 90 days have elapsed since that publication. The Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation has resolved any appeals resulting from this notification.

    This final notice is issued in accordance with section 110 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4104, and 44 CFR part 67. FEMA has developed criteria for floodplain management in floodprone areas in accordance with 44 CFR part 60.

    Interested lessees and owners of real property are encouraged to review the new or revised FIRM and FIS report available at the address cited below for each community or online through the FEMA Map Service Center at www.msc.fema.gov.

    The flood hazard determinations are made final in the watersheds and/or communities listed in the table below.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.022, “Flood Insurance.”) Dated: August 10, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    I. Watershed-based studies:

    Community Community map repository address Lower Wisconsin Watershed Crawford County, Wisconsin, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1434 City of Prairie du Chien City Hall, 214 East Blackhawk Avenue, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Unincorporated Areas of Crawford County Administration Building, 225 North Beaumont Road, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. Village of Bell Center Village Hall, 430 Bell Center Road, Bell Center, WI 54631. Village of Ferryville Village Hall, 170 Pine Street, Ferryville, WI 54631. Village of Gays Mills Village Hall, 16381 State Highway 131, Gays Mills, WI 54631. Village of Lynxville Village Hall, 475 Bench Street, Lynxville, WI 54626. Village of Soldiers Grove Village Hall, 102 Passive Sun Drive, Soldiers Grove, WI 54655. Village of Steuben Village Hall, 123 Midway Street, Steuben, WI 54657. Village of Wauzeka Village Hall, 213B East Front Street, Wauzeka, WI 53826.

    II. Non-watershed-based studies:

    Community Community map repository address Yavapai County, Arizona, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1266 City of Cottonwood Public Works Department, 1490 West Mingus Avenue, Cottonwood, AZ 86326. Town of Camp Verde Town Clerk's Office, 473 South Main Street, Suite 102, Camp Verde, AZ 86322. Town of Clarkdale Public Works Department, 890 Main Street, Clarkdale, AZ 86324. Unincorporated Areas of Yavapai County Yavapai County Flood Control District Office, 1120 Commerce Drive, Prescott, AZ 86305. Des Moines County, Iowa, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1415 City of Burlington Development Department, 400 Washington Street, Burlington, IA 52601. Unincorporated Areas of Des Moines County Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, 200 North Front Street, Suite 400, Burlington, IA 52601. Louisa County, Iowa, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1415 City of Oakville City Hall, 601 Second Street, Oakville, IA 52646. Unincorporated Areas of Louisa County County Courthouse, 117 South Main Street, Wapello, IA 52653. Stillwater County, Montana, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1418 Town of Columbus Stillwater County West Annex, 431 Quarry Road, Columbus, MT 59019. Unincorporated Areas of Stillwater County Stillwater County West Annex, 431 Quarry Road, Columbus, MT 59019. Mercer County, North Dakota, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1427 City of Beulah Beulah City Hall, 120 Central Avenue North, Beulah, ND 58523. City of Golden Valley City Hall, 110 1st Avenue SW, Golden Valley, ND 58541. City of Hazen City Planner, 146 Main Street East, Hazen, ND 58545. City of Stanton City Hall, 109 Harmon Avenue, Stanton, ND 58571. City of Zap Auditor, City of Zap, 121 Main Street, Zap, ND 58580. Three Affiliated Tribes of The Fort Berthold Reservation Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold, 404 Frontage Road, New Town, ND 58763. Unincorporated Areas of Mercer County Department of Emergency Services, 1021 Arthur Street, Stanton, ND 58571. Morton County, North Dakota, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1427 City of Hebron City Hall, 620 Washington Avenue, Hebron, ND 58638. City of Mandan City Hall, 205 2nd Avenue NW, Mandan, ND 58554. Unincorporated Areas of Morton County Morton County Courthouse, 210 2nd Avenue NW, Mandan, ND 58554. Traill County, North Dakota, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1433 Township of Belmont Traill County Courthouse, 114 West Caledonia Avenue, Hillsboro, ND 58045. Township of Bingham Traill County Courthouse, 114 West Caledonia Avenue, Hillsboro, ND 58045. Township of Caledonia Traill County Courthouse, 114 West Caledonia Avenue, Hillsboro, ND 58045. Township of Elm River Traill County Courthouse, 114 West Caledonia Avenue, Hillsboro, ND 58045. Townshipof Herberg Traill County Courthouse, 114 West Caledonia Avenue, Hillsboro, ND 58045. Greene County, Pennsylvania (All Jurisdictions) Docket No.: FEMA-B-1429 Borough of Carmichaels Borough Building, 100 West George Street, Carmichaels, PA 15320. Borough of Clarksville Borough Office, 300 Factory Street, Clarksville, PA 15322. Borough of Greensboro Borough Office, 405 Front Street, Greensboro, PA 15338. Borough of Rices Landing Borough Municipal Building, 137 Main Street, Rices Landing, PA 15357. Borough of Waynesburg Borough Office, 90 East High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370. Township of Aleppo Aleppo Township Municipal Building, 815 Aleppo Road, New Freeport, PA 15352. Township of Center Center Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Rogersville, PA 15359. Township of Cumberland Cumberland Township Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Road, Carmichaels, PA 15320. Township of Dunkard Dunkard Township Office, 370 North Moreland Street, Bobtown, PA 15315. Township of Franklin Franklin Township Municipal Building, 568 Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370. Township of Freeport Freeport Township Office, 773 Golden Oaks Road, New Freeport, PA 15352. Township of Gilmore Gilmore Township Municipal Building, 181 Hero Road, New Freeport, PA 15352. Township of Gray Gray Township Municipal Building, 201 Stringtown Road, Graysville, PA 15337. Township of Greene Greene Township Office, 243 Garards Fort Road, Garards Fort, PA 15334. Township of Jackson Jackson Township Building, 104 Tunnel Road, Holbrook, PA 15341. Township of Jefferson Jefferson Township Municipal Building, 173 Goslin Road, Rices Landing, PA 15357. Township of Monongahela Monongahela Township Office Building, 128 Maple Ridge Road, Greensboro, PA 15338. Township of Morgan Morgan Township Municipal Building, 1019 3rd Street Extension, Mather, PA 15346. Township of Morris Morris Township Municipal Building, 1317 Browns Creek Road, Sycamore, PA 15364. Township of Perry Perry Township Municipal Building, 799 Big Shannon Run Road, Mount Morris, PA 15349. Township of Richhill Richhill Township Municipal Building, 109 Municipal Lane, Wind Ridge, PA 15380. Township of Springhill Springhill Township Municipal Building, 268 Windy Gap Road, Aleppo, PA 15310. Township of Washington Washington Township Municipal Office, 112 Municipal Lane, Prosperity, PA 15329. Township of Wayne Wayne Township Municipal Building, 132 Spraggs Road, Spraggs, PA 15362. Township of Whiteley Whiteley Township Municipal Building, 1426 Kirby Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370. Washington County, Wisconsin, and Incorporated Areas Docket No.: FEMA-B-1356 City of Hartford City Hall, 109 North Main Street, Hartford, WI 53027. Unincorporated Areas of Washington County Washington County Government Center, 432 East Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095. Village of Germantown Village Hall, N112 W17001 Mequon Road, Germantown, WI 53022. Village of Richfield Village Hall, 4128 Hubertus Road, Hubertus, WI 53033. Village of Slinger Village Hall, 300 Slinger Road, Slinger, WI 53086.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21882 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2008-0010] Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Committee Management; Notice of Open Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy (Board) will meet on September 22-23, 2015, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 22, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and on Wednesday, September 23, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Please note that the meeting may close early if the Board has completed its business.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Emergency Training Center, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Building H, Room 300, Emmitsburg, Maryland. Members of the public who wish to obtain details on how to gain access to the facility and directions may contact Ruth MacPhail as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by close of business September 15, 2015. Picture identification is needed for access. Members of the public may also participate by teleconference and may contact Ruth MacPhail to obtain the call-in number and access code. For information on services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance, contact Ruth MacPhail as soon as possible.

    To facilitate public participation, we are inviting public comment on the issues to be considered by the Board as listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. Comments must be submitted in writing no later than September 15, 2015, must be identified by Docket ID FEMA-2008-0010 and may be submitted by one of the following methods:

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

    • Email: [email protected] Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

    • Mail/Hand Delivery: Ruth MacPhail, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the Docket ID for this action. Comments received will be posted without alteration at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received by the National Fire Academy Board of Visitors, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on “Advanced Search,” then enter “FEMA-2008-0010” in the “By Docket ID” box, then select “FEMA” under “By Agency,” and then click “Search.” Meeting materials will be posted at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/about/bov.shtm by September 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alternate Designated Federal Officer: Kirby E. Kiefer, telephone (301) 447-1117, email [email protected]

    Logistical Information: Ruth MacPhail, telephone (301) 447-1117, fax (301) 447-1173, and email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy (Board) will meet on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23, 2015. The meeting will be open to the public. Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix.

    Purpose of the Board

    The purpose of the Board is to review annually the programs of the National Fire Academy (NFA) and advise the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through the United States Fire Administrator, on the operation of the NFA and any improvements therein that the Board deems appropriate. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Board examines NFA programs to determine whether these programs further the basic missions that are approved by the Administrator of FEMA, examines the physical plant of the NFA to determine the adequacy of the NFA's facilities, and examines the funding levels for NFA programs. The Board submits a written annual report through the United States Fire Administrator to the Administrator of FEMA. The report provides detailed comments and recommendations regarding the operation of the NFA.

    Agenda

    On the first day of the meeting, there will be five sessions, with deliberations and voting at the end of each session as necessary. The Board will also select a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for Fiscal Year 2016.

    1. The Board will receive updates on U.S. Fire Administration data, research, and response support initiatives.

    2. The Board will then deliberate and vote on recommendations on NFA program activities, including:

    • The Managing Officer Program, a multiyear curriculum that introduced emerging emergency services leaders to personal and professional skills in change management, risk reduction, and adaptive leadership; a progress report on this new program will be discussed;

    • Report of the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) Symposium held September 10-12, 2015; an annual event for alumni which recognizes outstanding applied research completed by present EFOP participants, recognizes recent EFOP graduates, provides high-quality presentations offered by private and public sector representatives, facilitates networking between EFOP graduates, promotes further dialog between EFOP graduates and U.S. Fire Administrator and National Fire Academy faculty and staff.

    • Curriculum and Instruction program activities;

    • Status of Staff Vacancies and Challenges;

    • Resident class enrollment increase.

    • Report of the Annual National Professional Development Symposium and Support Initiatives, held June 10-12, 2015, which brought national training and education audiences together for their annual conference and support initiatives.

    3. The Board will then discuss deferred maintenance and capital improvements on the National Emergency Training Center campus and Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request/Budget Planning.

    4. The Board will then receive annual ethics training.

    5. The Board will also conduct classroom visits.

    On the second day, the Board will continue classroom visits, as well as tour the campus facility. The Board will then engage in an annual report writing session. Deliberations or voting may occur as needed during the report writing session.

    There will be a 10-minute comment period after each agenda item; each speaker will be given no more than 2 minutes to speak. Please note that the public comment period may end before the time indicated, following the last call for comments. Contact Ruth MacPhail to register as a speaker.

    Dated: August 28, 2015. Terry P. Gladhill, Executive Officer, National Fire Academy, United States Fire Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21835 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-45-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [CIS No. 2570-15; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0005] RIN 1615-ZB41 Designation of the Republic of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has designated the Republic of Yemen (Yemen) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective September 3, 2015, through March 3, 2017. Under section 244(b)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), the Secretary is authorized to designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding that there is an ongoing armed conflict within the foreign state and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of nationals of the state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety.

    This designation allows eligible Yemeni nationals (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) who have continuously resided in the United States since September 3, 2015, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 3, 2015 to be granted TPS. This Notice also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet.

    Individuals who believe they may qualify for TPS under this designation may apply within the 180-day registration period that begins on September 3, 2015, and ends on March 1, 2016. They may also apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and for travel authorization. Through this Notice, DHS also sets forth the procedures for nationals of Yemen (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) to apply for TPS, EADs, and travel authorization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    DATES:

    This designation of Yemen for TPS is effective on September 3, 2015, and will remain in effect through March 3, 2017. The 180-day registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications begins September 3, 2015, and will remain in effect through March 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    • For further information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. You can find specific information about Yemen's TPS designation by selecting “TPS Designated Country: Yemen” from the menu on the left of the TPS Web page.

    • You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager at the Waivers and Temporary Services Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060; or by phone at (202) 272-1533 (this is not a toll-free number). Note: The phone number provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS Notice. It is not for individual case status inquires.

    • Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

    • Further information will also be available at local USCIS offices upon publication of this Notice.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Abbreviations BIA—Board of Immigration Appeals DHS—Department of Homeland Security EAD—Employment Authorization Document FNC—Final Nonconfirmation Government—U.S. Government IJ—Immigration Judge INA—Immigration and Nationality Act OSC—U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices SAVE—USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program Secretary—Secretary of Homeland Security TNC—Tentative Nonconfirmation TPS—Temporary Protected Status TTY—Text Telephone UN—United Nations USCIS—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

    • TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the INA, or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.

    • During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are authorized to work and to obtain EADs, so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS.

    • TPS beneficiaries may be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion.

    • The granting of TPS does not result in or lead to lawful permanent resident status.

    • To qualify for TPS, beneficiaries must meet the eligibility standards at INA section 244(c)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2).

    • When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS, if any (unless that status has since expired or been terminated), or to any other lawfully obtained immigration status they received while registered for TPS.

    What authority does the Secretary have to designate Yemen for TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate U.S. Government (Government) agencies, to designate a foreign state (or part thereof) for TPS if the Secretary finds that certain country conditions exist.1 The Secretary can designate a foreign state for TPS if the Secretary determines that one or more of three bases exist. One basis is if the Secretary finds that “. . . that there is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who are nationals of that state to that state (or to the part of the state) would pose a serious threat to their personal safety . . .” INA section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).

    1 As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a provision of the INA describing functions transferred from the Department of Justice to DHS “shall be deemed to refer to the Secretary” of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (codifying the Homeland Security Act of 2002, tit. XV, section 1517).

    Following the designation of a foreign state for TPS, the Secretary may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state (or eligible aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that state). See INA section 244(a)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A). Applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously physically present” in the United States since the effective date of the designation, which is either the date of the Federal Register Notice announcing the designation or such later date as the Secretary may determine, and that they have “continuously resided” in the United States since such date as the Secretary may designate. See INA sections 244(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i-ii); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A), (b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i-ii).

    Why is the Secretary designating Yemen for TPS through March 3, 2017?

    The Secretary has determined, after consultation with the Department of State and other appropriate Government agencies, that there is an ongoing armed conflict within Yemen and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of Yemeni nationals to Yemen would pose a serious threat to their personal safety.

    In July 2014, the Houthis, a northern opposition group, began a violent territorial expansion across Yemen. The Houthis took over the capital, Sana'a, in September 2014, and placed the President, Prime Minister, and cabinet officials under house arrest in January 2015. President Abdo Rabo Mansur Hadi left Sana'a for Yemen's southern port city of Aden in February 2015 to resume his presidential duties. As the Houthis continued their military campaign, however, they eventually closed in on Aden and by the end of March 2015, President Hadi and many other members of the government relocated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia).

    On March 26, 2015, a coalition of more than ten countries, led by Saudi Arabia and at the request of President Hadi, initiated air strikes against the Houthis. Air strikes have occurred across the country, but have been concentrated in Sa'dah, Hajjah, Sana'a, Taiz, Marib, Al Dhale'e, and Aden. Houthi ground forces simultaneously engaged in fierce battles in Aden and Marib against local ethnic groups and pro-government fighters. The conflict has affected 21 out of Yemen's 22 governorates.

    The conflict has caused an acute and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. The airstrikes and ground fighting have killed, wounded, and displaced noncombatants and destroyed and damaged hospitals, schools, roads, airports, the electric power grid, the water supply, and other critical infrastructure. The humanitarian situation is compounded by access constraints. Relief efforts and supplies have been hindered by the limited capacity of airports, seaports, and roadblocks. Furthermore, ongoing violence and airstrikes are restricting the movement of civilians to safe areas and restricting their ability to receive needed basic services and supplies.

    While the exact number of housing units that have been destroyed or damaged by the airstrikes and ground fighting has not been determined, the United Nations (UN) is reporting that approximately 42,000 people, in 7,000 households, were identified as needing shelter as a direct result of the conflict since March 2015. The UN has reported that nearly 1.3 million people in Yemen have become internally displaced since the start of the conflict.

    Movement through or around the conflict zones is fraught with extreme danger. A full assessment by those reporting on the ground has been hindered by security concerns and infrastructure damage, but the UN has reported that as of July 2015, there have been approximately 3,700 registered deaths and over 18,000 registered injuries attributed to the conflict.

    Because Yemen relies on imports for 90 percent of its food, the combination of severely reduced imports, low food stocks, and a shortage of fuel has increased the number of people experiencing food insecurity to 12.9 million, nearly half of the total population of Yemen, including 5 million who are classified as severely food insecure. Due to the conflict, 470,000 children under the age of 5 have lost access to nutrition services previously provided to them through 158 Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding Programs.

    The impact on key logistical and civilian infrastructure across Yemen from the airstrikes and ground fighting has been devastating. Yemen has suffered heavy damage to its airports, harbors, bridges and roads, which presents significant obstacles to relief efforts. Damage to health facilities has also been substantial and the UN has reported that, as a result of the fighting, at least five hospitals were destroyed or suffered catastrophic damage in Sana'a, Al Dhale'e, and Aden. Nearly 3,600 schools remain closed due to insecurity, with over 330 schools directly affected by the conflict. Of these, 86 schools were reported damaged due to airstrikes or armed confrontations and a further 246 were reported as occupied by internally displaced persons.

    The destruction and closure of numerous hospitals and medical facilities is resulting in increased fatalities, including among women, due to miscarriages and a lack of delivery and postnatal care. Hospitals that remain open are operating at limited capacity and are unable to cope with the scale of needs, while others have shut down due to insecurity and a lack of fuel, staff and supplies. Internally displaced persons across Yemen indicate that among their most pressing needs are medicine and treatment for malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, unspecified chronic diseases, and respiratory diseases.

    Based upon this review and after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:

    • There is an ongoing armed conflict in Yemen and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of Yemeni nationals to Yemen would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. See INA section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A);

    • The designation of Yemen for TPS will be for an 18-month period from September 3, 2015, through March 3, 2017. See INA section 244(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2);

    • The date by which applicants for TPS under the designation of Yemen must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States is September 3, 2015. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii);

    • The date by which applicants for TPS under the designation of Yemen must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States is September 3, 2015, the effective date of this designation of Yemen for TPS. INA sections 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); and

    • An estimated 500 to 2,000 nationals of Yemen (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) are (or are likely to become) eligible for TPS under this designation. This estimate is based on the total number of Yemeni nationals believed to be in the United States in a nonimmigrant status or without lawful immigration status.

    Notice of the Designation of Yemen for TPS

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary under INA section 244, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, after consultation with the appropriate Government agencies, I designate Yemen for TPS under INA section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), for a period of 18 months from September 3, 2015, through March 3, 2017.

    Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary. Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register for TPS

    To register for TPS for Yemen, an applicant must submit each of the following two applications:

    1. Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) with the form fee; and

    2. Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).

    For administrative purposes, an applicant must submit an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) even if no Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is requested.

    If you want an EAD you must pay the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) fee only if you are age 14 through 65.

    No fee for Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) is required if you are not requesting an EAD with an initial TPS application. Additionally, no fee is required if you are requesting an EAD and you are under the age of 14 or over the age of 65.

    You must submit both completed application forms together. If you are unable to pay the required fees, you may apply for a waiver of these application fees and/or the biometrics services fee described below by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912), or submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the application forms and fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps. Fees for Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821), Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), and biometric services are also described in 8 CFR 103.7(b).

    Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric services fee. As previously stated, if you are unable to pay for the biometric services fee, you may request a fee waiver by completing a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) or by submitting a personal letter requesting a fee waiver, and providing satisfactory supporting documentation. For more information on the biometric services fee, please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. If necessary, you may be required to visit an Application Support Center to have your biometrics captured.

    Re-Filing a TPS Application After Receiving a Denial of a Fee Waiver Request

    If you request a fee waiver when filing your TPS and EAD application forms and your request is denied, you may refile your application packet with the correct fees before the filing deadline of March 1, 2016. If you attempt to submit your application with a fee waiver request before the initial filing deadline, but you receive your application back with the USCIS fee waiver denial, and there are fewer than 45 days before the filing deadline (or the deadline has passed), you may still refile your application within the 45-day period after the date on the USCIS fee waiver denial notice. You must include the correct fees, or file a new fee waiver request. Your application will not be rejected even if the deadline has passed, provided it is mailed within those 45 days and all other required information for the application is included. Please be aware that if you re-file your TPS application packet with a new fee waiver request after the deadline based on this guidance and that new fee waiver request is denied, you cannot re-file again. Note: Alternatively, you may pay the TPS application fee and biometrics fee (if age 14 or older) but wait to request an EAD and pay the EAD application fee after USCIS grants your TPS application.

    Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1.

    Table 1—Mailing Addresses If you: Then mail your application to: Would like to send your application by U.S. Postal Service USCIS, P.O. Box 7555, Chicago, IL 60680. Would like to send your application by non-U.S. Postal Service courier Attn: Yemen TPS, 131 S. Dearborn 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603.

    If you were granted TPS by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request an EAD, please mail your application to the appropriate mailing address in Table 1. After you submit your EAD application and receive a USCIS receipt number, please send an email to the Service Center handling your application. The email should include the receipt number and state that you submitted a request for an EAD based on an IJ/BIA grant of TPS. This will aid in the verification of your grant and processing of your application, as USCIS may not have received records of your grant of TPS by either an IJ or the BIA. To obtain additional information, including the email address of the appropriate Service Center, you may go to the USCIS TPS Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.

    E-Filing

    You cannot electronically file your application packet when applying for initial registration for TPS. Please mail your application packet to the mailing address listed in Table 1.

    Supporting Documents What type of basic supporting documentation must I submit?

    To meet the basic eligibility requirements for TPS, you must submit evidence that you:

    • Are a national of Yemen or an alien having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen. Such documents may include a copy of your passport if available, other documentation issued by the Government of Yemen showing your nationality (e.g., national identity card, official travel documentation issued by the Government of Yemen), and/or your birth certificate with English translation accompanied by photo identification. USCIS will also consider certain forms of secondary evidence supporting your Yemeni nationality. If the evidence presented is insufficient for USCIS to make a determination as to your nationality, USCIS may request additional evidence. If you cannot provide a passport, birth certificate with photo identification, or a national identity document with your photo or fingerprint, you must submit an affidavit showing proof of your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents and affirming that you are a national of Yemen. However, please be aware that an interview with an immigration officer will be required if you do not present any documentary proof of identity or nationality or if USCIS otherwise requests a personal appearance. See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9), 244.9(a)(1);

    • Have continuously resided in the United States since September 3, 2015. See INA section 244(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A)(ii); 8 CFR 244.9(a)(2); and

    • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 3, 2015, the effective date of the designation of Yemen for TPS. See INA sections 244(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(2)(A), (c)(1)(A)(i).

    You must also submit two color passport-style photographs of yourself. The filing instructions on the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) list all the documents needed to establish basic eligibility for TPS. You may also find information on the acceptable documentation and other requirements for applying for TPS on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov/tps under “TPS Designated Country: Yemen.”

    Do I need to submit additional supporting documentation?

    If one or more of the questions listed in Part 4, Question 2 of the Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) applies to you, then you must submit an explanation on a separate sheet(s) of paper and/or additional documentation. Depending on the nature of the question(s) you are addressing, additional documentation alone may suffice, but usually a written explanation will also be needed.

    Employment Authorization Document (EAD) How can I obtain information on the status of my EAD request?

    To obtain case status information about your TPS application, including the status of a request for an EAD, you can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833). If your Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) has been pending for more than 90 days, and you still need assistance, you may request an EAD inquiry appointment with USCIS by using the InfoPass system athttps://infopass.uscis.gov. However, we strongly encourage you first to check Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center for assistance before making an InfoPass appointment.

    When hired, what documentation may I show to my employer as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)?

    You can find the acceptable document choices on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). You can find additional detailed information on the USCIS I-9 Central Web page at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new employees by using the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Within 3 days of hire, an employee must present proof of identity and employment authorization to his or her employer.

    You may present any document from List A (reflecting both your identity and employment authorization), or one document from List B (reflecting identity) together with one document from List C (reflecting employment authorization). As described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions, you may present an acceptable receipt for List A, List B, or List C documents including the receipt for the application for replacement of a lost, stolen or damaged document. A receipt for the application for an initial or renewal employment authorization is not an acceptable receipt. An EAD is an acceptable document under “List A.” Employers may not reject a document based on a future expiration date.

    Can my employer require that I produce any other documentation to prove my current TPS status, such as proof of my Yemeni citizenship or proof that I have registered for TPS?

    No. When completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), including re-verifying employment authorization, employers must accept any documentation that appears on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) that reasonably appears to be genuine and that relates to you, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt. Employers may not request documentation that does not appear on the “Lists of Acceptable Documents.” Therefore, employers may not request proof of Yemeni citizenship or proof of TPS registration when completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for new hires or reverifying the employment authorization of current employees. If presented with EADs that are unexpired on their face, employers should accept such EADs as valid “List A” documents so long as the EADs reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee. Refer to the “Note to All Employees” section for important information about your rights if your employer rejects lawful documentation, requires additional documentation, or otherwise discriminates against you because of your citizenship or immigration status, or national origin.

    Note to All Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring proper employment eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth reverification requirements. For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employers may call USCIS at 888-464-4218 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email USCIS at [email protected] Calls and emails are accepted in English and many other languages. For questions about avoiding discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process, employers may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline at 800-255-8155 (TTY 800-237-2515), which offers language interpretation in numerous languages, or email OSC at [email protected]

    Note to Employees

    For general questions about the employment eligibility verification process, employees may call USCIS at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028) or email at [email protected] Calls are accepted in English and many other languages. Employees or applicants may also call the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) for information regarding employment discrimination based upon citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin, or for information regarding discrimination related to Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify. The OSC Worker Information Hotline provides language interpretation in numerous languages.

    To comply with the law, employers must accept any document or combination of documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documents if the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee, or an acceptable List A, List B, or List C receipt described in the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Instructions. Employers may not require extra or additional documentation beyond what is required for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) completion. Further, employers participating in E-Verify who receive an E-Verify case result of “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC) must promptly inform employees of the TNC and give such employees an opportunity to contest the TNC. A TNC case result means that the information entered into E-Verify from Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) differs from Federal or state government records.

    Employers may not terminate, suspend, delay training, withhold pay, lower pay or take any adverse action against an employee based on the employee's decision to contest a TNC or because the case is still pending with E-Verify. A Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) case result is received when E-Verify cannot confirm an employee's employment eligibility. An employer may terminate employment based on a case result of FNC. Work-authorized employees who receive an FNC may call USCIS for assistance at 888-897-7781 (TTY 877-875-6028). An employee who believes he or she was discriminated against by an employer in the E-Verify process based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin, may contact OSC's Worker Information Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515). Additional information about proper nondiscriminatory Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) and E-Verify procedures is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/ and the USCIS Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/E-verify.

    Note Regarding Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (Such as Departments of Motor Vehicles)

    While Federal Government agencies must follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal Government, State and local government agencies establish their own rules and guidelines when granting certain benefits. Each State may have different laws, requirements, and determinations about what documents you need to provide to prove eligibility for certain benefits. Whether you are applying for a Federal, State, or local government benefit, you may need to provide the government agency with documents that show you are a TPS beneficiary and/or show you are authorized to work based on TPS. Examples are:

    (1) Your EAD that has a valid expiration date;

    (2) A copy of your Notice of Action (Form I-797C) showing approval for TPS, if you receive one from USCIS.

    Check with the government agency regarding which document(s) the agency will accept. You may also provide the agency with a copy of this Federal Register Notice.

    Some benefit-granting agencies use the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE) to confirm the current immigration status of applicants for public benefits. If such an agency has denied your application based solely or in part on a SAVE response, the agency must offer you the opportunity to appeal the decision in accordance with the agency's procedures. If the agency has received and acted upon or will act upon a SAVE verification and you do not believe the response is correct, you may make an InfoPass appointment for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office. Detailed information on how to make corrections, make an appointment, or submit a written request to correct records under the Freedom of Information Act can be found at the SAVE Web site at http://www.uscis.gov/save, then by choosing “How to Correct Your Records” from the menu on the right.

    [FR Doc. 2015-21881 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-IA-2015-N173; FXIA16710900000-156-FF09A30000] Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of applications for permit.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibit activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before October 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Monica Thomas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, MS: IA, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041; fax (703) 358-2281; or email [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Monica Thomas, (703) 358-2104 (telephone); (703) 358-2281 (fax); [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I request copies of applications or comment on submitted applications?

    Send your request for copies of applications or comments and materials concerning any of the applications to the contact listed under ADDRESSES. Please include the Federal Register notice publication date, the PRT-number, and the name of the applicant in your request or submission. We will not consider requests or comments sent to an email or address not listed under ADDRESSES. If you provide an email address in your request for copies of applications, we will attempt to respond to your request electronically.

    Please make your requests or comments as specific as possible. Please confine your comments to issues for which we seek comments in this notice, and explain the basis for your comments. Include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include.

    The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) Those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or comments delivered to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES).

    B. May I review comments submitted by others?

    Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the street address listed under ADDRESSES. The public may review documents and other information applicants have sent in support of the application unless our allowing viewing would violate the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act. 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.

    II. Background

    To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), along with Executive Order 13576, “Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,” and the President's Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009—Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009), which call on all Federal agencies to promote openness and transparency in Government by disclosing information to the public, we invite public comment on these permit applications before final action is taken.

    III. Permit Applications A. Endangered Species Applicant: Zoological Society of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Cincinnati, OH; PRT-53920B

    The applicant requests a permit to export one male captive born Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) to Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), West Java, Indonesia, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species through captive propagation.

    Applicant: Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Inc., Baltimore, MD; PRT-64246B

    The applicant requests a permit to re-export biological samples obtained from salvaged wild specimens of Eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei) to the United Kingdom for the purpose of scientific research.

    Applicant: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; PRT-63281B

    The applicant requests a permit to export biological samples obtained from captive-bred tigers (Panthera tigris) to the United Kingdom for the purpose of scientific research.

    Applicant: Festival Fun Parks, LLC, Miami, FL; PRT-66062B

    The applicant requests a permit for interstate transport of 10 jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus) from the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo, California, to Miami Seaquarium, Miami, Florida, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Crocodile Encounter, Angleton, TX; PRT-54414B

    The applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the following species to enhance species propagation or survival: Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Siamese crocodile (C. siamensis), Saltwater crocodile (C. porosus), Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis), and common caiman (Caiman crocodylus). This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Tomich, Ian, Phoenix, AZ; PRT-59955B

    The applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the following species to enhance species propagation or survival: Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: James Gresham, Richmond, TX; PRT-73576B

    The applicant requests a permit to import a sport-hunted trophy of one male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) culled from a captive herd maintained under the management program of the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.

    Monica Thomas, Management Analyst, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21889 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [XXXD5198NI DS61100000 DNINR0000.000000 DX61104] EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary is announcing a public meeting of the EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee.

    DATES:

    September 22, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    First floor conference room, Glenn Olds Hall, 4210 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Philip Johnson, Department of the Interior, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, 1689 “C” Street, Suite 119, Anchorage, Alaska, (907) 271-5011.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee was created by Paragraph V.A.4 of the Memorandum of Agreement and Consent Decree entered into by the United States of America and the State of Alaska on August 27, 1991, and approved by the United States District Court for the District of Alaska in settlement of United States of America v. State of Alaska, Civil Action No. A91-081 CV.

    The EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee Meeting agenda will focus on review of FY16 Work Plan projects, Annual Program Development and Implementation Budget (APDI), draft FY17-21 Invitation, and Habitat matters, as applicable. An opportunity for public comments will be provided. The final agenda and materials for the meeting will be posted on the EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Trustee Council Web site at www.evostc.state.ak.us. All EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public.

    Willie Taylor, Director, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21907 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-AKRO-ANIA-LACL-WRST-19121; PPAKAKROR4; PPMPRLE1Y.LS0000] Notice of Open Public Meetings and Teleconferences for the National Park Service Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission Program AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notices.

    SUMMARY:

    As required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (16 U.S.C. Appendix 1-16), the National Park Service (NPS) is hereby giving notice that the Aniakchak National Monument Subsistence Resource Commission (SRC), the Lake Clark National Park SRC and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC will hold public meetings to develop and continue work on NPS subsistence program recommendations, and other related regulatory proposals and resource management issues. The NPS SRC program is authorized under Section 808 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, (16 U.S.C. 3118), title VIII.

    Aniakchak National Monument SRC Meeting/Teleconfernce Date and Location: The Aniakchak National Monument SRC will meet from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. or until business is completed on Thursday, September 24, 2015, at the Chignik Lagoon Subsistence Hall in Chignik Lake, AK. Teleconference participants must call the National Park Service office in King Salmon, AK at (907) 246-2154 or (907) 246-3305, by Thursday, September 17, 2015, prior to the meeting to receive teleconference passcode information. For more detailed information regarding this meeting, or if you are interested in applying for SRC membership contact Designated Federal Official Diane Chung, Superintendent, at (907) 442-3890, or via email at [email protected] or Linda Chisholm, Subsistence Coordinator, at (907) 246-2154, or via email at linda_chisholm or Clarence Summers, Subsistence Manager, at (907) 644-3603 or via email at [email protected]

    Lake Clark National Park SRC Meeting/Teleconfernce Date and Location: The Lake Clark National Park SRC will meet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. or until business is completed on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Port Alsworth, AK. Teleconference participants must call the National Park Service office at (907) 644-3626 or (907) 781-2218, by Wednesday, September 30, 2015, prior to the meeting to receive teleconference passcode information. For more detailed information regarding this meeting, or if you are interested in applying for SRC membership, contact Designated Federal Official Margaret L. Goodro, Superintendent, at (907) 644-3627, or via email at [email protected], or Liza Rupp, Subsistence Manager, at (907) 644-3603, or via email at [email protected] or Clarence Summers, Subsistence Manager, at (907) 644-3603 or via email at [email protected]

    Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC Meeting/Teleconference Date and Location: The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, October 19, 2015, and Tuesday, October 20, 2015, or until business is completed at the Tazlina Village Hall in Tazlina, AK. Evening sessions may take place on these dates at the call of the chair. If the work of the SRC is completed on Monday, October 19, 2015, the SRC will not meet on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Teleconference participants must call National Park Service at (907) 822-7236 or (907) 822-5234, by Wednesday, October 14, 2015, to receive teleconference information. For more detailed information regarding this meeting, or if you are interested in applying for SRC membership, contact Barbara Cellarius, Subsistence Manager, at (907) 822-7236 or via email at [email protected] or Clarence Summers, Subsistence Manager, at (907) 644-3603 or via email at [email protected]

    Proposed Meeting Agenda: The agenda may change to accommodate SRC business. The proposed meeting agenda for each meeting includes the following:

    1. Call to Order—Confirm Quorum 2. Welcome and Introduction 3. Review and Adoption of Agenda 4. Approval of Minutes 5. Superintendent's Welcome and Review of the SRC Purpose 6. SRC Membership Status 7. SRC Chair and Members' Reports 8. Superintendent's Report 9. Old Business 10. New Business 11. Federal Subsistence Board Update 12. Alaska Boards of Fish and Game Update 13. National Park Service Reports a. Ranger Update b. Resource Manager's Report c. Subsistence Manager's Report 14. Public and Other Agency Comments 15. Work Session 16. Set Tentative Date and Location for Next SRC Meeting 17. Adjourn Meeting

    SRC meeting locations and dates may change based on inclement weather or exceptional circumstances. If the meeting date and location are changed, the Superintendent will issue a press release and use local newspapers and radio stations to announce the rescheduled meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    SRC meetings are open to the public and will have time allocated for public testimony. The public is welcome to present written or oral comments to the SRC. SRC meetings will be recorded and meeting minutes will be available upon request from the Superintendent for public inspection approximately six weeks after the meeting. Before including your address, telephone 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 may 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.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Alma Ripps, Chief, Office of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21949 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR84420000, 15XR0680R4, RX.19520003.9WOLMIS] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Notice To Delete an Existing System of Records AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice to delete an existing system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Interior is issuing public notice of its intent to delete the Bureau of Reclamation Privacy Act system of records, Interior-WBR-50, Reclamation Law Enforcement Management Information System, from its existing inventory.

    DATES:

    This deletion will be effective on September 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Deborah Suehr, Privacy Act Officer, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Federal Center, 6th and Kipling, Bldg. 67, Denver, Colorado 80225; by telephone at (303) 445-3292; or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is deleting Interior-WBR-50 from its system of records inventory. A Federal Register notice was last published for this system of records on October 20, 2008 (73 FR 62314).

    Reclamation has decommissioned records previously maintained within this system and migrated those records into the DOI-10, Incident Management, Analysis, and Reporting System, system of records as indicated in the public notice published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2014 (79 FR 31974). Deleting the Interior-WBR-50 system of records notice will have no adverse impacts on individuals as the records are covered under the Department-wide law enforcement system notice. Individuals may continue to seek access or correction to their records under the DOI-10 system of records notice. This deletion will also promote the overall streamlining and management of Department of the Interior Privacy Act systems of records.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. Bruce C. Muller, Jr., Director, Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21924 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR83570000, 156R5065C6, RX.59389832.1009676] Agency Information Collection; Renewal of a Currently Approved Information Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Bureau of Reclamation, intend to submit a request for renewal of an existing approved information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): Recreation Use Data Report, OMB Control Number 1006-0002. As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, Reclamation invites other Federal agencies, State, local, or tribal governments that manage recreation sites at Reclamation projects; concessionaires, and not-for-profit organizations who operate concessions on Reclamation lands; and the public, to comment on this information collection.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on this information collection request on or before November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments or requests for copies of the forms to Mr. Jerome Jackson, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Policy and Administration, 84-57000, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225-0007; or via email to [email protected] Please reference OMB No. 1006-0002 in your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jerome Jackson at (303) 445-2712.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) collects agency-wide recreation and concession information to fulfill congressional reporting requirements pursuant to current public laws, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (Pub. L. 88-578), the Federal Water Project Recreation Act (Pub. L. 89-72), and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Pub. L. 108-477). In addition, collected information will permit relevant program assessments of resources managed by Reclamation, its recreation managing partners, and/or concessionaires for the purpose of contributing to the implementation of Reclamation's mission. More specifically, the collected information enables Reclamation to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of program management based on existing recreation and concessionaire resources and facilities, and (2) validate the efficiency of resources for public use within partner managed recreation resources, located on Reclamation project lands in the 17 Western States.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1006-0002.

    Title: Recreation Use Data Report.

    Form Numbers: Form 7-2534—Part I, Managing Partners and Direct Managed Recreation Areas; Form 7-2535—Part II, Concessionaires.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondents: State, local, or tribal governments; agencies who manage Reclamation's recreation resources and facilities; and commercial concessions, subconcessionaires, and nonprofit organizations located on Reclamation lands with associated recreation services.

    Estimated Total Number of Respondents: 270.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Number of Annual Responses: 270.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 136 hours.

    Estimate of Burden for Each Form:

    Form number Burden
  • estimate
  • per form
  • (in minutes)
  • Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • burden on
  • respondents
  • (in hours)
  • Form 7-2534 (Part 1, Managing Partners) 30 155 78 Form 7-2535 (Part 2, Concessionaires) 30 115 58 Total Burden Hours 136
    III. Request for Comments

    We invite your comments on:

    (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of our functions, including whether the information will have practical use;

    (b) the accuracy of our estimated time and cost burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including increased use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    We will summarize all comments received regarding this notice. We will publish that summary in the Federal Register when the information collection request is submitted to OMB for review and approval.

    IV. Public Disclosure

    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.

    Dated: August 12, 2015. Roseann Gonzales, Director, Policy and Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21919 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-613 REMAND] Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components Thereof: Commission Determination Finding No Violation of Section 337; Termination of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (“section 337”) in the above-referenced investigation. The investigation is terminated.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Megan M. Valentine, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-2301. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at http://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted Inv. No. 337-TA-613 on September 11, 2007, based on a complaint filed by InterDigital Communications Corp. of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and InterDigital Technology Corp. of Wilmington, Delaware (collectively, “InterDigital”) on August 7, 2007. 72 FR 51838 (Sept. 11, 2007). The complaint, as amended, alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain 3G mobile handsets and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,117,004 (“the ’004 patent”); 7,190,966 (“the ’966 patent”); 7,286,847 (“the ’847 patent”); and 6,693,579 (“the ’579 patent”). The Notice of Investigation named Nokia Corporation of Espoo, Finland (“Nokia”) and Nokia Inc. of Irving, Texas (“Nokia Inc.”) as respondents. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (“OUII”) was named as a participating party. The Commission later amended the Notice of Investigation to substitute complainant InterDigital Communications, Inc. for InterDigital Communications Corp. Notice (Feb. 15, 2015); Order No. 53 (Jan. 14, 2015). The Commission also later amended the Notice of Investigation to add Microsoft Mobile OY (“MMO”) as a party. 79 FR 43068-69 (July 24, 2014).

    On February 13, 2009, InterDigital moved for summary determination that a domestic industry exists because its licensing activities in the United States satisfy the domestic industry requirement under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(3)(C). On March 10, 2009, the presiding Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued an initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 42) granting the motion. On April 9, 2009, the Commission determined not to review the ID. Notice (Apr. 9, 2009).

    On August 14, 2009, the ALJ issued his final ID, finding no violation of section 337. In particular, he found that the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit are not infringed and that they are not invalid. The ALJ further found no prosecution laches relating to the ’004, ’966, and ’847 patents and that the ’579 patent is not unenforceable.

    On October 16, 2009, the Commission determined to review the final ID in part. 74 FR 55068-69 (Oct. 26, 2009) (“Notice of Review”). In particular, although the Commission affirmed the ID's determination of no violation of section 337 and terminated the investigation, the Commission reviewed and modified the ID's claim construction of the term “access signal” found in the asserted claims of the ’847 patent. The Commission also reviewed, but took no position on, the ID's construction of the term “synchronize” found in the asserted claims of the ’847 patent. The Commission further reviewed, but took no position on, validity with respect to all of the asserted patents. The Commission did not review the ID's construction of the claim limitations “code” and “increased power level” in the asserted claims of the ’966 and ’847 patents.

    InterDigital timely appealed the Commission's final determination of no violation of section 337 as to claims 1, 3, 8, 9, and 11 of the ’966 patent and claim 5 of the ’847 patent to the Federal Circuit. Specifically, InterDigital appealed the final ID's unreviewed constructions of the claim limitations “code” and “increased power level” in the ’966 and ’847 patents. Respondent Nokia, the intervenor on appeal, raised as an alternate ground of affirmance the issue of whether the Commission correctly determined that InterDigital has a license-based domestic industry.

    On August 1, 2012, the Federal Circuit reversed the Commission's construction of the claim limitations “code” and “increased power level” in the ’966 and ’847 patents, reversed the Commission's determination of non-infringement as to the asserted claims of those patents, and remanded to the Commission for further proceedings. InterDigital Commc'ns, LLC v. Int'l Trade Comm'n., 690 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2012). In particular, the Court rejected the final ID's construction of the “code” limitation as being limited to “a spreading code or a portion of a spreading code” and, instead, construed “code” as “a sequence of chips” and as “broad enough to cover both a spreading code and a non-spreading code.” Id. at 1323-27. The Court affirmed the Commission's determination that InterDigital has a domestic industry. Id. at 1329-30. Nokia subsequently filed a combined petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc on the issue of domestic industry. On January 10, 2013, the Court denied the petition and issued an additional opinion addressing several issues raised in Nokia's petition for rehearing. InterDigital Commc'ns, LLC v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 707 F.3d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 2013). The Court's mandate issued on January 17, 2013, returning jurisdiction to the Commission.

    On February 4, 2013, the Commission issued an Order directing the parties to submit comments regarding what further proceedings must be conducted to comply with the Federal Circuit's remand. Commission Order (Feb. 4, 2013). On February 12, 2014, the Commission issued an Order and Opinion deciding certain aspects of the investigation and remanding other aspects to the Chief ALJ. 79 FR 9277-79 (Feb. 18, 2014); see also Comm'n Op. Remanding Investigation (Feb. 12, 2014); Comm'n Order Remanding Investigation (Feb. 12, 2014). On February 24, 2014, Nokia petitioned for reconsideration of the Commission's remand Order and Opinion. On March 24, 2014, the Commission granted in part the petition for reconsideration and issued a revised remand notice, order, and opinion, correcting the identification of the claims of the asserted patents at issue on remand. 79 FR 17571-73 (Mar. 28, 2014).

    On April 27, 2015, the ALJ issued his final initial determination on remand (“RID”). The ALJ found that the accused Nokia handsets meet the limitations “generated using a same code” and “the message being transmitted only subsequent to the subscriber unit receiving the indication” recited in the asserted claims of the ’966 and ’847 patents. The ALJ also found that the pilot signal (P-CPICH) in the 3GPP standard practiced by the accused Nokia handsets satisfies the limitation “synchronize to the pilot signal” recited in the asserted claim of the ’847 patent. The ALJ further found that the currently imported Nokia handsets, which contain chips that were not previously adjudicated, infringe the asserted claims of the ’966 and ’847 patents. The ALJ also found that there is no evidence of patent hold-up by InterDigital, but that there is evidence of reverse hold-up by the respondents. The ALJ found that the public interest does not preclude issuance of an exclusion order. The ALJ did not issue a Recommended Determination on remedy or bonding.

    On May 11, 2015, MMO and Nokia Inc. (collectively, “MMO”) filed a petition for review of certain aspects of the RID, including infringement, domestic industry, and the public interest. Also on May 11, 2015, Nokia filed a petition for review of the RID with respect to infringement, domestic industry, and whether the Commission has jurisdiction over Nokia following the sale of its handset business to MMO. Further on May 11, 2015, the Commission investigative attorney (“IA”) filed a petition for review of the RID's finding of infringement.

    On May 19, 2015, InterDigital filed a response to MMO's and the IA's petitions for review. Also on May 19, 2015, MMO filed a response to the IA's petition for review. Further on May 19, 2015, the IA filed a response to MMO's and Nokia's petitions for review.

    On June 3, 2015, InterDigital filed a statement on the public interest pursuant to Commission Rule 210.50(a)(4). Also on June 3, 2015, several non-parties filed responses to the Commission Notice issued on May 4, 2015, including: United States Senator Robert Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania; Microsoft Corporation; Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Dell Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Company; Innovation Alliance; and Ericsson Inc. See 80 FR 26295-96 (May 7, 2015). On June 24, 2015, United States Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania also filed a response to the Commission's May 4, 2015, notice.

    On June 25, 2015, the Commission determined to review the RID in part. 80 FR 37656-658 (July 1, 2015). Specifically, the Commission determined to review the RID's findings concerning the application of the Commission's prior construction of the claim limitation “successively [transmits/transmitted] signals” in Certain Wireless Devices with 3G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-800 (“the 800 investigation”) and Certain Wireless Devices with 3G and/or 4G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-868 (“the 868 investigation”). The Commission also determined to review the RID with respect to whether the accused products satisfy the claim limitation “successively [transmits/transmitted] signals” as construed by the Commission in the 800 and 868 investigations. The Commission further determined to review the RID's public interest findings. 80 FR at 37657-658.

    On July 10, 2015, InterDigital, Respondents, and the IA submitted initial briefs in response to the Commission's notice of review concerning issues of violation, remedy, bonding, and the public interest. On July 20, 2015, the parties submitted response briefs.

    In response to the Commission's request for briefing on remedy, bonding, and the public interest, the following submitted briefing on July 10, 2015: Edith Ramirez, Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman; Ericsson Inc.; and Intel Corporation, Dell Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Company. On July 20, 2015, the following submitted responsive briefing: Maureen K. Ohlhausen and Joshua D. Wright, Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission; and J. Gregory Sidak, Chairman of Criterion Economics.

    On July 20, 2015, Respondents filed a motion to strike the declaration of Dr. Jackson that InterDigital submitted as an attachment to its response to the Commission's notice. On July 23, 2015, the IA filed a response in support of the motion to strike. On July 30, 2015, InterDigital filed a response opposing the motion to strike.

    Having examined the record of this investigation, including the RID, the petitions for review, the responses thereto, and the parties' submissions on review, the Commission has determined to find no violation of section 337 with respect to the ’966 and ’847 patents.

    Specifically, the Commission finds that issue preclusion applies with respect to the proper construction of the claim limitation “successively [transmits/transmitted] signals” based on the Commission's determination in Certain Wireless Devices with 3G and/or 4G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-868, which relies substantively on the Commission's determination in Certain Wireless Devices with 3G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-800, as affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (InterDigital Commc'ns, Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 2015 WL 669305 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 18. 2015)). The Commission further finds its prior constructions of the claim limitation “successively [transmits/transmitted] signals” in the 868 and 800 investigations are persuasive authority which the Commission should apply uniformly to the asserted patents.

    The Commission also finds that issue preclusion requires a finding of non-infringement with respect to the asserted claims of the ’966 and ’847 patents, and that the evidence in the record independently supports a finding of non-infringement with respect to the claim limitation “successively [transmits/transmitted] signals as previously construed by the Commission in the 868 investigation.

    The Commission denies as moot Respondents motion to strike the declaration of Dr. Jackson.

    The investigation is terminated.

    The Commission will issue an opinion reflecting its decision within seven days of this notice.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1337), and in Part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: August 28, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21896 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. TA-131-040] WTO Environmental Goods Trade Negotiations: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment, Second List of Articles AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Institution of investigation, scheduling of public hearing, and opportunity to provide written submissions.

    SUMMARY:

    Following receipt of a request dated August 20, 2015 (received August 21, 2015) from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under section 131 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2151), the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) instituted investigation No. TA-131-040, WTO Environmental Goods Trade Negotiations: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment, Second List of Articles.

    DATES:

    October 5, 2015: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing. October 6, 2015: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements. October 14, 2015: Public hearing. October 19, 2015: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements. October 19, 2015: Deadline for filing all other written submissions. December 4, 2015: Transmittal to USTR of Commission's report. ADDRESSES:

    All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/edis.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Project Leader Mahnaz Khan (202-205-2046 or [email protected]), or Deputy Project Leader Karl Tsuji (202-708-3434 or [email protected]) for information specific to this investigation. For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or [email protected]). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or [email protected]). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

    Background: In his letter, the USTR noted that he had notified Congress on March 21, 2014, of the President's intent to enter into negotiations with a group of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods, and that on July 8, 2014, the United States and thirteen other WTO members launched negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA). The USTR also noted that, in preparation for the EGA negotiations, he had requested, and the Commission provided, two reports in 2014 with advice and information on U.S. environmental goods trade. He also noted that the product coverage submitted for preparation of those reports was provisional, given the absence of a universally accepted definition of an “environmental good.” He said that during the course of the EGA negotiations and USTR's preparatory consultations, a range of additional potential products have been identified.

    As requested by the USTR, the Commission will, pursuant to section 131 of the Trade Act of 1974, provide a report containing its advice as to the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of these additional potential products (as identified in the list attached to the USTR's letter) from all U.S. trading partners on (i) industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive products, and (ii) consumers. As requested, the report will provide analysis for each of the additional potential products for which U.S. tariffs remain, taking into account implementation of U.S. commitments in the WTO. The Commission's advice will be based on the U.S. tariff nomenclature in effect during 2015 and trade data for 2014. As requested, the Commission will provide its report to the USTR by December 4, 2015.

    The USTR stated that portions of the Commission's report will be classified as national security information and that the USTR considers the report to be an inter-agency memorandum that will contain pre-decisional advice and be subject to the deliberative process privilege.

    Public Hearing: A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC, beginning at 9:40 a.m. on October 14, 2015. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with the Secretary, no later than 5:15 p.m., October 5, 2015, in accordance with the requirements in the “Submissions” section below. All pre-hearing briefs and statements should be filed not later than 5:15 p.m., October 6, 2015; and all post-hearing briefs and statements should be filed not later than 5:15 p.m., October 19, 2015.

    Written Submissions: In lieu of or in addition to participating in the hearing, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., October 19, 2015. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    Any submissions that contain confidential business information (CBI) must also conform with the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information be clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

    The Commission may include some or all of the confidential business information submitted in the course of this investigation in the report it sends to the USTR. The Commission will not otherwise publish any confidential business information in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

    Summaries of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish summaries of the positions of interested persons in an appendix to its report. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the appendix should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. In the appendix the Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary, and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

    Issued: August 28, 2015.

    By order of the Commission.

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21879 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2012-0014] The Lead in Construction Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Lead in Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.62).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2012-0014, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2012-0014) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You also may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collection of information requirements in accord with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The purpose of the Lead in Construction Standard and its collection of information (paperwork) requirements is to reduce occupational lead exposure in the construction industry. Lead exposure can result in both acute and chronic effects and can be fatal in severe cases of lead toxicity. Some of the health effects associated with lead exposure include brain disorders which can lead to seizures, coma, and death; anemia; neurological problems; high blood pressure; kidney problems; reproductive problems; and decreased red blood cell production. The major collection of information requirements of the Standard are: Conducting worker exposure assessments; notifying workers of their lead exposures; establishing, implementing and reviewing a written compliance program annually; labeling containers of contaminated protective clothing and equipment; providing medical surveillance to workers; providing examining physicians with specific information; ensuring that workers receive a copy of their medical surveillance results; posting warning signs; establishing and maintaining exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, medical removal and objective data records; and providing workers with access to these records. The records are used by employees, physicians, employers and OSHA to determine the effectiveness of the employer's compliance efforts.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the collection of information requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

    III. Proposed Actions

    The Agency is requesting an adjustment decrease of 216,744 burden hours (from 1,460,430 to 1,243,686 burden hours). The decrease in burden hours is due to an estimated overall decrease in the number of covered establishments, based on updated data and estimates. There is also an estimated increase in operation and maintenance costs of $6,849,923, from $60,093,015 to $66,942,938. The increase in operation and maintenance costs is mainly due to the increased cost of lab analysis of samples and the increase in cost of the monitoring equipment.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Lead in Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.62).

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0189.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Number of Respondents: 119,853.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion; Quarterly; Bi-monthly; Semi-annually; Annually.

    Total Responses: 8,284,730.

    Average Time per Response: Varies from 1 minute (.02 hour) for a clerical employee to notify employees of their right to seek a second medical opinion to 8 hours to develop a compliance plan.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,243,686.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $66,942,938.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile; or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for this ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2012-0014). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627). Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as their social security number and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User Tips” link.

    Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

    V. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on August 31, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21913 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences (#1110).

    Date and Time: September 28, 2015 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; September 29, 2015 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    Place: National Science Foundation 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1235, Arlington, VA 22230.

    Please contact Maria Sutton at [email protected] to obtain a visitor badge. All visitors to the NSF will be required to show photo ID to obtain a badge.

    Type of Meeting: OPEN.

    Contact Person: Charles Liarakos, Program Director, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 605, Arlington, VA 22230; Tel No. (703) 292-8400.

    Purpose of Meeting: The Advisory Committee for the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) provides advice, recommendations, and oversight concerning major program emphases, directions, and goals for the research-related activities of the divisions that make up BIO.

    Agenda: Agenda items will include BIO programs that contribute to biological research at the nexus of food, energy and water (INFEWS), NEON science, the Division of Environmental Biology COV Report, diversity in biology graduate education, and other matters relevant to the Directorate for Biological Sciences.

    Dated: August 31, 2015. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21927 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755).

    DATES:

    October 21, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; October 22, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

    Place: National Science Foundation, 4201Wilson Blvd., Stafford II, Room 555, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Contact Person: Melissa Lane, National Science Foundation, Suite 705, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Virginia 22230. Phone 703-292-8500.

    Minutes: May be obtained from the contact person listed above.

    Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice, recommendations, and oversight on support for geoscience research and education including atmospheric, geo-space, earth, ocean and polar sciences.

    Agenda Wednesday, October 21, 2015; 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Directorate and NSF activities and plans Review of 2015 COV Reports Meeting with the Director of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs Update on I-USE and INCLUDES Thursday, October 22, 2015; 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Meeting with the NSF Director and CIO Division Subcommittee Meetings Action Items/Planning for Fall Meeting Dated: August 31, 2015. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21926 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 70-754; NRC-2015-0189] GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC, Vallecitos Nuclear Center AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License renewal application; receipt, opportunity to request a hearing and to petition for leave to intervene; order.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a revised license renewal application from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC (GEH), requesting renewal of Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM-960 for the Vallecitos Nuclear Center. This license authorizes GEH to conduct laboratory analysis and engineering studies of licensed material and to store onsite material previously used in analysis. The request, if granted, would authorize GEH to continue licensed activities at the Vallecitos Nuclear Center for 10 years.

    DATES:

    Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by November 2, 2015. Any potential party as defined in § 2.1 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) is necessary to respond to this notice must request document access by September 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0189 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0189. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Breeda Reilly, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7553; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    By letter dated March 18, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15077A495), GEH submitted to the NRC a revised license renewal application for the Vallecitos Nuclear Center, located near Sunol, California. Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM-960 authorizes GEH to conduct laboratory analysis and engineering studies of licensed material and to store onsite material previously used in analysis. The request, if granted, would authorize GEH to continue licensed activities at the Vallecitos Nuclear Center for 10 years.

    The current license expired on June 30, 2010. Because GEH filed an original renewal application on September 30, 2009, and subsequent revisions, the license is under timely renewal as provided in 10 CFR 2.109(a). The revised license renewal application submitted on March 18, 2015, supersedes previous license renewal applications submitted to the NRC.

    An NRC administrative review, documented in a letter to GEH dated May 1, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15077A406), found the March 18, 2015, renewal application acceptable to begin a formal technical review. If the NRC approves the request, the approval will be documented in NRC License No. SNM-960. However, before approving the request, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the NRC's regulations. These findings will be documented in a Safety Evaluation Report. Because the licensed material will be used in research and development, renewal of SNM-960 is an action that is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(c)(14)(v).

    II. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene with respect to the revised license renewal application. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the NRC's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested person(s) should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located in One White Flint North, Room O1-F21 (first floor), 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will rule on the request and/or petition. The Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of hearing or an appropriate order.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted, with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the requester or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requester's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requester's/petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requester's/petitioner's interest. The petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the requestor/petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the requestor/petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The requestor/petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a motion for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with NRC regulations, policies, and procedures. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will set the time and place for any prehearing conferences and evidentiary hearings, and the appropriate notices will be provided.

    Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

    A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1). The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by November 2, 2015. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions for leave to intervene set forth in this section, except that under § 2.309(h)(2) a State, local governmental body, or Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof does not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d) if the facility is located within its boundaries. A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may also have the opportunity to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

    If a hearing is granted, any person who does not wish, or is not qualified, to become a party to the proceeding may, in the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of position on the issues, but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Persons desiring to make a limited appearance are requested to inform the Secretary of the Commission by November 2, 2015.

    The Commission requests that each contention be given a separate numeric or alpha designation within one of the following groups: (1) Technical (primarily related to safety concerns; (2) Environmental; or (3) Miscellaneous.

    As specified in 10 CFR 2.309, if two or more requestors/petitioners seek to co-sponsor a contention or propose substantially the same contention, the requestors/petitioners will be required to jointly designate a representative who shall have the authority to act for the requestors/petitioners with respect to the contention.

    III. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the Internet or, in some cases, to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the petitioner should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate, and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submission should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First-class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville, Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers, in their filings unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    IV. Availability of Documents

    Documents related to this action, including the license renewal application and other supporting documentation, are available to interested persons as indicated.

    Document ADAMS Accession No. License Renewal Application, March 18, 2015 ML15077A495. Vallecitos Decommissioning Funding Plan, January 31, 2014 ML14045A339. Inventory Consolidation Status Report, November 24, 2014. ML14328A766. Acceptance of Application for Technical Review, May 1, 2015 ML15077A406.

    Portions of the license renewal application and its supporting documents contain SUNSI. These portions will not be available to the public in the NRC's ADAMS. Any person requesting to obtain the SUNSI information will need to follow the procedures described in the Order below.

    Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation

    A. This Order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing SUNSI.

    B. Within 10 days after publication of this notice of docketing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, any potential party who believes access to SUNSI is necessary to respond to this notice may request such access. A “potential party” is any person who intends to participate as a party by demonstrating standing and filing an admissible contention under 10 CFR 2.309. Requests for access to SUNSI submitted later than 10 days after publication will not be considered absent a showing of good cause for the late filing, addressing why the request could not have been filed earlier.

    C. The requester shall submit a letter requesting permission to access SUNSI to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and provide a copy to the Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement and Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The expedited delivery or courier mail address for both offices is: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The email address for the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel are [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.1 The request must include the following information:

    1 While a request for hearing or petition to intervene in this proceeding must comply with the filing requirements of the NRC's “E-Filing Rule,” the initial request to access SUNSI under these procedures should be submitted as described in this paragraph.

    (1) A description of the licensing action with a citation to this Federal Register notice;

    (2) The name and address of the potential party and a description of the potential party's particularized interest that could be harmed by the action identified in C.(1); and

    (3) The identity of the individual or entity requesting access to SUNSI and the requester's basis for the need for the information in order to meaningfully participate in this adjudicatory proceeding. In particular, the request must explain why publicly-available versions of the information requested would not be sufficient to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention.

    D. Based on an evaluation of the information submitted under paragraph C.(3) the NRC staff will determine within 10 days of receipt of the request whether:

    (1) There is a reasonable basis to believe the petitioner is likely to establish standing to participate in this NRC proceeding; and

    (2) The requestor has established a legitimate need for access to SUNSI.

    E. If the NRC staff determines that the requestor satisfies both D.(1) and D.(2) above, the NRC staff will notify the requestor in writing that access to SUNSI has been granted. The written notification will contain instructions on how the requestor may obtain copies of the requested documents, and any other conditions that may apply to access to those documents. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Affidavit, or Protective Order 2 setting forth terms and conditions to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of SUNSI by each individual who will be granted access to SUNSI.

    2 Any motion for Protective Order or draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit or Agreement for SUNSI must be filed with the presiding officer or the Chief Administrative Judge if the presiding officer has not yet been designated, within 30 days of the deadline for the receipt of the written access request.

    F. Filing of Contentions. Any contentions in these proceedings that are based upon the information received as a result of the request made for SUNSI must be filed by the requestor no later than 25 days after the requestor is granted access to that information. However, if more than 25 days remain between the dates the petitioner is granted access to the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline. This provision does not extend the time for filing a request for a hearing and petition to intervene, which must comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 2.309.

    G. Review of Denials of Access.

    (1) If the request for access to SUNSI is denied by the NRC staff after a determination on standing and need for access, the NRC staff shall immediately notify the requestor in writing, briefly stating the reason or reasons for the denial.

    (2) The requester may challenge the NRC staff's adverse determination by filing a challenge within 5 days of receipt of that determination with: (a) The presiding officer designated in this proceeding; (b) if no presiding officer has been appointed, the Chief Administrative Judge, or if he or she is unavailable, another administrative judge, or an administrative law judge with jurisdiction pursuant to 10 CFR 2.318(a); or (c) another officer, if that officer has been designated to rule on information access issues.

    H. Review of Grants of Access. A party other than the requester may challenge an NRC staff determination granting access to SUNSI whose release would harm that party's interest independent of the proceeding. Such a challenge must be filed with the Chief Administrative Judge within 5 days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of access.

    If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these procedures give way to the normal process for litigating disputes concerning access to information. The availability of interlocutory review by the Commission of orders ruling on such NRC staff determinations (whether granting or denying access) is governed by 10 CFR 2.311.3

    3 Requesters should note that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007) apply to appeals of NRC staff determinations (because they must be served on a presiding officer or the Commission, as applicable), but not to the initial SUNSI request submitted to the NRC staff under these procedures.

    I. The Commission expects that the NRC staff and presiding officers (and any other reviewing officers) will consider and resolve requests for access to SUNSI, and motions for protective orders, in a timely fashion in order to minimize any unnecessary delays in identifying those petitioners who have standing and who have propounded contentions meeting the specificity and basis requirements in 10 CFR part 2. Attachment 1 to this Order summarizes the general target schedule for processing and resolving requests under these procedures.

    It is so ordered.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    Attachment 1—General Target Schedule for Processing and Resolving Requests for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information in This Proceeding Day Event/activity 0 Publication of Federal Register notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, including order with instructions for access requests. 10 Deadline for submitting requests for access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) with information: Supporting the standing of a potential party identified by name and address; describing the need for the information for the potential party to participate meaningfully in an adjudicatory proceeding. 60 Deadline for submitting petition for intervention containing: (i) Demonstration of standing; and (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 petitioner/requestor reply). 20 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff informs the requester of the staff's determination of whether the request for access provides a reasonable basis to believe standing can be established and shows need for SUNSI. (The NRC staff also informs any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information.) If the NRC staff makes the finding of need for SUNSI and likelihood of standing, the NRC staff begins document processing (preparation of redactions or review of redacted documents). 25 If NRC staff finds no “need” or no likelihood of standing, the deadline for petitioner/requester to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's denial of access; the NRC staff files copy of access determination with the presiding officer (or Chief Administrative Judge or other designated officer, as appropriate). If the NRC staff finds “need” for SUNSI, the deadline for any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's grant of access. 30 Deadline for NRC staff reply to motions to reverse NRC staff determination(s). 40 (Receipt +30) If the NRC staff finds standing and need for SUNSI, deadline for the NRC staff to complete information processing and file motion for Protective Order and draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit. Deadline for applicant/licensee to file Non-Disclosure Agreement for SUNSI. A If access granted: Issuance of presiding officer or other designated officer decision on motion for Protective Order for access to sensitive information (including schedule for providing access and submission of contentions) or decision reversing a final adverse determination by the NRC staff. A + 3 Deadline for filing executed Non-Disclosure Affidavits. Access provided to SUNSI consistent with decision issuing the protective order. A + 28 Deadline for submission of contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI. However, if more than 25 days remain between the petitioner's receipt of (or access to) the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline. A + 53 (Contention receipt +25) Answers to contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI. A + 60 (Answer receipt +7) Petitioner/Intervenor reply to answers. >A + 60 Decision on contention admission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21801 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 052-00027 and 052-00028; NRC-2008-0441] Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Combined Licenses (NPF-93 and NPF-94), issued to South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) and South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper) (the licensee), for construction and operation of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station (VCSNS), Units 2 and 3 located in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

    The proposed amendment departs from Tier 2* and associated Tier 2 information in the VCSNS Units 2 and 3 Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) (which includes the plant specific Design Control Document Tier 2 information) to demonstrate that the mechanical weldable couplers to structural steel weld capacity required by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 349-01 is satisfied using the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) N690-1994 analysis and testing provisions.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by October 5, 2015. Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0441. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

    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:

    Paul Kallan, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2809; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0441 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0441.

    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 application for amendment, dated August 24, 2015, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15236A344.

    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-2008-0441 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 posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering 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 submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-93 and NPF-94, issued to SCE&G and Santee Cooper for operation of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, located in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

    The proposed amendment would revise the plant-specific Design Control Document (DCD) Tier 2 and involved Tier 2* material incorporated into the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR), by revising the requirement to utilize American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1-1992, Structural Welding Code—Steel, when meeting the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) N690-1994 requirements. The change is to demonstrate that the mechanical weldable couplers to structural steel weld capacity required by ACI 349-01 is satisfied using AISC N690-21994 analysis and testing provisions.

    Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

    The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC's regulations in § 50.92 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change does not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that initiate an analyzed accident or alter any structures, systems, and components (SSC) accident initiator or initiating sequence of events. The change revises how analysis and testing are used to demonstrate the capacity of partial joint penetration (PJP) welds with fillet weld reinforcement joining weldable rebar couplers to structural steel to meet the strength requirements of American Concrete Institute (ACI) 349-01, “Code Requirements for Nuclear Safety Related Concrete Structures,” and to establish a minimum fillet reinforcement size for the C2/C3J couplers.

    The change has no adverse effect of the design function of the mechanical couplers or the SSCs to which the mechanical couplers are welded. The probabilities of the accidents evaluated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) are not affected.

    The change does not impact the support, design, or operation of mechanical and fluid systems. There is no change to plant systems or the response of systems to postulated accident conditions. There is no change to the predicted radioactive releases due to normal operation or postulated accident conditions. The plant response to previously evaluated accidents or external events is not adversely affected, nor does the proposed change create any new accident precursors.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change does not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that may initiate a new or different kind of accident, or alter any SSC such that a new accident initiator or initiating sequence of events is created. The proposed change specifies how the analysis and testing requirements of ACI 349-01 are applied to demonstrate the capacity of combined PJP welds with fillet weld reinforcement joining rebar couplers to structural steel and to establish a minimum fillet reinforcement size for the C2/C3J couplers.

    The proposed change does not adversely affect the design function of the mechanical couplers, the structures in which the couplers are used, or any other SSC design functions or methods of operation in a manner that results in a new failure mode, malfunction, or sequence of events that affect safety-related or non-safety-related equipment. This activity does not allow for a new fission product release path, result in a new fission product barrier failure mode, or create a new sequence of events that result in significant fuel cladding failures.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

    3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change maintains existing safety margin and provides adequate protection through continued application of the existing requirements in the UFSAR and clarifying the existing requirements in ACI 349-01 for welds of mechanical couplers joining rebar to structural steel. The proposed change satisfies the same design functions in accordance with the same codes and standards as stated in the UFSAR. This change does not adversely affect any design code, function, design analysis, safety analysis input or result, or design/safety margin. No safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by the proposed change.

    Because no safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by this change, no significant margin of safety is reduced.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the license amendment request involves a No Significant Hazards Consideration.

    The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for hearing or a petition for leave to intervene specifying the contentions which the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing with respect to the license amendment request. Requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the NRC's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested person(s) should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene must set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The hearing request or petition must specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted, with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requestor's/petitioner's interest. The hearing request or petition must also include the specific contentions that the requestor/petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    For each contention, the requestor/petitioner must provide a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted, as well as a brief explanation of the basis for the contention. Additionally, the requestor/petitioner must demonstrate that the issue raised by each contention is within the scope of the proceeding and is material to the findings that the NRC must make to support the granting of a license amendment in response to the application. The hearing request or petition must also include a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion that support the contention and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely at the hearing, together with references to those specific sources and documents. The hearing request or petition must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact, including references to specific portions of the application for amendment that the petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute. If the requestor/petitioner believes that the application for amendment fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, the requestor/petitioner must identify each failure and the supporting reasons for the requestor's/petitioner's belief. Each contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner who does not satisfy these requirements for at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a cross-examination plan for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with NRC regulations, policies, and procedures. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will set the time and place for any prehearing conferences and evidentiary hearings, and the appropriate notices will be provided.

    Hearing requests or petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

    If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated August 24, 2015.

    Attorney for licensee: Ms. Kathryn M. Sutton, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLC, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2514.

    NRC Branch Chief: Lawrence Burkhart.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of August 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Brian Hughes, Acting Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21817 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Application for a License To Export High-Enriched Uranium

    Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 110.70 (b) “Public Notice of Receipt of an Application,” please take notice that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received the following request for an export license. Copies of the request are available electronically through the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System and can be accessed through the Public Electronic Reading Room link http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html at the NRC Homepage.

    A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene may be filed within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Any request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene shall be served by the requestor or petitioner upon the applicant, the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; and the Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520.

    A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene may be filed with the NRC electronically in accordance with NRC's E-Filing rule promulgated in August 2007, 72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007. Information about filing electronically is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. To ensure timely electronic filing, at least five days prior to the filing deadline, the petitioner/requestor should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by calling (301) 415-1677, to request a digital ID certificate and allow for the creation of an electronic docket.

    In addition to a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene, written comments, in accordance with 10 CFR 110.81, should be submitted within thirty days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register to Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications.

    The information concerning this application for an export license follows.

    NRC Export License Application [Description of Material] Name of applicant
  • date of application
  • date received
  • application No.
  • docket No.
  • Material type Total quantity End use Destination
    Cambridge Isotope Laboratories Inc.
  • June 15, 2015
  • June 24, 2015
  • XMAT435
  • 11006205
  • Non-radioactive Deuterium gas, Deuterium oxide, Deuterium compounds 10,000 kilograms Non-nuclear end use in the medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and industrial markets Qatar.
    Dated this 27th day of March 2015 at Rockville, Maryland.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    David L. Skeen, Deputy Director, Office of International Programs.
    Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of Federal Register on August 28, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-21802 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 052-00025 and 052-00026; NRC-2008-0252] Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Combined Licenses (NPF-91 and NPF-92), issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC., MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC., MEAG POWER SPVP, LLC., and the City of Dalton, Georgia (together “the licensees”), for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by October 5, 2015. Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

    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:

    Chandu Patel, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3025; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252.

    • 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 application for amendment, dated August 21, 2015, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15233A588.

    • 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-2008-0252 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 posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering 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 submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-91 and NPF-92, issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC., MEAG POWER SPVP, LLC., and the City of Dalton, Georgia for operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

    The proposed amendment departs from Tier 2* and associated Tier 2 information in the VEGP Units 3 and 4 UFSAR (which includes the plant specific Design Control Document Tier 2 information) to demonstrate that the mechanical weldable couplers to structural steel weld capacity required by American Concrete Institute (ACI) 349-01, “Code Requirements for Nuclear Safety Related Concrete Structure,” is satisfied using American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) N690-1994, “Specifications for Design, Fabrication, and Erection of Steel Safety-Related Structures for Nuclear Facilities,” analysis and testing provisions.

    Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

    The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC's regulations in § 50.92 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change does not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that initiate an analyzed accident or alter any structures, systems, and components (SSC) accident initiator or initiating sequence of events. The change revises how analysis and testing are used to demonstrate the capacity of partial joint penetration (PJP) welds with fillet weld reinforcement joining weldable rebar couplers to structural steel to meet the strength requirements of American Concrete Institute (ACI) 349-01, “Code Requirements for Nuclear Safety Related Concrete Structures,” and to establish a minimum fillet reinforcement size for the C2/C3J couplers.

    The change has no adverse effect on the design function of the mechanical couplers or the SSCs to which the mechanical couplers are welded. The probabilities of the accidents evaluated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) are not affected.

    The change does not impact the support, design, or operation of mechanical and fluid systems. There is no change to plant systems or the response of systems to postulated accident conditions. There is no change to the predicted radioactive releases due to normal operation or postulated accident conditions. The plant response to previously evaluated accidents or external events is not adversely affected, nor does the proposed change create any new accident precursors.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change does not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that may initiate a new or different kind of accident, or alter any SSC such that a new accident initiator or initiating sequence of events is created. The proposed change specifies how the analysis and testing requirements of ACI 349-01 are applied to demonstrate the capacity of combined PJP welds with fillet weld reinforcement joining rebar couplers to structural steel and to establish a minimum fillet reinforcement size for the C2/C3J couplers.

    The proposed change does not adversely affect the design function of the mechanical couplers, the structures in which the couplers are used, or any other SSC design functions or methods of operation in a manner that results in a new failure mode, malfunction, or sequence of events that affect safety-related or non-safety-related equipment. This activity does not allow for a new fission product release path, result in a new fission product barrier failure mode, or create a new sequence of events that result in significant fuel cladding failures.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change maintains existing safety margin and provides adequate protection through continued application of the existing requirements in the UFSAR and clarifying the existing requirements in ACI 349-01 for welds of mechanical couplers joining rebar to structural steel. The proposed change satisfies the same design functions in accordance with the same codes and standards as stated in the UFSAR. This change does not adversely affect any design code, function, design analysis, safety analysis input or result, or design/safety margin. No safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by the proposed change.

    Because no safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by this change, no significant margin of safety is reduced.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the license amendment request involves a No Significant Hazards Consideration.

    The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for hearing or a petition for leave to intervene specifying the contentions which the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing with respect to the license amendment request. Requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the NRC's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested person(s) should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene must set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The hearing request or petition must specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted, with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requestor's/petitioner's interest. The hearing request or petition must also include the specific contentions that the requestor/petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    For each contention, the requestor/petitioner must provide a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted, as well as a brief explanation of the basis for the contention. Additionally, the requestor/petitioner must demonstrate that the issue raised by each contention is within the scope of the proceeding and is material to the findings that the NRC must make to support the granting of a license amendment in response to the application. The hearing request or petition must also include a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion that support the contention and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely at the hearing, together with references to those specific sources and documents. The hearing request or petition must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact, including references to specific portions of the application for amendment that the petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute. If the requestor/petitioner believes that the application for amendment fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, the requestor/petitioner must identify each failure and the supporting reasons for the requestor's/petitioner's belief. Each contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner who does not satisfy these requirements for at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a cross-examination plan for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will set the time and place for any prehearing conferences and evidentiary hearings, and the appropriate notices will be provided.

    Hearing requests or petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

    If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated August 21, 2015.

    Attorney for licensee: Ms. Kathryn M. Sutton, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLC, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2514.

    NRC Branch Chief: Lawrence Burkhart.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of August 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Chandu Patel, Senior Project Manager, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21818 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50-128; NRC-2015-0210] Texas Engineering Experiment Station/Texas A&M University System Nuclear Science Center Reactor AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering renewal of Facility Operating License No. R-83, held by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station/Texas A&M University System (TEES/TAMUS or the licensee) for the continued operation of its Nuclear Science Center (NSC or the facility) Training, Research, Isotope Production, General Atomics (TRIGA) reactor (NSCR or the reactor). The NRC is issuing an environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact associated with the renewal of the license.

    DATES:

    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are available as of September 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0210 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0210. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] For the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the “Availability of Documents” section of this document.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Geoffrey A. Wertz, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-0893; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering renewal of Facility Operating License No. R-83, held by TEES/TAMUS, which would authorize continued operation of its NSCR, located in College Station, Brazos County, Texas. Therefore, as required by § 51.21 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the NRC performed an environmental assessment. Based on the results of the environmental assessment that follows, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the renewed license, and is issuing a finding of no significant impact.

    II. Environmental Assessment Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would renew Facility Operating License No. R-83 for an additional 20 years from the date of issuance of the renewed license. The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's letter dated February 27, 2003, as supplemented by letters dated July 22, 2009; July 28, August 30, August 31, and December 9, 2010; May 27, June 9, and November 21, 2011; January 12, April 11, and November 14, 2012; January 31, 2013; February 3, February 11, and November 13, 2014; and March 2, June 5, June 11, and June 30, 2015 (the renewal application). In accordance with § 2.109, “Effect of timely renewal application,” the existing license remains in effect until the NRC takes final action on the renewal application.

    Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to allow the continued operation of the TEES/TAMUS NSCR to routinely provide teaching, research, and services to numerous institutions for a period of 20 years.

    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its safety evaluation of the proposed action to issue a renewed TEES/TAMUS NSC Facility Operating License No. R-83 to allow continued operation of the TEES/TAMUS NSCR for an additional 20 years and concludes there is reasonable assurance that the licensee will continue to operate the TEES/TAMUS NSCR safely for the additional period of time. The details of the NRC's safety evaluation will be provided with the renewed license that will be issued as part of the letter to the licensee approving its license renewal application. This document contains the environmental assessment of the proposed action.

    The TEES/TAMUS NSC is located on a rectangular 6-acre site on the west end of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) campus in College Station, Texas. The NSC is located 460 meters (1500 feet) west of the north-south runway of Easterwood Airport. The NSC is surrounded by land owned and controlled by TAMU and Easterwood Airport. No industrial, transportation or military facilities within the vicinity of the NSC pose sufficient risk to the NSC NSCR to render the site unusable for operation of the reactor facility. Although the airport is nearby, the trajectory of the runways make the probability of a casualty resulting from an aircraft collision low. The NSCR is located within a steel and concrete confinement building, below ground level, and is protected by thick stainless steel-lined concrete pool walls, which would minimize the radiological risk of a potential aircraft collision.

    The NSC is comprised of the reactor confinement building, entry/reception area, laboratory building and other equipment rooms, and storage/support buildings. The main entrance into the NSC is located at the east end of the site. The NSC is located 9.6 kilometers (6 miles) south of the city center of Bryan, 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of the TAMU main campus, and 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles) west-southwest of the City of College Station. The nearest permanent residences are greater than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the NSC and the nearest dormitories are 4 to 6 kilometers (2.5 to 3.5 miles) away.

    The NSC is approximately 6 kilometers (3.5 miles) south of TAMU's Zachry Engineering Center complex. The Zachry Engineering Center is the location of TAMU's second research reactor, an Aerojet General Nucleonics (AGN)-201M research reactor (the AGN). The license for the AGN is currently under review for renewal which will also include an environmental assessment similar in nature to this environmental assessment for the NSC.

    The NSCR is a pool-type, light water moderated and cooled TRIGA research reactor licensed to operate at a steady-state power level of 1.0 megawatt (thermal). The reactor is also licensed to operate in a pulse mode. The fuel is located at the bottom of a stainless steel-lined concrete pool, which has two sections with a total volume of 401,500 liters (106,000 gallons) of water. The main section of the pool is 10 meters (33 feet) deep and 5.5 meters (18 feet) wide. The stall section of the pool is 2.8 meters (9 feet) wide with a rounded end, which can be isolated from the main section of the pool by an aluminum gate. The reactor is fueled with standard TRIGA low-enriched uranium fuel and the core is normally covered by 8 meters (26 feet) of water. A detailed description of the reactor is publicly available and can be found in the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for the NSCR. There have been two major modifications to Facility Operating License No. R-83 since the last renewal of the license on March 30, 1983. An order was issued in 2006 amending the license by: (1) Allowing an increase in the possession limits for uranium-235 to bring a low-enriched uranium core on site for converting the reactor from the use of high-enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium fuel (possession limits were reduced when the high-enriched uranium core was removed from the facility after conversion); and (2) converting the reactor from the use of high-enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium fuel.

    A. Radiological Impact

    Environmental Effects of Reactor Operations:

    Gaseous radioactive effluents are discharged from the NSCR facility exhaust system through a single release point, a 26-meter (85 feet) high building stack, at a volumetric flow rate of approximately 233 cubic meters (8,000 cubic feet) per minute. The only significant radionuclide found in the gaseous effluent stream is argon-41 (Ar-41). The Ar-41 release rate for the NSCR is limited to 30 curies per year (Ci/yr), as required by TS 3.5.2.

    The licensee states that all modes of operation at the NSCR, including thermal column operations, produce air concentrations and total Ar-41 release much less than the TS 3.5.2 limit of 30-Ci/yr. However, using the 30-Ci/yr TS 3.5.2 limit and the stack flow rate provided above, the licensee calculated that the average Ar-41 release concentration would be 2.5x10−7 microcuries per milliliter (μCi/mL), which is 8.3 percent of the derived air concentration (DAC) limiting value of 3x10−6 μCi/mL, established in Table 1 of appendix B, “Annual Limits on Intake (ALIs) and Derived Air Concentrations (DACs) of Radionuclides for Occupational Exposure; Effluent Concentrations; Concentrations for Release to Sewerage,” to 10 CFR part 20. Using the building concentration as the average stack flow concentration provided above, the licensee calculated the occupational dose to an NSC worker staying in the confinement for 2,000 hours per year at 416 millirem (mrem). The license also evaluated the dose to a worker given the assumption that the concentration of Ar-41, based on the 30 Ci/yr release limit, was generated during 2,000 hours of reactor operation and the resulting dose was 1.84 rem, which is well below the 5,000 mrem limit established in § 20.1201, “Occupational dose limits for adults.”

    The licensee calculated, using an atmospheric dilution factor of 5 x 10−3 for the distance to the fence line at 100 m (boundary of the restricted area), the potential dose to a member of the public to be 12.6 mrem for a continuous Ar-41 exposure over the entire year. This dose value is below the limit of 100 mrem/yr in § 20.1301, “Dose limits for individual members of the public.” In order to ensure that the actual dose remains below the 10 mrem annual as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA) constraint of § 20.1101, “Radiation protection programs,” the licensee indicated that the Ar-41 releases are monitored monthly, and the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) reviews the results of any abnormal releases to ensure that the Ar-41 doses remain below the 10 mrem ALARA constraint. Additionally, a review of the Ar-41 releases from the licensee's annual reports shows that the annual release of Ar-41 is well below the 30 Ci limit. The 2013 Annual Report, as supplemented, is publicly available and indicated that the total release of Ar-41 was 10.4 Ci. The NRC estimates this release could result in a potential dose to a member of the public to be approximately 4.3 mrem over a year.

    The licensee disposes of liquid radioactive wastes by discharge to the sanitary sewer. Liquid radioactive waste is collected from various locations within the facility and transferred to one of three 140,060 liters (37,000 gallons) hold-up tanks. When a tank is full, its contents are filtered to remove any particulates, and sampled for radioactive content. Procedures are used to control the discharge process to ensure that discharges meet the requirements of § 20.2003, “Disposal by release into sanitary sewerage,” for disposal into the sanitary sewerage. For many years, the licensee discharged liquid waste from the hold-up tanks directly to a small creek running through the site. The waste was analyzed and sufficiently diluted before each release. Sampling of creek sediment was routinely done as part of the overall environmental monitoring program. In September 2008, the licensee reconfigured its liquid effluent system such that the hold-up tanks now discharge to the sanitary sewer. Since that time, no releases have been made to the creek and none are planned.

    The licensee oversees the handling of solid low-level radioactive waste generated at the NSC. The bulk of the waste consists of gloves, paper, plastic, and small pieces of metal. The licensee disposes of the waste by decay-in-storage or shipment to a low-level waste broker in accordance with all applicable regulations for transportation of radioactive materials.

    To comply with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the licensee has entered into a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that provides that DOE retains title to the fuel utilized at the NSC and that DOE is obligated to take the fuel from the site for final disposition.

    As described in Chapter 11 of the publicly available NSC SAR, personnel exposures are well within the limits set by § 20.1201, “Occupational dose limits for adults,” and are ALARA. The licensee tracks exposures of personnel monitored with dosimeters, which are usually less than 10 percent of the occupational limit of 50 milliSieverts (5,000 mrem) per year. Area thermo-luminescent dosimeter (TLD) monitors mounted in the control room and other strategic locations provide an additional monthly measurement of total radiation exposures at those locations. No changes in reactor operation that would lead to an increase in occupational dose are expected as a result of the proposed action.

    The licensee conducts an environmental monitoring program to assess the radiological impact of reactor operations on the surrounding areas. The program consists of measuring and recording the integrated radiation exposure obtained from environmental TLDs located at various positions around the site boundary and at two control locations away from any direct influence from the NSC. The licensee administers the program and maintains the appropriate records. Over the past five years, the survey program indicated that radiation exposures at the monitoring locations were not significantly higher than those measured at the control locations. Year-to-year trends in exposures are consistent between monitoring locations. Also, no correlation exists between total annual reactor operation and annual exposures measured at the monitoring locations. Based on its review of the past five years of data, the NRC staff concludes that operation of the NSC does not have any significant radiological impact on the surrounding environment. No changes in reactor operation that would affect off-site radiation levels are expected as a result of the proposed action.

    Environmental Effects of Accidents

    Accident scenarios are discussed in Chapter 13 of the NSC SAR. The maximum hypothetical accident is the simultaneous loss of coolant and rupture of a single fuel element in air. The licensee conservatively calculated doses to facility personnel and the maximum potential dose to a member of the public. The NRC performed independent calculations to verify that the doses represent conservative estimates for the maximum hypothetical accident. Occupational doses resulting from this accident would be well below the 10 CFR part 20 annual limit of 50 milliSievert (5.0 rem). Maximum doses for members of the public resulting from this accident would be well below the 10 CFR part 20 annual limit of 1.0 milliSievert (100 mrem). The proposed action will not increase the probability or consequences of accidents.

    The licensee has not requested any changes to the facility design or operating conditions as part of the application for license renewal. No changes are being made in the types or quantities of effluents that may be released off site. The licensee has systems in place for controlling the release of radiological effluents and implements a radiation protection program to monitor personnel exposures and releases of radioactive effluents. As discussed in the safety evaluation, the systems and radiation protection program are appropriate for the types and quantities of effluents expected to be generated by continued operation of the NSCR. Accordingly, there would be no increase in routine occupational or public radiation exposure as a result of license renewal. As discussed in the safety evaluation, the proposed action would not significantly increase the probability or consequences of accidents. Therefore, license renewal would not change the environmental impact of facility operation. The NRC evaluated information contained in the licensee's renewal application and reviewed data reported to the NRC by the licensee for the last five years of operation to determine the projected radiological impact of the facility on the environment during the period of the renewed license. The NRC found that releases of radioactive material and personnel exposures were all well within applicable regulatory limits. Based on its evaluation, the NRC concludes that continued operation of the NSCR would not have a significant environmental impact.

    B. Non-Radiological Impacts

    The NSCR core is cooled by a light water primary system consisting of the reactor pool, a heat removal system, and a processing system. Cooling occurs by natural convection with the heated coolant rising out of the core and into the bulk pool water. The large heat sink provided by the volume of primary coolant allows several hours of full-power operation without any secondary cooling. The heat removal system transfers heat to the secondary system via a heat exchanger. The secondary system uses water supplied by the municipal water system. The licensee monitors both systems for purity and to detect significant leakage. The licensee does not chemically treat the primary coolant. Three chemicals (sulfuric acid, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and a commercial cooling water treatment) are used to maintain the secondary coolant pH, control growth of organisms, and control the buildup of scale, respectively. These chemicals are highly diluted and possess minimal hazards to the operating staff. Secondary cooling tower water is occasionally “blown-down” to maintain acceptable conductivity (purity), and the blow-down water is disposed of in accordance with the permit limits of the University's waste water treatment plant. The licensee uses small volumes of standard laboratory-grade chemicals in their chemical laboratories. These chemicals are disposed through an established procedure with the University's Environmental Health Office. The licensee implements a non-radiological environmental monitoring program with the Texas Department of State Health Services. This program helps to ensure that impacts are kept within acceptable limits.

    Given that the proposed action does not involve any change in the operation of the reactor, the minimal heat load dissipated to the environment and limited chemical usage, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant non-radiological impact on the environment.

    National Environmental Policy Act Considerations

    The NRC has responsibilities that are derived from the National Environmental Policy Act and from other environmental laws, which include the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Coastal Zone Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA) and Executive Order 12898—Environmental Justice. The following presents a brief discussion of impacts associated with these laws and other requirements.

    1. Endangered Species Act

    No effects on the aquatic or terrestrial habitat in the vicinity of the NSC, or to threatened, endangered, or protected species under the ESA, would be expected.

    2. Coastal Zone Management Act

    The NSC is not located within any managed coastal zone, nor would the effluents and emissions from the NSCR impact any managed coastal zones.

    3. National Historic Preservation Act

    The NHPA requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. The National Register of Historic Places lists several historical sites in Brazos County. However, none of the sites are located within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of the NSC and, given their respective locations, continued operation of the NSCR will not impact any historical sites. The NRC staff contacted the State of Texas Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and discussed the proposed action. The SHPO indicated that there was no objection to the proposed action and that it did not require a formal review by that office. Based on this information, the NRC staff finds that the potential impacts of the proposed action would have no adverse effect on historic and archaeological resources.

    4. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act

    With regard to the NSC, TEES/TAMUS is not planning any water resource development projects, including any modifications relating to impounding a body of water, damming, diverting a stream or river, deepening a channel, irrigation, or altering a body of water for navigation or drainage. Therefore, this action has no significant impact related to the FWCA.

    5. Executive Order 12898—Environmental Justice

    The environmental justice impact analysis evaluates the potential for disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects on minority and low-income populations that could result from the relicensing and the continued operation of the NSC. Such effects may include human health, biological, cultural, economic, or social impacts.

    Minority Populations in the Vicinity of the NSC—According to the 2010 census data, 36 percent of the total population (approximately 512,000 individuals) residing within a 50-mile radius of the NSC identified themselves as minority individuals. The largest minority were people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin of any race (approximately 100,000 persons or 19.5 percent), followed by Black or African American (65,000 or 12.7 percent). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 41 percent of the Brazos County population identified themselves as minorities, with persons of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin comprising the largest minority group (23 percent). According to U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the minority population of Brazos County, as a percent of the total population, had increased to about 42 percent.

    Low-income Populations in the Vicinity of the NSC—According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, approximately 100,000 individuals (20 percent) residing within a 50-mile radius of the NSC were identified as living below the Federal poverty threshold. The 2012 Federal poverty threshold was $23,492 for a family of four.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, the median household income for Texas was $51,704, while 13.6 percent of families and 17.5 percent of the state population were found to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. Brazos County had a lower median household income average ($37,913) and a higher percent of families (16.1 percent) and individuals (29.5 percent) living below the poverty level, respectively.

    Impact Analysis—Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations would mostly consist of radiological effects; however, radiation doses from continued operations associated with the license renewal are expected to continue at current levels, and would be well below regulatory limits.

    Based on this information and the analysis of human health and environmental impacts presented in this environmental assessment, the proposed license renewal would not have disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects on minority and low-income populations residing in the vicinity of the NSC.

    Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to license renewal, the NRC considered denying the proposed action. If the NRC denied the request for license renewal, reactor operations at the NSC would cease and decommissioning would be required. The NRC notes that, even with a renewed license, the NSC will eventually require decommissioning, at which time the environmental effects of decommissioning would occur. Decommissioning would be conducted in accordance with an NRC-approved decommissioning plan which would require a separate environmental review under § 51.21, “Criteria for and identification of licensing and regulatory actions requiring environmental assessments.” Cessation of reactor operations at the NSC would reduce or eliminate radioactive effluents and emissions. However, as previously discussed in this environmental assessment, radioactive effluents resulting from reactor operations are only a small fraction of the applicable regulatory limits. Therefore, the environmental impacts of renewing the license and the denial of the request for license renewal would be similar. In addition, denying the request for license renewal would eliminate the benefits of teaching, research, and services provided by the NSCR.

    Alternative Use of Resources

    The proposed action does not involve the use of any different resources or significant quantities of resources beyond those previously considered in the issuance of License Amendment No. 9 to Facility Operating License No. R-83 for the NSC dated March 30, 1983, which renewed the Facility Operating License No. R-83 for an additional period of 20 years.

    Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with the agency's stated policy, on June 11, 2010, the NRC staff consulted with the Texas State Liaison Officer regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The consultation involved a thorough explanation of the environmental review, the details of this environmental assessment, and the NRC's findings. The State official stated the he understood the NRC review and had no comments regarding the proposed action.

    III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared this EA as part of its review of the proposed action. On the basis of this EA, the NRC finds that there are no significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. On the basis of the environmental assessment included in Section II of this document, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a finding of no significant impact is appropriate.

    IV. Availability of Documents

    This finding and related environmental documents are available to interested persons through ADAMS via the following ADAMS accession numbers:

    Document ADAMS Accession No./Web link/Federal Register Citation February 27, 2003 ADAMS Accession No. ML102920025. July 22, 2009 ADAMS Accession No. ML092530306. July 28, 2010 ADAMS Accession No. ML102150544. August 30, 2010 ADAMS Accession No. ML102510154. August 31, 2010 ADAMS Accession No. ML102650318. December 9, 2010 ADAMS Accession No. ML103470278. May 27, 2011 ADAMS Accession No. ML111950372. June 9, 2011 ADAMS Accession No. ML111950376. November 21, 2011 ADAMS Accession Nos. ML113410067 and ML11327A083. January 12, 2012 ADAMS Accession No. ML120260016. April 11, 2012 ADAMS Accession No. ML12110A116. November 14, 2012 ADAMS Accession No. ML12321A321. January 31, 2013 ADAMS Accession No. ML13037A307. February 3, 2013 ADAMS Accession No. ML14038A106. February 11, 2013 ADAMS Accession No. ML14076A112. November 13, 2014 ADAMS Accession No. ML15009A297. March 2, 2015 ADAMS Accession No ML15065A068. June 5, 2015 ADAMS Accession No ML15160A023. June 11, 2015 ADAMS Accession No. ML15187A256. June 30, 2015 ADAMS Accession No. ML15182A449. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Alexander Adams, Jr., Chief, Research and Test Reactors Licensing Branch. Division of Policy and Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21820 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-295, 50-304, and 72-1037; NRC-2015-0190] ZionSolutions, LLC; Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Exemption; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a request submitted by ZionSolutions on August 25, 2014, to its general license to operate an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Zion Nuclear Power Station (ZNPS). The exemption permits ZionSolutions to deviate from the requirements in Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 3, Appendix A, Technical Specifications and Design Features for the Modular Advanced Generation Nuclear All-purpose STORage (MAGNASTOR®) System, Section 5.7, Training Program. ZionSolutions is currently loading MAGNASTOR® storage casks and maintains that relief from certain training requirements will reduce costs associated with applying a more complex and labor intensive training process than required by regulation.

    DATES:

    Notice of issuance of exemption given on September 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0190 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0190. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] For the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the “Availability of Documents” section of this document. Some documents referenced are located in the NRC's ADAMS Legacy Library. To obtain these documents, contact the NRC's PDR for assistance.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Vera, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5790; email: [email protected]

    I. Background

    In February 1998, ZNPS, Units 1 and 2, were permanently shut down. On February 13, 1998, Commonwealth Edison Company, the ZNPS licensee at that time, submitted a letter certifying the permanent cessation of operations at ZNPS, Units 1 and 2. On March 9, 1998, Commonwealth Edison Company submitted a letter certifying the permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessels at ZNPS. On May 4, 2009, the NRC issued the order to transfer the ownership of the permanently shut down ZNPS facility and responsibility for its decommissioning to ZionSolutions. This transfer was effectuated on September 1, 2010. ZionSolutions was established solely for the purpose of acquiring and decommissioning the ZNPS facility for release for unrestricted use, while transferring the spent nuclear fuel and Greater-Than-Class C radioactive waste to the ZNPS ISFSI. ZionSolutions holds Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-39 and DPR-48, which authorize possession of spent fuel from the operation of ZNPS, Units 1 and 2, in Zion, Illinois, pursuant to part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities.” The licenses provide, among other things, that the facility must comply with all applicable NRC requirements.

    Consistent with 10 CFR part 72, subpart K, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites,” a general license is issued for the storage of spent fuel in an ISFSI at power reactor sites to persons authorized to possess or operate nuclear power reactors under 10 CFR part 50. ZionSolutions is currently authorized to store spent fuel at the ZNPS ISFSI under the 10 CFR part 72 general license provisions.

    The conditions of the 10 CFR part 72 general license, specifically 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(3), 72.212(b)(5)(i), and 72.212(b)(11), require a general licensee to store spent fuel in an approved spent fuel storage cask listed in 10 CFR 72.214, and to comply with the conditions specified in the cask's CoC. The ZNPS ISFSI is currently loading and storing spent fuel in MAGNASTOR® storage casks, approved by the NRC under CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 3.

    The MAGNASTOR® system provides for the vertical dry storage of spent fuel assemblies in a welded transportable storage canister (TSC). The storage system components for the MAGNASTOR® system consist of a vertical concrete cask (VCC), a TSC with an internal basket assembly that holds the spent fuel assemblies, and a transfer cask, which contains the TSC during loading, transfer, and unloading operations. The VCC is constructed of reinforced concrete designed to withstand all normal condition loads, as well as abnormal condition loads created by natural phenomena such as earthquakes and tornados. The storage system is also designed to withstand design-basis accident conditions.

    II. Request/Action

    By letter dated August 25, 2014, ZionSolutions submitted a request for exemptions from specific portions of the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212, “Conditions of general license issued under § 72.210,” specifically 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(5), 72.212(b)(11), and 10 CFR 72.214, “List of approved spent fuel storage casks.” Specifically, ZionSolutions has requested an exemption from the requirements of Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment 3, Appendix A, Technical Specifications and Design Features for the MAGNASTOR® System, Section 5.7 “Training Program.”

    Section 5.7 in Appendix A requires the following: “A training program for the MAGNASTOR® system shall be developed under the general licensee's systematic approach to training (SAT). Training modules shall include comprehensive instructions for the operation and maintenance of the MAGNASTOR® system and the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI).” ZionSolutions has stated that the training program for the MAGNASTOR® system was developed using the SAT methods. The training modules included comprehensive instructions for the operation and maintenance of the MAGNASTOR® system. The exemption request applies only to developing a training program under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI Structures, Systems and Components (SSCs), which are not important to safety as defined in 10 CFR 72.3. If granted, ZionSolutions will provide training/instructions for such SSCs in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and ZionSolutions approved procedures, instead of developing such training and instructions using the SAT methods.

    The NRC has the authority under 10 CFR 72.7 to grant specific exemptions from 10 CFR part 72 requirements if it determines that the exemption is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security and the exemption is otherwise in the public interest. For the reasons described below, the NRC is granting an exemption to ZionSolutions.

    III. Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 72 when it determines that the exemptions are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.

    A. Authorized by Law

    Under 10 CFR 72.7, the NRC may grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 72 if the exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. As explained below, the proposed exemption will not endanger life or property, or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. The ISFSI regulations cited in this exemption request are 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(5)(i), 72.212(b)(11), and 10 CFR 72.214, which, in general, provide that the licensee shall comply with the terms, conditions, and specifications of the CoC. The Commission has the legal authority to issue exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 72 pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7. Issuance of this exemption is consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and is not otherwise inconsistent with NRC regulations or other applicable laws. Therefore, issuance of the exemption is authorized by law.

    B. The Exemption Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security

    Approval of this exemption request will only allow ZionSolutions to provide training that has not been developed under a SAT program for non-safety related ISFSI SSCs. There are no changes to design or operations of the ISFSI, and no changes whatsoever to safety or security-related components. If granted, ZionSolutions will provide training/instructions for such SSCs in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and ZionSolutions approved procedures, instead of developing such training and instructions using the SAT methods. Therefore, issuance of the exemption will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security.

    C. The Exemption Is Otherwise in the Public Interest

    Approval of this exemption request will only allow ZionSolutions to provide training that was not developed under a SAT program for non-safety-related ISFSI SSCs. The costs associated with these activities are paid from the decommissioning trust fund for ZNPS. Decommissioning trust funds are funds set aside during plant operation and do not belong to the utility but are retained in the public interest solely to pay for eventual decommissioning of the plant. ZNPS is currently in a decommissioning process. As such, there is a finite amount of funds which exists to complete decommissioning activities. With regard to the subject request, exemption from implementation of this training process relieves an economic burden. ZionSolutions stated in their exemption request that the exemption “is in the public interest in that it will reduce costs associated with applying a more complex and labor intensive training process than required by regulation with no commensurate safety benefit.” Furthermore, NRC staff finds the exemption in the public interest, because the resources saved from developing training activities under SAT can be utilized for other decommissioning activities including, for example, reducing the time to complete decommissioning and thus reducing risk of radiological effects to workers and the public and ameliorating an unexpected event, such as an accident.

    D. Environmental Considerations

    In reviewing this exemption request, the staff also considered whether there would be any significant environmental impacts associated with the exemption. For this proposed action, the staff reviewed the categorical exclusion criteria in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). The regulations in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25) provide a categorical exclusion for the granting of licensee exemption requests. In order for the 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25) categorical exclusions to apply, the proposed action must meet the criteria listed in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)-(vi). An analysis of these provisions is provided below.

    i. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)—There is no significant hazards consideration (NSHC).

    The elements of a NSHC are set forth in 10 CFR 50.92(c)(1)-(3). The proposed action involves NSHC if approval of the proposed action would not: (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As the requested exemption does not involve changes to the design or operation of the safety systems for the MAGNASTOR® system or ISFSI, the above elements are not affected; therefore, no significant hazards will result from issuance of this exemption.

    ii. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii)—There is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite.

    The proposed exemption, which applies only to developing a training program not under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI SSCs that are not defined in 10 CFR 72.3 as important to safety, would not involve any changes to effluents. Therefore, there is no significant change in the types or increase in the amounts of effluents that may be released offsite.

    iii. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iii)—There is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure.

    The proposed exemption, which applies only to developing a training program not under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI SSCs that are not defined in 10 CFR 72.3 as important to safety, would not involve any changes to public or occupational radiation exposures. Therefore, there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure.

    iv. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv)—There is no significant construction impact.

    The proposed exemption, which applies only to developing a training program not under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI SSCs that are not defined in 10 CFR 72.3 as important to safety, would not involve any construction activities. Therefore, there is no significant construction impact.

    v. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v)—There is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents.

    The proposed exemption, which applies only to developing a training program not under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI SSCs that are not defined in 10 CFR 72.3 as important to safety, would not involve any changes to the design, safety limits, or safety analysis assumptions associated with the cask system and would not create any new accident precursors. Therefore, there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents.

    vi. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)—The requirements from which an exemption is sought involve:

    (A) Recordkeeping requirements;

    (B) Reporting requirements;

    (C) Inspection or surveillance requirements;

    (D) Equipment servicing or maintenance scheduling requirements;

    (E) Education, training, experience, qualification, requalification or other employment suitability requirements;

    (F) Safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting inventory scheduling requirements;

    (G) Scheduling requirements;

    (H) Surety, insurance or indemnity requirements; or

    (I) Other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature.

    The proposed exemption applies only to developing a training program not under SAT for operation and maintenance of ISFSI SSCs that are not defined in 10 CFR 72.3 as important to safety. The requirements from which an exemption is sought involve only training, and the exemption is thus applicable for a categorical exclusion under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(E).

    Based on the above considerations, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed exemption meets the eligibility criteria for categorical conclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment is required to be prepared in connection with the proposed issuance of the exemption.

    IV. Conclusions

    Based on the above considerations, the NRC has determined, pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, that this exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants ZionSolutions an exemption from 10 CFR parts 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(5)(i), 72.212(b)(11) and 72.214, which state that the licensee shall comply with the terms, conditions, and specifications of the CoC, only with regard to the requirements of Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 3, Appendix A, Technical Specifications and Design Features for the MAGNASTOR® System, Section 5.7 “Training Program.” The exemption only exempts ZionSolutions from the requirement to develop training modules under the SAT that include comprehensive instructions for the operation and maintenance of the ISFSI SSCs that are not important to safety. The SAT training requirements are still applicable to all important to safety components, as required by the CoC.

    V. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are publicly available to interested persons in ADAMS. For information on accessing ADAMS see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Document ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • Commonwealth Edison Company letter certifying the permanent cessation of operations at ZNPS, Units 1 and 2 ML15232A492 Commonwealth Edison Company letter certifying the permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessels at ZNPS ML15232A487 NRC order and conforming amendments transferring ownership of ZNPS facility ML090930037 Letter issuing conforming amendments relating to transfer of licenses for ZNPS ML102290437 Zion exemption request ML14241A424

    The exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    William C. Allen, Acting Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21794 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 72-40, 50-269, 50-270 and 50-287; NRC-2015-0191] Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an exemption to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke Energy or the applicant) related to the operation of Oconee Nuclear Station (Oconee) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) (Docket No. 72-40). The request is for an exemption from the requirement to comply with Technical Specification 1.2.4a of Attachment A of Certificate of Compliance (CoC or Certificate) No. 1004, Amendment No. 9, for the Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System.

    DATES:

    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are available as of September 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0191 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0191. 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.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Vera, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5790, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an exemption to Duke Energy, for operation of Oconee ISFSI, located in Seneca, South Carolina. Pursuant to § 72.7 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Specific Exemptions,” on August 28, 2014, as supplemented on December 8, 2014, and June 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML14255A005, ML14346A008, and ML15169B103, respectively), Duke Energy submitted its request for exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(3), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(5)(i), and the portion of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(11) that requires compliance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of CoC No. 1004, Amendment No. 9, for the Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System. In evaluating the request, the NRC also considered exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2) and 10 CFR 72.214 that are applicable to the request, and the NRC has weighed these regulations in its review.

    Duke Energy loaded spent nuclear fuel into several 24PHB dry shielded canisters (DSCs). Subsequent to the loading, the applicant identified a discrepancy on a test report processed from the helium leak rate instrument vendor. The discrepancy was that the temperature coefficient was stated as four (4) percent per degree Celsius (%/°C), when previously this value was three (3) %/°C. The applicant stated that the instrument vendor confirmed that the three (3) %/°C coefficient was incorrect for this instrument and that canisters loaded at ambient temperatures greater than (>) 23 °C would have had a non-conservative temperature coefficient applied to the helium leak rate measurement. The applicant stated that the incorrect value had been used to calculate the leak rates of forty-seven (47) dry shielded canisters DSCs.

    According to the applicant, forty-two (42) of the forty-seven (47) DSCs affected were verified to meet the TS. The applicant's re-evaluation involved verifying the ambient temperature when the DSCs were loaded and applying the appropriate temperature coefficient. However, the applicant stated that the actual temperature correction value datasheets could not be found for DSCs 93, 94, 100, 105, and 106 and that these canisters were loaded in the summer months when ambient conditions during helium leak testing would likely have exceeded 23 °C, so the revised temperature correction factor would have been applicable. The applicant stated that confirmation that the TS was met with the revised temperature coefficient for these DSCs, without evidence of the actual ambient temperature or test value, was not possible.

    II. Environmental Assessment Background

    Oconee Nuclear Station is located on Lake Keowee in Oconee County, South Carolina, 8 miles north of Seneca, South Carolina. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1973, followed by Units 2 and 3 in 1974. Since 1997, Oconee has been storing spent fuel in an ISFSI operating under a general license as authorized by 10 CFR part 72, subpart K, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites.” The licensee also has a site-specific ISFSI license, which is not affected by this exemption request and associated environmental assessment (EA).

    Identification of Proposed Action

    The CoC is the NRC-approved design for each dry cask storage system. The proposed action would grant Duke Energy an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(3), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(5)(i), 10 CFR 72.214, and the portion of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(11) that requires compliance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of CoC No. 1004, Amendment No. 9, for the Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System to the extent necessary for Duke Energy to maintain DSCs numbers 93, 94, 100, 105, and 106 in their current position at the ISFSI associated with the operation of Oconee, Units 1, 2, and 3. These regulations require storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license in dry storage casks approved under the provisions of 10 CFR part 72 and compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in the CoC for each dry storage spent fuel cask used by an ISFSI general licensee. Specifically, the exemption would relieve Duke Energy from meeting Technical Specification 1.2.4a of Attachment A of CoC No. 1004, which limits the leak rate of the inner seal weld to 1.0 × 10-7 reference cubic centimeters per second (ref cc/s) at the highest DSC limiting pressure.

    Need for the Proposed Action

    The exemption would relieve the applicant from meeting Technical Specification (TS) 1.2.4a of Attachment A of CoC No. 1004, which limits the leak rate of the inner seal weld to 1.0 × 10−7 ref cc/s at the highest DSC limiting pressure, allowing for continued storage of DSCs numbers 93, 94, 100, 105, and 106 at the Oconee Nuclear Station ISFSI. According to the applicant's exemption request, confirmation that the technical specification is met is not possible. Without the exemption, the applicant would be in violation of the technical specification with no possibility of demonstrating compliance.

    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The potential impact of using the TN Standardized NUHOMS® dry cask storage system was initially evaluated in the EA for the rulemaking to add the TN Standardized NUHOMS® Horizontal Modular Storage System for Irradiated Nuclear Fuel to the list of approved spent fuel storage casks in 10 CFR 72.214.

    The exemption proposed to Amendment No. 9 to CoC No. 1004 would permit Duke Energy to maintain DSCs numbers 93, 94, 100, 105, and 106 in their current position at the ISFSI associated with the operation of Oconee, Units 1, 2, and 3. The applicant addressed environmental impacts in the application, stating that for the five (5) DSCs involved, results of the initial inner seal weld dye penetrant test were found to be acceptable, and welded outer top cover plates were installed. Additionally, radiological protection group surveys of affected HSMs confirmed that there is no leakage occurring from the affected canisters. Based on its review of the licensee's application, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action does not result in any changes to the types or amounts of any radiological effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure as a result of the proposed action. Therefore, the staff further concludes there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action, which only affects the requirements associated with the leak testing of the DSCs and does not affect plant effluents, or any other aspects of the environment.

    Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

    Alternative to the Proposed Action

    Because there is no significant environmental impact associated with the proposed action, alternatives with equal or greater environmental impact were not evaluated. As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed action, which would force Duke Energy to take actions that would involve unloading the DSCs from the horizontal storage modules, transporting them to the cask handling area, opening, rewelding, and retesting the welds, and transporting the DSCs back to the HSMs. Denial of the exemption would result in an increase in radiological exposure to workers, a small potential for radioactive releases to the environment due to radioactive material handling accidents, and increased costs to the licensee. Therefore, the NRC staff has determined that approving the proposed action has a lesser environmental impact than denying the proposed action.

    Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The EA associated with this exemption request was sent to the appropriate official of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) by email dated January 22, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15055A604). The state response was received by email dated February 23, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15055A620). The email states that the SCDHEC has no comments. The NRC staff has determined that a consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is not required, because the proposed action will not affect listed species or critical habitat. The NRC staff has also determined that the proposed action is not a type of activity that has the potential to impact historic properties, because the proposed action would occur only within the established Oconee site boundary. Therefore, no consultation is required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.” Based upon the previously mentioned EA, the Commission finds that the proposed action of granting an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(3), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(5)(i), 10 CFR 72.214, the portion of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(11) that states the licensee shall comply with the terms, conditions, and specifications of the CoC, in order to allow Duke Energy to maintain DSCs numbers 93, 94, 100, 105, and 106 in their current position at the ISFSI associated with the operation of Oconee, Units 1, 2, and 3, will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that an environmental impact statement for the proposed exemption is not warranted and that a finding of no significant impact is appropriate.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14 day of August, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Michele Sampson, Branch Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21819 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL Survey Renewal for FY 2015—Request for Comment AGENCY:

    Office of Special Counsel.

    ACTION:

    Second notice for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter35), and implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), plans to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use of a previously approved information collection consisting of an electronic survey form. The current OMB approval for the OSC Survey expires 10/31/15. We are submitting the electronic survey for renewal, based on its pending expiration. There are several changes being submitted with this request for renewal of the use of the OSC survey. Current and former Federal employees, employee representatives, other Federal agencies, state and local government employees, and the general public are invited to comment on this for the second time. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection consisting of our survey is necessary for the proper performance of OSC functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of OSC's estimate of the burden 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.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received by October 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karl Kammann, Chief Financial Officer, at the address shown above; by facsimile at (202) 254-3711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OSC is an independent agency responsible for, among other things, (1) investigation of allegations of prohibited personnel practices defined by law at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b), protection of whistleblowers, and certain other illegal employment practices under titles 5 and 38 of the U.S. Code, affecting current or former Federal employees or applicants for employment, and covered state and local government employees; and (2) the interpretation and enforcement of Hatch Act provisions on political activity in chapters 15 and 73 of title 5 of the U.S. Code.

    Title of Collection: Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Annual Survey; OMB Control Number 3255-0003, Expiration 10/31/2015.

    OSC is required to conduct an annual survey of individuals who seek its assistance. Section 13 of Public Law 103-424 (1994), codified at 5 U.S.C. 1212 note, states, in part: “[T]he survey shall—(1) Determine if the individual seeking assistance was fully apprised of their rights; (2) determine whether the individual was successful either at the Office of Special Counsel or the Merit Systems Protection Board; and (3) determine if the individual, whether successful or not, was satisfied with the treatment received from the Office of Special Counsel.”

    The same section also provides that survey results are to be published in OSC's annual reports to Congress. Copies of prior years' annual reports are available on OSC's Web site, at https://osc.gov/Pages/Resources-ReportsAndInfo.aspx or by calling OSC at (202) 254-3600. The survey form for the collection of information is available by calling OSC at (202) 254-3600. Type of Information Collection Request: Approval of previously approved collection of information that expires on 10/31/2015, with some revisions. The Disclosure Unit was added for the first time to the electronic survey of individuals with cases resolved in FY 2014. The second major change is that the survey is hosted by Survey Monkey, (https://www.surveymonkey.com) rather than being an in-house supported IT tool. A future enhancement will add an additional question to the survey about the user's experience with our new OSC Form 14 Wizard and electronic complaint form, which is currently in development.

    Affected public: Current and former Federal employees, applicants for Federal employment, state and local government employees, and their representatives, and the general public.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Estimated Annual Number of Survey Form Respondents: 320.

    Frequency of Survey form use: Annual.

    Estimated Average Amount of Time for a Person to Respond to survey: 12 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Survey Burden: 109 hours.

    This survey form is used to survey current and former Federal employees and applicants for Federal employment who have submitted allegations of possible prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited activity for investigation and possible prosecution by OSC, and whose matter has been closed or otherwise resolved during the prior fiscal year, on their experience with OSC. Specifically, the survey asks questions relating to whether the respondent was: (1) Apprised of his or her rights; (2) successful at the OSC or at the Merit Systems Protection Board; and (3) satisfied with the treatment received at the OSC.

    Dated: August 25th, 2015. Carolyn N. Lerner, Special Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21780 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7405-01-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. CP2015-131; Order No. 2688] New Postal Product AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing concerning an additional Global Expedited Package Services 3 negotiated service agreement. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: September 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Notice of Commission Action III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    On August 27, 2015, the Postal Service filed notice that it has entered into an additional Global Expedited Package Services 3 (GEPS 3) negotiated service agreement (Agreement).1

    1 Notice of United States Postal Service of Filing a Functionally Equivalent Global Expedited Package Services 3 Negotiated Service Agreement and Application for Non-Public Treatment of Materials Filed Under Seal, August 27, 2015 (Notice).

    To support its Notice, the Postal Service filed a copy of the Agreement, a copy of the Governors' Decision authorizing the product, a certification of compliance with 39 U.S.C. 3633(a), and an application for non-public treatment of certain materials. It also filed supporting financial workpapers.

    II. Notice of Commission Action

    The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2015-131 for consideration of matters raised by the Notice.

    The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service's filing is consistent with 39 U.S.C. 3632, 3633, or 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comments are due no later than September 4, 2015. The public portions of the filing can be accessed via the Commission's Web site (http://www.prc.gov).

    The Commission appoints Derrick D. Dennis to serve as Public Representative in this docket.

    III. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. CP2015-131 for consideration of the matters raised by the Postal Service's Notice.

    2. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Derrick D. Dennis is appointed to serve as an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding (Public Representative).

    3. Comments are due no later than September 4, 2015.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Shoshana M. Grove, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-21787 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75786; File No. SR-BYX-2015-36] Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees a Market Data Product Known as BYX Book Viewer August 28, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on August 24, 2015, BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “BYX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to adopt fees for a market data product called BYX Book Viewer.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    (A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the Market Data section of its fee schedule to adopt fees for a market data product called BYX Book Viewer. BYX Book Viewer is a data feed that disseminates, on a real-time basis, the aggregated two-side quotations for up to five (5) price levels for all displayed orders for securities traded on the Exchange and for which the Exchanges reports quotes under the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) Plan or the Nasdaq/UTP Plan. BYX Book Viewer also contains the last ten (10) trades including time of trade, price and share quantity.5 BYX Book Viewer is currently available via www.batstrading.com without charge.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75717 (August 18, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-35) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 11.22 to Describe the Market Data Product BYX Book Viewer).

    The Exchange now proposes to amend its fee schedule to incorporate fees for distribution of BYX Book Viewer to subscribers.6 BYX Book Viewer will remain available via www.batstrading.com for viewing without charge. The proposed fees include the following, each of which are described in detail below: (i) Distribution Fees for both Internal and External Distributors; 7 (ii) Usage Fees for both Professional 8 and Non-Professional 9 Users; 10 (iii) an Enterprise Fee; 11 and (iv) a Digital Media Enterprise Fee.

    6 The Exchange notes that its affiliated exchanges, EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”), EDGA Exchange, Inc. (“EDGA”) and BATS Exchange, Inc. (“BZX”, together with the Exchange, EDGX and EDGA, the “BATS Exchanges”), also intent to file proposed rule changes with Commission to adopt similar fees for their respective Book Viewer market data product.

    7 A “Distributor” is defined as “any entity that receives the Exchange Market Data product directly from the Exchange or indirectly through another entity and then distributes it internally or externally to a third party.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/byx/. An “Internal Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to one or more Users within the Distributor's own entity.” Id. An “External Distributor” is defined as “a Distributor that receives the Exchange Market Data product and then distributes that data to a third party or one or more Users outside the Distributor's own entity.” Id.

    8 A “Professional User” is defined as “any User other than a Non-Professional User.” See the Exchange Fee Schedule available at http://batstrading.com/support/fee_schedule/byx/.

    9 A “Non-Professional User” is defined as “a natural person who is not: (i) Registered or qualified in any capacity with the Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, any state securities agency, any securities exchange or association, or any commodities or futures contract market or association; (ii) engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term is defined in Section [202(a)(11)] of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act); or (iii) employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal or state securities laws to perform functions that would require registration or qualification if such functions were performed for an organization not so exempt.” Id.

    10 The Exchange notes that User fees as well as the distinctions based on professional and non-professional users have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the BATS Exchanges and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59582 (March 16, 2009), 74 FR 12423 (March 24, 2009) (Order approving SR-Nasdaq-2008-102). See also See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74285 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9828 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BATS-2015-11); 74283 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9809 (February 24, 2015) (SR-EDGA-2015-09); 74282 (February 17, 2015), 80 FR 9487 (February 23, 2015) (SR-EDGX-2015-09); and 74284 (February 18, 2015), 80 FR 9792 (February 24, 2015) (SR-BYX-2015-09) (“Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings”).

    11 The Exchange notes that Enterprise fees have been previously filed with or approved by the Commission by the Exchange, EDGA, EDGX, BZX, Nasdaq, NYSE, and the CTA/CQ Plans. See Nasdaq Rule 7047. Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 71507 (February 7, 2014), 79 FR 8763 (February 13, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-011); 70211 (August 15, 2013), 78 FR 51781 (August 21, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-58); and 70010 (July 19, 2013) (File No. SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04). See also the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 10.

    Distribution Fees. As proposed, each Internal Distributor that receives BYX Book Viewer shall pay a fee of $500 per month. The Exchange does not propose to charge any User fees for BYX Book Viewer where the data is received and subsequently internally distributed to Professional or Non-Professional Users. In addition, the Exchange proposes to charge External Distributors that receives BYX Book Viewer a fee of $2,500 per month.

    User Fees. The Exchange proposes to charge those who receive BYX Book Viewer from External Distributors different fees for both their Professional Users and Non-Professional Users. The Exchange will assess a monthly fee for Professional Users of $3.00 per User. Non-Professional Users will be assessed a monthly fee of $0.10 per User. The Exchange does not propose to charge per User fees to Internal Distributors.

    External Distributors that receives BYX Book Viewer would be required to count every Professional User and Non-Professional User to which they provide BYX Book Viewer, the requirements for which are identical to that currently in place for the BATS One Feed.12 Thus, the External Distributor's count will include every person and device that accesses the data regardless of the purpose for which the individual or device uses the data. External Distributors must report all Professional and Non-Professional Users in accordance with the following:

    12See the Initial BATS One Feed Fee Filings, supra note 10.

    • In connection with an External Distributor's distribution of BYX Book Viewer, the Distributor should count as one User each unique User that the Distributor has entitled to have access to BYX Book Viewer. However, where a device is dedicated specifically to a single individual, the Distributor should count only the individual and need not count the device.

    • The External Distributor should identify and report each unique User. If a User uses the same unique method to gain access to BYX Book Viewer, the Distributor should count that as one User. However, if a unique User uses multiple methods to gain access to BYX Book Viewer (e.g., a single User has multiple passwords and user identifications), the External Distributor should report all of those methods as an individual User.

    • External Distributors should report each unique individual person who receives access through multiple devices as one User so long as each device is dedicated specifically to that individual.

    • If an External Distributor entitles one or more individuals to use the same device, the External Distributor should include only the individuals, and not the device, in the count.

    Each External Distributor will receive a credit against its monthly Distributor Fee for BYX Book Viewer equal to the amount of its monthly Usage Fees up to a maximum of the Distributor Fee for BYX Book Viewer. For example, an External Distributor will be subject to a $2,500 monthly Distributor Fee where they receive BYX Book Viewer. If that External Distributor reports User quantities totaling $2,500 or more of monthly usage of BYX Book Viewer, it will pay no net Distributor Fee, whereas if that same External Distributor were to report User quantities totaling $1,000 of monthly usage, it will pay a net of $1,500 for the Distributor Fee. External Distributors will remain subject to the per User fees discussed above.

    Enterprise Fee. The Exchange also proposes to establish a $20,000 per month Enterprise Fee that will permit a recipient firm who receives BYX Book Viewer from an External Distributor to receive the data for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users. For example, if a recipient firm had 15,000 Professional Users who each receive BYX Book Viewer at $3.00 per month, then that recipient firm will pay $45,000 per month in Professional Users fees. Under the proposed Enterprise Fee, the recipient firm will pay a flat fee of $20,000 for an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for BYX Book Viewer. A recipient firm must pay a separate Enterprise Fee for each External Distributor that controls the display of BYX Book Viewer if it wishes such User to be covered by an Enterprise Fee rather than by per User fees. A recipient firm that pays the Enterprise Fee will not have to report its number of such Users on a monthly basis. However, every six months, a recipient firm must provide the Exchange with a count of the total number of natural person users of each product, including both Professional and Non-Professional Users. Lastly, the proposed Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BYX Book Viewer User fees.

    Digital Media Enterprise Fee. The Exchange proposes to adopt a Digital Media Enterprise Fee of $5,000 per month for BYX Book Viewer. As an alternative to proposed User fees discussed above, a recipient firm may purchase a monthly Digital Media Enterprise license to receive BYX Book Viewer from an External Distributor to distribute to an unlimited number of Professional and Non-Professional Users for viewing via television, Web sites, and mobile devices for informational and non-trading purposes only without having to account for the extent of access to the data or the report the number of Users to the Exchange. Lastly, the proposed Digital Media Enterprise Fee would be counted towards the Distributor Fee credit described above, under which an External Distributor receives a credit towards its Distributor Fee equal to the amount of its monthly BYX Book Viewer User fees.

    Implementation Date

    The Exchange proposes to implement the proposed changes to its fee schedule on September 8, 2015.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the objectives of Section 6 of the Act,13 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4),14 in particular, as it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes that the proposed rates are equitable and non-discriminatory in that they apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data. The Exchange believes the proposed fees are competitive with those charged by other venues and, therefore, reasonable and equitably allocated to recipients. Lastly, the Exchange also believes that the proposed fees are reasonable and non-discriminatory because they will apply uniformly to all recipients of Exchange data.

    13 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    14 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 11(A) of the Act 15 in that it supports (i) fair competition among brokers and dealers, among exchange markets, and between exchange markets and markets other than exchange markets and (ii) the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Furthermore, the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 603 of Regulation NMS,16 which provides that any national securities exchange that distributes information with respect to quotations for or transactions in an NMS stock do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

    15 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    16See 17 CFR 242.603.

    In addition, the proposed fees would not permit unfair discrimination because all of the Exchange's customers and market data vendors will be subject to the proposed fees on an equivalent basis. BYX Book Viewer is distributed and purchased on a voluntary basis, in that neither the Exchange nor market data distributors are required by any rule or regulation to make this data available. Accordingly, Distributors and Users can discontinue use at any time and for any reason, including due to an assessment of the reasonableness of fees charged. Firms have a wide variety of alternative market data products from which to choose, such as similar proprietary data products offered by other exchanges and consolidated data. Moreover, the Exchange is not required to make any proprietary data products available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers.

    In addition, the fees that are the subject of this rule filing are constrained by competition. As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the existence of alternatives to BYX Book Viewer further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect such alternatives. That is, the Exchange competes with other exchanges (and their affiliates) that provide similar market data products. If another exchange (or its affiliate) were to charge less to distribute its similar product than the Exchange charges to consolidate and distribute BYX Book Viewer, prospective Users likely would not subscribe to, or would cease subscribing to, BYX Book Viewer.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or rate-making approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for non-core market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically.17

    17 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties, including the Commission, to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based