Federal Register Vol. 80, No.190,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 190 (October 1, 2015)

Page Range59021-59548
FR Document

80_FR_190
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 59545 - National Arts and Humanities Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 59201 - Notice of Submission for Approval under Emergency Clearance: Information Collection 3206-XXXX; Privacy Act Request for Completed Standard Form SF85/SF85P/SF86, INV 100APDF
80 FR 59138 - Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision; Notice of Public Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 59202 - Submission for Review: White House Fellows Application, 3206-XXXXPDF
80 FR 59151 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 59198 - Publication Procedures for Federal Register Documents During a Funding HiatusPDF
80 FR 59179 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, NE., and State Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City, SDPDF
80 FR 59174 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, NE., and State Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City, SDPDF
80 FR 59182 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, NE, and State Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City, SDPDF
80 FR 59181 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Ganado, AZ; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 59222 - In the Matter of the Designation of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Caucasus Province, Also Known as Vilayat Kavkaz, Also Known as Wilayat Qawqaz, Also Known as Wilayah Qawkaz, Also Known as Caucasus Wilayah, Also Known as Caucasus Province as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59080 - New Equipment Contract for Telecommunications and Broadband BorrowersPDF
80 FR 59196 - Meeting of the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Federal Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 59221 - In the Matter of the Designation of Rustam Aselderov, aka Abu Mukhammad al-Kadar, aka Abu Mukhammad Kadarsky, aka Abu Mukhammad Kadarskiy, aka Abu Mohammad al-Qadari, aka Abu Muhammad al-Kadarskii, aka Rustam Asildarov, aka Rustam Aseldarov as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59180 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, FLPDF
80 FR 59220 - In the Matter of the Designation of Shamil Izmaylov, aka Abu Khalif, aka Abu Hani, aka Abu Khanif, aka Abu Hanif as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59173 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 59221 - In the Matter of the Designation of Nasser Muthana, aka Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni, aka Abu Muthanna al Yemeni, aka Abu Muthana Al Yemeni as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59143 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas During November 2014PDF
80 FR 59177 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 59172 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)PDF
80 FR 59169 - The National Institutes of Health FY 2016-2020 Strategic Plan To Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 59148 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New)PDF
80 FR 59175 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Bend National Park, TXPDF
80 FR 59168 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (NIAID)PDF
80 FR 59221 - In the Matter of the Designation of Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria, aka Jak-A, aka Jund al-Khalifa fi Ard al-Jazayer, aka Jund al-Khilafah fi Ard al-Jaza'ir, aka Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria, aka Caliphate Soldiers of Algeria, aka Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Land of Algeria, aka Jund al Khalifa-Algeria, aka Jund al-Khalifa, aka Jund al-Khilafa Group as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59165 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Evaluation of the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program (OD)PDF
80 FR 59220 - In the Matter of the Designation of Tarkhan Ismailovich Gaziyev as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 59057 - Medicare Program; Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System-Update for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2014 (FY 2015); CorrectionPDF
80 FR 59220 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and SupportPDF
80 FR 59219 - California Disaster Number CA-00238PDF
80 FR 59218 - Interest RatesPDF
80 FR 59218 - Revocation of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
80 FR 59133 - Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) ReviewPDF
80 FR 59219 - California Disaster #CA-00238PDF
80 FR 59135 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 59142 - Meeting of the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps UniversityPDF
80 FR 59200 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 59141 - Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent License; OLII Technology CorporationPDF
80 FR 59161 - Notice of Class Deviation From Competition RequirementsPDF
80 FR 59165 - National Organizations for State and Local Officials (NOSLO) Cooperative AgreementPDF
80 FR 59137 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
80 FR 59133 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 64-Jacksonville, Florida; Authorization of Production Activity; Saft America Inc. (Lithium-Ion Batteries); Jacksonville, FloridaPDF
80 FR 59164 - National Center for Medical Home Implementation Cooperative Agreement at the American Academy of PediatricsPDF
80 FR 59222 - Schedule of Charges Outside the United StatesPDF
80 FR 59139 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 59149 - 2015 Fall Joint Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility UnionPDF
80 FR 59162 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions ReceivedPDF
80 FR 59021 - Changes to Production Certificates and ApprovalsPDF
80 FR 59148 - Klouda Estate Superfund Site, Fort Valley, Peach County, Georgia; Notice of SettlementPDF
80 FR 59075 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
80 FR 59154 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 59246 - Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 59197 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 59197 - National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board; MeetingPDF
80 FR 59144 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas To Export Compressed Natural Gas, To Vacate Prior Authority, To Amend Application and Errata During October 2014PDF
80 FR 59147 - DOE Proposals for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)PDF
80 FR 59137 - Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to IndiaPDF
80 FR 59195 - Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand From ChinaPDF
80 FR 59188 - Certain Protective Cases for Electronic Devices and Components Thereof Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Investigation in Its Entirety Based Upon Withdrawal of the ComplaintPDF
80 FR 59225 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 59196 - Notice of Filing of Proposed Bankruptcy Stipulation and Agreed Order Under the Oil Pollution ActPDF
80 FR 59230 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 59223 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 59229 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 59227 - Qualification of Drivers; Application for Exemptions; HearingPDF
80 FR 59237 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 59192 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 59132 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 59133 - Humboldt County Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 59200 - Information Collection: “Operators' Licenses”PDF
80 FR 59198 - Information Collection: Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Geologic RepositoriesPDF
80 FR 59199 - Information Collection: Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity AgreementsPDF
80 FR 59152 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 59138 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request-Safety Standard for Play YardsPDF
80 FR 59143 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016) Main StudyPDF
80 FR 59196 - Data Users Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting and AgendaPDF
80 FR 59102 - Request for Information Regarding Implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, Promotion of Alternative Payment Models, and Incentive Payments for Participation in Eligible Alternative Payment ModelsPDF
80 FR 59142 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS: 2017) 2016 Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) Data CollectionPDF
80 FR 59170 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
80 FR 59141 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 59140 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 59052 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex CountiesPDF
80 FR 59209 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 59203 - Notice of Applications for Deregistration Under Section 8(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940PDF
80 FR 59215 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 8312 (FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure) To Reduce the Waiting Period for the Release of Information Reported on Form U5PDF
80 FR 59210 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 4758PDF
80 FR 59204 - Self-Regulatory Organizations: Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the MIAX Options Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 59213 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Adding to the Rules of the Exchange the Third Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of NYSE Market, Inc., and the Eighth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of New York Stock Exchange LLCPDF
80 FR 59207 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Relating to CDS End-of-Day Price Discovery PolicyPDF
80 FR 59244 - Hazardous Materials: New York City Permit Requirements for Transportation of Certain Hazardous MaterialsPDF
80 FR 59094 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex CountiesPDF
80 FR 59083 - Request for Comment on the Effectiveness of Financial Disclosures About Entities Other Than the RegistrantPDF
80 FR 59152 - National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 59035 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Sheridan, ARPDF
80 FR 59036 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Springfield, MOPDF
80 FR 59140 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 59155 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 59055 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Metal Furniture Coatings and Miscellaneous Metal Parts CoatingsPDF
80 FR 59094 - Federal Management Regulation (FMR); Transportation Payment and AuditPDF
80 FR 59037 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort and Catch Limits and Other Restrictions and RequirementsPDF
80 FR 59150 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 59156 - Joint Meeting of the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (Formerly Known as the Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee) and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 59156 - Request for Nominations for Individuals and Consumer Organizations for Advisory CommitteesPDF
80 FR 59160 - Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 59171 - Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 59092 - Federal Policy for the Protection of Human SubjectsPDF
80 FR 59049 - Safety Zone; West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge; Houma, LAPDF
80 FR 59223 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Robert PontiPDF
80 FR 59222 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Marco EpifanioPDF
80 FR 59170 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 59167 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 59167 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 59166 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 59202 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 59077 - Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes; Revision to the Administrative Rules and Regulations for Shipments to Charitable OrganizationsPDF
80 FR 59385 - Medicare Program; Medicare Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Payment SystemPDF
80 FR 59081 - Airworthiness Directives; Engine Alliance Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 59189 - Certain Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses From China and Indonesia; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 59183 - Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From China; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 59113 - Procedures for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship With the Native Hawaiian CommunityPDF
80 FR 59032 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 59192 - Iron Construction Castings From Brazil, Canada, and China; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 59245 - Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching ProgramPDF
80 FR 59186 - Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube From China and Mexico; Institution of Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 59065 - General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety RegulationsPDF
80 FR 59423 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for 16 Species and Threatened Status for 7 Species in MicronesiaPDF
80 FR 59247 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek SkipperlingPDF
80 FR 59514 - Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney RepresentativesPDF
80 FR 59503 - List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers for Individuals in Immigration ProceedingsPDF
80 FR 59499 - Separate Representation for Custody and Bond ProceedingsPDF

Issue

80 190 Thursday, October 1, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Revision to Administrative Rules and Regulations for Shipments to Charitable Organizations: Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes, 59077-59080 2015-24801 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59140-59141 2015-24891 2015-24895 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 59140 2015-24868 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59154-59155 2015-24946 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System—Update for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2014; Correction, 59057-59064 2015-24998 PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: Medicare Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Payment System, 59386-59422 2015-24770 Request for information: Implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, Promotion of Alternative Payment Model, etc., 59102-59113 2015-24906 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59155-59156 2015-24863 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge; Houma, LA, 59049-59052 2015-24827 NOTICES Meetings: Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, 59171-59172 2015-24833 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Safety Standard for Play Yards, 59138-59139 2015-24910 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59139-59140 2015-24958 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 2016 Item Validation Field Test Data Collection, 59142-59143 2015-24905 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study Main Study, 59143 2015-24909 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

NOTICES Orders Granting Authority to Import and Export Natural Gas: Alliance Canada Marketing L.P., Cima Energy, Ltd., National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., et al., 59144-59147 2015-24942 Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., et al., 59143-59144 2015-25032
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Meetings: Proposals for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, 59147-59148 2015-24941 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex Counties, 59052-59055 2015-24889 Maryland; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Metal Furniture Coatings and Miscellaneous Metal Parts Coatings, 59055-59057 2015-24862 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex Counties, 59094 2015-24879 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects, 59148-59149 2015-25025 Meetings: Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union, 59149 2015-24952 Settlements: Klouda Estate Superfund Site Fort Valley, Peach County, GA, 59148 2015-24948 Executive Office Executive Office for Immigration Review RULES List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers for Individuals in Immigration Proceedings, 59503-59513 2015-24017 Separate Representation for Custody and Bond Proceedings, 59500-59502 2015-24016 PROPOSED RULES Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives, 59514-59543 2015-24024 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 59032-59035 2015-24672 Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals, 59021-59032 2015-24950 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Sheridan, AR, 59035-59036 2015-24871 Springfield, MO, 59036-59037 2015-24869 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Engine Alliance Turbofan Engines, 59081-59083 2015-24731 NOTICES Petitions for Exemption; Summaries: Marco Epifanio, 59222 2015-24825 Robert Ponti, 59223 2015-24826 Schedule of Charges Outside of the United States; Availability, 59222-59223 2015-24959 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59150-59151 2015-24844 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59151-59152 2015-25076 2015-25077 2015-25079 2015-25080 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments, 59065-59075 2015-24635 NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 59223-59224, 59229-59230, 59237-59244 2015-24922 2015-24924 2015-24925 Hearing, 59227-59229 2015-24923 Vision, 59225-59227, 59230-59237 2015-24926 2015-24933 Federal Register Office Federal Register Office NOTICES Publication Procedures for Federal Register Documents During a Funding Hiatus, 59198 2015-25069 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 59152 2015-24911 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements; Analysis to Aid Public Comment: National Association of Animal Breeders, Inc., 59152-59154 2015-24874 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Endangered Status for 16 Species and Threatened Status for 7 Species in Micronesia, 59424-59497 2015-24443 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling; Designation of Critical Habitat, 59248-59384 2015-24184 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, 59156 2015-24836 Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee, 59160-59161 2015-24834 Requests for Nominations: Individuals and Consumer Organizations for Advisory Committees, 59156-59160 2015-24835 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activity Authorizations: Saft America Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 64, Jacksonville, FL, 59133 2015-24961 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Humboldt County Resource Advisory Committee, 59133 2015-24917 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Management Regulations: Transportation Payment and Audit, 59094-59102 2015-24858 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Class Deviation from Competition Requirements: Program Expansion Supplement Request for Pediatric Audiology Supplements to Ten Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities Maternal and Child Health Training Programs, 59161-59162 2015-24965 National Organizations for State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement, 59165 2015-24964 Petitions: National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 59162-59164 2015-24951 Single-Case Deviation from Competition Requirement for Program Expansion: National Center for Medical Home Implementation Cooperative Agreement at the American Academy of Pediatrics, 59164-59165 2015-24960 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 59092-59094 2015-24831 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

PROPOSED RULES Procedures for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community, 59113-59132 2015-24712
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Programs, 59245-59246 2015-24648 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 59137-59138 2015-24962 Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review, 59133-59135 2015-24980 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 59135-59137 2015-24977 Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India, 59137 2015-24938 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses from China and Indonesia, 59189-59191 2015-24722 Iron Construction Castings from Brazil, Canada, and China, 59192-59195 2015-24652 Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand from China, 59195-59196 2015-24937 Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from China, 59183-59186 2015-24721 Complaints: Certain Radiotherapy Systems and Treatment Planning Software and Components Thereof, 59192 2015-24920 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Protective Cases for Electronic Devices and Components Thereof, 59188-59189 2015-24935 Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube from China and Mexico, 59186-59188 2015-24647 Justice Department Justice Department See

Executive Office for Immigration Review

See

Justice Programs Office

NOTICES Filings: Proposed Bankruptcy Stipulation and Agreed Order under the Oil Pollution Act, 59196 2015-24928
Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Federal Advisory Committee, 59196 2015-25044 Labor Department Labor Department See

Labor Statistics Bureau

Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Data Users Advisory Committee, 59196-59197 2015-24907 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee, 59197 2015-24944 National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board, 59197 2015-24943 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration See

Federal Register Office

National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Correction, 59132 2015-24918 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Science Education Partnership Award Program, 59165-59166 2015-25003 Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 59168-59169 2015-25005 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 59167 2015-24823 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 59166-59167 2015-24821 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 59170 2015-24824 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 59167-59168 2015-24822 National Institutes of Health FY 2016-2020 Strategic Plan to Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities, 59169-59170 2015-25026 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska: Other Rockfish in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of Alaska, 59075-59076 2015-24947 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species: Fishing Effort and Catch Limits and other Restrictions and Requirements, 59037-59049 2015-24853 NOTICES Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision, 59138 2015-25090 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 59177-59179 2015-25030 Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 59173-59174 2015-25040 U.S. Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, NE, and State Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City, SD, 59174-59175, 59179-59180, 59182-59183 2015-25049 2015-25050 2015-25051 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Big Bend National Park, TX, 59175-59176 2015-25024 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, FL, 59180-59181 2015-25042 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, Ganado, AZ; Correction, 59181-59182 2015-25047 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Meetings: Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University, 59142 2015-24973 Partially Exclusive Patent Licenses: OLII Technology Corp., 59141-59142 2015-24966 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Geologic Repositories, 59198-59199 2015-24915 Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity Agreements, 59199-59200 2015-24914 Operators' Licenses, 59200-59201 2015-24916 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 59200 2015-24967 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Privacy Act Request for Completed Standard Form, 59201-59202 2015-25091 White House Fellows Application, 59202 2015-25087 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Hazardous Materials: New York City Permit Requirements for Transportation of Certain Hazardous Materials, 59244-59245 2015-24880 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 59202-59203 2015-24819 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Arts and Humanities Month (Proc. 9331), 59545-59548 2015-25206 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service PROPOSED RULES New Equipment Contract for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers, 59080-59081 2015-25045 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Effectiveness of Financial Disclosures about Entities Other Than the Registrant, 59083-59092 2015-24875 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 59209-59210 2015-24887 2015-24888 Applications for Deregistration under the Investment Company Act, 59203-59204 2015-24886 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 59215-59218 2015-24885 ICE Clear Europe, Ltd., 59207-59208 2015-24881 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 59204-59207 2015-24883 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 59210-59213 2015-24884 NYSE MKT LLC, 59213-59215 2015-24882 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: California, 59219 2015-24979 California; Amendment 1, 59219 2015-24992 California; Amendment 2, 59219 2015-24993 Interest Rates, 59218 2015-24991 Revocation of License of Small Business Investment Companies, 59218 2015-24981 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Affidavit of Physical Presence or Residence, Parentage and Support, 59220-59221 2015-24997 Designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant—Caucasus Province, a.k.a. Vilayat Kavkaz, et al., 59222 2015-25046 Designations as Global Terrorists: Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria a.k.a. Jak-A, et al., 59221 2015-25004 Nasser Muthana, a.k.a. Abu Muthanna al-Yemeni, et al., 59221 2015-25039 Rustam Aselderov, a.k.a. Abu Mukhammad al-Kadar, et al., 59221-59222 2015-25043 Shamil Izmaylov, a.k.a. Abu Khalif, et al., 59220 2015-25041 Tarkhan Ismailovich Gaziyev, 59220 2015-25002 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 59170-59171 2015-24903 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

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80 190 Thursday, October 1, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 21 and 45 [Docket No.: FAA-2013-0933; Amdt. Nos. 21-98, 45-29] RIN 2120-AK20 Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is amending certification procedures and marking requirements for aeronautical products and articles. The amendment requires production approval holders to identify an accountable manager who is responsible for, and has authority over, their production operations and serves as the primary contact with the FAA; allows production approval holders to issue authorized release documents for aircraft engines, propellers, and articles; permits production certificate holders to manufacture and install interface components; requires production approval holders to ensure that each supplier-provided product, article, or service conforms to the production approval holder's requirements and establish a supplier-reporting process for products, articles, or services that have been released from or provided by the supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the production approval holder's requirements; removes the requirement that fixed-pitch wooden propellers be marked using an approved fireproof method; and changes the title of part 21 of title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This amendment updates FAA regulations to reflect the current global aeronautical manufacturing environment, thereby promoting aviation safety.

DATES:

Effective March 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this final rule, see How To Obtain Additional Information in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions concerning this action, contact Priscilla Steward or Robert Cook, Aircraft Certification Service, Production Certification Section, AIR-112, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-1656; email: [email protected] or telephone: (202) 267-1590; email: [email protected]

For legal questions concerning this action, contact Benjamin Jacobs, Office of the Chief Counsel, Regulations Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-7240; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for developing transportation policies and programs that contribute to providing fast, safe, efficient, and convenient transportation under § 101 of Title 49, United States Code (49 U.S.C.). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA, we, us, or our) is an agency of DOT. The FAA has general authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety, including minimum standards for articles and for the design, material, construction, quality of work, and performance of aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers under 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 44104, and 44701.

The FAA is amending its regulations governing certification procedures for products and articles, and its requirements for identification and registration marking. These changes improve the quality standards applicable to manufacturers and help to ensure that products and articles are produced as designed and safe to operate. For those reasons, these amendments are a reasonable and necessary exercise of our rulemaking authority and obligations.

I. Executive Summary A. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

This final rule changes certification and marking requirements for products and articles. In particular, this final rule:

• Requires applicants for a production approval and production approval holders (PAHs) to identify an accountable manager;

• Allows a production certificate (PC) holder to manufacture and install interface components (IC) under certain conditions and limitations;

• Clarifies that a PAH must ensure that each supplier-provided product, article, or service conforms to the PAH's requirements;

• Requires a PAH to establish a supplier-reporting process for products, articles, or services released from or provided by a supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the PAH's requirements;

• Allows a PAH that establishes an FAA-approved process in its quality system to issue authorized release documents (using FAA Form 8130-3) for new and used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles produced by that PAH; and

• Excludes fixed-pitch wooden propellers from the requirement that a propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub be marked using an approved fireproof method.

Regulations pertaining to certification requirements for products and articles are in part 21 of Title 14 of Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). Marking requirements are in 14 CFR part 45.

This final rule requires applicants for a production approval and production approval holders (PAHs) to identify an accountable manager who is responsible for, and has authority over, a PAH's operations. This individual would also serve as a PAH's primary contact with the FAA. Additionally, this amendment requires PAHs to amend, where applicable, the documents required by §§ 21.135, 21.305, and 21.605 to reflect the appointment of an accountable manager.

This final rule allows a production certificate 1 (PC) holder to manufacture and install interface components (IC) under certain conditions and limitations. This final rule defines an IC as an article that serves as a functional interface between an aircraft and an aircraft engine, between an aircraft engine and a propeller, or between an aircraft and a propeller. Under this rule, an IC is designated as such by the type certificate (TC) or the supplemental type certificate (STC) holder who controls the approved design data for that article.

1 Section 21.1(b)(6) defines production approval as a document issued by the FAA to a person that allows the production of a product or article in accordance with its approved design and approved quality system, and can take the form of a production certificate, a PMA, or a TSO authorization.

This final rule clarifies that a PAH must ensure that each supplier-provided product, article, or service conforms to the PAH's requirements. This final rule also requires a PAH to establish a supplier-reporting process for products, articles, or services released from or provided by a supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the PAH's requirements. A PAH's reporting system may require suppliers to report nonconformances to the PAH directly, or to other suppliers in the supply chain.

This final rule allows a PAH that establishes an FAA-approved process in its quality system to issue authorized release documents (using FAA Form 8130-3) for new and used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles produced by that PAH. This provision allows PAHs privileges similar to those afforded European- and Canadian-approved manufacturers.

This final rule amends part 45 to exclude fixed-pitch wooden propellers from the requirement that a propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub be marked using an approved fireproof method. This exclusion allows manufacturers to mark their products in a practical manner that takes account of the inherent nature of wooden propellers.

This final rule amends the title of part 21 to include articles. The title is now “Certification Procedures for Products and Articles.”

B. Summary of Costs and Benefits

The provisions of this final rule (1) are minimal cost, (2) impose no additional costs because the provisions clarify only, or are current practice, or (3) are voluntary and therefore inherently cost-beneficial. Our analysis described in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regulatory evaluation has not changed. The FAA received no comments to the docket on the NPRM regulatory evaluation.

II. Background

Part 21 of 14 CFR contains the FAA's regulations concerning certification procedures for products, articles, and parts. Since the FAA codified part 21 in 1964, it has been amended numerous times. Additionally, the origins of many part 21 regulations can be traced to the Civil Air Regulations codified in 1937.

When part 21 was first codified, most manufacturers of aviation products and articles had a small, local supplier base. Production certificate holders oversaw the manufacture of replacement parts, and the international market for aviation products was relatively small. As a result, for many years the U.S. had few bilateral agreements with other countries for the export and import of aviation products, and these agreements were limited in scope.

Today, aviation products are manufactured world-wide. The number of suppliers has increased dramatically, and these suppliers manufacture an increasing percentage of a given product or article. Furthermore, due to the global nature of manufacturing, forming business partnerships and agreements across large geographic areas is now a common strategy to lower costs, share risks, and expand markets. Manufacturers collaborate globally to reduce duplicate requirements for shared suppliers. Accordingly, the international market for aviation products and the production of replacement parts under parts manufacturer approvals (PMAs) have increased dramatically.

In recognition of these and other related considerations, the FAA published an NPRM, Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals, on February 27, 2014, 79 FR 11012. The NPRM proposed numerous rule changes to part 21, primarily to subparts A (General) and G (Production Certificates). For greater detail on the FAA's initial proposal, including additional background information and a more complete statement of the problem, refer to the NPRM.

III. Discussion of Public Comments and Final Rule

In response to the FAA's NPRM, we received comments from 19 commenters, raising 32 issues. Commenters included aviation manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, such as Boeing, Garmin, General Electric, HEICO, Textron, Timken, and Williams International; industry groups and associations, such as Aerospace Industry Association (AIA), Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA), and Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA); and numerous individuals. The comments covered five main topics and a range of various responses to the rulemaking proposal, which are discussed in more detail below.

A. Supplier Control

This final rule makes two amendments to § 21.137(c)(1) & (2). First, as proposed, § 21.137(c)(1), which previously required a PAH to develop procedures to ensure that a supplier-provided product or article conforms to its approved design, now also requires those procedures to account for supplier-provided services. Second, as proposed, the standard for supplier control is revised in both § 21.137(c)(1) & (2) to require suppliers to furnish products, articles, or services that conform to the PAH's requirements. Prior to this final rule, supplier-provided goods and services had to conform to FAA-approved design data.

HEICO recommended amending the proposed § 21.137(c)(1) to include services provided to a design approval holder. The commenter noted that many design approval holders outsource portions of the overall design process and these `services' must also be properly controlled. The commenter's recommendation is outside the scope of this rulemaking, which focuses on production approvals and PAH activities, and not on design approval certification activities. PAHs are not responsible, under § 21.137, for design approval holder activities.

ASA and MARPA recommended that, in addition to requiring a PAH to require suppliers to provide products, articles, or services to meet the PAH requirements, the FAA should also continue to allow a PAH to accept products, articles, or services that conform to the PAH's approved design. The commenters' rationale was that this final rule creates two separate rules with respect to conformity of products and articles; one standard for when a company is acting as a supplier, and another standard when it is acting as a distributor. The commenters claimed that an entity functioning as a supplier to a PAH would be required to ensure that the product or article conformed to the PAH's requirements. However, if that same entity, operating as a distributor, were to sell their products in the aftermarket as replacement parts, for instance to a repair station or an air carrier, they would still be required to ensure that the product or article conforms to its approved design. Both commenters suggested that this situation could result in confusion and unintended harm to suppliers, and recommended revising proposed § 21.137(c)(1) to allow products, articles, or services to conform to either the PAH's requirements or the approved design.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. With respect to the commenters' claim that this final rule creates two separate rules for suppliers and distributors in the aftermarket, we presume that the commenters used the term “aftermarket distributor” to mean that the distributor is acting as a supplier to an entity other than a PAH. Regardless, this provision does not create two separate standards. All suppliers to any purchaser continue to be bound by contract to the terms of any relevant purchase order. In the case of suppliers to a PAH, the final rule removes the requirement to report deliveries that conform to the purchase order but do not conform to the PAH's final approved design. Aftermarket distributors who are not suppliers, on the other hand, are outside of the scope of part 21. The FAA does not regulate aftermarket distributers under these regulations.

The commenters also suggested that, under this final rule, a supplier providing the same part with different specifications to both a PAH and an aftermarket customer, such as a maintenance provider, could be at risk of inadvertently sending design-conforming parts (intended for the aftermarket customer) to a PAH, instead of parts that met the PAH's unique specifications. The commenters suggested that the supplier in that situation should not be punished for providing an article that conforms to its approved design.

The FAA disagrees with the comment that this change will punish any supplier who provides nonconforming products, articles, or services. This provision is not intended as a means to punish suppliers. The FAA does not directly regulate suppliers; instead, this final rule requires that a PAH's quality system include a supplier-reporting system. Under this final rule, a PAH must establish procedures for supplier reporting of supplier-provided products, articles, or services that deviate from the requirements of the PAH's purchase order. This gives a PAH flexibility to determine the appropriate level of reporting because it is the PAH and only the PAH who knows what is needed, and in what condition, for the production process. To clarify, this final rule does not require a PAH to report to the FAA those supplier nonconformances that remain within the PAH's quality system.

Relatedly, ASA and MARPA stated that the proposed rule could indirectly require a supplier to report nonconformance higher up the supply chain, even when the supplier provided a product or article that conformed to its approved design. The commenters again recommended that the final rule allow suppliers to provide products or articles that conform to either the PAH's requirements or the approved design.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. This final rule replaces the existing requirement that a supplier-provided product, article, or service conform to the PAH's approved design with a requirement that it conform to the PAH's requirements. The purpose of this amendment is to tailor the regulation to its original intent. For example, a PAH may issue a purchase order for sheet metal parts, and state on the purchase order that the rivet holes are to be drilled to less than the finished dimensions of the approved design. The PAH may request pilot drilling by the supplier because the PAH will itself drill the holes to the finished size upon assembly. If the supplier provides the items with the holes drilled to the finished dimension, the sheet metal parts would not conform to the PAH's requirements. The supplier would be supplying nonconforming material even though it would conform to the approved design. Under this final rule, therefore, a supplier may not deviate from the requirements of the PAH. It is the PAH, and only the PAH, that knows what is needed, and in what condition, for the production process.

An individual commenter stated that the NPRM changes the definition of “quality escape,” as the phrase is used in § 21.137(n), from nonconforming products or articles which escaped a PAH's quality system to products or articles which do not conform to their approved design but are contained within the quality system. The commenter recommended that we distinguish between nonconforming products or articles still within the PAH's quality system, and nonconforming products or articles that escape a PAH's quality control system.

Section 21.137(n), which is not revised by this rule, addresses quality escapes by requiring a PAH to have procedures for, among other things, identifying and taking corrective action whenever a PAH releases a nonconforming product or article from its quality system. In our NPRM, we stated that this proposal would require a PAH to establish a supplier reporting process for products, articles, or services that have been released from a supplier and subsequently found not to conform (hereafter referred to as a quality escape) to the PAH's requirements. We believe the commenter's confusion derives from our use of the term “quality escape” to describe the transfer of nonconforming items or services between tiers in the supply chain, instead of its traditional meaning of nonconforming products or articles that leave a PAH's quality system. We acknowledge that our preamble discussion in the NPRM used the term in a confusing manner. However, we determine that no change to the terms of § 21.137, as originally proposed, are necessary. The reporting requirements of § 21.137(c) apply when a supplier to a PAH determines that it has released or provided a product, article, or service subsequently found not to conform to the PAH's requirements, and do not include the phrase “quality escape.”

Boeing recommended that the FAA require PAHs to communicate design change notifications throughout the supply chain, and adopt the industry's SAE 2 AS9016 standard for standardization of design change notifications, because it believes this will address the single most common reason for quality escapes from the supply chain.

2 Formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation to regulate PAHs' use of SAE AS9016 because we believe this subject is adequately addressed by our current regulation, § 21.137(a), design data control, which requires that only current, correct, and approved data is used. In addition, we do not believe that we should mandate, by rule, the use of an industry standard over which we have no control. This final rule requires a PAH to ensure that any product, article, or service it receives conforms to its requirements. If a PAH chooses, it may, as part of a purchase order, require its supply-chain to adhere to the AS9016 standard.

Williams International stated that it is unnecessary to require a PAH to report supplier nonconformances that remain contained within the PAH quality system. Williams International further stated that the proposed requirement for reporting of released nonconformances is already required by a PAH. FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 00-58, Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program, further provides a means for a voluntary disclosure of such releases.

Although the commenter did not provide a recommendation, the FAA disagrees with the commenter's premise. Before this final rule, a PAH's supplier-reporting process required each supplier, at any tier, to report to the PAH any product, article, or service that did not conform to the PAH's FAA-approved design. The FAA recognizes that this requirement had the potential to impose significant burdens on a PAH and that, in many cases (such as suppliers of standard parts), a supplier may not have known the ultimate customer. This final rule amends § 21.137(c) to provide every PAH greater flexibility to determine which nonconformances its suppliers should report, and to whom.

An individual commenter suggested that all tiers in the supply chain should report to a PAH any nonconforming products, articles, or services that have been released from or provided by that supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the PAH's requirements. More specifically, the commenter suggested that the FAA require each supplier, in some instances, to report a nonconformance to each level up the supply chain, and ultimately to the PAH and the PAH's customer. Another individual recommended the FAA keep the current regulation which requires suppliers to report quality escapes to the PAH, and provided no further rationale.

The FAA disagrees with the commenters' recommendations. In the past, a PAH's supplier-reporting system required every manufacturing supplier and affected downstream suppliers to report to the PAH all products or articles which did not meet the PAH's approved design, even if those products or articles met the PAH's actual requirements. The FAA recognizes that this past requirement could have imposed a significant burden on PAHs, and this final rule is intended to maintain safety while also providing PAHs with the flexibility to determine which suppliers should report, and to whom.

B. Accountable Manager

As the FAA proposed in the NPRM, this final rules amends §§ 21.135, 21.305, and 21.605 to require a PAH to provide the FAA with a document identifying the organization's accountable manager. The accountable manager is responsible for, and has authority over, all part 21 production activities. It is not the FAA's intent that this provision dictates who is responsible for PAH production operations. It is also not the FAA's intent that this provision imposes personal liability for production operations on the accountable manager. The FAA is simply requiring each PAH to identify for the FAA the individual or individuals within the PAH's organization who the PAH considers responsible for all production operations.

Boeing, MARPA, and Timken Aerospace recommended that an accountable manager have the ability to identify and delegate functions to alternate points of contact. These commenters noted that the person responsible for accountability may be a company president or chief executive who cannot reasonably be available at all times. Allowing delegation increases the FAA's access to the PAH and provides redundancy in the event of personnel turnover, in accordance with the intent of this final rule.

The FAA agrees with the commenters with respect to delegation, but determines that no change to the proposed rule language is necessary. To clarify, the accountable manager may delegate functions and identify alternate points of contact. These actions should be noted in the PAH's organization document. Additional guidance may be found in FAA AC 21-43, Issuance of Production Approvals Under Subparts G, K, & O.

Boeing and an individual commenter requested that we revise the rule to require two accountable managers—one for production activities and one for design activities. These commenters claimed that two such accountable managers would better reflect the various responsibilities of PAH personnel, including those responsible for coordinating with FAA manufacturing inspection district offices (MIDOs) and aircraft certification offices (ACOs).

The FAA disagrees with the commenters' recommendation. The commenters are describing design-related activities and responsibilities. Because the public was not provided an opportunity to comment on an FAA requirement for an accountable manager for design activities, the FAA considers the recommendation to be outside the scope of this rulemaking. To clarify, the accountable manager described in this rule is required only to have responsibility for production operations, not design activities.

Garmin International and Williams International stated that there is no need for an accountable manager, and recommended instead a requirement that the PAH identify an FAA point of contact. In addition, Garmin stated that a better means to improve the FAA's access would be to require a PAH to clearly indicate how its organization will communicate. Williams recommended that if the FAA has difficulty communicating with a particular PAH, that PAH should be required to clarify its own existing procedures.

The FAA disagrees with the commenters' recommendations. An accountable manager is not simply a point of contact. When issuing an approval or performing certificate management, the FAA must know who from the PAH has the authority to speak for the PAH and ensure compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements. Requiring a PAH to identify such an individual, one who is knowledgeable of and accountable for maintaining the PAH's FAA production approval, will improve communication between the PAH and the FAA offices responsible for certificate management of their production approval. A simple point of contact would not create the same benefits.

Universal Avionics Systems Corporation (UASC), Textron, and an individual commenter suggested identifying the accountable manager as the “Quality Manager.” Textron stated that the rule could be misinterpreted as describing the PAH official in charge of production operations, instead of the person who runs the quality system. UASC and the individual commenter both observed that the FAA already requires accountable managers for repair stations. The individual commenter further stated that organizational differences between a typical PAH and a typical repair station make identifying a general manager as an accountable manager less appropriate for a PAH than for a repair station. Finally, UASC recommended incorporating the definition of “directly in charge” from part 145 (Repair Stations) into part 21, to better explain the role of “accountable manager.” UASC stated that it believes the Accountable Manager is intended to be a quality person whom may not have responsibility for and authority over production operations.

The FAA disagrees with the commenters' recommendations. Although the FAA requires the establishment of a quality system as a prerequisite to obtaining a production approval, nowhere do we require a PAH to create an organizational position responsible solely for the PAH's quality system. Moreover, under this rule, the accountable manager must be at a sufficient level within the organization to have responsibility over all production operations, not just the quality system. For example, the accountable manager should have responsibility for, among other things, formally applying to add a new product or article to the PAH's production approval; formally requesting FAA approval for a change in location; amending the PAH's organization document and submitting that document to the FAA; ensuring support for design approval holders, as required by § 21.137(m); and formally submitting changes to the PAH's approved quality system.

We also disagree with the commenters' comparisons of part 21 and part 145 accountable managers. A PAH's accountable manager has different duties and responsibilities from the accountable manager of a repair station. Furthermore, the “directly in charge” definition from part 145 does not apply to a PAH's accountable manager. We are not requiring a PAH accountable manager to be “directly in charge” of the work performed by the production organization.

C. Authorized Release Documents

This final rule creates § 21.137(o), which permits a PAH to issue authorized release documents for new aircraft engines, propellers, and articles manufactured by that PAH, and for used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles rebuilt or altered in accordance with § 43.3(j), provided the PAH establishes and adheres to certain quality assurance procedures as part of its quality system. This final rule marks a slight change from what the FAA initially proposed: In response to comments, we explicitly restrict each PAH to issuing authorized release documents for products and articles manufactured by the PAH itself.

Boeing recommended that the FAA consider requiring PAH personnel selected to issue authorized release documents to receive FAA training equivalent to what is currently required for designees. The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. Under this final rule, a PAH that chooses to issue authorized release documents must establish a training process for individuals the PAH selects to issue those documents. The PAH may choose to send its personnel to FAA designee training (if available), establish its own in-house training, or meet the requirement in some other manner. The rule establishes minimum requirements and permits the PAH to establish FAA-approved procedures to meet those requirements.

ASA stated that the rule does not give a PAH authority to issue FAA Form 8130-3 because the term “authorized release document” is not defined. The commenter also suggested changing the definition of airworthiness approval to add Airworthiness approval means a document issued by the FAA, or a person authorized by the FAA.

The FAA disagrees with ASA's recommendations. As stated in § 21.1(b)(1), an airworthiness approval is a document that must be issued by the FAA. By this final rule, however, the FAA will now permit an authorized PAH to issue authorized release documents, using an FAA Form 8130-3, for new aircraft engines, propellers, and articles, and for used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles when rebuilt or altered in accordance with § 43.3(j). PAHs that intend to issue these documents must detail the appropriate procedures in their quality manual. To be clear, FAA regulations and policy distinguish between a document issued by the FAA (an airworthiness approval) and one issued by the PAH (an authorized release document). In addition, the latest version of FAA AC 21-43, released concurrently with this final rule, clearly states that a PAH should use FAA Form 8130-3 when issuing an authorized release document.

ASA recommended extending the privilege of issuing an authorized release document beyond PAHs, to include distributors accredited in accordance with FAA AC 00-56, Voluntary Industry Distributor Accreditation Program. The commenter suggested that not doing so would create a significant competitive disadvantage for certain American businesses. More specifically, the commenter argued that failing to allow non-manufacturing distributors to issue authorized release documents would put those distributors at a competitive disadvantage.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. The FAA cannot extend this privilege to non-manufacturer distributors because they are not recognized PAHs and, therefore, lack FAA-approved quality systems. Quality systems are necessary to ensure that products and articles conform to their approved design and are in a condition for safe operation. The intent of this provision is to maintain the high level of safety achieved under the prior rules, while allowing FAA-approved PAHs to engage in a practice that is permitted by other authorities, such as the European Union and Canada, for their PAHs.

One individual commenter suggested that the FAA limit a PAH's authority so that the PAH could only issue authorized release documents for new or used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles that the PAH itself manufactured under part 21.

The FAA agrees with the commenter's proposal. Where a PAH was not involved in manufacturing a product or article, the PAH may not have the ability to make the appropriate conformity determination. Accordingly, this final rule limits a PAH's authority to issue authorized release documents to only those products and articles that particular PAH has manufactured.

Two individual commenters stated that allowing a PAH to issue Form 8130-3 as an authorized release document will reduce or be detrimental to aviation safety. One of these commenters pointed out that, prior to this final rule, FAA designees assigned to complete Form 8130-3 would occasionally turn back parts and articles due to issues discovered during the FAA conformity inspections. For that reason, the commenters claimed that eliminating designees' continued, objective inspections would reduce safety. Both commenters suggested keeping the current system.

The FAA disagrees with the commenters' characterization of how FAA Form 8130-3 has been used previously, as well as their recommendations. With respect to products and articles produced under a production approval, issuance of an FAA Form 8130-3 indicates that that the product or article conforms to its type design and is in a condition for safe operation, unless otherwise specified. Even prior to this rulemaking, FAA Form 8130-3 did not (and does not now) indicate that a particular product or article has been inspected by the FAA or its designee.

Additionally, allowing a PAH, as opposed to an FAA employee or designee, to issue FAA Form 8130-3 will not cause a decrease in safety. Currently, Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representatives (DMIRs) or Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) unit members issue the vast majority of FAA Form 8130-3s. These designees are employed by the PAH and authorized by the FAA, and the FAA requires them to possess at least certain minimum qualifications and training, such as those described in FAA Orders 8100.8, 8000.95 and 8100.15. Similarly, under this final rule, any PAH seeking authority to issue FAA Form 8130-3 must first get FAA approval. As described in FAA AC 21-43, the FAA will not approve a PAH to issue FAA Form 8130-3 unless the PAH demonstrates that its authorized personnel possess the same qualifications and receive training equivalent to what is required by FAA Orders 8100.8, 8000.95 and 8100.15 for FAA designees.

Timken Aerospace suggested that allowing PAHs to issue authorized release documents would add complexity to the existing process and increase the FAA's workload. The commenter recommended instead developing a system to assist PAHs in obtaining additional DMIRs.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. The FAA anticipates that permitting PAHs to issue authorized release documents will reduce the workload of both the FAA and PAHs. Our intent is to recognize a practice permitted by other authorities by giving FAA-approved PAHs the same flexibility available to their European and Canadian counterparts, who already issue authorized release documents. For PAHs with an approved system for issuing authorized release documents, the FAA will no longer authorize DMIRs or ODA unit members to issue airworthiness approvals.

Textron Aviation recommended that the FAA remove the regulatory language in our 2014 NPRM proposing to allow the use of authorized release documents for work performed under § 43.3(j). The commenter stated that this type of rebuilding work, and related use of FAA Form 8130-3, is already performed by PAH manufacturers.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. The commenter is correct that FAA Order 8130.21 allows certain entities to use FAA Form 8130-3 when returning to service rebuilt or altered engines, propellers, or articles in accordance with § 43.3(j). However, the FAA's final rule codifies our authorization of that practice and extends the same privilege to PAHs producing new aircraft engines, propellers, and articles.

Textron Aviation also claimed that FAA Order 8130.21 requires authorized persons to document inspection activity on an FAA Form 8100-1 when required by the managing office, and recommended revising either § 21.137 or FAA Order 8130.21 to indicate that a PAH is not required to use FAA Form 8100-1 when issuing authorized release documents.

The FAA disagrees with both the commenter's claim and recommendation. Neither our prior rules, nor this final rule, requires a PAH to comply with the internal guidance in FAA Order 8130.21. More specifically, § 21.137(o) does not require any PAH to use FAA Form 8100-1 when issuing an FAA Form 8130-3. Furthermore, FAA Order 8130.21 does not require the use of FAA Form 8100-1, but an FAA managing office may determine that a conformity inspection report is necessary to substantiate an FAA-issued FAA Form 8130-3.

One individual commenter stated that allowing a PAH to develop its own procedures for signing authorized release documents will reduce or eliminate the standardization that exists among designees. The commenter recommended that requiring PAH personnel to take FAA training would facilitate greater standardization.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. When a PAH signs an authorized release document, the PAH is not signing that document on behalf of the FAA Administrator. The FAA requires any PAH that chooses to issue authorized release documents to establish minimum procedures, including training the employees responsible for issuing those documents. These procedures will be reviewed and, if acceptable, approved by the FAA, which will be conducive to standardization. Ultimately, however, the current proposal gives each PAH the flexibility to choose to send its personnel to FAA designee training (if available), establish their own in-house training, or meet the requirement in some other manner.

D. Definitions

This final rule revises one definition and adds two new definitions to § 21.1. The definition of “airworthiness approval,” in § 21.1(b)(1), is expanded to account for the issuance of an airworthiness approval in instances where an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article does not conform to its approved design or may not be in a condition for safe operation at the time the airworthiness approval is generated and that nonconformity or condition is specified on the airworthiness approval document. In response to comments, we revised the definition proposed in our NPRM to account for the fact that an airworthiness approval may in some cases be issued for products or articles that are not in a condition for safe operation, such as when those products or articles are packed for shipment.

As proposed, § 21.1(b)(5) defines an “interface component” as a functional interface between an aircraft and an aircraft engine, an aircraft engine and a propeller, or an aircraft and a propeller. Furthermore, an interface component is designated by the holder of the type certificate or the supplemental type certificate who controls the approved design data for that article. This definition is necessary because this final rule also promulgates § 21.147(c), which permits a PAH to apply to the FAA to amend its production certificate to allow the PAH to manufacture and install interface components. No change was made to the definition in this final rule from the NPRM.

Finally, as proposed, § 21.1(b)(10) defines a “supplier” as any person at any tier in the supply chain who provides a product, article, or service that is used or consumed in the design or manufacture of, or installed on, a product or article. This definition is necessary to clarify existing FAA requirements. No change was made to the definition in this final rule from the NPRM.

Timken Aerospace and one individual commenter recommended we revise our proposed airworthiness approval definition by moving “unless otherwise specified” to be the final clause. In other words, these commenters recommended changing the definition to a document which certifies that the aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article conforms to its approved design and is in a condition for safe operation, unless otherwise specified. The commenters noted, for example, that an engine is not shipped from a factory in a complete and final condition, since it is prepped for shipping, and is therefore not in a condition for safe operation.

The FAA agrees with the commenters' recommendation. There are many instances in which the FAA issues an airworthiness approval but, at the time of issuance, the product or article neither fully conforms to its approved design, nor is it in a condition for safe operation. For example, the FAA may issue an airworthiness approval for an aircraft that has been disassembled for shipping, for an engine that has preservation fluids installed prior to shipping, or for used aircraft engines and propellers that are not in a condition for safe operation (see § 21.331, Issuance of export airworthiness approvals for aircraft engines, propellers, and articles). We therefore revise the definition of airworthiness approval to a document, issued by the FAA for an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article, which certifies that the aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article conforms to its approved design and is in a condition for safe operation, unless otherwise specified.

Also with respect to the airworthiness approval definition, Timken Aerospace recommended we use the phrase “except for deviations noted” instead of “unless otherwise specified,” to be more consistent with FAA Form 8130-9, Statement of Conformity.

The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. The concept of airworthiness is generally composed of two factors: Conformity with an approved design and being in a condition for safe operation. In this context, the term “deviation” would indicate a variation from an approved design or quality system, but would not necessarily convey the fact that a product is not in a condition for safe operation. Accordingly, we determine that the phrase “unless otherwise specified” more accurately reflects the intent of our proposal.

Two individual commenters expressed concern that adding “unless otherwise specified” to the definition of airworthiness approval would change a fundamental premise of airworthiness approvals, that a product or article must conform to its design. The commenters recommended that the definition not be changed.

The FAA disagrees with the commenters. The issuance of an airworthiness approval, such as an export certificate of airworthiness, does not necessarily mean that a product is airworthy. FAA regulations, such as § 21.331, allow FAA personnel and designees to issue an airworthiness approval for a product or article that does not conform to its approved design, as long as the nonconforming condition is stated on the approval document and, in the case of export, the receiving authority agrees to accept the product or article as described. This final rule, therefore, simply brings the definition of Airworthiness Approval in line with current FAA practice and with part 21, subpart L. Contrary to the commenters' suggestion, we are not changing the fundamental concept of airworthiness. Under current practices, an airworthiness approval is a means to show that the product or article conforms to its approved design and is in a condition for safe operation, unless otherwise specified.

One individual commenter stated that the definition of “supplier” is overbroad because it includes distributors of commercial off the shelf parts or parts not originally manufactured for aviation use. The same commenter also stated that the addition of the term “at any tier” will cause inconsistent and disparate interpretation within the FAA and undue burden to industry. The commenter did not provide any recommendations.

The FAA recognizes that by including the term “at any tier,” the proposed definition of “supplier” applies to all suppliers throughout the supply chain. Contrary to the commenter's statement, the FAA believes including suppliers “at any tier” will reduce inconsistencies by confirming that the FAA definition of “supplier” applies to all suppliers, regardless of their position within the supply chain. Furthermore, the FAA does not believe this definition will unduly burden industry. To the extent that a supplier has only a tenuous connection to a PAH, perhaps because the supplier produces parts that are not specifically designed for use in aviation, it may be appropriate for the PAH to account for that attenuation when designing its supplier-reporting protocols. A PAH has always been responsible for assuring that its products and articles conform and are in a condition for safe operation. The inclusion of all suppliers within the regulatory definition of supplier should therefore impose no additional burden on either the PAH or its suppliers.

The same individual commenter also stated that there is no guidance for the suppliers of off-the-shelf parts, described above, who may not anticipate that their parts will be used or installed on type certificated aircraft and approved.

The FAA agrees with the commenter's observation that there is no guidance provided specifically for distributors of parts not originally manufactured for aviation use or installation on type certificated aircraft and approved under § 21.8(c). The FAA provides guidance to PAHs, repair stations, and other FAA-regulated entities. The FAA does not provide guidance for entities that fall outside the scope of FAA regulations.

E. Interface Components

As proposed, § 21.147(c) now permits a PAH to apply to the FAA for an amendment to the PAH's production limitation record (PLR), authorizing the PAH to manufacture and install interface components. If granted, the FAA will amend the PAH's PLR to add the interface components (IC). ICs are defined in the new § 21.1(b)(5). The FAA had previously granted exemptions to engine manufacturers, allowing them to manufacture and install airframe components that interface between the engine and the airframe, provided the engine manufacturer owned or licensed the ICs design and installation data.

Boeing and General Electric supported the rule change. Boeing also suggested the FAA allow engine manufacturers to install and certify airplane manufacturers' ICs during the engine type certification process.

The FAA disagrees with this recommendation as it is outside the scope of this rulemaking. Allowing engine manufacturers to install and certify airplane manufacturers' ICs during the engine TC process is a design issue, not a production issue. Our 2014 NPRM and this final rule focus on amendments to the production approval provisions in subpart G.

Williams International recommended that our final rule distinguish between all potential ICs versus those that are licensed to be both manufactured and installed by a PAH. The commenter suggested that defining ICs more narrowly would enable the FAA to include fewer items on the PAH's PLR, and as a result would require fewer PLR updates and impose less of a burden on the FAA.

The FAA agrees with the concerns raised byWilliams International, but we have determined that the rule as drafted adequately addresses these concerns. Under §§ 21.1(b)(5) and 21.147(c), a component must meet certain criteria before it is considered an “interface component” eligible for the PAH's PLR. For example, § 21.1(b)(5) requires, among other things, that an IC be designated as such by the TC or STC holder. The rule requires only those ICs the PAH intends to produce be listed on the PLR and not all possible ICs, so the PLR should not be an exhaustive list or a burden on the FAA.

F. Miscellaneous Issues

HEICO requested that the FAA define authorized release documents, to establish who is issuing the document. The FAA disagrees with the recommendation. The FAA does not believe it is necessary to provide a definition in the text of the rule. The FAA provides additional guidance on authorized release documents in the revised AC 21.43, Appendix B, which is applicable to any PAH.

One individual commenter stated that the title of the NPRM did not reflect recent changes from parts to articles in our 2009 final rule, Production and Airworthiness Approvals, Part Marking, and Miscellaneous Amendments, 74 FR 53384 (Oct. 16, 2009). The commenter recommended changing the title of part 21 to “Certification Procedures for Products, Articles, and Parts.” The FAA partially agrees with the recommendation and this final rule changes the title of part 21 to “Certification Procedures for Products and Articles.”

HEICO requested that we revise FAA Form 8130-3 attached as Appendix A, Figure A-1 to FAA Order 8130.21 to explicitly indicate who, including a PAH, is allowed to issue the document. The FAA disagrees with HEICO's recommendation to revise the form. Instead, we have revised FAA Order 8130.21 and ACs 21-43 and 21-44 to reflect the rule change allowing a properly authorized PAH to issue an authorized release document. In the ACs we also provide guidance to on how to complete FAA Form 8130-3.

Textron Aviation recommended that the FAA remove the requirement for the issuance of export airworthiness approvals for articles, believing that this change would better align FAA regulations with those of foreign authorities. The recommendation is outside the scope of this rulemaking. The FAA notes that the requirements for the issuance of export airworthiness approvals for articles are contained in subpart L. Although the FAA proposed allowing PAHs to issue authorized release documents in § 21.137, the proposal did not change the conditions specified in subpart L.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq., requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), as codified in 2 U.S.C. 1532, requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.

Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the costs and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning for this determination follows.

As summarized in the table below, the provisions of this final rule (1) are minimal cost, (2) will impose no additional costs because the provisions will clarify only, or are current practice, or (3) are voluntary and therefore inherently cost-beneficial. Our determination has not changed from that made in the NPRM regulatory evaluation. The FAA received no comments to the docket on the NPRM regulatory evaluation. More detailed explanations follow the table.

Provision Costs/Benefits Require Identification of Accountable Manager Minimal cost—Requires identification of an existing manager, who is responsible for and has authority over a Production Approval Holder (PAH)'s operations, as a PAH's primary contact with the FAA. Allow PC Holders to Manufacture and Install Interface Components Codifying the practice, previously allowed by exemption, will reduce regulatory compliance costs. Modify Supplier Control Requirements No additional cost—Clarifies existing requirement that PAHs are responsible for conformity throughout their supply chains and gives PAHs flexibility in establishing a supplier-reporting process for nonconforming releases. Allow PAHs to Issue Authorized Release Documents for Aircraft Engines, Propellers and Articles Voluntary, so expected benefits will exceed expected costs. Exclude Fixed-Pitch Wooden Propellers from Fireproof Marking Requirements The FAA found the exemption provides an equivalent level of safety. Codifying the practice, previously allowed by exemption, will reduce regulatory compliance costs. 1. Require Identification of an Accountable Manager

Under this provision, the FAA will require each applicant for, or holder of, a Production Certificate (PC), Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA), or Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization to identify an accountable manager, who is responsible for, and has authority over, a PAH's operations, as a PAH's primary contact with the FAA. This provision is not intended to require the PAH to create a new position within its organization and will not mandate that an individual in a specific position be identified as the accountable manager. Consequently, the costs, if any, associated with this requirement are minimal.

2. Allow Production Certificate Holders To Manufacture and Install Interface Components

PC holders previously could not install interface components (ICs) on their type-certificated products without an exemption. Previous regulations governing the production limitation record and the amendment of PCs restricted the PC holder to the manufacture of products only (aircraft, aircraft engines, or propellers) and did not authorize installation.3 The FAA has granted exemptions to engine manufacturers, allowing them to manufacture and install airframe components that interface between the engine and the airframe provided they own or are licensed to use the IC type design and installation data. In granting these exemptions, the FAA found that allowing engine manufacturers to produce and install ICs improved safety and efficiency by eliminating disassembly, reassembly and retesting, as well as related scoring of fatigue sensitive parts; damage to critical parts; and air/fuel/oil leaks.4 This provision will codify the practice, previously allowed by exemption, of allowing PC holders to manufacture and install ICs, and will apply to any articles designated by the TC holder that interface between products. Therefore, this provision applies to the interface between propeller and aircraft engine and between propeller and aircraft, as well as between aircraft engine and aircraft.

3 Before 2010, §§ 21.142 (production limitation record) and 21.147 (amendment of production certificates) were codified at §§ 21.151 and 21.153, respectively.

4 The production and installation of ICs by engine manufacturers also increase efficiency by allowing delivery of quick-change replacement engines to end users such as air carriers and charter operators. Some piece parts (or kits), such as the engine buildup unit (EBU), rather than being installed by the PC holder, may be shipped separately to an aircraft manufacturer for the purpose of just-in-time manufacturing operations, or to an airline that may want kits on hand for routine maintenance operations or to replace hardware damaged during operations.

Codifying the previous practice of allowing PC holders to manufacture and install ICs implies no change in safety benefits. Codifying the practice, however, will reduce regulatory costs since paperwork requirements involved in periodic application for and granting of exemptions will be eliminated.

3. Modification of Supply Control

With this provision, the FAA intends to clarify existing requirements that the PAH is responsible for (1) conformity throughout the supply chain and (2) establishing a supplier reporting process for nonconforming releases. As there was no definition of supplier in the previous regulations, the final rule defines supplier as a person that provides a product, article, or service at any tier in the supply chain that is used or consumed in the design or manufacture of, or installed on, a product or article.

The final rule changes the language to § 21.137(c) as shown in the following table:

Previous rule language Final rule language Supply Control—Procedures that (1) Ensure that each supplier-furnished product or article conforms to its approved design; and Supply Control—Procedures that (1) Ensure that each supplier-provided product, article, or service conforms to the product approval holder's requirements; and (2) Require each supplier to report to the production approval holder if a product or article has been released from that supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the applicable design data. (2) Establish a supplier reporting process for products, articles or services that have been released from the supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the production approval holder's requirements.

As provision (1) clarifies the FAA's intent and current practice and provision (2) gives PAHs greater flexibility, there will be no additional cost resulting from these provisions.

4. Allow Production Approval Holders To Issue Authorized Release Documents for Aircraft Engines, Propellers, and Articles

Previously, only the FAA was allowed to document that an aircraft engine, propeller, or article conforms to its approved design and is in condition for safe operation. The FAA provides documentation with an airworthiness approval, using FAA Form 8130-3, “Authorized Release Certificate, Airworthiness Approval Tag.” This provision allows, but does not require, qualified PAHs to issue authorized release documents, using FAA Form 8130-3, for aircraft engines, propellers, and articles for which the PAH has a production approval. We refer to the issuance of Form 8130-3 by a PAH as an “authorized release document” because, as defined by 14 CFR 21.1(b)(1), only the FAA is allowed to issue an airworthiness approval. PAHs choosing not to issue these authorized release documents may continue to obtain approvals from the FAA.

Although such airworthiness documentation is required only when requested by a foreign civil aviation authority, it has become increasingly valued in the aviation industry. Several U.S. manufacturers have requested the privilege to issue such documentation, which is already enjoyed by their European and Canadian counterparts. As it is voluntary, this provision is inherently cost beneficial.5

5 For aircraft, an export airworthiness approval will continue to be issued only by the FAA, using Form 8130-4, “Export Certificate of Airworthiness.”

5. Marking of Fixed-Pitch Wooden Propellers

As noted in the preamble above, the FAA granted an exemption to Sensenich Wood Propeller Company from the regulations requiring that a propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub be marked using an approved fireproof method. In granting the exemption, the FAA found that stamping the hub of the propeller with the identification markers will achieve an equivalent level of safety to the rule. The FAA maintains that finding in this final rule and, in any case, codifying the practice, previously allowed by exemption, implies no change in safety benefits.6 Codifying the practice, however, will reduce regulatory costs since the costs of paperwork requirements involved in periodic application for and granting of the exemptions will be eliminated.

6 Variable-pitch wooden propellers do not require exception from the fireproof marking requirement since they have metal hubs.

The FAA made this minimal cost determination for the proposed rule. As no comments were received, the FAA concludes the expected cost is minimal.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) establishes as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration. The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.

However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

The provisions of this final rule (1) are minimal cost, (2) would impose no additional costs because the provisions would clarify only, or are current practice, or (3) are voluntary. We received no comments regarding our determination that there was no significant impact on a substantial number of small entities in the NPRM.

Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. International Trade Impact Assessment

The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.

The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined that the rule's provision allowing PAHs to issue authorized release documents for purposes of export would be in accordance with the Trade Agreements Act as this provision uses European standards as the basis for United States regulation. The remaining provisions have a minimal domestic impact only and therefore no effect on international trade.

D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there is no new requirement for information collection associated with this final rule.

F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and identified no differences with these regulations.

Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and determined that this action has no significant effect on international regulatory cooperation. To the extent that this final rule may conflict with the implementing protocols of any FAA bilateral aviation safety agreements, the FAA will amend those protocols in coordination with our international partners.

G. Environmental Analysis

FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The FAA has analyzed this final rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, does not have Federalism implications.

B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

The FAA analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under the executive order and it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

VI. How To Obtain Additional Information A. Rulemaking Documents

An electronic copy of a rulemaking document may be obtained by using the Internet by—

1. Search the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

2. Visit the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/ or

3. Access the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

Copies may also be obtained by sending a request (identified by notice, amendment, or docket number of this rulemaking) to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680.

B. Comments Submitted to the Docket

Comments received may be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions to search the docket number for this action. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of the FAA's dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.).

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 requires FAA to comply with small entity requests for information or advice about compliance with statutes and regulations within its jurisdiction. A small entity with questions regarding this document, may contact its local FAA official, or the person listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT heading at the beginning of the preamble. To find out more about SBREFA on the Internet, visit http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/sbre_act/.

List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 21

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR Part 45

Aircraft, Exports, Signs and symbols.

The Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, and under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and 44701(a)(5), the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 21—CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTS AND ARTICLES 1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7572; 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40105, 40113, 44701-44702, 44704, 44707, 44709, 44711, 44713, 44715, 45303.

2. The heading for part 21 is revised to read as set forth above. 3. Amend § 21.1 by revising paragraph (b)(1), redesignating paragraphs (b)(5) through (b)(8) as (b)(6) through (b)(9), and adding new paragraphs (b)(5) and (b)(10) to read as follows:
§ 21.1 Applicability and definitions.

(b) * * *

(1) Airworthiness approval means a document, issued by the FAA for an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article, which certifies that the aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article conforms to its approved design and is in a condition for safe operation, unless otherwise specified;

(5) Interface component means an article that serves as a functional interface between an aircraft and an aircraft engine, an aircraft engine and a propeller, or an aircraft and a propeller. An interface component is designated by the holder of the type certificate or the supplemental type certificate who controls the approved design data for that article;

(10) Supplier means a person at any tier in the supply chain who provides a product, article, or service that is used or consumed in the design or manufacture of, or installed on, a product or article.

4. Revise § 21.135 to read as follows:
§ 21.135 Organization.

(a) Each applicant for or holder of a production certificate must provide the FAA with a document—

(1) Describing how its organization will ensure compliance with the provisions of this subpart;

(2) Describing assigned responsibilities, delegated authorities, and the functional relationship of those responsible for quality to management and other organizational components; and

(3) Identifying an accountable manager.

(b) The accountable manager specified in paragraph (a) of this section must be responsible within the applicant's or production approval holder's organization for, and have authority over, all production operations conducted under this part. The accountable manager must confirm that the procedures described in the quality manual required by § 21.138 are in place and that the production approval holder satisfies the requirements of the applicable regulations of subchapter C, Aircraft. The accountable manager must serve as the primary contact with the FAA.

5. Amend § 21.137 by revising paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) and adding paragraph (o) to read as follows:
§ 21.137 Quality system.

(c) * * *

(1) Ensure that each supplier-provided product, article, or service conforms to the production approval holder's requirements; and

(2) Establish a supplier-reporting process for products, articles, or services that have been released from or provided by the supplier and subsequently found not to conform to the production approval holder's requirements.

(o) Issuing authorized release documents. Procedures for issuing authorized release documents for aircraft engines, propellers, and articles if the production approval holder intends to issue those documents. These procedures must provide for the selection, appointment, training, management, and removal of individuals authorized by the production approval holder to issue authorized release documents. Authorized release documents may be issued for new aircraft engines, propellers, and articles manufactured by the production approval holder; and for used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles when rebuilt, or altered, in accordance with § 43.3(j) of this chapter. When a production approval holder issues an authorized release document for the purpose of export, the production approval holder must comply with the procedures applicable to the export of new and used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles specified in § 21.331 and the responsibilities of exporters specified in § 21.335.

6. Revise § 21.142 to read as follows:
§ 21.142 Production limitation record.

The FAA issues a production limitation record as part of a production certificate. The record lists the type certificate number and model of every product that the production certificate holder is authorized to manufacture, and identifies every interface component that the production certificate holder is authorized to manufacture and install under this part.

7. Revise § 21.147 to read as follows:
§ 21.147 Amendment of production certificates.

(a) A holder of a production certificate must apply for an amendment to a production certificate in a form and manner prescribed by the FAA.

(b) An applicant for an amendment to a production certificate to add a type certificate or model, or both, must comply with §§ 21.137, 21.138, and 21.150.

(c) An applicant may apply to amend its production limitation record to allow the manufacture and installation of an interface component, provided—

(1) The applicant owns or has a license to use the design and installation data for the interface component and makes that data available to the FAA upon request;

(2) The applicant manufactures the interface component;

(3) The applicant's product conforms to its approved type design and the interface component conforms to its approved type design;

(4) The assembled product with the installed interface component is in a condition for safe operation; and

(5) The applicant complies with any other conditions and limitations the FAA considers necessary.

8. Revise § 21.305 to read as follows:
§ 21.305 Organization.

(a) Each applicant for or holder of a PMA must provide the FAA with a document—

(1) Describing how its organization will ensure compliance with the provisions of this subpart;

(2) Describing assigned responsibilities, delegated authorities, and the functional relationship of those responsible for quality to management and other organizational components; and

(3) Identifying an accountable manager.

(b) The accountable manager specified in paragraph (a) of this section must be responsible within the applicant's or production approval holder's organization for, and have authority over, all production operations conducted under this part. The accountable manager must confirm that the procedures described in the quality manual required by § 21.308 are in place and that the production approval holder satisfies the requirements of the applicable regulations of subchapter C, Aircraft. The accountable manager must serve as the primary contact with the FAA.

9. Revise § 21.605 to read as follows:
§ 21.605 Organization.

(a) Each applicant for or holder of a TSO authorization must provide the FAA with a document—

(1) Describing how its organization will ensure compliance with the provisions of this subpart;

(2) Describing assigned responsibilities, delegated authorities, and the functional relationship of those responsible for quality to management and other organizational components; and

(3) Identifying an accountable manager.

(b) The accountable manager specified in paragraph (a) of this section must be responsible within the applicant's or production approval holder's organization for, and have authority over, all production operations conducted under this part. The accountable manager must confirm that the procedures described in the quality manual required by § 21.608 are in place and that the production approval holder satisfies the requirements of the applicable regulations of subchapter C, Aircraft. The accountable manager must serve as the primary contact with the FAA.

PART 45—IDENTIFICATION AND REGISTRATION MARKING 10. The authority citation for part 45 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113-40114, 44101-44105, 44107-44111, 44504, 44701, 44708-44709, 44711-44713, 44725, 45302-45303, 46104, 46304, 46306, 47122.

11. Revise § 45.11(c) introductory text to read as follows:
§ 45.11 Marking of products.

(c) Propellers and propeller blades and hubs. Each person who produces a propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub under a type certificate or production certificate must mark each product or part. Except for a fixed-pitch wooden propeller, the marking must be accomplished using an approved fireproof method. The marking must—

Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 44703 in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2015. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-24950 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3981; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-126-AD; Amendment 39-18280; AD 2015-20-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-10 for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-02-10 required an inspection of the rods to determine the manufacturer; and for affected parts, an inspection for any cracking of the rods, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD revises the affected airplanes of a certain paragraph of AD 2013-02-10 due to the discovery of an error. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the rods, which could result in rupture of rods that attach the belly fairing to the airframe, leading to separation of the belly fairing from the airframe, and consequent damage to airplane structure and airplane systems.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective October 16, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of March 8, 2013 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013).

We must receive comments on this AD by November 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3981.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3981; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

On January 16, 2013, we issued AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), which applied to all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. AD 2013-02-10 was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect in certain rods installed in the belly fairing, which could lead to cracks at the crimped end of the rod. AD 2013-02-10 required an inspection of the rods to determine the manufacturer; and for affected parts, an inspection for any cracking of the rods, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We issued AD 2013-02-10 to detect and correct cracking of the rods, which could result in rupture of rods that attach the belly fairing to the airframe, leading to separation of the belly fairing from the airframe, and consequent damage to airplane structure and airplane systems.

Since we issued AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), we have discovered an inadvertent error in the identification of the affected airplane models in the inspection requirements of AD 2013-02-10. Paragraph (g) of AD 2013-02-10 referred to Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes, but did not limit the affected airplanes to certain manufacturer serial numbers.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2012-0005, dated January 10, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

A rod manufacturing process defect has been identified at the supplier, Technical Airborne Components Industries (TAC), which could lead to cracks at the crimped end of the rod.

A design review of all affected rods has demonstrated that rupture of rods which attach the belly fairing can lead to separation of the belly fairing from the airframe, which would constitute an unsafe condition.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires detailed visual inspections of the 21 affected rods installed in the belly fairing for manufacturer identification, and if TAC is identified as manufacturer, or if the manufacturer cannot be identified, to further inspect the rods to find any crack, using a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) method and, depending on findings, accomplishment of the applicable corrective actions, to ensure structural integrity of the belly fairing rods. This AD also prohibits installation of an affected TAC rod as replacement part in the belly fairing to all aeroplanes.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3981.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A330-53-3186 and A340-53-4185, both Revision 01, both dated April 7, 2011. The service information describes procedures for an inspection of the rods to determine the manufacturer; and for affected parts, an inspection for any cracking of the rods, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

We are superseding AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), to correct an error in the identification of the affected airplane models in the inspection requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2013-02-10. We have made no other changes to the requirements published in AD 2013-02-10. Also, we have determined that this change is relieving to certain operators of the Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes and imposes no additional burden on any operator. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3981; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-126-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 54 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), and retained in this AD take about 13 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 2013-02-10 is $59,670, or $1,105 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 28 work-hours and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $2,380 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these parts. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), and adding the following new AD: 2015-20-02 Airbus: Amendment 39-18280. Docket No. FAA-2015-3981; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-126-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective October 16, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013).

(c) Applicability

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

(1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect in certain rods installed in the belly fairing, which could lead to cracks at the crimped end of the rod, and by the discovery of an error in the affected airplanes of a certain paragraph of AD 2013-02-10. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the rods, which could result in rupture of rods that attach the belly fairing to the airframe, leading to separation of the belly fairing from the airframe, and consequent damage to airplane structure and airplane systems.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Inspections and Applicable Related Investigative and Corrective Actions With Revised Affected Airplanes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), with revised affected airplanes. For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes, having manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) 0002 to 1113 inclusive, except MSNs 0996, 1039, 1054, 1059, 1105, 1107, 1108, and 1112: Within 72 months after March 8, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-10), accomplish the actions in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3186, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011 (for Model A330 airplanes); or A340-53-4185, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011 (for Model A340 airplanes).

(1) Do a detailed inspection of the 21 rods of the belly fairing identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3186, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011 (for Model A330 airplanes); or A340-53-4185, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011 (for Model A340 airplanes); for rod manufacturer identification. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the manufacturer of the rods can be conclusively determined from that review.

(2) If the rod manufacturer is found to be Technical Airborne Components Industries (TAC), or if the manufacturer cannot be identified, do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the crimped end of the rod body and, if any crack is found, before further flight, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

(h) Retained Parts Installation Limitations With No Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), with no changes. As of March 8, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-10), no person may install any affected TAC rod, as identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3186, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011; or A340-53-4185, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011; as applicable; on any airplane unless the rod has passed (found to have no cracking) the inspection as required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

(i) Retained Credit for Previous Actions With No Changes

This paragraph restates the credit provided by paragraph (i) of AD 2013-02-10, Amendment 39-17331 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013), with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for the inspections and corrective actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before March 8, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-02-10), using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3186, dated January 17, 2011 (for Model A330 airplanes); or A340-53-4185, dated January 17, 2011 (for Model A340 airplanes); which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2012-0005, dated January 10, 2012, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3981.

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

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on March 8, 2013 (78 FR 7257, February 1, 2013).

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3186, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-4185, Revision 01, dated April 7, 2011.

(4) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 17, 2015. John P. Piccola, Jr., Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-24672 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1388; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-3] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Sheridan, AR AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Sheridan, AR. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at Sheridan Municipal Airport. The FAA is taking this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, December 10, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-868-2914.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On June 22, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Sheridan Municipal Airport, Sheridan, AR (80 FR 35598). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6 mile radius of Sheridan Municipal Airport, Sheridan, AR, to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures at the airport. This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005  Class E Airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. ASW AR E5  Sheridan, AR [New] Sheridan Municipal Airport, AR (Lat. 34°19′39″ N., long. 092°21′05″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.0-mile radius of Sheridan Municipal Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on September 17, 2015 Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-24871 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0559; Airspace Docket No. 14-ACE-6] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Springfield, MO AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Springfield, MO. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures at Downtown Airport. The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, December 10, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-868-2914.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On June 25, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Downtown Airport, Springfield, MO (80 FR 36496). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.0 mile radius of Downtown Airport, Springfield, MO, to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures at the airport. This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005  Class E Airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. ACE MO E5  Springfield, MO [New] Downtown Airport, MO (Lat. 37°13′22″ N., long. 093°14′54″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.0-mile radius of Downtown Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on September 17, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-24869 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 902 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 150122068-5868-02] RIN 0648-BE84 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Effort and Catch Limits and Other Restrictions and Requirements AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; final specifications.

SUMMARY:

NMFS issues a final rule and final specifications under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act). The final rule establishes a framework under which NMFS will specify limits on fishing effort and catches, as well as spatial and temporal restrictions on particular fishing activities and other requirements, in U.S. fisheries for highly migratory fish species in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). NMFS will issue the specifications as may be necessary to implement conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Commission or WCPFC). The final rule also requires that certain U.S. fishing vessels operating in the WCPO obtain “IMO numbers.” The final rule also includes changes to regulations regarding tuna catch retention requirements for purse seine vessels, requirements to install and carry vessel monitoring system (VMS) units, daily reporting requirements, and other changes that are administrative in nature.

Using the regulatory framework described above, NMFS also issues final specifications for 2015 that restrict the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) by purse seine vessels.

These actions are necessary to satisfy the obligations of the United States under the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention), to which it is a Contracting Party.

DATES:

Effective November 30, 2015, except for the amendments to §§ 300.222(xx) and 300.227, and the final specifications for 2015, which shall be effective October 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of supporting documents prepared for this final rule, including the proposed rule, the regulatory impact review (RIR), and the programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), are available via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, at www.regulations.gov (search for Docket ID NOAA-NMFS-2015-0072). Those documents are also available from NMFS at the following address: Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

A final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) prepared under authority of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is included in the Classification section of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see address above) and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Graham, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5032.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On July 23, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule and proposed specifications in the Federal Register (80 FR 43694) to revise regulations at 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, and to specify limits for 2015, to implement decisions of the Commission. The proposed rule and proposed specifications were open for public comment through August 7, 2015.

This final rule and final specifications are issued under the authority of the WCPFC Implementation Act (16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), which authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Department in which the United States Coast Guard is operating (currently the Department of Homeland Security), to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Convention, including the decisions of the Commission. The Secretary of Commerce may, in certain cases, promulgate such regulations in accordance with the procedures established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; MSA), but that is not being done in this case. The authority to promulgate regulations under the WCPFC Implementation Act has been delegated to NMFS.

The regulations established in this final rule are described below under “New Regulations” and the final specifications are described below under “Final Specifications for 2015.” The preamble to the proposed rule and proposed specifications includes detailed background information, including information on the Convention and the Commission, the decisions of the Commission that are being implemented, and the bases for the proposed rule and specifications, which are not repeated here.

Participants in the Commission include Members, Participating Territories, and Cooperating Non-Members. The United States is a Member. American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Guam are Participating Territories. In this document, the term “member” is used to refer to all such participants generally.

New Regulations

This final rule includes several elements, described in detail below under three categories, that will be included in the regulations at 50 CFR 300, Subpart O. The first establishes a framework to implement Commission decisions, the second requires that certain fishing vessels be issued International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers, and the third makes changes to several existing regulations to implement Commission decisions, some of which are administrative in nature.

1. Framework To Implement Commission Decisions

This final rule establishes a framework under which NMFS will specify fishing effort limits, catch limits, and other restrictions and requirements in U.S. fisheries for highly migratory species (HMS) in the Convention Area as may be necessary to implement particular decisions of the Commission. The framework will be used to implement only those Commission decisions that are amenable to the framework process, such as quantitative fishing effort limits and catch limits, and spatial and/or temporal restrictions on specific fishing activities. NMFS may implement Commission decisions through regulations outside the framework process, as in the past. For the purpose of describing the framework, all such restrictions and requirements are called “limits.”

NMFS also notes that under the WCPFC Implementation Act, in cases where there is discretion in the implementation of one or more measures adopted by the Commission that would govern fisheries under authority of a Regional Fishery Management Council, NMFS may, to the extent practicable within the implementation schedule of the Convention and any recommendations and decisions adopted by the Commission, promulgate such regulations in accordance with the procedures established by the MSA.

Purpose of framework: The purpose of a framework is to make it possible to manage fisheries more responsively under conditions requiring “real time” management. Such conditions exist in the context of the Convention because the Commission makes decisions that must be implemented by its members quickly—often within 60 days of the decision. The framework will allow NMFS to implement Commission decisions more rapidly than it would be able to without such a framework. The framework, to be codified at 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, contains the parameters within which NMFS can take specific actions, including the types of actions it could take, as well as the procedures for doing so. Limits implemented by NMFS under the framework, called “specifications,” will be announced in the Federal Register. Except when warranted and allowed by law, specifications will be subject to prior public notice and comment. The limits specified under the framework will likely, but not always, be time-limited.

Types and details of limits: The types of limits that will be specified under the framework include quantitative limits on the weight or number of fish that may be caught, retained, transshipped, landed, and/or sold; quantitative limits on the amount of fishing effort that may be expended, such as in terms of amounts of time vessels spend at sea or engaged in fishing or engaged in particular fishing activities or other measures of fishing effort, such as the number of gear sets or deployments of gear; and restrictions or prohibitions on particular fishing activities in certain areas and/or periods.

Most recent Commission decisions do not apply in territorial seas or archipelagic waters. Accordingly, the framework regulations state that any specified limit will not—unless otherwise indicated in the specification—apply in the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of the United States or any other nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States. If a Commission decision does apply in territorial seas and/or archipelagic waters, the specification issued by NMFS to implement that decision will specify that it does apply in those areas.

For each limit specified under the framework, NMFS will identify the area and period in which it applies, and as appropriate, the vessel types, gear types, species, fish sizes, and any other relevant attributes to which it applies. For spatial or temporal limits, NMFS will also specify the specific activities that would be restricted in the area or period, and for quantitative limits, NMFS will specify the restrictions and requirements that would go into effect after the limit is reached and the applicable dates of those restrictions and requirements. These restrictions and requirements could include a prohibition on the catch, retention, transshipment and/or landing of specific species or specific sizes of specific species, a prohibition on the use of specific fishing gears or methods, restrictions on specific fishing activities, and reporting or other requirements.

Fisheries affected: In the decisions of the Commission, the three territories of the United States that participate in the Commission (“Participating Territories”)—American Samoa, the CNMI, and Guam—often are treated separately from the United States. For example, the fisheries of the territories often are subject to different controls and limits than are the fisheries of the United States. Therefore, to implement certain Commission decisions, it is necessary to distinguish the fisheries from each other because fishing vessels from the Participating Territories are flagged vessels of the United States.

The proposed regulatory framework included criteria to distinguish the fisheries from each other, for the purpose of attributing fishing effort and catch among the fisheries, and determining to which vessels a given restriction applies. This final rule does not include any such criteria, for the reasons explained in the section below titled “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications.” NMFS may re-propose the criteria at a later time. In the meantime, any criteria that are needed to determine the vessels to which a specified limit applies, or to attribute catch or fishing effort against a specified limit, will be included in the specifications issued under the framework.

Allocation of limits: Under the framework, NMFS can allocate a Commission-adopted limit among different fisheries sectors, such as among groups of fishing vessels that use different types of fishing gear. For example, given a Commission decision to limit catches of a particular species irrespective of the type of fishing gear used to catch it, NMFS can decide to allocate the limit between the longline and the purse seine fisheries, using the framework to establish specific limits for each of the two fisheries. NMFS can also use the framework to specify limits for particular fisheries even when the Commission-adopted limit is not specific to particular fisheries.

The framework will not be used to allocate Commission-adopted limits among individual fishing vessels (except in the case where a single fishing vessel comprises an entire sector or fishery). This does not preclude NMFS from allocating Commission-adopted limits among individual fishing vessels through separate regulations.

Framework procedures: The framework's procedures for specifying limits is as follows: NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a notice of the proposed specification and a request for public comment on the proposed specification. The proposed specification will include all the relevant characteristics of the limit. After consideration of public comment received on the proposed specification, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a notice of the final specification. NMFS anticipates issuing specifications generally on a year-by-year basis. If limits of longer duration than one year are needed, NMFS anticipates publishing such limits in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Consequences of limits being reached: For quantitative limits, NMFS will monitor catch or fishing effort with respect to the specified limit using data submitted in vessel logbooks and other available information. When NMFS estimates or projects that the specified limit has been or will be reached, NMFS will publish a notification to that effect in the Federal Register. For quantitative limits, this notification will include an advisement that specific activities will be restricted, and/or that certain requirements will be in place, during a specific period. The notification will specify the restrictions and requirements and the specific activities to which they apply and the start and end dates and times of those restrictions. The start date of the restrictions and requirements will not be earlier than 7 days after the date of filing the closure notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register.

2. Requirement To Obtain International Maritime Organization (IMO) Number

This element of the rule applies to all U.S. fishing vessels (including those participating in the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories) that are used for commercial fishing for highly migratory fish stocks in the Convention Area either on the high seas or in waters under the jurisdiction of a foreign nation, and the gross tonnage of which is at least 100 GRT (gross register tons) or 100 GT (gross tons) ITC.

The owner of any such fishing vessel is required to ensure that an “IMO number” has been issued for the vessel.

An “IMO number,” as used in this rule, is the number—sometimes called an IMO ship identification number—issued for a ship or vessel under the ship identification number scheme established by the International Maritime Organization. Currently, IMO numbers are issued on behalf of the IMO by IHS Maritime, the current administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme. A vessel owner may request that an IMO number be issued by following the instructions given by IHS Maritime, available at: www.imonumbers.lrfairplay.com/default.aspx. There is no fee for making such a request or having an IMO number issued, but specific information about the fishing vessel and its ownership and management must be provided to the administrator of the scheme.

Furthermore, for those fishing vessels for which an IMO number is required, obtaining an IMO number is a prerequisite for eligibility to receive a WCPFC Area Endorsement. The WCPFC Area Endorsement is the endorsement required—along with a high seas fishing permit—for a U.S. fishing vessel to be used for commercial fishing for HMS on the high seas in the Convention Area (see 50 CFR 300.212).

The regulations include a process for fishing vessel owners to claim to NMFS that they are unable—through no fault of their own—to obtain IMO numbers. When NMFS receives such a claim, it will review it and assist the fishing vessel owner as appropriate. If NMFS determines that it is infeasible or impractical for the fishing vessel owner to comply with the requirement, NMFS will issue an exemption from the requirement for a specific or indefinite amount of time. The exemption will become void if ownership of the fishing vessel changes.

3. Other Regulatory Changes

The final rule includes several other changes to the existing regulations to enhance clarity and promote efficiency, some of which are administrative in nature.

First, this rule removes the regulations requiring that U.S. purse seine vessels carry WCPFC observers on fishing trips in the Convention Area (50 CFR 300.223(e)) because the applicable dates of the requirements, which extended through December 31, 2014, have passed. NMFS emphasizes that U.S. purse seine vessels operating in the Convention Area are, and will likely continue to be, subject to requirements to carry WCPFC observers under the current regulations at 50 CFR 300.215. Under this section, U.S. fishing vessels operating in the Convention Area must carry a WCPFC observer when directed to do so by NMFS. NMFS has issued such directions to purse seine vessel owners for 2015, and anticipates doing so in subsequent years.

Second, this rule revises the definition of “fishing day” to remove the reference to 50 CFR 300.223. As it was previously defined at 50 CFR 300.211, the term applied only to the regulations at 50 CFR 300.223, “Purse seine fishing restrictions,” which establish limits on purse seine fishing effort, restrictions on the use of FADs, and other restrictions that apply to purse seine fishing. The term “fishing day” is now revised to apply more broadly to all the regulations in 50 CFR part 300, subpart O. “Fishing day” means, for fishing vessels equipped with purse seine gear, any day in which a fishing vessel searches for fish, deploys a FAD, services a FAD, or sets a purse seine, with the exception of setting a purse seine solely for the purpose of testing or cleaning the gear and resulting in no catch.

Third, this rule removes certain elements of the existing regulations that require purse seine vessels in the Convention Area to retain on board all the catch of three species of tuna (bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna), with certain exceptions (specifically, 50 CFR 300.223(d)(1) and (2)), because they are obsolete.

Fourth, this rule makes changes to the requirements related to the installation and operation of vessel monitoring system (VMS) units on fishing vessels that are used to fish commercially for HMS on the high seas in the Convention Area. The previous regulations at 50 CFR 300.219 required the owner and the operator (i.e., the master or other individual aboard and in charge of the vessel) of any such vessel to expressly authorize NMFS and the Commission to receive and relay transmissions from the VMS unit. Those regulations are now revised to provide NMFS and the Commission with authorization to receive and relay transmissions from the unit. In other words, an explicit written authorization from the vessel owner and operator is not needed for NMFS and the Commission to receive and relay transmissions from the VMS unit.

Finally, this rule makes changes to the requirement for the owners or operators of U.S. purse seine vessels to submit to NMFS daily reports on how many sets were made on FADs. These daily FAD reports enable NMFS to monitor the number of purse seine sets on FADs (“FAD sets”) to determine if they are within the established limits. This reporting requirement, at 50 CFR 300.218(g), was previously written such that it would only go into effect when NMFS publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it is in effect. In this rule, NMFS has removed the requirement for the publication of a Federal Register notice. Instead, vessel owners and operators will be required to submit the daily FAD reports only if directed to do so by NMFS. NMFS may contact vessel owners or operators directly with instructions on the timing and submission of the reports. NMFS anticipates directing vessel owners or operators to submit the reports only in periods during which limits on FAD sets are in place. Under the revised reporting requirement, if directed by NMFS, the owner or operator of any fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear must report to NMFS, within 24 hours of the end of each day that the vessel is at sea in the Convention Area, the number of purse seine sets that were made on FADs during the period and in the format and manner directed by the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator.

Final Specifications for 2015

Using the framework established at 50 CFR 300.227, as described above, NMFS issues specifications for 2015 to implement particular provisions of Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) 2014-01, “Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.”

4. Purse Seine FAD Restrictions

Final specification for 2015: From July 1 through October 31, 2015, owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels of the United States shall not do any of the following activities in the Convention Area in the area between 20° N. latitude and 20° S. latitude:

(1) Set a purse seine around a FAD or within one nautical mile of a FAD.

(2) Set a purse seine in a manner intended to capture fish that have aggregated in association with a FAD or a vessel, such as by setting the purse seine in an area from which a FAD or a vessel has been moved or removed within the previous eight hours, or setting the purse seine in an area in which a FAD has been inspected or handled within the previous eight hours, or setting the purse seine in an area into which fish were drawn by a vessel from the vicinity of a FAD or a vessel.

(3) Deploy a FAD into the water.

(4) Repair, clean, maintain, or otherwise service a FAD, including any electronic equipment used in association with a FAD, in the water or on a vessel while at sea, except that: (a) A FAD may be inspected and handled as needed to identify the FAD, identify and release incidentally captured animals, un-foul fishing gear, or prevent damage to property or risk to human safety; and (b) A FAD may be removed from the water and if removed may be cleaned, provided that it is not returned to the water.

(5) From a purse seine vessel or any associated skiffs, other watercraft or equipment, do any of the following, except in emergencies as needed to prevent human injury or the loss of human life, the loss of the purse seine vessel, skiffs, watercraft or aircraft, or environmental damage: (a) Submerge lights under water; (b) suspend or hang lights over the side of the purse seine vessel, skiff, watercraft or equipment, or; (c) direct or use lights in a manner other than as needed to illuminate the deck of the purse seine vessel or associated skiffs, watercraft or equipment, to comply with navigational requirements, and to ensure the health and safety of the crew.

Comments and Responses

NMFS received comments on the proposed rule from two entities. The comments are summarized below, followed by responses from NMFS.

Comment 1: The Hawaii Longline Association (HLA) commented that it understands the proposed rule would establish a framework to establish specifications and related items only for the United States, not for its territories. Specifications applicable to the territories are established through the regulations implementing Amendment 7 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Pelagics FEP), which require the annual issuance of specifications applicable to the territories that include catch limits, and caps on the amounts of those limits that may be allocated to eligible U.S. longline fishing vessels.

Response: NMFS could issue specifications under the framework for fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories as well as for fisheries of the United States. Although the framework established under Amendment 7 to the Pelagics FEP may be used to establish Commission-adopted limits on catch or fishing effort in the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories, it does not preclude NMFS from using other means to establish such limits, such as the framework established in this rule, should they be necessary to carry out obligations under the WCPFC Implementation Act.

Comment 2: The HLA expressed concerns about the purpose or need for the proposed rule. If the basis for the proposed rule is NMFS' belief that implementing U.S. obligations under the Convention under this framework will be more efficient than the past practice of issuing regulations on a case-by-case basis, that is not fully explained in the proposed rule. The HLA is concerned that promulgation of another regulatory framework will result in a superfluous administrative process that will be misused by advocacy organizations that wish to end all tuna fishing. If the proposed rule will not result in significant and measurable increases in the efficiency of the regulatory process, or if it will result in more frequent agency decisions, each of which can be challenged, then the HLA recommends that NMFS not move forward with the proposed rule, as it may cause more problems than benefits for the agency and the regulated fisheries.

Response: The purpose of a framework is to make it possible for NMFS to manage fisheries more responsively and more efficiently under conditions requiring “real time” management. Such conditions exist in the context of the Convention because the Commission makes decisions that must be implemented by its members quickly—often within 60 days of the decision. The framework will not create any additional administrative process. The internal procedures of NMFS and the Department of Commerce are such that NMFS expects that specifications under the framework can be developed, proposed, and finalized more quickly than stand-alone regulations (but the provisions for prior public notice and comment are essentially the same for both methods). This is because whenever NMFS issues a proposed or final specification, the framework, which establishes parameters on the scope and nature of the specifications that can be issued, will have already been approved. However, establishment of this framework will not preclude NMFS from implementing Commission decisions through regulations outside the framework process, as it has done in the past, so NMFS can choose the most appropriate approach in any given case.

Comment 3: The HLA commented that the proposed rule does not explain what analyses NMFS will conduct before utilizing the framework procedures to establish allocations of catch, effort, or other limits among U.S. fisheries. The HLA is concerned that a framework approach will not be appropriate for dividing a national allocation among various U.S. fisheries. Allocations would be very controversial and disruptive to fisheries. The HLA urges the United States to discuss with its constituents, including the processes of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, how and by whom the allocation decisions, and the accompanying analyses, should be made before launching into a new framework process to make allocation decisions.

Response: Specification of a limit under this framework, including limits involving allocations among sectors or groups of fishing vessels, would be subject to the same analyses that would be needed were the decision to be made outside this framework. Establishment of this framework will not preclude NMFS from taking action through regulations outside the framework process, as it has done in the past, so NMFS can choose the most appropriate approach in any given case. Furthermore, one of the options available under the WCPFC Implementation Act is to promulgate regulations in accordance with the procedures established by the MSA that involve the Regional Fishery Management Councils.

Comment 4: The HLA commented that if NMFS proceeds to finalize the proposed rule, NMFS should ensure that the final rule is entirely consistent with the Amendment 7 framework and does not undermine NMFS' ability to promptly carry out its obligations under that framework in a straightforward manner, and to ensure that it does not create more obstacles for the Amendment 7 regulatory process.

Response: NMFS believes this final rule is consistent with the Amendment 7 framework, and does not anticipate that it would impede NMFS' implementation of actions under the Amendment 7 framework. NMFS notes that proposed § 300.227(d), titled “U.S. and territorial fisheries,” which included a reference to the regulations implementing Amendment 7 of the Pelagics FEP, is not included in these final regulations. The reasons for not finalizing that element of the proposed framework are explained in the section below, “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications.”

Comment 5: The HLA offered its interpretation of the proposed provisions relevant to the catch allocation of “dual-permitted” longline vessels (i.e., those registered under a valid American Samoa Longline Limited Access Permit in addition to a Hawaii Longline Limited Access Permit). The HLA's interpretation is that in the circumstance where a specified fishing agreement under Amendment 7 with the CNMI or Guam is in effect, the catch of a dual-permitted vessel listed in the agreement that occurs outside the U.S. EEZ is attributed to American Samoa unless and until the American Samoa quota is exhausted, at which time such catch would be attributed to the territory (e.g., the CNMI or Guam) identified in the agreement. Conversely, in this circumstance, the catch of a dual-permitted vessel that occurs inside the U.S. EEZ is attributed to the territory (e.g., the CNMI or Guam) identified in the agreement.

Response: NMFS disagrees with HLA's interpretation. However, as explained in the section below, “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications,” this final rule does not include the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing among the fisheries. As proposed, the framework included three priority-ranked criteria for attributing fishing effort and catch to a fishery of one of the three U.S. Participating Territories. The catch of a vessel identified in a specified fishing agreement under 50 CFR 665.819 would be attributed to the U.S. Participating Territory that is party to the agreement, according to the terms of that agreement to the extent they are consistent with the MSA, Commission decisions, and the Pelagics FEP and its implementing regulations. The terms of a specified fishing agreement could not alter the attribution priorities that would have been established under the proposed regulations. Accordingly, as long as the conditions for attribution to a territory under the regulations implementing Amendment 7 to the Pelagics FEP (at 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9)) were met, the catch would be attributed to a fishery of the territory that is party to the agreement rather than to a fishery of American Samoa, regardless of where the fish is caught or landed. However, because NMFS' proposed attribution criteria generated considerable public confusion, this provision is not being finalized in this rulemaking.

Comment 6: The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) provided comments stating that it is concerned that the process for attributing catch to the U.S. Participating Territories under the framework could contradict the Commission's conservation and management measures regarding longline bigeye tuna catch limits. The CBD states that, specifically, portions of the framework seem to conflict with CMM 2014-01 as it relates to longline vessels' catch of bigeye tuna and attribution of catch. According to the CBD, the criteria specified in the framework for attributing catch to the U.S. Participating Territories may be at odds with the provisions of CMM 2014-01, which require catch attribution to the flag State of the vessel except for vessels notified as chartered under CMM 2011-05, for which the catch and fishing effort are attributed to the chartering Member or Participating Territory. The CBD notes that to its knowledge, no U.S.-flagged vessels have been notified as chartered under CMM 2011-05. Therefore, under the provisions of CMM 2014-01, catch of bigeye tuna by U.S.-flagged longline vessels should be attributed to the United States. CBD requests that NMFS amend the proposed language at 50 CFR 300.227(d) that establishes criteria for distinguishing the fisheries of the United States and fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories to clarify that NMFS will follow Commission conservation and management measures regarding attribution of catch and effort.

Response: NMFS disagrees. Although the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories, including American Samoa, the CNMI, and Guam, operate under the United States' flag, Commission decisions have consistently treated them separately from the United States for purposes of adopting bigeye tuna catch limits in longline fisheries. CMM 2014-01 requires that bigeye tuna catches in the longline fisheries of the United States be limited to specified levels, based on a percentage of the fisheries' 2004 catch. However, CMM 2014-01 does not include any bigeye tuna catch limits for the longline fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories (or for the longline fisheries of any other Participating Territory or small island developing State (SIDS) member of the Commission). There are a number of reasons for this. Convention Article 30 requires the Commission to give “full recognition to the special requirements of developing states . . . in particular small island developing states . . . and territories” and requires that Commission decisions “not result in transferring . . . a disproportionate burden of conservation action onto . . . territories.” Accordingly, the Commission has consistently exempted Participating Territories from bigeye tuna catch limits in longline fisheries. Further, CMM 2013-06 requires the Commission to determine the “nature and extent of the impact” of any new conservation and management proposal on Territories prior to implementation. The fact that the Commission has never undertaken this analysis further refutes the commenter's belief that Participating Territories have been subsumed in their host nations' bigeye tuna catch limits. Finally, NMFS interprets paragraph 7 of CMM 2014-01 to specifically exempt Participating Territories from the longline limits established in paragraph 40.

The Commission has not adopted guidance—for the purpose of implementing flag-based limits—on attributing fishing activity in cases where a Participating Territory does not have its own flag, leaving member States considerable discretion to implement their own domestic practices and policies. The proposed rule included criteria to distinguish the fisheries from each other, such as to determine the vessels to which a specified limit applies or to attribute catch or fishing effort against a specified limit. However, as explained in the section below, “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications,” this final rule does not include the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing among the fisheries.

CMM 2012-05 (formerly CMM 2011-05) establishes procedures for Commission Members and Participating Territories to notify the Commission of vessels flagged to another State or Fishing Entity that they have chartered, leased, or entered into other mechanisms. This measure does not apply to vessels operating under specified fishing agreements under Amendment 7 to the Pelagics FEP because such vessels are neither chartered nor leased to the U.S. Participating Territories.

Comment 7: The CBD states that tuna longline fishing jeopardizes the health of Hawaii's pelagic ecosystem and that ending bigeye tuna overfishing is critical to stopping and reversing changes in the ecosystem. The Commission's Scientific Committee has determined that WCPO bigeye tuna are overfished, yet fishing mortality rates remain too high, allowing overfishing to further reduce the population. NMFS has not considered the potential environmental impacts of the framework, specifically what could happen if the framework enabled continued fishing for bigeye tuna even after the U.S. catch limit is reached for all U.S.-flagged longline vessels by allowing for attribution of catch to the U.S. Participating Territories. The framework would allow exemptions from bigeye tuna catch limits via transfer agreements with the Hawaii-based longliners that effectively allow the longline vessels to fish unconstrained by effort limits, which will exacerbate the ecosystem and species-level impacts.

The CBD further states that the expansion of the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery has been encouraged by allowing exemptions to the Commission's bigeye tuna catch limit. Prior to 2014, the Hawaii-based longline fleet had never exceeded the U.S. catch limit by more than 771 metric tons (mt), leading NMFS to assume last year that, going forward, no more than 1,000 mt of bigeye tuna would be transferred annually under specified territory fishing agreements. In practice, in 2014, the first year that a rule codifying quota shifting from Hawaii-based longliners to the U.S. Participating Territories was in effect, the Hawaii-based longliners exceeded the U.S. catch limit by more than 1,000 mt, using an agreement with the CNMI and then caught 52 mt above and beyond the approved amount. This shows that the rule codifying the quota shifting increased bigeye tuna fishing mortality; this rule will do the same.

Response: This action establishes a framework process under which NMFS will specify fishing effort limits, catch limits, and other restrictions and requirements in U.S. fisheries for HMS in the Convention Area, as may be necessary to implement particular decisions of the Commission. As explained in the section below, “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications,” this final rule does not include the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing the fisheries of the United States and the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories from each other under limits specified under the framework. The framework itself does not specify any longline limits for bigeye tuna, or authorize longline fishing for bigeye tuna after the U.S. limit is reached. Measures for establishing catch and fishing effort specifications in the territories, and allocation specifications, were established by regulations implementing Amendment 7 to the Pelagics FEP, and are not part of this action. This action does not specify any limits under the framework for longline fisheries.

The only specification being issued as part of this action is the purse seine FAD restrictions for 2015. The expected impacts of this specification on the human environment are analyzed in a programmatic environmental assessment that was made available in conjunction with the proposed rule and proposed specifications (see ADDRESSES). Should NMFS use the framework process to specify catch limits for the longline fisheries of the United States or the U.S. Participating Territories, NMFS would complete the appropriate environmental analysis at that time. NMFS has determined that the framework process is categorically excluded from the need to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement (EIS) as it is purely administrative and procedural in nature. The framework simply sets up an efficient process—which might or might not be used by NMFS—for implementing Commission decisions.

Comment 8: The CBD states that the framework, as it would apply to the bigeye tuna catch limits for longline vessels, exceeds NMFS' statutory authority under the WCPFC Implementation Act. According to the WCPFC Implementation Act, NMFS has authority to promulgate only those regulations necessary to carry out the international obligations of the United States under the Convention, including recommendations and decisions adopted by the Commission. Rather than attribute longline vessels' bigeye tuna catch according to the vessel's flag State, as required under CMM 2014-01, the framework would attribute longline bigeye tuna catch to the United States or a U.S. territory on the basis of port of landing, vessel registration, or inclusion of the vessel in a transfer agreement. These criteria are inconsistent with CMM 2014-01 and its predecessor CMM 2013-01. Both CMM 2013-01 and CMM 2014-01 establish a general rule that attribution of catch and effort shall be to the flag State and establish a single bigeye tuna catch limit for all U.S.-flagged longline vessels. Longline vessels in the fisheries of U.S. Participating Territories all operate under the U.S. flag, so they are all subject to the same, unified catch limit. The rule does not reconcile how the framework criteria, which treat catch of different U.S.-flagged vessels differently, could implement the Commission's limits for longline vessels' bigeye tuna catch, which currently allocate catch to the flag State of the vessel. NMFS is legally obliged to implement Commission decisions, which currently call for all Commission members reduce their bigeye catch from current levels. It is not clear that the framework will fulfill this mandate by reducing catch for longline fishing for bigeye tuna in years after 2015.

Response: See responses to Comments 6 and 7, above. NMFS' response to Comment 6 as it relates to CMM 2014-01 also pertains to CMM 2013-01, which is essentially the same as CMM 2014-01 in terms of bigeye tuna catch limits in longline fisheries.

Comment 9: The CBD made several comments related to the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The CBD states that NMFS should have prepared an EIS for the framework because of potentially significant environmental impacts and controversy. The framework's criteria for determining which fisheries are subject to the catch limits are not straightforward, which reduces transparency and creates controversy. Without any environmental analysis of the rule, the public lacks basic information needed to evaluate the framework's potential environmental impacts. For example, the notice does not specify how many vessels would fit under the criteria to attribute catch to the U.S. Participating Territories. Vessels permitted to land HMS in California, Oregon, and Washington can, under the framework, sell catch from the high seas in American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI and have that catch be considered part of the fishery of the territory, but there are no estimates of how many vessels are permitted under 50 CFR 660.707 to which this criteria might apply.

The CBD further states that NMFS has not studied the impact of allowing catch from the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) to be considered part of a territory's fishery, which requires not only an EIS but also consultation under the ESA. The framework and the exemptions from Commission catch limits will have unknown effects on endangered loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles because of increased fishing effort in the EPO, specifically on the high seas off California. The most recent Biological Opinion on the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery, completed in September 2014, did not anticipate longline fishing effort in the EPO. The Biological Opinion treats the catch in the EPO as incidental, although Hawaii-permitted longline vessels have been operating out of and landing their catch in San Diego. Where the fishery operates is critical to assessing impacts to endangered species. Without assessing where the fishing effort takes place—in the high seas off California or in the high seas around U.S. territories—NMFS cannot reliably estimate impacts to endangered sea turtles, and thus an EIS is necessary for this framework.

The CBD states that because the framework is potentially controversial as it could apply to bigeye tuna longline catch limits, NMFS must prepare an EIS. More than 4,000 public comments were submitted in response to NMFS' 2014 rule to establish the attribution of catch to the U.S. Participating Territories (see final rule published October 28, 2014; 79 FR 64097). This is evidence that this framework could be controversial when applied, even though due to the short 15-day comment period, this rule specifically is not likely to raise a similar level of interest. The litigation regarding NMFS' rule to implement the attribution of catch to the U.S. Participating Territories also demonstrates the controversy associated with this aspect of the framework. Because the proposed rule would codify in a framework actions similar to what has already been challenged in court and subject to public protest, NMFS must prepare an EIS.

Response: As stated in the response to Comment 7, the framework does not establish specific fishing effort or catch limits. Because the framework is purely administrative and procedural in nature, NMFS has determined that its establishment is categorically excluded from the need to prepare an environmental assessment or an EIS. Due to its administrative nature, the framework itself will not contribute to any direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts. Should NMFS use the framework process to specify catch limits for longline fisheries, NMFS would complete the appropriate environmental and economic analyses when details of the proposed management action are known. For example, this action includes final specifications under the framework that establish restrictions on the use of FADs by purse seine vessels in 2015. That FAD-related action is supported by a programmatic environmental assessment that was made available in conjunction with the proposed rule and proposed specifications (see ADDRESSES).

NMFS has determined that the proposed framework regulations and associated specifications for 2015 will not affect any ESA-listed species in any manner not considered in prior consultations. The existing September 2014 Biological Opinion for the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery considered the effects of the fishery on ESA-listed species based upon the documented history of where the fishery operates. The fishery continues to operate at levels and in a manner analyzed in the Biological Opinion, and impacts to ESA-listed species remain within levels anticipated and authorized in the incidental take statement. Establishment of this framework, which is purely administrative and procedural in nature, will not alter the operation of the fishery in any way, and therefore does not itself introduce effects of the action that were not considered in earlier consultations.

The reference in the proposed framework to fishing vessels with permits issued under 50 CFR 660.707 has to do with the attribution of catch and fishing effort with respect to the vessel that lands the fish, not the vessel that catches the fish. However, as explained in the section below, “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications,” this final rule does not include that reference or the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing among the fisheries. More generally, NMFS does not expect that catches from the EPO will be subject to any WCPFC-adopted limits that might be established under the framework.

Comment 10: The CBD states that NMFS prohibited shallow-set longlines east of 150° W. longitude to protect sea turtles after a Biological Opinion found that allowing shallow sets for swordfish east of 150° W. longitude would appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery in the wild of loggerhead sea turtles. In April 2009, the Pacific Fishery Management Council discussed amending the fishery management plan to allow use of shallow-set longlines on the high seas, but expressed concerns about how to limit fishing effort based on the high number of inactive permits in the current swordfish fishery using gillnets. The Pacific Fishery Management Council's concerns are not addressed by the framework, which allows vessels permitted to land in California to count their catch as part of a territory's fishery when landing in the territory, vastly increasing fishing effort.

Response: The framework does not authorize any fishing activity that has not already been analyzed under NEPA and the ESA. One of the proposed framework's criteria for distinguishing the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories from U.S. fisheries—for the purpose of Commission-adopted limits—was that if the catch is landed in a U.S. Participating Territory, it would be considered part of a fishery of that territory, provided that several conditions are met, one of which, would be that the vessel that lands the fish must is operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under 50 CFR 660.707 or 50 CFR 665.801. As explained above, this final rule does not include the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing among the fisheries. Furthermore, NMFS does not expect that catches from the EPO will be subject to any WCPFC-adopted limits that might be established under this framework.

Comment 11: The CBD commented that its interpretation of the proposed criteria for distinguishing the fisheries of the United States from those of the U.S. Participating Territories was as follows: (1) Except as provided in (2) and (3), below, if catch is landed in American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI, the catch and associated fishing effort are considered part of the territory in which it is landed, with exceptions for catch from purse seines and catch from outside the part of the U.S. EEZ that surrounds the territory; (2) except as provided under (3), if the vessel is registered under an American Samoa Longline Limited Access Permit, the vessel's catch and effort are considered a part of a fishery of American Samoa as long as it was caught in the portion of the U.S. EEZ surrounding American Samoa and it was landed by a fishing vessel operated in compliance with a permit issued under 50 CFR 660.707 or 665.801; and (3) if the vessel is included in a specified fishing agreement under 50 CFR 665.819(c), the catch and effort are considered part of a fishery of American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI, according to the terms of the agreement.

Response: The CBD's interpretation of the proposed criteria for distinguishing the fisheries of the United States from those of the U.S. Participating Territories is not correct. Under the first two proposed criteria, catch would not necessarily have to be caught in the portion of the U.S. EEZ that surrounds the territory in order to be attributed to a fishery of that territory. For example, fish could be caught on the high seas and attributed to a territorial fishery if certain conditions were met. However, NMFS acknowledges, based on the comments from the CBD and the HLA, that there is public confusion over the meaning and effect of proposed paragraph 50 CFR 300.227(d). Furthermore, NMFS intended for the criteria, as they would apply to longline fisheries, to mirror those in existing regulations related to bigeye tuna catch limits in longline fisheries (at 50 CFR 300.224), but inadvertently wrote the proposed regulations such that they differed from those existing regulations. For these reasons, NMFS is not implementing this provision as proposed. As described in the “Changes from the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications” section, NMFS has not included in this final rule the proposed rule's criteria for distinguishing among the fisheries at 50 CFR 300.227(d).

Changes From the Proposed Rule and Proposed Specifications

NMFS has not made any changes from the proposed specifications for 2015.

NMFS has made five changes from the proposed rule.

First, after considering public comment, NMFS is not finalizing the proposed rule's paragraph (d) of 50 CFR 300.227, titled “U.S. and territorial fisheries.” The proposed paragraph had included criteria to distinguish the fisheries of the U.S. Participating Territories from the fisheries of the United States, such as to determine the vessels to which a specified limit applies or to attribute catch or fishing effort against a specified limit. Comments received on paragraph (d) indicate that there was public confusion over how to interpret the regulatory text and how the criteria would be prioritized. Based on the comments received and on NMFS' own review of the proposed rule text, NMFS finds that the proposed regulatory text at 50 CFR 300.227(d) was confusing to the public and did not afford adequate notice of the proposed criteria. Furthermore, NMFS intended for the criteria to mirror those in existing regulations related to bigeye tuna catch limits in longline fisheries (at 50 CFR 300.224), but inadvertently wrote the proposed regulations such that they differed from those existing regulations. For these reasons, NMFS has decided to finalize the framework without the proposed criteria. NMFS is not including the proposed text at 50 CFR 300.227(d) in the final rule, and may re-propose the criteria at a later time. In the meantime, any criteria that are needed to determine the vessels to which a specified limit applies, or to attribute catch or fishing effort against a specified limit, will be included in the specifications issued under the framework.

Second, NMFS has made non-substantial changes to paragraph (a) of 50 CFR 300.227, which sets out the purpose and general provisions for the framework. The changes make the paragraph align more closely with the language of the WCPFC Implementation Act, particularly to make clear that NMFS (through delegation of authority from the Secretary of Commerce) is authorized to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the international obligations of the United States under the Convention and the WCPFC Implementation Act.

Third, NMFS has made non-substantial changes to paragraph (e) of 50 CFR 300.227, changing three instances of “Commission-mandated limit” to “Commission-adopted limit” to better reflect the responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce and NMFS under the WCPFC Implementation Act.

Fourth, NMFS has made amendments to regulations at 15 CFR 902.1(b) to incorporate the approval of the collection of information requirements for IMO numbers.

Fifth, NMFS has made non-substantive technical modifications to 50 CFR 300.222 to take into consideration that different elements of the final rule go into effect at different times.

Delegation of Authority

Under NOAA Administrative Order 205-11, dated December 17, 1990, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere has delegated authority to sign material for publication in the Federal Register to the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA.

Classification

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

Administrative Procedure Act

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on the amendments to regulations at 15 CFR 902.1(b), because it is unnecessary. This revision is an administrative change that modifies the CFR sections where the information collection requirements under current OMB control number 0648-0595 are located.

There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to establish an effective date less than 30 days after date of publication for the final specifications for 2015 and for the framework element of the final rule (i.e., the addition of section 300.227 to Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations), as well as the new paragraph with prohibitions associated with the framework (i.e., 50 CFR 300.222(xx)). NMFS must establish the restrictions on the use of FADs by October 1, 2015, in order to comply with the provisions of CMM 2014-01 (restrictions on the use of FADs are also required under CMM 2014-01 for July 1 through September 30, 2015, but those restrictions have already been established through regulations at 50 CFR 300.223(b)). The restrictions are intended to reduce or otherwise control fishing pressure on bigeye tuna in the WCPO in order to restore this stock to levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis. According to the NMFS stock status determination criteria, bigeye tuna in the Pacific Ocean is currently experiencing overfishing. Failure to establish the FAD restrictions by October 1, 2015, would result in additional fishing pressure on this stock, in violation of international and domestic legal obligations. The final specifications for 2015 are issued under the regulatory framework established at 50 CFR 300.227, so to make the FAD restrictions effective by October 1, 2015, the framework and its associated prohibitions must also be made effective by that date.

Executive Order 12866

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

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

A final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) was prepared. The FRFA incorporates the initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) prepared for the proposed rule and proposed specifications. The analysis in the IRFA is not repeated here in its entirety.

A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the SUMMARY section of the preamble and in other sections of this SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this final rule and final specifications, above. The analysis follows:

Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

NMFS did not receive any comments on the IRFA.

Description of Small Entities to Which the Rule and Specifications Will Apply

Small entities include “small businesses,” “small organizations,” and “small governmental jurisdictions.” The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size standards for all major industry sectors in the United States, including commercial finfish harvesters (NAICS code 114111). A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide.

The final rule and specifications apply to owners and operators of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area. The framework establishes administrative procedures for implementing Commission decisions. It does not in itself establish any requirements for owners or operators of fishing vessels or other entities. With the exception of the requirement to obtain an IMO number, the substantive elements of the rule and specifications (i.e., those elements expected to bring economic impacts to affected entities) apply only to purse seine vessels. NMFS estimates that of all the U.S. fishing vessels to which the IMO number requirement apply, only 7 do not already have an IMO number. Of the 7, 1 is a purse seine vessel, 4 are longline vessels, and 2 are troll vessels.

The number of purse seine vessels affected by the purse seine specifications is the number of vessels licensed under the Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America (South Pacific Tuna Treaty, or SPTT). The current number of licensed vessels is 37. The maximum number allowed under the SPTT, apart from joint venture licenses, none of which have ever been issued, is 40.

Thus, the fish harvesting entities affected by the final rule and specifications include about 37 purse seine vessels, 4 longline vessels, and 2 troll vessels.

Based on (limited) available financial information about the affected fishing vessels and the SBA's small entity size standards for commercial finfish harvesters, and using individual vessels as proxies for individual businesses, NMFS believes that all the affected fish harvesting businesses are small entities. NMFS used average per-vessel returns over recent years to estimate annual revenue because gross receipts and ex-vessel price information specific to the affected vessels are not available to NMFS. For the purse seine fishery, NMFS estimates that the average annual receipts over 2010-2012 for each purse seine vessel were less than the $20.5 million threshold for finfish harvesting businesses (the greatest was about $19 million) based on the catches of each vessel in the purse seine fleet during that period, and indicative regional cannery prices developed by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (available at https://www.ffa.int/node/425#attachments). Since 2012, cannery prices have declined dramatically, so the vessels' revenues in 2013 and 2014 have very likely declined as well. For the longline fishery, the ex-vessel value of catches by the Hawaii longline fleet in 2012 was about $87 million. With 129 active vessels in that year, per-vessel average revenues were about $0.7 million, well below the $20.5 million threshold for finfish harvesting businesses.

Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Other Compliance Requirements

The recordkeeping, reporting, and other compliance requirements are discussed below for each of the main elements of the final rule and final specifications, as described earlier in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the preamble. Fulfillment of these requirements is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners and operators do not already possess. The costs of complying with the requirements are described below to the extent possible:

1. Framework To Implement Commission Decisions

The framework establishes administrative procedures for implementing Commission decisions. It does not in itself establish any requirements for owners or operators of fishing vessels or other entities, so it is not discussed further in this FRFA.

2. Requirement To Obtain IMO Number

The requirement to obtain an IMO number is a one-time requirement; once a number has been issued for a vessel, the vessel would be in compliance for the remainder of its life, regardless of changes in ownership. Most entities that are required to obtain an IMO number already have them. NMFS estimates that 7 fishing vessels (that are currently in the fishery) are initially subject to the requirement, and projects that as fishing vessels enter the fishery in the future, roughly two per year will be required to obtain IMO numbers. Completing and submitting the application form (which can be done online and requires no fees) is expected to take about 30 minutes per applicant, on average. Assuming a value of labor of approximately $26 per hour and communication costs of about $1 per application, the (one-time) cost to each entity are expected to be about $14.

3. Other Regulatory Changes

Among the final rule's other regulatory changes, only the change to the daily FAD reporting requirements has the potential to bring economic impacts to affected entities. Under the previous regulations, when NMFS triggered the daily FAD reporting requirement through an announcement in the Federal Register, the vessel owner or operator would have had to complete and submit the reports each day while the fishing vessel is at sea in the Convention Area. NMFS estimated that cost to be about $1,360 per vessel per year. Under the change made in this rule, the vessel owner or operator has to complete and submit the reports only if and when directed by NMFS. Because the purse seine FAD restrictions for 2015 do not include any FAD set limits, it is unlikely that NMFS will direct vessel operators to submit reports for 2015. Thus, the change could potentially reduce the reporting costs to affected purse seine entities during this period.

4. Purse Seine FAD Restrictions

The FAD prohibition period in July-October in 2015 will substantially constrain the manner in which purse seine fishing can be conducted in that period in the Convention Area; vessels will be able to set only on free, or “unassociated,” schools.

The costs associated with the FAD restrictions cannot be quantitatively estimated, but the fleet's historical use of FADs can give a qualitative estimate of the costs. In the years 1997-2013, the proportion of sets made on FADs in the U.S. purse seine fishery ranged from less than 30 percent in some years to more than 90 percent in others. Thus, the importance of FAD sets in terms of profits appears to be quite variable over time, and is probably a function of many factors, including fuel prices (unassociated sets involve more searching time and thus tend to bring higher fuel costs than FAD sets) and market conditions (e.g., FAD fishing, which tends to result in greater catches of lower-value skipjack tuna and smaller yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna than unassociated sets, might be more attractive and profitable when canneries are not rejecting small fish). Thus, the costs of complying with the FAD restrictions will depend on a variety of factors.

In 2010-2013, the last 4 years for which complete data are available and for which there was 100 percent observer coverage, the U.S. WCPO purse seine fleet made about 39 percent of its sets on FADs. During the months when setting on FADs was allowed, the percentage was about 58 percent. The fact that the fleet has made such a substantial portion of its sets on FADs indicates that prohibiting the use of FADs for four months each year is likely to bring substantial costs and/or revenue losses.

To mitigate these impacts, vessel operators might choose to schedule their routine vessel and equipment maintenance during the FAD prohibition periods. However, the limited number of vessel maintenance facilities in the region might constrain vessel operators' ability to do this. It also is conceivable that some vessels might choose not to fish at all during the FAD prohibition periods rather than fish without the use of FADs. Observations of the fleet's behavior in 2009-2013, when FAD prohibition periods were in effect, do not suggest that either of these responses occurred to an appreciable degree. The proportion of the fleet that fished during the two- and three-month FAD prohibition periods of 2009-2013 did not appreciably differ from the proportion that fished during the same months in the years 1997-2008, when no FAD prohibition periods were in place.

In summary, the economic impacts of the FAD prohibition period in 2015 cannot be quantified, but they could be substantial. Their magnitude will depend in part on market conditions, ocean conditions and the magnitude of any limits on allowable levels of fishing effort in foreign EEZs and on the high seas in the Convention Area.

Disproportionate Impacts

As indicated above, all affected entities are believed to be small entities, thus small entities will not be disproportionately affected relative to large entities. Nor will there be disproportionate economic impacts based on vessel size or home port. With respect to vessel type, the specifications for 2015 apply only to purse seine vessels, so they would not impact any other vessel types.

Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impacts on Small Entities

NMFS has sought to identify alternatives that would minimize the rule's and specifications' economic impact on small entities (“significant alternatives”). Taking no action could result in lesser adverse economic impacts than the action for many affected entities, but NMFS has determined that the no-action alternative would fail to accomplish the objectives of the WCPFC Implementation Act, including satisfying the international obligations of the United States as a Contracting Party to the Convention, and NMFS has rejected it for that reason. Alternatives identified for each of the main elements of the rule and specifications are discussed below:

1. Framework To Implement Commission Decisions

The framework will not in itself establish any requirements for owners or operators of fishing vessels or other entities, so would not bring economic impacts. Thus, NMFS has not identified any significant alternatives.

2. Requirement To Obtain IMO Number

NMFS has not identified any significant alternatives to the IMO number requirement that would comport with U.S. obligations to implement the Commission decision regarding IMO numbers.

3. Other Regulatory Changes

None of the other regulatory changes are expected to bring adverse economic impacts to affected entities, so NMFS has not identified any significant alternatives.

4. Purse Seine FAD Restrictions

NMFS considered in detail one alternative to the restrictions on the use of FADs in 2015. Under the alternative, purse seine vessels would be subject to a 3-month (July-September) FAD prohibition period in 2015, and a limit of 2,522 FAD sets for the year. This alternative would be consistent with the options available to the United States under CMM 2014-01. The impacts of this alternative relative to those of the final action (4-month FAD closure) would depend on the total amount of fishing effort available to the U.S. purse seine fleet in the Convention Area in 2015. If total available fishing effort is relatively high, the final action (4-month FAD closure) would likely allow for more FAD sets than would this alternative, and thus likely cause lesser adverse impacts. The reverse would be the case for relatively low levels of total available fishing effort. For example, given the fleet's historical average FAD set ratio of 58 percent, and assuming an even distribution of sets throughout the year, the estimated “breakeven” point between the two alternatives would be 6,502 total available sets for the year. Although the amount of fishing effort that will be available to the fleet in the future, particularly under the SPTT, cannot be predicted with any certainty, 6,502 sets is substantially less than the amounts of fishing effort that have been available to the fleet since it has been operating under the SPTT. For that reason, NMFS expects that the final action (4-month FAD closure) likely would cause less severe economic impacts on the purse seine fleet and its participants than would this alternative, and NMFS has rejected the alternative of a 3-month FAD closure in combination with a limit of 2,522 FAD sets for that reason.

Small Entity Compliance Guide

Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. NMFS has prepared one or more small entity compliance guides for this rule and specifications, and will send them to holders of permits in the relevant fisheries. The guide(s) and this final rule also will be available at www.fpir.noaa.gov and by request from NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES).

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule contains three collection-of-information requirements that are subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).

The first collection has been approved by the OMB under control number 0648-0595, “Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Vessel Information Family of Forms.” This collection-of-information has been revised to include the requirement for the owners of certain fishing vessels to ensure that IMO numbers are issued for the vessels. This is a one-time requirement; no renewals or updates are required during the life of a vessel. A fishing vessel owner can request the issuance of an IMO number by submitting specific information about the vessel and its ownership and management to IHS Maritime, which issues IMO numbers on behalf of the International Maritime Organization. If a fishing vessel requires an exemption, the owner must provide the required information to NMFS. Providing the required information is expected to bring a public reporting burden of approximately 30 minutes per response.

The second collection, requirements related to installing and operating vessel monitoring system units, has been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0596, “Vessel Monitoring System Requirements under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention.” Public reporting burden for the VMS requirements is estimated to average 5 minutes per response for the activation reports and on/off reports, 4 hours per response for VMS unit purchase and installation, and 1 hour per response for VMS unit maintenance.

The third collection, the daily FAD reporting requirement, has been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0649, “Transshipment Requirements under the WCPFC.” Public reporting burden for the daily FAD report is estimated to average 10 minutes per response.

These estimated response times include time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

Send comments regarding these burden estimates, or any other aspect of the data collections, including whether the collections are necessary for the performance of the functions of the agency, the accuracy of the agency's estimates of burden, ways to enhance the utility and clarity of information, and suggestions for reducing the burden, to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES) and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 902

Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

50 CFR Part 300

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

Dated: September 25, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, 15 CFR part 902 and 50 CFR part 300 are amended as follows:

Title 15—Commerce and Foreign Trade PART 902—NOAA INFORMATION COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: OMB CONTROL NUMBERS 1. The authority citation for part 902 continues to read as follows: Authority:

44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

2. In § 902.1, in the table in paragraph (b), under the entry “50 CFR”, add an entry in alphanumeric order for “300.217” to read as follows:
§ 902.1 OMB control numbers assigned pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(b) * * *

CFR Part or section where the information collection requirement is located Current OMB control number (all numbers begin with 0648-) * * * * * 50 CFR: * * * * * 300.217 -0595 * * * * *
Title 50—Wildlife and Fisheries PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart O—Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species 3. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

4. In § 300.211, revise the definition of “Fishing day” to read as follows:
§ 300.211 Definitions.

Fishing day means, for fishing vessels equipped with purse seine gear, any day in which a fishing vessel searches for fish, deploys a FAD, services a FAD, or sets a purse seine, with the exception of setting a purse seine solely for the purpose of testing or cleaning the gear and resulting in no catch.

5. In § 300.217, add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 300.217 Vessel identification.

(c) IMO numbers. (1) For the purpose of this section, an IMO number is the unique number issued for a vessel under the ship identification number scheme established by the International Maritime Organization or, for vessels that are not strictly subject to that scheme, the unique number issued by the administrator of that scheme using the scheme's numbering format, sometimes known as a Lloyd's Register number or LR number.

(2) The owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area, either on the high seas or in waters under the jurisdiction of any nation other than the United States, shall request and obtain an IMO number for the vessel if the gross tonnage of the vessel, as indicated on the vessel's current Certificate of Documentation issued under 46 CFR part 67, is at least 100 GRT or 100 GT ITC. An IMO number may be requested for a vessel by following the instructions given by the administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme; those instructions are currently available on the Web site of IHS Maritime, at: www.imonumbers.lrfairplay.com/default.aspx.

(3) In the event that the owner of a fishing vessel subject to the requirement of paragraph (c)(2) of this section, after following the instructions given by the administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme, is unable to obtain an IMO number for the fishing vessel, the fishing vessel owner may request an exemption from the requirement from the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator. The request must be sent by mail to the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator or by email to [email protected] and must include the vessel's name, the vessel's official number, a description of the steps taken to request an IMO number, and a description of any responses from the administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme.

(4) Upon receipt of a request for an exemption under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will, to the extent he or she determines appropriate, assist the fishing vessel owner in requesting an IMO number. If the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator determines that it is infeasible or impractical for the fishing vessel owner to obtain an IMO number for the fishing vessel, he or she will issue an exemption from the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section for the subject fishing vessel and its owner and notify the fishing vessel owner of the exemption. The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may limit the duration of the exemption. The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may rescind an exemption at any time. If an exemption is rescinded, the fishing vessel owner must comply with the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section within 30 days of being notified of the rescission. If the ownership of a fishing vessel changes, an exemption issued to the former fishing vessel owner becomes void.

6. In § 300.218, revise paragraph (g) to read as follows:
§ 300.218 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

(g) Daily FAD reports. If directed by NMFS, the owner or operator of any fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear must report to NMFS, for the period and in the format and manner directed by the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator, within 24 hours of the end of each day that the vessel is at sea in the Convention Area, the number of purse seine sets were made on FADs during that day.

7. In § 300.219, revise paragraphs (c)(1) and (5) to read as follows:
§ 300.219 Vessel monitoring system.

(c) * * *

(1) VMS unit. The vessel owner and operator shall install and maintain on the fishing vessel, in accordance with instructions provided by the SAC and the VMS unit manufacturer, a VMS unit that is type-approved by NMFS for fisheries governed under the Act. The vessel owner and operator shall arrange for a NMFS-approved mobile communications service provider to receive and relay transmissions from the VMS unit to NMFS. NMFS makes available lists of type-approved VMS units and approved mobile communications service providers. NMFS and the Commission are authorized to receive and relay transmissions from the VMS unit.

(5) Related VMS requirements. Installing, carrying and operating a VMS unit in compliance with the requirements in part 300 of this title, part 660 of this title, or part 665 of this title relating to the installation, carrying, and operation of VMS units shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, provided that the VMS unit is operated continuously and at all times while the vessel is at sea, the VMS unit is type-approved by NMFS for fisheries governed under the Act, and the specific requirements of paragraph (c)(4) of this section are complied with. If the VMS unit is owned by NMFS, the requirement under paragraph (c)(4) of this section to repair or replace the VMS unit will be the responsibility of NMFS, but the vessel owner and operator shall be responsible for ensuring that the VMS unit is operable before leaving port or starting the next trip.

8. Amend § 300.222, effective October 1, 2015, by adding paragraph (xx) to read as follows:
§ 300.222 Prohibitions.

(xx) Fail to comply with any of the limits, restrictions, prohibitions, or requirements specified under § 300.227.

9. Section 300.222 is further amended as follows: a. Remove paragraphs (x) and (z); b. Redesignate paragraphs (y) and (aa) as paragraphs (x) and (y), respectively; c. Redesignate paragraphs (bb) through (ww) as (z) through (uu), respectively; and d. Add paragraph (vv) and reserved paragraph (ww).

The additions reads as follows:

§ 300.222 Prohibitions.

(vv) Fail to obtain an IMO number for a fishing vessel as required in § 300.217(c).

(ww) [Reserved].

10. In § 300.223, revise paragraph (d) and remove and reserve paragraph (e).

The revision reads as follows:

§ 300.223 Purse seine fishing restrictions.

(d) Catch retention. An owner and operator of a fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear must ensure the retention on board at all times while at sea within the Convention Area any bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), or skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), except in the following circumstances and with the following conditions:

(1) Fish that are unfit for human consumption, including but not limited to fish that are spoiled, pulverized, severed, or partially consumed at the time they are brought on board, may be discarded.

(2) If at the end of a fishing trip there is insufficient well space to accommodate all the fish captured in a given purse seine set, fish captured in that set may be discarded, provided that no additional purse seine sets are made during the fishing trip.

(3) If a serious malfunction of equipment occurs that necessitates that fish be discarded.

11. Add § 300.227 to subpart O, effective October 1, 2015, to read as follows:
§ 300.227 Framework for catch and fishing effort limits.

(a) General. To implement conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may specify limits on catch or fishing effort by fishing vessels of the United States in the Convention Area, and other fishing-related restrictions and requirements (collectively called “limits”). The limits will be specified as may be necessary to carry out the international obligations of the United States under the WCPF Convention and the Act, and will be designed to implement particular provisions of Commission-adopted conservation and management measures. For each specified limit, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will specify the area and period in which it applies, and as appropriate, the vessel types, gear types, species, fish sizes, and any other relevant attributes to which it applies. In addition to quantitative limits on catches and fishing effort, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may specify areas or periods in which particular fishing activities are restricted or prohibited, and other fishing-related requirements. For each specified quantitative limit, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will also specify the prohibitions and requirements that would go into effect after the limit is reached and the applicable dates of those prohibitions.

(b) Application in territorial seas and archipelagic waters. Unless stated otherwise in particular specifications, the limits specified under the framework shall not apply in the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of the United States or any other nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States.

(c) Types of limits. The types of limits that may be specified under this section include, but are not limited to:

(1) Limits on the weight or number of fish or other living marine resources of specific types and/or sizes that may be caught, retained, transshipped, landed, and/or sold;

(2) Limits on the amount of fishing effort that may be expended, such as the amount of time vessels spend at sea (e.g., days at sea) or engaged in fishing (e.g., fishing days), the amount of time vessels spend engaged in particular fishing activities (e.g., trolling hours), and the quantity of specific fishing activities (e.g., number of hooks set; number of longline sets or purse seine sets; number of purse seine sets made on FADs; number of FADs deployed); and

(3) Areas or periods in which particular activities are restricted or prohibited, such as periods during which it is prohibited to set purse seines on FADs or to use FADs in specific other ways.

(d) [Reserved]

(e) Allocation of limits among sectors or vessels. (1) The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may allocate a Commission-adopted limit among particular sectors or groups of fishing vessels of the United States, such as for vessels that use different types of fishing gear. In other words, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may specify separate limits for different sectors or groups of fishing vessels even when not required to do so under the Commission's conservation and management measures.

(2) The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may not, under this framework, allocate a Commission-adopted limit among individual fishing vessels of the United States. In other words, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may not, under this framework, specify limits for individual fishing vessels of the United States, except in the case where there is only one fishing vessel in a sector or group of fishing vessels that is subject to the limit. This does not preclude NMFS from allocating Commission-adopted limits among individual fishing vessels through other regulations.

(f) Procedures for specifying limits. (1) For each specified limit, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will publish in the Federal Register a notice of the proposed catch or fishing effort limit specification and a request for public comment on the proposed specification, unless exempted under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553. The specification will include the characteristics of the limit and the restrictions that will go into effect if the limit is reached.

(2) For each specified limit that is subject to prior notice and public comment, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will consider any public comment received on the proposed specification, and publish in the Federal Register a notice of the final catch or fishing effort limit specification, if appropriate.

(g) Notification of limits being reached. For quantitative limits, NMFS will monitor catch or fishing effort with respect to the specified limit using data submitted in vessel logbooks and other available information. When NMFS estimates or projects that the specified limit has or will be reached, the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will publish notification to that effect in the Federal Register.

(h) Prohibitions after limit is reached. For quantitative limits, the Federal Register notice published under paragraph (g) of this section will include an advisement that specific activities will be prohibited during a specific period. The notice will specify the prohibitions and their start and end dates. The start date of the prohibitions may not be earlier than 7 days after the date of filing for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register the notice to be published under paragraph (g) of this section. The prohibited activities may include, but are not limited to, possessing, retaining on board, transshipping, landing, or selling specific types and/or sizes of fish or other living marine resources, and fishing with specified gear types or methods in specified areas. The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator may, based on revised estimates or projections of catch or fishing effort with respect to specified limits, rescind or modify the prohibitions specified under this section. The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator will publish notice of any such rescissions or modifications in the Federal Register.

[FR Doc. 2015-24853 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0886] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge; Houma, LA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone extending 400 yards east and west of the West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge in Bayou Lafourche, LA. This safety zone is necessary to protect persons, property, and infrastructure from potential damage and safety hazards associated with construction work on the bridge. During the periods of enforcement, entry into and transiting or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by Captain of the Port (COTP) Morgan City or other designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from October 1, 2015 through 3 p.m. on October 2, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015, until October 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0886]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Taylor, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard MSU Morgan City 800 David Dr, Morgan City LA,70380; telephone (985) 380-5334, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 1-800-647-5527.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking MSU Marine Safety Unit A. Regulatory History and Information

The Coast Guard is issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. An NPRM is impracticable and contrary to the public interest because the Coast Guard was only notified of the construction on September 08, 2015 and the work is scheduled to occur from September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015. Providing a full NPRM process would delay the effectiveness the temporary safety zone until after the bridge construction project has been completed and immediate action is needed to protect vessels and the public from the safety hazards associated with bridge construction over a public waterway. Furthermore, an NPRM is unnecessary because the Coast Guard will inform the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, and/or Safety Marine Information Broadcasts of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the planned and published dates and times of enforcement.

For the same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effectiveness of the rule is impracticable and contrary to the public interest because the Coast Guard was only notified of the construction on September 08, 2015 and the work is scheduled to occur from September 28, 2015 through October 02, 2015. Waiting to apply the rule until it has been published for 30 days would delay the effectiveness the temporary safety zone until after the bridge construction project has been completed and immediate action is needed to protect vessels and the public from the safety hazards associated with bridge construction over a public waterway. Additionally, the Coast Guard will inform the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, and/or Safety Marine Information Broadcasts of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the planned and published dates and times of enforcement.

B. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation no. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish and define safety zones.

The purpose of the rule is to establish the necessary temporary safety zone to provide protection for persons and property, including commercial and recreational vessels that may be in the area during the bridge construction project from the hazards associated with the project.

C. Discussion of the Final Rule

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all waters in Bayou Lafourche extending 400 yards to the east and west of the West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge located at position 29°34′142″ N, 090°23′109″ W in Bayou Lafourche, LA from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015. This temporary safety zone will be enforced with actual notice from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015.

Entry into, transiting or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

D. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 13 of these statutes or executive orders.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

We conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced over two days. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this temporary rule on small entities. This rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of recreational vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of Bayou Lafourche, LA from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015.

3. Collection of Information

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

4. Federalism

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

5. Protest Activities

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

6. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

7. Taking of Private Property

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

8. Civil Justice Reform

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

9. Protection of Children

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

10. Indian Tribal Governments

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

11. Energy Effects

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

12. Technical Standards

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

13. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves establishing a safety zone. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusions Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. A new temporary § 165.T08-0886 is added to read as follows:
§ 165.T08-0886 Safety Zone; West Larose Vertical Lift Bridge; Houma, LA.

(a) Location. All waters of Bayou Lafourche within 400yds to the east and west of the West Larose Vertical Lift bridge in position 29°34′142″ N., 090°23′109″ W.

(b) Effective and Enforcement Period. This rule is effective from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015. This rule will be enforced with actual notice from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015.

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

(2) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port to act on his behalf. The on-scene representative of the Captain of the Port will be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. The Captain of the Port or his designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

(3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port Morgan City or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Morgan City or his on-scene representative.

(d) Informational Broadcasts. The COTP Morgan City or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, and/or Safety Marine Information Broadcasts of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the planned and published dates and times of enforcement.

Dated: September 10, 2015. F.L. Gilmore, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port Morgan City, LA.
[FR Doc. 2015-24827 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455; FRL-9934-81-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex Counties AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve the 2011 base year inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for New Castle and Sussex Counties, submitted by the State of Delaware. The emission inventories were submitted to meet the nonattainment requirements for the marginal ozone nonattainment areas for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is approving the 2011 base year emissions inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for New Castle and Sussex Counties, Delaware, in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

This rule is effective on November 30, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by November 2, 2015. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455 by one of the following methods:

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

B. Email: [email protected]

C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 89 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 1401, Dover, Delaware 19903.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Maria A. Pino, (215) 814-2181, or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) react in the presence of sunlight. Referred to as ozone precursors, these two pollutants are emitted by many types of pollution sources, including on- and off-road motor vehicles and engines, power plants and industrial facilities, and area wide sources, such as consumer products and lawn and garden equipment. Scientific evidence indicates that adverse public health effects occur following a person's exposure to ozone, particularly children and adults with lung disease. Breathing air containing ozone can reduce lung function and inflame airways, which can increase respiratory symptoms and aggravate asthma or other lung diseases. As a consequence of this scientific evidence, EPA promulgated the 0.12 part per million (ppm) 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 44 FR 8202 (February 8, 1979).

On July 18, 1997 (62 FR 38855), EPA promulgated a revised ozone NAAQS of 0.08 ppm, averaged over eight hours. This standard was determined to be more protective of public health than the previous 1979 1-hour ozone standard. In 2008, EPA revised the 8-hour ozone NAAQS from 0.08 to 0.075 ppm. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). On May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088), New Castle and Sussex Counties were designated as marginal nonattainment for the more stringent 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. New Castle County is part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Sussex County is designated as the Seaford nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Under section 172(c)(3) of the CAA, Delaware is required to submit comprehensive, accurate, and current inventories of actual emissions from all sources of the relevant pollutants in its marginal nonattainment areas, i.e., New Castle and Sussex Counties.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

Under CAA section 172(c)(3), states are required to submit a comprehensive, accurate, current accounting of actual emissions from all sources (point, nonpoint, nonroad, and onroad) in the nonattainment area. CAA section 182(a)(1) requires that areas designated as nonattainment and classified as marginal are to submit an inventory of all sources of ozone precursors no later than 2 years after the effective date of designation. This “base year” inventory contains actual annual emissions and typical ozone season day emissions for the ozone season of May through September for NOX, VOC, and carbon monoxide (CO).

On April 23, 2015, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environment Control (DE DNREC) submitted its 2011 base year inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for its marginal nonattainment areas of New Castle and Sussex Counties. The 2011 base year inventories include emissions estimates that cover the general source categories of stationary point sources, stationary nonpoint sources, nonroad mobile sources and onroad mobile sources. The pollutants that comprise the inventory are NOX, VOCs, and CO.

Tables 1 and 2 summarize the 2011 VOC, NOX and CO emission inventory by source sector for New Castle and Sussex Counties. Annual emissions are given in tons per year (tpy), and summer weekday emissions are given in tons per day (tpd).

Table 1—New Castle County 2011 Emissions Source sector Annual (tpy) VOC NOX CO Summer Weekday (tpd) VOC NOX CO Point 819 2,750 3,649 2.97 12.02 12.32 Non-Point 4,882 1,324 3,425 11.39 2.11 2.24 Onroad 3,285 7,495 37,489 8.85 20.65 91.58 Nonroad 1,989 3,577 20,688 7.04 11.19 79.33 Total 10,975 15,146 65,251 30.25 45.97 185.47 Table 2—Sussex County 2011 Emissions Source sector Annual (tpy) VOC NOX CO Summer Weekday (tpd) VOC NOX CO Point 815 2,456 442 4.94 12.10 1.60 Non-Point 2,177 478 2,463 5.95 0.86 2.05 Onroad 2,974 4,702 28,323 8.86 14.87 78.67 Nonroad 2,558 3,045 16,917 8.47 10.02 60.50 Total 8,524 10,681 48,145 28.22 37.85 142.82

EPA's guidance for emissions inventory development calls for actual emissions to be used in the base year inventory. DE DNREC developed the point source data for the 2011 base year inventory using emissions directly reported by the facilities. For the 2011 nonpoint source emissions, also known as “area sources,” DE DNREC estimated emissions by multiplying an emission factor by some known indicator of collective activity for each source category by county. These emissions are typically calculated on an annual basis, because activity data are generally only available on an annual basis. DE DNREC converted the annual emissions to seasonal emissions.

DE DNREC has submitted data from EPA's National Emissions Inventory (NEI), version 1, for the onroad inventory. The NEI onroad emissions inventory was developed using the EPA's highway mobile source emissions model, MOVES 2010a. DE DNREC prepared the 2011 nonroad mobile source inventory using EPA's NONROAD2008a model, which estimates fuel consumption and emissions for all nonroad mobile source categories except for aircraft, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels. Aircraft emissions were estimated using the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS). Locomotive emissions were calculated using company provided fuel consumption data. Commercial marine vessel emissions were calculated using specific activity and operation data for each vessel. DE DNREC reported annual emissions and ozone season day emissions.

EPA reviewed DE DNREC's 2011 base year emission inventories for New Castle and Sussex Counties and determined that the results obtained and the procedures and methodologies used are acceptable and approvable. A detailed evaluation of Delaware's 2011 base year inventories is provided in the Technical Support Document (TSD) EPA prepared for this rulemaking action. The TSD can be found at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455.

III. Final Action

Pursuant to section 172(c) of the CAA, EPA is approving the 2011 base year emissions inventories for New Castle and Sussex Counties submitted by the State of Delaware for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS as revisions to the Delaware's SIP. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on November 30, 2015 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 2, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

C. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 30, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action. This action approving Delaware's 2011 base year inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for New Castle and Sussex Counties 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, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: September 17, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart I—Delaware
2. In § 52.420, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry “2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard” at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.420 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

Name of non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic
  • area
  • State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA Approval
  • date
  • Additional
  • explanation
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard New Castle and Sussex Counties April 23, 2015 October 1, 2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] § 52.423(e).
    3. Section 52.423 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 52.423 Base year emissions inventory.

    (e) EPA approves as a revision to the Delaware State Implementation Plan the 2011 base year emissions inventory for New Castle and Sussex Counties for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard submitted by the Delaware Department of the Natural Resources and Environmental Control on April 23, 2015. The 2011 base year emissions inventory includes emissions estimates that cover the general source categories of point sources, nonroad mobile sources, area sources, onroad mobile sources, and biogenic sources. The pollutants that comprise the inventory are nitrogen oxides (NOX), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and carbon monoxide (CO).

    [FR Doc. 2015-24889 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0404; FRL-9934-92-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Metal Furniture Coatings and Miscellaneous Metal Parts Coatings AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. The revision includes amendments to Maryland's regulation for the control of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and meets the requirement to adopt reasonably available control technology (RACT) for sources covered by EPA's Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) standards for coatings for metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts. These amendments will reduce emissions of VOC from these source categories and assist Maryland to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone. EPA is approving this revision to reduce VOC emissions in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0404. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy for public inspection during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On July 17, 2015 (80 FR 42459), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Maryland, proposing approval of Maryland's SIP submittal which includes amendments to the State's regulation for the control of VOCs and adopts the requirements of EPA's CTGs for the coating of metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts, as RACT for these source categories. The formal SIP revision (#14-02) was submitted by the State of Maryland on July 28, 2014.

    Section 172(c)(1) of the CAA provides that SIPs for nonattainment areas must include reasonably available control measures (RACM), including RACT for sources of emissions. Section 182(b)(2)(A) provides that for certain nonattainment areas, states must revise their SIPs to include RACT for sources of VOC emissions covered by a CTG document issued after November 15, 1990 and prior to the area's date of attainment. States can follow the CTGs and adopt state regulations to implement the recommendations contained therein, or they can adopt alternative approaches. In either case, states must submit their RACT rules to EPA for review and approval as part of the SIP process.

    In September 2007, EPA published a new CTG for Metal Furniture Coatings (EPA-453/R-07-005), and in September 2008, EPA published a new CTG for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings (EPA-453/R-08-003). These CTGs discuss the nature of VOC emissions from these industries, the available control technologies for addressing such emissions, the cost of available control options, and other information. EPA developed new CTGs for these industries after reviewing existing state and local VOC emission reduction approaches, new source performance standards (NSPS), previously issued CTGs, and national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for these source categories.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On July 28, 2014, the State of Maryland through the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) submitted to EPA a SIP revision (#14-02) concerning the adoption of the emission limits for metal furniture coatings found in the Metal Furniture Coatings CTG and miscellaneous metal parts coatings found in the Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings CTG. Maryland has adopted EPA's CTG standards for metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts coating processes by amending Regulation .08 under COMAR 26.11.19, Volatile Organic Compounds from Specific Sources. Specifically, this revision amends the existing regulation in section 26.11.19.08 by adding coating standards for both metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts that are either equal to or more stringent than the coating standards found in EPA's CTGs. Additionally, new definitions and application methods were added to COMAR section 26.11.19.08. A detailed summary of Maryland's amendments and EPA's review of and rationale for approving this SIP revision submittal may be found in the NPR and Technical Support Document (TSD) for this rulemaking action which is available online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0404.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the State of Maryland's July 28, 2014 SIP submittal as a revision to the Maryland SIP. The SIP submittal being approved in this action consists of amendments to Maryland's regulation for the control of VOCs and adopts the requirements of EPA's CTGs for the coating of metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts, as RACT for these source categories.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking action, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the MDE rules regarding control of VOC emissions from metal furniture and miscellaneous metal parts coatings as described in Section II of this rulemaking action. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 30, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action to approve amendments of Maryland's VOC control regulation into Maryland's SIP 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 17, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart V—Maryland 2. In § 52.1070, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entry for “26.11.19.08” to read as follows:
    § 52.1070 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Regulations, Technical Memoranda, and Statutes in the Maryland SIP Code of Maryland Administrative Regulations (COMAR) citation Title/Subject State effective date EPA approval date Additional explanation/citation at 40 CFR 52.1100 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 26.11.19 Volatile Organic Compounds From Specific Processes *         *         *         *         *         *         * 26.11.19.08 Metal Parts and Products Coating 5/26/14 10/1/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Amends section title.
  • Adds definitions.
  • Section 26.11.19.08(B), Emission Standards, removed. Section 26.11.19.08(B), Incorporation by Reference, added. Section 26.11.19.08(C), Applicability and Exemptions, added. Section 26.11.19.08(D), Emission Standards, added. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-24862 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 412 [CMS-1606-CN] RIN 0938-AS08 Medicare Program; Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System—Update for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2014 (FY 2015); Correction AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Correction of final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors that appeared in the final rule published in the Federal Register on August 6, 2014 entitled “Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System—Update for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2014 (FY 2015); Final Rule.”

    DATES:

    Effective October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Lucas or Jana Lindquist,

    (410) 786-7723.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2014-18329 of August 6, 2014 (79 FR 45938), there were a number of technical errors that are identified in the Summary of Errors section (section II), and corrected in the Correction of Errors section (section IV). The provisions in this correction document, which relate to the inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPF) prospective payment system (PPS) ICD-10-CM diagnosis coding conversion for comorbidities, are effective as if they had been included in the document published August 06, 2014 (FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule). While the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule had an effective date of October 1, 2014, the implementation of the ICD-10 code sets does not occur until October 1, 2015. Accordingly, the corrections in this document will be effective on the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation date.

    The FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule was effective October 1, 2014 for all updates and changes, except for the conversion of ICD-9-CM codes to ICD-10-CM codes. We noted in that final rule (79 FR 45945) that on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) (Pub. L. 113-93) was enacted. Section 212 of PAMA, titled “Delay in Transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 Code Sets,” provides that “[t]he Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2(c)) and section 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.” We indicated that, in light of PAMA, the effective date of changes from ICD-9 to ICD-10 for the IPF PPS would be the date when ICD-10 becomes the required medical data code set for use on Medicare claims.

    In that FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule (79 FR 45945), we also stated that on May 1, 2014, the Department announced that, in light of section 212 of PAMA, “the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015.” The Department asserted that the interim final rule would also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015. Therefore, we explained that we will continue to require use of the ICD-9-CM codes for reporting the MS-DRG and comorbidity adjustment factors for IPF services through FY 2015, and that we will require the use of ICD-10 codes beginning October 1, 2015 (79 FR 45945). The final rule “Administrative Simplification: Change to the Compliance Date for the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS) Medical Data Code Sets” was published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2014, and finalized the compliance date for ICD-10 as October 1, 2015 (79 FR 45128).

    II. Summary of Errors Payment for Comorbid Conditions

    The IPF PPS includes a comorbidity payment adjustment. The intent of the comorbidity adjustment is to recognize the increased costs associated with comorbid conditions by providing additional payments for certain concurrent medical or psychiatric conditions that are expensive to treat. In the May 2011 IPF PPS final rule (76 FR 26451 through 26452), we explained that the IPF PPS includes 17 comorbidity categories and identified the new, revised, and deleted ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes that generated a comorbid condition payment adjustment under the IPF PPS for RY 2012 (76 FR 26451).

    In Table 7 of the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule, the 17 comorbidity categories defined using ICD-9-CM codes were converted to ICD-10-CM codes (79 FR 45953). We discovered the following eight technical errors in ICD-10-CM codes or code ranges listed in Table 7 of the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule, which we are correcting. These eight errors were typographic errors which we are correcting to conform to the policies adopted in the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule, and do not reflect any substantive policy changes:

    (1) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “C000 through C4002” should read “C000 through C399, C4001, C4002.

    (2) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “C44191” is being removed.

    (3) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “D225 through D2261” should read “D225, D2261,”

    (4) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “D3192 through D485” should read “D3192 through D471.”

    (5) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “D4861 through D471” should read “D4861 through D499.”

    (6) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “D479 through D499” should read “D479.”

    (7) From the “Oncology Treatment” comorbidity category on page 45953, “D47Z1 through D47Z9” should read “D47Z1, D47Z9.”

    (8) From the “Infectious Disease” comorbidity category on page 45954, “R1111” is being removed.

    Additionally, IPF providers and software companies asked us to make the table more user-friendly by listing each ICD-10-CM code individually, rather than showing the ICD-10-CM code ranges, as originally presented in Table 7 of the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule. As such, we are republishing Table 7 in its entirety with each ICD-10-CM code listed individually rather than shown in a range, after incorporating the eight corrections noted above. We have also posted Table 7 on the IPF PPS Web site, under the “Tools and Worksheets” link at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/InpatientPsychFacilPPS/tools.html.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefor in the notice.

    Section 553(d) of the APA ordinarily requires a 30-day delay in effective date of final rules after the date of their publication in the Federal Register. This 30-day delay in effective date can be waived, however, if an agency finds for good cause that the delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in the rule issued.

    In our view, this correction document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements. This correction document corrects technical errors in a table included in the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies and payment methodologies that were adopted and subjected to notice and comment procedures in the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule. As a result, the corrections made through this correction document are intended to ensure that the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that rule.

    Even if this were a rulemaking to which the notice and comment and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers and suppliers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule accurately reflects our policies as of the date they take effect and are applicable. Further, such procedures would be unnecessary, because we are not altering the payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply correctly implementing the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correction document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2015 IPF PPS final rule accurately reflects these payment methodologies and policies. For these reasons, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2014-18329 of August 6, 2014 (79 FR 45938), make the following corrections:

    1. On pages 45953 through 45955, “Table 7—FY 2015 Diagnosis Codes and Adjustment Factors for Comorbidity Categories,” the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 7—FY 2015 Diagnosis Codes and Adjustment Factors for Comorbidity Categories Description of
  • comorbidity
  • ICD-10-CM diagnoses codes Adjustment factor
    Developmental Disabilities F70, F71, F72, F73, F78, and F79 1.04 Coagulation Factor Deficits D66, D67, D680, D681, and D682 1.13 Tracheostomy J9500, J9501, J9502, J9503, J9504, J9509, and Z930 1.06 Renal Failure, Acute N170, N171, N172, N178, N179, O0482, O0732, O084, O904, and T795XXA 1.11 Renal Failure, Chronic I120, I1311, I132, N183, N184, N185, N186, N189, N19, Z4901, Z4902, Z4931, Z9115, and Z992 1.11 Oncology Treatment C000, C001, C002, C003, C004, C005, C006, C008, C01, C020, C021, C022, C023, C024, C028, C030, C031, C040, C041, C048, C050, C051, C052, C058, C060, C061, C062, C0680, C0689, C07, C080, C081, C089, C090, C091, C098, C099, C100, C101, C102, C103, C104, C108, C109, C110, C111, C112, C113, C118, C119, C12, C130, C131, C132, C138, C139, C140, C142, C148, C153, C154, C155, C158, C159, C160, C161, C162, C163, C164, C165, C166, C168, C169, C170, C171, C172, C173, C178, C179, C180, C181, C182, C183, C184, C185, C186, C187, C188, C189, C19, C20, C210, C211, C212, C218, C220, C221, C222, C223, C224, C227, C228, C229, C23, C240, C241, C248, C249, C250, C251, C252, C253, C254, C257, C258, C259, C260, C261, C269, C300, C301, C310, C311, C312, C313, C318, C319, C320, C321, C322, C323, C328, C329, C33, C3400, C3401, C3402, C3410, C3411, C3412, C342, C3430, C3431, C3432, C3480, C3481, C3482, C3491, C3492, C37, C380, C381, C382, C383, C384, C388, C390, C399, C4001, C4002, C4011, C4012, C4021, C4022, C4031, C4032, C4081, C4082, C4091, C4092, C410, C411, C412, C413, C414, C419, C430, C4311, C4312, C4321, C4322, C4330, C4331, C4339, C434, C4351, C4352, C4359, C4361, C4362, C4371, C4372, C438, C4400, C4401, C4402, C4409, C44102, C44109, C44112, C44119, C44122, C44129, C44192, C44199, C44202, C44209, C44212, C44219, C44222, C44229, C44291, C44292, C44299, C44300, C44301, C44309, C44310, C44311, C44319, C44320, C44321, C44329, C44390, C44391, C44399, C4440, C4441, C4442, C4449, C44500, C44501, C44509, C44510, C44511, C44519, C44520, C44521, C44529, C44590, C44591, C44599, C44602, C44609, C44612, C44619, C44622, C44629, C44692, C44699, C44702, C44709, C44712, C44719, C44722, C44729, C44792, C44799, C4480, C4481, C4482, C4489, C450, C451, C452, C457, C459, C460, C461, C462, C463, C464, C4650, C4651, C4652, C467, C469, C470, C4711, C4712, C4721, C4722, C473, C474, C475, C476, C478, C480, C481, C482, C488, C490, C4911, C4912, C4921, C4922, C493, C494, C495, C496, C498, C4A0, C4A11, C4A12, C4A21, C4A22, C4A30, C4A31, C4A39, C4A4, C4A51, C4A52, C4A59, C4A61, C4A62, C4A71, C4A72, C4A8, C50011, C50012, C50021, C50022, C50111, C50112, C50121, C50122, C50211, C50212, C50221, C50222, C50311, C50312, C50321, C50322, C50411, C50412, C50421, C50422, C50511, C50512, C50521, C50522, C50611, C50612, C50621, C50622, C50811, C50812, C50821, C50822, C50911, C50912, C50921, C50922, C510, C511, C512, C518, C519, C52, C530, C531, C538, C539, C540, C541, C542, C543, C548, C549, C55, C561, C562, C569, C5700, C5701, C5702, C5710, C5711, C5712, C5720, C5721, C5722, C573, C574, C577, C578, C58, C600, C601, C602, C608, C609, C61, C6200, C6201, C6202, C6210, C6211, C6212, C6291, C6292, C6300, C6301, C6302, C6310, C6311, C6312, C632, C637, C638, C641, C642, C651, C652, C659, C661, C662, C669, C670, C671, C672, C673, C674, C675, C676, C677, C678, C679, C680, C681, C688, C689, C6901, C6902, C6911, C6912, C6920, C6921, C6922, C6930, C6931, C6932, C6940, C6941, C6942, C6951, C6952, C6961, C6962, C6981, C6982, C6991, C6992, C700, C701, C709, C710, C711, C712, C713, C714, C715, C716, C717, C718, C719, C720, C721, C7220, C7221, C7222, C7230, C7231, C7232, C7240, C7241, C7242, C7250, C7259, C73, C7400, C7401, C7402, C7410, C7411, C7412, C7491, C7492, C750, C751, C752, C753, C754, C755, C758, C759, C760, C761, C762, C763, C7641, C7642, C7651, C7652, C768, C770, C771, C772, C773, C774, C775, C778, C7800, C7801, C7802, C781, C782, C7830, C7839, C784, C785, C786, C787, C7880, C7889, C7900, C7901, C7902, C7910, C7911, C7919, C792, C7931, C7932, C7940, C7949, C7951, C7952, C7960, C7961, C7962, C7970, C7971, C7972, C7981, C7982, C7989, C7A00, C7A010, C7A011, C7A012, C7A019, C7A020, C7A021, C7A022, C7A023, C7A024, C7A025, C7A026, C7A029, C7A090, C7A091, C7A092, C7A093, C7A094, C7A095, C7A096, C7A098, C7A1, C7A8, C7B00, C7B01, C7B02, C7B03, C7B04, C7B09, C7B1, C7B8, C800, C801, C802, C8100, C8101, C8102, C8103, C8104, C8105, C8106, C8107, C8108, C8109, C8110, C8111, C8112, C8113, C8114, C8115, C8116, C8117, C8118, C8119, C8120, C8121, C8122, C8123, C8124, C8125, C8126, C8127, C8128, C8129, C8130, C8131, C8132, C8133, C8134, C8135, C8136, C8137, C8138, C8139, C8140, C8141, C8142, C8143, C8144, C8145, C8146, C8147, C8148, C8149, C8170, C8171, C8172, C8173, C8174, C8175, C8176, C8177, C8178, C8179, C8190, C8191, C8192, C8193, C8194, C8195, C8196, C8197, C8198, C8199, C8200, C8201, C8202, C8203, C8204, C8205, C8206, C8207, C8208, C8209, C8210, C8211, C8212, C8213, C8214, C8215, C8216, C8217, C8218, C8219, C8220, C8221, C8222, C8223, C8224, C8225, C8226, C8227, C8228, C8229, C8230, C8231, C8232, C8233, C8234, C8235, C8236, C8237, C8238, C8239, C8240, C8241, C8242, C8243, C8244, C8245, C8246, C8247, C8248, C8249, C8250, C8251, C8252, C8253, C8254, C8255, C8256, C8257, C8258, C8259, C8260, C8261, C8262, C8263, C8264, C8265, C8266, C8267, C8268, C8269, C8280, C8281, C8282, C8283, C8284, C8285, C8286, C8287, C8288, C8289, C8290, C8291, C8292, C8293, C8294, C8295, C8296, C8297, C8298, C8299, C8300, C8301, C8302, C8303, C8304, C8305, C8306, C8307, C8308, C8309, C8310, C8311, C8312, C8313, C8314, C8315, C8316, C8317, C8318, C8319, C8330, C8331, C8332, C8333, C8334, C8335, C8336, C8337, C8338, C8339, C8350, C8351, C8352, C8353, C8354, C8355, C8356, C8357, C8358, C8359, C8370, C8371, C8372, C8373, C8374, C8375, C8376, C8377, C8378, C8379, C8380, C8381, C8382, C8383, C8384, C8385, C8386, C8387, C8388, C8389, C8390, C8391, C8392, C8393, C8394, C8395, C8396, C8397, C8398, C8399, C8400, C8401, C8402, C8403, C8404, C8405, C8406, C8407, C8408, C8409, C8410, C8411, C8412, C8413, C8414, C8415, C8416, C8417, C8418, C8419, C8440, C8441, C8442, C8443, C8444, C8445, C8446, C8447, C8448, C8449, C8460, C8461, C8462, C8463, C8464, C8465, C8466, C8467, C8468, C8469, C8470, C8471, C8472, C8473, C8474, C8475, C8476, C8477, C8478, C8479, C8490, C8491, C8492, C8493, C8494, C8495, C8496, C8497, C8498, C8499, C84A0, C84A1, C84A2, C84A3, C84A4, C84A5, C84A6, C84A7, C84A8, C84A9, C84Z0, C84Z1, C84Z2, C84Z3, C84Z4, C84Z5, C84Z6, C84Z7, C84Z8, C84Z9, C8510, C8511, C8512, C8513, C8514, C8515, C8516, C8517, C8518, C8519, C8520, C8521, C8522, C8523, C8524, C8525, C8526, C8527, C8528, C8529, C8580, C8581, C8582, C8583, C8584, C8585, C8586, C8587, C8588, C8589, C8590, C8591, C8592, C8593, C8594, C8595, C8596, C8597, C8598, C8599, C860, C861, C862, C863, C864, C865, C866, C882, C883, C884, C888, C889, C9000, C9001, C9002, C9010, C9011, C9012, C9020, C9021, C9022, C9030, C9031, C9032, C9100, C9101, C9102, C9110, C9111, C9112, C9130, C9131, C9132, C9140, C9141, C9142, C9150, C9151, C9152, C9160, C9161, C9162, C9190, C9191, C9192, C91A0, C91A1, C91A2, C91Z0, C91Z1, C91Z2, C9200, C9201, C9202, C9210, C9211, C9212, C9220, C9221, C9222, C9230, C9231, C9232, C9240, C9241, C9242, C9250, C9251, C9252, C9260, C9261, C9262, C9290, C9291, C9292, C92A0, C92A1, C92A2, C92Z0, C92Z1, C92Z2, C9300, C9301, C9302, C9310, C9311, C9312, C9330, C9331, C9332, C9390, C9391, C9392, C93Z0, C93Z1, C93Z2, C9400, C9401, C9402, C9420, C9421, C9422, C9430, C9431, C9432, C9440, C9441, C9442, C946, C9480, C9481, C9482, C9500, C9501, C9502, C9510, C9511, C9512, C9590, C9591, C9592, C960, C962, C964, C969, C96A, C96Z, D0000, D0001, D0002, D0003, D0004, D0005, D0006, D0007, D0008, D001, D002, D010, D011, D012, D013, D0140, D0149, D015, D017, D019, D020, D021, D0220, D0221, D0222, D023, 1.07  D024, D030, D0311, D0312, D0321, D0322, D0330, D0339, D034, D0351, D0352, D0359, D0361, D0362, D0371, D0372, D038, D039, D040, D0411, D0412, D0421, D0422, D0430, D0439, D044, D045, D0461, D0462, D0471, D0472, D048, D049, D0501, D0502, D0511, D0512, D0581, D0582, D0591, D0592, D060, D061, D067, D069, D070, D071, D072, D0730, D0739, D074, D075, D0760, D0761, D0769, D090, D0910, D0919, D0921, D0922, D093, D098, D099, D100, D101, D102, D1030, D1039, D104, D105, D106, D107, D109, D110, D117, D119, D120, D121, D122, D123, D124, D125, D126, D127, D128, D129, D130, D131, D132, D1330, D1339, D134, D135, D136, D137, D139, D140, D141, D142, D1430, D1431, D1432, D144, D150, D151, D152, D157, D159, D1601, D1602, D1611, D1612, D1621, D1622, D1631, D1632, D164, D165, D166, D167, D168, D169, D170, D171, D1721, D1722, D1723, D1724, D1730, D1739, D174, D175, D176, D1771, D1772, D1779, D179, D1800, D1801, D1802, D1803, D1809, D181, D190, D191, D197, D199, D200, D201, D210, D2111, D2112, D2121, D2122, D213, D214, D215, D216, D219, D220, D2211, D2212, D2221, D2222, D2230, D2239, D224, D225, D2261, D2262, D2271, D2272, D229, D230, D2311, D2312, D2321, D2322, D2330, D2339, D234, D235, D2361, D2362, D2371, D2372, D239, D241, D242, D250, D251, D252, D259, D260, D261, D267, D269, D270, D271, D279, D280, D281, D282, D287, D289, D290, D291, D2920, D2921, D2922, D2930, D2931, D2932, D294, D298, D299, D3000, D3001, D3002, D3010, D3011, D3012, D3020, D3021, D3022, D303, D304, D308, D309, D3101, D3102, D3110, D3111, D3112, D3120, D3121, D3122, D3130, D3131, D3132, D3140, D3141, D3142, D3151, D3152, D3161, D3162, D3191, D3192, D320, D321, D329, D330, D331, D332, D333, D334, D337, D339, D34, D3500, D3501, D3502, D351, D352, D353, D354, D355, D356, D357, D359, D360, D3610, D3611, D3612, D3613, D3614, D3615, D3616, D3617, D367, D369, D3701, D3702, D37030, D37031, D37032, D37039, D3704, D3705, D3709, D371, D372, D373, D374, D375, D376, D378, D379, D380, D381, D382, D383, D384, D385, D386, D390, D3910, D3911, D3912, D392, D398, D399, D3A00, D3A010, D3A011, D3A012, D3A019, D3A020, D3A021, D3A022, D3A023, D3A024, D3A025, D3A026, D3A029, D3A090, D3A091, D3A092, D3A093, D3A094, D3A095, D3A096, D3A098, D3A8, D400, D4010, D4011, D4012, D408, D409, D4100, D4101, D4102, D4110, D4111, D4112, D4120, D4121, D4122, D413, D414, D418, D419, D420, D421, D429, D430, D431, D432, D433, D434, D438, D439, D440, D4410, D4411, D4412, D442, D443, D444, D445, D446, D447, D449, D45, D460, D461, D4620, D4621, D4622, D464, D469, D46A, D46B, D46C, D46Z, D470, D471, D473, D479, D47Z1, D47Z9, D480, D481, D482, D483, D484, D485, D4861, D4862, D487, D489, D490, D491, D492, D493, D494, D495, D496, D497, D4981, D4989, D499, K317, K635, Q8500, Q8501, Q8502, Q8503, and Q8509, with a radiation therapy or chemotherapy code from ICD-10-PCS: 08H031Z, 08H0X1Z, 08H131Z, 08H1X1Z, 0BH001Z, 0BH031Z, 0BH041Z, 0BH071Z, 0BH081Z, 0BHK01Z, 0BHK31Z, 0BHK41Z, 0BHK71Z, 0BHK81Z, 0BHL01Z, 0BHL31Z, 0BHL41Z, 0BHL71Z, 0BHL81Z, 0CH701Z, 0CH731Z, 0CH7X1Z, 0DH501Z, 0DH531Z, 0DH541Z, 0DH571Z, 0DH581Z, 0DHP01Z, 0DHP31Z, 0DHP41Z, 0DHP71Z, 0DHP81Z, 0FHB01Z, 0FHB31Z, 0FHB41Z,0FHB71Z, 0FHB81Z, 0FHD01Z, 0FHD31Z, 0FHD41Z, 0FHD71Z, 0FHD81Z, 0HHT01Z, 0HHT31Z, 0HHT71Z, 0HHT81Z, 0HHTX1Z, 0HHU01Z, 0HHU31Z, 0HHU71Z, 0HHU81Z, 0HHUX1Z, 0HHV01Z, 0HHV31Z, 0HHV71Z, 0HHV81Z, 0HHVX1Z, 0HHW01Z, 0HHW31Z, 0HHW71Z, 0HHW81Z, 0HHWX1Z, 0HHX01Z, 0HHX31Z, 0HHX71Z, 0HHX81Z, 0HHXX1Z, 0JHS01Z, 0JHS31Z, 0JHT01Z, 0JHT31Z, 0JHV01Z, 0JHV31Z, 0JHW01Z, 0JHW31Z, 0UHC01Z, 0UHC31Z, 0UHC41Z, 0UHC71Z, 0UHC81Z, 0UHG01Z, 0UHG31Z, 0UHG41Z, 0UHG71Z, 0UHG81Z, 0UHGX1Z, 0VH001Z, 0VH031Z, 0VH041Z, 0VH071Z, 0VH081Z, 0WH001Z, 0WH031Z, 0WH041Z, 0WH101Z, 0WH131Z, 0WH141Z, 0WH201Z, 0WH231Z, 0WH241Z, 0WH301Z, 0WH331Z, 0WH341Z, 0WH401Z, 0WH431Z, 0WH441Z, 0WH501Z, 0WH531Z, 0WH541Z, 0WH601Z, 0WH631Z, 0WH641Z, 0WH801Z, 0WH831Z, 0WH841Z, 0WH901Z, 0WH931Z, 0WH941Z, 0WHB01Z, 0WHB31Z, 0WHB41Z, 0WHC01Z, 0WHC31Z, 0WHC41Z, 0WHD01Z, 0WHD31Z, 0WHD41Z, 0WHF01Z, 0WHF31Z, 0WHF41Z, 0WHG01Z, 0WHG31Z, 0WHG41Z, 0WHH01Z, 0WHH31Z, 0WHH41Z, 0WHJ01Z, 0WHJ31Z, 0WHJ41Z, 0WHK01Z, 0WHK31Z, 0WHK41Z, 0WHL01Z, 0WHL31Z, 0WHL41Z, 0WHM01Z, 0WHM31Z, 0WHM41Z, 0WHN01Z, 0WHN31Z, 0WHN41Z, 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DM006ZZ, DM010ZZ, DM011ZZ, DM012ZZ, DM013Z0, DM013ZZ, DM014ZZ, DM015ZZ, DM016ZZ, DM1097Z, DM1098Z, DM1099Z, DM109BZ, DM109CZ, DM109YZ, DM10B7Z, DM10B8Z, DM10B9Z, DM10BBZ, DM10BCZ, DM10BYZ, DM1197Z, DM1198Z, DM1199Z, DM119BZ, DM119CZ, DM119YZ, DM11B7Z, DM11B8Z, DM11B9Z, DM11BBZ, DM11BCZ, DM11BYZ, DMY07ZZ, DMY08ZZ, DMY0FZZ, DMY0KZZ, DMY17ZZ, DMY18ZZ, DMY1FZZ, DMY1KZZ, DP000ZZ, DP001ZZ, DP002ZZ, DP003Z0, DP003ZZ, DP004ZZ, DP005ZZ, DP006ZZ, DP020ZZ, DP021ZZ, DP022ZZ, DP023Z0, DP023ZZ, DP024ZZ, DP025ZZ, DP026ZZ, DP030ZZ, DP031ZZ, DP032ZZ, DP033Z0, DP033ZZ, DP034ZZ, DP035ZZ, DP036ZZ, DP040ZZ, DP041ZZ, DP042ZZ, DP043Z0, DP043ZZ, DP044ZZ, DP045ZZ, DP046ZZ, DP050ZZ, DP051ZZ, DP052ZZ, DP053Z0, DP053ZZ, DP054ZZ, DP055ZZ, DP056ZZ, DP060ZZ, DP061ZZ, DP062ZZ, DP063Z0, DP063ZZ, DP064ZZ, DP065ZZ, DP066ZZ, DP070ZZ, DP071ZZ, DP072ZZ, DP073Z0, DP073ZZ, DP074ZZ, DP075ZZ, DP076ZZ, DP080ZZ, DP081ZZ, DP082ZZ, DP083Z0, DP083ZZ, DP084ZZ, DP085ZZ, DP086ZZ, DP090ZZ, DP091ZZ, DP092ZZ, DP093Z0, DP093ZZ, DP094ZZ, DP095ZZ, DP096ZZ, DP0B0ZZ, DP0B1ZZ, DP0B2ZZ, DP0B3Z0, DP0B3ZZ, DP0B4ZZ, DP0B5ZZ, DP0B6ZZ, DP0C0ZZ, DP0C1ZZ, DP0C2ZZ, DP0C3Z0, DP0C3ZZ, DP0C4ZZ, DP0C5ZZ, DP0C6ZZ, DPY07ZZ, DPY08ZZ, DPY0FZZ, DPY27ZZ, DPY28ZZ, DPY2FZZ, DPY37ZZ, DPY38ZZ, DPY3FZZ, DPY47ZZ, DPY48ZZ, DPY4FZZ, DPY57ZZ, DPY58ZZ, DPY5FZZ, DPY67ZZ, DPY68ZZ, DPY6FZZ, DPY77ZZ, DPY78ZZ, DPY7FZZ, DPY87ZZ, DPY88ZZ, DPY8FZZ, DPY97ZZ, DPY98ZZ, DPY9FZZ, DPYB7ZZ, DPYB8ZZ, DPYBFZZ, DPYC7ZZ, DPYC8ZZ, DPYCFZZ, DT000ZZ, DT001ZZ, DT002ZZ, DT003Z0, DT003ZZ, DT004ZZ, DT005ZZ, DT006ZZ, DT010ZZ, DT011ZZ, DT012ZZ, DT013Z0, DT013ZZ, DT014ZZ, DT015ZZ, DT016ZZ, DT020ZZ, DT021ZZ, DT022ZZ, DT023Z0, DT023ZZ, DT024ZZ, DT025ZZ, DT026ZZ, DT030ZZ, DT031ZZ, DT032ZZ, DT033Z0, DT033ZZ, DT034ZZ, DT035ZZ, DT036ZZ, DT1097Z, DT1098Z, DT1099Z, DT109BZ, DT109CZ, DT109YZ, DT10B7Z, DT10B8Z, DT10B9Z, DT10BBZ, DT10BCZ, DT10BYZ, DT1197Z, DT1198Z, DT1199Z, DT119BZ, DT119CZ, DT119YZ, DT11B7Z, DT11B8Z, DT11B9Z, DT11BBZ, DT11BCZ, DT11BYZ, DT1297Z, DT1298Z, DT1299Z, T129BZ, DT129CZ, DT129YZ, DT12B7Z, DT12B8Z, DT12B9Z, DT12BBZ, DT12BCZ, DT12BYZ, DT1397Z, DT1398Z, DT1399Z, DT139BZ, DT139CZ, DT139YZ, DT13B7Z, DT13B8Z, DT13B9Z, DT13BBZ, DT13BCZ, DT13BYZ, DTY07ZZ, DTY08ZZ, DTY0CZZ, DTY0FZZ, DTY17ZZ, DTY18ZZ, DTY1CZZ, DTY1FZZ, DTY27ZZ, DTY28ZZ, DTY2CZZ, DTY2FZZ, DTY37ZZ, DTY38ZZ, DTY3CZZ, DTY3FZZ, DU000ZZ, DU001ZZ, DU002ZZ, DU003Z0, DU003ZZ, DU004ZZ, DU005ZZ, DU006ZZ, DU010ZZ, DU011ZZ, DU012ZZ, DU013Z0, DU013ZZ, DU014ZZ, DU015ZZ, DU016ZZ, DU020ZZ, DU021ZZ, DU022ZZ, DU023Z0, DU023ZZ, DU024ZZ, DU025ZZ, DU026ZZ, DU1097Z, DU1098Z, DU1099Z, DU109BZ, DU109CZ, DU109YZ, DU10B7Z, DU10B8Z, DU10B9Z, DU10BBZ, DU10BCZ, DU10BYZ, DU1197Z, DU1198Z, DU1199Z, DU119BZ, DU119CZ, DU119YZ, DU11B7Z, DU11B8Z, DU11B9Z, DU11BBZ, DU11BCZ, DU11BYZ, DU1297Z, DU1298Z, DU1299Z, DU129BZ, DU129CZ, DU129YZ, DU12B7Z, DU12B8Z, DU12B9Z, DU12BBZ, DU12BCZ, DU12BYZ, DUY07ZZ, DUY08ZZ, DUY0CZZ, DUY0FZZ, DUY17ZZ, DUY18ZZ, DUY1CZZ, DUY1FZZ, DUY27ZZ, DUY28ZZ, DUY2CZZ, DUY2FZZ, DV000ZZ, DV001ZZ, DV002ZZ, DV003Z0, DV003ZZ, DV004ZZ, DV005ZZ, DV006ZZ, DV010ZZ, DV011ZZ, DV012ZZ, DV013Z0, DV013ZZ, DV014ZZ, DV015ZZ, DV016ZZ, DV1097Z, DV1098Z, DV1099Z, DV109BZ, DV109CZ, DV109YZ, DV10B7Z, DV10B8Z, DV10B9Z, DV10BBZ, DV10BCZ, DV10BYZ, DV1197Z, DV1198Z, DV1199Z, DV119BZ, DV119CZ, DV119YZ, DV11B7Z, DV11B8Z, DV11B9Z, DV11BBZ, DV11BCZ, DV11BYZ, DVY07ZZ, DVY08ZZ, DVY0CZZ, DVY0FZZ, DVY0KZZ, DVY17ZZ, DVY18ZZ, DVY1FZZ, DW010ZZ,  DW011ZZ, DW012ZZ, DW013Z0, DW013ZZ, DW014ZZ, DW015ZZ, DW016ZZ, DW020ZZ, DW021ZZ, DW022ZZ, DW023Z0, DW023ZZ, DW024ZZ, DW025ZZ, DW026ZZ, DW030ZZ, DW031ZZ, DW032ZZ, DW033Z0, DW033ZZ, DW034ZZ, DW035ZZ, DW036ZZ, DW040ZZ, DW041ZZ, DW042ZZ, DW043Z0, DW043ZZ, DW044ZZ, DW045ZZ, DW046ZZ, DW050ZZ, DW051ZZ, DW052ZZ, DW053Z0, DW053ZZ, DW054ZZ, DW055ZZ, DW056ZZ, DW060ZZ, DW061ZZ, DW062ZZ, DW063Z0, DW063ZZ, DW064ZZ, DW065ZZ, DW066ZZ, DW1197Z, DW1198Z, DW1199Z, DW119BZ, DW119CZ, DW119YZ, DW11B7Z, DW11B8Z, DW11B9Z, DW11BBZ, DW11BCZ, DW11BYZ, DW1297Z, DW1298Z, DW1299Z, DW129BZ, DW129CZ, DW129YZ, DW12B7Z, DW12B8Z, DW12B9Z, DW12BBZ, DW12BCZ, DW12BYZ, DW1397Z, DW1398Z, DW1399Z, DW139BZ, DW139CZ, DW139YZ, DW13B7Z, DW13B8Z, DW13B9Z, DW13BBZ, DW13BCZ, DW13BYZ, DW1697Z, DW1698Z, DW1699Z, DW169BZ, DW169CZ, DW169YZ, DW16B7Z, DW16B8Z, DW16B9Z, DW16BBZ, DW16BCZ, DW16BYZ, DWY17ZZ, DWY18ZZ, DWY1FZZ, DWY27ZZ, DWY28ZZ, DWY2FZZ, DWY37ZZ, DWY38ZZ, DWY3FZZ, DWY47ZZ, DWY48ZZ, DWY4FZZ, DWY57ZZ, DWY58ZZ, DWY5FZZ, DWY5GDZ, DWY5GFZ, DWY5GGZ, DWY5GHZ, DWY5GYZ, DWY67ZZ, DWY68ZZ, and DWY6FZZ Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus with or without complications E1065 and E1165 1.05 Severe Protein Calorie Malnutrition E40, E41, E42, and E43 1.13 Eating and Conduct Disorders F5000, F5001, F5002, F509, F631, F6381, and F911 1.12 Infectious Disease A150, A154, A155, A156, A157, A158, A159, A170, A171, A1781, A1782, A1783, A1789, A179, A1801, A1802, A1803, A1809, A1810, A1811, A1812, A1813, A1814, A1815, A1816, A1817, A1818, A182, A1831, A1832, A1839, A184, A1850, A1851, A1852, A1853, A1854, A1859, A186, A187, A1881, A1882, A1883, A1884, A1885, A1889, A190, A191, A192, A198, A199, A200, A201, A202, A203, A207, A208, A209, A210, A211, A212, A213, A217, A218, A219, A220, A221, A222, A227, A228, A229, A230, A231, A232, A233, A238, A239, A240, A241, A242, A243, A249, A250, A251, A259, A260, A267, A268, A269, A280, A281, A282, A288, A289, A300, A301, A302, A303, A304, A305, A308, A309, A310, A311, A312, A318, A319, A320, A3211, A3212, A327, A3281, A3282, A3289, A329, A35, A360, A361, A362, A363, A3681, A3682, A3683, A3684, A3685, A3686, A3689, A369, A3700, A3701, A3710, A3711, A3780, A3781, A3790, A3791, A380, A381, A388, A389, A390, A391, A392, A393, A394, A3950, A3951, A3952, A3953, A3981, A3982, A3983, A3984, A3989, A399, A400, A401, A403, A408, A409, A4101, A4102, A411, A412, A413, A414, A4150, A4151, A4152, A4153, A4159, A4181, A4189, A419, A420, A421, A422, A427, A4281, A4282, A4289, A429, A430, A431, A438, A439, A46, A480, A482, A483, A484, A4851, A4852, A488, A491, A70, A710, A711, A719, A740, A7489, A800, A801, A802, A8030, A8039, A804, A809, A8100, A8101, A8109, A811, A812, A8181, A8182, A8183, A8189, A819, A820, A821, A829, A830, A831, A832, A833, A834, A835, A836, A838, A839, A840, A841, A848, A849, A850, A851, A852, A858, A86, A870, A871, A872, A878, A879, A880, A881, A888, A89, A90, A91, A920, A921, A922, A9230, A9231, A9232, A9239, A924, A928, A929, A930, A931, A932, A938, A94, A950, A951, A959, A960, A961, A962, A968, A969, A980, A981, A982, A983, A984, A985, A988, A99, B0050, B0051, B0052, B0053, B0059, B010, B0111, B0112, B012, B0181, B0189, B019, B020, B021, B0221, B0222, B0223, B0224, B0229, B03, B04, B050, B051, B052, B053, B054, B0581, B0589, B059, B0600, B0601, B0602, B0609, B0681, B0682, B0689, B069, B08010, B08011, B0802, B0803, B0804, B0809, B0820, B0821, B0822, B083, B084, B085, B0860, B0861, B0862, B0869, B0870, B0871, B0872, B0879, B088, B09, B1001, B1009, B1081, B1082, B1089, B150, B159, B160, B161, B162, B169, B170, B1710, B1711, B172, B178, B179, B180, B181, B182, B188, B189, B190, B1910, B1911, B1920, B1921, B199, B20, B250, B251, B252, B258, B259, B260, B261, B262, B263, B2681, B2682, B2683, B2684, B2685, B2689, B269, B2700, B2701, B2702, B2709, B2710, B2711, B2712, B2719, B2780, B2781, B2782, B2789, B2790, B2791, B2792, B2799, B330, B331, B3320, B3321, B3322, B3323, B3324, B333, B338, B341, B471, B479, B950, B951, B952, B953, B954, B955, B958, B9730, B9731, B9732, B9733, B9734, B9735, B9739, G032, I673, J020, J0300, J0301, J202, K9081, L081, L444, and M60009 1.07 Drug and/or Alcohol Induced Mental Disorders F10121, F10220, F10221, F10229, F10231, F10921, F11151, F1120, F11220, F11221, F11222, F11229, F1123, F1124, F11250, F11251, F11259, F11281, F11282, F11288, F1129, F11920, F11921, F11922, F11929, F1193, F11951, F12120, F12121, F12122, F12129, F12151, F12220, F12221, F12222, F12229, F12251, F12920, F12921, F12922, F12929, F12951, F13120, F13121, F13129, F13151, F13220, F13221, F13229, F13230, F13231, F13232, F13239, F13251, F13920, F13921, F13929, F13930, F13931, F13932, F13939, F13951, F14120, F14121, F14122, F14129, F14151, F14220, F14221, F14222, F14229, F1423, F14251, F14920, F14921, F14922, F14929, F14951, F15120, F15121, F15122, F15129, F15151, F15220, F15221, F15222, F15229, F1523, F15251, F15920, F15921, F15922, F15929, F1593, F15951, F16120, F16121, F16122, F16129, F16151, F16220, F16221, F16229, F16251, F16920, F16921, F16929, F16951, F17203, F17213, F17223, F17293, F18120, F18121, F18129, F18151, F18220, F18221, F18229, F18251, F18920, F18921, F18929, F18951, F19120, F19121, F19122, F19129, F19151, F19220, F19221, F19222, F19229, F19230, F19231, F19232, F19239, F19251, F19920, F19921, F19922, F19929, F19930, F19931, F19932, F19939, and F19951 1.03 Cardiac Conditions I010, I011, I012, I110, I270, I330, I339, and I39 1.11 Gangrene E0852, E0952, E1052, E1152, E1352, I70261, I70262, I70263, I70268, I70361, I70362, I70363, I70368, I70461, I70462, I70463, I70468, I70561, I70562, I70563, I70568, I70661, I70662, I70663, I70668, I70761, I70762, I70763, I70768, I7301, and I96 1.10 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease J441, J470, J471, J860, J95850, J9610, J9611, J9612, J9620, J9621, J9622, Z9911, and Z9912 1.12 Artificial Openings—Digestive and Urinary K9400, K9401, K9402, K9403, K9409, K9410, K9411, K9412, K9413, K9419, N990, N99520, N99521, K9400, K9401, K9402, K9403, K9409, K9410, K9411, K9412, K9413, K9419, N990, N99520, N99521, N99522, N99528, N99530, N99531, N99532, N99538, N9981, N9989, Z931, Z932, Z933, Z934, Z9350, Z9351, Z9352, Z9359, Z936 N99522, N99528, N99530, N99531, N99532, N99538, N9981, N9989, Z931, Z932, Z933, Z934, Z9350, Z9351, Z9352, Z9359, and Z936 1.08 Severe Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Diseases L4050, L4051, L4052, L4053, L4054, L4059, M320, M3210, M3211, M3212, M3213, M3214, M3215, M3219, M328, M329, M4620, M4621, M4622, M4623, M4624, M4625, M4626, M4627, M4628, M86011, M86012, M86021, M86022, M86031, M86032, M86041, M86042, M86051, M86052, M86061, M86062, M86071, M86072, M8608, M8609, M86111, M86112, M86121, M86122, M86131, M86132, M86141, M86142, M86151, M86152, M86161, M86162, M86171, M86172, M8618, M8619, M86211, M86212, M86221, M86222, M86231, M86232, M86241, M86242, M86251, M86252, M86261, M86262, M86271, M86272, M8628, M8629, M86311, M86312, M86321, M86322, M86331, M86332, M86341, M86342, M86351, M86352, M86361, M86362, M86371, M86372, M8638, M8639, M86411, M86412, M86421, M86422, M86431, M86432, M86441, M86442, M86451, M86452, M86461, M86462, M86471, M86472, M8648, M8649, M86511, M86512, M86521, M86522, M86531, M86532, M86541, M86542, M86551, M86552, M86561, M86562, M86571, M86572, M8658, M8659, M86611, M86612, M86621, M86622, M86631, M86632, M86641, M86642, M86651, M86652, M86661, M86662, M86671, M86672, M8668, M8669, M868X0, M868X1, M868X2, M868X3, M868X4, M868X5, M868X6, M868X7, M868X8, and M869 1.09 Poisoning T391X1A, T391X2A, T391X3A, T391X4A, T400X1A, T400X2A, T400X3A, T400X4A, T401X1A, T401X2A, T401X3A, T401X4A, T402X1A, T402X2A, T402X3A, T402X4A, T403X1A, T403X2A, T403X3A, T403X4A, T404X1A, T404X2A, T404X3A, T404X4A, T40601A, T40602A, T40603A, T40604A, T40691A, T40692A, T40693A, T40694A, T407X1A, T407X2A, T407X3A, T407X4A, T408X1A, T408X2A, T408X3A, T408X4A, T40901A, T40902A, T40903A, T40904A, T40991A, T40992A, T40993A, T40994A, T410X1A, T410X2A, T410X3A, T410X4A, T411X1A, T411X2A, T411X3A, T411X4A, T41201A, T41202A, T41203A, T41204A, T41291A, T41292A, T41293A, T41294A, T413X1A, T413X2A, T413X3A, T413X4A, T4141XA, T4142XA, T4143XA, T4144XA, T423X1A, T423X2A, T423X3A, T423X4A, T424X1A, T424X2A, T424X3A, T424X4A, T426X1A, T426X2A, T426X3A, T426X4A, T4271XA, T4272XA, T4273XA, T4274XA, T428X1A, T428X2A, T428X3A, T428X4A, T43011A, T43012A, T43013A, T43014A, T43021A, T43022A, T43023A, T43024A, T431X1A, T431X2A, T431X3A, T431X4A, T43201A, T43202A, T43203A, T43204A, T43211A, T43212A, T43213A, T43214A, T43221A, T43222A, T43223A, T43224A, T43291A, T43292A, T43293A, T43294A, T433X1A, T433X2A, T433X3A, T433X4A, T434X1A, T434X2A, T434X3A, T434X4A, T43501A, T43502A, T43503A, T43504A, T43591A, T43592A, T43593A, T43594A, T43601A, T43602A, T43603A, T43604A, T43611A, T43612A, T43613A, T43614A, T43621A, T43622A, T43623A, T43624A, T43631A, T43632A, T43633A, T43634A, T43691A, T43692A, T43693A, T43694A, T438X1A, T438X2A, T438X3A, T438X4A, T4391XA, T4392XA, T4393XA, T4394XA, T505X1A, T505X2A, T505X3A, T505X4A, T510X1A, T510X2A, T510X3A, T510X4A, T511X1A, T511X2A, T511X3A, T511X4A, T512X1A, T512X2A, T512X3A, T512X4A, T513X1A, T513X2A, T513X3A, T513X4A, T518X1A, T518X2A, T518X3A, T518X4A, T5191XA, T5192XA, T5193XA, T5194XA, T5391XA, T5392XA, T5393XA, T5394XA, T540X1A, T540X2A, T540X3A, T540X4A, T541X1A, T541X2A, T541X3A, T541X4A, T542X1A, T542X2A, T542X3A, T542X4A, T543X1A, T543X2A, T543X3A, T543X4A, T5491XA, T5492XA, T5493XA, T5494XA, T550X1A, T550X2A, T550X3A, T550X4A, T551X1A, T551X2A, T551X3A, T551X4A, T560X1A, T560X2A, T560X3A, T560X4A, T571X1A, T571X2A, T571X3A, T571X4A, 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    Dated: September 25, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24998 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 350, 365, 375, 377, 381, 383, 384, 385, 387, 389, 390, 391, 393, 395, 396, 397, and Appendix F to Subchapter B of Chapter III [Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0207] RIN 2126-AB83 General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA amends its regulations by making technical corrections and ministerial corrections throughout title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), subtitle B, chapter III. The Agency is making minor changes to correct errors and omissions, ensure conformity with Office of the Federal Register style guidelines, update cross references, restore an inadvertent deletion of the reference to an Underwriters Laboratories' standard, and improve clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions. This rule does not make any substantive changes to the affected regulations, except to remove one obsolete provision.

    DATES:

    The final rule is effective October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David Miller, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Regulatory Development Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 366-5370 or via email at [email protected] Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    Congress delegated certain powers to regulate interstate commerce to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT or Department) in numerous pieces of legislation, most notably in section 6 of the Department of Transportation Act (DOT Act) (Pub. L. 85-670, 80 Stat. 931 (1966)). Section 55 of the DOT Act transferred to the Department the authority of the former Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to regulate the qualifications and maximum hours-of-service of employees, the safety of operations, and the equipment of motor carriers in interstate commerce. See 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) 104. This authority, first granted to the ICC in the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 (Pub. L. 74-255, 49 Stat. 543, Aug. 9, 1935), now appears in 49 U.S.C. chapter 315. The regulations issued under this authority became known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), appearing generally at 49 CFR parts 350-399. The administrative powers to enforce chapter 315 were also transferred from the ICC to the DOT in 1966 and appear in 49 U.S.C. chapter 5. The Secretary of the DOT (Secretary) delegated oversight of these provisions to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a predecessor agency of FMCSA. The FMCSA Administrator has been delegated authority under 49 CFR 1.87 to carry out the motor carrier functions vested in the Secretary.

    Between 1984 and 1999, a number of statutes added to FHWA's authority. Various statutes authorize the enforcement of the FMCSRs, the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), and the Commercial Regulations, and provide both civil and criminal penalties for violations of these requirements. These statutes include the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-554, 98 Stat. 2832, Oct. 30, 1984), codified at 49 U.S.C. chapter 311, subchapter III (MCSA); the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-570, 100 Stat. 3207-170, Oct. 27, 1986), codified at 49 U.S.C. chapter 313; the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990, as amended (Pub. L. 101-615, 104 Stat. 3244, Nov. 16, 1990), codified at 49 U.S.C. chapter 51; and the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-88, 109 Stat. 803, Dec. 29, 1995), codified at 49 U.S.C. chapters 131-149.

    The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) (Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, Dec. 9, 1999) established FMCSA as a new operating administration within DOT, effective January 1, 2000. The motor carrier safety responsibilities previously assigned to both ICC and FHWA are now assigned to FMCSA.

    Congress expanded, modified, and amended FMCSA's authority in the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 (Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, Oct. 26, 2001), the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, Aug. 10, 2005), the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244, 122 Stat. 1572, June 6, 2008), and the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, July 6, 2012).

    The specific regulations amended by this rule are based on the statutes detailed above. Generally, the legal authority for each of those provisions was explained when the requirement was originally adopted and is noted at the beginning of each part in title 49 of the CFR. Title 49 CFR subtitle B, chapter III, contains all of the FMCSRs.

    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 551-706) specifically provides exceptions to its notice and public comment rulemaking procedures where the Agency finds there is good cause (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the rules issued) to dispense with them. Generally, good cause exists where the Agency determines that notice and public procedures are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B)). The amendments made in this final rule merely correct inadvertent errors and omissions, remove or update obsolete references, and make minor changes to improve clarity and consistency. The technical amendments do not impose any new requirements, nor do they make any substantive changes to the CFR. For these reasons, FMCSA finds good cause that notice and public comment on this final rule is unnecessary.

    The APA also allows agencies to make rules effective upon publication with good cause (5 U.S.C. 553 (d)(3)), instead of requiring publication 30 days prior to the effective date. For the reasons already stated, FMCSA finds there is good cause for this rule to be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    Background

    This document makes editorial changes to correct inaccurate references and citations, improve clarity, and fix errors. The reasons for each of these minor revisions are set out below, in a section-by-section description of the changes. These amendments do not impose any new requirements, nor (with one exception) do they make substantive changes to the CFR.

    Section-by-Section Analysis

    This section-by-section analysis describes the technical amendment provisions and corrections in numerical order.

    Part 350

    Section 350.105. Under the section for “Definitions,” the term “Basic Program Funds” is defined to mean total Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funds less other funds, including “Border Activity Funds.” An October 1, 2012 (77 FR 59823) rulemaking, however, deleted the definition of “Border Activity Funds” because a statute mandated that such funds be removed from MCSAP. Therefore, FMCSA removes the words “Border Activity” from the definition of “Basic Program Funds.”

    In addition, the SAFETEA-LU amendments, published July 5, 2007 (72 FR 36760), added “New Entrant” funds as a set aside of up to $29,000,000 from MCSAP grant funds per fiscal year, making grants available from this amount to State and local governments for new entrant motor carrier audits without requiring a matching contribution from such governments. Although references to new entrant funds were added in various places in that final rule, the term was not added to the definition of the term “Basic Program Funds” as one of the funds to be subtracted from total MCSAP funds—similar to High Priority Activity, Administrative Takedown, and Incentive Funds. Therefore, Agency adds the term “New Entrant” to the definition of “Basic Program Funds.”

    Section 350.201. This section answers the question “What conditions must a State meet to qualify for Basic Program Funds?” MAP-21 added a 26th condition in paragraph (z); but the October 1, 2013 (78 FR 60226, at 60230), rule did not update the introductory phrase to change the 25 conditions to 26 conditions. This final rule adds the reference to the 26th condition to the introductory text of the section.

    Paragraph (y) requires the State to ensure that bus inspections are conducted at a location such as “a border maintenance facility, . . . or other location” where motor carriers make planned stops. However, the correct phrase in SAFETEA-LU is “border crossing, maintenance facility, . . . or other locations.” The July 5, 2007 (72 FR 36769) rule, which added § 350.201(y), inadvertently omitted the word “crossing,” which FMCSA adds through this technical amendment.

    Part 365

    Section 365.503. Paragraph (d) references an outdated universal resource locator (URL) on the Internet. The correct URL, which is http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/forms, replaces the current reference.

    Part 375

    Section 375.201. Paragraph (d) references § 375.303(g), but paragraph (g) was redesignated as § 375.303(c)(5) on March 5, 2004 (69 FR 10575). This technical amendment replaces the reference to § 375.303(g) with § 375.303(c)(5).

    Section 375.501. This section answers the question “Must I write up an order for service?” Paragraph (h) states that the valuation statement can be included in the bill of lading or order for service. On January 12, 2012, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) served a decision amending its released rates order. See “Released Rates of Motor Common Carriers of Household Goods,” Surface Transportation Board, Docket No. RR 999 (Amendment No. 5), Order, January 10, 2012. Among other things, that decision directed household goods motor carriers to provide the STB's required valuation statement on the shipper's bill of lading. To conform part 375 to these changes, FMCSA published a final rule amending § 375.505(b)(12) and removing § 375.505(e), both of which previously stated that the carrier had the option of including the valuation statement on either the bill of lading or order for service. See “Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate Commerce; Consumer Protection Regulations: Released Rates of Motor Carriers of Household Goods,” Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0101, 77 FR 25371, April 30, 2012. New § 375.505(b)(12) no longer includes any language granting the choice and § 375.505(e) no longer exists. Therefore, this technical amendment removes the language granting the choice and requires household goods motor carriers to provide the STB's required valuation statement on the shipper's bill of lading only.

    Section 375.505. Both the eCFR version and the printed CFR version show paragraph (b)(12) incorrectly labeled. Paragraph (b)(12) should just be labeled (12). The extra (b) in front of (12) is removed.

    Appendix A, Subpart A, Definitions. For the most part, the definitions in Appendix A mirror the definitions in § 375.103. The definition of “Advertisement” in § 375.103 was updated on October 1, 2012 (77 FR 59823), to include the motor carrier's name and address on an Internet Web site (“or displayed on an Internet Web site”). FMCSA updates the definition in the appendix to conform with § 375.103.

    Part 377

    Section 377.211. This section contains a cross-reference to § 386.32(a), but that section no longer exists. It was removed by a May 18, 2005 (70 FR 28475) rule and the provision's language was moved to § 386.8. This technical amendment replaces the reference to § 386.32(a) with a reference to § 386.8.

    Part 381

    Section 381.110. In the definition for “FMCSRs,” this section contains a reference to § 385.21, but that section was removed on June 2, 2000 (65 FR 35295), and its requirements were combined with those of former § 385.23 in a new § 390.19. FMCSA corrects this error by changing the reference to “§ 390.19.”

    Part 383

    Section 383.5. On October 2, 2014 (79 FR 59455), FMCSA incorrectly revised the definition of “Commercial motor vehicle (CMV)” in § 383.5. The revision added paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) for Groups A, B, and C, respectively. Paragraph (3) was further divided into three definitions of a Group C vehicle, designated as paragraphs (3)(i), (ii), and (iii). This part of the revised CMV definition now says: “Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle is a * * * (3) Small Vehicle (Group C)—(i) that does not meet Group A or B requirements; (ii) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or (iii) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.”

    The “or” between paragraphs (3)(ii) and (3)(iii), in italic above, means that paragraphs (3)(i), (ii), and (iii) are alternative definitions of a Group C vehicle, which is clearly not the case. There should be only two alternative definitions. Instead, paragraph (3) of the definition of “commercial motor vehicle” in § 383.5 should mirror the definition of a Group C vehicle in § 383.91(a)(3): “(3) Small Vehicle (Group C)—Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the hazardous materials as defined in § 383.5.”

    The definition of the term “commercial motor vehicle” in § 383.5 is corrected to clarify that there are only two alternative definitions for a Group C vehicle. See below for a change to § 383.91(a)(3), which was referenced in this explanation.

    In addition, in the definitions for “Alcohol or alcoholic beverage,” “Commerce,” and “Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol,” paragraphs are renumbered to conform to current Federal Register style. A cross reference and a grammatical correction are also made in the definition for “Commerce.”

    Section 383.71. A number of amendments in the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58470), technical amendments rule were incorporated into the CFR incorrectly, and are corrected in this rule. The following corrections comport with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58470) technical amendment. In paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text and (a)(2) introductory text, the Agency removes the date “July 8, 2014” in every place it appears and replaces it with “July 8, 2015.” In paragraph (g), FMCSA replaces the reference to “§ 383.71” with a reference to “§ 383.71(b)(1).” Also in paragraph (g), FMCSA removes the phrase “on or after January 30, 2012, but not later than January 30, 2014” because the requirement has been in effect for nearly 2 years since the 2014 “not later than” date and it is no longer needed.

    Section 383.72. This section cross-references “§ 383.51(b), Table 1, item (4),” however, this does not follow the same format as other cross-references to § 383.51 tables. FMCSA revises § 383.72 to change the format of the cross-reference to “item (4) of Table 1 to § 383.51 of this subpart”.

    Section 383.73. The following correction comports with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58470) technical amendment. In paragraph (a)(2) introductory text, FMCSA removes the date “July 8, 2014” in every place it appears and replaces it with “July 8, 2015.”

    Section 383.91. FMCSA corrects paragraph (a)(3) by removing the phrase “materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the”, which was inadvertently not deleted from the CFR when the paragraph was revised in an October 1, 2012 (77 FR 59825) rulemaking.

    Part 384

    Section 384.222. The following correction comports with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58470) technical amendment. During the codification process, the correct new reference to “§ 383.37(d)” was added, but the old reference to “§ 383.37(c)” was not removed. Therefore, FMCSA removes the reference to § 383.37(c).

    Section 384.228. Paragraph (k) currently references “six units of training described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.” This is corrected to “eight units of training” (three units in paragraph (c) and five units in paragraph (d)).

    Section 384.403. FMCSA removes paragraph (b), leaving only the text of previous paragraph (a) in revised § 384.403. Paragraph (b) concerns Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funds withheld from a State under § 384.401(a)(2) and (b)(2). However, paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(2) of § 384.401 were removed in a rule, published on July 5, 2007 (72 FR 36788), and § 384.401 no longer mentions withholding MCSAP funds. FMCSA corrects this error by removing § 384.403(b).

    Part 385

    Section 385.3. In § 385.3, the term “HMRs” is defined as “the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR parts 100-178).” However, the Materials Transportation Bureau of the Department of Transportation, a predecessor to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), established subtitle B, Chapter I, subchapter C, as the Hazardous Materials Regulations on July 29, 1975 (40 CFR 31767). In § 171.1, PHMSA continues to maintain that the HMRs comprise 49 CFR parts 171-180. The definition of HMRs is therefore corrected to reference 49 CFR parts 171-180.

    Section 385.321. Violation 15 in the Table to § 385.321 contains a reference to § 396.11(c), but the information previously in that paragraph was largely moved to § 396.11(a)(3) on June 12, 2012 (77 FR 34846). Violation 15 is changed to update the reference.

    Section 385.403. In paragraph (b), FMCSA clarifies that the threshold weight of explosive material is the net weight of the material or article. The current language creates confusion as to whether the weight is net weight or gross weight and whether, for an explosive article, the weight refers to the weight of the article or the weight of the explosive contained in the article. The clarification is based on information that is presented in FMCSA's brochure relating to the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) Program (FMCSA-CMO-04-002) 1 that indicates net weight, as well as a 22-year old PHMSA interpretation (93-0068) 2 relating to PHMSA's registration requirements that parallel the HMSP requirements.

    1 A copy of the brochure has been placed in the docket.

    2 A copy of PHMSA interpretation 93-0068 has been placed in the docket.

    FMCSA also changes the terminology in paragraph (f) to make it consistent with the proper shipping name language in the Hazardous Materials Table in 49 CFR 172.101.

    Appendix B to Part 385—Explanation of Safety Rating Process. FMCSA updates a citation within Section VII of Appendix B, “List of Acute and Critical Regulations,” to reflect a reorganization of a regulation published June 12, 2012 (77 FR 34852). FMCSA changes the citation from “§ 396.11(c) Failing to correct Out-of-Service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again (acute)” to “§ 396.11(a)(3) Failing to correct Out-of-Service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again (acute).”

    Part 387

    Section 387.317. On November 14, 1983 (48 FR 51777), the ICC revised former 49 CFR 1043.1, the predecessor to § 387.301, and redesignated paragraph (d) as paragraph (c). Therefore, FMCSA changes the cross-reference in § 387.317 from § 387.301(d) to § 387.301(c) to reflect this redesignation.

    Part 389

    Sections 389.21 and 389.35. These two sections specify how to submit comments to rulemakings or petitions for reconsideration. They have remained largely the same since they were promulgated on June 8, 1968 (33 FR 8493), except for Agency name and address changes, and a redesignation within title 49 in 1968 from 49 CFR part 289 to 49 CFR part 389.

    The requirement that comments or petitions must be submitted in five (5) legible copies has existed since 1968. Before the adoption of the electronic docketing system employed by the Department of Transportation in 1997, five legible copies were needed for the paper-based docketing system for clerks to include a copy in the official docket and send other copies for distribution to various Agency offices to take appropriate action. The electronic docketing system allows the scanning of any original paper-based comment or petition, or the uploading of an electronically-submitted file of the comment or petition. As the electronic docketing system has now been in wide use by the Agency for over 18 years, the requirement for more than one original comment or petition for reconsideration is unnecessary, duplicative, and burdensome to the commenter or petitioner. Therefore, FMCSA is removing the requirement in §§ 389.21 and 389.35(a) for the comment or petition to be filed with five legible copies.

    Part 390

    Section 390.5. In the definition of the term “Lessee,” the word “of” is added following the phrase “in subpart F” to correct an inadvertent omission.

    In the definition of the term “Texting,” paragraph (2)(iii) references purposes that are not otherwise prohibited “in this part.” This reference primarily relates to the ban on texting which is found in § 392.80 rather than part 390. The reference to “this part” is too limited and is, therefore, changed to reference “this subchapter,” consistent with the general scope of the § 390.5 definitions.

    In the definition of “Trailer,” redesignate paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), as paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) to conform this definition to the style used in a definitions section and the other definitions in § 390.5.

    Section 390.42. Section 390.42(b) currently contains an incorrect cross-reference to § 396.11(b)(2). On June 12, 2012 (77 FR 34852), FMCSA revised § 396.11, subdividing paragraph (b) into four paragraphs: Paragraphs (b)(1) through (4). However, FMCSA did not change the cross reference in § 390.42(b). The October 1, 2012 (77 FR 59828) technical amendment attempted to correct the error, but incorrectly changed the cross reference to § 396.11(b)(2). This technical amendment correctly changes the cross reference to § 396.11(b)(1).

    Section 390.115. FMCSA corrects an inadvertent grammatical error in paragraph (d)(2)(iv) by removing the phrase “performs examinations maintain documentation” and replaces it with the phrase “performs examinations and maintains documentation.” This wording is consistent with the wording in § 390.115(f)(4).

    Part 391

    Section 391.1. FMCSA changes paragraph (b) to remove a grammatical inconsistency and improve clarity. Currently, paragraph (b) reads, “A motor carrier who employs himself/herself as a driver . . . .” FMCSA changes it to read: “An individual who meets the definition of both a motor carrier and a driver employed by that motor carrier . . .”

    Section 391.13. The introductory text of § 391.13 concerning responsibilities of drivers for determining whether cargo is properly located, distributed, and secured in or on the CMV cross references § 393.9, but § 393.9, “Lamps operable, prohibition of obstructions of lamps and reflectors,” is not about cargo securement. The incorrect reference to § 393.9 was included in the final rule that added § 391.13 (June 18, 1998, 63 FR 33277) to the FMCSRs. However, in reviewing the preamble to the 1998 final rule (see page 33259), it appears that the reference should have been to § 383.111(d) rather than § 393.9. Section 383.111 was revised on May 9, 2011 (76 FR 26888) and the rules on the required knowledge of the relationship of cargo to vehicle control are now codified in § 383.111(a)(16). Therefore, FMCSA changes the cross reference in the first line of the introductory text so that it reads, “In order to comply with the requirements of §§ 392.9(a) and 383.111(a)(16) of this subchapter . . .”.

    Section 391.15. The following corrections comport with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58482) technical amendment. In paragraph (c)(1)(i), FMCSA corrects the cross reference to read, “§ 395.2 of this subchapter” rather than “§ 395.2(a) of this partsubchapter.” In addition, FMCSA removes the semi-colon that mistakenly follows the final period of paragraph (c)(1)(ii).

    Section 391.23. Throughout paragraph (c), any reference to “driver investigation history file,” “Driver Investigation file,” or “driver history investigation file,” is revised to read consistently in each instance “driver investigation history file.” This clarifies that all these references are to the same file and makes the terminology consistent with § 391.53.

    The cross reference in paragraph (m)(3)(i)(C) currently references § 383.73(a)(5), but that paragraph was removed on May 9, 2011 (76 FR 26883). FMCSA replaces that reference with the correct reference to “§ 383.73(a)(2)(vii).”

    Section 391.41. FMCSA corrects the format of the cross reference in paragraph (b)(12)(ii) by changing it from “21 part 1308” to “21 CFR part 1308.”

    Section 391.43. FMCSA corrects paragraph (g)(4) included in the Agency's April 23, 2015 (80 FR 22790, 22812) final rule, “Medical Examiner's Certification Integration.” Currently, paragraph (g)(4) indicates that beginning June 22, 2018, if the medical examiner determines that a driver should not be issued a medical card until additional medical information is considered, the examiner must so inform the driver, etc. However, the compliance date was supposed to have been December 22, 2015. FMCSA amends the first sentence by changing June 22, 2018, to December 22, 2015, considering that this paragraph has to be effective on the same date as the forms. Amendatory instruction number 5 in the June 22, 2015, correction notice (80 FR 35578), which updated the date from June 22, 2018, to December 22, 2015, made no reference to amending paragraph (g)(4) even though (g)(4) rule text is shown on page 35595. Amendatory instruction number 5 only refers to amending “paragraphs (f), (g)(5)(ii), and (h)”, therefore, the eCFR did not make the change. FMCSA is ensuring that the printed CFR revised as of October 1, 2015, will include the updated date.

    Section 391.45. This section specifies the drivers who must be medically examined and certified, “[e]xcept as provided in § 391.67.” Because § 391.67 no longer includes any exceptions from the medical examination and certification requirements, the introductory phrase “Except as provided in § 391.67” is removed.

    Section 391.47. To comport with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58482) technical amendment, FMCSA corrects paragraph (f) by adding a space after the last parentheses and before the word “orders.”

    FMCSA also removes the authority citation that appears in parentheses after the last paragraph in § 391.47. The authority citation is outdated; and the FMCSA no longer includes an authority citation at the end of a section. Moreover, the citations for § 391.47 are covered by the general authority citations for all of part 391, namely, 49 U.S.C. 31133, 31136, and 31149 of the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984, as amended, and 49 U.S.C. 31502 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935, as amended.

    Part 393

    Section 393.7. FMCSA amends § 393.7(b)—which lists all the paragraphs in part 393 that have materials incorporated by reference—to restore a reference to an Underwriters Laboratories' standard that was mistakenly deleted. Section 393.95(j) refers to a specific Underwriters Laboratories' standard on highway emergency signals and then states “See § 393.7 for information on the incorporation by reference and availability of this document.” However, § 393.7(b) fails to include that document.

    On August 15, 2005 (70 FR 48027), the Agency published general amendments to 49 CFR part 393. The final rule was intended to remove obsolete and redundant regulations; respond to several petitions for rulemaking; provide improved definitions of vehicle types, systems, and components; resolve inconsistencies between part 393 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR part 571); and codify certain FMCSA regulatory guidance concerning the requirements of part 393. However, the rulemaking resulted in the inadvertent deletion of the reference to the Underwriters Laboratories' standard. Section 393.7(c)(1) still references the address, but the publication is not listed in § 393.7(b). To correct this error, FMCSA adds a reference to the standard in paragraph (b)(15) to read as follows: “Highway Emergency Signals, Fourth Edition, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., UL No. 912, July 30, 1979 (with an amendment dated November 9, 1981), incorporation by reference approved for § 393.95(j).”

    Section 393.17. FMCSA corrects paragraph (c)(1) by removing an obsolete cross-reference to former § 392.30, “Lighted Lamps; Moving Vehicles.” That section was removed on November 23, 1994 (59 FR 60319), because it was duplicative of State laws and could only be enforced by State and local authorities.

    Section 393.71. FMCSA corrects paragraph (n)(1) by removing an obsolete cross-reference to § 393.71(g)(2)(ii). Section 393.71(g)(2)(ii) was removed August 15, 2005 (70 FR 48054). Editorial changes also are made to maintain consistency with (1) the language in the current § 393.71(n) and (2) the August 2005 final rule.

    Section 393.95. FMCSA removes the outdated authority citations following § 393.95. They are obsolete, current Federal Register style dictates that they do not belong at the end of a section, and they are covered by the general authority citations cited for all of part 393. That authority citation includes 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31151 (the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984, as amended); 49 U.S.C. 31502 (the Motor Carrier Act of 1935, as amended); and sec. 1041(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991) (the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991), providing that “fusees and flares are given equal priority with regard to use as reflecting signs” under § 393.95.

    Part 395

    Section 395.1. To comport with the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58482) technical amendment, FMCSA corrects § 395.1 by removing the redundant paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(C). The language revised on September 24, 2013, was added but the obsolete language was inadvertently not removed.

    Part 396

    Section 396.11. In the September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58485) technical amendment, FMCSA attempted to remove a semicolon at the end of § 396.11(b)(2)(ix) and add a period in its place. However, that instruction was inaccurate, as there is no paragraph (b)(2)(ix). The CFR now carries a note saying the CFR could not incorporate the 2013 amendment. FMCSA requests CFR editors to remove the inaccurate instruction and the note.

    Part 397

    Section 397.215. This section, titled “Waiver notice,” is a part of the preemption procedures that States, political subdivisions of States, and Indian tribes must follow to apply for waivers of preemption determinations either made pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5125, 49 CFR 397.69, or 49 CFR 397.203, or that have been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be preempted. This section requires that copies of the application for a waiver of preemption and any subsequent amendments or other documents relating to the application must be mailed to each person whom the applicant reasonably ascertains will be affected by the determination sought. The copy of the application must be accompanied by a statement that the affected person may submit comments to the FMCSA Administrator within 45 days. The application filed with the Administrator must include a certification of compliance with 49 CFR 397.215(a). A grammatical error exists in the last sentence of paragraph (a). The phrase “certification with the application has complied” is grammatically incorrect and so FMCSA replaces it with the phrase “certification that the application complies.”

    Appendix F to Subchapter B of Chapter III—Commercial Zones

    Section 31. FMCSA corrects a typographical error in paragraph (d) of Section 31 of the ICC-defined commercial zone for Charleston, South Carolina in 1975. This paragraph contains cross-references to “paragraphs (1) and (c) of this section.”

    Based on the 1972-1974 editions of 49 CFR part 1048, which was the basis for Appendix F to Subchapter B of Chapter III, the correct reference is to paragraph (b), not paragraph (1). This error was corrected in the May 19, 1988, final rule (53 FR 18042, at 18067), but the October 1, 1988, CFR edition reinstated the use of a (1) instead of the correct (b).

    Rulemaking Analyses Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, Jan. 18, 2011), or within the meaning of the DOT regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR 1103, Feb. 26, 1979). Thus, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did not review this document. We expect the final rule will have no costs; therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612), FMCSA is not required to complete a regulatory flexibility analysis. This is because this rule does not require publication of a general notice of proposed rulemaking. However, in compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612), FMCSA has evaluated the effects of this rule on small entities. Because the rule makes only minor editorial or clarifying revisions and places no new requirements on the regulated industry, FMCSA certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The final rule will not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532, et seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $155 million (which is the value of $100 million in 2015 after adjusting for inflation) or more in any 1 year.

    E.O. 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has implications for Federalism under section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132 if it has “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government.” FMCSA has determined that this rule will not have substantial direct effects on States, nor will it limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in this document preempts or modifies any provision of State law or regulation, imposes substantial direct unreimbursed compliance costs on any State, or diminishes the power of any State to enforce its own laws. Accordingly, this rulemaking does not have Federalism implications warranting the application of E.O. 13132.

    E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this rule.

    Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. FMCSA determined that no new information collection requirements are associated with this final rule, nor are there any revisions to existing, approved collections of information.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of ascertaining the applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined under our Environmental Procedures Order 5610.1, issued March 1, 2004 (69 FR 9680), that this action would not have any effect on the quality of the environment. In addition, this final rule is categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation under the Categorical Exclusion (CE) in paragraph 6(b) of Appendix 2 of FMCSA Order 5610.1. This CE addresses minor editorial corrections such as found in this rulemaking; therefore, preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is not necessary.

    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 42 U.S.C. 7506(c)), and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of criteria pollutants.

    E.O. 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    This final rule is not subject to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, Feb. 16, 1994). Executive Order 12898 establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. FMCSA determined that this rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not change the substance of any of the FMCSRs.

    E.O. 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211 titled, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.” The Agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that Executive Order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    E.O. 13045 (Protection of Children)

    Executive Order 13045 titled, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 1997), requires agencies issuing “economically significant” rules, if the regulation also concerns an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, to include an evaluation of the regulation's environmental health and safety effects on children. As discussed previously, this rule is not economically significant. Therefore, no analysis of the impacts on children is required.

    E.O. 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988 titled, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    E.O. 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630 titled, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.”

    National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 note) requires Federal agencies proposing to adopt technical standards to consider whether voluntary consensus standards are available. If the Agency chooses to adopt its own standards in place of existing voluntary consensus standards, it must explain its decision in a separate statement to OMB. Because FMCSA does not intend to adopt technical standards, there is no need to submit a separate statement to OMB on this matter.

    Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522(a)(5) of the Transportation, Treasury, Independent Agencies, and General Government Appropriations Act, 2005 (Pub. L. 108- 447, Division H, Title I, 118 Stat. 2809 at 3268, Dec. 8, 2004) requires DOT and certain other Federal agencies to conduct a privacy impact assessment of each rule that will affect the privacy of individuals. Because this final rule will not affect the privacy of individuals, FMCSA did not conduct a separate privacy impact assessment.

    List of Subjects 49 CFR Part 350

    Grant programs—transportation, Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 365

    Administrative practice and procedure, Brokers, Buses, Freight forwarders, Mexico, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods.

    49 CFR Part 375

    Advertising, Consumer protection, Freight, Highways and roads, Insurance, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 377

    Credit, Freight forwarders, Maritime carriers, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods.

    49 CFR Part 381

    Motor carriers.

    49 CFR Part 383

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Highway safety and motor carriers.

    49 CFR Part 384

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Highway safety, Incorporation by reference, and Motor carriers.

    49 CFR Part 385

    Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, Incorporation by reference, Mexico, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 387

    Buses, Freight, Freight forwarders, Hazardous materials transportation, Highway safety, Insurance, Intergovernmental relations, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Moving of household goods, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

    49 CFR Part 390

    Highway safety, Intermodal transportation, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 391

    Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, Drug testing, Highway safety, Motor carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation.

    49 CFR Part 393

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety.

    49 CFR Part 395

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 396

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 397

    Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, Intergovernmental relations, Motor carriers, Parking, Radioactive materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires.

    Correction

    In FR Rule Doc. 2013-22484 appearing on page 58470 in the Federal Register of Tuesday, September 24, 2013, make the following correction:

    On page 58485, in the second column, in section 396.11, amendment 117, remove instruction c.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA is amending 49 CFR chapter III, subchapter B, parts 350, 365, 375, 377, 381, 383, 384, 385, 387, 389. 390, 391, 393, 395, 396, 397, and Appendix F, as set forth below:

    PART 350—COMMERCIAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 350 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 13902, 31101-31104, 31108, 31136, 31140-31141, 31161, 31310-31311, 31502; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    2. Amend § 350.105 by revising the definition of the term “Basic Program Funds” to read as follows:
    § 350.105 What definitions are used in this part?

    Basic Program Funds means the total MCSAP funds less the High Priority Activity, New Entrant, Administrative Takedown, and Incentive Funds.

    3. Amend § 350.201 by revising the introductory text and paragraph (y) to read as follows:
    § 350.201 What conditions must a State meet to qualify for Basic Program Funds?

    Each State must meet the following 26 conditions:

    (y) Except in the case of an imminent or obvious safety hazard, ensure that an inspection of a vehicle transporting passengers for a motor carrier of passengers is conducted at a station, terminal, border crossing, maintenance facility, destination, or other location where a motor carrier may make a planned stop.

    PART 365—RULES GOVERNING APPLICATIONS FOR OPERATING AUTHORITY 4. The authority citation for part 365 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 553 and 559; 49 U.S.C. 13101, 13301, 13901-13906, 14708, 31138, and 31144; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    5. Amend § 365.503 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 365.503 Application.

    (d) You may obtain the application forms from any FMCSA Division Office or download them from the FMCSA Web site at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/forms.

    PART 375—TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE; CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS 6. The authority citation for part 375 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 13102, 13301, 13501, 13704, 13707, 13902, 14104, 14706, 14708; subtitle B, title IV of Pub. L. 109-59; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    7. Amend § 375.201 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 375.201 What is my normal liability for loss and damage when I accept goods from an individual shipper?

    (d) As required by § 375.303(c)(5), you may have additional liability if you sell liability insurance and fail to issue a copy of the insurance policy or other appropriate evidence of insurance.

    8. Amend § 375.501 by revising paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 375.501 Must I write up an order for service?

    (h) You must place the valuation statement on the bill of lading.

    9. Amend § 375.505 by revising paragraph (b)(12) to read as follows:
    § 375.505 Must I write up a bill of lading?

    (b) * * *

    (12) The valuation statement provided in the Surface Transportation Board's released rates order requires individual shippers either to choose Full Value Protection for your liability or waive the Full Value Protection in favor of the STB's released rates. The released rates may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment. Contact the STB for a copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods. If the individual shipper waives your Full Value Protection in writing on the STB's valuation statement, you must include the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage (other than Full Value Protection).

    10. Amend appendix A to part 375, under subpart A, by revising the definition of the term “Advertisement” under the section heading “What Definitions Are Used in This Pamphlet?” to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 375—Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move Subpart A—General Requirements What Definitions Are Used in This Pamphlet?

    Advertisement—This is any communication to the public in connection with an offer or sale of any interstate household goods transportation service. This will include written or electronic database listings of your mover's name, address, and telephone number in an online database or displayed on an Internet Web site. This excludes listings of your mover's name, address, and telephone number in a telephone directory or similar publication. However, Yellow Pages advertising is included within the definition.

    PART 377—PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES 11. The authority citation for part 377 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 13101, 13301, 13701, 13702, 13706, 13707, and 14101; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    12. Revise § 377.211 to read as follows:
    § 377.211 Computation of time.

    Time periods involving calendar days shall be calculated pursuant to 49 CFR 386.8.

    PART 381—WAIVERS, EXEMPTIONS, AND PILOT PROGRAMS 13. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    14. Amend § 381.110 by revising the definition of “FMCSRs” to read as follows:
    § 381.110 What definitions are applicable to this part?

    FMCSRs means Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 382 and 383, §§ 390.19, 390.21, and parts 391 through 393, 395, 396, and 399).

    PART 383—COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE STANDARDS; REQUIREMENTS AND PENALTIES 15. The authority citation for part 383 is revised to read as follows: Authority.

    49 U.S.C. 521, 31136, 31301 et seq., and 31502; secs. 214 and 215 of Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1766, 1767; sec. 1012(b) of Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, 297, sec. 4140 of Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1746; sec. 32934 of Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; sec. 32934 of Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    16. Amend § 383.5 as follows: a. Amend the definition of “Alcohol or alcoholic beverage” by redesignating paragraphs (a) through (c) as paragraphs (1) through (3); b. Revise the definitions of the terms “Commerce” and “Commercial motor vehicle (CMV)”; and c. Amend the definition of “Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol” by redesignating paragraphs (a) through (c) as paragraphs (1) through (3).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 383.5 Definitions.

    Commerce means

    (1) Any trade, traffic or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside of the United States, and

    (2) Trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States that affects any trade, traffic, and transportation described in paragraph (1) of this definition.

    Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle is a—

    (1) Combination Vehicle (Group A)—having a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or

    (2) Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)—having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or

    (3) Small Vehicle (Group C) that does not meet Group A or B requirements but that either—

    (i) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

    (ii) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

    17. Amend § 383.71 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text, (a)(2) introductory text, and (g) to read as follows:
    § 383.71 Driver application and certification procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Commercial learner's permit applications submitted prior to July 8, 2015. CLPs issued prior to July 8, 2015, for limited time periods according to State requirements, shall be considered valid commercial drivers' licenses for purposes of behind-the-wheel training on public roads or highways, if the following minimum conditions are met:

    (2) Commercial learner's permit applications submitted on or after July 8, 2015. Any person applying for a CLP on or after July 8, 2015, must meet the following conditions:

    (g) Existing CLP and CDL Holder's Self-Certification. Every person who holds a CLP or CDL must provide to the State the certification contained in § 383.71(b)(1) of this subpart.

    18. Revise § 383.72 to read as follows:
    § 383.72 Implied consent to alcohol testing.

    Any person who holds a CLP or CDL or is required to hold a CLP or CDL is considered to have consented to such testing as is required by any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of item (4) of Table 1 to § 383.51 of this subpart and § 392.5(a)(2) of this subchapter. Consent is implied by driving a commercial motor vehicle.

    19. Amend § 383.73 by revising paragraph (a)(2) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 383.73 State procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (2) On or after July 8, 2015. Prior to issuing a CLP to a person on or after July 8, 2015, a State must:

    20. Amend § 383.91 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 383.91 Commercial motor vehicle groups.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Small Vehicle (Group C)—Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in § 383.5.

    PART 384—STATE COMPLIANCE WITH COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE PROGRAM 21. The authority citation for part 384 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 31136, 31301, et seq., and 31502; secs. 103 and 215 of Pub. L. 106-59, 113 Stat. 1753, 1767; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    22. Revise § 384.222 to read as follows:
    § 384.222 Violation of out-of-service orders.

    The State must have and enforce laws and/or regulations applicable to drivers of CMVs and their employers, as defined in § 383.5 of this subchapter, which meet the minimum requirements of § 383.37(d), Table 4 to § 383.51, and § 383.53(b) of this subchapter.

    23. Amend § 384.228 by revising paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 384.228 Examiner training and record checks.

    (k) The eight units of training described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section may be supplemented with State-specific material and information related to administering CDL knowledge and skills tests.

    24. Revise § 384.403 to read as follows:
    § 384.403 Availability of funds withheld for noncompliance.

    Federal-aid highway funds withheld from a State under § 384.401(a) or (b) of this subpart shall not thereafter be available for apportionment to the State.

    PART 385— SAFETY FITNESS PROCEDURES 25. The authority citation for part 385 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 113, 504, 521(b), 5105(e), 5109, 5113, 13901-13905, 13908, 31133, 31135, 31136, 31137(a), 31144, 31148, 31151, and 31502; Sec. 113(a), Pub. L. 103-311; Sec. 408, Pub. L. 104-88; Sec. 350 of Pub. L. 107-87; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    26. Amend § 385.3 by revising the definition of the term “HMRs” to read as follows:
    § 385.3 Definitions and acronyms.

    HMRs means the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR parts 171-180).

    27. Amend § 385.321(b) by revising Violation 15 of the Table to § 385.321 to read as follows:
    § 385.321 What failures of safety management practices disclosed by the safety audit will result in a notice to a new entrant that its USDOT new entrant registration will be revoked?

    (b) * * *

    Table to § 385.321—Violations That Will Result in Automatic Failure of the New Entrant Safety Audit Violation Guidelines for
  • determining automatic
  • failure of the
  • safety audit
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * 15. § 396.11(a)(3)—Failing to correct out-of-service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated Single occurrence. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    28. Amend § 385.403 by revising paragraphs (b) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 385.403 Who must hold a safety permit?

    (b) More than 25 kg (55 pounds) net weight of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material or articles or an amount of a Division 1.5 (explosive) material requiring placarding under part 172 of this title;

    (f) A shipment of methane (compressed or refrigerated liquid), natural gas (compressed or refrigerated liquid), or any other compressed or refrigerated liquefied gas with a methane content of at least 85 percent, in bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons).

    Appendix B to Part 385 [Amended] 29. Amend Appendix B to Part 385, in section VII, by removing the citation for “§ 396.11(c) Failing to correct Out-of-Service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again (acute)” and adding in its place a citation that reads as follows: “§ 396.11(a)(3) Failing to correct Out-of-Service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again (acute)”. PART 387—MINIMUM LEVELS OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MOTOR CARRIERS 30. The authority citation for part 387 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 13101, 13301, 13906, 13908, 14701, 31138, 31139, and 31144; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    § 387.317 [Amended]
    31. Amend § 387.317 by removing the reference to “§ 387.301(d)” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 387.301(c)”.
    PART 389—RULEMAKING PROCEDURES—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS 32. The authority citation for part 389 continues to read as follow: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 113, 501 et seq., subchapters I and III of chapter 311, chapter 313, and 31502; 42 U.S.C. 4917; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    33. Revise § 389.21 to read as follows:
    § 389.21 Contents of written comments.

    All written comments must be in English. Any interested person must submit as part of his/her written comments all material that he/she considers relevant to any statement of fact made by him/her. Incorporation of material by reference is to be avoided. However, if such incorporation is necessary, the incorporated material shall be identified with respect to document and page.

    34. Amend § 389.35 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 389.35 Petitions for reconsideration.

    (a) Any interested person may petition the Administrator for reconsideration of any rule issued under this part. The petition must be in English and submitted to the Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, and received not later than thirty (30) days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register. Petitions filed after that time will be considered as petitions filed under § 389.31 of this part. The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an explanation as to why compliance with the rule is not practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest.

    PART 390—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL 35. The authority citation for part 390 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 13301, 13902, 13908, 31132, 31133, 31136, 31144, 31151, 31502, 31504; sec. 114, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 212, 217, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1767, 1773; sec. 229 Pub. L. 106-159 (as transferred by sec. 4114 and amended by secs. 4130-4132, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1726, 1743-44); and 49 CFR 1.81, 1.81a, and 1.87.

    § 390.5 [Amended]
    36. Amend § 390.5 as follows: a. In the definition of the term “Lessee,” add the word “of” after the phrase “in subpart F” in the first sentence; b. In paragraph (2)(iii) of the definition of the term “Texting,” remove the phrase “in this part” and add in its place the phrase “in this subchapter”. c. In the definition of the term “Trailer,” redesignate paragraphs (a), (b), and (c), as paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).
    § 390.42 [Amended]
    37. Amend § 390.42(b) by removing the reference to “§ 396.11(b)(2)” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 396.11(b)(1)”.
    38. Amend § 390.115 by revising paragraph (d)(2)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 390.115 Procedure for removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Maintain documentation of State licensure, registration, or certification to perform physical examinations for each State in which the examiner performs examinations and maintains documentation of completion of all training required by §§ 390.105 and 390.111 of this part. The medical examiner must also make this documentation available to an authorized representative of FMCSA or an authorized representative of Federal, State, or local government. The medical examiner must provide this documentation within 48 hours of the request for investigations and within 10 days of the request for regular audits of eligibility.

    PART 391—QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLE (LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTORS 39. The authority citation for part 391 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 31133, 31136, 31149, and 31502; sec. 4007(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 2152; sec. 114 of Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 215 of Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1767; sec. 32934 of Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    40. Amend § 391.1 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 391.1 Scope of the rules in this part; additional qualifications; duties of carrier-drivers.

    (b) An individual who meets the definition of both a motor carrier and a driver employed by that motor carrier must comply with both the rules in this part that apply to motor carriers and the rules in this part that apply to drivers.

    41. Amend § 391.13 by revising the introductory text to read as follows:
    § 391.13 Responsibilities of drivers.

    In order to comply with the requirements of §§ 392.9(a) and 383.111(a)(16) of this subchapter, a motor carrier shall not require or permit a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle unless the person—

    42. Amend § 391.15 by revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:
    § 391.15 Disqualification of drivers.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) The offense was committed during on-duty time as defined in § 395.2 of this subchapter or as otherwise specified; and

    (ii) The driver is employed by a motor carrier or is engaged in activities that are in furtherance of a commercial enterprise in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce.

    43. Amend § 391.23 by revising paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) and (m)(3)(i)(C) to read as follows:
    § 391.23 Investigation and inquiries.

    (c) * * *

    (3) Prospective employers should report failures of previous employers to respond to an investigation to the FMCSA and use the complaint procedures specified at § 386.12 of this subchapter. Keep a copy of the reports in the driver investigation history file as part of documenting a good faith effort to obtain the required information.

    (4) Exception. For drivers with no previous employment experience working for a DOT-regulated employer during the preceding three years, documentation that no investigation was possible must be placed in the driver investigation history file, after October 29, 2004, within the required 30 days of the date the driver's employment begins.

    (m) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) Until June 22, 2018, if the driver provided the motor carrier with a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State in accordance with § 383.73(a)(2)(vii) of this chapter, the motor carrier may use a copy of that medical examiner's certificate as proof of the driver's medical certification for up to 15 days after the date it was issued.

    44. Amend § 391.41 by revising paragraph (b)(12)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 391.41 Physical qualifications of drivers.

    (b) * * *

    (12) * * *

    (ii) Does not use any non-Schedule I drug or substance that is identified in the other Schedules in 21 CFR part 1308 except when the use is prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, as defined in § 382.107, who is familiar with the driver's medical history and has advised the driver that the substance will not adversely affect the driver's ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

    45. Amend § 391.43 by revising paragraph (g)(4) to read as follows:
    § 391.43 Medical examination; certificate of physical examination.

    (g) * * *

    (4) Beginning December 22, 2015, if the medical examiner finds that the determination of whether the person examined is physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with § 391.41(b) should be delayed pending the receipt of additional information or the conduct of further examination in order for the medical examiner to make such determination, he or she must inform the person examined that the additional information must be provided or the further examination completed within 45 days, and that the pending status of the examination will be reported to FMCSA.

    46. Amend § 391.45 by revising the introductory text to read as follows.
    § 391.45 Persons who must be medically examined and certified.

    The following persons must be medically examined and certified in accordance with § 391.43 of this subpart as physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle:

    47. Amend § 391.47 by removing the authority citation that follows the section and by revising paragraph (f).

    The revision reads as follows.

    § 391.47 Resolution of conflicts of medical evaluation.

    (f) Status of driver. Once an application is submitted to the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards (MC-PS), the driver shall be deemed disqualified until such time as the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards (MC-PS) makes a determination, or until the Director, Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards (MC-PS) orders otherwise.

    PART 393—PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION 48. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 31136, 31151, and 31502; sec. 1041(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); and 49 CFR 1.87.

    49. Amend § 393.7 by adding paragraph (b)(15) to read as follows:
    § 393.7 Matter incorporated by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (15) Highway Emergency Signals, Fourth Edition, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., UL No. 912, July 30, 1979 (with an amendment dated November 9, 1981), incorporation by reference approved for § 393.95(j).

    50. Amend § 393.17 by revising paragraph (c)(1) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 393.17 Lamps and reflectors—combinations in driveaway-towaway operation.

    (c) * * *

    (1) When the vehicle is operated in accordance with the terms of a special permit prohibiting operation during the times when lighted lamps are required, it must have on the rear—

    51. Amend § 393.71 by revising paragraph (n)(1) to read as follows:
    § 393.71 Coupling devices and towing methods, driveaway-towaway operations.

    (n) * * *

    (1) Front axle attachment. The front axle of one motor vehicle intended to be coupled with another vehicle or parts of motor vehicles together to form one vehicle shall be attached with U-bolts meeting the requirements of paragraph (j)(2) of this section.

    § 393.95 [Amended]
    52. Amend § 393.95 by removing the authority citation that follows the section.
    PART 395—HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS 53. The authority citation for part 395 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 504, 31133, 31136, 31137, and 31502; sec. 113, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1676; sec. 229, Pub. L. 106-159 (as transferred by sec. 4115 and amended by secs. 4130-4132, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1726, 1743, 1744); sec. 4133, Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 1744; sec. 108, Pub. L. 110-432, 122 Stat. 4860-4866; sec. 32934, Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 830; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    § 395.1 [Amended]
    54. Amend § 395.1 by removing the second paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(C).
    PART 397—TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; DRIVING AND PARKING RULES 55. The authority citation for part 397 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 322; 49 CFR 1.87. Subpart A also issued under 49 U.S.C. 5103, 31136, 31502, and 49 CFR 1.97. Subparts C, D, and E also issued under 49 U.S.C. 5112, 5125.

    § 397.215 [Amended]
    56. Amend § 397.215(a) by removing the phrase “certification with the application has complied” in the third sentence and adding in its place the phrase “certification that the application complies”.
    57. Amend Appendix F to Subchapter B of Chapter III—Commercial Zones, Section 31, Charleston, S.C., by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: Appendix F to Subchapter B of Chapter III—Commercial Zones
    Sec. 31 Charleston, S.C.

    (d) All of any municipality any part of which is within the limits of the combined areas defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: September 23, 2015. T. F. Scott Darling III, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24635 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE213 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; “Other Rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting retention of “other rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the 2015 total allowable catch of “other rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA will be reached.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 30, 2015, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2015 total allowable catch (TAC) of “other rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA is 1,031 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(2), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2015 TAC of “other rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA will be reached. Therefore, NMFS is requiring that “other rockfish” caught in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA be treated as prohibited species in accordance with § 679.21(b).

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay prohibiting the retention of “other rockfish” in the Central and Western Regulatory Areas of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 25, 2015.

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

    This action is required by §§ 679.20 and 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24947 Filed 9-29-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 190 Thursday, October 1, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Parts 925 and 944 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0100; FV15-925-1 PR] Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California and Imported Table Grapes; Revision to the Administrative Rules and Regulations for Shipments to Charitable Organizations AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule invites comments on a recommendation from the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee (Committee) to revise the administrative rules and regulations of the Federal marketing order for grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California (order) and the table grape import regulation. The Committee is responsible for the local administration of the order. This proposal would allow handlers and importers to ship grapes that do not meet the minimum grade and size quality requirements to be donated to charitable organizations. Any such grapes would not be used for resale. This proposal also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to seek the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval on a new form that would revise the currently approved information collection issued under the order.

    The import regulation is authorized under section 608e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 and regulates the importation of table grapes into the United States. The proposal would provide an additional outlet for grapes regulated under the order and would assist USDA's efforts to reduce food waste in support of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 30, 2015. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection burden that would result from this proposal must be received by November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this rule. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments submitted in response to this proposal will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathie Notoro, Marketing Specialist, or Martin Engeler, Regional Director, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed rule is issued under Marketing Order No. 925 (7 CFR part 925), regulating the handling of table grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

    This proposed rule is also issued under section 608e (8e) of the Act, which provides that whenever certain specified commodities, including table grapes, are regulated under a Federal marketing order, imports of these commodities into the United States are prohibited unless they meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, or maturity requirements as those in effect for the domestically produced commodities.

    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

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

    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed no later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

    There are no administrative procedures which must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of import regulations issued under section 8e of the Act.

    This proposed rule invites comments on revising the order's administrative rules and regulations and the import regulations to allow handlers and importers to ship grapes that do not meet the minimum grade and size quality requirements to be donated to charitable organizations. Any such grapes would not be used for resale. This action would provide an additional outlet for grapes regulated under the order and would support USDA's efforts to reduce food waste under the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. The change in the import regulation is required under section 8e of the Act. These proposed actions were unanimously recommended by the Committee following deliberations at public meetings held on November 5, 2013, and a required new Food Donation Form (CDGAC Form No.8) was subsequently approved at a meeting held on October 30, 2014.

    Section 925.54 of the order provides that regulations in effect pursuant to § 925.41, § 925.52, or § 925.55 may be modified, suspended, or terminated to facilitate handling of grapes for purposes which may be recommended by the Committee and approved by the Secretary, and that rules, regulations, and safeguards shall be prescribed to prevent grapes handled under the provisions of this section from entering the channels of trade for other than the specific purposes authorized by this section.

    This proposed rule would amend § 925.304 of the administrative rules and regulations to provide an outlet for grapes failing to meet inspection and quality requirements. The proposal would allow handlers to donate such grapes to charitable organizations. Any such grapes would not be used for resale.

    Accordingly, to prohibit such donated grapes from being sold, and to prevent other unauthorized distribution of such shipments, the Committee recommended that CDGAC Form No. 8 be developed with signatures required that would track the shipment of these grapes and verify their receipt by the intended charitable organization. Therefore, this proposal also announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intent to request a revision to the current OMB-approved information collection which would add a new form and reporting requirement.

    Section 925.60 of the order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval of USDA, to require handlers to furnish reports and information to the Committee as needed to enable the Committee to perform its duties under the order. This proposal would revise § 925.160 (c) of the order's administrative rules and regulations. It would require handlers donating grapes to a charitable organization to ensure CDGAC Form No.8 is completed, signed, and furnished to the Committee within two days of receipt by the intended charity.

    These proposed actions were unanimously recommended by the Committee following deliberations at public meetings held on November 5, 2013, and the proposed new form was subsequently approved at a meeting held on October 30, 2014. This proposed action would provide handlers and importers with an outlet for grapes that do not meet minimum quality requirements, and supports the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's initiative to reduce, recover, and recycle food in conjunction with the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

    Under section 8e of the Act, minimum grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements for table grapes imported into the United States are established under Table Grape Import Regulation 4 (7 CFR 944.503) (import regulation) and safeguard procedures for certain commodities exempt from these requirements are established under § 944.350. A change in the California Desert Grape Regulation 6, § 925.304, that would allow table grapes to be donated to charitable organizations, would require a corresponding change to the requirements for imported table grapes. Similar to the domestic industry, this proposed action would allow importers to donate table grapes to charitable organizations. Sections 944.350(a)(1) and 944.503(d) and (e) would be revised accordingly.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

    There are approximately 14 handlers of southeastern California table grapes who are subject to regulation under the marketing order and approximately 41 grape producers in the production area. In addition, there are about 102 importers of grapes. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

    Eleven of the 14 handlers subject to regulation have annual grape sales of less than $7,000,000 according to USDA Market News Service and Committee data. Based on information from the Committee and USDA's Market News Service, it is estimated that at least 10 of the 41 producers have annual receipts of less than $750,000. Thus, it may be concluded that a majority of grape handlers regulated under the order and about 10 of the producers could be classified as small entities under the SBA definitions.

    Mexico, Chile, and Peru are the major countries that export table grapes to the United States. According to 2014 data from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), shipments of table grapes imported into the United States from Mexico totaled 17,042,386 18-pound lugs, from Chile totaled 38,466,540 18-pound lugs, and from Peru totaled 5,065,653 18-pound lugs. According to FAS data, the total value of table grapes imported into the United States in 2014 was $1,189,848,000. It is estimated that the average importer received $11.7 million in revenue from the sale of table grapes in 2014. Based on this information, it may be concluded that the average table grape importer is not classified as a small entity.

    This proposal would revise § 925.160 of the administrative rules and regulations under the order to require handlers to report to the Committee any grapes donated to charitable organizations. It would also revise § 925.304 of the order's administrative rules and regulations to allow grapes that do not meet minimum quality requirements, yet are still desirable for human consumption, to be donated to charitable organizations. These changes would allow the industry to participate in the U.S. Food Waste Challenge while ensuring that donated grapes are only distributed as authorized. Authority for permitting Special Purchase Shipments is provided in § 925.54. The requirement for handlers to report this information to the Committee is provided in § 925.60 of the order.

    The Committee's proposal to authorize donation of grapes to charitable organizations was unanimously recommended at a public meeting on November 5, 2013. The Committee presented the Food Donation Form CDGAC No. 8 at its meeting on October 30, 2014, and subsequently submitted it to AMS for further approval. There would be no direct financial effects on producers or handlers. Authority for the change to the table grape import regulation is provided in section 8e of the Act.

    The Committee believes this change would be beneficial to industry and to the recipients of this donated food product. Very little impact is expected if the amendment is approved because the change in the regulatory requirements on handlers would be minimal. There would be one new form added to track and ensure that grapes not meeting the minimum grade and size requirements are donated to a charitable organization and not used for resale. This proposed change does not contain any assessment or funding implications. There would be no change in financial costs if the proposal is approved.

    Alternatives to the proposal, include making no changes at this time, were considered. However, the Committee believes it would be beneficial to allow these grapes to be donated to charitable organizations to reduce, recover, and recycle edible food product in support of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

    This proposed action would impose minimal additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on domestic handlers who elect to donate grapes to charitable organizations using the proposed CDGAC Form 8. All 14 handlers are in support of using this form as a potential option for diverting grapes into non-retail channels. Any such handler would be required to submit the form to the Committee within two days of receipt by the charitable organization. It is estimated that it would take 10 minutes to complete each form. Thus, the additional annual burden should total no more than 2.34 hours for the industry. The information would be collected on CDGAC Form No. 8. That form is being submitted to OMB for approval under OMB Control No. 0581-0189, Generic OMB Fruit Crops. As with all Federal marketing order programs, forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

    In addition, USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule.

    Under section 8e, whenever certain specified commodities are regulated under a Federal marketing order, imports of that commodity must meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements as those in effect for the domestic commodity. Grapes are included under section 8e, and thus importers of table grapes are required to have such grapes inspected. A change that would allow certain domestic table grapes to be donated to charitable organizations would require corresponding changes to the requirements for imported table grapes.

    Importers already complete the Imports Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6), which provides for certain authorized imported commodities to be diverted to alternative channels such as processing, animal feed, and charities. Currently, table grapes are not an authorized commodity for donation; however, with this proposed change, sections 944.350(a)(1) and 944.503(d) and (e) would be revised to allow for imported grapes to be donated for consumption by charitable organizations. This action would not change the format of the FV-6 form, nor would it affect the burden. It is unlikely to impose additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on importers who elect to donate grapes to charitable organizations. Importers will not be required to complete the proposed CDGAC Form 8. CDGAC Form 8 is only intended to cover deliveries of domestically produced grapes to charitable organizations by domestic grape handlers.

    The Committee's meetings were widely publicized throughout the California table grape production area. All interested persons were invited to attend both meetings and encouraged to participate in Committee deliberations. Like all Committee meetings, the November 5, 2013, and the October 30, 2014, meetings were public, and all entities, both large and small, were encouraged to express their views on the proposal.

    Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including comments on the regulatory and informational impacts of this proposed action on small businesses.

    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at his previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the AMS announces its intent to request a revision to a currently approved information collection for fruit marketing orders, which includes the Federal marketing order for grapes grown in a designated area of Southeastern California.

    Title: Generic OMB Fruit Crops.

    OMB Number: 0581-0189.

    Expiration Date of Approval: December 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Intent to revise a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the Act, to provide the respondents the type of service they request, and to administer the California desert grape marketing order, which has been operating since promulgation in 1980 and as amended in 1992.

    On November 5, 2013, the Committee unanimously recommended revising the order's administrative rules and regulations to allow handlers to ship grapes that do not meet the minimum grade and size quality requirements to be donated to charitable organizations. On October 30, 2014, to prevent such grapes from being resold, the Committee unanimously recommended requiring handlers who ship such grapes to report such donations on a new form, CDGAC Form No. 8. This notice concerns this report, in addition to the accompanying regulation previously discussed regarding requiring this report be submitted by handlers to the Committee.

    The proposal would allow handlers and importers to donate fruit to charities in support of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's initiative of reducing, recovering, and recycling food, and the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

    The information collected is used only by authorized representatives of the USDA, including AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Program regional and headquarters staff, and authorized employees of the Committee. Authorized Committee employees and the industry are the primary users of the information and AMS is the secondary user.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Handlers who donate grapes grown in a designated area of southeastern California.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 14.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2.34 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) 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; (2) 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; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments should reference OMB No. 0581-0189 Generic OMB Fruit Crops, and be sent to the USDA in care of the Docket Clerk at the address above. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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

    A 60-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to the proposal.

    In accordance with section 8e of the Act, the United States Trade Representative has concurred with the issuance of this rule.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 925

    Grapes, Marketing agreements, reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 925 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 925—TABLE GRAPES GROWN IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF SOUTHEASTERN CALIFORNIA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 925 and 944 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Amend § 925.160 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 925.160 Reports.

    (c) Handlers that donate grapes to charitable organizations pursuant to § 925.304(c) shall submit a completed Food Donation Form (CDGAC Form 8) to the Committee within 2 days of receipt by the charitable organization. Such form shall include the following: The name of the producer; the name of the handler; loading location and date; inspection location and date; Variety(s) Federal State Inspection Service (FSIS) Certificate number(s); lug weight (pounds); number of lugs; label; signature of person responsible for loading at handling facility; recipient charity name; how many lugs received; signature of responsible charity recipient and date received. Any such grapes shall not be used for resale.

    3. Amend § 925.304 by redesignating paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) as paragraphs (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h), and adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 925.304 California Desert Grape Regulation 6.

    (c) Donation to charitable organizations. Handlers of grapes failing to meet the requirements of § 925.55 and paragraph (a) of this section may donate such grapes to charitable organizations. Any such grapes shall not be used for resale. Handlers donating such grapes to a charitable organization shall submit a completed Food Donation Form, CDGAC Form No.8, as required in § 925.160 (c), within 2 days of receipt by the intended charity.

    PART 944—FRUITS; IMPORT REGULATIONS 4. In § 944.350, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 944.350 Safeguard procedures for avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, olives, oranges, prune variety plums (fresh prunes), and table grapes, exempt from grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, olives, oranges, prune variety plums (fresh prunes) and table grapes for consumption by charitable institutions or distribution by relief agencies;

    5. Revise paragraphs (d) and (e) of § 944.503 to read as follows:
    § 944.503 Table Grape Import Regulation 4.

    (d) Any lot or portion thereof which fails to meet the import requirements, and is not being imported for purposes of processing or donation to charitable organizations, prior to or after reconditioning may be exported or disposed of under the supervision of the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service with the costs of certifying the disposal of said lot borne by the importer.

    (e) The grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements of this section shall not be applicable to grapes imported for processing or donation to charitable organizations, but shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in § 944.350.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24801 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 1753 and 1755 RIN 0572-AC29 New Equipment Contract for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is requesting public comments on streamlining the Agency's contractual process for equipment procurement by replacing type-specific Equipment Contracts, RUS Forms 397, 398, 525, 545, and the associated documents (Forms 231, 396, 396a, 397b, 397c, 397d, 397f, 397g, 397h, 517, 525a, 744, 752a, 754, and addenda) with a new, unified Equipment Contract, RUS Form 395 and the associated close-out documents (Forms 395a, 395b, 395c and 395d).

    DATES:

    Comments, electronic and/or paper, must be received by November 30, 2015 to be assured consideration. Late comments will not be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments on this final rule with request or comments.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comments addressed to Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, Room 5164, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

    All comments submitted in response to this document will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. RUS will make the comments publicly available online at: http://www.regulations.gov. Additional information about Rural Development and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.rd.usda.gov.

    How to Obtain a Copy: To obtain a copy of the proposed new RUS Form 395, Equipment Contract, use one of the following methods:

    Internet at the following Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/UTP_form_395.pdf.

    Email/Postal: By contacting the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aylene Mafnas, Chief, Engineering Branch, Policy and Outreach Division, Rural Utilities Service, Telecommunications Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1599, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1550, Telephone number: (202) 690-4673.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Rural Development is a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprising the Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service and Rural Business/Cooperative Service. Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans. Rural Development meets its mission by providing loans, loan guarantees, grants and technical assistance through more than 40 programs aimed at creating and improving housing, businesses and infrastructure throughout rural America.

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan, loan guarantee and grant programs act as a catalyst for economic and community development. By financing improvements to rural electric, water and waste, and telecom and broadband infrastructure, RUS also plays a big role in improving other measures of quality of life in rural America, including public health and safety, environmental protection, conservation and cultural and historic preservation.

    In order to continue to facilitate the programmatic interest of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (the “RE Act”), as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), that loans and loans guaranteed by RUS are adequately secured, RUS has established the use of certain standardized forms for materials, equipment, and construction of electric and telecommunications systems. The use of standard forms, construction contracts, and procurement procedures help to assure that appropriate standards and specifications are maintained by the borrower in order to not adversely affect RUS's loan security, and ensure that loan and loan guarantee funds are effectively used for the intended purpose(s).

    RUS may, from time to time, promulgate new contract forms or revise or eliminate existing contract forms. In so doing, RUS is required by 7 CFR 1755.29, to publish a notice of rulemaking in the Federal Register announcing, as appropriate, a revision in, or a proposal to amend § 1755.30(c), List of telecommunications standard contract forms. On February 12, 2014, RUS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, (79 FR 8327) to establish a New Equipment Contract and associated Policies for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers, RUS Form 395 under 7 CFR parts 1753 and 1755. RUS Form 395, reflects present business and RUS practices, as well as changes in technology, services and equipment. It has come to the attention of the Agency that the proposed rule published in the Federal Register was not clear on how or where to obtain a copy of the proposed new Equipment Contract, RUS Form 395. RUS is issuing this Request for comments to provide an opportunity for interested persons to obtain a copy of the new RUS Form 395 for their review and comment. The information collection and recordkeeping requirements associated with the new RUS Form 395 and its associated forms were submitted to OMB on February 12, 2014 and filed with comment.

    The purpose of this undertaking is to improve the customer service provided by RUS's rural telecommunications and broadband borrowers. Changes in competition, legislation, technologies, and regulation have resulted in changes to business practices in the communications industry. In response to these changes RUS has undertaken a comprehensive review of its Telecommunications and Broadband Programs' contracts and contracting procedures.

    The new Equipment Contract, RUS Form 395 and the associated close-out documents (Forms 395a, 395b, 395c and 395d) will replace the current Equipment Specific Contracts, RUS Forms 397, 398, 525, 545, and the associated close-out documents (Forms 231, 396, 396a, 517, 744, 752, 752a, and 754). The contract terms and obligations included in the new RUS Form 395, Equipment Contract, reflect current RUS and private sector industry practices, as well as changes in technology, services and equipment. The intent here is to streamline the contractual process for RUS borrowers and expedite the process of approving equipment procurement during RUS funded construction projects.

    Dated: July 29, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25045 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3585; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-22-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Engine Alliance Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by the manufacturer informing us that the inspection and repair criteria in the maintenance manual for aft bolt holes of the high-pressure compressor (HPC) cone shaft on the affected engines is incorrect. This proposed AD would require inspection of the HPC cone shaft and repair of affected parts, if needed. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the HPC cone shaft, which could lead to uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Engine Alliance, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108, M/S 169-10, phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; Web site: sp.engineallianceportal.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3585; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Martin Adler, Aerospace Engineer, Engine & Propeller Directorate, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7157; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3585; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-22-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We learned from the manufacturer that the inspection criteria and the repair procedures for the aft bolt holes of the HPC cone shaft, also referred to as the “HPC forward stub shaft,” were listed incorrectly in the maintenance manual for the Engine Alliance GP7270 turbofan engines. HPC cone shafts inspected or repaired using the incorrect criteria in the maintenance manual could result in premature cracking of these parts. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the HPC cone shaft, which could lead to uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    Relevant Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Engine Alliance has issued EA Service Bulletin (SB) No. EAGP7-72-329, dated July 21, 2015; and EA SB No. EAGP7-72-330, dated July 21, 2015. The SBs describe procedures for shotpeening and inspection of the HPC cone shaft. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require inspection of the HPC cone shaft and repair of affected parts, if needed.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects zero engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $0.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Engine Alliance: Docket No. FAA-2015-3585; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-22-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 30, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 turbofan engines with a high-pressure compressor (HPC) cone shaft, part number (P/N) 382-100-907-0, installed.

    (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the manufacturer informing us that the inspection and repair criteria in the maintenance manual for aft bolt holes of the HPC cone shaft on the affected engines is incorrect. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPC cone shaft, which could lead to uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (1) For HPC cone shafts with serial numbers listed in EA Service Bulletin (SB) No. EAGP7-72-330, dated July 21, 2015, inspect the inner diameter of the HPC cone shaft aft bolt holes for nicks, dents, and scratches before accumulating 9,000 cycles since new (CSN). Do not reinstall the HPC cone shaft if the aft bolt hole has a nick, dent, or scratch that is greater than 0.002 inches in depth.

    (2) For HPC cone shafts with serial numbers listed in EA SB No. EAGP7-72-329, dated July 21, 2015, shot peen the HPC cone shaft aft bolt holes before accumulating 9,000 CSN. Use paragraph 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions in EA SB No. EAGP7-72-329 to do the shotpeening.

    (f) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install an HPC cone shaft onto an engine with the following:

    (1) A nick, dent, or scratch in an HPC cone shaft aft bolt hole that is greater than 0.002 inches in depth; or

    (2) any repair of an HPC cone shaft aft bolt hole that did not include shot peening.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (h) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Martin Adler, Aerospace Engineer, Engine & Propeller Directorate, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7157; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) EA SB No. EAGP7-72-329, dated July 21, 2015; and EA SB No. EAGP7-72-330, dated July 21, 2015, can be obtained from EA using the contact information in paragraph (h)(3) of this proposed AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Engine Alliance, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108, M/S 169-10; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; Web site: sp.engineallianceportal.com.

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on September 24, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24731 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 210 [Release No. 33-9929; 34-75985; IC-31849; File No. S7-20-15] Request for Comment on the Effectiveness of Financial Disclosures About Entities Other Than the Registrant AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is publishing this request for comment to seek public comment regarding the financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-X for certain entities other than a registrant. These disclosure requirements require registrants to provide financial information about acquired businesses, subsidiaries not consolidated and 50 percent or less owned persons, guarantors and issuers of guaranteed securities, and affiliates whose securities collateralize registered securities. This request for comment is related to an initiative by the Division of Corporation Finance to review the disclosure requirements applicable to public companies to consider ways to improve the requirements for the benefit of investors and public companies.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number S7-20-15 on the subject line; or

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

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number S7-20-15. 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 of submission. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml). Comments also are 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; we do not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd E. Hardiman, Associate Chief Accountant, at (202) 551-3516, Division of Corporation Finance; Duc Dang, Special Counsel, at (202) 551-3386, Office of the Chief Accountant; or Matthew Giordano, Chief Accountant, at (202) 551-6892, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Businesses Acquired or To Be Acquired and Related Requirements A. Current Rule 3-05 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-05 Disclosure and Related Requirements 2. Tests for Determining Disclosure Required by Rule 3-05 and Related Requirements III. Rule 3-09 of Regulation S-X—Separate Financial Statements of Subsidiaries Not Consolidated and 50 Percent or Less Owned Persons and Related Requirements A. Current Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements 2. Tests for Determining Disclosure Required by Rule 3-09 and Related Requirements IV. Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Guarantors and Issuers of Guaranteed Securities Registered or Being Registered A. Current Rule 3-10 Disclosure and Related Requirements B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-10 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-10 Alternative Disclosure 2. Conditions To Providing Alternative Disclosure V. Rule 3-16 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Affiliates Whose Securities Collateralize an Issue Registered or Being Registered A. Current Rule 3-16 Disclosure and Related Requirements B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-16 Disclosure and Related Requirements VI. Other Requirements VII. Closing I. Introduction

    Over the years, the Commission has considered its disclosure system and engaged periodically in rulemakings designed to enhance our disclosure and registration requirements. Some requirements have been considered and updated relatively frequently, while others have changed little since they were first adopted. For example, the Commission has revised the registration requirements a number of times, most recently in 2005 with Securities Offering Reform, and at that time, the Commission also adopted new methods of communicating offering information.1 As another example, the disclosure requirements applicable to small businesses also have been updated on a variety of occasions, most recently in 2007.2 In contrast, other requirements in Regulations S-K 3 and S-X,4 which encompass many of the Commission's financial and non-financial disclosure rules, have not been updated frequently.

    1See Securities Offering Reform, Release No. 33-8591 (July 19, 2005) [70 FR 44722].

    2See Smaller Reporting Company Regulatory Relief and Simplification, Release No. 33-8876 (Dec. 19, 2007) [73 FR 934].

    3 17 CFR 229.10 et seq.

    4 17 CFR part 210.

    In 2013, the staff issued its Report on Review of Disclosure Requirements in Regulation S-K, 5 which was mandated by Section 108 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “JOBS Act”).6 Section 108(b) of the JOBS Act required the Commission to submit a report to Congress including the specific recommendations of the Commission on how to streamline the registration process in order to make it more efficient and less burdensome for the Commission and for prospective issuers who are emerging growth companies. The Commission staff recommended the development of a plan to systematically review the disclosure requirements in the Commission's rules and forms, including both Regulation S-K and Regulation S-X, and the presentation and delivery of information to investors and the marketplace. At the time the report was issued, Commission Chair Mary Jo White asked the staff to develop specific recommendations for updating the rules that dictate what a company must disclose in its filings.7 Pursuant to this request, the staff is undertaking a broad-based review of the disclosure requirements and the presentation and delivery of the disclosures, which the Commission may consider whether to review. This ongoing review by the staff is known as the Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative.

    5Report on Review of Disclosure Requirements in Regulation S-K (Dec. 2013), available at http://www.sec.gov/news/studies/2013/reg-sk-disclosure-requirements-review.pdf. Section 108(a) of the JOBS Act directed the Commission to conduct a review of Regulation S-K to (1) comprehensively analyze the current registration requirements of such regulation; and (2) determine how such requirements can be updated to modernize and simplify the registration process and reduce the costs and other burdens associated with these requirements for issuers who are emerging growth companies.

    6 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, Public Law 112-106, 126 Stat. 306 (2012).

    7See SEC Press Release 2013-269, dated December 20, 2013, available at http://www.sec.gov/News/PressRelease/Detail/PressRelease/1370540530982.

    Initially, the staff is focusing on the business and financial information that is required to be disclosed in periodic and current reports, namely Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K, and registration statements.8 As part of the review, the staff requested public input,9 and received a number of comments. Two of the comment letters addressed Regulation S-X,10 which is the subject of this request for comment and the first product resulting from the Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative.

    8See Keith F. Higgins, Disclosure Effectiveness: Remarks Before the American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring Meeting (April 2014), available at http://www.sec.gov/News/Speech/Detail/Speech/1370541479332.

    9See request for public comment at http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/disclosure-effectiveness.shtml.

    10See letter from Thomas J. Kim, Chair, Disclosure Effectiveness Working Group of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee and the Law and Accounting Committee, Business Law Section, American Bar Association, November 14, 2014 available at http://www.sec.gov/comments/disclosure-effectiveness/disclosureeffectiveness-23.pdf; but see letter from Sandra J. Peters and James C. Allen, CFA Institute, November 12, 2014 available at http://www.sec.gov/comments/disclosure-effectiveness/disclosureeffectiveness-24.pdf.

    Regulation S-X contains disclosure requirements that dictate the form and content of financial statements to be included in filings with the Commission. It addresses both registrant financial statements and financial statements of certain entities other than the registrant. As an initial step in the review of Regulation S-X, we are considering the requirements applicable to these other entities, which is a discrete, but important, subset of the Regulation S-X disclosure requirements. The staff is continuing to evaluate other Regulation S-X disclosure requirements applicable to the registrant and how those requirements integrate with, for example, Regulation S-K and the applicable accounting standards and will make further recommendations to the Commission for consideration. In this request for comment, we are seeking public comment on the following rules, along with certain related requirements:

    • Rule 3-05, Financial Statements of Businesses Acquired or to be Acquired; 11

    11 17 CFR 210.3-05.

    • Rule 3-09, Separate Financial Statements of Subsidiaries Not Consolidated and 50 Percent or Less Owned Persons; 12

    12 17 CFR 210.3-09.

    • Rule 3-10, Financial Statements of Guarantors and Issuers of Guaranteed Securities Registered or Being Registered; 13 and

    13 17 CFR 210.3-10.

    • Rule 3-16, Financial Statements of Affiliates Whose Securities Collateralize an Issue Registered or Being Registered.14

    14 17 CFR 210.3-16.

    We seek to better understand how well these requirements, some of which have remained largely the same for many years,15 are informing investors and we are soliciting comment on how investors use the disclosures to make investment and voting decisions. We are also interested in learning about any challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures. Finally, we are interested in potential changes to these requirements that could enhance the information provided to investors and promote efficiency, competition, and capital formation.16

    15 Rule 3-05 has not been thoroughly reconsidered since 1996. See Streamlining Disclosure Requirements Related to Significant Business Acquisitions, Release No. 33-7355 (Oct. 10, 1996) [61 FR 54509]. Rules 3-09 and 3-16 have not been thoroughly reconsidered since 1981. See Separate Financial Statements Required by Regulation S-X, Release No. 33-6359 (Nov. 6, 1981) [46 FR 56171]. Rule 3-10 was substantially revised in 2000. See Financial Statements and Periodic Reports for Related Issuers and Guarantors, Release No. 33-7878 (Aug. 4, 2000) [65 FR 51692].

    16 Section 3(f) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) [15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.] requires that, whenever the Commission is engaged in rulemaking under the Exchange Act and is required to consider or determine whether an action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, the Commission shall consider, in addition to the protection of investors, promotion of efficiency, competition and capital formation. Section 2(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) [15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.] also sets forth this same requirement. See also Section 23(a)(2) of the Exchange Act.

    To focus the discussion, this request for comment describes the requirements 17 that apply to domestic registrants 18 that do not qualify as smaller reporting companies 19 or emerging growth companies.20 When relevant, we note different disclosure requirements triggered by each type of registrant.21 In addition, unless otherwise noted, the disclosure requirements we describe in this request for comment should be assumed to apply to periodic reporting under the Exchange Act and registration statements filed under the Exchange Act and the Securities Act.

    17 The descriptions in this release are provided for the convenience of commenters and to facilitate the comment process. The descriptions should not be taken as Commission or staff guidance about the relevant rules.

    18 Generally, the requirements described in this release apply to entities registered as investment companies and entities that have elected to be treated as business development companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940 [15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq]. See Rule 6-03 of Regulation S-X [17 CFR 210.6-03], which states in part, “[t]he financial statements filed for persons to which §§ 210.6-01 to 210.6-10 are applicable shall be prepared in accordance with the . . . special rules [§§ 210.6-01 to 210.6-10] in addition to the general rules in §§ 210.1-01 to 210.4-10 (Articles 1, 2, 3, and 4). Where the requirements of a special rule differ from those prescribed in a general rule, the requirements of the special rule shall be met.”

    19 Exchange Act Rule 12b-2 [17 CFR 240.12b-2] defines a smaller reporting company as an issuer that is not an investment company, an asset-backed issuer, or a majority-owned subsidiary of a parent that is not a smaller reporting company and that has a public float of less than $75 million. If an issuer has zero public float, it would be considered a smaller reporting company if its annual revenues are less than $50 million.

    20 Section 2(a)(19) of the Securities Act defines an emerging growth company as an issuer that had total gross revenues of less than $1 billion during its most recently completed fiscal year. It retains that status for five years after its initial public offering unless its revenues rise above $1 billion, it issues more than $1 billion of non-convertible debt in a three year period, or it qualifies as a large accelerated filer pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 12b-2.

    21 For example, we indicate by footnote where different disclosure requirements apply to foreign private issuers. The definition of foreign private issuer is contained in Securities Act Rule 405 [17 CFR 230.405] and Exchange Act Rule 3b-4(c) [17 CFR 240.3b-4(c)]. A foreign private issuer is any foreign issuer other than a foreign government, except for an issuer that (1) has more than 50 percent of its outstanding voting securities held of record by U.S. residents and (2) any of the following: (i) a majority of its officers and directors are citizens or residents of the United States; (ii) more than 50 percent of its assets are located in the United States; or (iii) its business is principally administered in the United States.

    II. Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Businesses Acquired or To Be Acquired and Related Requirements A. Current Rule 3-05 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    When a registrant acquires a business, Rule 3-05 generally requires it to provide separate audited annual and unaudited interim pre-acquisition financial statements (“Rule 3-05 Financial Statements”) of the business 22 if it is significant to the registrant.23 A registrant determines whether an acquisition is significant using the investment, asset, and income tests defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X.24 Performing these tests for purposes of applying Rule 3-05 and related requirements can be generally described as follows:

    22 Registrants determine whether a “business” has been acquired by applying Rule 11-01(d) [17 CFR 210.11-01(d)] of Regulation S-X. This determination is separate and distinct from a determination made under the applicable accounting standards requiring registrants to account for and disclose the transaction in a registrant's financial statements. The definition of “business” in Regulation S-X focuses primarily on whether the nature of the revenue-producing activity of the target will remain generally the same as before the transaction. The definition in the applicable accounting standards (see Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 805, Business Combinations in U.S. GAAP and a similar definition in IFRS 3, Business Combinations) focuses on whether the target is an integrated set of activities and assets that is capable of being conducted and managed by a market participant for the purpose of providing a return.

    23 Domestic issuers file the disclosures required by Rule 3-05 and its related requirements in current reports filed on Form 8-K [17 CFR 249.308] under the Exchange Act, as well as in registration statements. Foreign private issuers, however, only file the disclosures in registration statements. In Foreign Issuer Reporting Enhancements, Release No. 33-8900 (Feb. 29, 2008) [73 FR 13404], the Commission proposed requiring foreign private issuers to provide certain financial information required by Rule 3-05 in periodic reports. This requirement was not adopted by the Commission. See Foreign Issuer Reporting Enhancements, Release No. 33-8959 (Sept. 23, 2008) [73 FR 58300].

    24 17 CFR 210.1-02(w).

    • Investment Test—the purchase consideration is compared to the total assets of a registrant reflected in its most recent annual financial statements required to be filed at or prior to the acquisition date.

    • Asset Test—a registrant's proportionate share of the business's total assets reflected in the business's most recent annual pre-acquisition financial statements is compared to the total assets of the registrant reflected in its most recent annual financial statements required to be filed at or prior to the acquisition date.

    • Income Test—a registrant's equity in the income from continuing operations before income taxes and cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle,25 as reflected in the business's most recent annual pre-acquisition financial statements, exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests, is compared to the same measure of the registrant reflected in its most recent annual financial statements required to be filed at or prior to the acquisition date. Rule 3-05 requires more disclosure as the size of the acquisition, relative to the size of the registrant, increases based on the test results. If none of the Rule 3-05 tests exceeds 20 percent, a registrant is not required to file any Rule 3-05 Financial Statements. If any of the Rule 3-05 tests exceeds 20 percent, but none exceeds 40 percent, Rule 3-05 Financial Statements are required for the most recent fiscal year and any required interim periods. If any Rule 3-05 test exceeds 40 percent, but none exceeds 50 percent, a second fiscal year of Rule 3-05 Financial Statements is required. When at least one Rule 3-05 test exceeds 50 percent, a third fiscal year 26 of Rule 3-05 Financial Statements is required unless revenues of the acquired business were less than $50 million in its most recent fiscal year.27

    25 Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X refers to extraordinary items, but the FASB eliminated this concept from U.S. GAAP in its Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-1, Simplifying Income Statement Presentation by Eliminating the Concept of Extraordinary Items, issued on January 9, 2015. IFRS prohibit the presentation and disclosure of extraordinary items in IAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements.

    26 A smaller reporting company is subject to requirements similar to Rule 3-05 that are found in Rule 8-04 of Regulation S-X [17 CFR 210.8-04], but is never required to provide a third fiscal year. An emerging growth company, although subject to Rule 3-05, need not provide a third year of Rule 3-05 Financial Statements when it only presents two years of its own financial statements pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(A) of the Securities Act.

    27 17 CFR 210.3-05(b)(2).

    Rule 3-05 Financial Statements must be accompanied by the pro forma financial information described in Article 11 of Regulation S-X (“Pro Forma Information”).28 Pro Forma Information typically includes the most recent balance sheet and most recent annual and interim period income statements. The Pro Forma Information is based on the historical financial statements of the registrant and the acquired business and generally includes adjustments to show how the acquisition might have affected those financial statements had it occurred at an earlier time. Adjustments to the pro forma balance sheet and income statements must be “factually supportable” and “directly attributable to the transaction.” An additional criterion, “continuing impact,” applies only to adjustments to the pro forma income statement.29 The adjustments are computed assuming the transaction occurred at the beginning of the fiscal year presented and carried forward through any interim period presented.30

    28 17 CFR 210.11. A smaller reporting company provides the pro forma financial information described in Rule 8-05 of Regulation S-X [17 CFR 210.8-05]. Although the preliminary notes to Article 8 indicate that smaller reporting companies may wish to consider Article 11, it is not required.

    29 17 CFR 210.11-02(b)(6).

    30 For example, amortization expense of an acquired intangible asset would be shown in the fiscal year and subsequent interim period pro forma income statements as if the acquisition occurred on the first day of the fiscal year.

    A registrant must provide a brief description of a significant acquisition by filing a Form 8-K 31 within four business days after consummation of the acquisition. If Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and Pro Forma Information are not provided with this Form 8-K, the registrant must provide them within approximately 75 days after consummation by filing an amendment to the Form 8-K.32 The 75-day period is intended to provide sufficient time to obtain the Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and prepare the Pro Forma Information.

    31 General Instruction B.1 of Form 8-K.

    32 Item 9.01(a)(4) of Form 8-K requires that the amendment be filed no later than 71 calendar days after the date that the initial Form 8-K must be filed.

    When filing certain registration statements,33 a registrant may need to update, based on the effective date, Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and Pro Forma Information previously provided on Form 8-K.34 A registrant must also include, in certain registration statements filed ahead of the due date of the Form 8-K, Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and Pro Forma Information for a recently-consummated acquisition when a Rule 3-05 test exceeds 50 percent.35 Finally, the following additional disclosures that are not required on Form 8-K must be provided in certain registration statements: 36

    33 These additional requirements do not apply to all registration statements. For example, they do not apply to registration statements filed on Form S-8 [17 CFR 239.16b] or registration statements filed pursuant to Rule 462(b) of Regulation C [17 CFR 230.462(b)].

    34 17 CFR 210.3-12.

    35 17 CFR 210.3-05(b)(4).

    36 In 1996, the Commission partially conformed these reporting requirements in Streamlining Disclosure Requirements Related to Significant Business Acquisitions, Release No. 33-7355 (Oct. 10, 1996) [61 FR 54509] and retained these disclosures because it recognized that “an acquisition could be so large relative to an issuer that investors would need financial statements of the acquired business for a reasoned evaluation of any primary capital raising transaction by the issuer.”

    • Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and Pro Forma Information for a probable acquisition when a Rule 3-05 test exceeds 50%; and

    • Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and Pro Forma Information for the substantial majority of individually insignificant consummated and probable acquisitions since the date of the most recent audited balance sheet if a Rule 3-05 test exceeds 50 percent for any combination of the acquisitions.37

    37 17 CFR 210.3-05(b)(2)(i). Commission staff has clarified that certain significant acquisitions should also be included. See § 2035.2 of the Division of Corporation Finance's Financial Reporting Manual. This manual was originally prepared by the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance to serve as internal guidance. In 2008, in an effort to increase transparency of informal staff interpretations, the Division of Corporation Finance posted the manual to its Web site at http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cffinancialreportingmanual.shtml.

    The accounting standards require disclosure 38 to enable investors to understand the nature and financial effect of a business combination that occurs during the periods presented in the registrant's financial statements or subsequent to the most recent balance sheet date, but before the registrant's financial statements are issued. Some of the disclosures required by the accounting standards are the same as those required by Rule 3-05 and the related requirements, such as the name and description of the acquired business. Others, such as pro forma financial information, are similar although the Pro Forma Information required by Article 11 of Regulation S-X is significantly more detailed. More significantly, Rule 3-05 requires historical financial statements of the acquired entity and the accounting standards do not.

    38See FASB ASC 805, Business Combinations and IFRS 3, Business Combinations.

    B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-05 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-05 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    Financial disclosures required by our rules about a business acquisition are important to investors because an acquisition will result in changes to a registrant's financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, and future prospects. Depending on the impact of the acquisition, those changes could be significant. While it is important to provide investors with information about an acquisition, the types of financial information currently required under the rules may have some limitations as a predictor of the financial condition and results of operations of the combined entity following the acquisition. Prior to the adoption of Rule 3-05 in 1982, some commenters questioned the need for financial statements of acquired businesses for periods prior to the acquisition. Those commenters criticized the utility and relevance of pre-acquisition financial statements in assessing the future impacts of an acquisition on a registrant. Specifically, commenters noted that pre-acquisition financial statements do not reflect the new basis of accounting that arises upon consummation, changes in management, or various other items affected by the acquisition.39 Although the Pro Forma Information addresses some of these concerns by showing how the accounting for an acquisition might have affected a registrant's historical financial statements had the transaction been consummated at an earlier time, restrictions on pro forma adjustments prohibit a registrant from reflecting other significant changes it expects to result from the acquisition. For example, Commission staff has stated that workforce reductions and facility closings, both actions that registrants frequently take when acquiring businesses, are generally too uncertain to meet the criteria for adjustment.40 In addition, Pro Forma Information usually lacks comparative prior periods and is unaudited. Finally, unless a registrant files certain registration statements that trigger the required disclosures earlier, investors typically must wait approximately 75 days for the Rule 3-05 Financial Statements and the Pro Forma Information.

    39 These comments were received in connection with the proposal, Instructions for the Presentation and Preparation of Pro Forma Financial Information and Financial Statements of Companies Acquired or to be Acquired, Release 33-6350 (September 24, 1981) [46 FR 48943]. In the adopting release, Instructions for the Presentation and Preparation of Pro Forma Financial Information and Requirements for Financial Statements of Businesses Acquired or to be Acquired, Release No. 33-6413 (June 24, 1982) [47 FR 29832], the Commission considered reducing the required disclosure to condensed or summarized information. However, the Commission decided that full financial statements of an acquired business were necessary because it believed that there was important information in the notes to the financial statements that would not be reflected in condensed or summarized information and that it was essential that financial information about an acquired business be audited by an independent auditor.

    40See § 3250.1 of the Division of Corporation Finance's Financial Reporting Manual.

    Request for Comment

    1. How do investors use each of the following: The Rule 3-05 Financial Statements; the Pro Forma Information; and the disclosures required by the applicable accounting standards? Are there challenges that investors face in using these disclosures?

    2. Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? For example, is there different or additional information that investors need about acquired businesses or about how the combined entities might perform following the acquisition? If so, what information is needed and are there challenges that registrants would face in preparing and providing it?

    3. Are there challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what are the challenges? Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to address those challenges? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    4. Are there requirements that result in disclosures that investors do not consider useful? If so, what changes to these requirements would make them useful or should we consider eliminating or replacing all or part of those requirements?

    5. How could we improve the usefulness of the Pro Forma Information? Could we do so by changing the extent of information required and/or the methodologies used to prepare it? For example, should we add a requirement for comparative pro forma income statements of the prior year and/or modify the restrictions on pro forma adjustments? If so, what changes should be made and should auditors have any level of involvement with the information? Are there disclosures we should consider adding to the Pro Forma Information that are currently found only in the Rule 3-05 Financial Statements?

    6. If we make changes to improve the usefulness of the Pro Forma Information, should we modify the requirement to provide Rule 3-05 Financial Statements? If so, how? If not, why?

    7. Should we modify the amount of time that registrants have to provide disclosures about acquired businesses to investors? If so, under what circumstances and how? If not, why?

    8. Should certain registration statements continue to require accelerated and additional disclosure as compared to the Form 8-K requirements? If so, to what extent and why? If not, why?

    2. Tests for Determining Disclosure Required by Rule 3-05 and Related Requirements

    The Rule 3-05 tests employ bright-line percentage thresholds that a registrant must apply to a limited set of financial statement measures. Use of these thresholds provides registrants with certainty and promotes consistency. At the same time, they do not allow judgment to be applied to all of the facts and circumstances. In addition, the tests can be difficult to apply in certain situations and have not eliminated the need for implementation guidance.41 Commission staff receives frequent requests 42 to consider anomalous disclosure outcomes, particularly resulting from application of the income test.43

    41 Topic 2 of the Division of Corporation Finance's Financial Reporting Manual addresses several significance testing implementation issues including (1) acquisitions achieved in multiple stages; (2) acquisitions after a reverse merger; (3) aggregation of multiple individually insignificant acquisitions for a registration statement; (4) multiple acquisitions prior to an initial public offering; and (5) acquisitions of foreign businesses where the acquired company uses a different basis of accounting than the registrant.

    42 During 2014, Commission staff received approximately 60 requests. The Commission has the authority under Rule 3-13 of Regulation S-X [17 CFR 210.3-13] to permit the omission of one or more of the financial statements required, and the Commission has delegated that authority to the staff.

    43 Anomalous results can occur, for example, when applying the income test where the registrant's income is at or near zero. An acquisition of a small entity, in terms of the asset and investment tests, may trigger Rule 3-05 disclosures as a result of the income test even if the acquired business has very modest income.

    Request for Comment

    9. Are significance tests the appropriate means to determine the nature, timing, and extent of disclosure under Rule 3-05 and the related requirements?

    10. Are there changes or alternatives to the tests that we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? If so, what changes and are there challenges that registrants would face as a result?

    11. Are there changes to the tests we should consider to address challenges registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    12. Should we revise the financial measures used to determine significance or change the percentage thresholds? For example, should we consider limiting the use of the income test and/or devise new tests such as purchase price compared to a registrant's market capitalization?

    13. Should we allow registrants to apply more judgment in determining what is considered a significant acquisition? If so, why and how? What concerns might arise from allowing registrants to apply more judgment and, if allowed, should registrants disclose the rationale for the judgments?

    Additional Request for Comment on Rule 3-05 and Related Requirements

    14. Should we consider requiring foreign private issuers to provide disclosures similar to those provided by domestic companies when reporting on Form 8-K? Why or why not? Are there other issues that we should address related to acquisitions by foreign private issuers or acquisitions of foreign businesses?

    15. Should smaller reporting companies and emerging growth companies be subject to the same requirements or should requirements for those registrants be scaled? If they should be scaled, in what way? If not, why?

    16. Investment companies, and particularly business development companies, generally file Rule 3-05 Financial Statements in cases where the investment company is acquiring one or more private funds. This type of acquisition typically occurs early in the life of the investment company when it has little or no financial information of its own. In these cases, Rule 3-05 Financial Statements of the private funds(s) may be the primary financial information considered by investors when making investment decisions with respect to the investment company. Should Rule 3-05 continue to apply to investment companies, or should investment companies be subject to different requirements? If so, how and why should the requirements be different? For example, should Rule 3-05 and the related requirements apply when an investment company purchases a significant portion of the assets of a fund, but not all of the assets and liabilities of the fund?

    17. Should we align the definition of a business in Rule 11-01(d) with the definitions in the applicable accounting standards? Why or why not?

    III. Rule 3-09 of Regulation S-X—Separate Financial Statements of Subsidiaries not Consolidated 44 and 50 Percent or Less Owned Persons and Related Requirements

    44 Commission staff has observed, based on filing reviews, that investment companies, particularly business development companies, may have unconsolidated subsidiaries not accounted for using the equity method, but other registrants typically do not. As a result, the body of this section focuses on requirements that apply to 50 percent or less owned persons accounted for using the equity method. Requirements applying to unconsolidated subsidiaries, not accounted for using the equity method, if different, are footnoted.

    A. Current Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    When a registrant owns 50 percent or less of an entity (“Investee”), Rule 3-09 of Regulation S-X generally requires the registrant to provide separate audited or unaudited annual financial statements (“Rule 3-09 Financial Statements”) of the Investee if it is significant.45 The Rule 3-09 Financial Statements provide investors with detailed financial information about Investees that have a significant financial impact on the registrant through its investment, but are not subject to the disclosure requirements that would apply if it were a consolidated subsidiary. Insofar as practicable, the Rule 3-09 Financial Statements must be as of the same dates and for the same periods as a registrant's annual financial statements.46 Significance is determined using the tests defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X, although only the investment and income tests are used.47 The Rule 3-09 tests can be generally described as follows:

    45 Rule 3-09 does not apply to smaller reporting companies nor does Article 8 of Regulation S-X contain similar requirements.

    46 Rule 3-09 does not require the presentation of separate interim financial statements of Investees.

    47 17 CFR 210.3-09(a).

    • Investment Test—A registrant's investment in and advances to the Investee as of the end of each fiscal year presented by a registrant is compared to the total assets of the registrant at the end of each of those same years.

    • Income Test—A registrant's equity in the Investee's income from continuing operations before income taxes and cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests, for each fiscal year presented by a registrant is compared to the same measure of the registrant for each of those same years.

    If neither of the Rule 3-09 tests exceeds 20 percent, Rule 3-09 Financial Statements are not required. If at least one Rule 3-09 test exceeds 20 percent, Rule 3-09 Financial Statements are required for all years and must be audited for each year that a test exceeds 20 percent.48

    48 Registrants with majority-owned subsidiaries that are not consolidated must perform the asset test in addition to the investment and income tests described in Rule 1-02(w). See Rule 3-09(a) of Regulation S-X.

    Separately, Rule 4-08(g) of Regulation S-X 49 requires disclosure, in the notes to a registrant's audited annual financial statements, of summarized balance sheet and income statement information on an aggregate basis for all Investees (“Summarized Financial Information”).50 These disclosures are only required if a Rule 3-09 test or an additional asset test 51 exceeds 10 percent for any individual Investee or combination of Investees.52 If a registrant includes Rule 3-09 Financial Statements of an Investee in its annual report, then notes to the registrant's financial statements need not include Summarized Financial Information for that particular Investee.53

    49 17 CFR 210.4-08(g).

    50 17 CFR 210.1-02(bb).

    51 In 1994, Rule 3-09 was revised to eliminate the asset test; however, the test was retained for Rule 4-08(g) to ensure a minimum level of financial information about an investee when the investment test was small, but a registrant's proportionate interest in the Investee's assets was material, as might be the case for a highly-leveraged Investee. See Financial Statements of Significant Foreign Equity Investees and Acquired Foreign Businesses of Domestic Issuers and Financial Schedules, Release No. 33-7118 (Dec. 13, 1994) [59 FR 65632].

    52 A smaller reporting company must provide summarized information in its annual financial statements if a Rule 3-09 test or an additional asset test exceeds 20 percent, rather than 10 percent, for any individual Investee or combination of Investees. Although Article 8 of Regulation S-X does not include an explicit annual requirement analogous to Rule 4-08(g), Commission staff analogizes to Rule 8-03(b)(3) and typically issues a comment to request annual summarized information if it is not otherwise included. See § 2420.9 of the Division of Corporation Finance's Financial Reporting Manual.

    53See Staff Accounting Bulletin Topic 6.K.4.b. The purpose of the summarized information is to provide minimum standards of disclosure when the impact of Investees on the consolidated financial statements is significant. If the registrant furnishes more financial information in the annual report than is required by these minimum disclosure standards, such as separate audited statements, the summarized information can be excluded.

    Interim financial statements of a registrant must also include summarized income statement information of individually significant Investees.54 Individual Investees are considered significant for purposes of this rule if a Rule 3-09 test, using interim period information, exceeds 20 percent.55

    54 17 CFR 210.10-01(b)(1).

    55 A smaller reporting company must provide summarized information in its interim financial statements pursuant to Rule 8-03(b)(3). Unless it is registering securities, a foreign private issuer need not provide interim information because it is not required to file quarterly financial information pursuant to Exchange Act Rules 13a-13 or 15d-13.

    The applicable accounting standards also require that the notes to the annual financial statements include summarized balance sheet and income statement information about equity-method investees.56 Commission staff has observed, based on filing reviews, that registrants typically follow the Commission rules rather than making separate judgments under the applicable accounting standards.

    56 FASB ASC 323, Investments-Equity Method and Joint Ventures, requires disclosure if material in relation to the financial position or results of operations of the registrant. Paragraphs B12 and B13 of IFRS 12, Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities, require similar disclosure.

    B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-09 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    Financial disclosures required by our rules about an Investee are important to investors because the Investee can have a significant financial impact on a registrant. Also, the Investee is not consolidated so it is not subject to the same disclosure requirements that apply to consolidated subsidiaries. While it is important to provide information about Investees, the types of financial information currently required may have limitations and there may be opportunities for improvement. For example, Rule 3-09 Financial Statements may be presented using different accounting standards, fiscal year ends, and/or reporting currencies than those used by a registrant.57 In addition, Rule 3-09 Financial Statements are required only for significant Investees rather than all Investees that may affect a registrant's financial statements. As a result, Rule 3-09 Financial Statements often cannot be reconciled to the amounts recognized in a registrant's financial statements for that Investee. The Summarized Financial Information also may not be reconcilable because the financial information of multiple Investees, each one with a different percentage owned by a registrant, can be aggregated in the presentation.

    57 For example, when the Investee is a foreign business.

    Summarized Financial Information is required more often 58 than Rule 3-09 financial statements and it also may have limitations. For example, the aggregate presentation, combined with the lack of reconciliation to amounts recognized in a registrant's financial statements, could diminish an investor's ability to discern the impact of significant Investees on a registrant's financial statements. This ability may be further diminished when Investees with income and Investees with losses are combined in the presentation.

    58 Summarized Financial Information is required by Rule 4-08(g) when certain tests exceed 10%, while Rule 3-09 Financial Statements are required when certain tests exceed 20%.

    Request for Comment

    18. How do investors use each of the following: The Rule 3-09 Financial Statements; the Summarized Financial Information; and the interim disclosures? Are there challenges that investors face in using these disclosures?

    19. Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? For example, is there different or additional information that investors need about Investees? If so, what information is needed and are there challenges that registrants would face in preparing and providing it?

    20. Are there challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what are the challenges? Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to address those challenges? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    21. Are there requirements that result in disclosures that investors do not consider useful? If so, what changes to these requirements would make them useful or should we consider eliminating or replacing all or part of those requirements?

    22. How could we improve the usefulness of the Summarized Financial Information? Could we do so by adding a requirement to present separately each significant Investee and/or reconcile the disclosures to the amounts recognized in a registrant's financial statements? Are there disclosures we should consider adding that are currently found only in Rule 3-09 Financial Statements?

    23. If we make changes to improve the usefulness of the Summarized Financial Information, would it be appropriate to modify the requirement to provide Rule 3-09 Financial Statements? If so, how? If not, why?

    24. Are unaudited Rule 3-09 Financial Statements and Summarized Financial Information for fiscal years during which an Investee was not significant useful to investors? Why or why not?

    2. Tests for Determining Disclosure Required by Rule 3-09 and Related Requirements

    The tests used for determining disclosure pursuant to Rule 3-09 and the related requirements employ bright-line percentage thresholds similar to Rule 3-05. In addition, the use of these tests to determine the need for disclosure in interim financial statements is different than the other financial statement footnote disclosure requirements specified in Rule 10-01(a)(5) of Regulation S-X.59 Rule 10-01(a)(5) allows registrants to apply judgment and omit details of accounts which have not changed significantly in amount or composition since the end of the most recently completed fiscal year.

    59 17 CFR 210.10-01(a)(5).

    Additionally, investment companies may face challenges when applying the income test. The numerator of the income test, as defined in Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X, includes the registrant's equity in the Investee's income from continuing operations; however, investment companies account for their Investees using fair value rather than the equity method. The denominator used for the test includes changes in the fair value of investments that can cause the denominator to fluctuate significantly. As a result, registrants frequently consult with Commission staff about anomalous results.

    Request for Comment

    25. Are significance tests the appropriate means to determine the nature, timing, and extent of disclosure under Rule 3-09 and the related requirements?

    26. Are there changes or alternatives to the tests that we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? If so, what changes and are there challenges that registrants would face as a result?

    27. Are there changes to the tests that we should consider to address challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    28. Should we allow more judgment to be applied by registrants in determining significance? Why or why not? What concerns might arise from allowing registrants to apply more judgment and, if allowed, should registrants disclose the rationale for the judgments?

    29. Should we revise the current percentage thresholds and/or the financial measures used to determine significance? For example, should we consider limiting the use of the income test or devise new tests?

    30. Should we consider revising the requirements to provide interim disclosures about Investees to focus on significant changes similar to Rule 10-01(a)(5) of Regulation S-X, which allows registrants to apply judgment and omit details of accounts that have not changed significantly in amount or composition since the end of the most recently completed fiscal year? Why or why not?

    Additional Request for Comment on Rule 3-09 and Related Requirements

    31. Should smaller reporting companies and emerging growth companies be subject to the same requirements or should requirements for those registrants be scaled? If they should be scaled, in what way? If not, why?

    32. Should investment companies, particularly business development companies, be subject to different requirements? If so, how and why should the requirements be different? For example, should the significance tests be modified to apply measures other than the income test or asset test that are more relevant to investment companies? Should there be a different income test related to investment companies? Should we tailor the disclosures provided by unconsolidated subsidiaries of investment companies further by, for example, creating separate requirements for Summarized Financial Information and/or requiring a schedule of investments for unconsolidated subsidiaries not accounted for as investment companies 60 that are in similar lines of business?

    60 Rule 3-09 Financial Statements for unconsolidated subsidiaries accounted for as investment companies are required to include the schedules required by Rule 6-10 of Regulation S-X.

    IV. Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Guarantors and Issuers of Guaranteed Securities Registered or Being Registered A. Current Rule 3-10 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    A guarantor of a registered security is an issuer because the guarantee of a security is a separate security.61 As a result, both issuers of registered securities that are guaranteed and guarantors of registered securities must file their own audited annual and unaudited interim 62 financial statements required by Regulation S-X.63 Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X provides certain exemptions 64 from those financial reporting requirements and is commonly relied upon by a parent company when it raises capital through: (1) An offering of its own securities guaranteed by one or more of its subsidiaries; or (2) an offering of securities by its subsidiary that it guarantees and, sometimes, that one or more of its other subsidiaries also guarantees. Under Rule 3-10, if the subsidiary issuers and guarantors (“issuers/guarantors”) satisfy specified conditions, the parent company can provide disclosures in its own annual and interim consolidated financial statements in lieu of providing financial statements of each subsidiary issuer and guarantor (“Alternative Disclosures”).

    61See Section 2(a)(1) of the Securities Act.

    62 A foreign private issuer need only provide interim period disclosure in certain registration statements.

    63 17 CFR 210.3-10(a).

    64 Rule 3-10 exemptions are available to issuers/guarantors of securities that are “debt or debt-like.” See Financial Statements and Periodic Reports for Related Issuers and Guarantors, Release No. 33-7878 (August 4, 2000) [65 FR 51692].

    The Alternative Disclosures are available in a variety of fact patterns. The rule addresses six specific fact patterns, two of which are:

    • A single subsidiary guarantees securities issued by its parent; 65 and

    65 17 CFR 210.3-10(e).

    • an operating subsidiary issues securities guaranteed only by its parent.66

    66 17 CFR 210.3-10(c).

    All fact patterns must satisfy two primary conditions to qualify for the Alternative Disclosure. First, the subsidiary issuers/guarantors must be “100% owned” 67 by the parent company. Second, the guarantees must be “full and unconditional.” 68 Once those two conditions are met, the form and content of the Alternative Disclosure is determined based upon additional conditions. For example, in the fact patterns above, the parent company can provide abbreviated narrative disclosure in its financial statements if: (1) It has no independent assets or operations 69 and (2) all of its subsidiaries other than the issuer or guarantor, depending on the fact pattern, are minor.70 Otherwise, the parent company must provide the more detailed condensed consolidating financial information (“Consolidating Information”) described below.

    67 17 CFR 210.3-10(h)(1). A subsidiary is “100% owned” if all of its outstanding voting shares are owned, either directly or indirectly, by its parent company. A subsidiary not in corporate form is 100% owned if the sum of all interests are owned, either directly or indirectly, by its parent company other than: (1) Securities that are guaranteed by its parent, and, if applicable, other 100%-owned subsidiaries of its parent; and (2) securities that guarantee securities issued by its parent and, if applicable, other 100%-owned subsidiaries of its parent.

    68 17 CFR 210.3-10(h)(2). A guarantee is “full and unconditional,” if, when an issuer of a guaranteed security has failed to make a scheduled payment, the guarantor is obligated to make the scheduled payment immediately and, if it does not, any holder of the guaranteed security may immediately bring suit directly against the guarantor for payment of all amounts due and payable.

    69 17 CFR 210.3-10(h)(5).

    70 17 CFR 210.3-10(h)(6).

    Consolidating Information is a columnar footnote presentation of each category of parent and subsidiaries as issuer, guarantor, or non-guarantor.71 It must include all major captions of the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement that are required to be shown separately in interim financial statements under Article 10 of Regulation S-X.72 In order to distinguish the assets, liabilities, operations and cash flows of the entities that are legally obligated to make payments under the guarantee from those that are not, the columnar presentation must show: (1) A parent company's investments in all consolidated subsidiaries based upon its proportionate share of the net assets; 73 and (2) subsidiary issuer/guarantor investments in certain consolidated subsidiaries using the equity method.74 This presentation is a unique format designed to ensure, for example, that a subsidiary guarantor does not consolidate, within this presentation, its own non-guarantor subsidiary.

    71 17 CFR 210.3-10(i)(6).

    72 17 CFR 210.10-01(a).

    73 17 CFR 210.3-10(i)(3).

    74 17 CFR 210.3-10(i)(5).

    Recently-acquired subsidiary issuers/guarantors create an information gap in the Consolidating Information because the subsidiaries will only be included from the date that the subsidiaries were acquired. The Securities Act registration statement of a parent company 75 must include one year of audited pre-acquisition financial statements for these subsidiaries in its registration statement if: (1) The subsidiary is significant; and (2) the subsidiary is not reflected in the audited consolidated results for at least nine months of the most recent fiscal year.76 A subsidiary is significant if its net book value or purchase price, whichever is greater, is 20 percent or more of the principal amount of the securities being registered.

    75 Filed in connection with the offer and sale of the debt or debt-like securities.

    76 17 CFR 210.3-10(g)(1).

    Issuers/guarantors availing themselves of the exemption that allows for Alternative Disclosure are automatically exempt from Exchange Act reporting by Exchange Act Rule 12h-5.77 The parent company, however, must continue to provide the Alternative Disclosure for as long as the guaranteed securities are outstanding.78 The parent company may not cease to report this information even at such time that the subsidiary issuers/guarantors, had they declined to avail themselves of the exemptions and reported separately, could have suspended their reporting obligations under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.79

    77 17 CFR 240.12h-5.

    78 Section III.C.1 of Release No. 33-7878 (August 4, 2000) [65 FR 51692].

    79 15 U.S.C. 78o(d).

    B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-10 Disclosure and Related Requirements 1. Content of the Rule 3-10 Alternative Disclosure

    Separate financial disclosures required by our rules about issuers of guaranteed debt and guarantors of those securities are important to investors because the disclosures allow investors to evaluate separately the likelihood of payment by the issuer and guarantors. The content of the Alternative Disclosure, despite being less robust than financial statements required by Regulation S-X, is detailed and unique. For example, the Consolidating Information includes all major captions that are found in quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q 80 and must be prepared using a unique format that is not found elsewhere in Commission rules or the applicable accounting standards. A parent company may also need to provide, in a registration statement, pre-acquisition financial statements of significant, recently-acquired subsidiary issuers/guarantors. These financial statements are required even if those subsidiaries will qualify for the Alternative Disclosure once included in a registrant's audited consolidated results for nine months of the most recent fiscal year.

    80 17 CFR 249.308a.

    Request for Comment

    33. How do investors use the information provided in financial statements of subsidiary issuers/guarantors and the information provided in the Alternative Disclosure? Are there challenges that investors face in using the disclosures?

    34. Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? For example, is there different or additional information that investors need about guarantors and issuers of guaranteed securities? If so, what information is needed and are there challenges that registrants would face in preparing and providing it?

    35. Are there challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what are the challenges? Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to address those challenges? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    36. Are there requirements that result in disclosures that investors do not consider useful? If so, what changes would make them useful or should we consider eliminating or replacing all or part of those requirements?

    37. How could we improve the usefulness of the Consolidating Information? Could we do so by revising its content requirements? If so, what changes should be made and why?

    38. Should we consider revising the requirement to provide Consolidating Information for interim periods to focus on significant changes similar to Rule 10-01(a)(5) of Regulation S-X, which allows registrants to apply judgment and omit details of accounts that have not changed significantly in amount or composition since the end of the most recently completed fiscal year? Why or why not?

    39. Is there other disclosure that would allow us to modify the requirement for separate, audited financial statements of recently-acquired subsidiary issuers/guarantors that would be useful to investors? If so, what disclosure would be appropriate and in what circumstances? If not, why?

    2. Conditions to Providing Alternative Disclosure

    As stated above, one of the primary conditions that must be met for a parent company to provide the Alternative Disclosure is that the subsidiary issuers/guarantors are “100% owned.” For example, the Alternative Disclosure is not available if a subsidiary is organized in a jurisdiction that requires directors to own a small number of shares unless the registrant obtains relief from Commission staff.81 The condition is intended to ensure the risks associated with an investment in a parent company and the risks associated with its subsidiary are “identical.” 82 Similarly, “full and unconditional” is intended to ensure the payment obligations of the issuer and guarantor are “essentially identical.” 83 Registrants may not provide the Alternative Disclosure unless the guarantee operates such that, when an issuer of a guaranteed security has failed to make a scheduled payment, the guarantor is obligated to make the scheduled payment immediately and, if it does not, any holder of the guaranteed security may immediately bring suit directly against the guarantor for payment of all amounts due and payable. For example, registrants are not allowed to use the Alternative Disclosure when guarantees become enforceable after the passage of some time period after default. These are precise standards that must be met in order to reduce disclosure from, for example, full financial statements to the detailed and unique Consolidating Information.

    81 Release No. 33-7878 (Aug. 4, 2000) [65 FR 51692, fn. 29].

    82Id.

    83Id.

    Separately, the duration of the obligation to provide the Alternative Disclosure is different than the obligation to provide separate financial statements. To obtain the exemption under Rule 12h-5, a parent company must provide the Alternative Disclosures as long as the securities are outstanding, while the obligation to provide separate financial statements can be suspended earlier as provided in Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.

    Request for Comment

    40. Do the current conditions to providing the Alternative Disclosure influence the structure of guarantee relationships? If so, how and what are the consequences, if any, to investors and registrants?

    41. Should we consider allowing a parent company to provide the Alternative Disclosure if its subsidiary issuers or guarantors do not meet the current definition of 100% owned? If so, how should we revise the Alternative Disclosure conditions and what additional disclosure might address concerns about the presence of outside ownership interests? If not, why?

    42. Should we consider allowing a parent company to provide the Alternative Disclosure if a guarantee does not meet the current definition of full and unconditional? If so, how should we revise the Alternative Disclosure conditions? Should we consider, for example, allowing the Alternative Disclosure for guarantees that become enforceable after the passage of some time period after default? What additional disclosure might address concerns about the delayed enforceability? If not, why?

    43. Should we consider revising the conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for the abbreviated narrative disclosure? If so, how? If not, why?

    44. Should we modify the parent company's requirement to provide the Alternative Disclosure during the period in which the securities are outstanding? If so, how? If not, why?

    Additional Request for Comment on Rule 3-10 and Related Requirements

    45. Should smaller reporting companies and emerging growth companies be subject to the same requirements or should requirements for those registrants be scaled? If they should be scaled, in what way?

    V. Rule 3-16 of Regulation S-X—Financial Statements of Affiliates Whose Securities Collateralize an Issue Registered or Being Registered A. Current Rule 3-16 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    Rule 3-16 of Regulation S-X requires a registrant to provide separate annual and interim financial statements for each affiliate 84 whose securities constitute a substantial portion of the collateral for any class of securities registered or being registered as if the affiliate were a separate registrant (“Rule 3-16 Financial Statements”).85 The affiliate's portion of the collateral is determined by comparing: (a) The highest amount among the aggregate principal amount, par value, book value, or market value of the affiliates' securities to (b) the principal amount of the securities registered or being registered. If this test equals or exceeds 20 percent for any fiscal year presented by a registrant, Rule 3-16 Financial Statements are required.86

    84 17 CFR 210.1-02(b) states, “An affiliate of, or a person affiliated with, a specific person is a person that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, the person specified.” Although not the same, in practice such affiliates are almost always consolidated subsidiaries of the registrant.

    85 Both domestic registrants and foreign private issuers need only provide interim period information in certain registration statements.

    86 17 CFR 210.3-16(b).

    Separately, Rule 4-08(b) of Regulation S-X 87 requires disclosure, in the notes to a registrant's annual financial statements, of the amounts of assets mortgaged, pledged, or otherwise subject to lien.

    87 17 CFR 210.4-08(b).

    B. Consideration of Current Rule 3-16 Disclosure and Related Requirements

    Disclosures required by our rules that facilitate an evaluation of an affiliate's ability to satisfy its commitment in the event of a default by a registrant are important to investors. Rule 3-16 requires financial statements as though the affiliate were a registrant despite the fact that the collateral pledge is not considered a separate security. Also, registrants have suggested, in consultations with Commission staff, that the Rule 3-16 Financial Statements can be confusing. For example, where the securities of a subsidiary of a registrant (“Subsidiary A”) are pledged as collateral and the securities of an entity consolidated by Subsidiary A (“Subsidiary B”) are also pledged, Rule 3-16 Financial Statements may be required for both subsidiaries and both will include Subsidiary B's assets, liabilities, operations, and cash flows.

    The test used in applying Rule 3-16 employs a bright-line percentage threshold that a registrant must apply to a limited set of measures similar to Rules 3-05 and 3-09. Unlike those rules, the market value of an affiliate's securities may not be readily available in the absence of a public market for those securities.

    Request for Comment

    46. Do the Rule 3-16 requirements influence the structure of collateral arrangements? If so, how and what are the consequences, if any, to investors and registrants?

    47. How do investors use Rule 3-16 Financial Statements and the Rule 4-08(b) footnote disclosures? Are there challenges that investors face in using the disclosures?

    48. Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors? For example, is there different or additional information that investors need about affiliates whose securities collateralize registered securities? If so, what information is needed and are there challenges that registrants would face in preparing and providing it?

    49. Are there challenges that registrants face in preparing and providing the required disclosures? If so, what are the challenges? Are there changes to these requirements we should consider to address those challenges? If so, what changes and how would those changes affect investors' ability to make informed decisions?

    50. Are there requirements that result in disclosures that investors do not consider useful? If so, what changes would make them useful or should we consider eliminating or replacing all or part of those requirements?

    51. How could we improve the usefulness of the Rule 4-08(b) footnote disclosure? Could we do so by adding a requirement to disclose additional details about the affiliates? If so, what additional details should we require?

    52. If we make changes to improve the usefulness of the footnote disclosure, would it be appropriate to modify the requirement to provide Rule 3-16 Financial Statements? If so, how? If not, why?

    53. Should we revise the test used in applying Rule 3-16? If so, how? If not, why?

    Additional Request for Comment on Rule 3-16 and Related Requirements

    54. Should smaller reporting companies and emerging growth companies continue to be subject to the same requirements or should requirements for those registrants be scaled? If they should be scaled, in what way? If not, why?

    VI. Other Requirements

    In addition to the issues raised in this request for comment, we encourage all interested persons to submit their views on any issues relating to the financial information about entities, or portions of entities, other than a registrant. For example, Rule 3-14, Special Instructions for Real Estate Operations to be Acquired, 88 while separate and distinct from Rule 3-05, is intended to achieve similar objectives within a particular industry. In addition, Item 2.01 of Form 8-K uses significance tests to determine when to provide disclosure about asset acquisitions. The requirements addressed in this request for comment may apply more broadly than the situations described. To the extent there may be additional effects, please provide comments.

    88 17 CFR 210.3-14.

    Request for Comment

    55. As we continue our ongoing efforts to review disclosure rules, what other rules and forms should be considered for review and why?

    56. Currently, financial disclosures related to entities other than a registrant are filed in XBRL format to the extent that they are part of the registrant's financial statements.89 Other disclosures, such as the separate financial statements of entities other than the registrant and Pro Forma Financial Information are not required to be presented in a structured, machine-readable format. Would investors benefit from having all of the disclosures related to these entities made in an interactive data format? Would it depend on the nature of the information being disclosed (e.g., disclosure related to a one-time transaction such as an acquisition or ongoing disclosure related to an Investee)? What would be the cost to registrants?

    89 For example, the Summarized Financial Information required by Rule 4-08(g) of Regulation S-X and the Consolidating Information required by Rule 3-10 of Regulation S-X.

    57. In what other ways could we utilize technology to further facilitate the disclosure of useful information to investors or address challenges faced by investors and registrants?

    58. Are there ways that we could further facilitate the use of information by all types of investors? If so, please explain. For example, should we consider alternative ways of presenting the information, such as specifically allowing or requiring registrants to provide a summary along with more detailed required information to enable investors to review the information at the level of detail that they prefer?

    VII. Closing

    This request for comment is not intended in any way to limit the scope of comments, views, issues or approaches to be considered. In addition to investors and registrants, the Commission welcomes comment from other market participants and particularly welcomes statistical, empirical, and other data from commenters that may support their views and/or support or refute the views or issues raised.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24875 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 60 [Docket No FR-5888-P-01] Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    On September 8, 2015, 16 Federal departments and agencies published a proposed rule pertaining to Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. Due to certain statutory prepublication requirements applicable to HUD rules, HUD was unable to be a signatory to the September 8, 2015, proposed rule. Through this HUD proposed rule, HUD adopts the September 8, 2015, proposal and solicits public comment on the proposal.

    DATES:

    Comment Due Date: No later than 5:00 p.m. on December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket ID number HHS-OPHS-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Enter the above docket ID number in the “Enter Keyword or ID” field and click on “Search.” On the next Web page, click on “Submit a Comment” action and follow the instructions.

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier [For paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions] to: Jerry Menikoff, M.D., J.D., OHRP, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Comments received, including any personal information, will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry L. Steffen, Policy Development Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 8114, Washington, DC 20410-8000, telephone 202-402-5926. (This is not a toll-free number.) Persons with hearing- or speech-impairments may access this number through TTY number by calling the Federal Relay Service number at 800-877-8339 (this a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Federal departments and agencies that were signatories to the proposed Common Rule, published on September 6, 2015, at 80 FR 53933, and HUD (collectively the “Federal Agencies”), through this proposed rule are proposing revisions to modernize, strengthen, and make more effective the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects that was promulgated as a Common Rule in 1991. The Federal Agencies seek comment on proposals to better protect human subjects involved in research, while facilitating valuable research and reducing burden, delay, and ambiguity for investigators. The September 8, 2015, proposal is an effort to modernize, simplify, and enhance the current system of oversight. The Federal Agencies propose these revisions to the regulations governing the protection of human subjects because they believe these changes would strengthen protections for research subjects while facilitating important research.

    Federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects recognize that individuals who are the subjects of research may be asked to contribute their time and assume risk to advance the research enterprise, which benefits society at large. Federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects in research have been in existence for more than three decades. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) first published regulations for the protection of human subjects in 1974, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised them in the early 1980s. During the 1980s, HHS began a process that eventually led to the adoption of a revised version of the regulations by 15 U.S. Federal departments and agencies in 1991. The purpose of this effort was to promote uniformity, understanding, and compliance with human subject protections as well as to create a uniform body of regulations across Federal departments and agencies (subpart A of 45 CFR part 46), often referred to as the “Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects” or more succinctly the “Common Rule.”

    Since the Common Rule was promulgated, the volume and landscape of research involving human subjects has changed considerably. Research with human subjects has grown in scale and become more diverse. Examples of developments include: An expansion in the number and type of clinical trials, as well as observational studies and cohort studies; a diversification of the types of social and behavioral research being used in human subjects research; increased use of sophisticated analytic techniques for use with human biospecimens; and the growing use of electronic health data and other digital records to enable very large data sets to be analyzed and combined in novel ways. Yet these developments have not been accompanied by major change in the oversight system of research involving human subjects, which has remained largely unchanged over the last two decades.

    The goals of the September 8, 2015, proposed rule are to address overdue changes to the Common Rule; specifically to increase human subjects' ability and opportunity to make informed decisions; reduce potential for harm and increase justice by increasing the uniformity of human subject protections in areas such as information disclosure risk, coverage of clinical trials; and facilitate current and evolving types of research that offer promising approaches to treating and preventing medical and societal problems through reduced ambiguity in interpretation of the regulations, increased efficiencies in the performance of the review system, and reduced burdens on researchers that do not appear to provide commensurate protections to human subjects. It is hoped that these changes will also build public trust in the research system.

    The full description of the Federal Agencies' proposal is set out in the September 8, 2015 rule. By cross-reference to the September 8, 2015, proposed rule, HUD advises of its adoption of this proposal and solicits comment from HUD program participants and the general public on the September 8, 2015, proposed Common Rule. HUD's regulation on the Protection of Human Subjects is found in 24 CFR part 60. HUD's regulation on this subject cross-references to the HHS regulations in 45 CFR part 46. HUD's regulation at § 60.101, entitled “Cross-reference,” reads as follows: “The provisions set forth at 45 CFR part 46, subpart A, concerning the protection of human research subjects, apply to all research conducted, supported, or otherwise subject to regulation by HUD.”

    II. HUD's Proposed Regulatory Text—No Change Proposed

    HUD's current regulations on the protection of human subjects are, by cross-reference, the regulations on the protection of human subjects promulgated by HHS, and this proposed rule would apply that approach to the September 8, 2015, proposed Common Rule published by 16 U.S. Federal departments and agencies.

    III. Findings and Certifications Environmental Impact

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

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either (1) imposes substantial, direct compliance costs on state and local governments, and is not required by statute, or (2) preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. This rule would not have federalism implications and would not impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments or preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order.

    List of Subjects for 24 CFR Part 60

    Human research subjects, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 9, 2015. Katherine M. O'Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24831 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455; FRL-9934-80-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Delaware; 2011 Base Year Inventories for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for New Castle and Sussex Counties AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the 2011 base year inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for New Castle and Sussex Counties, submitted by the State of Delaware as a revision to the Delaware State Implementation Plan (SIP). In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. The rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. A more detailed description of the state submittal and EPA's evaluation is included in a Technical Support Document (TSD) prepared in support of this rulemaking action. A copy of the TSD is available, upon request, from the EPA Regional Office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0455. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 89 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 1401, Dover, Delaware 19903.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maria A. Pino, (215) 814-2181, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information regarding Delaware's 2011 base year inventories for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for New Castle and Sussex Counties, please see the information provided in the direct final action with the same title, located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24879 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 41 CFR Parts 102-117 and 102-118 [FMR Case 2015-102-2; Docket 2015-0014; Sequence 1] RIN 3090-AJ59 Federal Management Regulation (FMR); Transportation Payment and Audit AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    GSA is proposing to amend the Federal Management Regulation (FMR), Transportation Payment and Audit, to clarify agency and Department of Defense (DOD) transportation payment and audit requirements. GSA is also proposing to amend relevant definitions as a result of these proposed amendments. The FMR is written in plain language to provide agencies with updated regulatory material that is easy to read and understand.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching FMR Case 2015-102-2. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite “FMR Case 2015-102-2, Transportation Payment and Audit” in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For clarification of content, contact Ms. Lois Mandell, Office of Government-wide Policy, at 202-501-2735. Please cite FMR Case 2015-102-2. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, 202-501-4755.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    Agencies are authorized to procure transportation services either through the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by utilizing a contract, or via 49 U.S.C. 10721 (for rail transportation), 49 U.S.C. 13712 (for surface transportation), and/or 49 U.S.C. 15504 (for pipeline transportation) by utilizing rate tenders. It is critical that agencies ensure that services received are properly charged and that the payment made is correct.

    Over the past year, GSA, working with the Governmentwide Transportation Policy Council (GTPC) completed the first of a two-part phase reviewing FMR Part 102-118, Transportation Payment and Audit. The GTPC is composed of representatives from civilian agencies and the Department of Defense and provides guidance in the planning and development of uniform transportation policies and procedures.

    The first phase focused on transportation prepayment and postpayment audits and reviewed FMR Part 102-118 Subparts A (General), D (Prepayment Audits of Transportation Services), and E (Postpayment Transportation Audits), resulting in this proposed rule.

    The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-264) established agency statutory requirements for prepayment audits of Federal agency and DoD transportation expenses and GSA statutory authority for audit oversight to protect the interests of the Government.

    This proposed rule clarifies and strengthens the regulations for agency compliance for transportation prepayment audits and postpayment audits.

    The proposed rule also includes updates to definitions in 41 CFR part 102-117, Transportation Management, as a result of the proposed amendments to FMR part 102-118.

    The second phase, beginning January 2015, will continue the review process for 41 CFR part 118, Transportation Payment and Audit Subparts A (General), B (Ordering and Paying for Transportation and Transportation Services), C (Use of Government Billing Documents), and F (Claims and Appeals Procedures).

    B. Proposed Substantive Changes

    GSA proposes to:

    • Revise the definitions for “Agency”, “Bill of lading”, “Government bill of lading”, “Transportation document”, and “Transportation Service Provider”, remove the term and definition of “Release/declared value”, and add the term and definition “Declared value” in FMR Part 102-117; and to revise the definitions of the terms “Agency”, “Bill of lading”, “Document reference number”, “Government bill of lading”, “Government transportation request”, Offset”, “Overcharge”, “Postpayment audit”, Rate authority”, “Reparation”, Standard Carrier Alpha Code”, “Statement of difference”, “Supplemental bill”, “Transportation document”, and “Transportation Service provider”, remove the terms “Agency claim”, “Transportation service provider claim”, and “Virtual GBL (VGBL)”, and add the terms “Claim” and “Declared value” in FMR Part 102-118 to ensure consistency.

    • Strengthen agencies requirements and responsibilities of transportation prepayment audits and transportation postpayment audit, submission requirements to the GSA Transportation Audits Division, and the required information on all transportation documentation.

    • Clarify GSA Transportation Audit roles and responsibilities.

    C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action, and therefore, will not be subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These revisions are not substantive, and therefore, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. The proposed rule is also exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), because it applies to agency management or personnel.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is also exempt from Congressional review prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates to agency management or personnel.

    List of Subjects 41 CFR Part 102-117

    Freight, Government property management, Moving of household goods, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Transportation.

    41 CFR Part 102-118

    Accounting, Claims, Government property management., Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Christine Harada, Associate Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA proposes to amend 41 CFR parts 102-117 and 102-118 as follows:

    PART 102-117—TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT 1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 102-117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 3726; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 40 U.S.C. 501, et seq.; 46 U.S.C. 55305; 49 U.S.C. 40118.

    2. Amend § 102-117.25 by— a. Revising the definitions of “Agency” and “Bill of lading”; b. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definition “Declared value”; c. Revising the definition of “Government bill of lading (GBL)”; d. Removing the definition “Release/declared value”; and e. Revising the definitions of “Transportation document”, and “Transportation service provider (TSP)”.

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    § 102-117.25 What definitions apply to this part?

    Agency means a department, agency, and independent establishment in the executive branch of the Government as defined in 5 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and a wholly-owned Government corporation as defined in 31 U.S.C. 9101(3).

    Bill of lading (BOL), sometimes referred to as a commercial bill of lading, but includes a Government bill of lading (GBL), means the document used as a receipt of goods, a contract of carriage, and documentary evidence of title.

    Declared value, sometimes referred to as released value,” means the assigned value of the cargo for reimbursement purposes and is stated in dollars. Declared value may be more or less than the actual value of the cargo. The declared value is the maximum amount that could be recovered by the agency in the event of loss or damage for the shipments of freight and household goods. The statement of declared value must be shown on any applicable tariff, tender, contract, bill of lading, or other document covering the shipment.

    Government bill of lading (GBL) means the transportation document used as a receipt of goods, evidence of title, and a contract of carriage for Government international shipments (see Bill of Lading (BOL) definition).

    Transportation document (TD) means any executed document for transportation service, such as a bill of lading, a tariff, a tender, a contract, a Government Transportation Request (GTR), invoices, paid invoices, any transportation bills, or other equivalent documents, including electronic documents.

    Transportation service provider (TSP) means any party, person, agent, or carrier that provides freight, including household goods, or passenger transportation and related services to an agency.

    PART 102-118—TRANSPORTATION PAYMENT AND AUDIT 3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 102-118 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 3726; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 40 U.S.C. 501, et seq.; 46 U.S.C. 55305; 49 U.S.C. 40118.

    4. Revise § 102-118.10 to read as follows:
    § 102-118.10 What is a transportation audit?

    A transportation audit is a thorough review and validation of transportation related documents and bills. The audit must examine the validity, propriety, and conformity of the charges or rates with tariffs, quotations, contracts, agreements, or tenders, as appropriate.

    § 102-118.15 [Amended]
    5. Amend § 102-118.15 by removing “or people and/or” and adding “, people or” in its place. 6. Revise § 102-118.20 to read as follows:
    § 102-118.20 Who is subject to this part?

    This part applies to all agencies (including the Department of Defense) and TSPs defined in § 102-118.35, and wholly-owned Government corporations as defined in 31 U.S.C. 101, et seq. and 31 U.S.C. 9101(3). Your agency is required to incorporate this part into its internal regulations.

    7. Revise §§ 102-118.25 and 102-118.30 to read as follows:
    § 102-118.25 What must my agency provide to GSA regarding its transportation policies?

    As part of the postpayment audit, GSA may request to examine your agency's transportation prepayment audit program and policies to verify the performance of the prepayment audit. GSA Transportation Audits Division may suggest revisions of agencies audit program or policies.

    § 102-118.30 Are Government-controlled corporations bound by this part?

    This part does not apply to Government-controlled corporations and mixed-ownership Government corporations as defined in 31 U.S.C. 9101(1) and (2).

    8. Amend § 102-118.35 by— a. Revising the definition “Agency”; b. Removing the definition “Agency claim”; c. Revising the definition “Bill of lading (BOL)”; d. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions “Claim” and “Declared value”; e. Revising the definitions “Document Reference Number (DRN)”, “Government bill of lading (GBL)”, “Government contractor-issued charge card”, “Government Transportation Request (GTR)”, “Offset”, “Overcharge”, “Postpayment audit”, “Prepayment audit”, “Rate authority”, “Reparation”, “Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)”, “Statement of difference”, “Supplemental bill”, “Transportation document (TD)” “Transportation Service”, and “Transportation Service provider (TSP)”; f. Removing the definitions, “Transportation service provider claim” and “Virtual GBL (VGBL)”; and g. Revising the “Note” at the end of the section. The revised and added text reads as follows:
    § 102-118.35 What definitions apply to this part?

    Agency means a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government (31 U.S.C. 101).

    Bill of lading (BOL), sometimes referred to as a commercial bill of lading, but includes a Government bill of lading (GBL), means the document used as a receipt of goods, a contract of carriage, and documentary evidence of title.

    Claim means—

    (1) Any demand by an agency upon a Transportation Service Provider (TSP) for the payment of overcharges, ordinary debts, fines, penalties, administrative fees, special charges, and interest; or

    (2) Any demand by the TSP for amounts not included in the original bill that the TSP believes an agency owes them. This includes amounts deducted or offset by an agency; amounts previously refunded by the TSP, which is believed to be owed; and any subsequent bills from the TSP resulting from a transaction that was prepayment or postpayment audited by the GSA Transportation Audits Division.

    Declared value, sometimes referred to as “released value,” means the assigned value of the cargo for reimbursement purposes and is stated in dollars. Declared value may be more or less than the actual value of the cargo. The declared value is the maximum amount that could be recovered by the agency in the event of loss or damage for the shipments of freight and household goods. The statement of declared value must be shown on any applicable tariff, tender, contract, bill of lading, or other document covering the shipment.

    Document reference number (DRN) means the unique number on a bill of lading, Government Transportation Request (GTR), or transportation ticket used to track the movement of shipments and individuals.

    Government bill of lading (GBL) means the transportation document used as a receipt of goods, evidence of title, and a contract of carriage for Government international shipments (see Bill of lading (BOL) definition).

    Government contractor-issued charge card means the charge card used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation related expenses for which the contractor bills the employee. This is different than a centrally billed account paying for official travel and transportation related expenses for which the agency is billed.

    Government Transportation Request (GTR) means a Government document used to procure common carrier transportation services. A common carrier is a carrier offering its services at published rates to all persons for interstate transportation. The document obligates the Government to pay for transportation services provided.

    Offset means something that serves to counterbalance or to compensate for something else. These are funds owed to a TSP that are not released by the agency but instead used to repay the agency for a debt incurred by the TSP.

    Overcharge means those charges for transportation that exceed those applicable under the executed agreement for services such as bill of lading (including a GBL), contract, rate tender or a GTR.

    Postpayment audit means an audit of transportation billing documents, and all related transportation documents after payment, to decide their validity, propriety, and conformity of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders. The audit process may also include subsequent adjustments and collection actions taken against a TSP by the Government (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    Prepayment audit means an audit of transportation billing documents before payment to determine their validity, propriety, and conformity of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    Rate authority means the document that establishes the legal charges for a transportation shipment. Charges included in a rate authority are those rates, fares, and charges for transportation and related services contained in tariffs, tenders, contracts, bills of lading, and other equivalent documents.

    Reparation means a payment to or from an agency to correct an improper transportation billing involving a TSP. Improper routing, overcharges, or duplicate payments may cause such improper billing. This is different from a payment to settle a claim for loss and damage.

    Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is the unique four-letter code used to identify American-based motor transportation companies assigned by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. Their Web site address is http://www.NMFTA.org.

    Statement of difference means a statement issued by an agency or its designated audit contractor during a prepayment audit when there is a discrepancy of the TSP amount billed the agency to the TSP proper amount for the services. This statement tells the TSP on the invoice the amount allowed and the basis for the proper charges. The statement also cites the applicable rate references and other data relied on for support. The agency issues a separate statement of difference(s) for each transportation transaction.

    Supplemental bill means the bill for services that the TSP submits to the agency for additional payment of the services provided.

    Transportation document (TD) means any executed document for transportation service, such as a bill of lading, a tariff, a tender, a contract, a GTR, invoices, paid invoices, any transportation bills, or other equivalent documents, including electronic documents.

    Transportation service means service involved in the physical movement (from one location to another) of people, household goods, and freight by a TSP or a Third Party Logistics (3PL) entity for an agency, as well as activities directly relating to or supporting that movement.

    Transportation service provider (TSP) means any party, person, agent, or carrier that provides freight, including household goods, or passenger transportation and related services to an agency.

    Note to § 102-118.35:

    15 U.S.C. 96, et seq., 49 U.S.C. 13102, et seq., and 41 CFR Chapter 302 Federal Travel Regulation, defines additional transportation terms not listed in this section.

    9. Revise Subpart D to read as follows: Subpart D—Prepayment Audit of Transportation Services Agency Requirements for a Transportation Prepayment Audit Program Sec. 102-118.265 What is a prepayment audit? 102-118.270 Must my agency establish a transportation prepayment audit program, and how is it funded? 102-118.275 What must my agency consider when developing a transportation prepayment audit program? 102-118.280 Must all transportation payment records, whether they are electronic or paper, undergo a prepayment audit? 102-118.285 What must be included in my agency's transportation prepayment audit program? Agency Requirements With Transportation Service Providers 102-118.290 Must my agency notify the TSP of any adjustment to the TSP bill? 102-118.295 Does my agency transportation prepayment audit program need to establish appeal procedures? 102-118.300 What must my agency do if the TSP disputes the findings and my agency cannot resolve the dispute? 102-118.305 What information must be on all transportation payment records that have completed my agency's prepayment audit? 102-118.310 What does the GSA Transportation Audits Division consider when verifying an agency prepayment audit program? 102-118.315 How does my agency contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division? 102-118.320 What action should my agency take if the agency's transportation prepayment audits program changes? Agency Certifying and Disbursing Officers 102-118.325 Does establishing an agency Chief Financial Officer-approved transportation prepayment audit program change the responsibilities of the certifying officers? 102-118.330 Does a transportation prepayment audit waiver change any liabilities of the certifying officer? 102-118.335 What relief from liability is available for the certifying official under a transportation postpayment audit? 102-118.340 Do the requirements of a transportation prepayment audit change the disbursing official's liability for overpayment? 102-118.345 Where does relief from transportation prepayment audit liability for certifying, accountable, and disbursing officers reside in my agency? Exemptions and Suspensions of the Mandatory Transportation Prepayment Audit Program 102-118.350 What agency has the authority to grant an exemption from the transportation prepayment audit requirement? 102-118.355 How does my agency apply for an exemption from a transportation prepayment audit requirement? 102-118.360 How long will GSA take to respond to an exemption request from a transportation prepayment audit requirement? 102-118.365 Can my agency renew an exemption from the transportation prepayment audit requirements? 102-118.370 Are my agency's prepayment audited transportation documentation subject to periodic postpayment audit oversight from the GSA Transportation Audits Division? 102-118.375 Can GSA suspend my agency's transportation prepayment audit program? Subpart D—Prepayment Audit of Transportation Services Agency Requirements for a Transportation Prepayment Audit Program
    § 102-118.265 What is a prepayment audit?

    Prepayment audit means a review of transportation documentation before payment to determine their validity, propriety, and conformity of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders. Prepayment auditing by your agency will detect and eliminate billing errors before payment (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    § 102-118.270 Must my agency establish a transportation prepayment audit program, and how is it funded?

    (a) Yes, under 31 U.S.C. 3726, your agency is required to establish a transportation prepayment audit program. GSA recommends your agency's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) approve the prepayment audit program.

    (b) Your agency must pay for the prepayment audit program from those funds appropriated for transportation services.

    § 102-118.275 What must my agency consider when developing a transportation prepayment audit program?

    (a) Your agency's transportation prepayment audit program must consider all of the methods that your agency uses to order and pay for passenger, household goods, and freight transportation to include Government-issued credit cards (see § 102-118.35 for definition of Government issued credit cards).

    (b) Each method of ordering transportation and transportation services for passenger, household goods, and freight transportation may require a different kind of prepayment audit process. The manner in which your agency orders or procures transportation services determines how and by whom the bill for those services will be presented. Your agency should ensure that each TSP bill or employee travel voucher contains enough information for the prepayment audit to determine which contract or rate tender is used and that the type and quantity of any additional services are clearly delineated.

    (c) The prepayment audit cannot be conducted by the same firm who is providing transportation services for the agency, such as a move manager. Contracts with charge card companies that provide prepayment audit services are a valid option. The agency can choose to—

    (1) Create an internal prepayment audit program;

    (2) Contract directly with a prepayment audit service provider;

    (3) Use the services of a prepayment audit contractor under GSA's multiple award schedule covering audit and financial management services; or

    (4) Use a Third-Party Payment System or charge card company that includes prepayment audit functions, such as Syncada and Payport Express.

    (d) An appeals process must be established for a transportation service provider (TSP) to appeal any reduction in the amount billed. It is recommended the agency establish an electronic appeal process that will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official for determination of the claim.

    (e) A process to ensure that all agency transportation procurement and related documents including contracts and tenders are submitted to GSA Transportation Audits Division.

    (f) Use of GSA Transportation Audits Division's Prepayment Audit Program template is recommended. If the template is not used, provide same information listed on the template to GSA Transportation Audits Division.

    § 102-118.280 Must all transportation payment records, whether they are electronic or paper, undergo a prepayment audit?

    Yes, all transportation bills and payment records, whether they are electronic or paper, must undergo a prepayment audit with the following exceptions:

    (a) Your agency's prepayment audit program uses a statistical sampling technique of the bills. If your agency chooses to use statistical sampling, all bills must be

    (1) At or below the Comptroller General specified limit of $2,500.00 (31 U.S.C. 3521(b)); and

    (2) In compliance with the U.S. Government Accountability Office Using Statistical Sampling (GAO/PEMD-10.1.6), Rev. 1992, Chapter 7 Random Selection Procedures obtainable from http://www.gao.gov; or

    (b) The Administrator of General Services grants your agency a specific exemption from the prepayment audit requirement which may include bills determined to be below your agency's threshold, mode or modes of transportation, or for an agency or subagency.

    § 102-118.285 What must be included in an agency's transportation prepayment audit program?

    The agency prepayment audit program must include—

    (a) The agency's CFO approval of the transportation prepayment audit program and submission to GSA Transportation Audits Division;

    (b) Compliance with the Prompt Payment Act (31 U.S.C. 3901, et seq.);

    (c) Assurance that each TSP bill or employee travel voucher contains appropriate information for the prepayment audit to determine which contract or rate tender is used and that the type and quantity of any additional services are clearly delineated;

    (d) Verification of all transportation bills against filed rates and charges before payment;

    (e)(1) A process to forward all transportation documentation (TD) monthly to the GSA Transportation Audits Division. GSA Transportation Audits Division can provide your agency a Prepayment Audit Program with a monthly reporting template upon request at [email protected] (see § 102-118.35 for definition of TD).

    (2) GSA will store paid transportation bills under the General Records Schedule 9, Travel and Transportation (36 CFR Chapter XII, 1228.22), which requires keeping records for 3 years. GSA will arrange for storage of any document requiring special handling, such as bankruptcy and court cases. These bills will be retained pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3309 until claims have been settled;

    (f) Establish procedures in which transportation bills not subject to prepayment audit, such as bills for unused tickets and charge card billings, are handled separately and are also forwarded monthly to the GSA Transportation Audits Division;

    (g) A minimum dollar threshold for transportation bills subject to audit;

    (h) For transportation payments made through cost reimbursable contracts, the agency must include a statement in the contract or rate tender that the contractor shall submit to the address and in the electronic format identified for prepayment audit, transportation documents which show that the United States will assume freight charges that were paid by the contractor. Cost reimbursable contractors shall only submit for audit bills of lading with freight shipment charges exceeding $100.00. Bills under $100.00 shall be retained on-site by the contractor and made available for on-site Government audits (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.247-67);

    (i) Require your agency's paying office to offset, if directed by GSA's Transportation Audits Division, debts from amounts owed to the TSP within the 3 years (31 U.S.C. 3726 (b));

    (j) Complete accurate audits of all transportation bills and notify the TSP of any adjustment within 7 calendar days of receipt of the bill;

    (k) Establish an appeals process in the approved prepayment audit program for a TSP to appeal any reduction in the amount billed. It is recommended that the agency establish an electronic appeal process that will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official for determination of the claim. Your agency must complete the review of the appeal and inform the TSP either electronically or in writing the agency determination within 30 calendar days.

    (1) Create accurate notices and agency procedures for notifying the TSPs with a detailed description of the reasons for any full or partial rejection of the stated charges on the invoice. An accurate notice must include the TSP's invoice number, the billed amount, Taxpayer identification number (TIN), standard carrier alpha code (SCAC) or other agency unique identifier for the carrier, the charges calculated by the agency, the specific reasons including applicable rate authority for the rejection, and information of the appeal process; and

    (2) Implement a unique agency numbering system to handle commercial paper and practices (see § 102-118.55 for information on administrative procedures your agency must establish).

    Agency Requirements With Transportation Service Providers
    § 102-118.290 Must my agency notify the TSP of any adjustment to the TSP bill?

    (a) Yes, your agency must notify the TSP of any adjustment to the TSP bill either electronically or in writing within seven calendar days of the agency receipt of the bill.

    (b) This notice must refer to the—

    (1) TSP's bill number;

    (2) Agency name;

    (3) TSP's TIN;

    (4) SCAC or other agency identifier for the carrier, such as the Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAC) number;

    (5) Document reference number (DRN);

    (6) Date invoice submitted;

    (7) Amount billed;

    (8) Date invoice was approved for payment;

    (9) Date and amount agency paid;

    (10) Payment location number and agency organization name;

    (11) Payment voucher number;

    (12) Complete contract, tender or tariff authority, including item or section number; and

    (13) Complete information on the agency appeal process.

    (c) A TSP must submit claims to the agency within three years under the guidelines established in subpart F of this part.

    § 102-118.295 Does my agency transportation prepayment audit program need to establish appeal procedures?

    Yes, your agency must establish, in the approved prepayment audit program, an appeals process for a TSP to appeal any reduction in the amount billed. It is recommended the agency establish an electronic appeal process that will direct TSP-filed appeals to an agency official for determination of the claim. Your agency must complete the review of the appeal and inform the TSP of the agency determination within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal, either electronically or in writing.

    § 102-118.300 What must my agency do if the TSP disputes the findings and my agency cannot resolve the dispute?

    (a) If your agency is unable to resolve the disputed amount with the TSP, your agency must submit, within 30 calendar days, all relevant transportation documentation associated with the dispute, including a complete billing history and the appropriation or fund charged, to GSA Transportation Audits Division by email at [email protected], or by mail to: U.S. General Services Administration, 1800 F St. NW., 3rd Floor, Mail Hub 3400, Washington, DC 20405.

    (b) The GSA Transportation Audits Division will review the appeal of an agency's final, full, or partial denial of a claim and issue a decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of appeal.

    (c) A TSP must submit claims to the agency within three years under the guidelines established in subpart F of this part.

    § 102-118.305 What information must be on all transportation payment records that have completed my agency's prepayment audit?

    (a) The following information must be annotated on all transportation payment records, electronically or on paper, that have completed your agency's prepayment audit and for submission to GSA Transportation Audits Division:

    (1) The date the bill was received from a TSP;

    (2) A TSP's bill number;

    (3) Your agency name;

    (4) DRN;

    (5) Amount billed;

    (6) Date invoice was approved for payment;

    (7) Date and amount agency paid;

    (8) Payment location code number and office or organization name;

    (9) Payment voucher number;

    (10) Complete contract, tender or tariff authority, including item or section number;

    (11) The TSP's TIN;

    (12) The TSP's SCAC or other agency identifier for the carrier, such as the DODAC number;

    (13) The auditor's authorization code or initials; and

    (14) The date and copy of any statement of difference sent to the TSP.

    (b) Your agency can find added guidance in the “U.S. Government Freight Transportation Handbook.” This handbook is located at www.gsa.gov/transaudits.

    § 102-118.310 What does the GSA Transportation Audits Division consider when verifying an agency prepayment audit program?

    GSA Transportation Audit Division bases verification of agency prepayment audit programs on objective cost-savings, paperwork reductions, current audit standards, and other positive improvements, as well as adherence to the guidelines listed in this part.

    § 102-118.315 How does my agency contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    Your agency may contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division at [email protected]

    § 102-118.320 What action should my agency take if the agency's transportation prepayment audits program changes?

    (a) If your agency's transportation prepayment audit program changes in any way to include changes in prepayment auditors, your agency must submit the CFO-approved revised transportation prepayment audit program to GSA Transportation Audits Division via email at [email protected], Subject line: Agency PPA-Revised.

    (b) If GSA determines the agency's approved plan is insufficient, GSA will contact the agency CFO to inform of the prepayment audit program deficiencies and request corrective action and resubmission to GSA Transportation Audits Division.

    Agency Certifying and Disbursing Officers
    § 102-118.325 Does establishing an agency Chief Financial Officer-approved transportation prepayment audit program change the responsibilities of the certifying officers?

    No, in a prepayment audit program, the official certifying a transportation voucher is held liable for verifying transportation rates, freight classifications, and other information provided on a transportation billing instrument or transportation request undergoing a prepayment audit (31 U.S.C. 3528).

    § 102-118.330 Does a transportation prepayment audit waiver change any liabilities of the certifying officer?

    Yes, a certifying official is not personally liable for verifying transportation rates, freight classifications, or other information provided on a bill of lading or passenger transportation request when the Administrator of General Services or designee waives the prepayment audit requirement and your agency uses postpayment audits.

    § 102-118.335 What relief from liability is available for the certifying official under a transportation postpayment audit?

    The agency counsel relieves a certifying official from liability for transportation overpayments in cases where postpayment is the approved method of auditing; and

    (a) The overpayment occurred solely because the administrative review before payment did not verify transportation rates; and

    (b) The overpayment was the result of using improper transportation rates or freight classifications or the failure to deduct the correct amount under a land grant law or agreement.

    § 102-118.340 Do the requirements of a transportation prepayment audit change the disbursing official's liability for overpayment?

    No, the disbursing official has a liability for overpayments on all transportation bills subject to prepayment audit (31 U.S.C. 3322).

    § 102-118.345 Where does relief from transportation prepayment audit liability for certifying, accountable, and disbursing officers reside in my agency?

    Your agency's counsel has the authority to relieve liability and give advance opinions on liability issues to certifying, accountable, and disbursing officers (31 U.S.C. 3527).

    Exemptions and Suspensions of the Mandatory Transportation Prepayment Audit Program
    § 102-118.350 What agency has the authority to grant an exemption from the transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    Only the Administrator of General Services or their designee has the authority to grant an exemption for a specific time period from the prepayment audit requirement. The Administrator may exempt bills, a particular mode or modes of transportation, or an agency or subagency from a prepayment audit and verification and in lieu thereof require a postpayment audit, based on cost effectiveness, public interest, or other factors the Administrator considers appropriate (31 U.S.C. 3726(a)(2)).

    § 102-118.355 How does my agency apply for an exemption from a transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    Your agency must submit a request for an exemption from the requirement to perform transportation prepayment audits by email to [email protected], Subject Line: Prepayment Audit Exemption Request. The agency exemption request must explain in detail why the request is submitted based on cost effectiveness, public interest, or other factors the Administrator considers appropriate, such as transportation modes, dollar thresholds, adversely affecting the agency's mission, or is not feasible (31 U.S.C. 3726(a)(2)).

    § 102-118.360 How long will GSA take to respond to an exemption request from a transportation prepayment audit requirement?

    GSA will respond to the exemption from the transportation prepayment audit requirement request within 180 calendar days from the date of receipt.

    § 102-118.365 Can my agency renew an exemption from the transportation prepayment audit requirements?

    Your agency exemption to the transportation prepayment audit requirements does not exceed the period granted in the GSA issued exemption letter. If your agency determines that it will desire another exemption for the transportation prepayment audit requirements, your agency must submit this request a minimum of six months before the current exemption period expires.

    § 102-118.370 Are my agency's prepayment audited transportation documentation subject to periodic postpayment audit oversight from the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    Yes, all your agency's prepayment audited transportation documents are subject to the GSA Transportation Audits Division postpayment audit oversight. Upon request, GSA Transportation Audits Division will provide a report analyzing your agency's prepayment audit program.

    § 102-118.375 Can GSA suspend my agency's transportation prepayment audit program?

    (a) Yes, the Director of the GSA Transportation Audits Division may suspend your agency's transportation prepayment audit program until the agency corrects their prepayment audit program deficiencies. This suspension may be in whole or in part. If GSA suspends your agency's transportation prepayment audit and GSA assumes responsibility for auditing an agencies prepayment audit program, the agency will reimburse GSA for the expense.

    (b) This suspension determination is based on identification of a systematic or frequent failure of the agency's transportation prepayment audit program to—

    (1) Conduct a prepayment audit of your agency's transportation bills;

    (2) Abide by the terms of the Prompt Payment Act (31 U.S.C. 3901, et seq.);

    (c) Adjudicate TSP claims disputing prepayment audit positions of the agency regularly within 30 calendar days of receipt;

    (d) Follow Comptroller General decisions, Civilian Board of Contract Appeals decisions, the Federal Management Regulation and GSA instructions or precedents about substantive and procedure matters; and/or

    (e) Provide information and data or to cooperate with on-site inspections necessary to conduct a quality assurance review.

    10. Revise Subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Postpayment Transportation Audits Sec. 102-118.400 What is a transportation postpayment audit? 102-118.405 Who conducts a transportation postpayment audit? 102-118.410 If agencies perform the mandatory transportation prepayment audit, will this eliminate the requirement for a transportation postpayment audit conducted by GSA? 102-118.415 Can the Administrator of General Services exempt the transportation postpayment audit requirement? 102-118.420 Is my agency allowed to perform a postpayment audit on our transportation documents? 102-118.425 Is my agency required to forward all transportation documents to the GSA Transportation Audits Division, and what information must be on these documents? 102-118.430 What is the process the GSA Transportation Audits Division employs to conduct a postpayment audit? 102-118.435 What are the transportation postpayment audit roles and responsibilities of the GSA Transportation Audits Division? 102-118.440 Does my agency pay for a transportation postpayment audit conducted by the GSA Transportation Audits Division? 102-118.445 How do I contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division? Subpart E—Postpayment Transportation Audits
    § 102-118.400 What is a transportation postpayment audit?

    Postpayment audit means an audit of transportation billing documents after payment to decide their validity, propriety, and conformity of rates with tariffs, quotations, agreements, contracts, or tenders. The audit may also include subsequent adjustments and collections actions taken against a transportation service provider (TSP) by the Government (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    § 102-118.405 Who conducts a transportation postpayment audit?

    The Administrator of General Services (GSA) has a congressionally mandated responsibility under 31 U.S.C. 3726 to perform oversight on transportation bills. The GSA Transportation Audits Division accomplishes this oversight by conducting postpayment audits of all agencies' transportation bills.

    § 102-118.410 If agencies perform the mandatory transportation prepayment audit, will this eliminate the requirement for a transportation postpayment audit conducted by GSA?

    No, agency compliance to the mandatory transportation prepayment audit does not eliminate the requirement of the transportation postpayment audit conducted by GSA (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    § 102-118.415 Can the Administrator of General Services exempt the transportation postpayment audit requirement?

    Yes, the Administrator of General Services or designee may exempt, for a specified time, an agency or subagency from the GSA transportation postpayment audit oversight requirements of this subpart. The Administrator can also exempt modes (31 U.S.C. 3726).

    § 102-118.420 Is my agency allowed to perform a postpayment audit on our transportation documents?

    No, your agency may not perform a transportation postpayment audit unless specifically directed to do so by the Administrator in lieu of a prepayment audit. Whether such an exemption is granted or not, your agency must forward all transportation documents (TD) to GSA for postpayment audit (see § 102-118.35 for definition of TD).

    § 102-118.425 Is my agency required to forward all transportation documents to GSA Transportation Audits Division, and what information must be on these documents?

    (a) Yes, your agency must provide all TDs to GSA Transportation Audits Division (see § 102-118.35 for definition of TD).

    (b) The following information must be annotated on all TDs and bills that have completed your agency's prepayment audit for submission to GSA Transportation Audits Division:

    (1) The date the bill was received from a TSP;

    (2) A TSP's bill number;

    (3) Your agency name;

    (4) A Document Reference Number (DRN);

    (5) Amount billed;

    (6) Date invoice was approved for payment;

    (7) Date and amount agency paid;

    (8) Payment location code number and office name;

    (9) Payment voucher number;

    (10) Complete contract, tender, or tariff authority, including item or section number;

    (11) The TSP's taxpayer identification number (TIN);

    (12) The TSP's standard carrier alpha code (SCAC) or other agency unique identifier for the carrier such as the Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAC) number;

    (13) The auditor's full name, email address, contact telephone number, and authorization code; and

    (14) A copy of any statement of difference sent to the TSP.

    (c) Your agency can find additional guidance in the “U.S. Government Freight Transportation Handbook.” This handbook is located at www.gsa.gov/transaudits.

    § 102-118.430 What is the process the GSA Transportation Audits Division employs to conduct a postpayment audit?

    The GSA Transportation Audits Division:

    (a) Audits select TSP bills after payment;

    (b) Audits select TSP bills before payment as needed to protect the Government's interest;

    (c) Examines, settles, and adjusts accounts involving payment for transportation and related services for the account of agencies;

    (d) Adjudicates and settles transportation claims by and against agencies;

    (e) Offsets an overcharge by any TSP from an amount subsequently found to be due that TSP;

    (f) Issues a Notice of Overcharge stating that a TSP owes a debt to the agency. This notice states the amount paid and the basis for the proper charge for the document reference number (DRN), and cites applicable contract, tariff, or tender, along with other data relied on to support the overcharge; and

    (g) Issues a GSA Notice of Indebtedness when a TSP owes an ordinary debt to an agency. This notice states the basis for the debt, the TSP's rights, interest, penalty, and other results of nonpayment. The debt is due immediately and is subject to interest charges, penalties, and administrative cost under 31 U.S.C. 3717.

    § 102-118.435 What are the transportation postpayment audit roles and responsibilities of the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    (a) The GSA Transportation Audits Division role is to perform the oversight responsibility of transportation prepayment and postpayment granted to the Administrator. The GSA Transportation Audits Division will—

    (1) Examine and analyze transportation documents and payments to discover their validity, relevance and conformity with tariffs, quotations, contracts, agreements, or tenders and make adjustments to protect the interest of an agency;

    (2) Examine, adjudicate, and settle transportation claims by and against the agency;

    (3) Collect from TSPs by refund, setoff, offset, or other means, the amounts determined to be due the agency;

    (4) Adjust, terminate, or suspend debts due on TSP overcharges;

    (5) Prepare reports to the Attorney General of the United States with recommendations about the legal and technical bases available for use in prosecuting or defending suits by or against an agency and provide technical, fiscal, and factual data from relevant records;

    (6) Provide transportation specialists and lawyers to serve as expert witnesses; assist in pretrial conferences; draft pleadings, orders, and briefs; and participate as requested in connection with transportation suits by or against an agency;

    (7) Review agency policies, programs, and procedures to determine their adequacy and effectiveness in the audit of freight or passenger transportation payments, and review related fiscal and transportation practices;

    (8) Furnish information on rates, fares, routes, and related technical data upon request;

    (9) Inform an agency of irregular shipping routing practices, inadequate commodity descriptions, excessive transportation cost authorizations, and unsound principles employed in traffic and transportation management; and

    (10) Confer with individual TSPs or related groups and associations presenting specific modes of transportation to resolve mutual problems concerning technical and accounting matters, and providing information on requirements.

    (b) The Administrator of General Services may provide transportation audit and related technical assistance services, on a reimbursable basis, to any other agency. Such reimbursements may be credited to the appropriate revolving fund or appropriation from which the expenses were incurred (31 U.S.C. 3726(j)).

    § 102-118.440 Does my agency pay for a transportation postpayment audit conducted by the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    The GSA Transportation Audits Division does not charge agencies a fee for conducting the transportation postpayment audit. Transportation postpayment audits expenses are financed from overpayments collected from the TSP's bills previously paid by the agency and similar type of refunds. However, if a postpayment audit is conducted in lieu of a prepayment audit at the request of an agency, or if there are additional services required, GSA may charge the agency.

    § 102-118.445 How do I contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division?

    You may contact the GSA Transportation Audits Division by email at [email protected]

    [FR Doc. 2015-24858 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 414 [CMS-3321-NC] Request for Information Regarding Implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, Promotion of Alternative Payment Models, and Incentive Payments for Participation in Eligible Alternative Payment Models AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    Section 101 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) repeals the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updates to the physician fee schedule (PFS) and replaces it with a new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for MIPS eligible professionals (MIPS EPs) under the PFS. Section 101 of the MACRA sunsets payment adjustments under the current Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM), and the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program. It also consolidates aspects of the PQRS, VM, and EHR Incentive Program into the new MIPS. Additionally, section 101 of the MACRA promotes the development of Alternative Payment Models (APMs) by providing incentive payments for certain eligible professionals (EPs) who participate in APMs, by exempting EPs from MIPS if they participate in APMs, and by encouraging the creation of physician-focused payment models (PFPMs). In this request for information (RFI), we seek public and stakeholder input to inform our implementation of these provisions.

    DATES:

    To be assured consideration, written or electronic comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. on November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    In commenting, refer to file code CMS-3321-NC. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission.

    You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways listed):

    1. Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-3321-NC, P.O. Box 8016, Baltimore, MD 21244-8016.

    Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.

    3. By express or overnight mail. You may send written comments to the following address ONLY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-3321-NC, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

    4. By hand or courier. Alternatively, you may deliver (by hand or courier) your written comments ONLY to the following addresses:

    a. For delivery in Washington, DC—

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 445-G, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201

    (Because access to the interior of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building is not readily available to persons without Federal government identification, commenters are encouraged to leave their comments in the CMS drop slots located in the main lobby of the building. A stamp-in clock is available for persons wishing to retain a proof of filing by stamping in and retaining an extra copy of the comments being filed.)

    b. For delivery in Baltimore, MD—

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

    If you intend to deliver your comments to the Baltimore address, call telephone number (410) 786-7195 in advance to schedule your arrival with one of our staff members.

    Comments erroneously mailed to the addresses indicated as appropriate for hand or courier delivery may be delayed and received after the comment period.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Molly MacHarris, (410) 786-4461.

    Alison Falb, (410) 786-1169.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Inspection of Public Comments: All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment. We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following Web site as soon as possible after they have been received: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that Web site to view public comments.

    Comments received timely will also be available for public inspection as they are received, generally beginning approximately 3 weeks after publication of a document, at the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone 1-800-743-3951.

    I. Background

    Section 101 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) (Pub. L. 114-10, enacted April 16, 2015) amended sections 1848(d) and (f) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for updating Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) payment rates and substitute a series of specified annual update percentages. It establishes a new methodology that ties annual PFS payment adjustments to value through a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for MIPS eligible professionals (MIPS EPs). Section 101 of the MACRA also creates an incentive program to encourage participation by eligible professionals (EPs) in Alternative Payment Models (APMs). In the “Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016; Proposed Rule” (80 FR 41686) (hereinafter referred to as the CY 2016 PFS proposed rule), the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) solicited comments regarding implementation of certain aspects of the MIPS and broadly sought public comments on the topics in section 101 of the MACRA, including the incentive payments for participation in APMs and increasing transparency of physician-focused payment models. As we move forward with the implementation of these provisions, there are additional areas on which we would like to receive public and stakeholder input and feedback.

    A. The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

    Section 1848(q) of the Act, as added by section 101(c) of the MACRA, requires establishment of the MIPS, applicable beginning with payments for items and services furnished on or after January 1, 2019, under which the Secretary is required to: (1) Develop a methodology for assessing the total performance of each MIPS EP according to performance standards for a performance period for a year; (2) using the methodology, provide for a composite performance score for each MIPS EP for each performance period; and (3) use the composite performance score of the MIPS EP for a performance period for a year to determine and apply a MIPS adjustment factor (and, as applicable, an additional MIPS adjustment factor) to the MIPS EP for the year. Under section 1848(q)(2)(A) of the Act, a MIPS EP's composite performance score is determined using four performance categories: Quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities, and meaningful use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT). Section 1848(q)(10) of the Act requires the Secretary to consult with stakeholders (through a request for information (RFI) or other appropriate means) in carrying out the MIPS, including for the identification of measures and activities for each of the four performance categories under the MIPS, the methodology to assess each MIPS EP's total performance to determine their MIPS composite performance score, the methodology to specify the MIPS adjustment factor for each MIPS EP for a year, and regarding the use of qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) for purposes of the MIPS. We intend to use the feedback we receive on the CY 2016 PFS proposed rule and on this RFI as we develop our proposed policies for the MIPS.

    B. Alternative Payment Models

    Section 101(e) of the MACRA promotes the development of, and participation in, APMs for physicians and certain practitioners. The statutory amendments made by this section have payment implications for EPs beginning in 2019. Specifically, this section: (1) Creates a payment incentive program that applies to EPs who are qualifying APM participants (QPs) for years from 2019 through 2024; (2) requires the establishment of a process for stakeholders to propose PFPMs to an independent “Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee” (the Committee) that will review, comment on, and provide recommendations to the Secretary on the proposed PFPMs; and (3) requires the establishment of criteria for PFPMs for use by the Committee for making comments and recommendations to the Secretary. Section 1868(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires the use of an RFI in establishing criteria for PFPMs that could be used by the Committee. Additionally, Section 101(c) of the MACRA exempts QPs from MIPS.

    We are issuing this RFI to obtain input on policy considerations for APMs and for PFPMs. Topics of particular interest include: (1) Requirements to be considered an eligible alternative payment entity and QP; (2) the relationship between APMs and the MIPS; and (3) criteria for the Committee to use to provide comments and recommendations on PFPMs.

    C. Technical Assistance to Small Practices and Practices in Health Professional Shortage Areas

    Section 1848(q)(11) of the Act, as added by section 101(c) of the MACRA, provides for technical assistance to MIPS EPs in small practices and practices in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). In general, the section requires the Secretary to enter into contracts or agreements with appropriate entities (such as quality improvement organizations, regional extension centers (as described in section 3012(c) of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA)), or regional health collaboratives) to offer guidance and assistance to MIPS EPs in practices of 15 or fewer professionals (with priority given to such practices located in rural areas, HPSAs (as designated under section 332(a)(1)(A) of the PHSA), and medically underserved areas, and practices with low composite scores) with respect to the MIPS performance categories or in transitioning to the implementation of, and participation in, an APM. As we continue to develop our policies and approach for this support, we seek input on a few areas on what best practices should be utilized while providing this technical assistance.

    II. Solicitation of Comments A. The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

    We are soliciting public input as we move forward with the planning and implementation of the MIPS. We are requesting information regarding the following areas:

    1. MIPS EP Identifier and Exclusions

    Section 1848(q)(1)(C) of the Act defines a MIPS EP for the first 2 years for which the MIPS applies to payments (and the performance periods for such years) as a physician (as defined in section 1861(r) of the Act), a physician assistant (PA), nurse practitioner (NP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) (as those are defined in section 1861(aa)(5) of the Act), a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) (as defined in section 1861(bb)(2) of the Act), and a group that includes such professionals. Beginning with the third year of the program and for succeeding years, the statute defines a MIPS EP to include all the types of professionals identified for the first 2 years. It also gives the Secretary discretion to specify additional EPs, as that term is defined in section 1848(k)(3)(B) of the Act, which could include a certified nurse midwife (as defined in section 1861(gg)(2) of the Act), a clinical social worker (as defined in section 1861(hh)(1) of the Act), a clinical psychologist (as defined by the Secretary for purposes of section 1861(ii) of the Act), a registered dietician or nutrition professional, a physical or occupational therapist, a qualified speech-language pathologist, or a qualified audiologist (as defined in section 1861(ll)(3)(B) of the Act).

    Section 1848(q)(5)(I)(ii) of the Act requires that the Secretary establish a process to allow individual MIPS EPs and group practices of not more than 10 MIPS EPs to elect, with respect to a performance period for a year, to be a virtual group with at least one other individual MIPS EP or group practice. Section 1848(q)(5)(I)(iii)(III)) of the Act requires that the process provide that a virtual group be a combination of Tax Identification Numbers (TINs).

    CMS currently uses a variety of identifiers to associate an EP under different programs. For example, under the PQRS for individual reporting, CMS uses a combination of a TIN and National Provider Identifier (NPI) to assess eligibility and participation, where each unique TIN and NPI combination is treated as a distinct EP and is separately assessed for purposes of the program. Under the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) under PQRS, eligibility and participation are assessed at the TIN level. Under the EHR Incentive Program, CMS utilizes the NPI to assess eligibility and participation. And under the VM, performance and payment adjustments are assessed at the TIN level. Additionally, under certain models such as the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, CMS also assigns a program-specific identifier (in the case of the Pioneer ACO Model, an ACO ID) to the organization(s), and associates that identifier with individual EPs that are, in turn, identified through a combination of a TIN and an NPI. CMS will need to select and operationalize a specific identifier to associate with an individual MIPS EP or a group practice.

    We seek comment on what specific identifier(s) should be used to appropriately identify MIPS EPs for purposes of determining eligibility, participation, and performance under the MIPS performance categories. Specifically, we seek comment on the following questions:

    • Should we use a MIPS EP's TIN, NPI or a combination thereof? Should we create a distinct MIPS Identifier?

    • What are the advantages/disadvantages associated with using existing identifiers, either individually or in combination?

    • What are the advantages/disadvantages associated with creating a distinct MIPS identifier?

    • Should a different identifier be used to reflect eligibility, participation, or performance as a group practice vs. as an individual MIPS EP? If so, should CMS use an existing identifier or create a distinct identifier?

    • How should we calculate performance for MIPS EPs that practice under multiple TINs?

    • Should practitioners in a virtual group and virtual group practices have a unique virtual group identifier that is used in addition to the TIN?

    • How often should we require an EP or group practice to update any such identifier(s) within the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS)? For example, should EPs be required to update their information in PECOS or a similar system that would pertain to the MIPS on an annual basis?

    Additionally, we note that depending upon the identifier(s) chosen for MIPS EPs, there could be situations where a given MIPS EP may be part of a “split TIN”. For example, in the scenario where the identifier chosen for MIPS EPs is a TIN (as is utilized by the VM currently), and a portion of that TIN is exempt from MIPS due to being part of a qualifying APM, we will have a split TIN.

    In the above scenario, what safeguards should be in place to ensure that we are appropriately assessing MIPS EPs and exempting only those EPs that are not eligible for MIPS?

    We also recognize that depending upon the identifier(s) chosen for MIPS EPs, there could be situations where a given MIPS EP would be assessed under the MIPS using multiple identifiers. For example, as noted above, individual EPs are assessed under the PQRS based on unique TIN/NPI combinations. Therefore, individual EPs (each with a unique NPI) who practice under multiple TINs are assessed under the PQRS as a distinct EP for each TIN/NPI combination. For example, under PQRS an EP could receive a negative payment adjustment under one unique TIN/NPI combination, but not receive it under another unique TIN/NPI combination.

    • What safeguards should be in place to ensure that MIPS EPs do not switch identifiers if they are considered “poor-performing”?

    • What safeguards should be in place to address any unintended consequences, if the chosen identifier is a unique TIN/NPI combination, to ensure an appropriate assessment of the MIPS EPs performance?

    2. Virtual Groups

    Section 1848(q)(5)(I) of the Act requires the Secretary to establish a process to allow an individual MIPS EP or a group practice of not more than 10 MIPS EPs to elect for a performance period for a year to be a virtual group with other such MIPS EPs or group practices. CMS quality programs, such as the PQRS, have used common identifiers such as a group practice's TIN to assess individual EPs' quality together as a group practice. The virtual group option under the MIPS allows a group's performance to be tied together even if the EPs in the group do not share the same TIN. CMS seeks comment on what parameters should be established for these virtual groups. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • How should eligibility, participation, and performance be assessed under the MIPS for voluntary virtual groups?

    • Assuming that some, but not all, members of a TIN could elect to join a virtual group, how should remaining members of the TIN be treated under the MIPS, if we allow TINs to split?

    • Should there be a maximum or a minimum size for virtual groups? For example, should there be limitations on the size of a virtual group, such as a minimum of 10 MIPS EPs, or no more than 100 MIPS EPs that can elect to be in a given virtual group?

    • Should there be a limit placed on the number of virtual group elections that can be made for a particular performance period for a year as this provision is rolled out? We are considering limiting the number of voluntary virtual groups to no more than 100 for the first year this provision is implemented in order for CMS to gain experience with this new reporting configuration. Are there other criteria we should consider? Should we limit for virtual groups the mechanisms by which data can be reported under the quality performance category to specific methods such as QCDRs or utilizing the Web interface?

    • If a limit is placed on the number of virtual group elections within a performance period, should this be done on a first-come, first-served basis? Should limits be placed on the size of virtual groups or the number of groups?

    • Under the voluntary virtual group election process, what type of information should be required in order to make the election for a performance period for a year? What other requirements would be appropriate for the voluntary virtual group election process?

    Section 1848(q)(5)(I)(ii) of the Act provides that a virtual group may be based on appropriate classifications of providers, such as by specialty designations or by geographic areas. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • Should there be limitations, such as that MIPS EPs electing a virtual group must be located within a specific 50 mile radius or within close proximity of each other and be part of the same specialty?

    3. Quality Performance Category

    Section 1848(q)(2)(B)(i) of the Act describes the measures and activities for the quality performance category under the MIPS. Under section 1848(q)(2)(D) of the Act, the Secretary must, through notice and comment rulemaking by November 1 of the year before the first day of each performance period under the MIPS, establish the list of quality measures from which MIPS EPs may choose for purposes of assessment for a performance period for a year. CMS' experience under other quality programs, namely the PQRS and the VM, will help shape processes and policies for this performance category. We seek comment on the following areas:

    a. Reporting Mechanisms Available for Quality Performance Category

    There are two ways EPs can report under the PQRS, as either an individual EP or as part of a group practice, and for reporting periods that occur during 2015, there are collectively 7 available mechanisms to report data to CMS as an individual EP and as a group practice participating in the PQRS GPRO. They are: Claims-based reporting; qualified registry reporting; QCDR reporting; direct EHR products; EHR data submission vendor products; Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for PQRS; and the GPRO Web Interface. Generally, to avoid the PQRS payment adjustment, EPs and group practices are required to report for the applicable reporting period on a specified number of measures covering a specified number of National Quality Strategy domains. (See 42 CFR 414.90 for more information regarding the PQRS reporting criteria.) If data is submitted on fewer measures than required, an EP is subject to a Measure Applicability Validation (MAV) process, which looks across an EP's services to determine if other quality measures could have been reported. We seek comment on the following questions related to these reporting mechanisms and criteria:

    • Should we maintain all PQRS reporting mechanisms noted above under MIPS?

    • If so, what policies should be in place for determining which data should be used to calculate a MIPS EP's quality score if data are received via multiple methods of submission? What considerations should be made to ensure a patient's data is not counted multiple times? For example, if the same measure is reported through different reporting mechanisms, the same patient could be reported multiple times.

    • Should we maintain the same or similar reporting criteria under MIPS as under the PQRS? What is the appropriate number of measures on which a MIPS EP's performance should be based?

    • Should we maintain the policy that measures cover a specified number of National Quality Strategy domains?

    • Should we require that certain types of measures be reported? For example, should a minimum number of measures be outcomes-based? Should more weight be assigned to outcomes-based measures?

    • Should we require that reporting mechanisms include the ability to stratify the data by demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, and gender?

    • For the CAHPS for PQRS reporting option specifically, should this still be considered as part of the quality performance category or as part of the clinical practice improvement activities performance category? What considerations should be made as we further implement CAHPS for all practice sizes? How can we leverage existing CAHPS reporting by physician groups?

    • How do we apply the quality performance category to MIPS EPs that are in specialties that may not have enough measures to meet our defined criteria? Should we maintain a Measure-Applicability Verification Process? If we customize the performance requirements for certain types of MIPS EPs, how should we go about identifying the MIPS EPs to whom specific requirements apply?

    • What are the potential barriers to successfully meeting the MIPS quality performance category?

    b. Data Accuracy

    CMS' experience under the PQRS has shown that data quality is related to the mechanism selected for reporting. Some potential data quality issues specific to reporting via a qualified registry, QCDR, and/or certified EHR technology include: Inaccurate TIN and/or NPI, inaccurate or incomplete calculations of quality measures, missing data elements, etc. Since accuracy of the data is critical to the accurate calculation of a MIPS composite score, we seek comment on what additional data integrity requirements should be in place for the reporting mechanisms referenced above. Specifically:

    • What should CMS require in terms of testing of the qualified registry, QCDR, or direct EHR product, or EHR data submission vendor product? How can testing be enhanced to improve data integrity?

    • Should registries and qualified clinical data registries be required to submit data to CMS using certain standards, such as the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) standard, which certified EHRs are required to support?

    • Should CMS require that qualified registries, QCDRs, and health IT systems undergo review and qualification by CMS to ensure that CMS' form and manner are met? For example, CMS uses a specific file format for qualified registry reporting. The current version is available at: https://www.qualitynet.org/imageserver/pqrs/registry2015/index.htm. What should be involved in the testing to ensure CMS' form and manner requirements are met?

    • What feedback from CMS during testing would be beneficial to these stakeholders?

    • What thresholds for data integrity should CMS have in place for accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the data? For example, if a QCDR's calculated performance rate does not equate to the distinct performance values, such as the numerator exceeding the value of the denominator, should CMS re-calculate the data based on the numerator and denominator values provided? Should CMS not require MIPS EPs to submit a calculated performance rate (and instead have CMS calculate all rates)? Alternatively, for example, if a QCDR omits data elements that make validation of the reported data infeasible, should the data be discarded? What threshold of errors in submitted data should be acceptable?

    • If CMS determines that the MIPS EP (participating as an individual EP or as part of a group practice or virtual group) has used a data reporting mechanism that does not meet our data integrity standards, how should CMS assess the MIPS EP when calculating their quality performance category score? Should there be any consequences for the qualified registry, QCDR or EHR vendor in order to correct future practices? Should the qualified registry, QCDR or EHR vendor be disqualified or unable to participate in future performance periods? What consequences should there be for MIPS EPs?

    c. Use of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) Under the Quality Performance Category

    Currently under the PQRS, the reporting mechanisms that use CEHRT require that the quality measures be derived from CEHRT and must be transmitted in specific file formats. For example, EHR technology that meets the CEHRT definition must be able to record, calculate, report, import, and export clinical quality measure (CQM) data using the standards that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has specified, including use of the Quality Reporting Data Architecture (QRDA) Category I and III standards. We seek input on the following questions:

    • Under the MIPS, what should constitute use of CEHRT for purposes of reporting quality data?

    • Instead of requiring that the EHR be utilized to transmit the data, should it be sufficient to use the EHR to capture and/or calculate the quality data? What standards should apply for data capture and transmission?

    4. Resource Use Performance Category

    Section 1848(q)(2)(B)(ii) of the Act describes the resource use performance category under MIPS as “the measurement of resource use for such period under section1848(p)(3) of the Act, using the methodology under section 1848(r) of the Act as appropriate, and, as feasible and applicable, accounting for the cost of drugs under Part D.” Section 1848(p)(3) of the Act specifies that costs shall be evaluated, to the extent practicable, based on a composite of appropriate measures of costs for purposes of the VM under the PFS. Section 1848(r) of the Act (as added by section 101(f) of the MACRA) specifies a series of steps and deliverables for the Secretary to develop “care episode and patient condition groups and classification codes” and “patient relationship categories and codes” for purposes of attribution of patients to practitioners, and provides for the use of these in a specified methodology for measurement of resource use. Under the MIPS, the Secretary must evaluate costs based on a composite of appropriate measures of costs using the methodology for resource use analysis specified in section 1848(r)(5) of the Act that involves the use of certain codes and claims data and condition and episode groups, as appropriate. CMS' experience under the VM will help shape this performance category. Currently under the VM, we use the following cost measures: (1) Total Per Capita Costs for All Attributed Beneficiaries measure; (2) Total Per Capita Costs for Beneficiaries with Specific Conditions (Diabetes, Coronary artery disease, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Heart failure); and (3) Medicare Spending per Beneficiary (MSPB) measure. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • Apart from the cost measures noted above, are there additional cost or resource use measures (such as measures associated with services that are potentially harmful or over-used, including those identified by the Choosing Wisely initiative) that should be considered? If so, what data sources would be required to calculate the measures?

    • How should we apply the resource use category to MIPS EPs for whom there may not be applicable resource use measures?

    • What role should episode-based costs play in calculating resource use and/or providing feedback reports to MIPS EPs under section 1848(q)(12) of the Act?

    • How should CMS consider aligning measures used under the MIPS resource use performance category with resource use based measures used in other parts of the Medicare program?

    • How should we incorporate Part D drug costs into MIPS? How should this be measured and calculated?

    • What peer groups or benchmarks should be used when assessing performance under the resource use performance category?

    • CMS has received stakeholder feedback encouraging us to align resource use measures with clinical quality measures. How could the MIPS methodology, which includes domains for clinical quality and resource use, be designed to achieve such alignment?

    We also note that there will be forthcoming opportunities to comment on further development of care episode and patient condition groups and classification codes, and patient relationship categories and groups, as required by section 1848(r) of the Act.

    5. Clinical Practice Improvement Activities Performance Category

    Section 1848(q)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act specifies that the measures and activities for the clinical practice improvement activities performance category must include at least the following subcategories of activities: Expanded practice access, population management, care coordination, beneficiary engagement, patient safety and practice assessment, and participation in an APM. The Secretary has discretion under this provision to add other subcategories of activities as well. The term “clinical practice improvement activity” is defined under section 1848(q)(2)(C)(v)(III) of the Act as an activity that relevant eligible professional organizations and other relevant stakeholders identify as improving clinical practice or care delivery and that the Secretary determines, when effectively executed, is likely to result in improved outcomes. Under section 1848(q)(2)(C)(v) of the Act, we are required to use an RFI to solicit recommendations from stakeholders to identify and specify criteria for clinical practice improvement activities. In the CY 2016 PFS proposed rule (80 FR 41879), the Secretary sought comment on what activities could be classified as clinical practice improvement activities under the subcategories specified in section 1848(q)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act. In this RFI, we seek comment on other potential clinical practice improvement activities (and subcategories of activities), and on the criteria that should be applicable for all clinical practice improvement activities. We also seek comment on the following subcategories, in particular how measures or other demonstrations of activity may be validated and evaluated:

    • A subcategory of Promoting Health Equity and Continuity, including (a) serving Medicaid beneficiaries, including individuals dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, (b) accepting new Medicaid beneficiaries, (c) participating in the network of plans in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace or state exchanges, and (d) maintaining adequate equipment and other accommodations (for example, wheelchair access, accessible exam tables, lifts, scales, etc.) to provide comprehensive care for patients with disabilities.

    • A subcategory of Social and Community Involvement, such as measuring completed referrals to community and social services or evidence of partnerships and collaboration with the community and social services.

    • A subcategory of Achieving Health Equity, as its own category or as a multiplier where the achievement of high quality in traditional areas is rewarded at a more favorable rate for EPs that achieve high quality for underserved populations, including persons with behavioral health conditions, racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and people living in rural areas, and people in HPSAs.

    • A subcategory of emergency preparedness and response, such as measuring EP participation in the Medical Reserve Corps, measuring registration in the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, measuring relevant reserve and active duty military EP activities, and measuring EP volunteer participation in humanitarian medical relief work.

    • A subcategory of integration of primary care and behavioral health,1 such as measuring or evaluating such practices as: Co-location of behavioral health and primary care services; shared/integrated behavioral health and primary care records; cross-training of EPs;

    1 Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration program and the SAMHSA-Health Resources and Services Administration's Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) (http://www.integration.samhsa.gov/). The CIHS provides support for integrated care efforts, including information on recommended screening tools and financing and reimbursement for services by state and insurance type.

    We also seek comment on what mechanisms should be used for the Secretary to receive data related to clinical practice improvement activities. Specifically, we seek comment on the following:

    • Should EPs be required to attest directly to CMS through a registration system, Web portal or other means that they have met the required activities and to specify which activities on the list they have met? Or alternatively, should qualified registries, QCDRs, EHRs, or other health IT systems be able to transmit results of the activities to CMS?

    • What information should be reported and what quality checks and/or data validation should occur to ensure successful completion of these activities?

    • How often providers should report or attest that they have met the required activities?

    Additionally, we seek comment on the following areas of how we should assess performance on the clinical practice improvement activities category. Specifically:

    • What threshold or quantity of activities should be established under the clinical practice improvement activities performance category? For example, should performance in this category be based on completion of a specific number of clinical practice improvement activities, or, for some categories, a specific number of hours? If so, what is the minimum number of activities or hours that should be completed? How many activities or hours would be needed to earn the maximum possible score for the clinical practice improvement activities in each performance subcategory? Should the threshold or quantity of activities increase over time? Should performance in this category be based on demonstrated availability of specific functions and capabilities?

    • How should the various subcategories be weighted? Should each subcategory have equal weight, or should certain subcategories be weighted more than others?

    • How should we define the subcategory of participation in an APM?

    Lastly, section 1848(q)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act requires the Secretary, in establishing the clinical practice improvement activities, to give consideration to the circumstances of small practices (15 or fewer professionals) and practices located in rural areas and in HPSAs (as designated under section 332(a)(1)(A) of the PHSA). We seek comment on the following questions relating to this requirement:

    • How should the clinical practice improvement activities performance category be applied to EPs practicing in these types of small practices or rural areas?

    • Should a lower performance threshold or different measures be established that will better allow those EPs to reach the payment threshold?

    • What methods should be leveraged to appropriately identify these practices?

    • What best practices should be considered to develop flexible and adaptable clinical practice improvement activities based on the needs of the community and its population?

    6. Meaningful Use of Certified EHR Technology Performance Category

    Section 1848(q)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act specifies that the measures and activities for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology performance category under the MIPS are the requirements established under section 1848(o)(2) of the Act for determining whether an eligible professional is a meaningful EHR user of CEHRT. Under section 1848(q)(5)(E)(i)(IV) of the Act, 25 percent of the composite performance score under the MIPS must be determined based on performance in the meaningful use of certified EHR technology performance category. Section 1848(q)(5)(E)(ii) of the Act gives the Secretary discretion to reduce the percentage weight for this performance category (but not below 15 percent) in any year in which the Secretary estimates that the proportion of eligible professionals who are meaningful EHR users is 75 percent or greater, resulting in an increase in the applicable percentage weights of the other performance categories. We seek comment on the methodology for assessing performance in this performance category. Additionally, we note that we are only seeking comments on the meaningful use performance category under the MIPS; we are not seeking comments on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

    • Should the performance score for this category be based be based solely on full achievement of meaningful use? For example, an EP might receive full credit (for example, 100 percent of the allotted 25 percentage points of the composite performance score) under this performance category for meeting or exceeding the thresholds of all meaningful use objectives and measures; however, failing to meet or exceed all objectives and measures would result in the EP receiving no credit (for example, zero percent of the allotted 25 percentage points of the composite performance score) for this performance category. We seek comment on this approach to scoring.

    • Should CMS use a tiered methodology for determining levels of achievement in this performance category that would allow EPs to receive a higher or lower score based on their performance relative to the thresholds established in the Medicare EHR Incentive program's meaningful use objectives and measures? For example, an EP who scores significantly higher than the threshold and higher than their peer group might receive a higher score than the median performer. How should such a methodology be developed? Should scoring in this category be based on an EP's under- or over-performance relative to the required thresholds of the objectives and measures, or should the scoring methodology of this category be based on an EP's performance relative to the performance of his or her peers?

    • What alternate methodologies should CMS consider for this performance category?

    • How should hardship exemptions be treated?

    7. Other Measures

    Section 1848(q)(2)(C)(ii) of the Act allows the Secretary to use measures that are used for a payment system other than the PFS, such as measures for inpatient hospitals, for the purposes of the quality and resource use performance categories (but not measures for hospital outpatient departments, except in the case of items and services furnished by emergency physicians, radiologists, and anesthesiologists). We seek comment on how we could best use this authority, including the following specific questions:

    • What types of measures (that is, process, outcomes, populations, etc.) used for other payment systems should be included for the quality and resource use performance categories under the MIPS?

    • How could we leverage measures that are used under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, or other quality reporting or incentive payment programs? How should we attribute the performance on the measures that are used under other quality reporting or value-based purchasing programs to the EP?

    • To which types of EPs should these be applied? Should this option be available to all EPs or only to those EPs who have limited measure options under the quality and resource use performance categories?

    • How should CMS link an EP to a facility in order to use measures from other payment systems? For example, should the EP be allowed to elect to be analyzed based on the performance on measures for the facility of his or her choosing? If not, what criteria should CMS use to attribute a facility's performance on a given measure to the EP or group practice?

    Additionally, section 1848(q)(2)(C)(iii) of the Act allows and encourages the Secretary to use global measures and population-based measures for the purposes of the quality performance category. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • What types of global and population-based measures should be included under MIPS? How should we define these types of measures?

    • What data sources are available, and what mechanisms exist to collect data on these types of measures?

    Lastly, section 1848(q)(2)(C)(iv) of the Act requires the Secretary, for the measures and activities specified for the MIPS performance categories, to give consideration to the circumstances of professional types (or subcategories of those types based on practice characteristics) who typically furnish services that do not involve face-to-face interaction with patients when defining MIPS performance categories. For example, EPs practicing in certain specialties such as pathologists and certain types of radiologists do not typically have face-to-face interactions with patients. If measures and activities for the MIPS performance categories focus on face-to-face encounters, these specialists may have more limited opportunities to be assessed, which could negatively affect their MIPS composite performance scores as compared to other specialties. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • How should we define the professional types that typically do not have face-to-face interactions with patients?

    • What criteria should we use to identify these types of EPs?

    • Should we base this designation on their specialty codes in PECOS, use encounter codes that are billed to Medicare, or use an alternate criterion?

    • How should we apply the four MIPS performance categories to non-patient-facing EPs?

    • What types of measures and/or clinical practice improvement activities (new or from other payments systems) would be appropriate for these EPs?

    8. Development of Performance Standards

    Section 1848(q)(3)(B) of the Act requires the Secretary, in establishing performance standards with respect to measures and activities for the MIPS performance categories, to consider: historical performance standards, improvement, and the opportunity for continued improvement. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • Which specific historical performance standards should be used? For example, for the quality and resource use performance categories, how should CMS select quality and cost benchmarks? Should CMS use providers' historical quality and cost performance benchmarks and/or thresholds from the most recent year feasible prior to the commencement of MIPS? Should performance standards be stratified by group size or other criteria? Should we use a model similar to the performance standards established under the VM?

    • For the clinical practice improvement activities performance category, what, if any, historical data sources should be leveraged?

    • How should we define improvement and the opportunity for continued improvement? For example, section 1848(q)(5)(D) of the Act requires the Secretary, beginning in the second year of the MIPS, if there are available data sufficient to measure improvement, to take into account improvement of the MIPS EP in calculating the performance score for the quality and resource use performance categories.

    • How should CMS incorporate improvement into the scoring system or design an improvement formula?

    • What should be the threshold(s) for measuring improvement?

    • How would different approaches to defining the baseline period for measuring improvement affect EPs' incentives to increase quality performance? Would periodically updating the baseline period penalize EPs who increase performance by holding them to a higher standard in future performance periods, thereby undermining the incentive to improve? Could assessing improvement relative to a fixed baseline period avoid this problem? If so, would this approach have other consequences CMS should consider?

    • Should CMS use the same approach for assessing improvement as is used for the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

    • Should CMS consider improvement at the measure level, performance category level (that is, quality, clinical practice improvement activity, resource use, and meaningful use of certified EHR technology), or at the composite performance score level?

    • Should improvements in health equity and the reductions of health disparities be considered in the definition of improvement? If so, how should CMS incorporate health equity into the formula?

    • In the CY 2016 PFS proposed rule (80 FR 41812), the Secretary proposed to publicly report on Physician Compare an item-level benchmark derived using the Achievable Benchmark of Care (ABCTM) methodology.2 We seek comment on using this methodology for determining the MIPS performance standards for one or more performance categories.

    2 Kiefe CI, Weissman NW., Allison JJ, Farmer R, Weaver M, Williams OD. Identifying achievable benchmarks of care: concepts and methodology. International Journal of Quality Health Care. 1998 Oct; 10(5):443-7.

    9. Flexibility in Weighting Performance Categories

    Section 1848(q)(5)(F) of the Act requires the Secretary, if there are not sufficient measures and activities applicable and available to each type of EP, to assign different scoring weights (including a weight of zero) from those that apply generally under the MIPS. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • Are there situations where certain EPs could not be assessed at all for purposes of a particular performance category? If so, how should we account for the percentage weight that is otherwise applicable for that category? Should it be evenly distributed across the remaining performance categories? Or should the weights be increased for one or more specific performance categories, such as the quality performance category?

    • Generally, what methodologies should be used as we determine whether there are not sufficient measures and activities applicable and available to types of EPs such that the weight for a given performance category should be modified or should not apply to an EP? Should this be based on an EP's specialty? Should this determination occur at the measure or activity level, or separately at the specialty level?

    • What case minimum threshold should CMS consider for the different performance categories?

    • What safeguards should we have in place to ensure statistical significance when establishing performance thresholds? For example, under the VM one standard deviation is used. Should we apply a similar threshold under MIPS?

    10. MIPS Composite Performance Score and Performance Threshold

    • Section 1848(q)(5)(A) of the Act requires the Secretary to develop a methodology for assessing the total performance of each MIPS EP based on performance standards with respect to applicable measures and activities in each of the four performance categories. The methodology is to provide for a composite assessment for each MIPS EP for the performance period for the year using a scoring scale of 0 to 100. Section 1848(q)(6)(D) of the Act requires the Secretary to compute a performance threshold to which the MIPS EP's composite performance score is compared for purposes of determining the MIPS adjustment factor for a year. The performance threshold must be either the mean or median of the composite performance scores for all MIPS EPs with respect to a prior period specified by the Secretary. Section 1848(q)(6)(D)(iii) of the Act requires the Secretary for the first 2 years of the MIPS, prior to the performance period for those years, to establish a performance threshold that is based on a period prior to the performance periods for those years. Additionally, the act requires the Secretary to take into account available data with respect to performance on measures and activities that may be used under the MIPS performance categories and other factors deemed appropriate. From our experience with the PQRS, VM, and the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, there is information available for prior periods for all MIPS performance categories except for clinical practice improvement activities. We are requesting information from the public on the following:

    • How should we assess performance on each of the 4 performance categories and combine the assessments to determine a composite performance score?

    • For the quality and resource use performance categories, should we use a methodology (for example, equal weighting of quality and resource use measures across National Quality Strategy domains) similar to what is currently used for the VM?

    • How should we use the existing data on quality measures and resource use measures to translate the data into a performance threshold for the first two years of the program?

    • What minimum case size thresholds should be utilized? For example, should we leverage all data that is reported even if the denominators are small? Or should we employ a minimum patient threshold, such as a minimum of 20 patients, for each measure?

    • How can we establish a base threshold for the clinical practice improvement activities? How should this be incorporated into the overall performance threshold?

    • What other considerations should be made as we determine the performance threshold for the total composite performance score? For example, should we link performance under one category to another?

    11. Public Reporting

    We also seek comment on what should be the minimum threshold used for publicly reporting MIPS measures and activities for all of the MIPS performance categories on the Physician Compare Web site.

    In the CY 2016 PFS proposed rule (80 FR 41809), we indicated that we will continue using a minimum 20 patient threshold for public reporting through Physician Compare of quality measures (in addition to assessing the reliability, validity and accuracy of the measures). An alternative to a minimum patient threshold for public reporting would be to use a minimum reliability threshold. We seek comment on both concepts in regard to public reporting of MIPS quality measures on the Physician Compare Web site. We additionally seek comment on the following:

    • Should CMS include individual EP and group practice-level quality measure data stratified by race, ethnicity and gender in public reporting (if statistically appropriate)?

    12. Feedback Reports

    Section 1848(q)(12)(A) of the Act requires the Secretary, beginning July 1, 2017, to provide confidential feedback on performance to MIPS EPs. Specifically, we are required to make available timely confidential feedback to MIPS EPs on their performance in the quality and resource use performance categories, and we have discretion to make available confidential feedback to MIPS EPs on their performance in the clinical practice improvement activities and meaningful use of certified EHR technology performance categories. This feedback can be provided through various mechanisms, including the use of a web-based portal or other mechanisms determined appropriate by the Secretary. We seek comment on the following questions:

    • What types of information should we provide to EPs about their practice's performance within the feedback report? For example, what level of detail on performance within the performance categories will be beneficial to practices?

    • Would it be beneficial for EPs to receive feedback information related to the clinical practice improvement activities and meaningful use of certified EHR technology performance categories? If so, what types of feedback?

    • What other mechanisms should be leveraged to make feedback reports available? Currently, CMS provides feedback reports for the PQRS, VM, and the Physician Feedback Program through a web-based portal. Should CMS continue to make feedback available through this portal? What other entities and vehicles could CMS partner with to make feedback reports available? How should CMS work with partners to enable feedback reporting to incorporate information from other payers, and what types of information should be incorporated?

    • Who within the EP's practice should be able to access the reports? For example, currently under the VM, only the authorized group practice representative and/or their designees can access the feedback reports. Should other entities be able to access the feedback reports, such as an organization providing MIPS-focused technical assistance, another provider participating in the same virtual group, or a third party data intermediary who is submits data to CMS on behalf of the EP, group practice, or virtual group?

    • With what frequency is it beneficial for an EP to receive feedback? Currently, CMS provides Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR), mid-year QRURs and supplemental QRURs. Should we continue to provide feedback to MIPS EPs on this cycle? Would there be value in receiving interim reports based on rolling performance periods to make illustrative calculations about the EP's performance? Are there certain performance categories on which it would be more important to receive interim feedback than others? What information that is currently contained within the QRURs should be included? More information on what is available within the QRURs is at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeedbackProgram/2014-QRUR.html.

    • Should the reports include data that is stratified by race, ethnicity and gender to monitor trends and address gaps towards health equity?

    • What types of information about items and services furnished to the EP's patients by other providers would be useful? In what format and with what frequency?

    B. Alternative Payment Models

    We are requesting information regarding the following areas:

    1. Information Regarding APMs

    Section 1833(z)(1) of the Act, as added by section 101(e)(2) of the MACRA, establishes incentive payments for EPs who are QPs with respect to a year. The term “qualifying APM participant” is defined under section 1833(z)(2) of the Act, and provides in part that a specified percent (which differs depending on the year) of an EP's payments during the most recent period for which data are available must be attributable to services furnished through an “eligible alternative payment entity” (EAPM entity) as that term is defined under section 1833(z)(3)(D) of the Act.

    The term APM, as defined in section 1833(z)(3)(C) of the Act, includes: Models under section 1115A of the Act (other than health care innovation awards); the Shared Savings Program under section 1899 of the Act; demonstrations under section 1866C of the Act (the Health Care Quality Demonstration Program); and demonstrations required by federal law.

    Under section 1833(z)(3)(D) of the Act, an EAPM entity is an entity that: (1) Participates in an APM that requires participants to use certified EHR technology and provides for payment for covered professional services based on quality measures comparable to the MIPS quality measures established under section 1848(q)(2)(B)(i) of the Act and (2) either bears financial risk for monetary losses under the APM that are in excess of a nominal amount or is a medical home expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act.

    For the years 2019 through 2024, EPs who are QPs for a given year will receive an incentive payment equal to 5 percent of the estimated aggregate Part B Medicare payment amounts for covered professional services for the preceding year. Under section 1833(z)(1)(A), the estimated aggregate Medicare Part B payment amount for the preceding year may be based on a period of the preceding year that is less than the full year.

    a. QPs and Partial Qualifying APM Participants (Partial QPs)

    Under section 1833(z)(2) of the Act, an EP may be determined to be a QP through: (1) Beginning for 2019, a Medicare payment threshold option that assesses the percent of Medicare Part B payments for covered professional services in the most recent period that is attributable to services furnished through an EAPM entity; or (2) beginning for 2021, either a Medicare payment threshold option or a combination all-payer and Medicare payment threshold option. The combination all-payer and Medicare payment threshold option assesses both: (1) The percent of Medicare payments for covered professional services in the most recent period that is attributable to services furnished through an EAPM entity; and (2) the percent of the combined Part B Medicare payments for covered professional services attributable to an EAPM entity and all other payments made by other payers made under similarly defined arrangements (except payments made by the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs and payments made under Title XIX in a state in which no medical home or alternative payment model is available under the State program under that title). These arrangements must be arrangements in which: (1) Quality measures comparable to those used under the MIPS apply; (2) certified EHR technology is used; and (3) either the entity bears more than nominal financial risk if actual expenditures exceed expected expenditures or the entity is a medical home under Title XIX that meets criteria comparable to medical homes expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act. For the combined all-payer and Medicare payment threshold option, the EP is required to provide to the Secretary the necessary information to make a determination as to whether the EP meets the all-payer portion of the threshold.

    For 2019 and 2020, the Medicare-only payment threshold requires that at least 25 percent of all Medicare payments be attributable to services furnished through an EAPM entity. This threshold increases to 50 percent for 2021 and 2022, and 75 percent for 2023 and later years. The combination all-payer and Medicare payment threshold option is available beginning in 2021. The combined all-payer and Medicare payment thresholds are, respectively, 50 percent of all-payer payments and 25 percent of Medicare payments in 2021 and 2022, and 75 percent of all-payer payments and 25 percent of Medicare payments in 2023 and later years.

    Under section 1848(q)(1)(C)(ii) of the Act, the statute specifies that partial QPs are those who would be QPs if the threshold payment percentages under section 1833(z)(2) of the Act for the year were lower. For partial QPs, the Medicare-only payment thresholds are 20 percent (instead of 25 percent) for 2019 and 2020, 40 percent (instead of 50 percent) for 2021 and 2022, and 50 percent (instead of 75 percent) for 2023 and later years. For partial QPs, the combination all-payer and Medicare payment thresholds are, respectively, 40 percent (instead of 50 percent) all-payer and 20 percent (instead of 25 percent) Medicare in 2021 and 2022, and 50 percent (instead of 75 percent) all-payer and 20 percent (instead of 25 percent) Medicare in 2023 and later years.

    Partial QPs are not eligible for incentive payments for APM participation under section 1833(z) of the Act. Partial QPs who, for the MIPS performance period for the year, do not report applicable MIPS measures and activities are not considered MIPS EPs. Partial QPs who choose to participate in MIPS are considered MIPS EPs. These partial QPs will be subject to payment adjustments under MIPS.

    b. Payment Incentive for APM Participation

    To help us establish criteria and a process for determining whether an EP is a QP or partial QP, this RFI requests information on the following issues.

    • How should CMS define “services furnished under this part through an EAPM entity”?

    • What policies should the Secretary consider for calculating incentive payments for APM participation when the prior period payments were made to an EAPM entity rather than directly to a QP, for example, if payments were made to a physician group practice or an ACO? What are the advantages and disadvantages of those policies? What are the effects of those policies on different types of EPs (that is, those in physician-focused APMs versus hospital-focused APMs, etc.)? How should CMS consider payments made to EPs who participate in more than one APM?

    • What policies should the Secretary consider related to estimating the aggregate payment amounts when payments are made on a basis other than fee-for-service (that is, if payments were made on a capitated basis)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of those policies? What are their effects on different types of EPs (that is, those in physician-focused APMs versus hospital-focused APMs, etc.)?

    • What types of data and information can EPs submit to CMS for purposes of determining whether they meet the non-Medicare share of the Combination All-Payer and Medicare Payment Threshold, and how can they be securely shared with the federal government?

    c. Patient Approach

    Under section 1833(z)(2)(D) of the Act, the Secretary can use percentages of patient counts in lieu of percentages of payments to determine whether an EP is a QP or partial QP.

    • What are examples of methodologies for attributing and counting patients in lieu of using payments to determine whether an EP is a QP or partial QP?

    • Should this option be used in all or only some circumstances? If only in some circumstances, which ones and why?

    d. Nominal Financial Risk

    • What is the appropriate type or types of “financial risk” under section 1833(z)(3)(D)(ii)(I) of the Act to be considered an EAPM entity?

    • What is the appropriate level of financial risk “in excess of a nominal amount” under section 1833(z)(3)(D)(ii)(I) of the Act to be considered an EAPM entity?

    • What is the appropriate level of “more than nominal financial risk if actual aggregate expenditures exceed expected aggregate expenditures” that should be required by a non-Medicare payer for purposes of the Combination All-Payer and Medicare Payment Threshold under sections 1833(z)(2)(B)(iii)(II)(cc)(AA) and 1833(z)(2)(C)(iii)(II)(cc)(AA) of the Act?

    • What are some points of reference that should be considered when establishing criteria for the appropriate type or level of financial risk, e.g., the MIPS or private-payer models?

    e. Medicaid Medical Homes or Other APMs Available Under State Medicaid Programs

    EPs may meet the criteria to be QPs or partial QPs under the Combination All-Payer and Medicare Payment Threshold Option based, in part, on payments from non-Medicare payers attributable to services furnished through an entity that, with respect to beneficiaries under Title XIX, is a medical home that meets criteria comparable to medical homes expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act. In addition, payments made under some State Medicaid programs, not associated with Medicaid medical homes, may meet the criteria to be included in the calculation of the combination all-payer and Medicare payment threshold option.

    • What criteria could the Secretary consider for determining comparability of state Medicaid medical home models to medical home models expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act?

    • Which states' Medicaid medical home models might meet criteria comparable to medical homes expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act?

    • Which current Medicaid alternative payment models—besides Medicaid medical homes are likely to meet the criteria for comparability of state Medicaid medical homes to medical homes expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act and should be considered when determining the all-payer portion of the Combination All-Payer and Medicare Payment Threshold Option?

    f. Regarding EAPM Entity Requirements

    An EAPM entity is defined as an entity that (1) participates in an APM that requires participants to use certified EHR technology (as defined in section 1848(o)(4) of the Act) and provides for payment for covered professional services based on quality measures comparable to measures under the performance category described in section 1848(q)(2)(B)(i) of the Act (the quality performance category); and (2) bears financial risk for monetary losses under the APM that are in excess of a nominal amount or is a medical home expanded under section 1115A(c) of the Act.

    (1) Definition

    • What entities should be considered EAPM entities?

    (2) Quality Measures

    • What criteria could be considered when determining “comparability” to MIPS of quality measures used to identify an EAPM entity? Please provide specific examples for measures, measure types (for example, structure, process, outcome, and other types), data source for measures (for example, patients/caregivers, medical records, billing claims, etc.), measure domains, standards, and comparable methodology.

    • What criteria could be considered when determining “comparability” to MIPS of quality measures required by a non-Medicare payer to qualify for the Combination All-Payer and Medicare Payment Threshold? Please provide specific examples for measures, measure types, (for example, structure, process, outcome, and other types), recommended data sources for measures (for example, patients/caregivers, medical records, billing claims, etc.), measure domains, and comparable methodology.

    (3) Use of Certified EHR Technology

    • What components of certified EHR technology as defined in section 1848(o)(4) of the Act should APM participants be required to use? Should APM participants be required to use the same certified EHR technology currently required for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs or should CMS other consider requirements around certified health IT capabilities?

    • What are the core health IT functions that providers need to manage patient populations, coordinate care, engage patients and monitor and report quality? Would certification of additional functions or interoperability requirements in health IT products (for example, referral management or population health management functions) help providers succeed within APMs?

    • How should CMS define “use” of certified EHR technology as defined in section 1848(o)(4) of the Act by participants in an APM? For example, should the APM require participants to report quality measures to all payers using certified EHR technology or only payers who require EHR reported measures? Should all professionals in the APM in which an eligible alternative payment entity participates be required to use certified EHR technology or a particular subset?

    2. Information Regarding Physician-Focused Payment Models

    Section 101(e)(1) of the MACRA, adds a new subsection 1868(c) to the Act entitled, “Increasing the Transparency of Physician-Focused Payment Models.” This section establishes an independent “Physician-focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee” (the Committee). The Committee will review and provide comments and recommendations to the Secretary on PFPMs submitted by stakeholders. Section 1868(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires the Secretary to establish, through notice and comment rulemaking following an RFI, criteria for PFPMs, including models for specialist physicians, that could be used by the Committee for making its comments and recommendations. In this RFI, we are seeking input on potential criteria that the Committee could use for making comments and recommendations to the Secretary on PFPMs proposed by stakeholders. CMS published an RFI requesting information on Specialty Practitioner Payment Model Opportunities on February 11, 2014, available at http://innovation.cms.gov/files/x/specialtypractmodelsrfi.pdf. The comments received in response to that RFI will also be considered in developing the proposed rule for the criteria for PFPMs.

    PFPMs are not required by the MACRA to meet the criteria to be considered APMs as defined under section 1833(z)(3)(C) of the Act or to involve an EAPM entity as defined under section 1833(z)(3)(D) of the Act. However, we are interested in encouraging model proposals from stakeholders that will provide EPs the opportunity to become QPs and receive incentive payments (in other words, model proposals that would involve EAPM entities as defined in section 1833(z)(3)(D) of the Act). PFPMs proposed by stakeholders and selected for implementation by CMS will take time and resources to implement after being reviewed by the Committee and the Secretary. To expedite our ability to implement such models, we are interested in receiving comments now on criteria that would support development of PFPMs that involve EAPM entities.

    a. Definition of Physician-Focused Payment Models

    • How should “physician-focused payment model” be defined?

    b. Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models

    We are required by section 1868(c)(2)(A) of the Act to establish by November 1, 2016, through rulemaking and following an RFI, criteria for PFPMs, including models for specialist physicians, that could be used by the Committee for making comments and recommendations to the Secretary. We intend to establish criteria that promote robust and well-developed proposals to facilitate implementation of PFPMs. To assist us with establishing criteria, this RFI requests information on the following fundamental issues.

    • What criteria should be used by the Committee for assessing PFPM proposals submitted by stakeholders? We are interested in hearing suggestions related to the criteria discussed in this RFI as well as other criteria.

    • Are there additional or different criteria that the Committee should use for assessing PFPMs that are specialist models? What criteria would promote development of new specialist models?

    • What existing criteria, procedures, or standards are currently used by private or public insurance plans in testing or establishing new payment models? Should any of these criteria be used by the Committee for assessing PFPM proposals? Why or why not?

    c. Required Information on Context of Model Within Delivery System Reform

    This RFI seeks feedback on information that could be required of stakeholders proposing models to provide for the consideration of the Committee.

    We are considering the following specific criteria for the Committee to use to make comments and recommendations related to model proposals submitted to the Committee. We are seeking feedback on whether these criteria should be included and, if so, whether they should be modified, and whether other criteria should be considered. Each of these criteria is considered for all models tested through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) during internal development. For a list of the factors considered in the Innovation Center's model selection process, see http://innovation.cms.gov/Files/x/rfi-Web sitepreamble.pdf. We seek comment on the following possible criteria:

    • We are considering that proposed PFPMs should primarily be focused on the inclusion of participants in their design who have not had the opportunity to participate in another PFPM with CMS because such a model has not been designed to include their specialty.

    • Proposals would state why the proposed model should be given priority, and why a model is needed to test the approach.

    • Proposals would include a framework for the proposed payment methodology, how it differs from the current Medicare payment methodology, and how it promotes delivery system reforms.

    • If a similar model has been tested or researched previously, either by CMS or in the private sector, the stakeholder would include background information and assessments on the performance of the similar model.

    • Proposed models would aim to directly solve a current issue in payment policy that CMS is not already addressing in another model or program.

    d. Required Information on Model Design

    For the Committee to comment and make recommendations on the merits of PFPMs proposed by stakeholders, we are considering a requirement that proposals include the same information that would be required for any model tested through the Innovation Center. For a list of the factors considered in the Innovation Center's model selection process, see http://innovation.cms.gov/Files/x/rfi-Web sitepreamble.pdf. This RFI requests comments on the usefulness of this information, which of the suggested information is appropriate to consider as criteria, and whether other criteria should be considered. The provision of information would not require particular answers in order for a PFPM to meet the criteria. Instead, a proposal would be incomplete if it did not include this information.

    • Definition of the target population, how the target population differs from the non-target population and the number of Medicare beneficiaries that would be affected by the model.

    • Ways in which the model would impact the quality and efficiency of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

    • Whether the model would provide for payment for covered professional services based on quality measures, and if so, whether the measures are comparable to quality measures under the MIPS quality performance category.

    • Specific proposed quality measures in the model, their prior validation, and how they would further the model's goals, including measures of beneficiary experience of care, quality of life, and functional status that could be used.

    • How the model would affect access to care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

    • How the model will affect disparities among beneficiaries by race, and ethnicity, gender, and beneficiaries with disabilities, and how the applicant intends to monitor changes in disparities during the model implementation.

    • Proposed geographical location(s) of the model.

    • Scope of EP participants for the model, including information about what specialty or specialties EP participants would fall under the model.

    • The number of EPs expected to participate in the model, information about whether or not EP participants for the model have expressed interest in participating and relevant stakeholder support for the model.

    • To what extent participants in the model would be required to use certified EHR technology.

    • An assessment of financial opportunities for model participants including a business case for their participation.

    • Mechanisms for how the model fits into existing Medicare payment systems, or replaces them in part or in whole and would interact with or complement existing alternative payment models.

    • What payment mechanisms would be used in the model, such as incentive payments, performance-based payments, shared savings, or other forms of payment.

    • Whether the model would include financial risk for monetary losses for participants in excess of a minimal amount and the type and amount of financial performance risk assumed by model participants.

    • Method for attributing beneficiaries to participants.

    • Estimated percentage of Medicare spending impacted by the model and expected amount of any new Medicare/Medicaid payments to model participants.

    • Mechanism and amount of anticipated savings to Medicare and Medicaid from the model, and any incentive payments, performance-based payments, shared savings, or other payments made from Medicare to model participants.

    • Information about any similar models used by private payers, and how the current proposal is similar to or different from private models and whether and how the model could include additional payers other than Medicare, including Medicaid.

    • Whether the model engages payers other than Medicare, including Medicaid and/or private payers. If not, why not? If so, what proportion of the model's beneficiaries is covered by Medicare as compared to other payers?

    • Potential approaches for CMS to evaluate the proposed model (study design, comparison groups, and key outcome measures).

    • Opportunities for potential model expansion if successful.

    C. Technical Assistance to Small Practices and Practices in Health Professional Shortage Areas

    Section 1848(q)(11) of the Act provides for technical assistance to small practices and practices in HPSAs. In general, under section 1848(q)(11) of the Act, the Secretary is required to enter into contracts or agreements with entities such as quality improvement organizations, regional extension centers and regional health collaboratives beginning in Fiscal Year 2016 to offer guidance and assistance to MIPS EPs in practices of 15 or fewer professionals. Priority is to be given to small practices located in rural areas, HPSAs, and medically underserved areas, and practices with low composite scores. The technical assistance is to focus on the performance categories under MIPS, or how to transition to implementation of and participation in an APM.

    For section 1848(q)(11) of the Act—

    • What should CMS consider when organizing a program of technical assistance to support clinical practices as they prepare for effective participation in the MIPS and APMs?

    • What existing educational and assistance efforts might be examples of “best in class” performance in spreading the tools and resources needed for small practices and practices in HPSAs? What evidence and evaluation results support these efforts?

    • What are the most significant clinician challenges and lessons learned related to spreading quality measurement, leveraging CEHRT to make practice improvements, value based payment and APMs in small practices and practices in health shortage areas, and what solutions have been successful in addressing these issues?

    • What kind of support should CMS offer in helping providers understand the requirements of MIPS?

    • Should such assistance require multi-year provider technical assistance commitment, or should it be provided on a one-time basis?

    • Should there be conditions of participation and/or exclusions in the providers eligible to receive such assistance, such as providers participating in delivery system reform initiatives such as the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI; http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Transforming-Clinical-Practices/), or having a certain level of need identified?

    III. Response to Comments

    Because of the large number of public comments we normally receive on Federal Register documents, we are not able to acknowledge or respond to them individually. We will consider all comments we receive by the date and time specified in the DATES section of this document.

    Dated: September 10, 2015. Andrew M. Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24906 Filed 9-28-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary 43 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. DOI-2015-0005]; [145D0102DM DS6CS00000 DLSN00000.000000 DX.6CS25 241A0] RIN 1090-AB05 Procedures for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship With the Native Hawaiian Community AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is proposing an administrative rule to facilitate the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community to more effectively implement the special political and trust relationship that Congress has established between that community and the United States. The proposed rule does not attempt to reorganize a Native Hawaiian government or draft its constitution, nor does it dictate the form or structure of that government. Rather, the proposed rule would establish an administrative procedure and criteria that the Secretary would use if the Native Hawaiian community forms a unified government that then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. Consistent with the Federal policy of indigenous self-determination and Native self-governance, the Native Hawaiian community itself would determine whether and how to reorganize its government.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before December 30, 2015. Please see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates and locations of public meetings and tribal consultations.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the methods listed below. Please use Regulation Identifier Number 1090-AB05 in your message.

    1. Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting and viewing comments. The rule has been assigned Docket ID DOI-2015-0005.

    2. Email: [email protected] Include the number 1090-AB05 in the subject line.

    3. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7228, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

    We request that you send comments only by one of the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Antoinette Powell, telephone (202) 208-5816 (not a toll-free number); [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comment

    The Secretary is proposing an administrative rule to provide a procedure and criteria for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. The Department would like to hear from leaders and members of the Native Hawaiian community and of federally recognized tribes in the continental United States (i.e., the contiguous 48 States and Alaska). We also welcome comments and information from the State of Hawaii and its agencies, other government agencies, and members of the public. We encourage all persons interested in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to submit comments on the proposed rule.

    To be most useful, and most likely to inform decisions on the content of a final administrative rule, comments should:

    —Be specific; —Be substantive; —Explain the reasoning behind the comments; and —Address the proposed rule.

    Most laws and other sources cited in this proposal will be available on the Department of the Interior's Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR) Web site at http://www.doi.gov/ohr/.

    I. Background

    Over many decades, Congress enacted more than 150 statutes recognizing and implementing a special political and trust relationship with the Native Hawaiian community. Among other things, these statutes create programs and services for members of the Native Hawaiian community that are in many respects analogous to, but separate from, the programs and services that Congress enacted for federally recognized tribes in the continental United States. But during this same period, the United States has not partnered with Native Hawaiians on a government-to-government basis, at least partly because there has been no formal, organized Native Hawaiian government since 1893, when a United States officer, acting without authorization of the U.S. government, conspired with residents of Hawaii to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii. Many Native Hawaiians contend that their community's opportunities to thrive would be significantly bolstered by reorganizing their sovereign Native Hawaiian government to engage the United States in a government-to-government relationship, exercise inherent sovereign powers of self-governance and self-determination on par with those exercised by tribes in the continental United States, and facilitate the implementation of programs and services that Congress created specifically to benefit the Native Hawaiian community.

    The United States has a unique political and trust relationship with federally recognized tribes across the country, as set forth in the United States Constitution, treaties, statutes, Executive Orders, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions. The Federal Government's relationship with these tribes is guided by a trust responsibility—a longstanding, paramount commitment to protect their unique rights and ensure their well-being, while respecting their inherent sovereignty. In recognition of that special commitment—and in fulfillment of the solemn obligations it entails—the United States, acting through the Department of the Interior (Department), developed processes to help tribes in the continental United States establish government-to-government relationships with the United States.

    Strong Native governments are critical to tribes' exercising their inherent sovereign powers, preserving their culture, and sustaining prosperous and resilient Native American communities. It is especially true that, in the current era of tribal self-determination, formal government-to-government relationships between tribes and the United States are enormously beneficial not only to Native Americans but to all Americans. Yet the benefits of a formal government-to-government relationship have long been denied to members of one of the Nation's largest indigenous communities: Native Hawaiians. This proposed rule provides a process to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.

    A. The Relationship Between the United States and the Native Hawaiian Community

    Native Hawaiians are the aboriginal, indigenous people who settled the Hawaiian archipelago as early as 300 A.D., exercised sovereignty over their island archipelago and, over time, founded the Kingdom of Hawaii. See S. Rep. No. 111-162, at 2-3 (2010). During centuries of self-rule and at the time of Western contact in 1778, “the Native Hawaiian people lived in a highly organized, self-sufficient subsistence social system based on a communal land tenure system with a sophisticated language, culture, and religion.” 20 U.S.C. 7512(2); accord 42 U.S.C. 11701(4). Although the indigenous people shared a common language, ancestry, and religion, four independent chiefdoms governed the eight islands until 1810, when King Kamehameha I unified the islands under one Kingdom of Hawaii. See Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495, 500-01 (2000). See generally Davianna Pomaikai McGregor & Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii: History of Native Hawaiian Governance in Hawaii (2014), available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail; D=DOI-2014-0002-0005 (comment number 2438) [hereinafter Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii].

    Throughout the nineteenth century and until 1893, the United States “recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Nation,” “extended full and complete diplomatic recognition to the Hawaiian Government,” and entered into several treaties with the Hawaiian monarch. 42 U.S.C. 11701(6); accord 20 U.S.C. 7512(4); see Rice, 528 U.S. at 504 (citing treaties that the two countries signed in 1826, 1849, 1875, and 1887); Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 169-71, 195-200. But during that same period, Westerners became “increasing[ly] involve[d] . . . in the economic and political affairs of the Kingdom,” leading to the overthrow of the Kingdom in 1893 by a small group of non-Hawaiians, aided by the United States Minister to Hawaii and the Armed Forces of the United States. Rice, 528 U.S. at 501, 504-05. See generally Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 313-25; S. Rep. No. 111-162, at 3-6 (2010); Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law sec. 4.07[4][b], at 360-61 (2012 ed.).

    Following the overthrow of Hawaii's monarchy, Queen Liliuokalani, while yielding her authority under protest to the United States, called for reinstatement of Native Hawaiian governance. Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1511. The Native Hawaiian community answered, alerting existing Native Hawaiian political organizations and groups from throughout the islands to reinstate the Queen and resist the newly formed Provisional Government and any attempt at annexation. See Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii at 36-39. In 1895, Hawaiian nationalists loyal to Queen Liliuokalani attempted to regain control of the Hawaiian government. Id. at 39-40. These attempts resulted in hundreds of arrests and convictions, including the arrest of the Queen herself, who was tried and found guilty of misprision or concealment of treason. The Queen was subsequently forced to abdicate. Id. These events, however, did little to suppress Native Hawaiian opposition to annexation. During this period, civic organizations convened a series of large public meetings of Native Hawaiians opposing annexation by the United States and led a petition drive that gathered 21,000 signatures, mostly from Native Hawaiians, opposing annexation (the “Kue Petitions”). See Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 342-45.

    The United States nevertheless annexed Hawaii “without the consent of or compensation to the indigenous people of Hawaii or their sovereign government who were thereby denied the mechanism for expression of their inherent sovereignty through self-government and self-determination.” 42 U.S.C. 11701(11). The Republic of Hawaii ceded its land to the United States, and Congress passed a joint resolution annexing the islands in 1898. See Rice, 528 U.S. at 505. The Hawaiian Organic Act, enacted in 1900, established the Territory of Hawaii, placed ceded lands under United States control, and directed the use of proceeds from those lands to benefit the inhabitants of Hawaii. Act of Apr. 30, 1900, 31 Stat. 141.

    Hawaii was a U.S. territory for six decades prior to 1959, and during much of this period, educated Native Hawaiians, and a government led by them, were perceived as threats to the incipient territorial government. Consequently, the use of the Hawaiian language in education in public schools was declared unlawful. 20 U.S.C. 7512(19). But various entities connected to the Kingdom of Hawaii adopted other methods of continuing their government and education. Specifically, the Royal Societies, the Bishop Estate (now Kamehameha Schools), the Alii trusts, and civic clubs are examples of Native Hawaiians' continuing efforts to keep their culture, language, and community alive. See Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 456-58. Indeed, post annexation, Native Hawaiians maintained their separate identity as a single distinct political community through a wide range of cultural, social, and political institutions, as well as through efforts to develop programs to provide governmental services to Native Hawaiians. For example, Ahahui Puuhonua O Na Hawaii (Hawaiian Protective Association) was a political organization formed in 1914 under the leadership of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (Prince Kuhio) alongside other Native Hawaiian political leaders. Its principal purposes were to maintain unity among Native Hawaiians, protect Native Hawaiian interests (including by lobbying the territorial legislature), and promote the education, health, and economic development of Native Hawaiians. It was organized “for the sole purpose of protecting the Hawaiian people and of conserving and promoting the best things of their tradition.” Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920: Hearing on H.R. 13500 Before the S. Comm. on Territories, 66th Cong., 3d Sess. 44 (1920) (statement of Rev. Akaiko Akana). See generally Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 405-10. The Association established 12 standing committees, published a newspaper, undertook dispute resolution, promoted the education and the social welfare of the Native Hawaiian community, and developed the framework that eventually became the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA). In 1918, Prince Kuhio, who served as the Territory of Hawaii's Delegate to Congress, and other prominent Hawaiians founded the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, whose goal was “to perpetuate the language, history, traditions, music, dances and other cultural traditions of Hawaii.” McGregor, Aina Hoopulapula: Hawaiian Homesteading, 24 Hawaiian J. of Hist. 1, 5 (1990). The clubs' first project was to secure enactment of the HHCA in 1921 to set aside and protect Hawaiian home lands.

    B. Congress's Recognition of Native Hawaiians as a Political Community

    By 1919, the decline in the Native Hawaiian population—by some estimates from several hundred thousand in 1778 to only 22,600—led Delegate Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole, Native Hawaiian politician and Hawaiian Civic Clubs co-founder John Wise, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior John Lane to recommend to Congress that land be set aside to help Native Hawaiians reestablish their traditional way of life. See H.R. Rep. No. 66-839, at 4 (1920); 20 U.S.C. 7512(7). This recommendation resulted in enactment of the HHCA, which designated tracts totaling approximately 200,000 acres on the different islands for exclusive homesteading by eligible Native Hawaiians. Act of July 9, 1921, 42 Stat. 108; see also Rice, 528 U.S. at 507 (HHCA's stated purpose was “to rehabilitate the native Hawaiian population”) (citing H.R. Rep. No. 66-839, at 1-2 (1920)); Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii 410-12, 421-33. The HHCA limited benefits to Native Hawaiians with a high degree of Native Hawaiian ancestry, suggesting a Congressional understanding that Native Hawaiians frequently had two Native Hawaiian parents and many Native Hawaiian ancestors, which indicated that this group maintained a distinct political community. The HHCA's proponents repeatedly referred to Native Hawaiians as a “people” (at times, as a “dying people” or a “noble people”). See, e.g., H.R. Rep. No. 66-839, at 2-4 (1920); see also 59 Cong. Rec. 7453 (1920) (statement of Delegate Prince Kuhio) (“[I]f conditions continue to exist as they do today . . ., my people . . . will pass from the face of the earth.”).

    In 1938, Congress again exercised its trust responsibility by granting Native Hawaiians exclusive fishing rights in the Hawaii National Park. Act of June 20, 1938, ch. 530, sec. 3(a), 52 Stat. 784.

    In 1959, as a condition of statehood, the Hawaii Admission Act required the State of Hawaii to manage and administer two public trusts for the indigenous Native Hawaiian people. Act of March 19, 1959, 73 Stat. 4. First, the Federal Government required the State to adopt the HHCA as a provision of its constitution, which effectively ensured continuity of the Hawaiian home lands program. Id. sec. 4, 73 Stat. 5. Second, it required the State to manage a Congressionally mandated public land trust for the benefit of the general public and Native Hawaiians. Id. sec. 5(f), 73 Stat. 6 (requiring that lands transferred to the State be held by the State “as a public trust . . . for [among other purposes] the betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians, as defined in the [HHCA], as amended”). In addition, the Federal Government maintained a continuing role in the management and disposition of the home lands. See Admission Act § 4; Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act (HHLRA), Act of November 2, 1995, 109 Stat. 357.

    Since Hawaii's admission to the United States, Congress has enacted dozens of statutes on behalf of Native Hawaiians pursuant to the United States' recognized political relationship and trust responsibility. The Congress:

    • Established special Native Hawaiian programs in the areas of health care, education, loans, and employment. See, e.g., Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, 42 U.S.C. 11701-11714; Native Hawaiian Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 7511-7517; Workforce Investment Act of 1998, 29 U.S.C. 2911; Native American Programs Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 2991-2992.

    • Enacted statutes to study and preserve Native Hawaiian culture, language, and historical sites. See, e.g., 16 U.S.C. 396d(a); Native American Languages Act, 25 U.S.C. 2901-2906; National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 54 U.S.C. 302706.

    • Extended to the Native Hawaiian people many of “the same rights and privileges accorded to American Indian, Alaska Native, Eskimo, and Aleut communities” by classifying Native Hawaiians as “Native Americans” under numerous Federal statutes. 42 U.S.C. 11701(19); accord 20 U.S.C. 7902(13); see, e.g., American Indian Religious Freedom Act, 42 U.S.C. 1996-1996a. See generally 20 U.S.C. 7512(13) (noting that “[t]he political relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people has been recognized and reaffirmed by the United States, as evidenced by the inclusion of Native Hawaiians” in many statutes); accord 114 Stat. 2874-75, 2968-69 (2000).

    In a number of enactments, Congress expressly identified Native Hawaiians as “a distinct and unique indigenous people with a historical continuity to the original inhabitants of the Hawaiian archipelago,” 42 U.S.C. 11701(1); accord 20 U.S.C. 7512(1), with whom the United States has a “special” “trust” relationship, 42 U.S.C. 11701(15), (16), (18), (20); 20 U.S.C. 7512(8), (10), (11), (12). And when enacting Native Hawaiian statutes, Congress expressly stated in accompanying legislative findings that it was exercising its plenary power over Native American affairs: “The authority of the Congress under the United States Constitution to legislate in matters affecting the aboriginal or indigenous peoples of the United States includes the authority to legislate in matters affecting the native peoples of Alaska and Hawaii.” 42 U.S.C. 11701(17); see H.R. Rep. No. 66-839, at 11 (1920) (finding constitutional precedent for the HHCA “in previous enactments granting Indians . . . special privileges in obtaining and using the public lands”); see also 20 U.S.C. 7512(12)(B).

    In 1993, Congress enacted a joint resolution to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians. Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1510. In that Joint Resolution, Congress acknowledged that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii thwarted Native Hawaiians' efforts to exercise their “inherent sovereignty” and “right to self-determination,” and stated that “the Native Hawaiian people are determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their ancestral territory and their cultural identity in accordance with their own spiritual and traditional beliefs, customs, practices, language, and social institutions.” Id. at 1512-13; see 20 U.S.C. 7512(20); 42 U.S.C. 11701(2). In light of those findings, Congress “express[ed] its commitment to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people.” Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1513.

    Following a series of hearings and meetings with the Native Hawaiian community in 1999, the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Justice issued “From Mauka to Makai: The River of Justice Must Flow Freely,” a report on the reconciliation process between the Federal Government and Native Hawaiians. The report recommended as its top priority that “the Native Hawaiian people should have self-determination over their own affairs within the framework of Federal law.” Department of the Interior & Department of Justice, From Mauka to Makai 4 (2000).

    In recent statutes, Congress again recognized that “Native Hawaiians have a cultural, historic, and land-based link to the indigenous people who exercised sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands, and that group has never relinquished its claims to sovereignty or its sovereign lands.” 20 U.S.C. 7512(12)(A); accord 114 Stat. 2968 (2000); see also id. at 2966; 114 Stat. 2872, 2874 (2000); 118 Stat. 445 (2004). Congress noted that the State of Hawaii “recognizes the traditional language of the Native Hawaiian people as an official language of the State of Hawaii, which may be used as the language of instruction for all subjects and grades in the public school system,” and “promotes the study of the Hawaiian culture, language, and history by providing a Hawaiian education program and using community expertise as a suitable and essential means to further the program.” 20 U.S.C. 7512(21); see also 42 U.S.C. 11701(3) (continued preservation of Native Hawaiian language and culture). Congress's efforts to protect and promote the traditional Hawaiian language and culture demonstrate that Congress has recognized a continuing Native Hawaiian community. In addition, at the State level, recently enacted laws mandated that members of certain State councils, boards, and commissions complete a training course on Native Hawaiian rights and approved traditional Native Hawaiian burial and cremation customs and practices. See Act 169, Sess. L. Haw. 2015; Act 171, Sess. L. Haw. 2015. These State actions similarly reflect recognition by the State government of a continuing Native Hawaiian community.

    Congress consistently enacted programs and services expressly and specifically for the Native Hawaiian community that are in many respects analogous to, but separate from, the programs and services that Congress enacted for federally recognized tribes in the continental United States. As Congress has explained, it “does not extend services to Native Hawaiians because of their race, but because of their unique status as the indigenous peoples of a once sovereign nation as to whom the United States has established a trust relationship.” 114 Stat. 2968 (2000). Thus, “the political status of Native Hawaiians is comparable to that of American Indians and Alaska Natives.” 20 U.S.C. 7512(12)(B), (D); see Rice, 528 U.S. at 518-19. Congress's treatment of Native Hawaiians flows from that status of the Native Hawaiian community.

    Although Congress repeatedly acknowledged its special political and trust relationship with the Native Hawaiian community since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii more than a century ago, the Federal Government does not maintain a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community as an organized, sovereign entity. Reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with a reorganized Native Hawaiian sovereign government would facilitate Federal agencies' ability to implement the established relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community through interaction with a single, representative governing entity. Doing so would strengthen the self-determination of Hawaii's indigenous people and facilitate the preservation of their language, customs, heritage, health, and welfare. This interaction is consistent with the United States government's broader policy of advancing Native communities and enhancing the implementation of Federal programs by implementing those programs in the context of a government-to-government relationship.

    Consistent with the HHCA, which is the first Congressional enactment clearly recognizing the Native Hawaiian community's special political and trust relationship with the United States, Congress requires Federal agencies to consult with Native Hawaiians under several Federal statutes. See, e.g., the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 54 U.S.C. 302706; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, 25 U.S.C. 3002(c)(2), 3004(b)(1)(B). And in 2011, the Department of Defense established a consultation process with Native Hawaiian organizations when proposing actions that may affect property or places of traditional religious and cultural importance or subsistence practices. See U.S. Department of Defense Instruction Number 4710.03: Consultation Policy with Native Hawaiian Organizations (2011). Other statutes specifically related to management of the Native Hawaiian community's special political and trust relationship with the United States affirmed the continuing Federal role in Native Hawaiian affairs, namely, the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act (HHLRA), 109 Stat. 357, 360 (1995). The HHLRA also authorized a position within the Department to discharge the Secretary's responsibilities for matters related to the Native Hawaiian community. And in 2004, Congress provided for the Department's Office of Native Hawaiian Relations to effectuate and implement the special legal relationship between the Native Hawaiian people and the United States; to continue the reconciliation process set out in 2000; and to assure meaningful consultation before Federal actions that could significantly affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands are taken. See 118 Stat. 445-46 (2004).

    C. Actions by the Continuing Native Hawaiian Political Community

    Native Hawaiians maintained a distinct political community through the twentieth century to the present day. Through a diverse group of organizations that includes, for example, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs and the various Hawaiian Homestead Associations, Native Hawaiians deliberate and express their views on issues of importance to their community, some of which are discussed above. See generally Moolelo Ea O Na Hawaii, 434-551; see id. at 496-516 & appendix 4 (listing organizations, their histories, and their accomplishments). A key example of the Native Hawaiian community taking organized action to advance Native Hawaiian self-determination is a political movement, in conjunction with other voters in Hawaii, which led to a set of amendments to the State Constitution in 1978 to provide additional protection and recognition of Native Hawaiian interests. Those amendments established the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which administers trust monies to benefit the Native Hawaiian community, Hawaii Const. art. XII, sections 5-6, and provided for recognition of certain traditional and customary legal rights of Native Hawaiians, id. art. XII, section 7. The amendments reflected input from broad segments of the Native Hawaiian community, as well as others, who participated in statewide discussions of proposed options. See Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, Ikaika Hussey & Erin Kahunawaikaala Wright, A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty (2014).

    There are numerous additional examples of the community's active engagement on issues of self-determination and preservation of Native Hawaiian culture and traditions. For example, Ka Lahui Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian self-governance initiative, which organized a constitutional convention resulting in a governing structure with elected officials and governing documents; the Hui Naauao Sovereignty and Self-Determination Community Education Project, a coalition of over 40 Native Hawaiian organizations that worked together to educate Native Hawaiians and the public about Native Hawaiian history and self-governance; the 1988 Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Conference, where a resolution on self-governance was adopted; the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council, a State-funded entity, and its successor, Ha Hawaii, a non-profit organization, which helped hold an election and convene Aha Oiwi Hawaii, a convention of Native Hawaiian delegates to develop a constitution and create a government model for Native Hawaiian self-determination; and efforts resulting in the creation and future transfer of the Kahoolawe Island reserve to the “sovereign native Hawaiian entity,” see Haw. Rev. Stat. 6K-9. Moreover, the community's continuing efforts to integrate and develop traditional Native Hawaiian law, which Hawaii state courts recognize and apply in various family law and property law disputes, see Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law sec. 4.07[4][e], at 375-77 (2012 ed.); see generally Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise (Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie ed., 2015), encouraged development of traditional justice programs, including a method of alternative dispute resolution, “hooponopono,” that is endorsed by the Native Hawaiian Bar Association. See Andrew J. Hosmanek, Cutting the Cord: Hooponopono and Hawaiian Restorative Justice in the Criminal Law Context, 5 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J. 359 (2005); see also Hawaii Const. art. XII, § 7 (protecting the traditional and customary rights of certain Native Hawaiian tenants).

    Against this backdrop of activity, Native Hawaiians and Native Hawaiian organizations asserted self-determination principles in court. Notably, in 2001, they brought suit challenging Native Hawaiians' exclusion from the Department's acknowledgment regulations (25 CFR part 83), which establish a uniform process for Federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes in the continental United States. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the geographic limitation in the Part 83 regulations, concluding that there was a rational basis for the Department to distinguish between Native Hawaiians and tribes in the continental United States, given the history of separate Congressional enactments regarding the two groups and the unique history of Hawaii. See Kahawaiolaa v. Norton, 386 F.3d 1271, 1283 (9th Cir. 2004). The Ninth Circuit also noted the question whether Native Hawaiians “constitute one large tribe . . . or whether there are, in fact, several different tribal groups.” Id. The court expressed a preference for the Department to apply its expertise to “determine whether native Hawaiians, or some native Hawaiian groups, could be acknowledged on a government-to-government basis.” 1 Id.

    1 The Department has carefully reviewed the Kahawaiolaa briefs. To the extent that positions taken in this proposed rulemaking may be seen as inconsistent with positions of the United States in the Kahawaiolaa litigation, the views in this rulemaking reflect the Department's current view.

    And in recent years, Congress considered legislation to reorganize a single Native Hawaiian governing entity and reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship between it and the United States. In 2010, during the Second Session of the 111th Congress, nearly identical Native Hawaiian government reorganization bills were passed by the House of Representatives (H.R. 2314), reported out favorably by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (S. 1011), and strongly supported by the Executive Branch (S. 3945). In a letter to the Senate concerning S. 3945, the Secretary and the Attorney General stated: “Of the Nation's three major indigenous groups, Native Hawaiians—unlike American Indians and Alaska Natives—are the only one that currently lacks a government-to-government relationship with the United States. This bill provides Native Hawaiians a means by which to exercise the inherent rights to local self-government, self-determination, and economic self-sufficiency that other Native Americans enjoy.” 156 Cong. Rec. S10990, S10992 (Dec. 22, 2010).

    The 2010 House and Senate bills provided that the Native Hawaiian government would have “the inherent powers and privileges of self-government of a native government under existing law,” including the inherent powers “to determine its own membership criteria [and] its own membership” and to negotiate and implement agreements with the United States or with the State of Hawaii. The bills required protection of the civil rights and liberties of Natives and non-Natives alike, as guaranteed in the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, 25 U.S.C. 1301 et seq., and provided that the Native Hawaiian government and its members would not be eligible for Federal Indian programs and services unless Congress expressly declared them eligible. And S. 3945 expressly left untouched the privileges, immunities, powers, authorities, and jurisdiction of federally recognized tribes in the continental United States.

    The bills further acknowledged the existing special political and trust relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States, and established a process for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian governing entity. Some in Congress, however, expressed a preference not for recognizing a reorganized Native Hawaiian government by legislation, but rather for allowing the Native Hawaiian community to apply for recognition through the Department's Federal acknowledgment process. See, e.g., S. Rep. No. 112-251, at 45 (2012); S. Rep. No. 111-162, at 41 (2010).

    The State of Hawaii, in Act 195, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011, expressed its support for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government that could then be federally recognized, while also providing for State recognition of the Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii.” Haw. Rev. Stat. 10H-1 (2015); see Act 195, sec. 1, Sess. L. Haw. 2011. In particular, Act 195 established a process for compiling a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians, to facilitate the Native Hawaiian community's development of a reorganized Native Hawaiian governing entity. See Haw. Rev. Stat. 10H-3-4 (2015); id. 10H-5 (“The publication of the roll of qualified Native Hawaiians . . . is intended to facilitate the process under which qualified Native Hawaiians may independently commence the organization of a convention of qualified Native Hawaiians, established for the purpose of organizing themselves.”); Act 195, secs. 3-5, Sess. L. Haw. 2011. Act 195 created a five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to oversee this process.

    II. Responses to Comments on the June 20, 2014 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Tribal Summary Impact Statement

    In June 2014, the Department issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) titled “Procedures for Reestablishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community.” 79 FR 35,296-303 (June 20, 2014). The ANPRM sought input from leaders and members of the Native Hawaiian community and federally recognized tribes in the continental United States about whether and, if so, how the Department should facilitate the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community. The ANPRM asked five threshold questions: (1) Should the Secretary propose an administrative rule that would facilitate the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community? (2) Should the Secretary assist the Native Hawaiian community in reorganizing its government, with which the United States could reestablish a government-to-government relationship? (3) If so, what process should be established for drafting and ratifying a reorganized government's constitution or other governing document? (4) Should the Secretary instead rely on the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government through a process established by the Native Hawaiian community and facilitated by the State of Hawaii, to the extent such a process is consistent with Federal law? (5) If so, what conditions should the Secretary establish as prerequisites to Federal acknowledgment of a government-to-government relationship with the reorganized Native Hawaiian government? The Department posed 19 additional, specific questions concerning the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government and a Federal process for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship. The ANPRM marked the beginning of ongoing discussions with the Native Hawaiian community, consultations with federally recognized tribes in the continental United States, and input from the public at large.

    The Department received over 5,100 written comments by the August 19, 2014 deadline, more than half of which were identical postcards submitted in support of reestablishing a government-to-government relationship through Federal rulemaking. In addition, the Department received general comments, both supporting and opposing the ANPRM, from individual members of the public, Members of Congress, State legislators, and community leaders. All comments received on the ANPRM are available in the ANPRM docket at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DOI-2014-0002-0005. Most of the comments revolved around a limited number of issues. The Department believes that the issues discussed below encompass the range of substantive issues presented in comments on the ANPRM. To the extent that any persons who submitted comments on the ANPRM believe that they presented additional issues that are not adequately addressed here, and that remain pertinent to the proposed rule, the Department invites further comments highlighting those issues.

    After careful review and analysis of the comments on the ANPRM, the Department concludes that it is appropriate to propose a Federal rule that would set forth an administrative procedure and criteria by which the Secretary could reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community.

    Overview of Comments

    A total of 5,164 written comments were submitted for the record. Comments came from Native Hawaiian organizations, national organizations, Native Hawaiian and non-Native-Hawaiian individuals, academics, student organizations, nongovernmental organizations, the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature, State legislators, Hawaiian Civic Clubs and their members, Alii Trusts, Royal Orders, religious orders, a federally recognized Indian tribe, intertribal organizations, an Alaska Native Corporation, and Members of the United States Congress, including the Hawaii delegation to the 113th Congress, as well as former U.S. Senator Akaka. The Department appreciates the interest and insight reflected in all the submissions and has considered them carefully.

    A large majority of commenters supported a Federal rulemaking to facilitate reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship. At the same time, commenters also expressed strong support for reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government without assistance from the United States and urged the Federal Government to instead promulgate a rule tailored to a government reorganized by the Native Hawaiian community. The Department agrees: The process of drafting a constitution or other governing document and reorganizing a government should be driven by the Native Hawaiian community, not by the United States. The process should be fair and inclusive and reflect the will of the Native Hawaiian community.

    A. Responses to Specific Issues Raised in ANPRM Comments 1. Should the United States be involved in the Native Hawaiian nation-building process?

    Issue: The Department received comments from the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Alu Like, the Native Hawaiian Education Association, Hawaiian Community Assets, Papa Ola Lokahi, Koolau Foundation, Protect Kahoolawe Ohana, Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation, the Waimanalo Hawaiian Homes Association, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the Kapolei Community Development Corporation, two Alii Trusts, and eight Hawaiian Civic Clubs, among others, that expressed support for a Federal rule enabling a reorganized Native Hawaiian government to seek reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. Some of these commenters, and many others, also urged the Department to refrain from engaging in or becoming directly involved with the nation-building that is currently underway in Hawaii.

    Response: Consistent with these comments, the Department is proposing only to create a procedure and criteria that would facilitate the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with a reorganized Native Hawaiian government without involving the Federal Government in the Native Hawaiian community's nation-building process.

    2. Does Hawaii's multicultural history preclude the possibility that a reorganized Native Hawaiian government could reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States?

    Issue: Some commenters opposed Federal rulemaking on the basis that the Kingdom of Hawaii had evolved into a multicultural society by the time it was overthrown, and that any attempt to reorganize or reestablish a “native” (indigenous) Hawaiian government would consequently be race-based and unlawful.

    Response: The fact that individuals originating from other countries lived in and were subject to the rule of the Kingdom of Hawaii does not establish that the Native Hawaiian community ceased to exist as a native community exercising political authority. Indeed, as discussed above, key elements demonstrating the existence of that community, such as intermarriage and sustained cultural identity, persisted at that time and continue to flourish today.

    To the extent that these comments suggest that the Department must reestablish a government-to-government relationship with a government that includes non-Native Hawaiians as members, that result is precluded by longstanding Congressional definitions of Native Hawaiians, which require a demonstration of descent from the population of Hawaii as it existed before Western contact. That requirement is consistent with Federal law that generally requires members of a native group or tribe to show an ancestral connection to the indigenous group in question. See generally United States v. Sandoval, 231 U.S. 28, 46 (1913). Moreover, the Department must defer to Congress's definition of the nature and scope of the Native Hawaiian community.

    3. Would reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community create a political divide in Hawaii?

    Issue: Some commenters stated that Hawaii is a multicultural society that would be divided if the United States reestablished a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community, creating disharmony in the State by permitting race-based discrimination.

    Response: The U.S. Constitution provides the Federal Government with authority to enter into government-to-government relationships with Native communities. See U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 8, cl. 3 (Commerce Clause); U.S. Const. art. II, sec. 2, cl. 2 (Treaty Clause). These constitutional provisions recognize and provide the foundation for longstanding special relationships between native peoples and the Federal Government, relationships that date to the earliest period of our Nation's history. Consistent with the Supreme Court's holding in Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974), and other cases, the Department believes that the United States' government-to-government relationships with native peoples do not constitute “race-based” discrimination but are political classifications. The Department believes that these relationships are generally beneficial, and the Department is aware of no reason to treat the Native Hawaiian community differently in this respect.

    4. How do claims concerning occupation of the Hawaiian Islands impact the proposed rule?

    Issue: Commenters who objected to Federal rulemaking most commonly based their objections on the assertion that the United States does not have jurisdiction over the Hawaiian Islands. Most of these objections were associated with claims that the United States violated and continues to violate international law by illegally occupying the Hawaiian Islands.

    Response: As expressly stated in the ANPRM, comments about altering the fundamental nature of the political and trust relationship that Congress has established between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community were outside the ANPRM's scope and therefore did not inform development of the proposed rule. Though comments on these issues were not solicited, some response here may be helpful to understand the Department's role in this rulemaking.

    The Department is an agency of the United States Government. The Department's authority to issue this proposed rule and any final rule derives from the United States Constitution and from Acts of Congress, and the Department has no authority outside that structure. The Department is bound by Congressional enactments concerning the status of Hawaii. Under those enactments and under the United States Constitution, Hawaii is a State of the United States of America.

    In the years following the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Congress annexed Hawaii and established a government for the Territory of Hawaii. See Joint Resolution to Provide for Annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, 30 Stat. 750 (1898); Act of Apr. 30, 1900, 31 Stat. 141. In 1959, Congress admitted Hawaii to the Union as the 50th State. See Act of March 19, 1959, 73 Stat. 4. Agents of the United States were involved in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893; and Congress, through a joint resolution, has both acknowledged that the overthrow of Hawaii was “illegal” and expressed “its deep regret to the Native Hawaiian people” and its support for reconciliation efforts with Native Hawaiians. Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1510, 1513.

    The Apology Resolution, however, did not effectuate any changes to existing law. See Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. 163, 175 (2009). Thus, the Admission Act established the current status of the State of Hawaii. The Admission Act proclaimed that “the State of Hawaii is hereby declared to be a State of the United States of America, [and] is declared admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the other States in all respects whatever.” Act of March 19, 1959, sec. 1, 73 Stat. 4. All provisions of the Admission Act were consented to by the State of Hawaii and its people through an election held on June 27, 1959. The comments in response to the ANPRM that call into question the State of Hawaii's legitimacy, and its status as one of the United States under the Constitution, therefore are inconsistent with the express determination of Congress, which is binding on the Department.

    5. What would be the proposed role of HHCA beneficiaries in a Native Hawaiian government that relates to the United States on a formal government-to-government basis?

    Issue: Some commenters sought reassurance that the proposed rule would not exclude HHCA beneficiaries and their successors from a role in the Native Hawaiian government. The Department received comments on this issue from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) as well as others. The Hawaiian Homes Commission specifically noted the unique relationship recognized under the HHCA between the Federal Government and beneficiaries of that Federal law, urging that any rule should protect this group's existing benefits and take into account their special circumstances.

    Response: The proposed rule recognizes HHCA beneficiaries' unique status under Federal law and protects that status in a number of ways:

    a. The proposed rule defines the term “HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians” to include any Native Hawaiian individual who meets the definition of “native Hawaiian” in the HHCA, regardless of whether the individual resides on Hawaiian home lands, is an HHCA lessee, is on a wait list for an HHCA lease, or receives any benefits under the HHCA.

    b. The proposed rule requires that the Native Hawaiian constitution or other governing document be approved in a ratification referendum not only by a majority of Native Hawaiians who vote, but also by a majority of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians who vote; and both majorities must include enough voters to demonstrate broad-based community support. This ratification process effectively eliminates any risk that the United States would reestablish a formal relationship with a Native Hawaiian government whose form is objectionable to HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians. The Department expects that the participation of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians in the referendum process will ensure that the structure of any ratified Native Hawaiian government will include long-term protections for HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians.

    c. The proposed rule prohibits the Native Hawaiian government's membership criteria from excluding any HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian citizen who wishes to be a member.

    d. The proposed rule requires that the governing document protect and preserve rights, protections, and benefits under the HHCA.

    e. The proposed rule leaves intact rights, protections, and benefits under the HHCA.

    f. The proposed rule does not authorize the Native Hawaiian government to sell, dispose of, lease, or encumber Hawaiian home lands or interests in those lands.

    g. The proposed rule does not diminish any Native Hawaiian's rights or immunities, including any immunity from State or local taxation, under the HHCA.

    6. Would Hawaiian home lands, including those subject to lease, be “subsumed” by a Native Hawaiian government?

    Issue: The Hawaiian Homes Commission noted that several Native Hawaiian beneficiaries were concerned that Hawaiian home lands, including those subject to lease, would be “subsumed” by a Native Hawaiian government “with little input or control exercised over this decision by Hawaiian home lands beneficiaries.” An individual homesteader, born and raised in the Papakolea Homestead community, also expressed support for a rule but raised concerns that the HHCA would be subject to negotiation between the United States and the newly reorganized Native Hawaiian government, and sought reassurance that the HHCA would be safeguarded. The Kapolei Community Development Corporation's Board of Directors raised similar concerns, particularly with respect to the potential transfer of Hawaiian home lands currently administered by the State of Hawaii under the HHCA to the newly formed Native Hawaiian government, cautioning that such transfer could “threaten the specific purpose of those lands, and be used for non-homesteading uses.”

    Response: Although the proposed rule would not have a direct impact on the status of Hawaiian home lands, the Department takes the beneficiaries' comments expressing concern over their rights and the future of the HHCA land base very seriously. In response to this concern, the proposed rule includes a provision that makes clear that the promulgation of this rule would not diminish any right, protection, or benefit granted to Native Hawaiians by the HHCA. The HHCA would be preserved regardless of whether a Native Hawaiian government is reorganized, regardless of whether it submits a request to the Secretary, and regardless of whether any such request is granted. In addition, for the reorganized Native Hawaiian government to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States, its governing document must protect and preserve Native Hawaiians' rights, protections, and benefits under the HHCA and the HHLRA.

    7. Would reestablishment of the formal government-to-government relationship be consistent with existing requirements of Federal law?

    Issue: Four U.S. Senators submitted comments generally opposing the rulemaking on constitutional grounds and asserting that the executive authority used to federally acknowledge tribes in the continental United States does not extend to Native Hawaiians. Another Senator submitted similar comments, primarily questioning the Secretary's constitutional authority to promulgate rules and arguing that administrative action would be race-based and thus violate the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. The Department also received comments from the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Equal Opportunity urging the Secretary to forgo Federal rulemaking on similar bases.

    Response: The Federal Government has broad authority with respect to Native American communities. See U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 8, cl. 3 (Commerce Clause); U.S. Const. art. II, sec. 2, cl. 2 (Treaty Clause); Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. at 551-52 (“The plenary power of Congress to deal with the special problems of Indians is drawn both explicitly and implicitly from the Constitution itself.”). Congress has already exercised that plenary power to recognize Native Hawaiians through statutes enacted for their benefit and charged the Secretary and others with responsibility for administering the benefits provided by the more than 150 statutes establishing a special political and trust relationship with the Native Hawaiian community. The Department proposes to better implement that relationship by establishing the administrative procedure and criteria for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with a native community that has already been recognized by Congress. As explained above, moreover, the Supreme Court made clear that legislation affecting Native American communities does not generally constitute race-based discrimination. See Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. at 551-55; id. at 553 n.24 (explaining that the challenged provision was “political rather than racial in nature”). The Department's statutory authority to promulgate the proposed rule is discussed below. See infra Section III.

    8. Would reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship entitle the Native Hawaiian government to conduct gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act?

    Issue: Several commenters stated that Federal rulemaking would make the Native Hawaiian government eligible to conduct gaming activities under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), a Federal statute that regulates certain types of gaming activities by federally recognized tribes on Indian lands as defined in IGRA.

    Response: The Department anticipates that the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would not fall within the definition of “Indian tribe” in IGRA, 25 U.S.C. 2703(5). Therefore, IGRA would not apply. Moreover, because the State of Hawaii prohibits gambling, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would not be permitted to conduct gaming in Hawaii. The Department welcomes comments on this issue.

    9. Under this proposed rule could the United States reestablish formal government-to-government relationships with multiple Native Hawaiian governments?

    Issue: Many commenters who support a Federal rule urged the Department to promulgate a rule that authorizes the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with a single official Native Hawaiian government, consistent with the nineteenth-century history of Hawaii's self-governance as a single unified entity.

    Response: Congress consistently treated the Native Hawaiian community as a single entity through more than 150 Federal laws that establish programs and services for the community's benefit. Congress's recognition of a single Native Hawaiian community reflects the fact that a single centralized, organized Native Hawaiian government was in place prior to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

    This approach also had significant support among commenters. The proposed rule therefore would authorize reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with a single representative sovereign Native Hawaiian government. That Native Hawaiian government, however, may adopt either a centralized structure or a decentralized structure with political subdivisions defined by island, by geographic districts, historic circumstances, or otherwise in a fair and reasonable manner.

    10. Would the proposed rule require use of the roll certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to determine eligibility to vote in any referendum to ratify the Native Hawaiian government's constitution or other governing document?

    Issue: Several commenters made statements regarding the potential role that the roll certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission might play in reestablishing the formal government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community.

    Response: Under the proposed rule, the Department permits use of the roll certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, and such an approach may facilitate the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship. The Department, however, does not require use of the roll. Section 50.12(a)(1)(B) of the proposed rule provides that a roll of Native Hawaiians certified by a State commission or agency under State law may be one of several sources that could provide sufficient evidence that an individual descends from Hawaii's aboriginal people. Section 50.12(b) of the proposed rule provides that the certified roll could serve as an accurate and complete list of Native Hawaiians eligible to vote in a ratification referendum if certain conditions are met. For instance, the roll would need to, among other things, exclude all persons who are not U.S. citizens, exclude all persons who are less than 18 years of age, and include all adult U.S. citizens who demonstrated HHCA eligibility according to official records of Hawaii's Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. (See also the response to question 13 below, which discusses requirements for participation in the ratification referendum under § 50.14.)

    11. Would the proposed rule limit the inherent sovereign powers of a reorganized Native Hawaiian government?

    Issue: OHA and numerous other commenters expressed a strong interest in ensuring that the proposed rule would not limit any inherent sovereign powers of a reorganized Native Hawaiian government.

    Response: The proposed rule would not dictate the inherent sovereign powers a reorganized Native Hawaiian government could exercise. The proposed rule does establish certain elements that must be contained in a request to reestablish a government-to-government relationship with the United States and establishes criteria by which the Secretary will review a request. See 50.10-50.15 (setting out essential elements for a request); id. 50.16 (setting out criteria). These provisions include guaranteeing the liberties, rights, and privileges of all persons affected by the Native Hawaiian government's exercise of governmental powers. Although those elements and criteria will inform and influence the process for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship, they would not undermine the fundamental, retained inherent sovereign powers of a reorganized Native Hawaiian government.

    12. What role will Native Hawaiians play in approving the constitution or other governing document of a Native Hawaiian government?

    Issue: Numerous commenters discussed the role of Native Hawaiians in ratifying the constitution or other governing document that establishes the form and functions of a Native Hawaiian government. One commenter, in particular, stated that the Secretary should not require that the governing document be approved by a majority of all Native Hawaiians, regardless of whether they participate in the ratification referendum, because such a requirement would be unrealistic and unachievable.

    Response: Section 50.16(g) and (h) of the proposed rule would require a requester to demonstrate broad-based community support among Native Hawaiians. The proposed rule requires a majority only of those voters who actually cast a ballot; the number of eligible voters who opt not to participate in the ratification referendum would not be relevant when calculating whether the affirmative votes were or were not in the majority. The proposed rule, however, requires broad-based community support in favor of the requester's constitution or other governing document, thus also safeguarding against a low turnout. The Department solicits comments on this approach and requests that if such comments provide an alternate approach that the commenters explain the reasoning behind any proposed method to establish that broad-based community support has been demonstrated in the ratification process.

    13. Who would be eligible to participate in the proposed process for reestablishing a government-to-government relationship?

    Issue: Several commenters expressed concern about who would be eligible to participate in the process for reestablishing a government-to-government relationship. Some commenters expressed the belief that participation should be open to persons who have no Native Hawaiian ancestry. Other commenters expressed opposition to the reorganization of a Native Hawaiian government, or to the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship between such a community and the United States.

    Response: Under the proposed rule, to retain the option of eventually reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States, the Native Hawaiian community would be required to permit any adult person who is a U.S. citizen and can document Native Hawaiian descent to participate in the referendum to ratify its governing documents. See 50.14(b)(5)(C). As discussed in question 2 above, existing Congressional definitions of the Native Hawaiian community and principles of Federal law limit participation to those who can document Native Hawaiian descent and are U.S. citizens. Native Hawaiian adult citizens who do not wish to affirm the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people, or who doubt that they and other Native Hawaiians have sufficient connections or ties to constitute a community, or who oppose the process of Native Hawaiian self-government or the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States, would be free to participate in the ratification referendum and, if they wish, vote against ratifying the community's proposed governing document. And because membership in the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would be voluntary, they also would be free to choose not to become members of any government that may be reorganized. The Department seeks public comment on these aspects of the proposed rule.

    14. Shouldn't the Department require a Native Hawaiian government to go through the existing administrative tribal acknowledgment process?

    Issue: The Department promulgated regulations for Federal acknowledgment of tribes in the continental United States in 25 CFR part 83. These regulations, commonly referred to as “Part 83,” create a pathway for Federal acknowledgment of petitioners in the continental United States to establish a government-to-government relationship and to become eligible for Federal programs and benefits. Several commenters submitted statements regarding the role of the Department's existing regulations on Federal acknowledgment of tribes with respect to Native Hawaiians, and have articulated arguments about whether the Part 83 regulations should or should not be applied to Native Hawaiians.

    Response: Part 83 is inapplicable to Native Hawaiians on its face. The Ninth Circuit has upheld Part 83's express geographic limitation, concluding that there was a rational basis for the Department to distinguish between Native Hawaiians and tribes in the continental United States, given the history of separate Congressional enactments regarding the two groups and the unique history of Hawaii. Kahawaiolaa v. Norton, 386 F.3d at 1283. The court expressed a preference for the Department to apply its expertise to determine whether the United States should relate to the Native Hawaiian community “on a government-to-government basis.” Id. The Department, through this proposed rule, seeks to establish a process for determining how a formal Native Hawaiian government can relate to the United States on a formal government-to-government basis, as the Ninth Circuit suggested.

    Moreover, Congress's 150-plus enactments, including those in recent decades, for the benefit of the Native Hawaiian community establish that the community is federally “acknowledged” or “recognized” by Congress. Thus, unlike Part 83 petitioners, the Native Hawaiian community already has a special political and trust relationship with the United States. What remains in question is how the Department could determine whether a Native Hawaiian government that comes forward legitimately represents that community and therefore is entitled to conduct relations with the United States on a formal government-to-government basis. This question is complex, and the Department welcomes public comment as to whether any additional elements should be included in the process that the Department proposes.

    B. Tribal Summary Impact Statement

    Consistent with Sections 5(b)(2)(B) and 5(c)(2) of Executive Order 13175, and because the Department consulted with tribal officials in the continental United States prior to publishing this proposed rule, the Department seeks to assist tribal officials, and the public as a whole, by including in this preamble the three key elements of a tribal summary impact statement. Specifically, the preamble to this proposed rule (1) describes the extent of the Department's prior consultation with tribal officials; (2) summarizes the nature of their concerns and the Department's position supporting the need to issue the proposed rule; and (3) states the extent to which tribal officials' concerns have been met. The “Public Meetings and Tribal Consultations” section below describes the Department's prior consultations.

    Tribal Officials' Concerns: Officials of tribal governments in the continental United States and intertribal organizations strongly supported Federal rulemaking to help reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. To the extent they raised concerns, the predominant one was the rule's potential impact, if any, on Federal Indian programs, services, and benefits—that is, federally funded or authorized special programs, services, and benefits provided by Federal agencies (such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service) to Indian tribes in the continental United States or their members because of their Indian status. For example, comments from the National Congress of American Indians expressed an understanding that Native Hawaiians are ineligible for Federal Indian programs and services absent express Congressional declarations to the contrary, and recommended that existing and future programs and services for a reorganized Native Hawaiian government remain separate from programs and services dedicated to tribes in the continental United States.

    Response: Generally, Native Hawaiians are not eligible for Federal Indian programs, services, or benefits unless Congress has expressly and specifically declared them eligible. Consistent with that approach, the Department's proposed rule would not alter or affect the programs, services, and benefits that the United States currently provides to federally recognized tribes in the continental United States unless an Act of Congress expressly provides otherwise. Federal laws expressly addressing Native Hawaiians will continue to govern existing Federal programs, services, and benefits for Native Hawaiians and for a reorganized Native Hawaiian government if one reestablishes a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States.

    The term “Indian” has been used historically in reference to indigenous peoples throughout the United States despite their distinct socio-political and cultural identities. Congress, however, has distinguished between Indian tribes in the continental United States and Native Hawaiians when it has provided programs, services, and benefits. Congress, in the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994, 108 Stat. 4791, defined “Indian tribe” broadly as an entity the Secretary acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe but limited the list published under the List Act to those governmental entities entitled to programs and services because of their status as Indians. 25 U.S.C. 479a(2), 479a-1(a). The Department seeks public comment on the scope and implementation of this distinction, and which references to “tribes” and “Indians” would encompass the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity and its members.

    Further, given Congress's express intention to have the Department's Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget (PMB) oversee Native Hawaiian matters, as evidenced in the HHLRA, Act of November 2, 1995, sec. 206, 109 Stat. 363, the Assistant Secretary—PMB, not the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, would be responsible for implementing this proposed rule.

    III. Overview of the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule reflects the totality of the comments urging the Department to promulgate a rule announcing a procedure and criteria by which the Secretary could reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community. If the Department ultimately promulgates a final rule along the lines proposed here, the Department intends to rely on that rule as the sole administrative avenue for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.

    The authority to issue this rule is vested in the Secretary by 25 U.S.C. 2, 9, 479a, 479a-1; Act of November 2, 1994, sec. 103, 108 Stat. 4791; 43 U.S.C. 1457; and 5 U.S.C. 301. See also Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of the Interior, 255 F.3d 342, 346 (7th Cir. 2001) (stating that recognition is an executive function requiring no legislative action). Through its plenary power over Native American affairs, Congress recognized the Native Hawaiian community by passing more than 150 statutes during the last century and providing special Federal programs and services for its benefit. The regulations proposed here would establish a procedure and criteria to be applied if that community reorganizes a unified and representative government and if that government then seeks a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. And as noted above, Congress enacted scores of laws with respect to Native Hawaiians—actions that also support the Department's rulemaking authority here. See generally 12 U.S.C. 1715z-13b; 20 U.S.C. 80q et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 7511 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 4221 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2991 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 3057g et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 11701 et seq.; 54 U.S.C. 302706; HHCA, Act of July 9, 1921, 42 Stat. 108, as amended; Act of March 19, 1959, 73 Stat. 4; Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1510; HHLRA, 109 Stat. 357 (1995); 118 Stat. 445 (2004).

    In accordance with the wishes of the Native Hawaiian community as expressed in the comments on the ANPRM, the proposed rule would not involve the Federal Government in convening a constitutional convention, in drafting a constitution or other governing document for the Native Hawaiian government, in registering voters for purposes of ratifying that document or in electing officers for that government. Any government reorganization would instead occur through a fair and inclusive community-driven process. The Federal Government's only role is deciding whether to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with a reorganized Native Hawaiian government.

    Moreover, if a Native Hawaiian government reorganizes, it will be for that government to decide whether to seek to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. The process established by this rule would be optional, and Federal action would occur only upon an express formal request from the newly reorganized Native Hawaiian government.

    Existing Federal Legal Framework. In adopting this rulemaking, the Department must adhere to the legal framework that Congress already established, as discussed above, to govern relations with the Native Hawaiian community. The existing body of legislation makes plain that Congress determined repeatedly, over a period of almost a century, that the Native Hawaiian population is an existing Native community that is within the scope of the Federal Government's powers over Native American affairs and with which the United States has an ongoing special political and trust relationship.2 Although a trust relationship exists, today there is no single unified Native Hawaiian government in place, and no procedure for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship should such a government reorganize.

    2 Congress described this trust relationship, for example, in findings enacted as part of the Native Hawaiian Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 7512 et seq., and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, 42 U.S.C. 11701 et seq. Those findings observe that “through the enactment of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, Congress affirmed the special relationship between the United States and the Hawaiian people,” 20 U.S.C. 7512(8); see also 42 U.S.C. 11701(13), (14) (also citing a 1938 statute conferring leasing and fishing rights on Native Hawaiians). Congress then “reaffirmed the trust relationship between the United States and the Hawaiian people” in the Hawaii Admission Act, 20 U.S.C. 7512(10); accord 42 U.S.C. 11701(16). Since then, “the political relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people has been recognized and reaffirmed by the United States, as evidenced by the inclusion of Native Hawaiians” in at least ten statutes directed in whole or in part at American Indians and other native peoples of the United States such as Alaska Natives. 20 U.S.C. 7512(13); see also 42 U.S.C. 11701(19), (20), (21) (listing additional statutes).

    Congress has employed two definitions of “Native Hawaiians,” which the proposed rule labels as “HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians” and “Native Hawaiians.” The former is a subset of the latter, so every HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian is by definition a Native Hawaiian. But the converse is not true: Some Native Hawaiians are not HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians.

    Individuals falling within the definition of “HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians” are beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of the HHCA, as amended. They are eligible for a set of benefits under the HHCA and are, or could become, the beneficiaries of a program initially established by Congress in 1921 and now managed by the State of Hawaii (subject to certain limitations set forth in Federal law). As used in the proposed rule, the term “HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian” means a Native Hawaiian individual who meets the definition of “native Hawaiian” in HHCA sec. 201(a)(7), 42 Stat. 108 (1921), and thus has at least 50 percent Native Hawaiian ancestry, which results from marriages within the community, regardless of whether the individual resides on Hawaiian home lands, is an HHCA lessee, is on a wait list for an HHCA lease, or receives any benefits under the HHCA. To satisfy this definition would require some sort of record or documentation demonstrating eligibility under HHCA sec. 201(a)(7), such as enumeration in official Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) records demonstrating eligibility under the HHCA. Although the proposed rule does not approve reliance on a sworn statement signed under penalty of perjury, the Department would like to receive public comment on whether there are circumstances in which the final rule should do so.

    The term “Native Hawaiian,” as used in the proposed rule, means an individual who is a citizen of the United States and a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii. This definition flows directly from multiple Acts of Congress. See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1715z-13b(6); 25 U.S.C. 4221(9); 42 U.S.C. 254s(c); 42 U.S.C. 11711(3). To satisfy this definition would require some means of documenting descent generation-by-generation, such as enumeration on a roll of Native Hawaiians certified by a State of Hawaii commission or agency under State law, where the enumeration was based on documentation that verified descent. And, of course, enumeration in official DHHL records demonstrating eligibility under the HHCA also would satisfy the definition of “Native Hawaiian,” as it would show that a person is an HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian and by definition a “Native Hawaiian” as that term is used in this proposed rule. The Department would like to receive public comment on whether documenting descent from a person enumerated on the 1890 Census by the Kingdom of Hawaii, the 1900 U.S. Census of the Hawaiian Islands, or the 1910 U.S. Census of Hawaii as “Native” or part “Native” or “Hawaiian” or part “Hawaiian” is reliable evidence of lineal descent from the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who exercised sovereignty over the territory that became the State of Hawaii.

    In keeping with the framework created by Congress, the rule that the Department proposes requires that, to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States, a Native Hawaiian government must have a constitution or other governing document ratified both by a majority vote of Native Hawaiians and by a majority vote of those Native Hawaiians who qualify as HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians. Thus, regardless of which Congressional definition is used, a majority of the voting members of the community with which Congress established a trust relationship through existing legislation will confirm their support for the Native Hawaiian government's structure and fundamental organic law.

    Ratification Process. The proposed rule sets forth certain requirements for the process of ratifying a constitution or other governing document, including requirements that the ratification referendum be free and fair, that there be public notice before the referendum occurs, and that there be a process for ensuring that all voters are actually eligible to vote.

    The actual form of the ratification referendum is not fixed in the proposed rule; the Native Hawaiian community may determine the form within parameters. The ratification could be an integral part of the process by which the Native Hawaiian community adopts its governing document, or the referendum could take the form of a special election held solely for the purpose of measuring Native Hawaiian support for a governing document that was adopted through other means. The ratification referendum must result in separate vote tallies for (a) HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian voters and (b) all Native Hawaiian voters.

    To ensure that the ratification vote reflects the views of the Native Hawaiian community generally, there is a requirement that the turnout in the ratification referendum be sufficiently large to demonstrate broad-based community support. Even support from a high percentage of the actual voters would not be a very meaningful indicator of broad-based community support if the turnout was minuscule. The proposed rule focuses not on the number of voters who participate in the ratification referendum, but rather on the number who vote in favor of the governing document. The proposed rule creates a strong presumption of broad-based community support if the affirmative votes exceed 50,000, including affirmative votes from at least 15,000 HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians.

    These numbers proposed in the regulations (50,000 and 15,000) are derived from existing estimates of the size of those populations, adjusted for typical turnout levels in elections in the State of Hawaii, although the ratification referendum would also be open to eligible Native Hawaiian citizens of the United States who reside outside the State and may vote by absentee or mail-in ballot. The following figures support the proposed rule's reference to 50,000 affirmative votes from Native Hawaiians. According to the 2010 Federal decennial census, there are about 156,000 Native Hawaiians in the United States, including about 80,000 who reside in Hawaii, who self-identified on their census forms as “Native Hawaiian” alone (i.e., they did not check the box for any other demographic category). The comparable figures for persons who self-identified either as Native Hawaiian alone or as Native Hawaiian in combination with another demographic category are about 527,000 for the entire U.S. and 290,000 for Hawaii. According to the census, about 65 percent of these Native Hawaiians are of voting age (18 years of age or older). Hawaii residents currently constitute roughly 80 to 85 percent of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission's Kanaiolowalu roll, which currently lists about 100,000 Native Hawaiians, from all 50 States.

    In the 1990s, the State of Hawaii's Office of Elections tracked Native Hawaiian status and found that the percentage of Hawaii's registered voters who were Native Hawaiian was rising, from about 14.7 percent in 1992, to 15.5 percent in 1994, to 16.0 percent in 1996, and 16.7 percent in 1998. (This trend is generally consistent with census data showing growth in recent decades in the number of persons identifying as Native Hawaiian.) In the most recent of those elections, in 1998, there were just over 100,000 Native Hawaiian registered voters, about 65,000 of whom actually turned out and cast ballots in that off-year (i.e., non-presidential) Federal election. That same year, the total number of registered voters (Native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiian) was about 601,000, of whom about 413,000 cast a ballot. By the 2012 general presidential election, Hawaii's total number of registered voters (Native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiian) increased to about 706,000, of whom about 437,000 cast a ballot. And in the 2014 general gubernatorial election, the equivalent figures were about 707,000 and about 370,000, respectively.

    Weighing these data, the Department concludes that it is reasonable to expect that a ratification referendum among the Native Hawaiian community in Hawaii would have a turnout somewhere in the range between 60,000 and 100,000, although a figure outside that range is possible. But those figures do not include Native Hawaiian voters who reside outside the State of Hawaii, who also could participate in the referendum; the Department believes that the rate of participation among that group is sufficiently uncertain that their numbers should be significantly discounted when establishing turnout thresholds.

    Given these data points, if the number of votes that Native Hawaiians cast in favor of the requester's governing document in a ratification referendum was a majority of all votes cast and exceeded 50,000, the Secretary would be well justified in finding broad-based community support among Native Hawaiians. And if the number of votes that Native Hawaiians cast in favor of the requester's governing document in a ratification referendum fell below 60 percent of that quantity—that is, less than 30,000—it would be reasonable to presume a lack of broad-based community support among Native Hawaiians such that the Secretary would decline to process the request. The 30,000-affirmative-vote threshold represents half of the lower bound of the anticipated turnout of Native Hawaiians residing in the State of Hawaii (i.e., half of the lower end of the 60,000-to-100,000 range described above).

    As for the proposed rule's reference to 15,000 affirmative votes from HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, that figure is based on the data described above, as well as figures from DHHL and from a survey of Native Hawaiians. According to DHHL's comments on the ANPRM, as of August 2014, there were nearly 10,000 Native Hawaiian families living in homestead communities throughout Hawaii, and 27,000 individual applicants awaiting a homestead lease award. And a significant number of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians likely were neither living in homestead communities nor awaiting a homestead lease award. Furthermore, in his concurring opinion in Rice v. Cayetano, Justice Breyer cited the Native Hawaiian Data Book which, in turn, reported data indicating that about 39 percent of the Native Hawaiian population in Hawaii in 1984 had at least 50 percent Native Hawaiian ancestry and therefore would satisfy the proposed rule's definition of an HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian. See Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. at 526 (Breyer, J., concurring in the result) (citing Native Hawaiian Data Book 39 (1998) (citing Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Population Survey/Needs Assessment: Final Report (1986) (describing a 1984 study))); see also Native Hawaiian Data Book (2013), available at http://www.ohadatabook.com. The 1984 data included information by age group, which suggested that the fraction of the Native Hawaiian population with at least 50 percent Native Hawaiian ancestry is likely declining over time. Specifically, the 1984 data showed that the fraction of Native Hawaiians with at least 50 percent Native Hawaiian ancestry was about 20.0 percent for Native Hawaiians born between 1980 and 1984, about 29.5 percent for those born between 1965 and 1979, about 42.4 percent for those born between 1950 and 1964, and about 56.7 percent for those born between 1930 and 1949. The median voter in most U.S. elections today (and for the next several years) is likely to fall into the 1965-to-1979 cohort. Therefore, the current population of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian voters is estimated to be about 30 percent as large as the current population of Native Hawaiian voters.

    Multiplying the 50,000-vote threshold by 30 percent results in 15,000; it follows that, if the number of votes cast by HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians in favor of the requester's governing document in a ratification referendum is a majority of all votes cast by such voters, and also exceeds 15,000, the Secretary would be well justified in finding broad-based community support among HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians. And if the number of votes cast by HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians in favor of the requester's governing document in a ratification referendum falls below 60 percent of that quantity—that is, less than 9,000—it would be reasonable to presume a lack of broad-based community support among HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians such that the Secretary would decline to process the request.

    The Department seeks public comment on whether these parameters are appropriate to measure broad-based support in the Native Hawaiian community for a Native Hawaiian government's constitution or other governing document, and on whether different sources of population data should also be considered. See response to question 13 above.

    The Native Hawaiian Government's Constitution or Governing Document. The form or structure of the Native Hawaiian government is left for the community to decide. Section 50.13 of the proposed rule does, however, set forth certain minimum requirements for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States. The constitution or other governing document of the Native Hawaiian government must provide for “periodic elections for government offices,” describe procedures for proposing and ratifying constitutional amendments, and not violate Federal law, among other requirements.

    The governing document must also provide for the protection and preservation of the rights of HHCA beneficiaries. In addition, the governing document must protect and preserve the liberties, rights, and privileges of all persons affected by the Native Hawaiian government's exercise of governmental powers in accordance with the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended (25 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.). The Native Hawaiian community would make the decisions as to the institutions of the new government, who could decide the form of any legislative body, the means for ensuring independence of the judiciary, whether certain governmental powers would be centralized in a single body or decentralized to local political subdivisions, and other structural questions.

    As to potential concerns that a subsequent amendment to a governing document could impair the safeguards of § 50.13, Federal law provides both defined protections for HHCA beneficiaries and specific guarantees of individual civil rights, and such an amendment could not contravene applicable Federal law. The drafters of the governing document may also choose to include additional provisions constraining the amendment process; the Native Hawaiian community would decide that question in the process of drafting and ratifying that document.

    Membership Criteria. As the Supreme Court explained, a Native community's “right to define its own membership . . . has long been recognized as central to its existence as an independent political community.” Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49, 72 n.32 (1978). The proposed rule therefore provides only minimal guidance about what the governing document must say with regard to membership criteria. HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians must be included, non-Natives must be excluded, and membership must be voluntary and relinquishable. But under the proposed rule, the community itself would be free to decide whether to include all, some, or none of the Native Hawaiians who are not HHCA-eligible.

    Single Government. The rule provides for reestablishment of relations with only a single sovereign Native Hawaiian government. This limitation is consistent with Congress's enactments with respect to Native Hawaiians, which treat members of the Native Hawaiian community as a single indigenous people. It is also consistent with the wishes of the Native Hawaiian community as expressed in comments on the ANPRM. Again, the Native Hawaiian community will decide what form of government to adopt, and may provide for political subdivisions if they so choose.

    The Formal Government-to-Government Relationship. Because statutes such as the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the HHLRA established processes for interaction between the Native Hawaiian community and the U.S. government that in certain limited ways resemble a government-to-government relationship, the proposed rule refers to reestablishment of a “formal” government-to-government relationship, the same as the relationship with federally recognized tribes in the continental United States.

    Submission and Processing of the Request. In addition to establishing a set of criteria for the Secretary to apply in reviewing a request from a Native Hawaiian government, the rule sets out the procedure by which the Department will receive and process a request seeking to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship. This rule includes processes for submitting a request, for public comment on any request received, and for issuing a final decision on the request.3 The Department will respond to significant public comments when it issues its final decision document. We seek comment on whether these proposed processes provide sufficient opportunity for public participation and whether any additional elements should be included.

    3 Because Congress has already established a relationship with the Native Hawaiian community, the Secretary's determination in this part is focused solely on the process for reestablishing a government-to-government relationship. As a result, the Department believes that additional process elements are not required.

    Other Provisions. The proposed rule also contains provisions governing technical assistance, clarifying the implementation of the formal government-to-government relationship, and addressing similar issues. The proposed rule explains that the government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity is the same as that with federally recognized tribes in the continental United States. Accordingly, the government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would have very different characteristics from the government-to-government relationship that formerly existed with the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Native Hawaiian Governing Entity would remain subject to the same authority of Congress and the United States to which those tribes are subject and would remain ineligible for Federal Indian programs, services, and benefits (including funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service) unless Congress expressly declared otherwise.

    The proposed rule also clarifies that neither this rulemaking nor granting a request submitted under the proposed rule would affect the rights of HHCA beneficiaries or the status of HHCA lands. Section 50.44(f) makes clear that reestablishment of the formal government-to-government relationship will not affect title, jurisdiction, or status of Federal lands and property in Hawaii. This provision does not affect lands owned by the State of Hawaii or provisions of State law. See, e.g., Haw. Rev. Stat. 6K-9 (“[T]he resources and waters of Kahoolawe shall be held in trust as part of the public land trust; provided that the State shall transfer management and control of the island and its waters to the sovereign native Hawaiian entity upon its recognition by the United States and the State of Hawaii.”). They also explain that the reestablished government-to-government relationship would more effectively implement statutes that specifically reference Native Hawaiians, but would not extend the programs, services, and benefits available to Indian tribes in the continental United States to the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity or its members, unless a Federal statute expressly authorizes it. These provisions also state that immediately upon completion of the Federal administrative process, the United States will reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the single sovereign government of the Native Hawaiian community that submitted the request to reestablish that relationship. Individuals' eligibility for any program, service, or benefit under any Federal law that was in effect before the final rule's effective date would be unaffected. Likewise, Native Hawaiian rights, protections, privileges, immunities, and benefits under Article XII of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii would not be affected. And nothing in this proposed rule would alter the sovereign immunity of the United States or the sovereign immunity of the State of Hawaii.

    IV. Public Meetings and Tribal Consultations

    An integral part of this rulemaking process is the opportunity for Department officials to meet with leaders and members of the Native Hawaiian community. Likewise, a central feature of the government-to-government relationships between the United States and each federally recognized tribe in the continental United States is formal consultation between Federal and tribal officials. The Department conducts these tribal consultations in accordance with Executive Order 13175, 65 FR 67249 (Nov. 6, 2000); the Presidential Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Tribal Consultation, 74 FR 57881 (Nov. 5, 2009); and the Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes. Tribal consultations are only for elected or duly appointed representatives of federally recognized tribes in the continental United States, as discussions are held on a government-to-government basis. These sessions may be closed to the public.

    A. Past Meetings and Consultations

    Shortly after the ANPRM's June 2014 publication in the Federal Register, staff from the Departments of the Interior and Justice conducted 15 public meetings across the State of Hawaii to gather testimony on the ANPRM. Hundreds of stakeholders and interested parties attended sessions on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, resulting in over 40 hours of oral testimony on the ANPRM. Also during that time, staff conducted extensive community outreach with Native Hawaiian organizations, groups, and community leaders. The Department also conducted five mainland regional consultations in Indian country that were also supplemented with targeted community outreach in locations with significant Native Hawaiian populations.

    B. Future Meetings and Consultations

    To build on the extensive record gathered during the ANPRM, the Department will hold teleconferences to collect public comment on the proposed rule. The Department will also consult with Native Hawaiian organizations and with federally recognized tribes in the continental United States by teleconference. Interested individuals may also submit written comments on this proposed rule at any time during the comment period. The Department will consider statements made during the teleconferences and will include them in the administrative record along with the written comments. The Department strongly encourages Native Hawaiian organizations and federally recognized tribes in the continental United States to hold their own meetings to develop comments on this proposed rule, and to share the outcomes of those meetings with us.

    1. Public Meetings by Teleconference. The Department will conduct two public meetings by teleconference to receive public comments on this proposed rule on the following schedule:

    Monday, October 26, 2015 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Eastern Time/8 a.m.-11 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time Call-in number: 1-888-947-9025 Passcode: 1962786 Saturday, November 7, 2015 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Time/9 a.m.-12 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time Call-in number: 1-888-947-9025 Passcode: 1962786

    2. Consultations with Native Hawaiian Organizations. The Department is legally required to consult with Native Hawaiian organizations in some circumstances. Although such consultation is not required for this proposed rule, the Department is electing to conduct such consultation in order to enhance participation from the Native Hawaiian community. The Department maintains a Native Hawaiian Organization Notification List, available at www.doi.gov/ohr/nholist/nhol, which includes Native Hawaiian organizations registered through the designated process. Representatives from Native Hawaiian organizations that appear on this list are invited to participate in a teleconference scheduled below:

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Time/9 a.m.-12 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time Call-in number: 1-888-947-9025 Passcode: 1962786 Participation will be limited to one telephone line for each listed organization and up to two of their representatives. Only those organizations that appear on the Native Hawaiian Organization Notification List may participate in this consultation. Please RSVP to [email protected] for this meeting only. No RSVP is necessary for the other meetings.

    3. Tribal Consultation. The Department will also conduct a tribal consultation by teleconference. The Department conducts such consultations in accordance with Executive Order 13175, 65 FR 67249 (Nov. 6, 2000); the Presidential Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Tribal Consultation, 74 FR 57881 (Nov. 5, 2009); and the Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes. Tribal consultations are only for elected or duly appointed representatives of federally recognized tribes in the continental United States, as discussions are held on a government-to-government basis. The following teleconference may be closed to the public:

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time Call-in number: 1-888-947-9025 Passcode: 1962786 Meeting information will also be made available for the tribal consultations in the continental United States by “Dear Tribal Leader” notice.

    Further information about these meetings, and notice of any additional meetings, will be posted on the ONHR Web site (http://www.doi.gov/ohr/).

    V. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA determined that this proposed rule is significant because it may raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.

    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The Executive Order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. The Department developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. It will not result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. The rule's requirements will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. Nor will this rule have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this proposed rule does not affect individual property rights protected by the Fifth Amendment nor does it involve a compensable “taking.” A takings implications assessment therefore is not required.

    F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this proposed rule has no substantial and direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. A federalism implications assessment therefore is not required.

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

    This proposed rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, this rule has been reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and written to minimize litigation; and is written in clear language and contains clear legal standards.

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

    Under Executive Order 13175, the Department held several consultation sessions with federally recognized tribes in the continental United States. Details on these consultation sessions and on comments the Department received from tribes and intertribal organizations are described above. The Department considered each of those comments and addressed them, where possible, in the proposed rule.

    I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not require an information collection from ten or more parties, and a submission under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., is not required.

    J. National Environmental Policy Act

    This proposed rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment because it is of an administrative, technical, or procedural nature. See 43 CFR 46.210(i). No extraordinary circumstances exist that would require greater review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

    K. Information Quality Act

    In developing this proposed rule we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554).

    L. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This proposed rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required. This rule will not have a significant effect on the nation's energy supply, distribution, or use.

    M. Clarity of This Regulation

    Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, require the Department to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule the Department publishes must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that the Department did not met these requirements, please send comments by one of the methods listed in the “COMMENTS” section. To better help the Department revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you believe lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    N. Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the Department in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    If you send an email comment directly to the Department without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the Department recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the Department cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the Department may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, avoid any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    The Department cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered. Comments sent to an address other than those listed above will not be included in the docket for this rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 50

    Administrative practice and procedure, Indians—tribal government.

    Proposed Rule

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of the Interior proposes to amend title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations by adding part 50 to read as follows:

    PART 50—PROCEDURES FOR REESTABLISHING A FORMAL GOVERNMENT-TO-GOVERNMENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITY Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 50.1 What is the purpose of this part? 50.2 How will reestablishment of this formal government-to-government relationship occur? 50.3 May the Native Hawaiian community reorganize itself based on island or other geographic, historical, or cultural ties? 50.4 What definitions apply to terms used in this part? Subpart B—Criteria for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship 50.10 What are the required elements of a request to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States? 50.11 What process is required in drafting the governing document? 50.12 What documentation is required to demonstrate how the Native Hawaiian community determined who could participate in ratifying a governing document? 50.13 What must be included in the governing document? 50.14 What information about the ratification referendum must be included in the request? 50.15 What information about the elections for government offices must be included in the request? 50.16 What criteria will the Secretary apply when deciding whether to reestablish the formal government-to-government relationship? Subpart C—Process for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship Submitting a Request 50.20 How may a request be submitted? 50.21 Is the Department available to provide technical assistance? Public Comments and Responses to Public Comments 50.30 What opportunity will the public have to comment on a request? 50.31 What opportunity will the requester have to respond to comments? 50.32 May the deadlines in this part be extended? The Secretary's Decision 50.40 When will the Secretary issue a decision? 50.41 What will the Secretary's decision include? 50.42 When will the Secretary's decision take effect? 50.43 What does it mean for the Secretary to grant a request? 50.44 How will the formal government-to-government relationship between the United States Government and the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity be implemented? Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 25 U.S.C. 2, 9, 479a, 479a-1; 43 U.S.C. 1457; Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (Act of July 9, 1921, 42 Stat. 108), as amended; Act of March 19, 1959, 73 Stat. 4; Joint Resolution of November 23, 1993, 107 Stat. 1510; Act of November 2, 1994, sec. 103, 108 Stat. 4791; 112 Departmental Manual 28.

    Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 50.1 What is the purpose of this part?

    This part sets forth the Department's administrative procedure and criteria for reestablishing a formal government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community to allow the United States to more effectively implement and administer:

    (a) The special political and trust relationship that Congress established between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community; and

    (b) The Federal programs, services, and benefits that Congress created specifically for the Native Hawaiian community (see, e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1715z-13b; 20 U.S.C. 80q et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 7511 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 4221 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2991 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 3057g et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 11701 et seq.; 54 U.S.C. 302706).

    § 50.2 How will reestablishment of this formal government-to-government relationship occur?

    A Native Hawaiian government seeking to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States under this part must submit to the Secretary a request as described in § 50.10. Reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship will occur if the Secretary grants the request as described in §§ 50.40 through 50.43.

    § 50.3 May the Native Hawaiian community reorganize itself based on island or other geographic, historical, or cultural ties?

    The Secretary will reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with only one sovereign Native Hawaiian government, which may include political subdivisions with limited powers of self-governance defined in the Native Hawaiian government's governing document.

    § 50.4 What definitions apply to terms used in this part?

    As used in this part, the following terms have the meanings given in this section:

    Continental United States means the contiguous 48 states and Alaska.

    Department means the Department of the Interior.

    DHHL means the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, or the agency or department of the State of Hawaii that is responsible for administering the HHCA.

    Federal Indian programs, services, and benefits means any federally funded or authorized special program, service, or benefit provided by any Federal agency (including, but not limited to, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service) to Indian tribes in the continental United States or their members because of their status as Indians.

    Federal Native Hawaiian programs, services, and benefits means any federally funded or authorized special program, service, or benefit provided by any Federal agency to a Native Hawaiian government, its political subdivisions (if any), its members, the Native Hawaiian community, Native Hawaiians, or HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians because of their status as Native Hawaiians.

    Governing document means a written document (e.g., constitution) embodying a government's fundamental and organic law.

    Hawaiian home lands means all lands given the status of Hawaiian home lands under the HHCA (or corresponding provisions of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii), the HHLRA, or any other Act of Congress, and all lands acquired pursuant to the HHCA.

    HHCA means the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (Act of July 9, 1921, 42 Stat. 108), as amended.

    HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian means a Native Hawaiian individual who meets the definition of “native Hawaiian” in HHCA sec. 201(a)(7), 42 Stat. 108, regardless of whether the individual resides on Hawaiian home lands, is an HHCA lessee, is on a wait list for an HHCA lease, or receives any benefits under the HHCA.

    HHLRA means the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act (Act of November 2, 1995, 109 Stat. 357), as amended.

    Native Hawaiian means any individual who is a:

    (1) Citizen of the United States, and

    (2) Descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.

    Native Hawaiian community means the distinct indigenous political community that Congress, exercising its plenary power over Native American affairs, has recognized and with which Congress has implemented a special political and trust relationship.

    Native Hawaiian Governing Entity means the Native Hawaiian community's representative sovereign government with which the Secretary reestablishes a formal government-to-government relationship.

    Request means an express written submission to the Secretary asking for designation as the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.

    Requester means the government that submits to the Secretary a request seeking to be designated as the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity.

    Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or that officer's authorized representative.

    Subpart B—Criteria for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship
    § 50.10 What are the required elements of a request to reestablish a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States?

    A request must include the following seven elements:

    (a) A written narrative with supporting documentation thoroughly describing how the Native Hawaiian community drafted the governing document, as described in § 50.11;

    (b) A written narrative with supporting documentation thoroughly describing how the Native Hawaiian community determined who can participate in ratifying a governing document, consistent with § 50.12;

    (c) The duly ratified governing document, as described in § 50.13;

    (d) A written narrative with supporting documentation thoroughly describing how the Native Hawaiian community adopted or approved the governing document in a ratification referendum, as described in § 50.14;

    (e) A written narrative with supporting documentation thoroughly describing how and when elections were conducted for government offices identified in the governing document, as described in § 50.15;

    (f) A duly enacted resolution of the governing body authorizing an officer to certify and submit to the Secretary a request seeking the reestablishment of a formal government-to-government relationship with the United States; and

    (g) A certification, signed and dated by the authorized officer, stating that the submission is the request of the governing body.

    § 50.11 What process is required in drafting the governing document?

    The written narrative thoroughly describing the process for drafting the governing document must describe how the process ensured that the document was based on meaningful input from representative segments of the Native Hawaiian community and reflects the will of the Native Hawaiian community.

    § 50.12 What documentation is required to demonstrate how the Native Hawaiian community determined who could participate in ratifying a governing document?

    The written narrative thoroughly describing how the Native Hawaiian community determined who could participate in ratifying a governing document must explain the processes for verifying that participants were Native Hawaiians and for verifying those who were also HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, and should further explain how those processes were rational and reliable. For purposes of determining who may participate in the ratification process:

    (a) The Native Hawaiian community may provide:

    (1) That the definition for a Native Hawaiian may be satisfied by:

    (i) Enumeration in official DHHL records demonstrating eligibility under the HHCA, excluding noncitizens of the United States;

    (ii) Enumeration on a roll of Native Hawaiians certified by a State of Hawaii commission or agency under State law, where enumeration is based on documentation that verifies descent, excluding noncitizens of the United States; or

    (iii) Other means to document generation-by-generation descent from a Native Hawaiian; and

    (2) That the definition for an HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian may be satisfied by:

    (i) Enumeration in official DHHL records demonstrating eligibility under the HHCA, excluding noncitizens of the United States; or

    (ii) Other records or documentation demonstrating eligibility under the HHCA; or

    (b) The Native Hawaiian community may use a roll of Native Hawaiians certified by a State of Hawaii commission or agency under State law as an accurate and complete list of Native Hawaiians eligible to vote in the ratification referendum: Provided, that:

    (1) The roll was:

    (i) Based on documentation that verified descent;

    (ii) Compiled in accordance with applicable due-process principles; and

    (iii) Published and made available for inspection following certification; and

    (2) The Native Hawaiian community also:

    (i) Included adult citizens of the United States who demonstrated eligibility under the HHCA according to official DHHL records;

    (ii) Removed persons who are not citizens of the United States;

    (iii) Removed persons who were younger than 18 years of age on the last day of the ratification referendum;

    (iv) Removed persons who were enumerated without documentation that verified descent; and

    (v) Removed persons who voluntarily requested to be removed.

    § 50.13 What must be included in the governing document?

    The governing document must:

    (a) State the government's official name;

    (b) Prescribe the manner in which the government exercises its sovereign powers;

    (c) Establish the institutions and structure of the government, and of its political subdivisions (if any) that are defined in a fair and reasonable manner;

    (d) Authorize the government to negotiate with governments of the United States, the State of Hawaii, and political subdivisions of the State of Hawaii, and with non-governmental entities;

    (e) Provide for periodic elections for government offices identified in the governing document;

    (f) Describe the criteria for membership, which:

    (1) Must permit HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians to enroll;

    (2) May permit Native Hawaiians who are not HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, or some defined subset of that group that is not contrary to Federal law, to enroll;

    (3) Must exclude persons who are not Native Hawaiians;

    (4) Must establish that membership is voluntary and may be relinquished voluntarily; and

    (5) Must exclude persons who voluntarily relinquished membership.

    (g) Protect and preserve Native Hawaiians' rights, protections, and benefits under the HHCA and the HHLRA;

    (h) Protect and preserve the liberties, rights, and privileges of all persons affected by the government's exercise of its powers, see 25 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.;

    (i) Describe the procedures for proposing and ratifying amendments to the governing document; and

    (j) Not contain provisions contrary to Federal law.

    § 50.14 What information about the ratification referendum must be included in the request?

    The written narrative thoroughly describing the ratification referendum must include the following information:

    (a) A certification of the results of the ratification referendum including:

    (1) The date or dates of the ratification referendum;

    (2) The number of Native Hawaiians, regardless of whether they were HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, who cast a vote in favor of the governing document;

    (3) The total number of Native Hawaiians, regardless of whether they were HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, who cast a ballot in the ratification referendum;

    (4) The number of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians who cast a vote in favor of the governing document; and

    (5) The total number of HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians who cast a ballot in the ratification referendum.

    (b) A description of how the Native Hawaiian community conducted the ratification referendum that demonstrates:

    (1) How and when the Native Hawaiian community made the full text of the proposed governing document (and a brief impartial description of that document) available to Native Hawaiians prior to the ratification referendum, through the Internet, the news media, and other means of communication;

    (2) How and when the Native Hawaiian community notified Native Hawaiians about how and when it would conduct the ratification referendum;

    (3) How the Native Hawaiian community accorded Native Hawaiians a reasonable opportunity to vote in the ratification referendum;

    (4) How the Native Hawaiian community prevented voters from casting more than one ballot in the ratification referendum; and

    (5) How the Native Hawaiian community ensured that the ratification referendum:

    (i) Was free and fair;

    (ii) Was held by secret ballot or equivalent voting procedures;

    (iii) Was open to all persons who were verified as satisfying the definition of a Native Hawaiian (consistent with § 50.12) and were 18 years of age or older, regardless of residency;

    (iv) Did not include in the vote tallies votes cast by persons who were not Native Hawaiians; and

    (v) Did not include in the vote tallies for HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians votes cast by persons who were not HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians.

    (c) A description of how the Native Hawaiian community verified whether a potential voter in the ratification referendum was a Native Hawaiian and whether that potential voter was also an HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiian, consistent with § 50.12.

    § 50.15 What information about the elections for government offices must be included in the request?

    The written narrative thoroughly describing how and when elections were conducted for government offices identified in the governing document, including members of the governing body, must show that the elections were:

    (a) Free and fair;

    (b) Held by secret ballot or equivalent voting procedures; and

    (c) Open to all eligible Native Hawaiian members as defined in the governing document.

    § 50.16 What criteria will the Secretary apply when deciding whether to reestablish the formal government-to-government relationship?

    The Secretary shall grant a request if the Secretary determines that the following exclusive list of eight criteria has been met:

    (a) The request includes the seven required elements described in § 50.10;

    (b) The process by which the Native Hawaiian community drafted the governing document met the requirements of § 50.11;

    (c) The process by which the Native Hawaiian community determined who could participate in ratifying the governing document met the requirements of § 50.12;

    (d) The duly ratified governing document, submitted as part of the request, meets the requirements of § 50.13;

    (e) The ratification referendum for the governing document met the requirements of § 50.14(b) and (c) and was conducted in a manner not contrary to Federal law;

    (f) The elections for the government offices identified in the governing document, including members of the governing body, were consistent with § 50.15 and were conducted in a manner not contrary to Federal law;

    (g) The number of votes that Native Hawaiians, regardless of whether they were HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians, cast in favor of the governing document exceeded half of the total number of ballots that Native Hawaiians cast in the ratification referendum: Provided, that the number of votes cast in favor of the governing document in the ratification referendum was sufficiently large to demonstrate broad-based community support among Native Hawaiians; and Provided Further, that, if fewer than 30,000 Native Hawaiians cast votes in favor of the governing document, this criterion is not satisfied; and Provided Further, that, if more than 50,000 Native Hawaiians cast votes in favor of the governing document, the Secretary shall apply a strong presumption that this criterion is satisfied; and

    (h) The number of votes that HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians cast in favor of the governing document exceeded half of the total number of ballots that HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians cast in the ratification referendum: Provided, that the number of votes cast in favor of the governing document in the ratification referendum was sufficiently large to demonstrate broad-based community support among HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians; and Provided Further, that, if fewer than 9,000 HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians cast votes in favor of the governing document, this criterion is not satisfied; and Provided Further, that, if more than 15,000 HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians cast votes in favor of the governing document, the Secretary shall apply a strong presumption that this criterion is satisfied.

    Subpart C—Process for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship Submitting a Request
    § 50.20 How may a request be submitted?

    A request under this part may be submitted to the Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

    § 50.21 Is the Department available to provide technical assistance?

    Yes. The Department may provide technical assistance to facilitate compliance with this part and with other Federal law, upon request for assistance.

    Public Comments and Responses to Public Comments
    § 50.30 What opportunity will the public have to comment on a request?

    (a) Within 20 days after receiving a request that is consistent with § 50.10 and § 50.16(g)-(h), the Department will publish notice of receipt of the request in the Federal Register and post the following on the Department Web site:

    (1) The request, including the governing document;

    (2) The name and mailing address of the requester;

    (3) The date of receipt; and

    (4) Notice of an opportunity for the public, within a 30-day comment period following the Web site posting, to submit comments and evidence on whether the request meets the criteria described in § 50.16.

    (b) Within 10 days after the close of the comment period, the Department will post on its Web site any comment or notice of evidence relating to the request that was timely submitted to the Department under paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    § 50.31 What opportunity will the requester have to respond to comments?

    Following the Web site posting described in § 50.30(b), the requester will have 30 days to respond to any comment or evidence that was timely submitted to the Department under § 50.30(a)(4).

    § 50.32 May the deadlines in this part be extended?

    Yes. Upon a finding of good cause, the Secretary may extend any deadline in this part by posting on the Department Web site and publishing in the Federal Register the length of and the reasons for the extension.

    The Secretary's Decision
    § 50.40 When will the Secretary issue a decision?

    The Secretary may request additional documentation and explanation with respect to material required to be submitted by the requester under this part. The Secretary will apply the criteria described in § 50.16 and endeavor to either grant or deny a request within 120 days of determining that the requester's submission is complete, after receiving any additional information the Secretary deems necessary and after receiving all the information described in §§ 50.30 and 50.31.

    § 50.41 What will the Secretary's decision include?

    The decision will respond to significant public comments and summarize the evidence, reasoning, and analyses that are the basis for the Secretary's determination regarding whether the request meets the criteria described in § 50.16.

    § 50.42 When will the Secretary's decision take effect?

    The Secretary's decision will take effect with the publication of a document in the Federal Register.

    § 50.43 What does it mean for the Secretary to grant a request?

    When a decision granting a request takes effect, the requester will immediately be identified as the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (or the official name stated in that entity's governing document), the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community will be reaffirmed, and a formal government-to-government relationship will be reestablished with the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity as the sole representative sovereign government of the Native Hawaiian community.

    § 50.44 How will the formal government-to-government relationship between the United States Government and the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity be implemented?

    (a) Upon reestablishment of the formal government-to-government relationship, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will have the same government-to-government relationship under the United States Constitution and Federal law as the government-to-government relationship between the United States and a federally recognized tribe in the continental United States, and the same inherent sovereign governmental authorities.

    (b) The Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will be subject to Congress's plenary authority.

    (c) Absent Federal law to the contrary, any member of the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity will be eligible for current Federal Native Hawaiian programs, services, and benefits.

    (d) The Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, its political subdivisions (if any), and its members will not be eligible for Federal Indian programs, services, and benefits unless Congress expressly and specifically has declared the Native Hawaiian community, the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity (or the official name stated in that entity's governing document), its political subdivisions (if any), its members, Native Hawaiians, or HHCA-eligible Native Hawaiians to be eligible.

    (e) Reestablishment of the formal government-to-government relationship will not authorize the Native Hawaiian Governing Entity to sell, dispose of, lease, or encumber Hawaiian home lands or interests in those lands, or to diminish any Native Hawaiian's rights, protections, or benefits, including any immunity from State or local taxation, granted by:

    (1) The HHCA;

    (2) The HHLRA;

    (3) The Act of March 18, 1959, 73 Stat. 4; or

    (4) The Act of November 11, 1993, secs. 10001-10004, 107 Stat. 1418, 1480-84.

    (f) Reestablishment of the formal government-to-government relationship will not affect the title, jurisdiction, or status of Federal lands and property in Hawaii.

    (g) Nothing in this part impliedly amends, repeals, supersedes, abrogates, or overrules any provision of Federal law, including case law, affecting the privileges, immunities, rights, protections, responsibilities, powers, limitations, obligations, authorities, or jurisdiction of any tribe in the continental United States.

    Michael L. Connor, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24712 Filed 9-29-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0045] RIN 2127-AL01 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Correction AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects the preamble to a proposed rule published in the Federal Register of May 21, 2015, regarding Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for Motorcycle Helmets. This correction removes language relating to the incorporation by reference of certain publications that was inadvertently and inappropriately included in the preamble to the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Otto Matheke, Office of the Chief Counsel (Telephone: 202-366-5253) (Fax: 202-366-3820).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Correction

    In proposed rule FR Doc. 2015-11756 beginning on page 29458 in the issue of May 21, 2015, make the following correction in the Dates section. On page 29458 in the 2nd column, remove at the end of the second paragraph the following:

    “The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the proposed rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of May 22, 2017.”

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Frank S. Borris II, Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24918 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    80 190 Thursday, October 1, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Humboldt County Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Humboldt County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Eureka, California. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/srnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held October 27, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

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

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor's Office, Main Conference Room, 1330 Bayshore Drive, Eureka, California.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Six Rivers National Forest Office, 1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka, CA 95501. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynn Wright, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 707-441-3562 or via email at [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    • To provide updates regarding status of Secure Rural Schools Title II program and funding and to review and recommend potential projects eligible for funding.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 8, 2015 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Lynn Wright, RAC Coordinator 1330 Bayshore Way, Eureka, CA 95501; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 707-445-8677.

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

    Dated: September 23, 2015. Merv George Jr., Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24917 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-39-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 64—Jacksonville, Florida; Authorization of Production Activity; Saft America Inc. (Lithium-Ion Batteries); Jacksonville, Florida

    On June 1, 2015, the Jacksonville Port Authority, grantee of FTZ 64, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Saft America Inc., within Site 10, in Jacksonville, Florida.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 33479, June 12, 2015). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Pierre V. Duy, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24961 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is automatically initiating the five-year review (“Sunset Review”) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) orders listed below. The International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Review which covers the same orders.

    DATES:

    Effective: October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders:

    DOC Case No. ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-351-503 731-TA-262 Brazil Iron Construction Castings (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. C-351-504 701-TA-249 Brazil Iron Construction Castings (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-122-503 731-TA-263 Canada Iron Construction Castings (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-560-823 731-TA-1170 Indonesia Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. C-560-824 701-TA-471 Indonesia Coated Paper Suitable For High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses (1st Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. A-201-838 731-TA-1175 Mexico Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. A-570-958 731-TA-1169 PRC Coated Paper Suitable For High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. C-570-959 701-TA-470 PRC Coated Paper Suitable For High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-570-502 731-TA-265 PRC Iron Construction Castings (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-570-956 731-TA-1168 PRC Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line and Pressure Pipe (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. C-570-957 701-TA-469 PRC Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line and Pressure Pipe (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-570-964 731-TA-1174 PRC Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: “http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/.” All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (“APO”) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: September 28, 2015. James Maeder, Senior Director, Office I for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24980 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after October 2015, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of October 2015,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in October for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings BRAZIL: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-351-832 10/1/14-9/30/15 INDONESIA: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-560-815 10/1/14-9/30/15 ITALY: Pressure Sensitive Plastic Tape, A-475-059 10/1/14-9/30/15 MEXICO: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-201-830 10/1/14-9/30/15 MOLDOVA: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-841-805 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Barium Carbonate, A-570-880 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Barium Chloride, A-570-007 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide, A-570-919 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Helical Spring Lock Washers, A-570-822 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Polyvinyl Alcohol, A-570-879 10/1/14-9/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Steel Wire Garment Hangers, A-570-918 10/1/14-9/30/15 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, A-274-804 10/1/14-9/30/15 Countervailing Duty Proceedings BRAZIL: Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod, C-351-833 1/1/14-12/31/14 IRAN: Roasted In Shell Pistachios, C-507-601 1/1/14-12/31/14 Suspension Agreements RUSSIA: Uranium, A-821-802 10/1/14-9/30/15

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Further, as explained in Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013), the Department clarified its practice with regard to the conditional review of the non-market economy (NME) entity in administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders. The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.3 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 4 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    4See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of October 2015. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of October 2015, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. James Maeder, Senior Director, Office I for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24977 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India February 8-12, 2016. AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, is amending the Notice published at 80 FR 46243 (August 4, 2015), regarding the executive-led Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India, February 8-12, 2016, to extend the date of the application deadline from November 10, 2015 to the new deadline of November 20, 2015 and to specify that Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews will be the executive lead.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Amendments to Revise the Dates and Executive Leadership.

    Background

    The executive lead for this mission will be Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews. Due to this leadership update, it has been determined that additional time is needed to allow for additional recruitment and marketing in support of the Mission. Applications will now be accepted through November 20, 2015 (and after that date if space remains and scheduling constraints permit). Interested U.S. companies and trade associations/organizations providing infrastructure goods and services which have not already submitted an application are encouraged to do so.

    We will be conducting our vetting process at different intervals before November 20, 2015, as applications are received they may be viewed prior to the November 20 deadline.

    The applicants selected will be notified by December 4, 2015.

    Contact Information

    Jessica Dulkadir, International Trade Specialist, Trade Missions, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, Tel: 202-482-2026, Fax: 202-482-9000, [email protected]

    Frank Spector, Director (A), Trade Missions.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24938 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

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

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for November 2015

    The following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in November 2015 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Review (“Sunset Review”).

    Antidumping duty proceedings Department contact Wooden Bedroom Furniture from China (A-570-890) (2nd Review) Matthew Renkey, (202) 482-2312. Countervailing Duty Proceedings

    No Sunset Review of countervailing duty orders is scheduled for initiation in November 2015.

    Suspended Investigations

    No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in November 2015.

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. James Maeder, Senior Director, Office I, for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24962 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revision; Notice of Public Comment Period AGENCY:

    Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period for the Mission-Aransas, Texas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. Pursuant to 15 CFR 921.33(c), the revised plan will bring the reserve into compliance. The Mission-Aransas Reserve revised plan will replace the plan approved in 2006.

    The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; the research/monitoring, stewardship, education, and training programs of the reserve; and the plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations.

    The Mission-Aransas Reserve takes an integrated approach to management, linking research, education, coastal training, and stewardship functions. The Reserve has outlined how it will manage administration and its core program providing detailed actions that will enable it to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Since the last management plan, the Reserve has built out its core programs and monitoring infrastructure; constructed several facilities including a L.E.E.D. certified Estuarine Research Center that serves as the reserve headquarters and includes laboratories, offices, classrooms, interpretative areas and dormitories; and built new partnerships with organizations along the Coastal Bend of Texas.

    With the approval of this management plan, the Mission-Aransas Reserve will increase their total acreage from 185,708 acres to 186,189. The change is attributable to the recent acquisitions of several parcels by Reserve partners, totaling 481 acres. All of the proposed additions are owned by existing Reserve partners and will be managed for long-term protection and conservation value. These parcels have high ecological value and will enhance the Reserve's ability to provide increased opportunities for research, education, and stewardship. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the expanded 186,189 acre Mission-Aransas Reserve for the next five years.

    View the Mission-Aransas, Texas Reserve Management Plan revision at (https://sites.cns.utexas.edu/manerr/about/management-plan) and provide comments to ([email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Chasse at (301) 563-1198 or Erica Seiden at (301) 563-1172 of NOAA's National Ocean Service, Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, 1305 East-West Highway, N/ORM5, 10th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    Dated: September 23, 2015. John King, Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25090 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0064] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request—Safety Standard for Play Yards AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) announces that the Commission has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of approval of a collection of information associated with the CPSC's Safety Standard for Play Yards (OMB No. 3041-0152). In the Federal Register of June 25, 2015 (80 FR 36522), the CPSC published a notice to announce the agency's intention to seek extension of approval of the collection of information. The Commission received no comments. Therefore, by publication of this notice, the Commission announces that CPSC has submitted to the OMB a request for extension of approval of that collection of information, without change.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this request for extension of approval of information collection requirements should be submitted by November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments about this request by email: [email protected] or fax: 202-395-6881. Comments by mail should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the CPSC, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. In addition, written comments that are sent to OMB also should be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. CPSC-2011-0064.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information contact: Robert H. Squibb, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 504-7815, or by email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CPSC has submitted the following currently approved collection of information to OMB for extension:

    Title: Safety Standard for Play Yards.

    OMB Number: 3041-0152.

    Type of Review: Renewal of collection.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Manufacturers and importers of play yards.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 31 firms that supply play yards to the United States market have been identified with an estimated 4 models/firm annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour/model associated with marking, labeling, and instructional requirements.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 124 hours (31 firms × 4 models × 1 hour).

    General Description of Collection: The Commission issued a safety standard for play yards (16 CFR part 1221) on August 19, 2013 (78 FR 50328). The standard is intended to address hazards to children associated with the misassembly of play yards and play yard accessories. Among other requirements, the standard requires manufacturers, including importers, to meet the collection of information requirements for marking, labeling, and instructional literature for play yards.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24910 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled AmeriCorps Member Application for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Erin Dahlin at 202-606-6931 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    DATES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, within November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: 202-395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the efficient performance of the functions of CNCS, 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;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2015, Vol. 80 page 28245. This comment period ended July 17, 2015. Two public comments were received from this Notice. All comments were incorporated or will be incorporated in the next more substantive revision.

    Description: CNCS awards grants to states, institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, Indian tribes, and U.S. Territories to operate AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, and Senior Corps programs. CNCS also operates the AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA programs. This information collection comprises the questions applicants answer to apply to be an AmeriCorps member in an AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: AmeriCorps Member Application.

    OMB Number: 3045-0054.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Members of the public applying to be AmeriCorps members.

    Total Respondents: 225,000.

    Frequency: Annual.

    Average Time per Response: 1.25 hours.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 281,250 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Erin Dahlin, Deputy Chief of Program Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24958 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2015-HQ-0040] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to delete a System of Records Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is deleting a system of records notice in its existing inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The notice is A0040-3c DASG, Medical Regulating Files.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 2, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    * Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Tracy Rogers, Department of the Army, Privacy Office, U.S. Army Records Management and Declassification Agency, 7701 Telegraph Road, Casey Building, Suite 144, Alexandria, VA 22325-3905 or by calling (703) 428-7499.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Army systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The Department of the Army proposes to delete a system of records notice from its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended. The proposed deletion is not within the purview of subsection (r) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, which requires the submission of a new or altered system report.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Deletion A0040-3c DASG

    Medical Regulating Files (March 27, 2003, 68 FR 14959).

    Reason:

    These files have been transferred into the TRANSCOM Joint Medical Evaluation System (TRAC2ES) managed by TRANSCOM. Files are now covered under system of records notice F044 AF TRANSCOM A, Joint Medical Evacuation System (TRAC2ES) (February 21, 2012, 77 FR 9902). Therefore, A0040-3c DASG, Medical Regulating Files can be deleted.

    [FR Doc. 2015-24868 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID USA-2014-0020] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department of the Army announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. 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 of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Department of the Army, Operations & Plans Officer Mortuary Affairs and Casualty Support Division, PERSCOM, (ATTN: Mr. Harold Campbell), 200 Stovall Street, Hoffman I, Alexandria, Virginia 22332-0300, or call the Department of the Army Reports Clearance Officer at (703) 428-6440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Disposition of Remains— Reimbursable Basis and Request for Payment of Funeral and/or Interment Expense; DD Forms 2065 and 1375; OMB Control Number 0704-0030.

    Needs and Uses: DD Form 2065 records disposition instructions and costs for preparation and final disposition of remains. DD Form 1375 provides next-of-kin an instrument to apply for reimbursement of funeral/interment expenses. This information is used to adjudicate claims for reimbursement of these expenses.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 425.

    Number of Respondents: 2,450.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 2,450.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes (DD 2065); 10 minutes (DD 1375).

    Frequency: On occasion.

    DD Forms 2065 and 1375 are initially prepared by military authorities and presented to the next-of-kin or sponsor to fill-in the reimbursable costs or desired disposition of remains. Without the information on these forms the government would not be able to respond to the survivor's wishes or justify its expenses in handling the deceased. Also available at government expense is transportation of the remains to a port of entry in the United States.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24891 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2015-HQ-0041] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, (OAA-AAHS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department of the Army announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. 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 of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Department of the Army, Institute for Water Resources, Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center (CEIWR-NDC-C), P.O. Box 61280, Attn: Christopher Dale Brown, New Orleans, LA 70161-1280, or call Department of the Army Reports Clearance Officer at (703) 428-6440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Vessel Operation Report; ENG Forms 3925, 3925B, 3925C, 3925P, OMB Control Number 0710-0006.

    Needs and Uses: The Corps of Engineers uses ENG Forms 3925, 3925B, 3925C, and 3925p as the basic instruments to collect waterborne commerce statistics. These data, collected from vessel operating companies, constitute the sole source for domestic vessel movements of freight and passengers on U.S. navigable waterways and harbors; are essential to plans for maintaining U.S. navigable waterways; and are critical to enforcing the “Harbor Maintenance Tax” authorized under Sec. 1402 of Public Law 99-662.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.

    Annual Burden Hours: 13,560.

    Number of Respondents: 842.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 842.

    Average Burden per Response: 20 minutes.

    Frequency: Monthly.

    The information collected is the basic data from which the Corps of Engineers compiles and publish waterborne commerce statistics. The data is used not only to report to Congress, but also to perform cost benefit studies for new projects, and rehabilitation projects. It is also used by other Federal agencies involved in transportation and security. This data collection program is the sole source for domestic navigation statistics.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24895 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent License; OLII Technology Corporation AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to OLII Technology Corporation, a revocable, nonassignable, partially exclusive license in the United States to practice the Government-Owned inventions described in U.S. Patent No. 8369567—“Method for detecting and mapping fires using features extracted from overhead imagery.”

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, no later than October 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the Office of Research and Technology Applications, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, Code 72120, 53560 Hull St., Bldg. A33, Room 2531, San Diego, CA 92152-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Suh, Office of Research and Technology Applications, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, Code 72120, 53560 Hull St., Bldg. A33 Room 2531, San Diego, CA 92152-5001, telephone 619-553-5118, Email: [email protected]

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: September 23, 2015. P.A. Richelmi, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Alternate Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24966 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Meeting of the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DOD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Visitors of the Marine Corps University (BOV MCU) will meet to review, develop and provide recommendations on all aspects of the academic and administrative policies of the University; examine all aspects of professional military education operations; and provide such oversight and advice, as is necessary, to facilitate high educational standards and cost effective operations. The Board will be focusing primarily on the internal procedures of Marine Corps University. All sessions of the meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, 15 October from 1200-1600 and 16 October, 2015, from 0800 to 1200.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. The address is: 2076 South St., Quantico, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Kim Florich, Director of Faculty Development and Outreach, Marine Corps University Board of Visitors, 2076 South Street, Quantico, Virginia 22134, telephone number 703-432-4682.

    Dated: September 23, 2015. P.A. Richelmi, Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Alternate Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24973 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0077] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS: 2017) 2016 Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) Data Collection AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0077. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela at (202) 502-7411 or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Title of Collection: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017) 2016 Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) Data Collection.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0911.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 20,091.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 6,506.

    Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 (MGLS:2017) is the first study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. The study will focus on student achievement in mathematics and literacy along with measures of student socioemotional wellbeing and other outcomes. The study will also include a special sample of students with different types of disabilities that will provide descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services. Baseline data for the MGLS:2017 will be collected from a nationally-representative sample of 6th grade students beginning in January 2018, with annual follow-ups planned for winters of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively. This request is to conduct the Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) data collection for the MGLS:2017 from January through June 2016. The primary purpose of the IVFT is to determine the psychometric properties of items and the predictive potential of assessment and survey items so that valid, reliable, and useful assessment and survey instruments can be composed for the main study. The IVFT will inform the materials and procedures for the Operational Field Test that will begin in January 2017 and the subsequent national base year and follow-up data collections.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24905 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0115] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016) Main Study AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0115. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela at (202) 502-7411 or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Title of Collection: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016) Main Study.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0645.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 10,317.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,764.

    Abstract: The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016 is coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and in the U.S. administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Since its inception in 2001, PIRLS has continued to assess students every five years (2001, 2006, 2011, 2016). It is typically administered in more than 40 countries and provides data for internationally benchmarking U.S. performance in fourth-grade reading. PIRLS also collects background information on students, parents, teachers, schools, curricula, and official education policies. Each successive round of participation in PIRLS provides trend information about U.S. 4th-grade students' knowledge and abilities in reading relative to other countries, and about the cultural environments, teaching practices, curriculum goals, and institutional arrangements that are associated with student achievement, and how these change over time in different countries. PIRLS 2016 includes an innovative new assessment of online reading, ePIRLS, which is designed to help countries understand how successful they are in preparing fourth-grade students to read, comprehend, and interpret online information. This submission requests approval for the PIRLS 2016 main study data collection scheduled to take place between March and May 2016.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24909 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas During November 2014 FE Docket Nos. FREEPORT LNG EXPANSION, L.P. AND FLNG LIQUEFACTION, LLC 10-161-LNG FREEPORT LNG EXPANSION, L.P. AND FLNG LIQUEFACTION, LLC 11-161-LNG MONTANA-DAKOTA UTILITIES COMPANY 14-161-NG ACCESS GASSERVICES (ONTARIO) INC 14-162-NG ALTAGAS LTD 14-164-NG ENERGIA DE BAJA DE CALIFORNIA, S. DE. R.L. DE C.V 14-165-NG ACTIVE ENERGY CORP 14-167-NG FAMILY ENERGY INC 14-169-NG PLYMOUTH ROCK ENERGY LLC 14-174-NG GDF SUEZ GAS NA LLC 14-176-LNG EXELON GENERATION COMPANY, LLC 14-178-NG KOLD ENERGY, INC.\ 14-181-NG ALASKA LNG PROJECT LLC 14-96-LNG AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during November 2014, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, and to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG). These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://www.energy.gov/fe/downloads/listing-doefe-authorizations-issued-2014. They are also available for inspection and copying in the Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Docket Room 3E-033, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478. The Docket Room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2015. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Oil and Natural Gas. Appendix—DOE/FE Orders Granting Import/Export Authorizations 3282-C 11/14/14 10-161-LNG Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC Final Opinion and Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas, to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3357-B 11/14/14 11-161-LNG Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel and to export LNG to Canada/Mexico by vessel. 3544 11/21/14 14-161-NG Solensa S.A. de C.V Order granting blanket authority to export LNG to Mexico by truck. 3546 11/21/14 14-164-NG Trans-Peco Pipeline, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3547 11/21/14 14-165-NG Sandcastle Petroleum Gas & Energy, LLC Order granting blanket authority to export LNG in ISO Containers loaded on vessels and in LNG vessels to Free Trade Agreement nations. 3548 11/21/14 14-167-NG Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC Order granting long-term, multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the proposed Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG Project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana to Free Trade Agreement nations. 3549 11/21/14 14-169-NG Cascade Natural Gas Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3550 11/21/14 14-174-NG Southern California Gas Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3551 11/21/14 14-176-LNG Hermiston Generating Company, L.P Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3552 11/21/14 14-178-NG SV Global LNG Trading Company, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3553 11/21/14 14-181-NG PetroChina International (Canada) Trading Ltd Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada and vacating prior authorization. 3554 11/21/14 14-96-LNG Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25032 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas To Export Compressed Natural Gas, To Vacate Prior Authority, To Amend Application and Errata During October 2014 FE Docket Nos. ALLIANCE CANADA MARKETING L.P 14-120-NG CIMA ENERGY, LTD 14-127-NG NATIONAL FUEL GAS DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION 14-134-NG LIBERTY UTILITIES (ENERGYNORTH NATURAL GAS) CORP. d/b/a LIBERTY UTILITIES 14-135-NG BOSTON GAS COMPANY d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-136-NG COLONIAL GAS COMPANY d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-137-NG NORTHERN UTILITIES, INC 14-142-NG YANKEE GAS SERVICES COMPANY 14-143-NG BAY STATE GAS COMPANY d/b/a COLUMBIA GAS OF MASSACHUSETTS 14-144-NG TERMOELECTRICA DE MEXICALI, S.A. DE R.L. DE C.V 14-147-NG ENHANCED ENERGY SERVICES OF AMERICA, LLC 14-149-NG NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION d/b/a) NORTHWESTERN ENERGY 14-150-NG MC GLOBAL GAS CORPORATION CORPORATION 14-153-LNG CONSOLIDATED EDISON COMPANY OF NEW NEW YORK, INC. AND ORANGE AND ROCKLAND UTILITIES 14-154-NG WENTWORTH GAS MARKETING LLC 14-63-CNG CLEANCOR ENERGY SOLUTIONS 14-79-LNG ALBERTA NORTHEAST GAS, LIMITED 14-128-NG PEMEX GAS Y PETROQUIMICA BASICA 14-129-NG VENTURE GLOBAL LNG, LLC 14-88-LNG TECHGEN S.A. DE C.V 14-94-NG MAIN PASS ENERGY HUB, LLC 14-114-LNG NORTHEAST GAS MARKETS LLC 14-130-NG CENTRAL HUDSON GAS & ELECTRIC CORPORATION 14-131-NG CONNECTICUT NATURAL GAS CORPORATION 14-132-NG THE SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT GAS COMPANY 14-133-NG THE NARRAGANSETT ELECTRIC COMPANY d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-138-NG KEYSPAN GAS EAST CORPORATION d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-139-NG THE BROOKLYN UNION GAS COMPANY d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-140-NG NIAGARA MOHAWK POWER CORPORATION d/b/a NATIONAL GRID 14-141-NG GLACIAL NATURAL GAS, INC 14-145-NG FORTUNA (US) L.P 14-146-NG DTE GAS COMPANY 14-148-NG TRANSCANADA PIPELINES LIMITED 14-151-NG SPARK ENERGY GAS, LLC 14-156-NG TEXAS EASTERN TRANSMISSION, LP 14-157-NG ENERGIA CHIHUAHUA, S.A. DE C.V 14-159-NG STROM INC 14-56-LNG CHENIERE MARKETING, LLC AND CORPUS CHRISTIE LIQUEFACTION, LLC 12-97-LNG TAQA NORTH 14-115-NG PUGET SOUND ENERGY, INC 14-123-NG CASTLETON COMMODITIES MERCHANT TRADING L.P 14-152-NG PENGROWTH ENERGY MARKETING CORPORATION 14-150-NG CITY OF GLENDALE WATER AND POWER 14-163-NG AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during October 2014, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), to export compressed natural gas (CNG), to vacate prior authority, to amend application, and errata. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/gasregulation/authorizations/Orders-2014.html.

    They are also available for inspection and copying in the Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Docket Room 3E-033, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478. The Docket Room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 25, 2015. John A. Anderson, Director, Office of Oil and Gas Global Security and Supply, Office of Oil and Natural Gas. Appendix—DOE/FE Orders Granting Import/Export Authorizations 3501 14-120-NG 10/02/14 Alliance Canada Marketing L.P Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3502 14-127-NG 10/02/14 CIMA Energy, Ltd Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3503 14-134-NG 10/02/14 National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3504 14-135-NG 10/02/14 Liberty Utilities (EnergyNorth Natural Gas) Corp. d/b/a Liberty Utilities Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3505 14-136-NG 10/02/14 Boston Gas Company d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3506 14-137-NG 10/02/14 Colonial Gas Company d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3507 14-142-NG 10/02/14 Northern Utilities Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3508 14-143-NG 10/02/14 Yankee Gas Services Company Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3509 14-144-NG 10/02/14 Bay State Gas Company d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3510 14-147-NG 10/02/14 Termoelectrica de Mexicali, S. de R.L. de C.V Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3511 14-149-NG 10/02/14 Enhanced Energy Services of America, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3512 14-150-NG 10/02/14 NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3513 14-153-LNG 10/02/14 MC Global Gas Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources. 3514 14-154-NG 10/02/14 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and Orange and Rockland Utilities Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3515 14-63-CNG 10/07/14 Wentworth Gas Marketing LLC Order granting long-term authority to export CNG by vessel from a proposed CNG Compression and Loading facility at the Port of Freeport, Texas, to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3516 14-79-LNG 10/09/14 Cleancor Energy Solutions LLC Order granting authority to export LNG to Canada/Mexico by truck, and to export LNG in ISO Containers transported by vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3518 14-128-NG 10/09/14 Alberta Northeast Gas, Limited Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3519 14-129-NG 10/09/14 Pemex Gas Y Petroquimica Basica Order granting authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico, and to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3520 14-88-LNG 10/10/14 Venture Global LNG, LLC Order granting long-term authority Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the proposed Venture Global LNG Project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3521 14-94-NG 10/10/14 Techgen S.A. de C.V Order granting long-term authority to export natural gas to Mexico. 3220-A 12-114-LNG 10/16/14 Main Pass Energy Hub, LLC Order vacating authority to export LNG by vessel from the MPEH Deepwater Port located 16 miles offshore the Louisiana Coast in Federal Waters to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3522 14-130-NG 10/16/14 Northeast Gas Markets, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3523 14-131-NG 10/16/14 Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3524 14-132-NG 10/16/14 Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3525 14-133-NG 10/16/14 The Southern Connecticut Gas Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3526 14-138-NG 10/16/14 The Narragansett Electric Company d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3527 14-139-NG 10/16/14 KeySpan Gas East Corporation d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3528 14-140-NG 10/16/14 The Brooklyn Union Gas Company d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3529 14-141-NG 10/16/14 Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3530 14-145-NG 10/16/14 Glacial Natural Gas Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3531 14-146-NG 10/16/14 Fortuna (US) L.P Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3532 14-148-NG 10/16/14 DTE Gas Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3533 14-151-NG 10/16/14 TransCanada Pipelines Limited Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3534 14-156-NG 10/16/14 Spark Energy Gas, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3535 14-157-NG 10/16/14 Texas Eastern Transmission, LP Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3536 14-159-NG 10/16/14 Energia Chihuahua, S.A. de C.V Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Mexico. 3537 14-56-LNG 10/21/14 Strom Inc. Order granting long-term authority Multi-contract authority to export LNG by ISO Containers from the proposed Strom LNG Terminal in Starke, Florida to Free Trade Nations. 3538 12-97-LNG 10/29/14 Cheniere Marketing, LLC and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC Order Amending Application to Add Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC as Applicant. 3539 14-115-NG 10/30/14 Taqa North Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3540 14-123-NG 10/30/14 Puget Sound Energy, Inc Order granting long-term authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3541 14-152-NG 10/30/14 Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading L.P Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3542 14-150-NG 10/30/14 Pengrowth Energy Marketing Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3543 14-163-NG 10/30/14 City of Glendale Water and Power Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24942 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [Docket No. EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002] DOE Proposals for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or Department) participates in the public process to develop the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), as administered by the International Code Council (ICC), and is currently developing proposals for the upcoming 2018 IECC. The Department recently published its draft proposals, which are made available through the DOE Building Energy Codes Program. In addition, DOE invites stakeholders to attend an upcoming meeting to encourage communication amongst stakeholders in preparation for the 2018 IECC development cycle.

    DATES:

    DOE will also host a stakeholder meeting for interested parties to present their proposals for the 2018 IECC and to encourage communication amongst stakeholders. The meeting will be held on October 13th & 14th, 2015.

    Interested parties wishing to provide feedback on DOE draft proposals for the 2018 IECC must submit comments by October 19, 2015. For more information on how to submit comments, please see the ADDRESSES and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION sections of this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown, 1450 Glenarm Place, Denver, Colorado 80202.

    Advanced registration is required for the public meeting. For more information on registering, please see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    The Department's proposals for the 2018 IECC are available at the DOE Building Energy Codes Program Web site: https://www.energycodes.gov/development/2018IECC. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on DOE proposals. Any comments submitted must reference the Notice for DOE Proposals for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), docket number EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002. Comments may be submitted by using either of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected] Include EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002 in the subject line of the message.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name (U.S. DOE), docket number (EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002), and applicable DOE proposal ID numbers.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeremiah Williams; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 287-1941; Email: [email protected]

    For legal issues: Kavita Vaidyanathan; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 586-0669; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) participates in the public process administered by the International Code Council (ICC) which produces the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). As a participant in this process, the Department considers and evaluates proposals it is considering submitting as proposed changes to the IECC. DOE published previous notices in the Federal Register, outlining the process by which the Department will participate in the development of the 2018 IECC (April 14, 2015, 80 FR 19972), and announcing previous events where DOE presented its initial concepts under consideration (June 1, 2015, 80 FR 31024). DOE has published draft versions of its proposals at the DOE Building Energy Codes Program Web site and has scheduled a stakeholder meeting to further communicate this information.

    Availability of DOE Proposals for the 2018 IECC

    The Department's draft proposals for the 2018 IECC are now available on the DOE Building Energy Codes Program Web site. The Department will continue to publish information as it becomes available, including updated versions of its proposals and supporting information. As information will be updated continually, interested parties are urged to monitor the Web site and associated stakeholder mailing lists:

    DOE Proposal Web page: www.energycodes.gov/development/2018IECC Stakeholder Updates: http://www.energycodes.gov/news Submitting Comments on DOE Proposals for the IECC

    Interested parties are invited to submit comments on DOE proposals by email or public docket, as outlined in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Department began accepting comments upon publication of the original notice in the Federal Register, and will continue to accept comments through October 19, 2015. Further instructions for submitting comments on DOE proposals, including identifiers (e.g., DOE proposal numbers) and associated deadlines, are provided on the above DOE Proposal Web page. All DOE proposals and supporting information will be made available to the public prior to submission to the ICC.

    Upcoming Events

    The Department will convene a meeting during which stakeholders can present their proposals for the 2018 IECC. As part of this meeting, DOE will also present its own proposals. The goal of the meeting will be to encourage communication amongst stakeholders. This event is scheduled as follows:

    Stakeholder Meeting: Public meeting for interested parties to present their proposals for the 2018 IECC:

    Dates: October 13th & 14th, 2015 Location: Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown, 1450 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80202 Sessions: Residential: Tuesday, October 13th from 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (MDT) Multifamily: Tuesday, October 13th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. (MDT) Commercial: Wednesday, October 14th from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (MDT) Registration: https://www.energycodes.gov/survey/index.php?sid=83466

    Advanced registration is required—please register early so that time may be allotted for stakeholder presentations.

    More information on the Department's support for building energy codes, including participation in the development of model codes, is available on the DOE Building Energy Codes Program Web site, www.energycodes.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2015. David Cohan, Manager, Building Energy Codes Program, Building Technologies Office, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24941 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9935-03-Region 4; CERCLA-04-2015-3757] Klouda Estate Superfund Site, Fort Valley, Peach County, Georgia; Notice of Settlement AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Settlement.

    SUMMARY:

    Under 122(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency has entered into a settlement with the Estate of Charles Joseph Klouda concerning the Klouda Estate Superfund Site located in Fort Valley, Peach County, Georgia. The settlement addresses recovery of CERCLA costs for a cleanup action performed by the EPA at the Site.

    DATES:

    The Agency will consider public comments on the settlement until November 2, 2015. The Agency will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the settlement if comments received disclose facts or considerations which indicate that the amended settlement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the settlement are available from the Agency by contacting Ms. Paula V. Painter, Program Analyst using the contact information provided in this notice. Comments may also be submitted by referencing the Site's name through one of the following methods:

    Internet: www.epa.gov/region4/superfund/programs/enforcement/enforcement.html.

    U.S. Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Division, Attn: Paula V. Painter, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

    Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paula V. Painter at 404/562-8887.

    Dated: September 2, 2015. Anita L. Davis, Chief, Enforcement and Community Engagement Branch, Superfund Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24948 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0659; FRL—9935-10-ORD] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New)” (EPA ICR No. 2521.01, OMB Control No. 2080-NEW) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a request for approval of a new collection. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2015-0659 referencing the Docket ID numbers provided for each item in the text, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Generic Clearance for Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Projects (New), IOAA-ORD, (Mail Code 8101R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number 202-564-3262; fax number: 202-565-2494; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) 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; (ii) 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; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) 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. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: EPA relies on scientific information. Citizen science and crowdsourcing techniques will allow the Agency to collect qualitative and quantitative data that might help inform scientific research, assessments, or environmental screening; validate environmental models or tools; or enhance the quantity and quality of data collected across the country's diverse communities and ecosystems to support the Agency's mission. Information gathered under this generic clearance will be used by the Agency to support the activities listed above and might provide unprecedented avenues for conducting breakthrough research. Collections under this generic ICR will be from participants who actively seek to participate on their own initiative through an open and transparent process (the Agency does not select participants or require participation); the collections will be low-burden for participants; collections will be low-cost for both the participants and the Federal Government; and data will be available to support the scientific research (including assessments, environmental screening, tools, models, etc.) of the Agency, states, tribal or local entities where data collection occurs. EPA may, by virtue of collaborating with non-federal entities, sponsor the collection of this type of information in connection with citizen science projects. When applicable, all such collections will accord with Agency policies and regulations related to human subjects research and will follow the established approval paths through EPA's Human Subjects Research Review Official. Finally, personally identifiable information (PII) will only be collected when necessary and in accordance with applicable federal procedures and policies. If a new collection is not within the parameters of this generic ICR, the Agency will submit a separate information collection request to OMB for approval.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Participants/respondents will be individuals, not specific entities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 17,500 (total).

    Frequency of response: The frequency of responses will range from once to on occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 295,250 to 313,250 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $9,910,997 to $10,483,217 (per year), includes $525,000 annualized capital for operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: This is a new information collection. The Agency will make adjustments to the burden numbers as needed.

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Jay Benforado, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, Office of Research and Development.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25025 Filed 9-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9935-07-Region 1] 2015 Fall Joint Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the joint 2014 Fall Meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU). The meeting agenda will include topics regarding reducing ground-level ozone precursors and matters relative to Regional Haze and visibility improvement in Federal Class I areas in a multi-pollutant context.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 5, 2015 starting at 9:15 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    (LOCATION) Hilton Baltimore at Camden Yards, 401 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, (443) 573-8700.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Cooke, (617) 918-1668, E-Mail: [email protected]

    For documents and pres