Federal Register Vol. 80, No.184,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 184 (September 23, 2015)

Page Range57283-57508
FR Document

80_FR_184
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 57507 - National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 57503 - National Farm Safety and Health Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 57404 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 57405 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 57421 - Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 57423 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a New Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 57418 - Social Security Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 15-1(4), Radford v. Colvin: Standard for Meeting the Listing for Disorders of the Spine With Evidence of Nerve Root CompressionPDF
80 FR 57343 - Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Eel FisheryPDF
80 FR 57378 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 57377 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 57349 - ConocoPhillips Company; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term BasisPDF
80 FR 57353 - Kerr-Philpott SystemPDF
80 FR 57337 - Sugar From Mexico: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
80 FR 57420 - Defense Trade Advisory Group; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
80 FR 57424 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for a Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; State Right-of-Way ManualsPDF
80 FR 57341 - Sugar From Mexico: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 57433 - Renewal of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 57432 - Renewal of National Grain Car CouncilPDF
80 FR 57339 - Notice of Scope RulingsPDF
80 FR 57336 - Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Notice of Commencement of Compliance Proceedings Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements ActPDF
80 FR 57401 - Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Republic of BeninPDF
80 FR 57425 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 57395 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Underground RetortsPDF
80 FR 57335 - Meeting of Bureau of Economic Analysis Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 57293 - Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-HexabromocyclododecanePDF
80 FR 57403 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation ActPDF
80 FR 57402 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Inder the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 57373 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
80 FR 57372 - Disability Advisory Committee; Announcement of Next MeetingPDF
80 FR 57348 - Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling MeetingPDF
80 FR 57376 - Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C HIV Early Intervention Services Program Existing Geographic Service AreaPDF
80 FR 57333 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision and Approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana; Nevada and UtahPDF
80 FR 57332 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision; and Approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions Northwest Colorado, and WyomingPDF
80 FR 57422 - Notice of Submission Deadline for Schedule Information for Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport for the Summer 2016 Scheduling SeasonPDF
80 FR 57291 - Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420 HondaJet, Lithium-ion BatteriesPDF
80 FR 57349 - National Power Transformer ReservePDF
80 FR 57312 - Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Cruise Speed Control SystemPDF
80 FR 57283 - Corporate Credit UnionsPDF
80 FR 57421 - Notice of Intent To Release Certain Properties From All Terms, Conditions, Reservations and Restrictions of a Quitclaim Deed Agreement Between the County of Palm Beach and the Federal Aviation Administration for the Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, FLPDF
80 FR 57284 - Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation AdjustmentPDF
80 FR 57289 - Special Conditions: Cirrus Design Corporation, SF50; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) SystemPDF
80 FR 57384 - Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Final Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental AssessmentsPDF
80 FR 57385 - Certain Personal Transporters, Components Thereof, and Manuals Therefor; Commission's Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating Respondents Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd., Ninebot Inc. (USA), and Powerunion (Beijing) Tech Co., Ltd. Based on Settlement; Amendment of the Notice of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 57434 - Tribal Consultation PolicyPDF
80 FR 57402 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive LicensePDF
80 FR 57346 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Matters Related to First Inventor to File”PDF
80 FR 57404 - Notice of Public ForumPDF
80 FR 57347 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings”PDF
80 FR 57334 - Hood and Willamette Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 57373 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 57373 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 57380 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 57351 - Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Philip D. Moeller, Cheryl A. LaFleur, Tony Clark, and Colette D. Honorable; Bonneville Power Administration; Order Approving Rates on an Interim Basis and Providing Opportunity for Additional CommentsPDF
80 FR 57350 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 57351 - Joint Meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Notice of Joint Meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory CommissionPDF
80 FR 57383 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 57345 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Expenditure Survey of Golden Crab Fishermen in the U.S. South Atlantic RegionPDF
80 FR 57374 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 57335 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 57391 - James Alvin Chaney, M.D.: Decision and OrderPDF
80 FR 57390 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc.PDF
80 FR 57393 - Brown's Discount Apothecary, BC, Inc., and Bolling Apothecary, Inc.PDF
80 FR 57388 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Mallinckrodt LLCPDF
80 FR 57391 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Euticals, Inc.PDF
80 FR 57389 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Chemtos, LLCPDF
80 FR 57387 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: AMRI Rensselaer Inc.PDF
80 FR 57388 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc.PDF
80 FR 57390 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Wildlife Laboratories, Inc.PDF
80 FR 57389 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Rhodes TechnologiesPDF
80 FR 57389 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLCPDF
80 FR 57379 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee Call for Committee Membership NominationsPDF
80 FR 57422 - Revised Notice of Intent To Prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement With: Dane and Columbia Counties, WisconsinPDF
80 FR 57376 - Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary CarePDF
80 FR 57283 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal AwardsPDF
80 FR 57335 - Inviting Applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant ProgramPDF
80 FR 57418 - Revocation of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
80 FR 57305 - Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Time and Service in Adjudicatory ProceedingsPDF
80 FR 57387 - Certain Steel Grating From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 57386 - Certain Tissue Paper From China; Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct a Full Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 57347 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 57396 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines)PDF
80 FR 57397 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines)PDF
80 FR 57398 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured PersonsPDF
80 FR 57400 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Gamma Radiation SurveysPDF
80 FR 57399 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Pattern of ViolationsPDF
80 FR 57433 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
80 FR 57412 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
80 FR 57406 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend and Correct Rule 1080.07PDF
80 FR 57408 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Disapprove the Proposed Rule Changes Amending the NYSE Trades Market Data and NYSE MKT Trades Market Data Product OfferingsPDF
80 FR 57414 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the PowerShares High Income Downside Hedged Portfolio, a Series of the PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund TrustPDF
80 FR 57410 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Effective Date of New Rule G-18, on Best Execution of Transactions in Municipal Securities, and Amendments to Rule G-48, on Transactions With Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals, and Rule D-15, on the Definition of Sophisticated Municipal Market ProfessionalPDF
80 FR 57430 - Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal SystemPDF
80 FR 57432 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 57429 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 57430 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 57377 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 57378 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 57404 - Board MeetingPDF
80 FR 57375 - Tribal Consultation MeetingsPDF
80 FR 57307 - Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 57314 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Threatened Status for Island Grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) and Endangered Status for Gulf Grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)PDF
80 FR 57371 - Issuance of NPDES General Permit for Tribal Marine Net Pen Enhancement Facilities in Washington State (Permit Number WAG132000)PDF
80 FR 57302 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revision To Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Storage Tanks and Transport VesselsPDF
80 FR 57437 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Single Package Vertical Heat PumpsPDF

Issue

80 184 Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Meetings: Tribal Consultation, 57375 2015-23720 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57335 2015-24130
Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Meetings: Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel, 57347-57348 2015-24078
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Decisions and Orders: James Alvin Chaney, M.D., 57391-57393 2015-24128 Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, Grand Island, NY, 57389 2015-24118 Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc., Breinigsville, PA, 57388-57389 2015-24121 Rhodes Technologies, Coventry, RI, 57389-57390 2015-24119 Wildlife Laboratories, Inc., Windsor, CO, 57390-57391 2015-24120 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Grafton, WI, 57390 2015-24127 Chemtos, LLC, Austin, TX, 57389 2015-24123 Euticals, Inc., Springfield, MO, 57391 2015-24124 Mallinckrodt LLC, Saint Louis, MO, 57388 2015-24125 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: AMRI Rensselaer Inc., Rensselaer, NY, 57387-57388 2015-24122 Orders to Show Cause: Brown's Discount Apothecary, BC, Inc., and Bolling Apothecary, Inc., 57393-57395 2015-24126 Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Bureau of Economic Analysis Advisory Committee, 57335-57336 2015-24179 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Southeastern Power Administration

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Single Package Vertical Air Conditioners and Single Package Vertical Heat Pumps, 57438-57502 2015-23029 NOTICES Application for Blanket Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas: ConocoPhillips Co., 57349-57350 2015-24197 Requests for Information: National Power Transformer Reserve, 57349 2015-24163
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Meetings: Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling, 57348-57349 2015-24172 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Revision to Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Storage Tanks and Transport Vessels, 57302-57305 2015-23379 Significant New Use Rules: Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-Hexabromocyclododecane, 57293-57302 2015-24178 NOTICES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permits: Tribal Marine Net Pen Enhancement Facilities in Washington State, 57371-57372 2015-23477 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Special Conditions: Cirrus Design Corporation, SF50; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System, 57289-57291 2015-24156 Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420 HondaJet, Lithium-ion Batteries, 57291-57293 2015-24164 PROPOSED RULES Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Cruise Speed Control System, 57312-57314 2015-24161 NOTICES Meetings: Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee, 57421-57422 2015-24207 Release of Airport Property: Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, FL, 57421 2015-24158 Schedule Information Submission Deadlines; Summer 2016 Scheduling Season: Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, 57422 2015-24167 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Meetings: Disability Advisory Committee, 57372-57373 2015-24173 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 57350-57351 2015-24135 Meetings: Joint with Nuclear Regulartory Commissin, 57351 2015-24134 Rate Approvals, 57351-57353 2015-24136 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57423-57424 2015-24206 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Right-of-Way Manuals, 57424-57425 2015-24190 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Dane and Columbia Counties, WI, 57422-57423 2015-24116 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission RULES Time and Service in Adjudicatory Proceedings, 57305-57307 2015-24087 NOTICES Agreements Filed, 57373 2015-24174 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57425-57429 2015-24181 Applications: Railroad Signal System; Discontinuances or Modifications, 57430 2015-24056 Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 57429-57432 2015-24052 2015-24053 2015-24054 2015-24055 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57374-57375 2015-24131 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 57373-57374 2015-24138 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 57373 2015-24139 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 57433-57434 2015-24068 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions, Idaho, Southwestern Montana, Nevada and Utah, Land Management Plan Amendments, 57333-57334 2015-24169 Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions; Northwest Colorado and Wyoming, Land Management Plan Amendments, 57332-57333 2015-24168 Meetings: Hood and Willamette Resource Advisory Committee, 57334-57335 2015-24141 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Children and Families Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C HIV Early Intervention Services Program Existing Geographic Service Area, 57376-57377 2015-24171 Single-Award Deviation from Competition Requirements: University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care, 57376 2015-24115 Interior Interior Department NOTICES Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments, 57384-57385 2015-24155 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India, 57336-57337 2015-24183 Sugar from Mexico, 57337-57339 2015-24195 Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sugar from Mexico, 57341-57343 2015-24189 Scope Rulings, 57339-57340 2015-24185 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Grating from China, 57387 2015-24081 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Personal Transporters, Components Thereof, and Manuals Therefor, 57385-57386 2015-24151 Certain Tissue Paper from China, 57386 2015-24080 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Underground Retorts, 57395-57396 2015-24180
Millenium Millennium Challenge Corporation NOTICES Compact with the Republic of Benin, 57401 2015-24182 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines), 57397-57398 2015-24076 Gamma Radiation Surveys, 57400-57401 2015-24074 Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines), 57396-57397 2015-24077 Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured Persons, 57398-57399 2015-24075 Pattern of Violations, 57399-57400 2015-24073 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Partially Exclusive License Approvals, 57402 2015-24147 National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment, 57284-57289 2015-24157 Corporate Credit Unions, 57283-57284 2015-24160 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 57380-57383 2015-24137 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 57378-57379, 57383-57384 2015-24133 2015-24202 National Eye Institute, 57377 2015-24201 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 57377 2015-24046 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 57378 2015-24045 Requests for Nominations: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee, 57379-57380 2015-24117 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Island Grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) and Gulf Grouper (Mycteroperca jordani); Threatened and Endangered Status under the Endangered Species Act, 57314-57331 2015-23502 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Economic Expenditure Survey of Golden Crab Fishermen in the U.S. South Atlantic Region, 57345-57346 2015-24132 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions: American Eel Fishery, 57343-57345 2015-24203 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Permit Applications under the Antarctic Conservation Act, 57402-57404 2015-24175 2015-24176 2015-24177 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board RULES Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of Authority, 57307-57311 2015-23608 NOTICES Meetings: Humans and Hardware: Preventing Inflight Loss of Control in General Aviation, 57404 2015-24143 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 57404 2015-24298 Nuclear Waste Technical Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board NOTICES Meetings: Potential Deep Borehole Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste, 57404-57405 2015-24043 Office National Office of National Drug Control Policy RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 57283 2015-24114 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Matters Related to First Inventor to File, 57346-57347 2015-24144 Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings, 57347 2015-24142 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Farm Safety and Health Week (Proc. 9325), 57503-57506 2015-24348 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week (Proc. 9326), 57507-57508 2015-24349 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Delta Health Care Services Grant Program; Correction, 57335 2015-24113 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 57405-57406 2015-24217 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 57412-57414 2015-24063 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 57410-57412 2015-24059 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 57406-57408 2015-24062 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 57408-57410 2015-24061 The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 57414-57418 2015-24060 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Revocation of License, 57418 2015-24112 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Social Security Acquiescence Ruling (AR) 15-1(4), Radford v. Colvin: Standard for Meeting the Listing for Disorders of the Spine with Evidence of Nerve Root Compression, 57418-57420 2015-24204 Southeastern Southeastern Power Administration NOTICES Kerr-Philpott System, 57353-57371 2015-24196 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Defense Trade Advisory Group, 57420-57421 2015-24194 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Grain Car Council, 57432-57433 2015-24187 Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee, 57433 2015-24188 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

NOTICES Tribal Consultation Policy, 57434-57436 2015-24150
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Energy Department, 57438-57502 2015-23029 Part III Presidential Documents, 57503-57508 2015-24348 2015-24349 Reader Aids

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

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

80 184 Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Rules and Regulations EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT Office of National Drug Control Policy 2 CFR Part 3603 21 CFR Parts 1403, 1404, and 1405 RIN 3201-AA00 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards AGENCY:

Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President, finalizes its portion of the uniform Federal assistance rule published by the Office of Management and Budget, in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014.

DATES:

This rule is effective on September 23, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David A. Shull, Deputy General Counsel, Office of National Drug Control Policy, 750 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20504. Telephone: (202) 395-6650.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 19, 2014, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget, published an interim final rule that provided comprehensive modifications to the principles and requirements for Federal awards (79 FR 75871). The uniform rules were initially published as 2 CFR part 200. As a part of that rulemaking, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) adopted 2 CFR part 200 in a new part 3603 and removed and reserved its past rules from 21 CFR parts 1403-1405.

The ONDCP received no relevant comments in response to the rule. Therefore, 2 CFR part 3603, as described in the interim final rule, is adopted with no changes.

Regulatory Analysis

For the regulatory findings and analysis regarding this rulemaking, please refer to the analysis prepared by OIRA in the interim final rule, which is incorporated herein (79 FR at 75876).

Accordingly, the interim rule adding 2 CFR part 3603 and amending 21 CFR parts 1403, 1404, and 1405, which was published at 79 FR 75871 on December 19, 2014, is adopted as a final rule without change.

Dated: September 16, 2015. David A. Shull, Deputy General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-24114 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3280-F5-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 704 RIN 3133-AE52 Corporate Credit Unions AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is issuing this final rule to exclude Central Liquidity Facility-related bridge loans (CLF-related bridge loans) from the aggregate unsecured lending cap to one borrower applicable to corporate credit unions (Corporates). Specifically, a CLF-related bridge loan that is exempt from that cap is a bridge loan made by a Corporate to a natural person credit union where the natural person credit union has been approved for a loan by the CLF and is awaiting funding from the CLF. Additionally, this rule excludes CLF-related bridge loans from the calculation of “net assets” and “net risk weighted assets” for determining minimum capital requirements.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 23, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

J. Owen Cole, President, Central Liquidity Facility, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or telephone (703) 518-6360; David Shetler, Deputy Director, Office of National Examinations and Supervision, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6640; or Justin M. Anderson, Senior Staff Attorney, Office of General Counsel, at the above address or telephone (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. Comment Summary and Final Amendments III. Regulatory Procedures I. Background

At its April 2015 meeting,1 the Board issued a proposed rule to exclude CFL-related bridge loans from the aggregate unsecured lending cap to one borrower applicable to Corporates. The Board issued this proposed rule to provide flexibility to Corporates to enhance their ability to serve natural person credit unions. That proposal was largely in response to comments received on a November 2014 proposed rule that made several technical amendments to NCUA's corporate regulation.2

1 80 FR 27108 (May 12, 2015).

2 79 FR 65353 (Nov. 4, 2014).

II. Comment Summary and Final Amendments

In response to the April 2015 proposal, the Board received seven comment letters. The commenters were comprised of Corporates and credit union trade associations. All of the commenters supported the proposed changes and did not recommend any amendments. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble to the April 2015 proposal, the Board is finalizing that proposed rule as published.

III. Regulatory Procedures 1. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires NCUA to prepare an analysis of any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities (primarily those under $50 million in assets).3 This rule only affects Corporates, all of which have more than $50 million in assets. Accordingly, NCUA certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions.

3 5 U.S.C. 603(a); 12 U.S.C. 1787(c)(1).

2. Paperwork Reduction Act.

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency by rule creates a new paperwork burden or increases an existing burden.4 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of a reporting or recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. This rule does not create any new burdens or increase any existing burdens. Therefore, a PRA analysis is not required.

4 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

3. Executive Order 13132

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

4. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

NCUA has determined that this rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998).

5. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where NCUA issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act. NCUA does not believe this final rule is a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA. NCUA has submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its determination in that regard.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 704

Credit unions, Corporate credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

For the reasons discussed above, the National Credit Union Administration amends 12 CFR part 704 as follows:

PART 704—CORPORATE CREDIT UNIONS 1. The authority citation for part 704 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1766(a), 1781, and 1789.

2. Amend § 704.2 by adding a definition for CLF-related bridge loan in alphabetical order and revising the definitions of Net assets and Net risk-weighted assets to read as follows:
§ 704.2 Definitions.

CLF-related bridge loan means interim financing, extending up to ten business days, that a corporate credit union provides for a natural person credit union from the time the CLF approves a loan to the natural person credit union until the CLF funds the loan. To repay a CLF-related bridge loan, the borrowing natural person credit union assigns the proceeds of the CLF advance to the corporate credit union making the CLF-related bridge loan for the duration of the bridge loan.

Net assets means total assets less Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) stock subscriptions, CLF-related bridge loans, loans guaranteed by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), and member reverse repurchase transactions. For its own account, a corporate credit union's payables under reverse repurchase agreements and receivables under repurchase agreements may be netted out if the GAAP conditions for offsetting are met. Also, any amounts deducted in calculating Tier 1 capital are also deducted from net assets.

Net risk-weighted assets means risk-weighted assets less CLF stock subscriptions, CLF-related bridge loans, loans guaranteed by the NCUSIF, and member reverse repurchase transactions. For its own account, a corporate credit union's payables under reverse repurchase agreements and receivables under repurchase agreements may be netted out if the GAAP conditions for offsetting are met. Also, any amounts deducted in calculating Tier 1 capital are also deducted from net risk-weighted assets.

3. Amend § 704.7 by revising paragraph (c)(1)(i) and revising paragraph (d)(1) to read as follows:
§ 704.7 Lending.

(c) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) The maximum aggregate amount in unsecured loans and lines of credit from a corporate credit union to any one member credit union, excluding CLF-related bridge loans and pass-through and guaranteed loans from the CLF and the NCUSIF, must not exceed 50 percent of the corporate credit union's total capital.

(d) * * *

(1) Credit unions. A loan to a nonmember credit union, other than through a loan participation with another corporate credit union or a CLF-related bridge loan, is only permissible if the loan is for an overdraft related to the providing of correspondent services pursuant to § 704.12. Generally, such a loan will have a maturity of one business day.

[FR Doc. 2015-24160 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Parts 740, 741, 747, and 796 RIN 3133-AE56 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment AGENCY:

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The NCUA Board (Board) is amending its regulations to adjust the maximum amount of each civil monetary penalty (CMP) within its jurisdiction to account for inflation. This action, including the amount of the adjustments, is required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 23, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ian Marenna, Trial Attorney, Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or by telephone (703) 518-6540.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Legal Background II. Mathematical Calculation of the Adjustments III. Regulatory Procedures I. Legal Background

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 1 (DCIA) amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 2 (FCPIA Act) to require every federal agency to enact regulations that adjust each CMP provided by law under its jurisdiction by the rate of inflation at least once every four years. These periodic adjustments are to be calculated pursuant to the inflation adjustment formula in section 5(b) of the FCPIA Act. Section 6 of the FCPIA Act specifies that inflation-adjusted CMPs will only apply to violations that occur after the effective date of the adjustment.

1 Public Law 104-134, section 31001(s), 110 Stat. 1321-373 (Apr. 26, 1996). The provision is codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

2 Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (Oct. 5, 1990), also codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

The inflation adjustment is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban customers (CPI-U) published by the Department of Labor.3 Specifically, section 5(b) of the FCPIA Act defines the term “cost-of-living adjustment” as “the percentage (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which—(1) the Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year preceding the adjustment, exceeds (2) the Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year in which the amount of such civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted pursuant to law.” The amount of each inflation adjustment must then be rounded to a number prescribed by section 5(a) of the FCPIA Act, depending on the amount of the CMP. In some cases, this rounding results in no increase to a particular CMP maximum amount.

3 The CPI-U is published by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is available at its Web site: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/.

II. Mathematical Calculation of the Adjustments A. Inflation Percentage and Penalty Adjustment Calculations

The Board recently became aware that NCUA last reviewed CMPs within its jurisdiction for inflation and made corresponding adjustments in 2009,4 and that three CMPs have not previously been adjusted by NCUA. This failure to adjust the CMPs within the appropriate timeframe was inadvertent. The Board notes, however, that because NCUA has never assessed any CMPs at the maximum level, this delay has not affected any CMP assessed by the agency.

4 74 FR 9349 (Mar. 4, 2009). NCUA also reviewed CMPs for inflation and made corresponding adjustments in 2000 and 2004. 65 FR 57277 (Sept. 22, 2000), 69 FR 60077 (Oct. 7, 2004). All of the CMPs that were increased in 2004 were also increased in 2009. Because of the rounding procedure, not all CMPs that are reviewed for inflation are increased.

As noted above, in this final rule, the Board is correcting NCUA's oversight by reviewing and adjusting, as appropriate, all relevant CMPs. In addition, the Board is publishing a new maximum amount for an existing CMP that Congress modified in 2012. For this CMP and the three CMPs that have not previously been adjusted, the Board refers to the CPI-U for June of the year in which Congress set the amount of the CMP. For all other CMPs, the Board refers to the year that it last adjusted the maximum amount.

Consistent with NCUA's 2009 CMP adjustments, the Board provides the inflation calculations in a table below. Following the table, the Board describes the three CMPs that it is adjusting for the first time and the CMP that Congress modified. The table to be published at 12 CFR 747.1001 shows only the adjusted CMPs, not the calculations. The dollar amount in the far right column of the table is the new maximum for each CMP or the existing maximum for those CMPs that NCUA is not increasing because the rounding procedure in the FCPIA Act results in no increase to those maximums.

Calculation of Maximum CMP Adjustments Citation Description/Tier 5 Current
  • maximum
  • ($)
  • Percentage
  • increase
  • (%) 6
  • Raw increase
  • ($)
  • Adjusted
  • increase
  • ($) 7
  • Adjusted
  • maximum
  • ($)
  • 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Inadvertent failure to submit a report or the inadvertent submission of a false or misleading report 2,200 38.3 (2000) 843 1,000 3,200. 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Non-inadvertent failure to submit a report or the non-inadvertent submission of a false or misleading report 22,000 38.3 (2000) 8,426 5,000 32,000. 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Failure to submit a report or the submission of a false or misleading report done knowingly or with reckless disregard Lesser of 1,300,000 or 1% of total CU assets 10.5 (2009) 136,500 125,000 Lesser of 1,425,000 or 1% of total CU assets. 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(A) Tier 1 CMP for inadvertent failure to submit certified statement of insured shares and charges due to NCUSIF, or inadvertent submission of false or misleading statement 2,200 38.3 (2000) 843 1,000 3,200. 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(B) Tier 2 CMP for non-inadvertent failure to submit certified statement or submission of false or misleading statement 22,000 38.3 (2000) 8,426 5,000 32,000. 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(C) Tier 3 CMP for failure to submit a certified statement or the submission of a false or misleading statement done knowingly or with reckless disregard Lesser of 1,300,000 or 1% of total CU assets 10.5 (2009) 136,500 125,000 Lesser of 1,425,000 or 1% of total CU assets. 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(3) Non-compliance with insurance logo requirements 100 14.4 (2007) 14 10 110. 12 U.S.C. 1785(e)(3) Non-compliance with NCUA security requirements 110 38.3 (2000) 42 0 110. 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(A) Tier 1 CMP for violations of law, regulation, and other orders or agreements 7,500 10.5 (2009) 788 1,000 8,500. 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(B) Tier 2 CMP for violations of law, regulation, and other orders or agreements and for recklessly engaging in unsafe or unsound practices or breaches of fiduciary duty 37,500 10.5 (2009) 3,938 5,000 42,500. 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(C) Tier 3 CMP for knowingly committing the violations under Tier 1 or 2 (natural person) 1,375,000 10.5 (2009) 144,375 150,000 1,525,000. 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(C) Tier 3 (same) (CU) Lesser of 1,375,000 or 1% of total CU assets 10.5 (2009) 144,375 150,000 Lesser of 1,525,000 or 1% of total CU assets. 12 U.S.C. 1786(w)(5)(A)(ii) Non-compliance with senior examiner post-employment restrictions 250,000 22.5 (2005) 56,250 25,000 275,000. 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k) Non-compliance with appraisal independence standards (first violation) 10,000 5.6 (2011) 560 1,000 11,000. 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k) Subsequent violations of the same 20,000 5.6 (2011) 1,120 0 20,000. 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) Non-compliance with flood insurance requirements 2,000 2.9 (2012) 78 0 2,000.
    B. Description of Initial Adjustments and Modified CMP

    NCUA recently determined that three penalties that it has not previously adjusted for inflation meet the definition of CMPs. Also, Congress has changed the amount and structure of one additional penalty that the Board has previously adjusted for inflation. Below, the Board describes the three CMPs that NCUA is reviewing for adjustment for the first time and the additional CMP that Congress changed in 2012. The Board does not describe the other CMPs included in the table above, as NCUA reviewed all of the other CMPs for inflation in 2009 and made adjustments as appropriate under the rounding procedure.

    5 The table uses shorthand descriptions of CMP tiers. Refer to the U.S. Code citations for complete descriptions.

    6 The year that NCUA last adjusted the CMP or that Congress set it is shown in parentheses. With the exception of 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(3), 12 U.S.C. 1786(w)(5)(A)(ii), and 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k), NCUA reviewed all of the CMPs in the table for inflation in 2009. The rounding procedure described in the next footnote resulted in some of these CMPs remaining at the same level. The year in parentheses is the last year the maximum CMP was actually increased, or, for 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k) and 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5), the year that Congress set the maximum CMP amounts. The percentage change used in this column to determine the raw increase in each CMP is the difference between the June 2014 CPI-U (238.343) and the CPI-U for June of the relevant year noted in parentheses, divided by the CPI-U for June of the relevant year. The CPI-U figures are available at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/.

    7 The FCPIA Act's rounding rules require that an increase of a CMP be rounded to the nearest multiple of: $10 in the case of penalties less than or equal to $100; $100 in the case of penalties greater than $100 but less than or equal to $1,000; $1,000 in the case of penalties greater than $1,000 but less than or equal to $10,000; $5,000 in the case of penalties greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000; $10,000 in the case of penalties greater than $100,000 but less than or equal to $200,000; and $25,000 in the case of penalties greater than $200,000. Section 5(a) of the FCPIA Act, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. Also, the first adjustment of any penalty is limited to 10 percent of the maximum penalty amount. Public Law 104-134, § 31001(s)(2), codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. The 10 percent cap only affects the increase of the CMP under 12 U.S.C. 1786(w)(5)(A)(ii).

    1. 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(3)

    Federally insured credit unions must display signs relating to the insurance of share accounts.8 Under the Federal Credit Union Act, the Board may impose a penalty of $100 for each day that a federally insured credit union violates this requirement or the Board's implementing regulations.9 The Board has prescribed regulations on this subject.10 Congress added this penalty to the Federal Credit Union Act in 2006,11 but it was not effective until 2007.12

    8 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(1).

    9 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(3).

    10 12 CFR 740.4.

    11 Public Law 109-173, section 2, 119 Stat. 3604-605 (Feb. 15, 2006).

    12 Congress set the effective date for section 2 of Public Law 109-173, including the penalty provision, as the date on which the final regulations required by section 2109(a)(2) of the Federal Insurance Reform Act of 2005 took effect. Id. Section 2(e). These regulations took effect on January 1, 2007. 71 FR 69323-01 (Nov. 30, 2006). Accordingly, the Board refers to the CPI-U for June 2007 to adjust this CMP for inflation.

    2. 12 U.S.C. 1786(w)(5)(A)(ii)

    Congress amended the Federal Credit Union Act in 2004 to impose post-NCUA employment restrictions on NCUA senior examiners.13 The provision authorizes the Board to impose a CMP of not more than $250,000 in an administrative proceeding or civil action against former NCUA senior examiners who violate conflict-of-interest restrictions that apply to their post-NCUA employment.14 The Board has prescribed regulations to implement these restrictions and is making a conforming amendment to the penalty amount set forth in that part.15

    13 Public Law 108-458, section 6303(c), 118 Stat. 3753-754 (Dec. 17, 2004). Section 6303(d) stated that this provision would take effect at the end of the 12-month period following its enactment. The public law was enacted on December 17, 2004, so the CMP became effective in 2005. The Board uses the June 2005 CPI-U to adjust this CMP for inflation.

    14 12 U.S.C. 1785(w)(5)(A)(ii).

    15 12 CFR 796.5.

    3. 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k)

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 16 amended the Truth in Lending Act to establish independence standards for property appraisals. The provision authorizes the Board and other federal agencies to assess a civil penalty against persons who violate regulations implementing this law.17

    16 Public L.aw 111-203, title XIV, section 1472(a), 124 Stat. 2187-190 (Jul. 21, 2010). Title XIV, Section 1400(c) stated that any section or provision of that title would become effective once the regulation implementing the section or provision became effective. On October 28, 2010, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published an interim final rule to implement the appraisal independence section, as required by 15 U.S.C. 1639e(g)(2). 75 FR 66554 (Oct. 28, 2010). The interim final rule had an effective date of December 27, 2010. Compliance with the new standards, however, was optional until April 2011, which means that the Board and other agencies could not have imposed a penalty for violating this law before 2011. Therefore, the Board refers to the June 2011 CPI-U to adjust this CMP for inflation.

    17 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k) refers to 15 U.S.C. 1607(a), which authorizes the Board to enforce the appraisal independence requirements, among other provisions.

    4. 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5)

    The Board is authorized to impose CMPs against a credit union that is found to have a pattern or practice of committing certain specified actions in violation of the National Flood Insurance Program. The Board first adjusted this CMP for inflation in 2000.18 At that time, 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) authorized a $350 penalty for each violation, subject to an annual cap of $100,000. The Board also adjusted this CMP for inflation in 2004 19 and 2009.20 Congress amended this CMP in 2012 to increase the amount per violation to $2,000 and eliminate the annual cap.21 NCUA's calculation of inflation results in no increase to this modified CMP, but the Board includes this description to explain that the CMP has changed.

    18 65 FR 57277 (Sept. 22, 2000).

    19 69 FR 60077 (Oct. 7, 2004).

    20 74 FR 9349 (Mar. 4, 2009).

    21 Public Law 112-141, section 100208, 126 Stat. 919 (Jul. 6, 2012). The Board refers to the June 2012 CPI-U to adjust this CMP because Congress set the modified CMP in 2012.

    C. Conforming Amendments

    The Board is also making conforming amendments to other parts of NCUA's regulations that state a specific maximum dollar amount for a CMP.22 The final rule replaces the current specific dollar amounts with a non-numerical reference to the inflation-adjusted maximum amounts table at 12 CFR 747.1001.

    22 12 CFR 740.4(f); 12 CFR 741.4(k)(4)(i); 12 CFR 796.5(a)(2).

    III. Regulatory Procedures A. Final Rule Under the Administrative Procedure Act

    The FCPIA Act requires adjustments of CMPs for inflation to occur at least every four years. Federal agencies have no discretion in calculating the adjustments. Thus, the Board cannot vary the amount of the adjustments to reflect any views or suggestions submitted by commenters. Further, the regulation is ministerial and technical. For all these reasons, public notice and comment for this new regulation is unnecessary, impracticable, and contrary to the public interest under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).23 For the same reasons, there is no good cause to impose a 30-day delayed effective date requirement under the APA.24

    23 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

    24 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the Board to prepare an analysis to describe any significant economic impact a regulation may have on a substantial number of small entities.25 For purposes of this analysis, the Board considers small credit unions to be those having under $50 million in assets.26 This final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small credit unions because it only affects the maximum amounts of CMPs that may be assessed in individual cases, which are not numerous and generally do not involve assessments at the maximum level. In addition, several of the CMPs are limited to a percentage of a credit union's assets. Finally, in assessing CMPs, the Board generally must consider a party's financial resources.27 Because this final rule would affect few, if any, small entities, the Board certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities.

    25 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    26 Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement 03-2, 68 FR 31949 (May 29, 2003), as amended by Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement 13-1, 78 FR 4032 (Jan. 18, 2013).

    27 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(G)(i).

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) applies to rulemakings in which an agency creates a new paperwork burden on regulated entities or modifies an existing burden.28 For purposes of the PRA, a paperwork burden may take the form of either a reporting or a recordkeeping requirement, both referred to as information collections. This final rule adjusts the maximum amounts of certain CMPs that the Board may assess against individuals, entities, or credit unions but does not require any reporting or recordkeeping. Therefore, this final rule will not create new paperwork burdens or modify any existing paperwork burdens.

    28 44 U.S.C. 3507(d); 5 CFR part 1320.

    D. Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 encourages independent regulatory agencies to consider the impact of their actions on state and local interests. In adherence to fundamental federalism principles, NCUA, an independent regulatory agency as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5), voluntarily complies with the executive order. This final rule adjusts the maximum amounts of certain CMPs that the Board may assess against individuals, entities, and federally insured credit unions, including state-chartered credit unions. However, the final rule does not create any new authority or alter the underlying statutory authorities that enable the Board to assess CMPs. Accordingly, this rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the connection between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The Board has determined this rule does not constitute a policy that has federalism implications for purposes of the executive order.

    E. Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The Board has determined that this final rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999.29

    29 Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (Oct. 21, 1998).

    F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 30 (SBREFA) provides generally for congressional review of agency rules. A reporting requirement is triggered in instances where the Board issues a final rule as defined by Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act.31 The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this final rule is not a “major rule” within the meaning of the relevant sections of SBREFA.

    30 Public Law 104-121, 110 Stat. 857 (Mar. 29, 1996).

    31 5 U.S.C. 551.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 740

    Advertisements, Credit unions.

    12 CFR Part 741

    Credit, Credit unions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Share insurance.

    12 CFR Part 747

    Credit unions, Civil monetary penalties.

    12 CFR Part 796

    Conflicts of interest, Credit unions, Ethical conduct, Government employees.

    By the National Credit Union Administration Board on September 17, 2015. Gerard S. Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.

    For the reasons stated above, the NCUA Board amends 12 CFR parts 740, 741, 747, and 796 as follows:

    PART 740—ACCURACY OF ADVERTISING AND NOTICE OF INSURED STATUS 1. The authority citation for part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1766, 1781, 1785, and 1789.

    2. In § 740.4, paragraph (f) is revised to read as follows:
    § 740.4 Requirements for the official sign.

    (f) An insured credit union that fails to comply with Section 205(a) of the Federal Credit Union Act regarding the official sign, 12 U.S.C. 1785(a), or any requirement in this part is subject to a daily penalty in the amount set forth in § 747.1001 of this chapter.

    PART 741—REQUIREMENTS FOR INSURANCE 3. The authority citation for part 741 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1757, 1766(a), 1781-1790, and 1790d; 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    4. In § 741.4, paragraph (k)(4)(i) is revised to read as follows:
    § 741.4 Insurance premium and one percent deposit.

    (k) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (i) Section 202(d)(2)(B) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(B)) provides that the Board may assess and collect a penalty from an insured credit union, up to the amount specified in § 747.1001 of this chapter, for each day the credit union fails or refuses to pay any deposit or premium due to the fund; and

    PART 747—ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS, ADJUDICATIVE HEARINGS, RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, AND INVESTIGATIONS 5. The authority for part 747 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1766, 1782, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1790a, 1790d; 15 U.S.C. 1639e; 42 U.S.C. 4012a; Pub. L. 101-410; Pub. L. 104-134; Pub. L. 109-351; 120 Stat. 1966.

    6. Section 747.1001 is revised to read as follows:
    § 747.1001 Adjustment of civil monetary penalties by the rate of inflation.

    (a) NCUA is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890, as amended (28 U.S.C. 2461 note)) to adjust the maximum amount of each civil monetary penalty within its jurisdiction by the rate of inflation. The following chart displays those adjustments, as calculated pursuant to the statute:

    U.S. Code citation CMP description New maximum amount (1) 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Inadvertent failure to submit a report or the inadvertent submission of a false or misleading report $3,200. (2) 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Non-inadvertent failure to submit a report or the non-inadvertent submission of a false or misleading report $32,000. (3) 12 U.S.C. 1782(a)(3) Failure to submit a report or the submission of a false or misleading report done knowingly or with reckless disregard $1,425,000 or 1 percent of the total assets of the credit union, whichever is less. (4) 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(A) Tier 1 CMP for inadvertent failure to submit certified statement of insured shares and charges due to NCUSIF, or inadvertent submission of false or misleading statement $3,200. (5) 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(B) Tier 2 CMP for non-inadvertent failure to submit certified statement or submission of false or misleading statement $32,000. (6) 12 U.S.C. 1782(d)(2)(C) Tier 3 CMP for failure to submit a certified statement or the submission of a false or misleading statement done knowingly or with reckless disregard $1,425,000 or 1 percent of the total assets of the credit union, whichever is less. (7) 12 U.S.C. 1785(a)(3) Non-compliance with insurance logo requirements $110. (8) 12 U.S.C. 1785(e) (3) Non-compliance with NCUA security requirements $110. (9) 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(A) Tier 1 CMP for violations of law, regulation, and other orders or agreements $8,500. (10) 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(A) Tier 2 CMP for violations of law, regulation, and other orders or agreements and for recklessly engaging in unsafe or unsound practices or breaches of fiduciary duty $42,500. (11) 12 U.S.C. 1786(k)(2)(A) Tier 3 CMP for knowingly committing the violations under Tier 1 or 2 (natural person) For a person other than an insured credit union: $1,525,000; For an insured credit union: $1,525,000 or 1 percent of the total assets of the credit union, whichever is less. (12) 12 U.S.C. 1786(w)(5)(ii) Non-compliance with senior examiner post-employment restrictions $275,000. (13) 15 U.S.C. 1639e(k) Non-compliance with appraisal independence requirements First violation: $11,000 Subsequent violations: $20,000. (14) 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) Non-compliance with flood insurance requirements $2,000.

    (b) The adjustments displayed in paragraph (a) of this section apply to acts occurring after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    PART 796—POST-EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS FOR CERTAIN NCUA EXAMINERS 7. The authority citation for part 796 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1786(w).

    8. In § 796.5, paragraph (a)(2) is revised to read as follows:
    § 796.5 What are the penalties for violating these special post-employment restrictions?

    (a) * * *

    (2) Assessed a civil monetary penalty up to the amount specified in § 747.1001 of this chapter.

    [FR Doc. 2015-24157 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3881; Special Conditions No. 23-267-SC] Special Conditions: Cirrus Design Corporation, SF50; Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final special conditions; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    These special conditions are issued for the Cirrus Design Corporation SF50 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with the use of an electronic engine control system instead of a traditional mechanical control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    The effective date of these special conditions is September 23, 2015.

    We must receive your comments by October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-3881 using any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

    • Hand Delivery of Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pretz, Federal Aviation Administration, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816) 329-3239; facsimile (816) 329-4090.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

    Special condition number Company/airplane model 23-237-SC Spectrum Aeronautical Model S-40. 23-246-SC Cirrus Design Corporation Model SF50. 23-253-SC Diamond Aircraft Industries Model DA-40NG. Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On September 9, 2008, Cirrus Design Corporation applied for a type certificate for their new Model SF50. On December 11, 2012, Cirrus Design Corporation requested to revise the SF50 part 23 certification basis to include amendment 23-62. The Cirrus Design Corporation SF50 is a low-wing, seven-seat, single-engine turbofan-powered airplane. It incorporates an Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS), pressurized cabin, retractable gear, and a V-tail. The turbofan engine is mounted on the upper fuselage/tail cone along the aircraft centerline. It is constructed largely of carbon and fiberglass composite materials. Like other Cirrus products, the SF50 includes an airframe ballistic parachute system.

    The model SF50 has a maximum operating altitude of 28,000 feet, where it cruises at speeds up to 300 knots true airspeed. Its maximum operating limit speed (VMO) will not exceed 0.62 Mach. The maximum takeoff weight will be at or below 6,000 pounds with a range at economy cruise of roughly 1,000 nautical miles. Cirrus intends for the SF50 to be certified for single-pilot operations under 14 CFR parts 91 and 135 operating rules. The following operating conditions will be included:

    • Day and Night VFR • IFR • Flight Into Known Icing

    The Cirrus Design Corporation SF50 airplane is equipped with a Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan engine, which uses an Electronic Engine Control System (EEC, also commonly referred to as a FADEC) instead of a traditional mechanical control system. Even though the engine control system will be certificated as part of the engine, the installation of an engine with an electronic control system requires evaluation due to critical environmental effects and possible effects on or by other airplane systems. For example, indirect effects of lightning, radio interference with other airplane electronic systems, shared engine and airplane data and power sources.

    The regulatory requirements in part 23 for evaluating the installation of complex systems, including electronic systems and critical environmental effects, are contained in §§ 23.1306, Electrical and electronic system lightning protection; 23.1308, High-intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF) Protection; and 23.1309, Equipment, systems, and installations. However, when § 23.1309 was developed, the use of electronic control systems for engines was not envisioned. The integral nature of these systems makes it necessary to ensure the airplane functions included in the EEC are properly evaluated and that the installation does not degrade the EEC reliability, both of which are approved under part 33. Sections 23.1306(a) and 23.1308(a) are applied to the EEC to ensure it remains equivalent to a mechanical system, which is not generally susceptible to the HIRF and lightning environments.

    In some cases, the airplane, which the engine is being installed in, will determine a higher classification than the engine controls are certificated for, requiring the EEC systems be analyzed at a higher classification. As of November 2005, EEC special conditions mandated the § 23.1309 classification for loss of EEC control as catastrophic for any airplane. This is not to imply an engine failure is classified as catastrophic, but that the EEC must provide an equivalent reliability to mechanical engine controls. In addition, §§ 23.1141, Powerplant controls: General, paragraph (e) and 25.901, Powerplant—General—Installation, paragraph (b)(2), are applied to provide the fault tolerant design requirements of turbine engine mechanical controls to the EEC and ensure adequate inspection and maintenance interval of the EEC.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Cirrus Design Corporation must show that the SF50 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by amendments 23-1 through 23-62 thereto.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the SF50 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the SF50 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36 and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”.

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, under § 11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2). Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The SF50 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

    Electronic engine control system

    Discussion

    As discussed in the summary section, the SF50 makes use of an electronic engine control system instead of a traditional mechanical control system, which is considered a novel design for this type of airplane. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. Mandating a structured assessment to determine potential installation issues mitigates the concerns that the addition of an electronic engine control may produce failure conditions not previously considered.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the SF50. Should Cirrus Design Corporation apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the model SF50 airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    The substance of these special conditions has previously been subjected to the notice and comment period as identified above, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), making these special conditions effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

    Citation

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.17; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

    The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Cirrus Design Corporation SF50 airplane.

    1. Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System

    a. For electronic engine control system installations, it must be established that no single failure or malfunction or probable combinations of failures of Electronic Engine Control System (EEC) system components will have an effect on the system, as installed in the airplane, that causes the LOTC probability of the system to exceed those allowed in part 33 certification.

    b. Electronic engine control system installations must be evaluated for environmental and atmospheric conditions, including lightning. The EEC system lightning and HIRF effects that could result in LOTC must be evaluated in accordance with §§ 23.1306(a) and 23.1308(a).

    c. The components of the installation must be constructed, arranged, and installed to ensure their continued safe operation between normal inspections or overhauls.

    d. Functions incorporated into any electronic engine control that make it part of any equipment, systems, or installation whose functions are beyond that of basic engine control, and which may also introduce system failures and malfunctions, are not exempt from § 23.1309 and must be shown to meet part 23 levels of safety as derived from § 23.1309. Part 33 certification data, if applicable, may be used to show compliance with any part 23 requirements. If part 33 data is used to substantiate compliance with part 23 requirements, then the applicant must be able to provide this data for showing or compliance.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on September 14, 2015. Mel Johnson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24156 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No.FAA-2015-0721; Notice No. 23-269-SC] Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420 HondaJet, Lithium-ion Batteries AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    These special conditions are issued for the Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with the installation of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    These special conditions are effective September 23, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Les Lyne, Policies & Procedures Branch, ACE-114, Federal Aviation Administration, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 901 Locust; Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone (816) 329-4171; facsimile (816) 329-4090.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type certificate for their new Model HA-420. On October 10, 2013, Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type certification basis to amendment 23-62.

    The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan engines.

    The current regulatory requirements for part 23 airplanes do not contain adequate requirements for the application of Li-ion batteries in airborne applications. This type of battery possesses certain failure, operational characteristics, and maintenance requirements that differ significantly from that of the nickel cadmium and lead acid rechargeable batteries currently approved in other normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes. Therefore, the FAA is proposing this special condition to require that (1) all characteristics of the rechargeable lithium batteries and their installation that could affect safe operation of the HA-420 are addressed, and (2) appropriate Instructions for Continued Airworthiness which include maintenance requirements are established to ensure the availability of electrical power from the batteries when needed.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must show that the HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by Amendments 23-1 through 23-62 thereto.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the HA-420 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the HA-420 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36, and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under section 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature: The installation of Li-ion batteries.

    The current regulatory requirements for part 23 airplanes do not contain adequate requirements for the application of Li-ion batteries in airborne applications. This type of battery possesses certain failure, operational characteristics, and maintenance requirements that differ significantly from that of the nickel cadmium and lead acid rechargeable batteries currently approved in other normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes.

    Discussion

    The applicable parts 21 and 23 airworthiness regulations governing the installation of batteries in general aviation airplanes, including § 23.1353, were derived from Civil Air Regulations (CAR 3) as part of the recodification that established 14 CFR part 23. The battery requirements, which are identified in § 23.1353, were a rewording of the CAR requirements that did not add any substantive technical requirements. An increase in incidents involving battery fires and failures that accompanied the increased use of Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries in aircraft resulted in rulemaking activities on the battery requirements for transport category airplanes. These regulations were incorporated into § 23.1353(f) and (g), which apply only to Ni-Cad battery installations.

    The use of Li-ion batteries on the HA-420 airplane has prompted the FAA to review the adequacy of the existing battery regulations with respect to that chemistry. As the result of this review, the FAA has determined that the existing regulations do not adequately address several failure, operational, and maintenance characteristics of Li-ion batteries that could affect safety of the battery installation of the HA-420 airplane electrical power supply.

    The introduction of Li-ion batteries into aircraft raises some concern about associated battery/cell monitoring systems and how these may affect utilization of an otherwise “good” battery as an energy source to the electrical system when monitoring components fail. Associated battery/cell monitoring systems (i.e., temperature, state of charge, etc.) should be evaluated/tested with respect the expected extremes in the aircraft operating environment.

    Li-ion batteries typically have different electrical impedance characteristics than lead-acid or Ni-Cad batteries. Honda Aircraft Company needs to evaluate other components of the aircraft electrical system with respect to these characteristics.

    At present, there is very limited experience regarding the use of Li-ion rechargeable batteries in applications involving commercial aviation. However, other users of this technology range from wireless telephone manufacturers to the electric vehicle industry and have noted significant safety issues regarding the use of these types of batteries, some of which are described in the following paragraphs:

    1. Overcharging. In general, lithium batteries are significantly more susceptible to internal failures that can result in self-sustaining increases in temperature and pressure (i.e., thermal runaway) than their nickel-cadmium or lead-acid counterparts. This is especially true for overcharging, which causes heating and destabilization of the components of the cell, leading to the formation (by plating) of highly unstable metallic lithium. The metallic lithium can ignite, resulting in a self-sustaining fire or explosion. Finally, the severity of thermal runaway due to overcharging increases with increasing battery capacity due to the higher amount of electrolyte in large batteries.

    2. Over-discharging. Discharge of some types of lithium battery cells beyond a certain voltage (typically 2.4 volts) can cause corrosion of the electrodes of the cell; resulting in loss of battery capacity that cannot be reversed by recharging. This loss of capacity may not be detected by the simple voltage measurements commonly available to flight crews as a means of checking battery status—a problem shared with nickel-cadmium batteries.

    3. Flammability of Cell Components: Unlike nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, some types of lithium batteries use liquid electrolytes that are flammable. The electrolyte can serve as a source of fuel for an external fire if there is a breach of the battery container.

    These safety issues experienced by users of lithium batteries raise concern about the use of these batteries in commercial aviation. The intent of the special condition is to establish appropriate airworthiness standards for lithium battery installations in the HA-420 and to ensure, as required by §§ 23.1309 and 23.601, that these battery installations are not hazardous or unreliable.

    Additionally, RTCA, in a joint effort with the FAA and industry, has released RTCA/DO-311, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Rechargeable Lithium Battery Systems, which gained much of its text directly from previous Li-ion special conditions. Honda Aircraft Company proposes to use DO-311 as the primary methodology for assuring the battery will perform its intended functions safely as installed in the HA-420 airplane and as the basis for test and qualification of the battery. This Special Condition incorporates applicable portions of DO-311.

    Discussion

    Notice of proposed special conditions No. 23-15-03-SC for the Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420 airplane was published in the Federal Register on April 14, 2015 (80 FR 19889). No comments were received, and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the HA-420. Should Honda Aircraft Company apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Under standard practice, the effective date of final special conditions would be 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register; however, as the certification date for the Honda Aircraft Company HA-420 is imminent, the FAA finds that good cause exists to make these special conditions effective upon issuance.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

    Citation

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704, 14 CFR 21.16 and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

    The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Honda Aircraft Company, HA-420 airplanes.

    1. Lithium-Ion Battery Installation

    a. Safe cell temperatures and pressures must be maintained during any probable charging or discharging condition, or during any failure of the charging or battery monitoring system not shown to be extremely remote. The applicant must design Li-ion battery installation to preclude explosion or fire in the event of those failures.

    b. The applicant must design the Li-ion batteries to preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.

    c. No explosive or toxic gasses emitted by any Li-ion battery in normal operation or as the result of any failure of the battery charging or monitoring system, or battery installation not shown to be extremely remote, may accumulate in hazardous quantities within the airplane.

    d. Li-ion batteries that contain flammable fluids must comply with the flammable fluid fire protection requirements of § 23.863(a) through (d).

    e. No corrosive fluids or gasses that may escape from any Li-ion battery may damage surrounding airplane structure or adjacent essential equipment.

    f. The applicant must provide provision for each installed Li-ion battery to prevent any hazardous effect on structure or essential systems that may be caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery can generate during a short circuit of the battery or of its individual cells.

    g. Li-ion battery installations must have—

    (1) A system to control the charging rate of the battery automatically so as to prevent battery overheating or overcharging; or

    (2) A battery temperature sensing and over-temperature warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of an over-temperature condition; or

    (3) A battery failure sensing and warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of battery failure.

    h. Any Li-ion battery installation whose function is required for safe operation of the airplane, must incorporate a monitoring and warning feature that will provide an indication to the appropriate flightcrew members whenever the capacity and State of Charge (SOC) of the batteries have fallen below levels considered acceptable for dispatch of the airplane.

    i. The Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) must contain recommended manufacturers maintenance and inspection requirements to ensure that batteries, including single cells, meet a safety function level essential to the aircraft's continued airworthiness.

    (1) The ICA must contain operating instructions and equipment limitations in an installation maintenance manual.

    (2) The ICA must contain installation procedures and limitations in a maintenance manual, sufficient to ensure that cells or batteries, when installed according to the installation procedures, still meet safety functional levels essential to the aircraft's continued airworthiness. The limitations must identify any unique aspects of the installation.

    (3) The ICA must contain corrective maintenance procedures to check battery capacity at manufacturers recommended inspection intervals.

    (4) The ICA must contain scheduled servicing information to replace batteries at manufacturers recommended replacement time.

    (5) The ICA must contain maintenance and inspection requirements to check visually for battery and/or charger degradation.

    j. Batteries in a rotating stock (spares) that have experienced degraded charge retention capability or other damage due to prolonged storage must be functionally checked at manufacturers recommended inspection intervals.

    k. The System Safety Assessment (SSA) process should address the software and complex hardware levels for the sensing, monitoring, and warning systems if these systems contain complex devices. The functional hazard assessment (FHA) for the system is required based on the intended functions described. The criticality of the specific functions will be determined by the safety assessment process for compliance with § 23.1309. Advisory Circular 23-1309-1C contains acceptable means for accomplishing this requirement. For determining the failure condition, the criticality of a function will include the mitigating factors. The failure conditions must address the loss of function and improper operations.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 14, 2015. Mel Johnson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24164 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 9 and 721 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489; FRL 9927-44] RIN 2070-AJ88 Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-Hexabromocyclododecane AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is promulgating a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for two chemical substances collectively referred to as “HBCD.” This action requires persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process hexabromocyclododecane or 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) for use in consumer textiles (other than for use in motor vehicles) to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if appropriate, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs. In this SNUR, the exemption for persons importing or processing a chemical substance as part of an article does not apply to importers and processors of HBCD as part of a textile article (e.g., as part of a bolt of cloth or part of an upholstered chair). EPA is also making a technical amendment to the codified list of control numbers for approved information collection activities so that it includes the control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to the information collection activities contained in this rule.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 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 OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Sue Slotnick, National Program Chemicals Division (7404T), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 566-1973; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process hexabromocyclododecane (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CASRN) 25637-99-4) or 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 3194-55-6) for use in consumer textiles other than for use in motor vehicles. Throughout this final rule preamble, the term “HBCD” represents both chemical substances, unless a specific CASRN is also noted. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes that are identified in this unit are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provide a guide to help readers determine whether this rule applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS code 325).

    • Painting and Wall Covering Contractors (NAICS code 238320).

    • Textile and Fabric Finishing (except Broadwoven Fabric) Mills (NAICS code 313312).

    • Curtain and Drapery Mills (NAICS code 314121).

    • Other Household Textile Product Mills (NAICS code 314129).

    • All Other Miscellaneous Textile Product Mills (NAICS code 314999).

    • Upholstered Household Furniture Manufacturing (NAICS code 337121).

    • Household Furniture (except Wood and Metal) Manufacturing (NAICS code 337125).

    • Mattress Manufacturing (NAICS code 337910).

    • Blind and Shade Manufacturing (NAICS code 337920).

    • Furniture Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS code 423210).

    • Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS code 423220).

    • Reupholstery and Furniture Repair (NAICS code 811420).

    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    This action may affect importers and exporters of HBCD through pre-existing import certification and export notification rules under TSCA, regardless of the use of the HBCD.

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(2)) authorizes EPA to determine that a use of a chemical substance is a “significant new use.” EPA must make this determination by rule after considering all relevant factors including those listed in TSCA section 5(a)(2). Once EPA determines that a use of a chemical substance is a significant new use, TSCA section 5(a)(1)(B) requires persons to submit a significant new use notice (SNUN) to EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture or process the chemical substance for that use (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(1)(B)). As described in Unit V., the general SNUR provisions are found at 40 CFR part 721, subpart A.

    C. What action is the Agency taking?

    This final rule designates use of HBCD in consumer textiles (other than for use in motor vehicles) as a significant new use. EPA has concluded that the only current use of HBCD for consumer textiles is in motor vehicles. That use and other current uses of HBCD (e.g., in non-consumer textiles and in building insulation) are not covered by this rule, not because EPA has determined that these uses are not “significant,” but because they are ongoing and thus not “new uses.”

    This action requires persons who intend to manufacture or process HBCD as part of consumer textiles (other than for use in motor vehicles) to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The definition of “consumer textile” in this rule can include the following examples: bolts of cloth and draperies, as well as textiles that are part of household furniture and mattresses. The general provisions for SNURs include an exemption for persons who import or process chemical substances as part of an article (40 CFR 721.45(f)). However, for this SNUR, EPA is making the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable for importers or processors of HBCD as part of a textile article. Accordingly, importers and processors of HBCD as part of a textile article (whether or not it is a consumer textile) are subject to this SNUR. The term “textile article” is intended to be read in conjunction with the definition of “consumer textile” and includes bolts of cloth and draperies, as well as textiles that are part of upholstered household furniture and mattresses. EPA proposed the rule on March 26, 2012 (Ref. 1) and received seven public comments. The comments and EPA's responses to them (Ref. 2) are in the public docket for this rule (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489) and are also summarized below in Unit X.

    The Agency is promulgating the SNUR as proposed with two exceptions. The first exception is the scope of the exemption for persons who import or process HBCD as part of an article. EPA had proposed to make the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) completely inapplicable in the HBCD SNUR, which would have meant that importers and processors of HBCD as part of any article would be subject to the rule. As stated above in this section, the final rule makes the exemption inapplicable only to importers and processors of HBCD as part of textile articles. The second change from the proposed rule is EPA's clarification to the proposed definition of “consumer textile.” For further explanation of both changes, see Unit X.

    D. Why is the Agency taking this action?

    This SNUR is necessary to ensure that EPA receives timely advance notice of any future manufacturing and processing of HBCD for new uses that may produce changes in human and environmental exposures. The rationale and objectives for this SNUR are explained in Unit III.

    E. What are the estimated incremental impacts of this action?

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR reporting requirements for potential manufacturers and processors of the chemical substances included in this final rule. This analysis, which is available in the docket, is discussed in Unit IX., and is briefly summarized here. In the event that a SNUN is submitted, costs are estimated to be less than $8,600 per SNUN submission for large business submitters and $6,200 per SNUN submission for small business submitters. These estimates include the cost to prepare and submit the SNUN and the payment of a user fee. Persons that must submit a SNUN under this SNUR who are first-time submitters of any TSCA section 5 notice must register their company and key users with the Central Data Exchange reporting tool, deliver a CD electronic signature to EPA, and establish and use a Pay.gov E-payment account before they may submit a SNUN, for a cost of $200 per firm. However, these activities are only required of first-time submitters of section 5 notices. The rule may also affect firms that import or process articles that may contain HBCD, because, while not required by the SNUR, these parties may take additional steps to determine whether HBCD is part of the articles that they are considering to import or process. Since EPA is unable to predict whether anyone might engage in future activities that would require reporting, potential total costs were not estimated. In addition, for persons exporting a substance that is the subject of a SNUR, a one-time notice must be provided for the first export or intended export to a particular country, which is estimated to cost less than $80 on average per notification.

    II. Overview of the Chemical Substances Subject to This Rule A. What chemicals are included in the SNUR?

    This SNUR applies to two chemical substances: Hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 25637-99-4) and 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 3194-55-6). Hexabromocyclododecane is manufactured by adding bromine to technical grade 1,5,9-cyclododecatriene to make a chemical substance where the positions of the six bromine atoms are not specified on the cyclododecane ring, corresponding to CASRN 25637-99-4. The specific 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane isomer (CASRN 3194-55-6) is the major component of CASRN 25637-99-4.

    B. What is the production volume of HBCD?

    The most recent production volume submitted to EPA for Chemical Data Reporting was in 2012 and was claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI). Earlier Inventory Update Rule (IUR) 1 submissions to EPA reported annual U.S. import/production volumes of 10-50 million pounds (lbs.) in 2002 and 2006 for CASRN 3194-55-6 (Ref. 3). IUR submissions to EPA reported annual U.S. import/production volumes of 10,000 to 500,000 lbs. in 2002 for CASRN 25637-99-4; no import/production was reported in 2006 (Ref. 4).

    1 As of August 16, 2011, the Inventory Update Rule (IUR) was renamed “Chemical Data Reporting rule (CDR).” See the TSCA Inventory Update Reporting Modifications; Chemical Data Reporting final rule in the Federal Register issue of August 16, 2011 (76 FR 50816).

    C. What are the uses of HBCD?

    The major use of HBCD is in polystyrene foam insulation boards used in construction. In the IUR data from 2006, one manufacturer/importer of HBCD (CASRN 3194-55-6) reported the use of the chemical substance under the NAICS code for textile and fabric finishing mills. This use constituted less than 1 percent of the total production volume of the chemical substance. The reporting does not distinguish between commercial and consumer use (Ref. 4). However, as explained below, and in greater detail in the Economic Analysis for this rule, EPA concluded that HBCD is not used in consumer textiles (as defined by this regulation) other than for use in motor vehicles (Ref. 5).

    Information available to EPA indicates that the use of HBCD in textiles is as a coating to function as a flame retardant. EPA conducted research to determine whether HBCD was used in textile applications for end products sold to consumers. In 2010, an HBCD expert with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) expressed to EPA his understanding that HBCD is used only in non-consumer textiles such as firefighters' suits (Ref. 6). In 2011, EPA requested information from current and former manufacturers of HBCD. The responses indicate that only one manufacturer sells HBCD for textile uses. The company does not know whether the end use of any of those textiles is a consumer article (Ref. 7). Additionally, a representative of Herman Miller, a company which manufactures commercial and consumer furniture, told EPA that HBCD is not in its products (Ref. 8).

    EPA also received information from a group of textile formulators that the end uses of HBCD-containing textiles are for military, institutional, and aviation uses only (Ref. 9). EPA found that a small amount of HBCD is used in motor vehicles sold in the United States, including in floor mats, headliners, and possibly other interior fabrics. EPA received a public comment stating that although automakers are working towards ultimately phasing out the use of HBCD in consumer textiles in motor vehicles, there is concern about whether viable substitutes will be available. Thus, after considering the available information, EPA concludes that HBCD is not used in consumer textiles other than for use in motor vehicles.

    D. What are the potential health and environmental effects of HBCD?

    This section summarizes results of laboratory testing of 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 3194-55-6). The results are also valid for unspecified hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 25637-99-4) and therefore relevant to both chemical substances in this rule.

    1. Human health effects. Animal studies give an indication of potential human health effects of HBCD. Repeated exposure of HBCD to rats showed disturbances in thyroid hormone system and effects on the thyroid in males and females (Ref. 10). A 2-generation reproductive toxicity study in rats exposed to HBCD showed a treatment-related reproductive effect (a significant decrease in the number of primordial follicles in the F1 females) (Ref. 11). Although this decrease in ovarian follicles did not affect any reproductive parameters in this study, this effect is suggestive of potential reproductive toxicity. Developmental effects were observed, including delays in eye opening in the second (F2) generation and transient changes in learning and memory in F1 males, but exposure did not cause any changes in spontaneous behavior. In addition, there was high and dose-dependent pup mortality during lactation (Ref. 11).

    2. Environmental effects. Laboratory studies have shown that HBCD is capable of producing adverse effects in a variety of organisms including algae, fish, invertebrates, and soil-dwelling organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations. HBCD is toxic to algae and acutely toxic to fish embryos (Ref. 12), (Ref. 13). A number of sub-lethal effects (e.g., altered thyroid status, protein metabolism, oxidative stress, reproductive activity), have also been observed in fish (Ref. 14), (Ref. 15), (Ref. 16), and (Ref. 17). One study reported a reduced number and size of daphnid offspring in first and second generations (Ref. 18). Thyroid hormone-dependent developmental effects were observed in tadpoles (Xenopus laevis) exposed to HBCD (Ref. 19). HBCD has been reported to reduce egg production and lower biomass in soil dwelling organisms (Lumbriculus variegatus) (Ref. 20). HBCD administered to chicken (Gallus domesticus) embryonic hepatocytes in vitro resulted in significant alterations in expression of genes (mRNA) associated with liver and thyroid function (Ref. 21). Thinner egg shells were measured in American kestrels exposed to a combination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and HBCD (Ref. 22).

    E. What are the potential sources and routes of exposure to HBCD?

    There is potential for HBCD to be released at any point in the lifecycle of consumer textiles treated with HBCD. There is potential for release when the HBCD is being formulated into the textile coating, as well as when it is applied to the textile material. In addition, because HBCD is not chemically bound to its substrate (the protected textile material), HBCD can be released during the service life of the textile material containing it, including release into water used to wash the treated textiles or into the air via dust particulates. Workers and the general population can be exposed to HBCD through direct contact as it migrates across land, in air, and in water by diffusion or environmental transport. Other opportunities for release can occur at the end of the lifecycle of HBCD-treated textiles when they are transported and incinerated or landfilled (Ref. 23). Evidence strongly suggests there is potential for exposure to the general population from HBCD in the environment and also from products and dust in the home and workplace. HBCD is found worldwide in the environment and wildlife (Note: Only the specific 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane isomer (CASRN 3194-55-6) or the alpha, beta, and gamma isomers are monitored in biota and the environment, not the unspecified hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 25637-99-4)). Human exposure is evidenced from its presence in breast milk, adipose tissue, and blood (Ref. 24). The chemical substances bioaccumulate and biomagnify in food chains. The frequent detection of HBCD over a large geographic area, with increasing exposure in remote locations such as the Arctic, where no demonstrable local sources exist that can account for these exposures, suggest that HBCD is persistent and undergoes long-range transport (Ref. 25).

    To the extent HBCD is present in household applications (e.g., building foam, furniture upholstery, carpeting), children could be exposed, especially given children's increased exposure to dust and the hand-to-mouth ingestion pathway. In vitro experiments conducted to demonstrate leaching of HBCD from textiles showed that the presence of simulated biological fluids (sweat, saliva) and fruit juices enhances the leaching of HBCD from back-coated samples (Ref. 26). HBCD exposure values for children have been estimated from mouthing of textiles and from ingestion of dust (Ref. 27).

    HBCD has been measured in air and sediment in Scandinavian countries, North America and Asia (Ref. 24), (Ref. 28). HBCD has also been measured in marine and Arctic mammals, freshwater and marine fish, aquatic invertebrates, birds and bird eggs, and one plant species (Ref. 24), (Ref. 28), and (Ref. 29).

    For more information on HBCD concerning its physical-chemical properties, fate, releases, and human and environmental exposure, see EPA's HBCD Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment dated August 2015 (Ref. 30).

    III. Rationale and Objectives A. Rationale

    Consistent with EPA's past practice for issuing SNURs under TSCA section 5(a)(2), EPA's decision to issue a SNUR for a particular chemical use need not be based on an extensive evaluation of the hazard, exposure, or potential risk associated with that use. Rather, the Agency's action is based on EPA's determination that, if the use begins or resumes, it may present a risk that EPA should evaluate under TSCA before the manufacturing or processing for that use begins. Since the new use does not currently exist, deferring a detailed consideration of potential risks or hazards related to that use is an effective use of resources. If a person decides to begin manufacturing or processing the chemical for the use, the notice to EPA allows EPA to evaluate the use according to the specific parameters and circumstances surrounding that intended use.

    As summarized in Units II.D., and II.E., EPA has concerns regarding the potential exposure to and human health and environmental effects of HBCD. EPA believes that, in the future, HBCD could be manufactured or processed for consumer textile uses (in addition to the current textiles in motor vehicles). Accordingly, EPA wants the opportunity to evaluate and control, where appropriate, activities associated with consumer textile use, if such manufacturing or processing were to commence in the future. The required notification provided by a SNUN will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate activities associated with the significant new use and an opportunity to protect against potential unreasonable risks, if any, from exposure to HBCD.

    B. Objectives

    Based on the considerations described in the proposal (Ref. 1), and in the response to public comments, EPA expects to achieve the following objectives with regard to the significant new use that is designated in this final rule:

    1. EPA will receive notification of any person's intent to manufacture or process HBCD for the described significant new use before that activity begins;

    2. EPA will have an opportunity to review and evaluate data submitted in a SNUN before the notice submitter begins manufacturing or processing HBCD for the described significant new use; and

    3. EPA will be able to regulate the prospective manufacturing or processing of HBCD before the described significant new use of the chemical substance(s) occurs, provided that regulation is warranted pursuant to TSCA sections 5(e), 5(f), 6, or 7.

    IV. Significant New Use Determination

    As required by section 5(a)(2) of TSCA, EPA considered the four specific factors contained in that section along with other relevant factors in making its determination of the significant new use of HBCD for this rule. The first factor is the “projected volume of manufacturing and processing of a chemical substance” (TSCA section 5(a)(2)(A)). The potential increase in volume of this persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical from consumer textile use weighs in favor of determining that consumer textile use (other than for use in motor vehicles) is a significant new use. The second factor is “the extent to which a use changes the type or form of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance” (TSCA section 5(a)(2)(B)). Human exposure to consumer textile use may differ from exposure to commercial textiles and other current uses. The third factor is “the extent to which a use increases the magnitude and duration of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance” (TSCA section 5(a)(2)(C)). Because HBCD is a persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemical that has potential for long range transport (Ref. 1), even a small increase in the amount that is manufactured and processed, and thus subsequently used, would have a larger impact on potential exposures in terms of the number of people exposed and/or the amount of exposure. The potential for exposure would last for longer periods of time over a significant area as compared to a chemical that is not persistent and bioaccumulative with the potential for long range transport. The fourth factor is “the reasonably anticipated manner and methods of manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce, and disposal of a chemical substance” (TSCA section 5(a)(2)(D)). Should a significant new use be planned, EPA anticipates that the new use would raise important questions such as what the impacts would be on consumer exposure, worker exposure, user exposure, or release of the substance to the environment, and what potential controls are available to limit such exposures and releases (see Unit II. E.).

    In addition to considering the four factors in section 5(a)(2) of TSCA, EPA considered relevant information about the toxicity of HBCD, and likely human exposures and environmental releases associated with possible uses (see Unit II.D. and II.E.). EPA has concluded that the factors taken together weigh in favor of determining that manufacture or processing of HBCD for any consumer textile use (other than for use in motor vehicles) would be a significant new use such that the Agency should have an opportunity to analyze the new use before such use (and potential exposures) occurs. Further explanation of EPA's consideration of those factors is contained in the Response to Comments document (Ref. 2) in the docket for this rule (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489).

    V. Applicability of General Provisions

    General provisions for SNURs appear under 40 CFR part 721, subpart A. These provisions describe persons subject to the rule, recordkeeping requirements, and exemptions to reporting requirements.

    Provisions relating to user fees appear at 40 CFR part 700, subpart C. Additional provisions governing SNUN submissions appear in 40 CFR part 720, which are the notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures that submitters of Premanufacture Notices (PMNs) under TSCA section 5(a)(1)(A) must follow (see 40 CFR 721.1(c)). SNUR requirements also include the information submission requirements of TSCA sections 5(b) and 5(d)(1), and companies may wish to consider whether they are eligible for the exemptions authorized by TSCA sections 5(h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(5). Once EPA receives a SNUN, EPA may take regulatory action under TSCA sections 5(e), 5(f), 6 or 7 to control the activities on which it has received the SNUN. If EPA does not take action, EPA is required under TSCA section 5(g) to explain in a Federal Register notice its reasons for not taking action.

    Exemptions from SNUR requirements are found at 40 CFR 721.45. For this SNUR, 40 CFR 721.45(f), which exempts persons who import or process a chemical substance as part of an article, does not apply to importers and processors of HBCD as part of a textile, regardless of whether the textile is a consumer textile, as further explained in Unit X.

    Persons who export or intend to export a chemical substance identified in a proposed or final SNUR are subject to the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b). The regulations that interpret TSCA section 12(b) appear at 40 CFR part 707, subpart D. Persons who import a chemical substance identified in a final SNUR are subject to the TSCA section 13 import certification requirements, codified at 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 (see also 19 CFR 127.28). Those persons must certify that the shipment of the chemical substance complies with all applicable rules and orders under TSCA, including any SNUR requirements. The EPA policy in support of import certification appears at 40 CFR part 707, subpart B (see 40 CFR 721.20). The TSCA section 13 import certification requirement applies to articles containing a chemical substance or mixture if so required by the Administrator by a specific rule under TSCA. At this time EPA is not requiring import certification for these chemical substances as part of articles.

    VI. Applicability of the Final Rule to Uses Occurring Before the Effective Date of the Final Rule

    As discussed in the Federal Register of April 24, 1990 (55 FR 17376) (Ref. 31), EPA has decided that the intent of TSCA section 5(a)(1)(B) is best served by designating a use as a significant new use as of the date of publication of the proposed rule rather than as of the effective date of the final rule. If uses begun after publication of the proposed rule were considered ongoing rather than new, it would be difficult for EPA to establish SNUR notification requirements, because a person could defeat the SNUR by initiating the proposed significant new use before the rule became final, and then argue that the use was ongoing as of the effective date of the final rule. Thus, persons who began commercial manufacture or processing of HBCD for a significant new use after the publication of the proposed rule must cease any such activity before the effective date of the final rule. To resume their activities, these persons must comply with all applicable SNUR notification requirements and wait until the notification review period, including all extensions, expires. EPA has promulgated provisions (40 CFR 721.45(h)) to allow persons to comply with this SNUR before the effective date. If a person meets the conditions of advance compliance under 40 CFR 721.45(h), that person is considered to have met the requirements of the final SNUR for those activities.

    VII. Test Data and Other Information

    EPA recognizes that TSCA section 5 does not require developing any particular test data before submission of a SNUN. There are two exceptions: (1) Development of test data is required where the chemical substance subject to the SNUR is also subject to a test rule under TSCA section 4 (see TSCA section 5(b)(1)); and (2) development of test data may be necessary where the chemical substance has been listed under TSCA section 5(b)(4) (see TSCA section 5(b)(2)). In the absence of a TSCA section 4 test rule or a TSCA section 5(b)(4) listing covering the chemical substance, persons are required only to submit test data in their possession or control and to describe any other data known to or reasonably ascertainable by them (15 U.S.C. 2604(d); 40 CFR 720.50 and 40 CFR 721.25). However, as a general matter, EPA recommends that SNUN submitters include data that would permit a reasoned evaluation of risks posed by the chemical substance during its manufacture, processing, use, distribution in commerce, or disposal. EPA encourages persons to consult with the Agency before submitting a SNUN. As part of this optional pre-notice consultation, EPA would discuss specific data it believes may be useful in evaluating a significant new use. SNUNs submitted for significant new uses without any test data may increase the likelihood that EPA would take action under TSCA section 5(e) to prohibit or limit activities associated with this chemical. SNUN submitters should be aware that EPA will be better able to evaluate SNUNs that provide detailed information on:

    1. Human exposure and environmental releases that may result from the significant new use of the chemical substance.

    2. Potential benefits of the chemical substance.

    3. Information on risks posed by the chemical substance compared to risks posed by potential substitutes.

    VIII. SNUN Submissions

    According to 40 CFR 721.1(c), persons submitting a SNUN must comply with the same notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as persons submitting a PMN, including submission of test data on health and environmental effects as described in 40 CFR 720.50. SNUNs must be on EPA Form No. 7710-25, generated using e-PMN software, and submitted to the Agency in accordance with the procedures set forth in 40 CFR 721.25 and 720.40. E-PMN software is available electronically at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/newchems. For first-time submitters of a TSCA section 5 notice, see requirements at Unit I. E.

    IX. Economic Analysis

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR reporting requirements for potential manufacturers and processors of HBCD in consumer textiles. The evaluation is in the “Economic Analysis of the Final Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)” (Ref. 5). It is briefly summarized here and is available in the docket for this rule (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489). EPA added additional information to the economic analysis for HBCD in response to public comments.

    A. SNUN Submission

    The costs of submitting a SNUN would be incurred when a company decides to pursue a significant new use of one of these chemicals. In the event that a SNUN is submitted, costs are estimated at approximately $8,600 per SNUN submission for large businesses and $6,200 per SNUN submission for small businesses, and include the cost to prepare and submit the SNUN and the payment of a user fee. Businesses that submit a SNUN are either subject to a $2,500 user fee required by 40 CFR 700.45(b)(2)(iii), or, if they are a small business with annual sales of less than $40 million when combined with those of the parent company (if any), a reduced user fee of $100 (40 CFR 700.45(b)(1)). In its evaluation of this final rule, EPA also considered the potential costs a company might incur by avoiding or delaying the significant new use in the future, but these costs have not been quantified.

    B. Import or Processing HBCD as Part of a Textile

    Persons who import or process HBCD, including as part of a textile article, are covered by this rule. As explained in Unit X., EPA is making the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable for importers or processors of HBCD as part of a textile article. Accordingly, importers and processors of HBCD as part of textile articles including consumer and non-consumer textile articles, are subject to this SNUR. This provision is explained in Unit X.

    Some firms have an understanding of the contents of the articles they import or process. However, EPA acknowledges that importers and processors of articles may have varying levels of knowledge about the chemical content of the articles that they import or process. These parties may take steps to become familiar with the requirements of the rule. And, while not required by the SNUR, these parties may take additional steps to determine whether HBCD is part of the articles that they are considering importing or processing. This determination may involve activities such as gathering information from suppliers along the supply chain, and/or testing samples of the article itself. Costs vary across the activities chosen. Cost ranges are presented in the “Economic Analysis of the Final Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)” (Ref. 5). Given existing regulatory limitations on HBCD internationally, industry-wide processes, and resources that support companies in understanding and managing their supply chains, EPA believes that article importers who choose to investigate their products would incur costs at the lower end of the ranges presented in the Economic Analysis as a result of this rule. For those companies choosing to undertake actions to assess the composition of the articles they import or process, EPA expects that importers and processors would take actions that are commensurate with the company's perceived likelihood that a chemical substance might be a part of an article, and the resources it has available. Example activities and their costs are provided in the accompanying Economic Analysis of this rule.

    C. Export Notification

    EPA regulations under TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b)) at 40 CFR part 707, subpart D require that, for chemicals subject to a proposed or final SNUR, a company must notify EPA of the first export or intended export to a particular country of an affected chemical substance. EPA estimated the one-time cost of preparing and submitting an export notification to be $80. The total costs of export notification would vary per chemical, depending on the number of required notifications (i.e., number of countries to which the chemical is exported).

    X. Response to Public Comments

    EPA received seven public comments on the proposed SNUR. The comments and EPA's complete response (Ref. 2) are available in the docket for this final rule (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0489). EPA made two changes to the regulatory text as a result of issues raised in public comments; these changes are explained below in Section A of this unit. A summary of the remaining issues is in Section B of this unit, and the full discussion of these comments is in the docket.

    A. Changes to Regulatory Text as a Result of Public Comments

    Article exemption. Two commenters indicated that there was some concern regarding the breadth of the lifting of the exemption for persons who import or process chemical substances as part of an article. EPA had proposed to make the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable to this rule.

    The proposal preamble stated that “EPA is concerned that exempting HBCD as part of articles would render the SNUR less effective because of the possibility that consumer textile articles containing HBCD, the primary concern of EPA associated with this proposed rule, could be imported or processed for uses subject to this proposed SNUR without the submission of a SNUN. This proposed rule would not include the exemption at § 721.45(f).” 77 FR 17386, 17391, March 26, 2012. (Ref. 1) Accordingly, the proposed regulatory text stated that “[t]he provisions of § 721.45(f) do not apply to this section. A person who imports or processes the chemical substances identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section as part of an article for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section must submit a significant new use notice (SNUN).”

    Although the Agency has the authority to lift the exemption for importers and processors of HBCD as part of all articles, such a broad application is not necessary or desirable for this rule. This is because there are ongoing uses of HBCD as part of articles that are unlikely to be diverted to the significant new use.

    EPA considered a narrow approach that would have made the exemption inapplicable to importers and processors of HBCD as part of consumer textiles only, not all textiles. EPA is concerned that if the inapplicability of the exemption was limited to consumer textiles, undifferentiated textiles (e.g., the type of textiles that could be for a consumer use or a non-consumer use), could be imported or processed and distributed in commerce for consumer use without notification to the Agency. The category “consumer textiles” is fully subsumed by the broader category of textiles, so by requiring importers and processors of all textiles containing HBCD to meet the notification requirements at 40 CFR 721.5, EPA is ensuring that the regulatory mechanisms designed to prevent significant new uses without notice to the Agency will apply to import and processing of HBCD-containing articles that have the potential to be used as consumer textiles.

    Thus, EPA is making the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable for importers and processors of HBCD as part of a textile article, rather than as part of all articles. Accordingly, importers and processors of HBCD as part of textile articles, regardless of whether those textiles are consumer textiles, are subject to this final SNUR. The term “textile” is intended to be read in conjunction with the definition of “consumer textile” and includes, but is not limited to, bolts of cloth and draperies, as well as textiles that are part of upholstered household furniture and mattresses. The definition of “consumer textile” for this rule is in the regulatory text at 40 CFR 721.10281. The Agency's decision to lift the exemption for importers and processors of HBCD as part of textile articles rather than for importers and processors of all HBCD-containing articles is specific to this SNUR and based on the particular significant new use in this SNUR.

    Definition of consumer textile. One of the seven commenters stated that the definition of “consumer textile” in the proposed SNUR is “rather nuanced . . . [and] contains several terms that are not self-evident on their face.” The proposed definition at 77 FR 17386, 17394, March 26, 2012 was: “Consumer textile means any cloth, fabric, or other item produced during the milling process (including spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, or finishing), consisting in whole or as part of a product that is sold to or made available to a private individual who uses the product in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, during recreation, or for any personal use or enjoyment. Consumer textiles include but are not limited to draperies and textiles that are part of upholstered household furniture and mattresses” (Ref. 1). The proposal defined “consumer textile” to distinguish consumer textiles from other textiles (e.g., commercial, industrial, institutional, military). While this rule does not use the term “consumer product” as defined in 40 CFR 721.3, some of the terms and phrases used in the consumer textile definition, including those that the commenter claims are “not self-evident on their face,” are the same as those in the consumer product definition.

    However, in the course of considering the comments, EPA revisited the definition of consumer textile, and concluded it could be clarified in certain respects. In this final rule, EPA is making minor changes to clarify the definition, as explained below. The changes do not impact the scope of the SNUR, as the final definition of “consumer textile” covers only those textiles that the Agency intended to cover in the proposal. The final definition is: “Consumer textile means any cloth, fabric, or other item produced during a milling process for textiles (including spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, or finishing), that is sold or made available either as a product or as part of a product, to a private individual who uses it in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, during recreation, or for any personal use or enjoyment. Consumer textiles can include, but are not limited to, bolts of cloth and draperies, as well as textiles that are part of upholstered household furniture and mattresses.” Because there are milling processes that do not relate to textiles, the final definition clarifies that only items produced during milling processes for textiles are covered. The final definition also clarifies that the textile itself can be a consumer textile and that the textile need not be part of a larger product like a mattress. This clarification is made in two places: By changing “consisting in whole or as part of a product” to “as a product or as part of a product” and by adding “bolts of cloth” as an example of a type of textile.

    B. Summary of Response to Remaining Public Comments

    Some commenters questioned whether EPA has the legal authority to regulate articles under TSCA. EPA's response is that TSCA section 5 provides EPA with authority to regulate chemical substances, including chemical substances that are part of articles. Commenters also stated that EPA should establish a policy framework by rule for the issuance of article SNURs. EPA's response is that development of a “policy framework” is not necessary before reaching the conclusion, with respect to HBCD, that persons who import or process this substance as part of consumer textiles (other than for use in motor vehicles) should be subject to the notification provisions of 40 CFR 721.25.

    One commenter objected to the wording of the significant new use (“consumer textiles, other than for use in motor vehicles”) because it implies that a motor vehicle is a consumer product as defined by 40 CFR 721.3. EPA's response is that the HBCD SNUR does not rely on the definition of consumer product as defined by 40 CFR 721.3. Instead, the rule specifically defines “consumer textile” and the definition would ordinarily encompass textiles used in motor vehicles. Another commenter said the proposed exclusion for consumer textiles in motor vehicles is appropriate but that the proposed SNUR appears to be a signal that EPA would like HBCD to be phased out of use in textiles in vehicles. The commenter is concerned that the phasing out of HBCD would leave the automotive industry without a substitute. EPA's response is that the exclusion from this SNUR for manufacture and import of HBCD as part of textiles in motor vehicles is not a signal that EPA would like this use of HBCD to be phased out. Use of HBCD in textiles in motor vehicles is unaffected by this SNUR because the use is ongoing. EPA continues to evaluate ongoing uses of HBCD as part of its TSCA Work Plan chemical assessments (see http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/riskassess.html). The remaining three commenters supported the proposed SNUR.

    XI. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically referenced in this action. The docket includes these documents and other information considered by EPA in developing this rule, including documents that are referenced within the documents that are in the docket, even if the referenced document is not physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating these other documents, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    1. EPA. Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-Hexabromocyclododecane: Proposed Rule. Federal Register (77 FR 17386, March 26, 2012) (FRL-9341-6). Available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR. 2. EPA. Response to Public Comments on Proposed Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-Hexabromocyclododecane, April 24, 2015. 3. EPA. 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR). Chemical Data Access Tool (CDAT). Available at: http://java.epa.gov/oppt_chemical_search/. Accessed May 21, 2013. Last updated April 4, 2013. 4. EPA. Inventory Update Reporting (IUR): Non-Confidential 2006 TSCA Inventory Update Rule (IUR) Records. Available at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/iursearch. 5. EPA Environmental Economics and Technology Division (EETD), Economic and Policy Analysis Branch (EPAB). Economic Analysis of the Final Significant New Use Rule for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), Washington, DC. 2015. 6. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Personal communication with Dr. Michael Babich, Chemist, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). March 16, 2010. 7. ACC. Personal communication with Jackson Morrill, Director of Chemical Products of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). February 16, 2011. 8. Herman Miller. Personal communication with Gabe Wing of Herman Miller, Inc. March 30, 2011. 9. Eagle Performance Products. Personal communication with John Friddle, President of Eagle Performance Products. March 3, 2011. 10. Chengelis. An oral (gavage) 90 day toxicity study of HBCD in rats. Study No. WIL-186012. WIL Research Laboratories, Inc. Ashland, Ohio, USA. 2001. 11. Ema, M., et al. Two-generation reproductive toxicity study of the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane in rats. Reproductive Toxicology. April 2008. 25(3), pp. 335-351. 12. Desjardins, et al. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD): A 72-hour toxicity test with the marine diatom (Skeletonema costatum). Final Report. Wildlife International, Ltd. Easton, Maryland, USA. 2004. p. 66. 13. Deng, et al. Hexabromocyclododecane-induced developmental toxicity and apoptosis in zebrafish embryos. Aquatic Toxicology. June 2009. 93(1), pp. 29-36. 14. Palace, et al. Biotransformation enzymes and thyroid axis disruption in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to hexabromocyclododecane diastereoisomers. Environmental Science and Technology. February 2008. 42(6), pp. 1967-1972. 15. Kling, et al. Proteomic studies in zebrafish liver cells exposed to the brominated flame retardants HBCD and TBBPA. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. November 2009. 72, pp. 985-1993. 16. Zhang, et al. Induction of hepatic enzymes and oxidative stress in Chinese rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus) exposed to waterborne hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). Aquatic Toxicology. January 2008. 86(1), pp. 4-11. 17. Ronisz, et al. Sublethal effects of the flame retardants hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), on hepatic enzymes and other biomarkers in juvenile rainbow trout and feral eelpout. Aquatic Toxicology. August 2004. 69(3), pp. 229-245. 18. Drottar, Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD): A flow-through life-cycle toxicity test with the cladoceran (Daphnia magna). Final Report. 439A-108, Wildlife International, Ltd. Easton, Maryland, USA. 1998. pp. 78. 19. Schriks, et al. Disruption of thyroid hormone-mediated Xenopus laevis tadpole tail tip regression by hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and 2,2′,3,3′,4,4′,5,5′, 6-nona brominated diphenyl ether (BDE206). Chemosphere. December 2006. 65(10), pp. 1904-1908. 20. Oetken, et al. Validation of the preliminary EU-concept of assessing the impact of chemicals to organisms in sediment by using selected substances. UBA-FB 299 67 411, Institute of Hydrobiology, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany. 2001. pp. 97. 21. Crump, et al. Effects of hexabromocyclododecane and polybrominated diphenyl ethers on mRNA expression in chicken (Gallus domesticus) hepatocytes. Toxicological Sciences. December 2008. 106(2), pp. 479-487. 22. Fernie, et al. Environmentally relevant concentrations of DE-71 and HBCD alter eggshell thickness and reproductive success of American kestrels. Environmental Science and Technology. March 2009. 43(6), pp. 2124-30. 23. Posner. Survey and technical assessment of alternatives to TBBPA and HBCDD. Kemi (Kemikalieinspektionen) (Swedish Chemicals Agency, Sweden). Sundbyberg, Sweden. January, 2006. 24. Covaci, et al. Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in the Environment and Humans: A Review. Environmental Science and Technology. May 2006. 40(12), pp. 3679-3688. 25. UNEP. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, Third meeting, Geneva. pp. 19-23, November 2007, Item 7 of the provisional agenda, Presentation on environmental transport and modeling. The OECD screening tool for overall persistence and long-range transport potential. UNEP/POPS/POPRC.3/INF/7. 26. Ghanem, R. Kinetics of Thermal and Photolytic Segregation of Hexabromocyclododecane in Backcoated Textile Samples. Jordan Journal of Chemistry. April 2009. 4(2), pp. 171-181. 27. European Commission (EC). Risk Assessment: Hexabromocyclododecane CAS-No.: 25637-99-4 EINECS-No.: 247-148-4, Final Report. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities: Luxembourg. May 2008. 28. Arnot, et al. An evaluation of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) for Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) properties and the potential for adverse effects in the environment. Submitted to European Brominated Flame Retardant Industry Panel (EBFRIP). May 2009. 29. UNEP. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Summary of the proposal for the listing of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) in Annex A to the Convention. July 2009. 30. EPA. TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides Cluster, Flame Retardants. August 2015. Available at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/riskassess.html. 31. EPA. Significant New Uses of Certain Chemical Substances, Final Rule. Federal Register (55 FR 17376, April 24, 1990) (FRL-3658-5). 32. EPA. Modification of Significant New Use Rules for Certain Substances, Final Rule. Federal Register (62 FR 42690, August 8, 1997) (FRL-5735-4). XII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This final rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, entitled “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Burden is defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(b). The information collection activities associated with existing chemical SNURs are already approved by OMB under OMB control number 2070-0038 (EPA ICR No. 1188), and the information collection activities associated with export notifications are already approved by OMB under OMB control number 2070-0030 (EPA ICR No. 0795). If an entity were to submit a SNUN to the Agency, the annual burden is estimated to be less than 100 hours per response, and the estimated burden for an export notification is less than 1.5 hours per notification. In both cases, burden is estimated to be reduced for submitters who have already registered to use the electronic submission system.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information that requires OMB approval under the PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in Title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and included on the related collection instrument, or form, if applicable. EPA is amending the table in 40 CFR part 9 to list this SNUR. This listing of the OMB control numbers and their subsequent codification in the CFR satisfies the display requirements of the PRA and OMB's implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. Since the existing OMB approval was previously subject to public notice and comment before OMB approval, and given the technical nature of the table, EPA finds that further notice and comment to amend the table is unnecessary. As a result, EPA finds that there is “good cause” under section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B)), to amend this table without further notice and comment.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., I hereby certify that promulgation of this SNUR will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rationale supporting this conclusion is as follows.

    EPA generally finds that proposed and final SNURs are not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (See, e.g., Ref. 32). Since this SNUR will require a person who intends to engage in such activity in the future to first notify EPA by submitting a SNUN, no economic impact will occur unless someone files a SNUN to pursue a significant new use in the future or forgoes profits by avoiding or delaying the significant new use. Although some small entities may decide to engage in such activities in the future, EPA cannot presently determine how many, if any, there may be. However, EPA's experience to date is that, in response to the promulgation of SNURs covering over 1,000 chemical substances, the Agency receives only a handful of notices per year. During the six year period from 2005-2010, only three submitters self-identified as small in their SNUN submission (Ref. 5). EPA believes the cost of submitting a SNUN is relatively small compared to the cost of developing and marketing a chemical new to a firm and that the requirement to submit a SNUN generally does not have a significant economic impact.

    A SNUR applies to any person (including small or large entities) who intends to engage in any activity described in the rule as a “significant new use.” In the proposed HBCD SNUR (Ref. 1), EPA preliminarily determined, based in part on the Agency's market research, that HBCD is not manufactured or processed for the significant new use (i.e., use in consumer textiles other than in textiles in motor vehicles). EPA received no public comment indicating otherwise. Therefore, EPA is finalizing its determination that use of HBCD in consumer textiles (other than in textiles in motor vehicles) is not ongoing. Thus no small entities presently manufacture or import HBCD for the significant new use. EPA believes that there will be minimal impact to processors and importers of HBCD as part of textile articles from this SNUR. The SNUR does not require processors and importers of textile articles to conduct specific activities to ascertain if they are importing or processing a textile article containing HBCD. EPA expects importers and processors will take actions that are commensurate with their perceived likelihood of HBCD being part of a textile article, and the resources they have available. EPA has no reason to believe that a firm would voluntarily incur substantial costs to comply with the SNUR, but rather, EPA believes each firm will choose the most efficient route to identify whether it is importing HBCD in textile articles.

    Therefore, EPA believes that the potential economic impact of complying with this SNUR is not expected to be significant or adversely impact a substantial number of small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Based on EPA's experience with proposing and finalizing SNURs, State, local, and Tribal governments have not been impacted by these rulemakings, and EPA does not have any reason to believe that any State, local, or Tribal government will be impacted by this rulemaking. As such, EPA has determined that this regulatory action will not impose any enforceable duty, contain any unfunded mandate, or otherwise have any effect on small governments subject to the requirements of sections 202, 203, 204, or 205 of UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538).

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have Tribal implications because it will not have any effect (i.e., there will be no increase or decrease in authority or jurisdiction) on Tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes. Thus, Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because this action is not intended to address environmental health or safety risks for children.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not expected to affect energy supply, distribution, or use.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    Since this action does not involve any technical standards, NTTAA section 12(d), 15 U.S.C. 272 note, does not apply to this action.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    This action does not entail special considerations of environmental justice related issues as delineated by Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994), because EPA has determined that this action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations. This action does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment.

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    Pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 9

    Environmental protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 721

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Wendy C. Hamnett, Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, 40 CFR parts 9 and 721 are amended as follows:

    PART 9—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 135 et seq., 136-136y; 15 U.S.C. 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2601-2671; 21 U.S.C. 331j, 346a, 348; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., 1311, 1313d, 1314, 1318, 1321, 1326, 1330, 1342, 1344, 1345 (d) and (e), 1361; E.O. 11735, 38 FR 21243, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp. p. 973; 42 U.S.C. 241, 242b, 243, 246, 300f, 300g, 300g-1, 300g-2, 300g-3, 300g-4, 300g-5, 300g-6, 300j-1, 300j-2, 300j-3, 300j-4, 300j-9, 1857 et seq., 6901-6992k, 7401-7671q, 7542, 9601-9657, 11023, 11048.

    2. In §  9.1, add the following section in numerical order under the undesignated center heading “Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances” to read as follows:
    §  9.1 OMB approvals under the Paperwork Reduction Act. 40 CFR Citation OMB Control No.  > *    *    *    *    * Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances *    *    *    *    * 721.10281 2070-0038 *    *    *    *    *
    PART 721—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c).

    4. Add new § 721.10281 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10281 Hexabromocyclododecane and 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane.

    (a) Chemical substances and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substances identified as hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 25637-99-4) and 1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (CASRN 3194-55-6) are subject to reporting under this section for the significant new use described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new use is use in consumer textiles, other than for use in motor vehicles.

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Definitions. The definitions in § 721.3 apply to this section. In addition, the following definitions apply:

    Consumer textile means any cloth, fabric, or other item produced during a milling process for textiles (including spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, or finishing), that is sold or made available either as a product or as part of a product, to a private individual who uses it in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, during recreation, or for any personal use or enjoyment. Consumer textiles can include, but are not limited to, bolts of cloth and draperies, as well as textiles that are part of upholstered household furniture and mattresses.

    Motor vehicle has the meaning found at 40 CFR 85.1703.

    (2) Revocation of article exemption. The provisions of § 721.45(f) do not apply to importers and processors of the chemical substances identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section as part of a textile.

    [FR Doc. 2015-24178 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0079; FRL-9932-51-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revision To Control Volatile Organic Compound Emissions From Storage Tanks and Transport Vessels AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision for control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from degassing of storage tanks, transport vessels and marine vessels. The revision reformats the existing requirement to comply with current rule writing standards, adds additional control options for owner/operators to use when complying, clarifies the monitoring and testing requirements of the rule, and makes non-substantive changes to VOC control provisions that apply in the Beaumont-Port Arthur (BPA) nonattainment area (Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties), four counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) nonattainment area (Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant Counties), El Paso County, and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) nonattainment area (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller Counties).

    The EPA is also making a ministerial correction to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to accurately reflect approved SIP revisions that pertain to Stage II control of VOCs from gasoline dispensing facilities in Texas.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0079. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert M. Todd, (214) 665-2156, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please contact Mr. Todd or Mr. Bill Deese (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our May 13, 2015 direct final rule and proposal (80 FR 27251 and 80 FR 27275). In the direct final rule we approved a SIP submission revising the rules for controlling VOC emissions from degassing of storage tanks, transport vessels and marine vessels. The Texas rule revisions were adopted by the state on January 26, 2011 and submitted to us on February 18, 2011. The revisions submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) apply to Brazoria, Chambers, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, Tarrant and Waller Counties.

    Our May 13, 2015 rule and proposal stated that if any relevant adverse comments were received by the end of the public comment period on June 12, 2015, the direct final rule would be withdrawn and we would respond to the comments in a subsequent final action. Relevant adverse comments were received during the comment period, and the direct final rule was withdrawn on June 30, 2015 (80 FR 37161). Our May 13, 2015 proposal provides the basis for this final action.

    Also, on March 17, 2014 we approved revisions to the Texas SIP pertaining to Stage II control of VOCs from gasoline stations (79 FR 14611). Included in the approved revisions was removal of sections 115.247 and 115.249 from the TX SIP. In that document, however, we did not update the CFR to show that 30 TAC 115.247 and 115.249 were removed from the SIP. We are using the opportunity of this final rule to correct this oversight.

    We received comments on our May 13, 2015 proposal from two commenters. Our response to the comments are below.

    II. Response to Comments

    Comment: The first commenter stated it would be impractical, and possibly unreasonable, to require industry to comply with the state regulations unless the state took the needs of individual sources into account and helped them to comply.

    Response: The commenter fails to specify how and why the submitted revisions would be impractical. In addition, these revisions merely modify and clarify existing rules which have been implemented for several years. Requirements to control degassing emissions, for example, low-leaking tank fittings on some control options, monitoring control effectiveness and reporting compliance from degassing operations were first implemented in HGB and BPA (62 FR 27964, May 22, 1997). In DFW and El Paso County, these rules were adopted as contingency measures under the 1-hour ozone standard (62 FR 27964). The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been successfully implementing these degassing regulations in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, and Waller Counties for several years and we haven't received any information that supports the notion that compliance is overly burdensome in these counties. There is no documented evidence of owner/operators of marine vessels finding these rules impractical. The revisions also make changes to provide additional flexibility for affected owners and operators allowing for the use of alternative control options such as the use of a recirculation system, with appropriate monitoring to assure the effectiveness of the system or an option that allows the operator to demonstrate compliance by limiting the VOC concentration at the outlet of a control device to less than 500 parts per million (by volume).

    Sources in Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso and Tarrant Counties have been aware of the possibility these regulations might affect them for some years and the state has been implementing them in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties since February 18, 2011. We have not received any indication that sources in these areas are not able to comply with the degassing requirements. TCEQ also submitted these revisions for public comment and notice so the public had ample opportunity to comment on these revisions during the state's rulemaking process.

    Comment: The second commenter stated we could not approve the degassing rules as reasonably achievable control technology (RACT) for Marine Vessel Loading Operations subject to the 40 CFR part 63, subpart Y, Marine Vessel Loading Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) standard because that federal rule defines RACT for this source category more stringently than the Texas regulations. RACT in part 63, subpart Y is defined as 95% control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions when using a recovery device and 98% control when using a combustion device. The RACT levels we previously approved in Texas's affected counties is 90% control of VOC emissions.

    Response: The federal regulation the commenter cites, 40 CFR part 63, subpart Y, is not applicable to degassing operations. The Marine Vessel Loading Operations MACT standard does contain a RACT requirement defining the VOC control efficiencies that affected sources must achieve while performing marine loading operations. 40 CFR 63.561 defines marine loading operations as any operation under which a commodity is bulk loaded onto a marine tank vessel from a terminal, which may include the loading of multiple marine tank vessels during one loading operation. However, the submitted revisions do not address any operations which can be described as operations in which a commodity is bulk loaded onto a marine tank vessel from a terminal, or may include the loading of multiple marine tank vessels during one loading operation. The submitted revision only addresses operations that occur during the degassing, cleaning or vessel maintenance activities covered by the Texas regulation.1 The proposed revision, 30 TAC Sec. 115.540, defines degassing as the process of removing volatile organic vapor from a storage tank, transport vessel, or marine vessel. Degassing operations do not involve loading of a bulk commodity and do not include marine loading operations as defined by 40 CFR 63.561. Therefore, subpart Y is not applicable to the operations or activity covered by the submitted revisions. Therefore, the commenters concern that RACT as defined in the 40 CFR part 63, subpart Y won't be met in the Texas SIP action is unfounded. Inclusion of the Texas degassing rule in the Texas SIP is appropriate under these circumstances and effectively reduces VOC emissions from these sources.

    1 40 CFR 63.562(c) sates the RACT level of control applies to vapor tight marine vessel with a vapor collection system designed to collect VOC vapors displaced from marine tank vessels during loading operations. 40 CFR 63.531 defines marine tank vessel loading operation as any operation under which a commodity if bulk loaded onto a marine tank vessel from a terminal.

    III. Final Action

    We are approving a Texas SIP revision for control of VOC emissions from storage tank, transport vessel and marine vessel degassing operations adopted on January 26, 2011, and submitted on February 18, 2011. Specifically, we are approving revisions to 30 TAC 115 at sections 115.540-115.547 and 115.549. The revisions (1) reformat the existing rule to simplify and clarify rule requirements; (2) modify VOC control requirements in Brazoria, Chambers, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, Tarrant and Waller Counties; (3) make changes to provide additional flexibility for affected owners and operators allowing for the use of alternative control options; and (4) make non-substantive changes to VOC control provisions that apply in Brazoria, Chambers, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange, Tarrant and Waller Counties.

    We are also making a ministerial correction to the table in 40 CFR 52.2270(c) to accurately reflect the revisions to Stage II control of VOCs approved into the Texas SIP on March 17, 2014 (79 FR 14611).

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are finalizing the incorporation by reference of the revisions to the Texas regulations as described in the Final Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 23, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposed of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 9, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270(c), the table titled “EPA APPROVED REGULATIONS IN THE TEXAS SIP” is amended by removing the entries for Sections 115.247 and 115.249, adding an entry for Section 115.540, and revising the entries for sections 115.541 through 115.547 and 115.549 to read as follows:
    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State citation Title/Subject State approval/
  • Submittal date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 115 (Reg 5)—Control of Air Pollution From Volatile Organic Compounds *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter F—Miscellaneous Industrial Sources *         *         *         *         *         *         * Division 3: Degassing or Cleaning of Stationary, Marine, and Transport Vessels Section 115.540 Applicability and Definitions 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.541 Emission Specifications 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.542 Control Requirements 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.543 Alternate control Requirements 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.544 Inspection, Monitoring, and Testing Requirements 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.545 Approved Test Methods 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.546 Recordkeeping and Notification Requirements 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.547 Exemptions 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 115.549 Compliance Schedules 1/26/2011 9/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-23379 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION 46 CFR Part 502 [Docket No. 15-09] RIN 3072—AC62 Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Time and Service in Adjudicatory Proceedings AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Maritime Commission proposes to amend its rules of practice and procedure concerning time and service in adjudicative proceedings. These revisions improve consistency across various processes and increase efficiency for parties to proceedings.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 30, 2015, without further action, unless significant adverse comments are filed prior to October 30, 2015. If significant adverse comment is received the Federal Maritime Commission will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the docket number in the heading of this document, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line: “Docket No. 15-09, Comments on Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure Governing Time and Service.” Comments should be attached to the email as a Microsoft Word or text-searchable PDF document. Comments containing confidential information should not be submitted by email.

    Mail: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001.

    Docket: To read background documents or comments received in response to this docket, go to: http://www.fmc.gov/electronic_reading_room/proceeding_or_inquiry_log_search.aspx; and select Docket No. 15-09 from the list of docket logs provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001. Phone: (202) 523-5725. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC or Commission) is amending its rules of practice and procedure concerning time and service in adjudicatory proceedings.

    Computation of Time

    Currently the rules set out a variety of different formulas and conventions for computing time. Section 502.101 of Subpart G specifies that in computing periods of time under the rules, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays should be counted, but that “[w]hen the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven (7) days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, or national holidays shall be excluded from the computation.” Throughout part 502 various sections reference a five (5) day deadline but do not cross-reference § 502.101, which may create confusion. For consistency and to streamline and simplify the rules, the provision excluding weekends and holidays when a deadline is less than seven (7) days is removed, and all 5-day periods set out in part 502 are extended to seven (7) days. Consequently, all time periods will be calculated in the same manner by counting calendar days inclusive of weekends and holidays. In addition, language in § 502.101 is simplified to provide that “[i]f the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday, the period continues to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday.”

    Subpart G is also revised to simplify the structure of the rules. For example, the rules for enlargement and reduction of time to file documents currently found in §§ 502.102 and 502.103 are consolidated into § 502.102. Section 502.102 is also amended to reflect current Commission practice and standards for granting motions to enlarge time. As amended, § 502.102 would require that a party must have “reasonable grounds” for failing to file a motion for enlargement of time at least seven (7) days before the filing due date. Section 502.104 is similarly amended.

    Rules on enlargement of time to file briefs and exceptions found at §§ 502.222 and 502.228 are amended because new § 502.102 covers the relevant requirements. Section 502.319 is revised to duplicate the requirements of § 502.102 to apply to formal procedures for adjudication of small claims.

    Service of Documents

    The service rules in Subpart H are revised to add references to service by email, and to encourage parties consistently to use of the same manner of service between parties, as that used to file documents with the Commission. The service rules are also rewritten and reorganized for clarity and ease of use.

    Regulatory Analysis and Notices Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This direct final rule is not a “major rule” under 5 U.S.C. 804(2). No notice of proposed rulemaking is required; therefore, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., do not apply.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, requires an agency to seek and receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before making most requests for information if the agency is requesting information from more than ten persons. 44 U.S.C. 3507. The agency must submit collections of information in proposed rules to OMB in conjunction with the publication of the proposed rulemaking. 5 CFR 1320.11. The Commission is not proposing any collections of information, as defined by 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c), as part of this rule.

    Regulation Identifier Number

    The Commission assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Unified Agenda). The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda, available at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain

    Direct Final Rule Justification

    The Commission expects the amendments to be noncontroversial. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, notice and comment are not required and this rule may become effective after publication in the Federal Register, unless the Commission receives significant adverse comments within the specified period. The Commission recognizes that parties may have information that could impact the Commission's views and intentions with respect to the revised regulations, and the Commission intends to consider any comments filed. The Commission will withdraw the rule if it receives significant adverse comments. Filed comments that are not adverse may be considered for modifications to Part 502 at a future date. If no significant adverse comment is received, the rule will become effective without additional action.

    List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 502

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Equal access to justice, Investigations, Lawyers, Maritime carriers, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal Maritime Commission proposes to amend 46 CFR part 502 as follows:

    PART 502—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 502 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 504, 551, 552, 553, 556(c), 559, 561-569, 571-596; 5 U.S.C. 571-584; 18 U.S.C. 207; 28 U.S.C. 2112(a); 31 U.S.C. 9701; 46 U.S.C. 305, 40103-40104, 40304, 40306, 40501-40503, 40701-40706, 41101-41109, 41301-41309, 44101-44106; 5 CFR part 2635.

    2. Revise Subpart G to read as follows: Subpart G—Time Sec. 502.101 Computation. 502.102 Enlargement or reduction of time to file documents. 502.103 [Reserved] 502.104 Postponement of hearing. 502.105 Waiver of rules governing enlargement of time and postponement of hearings.
    § 502.101 Computation.

    In computing any time period prescribed or allowed under the rules in this part, the period begins on the day following the act, event, or default that triggers the period and includes the last day of the time period. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time period continues to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. If the presiding officer prescribes or allows an act, event, or default by reference to a specific date, that date shall govern. If the Commission's offices are inaccessible on the last day for a filing, the time for filing is extended to the first accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. [Rule101]

    § 502.102 Enlargement or reduction of time to file documents.

    (a) Motions for enlargement or reduction of time for the filing of any pleading or other document, or in connection with the procedures of subpart L of this part, may be granted upon a showing of good cause. Motions must set forth the reasons for the request and be received at least seven (7) days before the scheduled filing date. Motions filed less than seven (7) days before the scheduled filing date may be considered where reasonable grounds are found for the failure to meet this requirement.

    (b) Motions submitted after the scheduled filing date will be considered a request to accept late filing and must be accompanied by the document. These motions will only be considered when exceptional circumstances are shown or as justice may require.

    (c) Motions and responses to motions filed under this section are subject to the requirements of §§ 502.69 and 502.71, except that responses to motions must be served and filed within five (5) days after the date of service of the motion. [Rule 102.]

    § 502.103 [Reserved]
    § 502.104 Postponement of hearing.

    (a) Motions for postponement of any hearing date may be granted upon a showing of good cause. Motions must set forth the reasons for the request and be received at least seven (7) days before the scheduled hearing date. Motions filed less than seven (7) days before the scheduled hearing date may be considered where reasonable grounds are found for the failure to meet this requirement.

    (b) Motions and responses filed under this section are subject to the requirements of §§ 502.69 and 502.71, except that responses to motions must be served and filed within five (5) days after the date or service of the motion. [Rule 104.]

    § 502.105 Waiver of rules governing enlargement of time and postponement of hearings.

    Except as otherwise provided by law the presiding officer, for good cause, may reduce or enlarge any time limit prescribed in the rules of this Part, may waive the requirements of §§ 502.102 and 502.104 for replies, and may rule ex parte on requests submitted under those rules. [Rule 105.]

    Subpart H—Service of Documents 3. Revise § 502.114 to read as follows:
    § 502.114 Serving documents in Commission proceedings.

    (a) Except where a different method of service is specifically required by the rules in this Part, all pleadings, documents and papers of every kind (except requests for subpoenas under § 502.145, documents served by the Commission under § 502.113, and documents submitted at a hearing or prehearing conference) in proceedings before the Commission, when delivered to the Commission or the presiding officer for filing, must show that service has been made upon all parties to the proceeding and upon any other persons required to be served by the rules in this Part. Such service must be made by delivering one copy to each party; by email; in-person hand delivery; or United States mail service, and be properly addressed with postage prepaid; by courier; or by facsimile. Service should be made in the same manner in which any pleading or document is filed with the Commission. For example, if a pleading is filed by email pursuant to § 502.2(f)(3), service should also be made by email.

    (b) When a party has appeared by attorney or other representative, service upon each attorney or other representative of record will be deemed service upon the party, except that, if two or more attorneys of record are partners or associates of the same firm, only one of them need be served.

    4. Revise § 502.115 to read as follows:
    § 502.115 Service in rulemaking and petition proceedings.

    Service on all prior participants in a rulemaking or a petition proceeding must be shown when submitting comments or replies beyond the initial round, including those involving disposition of petitions for rulemaking (Rule 51), petitions for declaratory order (Rule 75), petitions general (Rule 76), notices of proposed rulemaking (Rule 52), proceedings under section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, (46 U.S.C. 42101) (Part 550), and proceedings under section 13(b)(6) of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U. S.C. 41108(d)) (Part 560). A list of all participants may be obtained from the Secretary of the Commission.

    5. Revise § 502.116 to read as follows:
    § 502.116 Date of service.

    The date of service of documents served by the Commission will be the date shown in the service stamp placed on the first page of the document. The date of service of documents served by parties will be the date when the document served is transmitted by email, deposited in the United States mail, delivered to a courier, or delivered in person. If service is made by more than one method, for example email and also U.S. mail service, the date of service will be the earlier of the two dates. In computing the time from such dates, the provisions of § 502.101 shall apply. [Rule 116.]

    Subpart M—Briefs; Requests for Findings; Decisions; Exceptions
    6. Revise § 502.222 to read as follows:
    § 502.222 Requests for enlargement of time for filing briefs.

    Requests for enlargement of time to file briefs shall conform to the requirements of § 502.102.

    7. Revise § 502.228 to read as follows:
    § 502.228 Request for enlargement of time to file exceptions and replies to exceptions.

    Requests for enlargement of time to file exceptions, and briefs in support of such exceptions, or replies to exceptions, must conform to the applicable provisions of § 502.102. Any enlargement of time granted will automatically extend by the same period, the date for the filing of notice or review by the Commission. [Rule 228.]

    Subpart T—Formal Procedure and Adjudication of Small Claims 8. Revise § 502.319 to read as follows:
    § 502.319 Date of service and computation of time.

    (a) The date of service of documents served by the Commission will be the date shown in the service stamp placed on the first page of the document. The date of service of documents served by parties will be the date when the document served is transmitted by email, deposited in the United States mail, delivered to a courier, or delivered in person. If service is made by more than one method, for example email and also U.S. mail service, the date of service will be the earlier of the two actions. In computing the time from such dates, the provisions of § 502.101 shall apply. [Rule 319.]

    (b) In computing any time period prescribed or allowed under the rules in this Part, the period begins on the day following the act, event, or default that triggers the period and includes the last day of the time period. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, the time period continues to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. If the presiding officer prescribes or allows an act, event, or default by reference to a specific date, that date will govern. If the Commission's offices are inaccessible on the last day for a filing, the time for filing is extended to the first accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday.

    §§ 502.113, 502.132, 502.135, 502.201, 502.221, 502.227, 502.228, and 502.408 [Amended]
    9. In addition to the amendments set forth above, in 46 CFR part 502 remove the words “five (5) days” or “five days” or “5 days” and add, in their place, the words “seven (7) days” in the following places: a. Section 502.132(c); b. Section 502.135(a); c. Section 502.201(c); d. Section 502.221(f); e. Section 502.222; f. Section 502.227(e); i. Section 502.228; and j. Section 502.408(a)

    By the Commission.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24087 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 49 CFR Part 800 [Docket No. NTSB-GC-2012-0002] RIN 3147-AA03 Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of Authority AGENCY:

    National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB or Board).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Final Rule, the NTSB adds a new subpart to a part which contains internal rules specific to the NTSB. In publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in June 2015, the NTSB proposed a new subpart to outline the NTSB's rulemaking procedures.

    DATES:

    The revisions and additions published in this Final Rule will become effective October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the Final Rule, published in the Federal Register (FR), is available for inspection and copying in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003. Alternatively, a copy of the NPRM is available on the government-wide Web site on regulations at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket ID Number NTSB-GC-2012-0002).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Tochen, General Counsel, (202) 314-6080.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    The NTSB issued this NPRM in accordance with its June 25, 2012 document indicating the agency's intent to undertake a review of all NTSB regulations to ensure they are updated. 77 FR 37865. The NTSB initiated this review in accordance with Executive Order 13579, “Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies” (76 FR 41587, July 14, 2011). The purpose of Executive Order 13579 is to ensure all agencies adhere to the key principles found in Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), which include promoting public participation in rulemaking, improving integration and innovation, promoting flexibility and freedom of choice, and ensuring scientific integrity during the rulemaking process in order to create a regulatory system that protects public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The NTSB explained in its June 25, 2012 document that it is committed to ensuring its regulations remain updated and comply with these principles. The NTSB published an additional document in the Federal Register on January 8, 2013, describing the NTSB's plan for updating all regulations. 78 FR 1193. Consistent with Executive Order 13563 and in accordance with these two documents published in the Federal Register, the NTSB seeks to ensure the public is aware of its rulemaking procedures.

    On June 18, 2015, the NTSB published an NPRM inviting public comments concerning the NTSB's addition of a new subpart within 49 CFR part 800, to outline procedures for the adoption of rules, as well as the rulemaking process in general. 80 FR 34874. As the NTSB stated in its NPRM, many of the new sections we proposed are self-explanatory.

    The NTSB divided its discussion of the proposed additions into five segments, the first of which described general rulemaking provisions (§§ 800.30-800.34), which included proposed rules describing the applicability of proposed new subpart C (Procedures for Adoption of Rules), the NTSB's public reading room (§ 800.31), the act of initiating the rulemaking process (§ 800.32), as well as notices of proposed rulemaking and the contents thereof (§§ 800.33 and 800.34).

    The NTSB also categorized three proposed rules into a segment it described as “public participation” (§§ 800.35-800.38). These proposed rules addressed participation of interested persons in the NTSB rulemaking process, which include submitting comments; petitions for extension of time to comment; the contents of written comments; and the NTSB's process for considering the comments it receives in response to a publication requesting comments.

    The NTSB described proposed §§ 800.39-800.41 within a segment titled “proceedings and documents.” These proposed sections described procedures for additional rulemaking proceedings, hearings, and the agency's process for adopting final rules.

    Finally, the NTSB organized its preamble description of the remaining sections into segments titled “petitions for rulemaking” (§§ 800.42-800.43), which described the procedure for submitting a petition for rulemaking, as well as the agency's processing of such petitions; and “Direct and Interim Final Rules” (§§ 800.44-800.45), which proposed to implement procedures for promulgating rules that are immediately effective in certain circumstances.

    As the NTSB stated in its NPRM, the agency reviewed other agencies' rules describing rulemaking procedures, and utilized such rules as a model for the proposed new subpart.

    II. Comment Received and Response Thereto

    The NTSB received one comment in response to the June 18, 2015 NPRM, from the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). The comment contained two suggestions, which the NTSB has considered carefully. First, ALPA recommends the NTSB utilize the direct final rulemaking (DFR) procedure for all its rulemaking projects. Second, ALPA suggests the NTSB alter its proposed language in § 800.37 (“Contents of written comments”), in which we proposed, among other requirements, that comments be limited to 15 pages in length. ALPA recommends we amend the page limit to be 15 pages unless the NPRM itself exceeds 15 pages, in which case we should increase the page limit to equal the number of pages of the NPRM.

    A. Section 800.33, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.”

    The NTSB appreciates ALPA's feedback concerning the option of utilizing the DFR procedure for NTSB rulemakings. The comment was succinct, in that it did not provide examples of situations in which the organization believes the NTSB might use the DFR procedure in lieu of publishing an NPRM and inviting comments from the public. The comment states, “While ALPA understands that the Administrative Procedures Act does allow for this procedure, ALPA believes that it would be in the NTSB, stakeholders, and public interest to issue such rulemaking in accordance with the direct final rulemaking procedures.” The NTSB assumes that ALPA desires the agency engage in more expeditious rulemaking procedures, thereby saving time and agency resources.

    However, the NTSB declines to remove § 800.33, because DFR procedures are only available under the Administrative Procedure Act in limited circumstances. In particular, agencies only use DFR procedures when they do not anticipate a proposed rule or change will be controversial or will generate public interest.

    While the NTSB does not promulgate rules that are considered “major” under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” the agency nevertheless issues regulations about which transportation entities and members of the public maintain an interest and intend to offer comments. For example, in response to the NTSB's recent NPRM proposing the reorganization of and several changes to its rules on investigation procedures (49 CFR part 831), the agency received over three dozen substantive comments from a variety of stakeholders. See 79 FR 47064 (Aug. 12, 2014); www.regulations.gov Docket NTSB-GC-2012-0002. These proposed changes did not meet the criteria to be considered a “major rule” or a rule that would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; nevertheless, the NPRM generated interest from a wide array of interested persons, organizations, and agencies. The NTSB could not consider promulgating such rulemaking changes in any manner other than publishing an NPRM and carefully considering all comments the agency received in response to it. Overall, while the NTSB appreciates ALPA's idea concerning exclusive utilization of the DFR process, the agency nevertheless finalizes its proposed new subpart, including § 800.33 (“Notice of proposed rulemaking”), in this Final Rule.

    B. Section 800.37, “Contents of Written Comments.”

    The NTSB also appreciates ALPA's suggestion concerning the increase of the page limit applicable to comments from the public. While the NTSB believes a limit of 15 pages is sufficient for almost all rulemaking responses, the agency also acknowledges the public may find the page limit to be insufficient. Nevertheless, the NTSB finalizes the text of § 800.37, because the text includes language indicating the NTSB may choose to waive the page limit in certain circumstances. The agency will seriously consider such a waiver when it proposes regulatory changes in an NPRM that is particularly lengthy or complex.

    III. Regulatory Analyses

    In the NPRM, the NTSB included a regulatory analyses section concerning various Executive Orders and statutory provisions. The NTSB did not receive any comments concerning the results of these analyses. The NTSB again notes the following concerning such Executive Orders and statutory provisions.

    This Final Rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Therefore, Executive Order 12866 does not require a Regulatory Assessment. As such, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866. In addition, section 2(a) of Executive Order 13579 states:

    Independent regulatory agencies “should consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.

    76 FR at 41587. Consistent with Executive Order 13579, the NTSB's amendments to 49 CFR part 800 reflect its judgment that this part should be updated and streamlined.

    This rule does not require an analysis under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501-1571, or the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347.

    The NTSB has also analyzed these amendments in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” Any rulemaking proposal resulting from this notice would not propose any regulations that would: (1) Have a substantial direct effect on the states, the relationship between the national government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments; or (3) preempt state law. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply.

    The NTSB is also aware that the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires each agency to review its rulemaking to assess the potential impact on small entities, unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The NTSB certifies this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Regarding other Executive Orders and statutory provisions, this final rule also complies with all applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. In addition, the NTSB has evaluated this rule under: Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”; Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks”; Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”; Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”; and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, 15 U.S.C. 272 note. The NTSB has concluded this rule does not contravene any of the requirements set forth in these Executive Orders or statutes, nor does this rule prompt further consideration with regard to such requirements.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 800

    Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations (Government agencies), Government employees, Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the NTSB amends 49 CFR part 800 as follows:

    PART 800—ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 1. Revise the authority citation for 49 CFR part 800 to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1113(f), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise the heading for part 800 to read as set forth above. 3. Add subpart C to 49 CFR part 800 to read as follows: Subpart C—Procedures for Adoption of Rules Sec. 800.30 Applicability. 800.31 Public reading room. 800.32 Initiation of rulemaking. 800.33 Notice of proposed rulemaking. 800.34 Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking. 800.35 Participation of interested persons. 800.36 Petitions for extension of time to comment. 800.37 Contents of written comments. 800.38 Consideration of comments received. 800.39 Additional rulemaking proceedings. 800.40 Hearings. 800.41 Adoption of final rules. 800.42 Petitions for rulemaking. 800.43 Processing of petition. 800.44 Direct final rulemaking procedures. 800.45 Interim rulemaking procedures. Subpart C—Procedures for Adoption of Rules
    § 800.30 Applicability.

    This subpart prescribes rulemaking procedures that apply to the issuance, amendment, and revocation of rules pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 1101-1155.

    § 800.31 Public reading room.

    Information and data deemed relevant by the NTSB relating to rulemaking actions, including notices of proposed rulemaking; comments received in response to notices; petitions for rulemaking and reconsideration; denials of petitions for rulemaking; and final rules are maintained in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003.

    § 800.32 Initiation of rulemaking.

    The NTSB may initiate rulemaking either on its own motion or on petition by any interested person after a determination that grant of the petition is advisable. The NTSB may also consider the recommendations of other agencies of the United States.

    § 800.33 Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Unless the NTSB, for good cause, finds notice is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates that finding and a brief statement of the reasons for it in the rule, a notice of proposed rulemaking is issued and interested persons are invited to participate in the rulemaking proceedings under applicable provisions of 5 U.S.C. 551.

    § 800.34 Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking.

    (a) Each notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

    (b) Each notice includes:

    (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the proposed rulemaking proceeding;

    (2) A reference to the authority under which it is issued;

    (3) A description of the subjects and issues involved or the substance and terms of the proposed rule;

    (4) A statement of the time within which written comments must be submitted; and

    (5) A statement of how and to what extent interested persons may participate in the proceedings.

    § 800.35 Participation of interested persons.

    (a) Any interested person may participate in rulemaking proceeding by submitting comments in writing containing information, views or arguments.

    (b) In its discretion, the agency may invite any interested person to participate in the rulemaking procedures described in this subpart.

    § 800.36 Petitions for extension of time to comment.

    A petition for extension of the time to submit comments must be received not later than 10 days before the end of the comment period stated in the notice. The petition must be submitted to: General Counsel, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003. The filing of the petition does not automatically extend the time for petitioner's comments. Such a petition is granted only if the petitioner shows good cause for the extension, and if the extension is consistent with the public interest. If an extension is granted, it is granted to all persons, and the NTSB will publish a notice of the extension of the comment period in the Federal Register.

    § 800.37 Contents of written comments.

    All written comments shall be in English. Unless otherwise specified in a notice requesting comments, comments may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15-page limit. Any commenter shall submit as a part of his or her written comments all material he or she considers relevant to any statement of fact made in the comment. Commenters should avoid incorporation by reference. However, if incorporation by reference is necessary, the incorporated material shall be identified with respect to document and page. The NTSB may reject comments if they are frivolous, abusive, or repetitious. The NTSB may also reject comments filed electronically if the commenter does not adhere to the electronic filing instructions at the Federal Docket Management System Web site.

    § 800.38 Consideration of comments received.

    All timely comments are considered before final action is taken on a rulemaking proposal. Late filed comments may be considered to the extent practicable.

    § 800.39 Additional rulemaking proceedings.

    The NTSB may initiate any further rulemaking proceedings it finds necessary or desirable. For example, interested persons may be invited to make oral arguments, to participate in conferences between the Board or a representative of the Board and interested persons at which minutes of the conference are kept, to appear at informal hearings presided over by officials designated by the Board, at which a transcript or minutes are kept, or participate in any other proceeding to assure informed administrative action and to protect the public interest.

    § 800.40 Hearings.

    (a) Sections 556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code, do not apply to hearings held under this part. Unless otherwise specified, hearings held under this part are informal, fact-finding proceedings, at which there are no formal pleadings or adverse parties. Any rule issued in a case in which an informal hearing is held is not necessarily based exclusively on the record of the hearing.

    (b) The NTSB designates a representative to conduct any hearing held under this part. The General Counsel or a designated member of his or her staff may serve as legal officer at the hearing.

    § 800.41 Adoption of final rules.

    Final rules are prepared by representatives of the office concerned and the Office of the General Counsel. The rule is then submitted to the Board for its consideration. If the Board adopts the rule, it is published in the Federal Register unless all persons subject to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

    § 800.42 Petitions for rulemaking.

    (a) Any interested person may petition the Chairman to establish, amend, or repeal a rule.

    (b) Each petition filed under this section must:

    (1) Be submitted in duplicate to the Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-0003;

    (2) Set forth the text or substance of the rule or amendment proposed, or specify the rule the petitioner seeks to have repealed, as the case may be;

    (3) Explain the interest of the petitioner in the action requested; and

    (4) Contain any information and arguments available to the petitioner to support the action sought.

    § 800.43 Processing of petition.

    (a) Unless the NTSB otherwise specifies, no public hearing, argument, or other proceeding is held directly on a petition before its disposition under this section.

    (b) Grants. If the agency determines the petition contains adequate justification, it initiates rule making action this subpart.

    (c) Denials. If the agency determines the petition does not justify rulemaking, it denies the petition.

    (d) Notification. Whenever the agency determines a petition should be granted or denied, the Office of the General Counsel prepares a notice of the grant or denial for issuance to the petitioner, and the agency issues it to the petitioner.

    § 800.44 Direct final rulemaking procedures.

    A direct final rule makes regulatory changes and states those changes will take effect on a specified date unless the NTSB receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule published in the Federal Register.

    (a) Types of actions appropriate for direct final rulemaking. Rules the Board determines to be non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse public comments may be published in the final rule section of the Federal Register as direct final rules. These include non-controversial rules that:

    (1) Make non-substantive clarifications or corrections to existing rules;

    (2) Incorporate by reference the latest or otherwise updated versions of technical or industry standards;

    (3) Affect internal NTSB procedures;

    (4) Update existing forms; and

    (5) Make minor changes to rules regarding statistics and reporting requirements, such as a change in reporting period (for example, from quarterly to annually) or eliminating a type of data collection no longer necessary.

    (b) Adverse comment. An adverse comment is a comment the NTSB judges to be critical of the rule, to suggest the rule should not be adopted, or to suggest a change should be made to the rule. Under the direct final rule process, the NTSB does not consider the following types of comments to be adverse:

    (1) Comments recommending another rule change, unless the commenter states the direct final rule will be ineffective without the change;

    (2) Comments outside the scope of the rule and comments suggesting the rule's policy or requirements should or should not be extended to other topics outside the scope of the rule;

    (3) Comments in support of the rule; or

    (4) Comments requesting clarification.

    (c) Confirmation of effective date. The NTSB will publish a confirmation rule document in the Federal Register if it has not received an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule. The confirmation rule document informs the public of the effective date of the rule.

    (d) Withdrawal of a direct final rule. (1) If the NTSB receives an adverse comment or a notice of intent to file an adverse comment within the comment period, it will publish a rule document in the Federal Register, before the effective date of the direct final rule, advising the public and withdrawing the direct final rule.

    (2) If the NTSB withdraws a direct final rule because of an adverse comment, the NTSB may issue a notice of proposed rulemaking if it decides to pursue the rulemaking.

    § 800.45 Interim rulemaking procedures.

    (a) An interim rule may be issued when it is in the public interest to promulgate an effective rule while keeping the rulemaking open for further refinement. For example, an interim rule may be issued in instances when normal procedures for notice and comment prior to issuing an effective rule are not required, minor changes to the final rule may be necessary after the interim rule has been in place for some time, or the interim rule only implements portions of a proposed rule, while other portions of the proposed rule are still under development.

    (b) An interim rule will be published in the Federal Register with an effective date on or after the date of publication. After the effective date, an interim rule is enforceable and is codified in the next annual revision of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Christopher A. Hart, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2015-23608 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533-01-P
    80 184 Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No.FAA-2015-3880; Notice No. 23-15-05-SC] Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company (Honda) Model HA-420, HondaJet; Cruise Speed Control System AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for the Honda Aircraft Company HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with the use of a cruise speed control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-3880 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery of Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Pretz, Federal Aviation Administration, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone (816) 329-3239; facsimile (816) 329-4090.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type certificate for their new Model HA-420. On October 10, 2013, Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type certification basis to amendment 23-62.

    The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan engines.

    The HA-420 airplane will use a cruise speed control system (CSC), which is part of the automatic flight control system (AFCS), to reduce pilot workload during cruise flight only. The intended function is automatic airplane speed control during altitude hold AFCS mode by adjustment of the engine thrust within a narrow authority band utilizing the existing engine synchronization control. The CSC system does not back drive the throttles. The command authority is limited to values used for engine synchronization and can only be engaged when the throttle is positioned in a pre-determined range typically used for cruise power. This significantly reduces the CSC authority such that failure modes of the system should be minor. The proposed CSC system functions in a manner similar to an auto-throttle system, but has significantly less authority when compared to a traditional auto-throttle system.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must show that the HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by amendments 23-1 through 23-62, thereto.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the HA-420 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the HA-420 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. In addition, the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy pursuant to section 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Cruise Speed Control system.

    Discussion

    As defined in the summary section, this airplane makes use of a CSC system, which is a novel design for this type of airplane. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. Mandating additional requirements, developed in part by adapting relevant portions of 14 CFR 25.1329, Automatic pilot systems, applicable to auto-throttle systems along with FAA experience with similar autothrust systems, mitigates the concerns associated with installation of the proposed CSC system.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the HA-420. Should Honda Aircraft Company apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model HA-420 airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

    The Proposed Special Conditions

    Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Honda Aircraft Company HA-420 airplanes.

    1. Cruise Speed Control

    In addition to the requirements of §§ 23.143, Controllability and Maneuverability—General; 23.1309, Equipment, systems, and installations; and 23.1329, Automatic pilot system; auto throttle systems of limited authority that do not back drive the throttles and for which all failure modes are shown to be no greater than minor, the following requirements apply:

    (a) Quick disengagement controls for the autothrust functions must be provided for each pilot. Quick disengagement controls must be readily accessible to each pilot while operating the thrust control levers.

    (b) The effects of a failure of the system to disengage the autothrust functions when manually commanded by the pilot must be assessed in accordance with the requirements of § 23.1309.

    (c) Engagement or switching of the flight guidance system, a mode, or a sensor may not cause the autothrust system to effect a transient response that alters the airplane's flight path any greater than a minor transient, as defined in paragraph (l)(1) of this section.

    (d) Under normal conditions, the disengagement of any automatic control function of a flight guidance system may not cause a transient response of the airplane's flight path any greater than a minor transient.

    (e) Under rare normal and non-normal conditions, disengagement of any automatic control function of a flight guidance system may not result in a transient any greater than a significant transient, as defined in paragraph (l)(2) of this section.

    (f) The function and direction of motion of each command reference control (such as CSC) must be plainly indicated on, or adjacent to, each control, if necessary to prevent inappropriate use or confusion.

    (g) Under any condition of flight appropriate to its use, the flight guidance system may not produce hazardous loads on the airplane, nor create hazardous deviations in the flight path. This applies to both fault-free operation and in the event of a malfunction, and assumes that the pilot begins corrective action within a reasonable period of time.

    (h) When the flight guidance system is in use, a means must be provided to avoid excursions beyond an acceptable margin from the speed range of the normal flight envelope. If the airplane experiences an excursion outside this range, a means must be provided to prevent the flight guidance system from providing guidance or control to an unsafe speed.

    (i) The flight guidance system functions, controls, indications, and alerts must be designed to minimize flightcrew errors and confusion concerning the behavior and operation of the flight guidance system. Means must be provided to indicate the current mode of operation, including any armed modes, transitions, and reversions. Selector switch position is not an acceptable means of indication. The controls and indications must be grouped and presented in a logical and consistent manner. The indications must be visible to each pilot under all expected lighting conditions.

    (j) Following disengagement of the autothrust function, a caution (visual and, unless there are no misleading or hazardous consequences associated with its absence, auditory) must be provided to each pilot.

    (k) During autothrust operation, it must be possible for the flightcrew to move the thrust levers without requiring excessive force. The autothrust may not create a potential hazard when the flightcrew applies an override force to the thrust levers.

    (l) For purposes of this section, a transient is a disturbance in the control or flight path of the airplane that is not consistent with response to flightcrew inputs or environmental conditions.

    (1) A minor transient would not significantly reduce safety margins and would involve flightcrew actions that are well within their capabilities. A minor transient may involve a slight increase in flightcrew workload or some physical discomfort to passengers or cabin crew.

    (2) A significant transient may lead to a significant reduction in safety margins, an increase in flightcrew workload, discomfort to the flightcrew, or physical distress to the passengers or cabin crew, possibly including non-fatal injuries. Significant transients do not require, in order to remain within or recover to the normal flight envelope, any of the following:

    (i) Exceptional piloting skill, alertness, or strength.

    (ii) Forces applied by the pilot which are greater than those specified in § 23.143(c).

    (iii) Accelerations or attitudes in the airplane that might result in further hazard to secured or non-secured occupants.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 14, 2015. Mel Johnson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24161 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 [Docket No. 150527481-5834-01] RIN 0648-XD971 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Threatened Status for Island Grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) and Endangered Status for Gulf Grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; 12-month findings; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce 12-month findings and listing determinations on a petition to list the gulf grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) and the island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have completed comprehensive status reviews for these two marine fish species in response to a petition submitted by WildEarth Guardians. After reviewing the best scientific and commercial data available, we have determined that the gulf grouper is currently in danger of extinction throughout its range and, therefore, meets the definition of an endangered species. After reviewing the best scientific and commercial data available, we have also determined that the island grouper is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but is likely to become so within the foreseeable future. Therefore, we conclude that the island grouper meets the definition of a threatened species. We are soliciting information that may be relevant to inform the final determinations for these two species.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received by November 23, 2015. Public hearing requests must be made by November 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by the code NOAA-NMFS-2015-0071, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0071. Click the “Comment Now” icon, complete the required fields. Enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to, Ron Salz, NMFS Office of Protected Resources (F/PR3), 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    You can obtain the petition, status review reports, proposed rule, and list of references electronically on our NMFS Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/petition81.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronald Salz, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources (OPR), (301) 427-8171 or Marta Nammack, NMFS, OPR, (301) 427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 15, 2013, we received a petition from WildEarth Guardians to list 81 marine species or subpopulations as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This petition included species from many different taxonomic groups, and we prepared our 90-day findings in batches by taxonomic group. We found that the petitioned actions may be warranted for 24 of the species and 3 of the subpopulations and announced the initiation of status reviews for each of the 24 species and 3 subpopulations (78 FR 63941, October 25, 2013; 78 FR 66675, November 6, 2013; 78 FR 69376, November 19, 2013; 79 FR 9880, February 21, 2014; and 79 FR 10104, February 24, 2014). This document addresses the 12-month findings for two of these species: Gulf grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) and island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca). The status of the findings and relevant Federal Register notices for the other 21 species and 3 subpopulations can be found on our Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/petition81.htm.

    We are responsible for determining whether species are threatened or endangered under the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). To make this determination, we consider first whether a group of organisms constitutes a “species” under the ESA, then whether the status of the species qualifies it for listing as either threatened or endangered. Section 3 of the ESA defines a “species” to include “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” On February 7, 1996, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS; together, the Services) adopted a policy describing what constitutes a distinct population segment (DPS) of a taxonomic species (the DPS Policy; 61 FR 4722). The DPS Policy identified two elements that must be considered when identifying a DPS: (1) The discreteness of the population segment in relation to the remainder of the species (or subspecies) to which it belongs; and (2) the significance of the population segment to the remainder of the species (or subspecies) to which it belongs. As stated in the DPS Policy, Congress expressed its expectation that the Services would exercise authority with regard to DPSs sparingly and only when the biological evidence indicates such action is warranted. Based on the scientific information available, we determined that the gulf grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) and the island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) are both “species” under the ESA. There is nothing in the scientific literature indicating that either of these species should be further divided into subspecies or DPSs.

    Section 3 of the ESA defines an endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as one “which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” We interpret an “endangered species” to be one that is presently in danger of extinction. A “threatened species,” on the other hand, is not presently in danger of extinction, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future (that is, at a later time). In other words, the primary statutory difference between a threatened and endangered species is the timing of when a species may be in danger of extinction, either presently (endangered) or in the foreseeable future (threatened).

    When we consider whether a species might qualify as threatened under the ESA, we must consider the meaning of the term “foreseeable future.” It is appropriate to interpret “foreseeable future” as the horizon over which predictions about the conservation status of the species can be reasonably relied upon. The foreseeable future considers the life history of the species, habitat characteristics, availability of data, particular threats, ability to predict threats, and the reliability to forecast the effects of these threats and future events on the status of the species under consideration. Because a species may be susceptible to a variety of threats for which different data are available, or which operate across different time scales, the foreseeable future is not necessarily reducible to a particular number of years.

    Section 4(a)(1) of the ESA requires us to determine whether any species is endangered or threatened due to any one or a combination of the following five threat factors: The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; disease or predation; the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We are also required to make listing determinations based solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, after conducting a review of the species' status and after taking into account efforts being made by any state or foreign nation to protect the species.

    In assessing extinction risk of these two species, we considered the demographic viability factors developed by McElhany et al. (2000) and the risk matrix approach developed by Wainwright and Kope (1999) to organize and summarize extinction risk considerations. The approach of considering demographic risk factors to help frame the consideration of extinction risk has been used in many of our status reviews (see http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species for links to these reviews). In this approach, the collective condition of individual populations is considered at the species level according to four demographic viability factors: Abundance, growth rate/productivity, spatial structure/connectivity, and diversity. These viability factors reflect concepts that are well-founded in conservation biology and that individually and collectively provide strong indicators of extinction risk.

    Scientific conclusions about the overall risk of extinction faced by the gulf grouper and the island grouper under present conditions and in the foreseeable future are based on our evaluation of the species' demographic risks and section 4(a)(1) threat factors. Our assessment of overall extinction risk considered the likelihood and contribution of each particular factor, synergies among contributing factors, and the cumulative impact of all demographic risks and threats on the species.

    We then assess efforts being made to protect the species, to determine if these conservation efforts are adequate to mitigate the existing threats. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the ESA requires the Secretary, when making a listing determination for a species, to take into consideration those efforts, if any, being made by any State or foreign nation, or any political subdivision of a State or foreign nation, to protect the species.

    Status reviews for the gulf grouper and the island grouper were conducted by NMFS OPR staff and an in-house contractor. In order to complete the status reviews, we compiled the best available information on the species' biology, ecology, life history, threats, and conservation status from information contained in the petition, our files, a comprehensive literature search, and consultation with experts. We also considered information submitted by the public in response to our petition findings. Draft status review reports were also submitted to independent peer reviewers; comments and information received from peer reviewers were addressed and incorporated as appropriate before finalizing the draft reports. The gulf grouper and island grouper status review reports are available on our Web site (see ADDRESSES section). Below we summarize information from these reports and the status of each species.

    Status Reviews Gulf Grouper

    The following section describes our analysis of the status of the gulf grouper, Mycteroperca jordani.

    Species Description

    The gulf grouper (Jenkins and Evermann 1889) is a large, heavy-bodied grouper with rounded preopercle and moderate sized scales (Smith 1971). They have a comparatively elongated and compressed body shape with body depth much less than their head length (Jenkins and Evermann 1889, Heemstra and Randall 1993). The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 16 to 17 rays, with the posterior margin rounded (Heemstra and Randall 1993). The anal fin has 3 spines and 10 to 11 rays; and the gill rakers range from 21 to 26, not counting rudiments (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Juvenile gulf grouper are greyish-brown with large, dark grey oblong blotches on the dorsal part of the body and fins (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Female adults are generally dark brown to grey, but they can assume a juvenile pattern when disturbed or excited. Larger adult males develop a white margin along the pectoral fin, with the medial fin developing a narrow white edge (Heemstra and Randall 1993). In spawning aggregations, breeding individuals exhibit conspicuous dark lines radiating from the eye (Sala et al. 2003). Gulf grouper can grow up to 150 cm (in total length), 91 kg (in weight), and 48 years (Heemstra and Randall 1993, Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). Gulf grouper are considered voracious, solitary predators, though little is known about their diet or feeding behavior.

    Reproductive Biology and Spawning Behavior

    Gulf grouper are a protogynous hermaphroditic fish, meaning they mature as females and, later in life, transition into males. Gulf grouper mature as females at an estimated six to seven years of age (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). Gulf grouper are believed to transition from female to male based upon their size (size-advantage model) (Bhandari et al. 2006, Zhou and Gui 2010). The size-advantage model theorizes that if it is advantageous for one sex to reproduce at a small size and the other sex to reproduce at a larger size, then the individual should change sex at some point in life (Ghiselin 1969, Bhandari et al. 2006). Larger female grouper produce substantially more and higher quality eggs than smaller females. Although not studied directly in gulf grouper, an eight-year-old female Mycteroperca produces approximately 60 times the number of eggs that a five-year-old female produces (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). For males, larger size is advantageous when competing with other males for reproduction opportunities with females at spawning aggregation sites (Domeier and Colin 1997).

    Gulf grouper are transient aggregate spawners. Domeier and Colin (1997) defined spawning aggregations as “a group of conspecific fish gathered for the purpose of spawning, with fish densities or numbers significantly higher than those found in the area of aggregation during the non-reproductive periods.” Spawning aggregations are further categorized as either “resident” or “transient” depending upon aggregation criteria. Transient spawning aggregations typically (1) draw individuals from a relatively large area (individuals travel days to weeks to gather), (2) occur during a very specific time of year (one or two months), (3) persist for only a few-day period, and (4) do not occur year-round (Domeier and Colin 1997). Transient aggregate species are often large sized predators that are not known to spawn outside of aggregations (Domeier and Colin 1997).

    The location and timing of gulf grouper spawning aggregations may depend upon tidal influences on egg or larvae distribution (Domeier and Colin 1997, Cherubin et al. 2011). All known spawning aggregation sites for gulf grouper, current and historical, are found in the Gulf of California (GOC) (Sala et al. 2004, Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a, Moreno-Baez 2010). The GOC, with its length and combinations of basins, islands, and sills, has large tides (up to 4 m) and fast tidal currents (up to 1.5 m/sec) which peak during the full moon (Filonov and Lavín 2003). Gulf grouper are found on predictable spawning aggregation locations before and during the full moon in May (Sala et al. 2004). Their spawning aggregation sites consist of rocky reef (gorgonians and black coral) seamounts with abrupt relief habitat at 20 to 35 m depths. Adult gulf grouper form spawning aggregations of 40 or more individuals in areas larger than 1,000 m2 (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). Based upon three observed spawning aggregations, gulf grouper spawning aggregation density was estimated at 220 fish/ha with fish sizes ranging from 100 to 150 cm total length (Sala et al. 2003). Along the Pacific coast, spawning aggregation sites for gulf groupers are an unknown, though the size of the historical gulf grouper fisheries suggests that spawning aggregation sites may have been present.

    Population Structure, Distribution, Abundance and Habitat

    The gulf grouper resides in the subtropical eastern Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California from 32.84° N. (La Jolla, California, United States) to 23.22° N. (Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico) (Heemstra and Randall 1993). The overall range distribution for gulf grouper is considered restricted, defined as less than 800,000 km2 (Morris et al. 2000). Gulf grouper habitat requirements vary throughout life. Groupers in general pass through a pelagic larvae phase (20-50 days) during which they settle into rocky, coastal reefs (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). After this phase, they acquire juvenile characteristics while they settle into shallow, coastal habitats (e.g. Sargassum beds, seagrass areas, mangroves, and estuaries); this nursery stage can last up to two years. Adult gulf grouper predominately use rocky reefs and kelp beds of depths from five to 30 meters (Heemstra and Randall 1993) and deeper (30 to 45 m) during the summer (Moreno-Baéz 2010). During the spawning season, gulf grouper will aggregate in rocky reefs in depths from 20 to 35 m (Sala et al. 2003).

    Historical and current gulf grouper population abundance is unknown. Estimated trends in gulf grouper abundance are based primarily on limited fisheries catch data and anecdotal reports. The available information indicates that gulf grouper were once a dominant species in rocky-reef fish communities in terms of biomass, before stocks collapsed in the early 1970s (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). In the 1930s, California fishermen reported gulf grouper as being abundant in Mexican waters between Bahía Tortugas and Bahía Magdalena, and this species represented an important component of the commercial fishery south of the U.S.-Mexico border (Croaker 1937, Fitch 1949). Combined landings of gulf grouper and broomtail grouper for the California commercial fishery peaked in the early 1950s at 376 metric tons (mt), declined to around 100-150 mt between the late 1950s until the late 1960s, after which the grouper fishery completely crashed to near zero landings by 1970 (California Department of Fish and Wildlife—http://libraries.ucsd.edu/apps/ceo/fishbull/). In 1976, the California Department of Fish and Game adopted no-take prohibitions for broomtail grouper and gulf grouper that are still in effect today.

    In the GOC, gulf grouper accounted for a significant proportion of the commercial landings weight in the mid-20th century. In 1960, gulf grouper represented approximately 45 percent of the artisanal fishery in the GOC (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). Based on anecdotal accounts, boats from El Club de Vuelos sport fishing resort in Loreto (Mexico) landed an estimated 63 mt of gulf grouper during a 2-month period in 1962 (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). By comparison, only an estimated 58 mt of gulf grouper were harvested from 2006 through 2012 throughout the species' entire range. The El Club de Vuelos boats fished at the Punta Lobos and San Bruno seamounts, both probable spawning aggregation sites at that time. There are also anecdotal reports from the 1940s and 1950s of fishermen using dynamite to capture large numbers of gulf grouper at the San Bruno seamount (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). Sáenz-Arroyo et al. (2005a) conducted over 30 dives from 2001 through 2004 during the gulf grouper spawning season at sites that were recommended by the original fishermen from El Club de Vuelos. During these dives, only three gulf grouper were observed, all at the Punta Lobos seamount. In 2002 and 2003, a biologist fished the San Bruno seamount during the spawning aggregation season and was only able to capture one gulf grouper (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). Since official Mexican fishery landings data at the species level are only available since 2007, these data fail to encapsulate the major decline in GOC gulf grouper abundance, which likely started in the mid-20th century.

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Gulf Grouper

    Available information regarding current, historical, and potential future threats to the gulf grouper was thoroughly reviewed (Dennis 2015). We summarize information regarding threats below according to three (out of five) factors specified in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA: “Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of its Habitat or Range”; “Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes”; and “Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms.” We found very little information regarding potential threats that fall into the section 4(a)(1) categories of either “Disease and Predation” or “Other Natural or Manmade Factors.” These subjects are data poor, but there are no serious or known concerns raised under these threat categories with respect to gulf grouper extinction risk; therefore, we do not discuss these categories further here. See Dennis (2015) for additional discussion of all ESA section 4(a)(1) threat categories.

    Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth and development has resulted in the loss and degradation of coastal habitats throughout the gulf grouper's range. Continued loss or degradation of these habitats represents a potential threat to the species. The terrestrial habitat surrounding the GOC is mostly arid to semi-arid with rivers feeding the estuaries and marine waters with sediments and fresh water. Originating in these dry environments, the rivers and estuaries are of limited supply and great importance. There are ten major rivers that provide freshwater, sediment, and nutrient inputs to the GOC. These rivers have been extensively dammed, exploited for agricultural uses, and polluted from agricultural and urban runoff. As a result, the coastal habitats bordering the GOC have been reduced and degraded, while nearshore salinities, which ecosystems have evolved for, have changed. The Río Colorado is the largest watershed flowing into the GOC, representing over two-thirds of the GOC's watershed acreage. Historically, 16.4 million acre-feet of water flowed annually into the GOC from the Río Colorado (Goodfriend and Flessa 1997, Bureau of Reclamation 2012). Today the river rarely flows to the GOC due to the cumulative effects of two large dam projects (Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam) and major water diversions. Increased anthropogenic nitrogen from sewage, agricultural, and shrimp farming sources are directly utilized by macroalgae, creating more frequent blooms and corresponding anoxia throughout coastal habitats in the GOC (Piñón-Gimate et al. 2009). Juvenile gulf grouper reside in these coastal habitats (such as Sargassum and seagrass beds, mangroves, and other kinds of estuary habitats) during the first few years of life, and are susceptible to these environmental changes (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008).

    Shrimp aquaculture began in the GOC in the early 1980s. The production of cultivated shrimp in the GOC has increased tremendously over the past 30 years: 35 mt in 1985; 15,867 mt in 1995; 33,480 mt in 2000; and 125,609 mt in 2009 (Gillett 2008, SEPESCA-BC Web page http://www.sepescabc.gob.mx/x/estadisticas/). Shrimp farms can negatively impact gulf grouper through direct loss of habitat and through habitat degradation. The conversion of natural saltmarshes and mangrove forests into shrimp farms can result in the direct loss of nursery areas for juvenile gulf grouper (Páez-Osuna 2001). In the northern GOC, an estimated 95 percent of mangrove forests are impacted by shrimp farms (Glenn et al. 2006). GOC shrimp ponds stock between 60,000 to 200,000 shrimp per hectare, and require a daily water exchange of three to six percent (Páez-Osuna et al. 1998, Páez-Osuna et al. 2003). During water exchanges, organic matter from unconsumed shrimp food, detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria is flushed into the GOC through discharge channels (Barraza-Guardado et al. 2013). Shrimp farm effluents contribute 10.2 percent of the nitrogen and 3.3 percent of the phosphorus inputs into the GOC (Miranda et al. 2009). Adding these organic materials into the marine habitat, which is already receiving effluents from other anthropogenic sources, deteriorates water quality through oxygen depletion, light reduction, increased salinity, increased chlorophyll and bacteria levels, and changes in benthic macrofauna, resulting in possible eutrophication (Páez-Osuna 2001, Barraza-Guardado et al. 2013). For example, the Altata-Ensenada del Pabellón lagoon receives effluent from shrimp farms, intensive agriculture (i.e., sugar cane), and sewage from local cities, leading to phytoplankton blooms, anoxia, and fish kill events (Páez-Osuna 1999). The combined effects of shrimp farm effluents (and other sources of anthropogenic nutrient loading) with climate change may result in an increased incidence of hypoxia due to enhanced ocean stratification, decreased oxygen solubility, increased metabolism, and increased production of organic matter (Rabalais et al. 2009). Shrimp farm effluents also typically contain antibiotics which are used in large quantities to preemptively treat bacterial diseases (Kautsky et al. 2000).

    Effluents from agricultural areas and aquaculture facilities also contribute to harmful algal blooms in the GOC. Red tides, which are produced by a planktonic dinoflagellate (Prorocentrum minimum), were first reported in the GOC in 1990. Between 1990 and 2003, 13 red tide events occurred, with six occurring in shrimp ponds and seven occurring near aquaculture and agricultural areas (Sierra-Beltrán et al. 2005). Most recently, a red tide occurred in January 2015 near San Felipe, Baja California that resulted in fish, bird, and marine mammal mortalities.

    GOC reefs are predominantly rocky, with a coral component in the south, which shifts to kelp (brown algae) in the north (Squires 1959). Reef habitats support a wide diversity and high density of marine life, including gulf grouper, and are particularly sensitive to anthropogenic threats. Both direct (e.g., fishing with dynamite, dredging) and indirect (e.g., anthropogenic nutrients, climate change) activities have had a detrimental impact on the reefs within the gulf grouper's range. In the past, dynamite was often used for fishing on reefs, which has resulted in permanent damage to gulf grouper spawning habitat (Lozano-Montes et al. 2008). Development of the GOC region has resulted in more dredging activities (Zamora-Arroyo et al. 2005) and increased nutrient loading into the marine ecosystem, resulting in algal growth and hypoxic waters that can degrade and kill coral (Kline et al. 2006). The effects of climate change can lead to coral loss and degradation through bleaching and mortality events from elevated ocean temperatures, loss of structural integrity, and ocean acidification. During the 1997-1998 El Niño event, sea surface temperature anomalies of greater than 1.5 °C occurred from July 1997 through January 1998. Coral bleaching was extensive throughout the southern GOC: Over 30 percent of live coral cover was bleached, of which, nearly 70 percent died within a few months (Bonilla 2001). Though the 1997-1998 coral bleaching event was related to El Niño, similar impacts may be expected in the future due to increasing ocean temperatures associated with climate change.

    The impact of anthropogenic activities on GOC marine habitats will likely increase in the future based on projected human population growth and development in this region. Population growth in the GOC region is expected to continue at a high rate with approximately 150,000 new residents per year (Source: http://www.conapo.gob.mx/es/CONAPO/Proyecciones_Datos). The Mexican federal government has placed a major emphasis on tourism and trade development throughout the GOC. Beginning in 2008, the first paved highway along the Sonoran GOC coast was constructed from Puerto Peñasco to Mexicali (population 689,775) (Wilder et al. 2012b). In Puerto Peñasco, the construction of a new marina with associated breakwaters and facilities for cruise liners has started and is expected to be completed in 2015. With improved accessibility by land and sea, Puerto Peñasco is currently undergoing a construction boom, with two major resorts adding over 100,000 rooms via hotels and condominiums along with golf courses and 22 small-scale desalination plants (Wilder et al. 2012b). Two hundred kilometers south in Puerto Libertad, the Liberty Cove resort has been approved for 60,000 dwellings, golf courses, a race track, and a marina. Another project, the Escalera Náutica del Mar de Cortés y Riviera Maya, will construct 29 new marinas throughout the GOC with facilities to accommodate cruise ships and 60,000 boats annually (Wilder et al. 2012b). Another purpose of the improved ports is to increase trade. For example, after dredging its harbor in 2013, the Port of Guaymas became the second largest Mexican port and is capable of handling vessels up to 130,000 tons, while increasing its port capacity from 8 to 30 million tons of cargo.

    Increased development and infrastructure will result in increased energy and water needs. To meet these needs there are plans to greatly expand tidal power and desalination plant capacity in the region. The GOC is considered one of the best tidal power locations in the world due to its large tides and proximity to urban areas. Two GOC tidal power site locations have been identified and are in the early stages of planning: Bahía de Adair and Canal del Infiernillo. Environmental impacts from tidal power include habitat loss, increased turbidity, mobilization of contaminants, and changes in the morphodynamics of the seabed (Gill 2005, Neill et al. 2009). Plans for expanding tourism in the GOC often include construction of desalination plants (Wilder et al. 2012b). Desalination plants impact the environment by both their very substantial power requirements and the wastewater discharges, which include brine plumes (at twice the salinity of marine waters), antiscalents, coagulants, heavy metals, and membrane preservatives that get released into the marine environment (Roberts et al. 2010). Marine organisms can also get trapped in desalination intake systems (Wilder et al. 2012a). All of this increased development in and around the GOC is anticipated to have negative effects on the GOC environment as a whole, and thus, on gulf grouper habitat within that environment.

    Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    Gulf grouper are a highly prized commercial and recreational fish species due to their large size and palatability. Gulf grouper also exhibit the following life history traits and behavioral characteristics that increase the species' vulnerability to fishery overutilization: Slow growth, late maturation, large size, protogynous hermaphroditism, long life-span, and the formation of transient spawning aggregations (Sadovy 1994). In protogynous hermaphrodites, the largest individuals are, in order, terminal males, individuals undergoing sexual transition, and the largest, most fecund females who are next in line for sexual transition. Since fishers selectively harvest the largest individuals, these groups are removed at a high rate, leading to decreased productivity of a population. In one study of the artisanal fishery of Bahía de Los Angeles, nearly 99 percent of gulf grouper landed from 2002-2003 were immature fish (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). These data suggest that large, mature gulf grouper have been mostly removed from the population.

    Spawning aggregations sites are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they occur at predictable places and times and they contain fish at a much higher than normal density (Domeier and Colin 1997). Many fishermen base their fishing activities upon the movement patterns of target species, and knowledge of spawning aggregation sites is highly advantageous (Sadovy et al. 1994, Moreno-Báez et al. 2012). Gulf grouper spawning aggregation sites within the GOC (e.g. Punta Lobos and San Bruno seamounts) have disappeared after periods of heavy exploitation (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). The reduction or complete loss of additional spawning aggregations due to overfishing represents a continued threat to the gulf grouper.

    Commercial landings of gulf grouper from the Pacific Ocean (U.S. vessels fishing in Mexican waters) peaked in the early 1950s, followed by a population decline to near commercial extinction by 1970. In 1976, California declared the gulf grouper a prohibited species. Based on recent fishery independent surveys and fisheries data, the gulf grouper is still considered a very rare occurrence in the Pacific Ocean.

    Time series fisheries catch and effort data available for gulf grouper in the GOC are sparse. Official Mexican fisheries statistics did not include artisanal landings until 1988 (only commercial were included prior to that date), and species level information specific to gulf grouper are only available since 2007. Currently, gulf grouper represent less than one percent of the artisanal fishery in the GOC. However, recent gulf grouper landings can be misinterpreted, leading one to incorrectly conclude that the gulf grouper is a naturally rare species. Anecdotal information based on Local Fishermen Knowledge (LFK) indicates that gulf grouper were once abundant in the GOC and represented approximately 45 percent of the artisanal fishery landings weight in 1960 (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). Studies of LFK in the GOC indicate sharp declines in gulf grouper abundance over the past 50 years (Sala et al. 2004, Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a and 2005b, Lozano-Montes et al. 2008, and Moreno-Báez et al. 2010 and 2012). Sáenz-Arroyo et al. (2005a and 2005b) interviewed 108 fishermen from 11 fishing communities in the central GOC. Fishermen were asked to recall their best day's catch of gulf grouper, heaviest fish caught, and years of these catches. For best day's catch, catches decreased significantly over time: 25 fish daily in the 1940s and 1950s; 10-12 fish daily in the 1960s; and 1-2 fish daily in the 1990s. For heaviest gulf grouper caught, weight per fish decreased significantly from ≥ 80 kg from the 1940s through the 1960s to 60 kg by 2000. Among age groups, 96 percent of the oldest (≥ 55 years old) and 90 percent of the middle-aged (31-54 years old) fishermen had captured gulf grouper, while only 45 percent of the young fishermen (15-30 years old) had. When asked whether or not they considered the gulf grouper depleted, 85 percent of the oldest considered them depleted, compared to 56 percent of the middle-aged, and 10 percent of the young fishermen (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a and 2005b). Sala et al. (2004) interviewed 63 fishermen (ages 25 to 67) from four fishing villages along the southern GOC. They found that the relative importance of gulf grouper as a target species and the maximum size of gulf grouper caught both declined markedly from the 1970s to 2000.

    Gulf grouper are highly prized by recreational anglers, although data from this fishery sector are sparse and the impact of recreational fishing on this species is largely unknown. Based on anecdotal information, recreational anglers caught large numbers of gulf grouper in the 1950s and 1960s and likely targeted known spawning aggregation sites in the GOC (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). During a two-month period in 1962, anglers from El Club de Vuelos sport fishing resort harvested an estimated 63 mt of gulf grouper (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). More recently, Cudney-Bueno et al. (2009) reported finding a large sport fishing derby targeting gulf grouper in 2004 within the no-take zone of the Reserva de la Biosfera Isla San Pedro Martír.

    In addition to overutilization by direct harvest, gulf grouper are indirectly harvested as bycatch in commercial shrimp trawls (Ramírez et al. 2012) and illegal totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) fisheries (Moreno-Báez et al. 2012). In 2012, commercial shrimp trawlers harvested 42,310 mt of shrimp in the GOC. Mexican shrimp fisheries are not required to use bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), and recent studies estimated the bycatch ratio (bycatch: shrimp) at 6.1:1 (85.9 percent bycatch rate; 2003-2009) in the central GOC (Meltzer 2012) and 10.2:1 (91.1 percent bycatch rate; 1992-2004) in the southern GOC (Madrid-Vera et al. 2007). The totoaba, currently ESA-listed as endangered, are currently harvested via gill nets in the northern GOC for their swim bladders, which garner $8,500 per kg (CIRVA 2014). Although it is unknown whether or not this totoaba fishery is also harvesting gulf grouper, this fishery is currently using the same fishing ports (i.e., San Felipe, Golfo de Santa Clara, and Puerto Peñasco) and harvest methods (i.e., gill nets) being used to capture gulf grouper (Moreno-Báez et al. 2012). Estimates of bycatch specific to gulf grouper in the GOC shrimp trawl fishery and the illegal totoaba fishery are not available.

    Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    In Mexico, the Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca (CONAPESCA) has the authority to implement fishing regulations (http://www.conapescasandiego.org/contenido.cfm?cont=regulations), which are enforced by the Mexican Navy. Traditional fisheries regulations aimed at controlling catch and effort of gulf grouper in Mexican waters are scarce. Commercial fishing permits are only available to Mexican nationals and require a concession (either a cooperative or private business). Commercial permits are awarded per vessel for two to five year durations and specify species (or species group) targeted, fishing area, and fishing method or gears. Recreational fishing is allowed by national or foreign individuals through a single, non-renewable, non-transferrable permit. In ocean waters and estuaries, a retention limit of ten fish is allowed per angler per day, of which only two can be gulf grouper. Rubber-band, spring, or pneumatic harpoons are allowed during recreational skin diving.

    Several marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established in Mexico within the gulf grouper's range. MPAs cover nearly one fifth of the GOC's surface area, including 101,838 hectares designated as “no-take” areas (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011). Despite the establishment of multiple MPAs throughout the GOC over the past few decades, overall protection of fisheries resources is still inadequate for the recovery of overexploited stocks. The lack of management plans, effective regulations, and necessary resources to operationalize and enforce MPAs in the GOC significantly undermines their conservation benefits (Cudney-Bueno et al. 2009, Rife et al. 2013, Cinti et al. 2014). The large majority of the areas covered by GOC MPAs are still actively fished year-round with little or no regulations limiting harvest (Rodríguez-Quiroz et al. 2010, Moreno-Báez et al. 2012). The lack of adequate enforcement is a chronic and pervasive problem for several MPAs within the GOC. For example, one study of the Reserva de la Biosfera Isla San Pedro Martír, conducted from 2003 through 2008, found that 39 percent of the time sport and commercial fishermen were fishing in the 900 hectare core no-take zone, including a large sport fishing derby targeting gulf grouper in 2004 (Cudney-Bueno et al. 2009).

    With the exception of the Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo, fish species diversity and biomass have not increased within designated GOC MPAs (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011). The Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo, located on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, was established in 1995 to protect the large coral communities found there (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011). The park includes a 2,501 hectare no-take reserve (35 percent of the total park area). In a ten-year study, fish species richness and biomass significantly increased from 1999 to 2009, and previous studies have found gulf grouper inhabit park waters (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011). The conservation benefits of Cabo Pulmo are threatened by development from the tourist industry, as several large-scale resorts have recently been proposed for this area.

    In the U.S., the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a regulation prohibiting the take or possession of gulf grouper in 1976 (Title 14, Section 28.12). This regulation went into effect on March 1, 1977, and remains in effect today.

    Extinction Risk Assessment

    Gulf grouper are particularly susceptible to overfishing due to a combination of life history traits and behavioral characteristics (Sadovy de Mitcheson et al. 2012). Biological factors that likely increase the gulf grouper's intrinsic vulnerability to overfishing include large size, late onset of reproductive maturity, slow growth rate, and long life-span. As a protogynous hermaphrodite, the gulf grouper may be even more susceptible to fishing which, through selective removal of males, could reduce reproductive capacity. As a transient aggregate spawner, gulf grouper are highly susceptible to fishing overutilization due to the predictability of their locations in time and space. Once a year, adult gulf grouper aggregate for reproduction at a known time (full moon in May), at known locations (particular reefs and seamounts), at higher than normal densities. Some historical gulf grouper spawning aggregation sites have completely disappeared following heavy harvest (e.g. Punta Lobos and San Bruno seamounts) (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). An analysis of 2002 and 2003 harvest data from Bahía de Los Angeles showed that 99 percent of the gulf grouper harvested were immature-sized fish, demonstrating the lack of reproductive age fish (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). Overall, the combination of high harvest rates at known spawning aggregation sites and the trait of protogynous hermaphroditism significantly impacts gulf grouper productivity. Finally, gulf grouper have a small geographic range, which may restrict their ability to move and adapt to environmental changes (Morris et al. 2000).

    Based upon the best available cumulative information from fisheries statistics, LFK, anecdotal reports, and grey literature, we conclude that gulf grouper abundance has severely declined since the mid-20th century due primarily to direct harvest by commercial and artisanal fisheries (Sala et al. 2004, Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a, Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). The primary signs of population decline are: (1) Sharp reductions in harvest volumes, (2) significant decrease in average size and weight of harvested fish, (3) reduced spatial distribution and likely range contraction, and (4) extirpations or reductions of spawning aggregations (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a, Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). In the GOC, gulf grouper were once abundant and represented approximately 45 percent of the artisanal fishery in 1960, but declined to 10 percent by the 1970s, and are now less than 1 percent of the fishery (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). The sharp decrease in harvest levels since the 1970s was not due to decreased fishing effort (fishing effort has generally increased) or new protective regulations (which are of limited benefit), but rather was due to a decline in gulf grouper abundance. Commercial landings of gulf grouper from the Pacific Ocean (U.S. vessels fishing in Mexican waters) peaked in the early 1950s, before the population declined to near commercial extinction by 1970. Based on recent fishery independent surveys and fisheries data, the gulf grouper has not recovered and is still considered a very rare occurrence in the Pacific Ocean portion of its range. Outside of a known population in Bahía Magdalena (Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, pers. comm., 2014), there is no published evidence of gulf grouper still persisting along the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula. Current gulf grouper distribution appears to be much more limited than their historical range (Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). In the 1930s, some irruptions of gulf groupers occurred along the San Diego coastline (Hubbs 1948); but there are no records of any occurring in this area since that time.

    In addition to direct harvest, other potential threats to gulf grouper abundance include bycatch in the commercial shrimp and illegal totoaba fisheries, habitat degradation and loss from a variety of sources, and climate change. However, there are no studies directly linking these factors to the decline in gulf grouper abundance. Although the cumulative impact of these threats may be significant, the information available does not allow for an accurate assessment of the relative magnitude or contribution of these threats to gulf grouper extinction risk.

    Due to the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, there is no reason to expect the primary threat to gulf grouper from fisheries direct harvest will diminish. Traditional fisheries regulations aimed at controlling gulf grouper catch and directed fishing effort in Mexican waters are very limited. While several MPAs have been established in the GOC in recent years, the lack of management plans, effective regulations, and necessary resources to operationalize and enforce these MPAs significantly undermines their conservation benefit (Cudney-Bueno et al. 2009, Rife et al. 2013, Cinti et al. 2014). With the exception of the Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo, fish species diversity and biomass have not increased since the establishment of GOC MPAs (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011). The conservation benefits of Cabo Pulmo are currently threatened by large-scale development projects. Since 1976, the state of California has prohibited the take or possession of gulf grouper. However, this restriction only applies within California waters, which represent a very small portion of the species' historical range and may no longer be part of the gulf grouper's current range. Gulf grouper can still be harvested and landed in Mexico by U.S. fishing vessels.

    The gulf grouper was once considered abundant, but is now considered rare (Jenkins and Evermann 1889, Croker 1937, and Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a). Direct harvest is the major reason for gulf grouper decline (Sala et al. 2004, Sáenz-Arroyo et al. 2005a, Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008) and, due to the lack of protective regulations in Mexico (no meaningful quotas nor protective regulations for gulf grouper), there is no reason to expect fishing to be a diminishing threat. Moreover, gulf grouper are intrinsically vulnerable to overfishing due to life history traits, including large size, late onset of reproductive maturity, protogynous hermaphrodite life history, transient aggregate spawning, slow growth rate, long life-span, and restricted geographic range (Sadovy de Mitcheson et al. 2012). Sharp decreases in harvest levels observed since the 1970s are not due to decreased fishing effort (fishing effort has generally increased) or new protective regulations (which are of limited benefit), but rather are due to a decline in gulf grouper abundance. Though a series of MPAs have been set up in the GOC, only one, Cabo Pulmo, has an enforced no-take marine zone, and it is the only protected marine zone in the GOC that has seen improved marine fish life diversity and density over the past decade (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2011); therefore, the MPAs are not anticipated to lead to a significant increase in gulf grouper abundance.

    Protective Efforts

    In 2005, Mexico established the Área de Refugio Vaquita Marina located in the northern GOC to protect and conserve the critically endangered vaquita (Phocoena sinus) by prohibiting gill net and trammel net use (SEMARNAT 2008). This prohibition is not directly designed to protect gulf grouper, but gill nets and trammel nets are two of the more common gulf grouper harvest methods, so the prohibition could have the potential to benefit gulf grouper as well. However, bycatch of vaquita in the illegal gill net fishery for the endangered totoaba has continued within this MPA after implementation. In 2015, the Mexican federal government increased its efforts to protect vaquita by expanding the Área de Refugio Vaquita Marina six-fold to approximately 8,000 square kilometers. For the next two years, gill nets and long lines will be prohibited within the MPA; and fishermen from the nearby towns of San Felipe (Baja California, Mexico) and Golfo de Santa Clara (Sonora, Mexico) will be financially compensated for changing their harvest methods. Enforcement by the Mexican Navy will be increased with the additional use of enforcement boats, light aircraft, and drones. These new conservation measures could result in decreased fishing pressure on gulf grouper. However, these new measures are temporary, and there is no long-term commitment of funds for enforcement or financial compensation of displaced fishermen. There are also large uncertainties associated with the effectiveness of the proposed enhanced enforcement measures given pervasive non-compliance with Mexican fisheries regulations and the economic incentives created by the extremely high valued illegal totoaba fishery.

    We did not identify any other conservation efforts to protect and recover gulf grouper that are either underway but not yet fully implemented, or are only planned. Our evaluation of the conservation efforts identified lead us to conclude that current conservation efforts cannot be considered effective measures for significantly reducing the current gulf grouper extinction risk.

    Proposed Determination

    Based on the best available scientific and commercial information, as summarized here and in Dennis (2015), and consideration of efforts being made to protect the species, we conclude that the gulf grouper, Mycteroperca jordani, is currently at high risk of extinction throughout its range. We therefore propose to list this species as endangered under the ESA.

    Island Grouper

    The following section describes our analysis of the status of the island grouper, Mycteroperca fusca.

    Species Description

    The island grouper was first described under the name Serranus fuscus by Lowe (1836) based on specimens from Madeira, Portugal. Diagnostic features of the island grouper include an oblong and compressed body with depth less than head length, lower jaw extending well in front of upper jaw, dorsal fin with 11 spines and 14-16 rays, anal fin with 3 spines and 10-12 rays with rounded margin, and caudal-fin rear margin truncate (juveniles) to concave (adults) (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Adults are brownish or dark grey, with irregular pale blotches and spots and a prominent maxillary streak. Under stress this pattern may be reversed so that the head and body are pale with irregular dark markings. Juveniles are mottled greenish-brown with prominent white spots on head and body, white streaks on median fins, with hyaline golden pectoral fins (Craig et al. 2011). The color pattern of mature females from the Canary Islands suggests sexual dichromatism (i.e., males and females differ in color) (Bustos 2008). A large proportion of sexually active females have yellow pigmentation (dorsal fins and/or chest, ventral or uniformly throughout), while males are uniformly brown (Bustos 2008). This species is also known to display a yellow (xanthic) color phase (Wirtz 2007), and a few uniformly golden island grouper have been reported from Madeira (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

    For many years island grouper were confused with another closely related species, Mycteroperca rubra. Based primarily on differences in gill raker counts, Heemstra (1991) established that the species found in the Atlantic Macaronesian region (from the Azores to Cape Verde) was M. fusca (with 20-24 lower limb gill rakers), with the distribution of M. rubra (with 28-31 lower limb gill rakers) being limited to the west coast of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea (Heemstra and Randall 1993).

    The island grouper is a slow-growing, long-lived species which can attain maximum sizes of at least 86 cm total length (TL) and 7.8 kg (Bustos 2008, Bustos et al. 2010). Longevity of island grouper is estimated to be between 30 and 40 years (Bustos (2008, Bustos et al. 2009). The instantaneous rate of natural mortality estimated for island grouper is between 0.146 and 0.158 per year (Bustos 2008). Island grouper length at age was described by Bustos (2008) from commercial catches off Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) between January 2004 and December 2005. Von Bertalanffy growth model parameters were as follows: L∞ = 898 mm; k = 0.062 per year; and t0 = −3.83 years. Only 22 percent of the island grouper sampled were older than ten years, and the oldest fish in this study was around 20 years old, 50 percent less than the maximum age estimated by Bustos (2008). Significant differences were found between males (n = 35) and females (n = 153) for mean age (males 10.3 years versus females 7.1 years), L∞ (males 952 mm versus females 888 mm), and growth rate k (males 0.053 per year versus females 0.063 per year) (Bustos 2008).

    While slow growth after the first few years is typical for Mycteroperca, the island grouper is particularly slow-growing when compared to closely related species. On average, over 28 percent of island grouper growth was achieved by the second year; by the fourth year this species attains lengths of approximately half of the maximum length observed. In general, growth within the genus Mycteroperca tends to be faster in the early stages of life, slowing down considerably in later stages (Bullock and Murphy 1994, Manickchand-Heileman and Phillip 2000, Strelcheck et al. 2003). Consequently, the von Bertalanffy model typically does not describe the growth of Mycteroperca spp. properly for the first few years of life, as evidenced by relatively large negative t0 values.

    The island grouper is a nectobenthic (i.e., free-swimming, bottom oriented) macrocarnivore that preys on fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods (Harmelin-Vivien et al. 2001, Bustos 2008). Island grouper are considered mobile hunters and have been observed actively exploring their territories for prey (Bustos 2008).

    Reproductive Biology and Spawning Behavior

    Bustos et al. (2010) studied the pattern of sexual development and reproductive characteristics of island grouper in the Canary Islands based on samples of commercially harvested fish. Island grouper are a protogynous hermaphroditic fish. Results of histological analyses and demographic structure suggest a monandric protogynous sexual pattern, where males develop only through sex change (Bustos 2010). The length at which 50 percent of the population reaches sexual maturity was estimated at 335 mm total length (TL), or about 4 years old. Of the females over 398 mm TL (5-6 years old), 95 percent were considered to be mature. Island grouper sexual transition occurs between 428-725 mm TL, with 50 percent of females transformed into males at around 678 mm TL (Bustos 2010). The presence of females in the larger size categories (up to 725 mm TL) implies that the conversion (female to male) is not essential in all individuals. The overall sex ratio of males to females (1:4.9) and the sex ratio of males to mature females (1:3.4) were both significantly different from 1:1 (Bustos 2010).

    In the Canary Islands, reproduction is initiated in February, when water temperatures are around 18° C, and continues through August or September when temperatures peak around 24-26 °C (Bustos et al. 2010). The central period of spawning, as defined by months when 50 percent or more of females are in vitellogenesis (i.e., yolk deposition), is from April to July (Bustos et al. 2010). The formation of spawning aggregations is a common trait among groupers (Sadovy de Mitcheson et al. 2008). Although there are no published studies on island grouper reproductive behavior, spawning aggregations have been reported through personal communication (J.P. Barreiros, UAC/IMAR in Rocha et al. 2008) from two locations in the Azores.

    Population Structure, Distribution, Abundance and Habitat

    The island grouper is a subtropical species (40° N-10° N) that is endemic to volcanic archipelagos of Macaronesia: Canary Islands (Spain), Madeira and Azores (Portugal), and Cape Verde (Heemstra and Randall 1993). The Canary Islands are located between 27° and 29° N latitude and 13° and 18° W longitude at a minimum distance of 100 km and maximum distance of 450 km off the coast of Morocco. The Canary Islands archipelago is formed by seven main islands, with 1,379 km of coastline, a total land area of 7,447 km2, and a human population size of approximately 2.1 million (Popescu and Ortega-Gras 2013). The Madeira archipelago is located from 32° 37′ to 32° 52′ N latitude and 16° 39′ to 17° 15′ W longitude, 754 km from the coast of Africa and 964 km southwest of Lisbon. The archipelago consists of the two main inhabited islands (Madeira and Porto Santo), with an estimated combined human population of 268,000, and five uninhabited islands (Desertas and Selvagens Islands). The Madeira archipelago has 153 km of mostly rocky and steep coastline, and a total land area of 801 km2. The Azores archipelago is located between 37° and 40° N latitude and 24° and 32° W longitude, about 1,500 km west of Lisbon and 1,900 km southeast of Newfoundland. It is composed of nine islands and some small islets (Harmelin-Vivien et al. 2001), with 667 km of coastline, a total land area of 2,333 km2, and a human population size of approximately 246,000. The Cape Verde archipelago is located between 14° and 17° N latitude and 22° and 25° W longitude, due west of Senegal, off the west coast of Africa. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets, with 1,020 km of coastline, a total land area of 4,033 km2, and a human population size of approximately 531,000. There are no confirmed reports of island grouper off the coast of West Africa, although ichthyofauna studies are lacking in this region. One specimen was caught by a spearfisherman off Israel's coast (Heemstra et al. 2010), but there are no data confirming the existence of an island grouper population in the Mediterranean.

    The island grouper is a demersal species that is found predominantly near rocky or sandy-rocky sea-beds (Heemstra and Randall 1993). Studies have shown a positive correlation between island grouper abundance and structural complexity, algal cover (Bustos 2008), and upright seaweed cover (Sangil et al. 2013b). The habitat requirements of larval and juvenile island grouper are not well-studied. All groupers pass through a pelagic larval phase, lasting between 20-50 days, during which they can actively swim (Aburto-Oropeza et al. 2008). After the larval phase, groupers acquire juvenile characteristics during which they settle into shallow, coastal nursery habitats (e.g., Sargassum beds, seagrass areas, mangroves, and estuaries); this nursery stage can last up to two years.

    The overall range distribution for island grouper is considered restricted, defined as less than 800,000 km2 (Morris et al. 2000). The seafloor bathymetry around the Macaronesian Islands is typically abrupt with a narrow contiguous shelf and a steep slope plunging to depths of more than 1,000 meters. As a result, viable habitat for demersal species such as the island grouper is considerably smaller than on continental shores, limiting the abundance of these populations (Diogo and Pereira 2013a, Popescu and Ortega-Gras 2013). Based on a wide range of sources, Morris et al. (2000) classified the island grouper as having a “narrow depth range” defined as occurrence at depths typically less than 20-30 m. Although island grouper have occasionally been reported at greater depths (e.g., 50 m by Heemstra and Randall 1993; 150 m by Bustos 2008; and 200 m by Craig et al. 2011), based on the majority of observations, it is assumed that their normal distribution in the water column is at depths less than 30 m.

    Historical and current island grouper population abundance is unknown. Available information on island grouper distribution and abundance is primarily from Underwater Visual Census (UVC) studies conducted at various locations throughout the species' range. There is a considerable amount of variation in island grouper mean densities reported in the literature. Island grouper were reported as being very rare (0.03-0.10 fish/100 m2) in two UVC studies of benthic fish communities in the Azores (Harmelin-Vivien et al. 2001, Bertoncini et al. 2010). Compared to the Azores, a relatively higher mean density of island grouper (0.825 fish/100 m2) was reported from a single study in Cape Verde (Freitas 2012). However, since sampling was conducted within the only operationalized MPA in Cape Verde, on the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia (UNDP 2010), island grouper mean density from this study may not be representative of more heavily fished areas throughout the archipelago. Based on limited information, island grouper appear to be rare around Madeira Island, with the possible exception of within the Garajau Marine Reserve (Ribeiro et al. 2005, Ribeiro 2008). Island grouper mean densities were highly variable in studies conducted around the Canary Islands. The highest mean densities were reported around the lightly fished, remote island of El Hierro and within the designated marine reserves of La Graciosa (Chinijo Islands) and La Palma. Island grouper were generally reported as being very rare on the more populous and heavily fished Canary Islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Island Grouper

    Available information regarding current, historical, and potential future threats to the island grouper was thoroughly reviewed (Salz 2015). We summarize information regarding threats below according to three (out of five) factors specified in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA: “Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of its Habitat or Range”; “Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes”; and “Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms.” We found very little information regarding potential threats under the section 4(a)(1) factors “Disease and Predation” or “Other Natural or Manmade Factors.” These areas are data poor, but there are no serious or known concerns raised under these threat categories with respect to island grouper extinction risk; therefore, we do not discuss these categories further here. See Salz (2015) for a more detailed discussion of all ESA section 4(a)(1) threat categories.

    Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    Demersal fish populations around volcanic islands may be particularly vulnerable to habitat related threats, as they are typically confined to a narrow band within a few kilometers from shore due to the surrounding bathymetry. Various human activities throughout the Macaronesian region can negatively impact near-shore, rocky marine habitats occupied by island grouper. Increased anthropogenic pressure on the more densely populated Macaronesian Islands (Madeira Island, and Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands) has resulted in continuous modification and degradation of inshore habitats, placing new and unprecedented demands on coastal marine resources (Hajagos and Van Tassell 2001, Ribeiro 2008). Potential threats to island grouper habitat include ecosystem changes driven by overfishing, dynamite fishing, physical alteration of the coast, pollution, the effects of global climate change, and the introduction of invasive species.

    The island grouper is primarily found near the ocean bottom in areas with high structural complexity (or “roughness”) and benthic cover (Bustos 2008, Monteiro et al. 2008, Sangil et al. 2013b). Canopy-forming macroalgae are a principal engineer organism on shallow rocky bottoms, providing the necessary habitat complexity and benthic cover to support and maintain equilibrium of natural assemblages (Hernández et al. 2008, Clemente et al. 2010, Sangil et al. 2013b). Canopy-forming macroalgae may also ameliorate the effects of a range of disturbances on understory assemblages, thus enhancing the resistance of associated systems (Bertocci et al. 2014). The loss of canopy-forming macroalgae, and consequent increased environmental stress on associated organisms, could result in drastic reduction or local extinction of understory species unable to survive harsh environmental conditions without the protective canopy (Bertocci et al. 2014). In the Canary Islands, the natural balance between seaweeds, herbivores, and predators has been disturbed due to the fishing depletion of predators (e.g., sparids and labrids) of the sea urchin (Diadema africanum), the most important herbivore of sublittoral rocky bottoms (Hernández et al. 2008, Clemente et al. 2011). This has resulted in an ecosystem imbalance whereby sea urchin populations have increased, while cover of upright seaweeds and canopy-forming macroalgae have decreased (Tuya et al. 2004, Hernandez et al. 2008, Clemente et al. 2011, Riera et al. 2014). Seaweed beds have declined throughout much of the Canary Islands archipelago and are now found in abundance only in restricted fishing areas, remote islands, or areas where prevailing winds and currents limit fishing pressure (Sangil et al. 2013b). Steady declines in benthic cover of the canopy-forming brown macroalgae (Fucus spiralis and Cystoseira spp.) in the Canary Islands have been linked to growing sea urchin populations in combination with rising sea surface temperatures (Hernández et al. 2008). Population declines and increased fragmentation of the endemic red alga (Gelidium canariense) have also been observed in Tenerife and Gran Canaria during the last 20 years (Bouza et al. 2006). These studies suggest that, in addition to the direct impact of fishery removals of island grouper, fishing can initiate trophic cascades that may modify and degrade island grouper habitats or preferred microhabitats.

    Large-scale coastal development began in the Canary Islands in the early 1970s to meet the needs of a growing tourist industry (Hajagos and Van Tassell 2001). Similarly, the Madeira Island coast has been extensively armored and developed in the past two decades (Ribeiro 2008). Artificial harbors, marinas, beaches, ripraps, rubble mounds, and hotels were constructed on these islands, with few environmental precautions, resulting in massive alterations to the shoreline and siltation of nearshore benthic communities (Hajagos and Van Tassell 2001). Baseline (pre-development) studies of the near-shore marine communities in these heavily developed areas are lacking and, therefore, the impacts of these habitat changes on marine fish populations in general, and the island grouper in particular, are largely unknown.

    Pollution from a variety of sources also threatens marine ecosystems in the Macaronesian region. In the Canary Islands, land-based sources of pollution include organic and inorganic pollutants from developed areas and farms (mainly banana and tomato), brine releases from desalination plants, and thermal pollution from power plants (Riera et al. 2014). Other sources include nitrogenous waste from aquaculture, pollution derived from ship traffic, and extraction of construction materials from the seabed (Riera et al. 2014). In the Canary Islands, sharp declines in red alga (Gracilaria cervicornis) coverage over the last 10 years have been linked to coastal pollution from desalination plants and sewage from pipelines (Riera et al. 2014). On the island of Madeira, pollution from raw sewage discharges, sand mining, and sediment run-off severely decreases water clarity, which affects algae production (Ribeiro 2008). The direct impacts of different pollution sources on demersal fish populations in the Macaronesian region are not well-studied. The presence of continuous coastal currents around islands in this region likely facilitates the dispersion of pollutants (Riera et al. 2014). Thus, while localized impacts may be acute near highly concentrated point sources, broader and long lasting impacts of coastal pollution in this region have not been identified.

    Certain changes are likely to occur in the world's oceans due to long-term changes in global mean temperature and possible anthropogenic impacts that could pose potential future threats to island grouper habitats. Warmer oceanographic conditions associated with climate change (combined with overfishing) have likely contributed to the sea urchin population increase discussed above (Hernández et al. 2010). In addition, Brito et al. (2005) found 24 out of the 30 new records of littoral bony fishes reported between 1991 and 2005 from two Canary Island marine reserves (La Graciosa in Chinijo Islands and La Restinga in El Hierro) were species with tropical origins. The emergence of tropical species in subtropical latitudes has also been reported in Madeira and the Azores (Brito et al. 2005). However, the impact of progressive tropicalization of Macaronesian marine ecosystems on island grouper survival is widely unknown.

    The introduction of invasive species through aquaculture poses a potential threat to island grouper. Total production of marine finfish in open-net cages increased in the Canary Islands from 1,685 mt in 2001 to 7,900 mt in 2009 (APROMAR 2012). A massive escape event occurred at an aquaculture operation on La Palma between December 2009 and January 2010 resulting in the accidental release of 1.5 million fish (90 percent European sea bass and 10 percent sea bream) into the wild (Toledo-Guedes et al. 2014). As an opportunistic, high trophic level, piscivorous species, non-native European sea bass could be competing with native species such as the island grouper (Toledo-Guedes et al. 2009). Toledo-Guedes et al. (2012) found evidence of gonadal maturation occurring in the wild in escaped male and female European sea bass in the Canary Islands. The combination of suitable biotic and non-biotic conditions, high frequency of escape events (Toledo-Guedes et al. 2009), and overutilization of native fish assemblages (Tuya et al. 2006a) could facilitate establishment of self-reproducing non-native European sea bass populations within the island grouper's range. However, studies indicating that aquaculture escape events have resulted in a decline in island grouper abundance are lacking.

    The introduction of invasive species through ship ballast water is also a potential threat to the island grouper. Approximately 30,000 commercial vessels enter Canarian harbors each year, mostly in Gran Canaria and Tenerife (ISTAC 2013 in Riera et al. 2014). The African hind (Cephalopholis taeniops) is an invasive species from Guinea (West Africa) that is thought to have arrived in the Canary Islands in ballast water (Riera et al. 2014). Stable populations of this predatory fish may have already established in the port cities of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz (Riera et al. 2014). However, as with the European sea bass, there are no studies indicating that the invasive African hind has negatively impacted native fish populations.

    Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    Island grouper are highly susceptible to overfishing due to their limited range and a combination of life history characteristics including very slow growth, late maturation, large size, and long life span (Bustos 2008, Bustos et al. 2009, Saavedra 2011, Diogo and Pereira 2013a). Saavedra (2011) used a scale developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to characterize fishing vulnerability of target species in the Canary Islands. Input parameters used for this scale included age at maturity, longevity, ratio of natural to total mortality, growth rate, sexual strategy, and sex ratio. Island grouper vulnerability was rated as either “high” or “very high” for all six parameters individually, and “very high” overall. Certain behavioral traits, which are common in groupers, may also add to this species' vulnerability to fishing. Territoriality, site specificity, and the formation of spawning aggregations often result in groupers being an easy target for fishermen (Randall and Heemstra 1991, Domeier and Colin 1997), although these traits have not been studied or well documented in the island grouper. Spawning aggregations, in particular, are highly vulnerable to fishing due to their spatial and temporal predictability and to the large increase in catchability that often occurs when fish aggregate (Sadovy and Domeier 2005). Although information on island grouper spawning aggregations is lacking, there are documented examples of sharp population declines resulting from fisheries specifically targeting aggregations of other grouper species (Colin 1992, Sala et al. 2001, Hamilton and Matawai 2006, Sadovy de Mitcheson et al. 2012). The economic value of island grouper is also a factor that likely contributes to overutilization of this species. The island grouper is highly prized by commercial and artisanal fishermen for the quality of their flesh and typically fetch high market prices (Heemstra and Randall 1993, Ribeiro 2008).

    In protogynous hermaphrodites, such as the island grouper, the largest individuals are, in order, terminal males, individuals undergoing sexual transition, and the largest females next in line for sexual transition. Selective removal of these groups at high rates can lead to decreased productivity of a population. Island grouper may be particularly vulnerable to over-fishing due to the reduction in the species' potential reproductive capacity caused by the decrease in the number of males in the population (Huntsman and Schaaf 1994, Bustos et al. 2010). As the relative numbers of terminal males fall, females may have difficulty finding a terminal male to spawn with even if some remain (Hawkins and Roberts 2003). In addition, sexual transition takes time and energy, including energy expended on social interactions and competition among females vying for dominance. Since removal of terminal males by fishing will result in more sexual transitions, overall population fitness may be negatively impacted.

    Historical commercial and artisanal fisheries data are not available to evaluate long-term trends in island grouper landings, directed effort, or catch rates over time. The limited landings data available for more recent years indicate that island grouper are currently a very minor component of commercial and artisanal fisheries throughout its range. The nearshore demersal fishery in the Canary Islands is artisanal, consisting primarily of small boats (Saavedra 2011). Fishing methods used to catch demersal species include hook and line, fish traps, trammel nets, and gill nets (Bustos et al. 2009). Significant declines in populations of tunas and other pelagics since the 1970s have contributed to the increased pressure on coastal demersal species (Moreno-Herrero 2011). In addition, in the 1980s the Moroccan government restricted European Union vessel access to the Canary-Saharan Bank fishing grounds, resulting in a shift in fishing effort by the Canary artisanal fleet to coastal species (Pascual-Fernandez and Diaz 1991 in Moreno-Herrero 2011). While landings volume of demersal species in the Canary Islands are relatively small compared to landings of pelagic species, these resources often have high economic value (i.e., price per pound) as well as cultural value. In 2011, demersal fish species accounted for 16.7 percent of the total fishery landings weight but 33.2 percent of the landing value in the Canary Islands (Popescu and Ortega-Gras 2013). Canary Islands landings data prior to 2006 are only available from one port (Puerto de Mogan on Gran Canaria), and effort data are not available at all. Solari et al. (2003) reported landings of island grouper in the multi-species trap fishery from Puerto de Mogan for the period 1989-1999. Average monthly landings (for months with data available) of island grouper were 46 fish. Detailed monthly data were not available to assess trends in island grouper landings over time. Island grouper accounted for about 2.3 percent of the total catch in numbers of fish over this time period. Given their relatively large size and market price, it is likely that the proportional contribution of island grouper to the landings weight and value in the Gran Canaria trap fishery is considerably greater. Bustos et al. (2009) found very few island grouper greater than ten years old in commercial catches from Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura between January 2004 and December 2005. For a species with a life-span between 30-40 years, these results suggest that the island grouper is experiencing a high rate of fishing mortality in the more populated areas within the Canary Islands archipelago.

    Island grouper are considered an important component of the small artisanal fishery on El Hierro, where fish traps are banned and demersal species are mainly caught with hook-and-line gears (Falcón et al. 2007a). Falcón et al. (2007c) compared demersal species landings on El Hierro Island in the period before and after implementation of the La Restinga Marine Reserve. From 1990-1995 (before implementation) a total of 700 island grouper were landed (116.7 fish per year). From 1997-2005 (after implementation) a total of 1,239 island grouper were landed (137.7 fish per year). Over the entire period (1990-2005), island grouper were the 9th most abundant species landed in numbers of fish.

    In the Azores archipelago, the bottom longline and handline artisanal fishery for demersal species accounts for a significant portion of the total fishery landings, and is by far the highest valued fishery (Morato 2012). Annual landings by this fishery sector are consistently around 4,000 mt from 2000 through 2010 (Morato 2012). By comparison, reported landings of island grouper for the Azores archipelago were less than 1 mt for every year from 2001-2013 (INE 2015). Official data from the Portugal National Institute of Statistics (INE) indicates a sharp and steady decline in combined “grouper” landings in the Azores from a high of 99 mt in 2003 to a low of 26 mt in 2013. The combined grouper category includes species of Epinephelus and Mycteroperca. Although island grouper landings account for a very minor component of combined grouper landings, this declining trend suggests that groupers, in general, are being overfished, which would likely have negative implications for the island grouper. Without effort data, it is not possible to say definitively that the decrease in landings is due to a decline in population abundance. However, total demersal species landings in the Azores are consistently around 4,000 mt during the period when combined grouper landings declined precipitously, which suggests that directed fishing effort for demersal species did not decline.

    The Cape Verde artisanal fishery typically lands between 4,000 mt and 5,000 mt of fish annually, of which about 1,000 mt are demersal species (PRAO—CV 2012). Since 1992, the Cape Verde National Institute for Fisheries Development (INDP) has compiled data on fishing catch and effort for the more important artisanal fishery target species (Medina et al. 2007). However, as a small component of the total catch, island grouper are not one of the species monitored or reported in INDP official statistics (Albertino Martins, personal communication). A recent assessment of mackerel scad (Decapterus macarellus), bigeye scad (Selar crumenophthalmus), and black spot picarel (Spicara melanurus) indicates that stocks of commercially important small pelagics are either fully exploited or overexploited in Cape Verde (DeAlteris 2012). Continued overfishing of these stocks could result in added fishing pressure on demersal species in Cape Verde. In Madeira, demersal species account for less than one percent of total fisheries landings (Morato 2012). Reported landings of island grouper in Madeira are less than 1 mt per year for all years from 2000-2013 (INE 2015).

    Island grouper are also targeted in recreational and subsistence fisheries, and there are indications that these sectors are expanding rapidly in some parts of the species' range. Recreational fishing pressure has increased in the past few decades as a direct result of human population growth and a growing tourism sector (Sangil et al. 2013b). For example, the number of recreational spearfishing licenses sold in São Miguel Island (Azores) increased from 138 in 1995 to 717 in 2011; and the number of recreational fishing licenses sold in the Canary Islands more than doubled from 48,000 in 2005 to 116,000 in 2011 (Diogo and Pereira 2013a, Castro 2014). There are also indications that Spain's economic crisis and growing unemployment have resulted in increased levels of subsistence fishing and poaching in the Canary Islands (Moreno-Herrero 2011). In Cape Verde, subsistence catches have shown an increasing trend in recent years, suggesting increased dependence on fish as a source of food, and possibly related to declines in agricultural production due to climate change induced droughts (Trindade-Santos et al. 2013).

    Recreational and subsistence fishery landings data are lacking, as there are no monitoring programs for these fishery sectors throughout the Macaronesian Islands. Jimenez-Alvarado (2010, in Saavedra 2011) estimated total recreational fishery landings in the Canary Islands based on license sales by fishing mode, number of recreational fishing vessels, and limited recreational catch and effort survey data. Results suggest that recreational fisheries have a significant impact on fish populations, and on three islands (Gran Canaria, Gomera, and Fuerteventura) recreational landings of benthic-demersal species likely exceed artisanal fishery landings. Although species level recreational landings data are not available, this study indicates that the Canary Islands recreational fishery likely has an impact on island grouper abundance.

    Diogo and Pereira (2013a) conducted a characterization study of spearfishing activity in Ponta Delgada, the capital of São Miguel Island, the most populated island in the Azores archipelago. From August 2001 through May 2002, they recorded data from 220 spearfishing trips (out of an estimated 281 total spearfishing trips taken). A total of nine island grouper were captured throughout the study period. By weight, island grouper accounted for less than one percent of the total biomass of finfish captured with spear guns in the survey. The mean length of island groupers captured (38 cm TL) was only slightly larger than the size at first maturity. Results from this survey, in general, suggest that abundances of species vulnerable to fishing (including island grouper) within the study site have been significantly reduced due to heavy fishing pressure (Diogo and Pereira 2013a).

    Diogo and Pereira (2013b) also studied impacts of recreational boat fishing on demersal fish species off the Azores islands of Faial and Pico from 2004-2005. No island grouper catch were reported in a creel survey of 87 angler trips, and only 3 dusky grouper (E. marginatus) were reported. Diogo and Pereira (2013b) estimated the annual landings of all species by the recreational boat fishery on these two islands to be around 163 mt, which represents about 40 percent of the artisanal fishery landing weight in these areas. These results suggest that the impact of the recreational boat fishery on demersal fish communities in the Azores may be substantial. The absence of island grouper in the recreational fishing survey is consistent with UVC studies indicating the rareness of this species in the Azores (Harmelin-Vivien et al. 2001, Bertoncini et al. 2010).

    Without basic fisheries time series data (e.g., catch, effort, sizes, and gears), it is difficult to quantitatively assess the impact of artisanal and recreational fishing on island grouper abundance. A few studies have demonstrated the negative impact of fishing by correlating relative fishing pressure with measures of island grouper abundance based on UVC sampling at different locations. Tuya et al. (2006a) found that, in the Canary Islands, island grouper mean density and mean biomass were significantly higher on islands with the lowest fishing pressure and lowest population density (El Hierro and Chinijo Islands) compared to other islands within the archipelago. Similar results were found for the dusky grouper, suggesting that human intervention in the Canary Islands has negatively impacted abundance of these large, slow growing species, with low population turnover rates.

    Tuya et al. (2006b) compared island grouper mean densities on El Hierro and the Chinijo Islands across sites with varying levels of protection from fishing: RI = no-take zone; ZA = reserve buffer zone, with only recreational fishing allowed for grouper species; and AV = outside reserve, with recreational and commercial fishing permitted, except fish traps, which are banned throughout these islands. A “reserve effect” (i.e., higher abundance within than outside the reserve boundary) was not evident for island grouper within the El Hierro Restinga Reserve: i.e., no statistically significant differences were found in mean density between the no-take zone, the buffer zone, and the fishing area outside the reserve. A “reserve effect” was found within the Chinijo Islands La Graciosa Reserve: i.e., island grouper mean densities were statistically larger within the reserve (both RI and ZA zones) than in neighboring sites outside the reserve (AV zone). Bustos (2008) also found evidence for a “reserve effect” within La Graciosa, and she observed no island grouper in the two areas sampled outside the La Graciosa Reserve boundary.

    Sangil et al. (2013a) studied the relationship between fishing pressure and conservation status at sites around La Palma Island (Canary Islands). Fishing effort data were collected from boat-based and shore-based surveys conducted twice per month for one full year at fishing access sites around the island. Effort data included number and location of deployed fish traps, active fishing boats (commercial and recreational), shore based fishermen, and spearfishermen. The following biological parameters were used as indicators of conservation status: Percentage of seaweed cover; mean density of the sea urchin; mean biomass of sea urchin predators; mean biomass of combined grouper species (E. marginatus, M. fusca, Serranus atricauda); and mean biomass of the Mediterranean parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense), a highly prized fishing resource and indicator of fish stock status. Data were collected in 2009 using a UVC point-count method at 51 sites (nine transects per site) around the island. The correlation between fishing pressure and each biological parameter, including combined grouper biomass, was high and negative. Sampled locations with the highest combined grouper mean biomass corresponded with areas of lowest fishing pressure—i.e., inside the La Palma MPA, particularly within the no-take portion, where all fishing activity is prohibited. The overall mean grouper biomass across all sites was 303.1 g/100 m2, compared to 569.9 g/100 m2 within the limited fishing MPA area, and 2,401.5 g/100 m2 within the no-take area. Grouper were virtually absent from the heavily fished areas just to the north of the MPA and on the eastern side of the island. Although this study did not provide mean biomass data for groupers at the species level, island grouper accounted for approximately one-third of the total biomass of the three grouper species combined (Sangil et al. 2013b).

    Ribeiro (2008) found higher density and larger mean size of island grouper within the protected Garajau Marine Reserve (GMR) on Madeira Island compared to nearby unprotected areas with similar habitat types. She attributed these differences to the regulations prohibiting all fishing in the GMR. Before it was designated a marine reserve, the GMR area was subjected to heavy fishing pressure from amateur fishermen using explosives, gill nets, and spears (Ribeiro 2008).

    Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The nearshore demersal fisheries throughout the Macaronesian Islands region are lightly regulated. Although these fisheries are primarily small-scale and artisanal, the cumulative impact on fish populations can be substantial, particularly for a species such as the island grouper, with a restricted range and high vulnerability to overexploitation. There are no commercial catch quotas, daily bag limits, or seasonal closures in place for island grouper in any part of their range. The Canary Islands is the only archipelago with a minimum size limit for this species, and enforcement does not appear adequate to address non-compliance with this regulation. Gear restrictions (e.g., bans on fish traps, gill nets, bottom longlines, and SCUBA) are in place for demersal fisheries in some areas and the use of explosives is widely prohibited. However, the effectiveness of gear restrictions is substantially reduced by inadequate enforcement, as well as a shift in fishing effort to other (legal) methods of capturing demersal species. There is some indication that banning fish traps has had a positive impact on island grouper abundance in the Canary Islands, although this ban only applies to two sparsely populated regions within the archipelago. Overall, it appears that current fishing regulations are inadequate for addressing the direct threat to island grouper from fisheries overutilization. Current regulations are also likely inadequate to control overfishing of the main sea urchin predators, which, based on recent studies from the Canary Islands, has resulted in a trophic cascade that has modified and degraded island grouper habitat.

    In recent decades, no-take MPAs have received increased attention as a conservation tool aimed at protecting vulnerable fish populations (Halpern and Warner 2002). For some grouper species, increased fish density and size within no-take reserves may increase reproductive potential by promoting the occurrence of spawning aggregations (Sanchez-Lizaso et al. 2000). The “reserve effect” on island grouper abundance (i.e., higher abundance within than outside the reserve boundary) was reported for one reserve on Madeira Island and two reserves in the Canary Islands archipelago. However, overall, the system of MPAs throughout the Macaronesian Islands is likely inadequate to protect island grouper from the threat of fishing overutilization. No-take zones account for only a small fraction of the total area covered by MPAs within the island grouper's range, as most areas still allow some types of fishing. In the Azores, Madeira, and Canary Islands archipelagos, there are only five no-take marine reserves, which occupy a total area of 28 km2 (Fenberg et al. 2012). Given their small size and physical isolation from one another, no-take zones may lack the connectivity to allow the flow of larval and juvenile fish across islands and archipelagos within the region (Martín-García et al. 2015). There are also no MPAs or time-area closures designed specifically to protect island grouper during spawning periods, and little is known about the timing, location, or frequency of spawning aggregations for this species.

    Extinction Risk Assessment

    In determining an appropriate foreseeable future timeframe for the island grouper extinction risk assessment, we considered both the life history of the species and whether we could project the impact of threats or demographic risk factors through time. We chose 40 years as the foreseeable future timeframe for island grouper. Threats to island grouper can potentially have long-lasting impacts, given the species' very slow growth rate, late maturation, and long maximum life span. However, considering the limited information available to predict the impacts from threats in the future, we felt 40 years was the most appropriate foreseeable future timeframe for island grouper.

    Data from UVC sampling and fisheries landings indicate that the island grouper is rare throughout much of its limited range and very rare in some areas subjected to heavy fishing pressure. Of the 85 grouper species assessed by Morris et al. (2000), the island grouper was one out of only four species characterized as having both a “restricted” overall range and a “narrow” depth range. Although there are no population abundance estimates available for island grouper, low and decreased density combined with a highly restricted range indicate that small population size is likely a risk factor for this species, which could be disproportionally affected by coastal development or a stochastic catastrophic event. Demographic viability factors related to growth rate and productivity are also likely to contribute to the extinction risk based on the following island grouper life history characteristics: Slow growth, late maturation, low population turnover rate, large size, and long life span (Bustos 2008). While slow growth after the first few years is typical for species of Mycteroperca, the island grouper is one of the slowest growing species within this genus (Bustos et al. 2009).

    Although information on spatial structure, connectivity, and dispersal characteristics specific to island grouper is sparse, it is somewhat likely that these factors represent a demographic viability risk to this species. Island grouper are rare in many areas studied, and the few documented areas with relatively higher abundance are small and patchily distributed throughout the species' range. Typical of archipelago ecosystems, the Macaronesian Islands are highly fragmented, as geographic distances, bathymetry, and other physical factors result in various degrees of isolation between islands and local populations of demersal fish species (Medina et al. 2007). Given their geographic distribution and narrow depth ranges, it is likely that island grouper are inherently susceptible to fragmentation, and this risk factor could be exacerbated by further population declines. Because there is insufficient information on genetic diversity, this demographic viability criterion presents an unknown likelihood of contributing to the island grouper's extinction risk.

    The island grouper's intrinsic vulnerability to fishing is very high (Saavedra 2011, Diogo and Pereira 2013a). Demographic viability risk factors related to the island grouper's growth rate, productivity, spatial structure, and range size all contribute to this species' vulnerability to fishing overexploitation (Bustos 2008, Bustos et al. 2009, Saavedra 2011, Diogo and Pereira 2013a). As a protogynous hermaphrodite, the island grouper may be even more susceptible to fishing, which, through selective removal of males, could reduce reproductive capacity (Huntsman and Schaaf 1994, Bustos et al. 2010). Certain behavioral traits (i.e., territoriality, site specificity, and spawning aggregations), which are common among groupers, often result in grouper species being an easy target for fishermen (Randall and Heemstra 1991, Domeier and Colin 1997). Although not well-studied in the island grouper, these traits may add to the fishing vulnerability of this species. The economic value of the island grouper is also a factor that likely contributes to overutilization of this species. Groupers are highly prized by commercial and artisanal fishermen for the quality of their flesh, and most species (including island grouper) fetch high market prices (Heemstra and Randall 1993, Ribeiro 2008).

    Historical fisheries data are not available to evaluate long-term trends in island grouper landings, directed effort, or catch rates over time. The limited commercial and artisanal catch data available indicate that, in recent years, island grouper landings have been relatively small, and this species is currently a very minor component of commercial and artisanal fisheries throughout its range. The small contribution to recent fisheries landings is consistent with abundance information suggesting the island grouper is generally a rare species. Although fishing intensity is highly variable between islands, there are indications that artisanal fishing pressure for demersal species, in general, is relatively high in many areas throughout the island groupers' range. The depleted status of commercially important stocks of tunas and small pelagics in the Macaronesian region has also likely contributed to the increased fishing pressure on coastal demersal species in recent years (Moreno-Herrero 2011, DeAlteris 2012).

    Several studies have demonstrated a strong negative correlation between island grouper abundance and level of fishing pressure (Tuya et al. 2006a, Bustos 2008, Ribeiro 2008, Sangil et al. 2013a, Sangil et al. 2013b). These results suggest that fisheries overexploitation has negatively impacted island grouper abundance, and some heavily fished areas have likely experienced a sharp decline. This is particularly concerning for a rare species with a limited range and high intrinsic vulnerability to the effects of overfishing due to certain life history and behavioral traits. The lack of baseline abundance information and a time series of fishery dependent data, combined with limitations of the available studies, make it difficult to quantitatively assess the impact of this threat on island grouper abundance or species' survival. However, based on the cumulative information available, we conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that artisanal fishing overutilization contributes to the island grouper's risk of extinction in a significant way. There are also indications that rapidly expanding recreational fisheries contribute significantly to the overutilization of island grouper in some parts of the species' range.

    Current fishing regulations designed to limit catch and effort are inadequate for addressing the direct threat to island grouper from fishing overutilization. In general, there are few restrictions placed on demersal fisheries throughout the island grouper's range. In areas where regulations (e.g., size limits and gear restrictions) do exist, their effectiveness is likely reduced by lack of enforcement and relatively high levels of non-compliance. A well-designed system of no-take MPAs may be better suited than traditional fishing regulations for addressing the threat of fishing to highly vulnerable, nearshore demersal species. The “reserve effect” on island grouper abundance (i.e., higher abundance within than outside the reserve boundary) was reported for one reserve on Madeira Island and two reserves in the Canary Islands archipelago. However, no-take zones account for only a small fraction of the total area covered by MPAs within the island grouper's range, as most MPAs still allow some types of fishing. Given their small size, physical isolation from one another, and insufficient enforcement, the currently established marine reserves are likely inadequate to protect island grouper from the current and future threat of fishing overutilization. Overall, we conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that the lack of adequate regulatory mechanisms and enforcement represent threats to the island grouper that contribute significantly to this species' extinction risk.

    Due to the species' preferred depth range and the surrounding volcanic island bathymetry, island grouper habitat is typically confined to a narrow band within a few kilometers from shore. Close proximity to the shore increases the risk of habitat modification from human activities within the coastal zone, particularly on the more densely populated Macaronesian Islands. Potential threats to island grouper habitat include: Declines in benthic cover (i.e., seaweeds and macroalgae) due to overfishing of key sea urchin predators; physical alteration and armoring of the coast; destructive fishing practices; pollution; and the effects of global climate change (see section “Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Habitat or Range” for more details). While these ecosystem disturbances are well documented, studies linking habitat related threats to declines in island grouper abundance are lacking. Although the cumulative impact of anthropogenic threats has likely modified some portion of the island grouper's habitat, there is not enough scientific information available to support a conclusion that habitat associated changes contribute to the extinction risk of this species in a significant way. The introduction of invasive species from aquaculture escape events and ship ballast water also poses a potential threat to island grouper through increased competition for limited resources (e.g., food, shelter) and the possible spread of diseases and parasites. However, as with habitat related threats, there is not enough scientific information available to support a conclusion that threats related to invasive species contribute to the island grouper's extinction risk in a significant way.

    In summary, the island grouper exhibits demographic risk factors related to abundance, growth rate and productivity, and spatial structure and connectivity. In addition, there is a reasonable likelihood that the operative threats of fishing overutilization and the lack of adequate regulatory mechanisms contribute significantly to the island grouper's risk of extinction.

    Protective Efforts

    We evaluated conservation efforts to protect and recover island grouper that are either underway but not yet fully implemented, or are only planned. As part of the European Union (EU), the Azores, Madeira, and Canary Islands archipelagos are influenced by EU conservation initiatives and directives. In 2008, the EU adopted the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in order to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) through ecosystem-based management in EU waters by 2020. To comply with the MSFD, member states must ensure that their biological and physical marine features adhere to the specific qualitative descriptors of GES for the maintenance of biological diversity, habitat quality, and sustainable harvest levels of fish and shellfish stocks (Fenberg et al. 2012). The establishment of a coherent network of MPAs is the only mandated measure of the MSFD. The emphasis on MPAs and biodiversity in the MSFD reinforces previously established commitments in the European Biodiversity Strategy and obligations under the international Convention on Biological Diversity (Bellas 2014). The adoption of the EU's MSFD policy demonstrates a general willingness to achieve long-term protection of Europe's marine ecosystems, but whether the political will is strong enough in the Macaronesian Islands to achieve its objectives remains to be seen (Santos et al. 2014).

    The Portuguese government approved two MSFD strategies in 2012, one for the continental EEZ and one for the extended continental shelf; but no MSFD strategy has yet been approved by the autonomous governments of the Azores and Madeira archipelagos (Santos et al. 2014). In Spain, the MSFD has resulted in passage of the 2010 Law on the Protection of the Marine Environment (LPME). The LPME provides a general legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, as well as specific language regarding the creation and management of a Spanish network of MPAs, including some within the Canary Islands (Bellas 2014). Four proposed Canary Islands MPAs are currently waiting to be approved by the Spanish government: One on the north coast of La Gomera, two in Tenerife, and one on the east coast of Gran Canaria (Riera et al. 2014). However, previous attempts to establish new MPAs in the Canary Islands have often been stalled or abandoned due to stakeholder opposition, political infeasibility, and lack of funding (Chuenpagdee et al. 2013). For example, the regional island government of Tenerife has been promoting the creation of MPAs on the island since 2004. Two proposed MPAs were finally approved in 2010—six years after initial planning started—but to date neither one has been implemented.

    A joint United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) project titled “Consolidation of Cape Verde's Protected Areas System” was initiated in 2010 in an effort to strengthen and expand Cape Verde's national system of terrestrial and marine protected areas (UNDP 2013). Project objectives include: (1) Consolidation, expansion, and operationalization of existing MPAs on the islands of Sal and Boavista for the protection of fisheries resources, (2) building the national capacity for MPA management through new management sectors and authorities, and (3) promotion of participatory approaches in the management and conservation of the endemic biodiversity of Cape Verde. The project is expected to add 41,214 ha of terrestrial and marine protected areas (i.e., a 38 percent expansion over the existing baseline).

    Other regional, local and grassroots efforts are underway to conserve and protect marine resources in the Macaronesian Islands. Local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and regional governments in the Canary Islands are promoting the creation of Micro Areas Ecoturísticas Litorales (MAELs). Due to their small scale, MAELs are less demanding on public funding, typically less contentious, and follow a different legal model compared to larger scale MPAs (Riera et al. 2014). A well-designed and enforced network of MAELs could provide additional conservation benefit to demersal fish populations in the Canary Islands. The Canarias por una Costa Viva program is a partnership among NGOs, universities, and local and regional governments. Costa Viva program objectives include studying the impacts of human population pressures on the coastal environment, increasing marine environmental education and awareness, promoting and facilitating stakeholder involvement in marine resource management, and collaborating with government agencies in the sustainable use of Canary Islands marine resources. The Azores University SMARTPARKS program (Planning and Management System for Small Islands Protected Areas) is aimed at facilitating the development of sustainable protected areas in the Azores through active involvement of stakeholders, promotion of economic and cultural activities compatible with nature conservation, and innovative planning and management of protected areas at the island scale (Fonseca et al. 2014).

    In summary, there are several conservation initiatives that are either underway but not yet fully implemented or are still in the planning phase that could potentially provide conservation benefits to the marine ecosystems within the island grouper range. However, there are still major uncertainties regarding whether or not these initiatives will be fully implemented, operationalized, and adequately enforced. There are also uncertainties associated with the effectiveness of these efforts in reducing the island grouper extinction risk. Large-scale programs, such as the EU's MSFD, often have broad, general objectives for improving marine stewardship which may or may not include specific measures needed for protecting a particular species at risk. Regional, local and grassroots efforts may face fewer legal, political, and social hurdles in terms of implementation as compared to larger scale national programs. However, smaller scale programs, such as MAELs, may be limited in their effectiveness for species protection due to their small geographic size and inadequate resources for long-term management and enforcement of conservation measures. We conclude that given large uncertainties associated with implementation, enforcement, and effectiveness, the conservation efforts identified cannot be considered reasonably likely to significantly reduce the current island grouper extinction risk.

    Proposed Determination

    Based on the best available scientific and commercial information, as summarized here and in Salz (2015), and consideration of protective efforts being made to protect the species, we find that the island grouper (Mycteroperca fusca) is at a moderate risk of extinction. The nature of the threats and demographic risks identified, taking into account the uncertainty associated with the threats and risks, does not demonstrate the species is presently in danger of extinction; and therefore, it does not meet the definition of an endangered species. However, the current threats to island grouper from fishing overutilization and inadequate regulatory mechanisms are likely to continue in the future, further exacerbating the demographic risk factors associated with abundance, growth rate and productivity, and spatial structure and connectivity. We conclude that both the species' current risk of extinction and the best available information on the extent of, and trends in, the major threats affecting this species make it likely this species will become an endangered species within the foreseeable future (defined as 40 years) throughout its range. We therefore propose to list it as threatened under the ESA.

    Effects of Listing

    Conservation measures provided for species listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA include recovery actions (16 U.S.C. 1533(f)); concurrent designation of critical habitat, if prudent and determinable (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(A)); Federal agency requirements to consult with NMFS under section 7 of the ESA to ensure their actions do not jeopardize the species or result in adverse modification or destruction of critical habitat should it be designated (16 U.S.C. 1536); and prohibitions on taking (16 U.S.C. 1538). Recognition of the species' plight through listing promotes conservation actions by Federal and state agencies, foreign entities, private groups, and individuals. The main effects of this rule if finalized as proposed for gulf grouper are prohibitions on take, including export, import, and use in foreign commerce.

    Identifying Section 7 Conference and Consultation Requirements

    Section 7(a)(2) (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)) of the ESA and NMFS/USFWS regulations require Federal agencies to consult with us to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7(a)(4) (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(4)) of the ESA and NMFS/USFWS regulations also require Federal agencies to confer with us on actions likely to jeopardize the continued existence of species proposed for listing, or that result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat of those species. It is unlikely that listing the gulf grouper under the ESA will increase the number of section 7 consultations, because at present this species is only known to occur outside of the United States and is unlikely to be affected by Federal actions. Although the gulf grouper's historical range includes parts of Southern California, there are no recent records indicating that this species still exists in U.S. waters.

    Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1532(5)) as: (1) Specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the ESA, on which are found those physical or biological features (a) essential to the conservation of the species and (b) that may require special management considerations or protection; and (2) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. “Conservation” means the use of all methods and procedures needed to bring the species to the point at which listing under the ESA is no longer necessary. Section 4(a)(3)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(A)) requires that, to the extent prudent and determinable, critical habitat be designated concurrently with the listing of a species. However, critical habitat shall not be designated in foreign countries or other areas outside U.S. jurisdiction (50 CFR 424.12(h)). We can designate critical habitat in areas in the United States currently unoccupied by the species, if the area(s) are determined by the Secretary to be essential for the conservation of the species. Regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e) specify that we shall designate as critical habitat areas outside the geographical range presently occupied by the species only when the designation limited to its present range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species.

    The best available scientific and commercial information does not indicate that U.S. waters provide any specific essential biological or physical function for the gulf grouper. U.S. waters account for a very small portion on the northern limit of the gulf grouper's historical range, and may no longer be part of the species' current range. Based on the best available information, we have not identified unoccupied areas in U.S. waters that are currently essential to the conservation of gulf grouper. Therefore, based on the available information, we do not intend to designate critical habitat for gulf grouper.

    The island grouper occurs entirely outside of the United States. Therefore, we cannot designate critical habitat for island grouper.

    Identification of Those Activities That Would Constitute a Violation of Section 9 of the ESA

    On July 1, 1994, NMFS and FWS published a policy (59 FR 34272) that requires us to identify, to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the ESA. Because we are proposing to list the gulf grouper as endangered, all of the prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the ESA will apply to this species. These include prohibitions against the import, export, use in foreign commerce, or “take” of the species. These prohibitions apply to all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including in the United States, its territorial sea, or on the high seas. Take is defined as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.” The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effects of this listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the species' range. Activities that we believe could result in a violation of section 9 prohibitions for this species include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Possessing, delivering, transporting, or shipping any individual or part (dead or alive) taken in violation of section 9(a)(1);

    (2) Delivering, receiving, carrying, transporting, or shipping in interstate or foreign commerce any individual or part, in the course of a commercial activity;

    (3) Selling or offering for sale in interstate commerce any part, except antique articles at least 100 years old;

    (4) Importing or exporting any individual or part; and

    (5) Harming captive animals by, among other things, injuring or killing a captive animal, through experimental or potentially injurious care or conducting research or sexual breeding activities on captive animals, outside the bounds of normal animal husbandry practices. Experimental or potentially injurious care or procedures and research or sexual breeding activities of gulf grouper may, depending on the circumstances, be authorized under an ESA 10(a)(1)(A) permit for scientific research or the enhancement of the propagation or survival of the species.

    Identification of Those Activities That Would Not Constitute a Violation of Section 9 of the ESA

    We will identify, to the extent known at the time of the final rule, specific activities involving gulf grouper that will not be considered likely to result in a violation of section 9 of the ESA. Although not binding, we are considering the following actions, depending on the circumstances, as not being prohibited by ESA section 9:

    (1) Take authorized by, and carried out in accordance with the terms and conditions of, an ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) permit issued by NMFS for purposes of scientific research or the enhancement of the propagation or survival of the species; and

    (2) Continued possession of parts that were in possession at the time of listing. Such parts may be non-commercially exported or imported; however the importer or exporter must be able to provide evidence to show that the parts meet the criteria of ESA section 9(b)(1) (i.e., held in a controlled environment at the time of listing, in a non-commercial activity).

    Section 11(f) of the ESA gives NMFS authority to promulgate regulations that may be appropriate to enforce the ESA. NMFS may promulgate future regulations to regulate trade or holding of gulf grouper, if necessary. NMFS will provide the public with the opportunity to comment on future proposed regulations.

    Protective Regulations Under Section 4(d) of the ESA

    We are proposing to list the island grouper as a threatened species. In the case of threatened species, ESA section 4(d) leaves it to the Secretary's discretion whether, and to what extent, to extend the section 9(a) “take” prohibitions to the species, and authorizes us to issue regulations necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species. Thus, we have flexibility under section 4(d) to tailor protective regulations, taking into account the effectiveness of available conservation measures. The 4(d) protective regulations may prohibit, with respect to threatened species, some or all of the acts which section 9(a) of the ESA prohibits with respect to endangered species. These 9(a) prohibitions apply to all individuals, organizations, and agencies subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Since the island grouper occurs entirely outside of the United States, and is not commercially traded with the United States, extending the section 9(a) “take” prohibitions to this species will not result in added conservation benefits or species protection. Therefore, we do not intend to issue section 4(d) regulations for the island grouper.

    Public Comments Solicited

    To ensure that any final action resulting from this proposed rule to list two species will be as accurate and effective as possible, we are soliciting comments and information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties on information in the status review and proposed rule. Comments are encouraged on these proposals (See DATES and ADDRESSES). We must base our final determination on the best available scientific and commercial information when making listing determinations. We cannot, for example, consider the economic effects of a listing determination. Final promulgation of any regulation(s) on these species' listing proposals will take into consideration the comments and any additional information we receive, and such communications may lead to a final regulation that differs from this proposal or result in a withdrawal of this listing proposal. We particularly seek:

    (1) Information concerning the threats to either of the two species proposed for listing;

    (2) Taxonomic information on either of these species;

    (3) Biological information (life history, genetics, population connectivity, etc.) on either of these species;

    (4) Efforts being made to protect either of these species throughout their current ranges;

    (5) Information on the commercial trade of either of these species; and

    (6) Historical and current distribution and abundance and trends for either of these species.

    We request that all information be accompanied by: (1) Supporting documentation, such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent publications; and (2) the submitter's name, address, and any association, institution, or business that the person represents.

    Role of Peer Review

    In December 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review establishing a minimum peer review standard. Similarly, a joint NMFS/FWS policy (59 FR 34270; July 1, 1994) requires us to solicit independent expert review from qualified specialists, concurrent with the public comment period. The intent of the peer review policy is to ensure that listings are based on the best scientific and commercial data available. We solicited and received peer review comments on each of the status review reports, including from: three marine scientists with expertise on the gulf grouper, and three marine scientists with expertise on the island grouper. Peer reviewer comments for each species are incorporated into the draft status review reports and this 12-month finding.

    References

    A complete list of the references used in this proposed rule is available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    Classification National Environmental Policy Act

    The 1982 amendments to the ESA, in section 4(b)(1)(A), restrict the information that may be considered when assessing species for listing. Based on this limitation of criteria for a listing decision and the opinion in Pacific Legal Foundation v. Andrus, 675 F. 2d 825 (6th Cir. 1981), NMFS has concluded that ESA listing actions are not subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (See NOAA Administrative Order 216-6).

    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Paperwork Reduction Act

    As noted in the Conference Report on the 1982 amendments to the ESA, economic impacts cannot be considered when assessing the status of a species. Therefore, the economic analysis requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are not applicable to the listing process. In addition, this proposed rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. This proposed rule does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    In accordance with E.O. 13132, we determined that this proposed rule does not have significant Federalism effects and that a Federalism assessment is not required. In keeping with the intent of the Administration and Congress to provide continuing and meaningful dialogue on issues of mutual state and Federal interest, this proposed rule will be given to the relevant governmental agencies in the countries in which these two species occur, and they will be invited to comment. We will confer with the U.S. Department of State to ensure appropriate notice is given to foreign nations within the range of both species. As the process continues, we intend to continue engaging in informal and formal contacts through the U.S. State Department, giving careful consideration to all written and oral comments received.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 223

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Transportation.

    50 CFR Part 224

    Administrative practice and procedure, Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Dated: September 14, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR parts 223 and 224 are proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 223—THREATENED MARINE AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES

    1. The authority citation for part 223 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 1543; subpart B, § 223.201-202 also issued under 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 5503(d) for § 223.206(d)(9).

    2. In § 223.102, in paragraph (e), the table is amended by adding an entry for “Grouper, island” under Fishes in alphabetical order by common name to read as follows:

    § 223.102 Enumeration of threatened marine and anadromous species.

    (e) * * *

    Species 1 Common name Scientific name Description of listed
  • entity
  • Citation(s) for listing
  • determination(s)
  • Critical habitat ESA rules
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Fishes *         *         *         *         *         *          Grouper, island Mycteroperca fusca Entire species. [Insert Federal Register citation], 9/23/2015 NA NA *         *         *         *         *         *          1 Species includes taxonomic species, subspecies, distinct population segments (DPSs) (for a policy statement, see 61 FR 4722, February 7, 1996), and evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) (for a policy statement, see 56 FR 58612, November 20, 1991).
    PART 224—ENDANGERED MARINE AND ANADROMOUS SPECIES

    3. The authority citation for part 224 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531-1543 and 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.

    4. In § 224.101, in paragraph (h), the table is amended by adding an entry for “Grouper, gulf” under Fishes in alphabetical order by common name to read as follows:

    § 224.101 Enumeration of endangered marine and anadromous species.

    (h) * * *

    Species 1 Common name Scientific name Description of listed
  • entity
  • Citation(s) for listing
  • determination(s)
  • Critical habitat ESA rules
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Fishes *         *         *         *         *         *         * Grouper, gulf Mycteroperca jordani Entire species [Insert Federal Register citation], 9/23/2015 NA NA *         *         *         *         *         *          1 Species includes taxonomic species, subspecies, distinct population segments (DPSs) (for a policy statement, see 61 FR 4722, February 7, 1996), and evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) (for a policy statement, see 56 FR 58612, November 20, 1991).
    [FR Doc. 2015-23502 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 184 Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision; and Approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions Northwest Colorado, and Wyoming AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of the Record of Decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) and Approved Land Management Plan (LMP) Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Northwest Colorado and Wyoming. The Intermountain and Rocky Mountain Regional Foresters signed the ROD on September 16, 2015, which constitutes the final decision of the Forest Service.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the ROD and LMP Amendments are available upon request and are also available for public inspection at the addresses listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. Interested persons may also review the ROD and Approved LMP amendments and on the World Wide Web at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/r4/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For the Northwest Colorado GRSG LMP Amendment contact Dennis Jaeger, Routt National Forest Supervisor, telephone 307-745-2400; address Routt National Forest 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY 82070; email: [email protected]

    For the Wyoming GRSG LMP amendment contact Pam Bode, Wyoming State Liaison, telephone 307-352-0259; address Bridger-Teton National Forest, 340 North Cache, Jackson, Wyoming 83001; email: [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Record of Decision (ROD) and Approved Land Management Plan (LMP) Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Northwest Colorado and Wyoming were developed through a collaborative planning process and incorporate land-use plan level conservation measures into existing Forest Service LMPs to conserve, enhance, and restore GRSG and its habitat by reducing, eliminating, or minimizing threats to GRSG and its habitat. The ROD and Approved LMP Amendments include management direction that limits or eliminates new surface disturbance in GRSG Priority Habitat Management Areas, while minimizing disturbance in GRSG General Habitat Management Areas. In addition to establishing protective management direction, the Approved LMP Amendments establish a suite of management provisions, such as the establishment of disturbance limits, GRSG habitat objectives, mitigation requirements, monitoring protocols, and adaptive management triggers and responses, as well as other conservation measures throughout the range. The cumulative effect of these conservation measures is to protect, improve, and restore GRSG habitat across the remaining range of the species in the Rocky Mountain Region and provide greater certainty that Forest Service activities and authorizations in GRSG habitat will lead to conservation of GRSG and its habitat as well as other sagebrush-steppe associated species in the Region.

    The ROD and Approved LMP Amendments amend the following Forest Service LMPs:

    Sub-region National Forest System unit Date of current LMP NW Colorado Routt National Forest 1998 Wyoming Thunder Basin National Grassland 2002 Bridger-Teton National Forest 1990 Medicine Bow National Forest 2003

    The Northwest Colorado and Wyoming Draft Land Use Plan Amendments (LUPAs)/Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs also included proposed GRSG management direction on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands. However, the BLM completed a separate ROD and Resource Management Plan Amendments/Revisions under BLM planning authorities. Management decisions within the Forest Service ROD and Approved LMP Amendments apply only to National Forest System lands. Notice of Availability for the Rocky Mountain Region GRSG Proposed LUPs/Final EISs were published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2015, which initiated a 30-day protest period.

    The BLM and Forest Service received 55 timely and valid protest submissions for all Rocky Mountain region Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs. After careful consideration of the all issues raised in these protests, the Deputy Chief for the National Forest System concluded that the responsible planning team followed all applicable laws, regulations, and policies and considered all relevant resource information and public input in developing the Proposed LUPs/Final EISs. For a full description of the issues raised during the protest period and how they were addressed, please refer to the Protest Resolution Reports for the Northwest Colorado and Wyoming Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs. These Reports, which include two Forest Service Proposed LMP amendments for Northwest Colorado and Wyoming, are available at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/planning_overview/protest_resolution/protestreports.html.

    The preferred alternatives, as presented in the Draft LUP Amendments/EISs and further developed in the Proposed LUP Amendments/Final EISs as the Proposed Plan Amendments, were selected in the ROD as the Approved LMP Amendments with some minor clarifications.

    Copies of the Northwest Colorado GRSG ROD and Approved LMP Amendment are available upon request and are available for public inspection at:

    • Routt National Forest Headquarters, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, WY, 82070 Copies of the Wyoming GRSG ROD and Approved LMP Amendment are available upon request and are available for public inspection at: • Medicine Bow National Forest-Thunder Basin National Grassland Headquarters • Bridger-Teton National Forest Headquarters, 340 North Cache, Jackson, WY 83001 Dated: September 17, 2015. Glenn P. Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24168 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision and Approved Land Management Plan Amendments for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse Sub-Regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana; Nevada and Utah AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of the Record of Decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) and Approved Land Management Plan (LMP) Amendments for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana, Nevada, and Northeast California, and Utah. Management decisions within the ROD and Approved LMP amendments apply only to National Forest System lands. There were no National Forest System lands involved in this effort in Northeast California. The Regional Foresters signed the ROD on September 16, 2015, which constitutes the final decision of the Forest Service.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the ROD and Approved LMP Amendments are available upon request and are also available for public inspection at the addresses listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. Interested persons may also review the ROD and Approved LMP Amendments on the World Wide Web at http://www.fs.usda.gov/r4/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For the Idaho and Southwestern Montana GRSG LMP Amendment contact Robert Mickelsen, Caribou-Targhee National Forest GRSG, Idaho State Liaison, telephone 208-557-5764; address: 1405 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83401; email: [email protected]

    For the Nevada GRSG LMP Amendment contact Bill Dunkelberger, Forest Supervisor, Humboldt-Toiyabe, telephone: 775-355-5310; address: 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, NV 89431; email: [email protected]

    For the Utah GRSG LMP Amendment contact: Ron Rodriguez, Utah State Liaison, telephone: 435-865-3732; address: 1789 North Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City, UT 84721; email: [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Record of Decision (ROD) and Approved Land Management Plan (LMP) Amendments for the Great Basin Region Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) sub-regions of Idaho and Southwestern Montana, Nevada, and Northeast California, and Utah were developed through a collaborative planning process and incorporate land-use plan level conservation measures into existing Forest Service LMPs to conserve, enhance, and restore GRSG and its habitat by reducing, eliminating, or minimizing threats to GRSG and its habitat. The ROD and Approved LMP Amendments include management direction that limits or eliminates new surface disturbance in GRSG Priority Habitat Management Areas, while minimizing disturbance in GRSG General Habitat Management Areas. In addition to establishing protective land use allocations, the Approved LMP Amendments establish a suite of management provisions, such as the establishment of disturbance limits, GRSG habitat objectives, mitigation requirements, monitoring protocols, and adaptive management triggers and responses, as well as other conservation measures throughout the range. The cumulative effect of these conservation measures is to protect, improve, and restore GRSG habitat across the remaining range of the species in the Great Basin Region and provide greater certainty that Forest Service activities and authorizations in GRSG habitat in the Great Basin Region will lead to conservation of the GRSG and its habitat as well as other sagebrush-steppe associated species in the Region.

    The ROD and LMP amendments amend the following Forest Service LMPs:

    Sub-region National Forest System unit Date of current LMP Idaho Boise National Forest 2003 Caribou National Forest 2003 Curlew National Grassland 2002 Challis National Forest 1987 Salmon National Forest 1988 Sawtooth National Forest 2003 Targhee National Forest RMP 1997 Montana Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest 2009 Nevada Humboldt National Forest 1986 Toiyabe National Forest 1986 Utah Ashley National Forest 1986 Dixie National Forest 1986 Fishlake National Forest 1986 Manti-LaSal National Forest 1086 Uinta National Forest 2003 Wasatch-Cache National Forest 2003

    The Idaho and Southwestern Montana, Nevada, and Northeast California, and Utah Draft Land Use Plan Amendments (LUPAs)/Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs included proposed GRSG management direction on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands. However, the BLM completed a separate ROD and Resource Management Plan Amendments under BLM planning authorities. Management decisions within this ROD and Approved LMP Amendments apply only to National Forest System lands. There were no National Forest System lands involved in this effort in Northeast California.

    A Notice of Availability for the Great Basin Region GRSG Proposed LMP Amendments/Final EISs for the Idaho and Southwest Montana, Nevada, and Northeast California, Oregon, and Utah sub-regions was published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2015, which initiated a 30-day protest period.

    The BLM and Forest Service received 102 timely and valid protest submissions for all the Great Basin Region Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs. After careful consideration of all the issues raised in these protests, the Deputy Chief for the National Forest System concluded the responsible planning team followed all applicable laws, regulations, and policies and considered all relevant resource information and public input in developing the Proposed LMPs/Final EISs. For a full description of the issues raised during the protest period and how they were addressed, please refer to the Protest Resolution Reports for the Idaho and Southwest Montana, Nevada and Northeast California, and Utah Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs. These Reports, which include three Forest Service Proposed LMPs for Idaho and Southwest Montana, Nevada, and Utah, are available at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/planning_overview/protest_resolution/protestreports.html.

    The preferred alternatives, as presented in the Draft LUPA/Draft EISs and and further developed in the Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs as the Proposed Plan Amendment, were selected in the ROD as the Approved LMP Amendments with some minor clarifications.

    Copies of the Idaho and Southwest Montana GRSG ROD and Approved LMP Amendment are available upon request and are available for public inspection at:

    • Boise National Forest Headquarters. Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709 • Caribou-Targhee National Forest Headquarters, 1405 Hollipark Drive., Idaho Falls, ID 83401 • Salmon-Challis National Forest Headquarters, 1206 South Challis Street, Salmon, ID 83467 • Sawtooth National Forest Headquarters, 2647 Kimberly Road East, Twin Falls, ID 83301-7976

    Copies of the Nevada GRSG ROD and Approved LMP amendment are available upon request and are available for public inspection at:

    • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Headquarters, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, NV 89431

    Copies of the Utah GRSG ROD and Approved LMP amendment are available upon request and are available for public inspection at:

    • Ashley National Forest Headquarters, 355 North Vernal Ave. Vernal, UT 84078 • Dixie National Forest Headquarters, 1789 North Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City, UT 84721 • Fishlake National Forest Headquarters, 115 East 900 North, Richfield, UT 84701 • Manti-LaSal National Forest Headquarters, 599 West Price River Drive, Price, UT 84501 • Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Headquarters, 857 West South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84099 Dated: September 17, 2015. Glenn P. Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24169 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Hood and Willamette Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Hood and Willamette Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Corvallis Oregon. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/workingtogether/advisorycommittees/?cid=STELPRDB504843.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, beginning at 9 a.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor's Office, 3200 Southwest Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon. The meeting will be held in the main conference room near the primary Visitor's entrance.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kent Wellner, RAC Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 541-225-6301 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Make decisions on proposals submitted for FY2015 Title II funds; and

    2. Establish additional meeting dates, if necessary.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by October 6, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Kent Wellner, Designated Federal Officer, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite D, Springfield, Oregon 97477; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 541-225-6228.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Tracy Beck, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24141 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Inviting Applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Business-Cooperative Service published a Notice in the Federal Register on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 (80 FR 53765), inviting applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program. The document contained the incorrect maximum grant amount.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Grants Division, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., MS 3253, Room 4008-South, Washington, DC 20250-3253, or call 202-690-1374.

    Correction

    In the Notice [FR Doc 2015-22546], published September 8, 2015 (80 FR 53767), column 1, under “B. Federal Award Information,” the third line “Maximum DHCS Award: $500,000” should read “Maximum DHCS Award: $1,000,000.00.”

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Samuel H. Rikkers, Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24113 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0143.

    Form Number(s): F-10.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Average Hours per Response: 45 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 300.

    Needs and Uses: A small number of large retirement systems control over 3.3 trillion dollars in public pension assets in the financial markets. In the process of preparing the frame for the 2012 Census of Governments, 3,992 public retirement systems administered by state and local governments were identified. The 100 largest systems, as measured by the system assets, account for about 87.2 percent of the total assets of all systems, based on the 2012 Census of Governments. The Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions is used to collect data on the assets, revenues, and expenditures of these 100 systems enabling policy makers and economists to follow the changing characteristics of these funds. 100 units are selected in an attempt to balance timeliness, respondent burden, workload, and data quality. The survey provides a more timely subset of the data presented in the Annual Survey of Public-Employee Pension Systems. Both Surveys are part of the Census Bureau's Government Finance program.

    The U.S. Census Bureau initiated this survey in 1968 at the request of both the Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve Board. The most important information this survey provides is the quarterly change in composition of the securities holdings of the defined benefit public employee retirement systems component of the economy. The Federal Reserve Board uses these data to track the public sector portion of the Flow of Funds Accounts. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) uses these data to estimate dividends received by state and local government retirement systems that, in turn, are used in preparing the National Income and Product Accounts. Additionally, the data are used by a variety of government officials, academics, students, and non-profit organizations to analyze trends in public employee retirement and the impact of retirement obligations on the fiscal well-being of state and local governments. Media that serve investment and public policy audiences routinely report on the quarterly data release, further disseminating the data.

    Affected Public: State, local or tribal government.

    Frequency: Quarterly.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: 13 U.S.C. Sections 161 and 182.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Sheleen Dumas, PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24130 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Meeting of Bureau of Economic Analysis Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Economics and Statistics Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463 as amended by Pub. L. 94-409, Pub. L. 96-523, Pub. L. 97-375, and Pub. L. 105-153), we are announcing a meeting of the Bureau of Economic Analysis Advisory Committee. The meeting will address ways in which the national economic accounts can be presented more effectively for current economic analysis and recent statistical developments in national accounting.

    DATES:

    Friday, November 13, 2015, the meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and adjourn at 3:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place at the Bureau of Economic Analysis at 1441 L St. NW., Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gianna Marrone, Program Analyst, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; telephone number: (202) 606-9633.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established September 2, 1999. The Committee advises the Director of BEA on matters related to the development and improvement of BEA's national, regional, industry, and international economic accounts, especially in areas of new and rapidly growing economic activities arising from innovative and advancing technologies, and provides recommendations from the perspectives of the economics profession, business, and government. This will be the Committee's twenty-ninth meeting.

    Public Participation: This meeting is open to the public. Because of security procedures, anyone planning to attend the meeting must contact Gianna Marrone of BEA at (202) 606-9633 in advance. The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for foreign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gianna Marrone at (202) 606-9633.

    Dated: August 11, 2015, Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24179 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-821] Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India: Notice of Commencement of Compliance Proceedings Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 23, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), 19 U.S.C. 3538, the Department of Commerce (Department), is commencing proceedings to gather information, analyze record evidence, and consider the determinations which would be necessary to bring its measures into conformity with the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in United States—Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India—(WTO/DS436). This dispute concerns the final results issued in certain administrative reviews of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric B. Greynolds, Program Manager, AD/CVD Operations Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; Telephone: (202) 482-6071.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On February 13, 2015, the United States informed the DSB that the United States intends to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings in WTO/DS436. The segments of the proceeding subject to implementation are as follows:

    Title of administrative review Period of review Federal Register citation and publication date Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004 71 FR 28665 (May 17, 2006). Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006 73 FR 40295 (July 14, 2008). Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007 74 FR 20923 (May 6, 2009). Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products From India January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008 75 FR 43488 (July 26, 2010). Commencement of Section 129 Proceedings

    In accordance with Section 129(b)(1) of the URAA, the Department consulted with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and on August 21, 2015, pursuant to those consultations, opened segments in the CVD administrative reviews at issue to commence administrative actions to comply with the DSB's recommendations and rulings. Each segment will consist of a separate administrative record with its own administrative protective order. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b), interested parties may request access to business proprietary information in the segment of the proceeding to which they are participating. For each of these Section 129 segments, we may request additional information and we may conduct verification of such information. Consistent with Section 129(d) of the URAA, the Department will issue preliminary results in each of the Section 129 segments, the Department will provide interested parties with an opportunity to provide written comments on those preliminary results, and the Department may hold a hearing.

    Filing Requirements & Letter of Appearance

    In accordance with the Department's regulations, all submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.1

    1See generally 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d)(l), to be included on the public service list for the Section 129 determination for the aforementioned proceedings, all interested parties, including parties that were part of the public service list in the underlying segments of the proceeding and any parties otherwise notified of the Department's commencement of these Section 129 proceedings, must file a letter of appearance. The letter of appearance must be filed separately from any other document (with the exception of an application for administrative protective order (APO) access; parties applying for and granted APO access would automatically be on the public service list). Parties wishing to enter an appearance or submit information with regard to these proceedings must upload their filing(s) to each relevant case number. Additionally, for each submission made in ACCESS, parties must select “S 129-SEC 129” as the segment, and enter “DS436-“2004” “DS436-2006,” “DS436-2007” or “DS436-2008” as appropriate in the segment specific information field.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under Part 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping (AD) or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 3 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in these investigations should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is published in accordance with Section 129(b)(1) of the URAA.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24183 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-201-846] Sugar From Mexico: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to exporters and producers of sugar from Mexico. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective date: September 23, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kaitlin Wojnar, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The petitioner in this investigation is the American Sugar Coalition and its members (Petitioners).1 In addition to the Government of Mexico (GOM), the mandatory respondents in this investigation are Fondo de Empresas Expropiadas del Sector Azucarero (FEESA) and Ingenio Tala S.A. de C.V. and certain affiliated companies owned by Grupo Azucarero Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively, the GAM Group). The period of investigation (POI) is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

    1 The American Sugar Coalition is comprised of the following individual members: American Sugar Cane League; American Sugar Refining, Inc.; American Sugarbeet Growers Association; Florida Sugar Cane League; Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company; Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, Inc.; Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida; and United States Beet Sugar Association.

    The Department published its affirmative Preliminary Determination on September 2, 2014.2 On December 19, 2014, the Department and a representative of the GOM signed an agreement suspending this CVD investigation.3 Pursuant to timely requests for continuation filed on January 16, 2015,4 the Department published notice of continuation of the investigation on May 4, 2015.5 Subsequently, on June 18, 2015, the Department issued a post-preliminary analysis memorandum.6 A complete summary of the events that occurred since publication of the Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Sugar from Mexico” (Issues and Decision Memorandum),7 which is dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is available 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 to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the Department's main building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    2See Sugar from Mexico: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 79 FR 51956 (September 2, 2014) (Preliminary Determination).

    3See Sugar from Mexico: Suspension of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 79 FR 78044 (December 29, 2014) (Suspension Agreement).

    4See Letter from Imperial Sugar Company, “Sugar from Mexico, Inv. Nos. A-201-845 and C-201-846—Request for Continuation of Investigations,” January 16, 2015; see also Letter from AmCane Sugar LLC, “Sugar from Mexico: Request for Continuation of Investigations,” January 16, 2015.

    5See Department Memorandum, “Standing of Imperial Sugar and AmCane Sugar to Request Continuation of the AD and CVD Investigations on Sugar from Mexico,” dated April 24, 2015; see also Sugar from Mexico: Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 80 FR 25278 (May 4, 2015).

    6See Department Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Sugar from Mexico: Post-Preliminary Analysis,” June 18, 2015.

    7See Department Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Sugar from Mexico,” September 16, 2015.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is sugar from Mexico. Since the Preliminary Determination, the Department has updated the scope of the investigation. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Scope Comments” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum and, for a complete description of the scope, see Appendix I to this notice.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case briefs and rebuttal briefs submitted by interested parties in this proceeding are discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised by parties and responded to by the Department in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is attached at Appendix II to this notice.

    Changes to the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the respondents' subsidy rate calculations since the Preliminary Determination and our post-preliminary analysis. These changes are discussed in the “Analysis of Programs” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum. As discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, for purposes of this final determination, the Department relied, in part, on facts available when necessary information was not available on the record.8

    8See section 776(a) of the Act.

    Final Determination

    In accordance with 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department calculated a countervailable subsidy rate for each individually investigated exporter/producer of the subject merchandise. Consistent with sections 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, the Department also calculated an estimated “all others” rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act provides that the “all others” rate will be equal to the weighted-average of the countervailable subsidy rates, excluding de minimis rates and rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act, established for individually investigated exporters and producers. Because the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates calculated for FEESA and the GAM Group are not de minimis and are not based entirely on section 776 of the Act as facts available, the Department has estimated the “all others” rate in this final determination by weight-averaging the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates calculated for FEESA and the GAM Group.

    We determine the total estimated countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate Fondo de Empresas Expropiadas del Sector Azucarero 43.93 percent. Ingenio Tala S.A. de C.V. and certain affiliated sugar mills of Grupo Azucarero Mexico S.A. de C.V. 5.78 percent. All Others 38.11 percent.

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b), we will disclose the calculations performed within five days of any public announcement of this notice.

    As noted above, the Department signed a Suspension Agreement in this investigation on December 19, 2014. On March 27, 2015, following a review of the Suspension Agreement by the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Department, in accordance with sections 704(h)(3)(A) and (B) of the Act, instructed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to terminate the suspension of liquidation of all entries of sugar from Mexico and to refund any collected cash deposits without regard to countervailing duties.9 Notwithstanding the continuation and completion of the investigation, as the Suspension Agreement continues to be in place, the Department will not instruct CBP to suspend liquidation or to assess cash deposits at the countervailing duty rates noted above unless the Suspension Agreement is terminated.

    9See Department Memorandum, “Termination of Suspension of Liquidation: Suspended Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar from Mexico,” March 27, 2015.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our final determination. Because our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will, within 45 days, determine whether these imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the U.S. industry. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury does not exist, the Suspension Agreement shall have no force or effect, and the investigation shall be terminated.10 If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Suspension Agreement shall remain in force but the Department shall not issue a CVD order so long as (1) the Suspension Agreement remains in force, (2) the Suspension Agreement continues to meet the requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of the Act, and (3) the parties to the Suspension Agreement carry out their obligations under the Suspension Agreement in accordance with its terms.11

    10See section 704(f)(3)(A) of the Act.

    11See section 704(f)(3)(B) of the Act.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is raw and refined sugar of all polarimeter readings derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. The chemical sucrose gives sugar its essential character. Sucrose is a nonreducing disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose linked by a glycosidic bond via their anomeric carbons. The molecular formula for sucrose is C12H22O11; the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) International Chemical Identifier (InChI) for sucrose is 1S/C12H22O11/c13-1-4-6(16)8(18)9(19)11(21-4)23-12(3-15)10(20)7(17)5(2-14)22-12/h4-11,13-20H,1-3H2/t4-,5-,6-,7-,8+,9-,10+,11-,12+/m1/s1; the InChI Key for sucrose is CZMRCDWAGMRECN-UGDNZRGBSA-N; the U.S. National Institutes of Health PubChem Compound Identifier (CID) for sucrose is 5988; and the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Number of sucrose is 57-50-1.

    Sugar described in the previous paragraph includes products of all polarimeter readings described in various forms, such as raw sugar, estandar or standard sugar, high polarity or semi-refined sugar, special white sugar, refined sugar, brown sugar, edible molasses, desugaring molasses, organic raw sugar, and organic refined sugar. Other sugar products, such as powdered sugar, colored sugar, flavored sugar, and liquids and syrups that contain 95 percent or more sugar by dry weight are also within the scope of this investigation.

    The scope of the investigation does not include (1) sugar imported under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; 1 (2) sugar products produced in Mexico that contain 95 percent or more sugar by dry weight that originated outside of Mexico; (3) inedible molasses (other than inedible desugaring molasses noted above); (4) beverages; (5) candy; (6) certain specialty sugars; and (7) processed food products that contain sugar (e.g., cereals). Specialty sugars excluded from the scope of this investigation are limited to the following: caramelized slab sugar candy, pearl sugar, rock candy, dragees for cooking and baking, fondant, golden syrup, and sugar decorations.

    1 This exclusion applies to sugar imported under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program, the Sugar-Containing Products Re-Export Program, and the Polyhydric Alcohol Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Merchandise covered by this investigation is typically imported under the following headings of the HTSUS: 1701.12.1000, 1701.12.5000, 1701.13.1000, 1701.13.5000, 1701.14.1000, 1701.14.5000, 1701.91.1000, 1701.91.3000, 1701.99.1010, 1701.99.1025, 1701.99.1050, 1701.99.5010, 1701.99.5025, 1701.99.5050, 1702.90.4000 and 1703.10.3000. The tariff classification is provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Subsidies Valuation VI. Analysis of Programs VII. Discussion of the Issues Issue 1: Standing to Request Continuation of the Investigation Issue 2: Uncreditworthiness Issue 3: Calculation of Discount Rates Issue 4: Treatment of Grants as Non-Recurring Subsidies Issue 5: Sugarcane for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR) Issue 6: Forgiveness of Tax Liability Under the “Catch Up” Tax Amnesty Program Issue 7: Countervailability of 1998/1999 Restructuring of Financiera Nacional Azucarera, S.N.C. (FINA) Debt Issue 8: Amount of Benefits Received From the 1999 Inventory Support Subsidy Issue 9: Selection of FEESA as a Mandatory Respondent Issue 10: Forgiveness of FEESA's Government Debts Issue 11: Forgiveness of Wastewater Discharge Debt Issue 12: FEESA's Interest-Free Social Security Debt Issue 13: Preferential Lending to FEESA Issue 14: Provision of General Services for LTAR Issue 15: Sales Denominator Adjustments Issue 16: Forgiveness of the GAM Group's Government Debts Issue 17: Accelerated Depreciation of Renewable Energy Investments Issue 18: Repayment of Special Fund and Annual Budget Allocations Issue 19: Amount of Benefits Received from the 1997 Export Subsidy VIII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-24195 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Notice of Scope Rulings AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) hereby publishes a list of scope rulings and anticircumvention determinations made between April 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015, inclusive. We intend to publish future lists after the close of the next calendar quarter.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 23, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department's regulations provide that the Secretary will publish in the Federal Register a list of scope rulings on a quarterly basis.1 Our most recent notification of scope rulings was published on June 16, 2015.2 This current notice covers all scope rulings and anticircumvention determinations made by Enforcement and Compliance between April 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015, inclusive. Subsequent lists will follow after the close of each calendar quarter.

    1See 19 CFR 351.225(o).

    2See Notice of Scope Rulings, 80 FR 34368 (June 16, 2015).

    Scope Rulings Made Between April 1, 2015 and June 31, 2015 People's Republic of China A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: All Points Industries Inc. (“All Points”); All Points' cleats are within the scope of the orders on aluminum extrusions from the PRC because they are single-piece aluminum extrusions without accessories, attachments, fasteners, or other non-extruded parts of aluminum or any other material, and match the physical description of subject merchandise; April 2, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Guardian Fall Protection, Inc.; window anchors are outside the scope of the orders because they represent finished merchandise containing aluminum extrusions as parts that are fully and permanently assembled and completed at the time of entry; April 21, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Unger Enterprises Inc. (“Unger”); Unger's pole handles, consisting of aluminum extrusion tubes, polypropylene hand grips, polypropylene tool and accessory attachment heads, and “optiloc” plastic locking collars, are outside the scope of the orders on aluminum extrusions from the PRC under the finished goods exclusion because they are finished goods containing aluminum extrusions as parts that are fully and permanently assembled and completed at the time of entry; April 22, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Ikea Supply AG (“IKEA”); IKEA's cabinet/drawer handles are within the scope of the orders on aluminum extrusions from the PRC because the cabinet/drawer handles are comprised solely of an aluminum extrusion that matches the description of subject merchandise and fasteners (i.e., screws and nuts); April 27, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Ikea Supply AG (“IKEA”); IKEA's towel racks are within the scope of the orders on aluminum extrusions from the PRC because the towel racks are comprised solely of an aluminum extrusion that matches the description of subject merchandise and fasteners; April 27, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Streamlight, Inc. (“Streamlight”); Streamlight's heat sink parts for LED lamps are within the scope of the orders on aluminum extrusions from the PRC because the heat sink parts for LED lamps do not meet the two criteria to qualify for the finished heat sink exclusion from the orders; May 14, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: TSS, Inc.; the LT-10H2 Wind Sign Frame is outside the scope of the orders because it is finished merchandise containing aluminum extrusions as parts that are fully and permanently assembled and completed at the time of entry; June 16, 2015.

    A-570-899: Certain Artist Canvas From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Suqian Langer International Trade Co., Ltd. (“Suqian Langer”); Suqian Langer's artist canvases are outside the scope of the order because the weaving and priming of the canvases, which impart the artist canvases' essential characteristics, are performed in India and not the People's Republic of China; May 26, 2015.

    A-570-910 and C-570-911: Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe From People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Unique Fire Stop Products, Inc. (UFS); Smooth Fire Stop Sleeve System products are not within the scope, which states that covered products are “generally known as standard and structural pipe.” UFS' product could not be used for the purposes for which standard or structural pipe are used; June 10, 2015.

    A-570-891: Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: National Public Seating (NPS); NPS' Banquet Stack Chair Dolly is within the scope of the order because it possesses all the essential physical characteristics of subject hand trucks; April 6, 2015.

    A-570-891: Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Bond Street Ltd.; the Bond Cart Model 390008 is within the scope of the order because it possesses all the essential physical characteristics of subject hand trucks; April 22, 2015.

    A-570-890: Wooden Bedroom From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Bassett Mirror Company, Inc.; Reflections and Murano chairside chests are outside the scope of the antidumping duty order because of their limited storage space and characteristics consistent with end tables or occasional tables; April 30, 2015.

    Spain A-469-805: Stainless Steel Bar From Spain

    Requestor: Rodacciai S.p.A. and Roda Specialty Steel, Inc.; Cold-finished stainless steel bar manufactured through cold-drawing and other finishing steps in Italy using stainless steel wire rod imported from Spain is not within the scope of the antidumping duty order; May 12, 2015.

    A-469-807: Stainless Steel Wire Rod From Spain

    Requestor: Rodacciai S.p.A. and Roda Specialty Steel, Inc.; Cold-finished stainless steel bar manufactured through cold-drawing and other finishing steps in Italy using stainless steel wire rod imported from Spain is not within the scope of the antidumping duty order; May 12, 2015.

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the completeness of this list of completed scope and anticircumvention inquiries. Any comments should be submitted to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., APO/Dockets Unit, Room 1870, Washington, DC 20230.

    This notice is published in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(o).

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24185 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-845] Sugar From Mexico: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that imports of sugar from Mexico are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. The final weighted-average dumping margins are listed below in the section entitled “Final Determination Margins.”

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 23, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Lindgren, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3870.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On November 3, 2014, the Department published in the Federal Register the Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV in the antidumping duty investigation of sugar from Mexico.1 The following events occurred since the Preliminary Determination was issued. Between December 3 and 16, 2014, we conducted sales and cost verifications of the two respondents in this investigation, FEESA 2 and the GAM Group.3 The verification reports were issued between January 29 and March 31, 2015.

    1See Sugar From Mexico: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 79 FR 65189 (November 3, 2014) (Preliminary Determination).

    2 Fondo de Empresas Expropiadas del Sector Azucarero (FEESA) consists of FEESA and the following sugar mills: Fideicomiso Ingenio El Modelo, Fideicomiso Ingenio San Cristobal, Fideicomiso Ingenio Plan De San Luis, Fideicomiso Ingenio San Miguelito, Fideicomiso Ingenio La Providencia, Fideicomiso Ingenio Atencingo, Fideicomiso Ingenio Casasano, Fideicomiso Ingenio El Potrero, and Fideicomiso Ingenio Emiliano Zapata.

    3 The GAM Group consists of the following sugar mills: Ingenio Tala S.A. de C.V.; Ingenio El Dorado S.A. de C.V.; and Ingenio Lazaro Cardenas S.A. de C.V.

    On December 19, 2014, the Department and a representative of the producers/exporters accounting for substantially all imports of sugar from Mexico, the Camara Nacional de Las Industrias Azucarera y Alcoholera, signed a suspension agreement in this investigation.4 On January 8, 2015, Imperial Sugar (Imperial) and AmCane Sugar LLC (AmCane) each notified the Department that they had petitioned the International Trade Commission (ITC) to conduct a review to determine whether the injurious effects of the imports of the subject merchandise are eliminated completely by the AD Suspension Agreement (a section 734(h) review).5 Additionally, on January 16, 2015, AmCane and Imperial submitted timely requests for the continuation of the instant investigation.6 On March 19, 2015, in a unanimous vote, the ITC found that the AD Suspension Agreement eliminated completely the injurious effects of imports of sugar from Mexico. On the same day, the Department announced that it would issue a decision regarding continuation of the investigations promptly after the ITC made its views and findings available.7 On March 24, 2015, the ITC notified the Department of its determination, and on April 10, 2015, provided a report of its views and findings to the Department.8 Subsequently, on April 24, 2015, the Department determined that AmCane and Imperial had standing to request continuation of this investigation and, as a result, published a continuation notice on May 4, 2015.9 Accordingly, on May 4, 2015, the Department announced the briefing schedule. Consistent with the schedule, case briefs were filed on May 29, 2015, and rebuttal briefs on June 12, 2015.

    4See Sugar From Mexico: Suspension of Antidumping Investigation, 79 FR 78093 (December 29, 2014) (AD Suspension Agreement).

    5See Sugar From Mexico: Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 80 FR 25278, 25279 (May 4, 2015) (Continuation Notice).

    6Id.

    7See Continuation Notice, 80 FR at 25280.

    8Id.

    9See Memorandum to the Files regarding “Standing of Imperial Sugar and AmCane Sugar to Request Continuation of the AD and CVD Investigations on Sugar from Mexico,” dated April 24, 2015; see also Continuation Notice, 80 FR at 25278.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is sugar from Mexico. Since the Preliminary Determination, the Department has updated the scope of the investigation. For a discussion of these changes, see “Scope Comments” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum 10 and, for a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix I to this notice.

    10See Memorandum to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Less than Fair Value Investigation of Sugar from Mexico” (Issues and Decision Memorandum), which is dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix II. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to the margin calculations. For a discussion of these changes, see the “Margin Calculations” section of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, in December, 2014, we verified the sales and cost information submitted by FEESA and the GAM Group for use in our final determination. We used standard verification procedures including an examination of relevant accounting and production records, and original source documents provided by the two respondents.11

    11See Memorandum to the File regarding “Verification of the Cost Response of Ingenio Tala de C.V. and its affiliates Ingenio Lazaro Cardenas S.A. de C. V. and Ingenio El Dorado S.A. de C. V. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Sugar from Mexico,” dated January 29, 2015; see also Memorandum to the File regarding “Verification of the Cost Response of Fondo de Empresas Expropiadas del Sector Azucarero in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation of Sugar from Mexico,” dated January 30, 2015; Memoranda to the File regarding “Verification of the Sales and Subsidy Responses of FEESA in the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Sugar from Mexico,” and “Verification of the Sales and Subsidy Responses of the GAM Group in the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Sugar from Mexico,” both dated March 31, 2015.

    Final Determination Margins

    The weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/Producer Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (%)
  • FEESA 40.48 Ingenio Tala S.A. de C.V. and certain affiliated sugar mills of Grupo Azucarero Mexico S.A. de C.V. (collectively, the GAM Group) 42.14 All-Others 40.74

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all-others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. As we calculated weighted-average dumping margins for both mandatory respondents that are above de minimis and which are not based on total facts available, they are the basis for the “all others” rate. However, a weighted average would reveal proprietary information regarding the respondents' sales information. As such, we have calculated the weighted-average “all others” rate by relying on publicly-ranged information reported by FEESA and the GAM Group.12

    12 For more detail on this calculation, see Memorandum to the File regarding “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Sugar from Mexico: Final Determination Calculation for the “All-Others” Rate,” dated September 16, 2015.

    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations performed within five days of any public announcement of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Termination of Suspension of Liquidation

    As noted above, on December 19, 2014, the Department signed the AD Suspension Agreement. Pursuant to section 734(h)(3) of the Act, suspension of liquidation ordered in the Preliminary Determination continued to be in effect pending the ITC's section 734(h) review. Following the ITC's affirmative determination, i.e., that the AD Suspension Agreement completely eliminated the injurious effects of imports of sugar from Mexico, on March 27, 2015, the Department, in accordance with section 734(h)(3) of the Act, instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to terminate the suspension of liquidation of all entries of sugar from Mexico and refund all cash deposits. Pursuant to the requests for continuation discussed above, we have continued and completed the investigation in accordance with section 734(g) of the Act. We found the antidumping duty margins noted above in the “Final Determination Margins” section.

    The Department will not instruct CBP to suspend liquidation or collect cash deposits calculated herein unless the AD Suspension Agreement is terminated and the Department issues an antidumping duty order.13 In the event that Department issues an order, consistent with sections 735(c)(1) and 736(a) of the Act, as well as 19 CFR 351.210(d) and 351.211, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation and require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as indicated in the chart above, as follows: (1) The rate for FEESA, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 40.33 percent; (2) the rate for the GAM Group, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 41.97 percent; (3) if the exporter is not a firm identified in this investigation, but the producer is, then the rate will be the rate established for the producer of the subject merchandise; (4) the rate for all other producers or exporters, when adjusted for export subsidies, will be 40.59 percent.

    13See section 734(f)(3)(B) of the Act.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our final determination. Because our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will, within 45 days, determine whether these imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, the U.S. industry. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury does not exist, the AD Suspension Agreement shall have no force or effect, and the investigation shall be terminated.14 If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the AD Suspension Agreement shall remain in force but the Department shall not issue an antidumping order so long as (1) the AD Suspension Agreement remains in force, (2) the AD Suspension Agreement continues to meet the requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of the Act, and (3) the parties to the AD Suspension Agreement carry out their obligations under the AD Suspension Agreement in accordance with its terms.15

    14See section 734(f)(3)(A) of the Act.

    15See section 734(f)(3)(B) of the Act.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

    This notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return/destruction or APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing this determination and notice in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is raw and refined sugar of all polarimeter readings derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. The chemical sucrose gives sugar its essential character. Sucrose is a nonreducing disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose linked by a glycosidic bond via their anomeric carbons. The molecular formula for sucrose is C12H22O11; the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) International Chemical Identifier (InChI) for sucrose is 1S/C12H22O11/c13-1-4-6(16)8(18)9(19)11(21-4)23-12(3-15)10(20)7(17)5(2-14)22-12/h4-11,13-20H,1-3H2/t4-,5-,6-,7-,8+,9-,10+,11-,12+/m1/s1; the InChI Key for sucrose is CZMRCDWAGMRECN-UGDNZRGBSA-N; the U.S. National Institutes of Health PubChem Compound Identifier (CID) for sucrose is 5988; and the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Number of sucrose is 57-50-1.

    Sugar described in the previous paragraph includes products of all polarimeter readings described in various forms, such as raw sugar, estandar or standard sugar, high polarity or semi-refined sugar, special white sugar, refined sugar, brown sugar, edible molasses, desugaring molasses, organic raw sugar, and organic refined sugar. Other sugar products, such as powdered sugar, colored sugar, flavored sugar, and liquids and syrups that contain 95 percent or more sugar by dry weight are also within the scope of this investigation.

    The scope of the investigation does not include (1) sugar imported under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; 16 (2) sugar products produced in Mexico that contain 95 percent or more sugar by dry weight that originated outside of Mexico; (3) inedible molasses (other than inedible desugaring molasses noted above); (4) beverages; (5) candy; (6) certain specialty sugars; and (7) processed food products that contain sugar (e.g., cereals). Specialty sugars excluded from the scope of this investigation are limited to the following: caramelized slab sugar candy, pearl sugar, rock candy, dragees for cooking and baking, fondant, golden syrup, and sugar decorations.

    16 This exclusion applies to sugar imported under the Refined Sugar Re-Export Program, the Sugar-Containing Products Re-Export Program, and the Polyhydric Alcohol Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Merchandise covered by this investigation is typically imported under the following headings of the HTSUS: 1701.12.1000, 1701.12.5000, 1701.13.1000, 1701.13.5000, 1701.14.1000, 1701.14.5000, 1701.91.1000, 1701.91.3000, 1701.99.1010, 1701.99.1025, 1701.99.1050, 1701.99.5010, 1701.99.5025, 1701.99.5050, 1702.90.4000 and 1703.10.3000. The tariff classification is provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Margin Calculations VI. Discussion of the Issues 1. Imperial and AmCane's Standing to Request Continuation of the Investigation 2. Use of Revised Scope for Final Determination 3. Selection of FEESA as a Mandatory Respondent 4. Treatment of Certain FEESA Employee Expenses 5. FEESA's G&A and Financial Expenses Denominator 6. FEESA's Sales and Cost Verification Minor Corrections 7. FEESA Cost Changes Based on Verification Information 8. FEESA's Depreciation Expenses 9. Calculation of the GAM Group's Electricity Expenses 10. Offsets for Sugar Mills' Interest Income 11. Exclusion of Seedling Costs from ITLC's Cost of Production 12. The GAM Group's Final Sugar Cane Prices 13. Adjustments to Administrative Services Provided by ESOSA 14. Adjusting the GAM Group's G&A for Certain Affiliated Company Costs Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-24189 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE205 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Eel Fishery AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of determination of non-compliance; declaration of a moratorium.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (Act), NMFS, upon a delegation of authority from the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), has determined that the State of Delaware has failed to carry out its responsibilities under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (Commission) Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Eel (Plan) and that the measures Delaware has failed to implement and enforce are necessary for the conservation of the American eel resource. This determination is consistent with the findings of the Commission on August 6, 2015. Pursuant to the Act, a Federal moratorium on fishing, possession, and landing of all American eel is hereby declared and will be effective on March 18, 2016. The moratorium will be withdrawn by NMFS when Delaware is found to have come back into compliance with the Commission's Plan for American Eel.

    DATES:

    Effective March 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Alan Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13362, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Orner, Fishery Management Specialist, NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries, (301) 427-8567.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Non-Compliance Statutory Background

    The Atlantic Coastal Act, 16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq., sets forth a non-compliance review and determination process that is triggered when the Commission finds that a State has not implemented measures specified in an Interstate Fishery Management Plan (ISFMP) and refers that determination to the Secretary for review and potential concurrence.

    The Atlantic Coastal Act's non-compliance process involves two stages of decision-making. In the first stage, the Secretary (delegated to the AA) must make two findings: (1) Whether the State in question has failed to carry out its responsibility under the Commission's ISFMP; and if so (2) whether the measures that the State failed to implement and enforce are necessary for the conservation of the fishery in question. These initial findings must be made within 30 days after receipt of the Commission's non-compliance referral and consequently, this first stage of decision-making is referred to as the 30-Day Determination.

    A positive 30-Day Determination triggers the second stage of Atlantic Coastal Act non-compliance decision-making, which occurs contemporaneous with the first decision. That is, if the AA determines non-compliance in the first stage, the Act mandates that a moratorium on fishing in State waters in the fishery in question occur. The timing of the moratorium, however, is at the discretion of the AA, so long as it is implemented within six (6) months of the 30-Day Determination. In other words, although the implementation of the moratorium is non-discretionary, the AA has the discretion to decide when the moratorium will be implemented subject to the Act's six (6) month deadline.

    Commission Referral of Non-Compliance

    On August 6, 2015, the Commission found that the State of Delaware is out of compliance with the Commission Plan. Specifically, the Commission found that Delaware has not implemented regulations that are necessary to rebuild the depleted American eel stock, and to ensure sustainable commercial and recreational harvest while preventing over-harvest of any eel life stage. The required measures that Delaware failed to implement are as follows:

    Commercial Measures

    The following measures apply to all current yellow eel commercial fisheries. The development of any future yellow eel fisheries would be subject to the following measures:

    Minimum size and mesh requirements—It is generally accepted that American eel in the northern portion of the species' range are larger than eel in the southern end of the range. However, there is not enough information at this time to develop regional or state specific maximum sizes for the coast. Nonetheless, there is growing concern about the development of fisheries on small yellow eels and an increase in the minimum size is a means to prevent this fishery from developing further. The benefit of effective gear restrictions is smaller eels are not landed, thus eliminating the need for harvesters to handle these fish or enforcement having to measure fish. No gear requirements are sought to exclude larger eels from pots at this time because only a low number of silver eels are caught in pot fisheries. Gear restrictions that are instituted should be monitored for effectiveness. States and jurisdictions are required to adopt a nine (9) inch minimum size limit for all yellow eel fisheries. Harvesters are required to sort their catch and discard eels smaller than the size limit.

    States and jurisdictions are required to implement a 1/2” by 1/2” minimum on the mesh size used in commercial yellow eel pots. States may allow, for up to three years starting January 1, 2014, the use of a 4 by 4 inch escape panel constructed of a mesh size of at least 1/2” by 1/2” inch mesh in order to reduce the financial burden of gear changes on the fishery.

    Recreational Measures

    The following measures apply to all current yellow eel recreational fisheries. In order to minimize the chance of excessive recreational harvest, as well as circumvention of commercial eel regulations, the ASMFC member states/jurisdictions shall establish uniform possession limits for recreational fisheries. States and jurisdictions are required to adopt a nine (9) inch minimum size limit for all recreational fisheries.

    Recreational Bag Limit—Given the interest to have all fishery sectors contribute to conservation measures under Addendum III all states and jurisdictions are required to implement a daily recreational bag limit of 25 fish per day per angler.

    Party/charter (for hire) exemption—Crew and captain involved in party/charter (for-hire) employment on party/charter (for-hire) activities are exempt from recreational bag limit reduction. Crew members involved in for-hire employment are allowed to maintain the current 50 fish per day bag limit for bait purposes during fishing, as specified under the American Eel ISFMP.

    The Commission's Plan required all member States to implement the plan's eel regulations by January 1, 2014. As of August 6, 2015, Delaware still had not implemented the required actions. During both the Commission's August 5, 2015, American Eel Management Board meeting and its August 6, 2015, Policy and Business Board meetings, Delaware agreed with the Boards' determinations that they were not in compliance with the Plan.

    Agency Action in Response to Commission Non-Compliance Referral

    The Commission forwarded its findings of their August 6th vote in a formal non-compliance referral letter that the Secretary received on August 19, 2015. In response to receipt of this letter, NMFS began the Atlantic Coastal Act's 30-day determination clock. On August 21, 2015, NMFS sent letters to the State of Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and to the Commission, advising them of the Atlantic Coastal Act's non-compliance process, inviting them to provide commentary on the issue, and in the case of Delaware, inviting the State to meet with NMFS to present its position in person or provide written comments on the Commission findings. NMFS also advised the public of the referral, and invited comments in a Federal Register notice dated August 27, 2015 (80 FR 166).

    On September 2, 2015, Delaware representatives met with NMFS staff via conference call. During this meeting, Delaware agreed that it was out of compliance and that it did not contest the conservation necessity of the Commission's American eel measures. Delaware described its legal and regulatory framework for eel, its eel fishery, and confirmed its intent to finalize legislation to comply with measures identified in Addendum III in January 2016 irrespective of any Federal action. Delaware followed up that meeting with a letter on September 11, 2015, that provided additional information on Delaware's past efforts and current plans to comply with the Plan, previous and current eel conservation measures and eel fisheries. NMFS received one public comment in response to the referral of non-compliance. That comment supported a full moratorium, albeit without articulating any background or factual support. The USFWS also provided a letter with comments concurring with the Commission finding that the State of Delaware is currently out of compliance with the ISFMP for American Eel. In addition, the USFWS has been undertaking an extensive status review for the American eel to determine if adding the species to the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife list is warranted. A petition to list American eel was submitted by the Council for Endangered Species Act Reliability. A 12-month finding as to whether the listing is warranted is expected by September 30, 2015.

    Agency's Findings

    NMFS' findings in this matter support a positive 30-Day Determination of non-compliance. The best available science suggests that American eel are depleted and that management measures are necessary to conserve the species. Specifically, the 2012 Benchmark American Eel Stock Assessment indicated that the American eel stock has declined in recent decades and the prevalence of significant downward trends in multiple surveys across the coast is cause for concern. The measures that Delaware failed to adopt were recommended by the Commission in Addendum III to respond to the stock assessment's findings. Delaware voted to approve those measures in 2013 during the Addendum III process and the state agrees even now that the measures are necessary for conservation. NMFS also agrees.

    NMFS recommends that the required moratorium begin on March 18, 2016. This moratorium would prohibit, in Delaware waters, the possession of American eel (all life stages). We chose the March implementation date after consulting with the relevant staff from Delaware, and reviewing the facts of this situation, including the Commission deliberations from this past August. Based upon our analysis, we found that a March implementation date is appropriate for two principle reasons. First, a March 18th closure date will give Delaware the time necessary for its legislature to bring these regulations back into compliance. Second, although the involved measures are necessary for conservation, the immediacy of that need is less critical given that Delaware's fall eel fishery appears to not target eels that are the subject of Addendum III's protection.

    Delaware indicated to us that they expect to have appropriate regulations protecting American eel in place by early next year. If the State of Delaware does enact such measures, and the Commission determines that the measures are compliant with the Plan, under the Act, the Commission would immediately notify the Secretary that the state of Delaware is in compliance with the Plan. If NMFS concurs, the moratorium in the state waters of Delaware will be rescinded. If Delaware is unable to put in place appropriate regulations prior to March 18, 2016, then a Federal moratorium on eel fishing in Delaware waters would be immediately implemented and continue until the Secretary concurs with a determination from the Commission that the state of Delaware has come into compliance with the Plan.

    Moratorium Prohibitions

    The positive 30-day finding triggers the moratorium prohibitions set forth in the Atlantic Coastal Act, 16 U.S.C. 5106(e). Accordingly, on March 18, 2016, NMFS will implement an American eel moratorium for in Delaware state waters. At that time, it will be unlawful to do the following:

    (1) Engage in fishing for American eel within the waters of the Delaware (Note: Under the Atlantic Coastal Act, the definition of “fishing” includes landing and/or possessing);

    (2) Land, attempt to land, or possess American eel that are caught, taken, or harvested in violation of the moratorium;

    (3) Fail to return to the water immediately, with a minimum of injury, any American eel in Delaware waters that are taken incidental to fishing for species other than those to which the moratorium applies;

    (4) Refuse to permit any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this moratorium to board a fishing vessel subject to such person's control for purposes of conducting any search or inspection in connection with the enforcement of this chapter;

    (5) Forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with any such authorized officer in the conduct of any search or inspection under this moratorium;

    (6) Resist a lawful arrest for any act prohibited by this moratorium;

    (7) Ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, purchase, import, or have custody, control, or possession of, any fish taken or retained in violation of this moratorium; or

    (8) Interfere with, delay, or prevent, by any means, the apprehension or arrest of another person, knowing that such other person has committed any act prohibited by this moratorium.

    Classification

    This declaration of a moratorium is consistent with the Atlantic Coastal Act at 16 U.S.C. 5106 insofar as Delaware has been found to have failed to carry out its responsibilities under the Commission's American Eel Plan and the measures that Delaware has failed to implement and enforce are necessary for the conservation of the American eel fishery. Further, the moratorium prohibits fishing, possessing and/or landing American eel within Delaware state waters and is being implemented within six months of the agency findings.

    The declaration of a moratorium is consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act at 5 U.S.C. 555 insofar as Delaware was given prompt notice of the Commission's non-compliance referral and was given an opportunity to meet with the agency and provide comments on this matter. Further, the agency has immediately notified Delaware of the agency's determination in this matter. Additionally, NMFS provided notice to the public of this compliance action in a notice in the Federal Register dated (80 FR 166, August 27, 2015). NMFS received one comment in response to that notice suggesting that Delaware be found out of compliance and that a moratorium be implemented. The comment did not provide any further detail. NMFS' present action is consistent with the commenter's suggested outcome.

    NMFS finds that public comment is impracticable and contrary to the public interest, not only because the rigid statutory time lines makes such impracticable and would impermissibly delay mandatory agency action, but also because the issue has been considerably vetted in public forums, such as before the Delaware General Assembly and the Commission in the months prior to the referral. Nevertheless, NMFS did notify the public of this action in its Federal Register Notice (80 FR 166; August 27, 2015). NMFS received one comment, which supported a moratorium and is described above.

    The declaration of moratorium does not trigger the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. because the action was not the result of notice and comment rulemaking under Section 553 of the Administrative Procedures Act.

    The declaration of a moratorium does not fall under review under Executive Order 12866 insofar as the moratorium is not a regulatory action of the agency but is an action mandated by Congress upon the findings of certain conditions precedent set forth in the Atlantic Coastal Act, which also prescribes the nature and extent of the moratorium. Nevertheless, the agency has determined that this action is not significant for the purpose of E.O. 12866. The fishery is small and a moratorium is not expected to materially adversely affect the economy or have an impact of over $100 million. The matter creates no serious inconsistency with actions by other agencies and is not expected to have material budgetary impacts.

    The moratorium is not the result of a policy formulated or implemented by the agency, but instead is the result of the application of found facts to the Congressional standards set forth in the Atlantic Coastal Act and as such, the declaration does not implicate federalism in the manner contemplated by Executive Order 13132. The agency, however, has nevertheless consulted, to the extent practicable, with appropriate state and local administrative and law enforcement officials to address the principles, criteria, and requirements of E.O. 13132.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24203 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Expenditure Survey of Golden Crab Fishermen in the U.S. South Atlantic Region AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dr. Scott Crosson, (305) 361-4468 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for a reinstatement without change. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to collect economic information from golden-crab landing commercial fishermen in the United States (U.S.) South Atlantic region. The data gathered will be used to evaluate the likely economic impacts of management proposals. In addition, the information will be used to satisfy legal mandates under Executive Order 12898, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, and other pertinent statues.

    II. Method of Collection

    A standardized survey will be administered via in-person, telephone and/or mail to all fishermen participating in the fishery.

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0648-0631.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (reinstatement without change of a previously approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 9.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24132 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Matters Related to First Inventor to File”

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Matters Related to First Inventor to File.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0071.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 50,150.

    Average Time per Response: 6.79 hours (between 2 and 10 hours, depending upon the instrument used).

    Burden Hours: 340,300.

    Cost Burden: $8,475.50.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is necessary so that patent applicants and/or patentees may: (1) Provide a statement if a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, claims the benefit of the filing date of a foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, and also contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013; (2) provide a statement if a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, claims the benefit of the filing date of a foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, does not contain a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, but discloses subject matter not also disclosed in the foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application; (3) identify the inventor, and ownership on the effective filing date, of each claimed invention in an application or patent with more than one named inventor, when necessary for purposes of a USPTO proceeding; and (4) show that a disclosure was by the inventor or joint inventor, or was by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor, or that there was a prior public disclosure by the inventor or a joint inventor, or by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor.

    The USPTO will use the statement that a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, that claims the benefit of the filing date of a foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, or that such application does not contain a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, but discloses subject matter not also disclosed in the foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application (or lack of such a statement) to readily determine whether the nonprovisional application is subject to the changes to 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 in the AIA. The USPTO will use the identification of the inventor, and ownership on the effective filing date, when it is necessary to determine whether a U.S. patent or U.S. patent application publication resulting from another nonprovisional application qualifies as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(2). The USPTO will use information concerning whether a disclosure was by the inventor or joint inventor, or was by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor, or that there was a prior public disclosure by the inventor or a joint inventor, or by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor, to determine whether the disclosure qualifies as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1) or (a)(2).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain Benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected]

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0071 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Joseph Rivera, Deputy Director, Office of Information Management Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before October 23, 2015 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202 395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Dated: September 15, 2015. Joseph Rivera, Deputy Director, Office of Information Management Services, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24144 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings”

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Patent Review and Derivation Proceedings.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0069.

    Form Number(s):

    • N/A

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 11,349 per year.

    Average Minutes per Response: Average response of 128.6 hours, with response times ranging from 0.1-165.3 hours.

    Burden Hours: 1,459,184.

    Cost Burden: $60,404,425.50.

    Needs and Uses: The public will use this new information collection to petition the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to seek institution of, and to participate in, inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, covered business method patent reviews, and derivation proceedings. The PTAB will use the information collected under these final rulemakings in deciding the various proceedings. The PTAB disseminates information that it collects (unless filed under seal) through various publications and databases. This information includes the filings of the parties and decisions and orders by the Board in trials and derivation proceedings.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected].

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information can be obtained by:

    Email: [email protected]. Include “0651-0069 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Joseph Rivera, Deputy Director, Office of Information Management Services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before October 23, 2015 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph Rivera, Deputy Director, Office of Information Management Services, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24142 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Judicial Proceedings since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (“the Judicial Proceedings Panel” or “the Panel”). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    A meeting of the Judicial Proceedings Panel will be held on Friday, October 9, 2015. The Public Session will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Julie Carson, Judicial Proceedings Panel, One Liberty Center, 875 N. Randolph Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203. Email: [email protected] Phone: (703) 693-3849. Web site: http://jpp.whs.mil.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: In Section 576(a)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), as amended, Congress tasked the Judicial Proceedings Panel to conduct an independent review and assessment of judicial proceedings conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) involving adult sexual assault and related offenses since the amendments made to the UCMJ by section 541 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. 112-81; 125 Stat. 1404), for the purpose of developing recommendations for improvements to such proceedings. At this meeting, the Panel will deliberate on issues relating to restitution and compensation for sexual assault victims as well as retaliation against individuals who report incidents of sexual assault within the military. It will also examine military justice data for sexual assault crimes and comparative sentencing schemes. The Panel is interested in written and oral comments from the public, including non-governmental organizations, relevant to these issues or any of the Panel's tasks.

    Agenda • 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Deliberations on Restitution Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims • 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Deliberations on Retaliation Against Victims of Sexual Assault Crimes • 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch • 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. How the Department of Defense and the Military Services Manage Military Justice Data for Sexual Assault Cases • 3:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Comparing Sexual Assault Crime Sentencing in Military and Civilian Courts • 4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: Courts-Martial Data and Trends Analysis • 4:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Public Comment

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: A copy of the October 9, 2015 public meeting agenda or any updates or changes to the agenda, to include individual speakers not identified at the time of this notice, as well as other materials provided to Panel members for use at the public meeting, may be obtained at the meeting or from the Panel's Web site at http://jpp.whs.mil.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis.

    Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact the Judicial Proceedings Panel at [email protected] at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Procedures for Providing Public Comments: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Panel about its mission and topics pertaining to this public session. Written comments must be received by the JPP at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting date so that they may be made available to the Judicial Proceedings Panel for their consideration prior to the meeting. Written comments should be submitted via email to the Judicial Proceedings Panel at [email protected] in the following formats: Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Please note that since the Judicial Proceedings Panel operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, all written comments will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection. If members of the public are interested in making an oral statement, a written statement must be submitted along with a request to provide an oral statement. Oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted from 4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 9, 2015 in front of the Panel members. The number of oral presentations to be made will depend on the number of requests received from members of the public on a first-come basis. After reviewing the requests for oral presentation, the Chairperson and the Designated Federal Officer will, if they determine the statement to be relevant to the Panel's mission, allot five minutes to persons desiring to make an oral presentation.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer: The Panel's Designated Federal Officer is Ms. Maria Fried, Department of Defense, Office of the General Counsel, 1600 Defense Pentagon, Room 3B747, Washington, DC 20301-1600.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24078 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The annual public meeting of the Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling (ISCMEM) will convene to discuss some of the latest developments in environmental modeling applications, tools and frameworks, as well as new operational initiatives for FY 2016 among the participating agencies. The meeting this year will emphasize environmental modeling challenges in the California Bay Delta.

    DATES:

    October 27-28, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources, 609 Second Street, Davis, CA 95616.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Inquiries and notice of intent to attend the meeting may be emailed to: Patrick Deliman, ISCMEM Chair, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research And Development Center, CEERD-EZT, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39046. TEL 601-634-3623. [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: Nine Federal agencies have been cooperating under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the research and development of multimedia environmental models. The MOU, which was revised in 2012, continues an effort that began in 2001. It establishes a framework for facilitating cooperation and coordination among the following agencies (the specific research organization within the agency is in parentheses): National Science Foundation; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Engineer Research and Development Center); U.S. Department of Agriculture (Natural Resources Conservation Service); U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Biological and Environmental Research); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Geological Survey; U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research); and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. These agencies are cooperating and coordinating in the research and development (R&D) of multimedia environmental models, software and related databases, including development, enhancements, applications and assessments of site specific, generic, and process-oriented multimedia environmental models as they pertain to human and environmental health risk assessment. Multimedia model development and simulation supports interagency interests in risk assessment, uncertainty analyses, water supply issues and contaminant transport.

    Purpose of the Public Meeting: The annual public meeting and workshop provides an opportunity for the scientific community, other Federal and State agencies, and the public to be briefed on ISCMEM activities and their initiatives for the upcoming year, and to discuss technological advancements in multimedia environmental modeling.

    Proposed Agenda: The ISCMEM Chair will open the meeting with a brief overview of the goals of the MOU and an update on current activities of ISCMEM. This introduction will be followed by a series of invited presentations starting on Wednesday morning, October 28, 2015, and ending on Thursday afternoon, October 29, 2015.

    Meeting Access: The meeting will be available through Web Meeting Services. To obtain web access to the ISCMEM October 28-29 meeting and workshop, all interested attendees will need to pre-register by emailing Julie Marcy ([email protected]) and Patrick Deliman ([email protected]), indicating their intent to participate in the meeting and providing their full contact information and affiliation.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Patrick N. Deliman, Chair, Federal Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24172 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Power Transformer Reserve AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Request for Information; re-opening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On July 9, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the policy development related to the possible establishment of a national reserve of power transformers that support the bulk power grid and requested public comment by August 24, 2015. DOE is re-opening the original public comment period for this RFI.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the RFI published July 9, 2015 is re-opened. Written comments must be received on or before October 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods and must be identified by “Transformer Reserve”. By the Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. By email: [email protected], and include “Transformer Reserve” in the subject line of the message. By mail: Alice Lippert, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 1E-078, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Note: Delivery of the U.S. Postal Service mail to DOE may be delayed by several weeks due to security screening. DOE, therefore, encourages those wishing to comment to submit comments electronically by email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Alice Lippert, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U. S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585 at [email protected], or by email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 9, 2015, the DOE published a request for information in the Federal Register (80 FR 39422). DOE is seeking comments and information from interested parties to inform its policy development related to the possible establishment of a national reserve of power transformers that support the bulk power grid. The focus of the RFI is on the design and implementation of a National Power Transformer Reserve Program.

    The July 9 notice requested comments and information from interested parties to inform its policy development related to the possible establishment of a national reserve of power transformers that support the bulk power grid by August 24, 2015. DOE is re-opening the comment period to allow additional time for more substantive comment on the significant questions to which DOE is seeking response.

    DOE believes that re-opening the comment period to allow additional time for interested parties to submit comments is appropriate. Therefore, DOE is re-opening the comment period to provide interested parties additional time to prepare and submit comments and will consider any comments received by the new closing date. All comments received between the original August 24 closing date and the new closing date are considered timely filed, so people who submitted late comments during the original comment period do not need to re-submit comments.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2015. Liz Dalton, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24163 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [FE Docket No. 15-130-LNG] ConocoPhillips Company; Application for Blanket Authorization To Export Previously Imported Liquefied Natural Gas on a Short-Term Basis AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application), filed on August 27, 2015, by ConocoPhillips Company (ConocoPhillips), requesting blanket authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) previously imported into the United States from foreign sources in an amount up to the equivalent of 500 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas on a short-term or spot market basis for a two-year period commencing on January 1, 2016.1 ConocoPhillips seeks authorization to export the LNG from the LNG terminal facilities owned by Freeport LNG Development, L.P. located on Quintana Island, Texas,2 to any country with the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy. ConocoPhillips states that it does not seek authorization to export any domestically produced natural gas or LNG. DOE/FE notes that ConocoPhillips currently holds a blanket authorization to import LNG from various international sources by vessel, and to export LNG to Canada and Mexico by vessel, in an amount up to the equivalent of 500 Bcf of natural gas.3 ConocoPhillips is requesting this authorization both on its own behalf and as agent for other parties who will hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Additional details can be found in ConocoPhillips's Application, posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/freeport-lng-development-lp-fe-dkt-no-15-130-lng. Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited.

    1 ConocoPhillips's current blanket authorization to export previously imported LNG, granted in DOE/FE Order No. 3359 on November 7, 2013, extends through December 31, 2015 (FE Docket No. 13-97-LNG).

    2 ConocoPhillips states that it has a commercial terminaling arrangement at the Freeport LNG Terminal that currently extends through June 30, 2016, and the parties are contemplating entering into other terminaling arrangements thereafter.

    3ConocoPhillips Co., DOE/FE Order No. 3685, FE Docket No. 15-102-LNG, Order Granting Blanket Authorization to Import Liquefied Natural Gas from Various International Sources by Vessel and to Export LNG to Canada and Mexico by Vessel (July 23, 2015).

    DATES:

    Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment Procedures Section No Later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic Filing by Email [email protected] Regular Mail

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 20026-4375.

    Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.)

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverly Howard, or Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9387; (202) 586-9478.

    Cassandra Bernstein, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9793.

    DOE/FE Evaluation

    The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3 of the NGA, as amended, and the authority contained in DOE Delegation Order No. 00-002.00N (July 11, 2013) and DOE Redelegation Order No. 00-006.02 (Nov. 17, 2014). In reviewing this LNG export application, DOE will consider domestic need for the natural gas, as well as any other issues determined to be appropriate, including whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. Parties that may oppose this application should comment in their responses on these issues.

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its NEPA responsibilities.

    Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590.

    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to [email protected], with FE Docket No. 15-130-LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Oil and Gas Global Supply at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket No. 15-130-LNG. Please Note: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission.

    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.

    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Division of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities docket room, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 17, 2015. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Oil and Natural Gas.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24197 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-208-000.

    Applicants: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

    Description: Section 203 Application of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

    Filed Date: 9/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150916-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/7/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-125-000.

    Applicants: Colbeck's Corner, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Colbeck's Corner, LLC.

    Filed Date: 9/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150917-5024.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1437-002.

    Applicants: Tampa Electric Company.

    Description: Third Supplement to June 30, 2014 Triennial Market Power Update of Tampa Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 9/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150916-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2500-001.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended Distribution Service Agreement with Edom Hills to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 9/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150917-5072.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2657-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-09-16_Order 1000 CTDS Enhancement Filing to be effective 11/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 9/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150916-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2658-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-09-16_Order 1000 (TOA) CTDS Enhancement Filing to be effective 11/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 9/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150916-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2659-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amended SGIA SEPV Palmdale East, LLC to be effective 11/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 9/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150917-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2660-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Annual Calculation of the Cost of New Entry value (“CONE”) for each Local Resource Zone (“LRZ”) in the MISO Region of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Filed Date: 9/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150916-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2661-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original WMPA SA No. 4259, Queue No. Z1-110 to be effective 7/22/2015.

    Filed Date: 9/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150917-5070.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 10/8/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24135 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD06-6-000] Joint Meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Notice of Joint Meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a joint meeting on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at the headquarters of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. The meeting is expected to begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at approximately 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Members of the public may attend the open session. Commissioners from both agencies are expected to participate.

    The format for the joint meeting will consist of discussions between the two sets of Commissioners following presentations by their respective staffs. In addition, representatives of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) will attend and participate in this meeting.

    The technical conference will be transcribed. Transcripts of the technical conference will be available for a fee from Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc. ((202) 347-3700 or 1 (800) 336-6646). There will be a free Webcast of the conference. The webcast will allow persons to listen to the technical conference, but not participate. Anyone with Internet access can listen to the conference by navigating to the Calendar of Events at www.ferc.gov and locating the technical conference in the Calendar. The technical conference will contain a link to its webcast. The Capital Connection provides technical support for the webcast and offers the option of listing to the meeting via phone-bridge for a fee. If you have any questions, please visit www.CapitolConnection.org or call 703-993-3100.1

    1 The Webcast will continue to be available on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site www.ferc.gov for three months after the conference.

    Pre-registration is not required but is highly encouraged for those attending in person. Attendees may register in advance at the following Web page: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/10-21-15-NRC-form.asp. Attendees should bring a photo ID and allow time to pass through building security procedures. There is no fee to attend the open meeting.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY); or send a fax to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    Questions about the meeting should be directed to Sarah McKinley at [email protected] or by phone at 202-502-8368.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24134 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EF15-9-000] Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Philip D. Moeller, Cheryl A. LaFleur, Tony Clark, and Colette D. Honorable; Bonneville Power Administration; Order Approving Rates on an Interim Basis and Providing Opportunity for Additional Comments

    1. In this order, we approve the Bonneville Power Administration's (Bonneville) proposed 2016 wholesale power and transmission rates on an interim basis, pending our further review. We also provide an additional period of time for the parties to file comments.

    I. Background

    2. On July 29, 2015, Bonneville filed a request for interim and final approval of its wholesale power 1 and transmission rates 2 in accordance with the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act (Northwest Power Act) 3 and Part 300 of the Commission's regulations.4 Bonneville projects that the filed rates will produce average annual power revenues of $2.861 billion, and average annual revenues from transmission and ancillary services rates of $1.085 billion. Bonneville asserts that this level of annual revenues is sufficient to recover its costs for the 2016-2017 rate approval period, while providing cash flow to ensure at least a 95 percent probability of making all payments to the United States Treasury in full and on time for each year of the rate period.

    1 The proposed wholesale power rates for which Bonneville seeks approval for the period October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017, include: Priority Firm Power Rate (PF-16); New Resource Firm Power Rate (NR-16); Industrial Firm Power Rate (IP-16); Firm Power Products and Services Rate (FPS-16); and Power General Rate Schedule Provisions (GRSPs).

    2 The proposed transmission rates for which Bonneville seeks approval for the period October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017, include: Formula Power Transmission Rate (FPT-16.1); Formula Power Transmission Rate (FPT-16.3); Integration of Resources Rate (IR-16); Network Integration Rate (NT-16); Point-to-Point Rate (PTP-16); Southern Intertie Rate (IS-16); Montana Intertie Rate (IM-16); Use-of-Facilities Transmission Rate (UFT-16); Advance Funding Rate (AF-16); Ancillary Services and Control Area Services Rates (ACS-16); Townsend-Garrison Transmission Rate (TGT-16); WECC and Peak Service Rate (PW-16); Oversupply Rate (OS-16); Eastern Intertie Rate (IE-16); and Transmission General Rate Schedule Provisions (GRSPs).

    3 16 U.S.C. 839e (2012).

    4 18 CFR Part 300 (2015).

    II. Notice of Filing

    3. Notice of Bonneville's application was published in the Federal Register,5 with protests and interventions due on or before August 28, 2015. Timely motions to intervene were filed by the Turlock Irrigation District, Calpine Corporation, Public Power Council, Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities, Northwest Requirements Utilities, Public Power Council, Idaho Power Company, PacifiCorp, Puget Sound Company, M-S-R Public Power Agency, Caithness Shepherds Flat LLC, Modesto Irrigation District, Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative, Western Public Agencies Group, Powerex Corporation and Portland General Electric Company.

    5 80 FR 46,983 (Aug. 8, 2015).

    4. Iberdrola Renewables, LLC (Iberdrola) filed a motion to intervene and protest. Iberdrola asserts that Bonneville's Oversupply Rate, OS-16, violates the Northwest Power Act by incorrectly allocating Bonneville's power costs to Bonneville's transmission customers.6 Iberdrola quotes Northwest Power Act section 7(g) as saying all costs of fish and wildlife measures, as well as all costs associated with the sale of or inability to sell excess power, must be allocated to power rates.7 Iberdrola argues Bonneville's oversupply management costs are fish and wildlife costs as well as costs associated with the inability to sell excess electric power, and thus should be allocated to power customers, not transmission customers.8 Iberdrola continues that, although Bonneville states that oversupply costs occur because wind generators have been interconnected to its system, the oversupply costs are actually caused by Bonneville having too much generation and not enough load, and having fish-protection restrictions on spillage that require Bonneville to pay someone to take the excess generation.9 Finally, Iberdrola argues that if Bonneville wishes to extend the use of the Oversupply Management Proposal (OMP) for the 2016-17 rate period, it should submit those rates to the Commission for review and approval under Federal Power Act section 211A.10

    6 Iberdrola Protest at 3.

    7Id. at 4.

    8Id. at 5.

    9Id. at 6.

    10Id. at 7-8; 16 U.S.C. 824j-1(f) (2012).

    5. Avista Corporation, Portland General Electric Company, Puget Sound Energy, Inc, and PacifiCorp (collectively Joint Commenters) filed Joint Comments requesting that the Commission reject Bonneville's proposed allocation of oversupply costs to transmission customers and deny Bonneville's application for confirmation and approval of the OS-16 Rate.11 The Joint Commenters request that the OS-16 Rate should be rejected as a permanent solution to Bonneville's purported oversupply.12 The Joint Commenters also request that the Commission not rely on its prior OS-14 rate determinations in reviewing the OS-16 rate,13 and that Bonneville's proposed allocation of oversupply costs to transmission is based on the flawed premise that interconnection of, or scheduling of transmission for, generation in Bonneville's Balancing Authority Area causes oversupply.14 The Joint Commenters also assert that it is Bonneville's reliance on OMP and its failure to take all reasonable actions to avoid excess spill that lead to the erroneous conclusion that transmission of displaceable generation interconnected in Bonneville's Balancing Authority Area causes oversupply.15 The Joint Commenters further assert that the Northwest Power Act 16 and Transmission System Act 17 cost allocation standards prohibit the allocation of oversupply costs to transmission rates.18

    11 Joint Commenters at 18.

    12 Joint Commenters at 2, citing Bonneville Power Admin., 149 FERC ¶ 61,043 (2014).

    13Id. at 5-6.

    14Id. at 7-11.

    15Id. at 11-14.

    16 16 U.S.C. 839 (2012).

    17 16 U.S.C. 838 (2012).

    18Id. at 14-17.

    III. Discussion A. Procedural Matters

    6. Pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure,19 the timely, unopposed motions to intervene serve to make the entities that filed them parties to this proceeding.

    19 18 CFR 385.214 (2015).

    7. Rule 213(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure 20 prohibits an answer to a protest or an answer unless otherwise ordered by the decisional authority.

    20 18 CFR 385.213(a)(2) (2015),

    B. Standard of Review

    8. Under the Northwest Power Act, the Commission's review of Bonneville's regional power and transmission rates is limited to determining whether Bonneville's proposed rates meet the three specific requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Northwest Power Act: 21

    21 16 U.S.C. 839e(a)(2) (2012). Bonneville also must comply with the financial, accounting, and ratemaking requirements in Department of Energy Order No. RA 6120.2.

    (A) They must be sufficient to assure repayment of the federal investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System over a reasonable number of years after first meeting Bonneville's other costs;

    (B) they must be based upon Bonneville's total system costs; and

    (C) insofar as transmission rates are concerned, they must equitably allocate the costs of the federal transmission system between federal and non-federal power.

    9. Commission review of Bonneville's non-regional, non-firm rates also is limited. Review is restricted to determining whether such rates meet the requirements of section 7(k) of the Northwest Power Act,22 which requires that they comply with the Bonneville Project Act, the Flood Control Act of 1944, and the Federal Columbia River Transmission System Act. Taken together, those statutes require that Bonneville's non-regional, non-firm rates:

    22 16 U.S.C. 839e(k) (2012).

    (A) Recover the cost of generation and transmission of such electric energy, including the amortization of investments in the power projects within a reasonable period;

    (B) encourage the most widespread use of Bonneville power; and

    (C) provide the lowest possible rates to consumers consistent with sound business principles.

    10. Unlike the Commission's statutory authority under the Federal Power Act, the Commission's authority under sections 7(a) and 7(k) of the Northwest Power Act does not include the power to modify the rates. The responsibility for developing rates in the first instance is vested with Bonneville's Administrator. The rates are then submitted to the Commission for approval or disapproval. In this regard, the Commission's role can be viewed as an appellate one: to affirm or remand the rates submitted to it for review.23

    23See, e.g., United States Department of Energy—Bonneville Power Admin., 67 FERC ¶ 61,351, at 62,216-17 (1994); see also, e.g., Aluminum Co. of America v. Bonneville Power Admin., 903 F.2d 585, 592-93 (9th Cir. 1989).

    11. Moreover, review at this interim stage is further limited. In view of the volume and complexity of a Bonneville rate application, such as the one now before the Commission in this filing, and the limited period in advance of the requested effective date in which to review the application,24 the Commission generally defers resolution of issues on the merits of Bonneville's application until the order on final confirmation. Thus, the proposed rates, if not patently deficient, generally are approved on an interim basis and the parties are afforded an additional opportunity in which to raise issues with regard to Bonneville's filing.25

    24See 18 CFR 300.10(a)(3)(ii) (2015).

    25See, e.g., United States Department of Energy—Bonneville Power Administration, 64 FERC ¶ 61,375, at 63,606 (1993); United States Department of Energy—Bonneville Power Admin., 40 FERC ¶ 61,351, at 62,059-60 (1987).

    12. The Commission declines at this time to grant final confirmation and approval of Bonneville's proposed wholesale power and transmission rates. The Commission's preliminary review nevertheless indicates that Bonneville's wholesale power and transmission rates filing appears to meet the statutory standards and the minimum threshold filing requirements of Part 300 of the Commission's regulations.26 Moreover, the Commission's preliminary review of Bonneville's submittal indicates that it does not contain any patent deficiencies. The proposed rates therefore will be approved on an interim basis pending our further review. We note, as well, that no one will be harmed by this decision because interim approval allows Bonneville's rates to go into effect subject to refund with interest; the Commission may order refunds with interest if the Commission later determines in its final decision not to approve the rates.27

    26See, e.g., United States Department of Energy—Bonneville Power Admin., 105 FERC ¶ 61,006, at PP 13-14 (2003); United States Department of Energy—Bonneville Power Admin., 96 FERC ¶ 61,360, at 62,358 (2001).

    27See 18 CFR 300.20(c) (2015).

    13. In addition, we will provide an additional period of time for parties to file comments and reply comments on issues related to final confirmation and approval of Bonneville's proposed rates. This will ensure that the record in this proceeding is complete and fully developed.

    The Commission orders:

    (A) Interim approval of Bonneville's proposed wholesale power and transmission rates is hereby granted, to become effective on October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2017, subject to refund with interest as set forth in section 300.20(c) of the Commission's regulations 28 pending final action and either their approval or disapproval.

    28 18 CFR 300.20(c) (2015).

    (B) Within thirty (30) days of the date of this order, parties who wish to do so may file additional comments regarding final confirmation and approval of Bonneville's proposed rates. Parties who wish to do so may file reply comments within twenty (20) days thereafter.

    (C) The Secretary shall promptly publish this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: September 17, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24136 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Southeastern Power Administration Kerr-Philpott System AGENCY:

    Southeastern Power Administration, (Southeastern), Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of interim approval.

    SUMMARY:

    The Deputy Secretary, Department of Energy, confirmed and approved, on an interim basis new rate schedules VA-1-C, VA-2-C, VA-3-C, VA-4-C, DEP-1-C, DEP-2-C, DEP-3-C, DEP-4-C, AP-1-C, AP-2-C, AP-3-C, AP-4-C, NC-1-C, and Replacement-2-B. These rate schedules are applicable to Southeastern power sold to existing preference customers in the Virginia and North Carolina service area. The rate schedules are approved on an interim basis through September 30, 2020, and are subject to confirmation and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a final basis.

    DATES:

    The rates are effective October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Virgil G. Hobbs III, Assistant Administrator, Finance and Marketing, Southeastern Power Administration, Department of Energy, 1166 Athens Tech Road, Elberton, Georgia 30635-4578, (706) 213-3800.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, by Order issued March 11, 2011, in Docket No. EF10-8-000 (134 FERC 62,233), confirmed and approved Wholesale Power Rate Schedules VA-1-B, VA-2-B, VA-3-B, VA-4-B, CP&L-1-B, CP&L-2-B, CP&L-3-B, CP&L-4-B, AP-1-B, AP-2-B, AP-3-B, AP-4-B, NC-1-B, and Replacement-2-A through September 30, 2015. This order replaces these rate schedules on an interim basis, subject to final approval by FERC.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary of Energy. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary In the Matter of: Southeastern Power Administration), Kerr-Philpott System Power Rates), Rate Order No. SEPA-58 Order Confirming and Approving Power Rates on an Interim Basis

    Pursuant to Sections 302(a) of the Department of Energy Organization Act, Public Law 95-91, the functions of the Secretary of the Interior and the Federal Power Commission under Section 5 of the Flood Control Act of 1944, 16 U.S.C. 825s, relating to the Southeastern Power Administration (Southeastern), were transferred to and vested in the Secretary of Energy. By Delegation Order No. 00-037.00A, effective December 6, 2001, the Secretary of Energy delegated to Southeastern's Administrator the authority to develop power and transmission rates, to the Deputy Secretary of Energy the authority to confirm, approve, and place in effect such rates on interim basis, and to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to confirm, approve, and place into effect on a final basis or to disapprove rates developed by the Administrator under the delegation. This rate is issued by the Deputy Secretary pursuant to that delegation order.

    Background

    Power from the Kerr-Philpott Projects is presently sold under Wholesale Power Rate Schedules VA-1-B, VA-2-B, VA-3-B, VA-4-B, CP&L-1-B, CP&L-2-B, CP&L-3-B, CP&L-4-B, AP-1-B, AP-2-B, AP-3-B, AP-4-B, NC-1-B, and Replacement-2-A. These rate schedules were approved by the FERC on March 11, 2011, for a period ending September 30, 2015 (134 FERC 62,233).

    Public Notice and Comment

    Notice of a proposed rate adjustment for the Kerr-Philpott System was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 12819) on March 11, 2015. The notice advised interested parties that a public information and comment forum would be held in Boydton, Virginia on April 21, 2015. Written comments were due on or before June 9, 2015. The proposed rate adjustment was a reduction of about six percent (6%).

    Subsequent to the Public Information and Comment Forum on April 21, Southeastern discovered an error due to omissions in the repayment study used to develop the proposed rate schedules. Two accounting lines were omitted from the estimated Corps O&M expenses included in the study. The accounting lines were Work Category Code 602, Operation for Flood Damage Reduction, and Work Category Code 612, Maintenance for Flood Damage Reduction. On June 1, 2015, Southeastern sent a letter to all Kerr-Philpott customers notifying them of the error and notifying them Southeastern intended to add the omitted accounting lines and correct the error in the rate schedules Southeastern would recommend to the Deputy Secretary. After these corrections, the proposed rate is an increase of about 2.2 percent.

    Southeastern received comments from one source, the Southeast Federal Power Customers, Inc., as a result of the above notifications. The comments and Southeastern's response are below.

    Comment: The SeFPC questions whether the expenses in accounts WCC 602 and 612 should properly be assigned to hydropower as a joint expense. Given the Congressional Mandate to provide flood control at the Kerr and Philpott projects, the assignment of these costs appears to be arbitrary, capricious, and not consistent with the authorizing statutes. The SeFPC would ask SEPA to review the inclusion of these costs and work with Corps representatives to remove such expenses as joint expense for purpose of the proposed rate. Failure to take this action would impose over $10 million in additional cost for the hydropower customers over the five year study period in the repayment study which should properly be borne by the flood control purpose.

    The referenced Work Category Codes 602 and 612 contain operation and maintenance expenses associated with flood risk management. The Corps has taken the position the John H. Kerr and Philpott final cost allocations state that the only specific costs at these reservoirs are Power and Recreation, and that as a result, the Corps cannot charge costs to the flood control purpose at these projects.

    The $10 million assigned to hydropower and disputed by SeFPC include the operations, maintenance and readiness of equipment associated with spillways, sluices, pumping plants and earthen dams. The Corps has included these costs in the O&M expenses included in the financial statements provided to Southeastern for the John H. Kerr and Philpott projects. SeFPC has raised legitimate questions about the nature and assignment of WCC s 602 and 612. Further study of this issue is necessary. Southeastern will continue to discuss with the Corps the appropriateness of assigning these costs solely to hydropower.

    Southeastern and the Corps have discussed the need for a new authorized purpose allocation study and agreed to jointly fund the effort. Once completed, Southeastern and the Corps will work together to determine whether costs in these accounts should be allocated to purposes other than Power and Recreation. A reallocation could significantly reduce the proportion of charges assigned to Southeastern's power customers and ensure that costs are being assigned to appropriate cost-causers.

    Discussion System Repayment

    An examination of Southeastern's revised system power repayment study, prepared in July 2015, for the Kerr-Philpott System shows that with the proposed rates, all system power costs are paid within the appropriate repayment period required by existing law and DOE Procedure RA 6120.2. The Administrator of Southeastern Power Administration has certified that the rates are consistent with applicable law and that they are the lowest possible rates to customers consistent with sound business principles, pursuant to section 5 of the Flood Control Act (16 U.S.C.A.835(s)).

    Environmental Impact

    Southeastern has reviewed the possible environmental impacts of the rate adjustment under consideration and has concluded that, because the adjusted rates would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C.A 4332), the proposed action is not a major Federal action for which preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

    Availability of Information

    Information regarding these rates, including studies and other supporting materials and transcripts of the public information and comment forum, is available for public review in the offices of Southeastern Power Administration, 1166 Athens Tech Road, Elberton, Georgia 30635, and in the Power Marketing Liaison Office, James Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    Order

    In view of the foregoing and pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Secretary of Energy, I hereby confirm and approve on an interim basis, effective October 1, 2015, attached Wholesale Power Rate Schedules VA-1-C, VA-2-C, VA-3-C, VA-4-C, DEP-1-C, DEP-2-C, DEP-3-C, DEP-4-C, AP-1-C, AP-2-C, AP-3-C, AP-4-C, NC-1-C, and Replacement-2-B. The Rate Schedules shall remain in effect on an interim basis through September 30, 2020, unless such period is extended or until the FERC confirms and approves them or substitutes Rate Schedules on a final basis.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall Deputy Secretary of Energy Wholesale Power Rate Schedule VA-1-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia and North Carolina to whom power may be transmitted and scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government, Virginia Electric and Power Company (hereinafter called the Company), the Company's Transmission Operator, currently PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. This rate schedule is applicable to customers receiving power from the Government on an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides the Customer a credit on their bill for Government power. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 $2,730,000 $3,220,000 2017 $2,420,000 $5,640,000 2018 $1,910,000 $7,550,000 2019 $1,910,000 $9,460,000 2020 $2,010,000 $11,470,000 2021 $2,110,000 $13,580,000 2022 $2,190,000 $15,770,000 2023 $2,290,000 $18,060,000 2024 $2,400,000 $20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and any ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company or PJM. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $0.775 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charge:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts) in the month incurred.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule VA-2-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia and North Carolina to whom power may be transmitted pursuant to contracts between the Government, Virginia Electric and Power Company (hereinafter called the Company), the Company's Transmission Operator, currently PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government. The Government is responsible for arranging transmission with the Company and PJM. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available
  • for repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and any ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company or PJM. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $0.775 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and ancillary services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charge:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts) in the month incurred.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule VA-3-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia and North Carolina to whom power may be scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government, Virginia Electric and Power Company (hereinafter called the Company), the Company's Transmission Operator, currently PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. The Government is responsible for providing the scheduling. The Customer is responsible for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for Transmission and Ancillary Services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company or PJM. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charge:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts) in the month incurred.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule VA-4-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia and North Carolina served through the transmission facilities of Virginia Electric and Power Company (hereinafter called the Company) and PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM). The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government and for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company or PJM. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charge:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts) in the month incurred.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule DEP-1-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in North Carolina and South Carolina to whom power may be transmitted and scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government and Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Carolina Power & Light Company and hereinafter called the Company) and the Customer. This rate schedule is applicable to customers receiving power from the Government on an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides the Customer a credit on their bill for Government power. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available
  • for repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $1.546 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial transmission charge will be the Customer's ratable share of the transmission and distribution charges paid by the Government. The rate is subject to periodic adjustment and will be computed in accordance with the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Proceedings before FERC involving the Company's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) or the distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission, in accordance with the Government-Company contract, is six (6) per cent. This loss factor will be governed by the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule DEP-2-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in North Carolina and South Carolina to whom power may be transmitted pursuant to contracts between the Government and Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Carolina Power & Light Company and hereinafter called the Company) and the Customer. The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government. The Government is responsible for arranging transmission with the Company. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $1.546 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial transmission charge will be the Customer's ratable share of the transmission and distribution charges paid by the Government. The rate is subject to periodic adjustment and will be computed in accordance with the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Proceedings before FERC involving the Company's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) or the distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission, in accordance with the Government-Company contract, is six (6) per cent. This loss factor will be governed by the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule DEP-3-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in North Carolina and South Carolina to whom power may be scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government and Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Carolina Power & Light Company and hereinafter called the Company) and the Customer. The Government is responsible for providing the scheduling. The Customer is responsible for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Proceedings before FERC involving the Company's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) or the distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission, in accordance with the Government-Company contract, is six (6) per cent. This loss factor will be governed by the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule DEP-4-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in North Carolina and South Carolina served through the transmission facilities of Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Carolina Power & Light Company and hereinafter called the Company). The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government and for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission, in accordance with the Government-Company contract, is six (6) per cent. This loss factor will be governed by the terms of the Government-Company contract.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule AP-1-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia to whom power may be transmitted and scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government, American Electric Power Service Corporation (hereinafter called the Company), the Company's Transmission Operator, currently PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. This rate schedule is applicable to customers receiving power from the Government on an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides the Customer a credit on their bill for Government power. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $0.775 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month estimated as of April 2015, is a presented for illustrative purposes.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charge:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts).

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule AP-2-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia to whom power may be transmitted pursuant to contracts between the Government, American Electric Power Service Corporation (hereinafter called the Company), the Company's Transmission Operator, currently PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government. The Government is responsible for arranging transmission with the Company. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Company's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Transmission:

    $0.775 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charges:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts).

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pursuant to application by American Electric Power Service Corporation under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule AP-3-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia to whom power may be scheduled pursuant to contracts between the Government, American Electric Power Service Corporation (hereinafter called the Company), PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), and the Customer. The Government is responsible for providing the scheduling. The Customer is responsible for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charges:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts).

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule AP-4-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia served through the facilities of American Electric Power Service Corporation (hereinafter called the Company) and PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM). The Customer has chosen to self-schedule and does not receive Government power under an arrangement where the Company schedules the power and provides a credit on the Customer's bill for Government power. The Customer is responsible for providing a scheduling arrangement with the Government and for providing a transmission arrangement. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (hereinafter called the Projects) and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the Projects.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every $100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for Transmission and Ancillary Services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Company. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of the Company's rate.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Company's or PJM's OATT.

    Capacity Performance Non-Performance Charges:

    Requirements of the PJM capacity performance market may lead to non-performance charges to Southeastern. These non-performance charges, if incurred, will be allocated to the capacity delivered in PJM (currently 120,100 kilowatts).

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Company (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Company's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule NC-1-C

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in Virginia and North Carolina to whom power may be transmitted pursuant to a contract between the Government and Virginia Electric and Power Company (hereinafter called the Virginia Power) and PJM Interconnection LLC (hereinafter called PJM), scheduled pursuant to a contract between the Government and Duke Energy Progress (formerly known as Carolina Power & Light and hereinafter called DEP), and billed pursuant to contracts between the Government and the Customer. Nothing in this rate schedule shall preclude modifications to the aforementioned contracts to allow an eligible customer to elect service under another rate schedule.

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale at wholesale of power and accompanying energy generated at the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The electric capacity and energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points of the Customer on the Virginia Power's transmission and distribution system.

    Monthly Rate:

    The initial base monthly rate for capacity, energy, and generation services provided under this rate schedule for the period specified shall be:

    Initial Base Capacity Charge:

    $4.40 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month.

    Initial Base Energy Charge:

    17.80 mills per kilowatt-hour.

    The rates are based on a repayment study that projects that the Kerr-Philpott System will produce the following net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year and cumulative net revenue available for repayment by fiscal year:

    Fiscal year Estimated annual net revenue
  • available for
  • repayment
  • Cumulative net revenue available for repayment
    2015 $490,000 $490,000 2016 2,730,000 3,220,000 2017 2,420,000 5,640,000 2018 1,910,000 7,550,000 2019 1,910,000 9,460,000 2020 2,010,000 11,470,000 2021 2,110,000 13,580,000 2022 2,190,000 15,770,000 2023 2,290,000 18,060,000 2024 2,400,000 20,460,000

    The rates include a true-up of the capacity and energy rates based on the variance of the actual cumulative net revenue available for repayment from the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment in the table above. For every 100,000 under-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will increase the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and increase the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. For every $100,000 of over-recovery of the planned cumulative net revenue available for repayment, Southeastern will reduce the base capacity charge by $0.02 per kilowatt per month, up to a maximum of $0.75 per kilowatt per month, and reduce the base energy charge by 0.10 mills per kilowatt-hour, up to a maximum of 3.0 mills per kilowatt per hour, to be implemented April 1 of the next fiscal year. Southeastern will give written notice to the customers of the amount of the true-up to the capacity and energy rates by February 1 of the next fiscal year.

    Additional rates for transmission and ancillary services provided under this rate schedule shall be the rates charged Southeastern Power Administration by the Virginia Power and DEP. Future adjustments to these rates will become effective upon acceptance for filing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of Virginia Power's or DEP's rate.

    Transmission:

    $0.775 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    Ancillary Services:

    0.34 mills per kilowatt-hour of energy estimated as of April 2015, is presented for illustrative purposes.

    The initial charge for transmission and Ancillary Services will be the Customer's ratable share of the charges for transmission, distribution, and ancillary services paid by the Government. The charges for transmission and ancillary services are governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in proceedings before the FERC involving the Company's or PJM's Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).

    Proceedings before FERC involving the OATT or the Distribution charge may result in the separation of charges currently included in the transmission rate. In this event, the Government may charge the Customer for any and all separate transmission, ancillary services, and distribution charges paid by the Government in behalf of the Customer. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Tandem Transmission Charge:

    $0.42 per kilowatt of total contract demand per month, as an estimated cost as of April 2015.

    The tandem transmission charge will recover the cost of transmitting power from a project to the border of another transmitting system. This rate will be a formulary rate based on the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the Philpott project to the border of the Virginia Electric and Power Company System and the cost to the Government for transmission of power from the John H. Kerr Project to the border of the Duke Energy Progress System. These charges could be recovered through a capacity charge or an energy charge, as determined by the Government.

    Transmission and Ancillary Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving the Virginian Power or PJM's OATT.

    Transmission, System Control, Reactive, and Regulation Services:

    The charges for transmission and ancillary services shall be governed by and subject to refund based upon the determination in the proceeding involving Virginia Power's, DEP's, or PJM's OATT.

    Contract Demand:

    The contract demand is the amount of capacity in kilowatts stated in the contract which the Government is obligated to supply and the Customer is entitled to receive.

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to Virginia Power (less applicable losses). The Customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Virginia Power's system. The applicable energy loss factor for transmission is specified in the OATT.

    These losses shall be effective until modified by the FERC, pursuant to application by the Company or PJM under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act or Southeastern Power Administration under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act or otherwise.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    Wholesale Power Rate Schedule Replacement-2-B

    Availability:

    This rate schedule shall be available to public bodies and cooperatives (any one of whom is hereinafter called the Customer) in North Carolina and Virginia to whom power is provided pursuant to contracts between the Government and the customer from the John H. Kerr and Philpott Projects (or Kerr-Philpott System).

    Applicability:

    This rate schedule shall be applicable to the sale of wholesale energy purchased to meet contract minimum energy and sold under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Character of Service:

    The energy supplied hereunder will be delivered at the delivery points provided for under appropriate contracts between the Government and the Customer.

    Monthly Charge:

    The customer will pay its ratable share of Southeastern's monthly cost for replacement energy. The ratable share will be the cost allocation factor for the customer listed in the table below times Southeastern's monthly cost for replacement energy purchased for the Kerr-Philpott System, rounded to the nearest $0.01.

    Contract No. 89-00-1501- Customer Capacity
  • allocation
  • Average
  • energy
  • Cost allocation factor
    1230 Albemarle EMC 2,593 6,950,707 1.565921% 1221 B-A-R-C EC 3,740 10,060,472 2.266518% 853 Brunswick EMC 3,515 10,468,686 2.358485% 854 Carteret-Craven EMC 2,679 7,978,836 1.797548% 869 Carteret-Craven EMC 56 42,281 0.009525% 855 Central EMC 1,239 3,690,100 0.831341% 1220 Central Virginia EC 7,956 21,534,960 4.851599% 1203 City of Bedford 1,200 906,166 0.204150% 1204 City of Danville 5,600 4,228,775 0.952698% 895 City of Elizabeth City 2,073 1,565,205 0.352624% 1215 City of Franklin 1,003 754,359 0.169949% 878 City of Kinston 1,466 1,106,893 0.249371% 880 City of Laurinburg 415 313,343 0.070593% 881 City of Lumberton 895 675,764 0.152242% 1205 City of Martinsville 1,600 1,208,222 0.272200% 882 City of New Bern 1,204 909,072 0.204804% 1206 City of Radford 1,300 981,575 0.221138% 885 City of Rocky Mount 2,538 1,916,300 0.431722% 1208 City of Salem 2,200 1,661,127 0.374234% 892 City of Washington 2,703 2,040,882 0.459789% 889 City of Wilson 2,950 2,227,377 0.501805% 1222 Community EC 4,230 11,394,466 2.567053% 1211 Craig-Botetourt EC 1,692 4,575,816 1.030883% 1231 Edgecombe-Martin County EMC 4,155 11,275,547 2.540262% 875 Fayetteville Public Works Commission 5,431 4,100,640 0.923831% 856 Four County EMC 4,198 12,502,857 2.816762% 891 Greenville Utilities Commission 7,534 5,688,496 1.281558% 857 Halifax EMC 585 1,742,299 0.392522% 1232 Halifax EMC 2,021 5,478,308 1.234205% 1216 Harrisonburg Electric Commission 2,691 2,050,360 0.461924% 858 Jones-Onslow EMC 5,184 15,439,450 3.478345% 859 Lumbee River EMC 3,729 11,106,040 2.502074% 1223 Mecklenburg EMC 11,344 30,806,162 6.940303% 1224 Northern Neck EC 3,944 10,572,278 2.381823% 1225 Northern Virginia EC 3,268 8,875,341 1.999521% 860 Pee Dee EMC 2,968 8,839,562 1.991460% 861 Piedmont EMC 1,086 3,234,540 0.728708% 862 Pitt & Greene EMC 1,580 4,705,697 1.060144% 1226 Prince George EC 2,530 6,781,913 1.527893% 863 Randolph EMC 3,608 10,745,666 2.420885% 1227 Rappahannock EC 22,427 60,450,624 13.618889% 1233 Roanoke EMC 5,528 14,904,403 3.357805% 1228 Shenandoah Valley EMC 9,938 26,943,520 6.070091% 864 South River EMC 6,119 18,224,150 4.105709% 1229 Southside EC 14,575 39,381,017 8.872128% 865 Tideland EMC 680 2,025,236 0.456264% 1234 Tideland EMC 2,418 6,554,050 1.476558% 870 Town of Apex 145 109,482 0.024665% 871 Town of Ayden 208 157,049 0.035381% 893 Town of Belhaven 182 137,418 0.030959% 872 Town of Benson 120 90,605 0.020412% 1212 Town of Blackstone 389 292,568 0.065912% 873 Town of Clayton 161 121,562 0.027387% 1213 Town of Culpepper 391 297,916 0.067117% 894 Town of Edenton 775 585,159 0.131830% 1214 Town of Elkton 171 128,609 0.028974% 1218 Town of Enfield 259 194,810 0.043889% 874 Town of Farmville 237 178,946 0.040315% 876 Town of Fremont 60 45,303 0.010206% 896 Town of Hamilton 40 30,202 0.006804% 897 Town of Hertford 203 153,274 0.034531% 898 Town of Hobgood 46 34,732 0.007825% 877 Town of Hookerton 30 22,651 0.005103% 879 Town of La Grange 93 70,219 0.015820% 868 Town of Louisburg 857 2,552,452 0.575041% 883 Town of Pikeville 40 30,202 0.006804% 884 Town of Red Springs 117 88,340 0.019902% 1207 Town of Richlands 500 377,569 0.085062% 899 Town of Robersonville 232 175,170 0.039464% 900 Town of Scotland Neck 304 229,533 0.051711% 886 Town of Selma 183 138,173 0.031129% 887 Town of Smithfield 378 285,407 0.064299% 901 Town of Tarboro 2,145 1,619,568 0.364872% 888 Town of Wake Forest 149 112,501 0.025345% 1217 Town of Wakefield 106 79,723 0.017961% 1219 Town of Windsor 331 248,946 0.056085% 866 Tri-County EMC 3,096 9,220,782 2.077345% 867 Wake EMC 2,164 6,445,017 1.451994% Total 196,500 443,873,428

    Energy to be Furnished by the Government:

    The Government will sell to the Customer and the Customer will purchase from the Government energy each billing month equivalent to a percentage specified by contract of the energy made available to the Facilitator (less any losses required by the Facilitator). The customer's contract demand and accompanying energy will be allocated proportionately to its individual delivery points served from the Facilitator's system.

    Billing Month:

    The billing month for power sold under this schedule shall end at 12:00 midnight on the last day of each calendar month.

    [FR Doc. 2015-24196 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9934-35-Region 10] Issuance of NPDES General Permit for Tribal Marine Net Pen Enhancement Facilities in Washington State (Permit Number WAG132000) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of final NPDES General Permit.

    SUMMARY:

    The Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10 is publishing notice of availability of the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Tribal Marine Net Pen Enhancement Facilities in Washington State (General Permit). The General Permit authorizes discharges to Waters of the U.S. within the State of Washington. The General Permit contains effluent limitations, along with administrative reporting and monitoring requirements, as well as standard conditions, prohibitions, and management practices.

    DATES:

    The issuance date of the General Permit is September 23, 2015. The effective date of this General Permit will be November 1, 2015. Existing operators must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to discharge no more than 30 days following the effective date of this general permit. New operators must submit NOIs at least 180 days prior to initiation of operations.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the General Permit and Response to Comments are available through written requests submitted to EPA, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, OWW-191, Seattle, WA 98101. Electronic requests may be sent to: [email protected] For requests by phone, call Audrey Washington at (206) 553-0523.

    The General Permit, Fact Sheet, and Response to Comments may be found on the Region 10 Web site at http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/water.nsf/npdes+permits/general+npdes+permits/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Gockel, Office of Water and Watersheds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, Mail Stop OWW-191, 1200 6th Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101-3140, at (206) 553-0325 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Endangered Species Act [16 U.S.C. 1531 et al.]: EPA has analyzed the discharges proposed to be authorized by the General Permit, and their potential to adversely affect threatened or endangered species or their designated critical habitat areas in the vicinity of the discharges. Based on this analysis, EPA has determined that the issuance of this permit will have no effect to any threatened or endangered species in the vicinity of the discharge. Therefore, ESA consultation was not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et.seq.] and Other Federal Requirements: Regulations at 40 CFR 122.49 list the federal laws that may apply to the issuance of permits i.e., ESA, National Historic Preservation Act, the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA), NEPA, and Executive Orders, among others. The NEPA compliance program requires analysis of information regarding potential impacts, development and analysis of options to avoid or minimize impacts, and development and analysis of measures to mitigate adverse impacts. EPA determined that no Environmental Assessments (EAs) or Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) are required under NEPA. EPA also determined that CZARA does not apply.

    Essential Fish Habitat (EFH): The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act requires EPA to consult with NOAA-NMFS when a proposed discharge has the potential to adversely affect a designated EFH. The EFH regulations define an adverse effect as “any impact which reduces quality and/or quantity of EFH . . . [and] may include direct (e.g. contamination or physical disruption), indirect (e.g. loss of prey, reduction in species' fecundity), site-specific or habitat-wide impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic consequences of actions.” NMFS may recommend measures for attachment to the federal action to protect EFH; however, such recommendations are advisory, and not prescriptive in nature. EPA has evaluated the General Permit and has made the determination that issuance of the General Permit will have no effect on EFH.

    Executive Order 12866: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempts this action from the review requirements of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to Section 6 of that order.

    Economic Impact [Executive Order 12291]: The EPA has reviewed the effect of Executive Order 12291 on this General Permit and has determined that it is not a major rule pursuant to that Order.

    Paperwork Reduction Act [44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. ]: The EPA has reviewed the requirements imposed on regulated facilities in the General Permit and finds them consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act [5 U.S.C. 601 et seq .]: The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that EPA prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for rules subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act [APA, 5 U.S.C. 553] that have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, EPA has concluded that NPDES General Permits are not rulemakings under the APA, and thus not subject to APA rulemaking requirements or the RFA.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, generally requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions (defined to be the same as rules subject to the RFA) on tribal, state, and local governments, and the private sector. However, General NPDES Permits are not rules subject to the requirements of the APA, and are, therefore, not subject to the UMRA.

    Appeal of Permit

    Any interested person may appeal the General Permit in the Federal Court of Appeals in accordance with section 509(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1369(b)(1). This appeal must be filed within 120 days of the General Permit issuance date. Affected persons may not challenge the conditions of the General Permit in further EPA proceedings (see 40 CFR 124.19). Instead, they may either challenge the General Permit in court or apply for an individual NPDES permit.

    Authority:

    This action is taken under the authority of Section 402 of the Clean Water Act as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1342.

    Dated: September 9, 2015. Daniel D. Opalski, Director, Office of Water & Watersheds, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-23477 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [DA 15-1002] Disability Advisory Committee; Announcement of Next Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces the date of the next meeting of the Commission's Disability Advisory Committee (Committee or DAC). The meeting is open to the public. During this meeting, members of the Committee will receive and discuss summaries of activities and recommendations from its subcommittees.

    DATES:

    The Committee's next meeting will take place on Thursday, October 8, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, in the Commission Meeting Room.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elaine Gardner, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-418-0581 (voice); email: [email protected]; or Suzy Rosen Singleton, Alternate DAC Designated Federal Officer, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-510-9446 (VP/voice), at the same email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established in December 2014 to make recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission, and to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in proceedings before the Commission. The Committee is organized under, and operated in accordance with, the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Committee held its first meeting on March 17, 2015.

    At its October 8, 2015 meeting, the Committee will consider a recommendation from its Communications Subcommittee regarding ways to address the needs of people with disabilities in new and emerging technologies; will receive a report on the activities of its Emergency Communications Subcommittee; may consider proposed comments from its Relay/Equipment Distribution Subcommittee for the DAC to file in FCC Docket GN 13-5 regarding the transition of communication networks to Internet protocol; will receive a report on the activities of its Video Programming Subcommittee; and will consider recommendations from its Real Time Text (RTT) Ad Hoc Subcommittee regarding the FCC Public Notice about AT&T's Petition for Waiver and Petition for Rulemaking. The Committee will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and may discuss new issues to be taken under consideration.

    A limited amount of time may be available on the agenda for comments and inquiries from the public. The public may comment or ask questions of presenters via the email address [email protected]The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. If making a request for an accommodation, please include a description of the accommodation you will need and tell us how to contact you if we need more information. Make your request as early as possible by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY). Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. The meeting will be webcast with open captioning, at: www.fcc.gov/live.

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Federal Communications Commission. Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24173 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreement Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected].

    Agreement No.: 012359.

    Title: MOL/Volkswagen Konzernlogistik GmbH & Co.OHG Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd and Volkswagen Konzernlogistik Gmbh & Co.OHG.

    Filing Party: Eric. C. Jeffrey, Esq.; Nixon Peabody LLP; 799 9th Street NW., Suite 500; Washington, DC 20001.

    Synopsis: The agreement would authorize Mitsui to charter space to Volkswagen for the carriage of vehicles and other Ro-Ro cargo between the U.S. on the one hand, and Mexico, Germany and Canada on the other hand.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24174 Filed 9-22-15; 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 October 19, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. First Dakota Financial Corporation, Yankton, South Dakota; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Dakota State Bank, Blunt, South Dakota.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 18, 2015. Margaret McCloskey Shanks, Deputy Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24139 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than October 8, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Adam M. Drimer, Assistant Vice President) 701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23261-4528:

    1. The Asheville Savings Bank, S.S.B. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Asheville, North Carolina, and its trustee, Pentegra Trust Company, Shelton, Connecticut; to retain voting shares of ASB Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of Ashville Savings Bank, SSB, both in Asheville, North Carolina.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 18, 2015. Margaret McCloskey Shanks, Deputy Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24138 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) its approval authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), to approve of and assign OMB numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the PRA Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Reg G, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW.) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235 725, 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The following information collection, which is being handled under this delegated authority, has received initial Board approval and is hereby published for comment. At the end of the comment period, the proposed information collection, along with an analysis of comments and recommendations received, will be submitted to the Board for final approval under OMB delegated authority. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, 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 information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

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

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Report

    1. Report title: Requirements for Disclosure and Reporting of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-Related Agreements (Regulation G).

    Agency form number: Reg G.

    OMB control number: 7100-0299.

    Frequency: On occasion and annual.

    Reporters: State member banks and their subsidiaries; bank holding companies; savings and loan holding companies; and affiliates of bank holding companies and savings and loan holding institutions, other than banks, savings associations and subsidiaries of banks and savings associations; and nongovernmental entities or persons (NGEPs) that enter into covered agreements with any of the aforementioned companies.

    Estimated annual reporting hours: Disclosure burden for insured depository institutions (IDI) and affiliates: Covered agreements to public, 6 hours; and Agreements relating to activities of CRA affiliates, 6 hours; Reporting burden for IDI and affiliates: Copy of agreements to agency, 8 hours; List of agreements to agency, 8 hours; Annual report, 8 hours; and Filing NGEP annual report, 6 hours; Disclosure burden for NGEP: Covered agreements to public, 6 hours; Reporting burden for NGEP: Copy of agreements to agency, 6 hours; and Annual report, 24 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: Disclosure burden for IDI and affiliates: Covered agreements to public, 1 hour; and Agreements relating to activities of CRA affiliates, 1 hour; Reporting burden for IDI and affiliates: Copy of agreements to agency, 1 hour; List of agreements to agency, 1 hour; Annual report, 4 hours; and Filing NGEP annual report, 1 hour; Disclosure burden for NGEP: Covered agreements to public, 1 hour; Reporting burden for NGEP: Copy of agreements to agency, 1 hour; and Annual report, 4 hours.

    Number of respondents: Disclosure burden for IDI and affiliates: Covered agreements to public, 2 respondents; and Agreements relating to activities of CRA affiliates, 2 respondents; Reporting burden for IDI and affiliates: Copy of agreements to agency, 2 respondents; List of agreements to agency, 2 respondents; Annual report, 2 respondents; and Filing NGEP annual report, 2 respondents; Disclosure burden for NGEP: Covered agreements to public, 6 respondents; Reporting burden for NGEP: Copy of agreements to agency, 6 respondents; and Annual report, 6 respondents.

    General description of report: This information collection is mandatory pursuant to Section 48 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1831y). The Board does not generally consider the information obtained under Regulation G to be confidential. However, a respondent may request confidential treatment under section (b)(4) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Section (b)(4) provides an exemption for “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential” (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)). In order for a respondent to avail itself of this exemption, the respondent would have to show that the release of information would likely cause substantial harm to their competitive position. In addition, the information obtained under Regulation G may in appropriate circumstances also be withheld pursuant to section (b)(8) of the FOIA, which exempts information contained in “examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions” (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)).

    Abstract: Regulation G implements provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) that require reporting and public disclosure of written agreements between (1) IDIs or their affiliates and (2) NGEPs, that are made in connection with the fulfillment of CRA requirements.1 The GLBA requires both IDIs and NGEPs to make a copy of any CRA-Related agreement available upon request and file an annual report with each relevant supervisory agency regarding the use of funds under such agreement for that fiscal year. In addition, an IDI and affiliate must provide to the relevant supervisory agency each calendar quarter a list of all CRA-related agreements entered into during the quarter with a copy of the agreement.

    1 12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 18, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24131 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Tribal Consultation Meetings AGENCY:

    Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and Families, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134, notice is hereby given of two 1-day Tribal Consultation Sessions to be held between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, OHS leadership and the leadership of Tribal Governments operating Head Start (including Early Head Start) programs. The purpose of these Consultation Sessions is to discuss ways to better meet the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families, taking into consideration funding allocations, distribution formulas, and other issues affecting the delivery of Head Start services in their geographic locations [42 U.S.C. 9835, Section 640(l)(4)].

    DATES:

    October 13, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; October 28, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Locations:

    • October 13, 2015—Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, 1131 East International Airport Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99518.

    • October 28, 2015—The Pearl River Resort, 13541 Highway, 16 West, Choctaw, Mississippi 39350.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fran Majestic, Director of Program Operations Division, Office of Head Start, email [email protected], or phone (202) 205-8390. Additional information and online meeting registration is available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/calendar/tc2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HHS announces OHS Tribal Consultations for leaders of Tribal Governments operating Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The agenda for the scheduled OHS Tribal Consultations in Anchorage, Alaska, and Choctaw, Mississippi, will be organized around the statutory purposes of Head Start Tribal Consultations related to meeting the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, taking into consideration funding allocations, distribution formulas, and other issues affecting the delivery of Head Start services in their geographic locations. In addition, OHS will share actions taken and in progress to address the issues and concerns raised in the 2014 OHS Tribal Consultations.

    The Consultation Sessions will be conducted with elected or appointed leaders of Tribal Governments and their designated representatives [42 U.S.C. 9835, Section 640(l)(4)(A)]. Designees must have a letter from the Tribal Government authorizing them to represent the tribe. Tribal Governments must submit the designee letter at least 3 days in advance of the Consultation Session to Fran Majestic at [email protected] Other representatives of tribal organizations and Native nonprofit organizations are welcome to attend as observers.

    A detailed report of each Consultation Session will be prepared and made available within 45 days of the Consultation Sessions to all Tribal Governments receiving funds for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Tribes wishing to submit written testimony for the report should send testimony to Fran Majestic at [email protected] either prior to each Consultation Session or within 30 days after each meeting. OHS will summarize oral testimony and comments from the Consultation Session in each report without attribution, along with topics of concern and recommendations.

    Dated: September 11, 2015. Blanca E. Enriquez, Director, Office of Head Start.
    [FR Doc. 2015-23720 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-40-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Single-Award Deviation from Competition Requirements for the University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care.

    SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be issuing a noncompetitive award for the Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care program. Approximately $330,000 will be made available in the form of a cooperative agreement to the University of Arizona, Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care program, Tucson, Arizona (HP 2771) during the current budget/project period of September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2017. This cooperative agreement was fully funded for a 3-year project period on September 1, 2014. The purpose of the Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care program is to incorporate competency based Integrative Medicine (IM) curricula and practices into existing primary care residencies and other health professions training programs. This center is expected to contribute to the evidence-base for IM, and to identify promising practices related to the integration of IM into primary care and interprofessional practice. The Center formally partners with existing primary care residency programs (pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, preventive medicine) and other health professions training programs (nursing, physician assistant, public health, and behavioral health among others) to: (a) Pilot and implement the incorporation of IM into the curricula and training; (b) Provide faculty development; (c) Engage in interprofessional education and practice; (d) Develop practice-based IM rotations for residents and students; (e) Reach out to underserved populations through existing training sites to spread IM practice; (f) Identify promising IM practices through the work of the program; and (g) Evaluate students' and faculty members' knowledge gained and practice changes made through IM trainings and curriculum development.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Federal awardee of record and intended award amount is:

    Grantee/Organization name Grant
  • number
  • State FY 2014 authorized funding level FY 2015 estimated funding level
    University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine UE1 HP 27710 AZ $1,699,998 fully funded for a 3-year project period The program did not receive FY 2015 appropriated funds. HRSA proposes to award an additional $330,000 through a program expansion supplement in FY 2015.

    Amount of the Award(s): Up to $330,000.

    CFDA Number: 93.117.

    Current Project Period: September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2017.

    Period of Supplemental Funding: September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2017.

    Authority: Section 765 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295 and 295a), as amended by Section 5206 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Justification

    HRSA seeks to provide a program expansion supplement of $330,000 for the Center for Integrative Medicine in Primary Care Program award for the purpose of increasing the number of pilot sites and disciplines that are reached with the initial offering of the Foundations in Integrative Healthcare online course. The program will be able to accomplish outreach to a broad range of disciplines, health professionals, types of programs, and underrepresented groups. They also will be able to provide outreach to consumers on integrative healthcare. This request is for a single-award deviation because there is only one currently funded cooperative agreement with the capacity to use the funding during the required time period.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Sandvold, Medical Training and Geriatrics Branch, Division of Medicine and Dentistry, Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane Room 12 C 05, Rockville, Maryland 20857, Phone: 301-443-2295, [email protected]

    Dated: September 15, 2015. James Macrae, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24115 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C HIV Early Intervention Services Program Existing Geographic Service Area AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) is requesting a class deviation from the competition requirements in order to provide a one-year extension with funds to nineteen Part C HIV Early Intervention Services Program Existing Geographic Service Area (EISEGA) grantees. HAB is currently evaluating the EISEGA program and intends to recompete the entire program in fiscal year (FY) 2017. Nineteen of the 347 Part C grantees were scheduled to recompete in FY 2016. One-year extensions with funds enables HAB to align all cohorts of EISEGA grantees without disrupting the provision of critical HIV primary medical care services to the current Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients served by these nineteen RWHAP Part C recipients. Pending the availability of funds, the amount of each FY 2016 award will be based on a proportion of the current Part C EISEGA award to each of the nineteen recipients, respectively.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chrissy Abrahms Woodland, Acting Director, Division of Community HIV/AIDS Programs, HRSA/HAB/DCHAP, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9-74, Rockville, MD 20857, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Period of Performance: April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

    Intended Recipients of the Award: Borinquen Health Care Center, CareSouth-Carolina, Community Health Center Incorporated, Community Health Net, County of Ventura, Hamilton Health Center, Inc., Howard University Inc., Med Star Health Research Institute, and Northwest Health Services, Inc.

    Period of Performance: May 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017.

    Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center, Inc., Carepoint Health Foundation, Centra Health, Inc., Detroit Community Health Connection, Family Health Center of Worcester, Harbor Health Services, Inc., Mount Sinai Hospital, T.H.E. Clinic, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, and Vanderbilt University.

    Aggregate amount of Non-Competitive Awards: $8,097,427.

    CFDA Number: 93.918

    Authority: Sections 2651-2667 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300ff-51-67) and section 2693 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-87).

    Justification: The purpose of the RWHAP Part C EISEGA Program is to provide HIV primary care in the outpatient setting. Grantees provide a comprehensive continuum of outpatient HIV primary care services in the designated service area including: (1) Targeted HIV counseling, testing, and referral; (2) medical evaluation and clinical care; (3) other primary care services; and (4) referrals to other health services. Identifying people infected with HIV and linking them to HIV primary care with initiation and long-term maintenance of life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) are important public health steps toward the elimination of HIV in the United States. The continuum of interventions that begins with outreach and testing and concludes with HIV viral load suppression is generally referred to as the HIV Care Continuum or the Care Treatment Cascade. The HIV Care Continuum includes the diagnosis of HIV, linkage to HIV medical care, lifelong retention in HIV medical care, appropriate prescription of ART, and ultimately HIV viral load suppression.

    Dated: September 15, 2015. James Macrae, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24171 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Eye Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NEI Institutional Training Grant Applications.

    Date: October 5, 2015

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Daniel R. Kenshalo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Eye Institute National Institutes of Health, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 1300, MSC 9300, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-2020, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.867, Vision Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 18, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24201 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

    Date: October 28, 2015.

    Open: Open: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To discuss program policies and issues.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room 10, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: Closed: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room 10, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Stephen C. Mockrin, Ph.D. Director, Division of Extramural Research Activities National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7100, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-0260 [email protected].

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/meetings/nhlbac/index.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (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: September 17, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24046 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable materials, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Drug Abuse Research (R21).

    Date: October 7, 2015.

    Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Hiromi Ono, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-6020, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Medication Development.

    Date: October 8, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Jose F. Ruiz, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Room 4228, MSC 9550, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, (301) 451-3086, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Advancing Exceptional Research on HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse (R01).

    Date: October 15, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jagadeesh S. Rao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 02892, 301-443-9511, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Tools and Services for Designing Methodologically Rigorous Animal Studies.

    Date: October 29, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Gerald L. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, DHHS, 6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, 301-402-6626, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Strategic Alliances for Medications Development to Treat Substance Use Disorders (R01).

    Date: October 30, 2015.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jose F. Ruiz, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Room 4228, MSC 9550, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, (301) 451-3086, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Grand Opportunity in Medications Development for Substance-Related Disorders (U01).

    Date: October 30, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jose F. Ruiz, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Room 4228, MSC 9550, 6001 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892-9550, (301) 451-3086, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) (R21).

    Date: November 18, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Jagadeesh S. Rao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 02892, 301-443-9511, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 17, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24045 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences Integrated Review Group; Cardiovascular Differentiation and Development Study Section.

    Date: October 15, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Courtyard by Marriott, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

    Contact Person: Sara Ahlgren, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, RM 4136, Bethesda, MD 20817-7814, 301-435-0904, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Biological Chemistry and Macromolecular Biophysics Integrated Review Group; Synthetic and Biological Chemistry A Study Section.

    Date: October 15-16, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Sheraton Columbia Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044.

    Contact Person: Mike Radtke, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4176, MSC 7806, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1728, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Biological Chemistry and Macromolecular Biophysics Integrated Review Group; Macromolecular Structure and Function D Study Section.

    Date: October 15-16, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications and/or proposals.

    Place: Kinzie Hotel, 20 West Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL 60654.

    Contact Person: James W Mack, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4154, MSC 7806, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-2037, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Genes, Genomes, and Genetics Integrated Review Group; Genetic Variation and Evolution Study Section.

    Date: October 23, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Ronald Adkins, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2206, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-4511, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA Panel: NIH-PEPFAR Collaboration on Implementation Science for HIV.

    Date: October 26-27, 2015.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Shalanda A. Bynum, Ph.D., MPH, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive Room 3206, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1165, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Psychosocial and Developmental Risk and Disease Prevention.

    Date: October 27, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Weijia Ni, Ph.D., Chief/Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3100, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 594-3292, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 18, 2015. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24202 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee Call for Committee Membership Nominations SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking nominations for an individual to serve as a non-federal public member on the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee.

    DATES:

    Nominations are due by 5 p.m., October 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations must be sent to Glen Nuckolls, Ph.D., by email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Glen Nuckolls, Ph.D., by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee (MDCC) is a federal advisory committee established in accordance with the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2001 (MD-CARE Act; Pub. L. 107-84). The MD-CARE Act was reauthorized in 2008 by Public Law 110-361, and again in 2014 by Public Law 113-166. The MD-CARE Act specifies that the committee membership be composed of 2/3 governmental agency representatives and 1/3 public members. We are seeking nominations for a non-federal, public member at this time, due to turnover of committee membership. Nominations will be accepted between September 25, 2015 and October 26, 2015.

    Who is Eligible: Nominations for a new non-federal public member interested in providing the public and/or patient perspective are encouraged. Self-nominations and nominations of other individuals are both permitted. Only one nomination per individual is required. Multiple nominations for the same individual will not increase likelihood of selection. Non-federal, public members may be selected from the pool of submitted nominations or other sources as needed to meet statutory requirements and to form a balanced committee that represents the diversity within the muscular dystrophy communities. Those eligible for nomination include leaders or representatives of major muscular dystrophy research, advocacy, and service organizations, parents or guardians of individuals with muscular dystrophy, individuals with muscular dystrophy, educators, researchers, and other individuals with professional or personal experience with muscular dystrophy. In accordance with White House Office of Management and Budget guidelines (FR Doc. 2014-19140), federally-registered lobbyists are not eligible.

    Committee Composition: The Department strives to ensure that the membership of HHS Federal advisory committees is fairly balanced in terms of points of view represented and the committee's function. Every effort is made to ensure that the views of all genders, all ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities are represented on HHS Federal advisory committees and, therefore, the Department encourages nominations of qualified candidates from these groups. The Department also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the Committee. Appointment to this Committee shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status. Requests for reasonable accommodation to enable participation on the Committee should be indicated in the nomination submission.

    Member Terms: Non-Federal public members of the Committee serve for a term of 3 years, and may serve for an unlimited number of terms if reappointed. Members may serve after the expiration of their terms, until their successors have taken office.

    Meetings and Travel: As specified by Public Law 113-166, the MDCC “shall meet no fewer than two times per calendar year.” Travel expenses are provided for non-federal public Committee members to facilitate attendance at in-person meetings. Members are expected to make every effort to attend all full committee meetings, twice per year, either in person or via remote access. Participation in relevant subcommittee, working and planning group meetings, and workshops, is also encouraged.

    Submission Instructions and Deadline: Nominations are due by 5 p.m. EST on October 26, 2015, and should be sent to Glen Nuckolls, Ph.D., by email to [email protected]

    Nominations must include contact information for the nominee, a current curriculum vitae or resume of the nominee and a paragraph describing the qualifications of the person to represent some portion(s) of the muscular dystrophy research, advocacy and/or patient care communities.

    More information about the MDCC is available at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/groups/mdcc/.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Walter J. Koroshetz, Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24117 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, Maryland 20852-3804; telephone: 301-496-7057; fax: 301-402-0220. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology descriptions follow.

    A Novel Rapid Point-of-Care Diagnostic Method for Infectious and Autoimmune Diseases

    Description of Technology: Rapid point-of-care, antibody-based testing is not available for the diagnosis of autoimmune and most infectious diseases. For detecting autoantibodies associated with most autoimmune conditions, fluid-phase immunoprecipitation assays are required. However, these assays usually involve radioactivity and are not feasible for point-of-care applications. The subject invention describes methods of using neodymium magnet for diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases including lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, type I diabetes, HIV and Lyme disease. The assay takes 3.5 minutes, is highly efficient, and has low background.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • A rapid assay for point-of-care diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases.

    • Applications to different assay platforms, such as a portable, commercially available hand-held luminometer or an automated, high-throughput device.

    Competitive Advantages

    • Highly efficient, rapid, and easy to perform.

    • Low background signals.

    Development Stage

    • Early-stage

    In vitro data available

    • Prototype.

    Inventor: Peter D. Burbelo (NIDCR)

    Publications

    1. Burbelo PD, et al. Luciferase immunoprecipitation systems for measuring antibodies in autoimmune and infectious diseases. Transl Res. 2015 Feb; 165(2):325-335. [PMID 25241936]

    2. Burbelo PD, et al. New autoantibody detection technologies yield novel insights into autoimmune disease. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2014 Nov; 26(6):717-723. [PMID 25203116]

    3. Burbelo PD, et al. Searching for biomarkers: humoral response profiling with luciferase immunoprecipitation systems. Expert Rev Proteomics. 2011 Jun; 8(3):309-316. [PMID 21679112]

    4. Burbelo PD, et al. Antibody profiling by luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS). J Vis Exp. 2009 Oct 7; (32). [PMID 19812534]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-190-2015/0—US Provisional Application No. 62/212,973 filed 01 Oct 2015.

    Related Technologies

    • E-036-2010 family: PCT/US2011/027888, US 8,926,989, issued. US 14/562,068 and EP 11730770.1, pending.

    • E-281-2010: US 13/882,850, allowed.

    • E-063-2009: US 8,951,723, issued.

    Licensing Contact: Sally Hu, Ph.D., M.B.A.; 301-435-5606; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize using neodymium magnet for rapid diagnosis. For collaboration opportunities, please contact David Bradley, Ph.D. at [email protected]

    A Mobile Health Platform

    Description of Technology: The NIH inventors have developed a mobile health technology to monitor and predict a user's psychological status and to deliver an automated intervention when needed. The technology uses smartphones to monitor the user's location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day. Continuously collected ambulatory psychological data are fused with data on location and responses to questions. The mobile data are combined with geospatial risk maps to quantify exposure to risk and predict a future psychological state. The future predictions are used to warn the user when he or she is at especially high risk of experiencing a negative event that might lead to an unwanted outcome (e.g., lapse to drug use in a recovering addict).

    An internally developed mobile app is now being deployed to deliver an intervention in the context of drug addiction. The inventors are also seeking to test the technology for other health applications.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • Real time behavior monitoring

    • Therapeutic delivery of an intervention via a mobile device

    Competitive Advantages

    • Mobile device

    • Real time

    • Exposure to risk

    Development Stage: Prototype

    Inventors: Kenzie L. Preston, David H. Epstein, Matthew Tyburski, Massoud Vahabzadeh (all of NIDA)

    Publications

    1. Epstein DH, et al. Real-time tracking of neighborhood surroundings and mood in urban drug misusers: Application of a new method to study behavior in its geographical context. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jan 1;134:22-9. [PMID 24332365]

    2. Kennedy AP, et al. Continuous in-the-field measurement of heart rate: Correlates of drug use, craving, stress and mood in polydrug users. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 June 1;151:159-66. [PMID 25920802]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-049-2015/0—US Provisional Application No. 62/186, 983 filed 30 June 2015

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute on Drug Abuse is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize mhealth system to analyze and intervene. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Vio Conley at [email protected]

    Detection and Discrimination of Classical and Atypical L-Type BSE Strains by RT-QuIC

    Description of Technology: Statutory surveillance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) indicates that cattle are susceptible to both classical (C-BSE) and atypical forms of BSE. Atypical forms of BSE appear to be sporadic and thus may never be eradicated. A major challenge is the lack of sufficiently practical and sensitive tests for routine BSE detection and strain discrimination. The RT-QuIC test, which is based on prion-seeded fibrillization of recombinant prion protein (rPrPSen), is known to be highly specific and sensitive for detection of multiple human and animal prion diseases, but not BSE. This application claims methods for distinguishing whether a sheep, cow or goat has atypical L-bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion or classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • Detection and distinguishing of both BSE forms

    • Rapid detection and discrimination of BSE forms

    Competitive Advantages

    • Orders of magnitude more sensitive than ELISA tests

    • Eliminates need for multi-phase analyses of samples

    • Can be applied to large scale testing of multiple samples

    Development Stage

    In vitro data available

    In vivo data available (animal)

    • Prototype

    Inventors: Byron W. Caughey (NIAID), Christina D. Orrú (NIAID), Alessandra Favolez (EM), Cristina Casalone (EM), Maria Mazza (EM), Cristiano Corona (EM)

    Publications

    1. Orrú CD, et al. Detection and discrimination of classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy by real-time quaking-induced conversion. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Apr;53(4):1115-20. [PMID 25609728]

    2. Orrú CD, et al. Correction: Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Aug 18;11(8):e1005117. [PMID 26284358]

    3. Orrú CD, et al. Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jun 18;11(6):e1004983. [PMID 26086786]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference E-048-2015/0—US Provisional Application No. 62/092,645 filed 16 Dec 2014

    Licensing Contact: Peter A. Soukas; 301-435-4646; [email protected]

    Lenalidomide Analogs for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders and Cancer

    Description of Technology: Inflammatory processes associated with the over-production of tumor necrosis-alpha (TNF-alpha), a potent activator of the immune system accompany numerous neurodegenerative diseases. TNF-alpha has been validated as a drug target with the development of the inhibitors Enbrel and Remicade (fusion antibodies) as prescription medications. Both, however, are large macromolecules that require direct injection and have limited brain access. The classical drug, thalidomide is being increasingly used in the clinical management of a wide spectrum of immunologically-mediated and infectious diseases, and cancers. The NIA inventors developed and assessed novel thio analogs of lenalidomide (Celegene's Revlimid and an analog of thalidomide) as immunomodulatory agents, with the potential to reduce chronic systemic and central nervous system inflammation. These compounds were synthesized and evaluated for their TNF-alpha inhibitory activity. This invention was extended from the inventors' prior work to develop potent compounds to reduce neuroinflammation as a treatment strategy for neurodegenerative disorders. The current studies focus the compounds activity in classical models of neurodegeneration as well as cancer.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • Treatment for blood disorders (myelodysplastic syndrome), cancer (multiple myeloma), inflammatory processes and erythema

    • Immunomodulatory agents

    • Reduce chronic systemic and central nervous system inflammation

    Competitive Advantages

    • Effective smaller molecular weight compound that can enter brain among current agents

    • Experimental therapeutic to reduce inflammation systematically and within the brain

    • Effective in reducing proinflammatory cytokines than existing agents

    Development Stage

    In vitro data available

    In vivo data available (animal)

    • Prototype

    Inventors: Nigel H. Greig, Weiming Luo, David Tweedie, Harold W. Holloway, Qian-sheng Yu (all of NIA)

    Publication: Luo W, et al. Design, synthesis and biological assessment of novel N-substituted 3-(phthalimidin-2-yl)-2,6-dioxopiperidines and 3-substituted 2,6-dioxopiperidines for TNF-alpha inhibitory activity. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Jul 1;19(13):3965-3972. [PMID 21658960]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-045-2012/0—

    • US Patent No. 8,927,725 issued 06 Jan 2015

    • US Patent No. 9,084,783 issued 21 Jul 2015

    • US Patent Application No. 14/746,512 filed 22 Jun 2015

    Related Technologies: HHS Reference No. E-189-2003/0—

    • US Patent No. 7,973,057 issued 05 Jul 2011

    • US Patent No. 8,546,430 issued 01 Oct 2013

    • US Patent Application No. 13/648,625 filed 10 Oct 2012

    • US Patent Application No. 14/314,124 filed 25 Jun 2014

    • and related international patents/patent applications

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Novel Regulatory B Cells for Treatment of Cancer and Autoimmune Disease

    Description of Technology: The manner by which cancers evade the immune response is not well-understood. What is known is that the manner is an active process that regulates immune responses employing at least two types of suppressive cells, myeloid-derived suppressive cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs), a key subset of CD4+ T cells that controls peripheral tolerance to self- and allo-antigens. Tregs are considered to play a key role in the escape of cancer cells from anti-tumor effector T cells.

    Cancer cells have been found to directly activate resting B cells to form suppressive regulatory B cells (tBregs) and utilize them to evade immune surveillance and mediate metastasis. tBregs directly inhibit CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activity in a cell contact-dependent manner, induce FoxP3+ T cell activity, and promote Treg-dependent metastasis.

    Researchers from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH, have developed methods for the generation of tBregs, and for using tBregs to produce Tregs, and methods that inactivate or deplete tBregs. These methods have significant therapeutic value in the combat with cancer immune escape and metastasis, and in the control of harmful autoimmune diseases.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Production of cellular cancer vaccines

    • Treatments for immune-mediated disorders

    • Treatments for cancer

    • Treatments for chronic viral infections

    Development Stage:

    • Early-stage

    In vitro data available

    In vivo data available (animal)

    In situ data available

    Ex vivo data available

    Inventors: Bira Arya and Purevdorj Olkhanud (NIA)

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-101-2010/0—US Patent Application No. 13/577,226 filed 03 Aug 2012

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the utilization of regulatory B cells to control autoimmune diseases and strategies that inactivate tBregs to control cancer immune escape. Please contact Nicole Darack, Ph.D. at 240-276-5493 or [email protected] for more information.

    Immunogenic Tumor-associated Antigen SPANX-B for Selective Cancer Immunotherapy

    Description of Technology: Researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) have characterized a novel tumor-associated antigen, SPANX-B, which is naturally immunogenic and is expressed in a variety of human malignancies, including melanoma and lung, colon, renal, ovarian and breast carcinomas. In melanoma specifically, SPANX-B expression is associated with advanced and metastatic disease. Moreover, the researchers have found several agonist epitope peptides from SPANX-B which can be used to activate the immune system to eradicate tumors utilizing T cells. SPANX-B peptides have significant clinical and immunotherapeutic potential for the development of cancer diagnostic assays and potent protective and/or therapeutic vaccines to combat a wide-range of cancers.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    In vitro diagnostic assays for highly-metastatic melanomas or other cancers

    • Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies

    • Cancer vaccine development

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Immunogenic: SPANX-B peptides are naturally able to elicit immune response.

    • Expressed in a wide-range of cancers.

    • Use of epitope peptides facilitates the activation of cells of the more therapeutically effective branch of the immune system.

    • Small epitope peptides: Can be more easily manufactured in contrast to recombinant proteins.

    Development Stage:

    In vitro data available

    In vivo data available (animal)

    Publication: Almanzar G, et al. Sperm-derived SPANX-B is a clinically relevant tumor antigen that is expressed in human tumors and readily recognized by human CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Mar 15;15(6):1954-63. [PMID 19276289]

    Inventors: Bira Arya (NIA) and Vladimir Larionov (NCI)

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-089-2009/0—

    • US Patent No. 8,664,183 issued 04 Mar 2014

    • US Patent Application No. 14/155,230 filed 14 Jan 2014

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of SPANX-B-based therapeutic approaches to combat cancers. Please contact Nicole Darack, Ph.D. at 240-276-5493 or [email protected] for more information.

    Method for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Age-Related Cardiovascular Disorders

    Description of Technology: NIH investigators have discovered a method for the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular aging. Current methodologies include the measurement of patient lipid profiles or expression of up to two proteins. In contrast, this technology utilizes the expression levels of a panel of proteins not previously known to be related to cardiovascular aging and may prove to be a more accurate diagnostic or prognostic of cardiovascular aging than currently available tests or it may improve the accuracy of currently available tests when used in concert.

    The technology relates to methods for determining susceptibility to having an extremely common age-associated vascular disorder. It also describes the subsequent use of these proteins as markers for disease. While the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of age-related vascular disease remain largely undefined, the expression levels of the genes described in this technology have been empirically determined to differ between healthy and age-inflamed arterial tissue. Further, this technology includes a companion mass spectroscopic-based methodology for reproducible quantification of specific expression levels of interest.

    Potential Commercial Applications: Diagnosis of age-related vascular disorder.

    Inventors: Mingyi Wang et al. (NIA)

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-219-2008/0—US Patent Application No. 13/202,319 filed 18 Aug 2011

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, Cardiac Biology Section—Vascular Group, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize idea of how to assess and retard accelerated arterial aging and its attendant risks for atherosclerosis and hypertension. Please contact Vio Conley at 240-276-5531 or [email protected] for more information.

    A Novel and Efficient Technology for Targeted Delivery of siRNA

    Description of Technology: The biological phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) has much promise for developing therapeutics to a variety of diseases. However, development of RNAi therapies remains mainly in preclinical stages largely because of difficulties in delivering small inhibitory RNAs (siRNA) and short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) into target cells. Although viral vector-based siRNA delivery systems have been widely used, their specificity and safety remains significant issue. Without a solution to this delivery problem, RNAi cannot fulfill its therapeutic promise.

    Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have developed novel compositions and methods for delivering inhibitory oligonucleotides to cells in a targeted and efficient manner. The compositions and methods are based on utilizing a cell surface receptor targeting ligand, such as cytokine or chemokine, and a domain that binds an inhibitory oligonucleotide, to efficiently deliver the inhibitory oligonucleotide to the cell that expresses the cell surface receptor targeting ligand. Chemokine receptors are differentially expressed on various cells, including tumors; hence this technology allows targeting siRNA to aberrant cells. Gene silencing can also be achieved in variety of immune cells by targeting cytokine receptors. This technology has great potential for developing into a safe and effective means of delivering therapeutic siRNAs.

    Potential Commercial Applications

    • Treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases by delivery of siRNA to tumor cells or various aberrantly functioning immune cells.

    • This technology can be used to boost vaccine responses against cancers and chronic infectious diseases.

    • Targeted delivery of fluorochrome-labeled RNA both in vitro and in vivo for diagnostic purposes, for example, to trace or localize various cells and to determine tumor metastasis and aberrant proliferation or homing of immune cells.

    Competitive Advantages

    • Simple method for linking siRNA to polypeptides to create non-covalent or covalent complexes

    In vivo targeted delivery of inhibitory RNAs into cells rather than systemically

    • Delivery of multiple inhibitory RNAs to target multiple genes

    • Long-term repression of target gene expression through RNAi phenomenon

    Development Stage

    In vitro data available

    In vivo data available (animal)

    In situ data available

    Inventors: Bira Arya, Purevdorj Olkhanud, Juan Espinoza (all of NIA)

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-051-2008/0—

    • US Patent No. 8,703,921 issued 22 Apr 2014

    • US Patent Application No. 14/220,726 filed 20 Mar 2014

    • Various international patents/patent applications

    Licensing Contact: Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.; 301-594-6565; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize chemokine-based siRNA/shRNA technology for treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases, i.e. to control expression of immunomodulatory cytokines and other factors that facilitate tumor escape, activity of regulatory T cells or Th2 type of cells. This technology can be also utilized to boost vaccine responses against cancers and chronic infectious diseases. Please contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 240-276-5515 or [email protected] for more information.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Richard U. Rodriguez, Acting Director, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24137 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Bioengineering Sciences Biocomputational and Modeling.

    Date: October 28, 2015.

    Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Joseph Thomas Peterson, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4118, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9694, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Fellowships: Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Bioengineering.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Raj K. Krishnaraju, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6190, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1047, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Cellular and Molecular Biology of Glia Study Section.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA 22102.

    Contact Person: Linda MacArthur, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4187, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-537-9986, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Oncology 1-Basic Translational Integrated Review Group; Tumor Progression and Metastasis Study Section.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites, DC Convention Center, 900 10 Street, Washington, DC 20001.

    Contact Person: Rolf Jakobi, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6187, MSC 7806, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-495-1718, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Topics in Bacterial Pathogenesis.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Warwick Allerton Hotel, 701 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

    Contact Person: Richard G. Kostriken, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3192, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 240-519-7808, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Fellowships: Biophysical, Physiological, Pharmacological and Bioengineering Neuroscience.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The Westin Georgetown, 2350 M St. NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Paula Elyse Schauwecker, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5211, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Cell Biology Integrated Review Group; Cellular Mechanisms in Aging and Development Study Section.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: John Burch, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institute of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3213, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9519, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Genes, Genomes, and Genetics Integrated Review Group; Genetics of Health and Disease Study Section.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Contact Person: The Fairmont Washington, DC, 2401 M Street NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    Contact Person: Cheryl M. Corsaro, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2204, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1045, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 18, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24133 Filed 9-22-15; 08:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [FWS-R4-FHC-2015-N160; FVHC98210408710-XXX-FF04G01000] Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Final Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments AGENCY:

    Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Framework Agreement for Early Restoration Addressing Injuries Resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, notice is hereby given that the Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) have approved the Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments (Phase IV ERP/EAs). The Trustees have selected 10 early restoration projects in the Phase IV ERP/EAs that are consistent with the early restoration program alternatives selected in the final Phase III Early Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Phase III ERP/PEIS). The projects selected in the Phase IV ERP/EAs will continue the process of restoring natural resources and services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred on or about April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Phase IV ERP/EAs also retains a notice of change and supporting analysis for one Phase III Early Restoration Project, “Enhancement of Franklin County Parks and Boat Ramps—Eastpoint Fishing Pier Improvements” that was included in the Draft Phase IV plan.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download the Phase IV ERP/EAs at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov or http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Phase IV ERP/EAs (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nanciann Regalado, at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    On or about April 20, 2010, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, which was being used to drill a well for BP Exploration and Production, Inc. (BP), in the Macondo prospect (Mississippi Canyon 252-MC252), experienced a significant explosion, fire, and subsequent sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in an unprecedented volume of oil and other discharges from the rig and from the wellhead on the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest oil spill in U.S. history, discharging millions of barrels of oil over a period of 87 days. In addition, well over 1 million gallons of dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area in an attempt to disperse the spilled oil. An undetermined amount of natural gas was also released into the environment as a result of the spill.

    The Trustees are conducting the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Oil Pollution Act 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource injuries and losses, and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use and services from those resources from the time of injury until the time of restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete. Pursuant to the process articulated in the Framework for Early Restoration Addressing Injuries Resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Framework Agreement), the Trustees previously selected, and BP agreed to fund, a total of 54 early restoration projects, expected to cost approximately $700 million, through the Phase I Early Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (Phase I ERP/EA), Phase II Early Restoration Plan/Environmental Review (Phase II ERP/ER), and the Programmatic and Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Early Restoration Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Phase III ERP/PEIS). These plans are available at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/early-restoration/

    The Trustees are:

    • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);

    • U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); 1

    1 Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, DOD is not a member of the Trustee Council and does not currently participate in Trustee decision making.

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA);

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources;

    • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;

    • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;

    • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and

    • For the State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    Background

    On April 20, 2011, BP agreed to provide up to $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico to address injuries to natural resources and their services caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Framework Agreement represents a preliminary step toward the restoration of injured natural resources and their services and is intended to expedite the start of restoration in the Gulf in advance of the completion of the injury assessment process. The Framework Agreement provides a mechanism through which the Trustees and BP can work together “to commence implementation of early restoration projects that will provide meaningful benefits to accelerate restoration in the Gulf as quickly as practicable” prior to the resolution of the Trustees' natural resource damages claim. Early restoration is not intended to and does not fully address all injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Restoration beyond early restoration projects will be required to fully compensate the public for natural resource losses, including recreational use losses, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    The Trustees actively solicited public input on restoration project ideas through a variety of mechanisms, including public meetings, electronic communication, and creation of a Trustee-wide public Web site and database to share information and receive public project submissions. Their key objective in pursuing early restoration is to secure tangible recovery of natural resources and natural resource services for the public's benefit while the longer term process of fully assessing injury and damages is under way. The Trustees released the Phase I ERP/EA in April 2012, the Phase II ERP/ER in December 2012, and the Phase III ERP/PEIS on June 26, 2014, after public review of the draft documents. Subsequently, the Trustees approved the Phase III ERP/PEIS in a Record of Decision on October 2, 2014.

    A Notice of Availability of the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments (Draft Phase IV ERP/EAs) was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2015 (80 FR 29019). The Draft Phase IV ERP/EAs proposed an additional 10 early restoration projects consistent with the project types included within the approved early restoration programmatic alternative in the Phase III ERP/PEIS. The Trustees provided the public with 30 days to review the Draft Phase IV ERP/EAs but later extended the comment period to July 6, 2015. (80 FR 35393, June 19, 2015). During the public review period, the Trustees held public meetings in Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Long Beach, Mississippi; Belle Chasse, Louisiana; and in Galveston, and Corpus Christi, Texas, to facilitate public participation. The Trustees considered the public comments received, which informed the Trustees' analyses and selection of the early restoration projects in the final Phase IV ERP/EAs. A summary of the public comments received and the Trustees' responses to those comments are addressed in Chapter 15 of the final Phase IV ERP/EAs.

    Overview of the Phase IV ERP/EAs

    The Trustees approved 10 projects in the Phase IV ERP/EAs. The total estimated cost for these projects is $134 million. Details on the projects are provided in the Phase IV ERP/EAs. The Phase IV ERP/EAs also retains a notice of change and supporting analysis for one Phase III Early Restoration Project, “Enhancement of Franklin County Parks and Boat Ramps—Eastpoint Fishing Pier Improvements,” that was included in the Draft Phase IV plan.

    These restoration projects are intended to continue the process of using early restoration funding to restore natural resources, ecological services, and recreational use services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees considered hundreds of projects leading to the identification of these 10 projects and considered both ecological and recreational use restoration projects to restore injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, addressing both the physical and biological environment, as well as the relationship people have with the environment.

    Early restoration actions are not intended to provide the full extent of restoration needed to make the public and the environment whole. The Trustees anticipate that additional early restoration projects will be proposed in the future as the early restoration process continues.

    Administrative Record

    The documents comprising the Administrative Record can be viewed electronically at the following location: https://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord.

    Authority

    The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and the implementing Natural Resource Damage Assessment regulations found at 15 CFR part 990.

    Cynthia K. Dohner, DOI Authorized Official.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24155 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-935] Certain Personal Transporters, Components Thereof, and Manuals Therefor; Commission's Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating Respondents Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd., Ninebot Inc. (USA), and Powerunion (Beijing) Tech Co., Ltd. Based on Settlement; Amendment of the Notice of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review the presiding administrative law judge's (“ALJ”) initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 27) terminating Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd, Ninebot Inc. (USA), and PowerUnion (Beijing) Tech Co. Ltd. based on settlement. The Commission amends the Notice of Investigation to correct the corporate name of Ninebot Inc. (China) to Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Pitcher Fisherow, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2737. 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 this investigation on November 10, 2014, based on a complaint filed on behalf of Segway Inc. of Bedford, New Hampshire and DEKA Products Limited Partnership of Manchester, New Hampshire (collectively “Complainants”). 79 FR 66739-40 (Nov. 10, 2014). The complaint was filed on September 9, 2014; a supplement to the complaint was filed on September 19, 2014; and an amended complaint was filed on October 6, 2014. The amended complaint alleges violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, in the sale for importation, importation, or sale within the United States after importation of certain personal transporters, components thereof, and manuals therefor by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,789,640; U.S. Patent No. 7,275,607; U.S. Patent No. 8,830,048; U.S. Design Patent No. D551,722; U.S. Design Patent No. D551,592; and Copyright Registration No. TX 7-800-563. The Commission's notice of investigation named numerous respondents including, among others: PowerUnion (Beijing) Tech Co. Ltd. (“PowerUnion”) of Beijing, China; Ninebot Inc. of Beijing China, and Ninebot Inc. of Newark, Delaware (collectively “Ninebot”). A Commission investigative attorney (IA) is participating in the investigation.

    On August 13, 2015, Complainants and Respondents Ninebot and PowerUnion (collectively the “Settling Respondents”) filed a joint motion to terminate the investigation with respect to the Settling Respondents based on a settlement agreement. On August 19, 2015, the IA filed a response supporting the motion.

    On August 20, 2015, the ALJ granted the motion. Order No. 27. The ALJ explained that Complainants and the Settling Respondents entered into a sublicense agreement; and Segway and the Settling Respondents entered into a license agreement. Id. at 2-3. The ALJ found that the parties complied with the rules and provided confidential and non-confidential versions of the sublicense agreement and that the license agreement is non-confidential. Id. at 3. The ALJ noted that the parties represented that the only other relevant agreements, written or oral, express or implied between them concerning the subject matter of this investigation are an agreement attached to the joint motion as Confidential Exhibit D, and the Ginger License Agreement that was attached to the amended complaint (Exhibit 7). Id. at 3-4. The ALJ also determined that partial termination of the investigation based on settlement would not impose any undue burdens on public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or U.S. consumers. Id. at 4. No petitions for review were filed.

    In the ID, the ALJ noted that the correct corporate name for Ninebot Inc. (China) is Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd. which was identified by Ninebot in its response to the amended complaint.

    The Commission has determined not to review the subject ID.

    The Commission hereby amends the Notice of Investigation to correct the corporate name of Ninebot Inc. (China) to Ninebot (Tianjin) Technology Co., Ltd.

    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 C.F.R. part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: September 18, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24151 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1070B (Second Review)] Certain Tissue Paper From China; Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct a Full Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it will proceed with a full review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“The Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain tissue paper from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. A schedule for the review will be established and announced at a later date.

    DATES:

    Effective date: September 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher J. Cassise (202-708-5408), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. 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. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this review may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov. For further information concerning the conduct of this review and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A through E (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On September 4, 2015, the Commission determined that it should proceed to a full review in the subject five-year review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)). The Commission found that the domestic interested party group response was adequate and that the respondent interested party group response was inadequate to its notice of institution (80 FR 31065, June 1, 2015). The Commission also found that other circumstances warranted conducting a full review.1 A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements will be available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's Web site.

    1 Vice Chairman Dean A. Pinkert and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Rhonda K. Schmidtlein voted to conduct an expedited review.

    Authority:

    This review is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: September 17, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24080 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-465 and 731-TA-1161 (Review)] Certain Steel Grating From China; Scheduling of an Expedited Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the scheduling of an expedited review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders on certain steel grating from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

    DATES:

    Effective date: September 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Charles Yost ((202) 205-3432), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. 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. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this review may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 4, 2015, the Commission determined that the domestic interested party group response to its notice of institution (80 FR 31071, June 1, 2015) of the subject five-year review was adequate and that the respondent interested party group response was inadequate. The Commission did not find any other circumstances that would warrant conducting a full review.1 Accordingly, the Commission determined that it would conduct an expedited review pursuant to section 751(c)(3) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)(3)).

    1 A record of the Commissioners' votes, the Commission's statement on adequacy, and any individual Commissioner's statements will be available from the Office of the Secretary and at the Commission's Web site.

    For further information concerning the conduct of this review and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A, D, E, and F (19 CFR part 207).

    Staff Report

    A staff report containing information concerning the subject matter of the review will be placed in the nonpublic record on September 30, 2015, and made available to persons on the Administrative Protective Order service list for this review. A public version will be issued thereafter, pursuant to section 207.62(d)(4) of the Commission's rules.

    Written Submissions

    As provided in section 207.62(d) of the Commission's rules, interested parties that are parties to the review and that have provided individually adequate responses to the notice of institution,2 and any party other than an interested party to the review may file written comments with the Secretary on what determination the Commission should reach in the review. Comments are due on or before October 5, 2015 and may not contain new factual information. Any person that is neither a party to the five-year review nor an interested party may submit a brief written statement (which shall not contain any new factual information) pertinent to the review by October 5, 2015. However, should the Department of Commerce extend the time limit for its completion of the final results of its review, the deadline for comments (which may not contain new factual information) on Commerce's final results is three business days after the issuance of Commerce's results. If comments contain business proprietary information (BPI), they must conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. Please be aware that the Commission's rules with respect to filing have changed. The most recent amendments took effect on July 25, 2014. See 79 FR 35920 (June 25, 2014), and the revised Commission Handbook on E-filing, available from the Commission's Web site at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    2 The Commission has found the responses submitted by the Metal Grating Coalition and its individual member, Alabama Metal Industries Corporation, fisher & Ludlow, Inc., Harsco Industrial IKG, Interstate Gratings, LLC, and Ohio Gratings, Inc. to be individually adequate. Comments from other interested parties will not be accepted (see 19 CFR 207.62(d)(2)).

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the review must be served on all other parties to the review (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Authority:

    This review is being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.62 of the Commission's rules.

    Issued: September 17, 2015.

    By order of the Commission.

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24081 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: AMRI Rensselaer Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. applied to be registered as a manufacturer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grants AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. registration as a manufacturer of those controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By notice dated April 14, 2015, and published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015, 80 FR 22560, AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 33 Riverside Avenue, Rensselaer, New York 12144 applied to be registered as a manufacturer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. No comments or objections were submitted for this notice.

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823(a) and determined that the registration of AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. to manufacture the basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing the company's physical security systems, verifying the company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing the company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33, the above-named company is granted registration as a bulk manufacturer of the basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I Amphetamine (1100) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Pentobarbital (2270) II 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (8333) II Meperidine (9230) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to manufacture bulk controlled substances for use in product development and for distribution to its customers.

    In reference to drug code 7360 (marihuana), and 7370 (THC), the company plans to bulk manufacture these drugs as synthetic. No other activity for this drug code is authorized for this registration.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24122 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Mallinckrodt LLC ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODXL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on July 21, 2015, Mallinckrodt LLC, 3600 North Second Street, Saint. Louis, Missouri 63147 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (2010) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I Codeine-N-oxide (9053) I Dihydromorphine (9145) I Difenoxin (9168) I Morphine-N-oxide (9307) I Normorphine (9313) I Norlevorphanol (9634) I Acetyl Fentanyl (N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide) (9821) I Amphetamine (1100) II Methamphetamine (1105) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Nabilone (7379) II 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (8333) II Codeine (9050) II Dihydrocodeine (9120) II Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Diphenoxylate (9170) II Ecgonine (9180) II Hydrocodone (9193) II Levorphanol (9220) II Meperidine (9230) II Methadone (9250) II Methadone intermediate (9254) II Dextropropoxyphene, bulk (non-dosage forms) (9273) II Morphine (9300) II Oripavine (9330) II Thebaine (9333) II Opium tincture (9630) II Opium, powdered (9639) II Oxymorphone (9652) II Noroxymorphone (9668) II Alfentanil (9737) II Remifentanil (9739) II Sufentanil (9740) II Tapentadol (9780) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to manufacturer bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for distribution its customers.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24125 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. applied to be registered as an importer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grants Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. registration as an importer of those controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By notice dated August 27, 2014, and published in the Federal Register on September 4, 2014, 79 FR 52762, Fisher Clinical Services, Inc., 700A-C Nestle Way, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania 18031-1522 applied to be registered as an importer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. No comments or objections were submitted for this notice.

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823, 952(a) and 958(a) and determined that the registration of Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. to import the basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing the company's physical security systems, verifying the company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing the company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952(a) and 958(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34, the above-named company is granted registration as an importer of the basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Methylphenidate (1724) II Levorphanol (9220) II Noroxymorphone (9668) II Tapentadol (9780) II

    The company plans to import the listed substances for analytical research, testing, and clinical trials. This authorization does not extend to the import of a finished FDA approved or non-approved dosage form for commercial distribution in the United States.

    The company plans to import an intermediate form of tapentadol (9780) to bulk manufacture tapentadol for distribution to its customers.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24121 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Chemtos, LLC ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODXL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on May 28, 2015, Chemtos, LLC, 14101 W. Highway 290, Building 2000B, Austin, Texas 78737-9331 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Amphetamine (1100) II Methamphetamine (1105) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Nabilone (7379) II Phenylacetone (8501) II Cocaine (9041) II Codeine (9050) II Etorphine HCI (9059) II Dihydrocodeine (9120) II Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Ecgonine (9180) II Ethylmorphine (9190) II Hydrocodone (9193) II Levomethorphan (9210) II Levorphanol (9220) II Isomethadone (9226) II Meperidine (9230) II Meperidine intermediate-A (9232) II Meperidine intermediate-B (9233) II Meperidine intermediate-C (9234) II Methadone (9250) II Methadone intermediate (9254) II Morphine (9300) II Thebaine (9333) II Dihydroetorphine (9334) II Levo-alphacetylmethadol (9648) II Oxymorphone (9652) II Racemethorphan (9732) II Racemorphan (9733) II

    The company plans to manufacture small quantities of the listed controlled substances in bulk for distribution to its customers for use as reference standards.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24123 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic class, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before October 23, 2015. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODXL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 16, 2015, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, 3159 Staley Road, Grand Island, New York 14072 applied to be registered as an importer of remifentanil (9739), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II.

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substance for product development and preparation of stability batches.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24118 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Rhodes Technologies ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Rhodes Technologies applied to be registered as an importer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grants Rhodes Technologies registration as an importer of those controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By notice dated April 14, 2015, and published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2015, 80 FR 22556, Rhodes Technologies, 498 Washington Street, Coventry, Rhode Island, 02816 applied to be registered as an importer of a certain basic classes of controlled substances. Comments and request for hearings on applications to import narcotic raw material are not appropriate. 72 FR 3417 (January 25, 2007).

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823, 952(a) and 958(a) and determined that the registration of Rhodes Technologies to import the basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing the company's physical security systems, verifying the company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing the company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952(a) and 958(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34, the above-named company is granted registration as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Opium, raw (9600) II Poppy Straw Concentrate (9670) II

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substances in order to bulk manufacture controlled substances in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) form. The company distributes the manufactured APIs in bulk to its customers.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24119 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODXL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on June 16, 2015, Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 870 Badger Circle, Grafton, Wisconsin 53024 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) (8333) II Remifentanil (9739) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to manufacture the above-listed controlled substances in bulk for distribution to its customers. In reference to drug code (7360) marihuana, the company plans to bulk manufacture cannabidiol as a synthetic intermediate. This controlled substance will be further synthesized to bulk manufacture synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (7370). No other activity for this drug code is authorized for this registration.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24127 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Wildlife Laboratories, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Wildlife Laboratories, Inc., applied to be registered as an importer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grants Wildlife Laboratories, Inc. registration as an importer of those controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By notice dated June 12, 2015, and published in the Federal Register on June 23, 2015, 80 FR 35975, Wildlife Laboratories, Inc., 1230 W. Ash Street, Suite D, Windsor, Colorado 80550 applied to be registered as an importer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. No comments or objections were submitted for this notice.

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823, 952(a) and 958(a) and determined that the registration of Wildlife Laboratories, Inc. to import the basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing the company's physical security systems, verifying the company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing the company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952(a) and 958(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34, the above-named company is granted registration as an importer of the basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Etorphine (except HCl) (9056) I Etorphine HCl (9059) II

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substances for sale to its customer.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24120 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Euticals, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODXL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on July 23, 2015, Euticals, Inc., 2460 W. Bennett Street, Springfield, Missouri 65807-1229 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled Substance Schedule Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (2010) I Amphetamine (1100) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Phenylacetone (8501) II Methadone (9250) II Methadone intermediate (9254) II Oripavine (9330) II Tapentadol (9780) II

    The company plans to manufacture the listed controlled substances in bulk for distribution and sale to its customers.

    In reference to oripavine (9330), the company plans to acquire the listed controlled substance in bulk from a domestic source in order to manufacture other controlled substances in bulk for distribution to its customers.

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24124 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 15-25] James Alvin Chaney, M.D.: Decision and Order

    On July 23, 2015, Chief Administrative Law Judge (CALJ) John J. Mulrooney, II, issued the attached Recommended Decision (cited as R.D.). Respondent filed Exceptions to the Recommended Decision.

    In his Recommended Decision, the CALJ found that on October 21, 2014, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Board of Medical Licensure, had issued Respondent an Emergency Order of Suspension against his medical license. R.D. at 2. The CALJ further found that on November 17, 2014, the Board issued a final order that affirmed the emergency order of suspension “and that the suspension order remains in effect.” Id. Noting that the Controlled Substances Act defines “term ‘practitioner’ [to] mean[ ] a physician . . . licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to . . . dispense [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice,” id. at 3 (quoting 21 U.S.C. 802(21), as well as that the registration provision applicable to practitioners directs the Attorney General to “register [a] practitioner[] . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices,” id. (quoting 21 U.S.C. 823(f)), the CALJ then noted that the Agency “has long held that possession of authority under state law to dispense controlled substances is an essential condition for obtaining and maintaining a DEA registration.” Id. (collecting cases). Because there is no dispute that “Respondent lacks state authority to handle controlled substances in” Kentucky, the CALJ granted the Government's motion for summary disposition and recommended that Respondent's registration be revoked.1 Id. at 5.

    1 While the Government alleged in the Order to Show Cause that Respondent's registration does not expire until August 31, 2016, Show Cause Order, at 1; and in his hearing request, Respondent states that he “holds a medical license . . . and a DEA registration,” Hearing Request, at 1; the Agency is still required to establish that it has jurisdiction to act. See Sharad C. Patel, 80 FR 28693, 28694 n.3 (2015) (“Even in summary disposition proceedings which are based on a lack of state authority, the ALJ is obligated to make a finding establishing that the Agency has jurisdiction.”); see also 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(C) (directing reviewing courts “to hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings and conclusions found to be . . . in excess of statutory jurisdiction”). This generally requires the ALJ to make a finding either that a respondent retains an active registration or has submitted an application for registration.

    In the interest of conducting an expeditious review of this matter, I have taken official notice of Respondent's registration record with the Agency and find that his registration does not expire until August 31, 2016. See 5 U.S.C. 556(e); 21 CFR 1316.59(e). However, in the future, where a recommended decision lacks the requisite finding, I will remand the matter for this purpose.

    In his Exceptions, Respondent argues that Board's Emergency Order suspending his license “is not a final order as it has been appealed and is currently being reviewed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.” Exceptions at 1. He argues that the CALJ's Recommended Decision is therefore “based upon an order that is not final and consequently will constitute arbitrary and capricious action.” Id. at 2. Finally, Respondent contends that “[s]ummary judgment is improper because issues of fact exist concerning the enforceability of the temporary suspension of [his] medical license given its unconstitutionality.” Id.

    I reject Respondent's contentions. Putting aside whether—in light of the state Hearing Officer's issuance of the “Final Order Affirming The Emergency Order of Suspension”—Respondent has accurately described the procedural posture of the state licensing matter, based on the plain language of sections 802(21) and 823(f), this Agency has held repeatedly that “the controlling question” in a proceeding brought under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is whether the holder of a DEA registration “`is currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the [S]tate.'” James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71371, 71371 (2011) (quoting Anne Lazar Thorn, 62 FR 12847, 12848 (1997)), pet. for rev. denied, Hooper v. Holder, 481 Fed.Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012). Thus, it is of no consequence that the State has employed summary process in suspending Respondent's state license and that the Board's “order remains subject to challenge in either [further] administrative or judicial proceedings.” Patel, 80 FR at 28694; see also Gary Alfred Shearer, 78 FR 19009, 19012 (2013); Michael G. Dolin, 65 FR at 5661, 5662 (2000).

    As for Respondent's contention that summary disposition is inappropriate “because issues of fact exist concerning the enforceability of the temporary suspension” order, the only fact that is material in this proceeding is whether Respondent “is currently authorized to handle controlled substances” by the State. Hooper, 76 FR at 71371; cf. Sunil Bhasin, 72 FR 5082, 5083 (2007) (holding that a registrant cannot collaterally attack the results of a state administrative or criminal proceeding in a proceeding brought under section 304 (21 U.S.C. 824(a)). Accordingly, because the suspension order remains in effect, I adopt the Recommended Decision 2 and will order that Respondent's registration be revoked.

    2 Notwithstanding that the language of section 824(a) authorizes either the suspension or revocation of a registration upon the making of one of the five findings enumerated therein, see R.D. at 4 n.1, the Agency has consistently interpreted the CSA as mandating revocation where a practitioner's state authority has been suspended or revoked. As the Fourth Circuit has held, “[b]ecause sections 823(f) and 802(21) make clear that a practitioner's registration is dependent upon the practitioner having state authority to dispense controlled substances, the [Administrator's] decision to construe section 824(a)(3) as mandating revocation upon suspension of a state license is not an unreasonable interpretation of the CSA.” Hooper, 481 Fed.Appx. at 828.

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a) and 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration BC3278492 issued to James Alvin Chaney, M.D., be, and it hereby is, revoked. I further order that any application of James Alvin Chaney, M.D., to renew or modify his registration be, and it hereby is, denied. This Order is effective immediately.3

    3 For the same reasons that lead the Board to order the emergency suspension of Respondent's medical license (i.e., his indictment on various counts of the unlawful distribution of controlled substances), I find that the public interest necessitates that this Order be effective immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67.

    Dated: September 15, 2015. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator. Brian Bayly, Esq., for the Government. Lisa English Hinkle, Esq., for the Respondent. ORDER GRANTING THE GOVERNMENT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY DISPOSITION AND RECOMMENDED RULINGS, FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE

    Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II. The Deputy Assistant Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA or Government), issued an Order to Show Cause (OSC) dated May 21, 2015, seeking to revoke the DEA Certificate of Registration (COR), Number BC3278492, of James Alvin Chaney, M.D. (Respondent), pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) and 21 U.S.C. 823(f), and deny any pending applications for renewal or modification of the COR, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(f). In the OSC, the Government alleges that the Respondent is, inter alia, without “authority to handle controlled substances in the Commonwealth of Kentucky” as grounds for revocation of the Respondent's DEA registration. On July 2, 2015, the Respondent, by counsel, filed a Request for Hearing in the above-captioned matter. The Request for Hearing stated that a hearing is appropriate because “the review of [the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure's] illegal suspension by emergency order of [the Respondent's] medical license is currently on appeal before the Kentucky Court of Appeals . . .” and because “any action concerning [the Respondent's DEA COR] . . . is premature . . . .” Req. for Hrg. at 7.

    Consistent with my direction, the parties have briefed the issues. On July 9, 2015, the Government filed a Motion for Summary Disposition Based on Respondent's Lack of State Authorization to Handle Controlled Substances and Submission of Evidence in Support of Such Motion (Motion for Summary Disposition), seeking that this tribunal issue a Recommended Decision granting the Government's Motion on the ground that the Respondent is currently without state authority to handle controlled substances. Mot. for Summary Disp. at 1. According to the Government's Motion, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Board of Medical Licensure (BML) suspended the Respondent's license to practice medicine effective October 21, 2014, and that suspension order remains in effect. Id. Attached to the Government's Motion is the BML Emergency Order of Suspension dated October 21, 2014 suspending the Respondent's state license No. 28914 on the grounds that there was probable cause to believe that the Respondent's practice constituted a danger to the health, welfare, and safety of his patients or the general public, as evidenced by the Respondent's indictments for crimes related to controlled substances. Id. at 1-2; Attachment 1 at 1-4. Also attached to the Government's Motion is the BML Final Order Affirming the Emergency Order of Suspension, dated November 17, 2014. Attachment 2 at 17.

    On July 23, the Respondent, through counsel, filed a reply styled “Response to Government's Motion for Summary Judgment” (Respondent's Reply). In his Reply, the Respondent alleges that his situation is distinguishable from Agency precedent mandating revocation for lack of state authority, Resp't Reply at 4-5, because the BML's suspension of his license was “based on the [BML's] application of an incorrect rule of law and an unconstitutional regulation.” Id. at 5. In opposing the Government's requested relief, the Respondent also avers that inasmuch as he is not currently practicing medicine or prescribing controlled substances, maintenance of his DEA COR constitutes no danger to the public, and that he “should not be penalized” by the DEA because his underlying federal criminal charges have not yet been resolved. Id. at 8.

    In order to revoke a registrant's DEA registration, the DEA has the burden of proving that the requirements for revocation are satisfied. 21 CFR 1301.44(e) (2015). Once the DEA has made its prima facie case for revocation of the registrant's DEA COR, the burden of production then shifts to the Respondent to show that, given the totality of the facts and circumstances in the record, revoking the registrant's registration would not be appropriate. Morall v. DEA, 412 F.3d 165, 174 (D.C. Cir. 2005); Humphreys v. DEA, 96 F.3d 658, 661 (3d Cir. 1996); Shatz v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 873 F.2d 1089, 1091 (8th Cir. 1989); Thomas E. Johnston, 45 FR 72311 (1980).

    The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) requires that, in order to maintain a DEA registration, a practitioner must be authorized to handle controlled substances in “the jurisdiction in which he practices.” See 21 U.S.C. 802(21) (2012) (“[t]he term `practitioner' means a physician . . . licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice”); see also 21 U.S.C. 823(f) (2012) (“The Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he practices.”). DEA has long held that possession of authority under state law to dispense controlled substances is an essential condition for obtaining and maintaining a DEA registration. Serenity Café, 77 FR 35027, 35028 (2012); David W. Wang, 72 FR 54297, 54298 (2007); Sheran Arden Yeates, 71 FR 39130, 39131 (2006); Dominick A. Ricci, M.D., 58 FR 51104 (1993); Bobby Watts, M.D., 53 FR 11919 (1988). Because “possessing authority under state law to handle controlled substances is an essential condition for holding a DEA registration,” this Agency has consistently held that “the CSA requires the revocation of a registration issued to a practitioner who lacks [such authority].” Roy Chi Lung, M.D., 74 FR 20346, 20347 (2009); see also Scott Sandarg, D.M.D., 74 FR 17528, 174529 (2009); John B. Freitas, D.O., 74 FR 17524, 17525 (2009); Roger A. Rodriguez, M.D., 70 FR 33206, 33207 (2005); Stephen J. Graham, M.D., 69 FR 11661 (2004); Abraham A. Chaplan, M.D., 57 FR 55280 (1992); see also Harrell E. Robinson, M.D., 74 FR 61370, 61375 (2009).1 “[R]evocation is warranted even where a practitioner's state authority has been summarily suspended and the State has yet to provide the practitioner with a hearing to challenge the State's action at which he may ultimately prevail.” Kamal Tiwari, M.D., 76 FR 71604, 71606, (2011); see also Bourne Pharmacy, Inc., 72 FR 18273, 18274 (2007); Anne Lazar Thorn, M.D., 62 FR 12847 (1997). Additionally, Agency precedent has established that the existence of other proceedings in which the Respondent is involved is not a basis upon which to justify a stay of DEA administrative enforcement proceedings. Grider Drug #1 & Grider Drug #2, 77 FR 44069, 44104 n.97 (2012).

    1But see 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) (2012) (“A registration pursuant to section 823 of this title to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance may be suspended or revoked by the Attorney General upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had his State license or registration suspended, revoked, or denied by competent State authority . . . .”) (emphasis added). Thus, notwithstanding the Agency's extensive body of internal precedent to the contrary, the plain language of section 824(a)(3) provides that loss of state authority constitutes a discretionary—not mandatory—basis for revocation. However, inasmuch as the Agency precedent is clear on the matter, I am without authority or inclination to render a contrary interpretation.

    Congress does not intend for administrative agencies to perform meaningless tasks. See Philip E. Kirk, M.D., 48 FR 32887 (1983), aff'd sub nom. Kirk v. Mullen, 749 F.2d 297 (6th Cir. 1984); see also Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Auth. v. EPA, 35 F.3d 600, 605 (1st Cir. 1994); NLRB v. Int'l Assoc. of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Ironworkers, AFL-CIO, 549 F.2d 634 (9th Cir. 1977); United States v. Consol. Mines & Smelting Co., 455 F.2d 432, 453 (9th Cir. 1971). Thus, it is well-settled that, where no genuine question of fact is involved or when the material facts are agreed upon, a plenary, adversarial administrative proceeding is not required. See Jesus R. Juarez, M.D., 62 FR 14945 (1997); Dominick A. Ricci, M.D., 58 FR 51104 (1993). Here, the supplied BML Order establishes, and the Respondent does not contest, that the Respondent is currently without authorization to handle controlled substances in Kentucky, the jurisdiction where the Respondent holds the DEA COR that is the subject of this litigation.

    Summary disposition of an administrative case is warranted where, as here, “there is no factual dispute of substance.” See Veg-Mix, Inc., 832 F.2d 601, 607 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (“an agency may ordinarily dispense with a hearing when no genuine dispute exists”).2 While not unsympathetic to the procedural issues raised by the Respondent in his state administrative proceedings, under current Agency precedent, the disposition of the Government's motion is wholly dependent upon a single issue: whether he continues to possess authority under state law to handle controlled substances—which he does not.

    2 Even assuming, arguendo, the possibility that the Respondent's state controlled substances privileges could be reinstated, summary disposition would still be warranted because under Agency precedent “revocation is also appropriate when a state license has been suspended, but with the possibility of future reinstatement,” Rodriguez, 70 FR 33207 (citations omitted), and even where there is a judicial challenge to the state medical board action actively pending in the state courts. Michael G. Dolin, M.D., 65 FR 5661, 5662 (2000).

    At this juncture, no genuine dispute exists over the fact that the Respondent lacks state authority to handle controlled substances in the state of Kentucky. Because the Respondent lacks such state authority, both the plain language of applicable federal statutory provisions and Agency interpretive precedent dictate that he is not entitled to maintain his DEA registration. Simply put, there is no contested factual matter adducible at a hearing that would provide DEA with the authority to allow the Respondent to continue to hold his COR.

    Accordingly, I hereby

    GRANT the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition; and further

    RECOMMEND that the Respondent's DEA registration be REVOKED forthwith 3 and any pending applications for renewal be DENIED.

    3 While Agency precedent has held that a stay of DEA administrative proceedings is unlikely ever to be justified by the existence of ancillary proceedings (Grider Drug #1 & Grider Drug, #2, 77 FR 44069, 44104 n.97 (2012)), the Agency recently held revocation proceedings in abeyance at the post-hearing adjudication level for a lengthy period pending the resolution of criminal fraud charges and “pending resolution of [a state] Board proceeding.” Odette L. Campbell, M.D., 80 FR 41062, 41064 (2015). However, inasmuch as no stay was sought by the Respondent here, and good cause does not appear to exist in any event, the Government's motion will be granted and the case forwarded for a final order.

    Dated: July 23, 2015. John J. Mulrooney II, Chief Administrative Law Judge.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24128 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 15-23] Brown's Discount Apothecary, BC, Inc., and Bolling Apothecary, Inc.

    On May 18, 2015, the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued an Order to Show Cause to Brown's Discount Apothecary, BC, Inc. (holder of DEA Certificate of Registration FB3717153), of Jasper, Alabama and Bolling Apothecary, Inc., (holder of DEA Certificate of Registration AB9375456), of Fayette, Alabama. Show Cause Order, at 1. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of each pharmacy's DEA Certificate of Registration, on the ground that on April 7, 2015, the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy issued an Emergency Suspension Order suspending each pharmacy's Alabama Controlled Substances Permit, and that therefore, each pharmacy is “without authority to handle controlled substances in Alabama, the [S]tate in which each is registered with the DEA.” Id. at 1-2.

    On May 20, 2015, a Diversion Investigator from the Birmingham District Office personally served the Order to Show Cause on Bolling Apothecary, Inc. Notice of Service of Order to Show Cause, at 1. According to the Government, on June 2, 2015, an attorney “accepted service by email of the Order to Show Cause on behalf of Brown's Discount Apothecary and its owner George Bolling, Jr. Id.

    On June 1, 2015, George R. Bolling, Sr., owner of Respondent Bolling Apothecary, Inc., filed a request for a hearing on behalf of the pharmacy with the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). Letter of Bolling Apothecary, Inc., to Hearing Clerk, OALJ (May 23, 2015). Mr. Bolling did not, however, request a hearing on behalf of Brown's Discount Apothecary, and at no point has any person filed a request for a hearing on behalf of Brown's, or in the alternative, filed a written statement in lieu of a hearing. See 21 CFR 1301.43(c) & (d).

    Both matters were nonetheless placed on the docket of the OALJ and assigned to Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Christopher B. McNeil. Recommended Decision, at 2. On June 2, the ALJ issued an “Order For Briefing On Allegations Concerning Respondents' Lack Of State Authority” (hereinafter, Briefing Order).

    Therein, the ALJ found that there was “no request for a hearing on behalf of Brown's Discount Apothecary.” Briefing Order, at 2. He then provided the parties with the “opportunity to establish whether grounds exist with respect to either [pharmacy] to advance this matter to hearing, or whether the two pharmacy's [sic] DEA . . . Registration[s] should be summarily revoked and any pending application summarily denied, without a hearing.” Id. The ALJ further ordered that “the Government may provide evidence and arguments to support the allegation that Bolling Apothecary, Inc. lacks state authority to handle controlled substances,” and “may also provide evidence and arguments regarding the issue of whether Brown's Discount Apothecary has timely invoked the jurisdiction of the Office of Administrative Law Judges, or the issue of whether [it] lacks state authority to handle controlled substances, or both issues.” Id. at 2-3. The ALJ's Order also offered Respondent the opportunity to file a response. Id. at 3.

    Thereafter, the Government filed a Motion for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Motion). Therein, the Government sought the revocation of each pharmacy's registration on the ground that the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy had issued an Emergency Suspension Order which suspended each pharmacy's Alabama Controlled Substances Permit. Motion, at 2. The Government supported its motion with a copy of the Emergency Suspension Order. Id. at Exhibit A, at 7. However, the Government did not address whether, given the failure of Brown's Discount Apothecary to file a hearing request, the ALJ had jurisdiction to adjudicate the allegations with respect to it. See generally Motion, at 2-4.

    While Bolling Apothecary had requested a hearing, it did not file a response to the Government's motion. Nor did Brown's file a response.

    On July 6, 2015, the ALJ issued his Recommended Decision. Addressing the issue of whether he had jurisdiction to rule on the matter of Brown's registration, the ALJ explained that he had given “the Government the option of providing evidence and arguments regarding the issue of whether Brown's . . . has timely invoked the jurisdiction of this office or whether Brown's lacks state authority to handle controlled substances.” R.D. at 2 n2. The ALJ then noted that “the Government elected to present evidence that Brown's . . . is currently without state authority to handle and dispense controlled substances.” Id. The ALJ then proceeded to exercise jurisdiction over the matters involving both Brown's and Bolling, but provided no explanation as to why he was doing so with respect to Brown's. Moreover, the ALJ did not make the requisite finding as to the registration status of either Brown's or Bolling. See Sharad C. Patel, 80 FR 28,693, 28,694 n.3 (2015).

    While the ALJ noted that neither Brown's nor Bolling had filed a response to the Government's motion, he addressed the arguments raised by Bolling Pharmacy in its Hearing Request. R.D. at 3-4. The ALJ noted that George R. Bolling, Sr. (Bolling Apothecary's owner) had filed a renewal application with the State Board the day after he bought the store and included a copy of a warranty deed executing a transfer of the store to him from one George R. Bolling, Jr. Id. at 3-4. The ALJ found, however, that “nowhere in the request for hearing does either of the Respondents provide any evidence contradicting the Government's position that both Bolling and Brown['s] lack state authority to handle and dispense controlled substances.” R.D. at 4.1 The ALJ thus concluded that the “Respondents do not have authority to handle and dispense controlled substances in the State of Alabama, the jurisdiction where each is licensed by the DEA to handle and dispense such substances.” Id. at 4. The ALJ then granted the Government's Motion for Summary Disposition and “recommended that Respondents' DEA Certificate of Registration . . . be revoked and that any pending application . . . be denied.” Id. at 5.

    1 The ALJ also rejected the contention of Bolling's owner that the pharmacy “ha[d] authority” until either his state license or his DEA registration was physically removed by a person identified only as the supervisor of a DEA Diversion Investigator. R.D. at 4 (quoting Bolling Pharmacy Request for Hearing, at 1). As the ALJ correctly explained, it is the Board of Pharmacy's Emergency Suspension Order “and not the presence or absence of the physical license that supports the Government's motion.” Id.

    Neither party filed exceptions to the Recommended Decision. Thereafter, on August 3, 2015, the ALJ forwarded the record to this Office for Final Agency Action.

    Having reviewed the record, I adopt the ALJ's Recommended Decision only with respect to Bolling Apothecary. With respect to Brown's, I find that the Government did not establish that it properly served the Show Cause Order. Moreover, even if the Government had established service, I would reject the ALJ's decision as to Brown's, because in the absence of a hearing request, the ALJ had no authority to rule on the issue of whether its registration should be revoked.

    As for whether service was proper, 21 U.S.C. 824(c) provides that “[b]efore taking action pursuant to this section . . . the Attorney General shall serve upon the . . . registrant an order to show cause why registration should not be . . . revoked[] or suspended.” (emphasis added). According to the Government's Notice of Service, the Government did not serve the Show Cause Order “upon the . . . [R]egistrant,” id., but rather on an attorney, who according to the Government “accepted service by email of the Order to Show Cause on behalf of Brown's . . . and its owner George Bolling, Jr. on June 2, 2015.” Notice of Service, at 1.

    However, “[n]umerous Federal Courts have held that `[t]he mere relationship between a defendant and his attorney does not, in itself, convey authority to accept service.' ” Harbinson v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2010 WL 3655980, at *9 (E.D. Va. Aug. 11, 2010) (quoting Davies v. Jobs & Adverts Online, Gmbh, 94 F.Supp.2d 719, 722 (E.D. Va. 2000)). See also United States v. Ziegler Bolt & Parts Co., 111 F.3d 878, 881 (Fed. Cir. 1997); Grandbouche v. Lovell, 913 F.2d 835, 837 (10th Cir. 1990); Ransom v. Brennan, 437 F.2d 5134, 518-19 (5th Cir. 1971). “`Rather, the party seeking to establish the agency relationship must show “that the attorney exercised authority beyond the attorney-client relationship, including the power to accept service.” ' ” Harbinson, 2010 WL 3655980, at *9 (quoting Davies, 94 F.Supp.2d at 722 (quoting Ziegler, 111 F.3d at 881)).

    While an attorney's authority to act as an agent for the acceptance of process “may be implied from surrounding circumstances indicating the intent of” his client, In re Focus Media Inc., 387 F.3d 1077, 1082 (9th Cir. 2004) (other citation and internal quotations omitted), “an agent's authority to act cannot be established solely from the agent's actions.” Id. at 1084. “Rather, the authority must be established by an act of the principal.” Id. (citing FDIC v. Oaklawn Apartments, 959 F.2d 170, 175 (10th Cir. 1992) (emphasis added)).

    With respect to Brown's, even assuming that the attorney it served with the Show Cause Order was in an attorney-client relationship with the pharmacy, the Government has produced no evidence establishing that Brown's authorized the attorney to accept service of the Order on its behalf. See David M. Lewis, 78 FR 36591, 36591 (2013) (holding service on attorney was improper where only evidence offered by Government was that “the attorney requested to take possession of the Order”) (citing Focus Media, 387 F.3d at 1084)). Accordingly, I find that the Government did not accomplish service on Brown's.

    Even if I concluded otherwise, under the Agency's regulations, a hearing request must be submitted by the applicant/registrant to vest jurisdiction over the matter in the Office of Administrative Law Judges. See 21 CFR 1301.42 (“If requested by a person entitled to a hearing, the Administrator shall hold a hearing for the purpose of receiving factual evidence regarding the issues involved in the denial, revocation or suspension of any registration.”); id. § 1301.43(a) (“Any person entitled to a hearing . . . and desiring a hearing shall, within 30 days after the date of receipt of the order to show cause . . . file with the Administrator a written request for a hearing in the form prescribed . . . .”); id. § 1301.43(d) (“If any person entitled to a hearing . . . fails to file a request for a hearing . . . such person shall be deemed to have waived the opportunity for a hearing . . . unless such person shows good cause for such failure.”). Because in contrast to Bolling, Brown's never filed a hearing request, the ALJ had no authority to offer “the Government the option of providing evidence and arguments regarding the issue of . . . whether Brown's lacks state authority to handle controlled substances,” R.D. 2, at n.2; and he had no authority to rule on the issue.2

    2 According to the Show Cause Order, Brown's registration was due to expire on July 31, 2015, and the registration records of the Agency, of which I take Official Notice, see 5 U.S.C. 556(e), show that Brown's allowed its registration to expire on July 31, 2015 (before the ALJ forwarded the record) and has not filed a renewal application. See Patel, 80 FR at 28,694 n.3. In any event, because the Government did not serve Brown's, the matter of its registration is not before me.

    As for Bolling Discount Apothecary, its owner attached a copy of its registration with his Request for Hearing, which shows that his registration does not expire until July 31, 2017, thus rendering a remand to establish jurisdiction unnecessary. Having reviewed the Board's Emergency Suspension Order, I adopt the ALJ's finding that the pharmacy does not have authority to dispense controlled substances in Alabama, the State in which it is registered with DEA, and that therefore, it no longer meets the statutory definition of a practitioner. See 21 U.S.C. 802(21) (“The term `practitioner' means a . . . pharmacy . . . licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which [it] practices . . . to . . . dispense . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice[.]”). See also 21 U.S.C. 823(f). Accordingly, I will order that Respondent Bolling Discount Pharmacy's registration be revoked and that any pending application to renew or modify its registration be denied. See 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3); see also R.D. at 4 n.10 (collecting cases).

    Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a) and 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificate of Registration AB9375456 issued to Bolling Apothecary be, and it hereby is, revoked. I further order that any application of Bolling Apothecary to renew or modify its registration be, and it hereby is, denied. This Order is effective immediately.3

    3 For the same reasons that led the Board to order the emergency suspension of Respondent's pharmacy license (i.e., the extensive allegations that it was diverting controlled substances), I find that the public interest necessitates that this Order be effective immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67.

    Dated: September 15, 2015. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24126 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Underground Retorts ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Underground Retorts,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before October 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201507-1219-002 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-MSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor-OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Underground Retorts information collection. Regulations 30 CFR 57.22401 sets forth the safety requirements for using a retort to extract oil from shale in an underground metal or nonmetal I-A and I-B mine that operates in a combustible ore and either liberates methane or has the potential to liberate methane based on the history of the mine or the geological area in which the mine is located. This presently applies only to underground oil shale mines. The standard requires that, prior to ignition of an underground retort, the mine operator must submit a written ignition operation plan to the appropriate MSHA District Manager. The plan must contain site-specific safeguards and safety procedures for any underground area of the mine that is affected by the retort. Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 sections 101(a) and 103(h) authorize this information collection. See 30 U.S.C. 811(a); 813(h).

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally 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 generally 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. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1219-0096.

    OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on September 30. 2015. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. The DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2015 (80 FR 30494).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1219-0096. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Agency: DOL-MSHA.

    Title of Collection: Underground Retorts.

    OMB Control Number: 1219-0096.

    Affected Public: Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 1.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 1.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 160 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24180 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0030] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines) AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines).

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2015-0018.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Potentially gassy (explosive) conditions in underground metal and nonmetal mines are largely controlled by the main mine fans. When accumulations of explosive gases, such as methane, are not swept from the mine by the main fans, they may reasonably be expected to contact an ignition source. The results of such contacts are usually disastrous, and multiple fatalities may be reasonably expected to occur. 30 CFR 57.22204, which only applies to metal and nonmetal underground mines that are categorized as gassy, requires main fans to have pressure-recording systems. This standard also requires main fans to be inspected daily while operating if persons are underground and certification made of such inspections by signature and date. Certifications and pressure recordings are to be retained for one year and made available to authorized representatives of the Secretary. This information collection addresses the recordkeeping associated with 30 CFR 57.22204.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines). MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Main Fan Operation and Inspection (I-A, II-A, III, and V-A Mines). MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0030.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 6.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 5,940.

    Annual Burden Hours: 2,046 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $2,400.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24077 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0083] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines) AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines).

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2015-0027.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    A number of potential hazards can exist at surface coal mines and facilities. Highwalls, mining equipment, travelways, and the handling of mining materials each present potentially hazardous conditions.

    Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) 30 U.S.C. 813(h), authorizes MSHA to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners. Further Section 101(a) of the Mine Act 30 U.S.C. 811 authorizes the Secretary to develop, promulgate, and revise as may be appropriate, improved mandatory health and safety for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in coal or other mines. 30 U.S.C. 811(a).

    Section 77.1713, Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires coal mine operators to conduct examinations of each active working area of surface mines, active surface installations at these mines, facilities and preparation plants not associated with underground coal mines for hazardous conditions during each shift. A report of hazardous conditions detected must be entered into a record book along with a description of any corrective actions taken. By conducting an on shift examination for hazardous conditions, mine operators can better ensure a safe working environment for the miners and a reduction in accidents.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines). MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Daily Inspection of Surface Coal Mines; Certified Person; Reports of Inspection (Pertains to Surface Coal Mines). MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0083.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 1,100.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 343,200.

    Annual Burden Hours: 514,800 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $0.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24076 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0078] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured Persons AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured Persons.

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2015-0029.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Section 115(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) requires the Secretary of Labor to publish regulations which provide that mine rescue teams be available for rescue and recovery work to each underground mine in the event of an emergency. In addition, the costs of making advance arrangements for such teams are to be borne by the operator of each such mine.

    Under 30 CFR part 49 Subpart A, Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mines, requires every operator of an underground mine to assure the availability of mine rescue capability for purposes of emergency rescue and recovery. This collection of information relates to the availability of mine rescue teams; alternate mine rescue capability for small and remote mines and mines with special mining conditions; inspection and maintenance records of mine rescue equipment and apparatus; physical requirements for team members and alternates; and experience and training requirements for team members and alternates.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured Persons. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Mine Rescue Teams; Arrangements for Emergency Medical Assistance; and Arrangements for Transportation of Injured Persons. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0078.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 215.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 20,041.

    Annual Burden Hours: 10,109 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $309,067.

    MSHA Forms: MSHA Form 5000-3, Certificate of Physical Qualification for Mine Rescue Work.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24075 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0150] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Pattern of Violations AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Pattern of Violations.

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2015-0028.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL—Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 4E401 on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On January 23, 2013, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published Pattern of Violations (POV) final rule (78 FR 5056). Under the Mine Act, MSHA is required to issue a pattern of violations notice to any mine operator that demonstrates a disregard for the health and safety of miners through a pattern of significant and substantial violations. A significant and substantial violation is one that contributes to a safety or health hazard that is reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness. The pattern of violations provision helps to ensure that mine operators manage health and safety conditions at mines and find and fix the root causes of significant and substantial violations before they become a hazard to miners. The final rule simplified the pattern of violations criteria, to improve consistency in applying the criteria, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness in issuance of a pattern of violations notice, which will result in a closure order for areas of a mine where a significant and substantial violation occurs. This collection encourages chronic violators to comply with the Mine Act and MSHA's safety and health standards. Paragraph 30 CFR 104.2(a)(8) provides that MSHA will consider mitigating circumstances in determining whether to issue a pattern of violations notice. Among the items MSHA could consider is an approved corrective action program to reduce significant and substantial violations accompanied by positive results.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Pattern of Violations. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 4E401 on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Pattern of Violations. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0150.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 100.

    Annual Burden Hours: 13,600 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $10,000.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24073 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219-0039] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Gamma Radiation Surveys AGENCY:

    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to assure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Gamma Radiation Surveys.

    DATES:

    All comments must be received on or before November 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    Federal E-Rulemaking­Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2015-0033.

    Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

    Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at [email protected] (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Gamma radiation occurs where radioactive materials are present. It has been associated with lung cancer and other debilitating occupational diseases. Natural sources include rocks, soils, and ground water. Gamma radiation hazards may be found near radiation sources at surface operations using X-ray machines, weightometers, nuclear and diffraction units. Nuclear gauges mounted outside tanks, pipes, bins, hoppers or other types of vessels; gamma rays are used to sense the level and density of liquids, slurries or solids. Gamma rays penetrate the body and can kill or damage cells in their path that can affect many of the body's organs. The adverse health effects from exposure to gamma radiation can vary depending upon the type of cell affected and the extent of damage.

    Under Section 103(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is required to “* * * issue regulations requiring operators to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be monitored or measured under any applicable mandatory health or safety standard promulgated under this Act.” In addition, 30 CFR 57.5047(a) requires that gamma radiation surveys be conducted annually in all underground mines where radioactive ores are mined. 30 CFR 57.5047(c) requires that gamma radiation dosimeters be provided for all persons exposed to average gamma radiation measurements in excess of 2.0 milliroentgens per hour in the working place. This paragraph also requires the operator keep records of cumulative individual gamma radiation exposures.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Gamma Radiation Surveys. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Gamma Radiation Surveys. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0039.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 3.

    Annual Burden Hours: 6 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $0.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Sheila McConnell, Certifying Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24074 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
    MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 15-02] Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Republic of Benin AGENCY:

    Millennium Challenge Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Section 610(b)(2) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701-7718) as amended (the Act), and the heading “Millennium Challenge Corporation” of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2015, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is publishing a summary of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Republic of Benin. Representatives of the United States Government and Benin executed the Compact documents on September 9, 2015. The complete text of the Compact has been posted at https://assets.mcc.gov/documents/compact-benin-power.pdf.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, Vice President and General Counsel, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Summary of Millennium Challenge Compact With the Republic of Benin Explanation of the Millennium Challenge Compact With Benin (Compact)

    The Millennium Challenge Corporation (“MCC”) has entered into a five-year, $375 million compact with the Republic of Benin aimed at reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth (the “Compact”). The Compact identifies a program that the MCC will fund consisting of the following four projects: (a) The Policy Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project will support key reforms needed to ensure the sustainability of Benin's electric power sector, including professional regulation, stronger utility operations, and private sector participation in power generation; (b) the Electricity Generation Project will increase Benin's domestic generation capacity by up to 78 megawatts while decreasing the country's dependence on unreliable external energy sources through investments in a combination of solar, thermal, and hydroelectric power sources; (c) the Electricity Distribution Project will improve the nationwide grid by building a modern distribution dispatch and control center, as well as the grid in Cotonou, Benin's largest city and load center and selected regional networks as a complement to the solar investments; and (d) the Off-Grid Electricity Access Project will support policy and institutional reforms as well as infrastructure financing for off-grid electricity.

    The Compact articulates the terms and conditions, responsibilities, and obligations of each of the United States, acting through MCC, and Benin, acting through its government. MCC will oversee the implementation of the Compact on behalf of the United States. MCA-Benin II, a legal entity to be established by the Government of Benin (GoB), will manage the implementation of the Compact, while the GoB retains ultimate overall responsibility.

    Background Information on Negotiations

    In December 2011, MCC's Board of Directors selected Benin as eligible for second Compact assistance. Benin was also deemed eligible for Compact assistance in fiscal years 2013 and 2015. MCC notified Congress pursuant to Section 610(a) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended (Act) on April 9, 2015, of its intent to commence negotiations with Benin, following a 15-day Congressional consultation period. Based on MCC's evaluation of the proposed projects and related documents, and subsequent discussions and negotiations, MCC and the GoB finalized the terms of a Compact, which the MCC Board of Directors approved. The Compact was signed on September 9, 2015, by MCC Chief Executive Officer Dana J. Hyde, for the United States of America, and Komi Koutché, Minister of State in charge of Economy, Finance and Denationalization Programs, for the GoB.

    Effect of Compact

    The Compact provides the basis for a grant of funds to the GoB for implementation of a program designed to reduce poverty in Benin through economic growth. The specific objective of the program is to expand business production and productivity, generate greater economic opportunities for households, and improve the capacity to provide public and social services by improving the quantity and quality of the supply of electricity in Benin.

    Legal Authority

    Sections 605, 609(a) and 609(g) of the Act.

    Entry Into Force

    The Compact will enter into force on the date of the letter from MCC to the GoB in an exchange of letters confirming that the GoB has completed its domestic requirements for entry into force of the Compact and that the conditions precedent to entry into force in Section 7.2 of the Compact have been met.

    Duration of the Agreement

    The Compact shall remain in force for five years from entry into force, unless earlier terminated.

    Point of Contact

    General Counsel—(202) 521-3600.

    [FR Doc. 2015-24182 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9211-03-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTUICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice (15-079)] Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive License AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent To Grant Partially Exclusive License.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is issued in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). NASA hereby gives notice of its intent to grant a partially exclusive license in the United States to practice the invention described and claimed in U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 13/178,661, titled “Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) System For Ownership and Traffic Situational Awareness,” NASA Case No. DRC-011-012, and any, divisional applications, continuation-in-part applications, or issued patents resulting therefrom, to Vigilant Aerospace Systems Inc., having its principal place of business in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Certain patent rights in this invention have been assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The prospective partially exclusive license will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

    DATES:

    The prospective partially exclusive license may be granted unless, within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, NASA receives written objections including evidence and argument that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR. 404.7. Competing applications completed and received by NASA within fifteen (15) days of the date of this published notice will also be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated partially exclusive license.

    Objections submitted in response to this notice will not be made available to the public for inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    ADDRESSES:

    Objections relating to the prospective license may be submitted to Patent Counsel, NASA Management Office, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 180-200, Pasadena, CA 91109; (818) 354-7770 (phone), (818) 393-3160 (fax).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Homer, Patent Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, NASA Management Office, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, M/S 180-200, Pasadena, CA 91109; (818) 354-7770 (phone), (818) 393-3160 (fax). Information about other NASA inventions available for licensing can be found online at http://technology.nasa.gov.

    Mark P. Dvorscak, Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24147 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Permit Applications Received Inder the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of permit applications received under the Antarctic Conservation Act.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is required to publish a notice of permit applications received to conduct activities regulated under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978. NSF has published regulations under the Antarctic Conservation Act at title 45 part 671 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is the required notice of permit applications received.

    DATES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written data, comments, or views with respect to this permit application by October 23, 2015. This application may be inspected by interested parties at the Permit Office, address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Permit Office, Room 755, Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Li Ling Hamady, ACA Permit Officer, at the above address or [email protected] or (703) 292-7149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Science Foundation, as directed by the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has developed regulations for the establishment of a permit system for various activities in Antarctica and designation of certain animals and certain geographic areas a requiring special protection. The regulations establish such a permit system to designate Antarctic Specially Protected Areas.

    Application Details:

    Permit Application: 2016-008 1. Applicant David Rootes, Environmental Manager. Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions LLC. 3478 South Main Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115. Activity for Which Permit Is Requested

    Waste Permit; ALE plans to operate a remote camp at Union Glacier, Antarctica, and provide logistical support services for scientific and other expeditions, film crews, and tourists. These activities include aircraft support, cache positioning, camp and field support, resupply, search and rescue, medevac, medical support and logistic support for some National Operators. The camp can accommodate up to 100 people and is adjacent to a blue-ice runway. The blue-ice runway is a natural feature that requires limited amount of preparation and upkeep for aircraft use. There are standard programs offered on a regular basis including: climbing trips to Vinson Massif, the Ellsworth Mountains and the Transantarctic Mountains; ski trips to the Ellsworth Mountains and the Geographic South Pole; ice marathons and sky diving at Union Glacier; and flights to the Geographic South Pole and the emperor penguin colony at the Dawson Lambton Glacier. Several aircraft will be operated by ALE throughout the Antarctic and may consist of the following: Ilyushin ILTD-76, Boeing 757-200ER, Douglas DC3-TP67, and De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter. ALE plans to allow clients to fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) provided their plan meets certain requirements, including ALE's standard operating procedures, IATTO UAV policy (2015), and civil aviation authority regulations (ICAO, FAA, CAA).

    Location

    Centered around Union Glacier, in the general area of the Ellsworth Mountains including Vinson Massif; the sector to the South Pole; the Filchner-Ronnie Ice Shelf including Berkner Island; the coast of Coats Land; and the Ross Ice Shelf and the general route from Ross Island to the South Pole.

    Dates

    October 16, 2015 through February 28, 2020.

    Nadene G. Kennedy, Polar Coordination Specialist, Division of Polar Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24175 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of permit applications received under the Antarctic Conservation Act.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is required to publish a notice of permit applications received to conduct activities regulated under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978. NSF has published regulations under the Antarctic Conservation Act at title 45 part 670 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is the required notice of permit applications received.

    DATES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written data, comments, or views with respect to this permit application by October 23, 2015. This application may be inspected by interested parties at the Permit Office, address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Permit Office, Room 755, Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Li Ling Hamady, ACA Permit Officer, at the above address or [email protected] or (703) 292-7149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Science Foundation, as directed by the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has developed regulations for the establishment of a permit system for various activities in Antarctica and designation of certain animals and certain geographic areas a requiring special protection. The regulations establish such a permit system to designate Antarctic Specially Protected Areas.

    Application Details:

    Permit Application: 2016-009 1. Applicant Tehnuka Ilanko. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM. Activity for Which Permit Is Requested

    ASPA entry; The applicant desires to access Tramway Ridge, on Mt. Erebus, Ross Island, which is protected by ASPA 175 High Altitude Geothermal Sites of the Ross Sea Region. Applicant wishes to conduct gas sampling of gases emitted from vents in order to characterize the subsurface conditions and gas emissions of Tramway Ridge to better understand processes behind flank degassing and possible interactions between magmatic and hydrothermal systems. Samples will be collected in glass bottles via a sterilized hollow stainless steel rod inserted into a degassing vent, with a pump used to extract the gases into an accumulation chamber.

    Location

    ASPA 175, High Altitude Geothermal Sites of the Ross Sea Region: Tramway Ridge, Mt. Erebus, Ross Island.

    Dates

    November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017.

    Nadene G. Kennedy, Polar Coordination Specialist, Division of Polar Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24176 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is required to publish a notice of permit applications received to conduct activities regulated under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978. NSF has published regulations under the Antarctic Conservation Act at title 45 part 671 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is the required notice of permit applications received.

    DATES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written data, comments, or views with respect to this permit application by October 23, 2015. This application may be inspected by interested parties at the Permit Office, address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Permit Office, Room 755, Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Li Ling Hamady, ACA Permit Officer, at the above address or [email protected] or (703) 292-7149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Science Foundation, as directed by the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has developed regulations for the establishment of a permit system for various activities in Antarctica and designation of certain animals and certain geographic areas a requiring special protection. The regulations establish such a permit system to designate Antarctic Specially Protected Areas.

    Application Details:

    Permit Application: 2016-007 1. Applicant John McKeon, President, Polar Latitudes, Inc., 857 Post Road, #366, Fairfield, CT 06825. Activity for Which Permit is Requested

    Type, description of activity

    Location

    Waste Permit;

    For Coastal Camping: The applicant seeks permission for no more than 30 campers and two expedition staff to camp overnight at select locations for a maximum of 10 hours ashore. Camping would be away from vegetated sites and >150m from wildlife concentrations or lakes, protected areas, historical sites, and scientific stations. Tents would be pitched on snow, ice, or bare smooth rock, at least 15m from the high water line. No food would be brought onshore and all wastes, including human waste, would be collected and returned to the ship for proper disposal. The applicant is seeking a Waste Permit to cover any accidental releases that may result from camping. For UAV Filming: The applicant wishes to fly small, battery operated, remotely controlled copters equipped with a cameras to take scenic photos and film of the Antarctic. The UAVs would not be flown over concentrations of birds or mammals or over Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The UAVs would only be flown by operators with extensive experience (>20 hours), who are pre-approved by the Expedition Leader. Several measures would be taken to prevent against loss of the UAV including painting the them a highly visible color; only flying when the wind is less than 25 knots; flying for only 15 minutes at a time to preserve battery life; having prop guards on propeller tips, a flotation device if operated over water, and a “go home” feature in case of loss of control link or low battery; having an observer on the lookout for wildlife, people, and other hazards; and ensuring that the separation between the operator and UAV does not exceed an operational range of 500 meters. The applicant is seeking a Waste Permit to cover any accidental releases that may result from flying a UAV.

    Location

    Camping: Possible locations include Damoy Point/Dorian Bay, Danco Island, Rongé Island, the Errera Channel, Paradise Bay (including Almirante Brown/Base Brown or Skontorp Cove), the Argentine Islands, Andvord Bay, Pleneau Island, the Argentine Islands, Hovgaard Island, Orne Harbour, Leith Cove, Prospect Point and Portal Point.

    UAV filming: Western Antarctic Peninsula region

    Dates

    October 30, 2015 to March 19, 2016.

    Nadene G. Kennedy, Polar Coordination Specialist, Division of Polar Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24177 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Notice of Public Forum

    On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will convene a forum titled Humans and Hardware: Preventing Inflight Loss of Control in General Aviation. The forum will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is open to all. Attendance is free, and no registration is required. NTSB Board Member Earl F. Weener will serve as the presiding officer of the forum. Invited panelists will include representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, researchers, and industry and advocacy groups.

    Below is the preliminary agenda.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015 (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) 1. Opening Statement by Member Weener 2. Staff Presentation on Loss of Control Statistics 3. Presentations on Industry and Government Perspectives and Actions 4. Questions from Member Weener and the Technical Panel 5. Presentations on Human Performance and Medical Issues 6. Questions from Member Weener and the Technical Panel 7. Presentations on Pilot Training Solutions 8. Questions from Member Weener and the Technical Panel 9. Presentations on Equipment and Technology Solutions 10. Questions from Member Weener and the Technical Panel 11. Open Discussion 12. Closing Statement by Member Weener

    Unless otherwise noted, the forum will be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC. The public can view the forum in person or via live webcast at www.ntsb.gov. Webcast archives are generally available by the end of the day after the forum, and webcasts are archived for 3 months after the date of the event.

    Individuals requiring reasonable accommodation and/or wheelchair access directions should contact Rochelle Hall at (202) 314-6305 or by email at [email protected] by Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

    NTSB Media Contact: Peter [email protected].

    NTSB Forum Manager: Dr. Kristi [email protected].

    Candi R. Bing, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24143 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2015-0001] Sunshine Act Meeting Notice DATE:

    September 21, 2015.

    PLACE:

    Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Public

    Week of September 21, 2015 Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:30 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the New Reactors Business Line (Public Meeting); (Contact: Donna Williams: 301-415-1322)

    This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    The meeting on Strategic Programmatic Overview of the New Reactors Business Line scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2015 has been changed to begin at 10:00 a.m.

    The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Glenn Ellmers at 301-415-0442 or via email at [email protected]

    The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the Internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

    The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g. braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301-287-0727, by videophone at 240-428-3217, or by email at [email protected] Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301-415-1969), or email [email protected] or [email protected]

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Glenn Ellmers, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24298 Filed 9-21-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD Board Meeting

    October 20-21, 2015—The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will hold an international technical workshop on the potential deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

    Pursuant to its authority under section 5051 of Public Law 100-203, Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, and in accordance with its mandate to review the technical and scientific validity of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) activities related to implementing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will hold an international technical workshop on Tuesday, October 20, and Wednesday, October 21, 2015, to evaluate technical and scientific issues associated with the potential use of deep boreholes to dispose of some radioactive wastes. The workshop is open to the public and there is no charge for attendance.

    In June 2015, the Board issued a report: Evaluation of Technical Issues Associated with the Development of a Separate Repository for U.S. Department of Energy-Managed High-Level Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel. In its report, the Board reviewed two DOE reports, one of which was released in October 2014 and the other in March 2015. The DOE reports recommended implementing a strategy for disposal of some DOE-managed high-level radioactive waste (HLW), and possibly some DOE-managed spent nuclear fuel (SNF), in a separate geologic repository rather than commingling the DOE wastes in a single repository with commercial HLW and SNF. The October 2014 report also recommended that DOE retain the flexibility to consider options for disposal of smaller DOE-managed waste forms in deep boreholes rather than in a mined, geologic repository. DOE identified cesium and strontium capsules as candidates for disposal in deep boreholes.

    The Board's October workshop will look at issues associated with the design and implementation of a program for deep borehole disposal of solid radioactive wastes. In particular, the objective of the workshop will be to identify the technical and scientific issues associated with DOE's research and development program to assess the viability of the deep borehole disposal concept and, more broadly, to identify issues associated with implementation of deep borehole disposal.

    The workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1250 22nd Street NW., Washington, DC 20037; (Tel) 202-857-3388, (Fax) 202-293-3173. A block of sleeping rooms has been reserved at the hotel for meeting attendees. To make a reservation, attendees may call 1 800-445-8667. The group code name for the workshop is “NUC.” Reservations also may be made on the hotel Web site: http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/W/WASDNES-NUC-20151019/index.jhtml. Reservations must be made by Monday, September 28, 2015, to receive the group rate.

    The first day of the workshop will begin at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to wind up at about 5:30 p.m. The agenda on Tuesday will begin with presentations by DOE managers and experts on DOE's plans for studying deep borehole disposal, including a field test program being planned by DOE to provide information on the geoscience of the deep borehole disposal concept and the technical issues associated with its implementation. Following the DOE presentations, panels of experts from this and other countries will discuss issues such as:

    • Expected hydrogeological and geochemical conditions at the proposed disposal depth and their associated characterization methods;

    • Waste forms to be disposed of, durability of waste-disposal canister and overpack materials, and effectiveness of borehole seals;

    • Challenges to deep drilling in crystalline rocks and to operations related to emplacing the waste canisters in boreholes;

    • Regulatory framework for deep borehole disposal of solid radioactive wastes;

    • Advantages and disadvantages of deep borehole disposal compared with other disposal concepts.

    There will be a lunchtime presentation on Tuesday titled “International Perspective on Deep Borehole Disposal.” Those who wish to attend the lunchtime presentation should send an email no later than October 15 to [email protected] with the words “Working Lunch RSVP” in the subject line. Information on arrangements for the lunch will be provided in response to the email.

    The panel discussions will resume at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday and continue throughout the day until the conclusion of the workshop at approximately 5:00 p.m.

    Opportunities for public comment will be provided on both days before the lunch break and at the end of the day. It may be necessary to set a time limit on individual remarks in order to maintain the schedule, but written comments of any length may be submitted during and after the workshop and will be entered into the record of the meeting posted on the Board's Web site. The meeting will also be webcast through a link that will be posted on the Board's Web site.

    The workshop agenda will be available on the Board's Web site (www.nwtrb.gov) approximately one week before the meeting. The transcript of the workshop discussions, the presentation materials, and any comments and other documents submitted for the record will be available on the Board's Web site after November 20, 2015. The Webcast recording also will be available on the Board's Web site for a period of one year after the workshop.

    The Board was established in the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act as an independent federal agency in the Executive branch to perform an ongoing objective evaluation of the technical and scientific validity of activities undertaken by DOE related to implementing the NWPA. Board members are experts in their fields and are appointed by the President from a list of candidates submitted by the National Academy of Sciences. The Board reports its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. Board reports, correspondence, congressional testimony, and meeting transcripts and materials are posted on the Board's Web site.

    For information on the workshop, contact Bret Leslie at [email protected], Roberto Pabalan at [email protected], or Karyn Severson at [email protected] For information on meeting logistics, contact Linda Coultry at [email protected] They can be reached by phone at 703-235-4473.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Nigel Mote, Executive Director, U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24043 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, that the Securities and Exchange Commission will hold a Closed Meeting on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

    Commissioners, Counsel to the Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, and recording secretaries will attend the Closed Meeting. Certain staff members who have an interest in the matters also may be present.

    The General Counsel of the Commission, or her designee, has certified that, in her opinion, one or more of the exemptions set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(3), (5), (7), 9(B) and (10) and 17 CFR 200.402(a)(3), (5), (7), 9(ii) and (10), permit consideration of the scheduled matter at the Closed Meeting.

    Commissioner Piwowar, as duty officer, voted to consider the items listed for the Closed Meeting in closed session.

    The subject matter of the Closed Meeting will be:

    Institution of injunctive actions;

    Institution and settlement of administrative proceedings; and

    Other matters relating to enforcement proceedings.

    At times, changes in Commission priorities require alterations in the scheduling of meeting items.

    For further information and to ascertain what, if any, matters have been added, deleted or postponed, please contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 551-5400.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24217 Filed 9-21-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75942; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-49] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Amend and Correct Rule 1080.07 September 17, 2015. I. Introduction

    On June 5, 2015, NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (“Exchange” or “Phlx”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend and correct several provisions in Phlx Rule 1080.07, “Complex Orders on Phlx XL,” which governs the trading of Complex Orders on the Phlx's Complex Order System (“System”). The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 23, 2015.3 On July 30, 2015, the Commission extended the time period for Commission action to September 21, 2015.4 The Commission received no comments regarding the proposal. This order institutes proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act 5 to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75189 (June 17, 2015), 80 FR 35997 (“Notice”).

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75570, 80 FR 46619 (August 5, 2015).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    II. Description of the Proposal

    The Phlx proposes to make a number of changes to Phlx Rule 1080.07 to amend and correct inconsistencies in the rule and provide additional clarity regarding the trading of Complex Orders on the Exchange. The Phlx's System for trading Complex Orders includes a Complex Order Opening Process (“COOP”); the Complex Order Live Auction (“COLA”), an automated auction for seeking liquidity and price improvement for Complex Orders; and a Complex Limit Order Book (“CBOOK”). According to the Phlx, among other things, the proposal would revise Phlx Rule 1080.07 to: (i) Accurately describe the operation of the COOP and the execution of orders at the opening, including the treatment of Immediate-or-Cancel (“IOC”) orders and Do Not Auction (“DNA”) orders at the opening; (ii) add definitions of “COOP Sweep” and “COLA Sweep,” and correct existing rule text to indicate that only Phlx XL market makers may submit COLA Sweeps; (iii) delete rule text that incorrectly states that a specialist could be entitled to receive 40% of the remainder of a COLA-eligible order, as well as rule text indicating that only a specialist's interest at the cPBBO is aggregated for purposes of determining the specialist's entitlement in the COLA, so that the revised rule will provide that the specialist is entitled to receive the greater of (a) the proportion of the aggregate size associated with the specialist's COLA Sweep, SQT and RSQT COLA Sweeps, and non-SQT ROT Complex Orders on the CBOOK, or (b) the Enhanced Specialist Participation as described in Phlx Rule 1014(g)(ii); (iv) delete rule text indicating that, for allocation purposes, the size of a COLA Sweep or responsive Complex Order will be limited to the size of the COLA-eligible order, thereby clarifying that the size of a COLA Sweep or responsive Complex Order that exceeds the size of the COLA-eligible order may trade against remaining interest after the COLA-eligible order has been executed to the fullest extent possible; (v) revise rule text to indicate that other interest in a COLA may trade after a COLA-eligible order has been executed to the fullest extent possible, rather than in its entirety, and to correct the description of the execution of crossing interest after a COLA-eligible order has been executed; (vi) provide that the System will place a Complex Order received during a configurable period of time prior to the end of a trading session on the CBOOK after any marketable portion of the order has been executed; and (vii) describe the handling of all-or-none Complex Orders.

    In addition to these changes, the Phlx proposes to amend Phlx Rule 1080.07 to add a definition of “Firm.” 6 Specifically, the Phlx proposes to define a “Firm” to mean “a broker-dealer trading for its own (proprietary) account that is: A member of The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) or maintains a Joint Back Office (“JBO”) arrangement with an OCC member.7 The Phlx also proposes to revise Phlx Rule 1080.07 to provide that orders from Firms, like orders from market makers, would not trigger a COLA.8 In addition, the Phlx proposes to treat Firms like market makers for purposes of determining the allocations and execution price that their trading interest will receive at the conclusion of a COLA.9

    6See Phlx Rule 1080.07(a)(x).

    7Id. Unless otherwise specified, Firms are included in the category of non-market-maker off-floor broker-dealer. Id.

    8See Phlx Rule 1080.07(e)(i)(B)(1). Orders from non-market maker off-floor broker-dealers that are not Firms would be COLA-eligible. See Phlx Rule 1080.07(e)(i)(B)(1) and Notice, 80 FR at 36003.

    9See Phlx Rule 1080.07(e)(viii)(C)(2) and Notice, 80 FR at 36003. Orders of non-market maker off-floor broker-dealers that are not Firms would be executed along with the orders of non-broker-dealer customers at the conclusion of the COLA. See Phlx Rule 1080.07(e)(viii)(C)(1) and Notice, 80 FR at 36003. At the same price, non-broker-dealer customer orders would be executed in time priority, while non-market-maker off-floor broker-dealer orders would be executed on a pro rata basis at each price level. See Phlx Rule 1080.07(e)(viii)(C)(1)(d).

    The Phlx proposes to treat Firm orders like non-Phlx market makers for purposes of these rules because the Phlx believes that the trading style and needs of Firms are more like market makers.10 The Phlx states that Firms are large, well-capitalized broker-dealers that trade for their own accounts and generally submit large orders, including orders that facilitate their clients' orders or offset large positions taken to accommodate their customers.11 According to the Phlx, Firms must have the financial wherewithal that this role necessitates.12 Thus, the Phlx states that Firms, in general, are commonly viewed as liquidity providers, much like market makers.13 The Phlx states that Firms do not expect or need their Complex Orders to trigger a COLA, nor do they need or expect to submit Good Til Cancelled Orders, because these are features commonly associated with customers rather than liquidity providers who function to accommodate trading interest.14 The Phlx notes that both of these features involve a temporal component, and that both a delay and long-lasting interest are inconsistent with the sort of accommodation that Firms provide.15 The Phlx believes that by tailoring its offerings to the needs and trading style of Firms, Firms are more likely to send orders to the Exchange.16

    10See Notice, 80 FR at 36003.

    11See Notice, 80 FR at 36003-36004.

    12See Notice, 80 FR at 36004. In addition, Firms that are OCC clearing members must comply with OCC rules regarding, among other things, net capital, risk management procedures, and margin. See id.

    13See id.

    14See Notice, 80 FR at 36005.

    15See id.

    16See id.

    III. Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove SR-Phlx-2015-49 and Grounds for Disapproval Under Consideration

    The Commission is instituting proceedings pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act 17 to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. Institution of such proceedings is appropriate at this time in view of the legal and policy issues raised by the proposed rule change. Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described in greater detail below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to comment on the proposed rule change to inform the Commission's analysis of whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.

    17 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act,18 the Commission is providing notice of the grounds for disapproval under consideration. The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of, and input from commenters with respect to, the consistency of the proposed rule change with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,19 which requires that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed, among other things, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    18 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B). Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act also provides that proceedings to determine whether to disapprove a proposed rule change must be concluded within 180 days of the date of publication of notice of the filing of the proposed rule change. The time for conclusion of the proceedings may be extended for up to 60 days if the Commission finds good cause for such extension and publishes its reasons for so finding.

    19 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    In addition, under the Commission's rules of procedure, a self-regulatory organization that proposes to amend its rules bears the burden of demonstrating that its proposal is consistent with the Act.20 In this regard:

    20 Rule 700(b)(3), 17 CFR 201.700(b)(3).

    The description of the proposed rule change, its purpose and operation, its effect, and a legal analysis of its consistency with the applicable requirements must all be sufficiently detailed and specific to support an affirmative Commission finding. Any failure of the self-regulatory organization to provide the information elicited by Form 19b-4 may result in the Commission not having a sufficient basis to make an affirmative finding that a proposed rule change is consistent with the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to the self-regulation organization.21

    21Id.

    IV. Procedure: Request for Written Comments

    The Commission requests that interested persons provide written submissions of their views, data, and arguments with respect to the issues identified above, as well as any others they may have identified with the proposal. In particular, the Commission invites the written views of interested persons concerning whether the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) or any other provision of the Act, or the rules and regulations thereunder. Although there do not appear to be any issues relevant to approval or disapproval which would be facilitated by an oral presentation of views, data, and arguments, the Commission will consider, pursuant to Rule 19b-4, any request for an opportunity to make an oral presentation.22

    22 Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, as amended by the Securities Acts Amendments of 1975, Public Law 94-29, 89 Stat. 97 (1975), grants the Commission flexibility to determine what type of proceeding—either oral or notice and opportunity for written comments—is appropriate for consideration of a particular proposal by a self-regulatory organization. See Securities Acts Amendments of 1975, Report of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to Accompany S. 249, S. Rep. No. 75, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 30 (1975).

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments regarding whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved by October 14, 2015. Any person who wishes to file a rebuttal to any other person's submission must file that rebuttal by October 28, 2015. The Commission asks that commenters address the sufficiency and merit of the Exchange's statements in support of the proposed rule change, in addition to any other comments they may wish to submit about the proposed rule change. In particular, the Commission asks that commenters address the sufficiency of the Exchange's statements, which are set forth in the Notice,23 in support of its proposal to prevent Firms' orders from triggering a COLA, in addition to any other comments they may wish to submit about the proposed rule change. The Commission notes that the Phlx states that Firms, like market makers, are liquidity providers that function to accommodate the trading interest of their clients, and that Firms do not expect or need their orders to trigger a COLA. With respect to this conclusion, the Commission seeks comment on whether there are circumstances in which a Firm might want its order to trigger a COLA, and the potential impact of permitting or prohibiting Firms' orders from triggering a COLA.

    23See supra note 3.

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-Phlx-2015-49 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2015-49. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2015-49 and should be submitted by October 14, 2015. Rebuttal comments should be submitted by October 28, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.24

    24 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(57).

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24062 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75937; File Nos. SR-NYSE-2015-31; SR-NYSEMKT-2015-56] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Disapprove the Proposed Rule Changes Amending the NYSE Trades Market Data and NYSE MKT Trades Market Data Product Offerings September 17, 2015. I. Introduction

    On July 16, 2015, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and NYSE MKT LLC (“NYSE MKT”) (collectively, the “Exchanges”) separately filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 proposed rule changes to amend, respectively, the NYSE Trades market data product offering and the NYSE MKT Trades market data product offering. The proposed rule changes were published for comment in the Federal Register on August 5, 2015.3 The Commission has received two comments on the proposals.4 This order institutes proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act 5 to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule changes.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 75556 (July 30, 2015), 80 FR 46628 (SR-NYSE-2015-31) and 75559 (July 30, 2015), 80 FR 46642 (SR-NYSEMKT-2015-56) (“Notices”).

    4See Letter from Eric S. Hunsader, Nanex, LLC, dated August 14, 2015 (“Nanex Letter”); Letter from John Ramsay, Chief Market Policy Officer, IEX Group, Inc., to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated August 20, 2015 (“IEX Letter”).

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    II. Description of the Proposals

    NYSE and NYSE MKT propose to modify the data content of their respective proprietary market data feeds: NYSE Trades and NYSE MKT Trades (collectively, the “Trades Feeds”).6

    6 NYSE Trades is an NYSE-only last-sale market data feed and NYSE MKT Trades is a NYSE MKT-only last-sale market data feed.

    The Trades Feeds currently provides subscribers and users on a real-time basis with the same last-sale information that each Exchange reports to the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) for inclusion in the CTA Plan's consolidated data streams. Specifically, each Exchange's Trades Feeds includes, for each security traded on that Exchange, the real-time last-sale price, time and size information, bid/ask quotations, and a stock summary message. The stock summary message updates every minute and includes the offering Exchange's opening price, high price, low price, closing price, and cumulative volume for the security.7

    7See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 62187 (May 27, 2010), 75 FR 31500 (June 3, 2010) (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-35), 70065 (July 30, 2013), 78 FR 47450 (Aug. 5, 2013) (SR-NYSEMKT-2013-64) and 69273 (April 2, 2013), 78 FR 20969 (April 8, 2013) (SR-NYSEMKT-2013-30).

    Each Exchange currently reports to the CTA and distributes on a real-time basis via the Trades Feeds its market's last-sale information based on the completed execution of an arriving order. For example, currently, if an arriving order of 1,000 shares trades with five resting orders of 200 shares on NYSE, NYSE would bundle the executions and report a single completed trade of 1,000 shares both to the CTA and through NYSE Trades. NYSE MKT Trades operates in the same way.

    Each Exchange now proposes to distribute its last-sale information on its respective Trades Feed in a different manner than it distributes last-sale information to the CTA. Each Exchange would continue to distribute last-sale information to the CTA as described above, but last-sale information distributed via the Exchange's Trades Feed would be based on the individual resting orders that are executed in the total completed trade and would not be bundled for reporting purposes. In the example above, NYSE would distribute via NYSE Trades the real-time NYSE last-sale information of five executions of 200 shares each,8 but would report to CTA a single completed trade of 1,000 shares.

    8 Each Exchange has proposed that the five transactions in such an example would have the same time stamp.

    The Exchanges have represented that they would continue to make their last-sale information available through their Trades Feeds immediately after providing the last-sale information to the processor under the CTA Plan. The Exchanges have argued that reporting last-sale information in an unbundled format, based on execution of the individual resting orders, rather than in an bundled format based on the completed execution of an incoming order would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market by providing more granular trade information to vendors and subscribers who desire it, thus promoting competition and innovation.

    Each Exchanges has also proposed to remove the bid/ask data from its Trades Feed. Each Exchange currently has a data feed—the NYSE BBO data feed and the NYSE MKT BBO data feed—that includes the same bid/ask data currently included in the Exchange's Trades Feed, and each Exchange has represented that its respective BBO feed would continue to include the best bids and offers for all securities that are traded on its facilities and for which it reports quotes to the Consolidated Quotation Association (“CQA”) under the Consolidated Quotation (“CQ”) Plan for inclusion in the CQ Plan's consolidated quotation information data stream.9 Each Exchange has stated that removing the bid/ask data from its Trades Feeds would streamline its products and would align them with last-sale data feeds offered by other exchanges that offer last-sale data products, which do not include bid and offer information.10

    9See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72326 (June 5, 2014), 79 FR 33605 (June 11, 2014) (SR-NYSEMKT-2014-49).

    10 As examples, the Exchanges cited to the last-sale data products offered by The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC and BATS, Inc. See NASDAQ Rule 7039 (Nasdaq Last Sale) and BATS Rule 11.22(g) (BATS Last Sale).

    Each Exchange has stated that it expects to offer both the current Trades Feed and the proposed Trades Feed for a limited transition period, after which it would stop offering the current Trades Feed and offer only the Trades Feed proposed in its filing. Each Exchange has stated that it would announce the transition dates in advance. Each Exchange has also stated that there would be no change to the fees for the Trades Feed in connection with the proposed changes.

    III. Comment Letters

    The Commission has received two comment letters on the proposals.11 Both commenters are opposed to the proposals. The commenters note that the NYSE and its affiliated exchanges are the only national securities exchanges that report their last-sale information to the securities information processor (“SIP”) in a bundled format and that all the other national securities exchanges report the last-sale information for each individual trade to the SIP.

    11See supra note 4.

    Both commenters argue that the proposals would be contrary to Regulation NMS. One commenter states that the proposals go against a core principle of Regulation NMS, namely, the prohibition of providing core data in a private feed before it sends it to the SIP. The commenter states that, in this case, the delay is not a few microseconds, but rather forever.12 The commenter also notes that the proposals put investors in the position of having to subscribe to the Exchanges' feeds to get the very same data that every other non-NYSE- affiliated exchange already sends to the SIP, which the commenter contends is a “preposterous proposition.” 13

    12See Nanex Letter.

    13Id.

    The other commenter believes that the proposals would be unreasonably discriminatory in the dissemination of market data in violation of Rule 603(a)(2).14 This commenter states that exchanges should not be allowed to provide an inferior view of core market data to the general public, compared to an enhanced view offered to subscribers who are willing to pay a premium for it, where the enhanced view could be provided through CTA or another SIP. The commenter notes that the Exchanges are the exclusive source of the individual trade data and that no one else can compete in the delivery of that specific information. The commenter states that preventing investors and market participants from receiving consolidated trade data that accurately reflects the sequence and size of individual transactions unless they pay a premium necessarily discriminates in the dissemination of data that the Commission has found to be a keystone element of the national market system. The commenter argues that, in terms of advancing national market system goals, the result of the proposals would be no more “fair and reasonable,” and no less “unreasonably discriminatory,” than the practices providing timeliness advantages to proprietary data over consolidated data that the Commission has found to violate regulatory standards.15 The commenter also contends that, while the Exchanges have stated that the proposals are a means to disseminate the same trade information but with more granularity with regards to the individual trades, such granularity is only of additional value because of the Exchanges' peculiar practice of aggregating the trade information for the CTA.

    14See IEX Letter at 5.

    15See IEX Letter at 6.

    Both commenters also argue that the Exchanges' current practice of sending bundled transaction information to the SIP has presented some problems and that the Exchanges should report each individual trade to the SIP. One commenter states the bundled transaction information has presented problems in the course of investigating questionable trades.16 The other commenter states reporting the individual trade information to the SIP would provide market participants the transparency they need to easily identify, based on price, size, and time stamp data, and circumstances where a large incoming order is able to match with multiple resting orders.17

    16See Nanex Letter.

    17See IEX Letter at 4.

    IV. Proceedings To Determine Whether To Disapprove SR-NYSE-2015-31 and NYSEMKT-2015-56 and Grounds for Disapproval Under Consideration

    The Commission is instituting proceedings pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act 18 to determine whether the proposals should be disapproved. Institution of such proceedings is appropriate at this time in view of the legal and policy issues raised by the proposals. Institution of disapproval proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described in greater detail below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide additional comment on the proposals.

    18 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(B),19 the Commission is providing notice of the grounds for disapproval under consideration. The Exchanges' proposals, if approved, would allow a national securities exchange to offer different last-sale information through its proprietary market data products than it reports to the CTA.20 Under Regulation NMS, last-sale transaction information is considered “core data.” All broker-dealers are required to purchase core data from the SIPs,21 and all of the national securities exchanges share in the revenues received from the sale of this data. Regulation NMS permits the national securities exchanges to provide the same core data that is reported to the SIP on their own data feeds, subject to the condition that such data be provided on terms that are fair and reasonable and not unreasonably discriminatory. The Commission believes that permitting exchanges to provide different information about trade executions through their own proprietary feeds than they report to the SIP presents a novel issue that implicates the Regulation NMS requirements regarding “core data” and warrants further consideration.

    19See id.

    20 The CTA is the SIP for last-sale transaction information for equities trades from all national securities exchanges, and, under CTA Plan, collects and distributes this last-sale transaction information. The CQA is the SIP for best bid and offer quotation information for equities quoted on all national securities exchanges, and, under CQ Plan, collects and distributes this last-sale transaction information.

    21See Exchange Act Rule 603(c)(1).

    Accordingly, the Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of, and input from commenters with respect to, the proposed rule change's consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, Section 11A of the Act, and Rule 603(a) of Regulation NMS. Section 6(b)(5) provides that the rules of an exchange must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market system, and in general to protect investors and the public interest. Section 11A prohibits a self-regulatory organization from collecting, processing, distributing, publishing, or preparing for distribution any information with respect to quotations for or transactions in any security other than an exempted security, in contravention of such rules and regulations that the Commission shall prescribe furtherance of the purposes of this title to, among other things, assure the prompt, accurate, reliable, and fair collection, processing, distribution, and publication of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in such securities and the fairness and usefulness of the form and content of such information and assure that all securities information processors may, for purposes of distribution and publication, obtain on fair and reasonable terms such information with respect to quotations for and transactions in such securities as is collected, processed, or prepared for distribution or publication by any exclusive processor of such information acting in such capacity. Rule 603(a) provides that any exclusive processor that distributes information with respect to quotations or transactions in an NMS stock to a securities information processor do so on terms that are fair and reasonable and any national securities exchange that distributes such information do so on terms that are not unreasonably discriminatory.

    V. Procedure: Request for Written Comments

    The Commission requests that interested persons provide written submissions of their views, data, and arguments with respect to the concerns identified above or any others they may have with the proposed rule changes. In particular, the Commission invites the written views of interested persons concerning whether the proposed rule changes are inconsistent with Sections 11A and 6(b)(5) of the Act or any other provision of the Act, and Rule 603 thereunder or any other rules and regulation thereunder. Although there do not appear to be any issues relevant to approval or disapproval which would be facilitated by an oral presentation of views, data, and arguments, the Commission will consider, pursuant to Rule 19b-4, any request for an opportunity to make an oral presentation.22

    22 Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, as amended by the Securities Act Amendments of 1975, Public Law 94-29 (June 4, 1975), grants the Commission flexibility to determine what type of proceeding—either oral or notice and opportunity for written comments—is appropriate for consideration of a particular proposal by a self-regulatory organization. See Securities Act Amendments of 1975, Senate Comm. on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, S. Rep. No. 75, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 30 (1975).

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments regarding whether the proposed rule changes should be approved or disapproved by October 14, 2015. Any person who wishes to file a rebuttal to any other person's submission must file that rebuttal by October 28, 2015.

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Numbers SR-NYSE-2015-31 or NYSEMKT-2015-56 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Numbers SR-NYSE-2015-31, NYSEMKT-2015-56, or both. These file numbers should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule changes between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. All submissions should refer to File Numbers SR-NYSE-2015-31, NYSEMKT-2015-56, or both and should be submitted on or before October 14, 2015. Rebuttal comments should be submitted by October 28, 2015.

    23 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(57).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.23

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24061 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75934; File No. SR-MSRB-2015-10] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Revise the Effective Date of New Rule G-18, on Best Execution of Transactions in Municipal Securities, and Amendments to Rule G-48, on Transactions With Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals, and Rule D-15, on the Definition of Sophisticated Municipal Market Professional September 17, 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 September 3, 2015, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “MSRB” or “Board”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the MSRB. 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.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The MSRB filed with the Commission a proposed rule change to revise the effective date of new Rule G-18, on best execution of transactions in municipal securities, and amendments to Rule G-48, on transactions with sophisticated municipal market professionals (“SMMPs”), and Rule D-15, on the definition of SMMP (“proposed rule change”).3 The MSRB has designated the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness. The new effective date of Rule G-18 and the related amendments to Rules G-48 and D-15 (“related amendments”) will be 120 days from the date of publication by the MSRB of implementation guidance on those rules, but no later than April 29, 2016. Upon publication of the implementation guidance, the MSRB will announce the resulting specific effective date.

    3 The Commission approved new Rule G-18 and amendments to Rule G-48 and Rule D-15 on December 5, 2014, which were previously scheduled to become effective on December 7, 2015. See Exchange Act Release No. 73764 (Dec. 5, 2014), 79 FR 73658 (Dec. 11, 2014) (SR-MSRB-2014-07) (“SEC Approval Order”).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the MSRB's Web site at www.msrb.org/Rules-and-Interpretations/SEC-Filings/2015-Filings.aspx, at the MSRB's principal office, 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 MSRB 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 MSRB has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The MSRB proposes to revise the effective date of Rule G-18 and the related amendments. On December 5, 2014, the Commission approved Rule G-18 and the related amendments with an effective date of one year after Commission approval, which is December 7, 2015.4 The core provision of Rule G-18 generally will require dealers, in any transaction for or with a customer or a customer of another dealer, to use reasonable diligence to ascertain the best market for the subject security and to buy or sell in that market so that the resultant price to the customer is as favorable as possible under prevailing market conditions.

    4Id.

    In its 2012 Report on the Municipal Securities Market,5 the Commission recommended that the MSRB consider buttressing existing fair-pricing standards by establishing a best-execution obligation and providing guidance to dealers on how best-execution concepts would be applied to municipal securities transactions. After the final terms of the new obligation were established through the Commission's approval of Rule G-18 and the related amendments on December 5, 2014, the MSRB began an initiative to develop implementation guidance consistent with the Commission's additional recommendation. As previously indicated during the rulemaking process, the MSRB has planned to publish the implementation guidance prior to Rule G-18 and the related amendments becoming effective 6 and to coordinate with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) with the aim to establish consistent guidance, as appropriate, on the application of best-execution standards in both the municipal securities and corporate debt markets.7 Also as publicly announced, the Commission committed to work closely with the MSRB and FINRA as they work together to provide guidance on best-execution obligations under their respective rules.8 Throughout the initiative to develop implementation guidance, the MSRB has coordinated with the Commission and FINRA and, currently, this process continues.

    5 SEC Report on the Municipal Securities Markets (July 31, 2012), 149-50, available at http://www.sec.gov/news/studies/2012/munireport073112.pdf.

    6See the MSRB's proposed rule change, available at http://www.msrb.org/~/media/Files/SEC-Filings/2014/MSRB-2014-07.ashx?la=en; Exchange Act Release No. 72956 (September 2, 2014), 79 FR 53236, 53245 (September 8, 2014) (SR-MSRB-2014-07), available at http://www.msrb.org/~/media/Files/SEC-Filings/2014/MSRB-2014-07-Fed-Reg-Notice.ashx?la=en; MSRB response to comments, available at http://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-msrb-2014-07/msrb201407-8.pdf; SEC Approval Order at 73662; MSRB Notice 2014-22, available at http://www.msrb.org/~/media/Files/Regulatory-Notices/Announcements/2014-22.ashx?n=1 (“Approval Notice”).

    7See MSRB response to comments (SR-MSRB-2014-07), SEC Approval Order, and Approval Notice.

    8See Mary Jo White, Chair, Securities and Exchange Commission, Intermediation in the Modern Securities Markets: Putting Technology and Competition to Work for Investors (June 20, 2014) (“[T]o assure that brokers are subject to meaningful obligations to achieve the best executions for investors in both corporate and municipal bond transactions, we will be working closely with . . . FINRA and the MSRB as they work together to provide practical guidance on how brokers might effectively achieve best execution.”).

    The MSRB has intended, in part based on dialogue with market participants, to publish the implementation guidance approximately four months in advance of the effective date to provide dealers sufficient time to review the guidance and utilize it, for example, in their development or revision of policies and procedures necessary to comply with Rule G-18 and the related amendments. Accordingly, the MSRB submits this proposed rule change to revise the effective date of Rule G-18 and the related amendments to be 120 days from the date the implementation guidance is published by the MSRB, but no later than April 29, 2016. The proposed rule change is designed to afford dealers four months with the use of the published implementation guidance to prepare to comply with the requirements of Rule G-18 and the related amendments, as the MSRB has intended and believes to be sufficient.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The MSRB believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 15B(b)(2)(C) of the Act,9 which provides that the MSRB's rules shall:

    9 15 U.S.C. 78o-4(b)(2)(C).

    be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in municipal securities and municipal financial products, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market in municipal securities and municipal financial products, and, in general, to protect investors, municipal entities, obligated persons, and the public interest.

    The proposed rule change does not alter any rule language but revises the effective date of Rule G-18 and the related amendments, which were previously approved by the Commission. By providing a period of four months from the date the implementation guidance is published by the MSRB (ending no later than April 29, 2016), the MSRB believes the proposed rule change will promote compliance with the new best-execution rule and will further the stated purposes of Rule G-18 and the related amendments to promote just and equitable principles of trade, facilitate transactions in municipal securities, remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market in municipal securities and protect investors. In addition, by generally making the effective date a function of the publication of the implementation guidance by the MSRB, the revision provides the municipal securities industry with greater certainty regarding the length and adequacy of the implementation period.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    Section 15B(b)(2)(C) of the Act 10 requires that MSRB rules be designed not to impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The MSRB does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act. The proposed rule change will not alter any rule language and will, instead, only revise the effective date of Rule G-18 and the related amendments to be 120 days after the publication of the implementation guidance by the MSRB, but no later than April 29, 2016.

    10Id.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    Written comments were neither solicited nor received on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 11 of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 12 thereunder, the MSRB has designated the proposed rule change as one that effects a change that: (i) Does not significantly affect