Federal Register Vol. 80, No.192,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 192 (October 5, 2015)

Page Range60027-60273
FR Document

80_FR_192
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 60271 - Continuance or Reestablishment of Certain Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
80 FR 60267 - National Youth Justice Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60265 - National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60263 - National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60261 - National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60259 - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60257 - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 2015PDF
80 FR 60247 - To Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other PurposesPDF
80 FR 60116 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 60132 - Notice of Intent To Conduct Scoping and To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine SanctuaryPDF
80 FR 60183 - Sunshine Act Meetings; NoticePDF
80 FR 60142 - Proposed Information Collection Requests; Comment RequestsPDF
80 FR 60144 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; EPA Worker Protection Standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 60179 - Meeting of the CJIS Advisory Policy BoardPDF
80 FR 60171 - List of Programs Eligible for Inclusion in Funding Agreements Negotiated With Self-Governance Tribes by Interior Bureaus Other Than the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Fiscal Year 2015 Programmatic TargetsPDF
80 FR 60171 - Indian GamingPDF
80 FR 60121 - Potassium Phosphate Salts From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 60119 - Certain Steel Grating From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 60120 - Certain Steel Grating From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 60122 - Certain Potassium Phosphate Salts From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 60181 - Meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile JusticePDF
80 FR 60183 - Exelon Generation Co., LLC; Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Units 2 and 3PDF
80 FR 60073 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
80 FR 60175 - Classification and Lease for Recreation and Public Purposes Act of Public Land in Tillamook County, ORPDF
80 FR 60177 - Notice of Application for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest: TexasPDF
80 FR 60176 - Public Land Order No. 7841; Extension of Public Land Order No. 7464; MontanaPDF
80 FR 60135 - Guidelines for Carrying Out Section 221(a) (4) of the Flood Control Act of 1970, as Amended.PDF
80 FR 60167 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Evaluation of the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program, Phase IPDF
80 FR 60166 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Pay for Success Demonstration ApplicationPDF
80 FR 60135 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions-Readmission for ServicemembersPDF
80 FR 60027 - Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Side-Stick Controllers; Controllability and ManeuverabilityPDF
80 FR 60028 - Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Automatic Speed Protection for Design Dive SpeedPDF
80 FR 60149 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel: Initial reviewPDF
80 FR 60180 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decrees Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
80 FR 60055 - Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Extensions of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment for Hospitals; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 60070 - Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2016, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, and Staffing Data Collection; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 60069 - Medicare Program; FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 60160 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 60159 - National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60163 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 60159 - Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 60160 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60161 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60168 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Application FormsPDF
80 FR 60075 - Regulatory Publication and Review Under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996PDF
80 FR 60145 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
80 FR 60163 - California; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 60107 - Alabama Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 60145 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10033, Suburban Federal Savings Bank Crofton, MarylandPDF
80 FR 60165 - California; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 60165 - California; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 60164 - California; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 60117 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Michigan Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Approval of a Project Proposal Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of Civil Forfeiture Practices in the State; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 60117 - Advisory Committees ExpirationPDF
80 FR 60182 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60219 - Regulatory Fairness Hearing; Regions VI and IX-Arizona and New MexicoPDF
80 FR 60131 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60130 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60134 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60129 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60130 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60130 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60118 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60114 - Special Agricultural Safeguard Measures Pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements ActPDF
80 FR 60077 - Small Business Investment Companies; Passive Business Expansion & Technical ClarificationsPDF
80 FR 60114 - Pike & San Isabel Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60136 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Amending Authority, Vacating Prior Authority, and Errata During March 2015PDF
80 FR 60219 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway in AlaskaPDF
80 FR 60137 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Vacating Prior Authorization, and Errata During February 2015PDF
80 FR 60139 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Amending Authorization, and Errata During January 2015PDF
80 FR 60140 - Orders Granting Authority To Import And Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas and To Vacate Prior Authorization During December 2014PDF
80 FR 60138 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
80 FR 60242 - Pipeline Safety: Information Collection ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 60124 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review WorkshopsPDF
80 FR 60071 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
80 FR 60164 - Technical Mapping Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 60163 - California; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 60030 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 60169 - Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for Oregon Department of Transportation Routine Maintenance ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 60123 - Endangered Species; File No. 19621PDF
80 FR 60158 - Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services; MeetingPDF
80 FR 60147 - Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)PDF
80 FR 60150 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60158 - Notice To Propose the Redesignation of the Service Delivery Area for the Aquinnah Wampanoag Indian TribePDF
80 FR 60131 - Issuance of Permit Amendment: Marine Mammals; File No. 14603PDF
80 FR 60129 - Application for a Permit Modification: Endangered Species; File No. 17304PDF
80 FR 60177 - Certain Television Sets, Television Receivers, Television Tuners, and Components Thereof Commission Determination Terminating the Investigation With a Finding of No Violation of Section 337PDF
80 FR 60125 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery PlansPDF
80 FR 60243 - Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Ford Motor CompanyPDF
80 FR 60151 - International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Ketamine and Nine Other Substances; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 60162 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60162 - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 60159 - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences: Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 60159 - Government-Owned Invention; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 60148 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 60033 - Change in EST Usage in Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)PDF
80 FR 60134 - Market Risk Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60119 - Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60224 - Americans With Disabilities Act: Final CircularPDF
80 FR 60222 - Emergency Relief Program GuidancePDF
80 FR 60195 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to BandwidthPDF
80 FR 60208 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying Certain Proprietary Options Data ProductsPDF
80 FR 60201 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying Certain Proprietary Options Data ProductsPDF
80 FR 60207 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemption From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS in Connection With the Exchange's Retail Liquidity Program Until March 31, 2016PDF
80 FR 60201 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Granting an Extension to Limited Exemptions From Rule 612(c) of Regulation NMS in Connection With the Exchanges' Retail Liquidity Programs Until March 31, 2016PDF
80 FR 60204 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, To List and Trade Shares of the ProShares Managed Futures Strategy ETF of the ProShares Trust Under BATS Rule 14.11 on BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 60216 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 11.15, Clearly Erroneous ExecutionsPDF
80 FR 60204 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 11.15, Clearly Erroneous ExecutionsPDF
80 FR 60193 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Restructure and Amend Rule 11.17, Clearly Erroneous ExecutionsPDF
80 FR 60210 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Restructure and Amend Rule 11.17, Clearly Erroneous ExecutionsPDF
80 FR 60197 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Adding Definitions Applicable to Co-Location Services to the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule and, the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange Services and Modifying the Fee for Users That Host Their Customers at the Exchange's Data CenterPDF
80 FR 60213 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Adding Definitions Applicable to Certain Co-location Services and Modifying the Fee for Users That Host Their Customers at the Exchange's Data CenterPDF
80 FR 60190 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Adding Definitions Applicable to Certain Co-Location Services to the Exchange's Price List and Modifying the Fee for Users That Host Their Customers at the Exchange's Data CenterPDF
80 FR 60182 - Privacy Act of 1974; New Blanket Routine UsePDF
80 FR 60049 - Air Plan Approval; California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation; PM10PDF
80 FR 60110 - Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program Revision; West VirginiaPDF
80 FR 60040 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Antelope Valley Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
80 FR 60108 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Antelope Valley Air Quality Management DistrictPDF
80 FR 60149 - Final Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Seasonal Influenza VaccinesPDF
80 FR 60043 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds DefinitionPDF
80 FR 60162 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60153 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in XenotransplantationPDF
80 FR 60110 - Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds DefinitionPDF
80 FR 60147 - Federal Management Regulation; Redesignation of Federal BuildingPDF
80 FR 60116 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60115 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60179 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection, Semi-Annual Progress Report for Justice for Families ProgramPDF
80 FR 60145 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10239, Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, MissouriPDF
80 FR 60047 - Revision of Air Quality Implementation Plan; California; Feather River Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source PermitsPDF
80 FR 60109 - Revision of Air Quality Implementation Plan; California; Feather River Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source PermitsPDF
80 FR 60123 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60134 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 60220 - Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)PDF
80 FR 60112 - Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support; Connect America FundPDF
80 FR 60117 - Membership of the Departmental Performance Review BoardPDF
80 FR 60118 - Membership of the Office of the Secretary Performance Review BoardPDF
80 FR 60033 - Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices; Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; CorrectionsPDF
80 FR 60180 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution ActPDF
80 FR 60142 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 60126 - Notice of Availability of a Deepwater HorizonPDF
80 FR 60045 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQSPDF
80 FR 60219 - National Small Business Development Center Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 60091 - Amendments to the Commission's Rules of PracticePDF
80 FR 60082 - Amendments to the Commission's Rules of PracticePDF
80 FR 60052 - Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste; Direct Final RulePDF

Issue

80 192 Monday, October 5, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Foreign Agricultural Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Broadcasting Broadcasting Board of Governors NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60116 2015-25443 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60148-60149 2015-25194 Final Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Seasonal Influenza Vaccines, 60149-60150 2015-25159 Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 60149 2015-25274 Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 60147-60148 2015-25213 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; Correction, 60069-60070 2015-25267 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, etc.; Correction, 60055-60069 2015-25269 Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2016, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, and Staffing Data Collection; Correction, 60070-60071 2015-25268 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60150-60151 2015-25212 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Michigan Advisory Committee; Correction, 60117 2015-25248 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committees Expiration, 60117 2015-25247 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60118-60119 2015-25236 Memberships: Departmental Performance Review Board, 60117-60118 2015-25073 Office of the Secretary Performance Review Board, 60118 2015-25071
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Market Risk Advisory Committee, 60134-60135 2015-25191 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Meetings: Regulatory Publication and Review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act, 60075-60077 2015-25258 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers, 60135-60136 2015-25279 Energy Department Energy Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60138-60139 2015-25225 Authority to Import and Export Natural Gas, etc.: Alpha Gas and Electric, LLC, et al., 60137-60138 2015-25228 Downeast LNG, Inc., et al., 60136-60137 2015-25230 SeaOne Pascagoula, LLC, et al., 60140-60141 2015-25226 Stabilis Energy Services, LLC, et al., 60139-60140 2015-25227 Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Guidelines; Flood Control Act, 60135 2015-25284 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation; PM10 Maintenance Plan, 60049-60052 2015-25165 California; Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District; Revisions, 60040-60043 2015-25161 California; Feather River Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source Permits, 60047-60049 2015-25141 Georgia; Infrastructure Requirements for the Lead NAAQS, 60045-60047 2015-24860 Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds Definition, 60043-60045 2015-25158 Hazardous Waste Management System: Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste, 60052-60055 2015-24459 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District; Revisions, 60108-60109 2015-25160 California; Feather River Air Quality Management District Stationary Source Permits; Revisions, 60109 2015-25140 Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds Definition, 60110 2015-25154 Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program Revision; West Virginia, 60110-60112 2015-25163 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60142-60144 2015-25345 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Worker Protection Standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response; Renewal, 60144-60145 2015-25323 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 60142 2015-24929 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters, 60030-60033 2015-25217 Change in EST Usage in Notice to Airmen, 60033 2015-25192 Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Automatic Speed Protection for Design Dive Speed, 60028-60030 2015-25275 Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Side-Stick Controllers; Controllability and Maneuverability, 60027-60028 2015-25276 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Meetings: Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, 60179 2015-25318 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support; Connect America Fund, 60112-60113 2015-25094 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation PROPOSED RULES Meetings: Regulatory Publication and Review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act, 60075-60077 2015-25258 NOTICES Terminations of Receiverships: Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, MO, 60145 2015-25143 Suburban Federal Savings Bank, Crofton, MD, 60145 2015-25253 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 60071-60073 2015-25222 NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: California, 60165-60166 2015-25250 California; Amendment No. 1, 60164 2015-25249 California; Amendment No. 2, 60163-60164 2015-25220 California; Amendment No. 3, 60163 2015-25256 California; Amendment No. 4, 60165 2015-25252 Meetings: Technical Mapping Advisory Council, 60164-60165 2015-25221 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Federal Agency Actions: Proposed Highway in Alaska, 60219-60220 2015-25229 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler), 60220-60222 2015-25130 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Meetings: Regulatory Publication and Review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act, 60075-60077 2015-25258 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60145-60147 2015-25257 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Guidance: Americans with Disabilities Act; Final Circular, 60224-60242 2015-25188 Emergency Relief Program, 60222-60224 2015-25187 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for Oregon Department of Transportation Routine Maintenance Activities, 60169-60171 2015-25216 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation, 60153-60157 2015-25155 International Drug Scheduling: Ketamine and Nine Other Substances; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 60151-60153 2015-25201 Foreign Agricultural Foreign Agricultural Service NOTICES Special Agricultural Safeguard Measures Pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, 60114 2015-25235 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Pike and San Isabel Resource Advisory Committee, 60114-60115 2015-25231 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Federal Management Regulation: Redesignation of Federal Building, 60147 2015-25152 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program, Phase I, 60167-60168 2015-25283 Pay for Success Demonstration Application, 60166 2015-25282 Rental Assistance Demonstration Application Forms, 60168-60169 2015-25259 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Indian Gaming: Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact; Extension, 60171 2015-25307 Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services, 60158 2015-25214 Service Delivery Area Redesignations: Aquinnah Wampanoag Indian Tribe, 60158-60159 2015-25211 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES List of Programs Eligible for Inclusion in Funding Agreements Negotiated with Self-Governance Tribes by Interior Bureaus Other than the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Fiscal Year 2015 Programmatic Targets, 60171-60175 2015-25313
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China, 60121-60123 2015-25295 2015-25303 Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China, 60119-60121 2015-25296 2015-25301 Meetings: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, 60119 2015-25189 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Television Sets, Television Receivers, Television Tuners, and Components Thereof Commission Determination Terminating the Investigation with a Finding of No Violation, 60177-60179 2015-25207 Justice Department Justice Department See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

See

Justice Programs Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Semi-Annual Progress Report for Justice for Families Program, 60179-60180 2015-25144 Proposed Consent Decrees under CERCLA, 60180 2015-25273 Proposed Consent Decrees under Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act, 60180-60181 2015-24936
Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, 60181-60182 2015-25293 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Applications: Texas; Recordable Disclaimer of Interest, 60177 2015-25287 Public Land Orders: Montana, 60176-60177 2015-25285 Realty Actions: Public Land in Tillamook County, OR; Classification and Lease for Recreation and Public Purposes Act, 60175-60176 2015-25288 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60182-60183 2015-25244 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 60159-60160 2015-25197 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 60159-60163 2015-25156 2015-25262 2015-25263 2015-25264 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, 60159, 60162 2015-25198 2015-25199 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 60160 2015-25266 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 60162-60163 2015-25200 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 60159 2015-25265 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 60161-60162 2015-25261 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 60073-60074 2015-25291 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Recovery Plans, 60125-60126 2015-25203 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, 60126-60129 2015-24913 Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 60123-60124 2015-25139 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 60129, 60134 2015-25239 2015-25240 New England Fishery Management Council, 60130, 60134 2015-25138 2015-25241 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 60130 2015-25238 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 60130-60131 2015-25237 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 60131 2015-25242 Permits: Endangered Species; File No. 17304, 60129 2015-25209 Endangered Species; File No. 19621, 60123 2015-25215 Marine Mammals; File No. 14603, 60131-60132 2015-25210 Requests for Nominations: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops, 60124-60125 2015-25223 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60183 2015-25395 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Exelon Generation Co., LLC Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Units 2 and 3, 60183-60189 2015-25292 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration RULES Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Corrections, 60033-60040 2015-25062 Occupational Safety Health Rev Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 60182 2015-25169 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline Safety, 60242-60243 2015-25224 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Proc. 9334), 60257-60258 2015-25471 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (Proc. 9335), 60259-60260 2015-25473 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (Proc. 9336), 60261-60262 2015-25475 National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Proc. 9337), 60263-60264 2015-25476 National Substance Abuse Prevention Month (Proc. 9338), 60265-60266 2015-25478 National Youth Justice Awareness Month (Proc. 9339), 60267-60269 2015-25479 Trade: Generalized System of Preferences Duty-Free Treatment; Modifications (Proc. 9333), 60247-60256 2015-25468 EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc: Federal Advisory Committees; Continuance (EO 13708), 60271-60273 2015-25489 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60115-60116 2015-25147 2015-25150 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Rules of Practice, 60082-60107 2015-24705 2015-24707 NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 60204, 60210-60213 2015-25177 2015-25181 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 60193-60195 2015-25178 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 60195-60197 2015-25186 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 60204-60207 2015-25179 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 60216-60219 2015-25180 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 60190-60193, 60201 2015-25174 2015-25182 NYSE Arca, Inc., 60197-60200, 60207-60210 2015-25176 2015-25183 2015-25185 NYSE MKT LLC, 60201-60204, 60213-60216 2015-25175 2015-25184 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Small Business Investment Companies: Passive Business Expansion and Technical Clarifications, 60077-60082 2015-25232 NOTICES Meetings: National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, 60219 2015-24856 Regulatory Fairness Hearing, Regions VI and IX, Arizona and New Mexico, 60219 2015-25243 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office PROPOSED RULES Alabama Regulatory Program, 60107-60108 2015-25255 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

NOTICES Petitions for Exemptions from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard: Ford Motor Co., 60243-60245 2015-25202
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 60247-60269, 60271-60273 2015-25471 2015-25473 2015-25475 2015-25476 2015-25478 2015-25479 2015-25468 2015-25489 Reader Aids

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

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80 192 Monday, October 5, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1496; Special Conditions No. 25-601-SC] Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Side-Stick Controllers; Controllability and Maneuverability AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. This design feature is side-stick controllers, instead of conventional-control wheel-and-column design, for pitch and roll control. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

Effective November 4, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2011; facsimile (425) 227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On March 29, 2012, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation applied for a type certificate for their new Model GVII-G500 airplane. The Model GVII-G500 will be a large-cabin business jet with seating for 19 passengers. It will incorporate a low, swept-wing design with winglets and a T-tail. The powerplant will consist of two aft-fuselage-mounted Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. The flight-control system is a three-axis, fly-by-wire (FBW) system incorporating active control/coupled side sticks.

The Model GVII-G500 will have a wingspan of approximately 87 ft. and a length of just over 91 ft. Maximum takeoff weight will be approximately 76,850 lbs and maximum takeoff thrust will be approximately 15,135 lbs. Maximum range will be approximately 5,000 nm and maximum operating altitude will be 51,000 ft.

The Model GVII-G500 airplane will incorporate a FBW flight-control system, through side-stick controllers, for pitch and roll control. Regulatory requirements, such as the pilot-control forces prescribed in the referenced regulations, are not applicable for the side-stick controller design. In addition, pilot-control authority may be uncertain because the side-stick controllers are not mechanically interconnected to flight controls as are conventional wheel-and-column controls.

Type Certification Basis

Under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Model GVII-G500 airplane meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, effective February 1, 1965, including Amendments 25-1 through 25-137; 14 CFR part 34, as amended by Amendments 34-1 through the most current amendment at time of design approval; and 14 CFR part 36, Amendment 36-29.

In addition, the certification basis includes other regulations, special conditions, and exemptions that are not relevant to these special conditions. Type Certificate no. TC-01-2010-0024 will be updated to include a complete description of the certification basis for this airplane model.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 21.16.

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

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplanes must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

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

Novel or Unusual Design Features

Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

Side-stick controllers incorporating fly-by-wire technology for pitch and roll control, in place of conventional wheel-and-column controls.

Discussion

These special conditions for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane address the unique features of the side-stick controllers. The Model GVII-G500 airplane will incorporate side-stick controllers controlling a FBW flight-control system. The FBW control laws are designed to provide conventional flying qualities such as positive static longitudinal and lateral stability as prescribed in part 25, subpart B. However, the pilot-control forces prescribed in the referenced regulations are not applicable for the side-stick controller design.

Because current FAA regulations do not specifically address the use of side-stick controllers for pitch and roll control, the unique features of the side stick therefore must be demonstrated, through flight and simulator tests, to have suitable handling and control characteristics when considering the following:

• The handling-qualities tasks and requirements of the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Special Conditions and other 14 CFR part 25 requirements for stability, control, and maneuverability, including the effects of turbulence.

• General ergonomics: Armrest comfort and support, local freedom of movement, displacement-angle suitability, and axis harmony.

• Inadvertent pilot input in turbulence.

• Inadvertent pitch and roll crosstalk from pilot inputs on the side-stick controller.

Discussion of Comments

Notice of proposed special conditions no. 25-15-07-SC for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane was published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2015 [80 FR 49934]. No comments were received, and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions apply to Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplanes. Should Gulfstream apply later for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority:

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

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane, in lieu of §§ 25.143(d), 25.143(i)(2), 25.145(b), 25.173(c), 25.175(b), and 25.175(d):

Pilot strength: In lieu of the control-force limits shown in § 25.143(d) for pitch and roll, and in lieu of specific pitch-force requirements of §§ 25.143(i)(2), 25.145(b), 25.173(c), 25.175(b), and 25.175(d), Gulfstream must show that the temporary and maximum prolonged-force levels for the side-stick controllers are suitable for all expected operating conditions and configurations, whether normal or non-normal.

Pilot-control authority: The electronic side-stick-controller coupling design must provide for corrective and overriding control inputs by either pilot with no unsafe characteristics. Annunciation of the controller status must be provided, and must not be confusing to the flightcrew.

Pilot control: Gulfstream must show by flight tests that the use of side-stick controllers does not produce unsuitable pilot-in-the-loop control characteristics when considering precision path control and tasks, and turbulence. In addition, pitch and roll control force and displacement sensitivity must be compatible, so that normal pilot inputs on one control axis will not cause significant unintentional inputs (crossover) on the other.

Issued in Renton, Washington, September 25, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25276 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1482; Special Conditions No. 25-600-SC] Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 Airplanes, Automatic Speed Protection for Design Dive Speed AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes.

This design feature is associated with a reduced margin between design cruising speed, VC/MC, and design diving speed, VD/MD, based on the incorporation of a high-speed protection system that limits nose-down pilot authority at speeds above VC/MC. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

Effective November 4, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Walt Sippel, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2774; facsimile 425-227-1232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On March 29, 2012, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation applied for a type certificate for their new Model GVII-G500 airplane. The Model GVII-G500 airplane will be a large-cabin business jet with seating for 19 passengers. It will incorporate a low, swept-wing design with winglets and a T-tail. The powerplant will consist of two aft-fuselage-mounted Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

The Model GVII-G500 will have a wingspan of approximately 87 feet and a length of just over 91 feet. Maximum takeoff weight will be approximately 76,850 pounds and maximum takeoff thrust will be approximately 15,135 pounds. Maximum range will be approximately 5,000 nautical miles, and maximum operating altitude will be 51,000 feet.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Model GVII-G500 airplane meets the applicable provisions of part 25 as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-137.

In addition, the certification basis includes other regulations, special conditions, and exemptions that are not relevant to these special conditions.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for Model GVII-G500 airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model GVII-G500 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36; and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

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

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

For this airplane, Gulfstream will reduce the margin between VC/MC and VD/MD, required by 14 CFR 25.335(b), based on the incorporation of a high-speed protection system in the airplane's flight-control laws. The high-speed protection system limits nose-down pilot authority at speeds above VC/MC, and prevents the airplane from performing the maneuver required under § 25.335(b)(1).

Discussion

Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 25.335(b)(1) is an analytical envelope condition which was originally adopted in Part 4b of the Civil Air Regulations to provide an acceptable speed margin between design cruise speed and design dive speed. Flutter clearance design speeds and airframe design loads are impacted by the design dive speed. While the initial condition for the upset specified in the rule is 1g level flight, protection is afforded for other inadvertent overspeed conditions as well. Section 25.335(b)(1) is intended as a conservative enveloping condition for potential overspeed conditions, including non-symmetric ones. To establish that potential overspeed conditions are enveloped, Gulfstream must demonstrate that any reduced speed margin based on the high-speed protection system in the Model GVII-G500 airplane will not be exceeded in inadvertent or gust-induced upsets resulting in initiation of the dive from non-symmetric attitudes; or that the airplane is protected by the flight-control laws from getting into non-symmetric upset conditions. Gulfstream must conduct a demonstration that includes a comprehensive set of conditions as described below.

These special conditions are in lieu of § 25.335(b)(1). Section 25.335(b)(2), which also addresses the design dive speed, is applied separately (Advisory Circular (AC) 25.335-1A provides an acceptable means of compliance to § 25.335(b)(2)).

Special conditions are necessary to address the Model GVII-G500 airplane high-speed protection system. These special conditions identify various symmetric and non-symmetric maneuvers that will ensure that an appropriate design dive speed, VD/MD, is established.

Special Condition 2 of these special conditions references AC 25-7C, section 8, paragraph 32, “Gust Upset,” included here for reference:

In the following three upset tests, the values of displacement should be appropriate to the airplane type and should depend upon airplane stability and inertia characteristics. The lower and upper limits should be used for airplanes with low and high maneuverability, respectively.

(i) With the airplane trimmed in wings-level flight, simulate a transient gust by rapidly rolling to the maximum bank angle appropriate for the airplane, but not less than 45 degrees nor more than 60 degrees. The rudder and longitudinal control should be held fixed during the time that the required bank is being attained. The rolling velocity should be arrested at this bank angle. Following this, the controls should be abandoned for a minimum of 3 seconds after VMO/MMO, or after 10 seconds, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Perform a longitudinal upset from normal cruise. Airplane trim is determined at VMO/MMO using power and thrust required for level flight, but with not more than maximum continuous power and thrust. This is followed by a decrease in speed, after which an attitude of 6 to l2 degrees nose down, as appropriate for the airplane type, is attained with the power, thrust, and trim initially required for VMO/MMO in level flight. The airplane is permitted to accelerate until 3 seconds after VMO/MMO. The force limits of § 25.143(d) for short term application apply.

(iii) Perform a two-axis upset, consisting of combined longitudinal and lateral upsets. Perform the longitudinal upset, as in paragraph (ii) above, and when the pitch attitude is set, but before reaching VMO/MMO, roll the airplane to between 15 and 25 degrees. The established attitude should be maintained until 3 seconds after VMO/MMO.

Special Conditions 3 and 4 of these special conditions indicate that failures of the high-speed protection system must be improbable and must be annunciated to the pilots. If these two criteria are not met, then the probability that the established dive speed will be exceeded, and the resulting risk to the airplane, are too great. On the other hand, if the high-speed protection system is known to be inoperative, then dispatch of the airplane may be acceptable as allowed by Special Condition 5 of these special conditions. Dispatch would only be acceptable if appropriate reduced operating speeds, VMO/MMO, as well as the overspeed warning for exceeding those speeds, are provided in both the airplane flight manual and on the flightdeck display, and are equivalent to that of the normal airplane with the high-speed protection system operative.

We do not believe that application of the “Interaction of Systems and Structures” Special Conditions (reference GVI Issue Paper A-2), or EASA Certification Specification 25.302, are appropriate in this case, because design dive speed is, in and of itself, part of the design criteria. Stability and control, flight loads, and flutter evaluations all depend on the design dive speed. Therefore, a single design dive speed should be established that will not be exceeded, taking into account the performance of the high-speed protection system as well as its failure modes, failure indications, and accompanying flight-manual instructions.

These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

Discussion of Comments

Notice of proposed special conditions no. 25-15-08-SC for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane was published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2015 [80 FR 49936]. No comments were received, and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplane. Should Gulfstream apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority:

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

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 airplanes.

1. In lieu of compliance with § 25.335(b)(1), if the flight-control system includes functions that act automatically to initiate recovery before the end of the 20-second period specified in § 25.335(b)(1), VD/MD must be determined from the greater of the speeds resulting from conditions (a) and (b) of these special conditions. The speed increase occurring in these maneuvers may be calculated if reliable or conservative aerodynamic data are used.

(a) From an initial condition of stabilized flight at VC/MC, the airplane is upset so as to take up a new flight path 7.5 degrees below the initial path. Control application, up to full authority, is made to try to maintain this new flight path. Twenty seconds after initiating the upset, manual recovery is made at a load factor of 1.5g (0.5 acceleration increment), or such greater load factor that is automatically applied by the system with the pilot's pitch control neutral. Power, as specified in § 25.175(b)(1)(iv), is assumed until recovery is initiated, at which time power reduction, and the use of pilot-controlled drag devices, may be used.

(b) From a speed below VC/MC, with power to maintain stabilized level flight at this speed, the airplane is upset so as to accelerate through VC/MC at a flight path 15 degrees below the initial path (or at the steepest nose-down attitude that the system will permit with full control authority if less than 15 degrees). The pilot's controls may be in the neutral position after reaching VC/MC and before recovery is initiated. Recovery may be initiated 3 seconds after operation of the high-speed warning system by application of a load of 1.5g (0.5 acceleration increment), or such greater load factor that is automatically applied by the system with the pilot's pitch control neutral. Power may be reduced simultaneously. All other means of decelerating the airplane, the use of which is authorized up to the highest speed reached in the maneuver, may be used. The interval between successive pilot actions must not be less than 1 second.

2. The applicant must also demonstrate that the speed margin, established as above, will not be exceeded in inadvertent or gust-induced upsets resulting in initiation of the dive from non-symmetric attitudes, unless the airplane is protected by the flight-control laws from getting into non-symmetric upset conditions. The upset maneuvers described in Advisory Circular 25-7C, “Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes,” section 8, paragraph 32, sub-paragraphs c(3)(a), (b), and (c), may be used to comply with this requirement.

3. The probability of any failure of the high-speed protection system, which would result in an airspeed exceeding those determined by Special Conditions 1 and 2, must be less than 10 5 per flight hour.

4. Failures of the system must be annunciated to the pilots. Flight manual instructions must be provided that reduce the maximum operating speeds, VMO/MMO. With the system failed, the operating speed must be reduced to a value that maintains a speed margin between VMO/MMO and VD/MD, and that is consistent with showing compliance with § 25.335(b) without the benefit of the high-speed protection system.

5. The applicant may request that the Master Minimum Equipment List relief for the high-speed protection system be considered by the FAA Flight Operations Evaluation Board, provided that the flight manual instructions indicate reduced maximum operating speeds as described in Special Condition 4. In addition, the flightdeck display of the reduced operating speeds, as well as the overspeed warning for exceeding those speeds, must be equivalent to that of the normal airplane with the high-speed protection system operative. Also, the applicant must show that no additional hazards are introduced with the high-speed protection system inoperative.

Issued in Renton, Washington, September 25, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25275 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3877; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-039-AD; Amendment 39-18284; AD 2015-18-51] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters, which was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. This AD requires inspecting certain tail rotor (T/R) blades, replacing the set of T/R blades if there is damage, deactivating the rotor de-icing system, revising the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM), and installing a placard. This AD is prompted by a report of a T/R de-icing system power supply box stuck in a “closed” position providing an uncontrolled and un-annunciated power supply to the system. These actions are intended to detect and prevent structural damage to the T/R blades caused by overheating, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective October 20, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-18-51, issued on September 11, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

We must receive comments on this AD by December 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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-2015-3877; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic 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 service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

Discussion

On September 11, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-18-51 to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters with T/R de-icing installation unit part number (P/N) 204ZP01Y01 and T/R blade P/N 332A12-0055-XX (where XX is any dash number) installed. Emergency AD 2015-18-51 requires inspecting each T/R blade, replacing the set of T/R blades if there is damage, deactivating the rotor de-icing system, revising the RFM, and installing a placard. Emergency AD 2015-18-51 was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters and was prompted by a report of a T/R de-icing system power supply box stuck in a “closed” position providing an uncontrolled and un-annunciated power supply to the system. The T/R de-icing system is part of the entire rotor de-icing system.

Emergency AD 2015-18-51 was prompted by AD No. 2015-0153-E, dated July 24, 2015, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332 C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters, equipped with T/R de-icing installation unit P/N 204ZP01Y01 and T/R blade P/N 332A12-0055-XX (where XX represents any dash number). EASA advises of a report of a T/R blade that was overheated and damaged after application of alternating current (AC) from a ground power unit (GPU) following a flight during which the de-icing system was used. Subsequent analysis determined failure of the power supply box stuck in the “closed” position caused the uncontrolled power supply to the rotor blade de-icing system and subsequent damage. EASA also states that its AD is considered an interim action and further AD action may follow.

FAA's Determination

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

Related Service Information

Airbus Helicopters issued Alert Service Bulletin No. AS332-05.01.02, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2015 (ASB), which specifies, before each flight and before starting at least one engine, if the applicable helicopter has been supplied external 115V/400Hz AC GPU with the rotor stationary or if the de-icing system has been used or tested using an AC GPU with the rotor stationary or spinning, visually inspecting the T/R blades for burn marks, detached leading edge protection, or cracks at the skin/leading edge protection junction. If at least one T/R blade is damaged, the ASB specifies replacing all of the T/R blades.

AD Requirements

This AD requires, before further flight, inspecting each T/R blade for a burn mark, any disbonding of the leading edge protection, and a crack at the junction of the skin and the leading edge protection. If there is a burn mark, any disbonding of the leading edge protection, or a crack at the junction of the skin and the leading edge protection on a T/R blade, this AD requires replacing all of the T/R blades with airworthy T/R blades. This AD also requires deactivating the rotor de-icing system, revising the RFM to state that the rotor de-icing system is deactivated and that flight into known icing is prohibited, and installing a placard stating that the rotor de-icing system is deactivated.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD allows operation of the rotor de-icing system with a recurring inspection of the T/R blades. This AD requires an initial inspection and prohibits operation of the rotor de-icing system by deactivating the rotor de-icing system, revising the RFM to state the rotor de-icing system is deactivated and flight into known icing is prohibited, and installing a placard stating that the rotor de-icing system is deactivated.

Interim Action

We consider this AD to be an interim action. Once a modification to the rotor de-icing system design is evaluated, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 19 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. It takes about 1 work-hour to inspect the T/R blades for a cost of $85 per helicopter and $1,615 for the U.S. fleet. It takes about 2 work-hours to deactivate the rotor de-icing system for a cost of $170 per helicopter and $3,230 for the U.S. fleet. It takes about 0.5 work-hour to revise the RFM for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $817 for the U.S. fleet. It takes about 0.5 work-hour and a negligible parts cost to install a placard for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $817 for the U.S. fleet. Replacing a set of T/R blades takes about 3 work-hours for a labor cost of $255 per helicopter. Parts for 4-blade T/R set cost $167,644 for a total replacement cost of $167,899 per helicopter. Parts for a 5-blade T/R set cost $209,555 for a total replacement cost of $209,810 per helicopter.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we found and continue to find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because the previously described unsafe condition can adversely affect the controllability of the helicopter and the initial required action must be accomplished before further flight.

Since it was found that immediate corrective action was required, notice and opportunity for prior public comment before issuing this AD were impracticable and contrary to public interest and good cause existed to make the AD effective immediately by Emergency AD 2015-18-51, issued on September 11, 2015, to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. These conditions still exist and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons.

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, I certify that this AD:

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

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

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

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

We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-18-51  Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-18284; Docket No. FAA-2015-3877; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-039-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters with tail rotor (T/R) de-icing installation unit part number (P/N) 204ZP01Y01 and T/R blade P/N 332A12-0055-XX (where XX is any dash number) installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as uncontrolled and un-annunciated power supply to the T/R de-icing system, which could overheat the T/R blades. This condition could result in structural damage to the T/R blades and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective October 20, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-18-51, issued on September 11, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

(d) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

Before further flight:

(1) Inspect each T/R blade for a burn mark, any disbonding of the leading edge protection, and a crack at the junction of the skin and the leading edge protection. Examples of a burn mark, disbonding, and a crack are shown in the photos under paragraph 3.B.2., Accomplishment Instructions, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS332-05.01.02, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2015. If there is a burn mark, any disbonding of the leading edge protection, or a crack at the junction of the skin and the leading edge protection on a T/R blade, replace all of the T/R blades with airworthy T/R blades.

(2) Deactivate the rotor de-icing system.

(3) Revise Section 2, Limitations, of the Protective Equipment for Flight in Icing Conditions supplement to the rotorcraft flight manual by inserting the following: ROTOR DE-ICING SYSTEM IS DEACTIVATED. FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ICING IS PROHIBITED.

(4) Install a placard with 6 millimeter red letters on a white background next to the rotors de-icing control panel that states the following: ROTOR DE-ICING SYSTEM IS DEACTIVATED.

(f) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits will be permitted for flights to a location where the required inspection can be performed provided the flight does not exceed 5 hours time-in-service.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(h) Additional Information

(1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS332-05.01.02, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2015-0153-E, dated July 24, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2015-3877.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3060, Rotor De-Ice System.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 28, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25217 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Chapter I Change in EST Usage in Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Policy change.

SUMMARY:

This document provides clarity and guidance regarding the use of the contraction “EST”, which stands for “Estimated”, when appended to the end of validity time in a NOTAM. The FAA is taking this action to align NOTAM policy with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices.

DATES:

Effective date: December 15, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gary Bobik (202-267-6524; [email protected]) or Lynette Jamison (540-422-4761; [email protected])

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Services is revising FAA Order JO 7930.2, Notices to Airmen (NOTAM), which is scheduled to become effective no later than December 15, 2015.

The following paragraphs will be incorporated into the next revision of FAA Order JO 7930.2.

Paragraph 4-2-1a-14, Start of Activity/End of Validity, is “a 10-digit date-time group (YYMMDDHHMM) used to indicate the time at which the NOT AM comes into force (the date/time a condition will exist or begin) and the time at which the NOTAM ceases to be in force and becomes invalid (the expected return to service, return to normal status time, or the time the activity will end).”

Paragraph 4-2-1a-14(a) further specifies, that if the NOTAM duration is expected to return to service prior to the End of Validity time, express the time by using a date- time group followed immediately by EST. The NOTAM Originator must cancel or replace any NOTAM that includes an EST before the NOTAM reaches its End of Validity time, as the NOTAM will now auto expire at the end of validity time, regardless of EST.

Issued in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2015. Ernie Bilotto, Manager, U.S. NOTAMs.
[FR Doc. 2015-25192 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1926 [Docket Nos. S-016 (OSHA-S016-2006-0646), OSHA-S215-2006-0063] RIN 1218-AA32, 1218-AB67 Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices; Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Corrections AGENCY:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

This document corrects the electrical safety-related work practices standard for general industry and the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution standards for general industry and construction to provide additional clarification regarding the applicability of the standards to certain operations, including some tree trimming work that is performed near (but that is not on or directly associated with) electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations. This document also corrects minor errors in two minimum approach distance tables in the general industry and construction standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution work.

DATES:

These correcting amendments are effective on October 5, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

General information and press inquiries: Mr. Frank Meilinger, Office of Communications, Room N3647, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999; email [email protected].

Technical information: Mr. William Perry, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N3718, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1950 or fax (202) 693-1678; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document revises certain language in OSHA's standards to reflect the Agency's intent about the scope of two general industry standards. First, this document revises language that mistakenly could be read as suggesting that the general industry electric power generation, transmission, and distribution standard covers certain tree-trimming work that is performed near, but that is not on or directly associated with, electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations. This was never OSHA's intent; rather, OSHA intended that the general industry electrical safety-related work practices standard cover such work. Similarly, OSHA is correcting language in its general industry electrical safety-related work practices standard to make clear that the standard covers other work performed by qualified persons that is near, but not on or directly associated with, both electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations and certain other types of installations.

This notice also corrects minor errors in two minimum approach distance tables in the general industry and construction standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution work.

Background

On August 6, 1990, OSHA adopted a standard on electrical safety-related work practices for general industry (55 FR 31984).1 That standard is contained in §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 in subpart S of 29 CFR part 1910. According to § 1910.331(a), that standard contains electrical safety-related work practices for both qualified persons 2 (those who have training in avoiding the electrical hazards of working on or near exposed energized parts) and unqualified persons (those with little or no such training) working on, near, or with certain electrical installations (not including electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations). Paragraph (c) of § 1910.331 excludes from the scope of the electrical safety-related work practices standard work by qualified persons “on or directly associated with” certain installations, including installations for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy (§ 1910.331(c)(1)).3

1 The Docket number, as listed on the original final rule, was S-016. The corresponding Docket ID on Regulations.gov is OSHA-S016-2006-0646 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=50;so=ASC;sb=docId;po=50;D=OSHA-S016-2006-0646).

2 Subpart S, in § 1910.399, defines “qualified person” as someone who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electric equipment and installations and the hazards involved. In addition, §§ 1910.332(b)(3) and 1910.333(c)(2) require qualified persons to have specialized skills and training before OSHA considers them to be qualified.

3 Paragraph (b) of § 1910.331 provides that the electrical safety-related work practice requirements in §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 apply to work performed by unqualified persons on, near, or with the installations listed in paragraph (c).

When the Agency promulgated the electrical safety-related work practices standard in 1990, OSHA did not define “work directly associated with” generation, transmission, or distribution installations. However, Note 2 to § 1910.331(c)(1) gave two examples of such work: line-clearance tree trimming and replacing utility poles. OSHA defined “line-clearance tree trimming,” at 29 CFR 1910.399 in subpart S, as the pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining, removing, or clearing of trees or cutting of brush that is within 305 cm (10 feet) of electric supply lines and equipment.

On January 31, 1994, OSHA issued a new standard, § 1910.269, addressing work practices to be used during the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment, including, specifically, line-clearance tree-trimming operations (59 FR 4320).4 The 1994 final rule: adopted a definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x) that mirrored the definition of that term in § 1910.399, redesignated Note 2 to § 1910.331(c)(1) (which provided examples of the types of work that are excluded from the electrical safety-related work practices standard because they are directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installations) as Note 3, and added a sentence to that note stating that work within the scope of the note is covered by § 1910.269.5

4 Paragraph (a)(1)(i) of § 1910.269 states that the standard covers the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment. Paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) lists line-clearance tree-trimming operations as work to which the standard applies.

5 The Docket number, as listed on the original final rule, was S-015. The corresponding Docket ID on Regulations.gov is OSHA-S015-2006-0645 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;so=ASC;sb=docId;po=0;dct=N%252BFR%252BPR%252BO%252BSR%252BPS;D=OSHA-S015-2006-0645).

On April 11, 2014, OSHA revised § 1910.269, as well as subpart V of part 1926, which contains corresponding requirements for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines and equipment (79 FR 20316). The 2014 final rule revised the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x) to include the pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining, removing, or clearing of trees, or the cutting of brush, that is within the following distance of electric supply lines and equipment: (1) For voltages to ground of 50 kilovolts or less—3.05 meters (10 feet) and (2) for voltages to ground of more than 50 kilovolts—3.05 meters (10 feet) plus 0.10 meters (4 inches) for every 10 kilovolts over 50 kilovolts. The revision expanded the definition to include work on trees and brush that were farther away from electric power lines and equipment when the voltage was more than 50 kilovolts. The 2014 final rule also revised Note 3 to § 1910.331(c)(1) to reference the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x) and deleted the corresponding definition from § 1910.399.

Need for Correcting Amendment

After OSHA promulgated the 2014 revisions to § 1910.269, tree care industry representatives raised questions that led the Agency to believe that the industry was unclear about the application of § 1910.269 with respect to certain tree-trimming work. As a result, OSHA examined the relevant regulatory language in the general industry standards on electrical safety-related work practices (subpart S) and on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work (§ 1910.269). The Agency's review led to two conclusions: (1) Revisions to § 1910.269 are necessary to clarify that certain types of tree trimming meeting the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” are not covered by that standard; and (2) revisions to § 1910.331 (in subpart S) are necessary to clarify that the electrical safety-related work practices in §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 apply to tree-trimming work that may meet the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” when that work is not on or directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution or other installations listed in § 1910.331(c) and, more generally, to work performed by qualified employees when that work is near, but not on or directly associated with, installations listed in § 1910.331(c).

Tree trimming: As noted earlier in this document, when the Agency adopted the electrical safety-related work practices standard in 1990, OSHA listed line-clearance tree trimming and replacing utility poles as examples of types of work that are directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations and, therefore, excluded from subpart S when performed by a qualified person (as “qualified person” is defined in § 1910.399). However, OSHA was imprecise in its description of these examples. Although clearing trees and brush around power lines and replacing utility poles are usually tasks that are directly associated with a power line, that is not always the case. For example, an employee could be trimming trees away from telephone or cable television lines that happen to be near an electric power line. This type of tree trimming, which meets the definition of line-clearance tree trimming in § 1910.269(x), is work directly associated with communications lines, not electric power lines, and is covered by § 1910.268, not § 1910.269.6 Similarly, a telecommunications firm replacing a utility pole supporting communications lines is performing work directly associated with the communications lines, not with any electric power lines that also happen to be supported by the pole but that are not transferred to the new pole by the firm. OSHA intended the examples in Note 3 to § 1910.331(c)(1) to illustrate types of work that generally (but not always) would be directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution lines. The Agency did not intend for those examples to be dispositive of the question of whether any particular activity is directly associated with those installations.

6 Under § 1910.331(c)(2), line-clearance tree trimming to clear space around communications lines is exempt from §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 when performed by qualified persons.

Furthermore, the current definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x) makes the location of the tree or brush the key determining factor in deciding whether a trimming activity is line-clearance tree trimming. Consequently, any trimming or other maintenance of any tree or brush that is within the specified distances of an electric power line is line-clearance tree trimming, irrespective of the purpose of the activity or the occupation of the worker. Notwithstanding this definition, the only line-clearance tree trimming OSHA intended § 1910.269 to cover is line-clearance tree trimming performed: (1) For the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and (2) on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment. For example, a crew trimming trees at a residence or commercial facility for aesthetic purposes would be performing work meeting the current definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” while trimming any tree that is within the specified distance of a power line. Yet, in most cases, OSHA would consider this work to be incidental line-clearance tree trimming 7 that is not directly associated with an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution line. When initially promulgating the electrical safety-related work practices standard in 1990, the Agency did not intend such incidental line-clearance tree trimming to be included in the exemption in § 1910.331(c)(1). When OSHA adopted § 1910.269 in 1994, and revised that standard in 2014, the Agency proceeded on the understanding that such incidental line-clearance tree trimming was covered by subpart S; thus, OSHA did not intend to cover that work under § 1910.269, even though it is now apparent that the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x), which was adopted in 1994, and revised in 2014, did not make this intent clear.8

7 Throughout this preamble, OSHA refers to any tree trimming activities performed on a tree or brush that is closer to an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution line or equipment than the distances specified in the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in existing § 1910.269(x) as “incidental line-clearance tree trimming” when the tree trimming activities are not directly associated with the lines or equipment.

8 During the rulemaking that led to the promulgation of the electrical safety-related work practices standard in Subpart S in 1990, the National Arborist Association expressed concern that the exemption in § 1910.331(c)(1) for work performed by qualified employees on or directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations was not specific enough. That organization recommended that line-clearance tree trimming be separated from the “directly associated with” electric power installations test and exempted through a specified exclusion for tree trimming performed by qualified employees near overhead power lines (Docket ID OSHA-S016-2006-0646-0084). OSHA rejected that recommendation and instead adopted the note stating that line-clearance tree trimming is an example of work directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations (55 FR 31997). In discussing the note in the preamble to the 1990 rule, OSHA rejected an assertion from the National Arborist Association that the exemption in § 1910.331(c)(1) would exempt only work performed on behalf of the owner or operator of the overhead lines (55 FR 31997). OSHA recognizes that this discussion in the 1990 preamble may have been misleading with respect to the Agency's intent, which was stated more clearly elsewhere in the same notice when OSHA noted that line-clearance tree trimming contractors (usually hired by electric utilities) would be covered under § 1910.269 and that residential contractors (usually hired by homeowners or businesses other than electric utilities) would be covered by the electrical safety-related work practice requirements in subpart S (55 FR 31997). This correcting amendment is designed to provide clarification that should resolve any confusion resulting from imprecision in the 1990 subpart S preamble.

The Agency's economic analyses for the 1994 and 2014 rulemakings reflect that OSHA did not intend to cover incidental line-clearance tree trimming under § 1910.269. The regulatory impact assessment for the 1994 final rule indicated that § 1910.269 “will cover . . . contract line-clearance tree trimmers” (59 FR 4431, emphasis added), meaning “contractors [that] perform tree trimming for electric utilities” (OSHA-S015-2006-0645-0008 9 ). And OSHA based the 2014 analysis on the continued assumption that the rule would cover contract line-clearance tree-trimming firms (in other words, contractors that perform tree trimming on behalf of a utility or other organization that operates, or controls the operating procedures for, covered electric power lines and equipment) only. In the 2014 analysis, OSHA relied on 2002 estimates from the National Arborist Association (now known as the Tree Care Industry Association) that 90 percent of large establishments, and 2 percent of small establishments, that perform ornamental shrub and tree services are involved in line-clearance tree trimming covered by § 1910.269 (79 FR 20564). Thus, the 2014 analysis did not account for a large percentage of establishments that perform ornamental shrub and tree care services, even though, in all likelihood, the majority, if not all, of these establishments perform at least some work meeting the definition of line-clearance tree trimming.

9 This number is the document ID for “Preparation of an Economic Impact Study for the Proposed OSHA Regulation Covering Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution,” a report prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. that formed the basis for OSHA's economic analysis for the 1994 final rule. This document is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

Thus, OSHA concludes that the language in the existing standards does not accurately convey the Agency's intent with respect to tree-trimming activities that meet the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming,” but that are not directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment.

Subpart S coverage of work by qualified employees that is near, but not on or directly associated with, electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installations. Paragraph (a) of § 1910.331 describes work by both qualified and unqualified persons that is covered by the electrical safety-related work practices at §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335. Paragraph (b) of § 1910.331 states that the electrical safety-related work practices at §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 apply to work performed by unqualified persons on, near, or with certain installations (including electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations) listed in § 1910.331(c)(1) through (c)(4). And the introductory text to § 1910.331(c) states that the electrical safety-related work practices at §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 do not apply to work performed by qualified persons on or directly associated with the installations (including electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations) listed in § 1910.331(c)(1) through (c)(4). Section 1910.331 does not state explicitly that the electrical safety-related work practices in subpart S do apply to work performed by qualified persons near, but not on or directly associated with, electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations, although other parts of the standard make clear that OSHA intended to cover this type of work in subpart S. For example, § 1910.333(c)(3)(ii) contains requirements for qualified persons working in the vicinity of overhead lines. As virtually all overhead lines at the voltages addressed by this provision 10 are electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines, it is evident that OSHA intended to cover work by qualified persons performed near, but not on or directly associated with, electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installations.

10 Paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of § 1910.333 generally requires qualified persons to maintain the minimum approach distances shown in Table S-5 from overhead lines. Table S-5 lists approach distances for various voltages up to 140 kilovolts. The highest voltage on electric utilization systems (which are covered by subpart S as indicated in Notes 1 and 2 to § 1910.331(c)(1)) is generally about 4 kilovolts.

Therefore, OSHA concludes that the scope provisions in § 1910.331 do not accurately explain the applicability of the electrical safety-related work practices at §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 to qualified persons performing work near, but not on or directly associated with, the installations listed in § 1910.331(c)(1) through (c)(4), including electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations.

Description of Correcting Amendment

To clarify what work is covered by the general industry standards on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work and on electrical safety-related work practices, OSHA is taking the following actions:

1. Expressly limiting the scope of § 1910.269 as it relates to line-clearance tree trimming by revising § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E) to state explicitly that the standard applies to line-clearance tree trimming only to the extent it is performed for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment.

2. Adding a note to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x), with corresponding revisions to Note 2 to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimmer,” to explain that: (1) The scope of § 1910.269 limits the application of the standard to line-clearance tree trimming as noted in § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E); and (2) tree trimming that is performed on behalf of a homeowner or commercial entity other than an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment, or that is not for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment, is not directly associated with an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installation and is not covered by § 1910.269.

3. Revising Appendix A-3 to § 1910.269 to reflect the clarifications in this correcting amendment.11

11 In addition, OSHA is moving the note referring to requirements for manholes and underground vaults at the bottom of Appendix A-3 to Appendix A-5 (relating to enclosed spaces), which is the appendix to which that note applies.

4. Replacing terms such as “line-clearance tree-trimming operations” and “line-clearance tree-trimming work” wherever they appear in § 1910.269 and subpart V of part 1926 with “line-clearance tree trimming” and revising § 1926.950(a)(3) to correspond to the changes to § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(E), noted earlier.12

12 Specifically, OSHA is revising relevant language in § 1926.950(a)(3) to reflect that § 1910.269 applies to line-clearance tree trimming only to the extent it is performed for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment.

5. Referencing the scope of § 1910.269 in Note 3 to § 1910.331(c)(1).

6. In § 1910.331(b), adding language clarifying that the electrical safety-related work practices in subpart S cover qualified persons performing work near, but not on or directly associated with, installations listed in § 1910.331(c)(1) through (c)(4).

OSHA is also correcting minor errors in Table R-6 of § 1910.269 and in Table V-5 of subpart V of part 1926. Table R-3 of § 1910.269 and Table V-2 of subpart V, which contain equations for employers to use to establish minimum approach distances from energized parts of electric circuits, set the minimum approach distance for 50 to 300 volts as “avoid contact.” Using the equations in Table R-3 and Table V-2, Table R-6 and Table V-5 provide default minimum approach distances for voltage ranges up to 72.5 kilovolts. The latter two tables erroneously list the first voltage range as 0.50 to 0.300 kilovolts. The correct voltage range is 0.050 to 0.300 kilovolts. In addition, the word “to” is missing between the voltages in the first voltage range in Table V-5. Accordingly, OSHA is correcting Table R-6 and Table V-5 in this document.

Exemption From Notice-and-Comment Procedures

OSHA determined that this correcting amendment is not subject to the requirements and procedures for public notice and comment specified in the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655). See 29 CFR 1911.5 (Minor changes in standards). This action does not affect or change any existing rights or obligations, and no interested party is likely to object to the minor amendments being made to 29 CFR 1910.269, 29 CFR 1910.331, or 29 CFR part 1926, subpart V. Therefore, the Agency finds good cause for foregoing public notice and comment.

Authority and Signature

David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this document.

This action is taken pursuant to sections 3704 et seq., Public Law 107-217, 116 STAT. 1062, (40 U.S.C. 3704 et seq.); sections 4, 6, and 8, Public Law 91-596, 84 STAT. 1590 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912 (Jan. 25, 2012)), and 29 CFR part 1911.

Signed at Washington, DC, on September 28, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration amends parts 1910 and 1926 of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 1910—[AMENDED] Subpart R—Special Industries 1. The authority citation for subpart R of part 1910 continues to read as follows: Authority:

29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 5-2007 (72 FR 31159), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR part 1911.

2. Amend § 1910.269 by: a. Removing the terms “line-clearance tree-trimming operations,” “line-clearance tree trimming operations,” “line-clearance tree-trimming work,” and “line-clearance tree trimming work” in paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(E) introductory text, (a)(1)(i)(E)(1) and (2), (a)(1)(ii)(A), (b)(1)(i), (r) subject heading and introductory text, (r)(1)(vi), and in the Note to paragraph (r)(1)(vi), and adding, in their place the term “line-clearance tree trimming”; b. Revising paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E); c. In Table R-6, first entry, removing “0.50” and adding in its place “0.050”; d. Revising paragraph (r) introductory text; e. In paragraph (x), revising Note 2 to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimmer” and adding a note to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming”; and f. Revising appendices A-3 and A-5.

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 1910.269 Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) * * *

(E) Line-clearance tree trimming performed for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment, as follows:

(1) Entire § 1910.269, except paragraph (r)(1) of this section, applies to line-clearance tree trimming covered by the introductory text to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of the section when performed by qualified employees (those who are knowledgeable in the construction and operation of the electric power generation, transmission, or distribution equipment involved, along with the associated hazards).

(2) Paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), (b), (c), (g), (k), (p), and (r) of this section apply to line-clearance tree trimming covered by the introductory text to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section when performed by line-clearance tree trimmers who are not qualified employees.

(r) Line-clearance tree trimming. This paragraph provides additional requirements for line-clearance tree trimming and for equipment used in this type of work.

(x) * * *

Line-clearance tree trimmer. * * *

Note 2 to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimmer”:

A line-clearance tree trimmer is not considered to be a “qualified employee” under this section unless he or she has the training required for a qualified employee under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section. However, under the electrical safety-related work practices standard in Subpart S of this part, a line-clearance tree trimmer is considered to be a “qualified employee.” Tree trimming performed by such “qualified employees” is not subject to the electrical safety-related work practice requirements contained in §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 when it is directly associated with electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment. (See § 1910.331 for requirements on the applicability of the electrical safety-related work practice requirements contained in §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 to line-clearance tree trimming performed by such “qualified employees,” and see the note following § 1910.332(b)(3) for information regarding the training an employee must have to be considered a qualified employee under §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335.)

Line-clearance tree trimming. * * *

Note to the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming”:

This section applies only to line-clearance tree trimming performed for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment. See paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Tree trimming performed on behalf of a homeowner or commercial entity other than an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment is not directly associated with an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installation and is outside the scope of this section. In addition, tree trimming that is not for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment is not directly associated with an electric power generation, transmission, or distribution installation and is outside the scope of this section. Such tree trimming may be covered by other applicable standards. See, for example, §§ 1910.268 and 1910.331 through 1910.335.

ER05OC15.000 ER05OC15.001
Subpart S—Electrical 3. The authority citation for subpart S of part 1910 continues to read as follows: Authority:

29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR part 1911.

4. Amend § 1910.331 by revising paragraph (b) and Note 3 to paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
§ 1910.331 Scope.

(b) Other covered work. The provisions of §§ 1910.331 through 1910.335 also cover:

(1) Work performed by unqualified persons on, near, or with the installations listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section; and

(2) Work performed by qualified persons near the installations listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this section when that work is not on or directly associated with those installations.

(c) * * *

(1) * * *

Note 3 to paragraph (c)(1):

Work on or directly associated with generation, transmission, or distribution installations includes:

(1) Work performed directly on such installations, such as repairing overhead or underground distribution lines or repairing a feed-water pump for the boiler in a generating plant.

(2) Work directly associated with such installations, such as line-clearance tree trimming and replacing utility poles, when that work is covered by § 1910.269 (see § 1910.269(a)(1)(i)(D) and (E) and the definition of “line-clearance tree trimming” in § 1910.269(x)).

(3) Work on electric utilization circuits in a generating plant provided that:

(A) Such circuits are commingled with installations of power generation equipment or circuits, and

(B) The generation equipment or circuits present greater electrical hazards than those posed by the utilization equipment or circuits (such as exposure to higher voltages or lack of overcurrent protection).

This work is covered by § 1910.269.

PART 1926—[AMENDED] Subpart V—Electric power transmission and distribution 5. The authority citation for subpart V of part 1926 continues to read as follows: Authority:

40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912); and 29 CFR part 1911.

6. In § 1926.950, revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
§ 1926.950 General.

(a) * * *

(3) Applicable part 1910 requirements. (i) Line-clearance tree trimming performed for the purpose of clearing space around electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment and on behalf of an organization that operates, or that controls the operating procedures for, those lines or equipment shall comply with § 1910.269 of this chapter.

(ii) Work involving electric power generation installations shall comply with § 1910.269 of this chapter.

§ 1926.960 [Amended]
7. In § 1926.960, in Table V-5, first entry, remove “0.50” and add in its place “0.050 to”.
[FR Doc. 2015-25062 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0510; FRL-9934-04-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions largely concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from graphic arts facilities and aerospace assembly and coating operations. We are approving local rules that regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). These revisions also address rescission of two rules no longer required, and administrative revisions to the emergency episode plan requirements.

DATES:

This rule is effective on December 4, 2015 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by November 4, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0510, by one of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

2. Email: [email protected]

3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to the EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

Docket: Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94105-3901. While all documents in the docket are listed at www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vanessa Graham, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120 [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the EPA.

Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules and rule revisions? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve These Rules D. Public Comment and Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this action with the dates that they were amended or rescinded by AVAQMD and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Table 2 provides Federal Register dates and citations for when the EPA approved into the SIP the two rules that are now being rescinded.

Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule No. Rule title Rescinded Amended Submitted AVAQMD 701 Air Pollution Emergency Contingency Actions 04/15/14 11/06/14 AVAQMD 1110 Emissions from Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (Demonstration) 01/15/13 05/13/14 AVAQMD 1124 Aerospace Assembly and Component Manufacturing Operations 08/20/13 05/13/14 AVAQMD 1128 Paper, Fabric and Film Coating Operations 11/19/13 05/13/14 AVAQMD 1130 Graphic Arts 11/19/13 05/13/14 Table 2—Rules To Be Rescinded Local agency Rule No. Rule title SIP Approval date FR Citation SCAQMD 1110 Emissions from Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (Demonstration) 05/03/1984 49 FR 18822 SCAQMD 1128 Paper, Fabric and Film Coating Operations 12/20/1993 58 FR 66286

On June 18, 2014, the EPA determined that the submittal for AVAQMD Rules 1110, 1124, 1128 and 1130 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review. On December 18, 2014, the EPA determined that the submittal for AVAQMD Rule 701 met the completeness criteria as well.

B. Are there other versions of these rules?

We approved earlier versions of Rules 701, 1124, 1130, 1110 and 1128 into the SIP on March 7, 2003 (68 FR 10966), May 6, 1996 (61 FR 20136), October 31, 1995 (60 FR 55312), May 3, 1984 (49 FR 18822) and December 20, 1993 (58 FR 66286) respectively.

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules and rule revisions?

VOCs help produce ground-level ozone and smog that can harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control VOC emissions.

Rule 701 is intended to fulfill requirements for emergency episode plans described in CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (a)(2). The proposed amendments to Rule 701 are mainly administrative in nature. In addition, the episode criteria for PM was adjusted.

AVAQMD rescinded Rule 1110 because the demonstration program adopted from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) prior to the formation of the AVAQMD is no longer in use. The EPA previously approved SCAQMD's rescission of Rule 1110 from the SCAQMD portion of the SIP on July 14, 2014 (79 FR 40675). We are now similarly rescinding the rule from the AVAQMD portion of the SIP. We are also amending the language at 40 CFR part 52 Subpart F to clarify that our earlier approval applied only to the SCAQMD portion of the SIP.

Rule 1124 limits VOC emissions from aerospace primers, coatings, adhesives, maskants and lubricants and from cleaning, stripping, storage and disposal of organic solvents and waste materials associated with the use of the above mentioned aerospace material categories.

AVAQMD rescinded Rule 1128 and incorporated all substantive requirements of this Rule into the amended version of AVAQMD Rule 1130, which we are approving in this action. The rescission of the AVAQMD portion of SCAQMD Rule 1128 shall have no effect on SCAQMD Rule 1128 currently approved in the South Coast portion of the SIP.1

1 SCAQMD Rule 1128 was originally developed as part of the SCAQMD's program to control volatile organic compounds (VOC). At the time the rule was adopted, the area controlled by the SCAQMD included the portion of Los Angeles County located in the Mojave Desert Air Basin, known as the Antelope Valley. In 1997, the Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District (AVAPCD) was formed pursuant to statute, and assumed the duties and powers of the SCAQMD in the Antelope Valley. AVAQMD was created to replace AVAPCD in 2002.

Rule 1130 limits VOC emissions from graphic arts processes, largely by establishing work practice requirements and limiting the amount of VOC in graphic arts coatings, inks and solvents. The amendments to Rule 1130 were submitted to satisfy Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements under CAA sections 172(c)(1) and 182(b).

The EPA's technical support documents (TSD) have more information about these rules.

II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules?

SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

AVAQMD regulates an ozone nonattainment area classified as severe under both the 1997 and 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS. 40 CFR 81.305. CAA section 172(c)(1) requires nonattainment areas to implement all reasonably available control measures (RACM), including such reductions in emissions from existing sources in the area as may be obtained through the adoption, at a minimum, of RACT, as expeditiously as practicable. Additional control measures for graphic arts processes may be required pursuant to CAA section 172(c)(1) if both: (1) Additional measures are reasonably available; and (2) these additional reasonably available measures will advance attainment of one or more ozone standards in the area or contribute to reasonable further progress (RFP) when considered collectively (see 80 FR 12264, 12282). In addition, SIP rules must require RACT for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each VOC major source in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see CAA section 182(b)(2)). Since Rules 1124 and 1130 regulate sources subject to a CTG in a severe nonattainment area, they must implement RACT. RACT is not required of Rules 701, 1110 and 1128 as discussed in the TSDs.

Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

1. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations” (“the Bluebook,” U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990).

2. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies” (“the Little Bluebook”, EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001).

3. “Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for Offset Lithographic Printing and Letterpress Printing”, September 2006 (EPA 453/R-06-002).

4. “Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for Flexible Package Printing”, September 2006 (EPA 453/R-06-003).

5. “Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for Paper, Film, and Foil Coatings”, September 2007 (EPA 453/R-07-003).

6. “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2); USEPA Memorandum dated September 13, 2013.

7. 40 CFR part 51, subpart H—Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episodes.

B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

We believe these rules are consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations. The TSDs have more information on our evaluation.

C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve These Rules

The TSDs describe additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies Rules 701, 1124 and 1130, but are not currently the basis for rule disapproval.

D. Public Comment and Final Action

As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving the submitted Rules 701, 1124 and 1130 because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We are also approving rescission of Rules 1110 and 1128. We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted action. If we receive adverse comments by November 4, 2015, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on December 4, 2015. This will incorporate AVAQMD Rules 701, 1124 and 1130 into the federally enforceable SIP and remove the Antelope Valley portion of the SCAQMD Rules 1110 and 1128 from the federally enforceable SIP.

Please note that if the EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

III. Incorporation by Reference

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

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 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 this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: September 1, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by: a. Revising paragraph (c)(121)(i)(E); and b. Adding paragraphs (c)(121)(i)(F), (c)(189)(i)(A)(9), (c)(441)(i)(E), and (c)(457)(i)(F).

The revision and additions read as follows:

§ 52.220 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(121) * * *

(i) * * *

(E) Previously approved on May 3, 1984 in paragraph (c)(121)(i)(C) of this section and now deleted without replacement for implementation in the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Rule 1110.

(F) Previously approved on May 3, 1984 in paragraph (c)(121)(i)(C) of this section and now deleted without replacement for implementation in the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, Rule 1110.

(189) * * *

(i) * * *

(A) * * *

(9) Previously approved on December 20, 1993 in paragraph (c)(189)(i)(A)(3) of this section and now deleted without replacement for implementation in the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, Rule 1128.

(441) * * *

(i) * * *

(E) Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.

(1) Rule 1124, “Aerospace Assembly and Component Manufacturing Operations,” amended on August 20, 2013.

(2) Rule 1130, “Graphic Arts,” amended on November 19, 2013.

(457) * * *

(i) * * *

(F) Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.

(1) Rule 701, “Air Pollution Emergency Contingency Actions,” amended on April 15, 2014.

[FR Doc. 2015-25161 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0008; FRL-9934-11-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds Definition AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a state submission as a revision to the Illinois State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revision amends the Illinois Administrative Code (IAC) by updating the definition of volatile organic material (VOM), otherwise known as volatile organic compounds (VOC), to exclude 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene. This revision is in response to an EPA rulemaking in 2013 which exempted this compound from the Federal definition of VOC on the basis that the compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation.

DATES:

This direct final rule will be effective December 4, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 4, 2015. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

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

2. Email: [email protected]

3. Fax: (312) 692-2450.

4. Mail: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

5. Hand Delivery: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0008. 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 docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Anthony Maietta, Environmental Protection Specialist, at (312) 353-8777 before visiting the Region 5 office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Anthony Maietta, Environmental Protection Specialist, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8777, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

I. What is the background for this action? A. When did Illinois submit the SIP revision to EPA? B. Did Illinois hold public hearings on the SIP revision? II. What is EPA's analysis of the SIP revision? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for this action? A. When did Illinois submit the SIP revision to EPA?

The Illinois EPA (IEPA) submitted a revision to the Illinois SIP to EPA for approval on December 18, 2014. The SIP revision updates the definition of VOM or VOC at 35 IAC Part 211, Subpart B, Section 211.7150(a).

B. Did Illinois hold public hearings on the SIP revision?

The Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) held a public hearing on the proposed SIP revision on May 7, 2014. IPCB did not receive any public comments. IPCB adopted the amendment to 35 IAC 211.7150(a) on June 5, 2014. IPCB also adopted minor administrative changes such as alphabetization of compound names, addition of the refrigerant industry designation “HFO-1234yf” in parenthesis after the chemical name, and replacing the word “above” with “of this Section” in 35 IAC 211.7150(d) for ease of cross-referencing within a section of the regulations.

II. What is EPA's analysis of the SIP revision?

In 2009, EPA received a petition requesting that 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene be exempted from VOC control based on its low reactivity to ethane. Based on the mass maximum incremental reactivity value for the compound being equal to or less than that of ethane, EPA concluded that this compound makes negligible contributions to tropospheric ozone formation (76 FR 64059, October 17, 2011).

Therefore on October 22, 2013 (78 FR 62451), EPA amended 40 CFR 51.100(s)(1) to exclude this chemical compound from the definition of VOC for purposes of preparing SIPs to attain the national ambient air quality standard for ozone under title I of the CAA (78 FR 9823). EPA's action became effective on November 1, 2013. IEPA's SIP revision is consistent with EPA's action amending the definition of VOC at 40 CFR 51.100(s).

III. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is approving into the Illinois SIP revisions to 35 IAC 211 contained in the December 18, 2014, submittal. We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective December 4, 2015 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by November 4, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective December 4, 2015.

IV. Incorporation by Reference

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

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 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. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: September 4, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

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.

2. Section 52.720 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(206) to read as follows:
§ 52.720 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(206) On December 18, 2014, the state submitted a proposed revision to the Illinois SIP updating the definition of Volatile Organic Material (VOM) or Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) to exclude the chemical compound 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf), along with minor administrative revisions.

(i) Incorporation by reference. Illinois Administrative Code, Title 35: Environmental Protection, Subtitle B: Air Pollution, Chapter I: Pollution Control Board, Subchapter c: Emission Standards and Limitations for Stationary Sources, Part 211: Definitions and General Provisions, Subpart B: Definitions, Section 211.7150 Volatile Organic Material (VOM) or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), effective June 9, 2014.

[FR Doc. 2015-25158 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442; FRL-9934-84-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Georgia Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve portions of the March 6, 2012, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, provided by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for inclusion into the Georgia SIP. This final submission pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. EPD certified that the Georgia SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Georgia. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting which EPA has already approved, EPA is taking final action to approve Georgia's infrastructure submission, provided to EPA on March 6, 2012, as satisfying the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

DATES:

This rule will be effective November 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0442. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Zuri Farngalo, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Farngalo can be reached by phone at (404) 562-9152 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA require states to address basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance for that new NAAQS. Section 110(a) of the CAA generally requires states to make a SIP submission to meet applicable requirements in order to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. For additional information on the infrastructure SIP requirements, see the proposed rulemaking published on July 24, 2015 (80 FR 44005).

On July 24, 2015, EPA proposed to approve portions of Georgia's March 6, 2012, 2008 Lead NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission with the exception of provisions pertaining to PSD permitting in sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J). EPA did not receive any comments, adverse or otherwise, on the July 24, 2015, proposed rule. EPA took final action to approve the PSD permitting requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i) and (J) on March 18, 2015 (80 FR 14019).

II. Final Action

With the exception of provisions pertaining to PSD permitting requirements described above, EPA is taking final action to approve Georgia's March 6, 2012, infrastructure submission because it addresses the CAA 110(a)(1) and (2) infrastructure SIP requirements to ensure that the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Georgia.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: September 16, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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 L—Georgia 2. Section 52.570(e) is amended by adding a new entry “110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards” at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.570 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Georgia Non-Regulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory
  • SIP provision
  • Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State submitted
  • date/effective
  • date
  • EPA approval
  • date
  • Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards Georgia 3/6/2012 10/5/15 With the exception of provisions pertaining to PSD permitting requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3) and 110(a)(2)(J) only.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24860 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542; FRL-9933-52-Region 9] Revision of Air Quality Implementation Plan; California; Feather River Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source Permits AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Feather River Air Quality Management District (FRAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns a permitting rule that regulates construction and modification of stationary sources of air pollution. These revisions correct deficiencies in FRAQMD Rule 10.1, New Source Review, previously identified by EPA in a final rule dated September 24, 2013. We are approving revisions that correct the identified deficiencies.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 4, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by November 4, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Gerardo Rios (Air-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov or email. http://www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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: EPA has established a docket for this action under EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents are listed at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps, multi-volume reports), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lornette Harvey, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3498, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rule did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of this rule? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revision? II. EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is EPA evaluating the rule? B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria? C. Public Comment and Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rule did the State submit?

    Table 1 lists the rule we are approving with the date it was adopted by the local air agency and submitted to EPA by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rule Local agency Rule No. Rule title Amended Submitted FRAQMD 10.1 New Source Review 10/06/14 11/06/14

    On December 18, 2014, EPA determined that the submittal for FRAQMD Rule 10.1 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, including evidence of public adoption of this regulation, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of this rule?

    EPA approved a previous version of Rule 10.1, into the SIP on September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58460).

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revision?

    Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA requires that each SIP include, among other things, a preconstruction permit program to provide for regulation of the construction and modification of stationary sources within the areas covered by the plan as necessary to assure that the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are achieved, including a permit program as required in parts C and D of title I of the CAA. For areas designated as nonattainment for one or more NAAQS, the SIP must include preconstruction permit requirements for new or modified major stationary sources of such nonattainment pollutant(s), commonly referred to as “Nonattainment New Source Review” or “NNSR.” CAA 172(c)(5).

    The jurisdiction of the FRAQMD consists of two counties, Yuba and Sutter, and contains two nonattainment areas. See 40 CFR 81.305. The first nonattainment area is the “Sutter Buttes” area, which consists of the area located in the District which is above 2000 feet of elevation. This area is designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    The second nonattainment area is the south “Sutter” area, which is part of the Sacramento Metro Nonattainment Area. This area is also designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Since the District adopted the latest revisions to Rule 10.1, the “Yuba City-Marysville” area, which consists of all of Sutter County and a portion of Yuba County, has been redesignated as attainment for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. See 79 FR 72981 (December 9, 2014).

    Because of the nonattainment areas located in the FRAQMD, the District is required under part D of title I of the Act to adopt and implement a SIP-approved NNSR program for the nonattainment portions of Yuba and Sutter Counties that applies, at a minimum, to new or modified major stationary sources of the following pollutants: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen oxides (NOX).1

    1 VOCs and NOX are subject to NNSR as ozone precursors. See 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(xxxvii)(C).

    Rule 10.1, New Source Review, implements the NNSR requirements under part D of title I of the CAA for new or modified major stationary sources of nonattainment pollutants. FRAQMD amended and submitted Rule 10.1 to correct minor program deficiencies identified by EPA on September 24, 2013 (78 FR 58460).

    II. EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

    EPA has reviewed the submitted permitting rule for compliance with the CAA's general requirements for SIPs in CAA section 110(a)(2), EPA's regulations for nonattainment stationary source permit programs in 40 CFR 51.165, and the CAA requirements for SIP revisions in CAA section 110(l).

    B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

    Our September 24, 2013 action identified two deficiencies in Rule 10.1. First, Sections B.4 and B.5 contained language that was too broad because it exempted certain pollutants from all the requirements in Section E, if EPA redesignated the area from nonattainment to attainment, instead of only exempting those pollutants from the requirements for major sources. Second, the definition of “NSR Regulated Pollutant” did not specify that the term included gaseous emissions which condense to form either PM10 or PM2.5, respectively.

    The first deficiency was corrected by narrowing the language contained in Sections B.4 and B.5 to only exempt a source from the requirements of Sections E.1.b, E.2.a.2, E.5, E.7 and E.8, which apply to major sources emitting nonattainment pollutants, if EPA re-designates any of the nonattainment portions of the District to attainment for PM2.5 or ozone.

    The second deficiency was corrected by adding a second sentence to both Sections D.34 and D.35, which reads as follows: “Gaseous emissions which condense to form particulate matter at ambient temperatures shall be included.” Adding this sentence to each section clarifies that condensable gases emissions, which condense to form either PM10 or PM2.5, must be counted as PM10 or PM2.5, respectively.

    With respect to procedures, CAA sections 110(a) and 110(l) require that revisions to a SIP be adopted by the State after reasonable notice and public hearing. EPA has promulgated specific procedural requirements for SIP revisions in 40 CFR part 51, subpart F. These requirements include publication of notices, by prominent advertisement in the relevant geographic area, a public comment period of at least 30 days, and an opportunity for a public hearing.

    Based on our review of the public process documentation included in CARB's November 6, 2014 submittal, we find that the State has provided sufficient evidence of public notice and opportunity for comment and public hearing prior to adoption and submittal of this rule to EPA.

    With respect to substantive requirements, EPA has reviewed the submitted rule in accordance with the CAA and regulatory requirements that apply to NNSR permit programs under part D of title I of the Act. Based on our evaluation of this rule, as summarized in the Public Comment and Final Action section of this notice, we find that the rule meets the CAA and regulatory requirements for NNSR permit programs in part D of title I of the Act and EPA's NNSR implementing regulations in 40 CFR 51.165 for new or modified major stationary sources proposing to locate within the District. Final approval of Rule 10.1 would correct all deficiencies in FRAQMD's permit program identified in our September 24, 2013 final rule. 78 FR 58460.

    C. Public Comment and Final Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, EPA is fully approving the submitted rule because we believe it fulfills all relevant requirements. We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted rule. If we receive adverse comments by November 4, 2015, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on December 4, 2015. This will incorporate the rule into the federally enforceable SIP.

    Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is incorporating by reference the FRAQMD Rule 10.1, as discussed in section I.A of this preamble. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California
    2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(457)(i)(A)(4) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (457) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (4) Rule 10.1, “New Source Review,” amended on October 6, 2014.

    [FR Doc. 2015-25141 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0279; FRL-9935-05-Region 9] Air Plan Approval; California; Mammoth Lakes; Redesignation; PM10 Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve, as a revision to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP), California's request to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area to attainment for the 1987 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter of ten microns or less (PM10). Also, EPA is taking final action to approve the PM10 maintenance plan for the Mammoth Lakes area and the associated motor vehicle emissions budgets for use in transportation conformity determinations. Lastly, EPA is finalizing our approval of the 2012 attainment year emissions inventory. We are taking these final actions because the SIP revision meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act and EPA guidance for maintenance plans and motor vehicle emissions budgets.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective on November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0279 for this action. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov and in hard copy format at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps, multi-volume reports) and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jerry Wamsley, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4111, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Summary of EPA's Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA's Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Summary of EPA's Proposed Action

    On July 30, 2015, EPA proposed to approve the Mammoth Lakes PM10 redesignation request and maintenance plan. We proposed this action because California's SIP revision meets the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements and EPA guidance concerning redesignations to attainment of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or standard) and maintenance plans (80 FR 45477). For our detailed procedural and substantive review of the State's SIP submittal and our discussion of our findings and rationale for our proposal and this final action, please see our proposal and the docket for this action.

    First, under CAA section 107(d)(3)(D), EPA proposed to approve the State's request to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the PM10 NAAQS. In our July 30, 2015 proposal, we concluded that the area has met the five criteria for redesignation under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E): (1) The area has attained the PM10 NAAQS over the period 2009-2014; (2) the required portions of the SIP are fully approved for the area; (3) the improvement in ambient air quality in the area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in PM10 emissions; (4) California has met all requirements applicable to the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area with respect to section 110 and part D of the CAA; and, (5) the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, as described below, meets the requirements of CAA section 175A.

    Second, under section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA proposed to approve as a revision to the SIP, the maintenance plan developed by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD) entitled “2014 Update Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” (herein and in our proposal referred to as the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan), dated May 5, 2014, submitted by California, through the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to EPA on October 21, 2014.1 EPA proposed to find that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan meets the requirements in section 175A of the CAA. The plan's maintenance demonstration shows that the Mammoth Lakes area will continue to attain the PM10 NAAQS for at least 10 years beyond redesignation (i.e. through 2030) by continued implementation of the local control measures approved into the SIP. The plan's contingency provisions incorporate a process for identifying new or more stringent control measures in the event of a future monitored violation. Finally, EPA proposed to approve the plan's 2012 emission inventory as meeting the requirements of CAA section 172 and 175A.

    1 See the docket for this action for copies of the California's submittal documents including the October 21, 2014 submittal letter from the State.

    Third, EPA proposed to approve the motor vehicle emission budgets (budgets) in the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan because we find they meet the applicable transportation conformity requirements under 40 CFR 93.118(e). With our proposal published July 30, 2015, EPA informed the public that we are reviewing the plan's budgets for adequacy and that we started the public comment period on adequacy of the proposed budgets. This comment period closed on August 31, 2015. We received no public comments concerning the adequacy of the proposed PM10 motor vehicle emissions budgets.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    EPA's proposed rule provided a 30-day comment period. During this comment period we received no comments on our proposal.

    III. EPA's Final Action

    To conclude, based on our review of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and redesignation request submitted by California, air quality monitoring data, and other relevant materials contained within our docket, EPA finds that the State has addressed all the necessary requirements for redesignation of the Mammoth Lakes nonattainment area to attainment of the PM10 NAAQS, pursuant to CAA sections 107(d)(3)(E) and 175A.

    First, under CAA section 107(d)(3)(D), we are approving the State's request, which accompanied the submittal of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, to redesignate the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. Our redesignation of the Mammoth Lakes area is based on our determination that the area has met the five criteria for redesignation under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E): (1) The area has attained the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS as demonstrated by 2009-2014 data; 2 (2) the relevant portions of the SIP are fully approved; (3) the improvement in air quality in the Mammoth Lakes area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in PM10 emissions; (4) California has met all requirements applicable to the Mammoth Lakes PM10 nonattainment area with respect to section 110 and part D of the CAA; and, (5) our approval of the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, as part of this action.

    2 We reviewed 2015 preliminary data received from the State and found that the Mammoth Lakes area did not show exceedances of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS in the first quarter of 2015. Second quarter data was not submitted by the State in time for consideration within this notice.

    Second, under section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA is approving the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan and finds that it meets the requirements of Section 175A. We find that the maintenance demonstration shows that the area will continue to attain the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS for at least 10 years beyond redesignation (i.e., through 2030). We find that the Maintenance Plan provides a contingency process for identifying and adopting new or more stringent control measures if a monitored violation of the PM10 NAAQS occurs. Finally, we are approving the 2012 emissions inventory as meeting applicable requirements for emissions inventories in Sections 172 and 175A of the CAA.

    Last, we find that the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan's motor vehicle emissions budgets meet applicable CAA requirements for maintenance plans and transportation conformity requirements under 40 CFR 93.118(e). With the effective date of this action, these approved budgets must be used in any future regional PM10 regional emissions analysis conducted by the State and the Federal Highway Administration.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 4, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 18, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—[Amended] 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding and reserving paragraph (c)(461) and adding paragraph (c)(462) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (461) [Reserved]

    (462) The following plan was submitted on October 21, 2014, by the Governor's designee.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (ii) Additional Materials.

    (A) Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (GBUAPCD).

    (1) “2014 Air Quality Maintenance Plan and Redesignation Request for the Town of Mammoth Lakes” (Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan), adopted on May 5, 2014.

    (2) GBUAPCD Board Order #140505-03 adopting the Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, dated May 5, 2014.

    (B) State of California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    (1) CARB Resolution 14-27 adopting the redesignation request and Mammoth Lakes PM10 Maintenance Plan, dated September 18, 2014.

    PART 81—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    Subpart C—[Amended] 4. Section 81.305 is amended in the table entitled “California-PM-10” by revising the entry under Mono County for the “Mammoth Lake planning area” to read as follows:
    § 81.305 California. California—PM-10 Designated area Designation Date Type Classification Date Type *         *         *         *         *         *         * Mono County Mammoth Lakes planning area November 4, 2015 Attainment Includes the following sections: a. Sections 1-12, 17, and 18 of Township T4S, R28E; b. Sections 25-36 of Township T3S, R28E; c. Sections 25-36 of Township T3S, R27E; d. Sections 1-18 of Township T4S, R27E; and, e. Sections 25 and 36 of Township T3S, R26E. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-25165 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 261 [EPA-R07-RCRA-2014-0452; FRL-9934-78-Region 7] Hazardous Waste Management System; Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste; Direct Final Rule AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to revise delisting levels for the hazardous waste exclusion granted to John Deere Des Moines Works (John Deere) of Deere & Company, in Ankeny, Iowa to exclude or “delist” up to 600 tons per calendar year of F006/F019 wastewater treatment sludge. The wastewater treatment sludge is a filter cake generated by John Deere's Ankeny, Iowa, facility wastewater treatment system was conditionally excluded from the list of hazardous wastes on November 25, 2014. This direct final rule responds to a request submitted by John Deere to increase certain delisting levels and eliminate certain delisting levels for the excluded waste. After careful analysis and use of the Delisting Risk Assessment Software (DRAS), EPA has concluded the request may be granted.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective on December 4, 2015, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 4, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-RCRA-2014-0452. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 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 by contacting the further information contact below. The public may copy material from any regulatory docket at no cost for the first 100 pages and at a cost of $0.15 per page for additional copies.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Herstowski, Waste Remediation and Permits Branch, Air and Waste Management Division, EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66219; telephone number (913) 551-7631; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The information in this section is organized as follows:

    I. Why is EPA using a direct final rule? II. Does this action apply to me? III. Background A. What is a delisting petition? B. How did EPA act on John Deere's delisting petition? C. What are the changes John Deere is requesting? D. How did EPA evaluate John Deere's request? E. How does this final rule affect states? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Why is EPA using a direct final rule?

    The EPA is publishing this rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comment. This action narrowly changes the delisting levels for the F006/F019 wastewater treatment sludge generated at the John Deere Des Moines facility in Ankeny, Iowa. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. In that case, we may issue a proposed rule to propose the changes and would address public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

    II. Does this action apply to me?

    This action only applies to the F006/F019 wastewater treatment sludge generated at the John Deere Des Moines facility in Ankeny, Iowa.

    III. Background A. What is a delisting petition?

    A delisting petition is a request from a generator to EPA or to an authorized state to exclude or delist, from the RCRA list of hazardous wastes, waste the generator believes should not be considered hazardous under RCRA.

    B. How did EPA act on John Deere's delisting petition?

    After evaluating the delisting petition submitted by John Deere, EPA proposed, on August 20, 2014 (79 FR 49252), to exclude the waste from the lists of hazardous waste under § 261.31. EPA issued a final rule on November 25, 2014 (79 FR 70108) granting John Deere's delisting petition to have up to 600 tons per year of the F006/F019 wastewater treatment sludge generated at the John Deere Des Moines, Ankney, Iowa, facility excluded, or delisted, from the definition of a hazardous waste, once it is disposed in a Subtitle D landfill.

    C. What are the changes John Deere is requesting?

    John Deere requests removal of Table 1 item 1(C)—the requirement to conduct analysis of verification samples using EPA SW-846 Method 1313 Extraction at pH 2.88, 7 and 13 and the requirement not to exceed hexavalent chromium level in the resulting [Method 1313] extracts.

    John Deere requests increases in delisting levels in Table 1 item 1(D) as follows: Cadmium to 25.5 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), chromium (total) to 51,000 mg/kg, chromium (hexavalent) to 41 mg/kg, copper to 2877 mg/kg, nickel to 3030 mg/kg, zinc to 10,170, cyanide (total) to 9 mg/kg, and oil and grease to 64,500 mg/kg.

    John Deere requests the removal of delisting levels in Table 1 item 1(D) for antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cobalt, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, thallium, tin, vanadium, acetone, and methyl ethyl ketone.

    To support the request, John Deere submitted analytical data from verification testing events conducted since the exclusion was finalized. John Deere generated the sampling data under a Sampling Plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan (June 2012 Revision).

    D. How did EPA evaluate John Deere's request?

    EPA evaluated the proposed increases in the delisting levels against the listing criteria and factors cited in § 261.11(a)(2) and (a)(3). EPA evaluated the proposed increases in the delisting levels with respect to other factors or criteria to assess whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that such additional factors could cause the wastes to be hazardous. EPA considered whether the waste is acutely toxic, the concentrations of the constituents in the waste, their tendency to migrate and to bioaccumulate, their persistence in the environment once released from the waste, plausible and specific types of management of the petitioned waste, the quantities of waste generated, and waste variability.

    For this delisting determination, we assumed that the waste would be disposed in a Subtitle D landfill and we considered transport of waste constituents through groundwater, surface water and air. We evaluated John Deere's petitioned waste using the Agency's Delisting Risk Assessment Software (DRAS) described in 65 FR 58015 (September 27, 2000), 65 FR 75637 (December 4, 2000), and 73 FR 28768 (May 19, 2008) to predict the maximum allowable concentrations of hazardous constituents that may be released from the petitioned waste after disposal and determined the potential impact of the disposal of John Deere's petitioned waste on human health and the environment. To predict the potential for release to groundwater from landfilled wastes and subsequent routes of exposure to a receptor, the DRAS uses dilution attenuation factors derived from EPA's Composite Model for Leachate Migration and Transformation Products (EPACMTP). From a release to groundwater, the DRAS considers routes of exposure to a human receptor of ingestion of contaminated groundwater, inhalation from groundwater while showering and dermal contact from groundwater while bathing.

    From a release to surface water by erosion of waste from an open landfill into storm water run-off, DRAS evaluates the exposure to a human receptor by fish ingestion and ingestion of drinking water. From a release of waste particles and volatile emissions to air from the surface of an open landfill, DRAS considers routes of exposure of inhalation of volatile constituents, inhalation of particles, and air deposition of particles on residential soil and subsequent ingestion of the contaminated soil by a child. The technical support document and the user's guide to DRAS are included in the docket.

    At a benchmark cancer risk of one in one hundred thousand (1×10−5) and a benchmark hazard quotient of 1.0, the DRAS program determined maximum allowable concentrations for each constituent in both the waste and the leachate at an annual waste volume of 1000 cubic yards disposed in a landfill for 20 years after which time the landfill is closed. We used the maximum reported total and TCLP leachate concentrations as inputs to estimate the constituent concentrations in the groundwater, soil, surface water and air.

    The maximum allowable total COC concentrations in the Filter Cake as determined by the DRAS are as follows: milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) Barium—2.85 × 107; Copper—5.34 × 106; Chromium (III)—4.56 × 1010; Hexavalent Chromium—1.36 × 104; Cyanide—2.99 × 106; Lead—1.09 × 107; Mercury—1.86 × 101; Nickel—4.76 × 106; Vanadium—1.52 × 108; Zinc—1.38 × 107; Acetone—3.63 × 108; and Methyl Ethyl Ketone—1.45 × 109. The maximum allowable leachate COC concentrations in the Filter Cake as determined by the DRAS are as follows: Milligrams per liter (mg/l) Copper—1.78 × 102; Hexavalent Chromium—1.38 × 101; Cyanide—2.27 × 101; Lead—4.18 × 100; Nickel—9.78 × 101; Vanadium—2.47 × 101; Zinc—1.48 × 103; and Acetone—3.84 × 103. The maximum allowable leachate COC concentrations in the Filter Cake as determined by TCLP are as follows: Milligrams per liter (mg/l) Barium—100; Chromium (total)—5; Mercury—0.2; and Methyl Ethyl Ketone—200.

    The concentrations of all constituents in both the waste and the leachate are below the allowable concentrations. The requested changes in delisting levels are below the allowable concentrations. EPA's decision to grant the requested changes by John Deere is based on the information submitted in support of this direct final rule, and other information in the docket.

    E. How does this final rule affect states?

    EPA is issuing this exclusion under the Federal RCRA delisting program. Thus, upon the exclusion being finalized, the wastes covered will be removed from Subtitle C control under the Federal RCRA program. This will mean, first, that the wastes will be delisted in any State or territory where the EPA is directly administering the RCRA program (e.g., Iowa, Indian Country). However, whether the wastes will be delisted in states which have been authorized to administer the RCRA program will vary depending upon the authorization status of the States and the particular requirements regarding delisted wastes in the various states.

    Some other generally authorized states have not received authorization for delisting. Thus, the EPA makes delisting determinations for such states. However, RCRA allows states to impose their own regulatory requirements that are more stringent than EPA's, under Section 3009 of RCRA. These more stringent requirements may include a provision that prohibits a Federally issued exclusion from taking effect in the state, or that requires a state concurrence before the Federal exclusion takes effect, or that allows the state to add conditions to any Federal exclusion. We urge the petitioner to contact the state regulatory authority in each state to or through which it may wish to ship its wastes to establish the status of its wastes under the state's laws.

    EPA has also authorized some states to administer a delisting program in place of the Federal program, that is, to make state delisting decisions. In such states, the state delisting requirements operate in lieu of the Federal delisting requirements. Therefore, this exclusion does not apply in those authorized states unless the state makes the rule part of its authorized program. If John Deere transports the federally excluded waste to or manages the waste in any state with delisting authorization, John Deere must obtain a delisting authorization from that state before it can manage the waste as non-hazardous in that state.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), this rule is not of general applicability and therefore is not a regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) because it applies to a particular facility only. Because this rule is of particular applicability relating to a particular facility, it is not subject to the regulatory flexibility provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), or to Sections 202, 204, and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4). Because this rule will affect only a particular facility, it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as specified in Section 203 of UMRA. Because this rule will affect only a particular facility, this final rule does not have Federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this rule. Similarly, because this rule will affect only a particular facility, this final rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the Agency does not have reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. The basis for this belief is that the Agency used the DRAS program, which considers health and safety risks to children, to calculate the maximum allowable concentrations for this rule. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. This rule does not involve technical standards; thus, the requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by Section 3 of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct.

    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. Section 804 exempts from Section 801 the following types of rules (1) Rules of particular applicability; (2) rules relating to agency management or personnel; and (3) rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties (5 U.S.C. 804(3)). EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding today's action under Section 801 because this is a rule of particular applicability. Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (February 16, 1994)) establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, 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.

    EPA has determined that this final rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. The Agency's risk assessment did not identify risks from management of this material in a Subtitle D landfill. Therefore, EPA believes that any populations in proximity of the landfills used by this facility should not be adversely affected by common waste management practices for this delisted waste.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 261

    Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, Recycling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    Sec. 3001(f) RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6921(f).

    Dated: September 14, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 261 as follows:

    PART 261—IDENTIFICATION AND LISTING OF HAZARDOUS WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 261 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6921, 6922, 6924(y) and 6938.

    2. In the second Table 1 of Appendix IX to part 261, “Wastes Excluded From Non-Specific Sources”, in the entry for “John Deere Des Moines Works of Deere & Company, Ankeny, IA”, revise entry “1. Delisting Levels” to read as follows: Appendix IX to Part 261—Wastes Excluded Under §§ 260.20 and 260.22 Table 1—Wastes Excluded From Non-Specific Sources Facility Address Waste description *         *         *         *         *         *         * John Deere Des Moines Works of Deere Company Ankeny, IA *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1. Delisting Levels: (A) The WWTS Filter Cake shall not exhibit any of the “Characteristics of Hazardous Waste” in 40 CFR part 261, subpart C. (B) All TCLP leachable concentrations (40 CFR 261.24(a)) for the following constituents must not exceed the following levels (mg/L for TCLP): Nickel—32.4. (C) Reserved. (D) All total concentrations for the following constituents must not exceed the following levels (mg/kg): Cadmium—25.5; Chromium (total)—51,000; Chromium (hexavalent)—41; Copper—2877; Nickel—3030; Zinc—10,170; Cyanide—9, Oil and Grease—64,500. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-24459 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 412 [CMS-1632-CN] RIN 0938-AS41 Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Extensions of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment for Hospitals; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule and interim final rule with comment period; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical and typographical errors in the final rule and interim final rule with comment period that appeared in the Federal Register on August 17, 2015 titled “Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Extensions of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment for Hospitals.”

    DATES:

    This document is effective October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Thompson, (410) 786-4487.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-19049 which appeared in the August 17, 2015 Federal Register, titled “Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Extensions of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment for Hospitals” (hereinafter referred to as the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule), there were a number of technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected in section IV. of this correcting document. The provisions in this correction document are effective as if they had been included in the document that appeared in the August 17, 2015 Federal Register. Accordingly, the corrections are effective October 1, 2015.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    On page 49412, we made a typographical error with regards to an MS-DRG code. We made inadvertent and technical errors related to the employment cost index (ECI) used in the wage index, the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor (as discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document), and the MGCRB reclassification status of certain providers (as discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document), each of which resulted in additional conforming corrections. Specifically, on page 49492, we inadvertently miscalculated the estimated percentage change in the ECI for compensation for the 30-day increment after March 14, 2013 and before April 15, 2013 for private industry hospital workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS') “Compensation and Working Conditions.” The ECI is used to adjust a hospital's wage data to calculate the wage index, and is based on the midpoint of a cost reporting period.

    On page 49498, we are making conforming changes to the number of hospitals in New Jersey that will be receiving the imputed rural floor and to the FY 2016 rural floor value for Nevada as a result of correcting the ECI error, the technical error in the calculation of the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor (discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document), and the error in the reclassification status of 50 providers (discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document).

    On page 49619, consistent with the conforming corrections to the IPPS outlier fixed-loss cost threshold for FY 2016 discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document, we are making further conforming corrections to the FY 2016 outlier fixed-loss amount for site neutral cases in the context of our discussion regarding LTCH PPS high-cost outliers.

    B. Summary of Errors in the Addendum

    On page 49776, we are correcting the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor as a result of a technical error made in the calculation of this factor. We are also making conforming changes to the affected rates and factors on pages 49787, 49788 and 49790 as a result of this error.

    In addition, as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document, we inadvertently miscalculated the percentage change in the ECI. The correction to the ECI necessitated recalculation of the pre-reclassified unadjusted and occupational-mix adjusted wage indexes and Geographic Adjustment Factors (GAFs) of certain core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). As a result of the corrections to the ECI and the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor, on page 49776, we recalculated the wage index budget neutrality adjustment and are making conforming changes to the tables on pages 49787 and 49788.

    On pages 49776, we recalculated the reclassification hospital budget neutrality adjustment because the reclassification status in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule did not properly reflect one of the following for 50 providers:

    • Withdrawal or termination of a Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) reclassification for FY 2016.

    • Assignment to the reclassified CBSA approved by the MGCRB or CMS Administrator.

    As a result of the MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor error, the ECI error, and reclassification error, we are making conforming technical changes to tables on pages 49787 and 49788. The technical errors discussed previously (the percentage change in the ECI error, MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor error, and reclassification error) directly affected and required the recalculation of the wage index, the recalculation of certain budget neutrality adjustments, and also indirectly resulted in errors to other factors and rates. Specifically, on pages 49777, 49778, 49787, and 49788, we are making conforming corrections to the following:

    • The rural floor budget neutrality adjustment.

    • The wage index transition budget neutrality adjustment.

    • The Rural Community Hospital Demonstration program budget neutrality adjustment.

    In addition, as discussed in section II.D. of this correcting document, we are making corrections to the uncompensated care payments. As a result of these errors (the percentage change in the ECI error, MS-DRG reclassification and recalibration budget neutrality adjustment factor error, reclassification error, and uncompensated care error) and conforming corrections, on page 49785, we are making conforming corrections to the calculation of the outlier fixed-loss cost threshold and the national and Puerto Rico-specific outlier budget neutrality factors. We are making further conforming corrections to the tables on pages 49787 and 49788 as a result of these changes, including conforming corrections in the calculation of the national and Puerto Rico specific operating standardized amounts, as a result of the conforming corrections to the operating IPPS budget neutrality factors and outlier threshold described previously.

    On pages 49791, 49793, 49794, and 49795, in our discussion of the determination of the Federal hospital inpatient capital related prospective payment rate update, we are making conforming corrections to the national GAF/MS-DRG budget neutrality adjustment factor (due to the errors in our calculation of the GAFs, which are computed from the wage index) and to the outlier threshold, and outlier budget neutrality adjustment factors (as discussed previously).

    Also, as a result of these errors, on page 49794, we are making conforming corrections in the table showing the comparison of factors and adjustments for the FY2015 capital Federal rate and FY 2016 capital Federal rate and in the table showing the comparison of factors and adjustments for the proposed FY 2016 capital Federal rate and final FY 2016 capital Federal rate.

    On page 49804, in our discussion regarding LTCH PPS high-cost outlier payments for site neutral payment rate cases, we are making conforming corrections in the FY 2016 fixed-loss amount for site neutral cases, due to the conforming correction to the IPPS outlier fixed-loss cost threshold for FY 2016 (as discussed previously).

    On page 49808, we are correcting the information on how to access the LTCH PPS tables for the FY 2016 final rule on the CMS Web Site.

    On page 49809, we are making conforming corrections to the national and Puerto Rico specific operating standardized amounts and capital standard Federal payment rates in Tables 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D as a result of the corrections to certain budget neutrality factors and the outlier threshold (as described previously).

    C. Summary of Errors in the Appendices

    On page 49809, we are correcting our estimate of the increase in FY 2016 operating payments and capital payments as a result of the technical errors that led to corrections to certain budget neutrality factors and the outlier threshold (as described previously). On pages 49813 through 49821, 49823, 49828 through 49830, and 49840, in our regulatory impact analyses, we are making conforming corrections in the discussion of the analysis of the changes in operating and capital IPPS payments for FY 2016 and the effects of certain budget neutrality factors as a result of the technical errors (as discussed previously) that lead to conforming corrections to the calculation of the operating and capital IPPS budget neutrality factors, outlier threshold, operating standardized amounts, and capital Federal rates.

    On page 49823, in the table titled “Modeled Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments for Estimated FY 2016 DSH Hospitals by Hospital Type: Model DSH $ (In Millions) From FY 2015 To FY 2016” and the accompanying discussion, we made technical and formatting errors in the estimated impacts resulting from inadvertent errors in the calculation of Factor 3 for certain hospitals.

    On pages 49829 through 49830, we are making conforming corrections to Table III—Comparison of Total Payments Per Case (FY 2015 Payments Compared to FY 2016 Payments).

    On page 49841, we are making conforming corrections to the accounting statements and tables for acute care hospitals that arose from the corrections of errors as described in section II.B. of this correcting document.

    D. Summary of Errors in and Corrections to Files and Tables Posted on the CMS Web site 1. Errors and Corrections to IPPS and LTCH PPS Tables

    We are correcting the errors in the following IPPS tables that are listed on page 49808 of the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule and are available on the Internet on the CMS Web Site at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2016-IPPS-Final-Rule-Home-Page.html:

    Table 2—Final Case-Mix Index and Wage Index Table by CCN, because of the ECI error discussed in section II.A. of this correction document, we are correcting the values in the columns titled FY 2016 Wage Index, Average Hourly Wage FY 2016, and 3-Year Average Hourly Wage (2014, 2015, 2016) for 4 providers located in CBSAs 04, 20, and 12620. Because the average hourly wage changed for these four providers which affects the area wage index, we are also correcting the FY 2016 wage indexes for other providers geographically located in, or reclassified into, CBSAs 04, 20, and 12620.

    As discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document, we are also correcting the reclassification status of 50 providers. Thus, we are correcting the FY 2016 wage index values for these providers to reflect assignment to their geographic CBSAs or reclassified CBSAs, as applicable.

    Furthermore, because we are revising the national rural floor budget neutrality adjustment as discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document, the wage index values for numerous providers in Table 2 are corrected as well.

    Table 3—Final Wage Index Table by CBSA, by correcting the ECI error, we are making corresponding changes to the wage indexes and GAFs of CBSAs 04, 20, and 12620 listed in Table 3. Specifically, we are correcting the values in the columns titled FY 2016 Average Hourly Wage, 3-Year Average Hourly Wage (2014, 2015, 2016), Wage Index, Reclassified Wage Index, GAF, and Reclassified GAF, for CBSAs 04, 20, and 12620.

    Also, by correcting Table 2 to properly indicate the withdrawal, termination, or reclassification status of the 50 providers, we are making corresponding changes to the wage indexes and GAFs listed in Table 3. Specifically, we are correcting the values in the columns titled Wage Index, Reclassified Wage Index, GAF, and Reclassified GAF. Furthermore, because we are revising the national rural floor budget neutrality adjustment as discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document, we are making corrections to the wage index values for numerous CBSAs in Table 3 as well.

    Table 5—List of Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs), Relative Weighting Factors, and Geometric and Arithmetic Mean Length of Stay—FY 2016, in the column labeled 'TYPE', to be consistent with previous fiscal years, we are revising the entries labeled 'P' to SURG and the entries labeled 'M' to MED.

    Table 10—New Technology Add-On Payment Thresholds for Applications for FY 2017. We are correcting the thresholds in this table as a result of the corrections to the operating standardized amounts discussed in section II.B. of this correcting document.

    Table 11—MS-LTC-DRGs, Relative Weights, Geometric Average Length of Stay, Short Stay Outlier (SSO) Threshold, and ”IPPS Comparable Threshold” for LTCH PPS Discharges Occurring from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. We are correcting this table by correcting typographical errors for certain MS-LTC-DRGs in the columns titled “Relative Weight,” “Geometric Average Length of Stay,” “Short-Stay Outlier (SSO) Threshold,” and “IPPS Comparable Threshold.”

    Table 12A—LTCH PPS Wage Index for Urban Areas for Discharges Occurring From October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. We are correcting this table by correcting the values in the column titled “LTCH PPS Wage Index” as result of the error in the miscalculation percentage change in the ECI, which affected the wage data for CBSA 12620, as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document.

    Table 12B—LTCH PPS Wage Index for Rural Areas for Discharges Occurring From October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. We are correcting this table by correcting the values in the column titled “LTCH PPS Wage Index” as result of the technical error in the percentage change in the ECI, which affected the wage data for CBSAs 04 and 20, as discussed in section II.A. of this correcting document.

    Table 14—List of Hospitals with Fewer Than 1,600 Medicare Discharges Based on the March 2015 Update of the FY 2014 MedPAR File and Potentially Eligible Hospitals for the FY 2016 Low-Volume Hospital Payment Adjustment (Eligibility for the low-volume hospital payment adjustment is also dependent upon meeting the mileage criteria specified at § 412.101(b)(2)(ii)). We are correcting this table by correcting typographical and technical errors for certain hospitals in the column titled “FY 2016 Low-Volume Payment Adjustment (Percentage Add-on).

    Table 18—FY 2016 Medicare DSH Uncompensated Care Payment Factor 3 and Projected DSH Eligibility. For the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule, we published a list of hospitals that we identified to be subsection (d) hospitals and subsection (d) Puerto Rico hospitals eligible to receive empirically justified Medicare DSH payment adjustments and uncompensated care payments for FY 2016. We also published, in the Supplemental Medicare DSH File located in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule data files page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/FY2016-IPPS-Final-Rule-Home-Page-Items/FY2016-IPPS-Final-Rule-Data-Files.html, the data used to calculate each hospital's Factor 3, total uncompensated care payment, and uncompensated care payment per discharge. Shortly after the publication of the FY2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule, we discovered that in calculating Factor 3 of the uncompensated care payment methodology, we inadvertently excluded the Medicaid days from the most recently available 2012 or 2011 cost report for certain providers that were projected to receive Medicare DSH in FY 2016. As a result, these providers had no Medicaid days included in the calculation of Factor 3. In order to correct these errors, we have Factor 3 for all hospitals to incorporate the changes to the data for these providers whose Medicare hospital cost report data were inadvertently excluded. These corrections to the uncompensated care payments impacted the calculation of the outlier fixed-loss cost threshold for outlier payments.

    In addition, we discovered that we had—

    • Inadvertently calculated Factor 3 for several providers using Medicaid days from a cost report that was less than a full year when a cost report that was a full year or closer to being a full year was available;

    • Erroneously provided Factor 3 values for certain new providers; and

    • Calculated a Factor 3 for a hospital that has ceased operations.

    We are revising Factor 3 for all hospitals to correct these errors; however, unlike the error in which Medicaid days for certain providers were excluded, the impacts of these three errors (specified in the bulleted list) are too small to change other aspects of the IPPS ratesetting, such as the calculation of the fixed-loss threshold for outlier payments.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date

    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 therefore 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.

    We believe that this correcting document does not constitute a rule that would be subject to the APA notice and comment or delayed effective date requirements. This correcting document corrects technical and typographic errors in the preamble, addendum, payment rates, tables, and appendices included or referenced in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the information in the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that final rule.

    In addition, even if this were a rule to which the notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects our policies. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not altering our payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply implementing correctly the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule accurately reflects these payment methodologies and policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2015-19049 of August 17, 2015 (80 FR 49325), we are making the following corrections:

    A. Corrections of Errors in the Preamble

    1. On page 49412, first column, third bulleted paragraph, the phrase “MS-DRG 007” is corrected to read “MS-DRG 207”.

    2. On page 49492, first column, after the first partial paragraph, in the table titled “Midpoint of Cost Reporting Period”, last entry (After 03/14/2013) is corrected to read as follows:

    Midpoint of Cost Reporting Period After Before Adjustment factor 03/14/2013 04/15/2013 0.99851

    3. On page 49498, first column, second full paragraph, line 9, the figure “21” is corrected to read “19”.

    3. On page 49498, second column, first partial paragraph, line 13, the figure “1.0194” is corrected to read “1.0190”.

    4. On page 49619, third column, third full paragraph, line 4, the figure “22,544” is corrected to read “22,539”.

    B. Correction of Errors in the Addendum

    1. On page 49776:

    a. First column:

    (1) Fourth full paragraph, line 3, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    (2) Fourth full paragraph, line 8, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    (3) Fifth full paragraph, line 16, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    b. Second column, third full paragraph:

    (1) Line 9, the figure “0.998749” is corrected to read “0.998738”.

    (2) Line 13, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    (3) Line 15, the figure “0.998749” is corrected to read “0.998738”.

    (4) Line 21, the figure “0.997150” is corrected to read “0.997145”.

    c. Third column, third full paragraph, line 12, the figure “0.987905” is corrected to read “0.988168”.

    2. On page 49777, second column, last paragraph, line 3, the figure “0.990298” is corrected to read “0.989859”.

    3. On page 49778:

    a. First column, second full paragraph:

    (1) Line 3, the figure “0.999996” is corrected to read “0.999997”.

    (2) Line 6, the figure “0.999996” is corrected to read “0.999997”.

    b. Third column, last paragraph, line 36, the figure “0.999861” is corrected to read “0.999837”.

    4. On page 49785:

    a. Top third of the page, second column, first full paragraph, last line, the figure “22,544” is corrected to read “22,539”.

    b. Middle of the page, the untitled table, is corrected to read as follows:

    Operating
  • standardized amounts
  • Capital
  • Federal rate
  • National 0.948999 0.936503 Puerto Rico 0.935570 0.919204

    5. On pages 49787 and 49788, the table titled “Comparison of FY 2015 Standardized Amounts to the FY 2016 Standardized Amounts”, is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of FY 2015 Standardized Amounts to the FY 2016 Standardized Amounts Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user Hospital submitted quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user Hospital did NOT
  • submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • Hospital did NOT
  • submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • FY 2015 Base Rate after removing: 1. FY 2015 Geographic Reclassification Budget Neutrality (0.990429) If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: Labor (69.6%): $4,324.23 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,888.74 If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: Labor (69.6%): $4,324.23 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,888.74 If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: Labor (69.6%): $4,324.23 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,888.74 If Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000: Labor (69.6%): $4,324.23 Nonlabor (30.4%): $1,888.74. 2. FY 2015 Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program Budget Neutrality (0.999313) 3. Cumulative FY 2008, FY 2009, FY 2012, FY 2013 and FY 2014, FY 2015 Documentation and Coding Adjustment as Required under Sections 7(b)(1)(A) and 7(b)(1)(B) of Pub. L. 110-90 and Documentation and Coding Recoupment Adjustment as required under Section 631 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (0.9329) If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: Labor (62%): $3,852.04 Nonlabor (38%): $2,360.93 If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: Labor (62%): $3,852.04 Nonlabor (38%): $2,360.93 If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: Labor (62%): $3,852.04 Nonlabor (38%): $2,360.93 If Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000: Labor (62%): $3,852.04 Nonlabor (38%): $2,360.93. 4. FY 2015 Operating Outlier Offset (0.948999) 5. FY 2015 New Labor Market Delineation Wage Index Transition Budget Neutrality Factor (0.998854) FY 2016 Update Factor 1.017 1.005 1.011 0.999. FY 2016 MS-DRG Recalibration and Wage Index Budget Neutrality Factor 0.997145 0.997145 0.997145 0.997145. FY 2016 Reclassification Budget Neutrality Factor 0.988168 0.988168 0.988168 0.988168. FY 2016 Rural Community Demonstration Program Budget Neutrality Factor 0.999837 0.999837 0.999837 0.999837. FY 2016 Operating Outlier Factor 0.948999 0.948999 0.948999 0.948999. Cumulative Factor: FY 2008, FY 2009, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016 Documentation and Coding Adjustment as Required under Sections 7(b)(1)(A) and 7(b)(1)(B) of Pub. L. 110-90 and Documentation and Coding Recoupment Adjustment as required under Section 631 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 0.9255 0.9255 0.9255 0.9255. FY 2016 New Labor Market Delineation Wage Index 3-Year Hold Harmless Transition Budget Neutrality Factor 0.999997 0.999997 0.999997 0.999997. National Standardized Amount for FY 2016 if Wage Index is Greater Than 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (69.6/30.4) Labor: $3,805.30
  • Nonlabor: $1,662.09
  • Labor: $3,760.40
  • Nonlabor: $1,642.48
  • Labor: $3,782.85
  • Nonlabor: $1,652.28
  • Labor: $3,737.95.
  • Nonlabor: $1,632.67.
  • National Standardized Amount for FY 2016 if Wage Index is less Than or Equal to 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (62/38) Labor: $3,389.78
  • Nonlabor: $2,077.61
  • Labor: $3,349.79
  • Nonlabor: $2,053.09
  • Labor: $3,369.78
  • Nonlabor: $2,065.35
  • Labor: $3,329.78.
  • Nonlabor: $2,040.84.
  • 6. On page 49788, in the center of the page, the table titled “Comparison of FY 2015 Puerto Rico-Specific Payment Rate to the FY 2016 Puerto Rico-Specific Payment Rate” is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of FY 2015 Puerto Rico-Specific Payment Rate to the FY 2016 Puerto Rico-Specific Payment Rate Update (1.7 percent); Wage index is greater than 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (63.2/36.8) Update (1.7 percent); Wage index is less than or equal to 1.0000; Labor/Non-Labor Share Percentage (62/38) FY 2015 Puerto Rico Base Rate, after removing: Labor: $1,758.02
  • Nonlabor: $1,023.66.
  • Labor: $1,724.64
  • Nonlabor: $1,057.04.
  • 1. FY 2015 Geographic Reclassification Budget Neutrality (0.990429) 2. FY 2015 Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program Budget Neutrality (0.999313) 3. FY 2015 Puerto Rico Operating Outlier Offset (0.926334) 4. FY 2015 New Labor Market Delineation Wage Index Transition Budget Neutrality Factor (0.998854) FY 2016 Update Factor 1.017 1.017. FY 2016 MS-DRG Recalibration Budget Neutrality Factor 0.998405 0.998405. FY 2016 Reclassification Budget Neutrality Factor 0.988168 0.988168. FY 2016 Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program Budget Neutrality Factor 0.999837 0.999837. FY 2016 New Labor Market Delineation Wage Index 3-Year Hold Harmless Transition Budget Neutrality Factor 0.999997 0.999997. FY 2016 Puerto Rico Operating Outlier Factor 0.935570 0.935570. Puerto Rico-Specific Payment Rate for FY 2016 Labor: $1,650.00
  • Nonlabor: $960.77.
  • Labor: $1,618.68
  • Nonlabor: $992.09.
  • 7. On page 49790, first column, last paragraph, line 15, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    8. On page 49791, third column, first full paragraph, line 6, the figure “0.85” is corrected to read “0.87”.

    9. On page 49793:

    a. Second column:

    (1) First full paragraph:

    (a) Line 16, the figure “0.9979” is corrected to read “0.9982”.

    (b) Line 19, the figure “0.9864” is corrected to read “0.9866”.

    (2) Second full paragraph, line 17, the figure “0.9858” is corrected to read “0.9860”.

    b. In third column:

    (1) Second full paragraph:

    (a) Line 2, the figure “0.9973” is corrected to read “0.9976”.

    (b) Line 4, the figure “0.9979” is corrected to read “0.9982”.

    (2) Third full paragraph:

    (a) Line 9, the figure “438.65” is corrected to read “438.75”.

    (b) Line 19, the figure “0.9973” is corrected to read “0.9976”.

    10. On page 49794:

    a. Third column, first partial paragraph:

    (1) Line 3, the figure “0.27” is corrected to read “0.24”.

    (2) Line 10, the figure “0.85” is corrected to read “0.87”.

    b. The table titled entitled “Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: FY 2015 Capital Federal Rate and FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate” is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: FY 2015 Capital Federal Rate and FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate FY 2015 FY 2016 Change Percent
  • change
  • Update Factor 1 1.0150 1.0130 1.0130 1.3 GAF/DRG Adjustment Factor 1 0.9993 0.9976 0.9976 −0.24 Outlier Adjustment Factor 2 0.9382 0.9365 0.9982 −0.18 Capital Federal Rate $434.97 $438.75 1.0087 0.87 1 The update factor and the GAF/DRG budget neutrality adjustment factors are built permanently into the capital Federal rates. Thus, for example, the incremental change from FY 2015 to FY 2016 resulting from the application of the 0.9976 GAF/DRG budget neutrality adjustment factor for FY 2016 is a net change of 0.9976 (or −0.24 percent). 2 The outlier reduction factor is not built permanently into the capital Federal rate; that is, the factor is not applied cumulatively in determining the capital Federal rate. Thus, for example, the net change resulting from the application of the FY 2016 outlier adjustment factor is 0.9365/0.9382, or 0.9982 (or −0.18 percent).

    c. The table titled entitled “Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: Proposed FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate and Final FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate” is corrected to read as follows:

    Comparison of Factors and Adjustments: Proposed FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate and Final FY 2016 Capital Federal Rate Proposed FY 2016 Final FY 2016 Change Percent change Update Factor 1.0130 1.0130 1.0000 0.00 GAF/DRG Adjustment Factor 0.9976 0.9976 1.0000 0.00 Outlier Adjustment Factor 0.9357 0.9365 1.0008 0.08 Capital Federal Rate $438.40 $438.75 1.0008 0.08

    11. On page 49795, first column:

    a. First paragraph, line 7, the figure “212.56” is corrected to read “212.55”.

    b. Third paragraph, line 21, the figure “22,544” is corrected to read “22,539”.

    12. On page 49804, second column, first full paragraph:

    a. Line 16, the figure “22,544” is corrected to read “22,539”.

    b. Line 27, the figure “22,544” is corrected to read “22,539”.

    13. On page 49808, third column, first full paragraph, lines 6 and 7, the phrase “index.html under the list item for Regulation Number” is corrected to read “index.html. Click on the link on the left side of the screen titled, “LTCHPPS Regulations and Notices” and select the list item for Regulation Number CMS-1632-F. “.

    13. On page 49809:

    a. Table 1A titled “National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor (69.6 Percent Labor Share/30.4 Percent Nonlabor Share if Wage Index is Greater than 1)—FY 2016” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1A—National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor (69.6 Percent Labor Share/30.4 Percent Nonlabor Share If Wage Index Is Greater Than 1)—FY 2016 Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.7 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.1 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital submitted quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 0.5 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −0.1 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor
    $3,805.30 $1,662.09 $3,782.85 $1,652.28 $3,760.40 $1,642.48 $3,737.95 $1,632.67

    b. Table 1B titled “National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor (62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share if Wage Index is Less than or Equal TO 1)—FY 2016” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1B—National Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts, Labor/Nonlabor (62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share If Wage Index Is Less Than or Equal to 1)—FY 2016 Hospital submitted quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.7 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 1.1 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital submitted quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = 0.5 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor Hospital did NOT submit quality data and is NOT a meaningful EHR user
  • (update = −0.1 percent)
  • Labor Nonlabor
    $3,389.78 $2,077.61 $3,369.78 $2,065.35 $3,349.79 $2,053.09 $3,329.78 $2,040.84

    c. Table 1C titled “Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts for Puerto Rico, Labor/Nonlabor (National: 62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share Because Wage Index is Less than or Equal to 1; Puerto Rico: 63.2 Percent Labor Share/36.8 Percent Nonlabor Share if Wage Index is Greater Than 1 or 62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share if Wage Index is Less than or Equal to 1—FY 2016” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1C—Adjusted Operating Standardized Amounts for Puerto Rico, Labor/Nonlabor (National: 62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share Because Wage Index Is Less Than or Equal to 1; Puerto Rico: 63.2 Percent Labor Share/36.8 Percent Nonlabor Share If Wage Index Is Greater Than 1 or 62 Percent Labor Share/38 Percent Nonlabor Share If Wage Index Is Less Than or Equal to 1—FY 2016 Standardized amount Rates if wage index is greater than 1 Labor Nonlabor Rates if wage index is less than or equal to 1 Labor Nonlabor National 1 Not Applicable Not Applicable $3,389.78 $2,077.61 Puerto Rico $1,650.00 $960.77 1,618.68 992.09 1 For FY 2016, there are no CBSAs in Puerto Rico with a national wage index greater than 1.

    d. Table 1D titled “Capital Standard Federal Payment Rates—FY 2016” is corrected as follows:

    Table 1D—Capital Standard Federal Payment Rates—FY 2016 Rate National $438.75 Puerto Rico 212.55 C. Corrections of Errors in the Appendices

    1. On page 49809, third column, first full paragraph:

    a. Line 10, the figure “$378” is corrected to read “$391”.

    b. Line 12, the figure “$187” is corrected to read “$188”.

    2. On pages 49813 through 49815, the table titled “Impact Analysis of Changes to the IPPS for Operating Costs for FY 2016” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table I—Impact Analysis of Changes to the Ipps for Operating Costs for FY 2016 Number of hospitals 1 Hospital rate update and documentation and coding adjustment FY 2016 Weights and DRG changes with application of recalibration budget neutrality FY 2016 Wage data under new CBSA designations with application of wage budget neutrality FY 2016 DRG, Rel. wts., wage index changes with wage and recalibration budget neutrality FY 2016 MGCRB Reclassifications Rural and imputed floor with application of national rural and imputed floor budget neutrality Application of the frontier wage index and out-migration adjustment All FY 2016 changes (1)  2 (2)  3 (3)  4 (4)  5 (5)  6 (6)  7 (7)  8 (8)  9 All Hospitals 3,369 0.9 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.4 By Geographic Location: Urban hospitals 2,533 0.9 0 0 0.1 −0.1 0 0.1 0.4 Large urban areas 1,393 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.2 −0.3 0 0.1 0.4 Other urban areas 1,140 0.9 0 −0.1 −0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.4 Rural hospitals 836 1.3 −0.2 −0.3 −0.5 1.4 −0.3 0.1 0.2 Bed Size (Urban): 0-99 beds 668 0.9 −0.3 −0.2 −0.4 −0.6 0.1 0.3 0.2 100-199 beds 778 0.9 −0.1 0.1 0.1 0 0.3 0.2 0.4 200-299 beds 445 0.9 0 0 0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.4 300-499 beds 428 0.9 0 0 0 −0.2 0.1 0.2 0.4 500 or more beds 214 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.2 −0.2 −0.2 0.1 0.4 Bed Size (Rural): 0-49 beds 329 1.3 −0.2 −0.3 −0.5 0.3 −0.2 0.3 −0.1 50-99 beds 297 1.4 −0.3 −0.2 −0.5 0.8 −0.2 0.1 0.2 100-149 beds 121 1.4 −0.2 −0.2 −0.4 1.7 −0.3 0.2 0.4 150-199 beds 48 1.2 −0.2 −0.4 −0.5 1.9 −0.3 0.1 0.3 200 or more beds 41 1.1 −0.1 −0.5 −0.5 2.5 −0.2 0 0.1 Urban by Region: New England 120 0.9 0 0.7 0.8 0.9 2 0.1 0 Middle Atlantic 318 0.9 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.8 −0.4 0.2 1 South Atlantic 407 0.9 0 0.1 0.1 −0.5 −0.4 0.1 0.2 East North Central 396 0.9 0 0 0.1 −0.3 −0.6 0 0.5 East South Central 150 0.9 0 −0.4 −0.4 −0.6 −0.4 0.1 −0.4 West North Central 166 0.9 0 −0.6 −0.5 −0.8 −0.5 0.8 0.3 West South Central 384 0.9 0 −0.5 −0.4 −0.6 −0.5 0 −0.4 Mountain 161 1 −0.1 −0.3 −0.3 0 −0.1 0.2 0.2 Pacific 380 0.9 0 0.4 0.3 −0.2 1.7 0.1 1 Puerto Rico 51 1 0.1 −0.9 −0.7 −1 0.1 0.1 −1.9 Rural by Region: New England 22 1.2 −0.1 −0.6 −0.7 1.7 −0.4 0 −0.1 Middle Atlantic 55 1.4 −0.1 0.2 0 0.8 −0.2 0.2 0.2 South Atlantic 128 1.2 −0.2 −0.1 −0.3 2.4 −0.2 0.1 0.6 East North Central 116 1.4 −0.2 −0.1 −0.4 1 −0.2 0.1 0.9 East South Central 164 0.9 0 −0.7 −0.7 2.5 −0.5 0.1 −1 West North Central 101 1.7 −0.4 −0.2 −0.5 0.2 0 0.3 0.8 West South Central 165 1.2 −0.1 −0.9 −0.9 1.5 −0.3 0.1 −0.8 Mountain 61 1.4 −0.3 −0.1 −0.4 0.2 −0.1 0.2 0.7 Pacific 24 1.4 −0.4 0.1 −0.3 0.7 −0.2 0 1.5 By Payment Classification: Urban hospitals 2,476 0.9 0 0 0.1 −0.1 0 0.1 0.4 Large urban areas 1,386 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.2 −0.3 0 0.1 0.4 Other urban areas 1,090 0.9 0 −0.1 −0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.4 Rural areas 893 1.3 −0.2 −0.3 −0.4 1.2 −0.2 0.3 0.3 Teaching Status: Nonteaching 2,326 1 −0.1 −0.1 −0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.3 Fewer than 100 residents 794 0.9 0 −0.1 −0.1 −0.1 0 0.2 0.4 100 or more residents 249 0.9 0.2 0.1 0.3 0 −0.2 0.1 0.4 Urban DSH: Non-DSH 653 0.9 −0.2 0.1 −0.1 −0.1 0.1 0.2 1.1 100 or more beds 1,593 0.9 0.1 0 0.1 −0.1 0 0.1 0.3 Less than 100 beds 328 0.9 −0.1 0 −0.1 −0.7 0 0.3 0.3 Rural DSH: SCH 260 1.6 −0.3 0 −0.4 0 0 0 0.7 RRC 347 1.3 −0.2 −0.3 −0.4 1.6 −0.2 0.4 0.4 100 or more beds 31 0.7 0.1 −0.6 −0.5 2.4 −0.6 0.1 −0.9 Less than 100 beds 157 0.8 0 −0.7 −0.6 1.7 −0.6 0.6 −1.2 Urban teaching and DSH: Both teaching and DSH 855 0.9 0.1 0 0.1 −0.1 −0.2 0.1 0.4 Teaching and no DSH 122 0.9 −0.1 0 −0.1 0.5 0.4 0.1 1.3 No teaching and DSH 1,066 0.9 0 0 −0.1 −0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 No teaching and no DSH 433 0.9 −0.2 0.1 −0.1 −0.4 −0.1 0.2 1.1 Special Hospital Types: RRC 189 0.9 −0.1 −0.6 −0.6 2.2 −0.4 0.6 −0.4 SCH 327 1.6 −0.3 −0.1 −0.3 −0.1 −0.1 0 0.8 MDH 150 1.3 −0.3 −0.2 −0.4 0.3 −0.2 0.2 0.6 SCH and RRC 126 1.6 −0.3 −0.1 −0.4 0.4 0 0 0.9 MDH and RRC 13 1.5 −0.3 0 −0.4 0.2 −0.2 0 0.6 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,934 0.9 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0.5 Proprietary 879 0.9 0 −0.1 −0.1 −0.1 0.1 0.1 −0.1 Government 529 0.9 0.1 −0.1 0 −0.2 0.1 0.1 0 Medicare Utilization as a Percent of Inpatient Days: 0-25 533 0.9 0.1 −0.1 0 −0.3 0.2 0 −0.6 25-50 2,134 0.9 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 0.5 50-65 571 1 −0.1 0.1 0 0.6 0 0.2 0.8 Over 65 97 1.1 −0.1 −0.2 −0.4 −0.3 0.3 0.1 0.4 FY 2016 Reclassifications by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board: All Reclassified Hospitals 789 1 0 −0.1 −0.1 2.4 −0.1 0 0.8 Non-Reclassified Hospitals 2,580 0.9 0 0 0.1 −0.9 0 0.2 0.2 Urban Hospitals Reclassified 509 0.9 0 −0.1 −0.1 2.4 −0.1 0.1 0.9 Urban Nonreclassified Hospitals 1,967 0.9 0 0.1 0.1 −0.9 0.1 0.1 0.2 Rural Hospitals Reclassified Full Year 280 1.2 −0.2 −0.3 −0.5 2.3 −0.3 0 0.4 Rural Nonreclassified Hospitals Full Year 503 1.4 −0.3 −0.3 −0.5 −0.3 −0.2 0.3 0 All Section 401 Reclassified Hospitals: 64 1.4 −0.3 0 −0.2 −0.4 −0.1 1.4 0.6 Other Reclassified Hospitals (Section 1886(d)(8)(B) of the Act) 53 1 −0.1 −0.5 −0.6 3.4 −0.5 0 −0.4 Specialty Hospitals Cardiac Specialty Hospitals 14 0.9 0.2 −0.9 −0.6 −1.1 0 0.9 0.7 1 Because data necessary to classify some hospitals by category were missing, the total number of hospitals in each category may not equal the national total. Discharge data are from FY 2014, and hospital cost report data are from reporting periods beginning in FY 2013 and FY 2012. 2 This column displays the payment impact of the hospital rate update and the documentation and coding adjustment including the 1.7 percent adjustment to the national standardized amount and hospital-specific rate (the estimated 2.4 percent market basket update reduced by the 0.5 percentage point for the multifactor productivity adjustment and the 0.2 percentage point reduction under the Affordable Care Act) and the −0.8 percent documentation and coding adjustment to the national standardized amount. 3 This column displays the payment impact of the changes to the Version 33 GROUPER, the changes to the relative weights and the recalibration of the MS-DRG weights based on FY 2014 MedPAR data in accordance with section 1886(d)(4)(C)(iii) of the Act. This column displays the application of the recalibration budget neutrality factor of 0.998405 in accordance with section 1886(d)(4)(C)(iii) of the Act. 4 This column displays the payment impact of the update to wage index data using FY 2012 cost report data and the OMB labor market area delineations based on 2010 Decennial Census data. This column displays the payment impact of the application of the wage budget neutrality factor, which is calculated separately from the recalibration budget neutrality factor, and is calculated in accordance with section 1886(d)(3)(E)(i) of the Act. The wage budget neutrality factor is 0.998738. 5 This column displays the combined payment impact of the changes in Columns 2 through 3 and the cumulative budget neutrality factor for MS-DRG and wage changes in accordance with section 1886(d)(4)(C)(iii) of the Act and section 1886(d)(3)(E) of the Act. The cumulative wage and recalibration budget neutrality factor of 0.997145 is the product of the wage budget neutrality factor and the recalibration budget neutrality factor. 6 Shown here are the effects of geographic reclassifications by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) along with the effects of the continued implementation of the new OMB labor market area delineations on these reclassifications. The effects demonstrate the FY 2016 payment impact of going from no reclassifications to the reclassifications scheduled to be in effect for FY 2016. Reclassification for prior years has no bearing on the payment impacts shown here. This column reflects the geographic budget neutrality factor of 0.988168. 7 This column displays the effects of the rural floor and imputed floor based on the continued implementation of the new OMB labor market area delineations. The Affordable Care Act requires the rural floor budget neutrality adjustment to be 100 percent national level adjustment. The rural floor budget neutrality factor (which includes the imputed floor) applied to the wage index is 0.989859. This column also shows the effect of the 3-year transition for hospitals that were located in urban counties that became rural under the new OMB delineations or hospitals deemed urban where the urban area became rural under the new OMB delineations, with a budget neutrality factor of 0.999997. 8 This column shows the combined impact of the policy required under section 10324 of the Affordable Care Act that hospitals located in frontier States have a wage index no less than 1.0 and of section 1886(d)(13) of the Act, as added by section 505 of Pub. L. 108-173, which provides for an increase in a hospital's wage index if a threshold percentage of residents of the county where the hospital is located commute to work at hospitals in counties with higher wage indexes. These are nonbudget neutral policies. 9 This column shows the changes in payments from FY 2015 to FY 2016. It reflects the impact of the FY 2016 hospital update and the adjustment for documentation and coding. It also reflects changes in hospitals' reclassification status in FY 2016 compared to FY 2015. It incorporates all of the changes displayed in Columns 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, (the changes displayed in Columns 2 and 3 are included in Column 4). The sum of these impacts may be different from the percentage changes shown here due to rounding and interactive effects.

    3. On page 49816:

    a. First column, last paragraph, line 6, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    b. Third column, first partial paragraph, line 16, the figure “0.998749” is corrected to read “0.998738”.

    4. On page 49817:

    a. First column, first full paragraph:

    (1) Line 9, the figure “0.998749” is corrected to read “0.998738”.

    (2) Line 11, the figure “0.998399” is corrected to read “0.998405”.

    (3) Line 18, the figure “0.997150” is corrected to read “0.997145”.

    b. Second column, first full paragraph, line 6, the figure “0.987905” is corrected to read “0.988168”.

    c. Third column:

    (1) First partial paragraph, line 7, the figure “21” is corrected to read “19”.

    (2) First full paragraph, line 8, the figure “0.990298” is corrected to read “0.989859”.

    (3) Last paragraph:

    (a) Line 1, the figure “371” is corrected to read “375”.

    (b) Line 3, the figure “2,998” is corrected to read “2,994”.

    (c) Line 6, the figure “0.990298” is corrected to read “0.989859”.

    (d) Line 8, the figure “0.2” is corrected to read “0.3”.

    5. On page 49818:

    a. First column, first partial paragraph:

    (1) Line 10, the figure “1.6” is corrected to read “2.0”.

    (2) Line 16, the figure “0.990298” is corrected to read “0.989859”.

    (3) Line 17, the figure “$98” is corrected to read “$115”.

    (4) Line 19, the figure “3.1” is corrected to read “3.6”.

    b. Second column, first full paragraph:

    (1) Line 1, the figure “21” is corrected to read “19”.

    (2) Line 7, the figure “0.990298” is corrected to read “0.989859”.

    (3) Line 9, the figure “$27” is corrected to read “$29”.

    (4) Line 10, the figure “$9” is corrected to read “$10”.

    (5) Line 18, the figure “$4.5” is corrected to read “$4.3”.

    (6) Line 19, the figure “$2.6” is corrected to read “$2.3”.

    c. Third column, first partial paragraph, line 15, the figure “0.999996” is corrected to read “0.999997”.

    6. On pages 49818 and 49819, the table titled “FY 2016 IPPS Estimated Payments Due to Rural Floor and Imputed Floor with National Budget Neutrality” is corrected to read as follows:

    FY 2016 IPPS Estimated Payments Due to Rural Floor and Imputed Floor With National Budget Neutrality State Number of hospitals Number of hospitals that will receive the rural floor or imputed floor Percent change in payments due to
  • application of rural floor and imputed floor with budget neutrality
  • Difference
  • (in millions)
  • (1) (2) (3) (4) Alabama 86 3 −0.4 $−7.08 Alaska 6 1 −0.3 −0.53 Arizona 55 5 −0.3 −6 Arkansas 46 0 −0.5 −4.66 California 303 203 2.2 218.44 Colorado 47 5 0.4 4.25 Connecticut 31 7 −0.5 −8.49 Delaware 6 0 −0.6 −2.54 Washington, D.C. 7 0 −0.5 −2.48 Florida 170 14 −0.3 −19.9 Georgia 105 0 −0.5 −12.47 Hawaii 12 1 −0.4 −1.16 Idaho 14 0 −0.4 −1.21 Illinois 127 2 −0.6 −25.22 Indiana 91 0 −0.5 −12.1 Iowa 35 0 −0.5 −4.33 Kansas 53 0 −0.4 −3.67 Kentucky 65 1 −0.4 −7.05 Louisiana 99 3 −0.5 −6.67 Maine 20 0 −0.5 −2.36 Massachusetts 61 39 3.6 114.58 Michigan 96 0 −0.5 −22.38 Minnesota 50 0 −0.3 −6.33 Mississippi 64 0 −0.5 −4.94 Missouri 78 0 −0.4 −9.98 Montana 12 2 0.1 0.15 Nebraska 26 0 −0.4 −2.53 Nevada 24 3 0.2 1.63 New Hampshire 13 9 1.2 5.91 New Jersey 64 19 0.3 10.01 New Mexico 25 0 −0.3 −1.41 New York 156 2 −0.6 −45.17 North Carolina 84 0 −0.4 −14.6 North Dakota 6 0 −0.3 −0.83 Ohio 132 6 −0.5 −17.56 Oklahoma 86 4 −0.4 −4.47 Oregon 34 0 −0.5 −4.85 Pennsylvania 153 3 −0.5 −22.99 Puerto Rico 51 10 0.1 0.14 Rhode Island 11 4 0.6 2.29 South Carolina 56 5 −0.2 −3.02 South Dakota 19 0 −0.3 −1.02 Tennessee 99 10 −0.5 −10.2 Texas 318 3 −0.5 −30.68 Utah 34 2 −0.4 −2.02 Vermont 6 0 −0.3 −0.6 Virginia 78 1 −0.4 −11.68 Washington 49 6 0 0.93 West Virginia 29 2 0.1 0.89 Wisconsin 66 0 −0.5 −8.19 Wyoming 11 0 −0.2 −0.23

    7. On page 49819:

    a. Second column, last paragraph, line 18, the figure “336” is corrected to read “367”.

    b. Third column, first partial paragraph, line 8, the figure “$45” is corrected to read “$55”.

    8. On pages 49820 and 49821, the table titled “Table II—Impact Analysis of Changes for FY 2016 Acute Care Hospital Operating Prospective Payment System (Payments per Discharge)” is corrected as follows:

    Table II—Impact Analysis of Changes for FY 2016 Acute Care Hospital Operating Prospective Payment System [Payments per discharge] Number of hospitals Estimated average FY 2015 payment per discharge Estimated average FY 2016 payment per discharge FY 2016 changes (1) (2) (3) (4) All Hospitals 3,369 11,329 11,372 0.4 By Geographic Location: Urban hospitals 2,533 11,680 11,725 0.4 Large urban areas 1,393 12,434 12,484 0.4 Other urban areas 1,140 10,766 10,806 0.4 Rural hospitals 836 8,424 8,442 0.2 Bed Size (Urban): 0-99 beds 668 9,254 9,276 0.2 100-199 beds 778 9,863 9,902 0.4 200-299 beds 445 10,589 10,636 0.4 300-499 beds 428 11,927 11,973 0.4 500 or more beds 214 14,285 14,340 0.4 Bed Size (Rural): 0-49 beds 329 7,048 7,043 −0.1 50-99 beds 297 7,972 7,989 0.2 100-149 beds 121 8,290 8,325 0.4 150-199 beds 48 9,109 9,132 0.3 200 or more beds 41 9,996 10,006 0.1 Urban by Region: New England 120 12,850 12,853 0 Middle Atlantic 318 13,156 13,283 1 South Atlantic 407 10,387 10,410 0.2 East North Central 396 10,950 11,009 0.5 East South Central 150 9,998 9,958 −0.4 West North Central 166 11,438 11,469 0.3 West South Central 384 10,590 10,548 −0.4 Mountain 161 12,013 12,035 0.2 Pacific 380 14,889 15,039 1 Puerto Rico 51 7,648 7,504 −1.9 Rural by Region: New England 22 11,441 11,432 −0.1 Middle Atlantic 55 8,545 8,565 0.2 South Atlantic 128 7,868 7,918 0.6 East North Central 116 8,775 8,853 0.9 East South Central 164 7,524 7,449 −1 West North Central 101 9,280 9,351 0.8 West South Central 165 7,218 7,159 −0.8 Mountain 61 9,730 9,796 0.7 Pacific 24 11,500 11,671 1.5 By Payment Classification: Urban hospitals 2,476 11,700 11,745 0.4 Large urban areas 1,386 12,440 12,490 0.4 Other urban areas 1,090 10,771 10,811 0.4 Rural areas 893 8,687 8,710 0.3 Teaching Status: Nonteaching 2,326 9,450 9,480 0.3 Fewer than 100 residents 794 10,999 11,043 0.4 100 or more residents 249 16,424 16,494 0.4 Urban DSH: Non-DSH 653 9,946 10,057 1.1 100 or more beds 1,593 12,080 12,115 0.3 Less than 100 beds 328 8,526 8,548 0.3 Rural DSH: SCH 260 8,859 8,918 0.7 RRC 347 9,023 9,056 0.4 100 or more beds 31 7,544 7,476 −0.9 Less than 100 beds 157 6,774 6,695 −1.2 Urban teaching and DSH: Both teaching and DSH 855 13,217 13,262 0.4 Teaching and no DSH 122 11,161 11,305 1.3 No teaching and DSH 1,066 9,878 9,895 0.2 No teaching and no DSH 433 9,415 9,516 1.1 Special Hospital Types: RRC 189 9,449 9,409 −0.4 SCH 327 9,951 10,034 0.8 MDH 150 6,968 7,011 0.6 SCH and RRC 126 10,591 10,691 0.9 MDH and RRC 13 8,621 8,673 0.6 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,934 11,498 11,560 0.5 Proprietary 879 9,997 9,986 −0.1 Government 529 12,240 12,244 0 Medicare Utilization as a Percent of Inpatient Days: 0-25 533 14,719 14,625 −0.6 25-50 2,134 11,265 11,322 0.5 50-65 571 9,180 9,252 0.8 Over 65 97 6,883 6,910 0.4 FY 2016 Reclassifications by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board: All Reclassified Hospitals 789 11,209 11,297 0.8 Non-Reclassified Hospitals 2,580 11,374 11,400 0.2 Urban Hospitals Reclassified 509 11,877 11,982 0.9 Urban Nonreclassified Hospitals 1,967 11,643 11,669 0.2 Rural Hospitals Reclassified Full Year 280 8,829 8,861 0.4 Rural Nonreclassified Hospitals Full Year 503 7,931 7,933 0 All Section 401 Reclassified Hospitals: 64 10,427 10,492 0.6 Other Reclassified Hospitals (Section 1886(d)(8)(B) of the Act) 53 7,855 7,828 −0.4 Specialty Hospitals Cardiac Specialty Hospitals 14 12,640 12,723 0.7

    9. On page 49823:

    a. Top of the page:

    (1) First column, second partial paragraph, line 1 the figure “2,418” is corrected to read “2,408”.

    (2) Second column, first partial paragraph, lines 1 and 2, the phrase, “It did not include hospitals in the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration,” is corrected to read “It did not include new hospitals, hospitals in the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration,”.

    b. Lower three-fourths of the page, the table titled “Modeled Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments for Estimated FY 2016 DSH Hospitals by Hospital Type: Model DSH $ (In Millions) From FY 2015 to FY 2016” is corrected as follows:

    Modeled Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments for Estimated FY 2016 DSH Hospitals by Hospital Type: Model DSH $ (In Millions) From FY 2015 to FY 2016 Number of
  • estimated
  • FY 2016 DSH
  • hospitals
  • FY 2015
  • estimated
  • DSH $ *
  • FY 2016
  • estimated
  • DSH $ *
  • Percentage
  • change **
  • (1) (2) (3) (4) Total 2,408 $10,993 $9,733 −11.5 By Geographic Location: Urban Hospitals 1,886 10,453 9,258 −11.4 Large Urban Areas 1,019 6,629 5,855 −11.7 Other Urban Areas 867 3,823 3,403 −11.0 Rural Hospitals 522 540 475 −12.1 Bed Size (Urban): 0 to 99 Beds 323 211 186 −11.7 100 to 249 Beds 825 2,514 2,195 −12.7 250 to 499 Beds 738 7,728 6,877 −11.0 Bed Size (Rural): 0 to 99 Beds 388 235 208 −11.3 100 to 249 Beds 120 246 211 −14.5 250 to 499 Beds 14 59 56 −5.6 Urban by Region: East North Central 307 1,421 1,268 −10.8 East South Central 131 649 572 −11.8 Middle Atlantic 230 1,804 1,603 −11.2 Mountain 115 504 447 −11.3 New England 86 440 388 −11.9 Pacific 298 1,649 1,455 −11.8 Puerto Rico 39 108 101 −7.3 South Atlantic 315 2,012 1,770 −12.0 West North Central 104 507 455 −10.2 West South Central 261 1,357 1,198 −11.7 Rural by Region: East North Central 66 55 49 −10.9 East South Central 146 174 151 −12.9 Middle Atlantic 27 40 34 −14.5 Mountain 22 18 16 −13.1 New England 10 17 15 −13.7 Pacific 10 6 8 35.3 South Atlantic 88 107 96 −9.5 West North Central 37 27 21 −20.1 West South Central 116 97 84 −13.6 By Payment Classification: Urban Hospitals 1,854 10,448 9,204 −11.9 Large Urban Areas 1,016 6,640 5,853 −11.9 Other Urban Areas 838 3,809 3,351 −12.0 Rural Hospitals 554 545 529 −2.8 Teaching Status: Nonteaching 1,539 3,578 3,111 −13.0 Fewer than 100 residents 629 3,585 3,190 −11.0 100 or more residents 240 3,831 3,432 −10.4 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,382 6,770 6,025 −11.0 Proprietary 539 1,904 1,660 −12.8 Government 485 2,290 2,021 −11.7 Unknown 2 30 27 −10.4 Source: Dobson DaVanzo analysis of 2011-2012 Hospital Cost Reports, 2015 Provider of Services File, FY 2015 IPPS Final Rule CN Impact File, and FY 2016 NPRM Impact File. * Dollar DSH calculated by [0.25 * estimated section 1886(d)(5)(F) payments] + [0.75 * estimated section 1886(d)(5)(F) payments * Factor 2 * Factor 3]. When summed across all hospitals projected to receive DSH payments, the estimated DSH is $10,993 million in FY 2015 and $9,733 million in FY 2016. ** Percentage change is determined as the difference between Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2016 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (column 3) and Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2015 IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule (column 2) divided by Medicare DSH payments modeled for the FY 2015 final rule (column 3) times 100 percent.

    10. On page 49828, in third column, last paragraph, line 4, the figure “0.9973” is corrected to read “0.9976”.

    11. On page 49829:

    a. Second column, last paragraph:

    (1) Line 4, the figure “3.1” is corrected to read “3.2”

    (2) Line 5, the figure “1.1” is corrected to read “1.3”

    b. Third column; last paragraph, last line, the figure “1.1” is corrected to read “1.2”.

    12. On pages 49829 and 49830, table titled “Table III.—Comparison of Total Payments Per Case [FY 2015 Payments Compared To FY 2016 Payments]” is corrected to read as follows:

    Table III—Comparison of Total Payments per Case [FY 2015 payments compared to FY 2016 payments] Number of
  • hospitals
  • Average
  • FY 2015
  • payments/case
  • Average
  • FY 2016
  • payments/case
  • Change
    By Geographic Location: All hospitals 3,369 871 890 2.3 Large urban areas (populations over 1 million) 1,393 963 987 2.5 Other urban areas (populations of 1 million of fewer) 1,140 833 851 2.1 Rural areas 836 591 599 1.4 Urban hospitals 2,533 904 925 2.4 0-99 beds 668 736 751 1.9 100-199 beds 778 788 806 2.2 200-299 beds 445 825 844 2.3 300-499 beds 428 920 943 2.4 500 or more beds 214 1,080 1,106 2.4 Rural hospitals 836 591 599 1.4 0-49 beds 329 490 497 1.5 50-99 beds 297 549 558 1.7 100-149 beds 121 591 598 1.2 150-199 beds 48 645 652 1.0 200 or more beds 41 706 715 1.3 By Region: Urban by Region 2,533 904 925 2.4 New England 120 996 1,009 1.3 Middle Atlantic 318 1,001 1,032 3.1 South Atlantic 407 805 823 2.2 East North Central 396 868 889 2.3 East South Central 150 768 780 1.6 West North Central 166 887 902 1.6 West South Central 384 817 835 2.1 Mountain 161 936 956 2.1 Pacific 380 1,150 1,187 3.2 Puerto Rico 51 403 408 1.4 Rural by Region 836 591 599 1.4 New England 22 822 828 0.7 Middle Atlantic 55 580 582 0.3 South Atlantic 128 554 567 2.3 East North Central 116 616 626 1.6 East South Central 164 536 542 1.1 West North Central 101 635 643 1.3 West South Central 165 524 524 0.1 Mountain 61 660 674 2.1 Pacific 24 768 791 3.0 By Payment Classification: All hospitals 3,369 871 890 2.3 Large urban areas (populations over 1 million) 1,386 964 988 2.5 Other urban areas (populations of 1 million of fewer) 1,090 837 855 2.2 Rural areas 893 608 615 1.1 Teaching Status: Non-teaching 2,326 739 754 2.1 Fewer than 100 Residents 794 848 866 2.2 100 or more Residents 249 1,227 1,259 2.6 Urban DSH: 100 or more beds 1,593 928 950 2.4 Less than 100 beds 328 662 677 2.2 Rural DSH: Sole Community (SCH/EACH) 260 576 580 0.7 Referral Center (RRC/EACH) 347 639 647 1.2 Other Rural: 100 or more beds 31 575 572 −0.5 Less than 100 beds 157 504 512 1.7 Urban teaching and DSH: Both teaching and DSH 855 1,003 1,028 2.5 Urban teaching and DSH: Both teaching and DSH 855 1,003 1,028 2.5 Teaching and no DSH 122 899 920 2.3 No teaching and DSH 1,066 780 797 2.3 No teaching and no DSH 433 797 816 2.4 Rural Hospital Types: Non special status hospitals 2,562 904 926 2.4 RRC/EACH 189 729 737 1.1 SCH/EACH 327 665 672 1.1 SCH, RRC and EACH 126 721 733 1.6 Hospitals Reclassified by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board: FY 2016 Reclassifications: All Urban Reclassified 551 923 949 2.8 All Urban Non-Reclassified 1,925 902 922 2.2 All Rural Reclassified 279 623 634 1.8 All Rural Non-Reclassified 504 545 551 1.2 Other Reclassified Hospitals (Section 1886(d)(8)(B) of the Act) 46 600 589 −1.9 Type of Ownership: Voluntary 1,934 884 904 2.3 Proprietary 879 785 803 2.3 Government 529 917 938 2.4 Medicare Utilization as a Percent of Inpatient Days: 0-25 533 1,046 1,074 2.7 25-50 2,134 876 896 2.3 50-65 571 717 731 2.0 Over 65 97 523 534 2.1

    13. On page 49840, third column, third paragraph:

    a. Line 11, the figure “$378” is corrected to read “$391”.

    b. Line 23, the figure “$75” is corrected to read “$88”.

    c. Line 33, the figure “$75” is corrected to read “$88”.

    d. Line 34, the figure “$85” is corrected to read “$98”.

    e. Line 39, the figure “$187” is corrected to read “$188”.

    f. Line 43, the figure “$272” is corrected to read “$285”.

    14. On page 49841, first column:

    a. Third paragraph, line 3, the figure “$272” is corrected to read “$285”.

    b. In the table titled “Table V—Accounting Statement: Classification of Estimated Expenditures Under the IPPS From FY 2015 to FY 2016”, the first entry is corrected as follows:

    Table V—Accounting Statement: Classification of Estimated Expenditures Under the IPPS From FY 2015 to FY 2016 Category Transfers Annualized Monetized Transfers −$285 million. Dated: September 30, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25269 Filed 9-30-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 418 [CMS-1629-CN] RIN 0938-AS39 Medicare Program; FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors that appeared in the final rule published in the Federal Register on August 6, 2014 entitled “Medicare Program; FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements.”

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Ventura, (410) 786-1985. [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-19033 of August 6, 2015 (80 FR 47142), there were a number of technical errors that are identified and corrected in the Correction of Errors section below. The provisions in this correction document are effective as if they had been included in the document published August 6, 2015. Accordingly, the corrections are effective October 1, 2015.

    II. Summary of Errors

    On page 47182, we inadvertently listed the incorrect hourly rate for continuous home care. We listed $38.67 instead of $38.59. On page 47203, we referenced Table H1 instead of Table 29. In addition, on page 47205, we referenced Table H2 instead of Table 30. This notice corrects theses errors.

    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 therefore 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.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2015-19033 of August 6, 2015 (80 FR 47142), make the following corrections:

    1. On page 47182, in Table 25—“FY 2016 Hospice Payment Rates For CHC, IRC, and GIP For Hospices That Do Not Submit The Required Quality Data,” for Code 652, in the “Description” column, the figure “38.67” is corrected to read “38.59”.

    2. On page 47203, in the third column, in the first full paragraph, first line, the reference to “Table H1” is corrected to read “Table 29”.

    3. On page 47205, in the second column, third line, the reference to “Table H2” is corrected to read “Table 30”.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25267 Filed 9-30-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 483 [CMS-1622-CN] RIN 0938-AS44 Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities for FY 2016, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, and Staffing Data Collection; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors in the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on August 4, 2015 entitled “Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) for FY 2016, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting Program, and Staffing Data Collection.”

    DATES:

    This document is effective October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kane, (410) 786-0557, for information related to SNF PPS. Charlayne Van, (410) 786-8659, for information related to SNF QRP.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-18950 of August 4, 2015 (80 FR 46389), there were a number of technical errors that are identified and corrected in section IV of this correcting document. The provisions in this correcting document are effective as if they had been included in the document that appeared on August 4, 2015 in the Federal Register (hereinafter referred to as the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule). Accordingly, the corrections are effective October 1, 2015.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    On pages 46436, 46437, 46439, 46450 and 46452 we inadvertently made typographical and other technical errors.

    On pages 46400 and 46405, where we provide a link to the CMS Web site listing the wage index for FY 2016, we inadvertently omitted reference to Table B. These pages are being corrected to state that the wage index applicable for FY 2016 is set forth in Tables A and B available on the CMS Web site.

    B. Summary of Errors in and Corrections to Tables Posted on the CMS Web Site

    In Table A setting forth the Wage Index for Urban Areas Based on CBSA Labor Market Areas, which is available exclusively on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/WageIndex.html, following the complete list of correct wage index values, we inadvertently included a number of additional, erroneous values in the final wage index table. The version of Table A that was initially posted to the CMS Web site on July 30, 2015 correctly included all of the final wage index values for all CBSAs in rows 1 through 1238, but also inadvertently included some of the proposed wage index values, beginning in row 1240 of Table A. Therefore, we eliminated the additional, erroneous values beyond row 1238 of the table posted to the CMS Web site.

    Additionally, Table B posted to the CMS Web site, which provides the non-urban wage index values by state had Column A mislabeled as “CBSA” while it should have read “State Code” and Column B mislabeled as “Urban Area” while it should have read “Non-urban Area”. Therefore, in Table B, the header for Column A has been changed from “CBSA” to “State Code” and the header for Column B has been changed from “Urban Area” to “Non-Urban Area”.

    In addition, on page 49492 of the FY 2016 hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) final rule (80 FR 49325, August 17, 2015), the estimated percentage change in the employment cost index (ECI) for compensation for the 30-day increment after March 14, 2013, and before April 15, 2013, for private industry hospital workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS') “Compensation and Working Conditions” was inadvertently miscalculated. The ECI is used to adjust a hospital's wage data to calculate the wage index, and is based on the midpoint of a cost reporting period. This technical error necessitated recalculation of the pre-reclassified unadjusted and occupational mix adjusted wage indexes and Geographic Adjustment Factors (GAFs) of certain core-based statistical areas (CBSAs).

    This error is identified, discussed and corrected in the Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2016 Rates; Revisions of Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers, including Changes Related to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Extensions of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment for Hospitals; Correction that appears elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    This error affected the adjustment factor applied to four hospitals with FY 2013 cost reporting periods that have midpoints after March 14, 2013 and before April 15, 2013, which in turn affected the wage index values for these hospitals and the areas in which they are located. One of these hospitals is geographically located in non-urban Arkansas (State Code 04), two hospitals are geographically located in non-urban Maine (State Code 20), and one urban hospital is located in Maine (CBSA 12620). Thus, the pre-reclassified unadjusted wage indexes for these three areas were calculated incorrectly. We are correcting the wage indexes for these three areas in Table A and Table B accordingly on the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/WageIndex.html. Specifically, the wage index value for CBSA 12620 has been corrected from 0.9845 to 0.9980, the wage index value for State Code 04 (Arkansas) has been corrected from 0.7217 to 0.7219, and the wage index value for State Code 20 (Maine) has been corrected from 0.8455 to 0.8477.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delayed Effective Date

    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 therefore 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 correcting document does not constitute a rule that would be subject to the APA notice and comment or delayed effective date requirements. This correcting document corrects technical and typographic errors in the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule and in the tables issued in connection with the final rule, but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the information in the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that final rule.

    In addition, even if this were a rule to which the notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule and the tables issued in connection with the final rule accurately reflect our methodologies, payment rates and policies. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not making substantive changes to our payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply implementing correctly the methodologies and policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule and the tables issued in connection with the final rule accurately reflect these methodologies and policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In the FR Doc. 2015-18950 of August 4, 2015 (80 FR 46389), make the following corrections:

    1. On page 46400, bottom half of the page, third column, first partial paragraph, line 14, the phrase “Table A” is corrected to read “Tables A and B”.

    2. On page 46405, top third of the page, third column, first partial paragraph, line 2, the phrase “Table A” is corrected to read “Tables A and B”.

    3. On page 46436, first column, footnote 38:

    a. Line 1, the term “Nation” is corrected to read “National”.

    b. Line 2, the term “Standardbreds” is corrected to read “Standards”.

    c Line 3, the term “Minutes” is corrected to read “Transcript”.

    4. On page 46437, first column, first partial paragraph, line 19, the phrase “are not” is corrected to read “will not be”.

    5. On page 46439, third column, first partial paragraph, lines 7 through 8, the phrase “unstageable and sDTIs” is corrected to read “unstageable pressure ulcers and sDTIs”.

    6. Page 46450, third column, first partial paragraph, line 23, the phrase “input from clinicians would be” is corrected to read “input from clinicians who would be”.

    7. Page 46452, second column, footnote 86, “86 Peter C. Smith, Elias Mossialos, Irene Papanicolas and Sheila Leatherman. Performance Measurement for Health” is corrected to read “86 Lisa I. Iezzoni, “Risk Adjustment for Performance Management”. In Performance Measurement for Health System Improvement: Experiences, Challenges and Prospects, ed. Peter C. Smith, Elias Mossialos, Irene Papanicolas and Sheila Leatherman. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 261-262.”.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25268 Filed 9-30-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8403] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule identifies communities where the sale of flood insurance has been authorized under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that are scheduled for suspension on the effective dates listed within this rule because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receives documentation that the community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in this rule, the suspension will not occur and a notice of this will be provided by publication in the Federal Register on a subsequent date. Also, information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book (CSB). The CSB is available at http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.

    DATES:

    The effective date of each community's scheduled suspension is the third date (“Susp.”) listed in the third column of the following tables.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you want to determine whether a particular community was suspended on the suspension date or for further information, contact Bret Gates, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-4133.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NFIP enables property owners to purchase Federal flood insurance that is not otherwise generally available from private insurers. In return, communities agree to adopt and administer local floodplain management measures aimed at protecting lives and new construction from future flooding. Section 1315 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits the sale of NFIP flood insurance unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed in this document no longer meet that statutory requirement for compliance with program regulations, 44 CFR part 59. Accordingly, the communities will be suspended on the effective date in the third column. As of that date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the community. We recognize that some of these communities may adopt and submit the required documentation of legally enforceable floodplain management measures after this rule is published but prior to the actual suspension date. These communities will not be suspended and will continue to be eligible for the sale of NFIP flood insurance. A notice withdrawing the suspension of such communities will be published in the Federal Register.

    In addition, FEMA publishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in these communities. The date of the FIRM, if one has been published, is indicated in the fourth column of the table. No direct Federal financial assistance (except assistance pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act not in connection with a flood) may be provided for construction or acquisition of buildings in identified SFHAs for communities not participating in the NFIP and identified for more than a year on FEMA's initial FIRM for the community as having flood-prone areas (section 202(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. 4106(a), as amended). This prohibition against certain types of Federal assistance becomes effective for the communities listed on the date shown in the last column. The Administrator finds that notice and public comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), are impracticable and unnecessary because communities listed in this final rule have been adequately notified.

    Each community receives 6-month, 90-day, and 30-day notification letters addressed to the Chief Executive Officer stating that the community will be suspended unless the required floodplain management measures are met prior to the effective suspension date. Since these notifications were made, this final rule may take effect within less than 30 days.

    National Environmental Policy Act. This rule is categorically excluded from the requirements of 44 CFR part 10, Environmental Considerations. No environmental impact assessment has been prepared.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Administrator has determined that this rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, Section 1315, 42 U.S.C. 4022, prohibits flood insurance coverage unless an appropriate public body adopts adequate floodplain management measures with effective enforcement measures. The communities listed no longer comply with the statutory requirements, and after the effective date, flood insurance will no longer be available in the communities unless remedial action takes place.

    Regulatory Classification. This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under the criteria of section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism. This rule involves no policies that have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule meets the applicable standards of Executive Order 12988.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule does not involve any collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

    PART 64—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp.; p. 329; E.O. 12127, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp.; p. 376.

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community
  • No.
  • Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective
  • map date
  • Date certain
  • Federal
  • assistance
  • no longer
  • available
  • in SFHAs
  • Region VI New Mexico: Otero County, Unincorporated Areas 350044 August 7, 1975, Emerg; August 1, 1987, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. November 4, 2015 November 4, 2015. Tularosa, Village of, Otero County 350046 N/A, Emerg; December 16, 2011, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. *.....do   Do. Region VIII Montana: Columbia Falls, City of, Flathead County 300024 June 25, 1974, Emerg; October 15, 1985, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. .....do   Do. Flathead County, Unincorporated Areas 300023 October 31, 1975, Emerg; September 5, 1984, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. .....do   Do. Kalispell, City of, Flathead County 300025 July 27, 1976, Emerg; September 17, 1980, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. .....do   Do. Whitefish, City of, Flathead County 300026 August 6, 1975, Emerg; July 16, 1979, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. .....do   Do. Region IX Hawaii: Maui County, Unincorporated Areas 150003 September 18, 1970, Emerg; June 1, 1981, Reg; November 4, 2015, Susp. .....do   Do. *do = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg. —Emergency; Reg. —Regular; Susp. —Suspension.
    Dated: September 22, 2015 Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25222 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE223 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is exchanging unused Community Development Quota (CDQ) for CDQ acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective October 5, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 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 flathead sole, rock sole and yellowfin sole CDQ reserves specified in the BSAI are 2,320 metric tons (mt), 7,085 mt, and 16,543 mt as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and following revisions (80 FR 58220, September 28, 2015). The 2015 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves are 4,756 mt, 12,357 mt, and 10,079 mt as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and following revisions (80 FR 58220, September 28, 2015).

    The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association has requested that NMFS exchange 568 mt of flathead sole and 210 mt of rock sole CDQ reserves for 778 mt of yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves under § 679.31(d). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.31(d), NMFS exchanges 568 mt of flathead sole and 210 mt of rock sole CDQ reserves for 778 mt of yellowfin sole CDQ ABC reserves in the BSAI. This action also decreases and increases the TACs and CDQ ABC reserves by the corresponding amounts. Tables 11 and 13 of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and following revisions (80 FR 58220, September 28, 2015) are further revised as follows:

    Table 11—Final 2015 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAs), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole TACs [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector Pacific ocean perch Eastern Aleutian District Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District Flathead sole BSAI Rock sole BSAI Yellowfin sole BSAI TAC 8,000 7,000 9,000 17,787 67,265 157,448 CDQ 856 749 963 1,752 6,875 17,321 ICA 100 75 10 5,000 8,000 5,000 BSAI trawl limited access 704 618 161 0 0 16,165 Amendment 80 6,340 5,558 7,866 11,035 52,390 118,962 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative 3,362 2,947 4,171 1,708 13,318 44,455 Alaska Seafood Cooperative 2,978 2,611 3,695 9,327 39,072 74,507 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding. Table 13—Final 2015 and 2016 ABC Surplus, Community Development Quota (CDQ) ABC Reserves, and Amendment 80 ABC Reserves in the BSAI for Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 2015
  • Flathead
  • sole
  • 2015
  • Rock sole
  • 2015
  • Yellowfin
  • sole
  • 2016
  • Flathead
  • sole
  • 2016
  • Rock sole
  • 2016
  • Yellowfin
  • sole
  • ABC 66,130 181,700 248,800 63,711 164,800 245,500 TAC 17,787 67,265 157,448 24,250 69,250 149,000 ABC surplus 48,343 114,435 91,352 39,461 95,550 96,500 ABC reserve 48,343 114,435 91,352 39,461 95,550 96,500 CDQ ABC reserve 5,324 12,567 9,301 4,222 10,224 10,326 Amendment 80 ABC reserve 43,019 101,868 82,051 35,239 85,326 86,175 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative for 2015 1 3,836 24,840 35,408 n/a n/a n/a Alaska Seafood Cooperative for 2015 1 39,183 77,028 46,643 n/a n/a n/a 1 The 2016 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2015.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the flatfish exchange by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association in the BSAI. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of September 24, 2015.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25291 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 192 Monday, October 5, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Chapter I [Docket ID FFIEC-2014-0001] FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Chapter II [Docket No. R-1510] FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Chapter III Regulatory Publication and Review Under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 AGENCIES:

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), Treasury; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”); and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”).

    ACTION:

    Notice of outreach meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The OCC, Board, and FDIC (together “we” or “Agencies”) announce the fifth in a series of outreach meetings on the Agencies' interagency process to review their regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (“EGRPRA”).

    DATES:

    An outreach meeting will be held in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, October 19, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT). Online registrations will be accepted through October 13, 2015, or until all seats are filled, whichever is earlier. If seats are available after the close of online registration, individuals may register in person at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on the day of the meeting. The sixth outreach meeting is scheduled for December 2, 2015, in the Washington, DC, area.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Agencies will hold the October 19, 2015, outreach meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, Illinois 60604. Live video of this meeting will be streamed at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/. Participants attending in person should register at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/outreach/outreach-index.html.

    In addition, to enhance participation, interested persons anywhere in the country will have the opportunity to view and participate in the meeting online using their computers. Members of the public watching online will be able to submit written comments at any time during the meeting using the text chat feature. In addition to the online option, a toll-free telephone number (888-431-3632) is available for members of the public who would like only to listen to the meeting, and who may choose later to submit written comments. Information regarding these additional participation options is described in the meeting details section for the Chicago meeting at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/outreach/outreach-meeting-details-chicago.html.

    Any interested individual may submit comments through the EGRPRA Web site during open comment periods at: http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/submit-comment/submit-comment-index.html. On this site, click “Submit a Comment” and follow the instructions. Alternatively, comments also may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal “Regulations.gov” at: http://www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID FFIEC-2014-0001” in the Search Box, click “Search,” and click “Comment Now.” Those who wish to submit their comments by an alternate means may do so as indicated by each agency below.

    OCC

    The OCC encourages commenters to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Regulations.gov, in accordance with the previous paragraph. Alternatively, comments may be emailed to [email protected] or sent by mail to Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Mail Stop 9W-11, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. Comments also may be faxed to (571) 465-4326 or hand delivered or sent by courier to 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. For comments submitted by any means other than Regulations.gov, you must include “OCC” as the agency name and “Docket ID FFIEC-2014-0001” in your comment.

    In general, the OCC will enter all comments received into the docket and publish them without change on Regulations.gov. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, as well as any business or personal information you provide, such as your name and address, email address, or phone number, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Therefore, please do not include any information with your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    You may inspect and photocopy in person all comments received by the OCC at 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. For security reasons, the OCC requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect or photocopy comments. You may make an appointment by calling (202) 649-6700 or, for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY (202) 649-5597. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and submit to a security screening.

    Board

    The Board encourages commenters to submit comments regarding the Board's regulations by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Agency Web site.

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal, in accordance with the directions above.

    Email: [email protected]. Include “EGRPRA” and Docket No. R-1510 in the subject line of the message.

    FAX: (202) 452-3819.

    Mail: Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    In general, the Board will enter all comments received into the docket and publish them without change on the Board's public Web site, www.federalreserve.gov; Regulations.gov; and http://egrpra.ffiec.gov. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, as well as any business or personal information you provide, such as your name and address, email address, or phone number, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Therefore, please do not enclose any information with your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    You may inspect and photocopy in person all comments received by the Board in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW. (between 18th and 19th Street NW.), Washington, DC 20006, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. For security reasons, the Board requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may make an appointment by calling (202) 452-3000. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and submit to a security screening.

    FDIC

    The FDIC encourages commenters to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, “Regulations.gov,” in accordance with the directions above. Alternatively, you may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal. Follow instructions for submitting comments on the Agency Web site.

    Email: [email protected] Include “EGRPRA” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Attention: Comments, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

    The FDIC will post all comments received to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal without change, including any personal information provided. Comments may be inspected and photocopied in the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on business days. Paper copies of public comments may be ordered from the Public Information Center by calling (877) 275-3342.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    OCC: Heidi M. Thomas, Special Counsel, (202) 649-5490; for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY (202) 649-5597.

    Board: Kevin Wilson, Financial Analyst, (202) 452-2362; Claudia Von Pervieux, Counsel (202) 452-2552; for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY (202) 263-4869.

    FDIC: Ruth R. Amberg, Assistant General Counsel, (202) 898-3736; for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY 1-800-925-4618.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EGRPRA 1 directs the Agencies, along with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (Council), not less frequently than once every ten years, to conduct a review of their regulations to identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulations imposed on insured depository institutions. As part of this review, the Agencies are holding a series of six outreach meetings to provide an opportunity for bankers, consumer and community groups, and other interested persons to present their views directly to senior management and staff of the Agencies on any of 12 specific categories of the Agencies' regulations, as further described below. The Agencies held the first of these outreach meetings on December 2, 2014, in Los Angeles, California; the second outreach meeting on February 4, 2015, in Dallas, Texas; the third outreach meeting on May 4, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts; and the fourth outreach meeting, which focused on rural banks and their communities, on August 4, 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri. Additional details, including videos and transcripts of the first four outreach meetings, are available on the EGRPRA Web site at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/outreach/outreach-index.html.

    1 Public Law 104-208 (1996), 110 Stat. 3009-414, codified at 12 U.S.C. 3311.

    The fifth outreach meeting will be held on October 19, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, and will be streamed live at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/. FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry, and FRB Governor Lael Brainard are scheduled to attend, along with senior staff members of the Agencies. The meeting will consist of panels of bankers and consumer and community groups who will present particular issues. There will be limited time after each panel for comments from meeting attendees. In addition, there will be a session at the end of the meeting during which audience members may present views on any of the regulations under review. The Agencies reserve the right to limit the time of individual commenters, if needed, in order to accommodate the number of persons desiring to speak.

    Comments made by panelists, audience members, and online participants at this meeting will be reflected in the public comment file. Audience members who do not wish to comment orally may submit written comments at the meeting. As noted above, any interested person may submit comments through the EGRPRA Web site during open comment periods at: http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/submit-comment/submit-comment-index.html or directly to the Agencies through any of the other manners specified above.

    All participants attending in person should register for the Chicago outreach meeting at http://egrpra.ffiec.gov/outreach/outreach-index.html. Because of space constraints, on-site attendance will be limited. Online registrations will be accepted through October 13, 2015, or until all seats are filled, whichever is earlier. If seats are available, individuals may register in person at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on the day of the meeting. Individuals do not need to register to view the live-stream broadcast.

    We note that the meeting will be video-recorded and publicly webcast in order to increase education and outreach. By participating in person at the meeting, you consent to appear in such recordings.

    Additional Background on EGRPRA

    Section 2222 of EGRPRA directs the Agencies, along with the Council, to conduct a review of their regulations not less frequently than once every ten years to identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements imposed on insured depository institutions. In conducting this review, the Agencies are required to categorize their regulations by type and, at regular intervals, provide notice and solicit public comment on categories of regulations, requesting commenters to identify areas of regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome. The statute requires the Agencies to publish in the Federal Register a summary of the comments received, identifying significant issues raised and commenting on these issues. The statute also directs the Agencies to eliminate unnecessary regulations to the extent that such action is appropriate. Finally, section 2222 requires the Council, of which the Agencies are members, to submit a report to Congress that summarizes any significant issues raised in the public comments and the relative merits of such issues. The report also must include an analysis of whether the Agencies are able to address the regulatory burdens associated with such issues by regulation or whether these burdens must be addressed by legislative action.

    For purposes of this review, the Agencies have grouped our regulations into 12 categories: Applications and Reporting; Banking Operations; Capital; Community Reinvestment Act; Consumer Protection; Directors, Officers and Employees; International Operations; Money Laundering; Powers and Activities; Rules of Procedure; Safety and Soundness; and Securities. On June 4, 2014, we published a Federal Register notice announcing the start of the EGRPRA review process and also asking for public comment on three of these categories—Applications and Reporting; Powers and Activities; and International Operations regulations.2 In that notice we published a chart, listing the Agencies' regulations in the 12 categories included in the EGRPRA review. On February 13, 2015, we published a Federal Register notice asking for public comment on three additional categories—Banking Operations; Capital; and the Community Reinvestment Act.3 The comment period for the second Federal Register notice closed on May 14, 2015. On June 5, 2015, the Agencies published a third Federal Register notice asking for public comment on three additional categories—Consumer Protection; Directors, Officers and Employees; and Money Laundering.4 The comment period for the third notice closed on September 3, 2015. As noted in the third Federal Register notice, the Agencies' will take comment on all of our regulations issued in final form up to the date that we publish the last EGRPRA notice for public comment. In the third notice, we published an additional chart, listing the rules included in the review that had not been reflected in prior charts. Before the end of the year, the Agencies intend to issue the final Federal Register notice, requesting comment on regulations in the last three categories—Rules of Procedure; Safety and Soundness; and Securities, as well as on any other final rules not covered by one of the prior Federal Register notices.

    2 79 FR 32172.

    3 80 FR 7980.

    4 80 FR 32046.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency. By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 28, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board. Dated: September 29, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation by Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25258 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33P; 6210-01-P; 6714-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 107 RIN 3245-AG67 Small Business Investment Companies; Passive Business Expansion & Technical Clarifications AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) proposes to revise the regulations for the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to expand the use of Passive Businesses and provide further clarification with regard to investments in such businesses. SBICs are generally prohibited from investing in passive businesses under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended (Act). SBIC program regulations provide for two exceptions that allow an SBIC to structure an investment utilizing a passive small business as a pass-through. The first exception provides conditions under which an SBIC may structure an investment through up to two levels of passive entities to make an investment in a non-passive business that is a subsidiary of the passive business directly financed by the SBIC. The second exception enables a partnership SBIC, with SBA's prior approval, to provide financing to a small business through a passive, wholly-owned C corporation, but only if a direct financing would cause the SBIC's investors to incur Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI). A passive C corporation formed under the second exception is commonly known as a blocker corporation. This proposed rule would clarify the first exception, and would expand the permitted use of blocker corporations and eliminate the prior approval requirement in the second exception. The rule also proposes to add new reporting and other requirements for passive investments to help protect SBA's financial interests and ensure adequate oversight and make minor technical amendments.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before December 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN 3245-AG67, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail, Hand Delivery/Courier: Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416.

    SBA will post comments on http://www.regulations.gov. If you wish to submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User Notice at http://www.regulations.gov, please submit the information to Theresa Jamerson, Office of Investment and Innovation, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416. Highlight the information that you consider to be CBI and explain why you believe this information should be held confidential. SBA will review the information and make the final determination of whether it will publish the information or not.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Jamerson, Office of Investment and Innovation, (202) 205-7563 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Passive Businesses Section 107.720 Small Businesses That May Be Ineligible for Financing

    The Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended, and the SBIC program regulations prohibit an SBIC from making passive investments. The implementing regulation at 13 CFR 107.720(b) defines a business as passive if: (1) It is not engaged in a regular and continuous business operation; (2) its employees do not carry on the majority of day-to-day operations, and the company does not exercise day-to-day control and supervision over contract workers; or (3) the business passes through substantially all financing proceeds to another entity.

    The current regulation provides for two exceptions that allow an SBIC to structure an investment utilizing a passive small business as a pass-through. The first exception, identified in § 107.720(b)(2), permits an investment utilizing up to two passive entities, as long as substantially all of the financing proceeds are passed through to one or more active “subsidiary companies,” each of which is an eligible small business. The regulation defines a subsidiary company as one in which the financed passive business directly or indirectly owns at least 50% of the outstanding voting securities. As an example, this exception allows an SBIC to finance ABC Holdings 1, a passive small business, with the proceeds flowing through ABC Holdings 2, another passive small business, and then to ABC Manufacturing, a non-passive small business in which ABC Holdings 1 owns directly or indirectly at least 50% of the outstanding voting securities. SBA also interprets § 107.720(b)(2) to permit a financing to ABC Holdings 1 that is used to acquire an ownership interest in ABC Manufacturing (either directly or indirectly through ABC Holdings 2). In this case, ABC Manufacturing would have to qualify as a subsidiary of ABC Holdings 1 post-acquisition.

    The second exception, identified in § 107.720(b)(3), allows a partnership SBIC, with SBA's prior approval, to form and finance a passive, wholly-owned C corporation (commonly known as a blocker corporation) that in turn provides financing to an active, unincorporated small business. This structure is permitted only if a direct financing of the unincorporated small business would cause at least one of the SBIC's investors to incur Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI) under section 511 of the Internal Revenue Code, which may arise from an activity engaged in by a tax-exempt organization that is not related to the tax-exempt purpose of that organization.

    SBA published a final rule (79 FR 62819) on October 21, 2014 that expanded the exception contained in § 107.720(b)(2) to allow two levels of pass-through entities, as described above. Prior to the rule change, the regulation permitted only one pass-through entity. As part of that rulemaking, SBA received one set of comments suggesting further expansion of the rule. In the preamble to the final rule, SBA stated that it would consider the following suggestions in future rulemaking:

    (1) Revise § 107.720(b)(2) to explicitly state that an SBIC may “form and finance” (rather than merely “finance”) a passive business;

    (2) Eliminate the requirement for SBA's prior approval to form a blocker corporation under § 107.720(b)(3); and

    (3) Revise § 107.720(b)(3) to permit an SBIC to form a blocker corporation to enable its foreign investors to avoid “effectively connected income” under the Internal Revenue Code.

    This proposed rule addresses each of these suggestions. With respect to the suggestion to allow SBICs to not only finance, but form and finance, a passive business, SBA interprets the existing regulation to implicitly permit formation of a passive business. SBA recognizes that many SBICs have relied on § 107.720(b)(2) to finance newly-formed passive holding companies that in turn have used the proceeds to acquire active small businesses. Particularly since the regulatory restrictions on control of a small business were largely removed in 2002 in response to an amendment to the Act, a number of SBICs have taken controlling equity interests in many of their portfolio companies, typically through a holding company. In these cases the SBIC first formed, and then financed, the holding company. To formalize SBA's interpretation of the regulation, the proposed rule would revise § 107.720(b)(2) to explicitly allow SBICs to form and then finance a passive business as part of an otherwise permitted transaction. As a further clarification, and consistent with SBA's interpretation of current § 107.720(b)(2), the proposed rule would explicitly permit a financing of a passive business that uses the proceeds to acquire all or part of a non-passive business.

    In considering the suggestion to eliminate the requirement for SBA prior approval to form a blocker corporation under § 107.720(b)(3), SBA acknowledges that these requests are routinely approved as long as an SBIC identifies one or more tax-exempt investors that would incur UBTI absent the blocker corporation. SBA believes the prior approval requirement could be replaced by a certification that would provide the same assurance. The proposed rule would remove the approval requirement from § 107.720(b)(3) and revise § 107.610, a regulation that requires SBICs to make certain certifications upon financing a small business, to require the SBIC to certify as to the basis of the qualification of a financing under § 107.720(b)(3), as discussed below.

    In considering the suggestion to permit an SBIC to form a blocker corporation to enable its foreign investors to avoid “effectively connected income” (ECI), SBA believes that it is consistent with the goals of the SBIC program to encourage foreign investment that will benefit U.S. small businesses. This proposed rule would expand § 107.720(b)(3) to permit an SBIC to form a blocker corporation if a direct financing would cause its investors to incur ECI.

    SBA is proposing two additional changes to § 107.720(b)(3). First, the rule proposes to remove part of the last sentence that provides that an SBIC's ownership of a blocker corporation formed under § 107.720(b)(3) will not constitute a violation of § 107.865(a). This provision was necessary when § 107.865(a) generally prohibited an SBIC from assuming control over a small business (in this case, the wholly-owned blocker corporation). On October 22, 2002, SBA published a final rule (67 FR 64789) that revised § 107.865(a) to permit an SBIC to exercise control over a small business for up to seven years without SBA approval. This rule made the carve-out in § 107.720(b)(3) unnecessary. An SBIC that needs to hold an investment in a blocker corporation longer than seven years can seek SBA approval of an extension of control in accordance with § 107.865(d).

    Second, the proposed rule addresses structuring an investment with a second passive level when the first passive level is a blocker corporation formed under § 107.720(b)(3). The proposed change would allow the blocker corporation to either (1) directly finance a non-passive small business, or (2) provide financing to a second passive small business that passes the proceeds through to a non-passive small business in which it owns at least 50 percent of the outstanding voting securities. SBA's intention in proposing this change is to provide SBICs with flexibility similar to that provided in § 107.720(b)(2), while still limiting investments to a maximum of two passive levels to ensure effective oversight of SBICs.

    The proposed revisions of § 107.720(b)(2) and (3), particularly when added to the changes promulgated in the October 21, 2014 final rule, would provide SBICs with considerably more flexibility to invest through passive holding companies and can be expected to increase the prevalence of permissible passive investments in the SBIC program. As a result, SBA has also reviewed certain credit concerns it has related to passive investments. As noted in the October 21, 2014 final rule, these concerns relate specifically to SBA's ability to collect from SBICs that default on their debt to SBA. Even under § 107.720(b) as it existed prior to the final rule, SBA had encountered issues that adversely affected its recoveries from defaulting SBICs with assets that were held indirectly through a passive company: These concerns included the effect of fees and expenses charged at each level, potentially diverting money from the actual investment and returns, as well as SBA's potential lack of access to the books and records of the passive business(es). To address these concerns, proposed § 107.720(b)(4) would add or clarify the following requirements with respect to any passive investment made under § 107.720(b)(2) or (b)(3):

    (1) Clarifying the meaning of “substantially all.” Current § 107.720(b)(2) requires “substantially all” financing proceeds to be passed through to an eligible non-passive small business, but does not define what constitutes “substantially all.” SBA believes that a specific definition would help ensure that eligible small businesses benefit from the financing dollars, as intended, and would provide SBICs and SBA with more certainty that a transaction complies with the regulations. SBA proposes to define “substantially all” for purposes of this regulation to mean 99 percent of the financing proceeds after deduction of actual application fees, closing fees, and expense reimbursements, which may not exceed those permitted under § 107.860. SBA recognizes that SBICs engage in many different types of financing transactions, and does not seek to impose a definition that interferes with an SBIC's ability to structure a transaction appropriately; however, SBA believes the amount of the proceeds received by the non-passive business should not be reduced merely because of the SBIC's use of one or more passive vehicles.

    (2) Requiring fees charged by an SBIC or its Associate to not exceed those permitted if the SBIC had directly financed the eligible Small Business. Among SBICs that have defaulted on SBA leverage, SBA has observed that passive investments are often associated with higher overall fees than direct investments in active small businesses. As noted in the preamble to the October 2014 final rule, SBA is concerned that excessive fees may reduce the funding provided to the active small business investment and adversely affect returns to the SBIC. To limit the potential for excessive fees in financings permitted under § 107.720(b)(2) and (b)(3), SBA is proposing to add a provision to clarify that fees collected by SBICs and their Associates under §§ 107.860 and 107.900 may not exceed the fees that would be permitted under the same two sections if the SBIC directly financed a non-passive small business. The proposed rule also provides that such fees be remitted to the SBIC within 30 days of receipt. This requirement will help SBA regulate whether the fees meet regulatory requirements, ensure that the SBIC benefits from those fees in a timely manner, and help in the identification and recovery of fees in the case of an SBIC default.

    (3) Clarifying that both passive and non-passive businesses included in a financing are “Portfolio Concerns.” The SBIC program regulations provide SBA with certain information rights with respect to any “Portfolio Concern,” defined in § 107.50 as “a Small Business Assisted by a Licensee.” SBA believes that in a permitted passive investment, both the passive business(es) and the non-passive business are Portfolio Concerns. Nevertheless, particularly in attempting to make recoveries from SBICs that have defaulted on SBA leverage, SBA has sometimes been hindered by a lack of access to the books and records of the passive business. Therefore, the proposed rule would add a provision under § 107.720(b)(4) to clarify that both passive and non-passive businesses included in a financing are Portfolio Concerns subject to all informational rights under 13 CFR part 107, including without limitation § 107.600, “General requirements for Licensee to maintain and preserve records,” and § 107.620, “Requirements to obtain information from Portfolio Concerns.”

    In the October 2014 final rule, SBA also noted that it has credit concerns regarding the increased opportunity for disproportionate distributions to entities other than the SBIC as a result of an SBIC structuring investments through a passive entity. In evaluating this concern, SBA recognized that disproportionate distributions can occur due to different securities and preferences even if the SBIC directly financed the non-passive business. SBA believes as long as an SBIC has no conflicts of interest with respect to a particular financing (other than a conflict for which SBA has provided a regulatory exemption under § 107.730), the SBIC will make a permitted passive investment with the same considerations as a direct investment. Therefore, SBA believes that a specific regulatory provision to address this issue is not needed.

    Section 107.610 Required Certifications for Loans and Investments

    The proposed rule would add a certification requirement to § 107.610 to require an SBIC that finances a business under § 107.720(b)(3) to certify as to the basis of the qualification of the financing. The permissible basis would be the participation of one or more investors who would be subject to either UBTI or ECI in the event of a direct financing. As part of this certification, SBICs must identify those investor(s) subject to either UBTI or ECI as part of a direct financing. As discussed previously, the certification would replace the requirement for SBA prior approval of the formation and financing of a blocker corporation.

    B. Technical Changes to Regulations Section 107.50 Definition of Terms

    The proposed rule would correct the typographical error of “Associates's” to “Associate's” in the last sentence under the “Lending Institution” definition.

    Section 107.210 Minimum Capital Requirements for Licensees

    SBICs typically have an investment period in which they draw capital and provide financings to small businesses, followed by a harvest and wind-up period in which they realize investments and repay capital to their private investors. SBA approves SBIC wind-up plans in accordance with § 107.590(c) and capital distributions above 2% in accordance with § 107.585. To conform with SBA's current oversight practices, the proposed rule would modify paragraph (a) of § 107.210 to allow both Leverageable Capital and Regulatory Capital to fall below the stated minimums if the reductions are performed in accordance with an SBA-approved wind-up plan per § 107.590(c).

    Section 107.503 Licensee's Adoption of an Approved Valuation Policy

    The proposed rule would change the last sentence of § 107.503(a) to indicate that valuation guidelines for SBICs may be obtained from the SBIC program's public Web site, www.sba.gov/inv. SBA maintains SBIC-related guidelines and policies on this Web site as a convenience to the public.

    Section 107.630 Requirement for Licensees To File Financial Statements With SBA (Form 468)

    Current § 107.630(d) provides a mailing address for submission of SBA Form 468. These instructions are no longer necessary because SBICs submit this information electronically using the SBA's web-based application. The proposed rule would remove this paragraph and redesignate paragraph (e) as paragraph (d).

    Section 107.1100 Types of Leverage and Application Procedures

    The proposed rule would correct the misspelling of “Yu” to “You” in the second to the last sentence in paragraph (b). The proposed rule would also remove paragraph (c) which identifies where to send Leverage applications. This paragraph is unnecessary because the application forms provide these instructions.

    Compliance With Executive Orders 12866, 12988, 13132, and 13563, the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Ch. 35) and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this rule is not a “significant” regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. This is also not a “major” rule under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801, et seq.

    Executive Order 12988

    This action meets applicable standards set forth in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. The action does not have retroactive or presumptive effect.

    Executive Order 13132

    The proposed rule would not have substantial direct effects on the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, for the purposes of Executive Order 13132, Federalism, SBA determines that this proposed rule has no federalism implications warranting the preparation of a federalism assessment.

    Executive Order 13563

    This proposed rule was developed in response to the comments received on previous amendments to the regulations concerning investments in passive businesses. As part of that rulemaking, published on October 21, 2014 at 79 FR 62819, SBA received one set of comments suggesting further expansion of the rule. The commenter suggested that SBA consider: (1) Revising § 107.720(b)(2) to explicitly state that an SBIC may “form and finance” (rather than merely “finance”) a passive business; (2) eliminating the requirement for SBA's prior approval to form a blocker corporation under § 107.720(b)(3) and requiring a certification instead; and (3) revising § 107.720(b)(3) to permit an SBIC to form a blocker corporation to enable its foreign investors to avoid “effectively connected income” under the Internal Revenue Code. SBA discussed these concerns and informational requirements with industry representatives as part of its evaluation of these comments and development of this proposed rule.

    Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Ch. 35

    SBA has determined that this rule would impose additional reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act. In particular this rule proposes changes to the Portfolio Financing Report, SBA Form 1031 (OMB Control Number 3245-0078), to clarify information to be reported in Parts A, B, and C of the form. The proposed changes, described in detail below, also include designating current Part D as Part F and adding new Parts D and E.

    The title, description of respondents, description of the information collection and the proposed changes to it are discussed below with an estimate of the revised annual burden. Included in the estimate is the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing each collection of information.

    SBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed changes to Form 1031 are necessary for the proper performance of SBA's functions, including whether the information will have a practical utility; (2) the accuracy of SBA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collections 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Please send comments by the closing date for comment for this proposed rule to the address set forth above in the ADDRESSES section and to SBA Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    Title: Portfolio Financing Report, SBA Form 1031 (OMB Control Number 3245-0078).

    Summary: SBA Form 1031 is a currently approved information collection. SBA regulations, specifically, § 107.640, require all SBICs to submit a Portfolio Financing Report using SBA Form 1031 for each financing that an SBIC provides to a Small Business Concern within 30 days after closing an investment. SBA uses the information provided on Form 1031 to evaluate SBIC compliance with regulatory requirements. The form is also SBA's primary source of information for compiling statistics on the SBIC program as a provider of capital to small businesses.

    SBA proposes to revise the form as follows:

    (1) Clarifying the SBIC should report the non-passive Small Business Concern information in the Form 1031. SBA has noted that SBICs sometimes report data on the passive Small Business Concern rather than the non-passive Small Business Concern when reporting financing information. SBA intends to clarify that the SBIC should report data on the non-passive Small Business Concern when reporting information on financings using passive businesses in the Form 1031 Part A—the Small Business Concern; Part B—the pre-financing data; and Part C—the financing information, with the exception of the financing dollars in Question 29. The amount of financing dollars provided by the SBIC should be the total amount of such financing, regardless of whether the dollars were provided directly or indirectly to the non-passive business concern. Example: The SBIC provides $5 million in equity to ABC Holding Corporation, which passes $4.98 million to the non-passive business, Acme Manufacturing LLC. In addition, the SBIC provides $5 million in debt directly to Acme Manufacturing LLC. The SBIC would report information on Acme Manufacturing LLC in Parts A, B, and C. However, the total financing dollars would be reported as $5 million in equity and $5 million in debt for a total of $10 million in total financing dollars.

    (2) Identifying financings using one or more passive businesses. SBA is proposing to add a question as to whether the financing utilizes one or more passive businesses as part of the financing, to help SBA identify these financings.

    (3) Adding information on passive business financings to aid in regulatory compliance monitoring. SBA is proposing to have SBICs upload a file in Portable Document Format (PDF) that contains information needed to help SBA assess whether the financing meets regulatory compliance. The proposed file would contain the following information on the passive business financing:

    (a) Qualifying exception: The SBIC would identify under which passive business exception the financing is made (§ 107.720(b)(2) Exception for pass-through of proceeds to subsidiary, or § 107.720(b)(3) Exception for certain Partnership Licensees). If the SBIC indicates that the financing is made under § 107.720(b)(3), it would also indicate the qualifying basis for the financing (i.e., financing would cause an investor in the fund to incur either unrelated business taxable income or effectively connected income).

    (b) Passive Business Entities: The SBIC would be required to clearly identify the name and employer ID for each passive business entity used within the financing. This is needed so that SBA can identify all Portfolio Concerns involved in the financing.

    (c) Financing Structure Description: SBA is also proposing that the SBIC describe the financing structure, including the flow of the money between the SBIC and the non-passive Small Business Concern that receives the proceeds (including amounts and types of securities between each entity), and the ownership from the SBIC through each entity to the non-passive Small Business Concern. This information will help SBA assess that the Small Business Concern receives “substantially all” the financing dollars and the ownership percentages are in compliance with the regulations. This will also help SBA if an SBIC is transferred to the Office of Liquidation to identify the structure of the financing and aid in recovery of SBA leverage.

    4. Impact Fund Policy Initiative Although not resulting from this rule, the new proposed Part D would provide a vehicle for SBICs licensed to participate in SBA's Impact Investment Fund (Impact Fund) to identify whether they are reporting on an SBA-identified impact investment or a Fund-identified impact investment. The Impact Fund was launched in April 2011 as part of President Obama's Start-Up America Initiative. See, [https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/startup-america/about-startup-america.] The initiative was amended in September 2014 to allow Impact SBICs to invest in self-identified impact investments. [https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/articles/SBA%20Impact%20Investment%20Fund%20Policy%20-%20September%202014_1.pdf or https://www.sba.gov/content/new-2014-expanding-sbas-impact-fund] While Impact SBICs, like all SBICS have been using Form 1031 to report on their financings, SBA has determined that it would be beneficial to Impact SBICs, if SBA Form 1031 were to include questions specifically targeted towards impact investments. As a result the agency is proposing to add two questions regarding whether the investment is a fund-identified impact investment or SBA-identified impact investment.

    Description of Respondents and Burden: There are currently 299 licensed SBICs. All of these SBICs are required to submit SBA Form 1031 for each financing. The current estimated number of responses (i.e., number of financings) is 2,021 based on the past three years (FY 2012 through 2014). The current estimate indicates that it takes approximately 12 minutes to complete the form, for a total annual burden of 404 hours. Neither the number of respondents nor the number of responses per year is expected to be affected by this proposed rule. However, SBA estimates a slight increase in the burden hour as a result of the additional reporting in new Parts D (Impact Investments) and Part E (Passive Business).

    Impact Fund Reporting. This reporting is expected to have minimal impact. The estimated eight SBICs making impact investments would complete new proposed Part D an estimated total 56 times annually. At an estimated 2 minutes per response, this additional reporting would add 2 hours to the annual burden for Form 1031.

    Passive Business Reporting. SBA believes that the SBIC should be able to provide the proposed passive business information since it should be readily available as part of the financing. SBA estimates that providing the proposed information will take on average an additional 30 minutes for those financings utilizing passive businesses, with no incremental burden for those financings that do not use a passive business. SBA estimates that about 12% of the annual responses relate to passive businesses financings (based on financing data in 2014). Based on the number of SBICS reporting such financings the total estimated annual hour burden resulting from new Part E reporting would be 122.

    Therefore the total estimated annual hour burden for all SBICs submitting SBA Form 1031s in a year would be 528 hours.

    The current cost estimate for completing SBA Form 1031 uses a rate of $35 per hour for an accounting manager to fill out the form. Using that same rate, the cost per form would change from $7 per form to $9.14 per form. However, SBA has increased its estimate of an hourly rate for an accounting manager to $43 per hour (estimated using www1.salary.com/Accounting-Manager-hourly-wages.html in July 2015), which rate results in a new cost per form of $11.23 for an aggregate cost of $22,704 for the 2,021 estimated responses.

    The recordkeeping requirements under the proposed rule also identify information that an SBIC must maintain in its files to support the required changes. SBA believes that the SBICs should already be maintaining this information since a passive business by definition is a Portfolio Concern and the SBIC should be maintaining all documents needed to support each financing. The proposed rule makes this expectation explicit. Furthermore, currently, an SBIC must maintain this information for it to effectively monitor and evaluate an investment that uses a passive business to finance a non-passive business. Therefore, SBA does not believe this recordkeeping requirement should increase the burden. The proposed rule also requires a certification under § 107.610 when the SBIC makes a financing using the proposed exemption § 107.720(b)(3). This includes maintaining records supporting the certification. Since this regulation effectively replaces the current requirement for SBICs to seek prior SBA approval and maintain these records, SBA does not believe this change will increase the burden.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601, requires administrative agencies to consider the effect of their actions on small entities, small non-profit businesses, and small local governments. Pursuant to the RFA, when an agency issues a rule, the agency must prepare an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act (IRFA) analysis which describes whether the impact of the rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, Section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an IRFA, if the rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would affect all SBICs, of which there are currently close to 300. SBA estimates that approximately 75 percent of these SBICs are small entities. Therefore, SBA has determined that this proposed rule would have an impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, SBA has determined that the impact on entities affected by the rule would not be significant. The proposed changes in the passive business regulation would provide SBICs with additional flexibility to employ transaction structures commonly used by private equity or venture capital funds that are not SBICs.

    SBA asserts that the economic impact of the rule, if any, would be minimal and beneficial to small SBICs. Accordingly, the Administrator of the SBA certifies that this rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects in 13 CFR Part 107

    Investment companies, Loan programs-business, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Small Business Administration proposes to amend 13 CFR part 107 as follows:

    PART 107—SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES 1. The authority citation for part 107 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 681, 683, 687(c), 687b, 687d, 687g, 687m.

    § 107.50 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 107.50 by removing from the definition of “Lending Institution” the term “Associates's” and adding in its place the term “Associate's”. 3. Amend § 107.210 by revising the paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 107.210 Minimum capital requirements for Licensees.

    (a) Companies licensed on or after October 1, 1996. A company licensed on or after October 1, 1996, must have Leverageable Capital of at least $2,500,000 and must meet the applicable minimum Regulatory Capital requirement in this paragraph (a), unless lower Leverageable Capital and Regulatory Capital amounts are approved by SBA as part of a Wind-Up Plan in accordance with § 107.590(c):

    4. Amend § 107.503 by revising the last sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 107.503 Licensee's adoption of an approved valuation policy.

    (a) * * * These guidelines may be obtained from SBA's SBIC Web site at www.sba.gov/inv.

    5. Amend § 107.610 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 107.610 Required certifications for Loans and Investments.

    (g) For each passive business financed under § 107.720(b)(3), a certification by you, dated as of the closing date of the Financing, as to the basis for the qualification of the Financing under § 107.720(b)(3) and identifying one or more limited partners in which a direct Financing would cause those investors to incur “unrelated business taxable income” under section 511 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 511) or “effectively connected income” to foreign investors under sections 871 and 882 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 871 and 882).

    § 107.630 [Amended]
    6. Amend § 107.630 by removing paragraph (d) and redesignating paragraph (e) as paragraph (d). 7. Amend § 107.720 by revising paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) and adding paragraph (b)(4) to read as follows:
    § 107.720 Small Businesses that may be ineligible for financing.

    (b) * * *

    (2) Exception for pass-through of proceeds to subsidiary. You may provide Financing directly to a passive business, including a passive business that you have formed, if it is a Small Business and it passes substantially all the proceeds through to (or uses substantially all the proceeds to acquire) one or more subsidiary companies, each of which is an eligible Small Business that is not passive. For the purpose of this paragraph (b)(2), “subsidiary company” means a company in which the financed passive business either:

    (i) Directly owns, or will own as a result of the Financing, at least 50 percent of the outstanding voting securities; or

    (ii) Indirectly owns, or will own as a result of the Financing, at least 50 percent of the outstanding voting securities (by directly owning the outstanding voting securities of another passive Small Business that is the direct owner of the outstanding voting securities of the subsidiary company).

    (3) Exception for certain Partnership Licensees. If you are a Partnership Licensee, you may form one or more wholly-owned corporations in accordance with this paragraph (b)(3). The sole purpose of such corporation(s) must be to provide Financing to one or more eligible, unincorporated Small Businesses. You may form such corporation(s) only if a direct Financing to such Small Businesses would cause any of your investors to incur “unrelated business taxable income” under section 511 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 511) or “effectively connected income” to foreign investors under sections 871 and 882 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 871 and 882). Your ownership and investment of funds in such corporation(s) will not constitute a violation of § 107.730(a). For each passive business financed under this section 107.720(b)(3), you must provide a certification to SBA as required under § 107.610(g). The wholly-owned corporation(s) formed under this paragraph may provide Financing:

    (i) Directly to one or more eligible non-passive Small Businesses; or

    (ii) Directly to a passive Small Business that passes substantially all the proceeds directly to (or uses substantially all the proceeds to acquire) one or more eligible non-passive Small Businesses which the passive Small Business directly owns, or will own as a result of the Financing, at least 50% of the outstanding voting securities.

    (4) Additional conditions for permitted passive business financings. Financings permitted under paragraphs (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this section must meet all of the following conditions:

    (i) For the purposes of this paragraph (b), “substantially all” means at least ninety-nine percent of the Financing proceeds after deduction of actual application fees, closing fees, and expense reimbursements which may not exceed those permitted by § 107.860.

    (ii) If you and/or your Associate charge fees permitted by §§ 107.860 and/or 107.900, the total amount of such fees charged to all passive and non-passive businesses that are part of the same Financing may not exceed the fees that would have been permitted if the Financing had been provided directly to a non-passive Small Business. Any such fees received by your Associate must be paid to you in cash within 30 days of the receipt of such fees.

    (iii) For the purposes of this part 107, each passive and non-passive business included in the Financing is a Portfolio Concern. The terms of the financing must provide SBA with access to Portfolio Concern information in compliance with this part 107, including without limitation §§ 107.600 and 107.620.

    § 107.1100 [Amended]
    8. Amend § 107.1100 by removing the term “Yu” in the second to the last sentence of paragraph (b) and adding in its place “You”, and by removing paragraph (c). Dated: September 21, 2015. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25232 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 201 [Release No. 34-75977; File No. S7-19-15] RIN 3235-AL87 Amendments to the Commission's Rules of Practice AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is proposing for public comment amendments to its Rules of Practice that would require persons involved in administrative proceedings to submit all documents and other items electronically. The proposed amendments are intended to enhance the accessibility of administrative proceedings by ensuring that filings and other information concerning administrative proceedings are more readily available to the public.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before December 4, 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/proposed.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number S7-19-15 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 S7-19-15. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help us process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method of submission. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec/gov/rules/proposed.shtml). Comments are also 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 a.m. and 3 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change; we do not edit personal identifying information in submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adela Choi, Senior Counsel, and Laura Jarsulic, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, (202) 551-5150, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission proposes to amend its Rules of Practice. The amendments are being proposed as a result of the Commission's experience with its existing rules.

    I. Introduction

    The Commission proposes to make targeted amendments to its Rules of Practice that would automate and modernize aspects of the filing process in administrative proceedings to facilitate the flow of information to the public. The Commission recognizes the need to ensure that public administrative proceeding records are made available to the public as quickly as possible. Roughly 100 requests for records related to administrative proceedings were made each year over the last three years, and certain records were requested by multiple members of the public.

    The Commission currently is developing a comprehensive Internet-based electronic system that would, among other things, allow persons in administrative proceedings to file and serve documents electronically and facilitate the prompt distribution of public information regarding administrative proceedings. In conjunction with the development of this system, the Commission proposes to require electronic submissions. The Commission believes that electronic submissions will enhance the transparency of administrative proceedings by providing a quicker way for the Commission to make records available to the public. In addition, the Commission believes that the electronic system will increase its ability to efficiently process filings, and may decrease costs for parties who may file and serve submissions electronically, rather than in paper format.1

    1 As part of the ongoing effort to make records available to the public promptly, the Commission now posts on its Web site more types of documents associated with administrative proceedings, such as significant pleadings filed by parties. Previously, only documents issued by the Commission and Administrative Law Judges, such as adjudicatory initial decisions, opinions, and orders, were posted on the Web site.

    There are three main components to the proposed approach. First, persons involved in administrative proceedings who currently are required to file documents under Rules 151 and 152 of the Commission's Rules of Practice would be required to file such documents electronically through a secure system on the Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov that is designed to receive uploads of documents and attachments. Filing by facsimile and in paper format would no longer be permitted absent the filing of a certification that the person reasonably cannot comply with the electronic filing requirement. However, as discussed further below, for the first 90 days after the proposed amendments become final, the Commission intends to administer a phase-in period that would require all filings to be made both electronically and in paper format. Second, parties that are required to serve documents under Rule 150 would be required to serve each other electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site.

    The third component would require filers to exclude or redact sensitive personal information from electronic filings and submissions in accordance with the Commission's obligation to protect such information under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.2 Sensitive personal information would be defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. There are exceptions to this proposed definition. Specifically, persons need not redact the last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number. Nor would persons need to redact home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission; business telephone numbers; and copies of unredacted filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site. The definition of sensitive personal information would not include a personal email address. We seek comments about whether the disclosure of personal email addresses generally and home addresses of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission could have an adverse effect on persons or parties, and whether, as a result, these terms should be included in the definition of sensitive personal information that must be excluded or redacted.

    2 5 U.S.C. 552a. Federal courts and certain federal agencies require the exclusion or redaction of certain sensitive personal information contained in filings. See, e.g., Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2 (Privacy Protection for Filings Made with the Court); Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings, Rule 112, 12 CFR 1081.112 (Formal Requirements as to Papers Filed); National Labor Relations Board, E-Filing Terms for Selected Documents in Unfair Labor Practice and Representation Cases, available at http://www.nlrb.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/basic-page/node-1673/electronic_filings.pdf (last visited Sept. 10, 2015). The electronic filings and submissions discussed herein are systems of records that the Commission has previously identified as covered by the Privacy Act.

    If the person making a filing believes that sensitive personal information is necessary to the proceeding, the person would need to file a motion for a protective order in accordance with Rule 322 to limit disclosure of the sensitive personal information. In accordance with the proposed amendments to Rule 322, and only if review of the documents is necessary to a ruling on the motion, the person would be required to file an unredacted version of the submission to be used by the hearing officer and the Commission for purposes of the proceeding, and a redacted version to be used for distribution to the public. A redacted version would not need to be filed if the submission would be redacted in its entirety. This reflects current practice when parties file motions for protective orders pursuant to the Rules of Practice.

    As a corollary to incorporating electronic filings into the Rules of Practice, self-regulatory organizations and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) would be required to file electronically with the Commission a copy of a record that is the subject of an appeal.

    II. Discussion of Proposed Amendments

    The proposed amendments are as follows:

    A. Proposed Amendments to Rule 140

    Rule 140 3 requires the Secretary or other authorized person to sign Commission orders and decisions. The proposed amendment would clarify that the signature may be an electronic signature. An electronic signature could consist of an “/s/” notation or any other digital signature.

    3 17 CFR 201.140.

    B. Proposed Amendments to Rule 151

    Rule 151(a) 4 currently sets forth the procedural requirements for filing papers with the Commission. The proposed amendment would require a person to make filings electronically pursuant to the requirements of Rule 152(a).5 Filing by facsimile and in paper format would no longer be permitted absent a certification filed under Rule 152(a)(1) that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply with the electronic filing requirement. During a 90-day phase-in period after adoption, filings would have to be made in both paper and electronic format.

    4 17 CFR 201.151(a).

    5 17 CFR 201.152(a).

    Rule 151(d) 6 would be amended to include an email address in the certificate of service for those parties served by email.

    6 17 CFR 201.151(d).

    Proposed new Rule 151(e) 7 would require persons to exclude or redact sensitive personal information, which would be defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. There would be three exceptions to the definition. First, persons may, but would not be required to, exclude or redact the last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number. Second, persons would not be required to redact home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission. Third, persons would not be required to redact any information from copies of filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site. All filings must include a certification that any sensitive personal information has been excluded or redacted from the filing or, if necessary to the filing, has been filed under seal pursuant to Rule 322.

    7 17 CFR 201.151(e).

    If the person making a filing believes that sensitive personal information is necessary to the proceeding, the person would need to file a motion for a protective order in accordance with Rule 322 8 to limit disclosure of the sensitive personal information. If review of the documents that are the subject of a motion for a protective order is necessary to a ruling on the motion, the proposed amendment to Rule 322 would require a person to file an unredacted version of the submission to be used by the hearing officer and the Commission for purposes of the proceeding, and a redacted version to be used for distribution to the public. The unredacted version would be required to have the confidential information marked and include the words “Under Seal” on the first page of the document. The redacted version would be required to be identical in all other respects to the unredacted version. A person would not be required to file a redacted version if the submission would be redacted in its entirety. This process would be required for all kinds of motions for protective orders made pursuant to Rule 322, i.e., not just those motions filed regarding sensitive personal information.

    8 17 CFR 201.322.

    C. Proposed Amendments to Rule 152

    Like Rule 151, the proposed amendments to Rule 152(a) would make clear that all filings shall be made electronically. Rule 152(a) would direct persons to follow guidance issued by the Secretary on the Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov. For example, the guidance would provide instructions on how to file electronically through a secure system on the Commission's Web site or other means; information about the Commission's Privacy Act obligations, including information about a filer's responsibilities to redact sensitive personal information; and the terms and conditions of using the Web site. Generally speaking, persons would use the secure system on the Commission's Web site pursuant to Rule 152 to file documents, such as briefs and motions and their attachments, petitions for review, and applications for review. Under Rule 152(a), papers would need to be filed on the secure system before midnight Eastern Time, as opposed to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the current deadline for filing papers.

    The Commission recognizes that a person involved in an administrative proceeding may be unable to submit documents electronically during either the entire proceeding or a portion thereof. For example, a person who is incarcerated at the time of the proceeding may not have access to the Internet or other electronic media necessary to file documents through the Commission's secure system. There may be other reasons why a person reasonably cannot comply with the electronic filing requirement.

    A person who reasonably cannot comply with the requirement must file a certification under Rule 152(a)(1) that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary filing or all filings made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person may file paper documents by any additional method listed in Rule 152(d).

    Rule 152(a) would be amended to provide additional methods of filing if a person reasonably cannot comply with the electronic filing requirements. Filers should take note that the Commission would need to receive mailed, couriered, or hand-delivered filings by 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time because the Commission is unable to accept such filings after that time. The Commission would need to receive facsimile transmissions by midnight Eastern Time.

    The proposed amendment also would provide that electronic filings that require a signature pursuant to Rule 153 9 may be signed with an “/s/” notation, which shall be deemed the signature of the person making the filing for purposes of Rule 153.

    9 17 CFR 201.153.

    D. Proposed Amendments to Rule 351

    Rule 351 10 currently sets forth the requirements regarding the transmittal of documents to the Secretary and the preparation, issuance, and certification of a record index. Rule 351(b) 11 requires the hearing officer to transmit to the Secretary an index of the originals of any motions, exhibits or any other documents filed with or accepted into evidence by the hearing officer that have not been previously transmitted to the Secretary. The Secretary then shall prepare a record index and transmit it to the hearing officer and serve a copy on each party. Any person may file proposed corrections to the record index with the hearing officer within fifteen days of service of the record index. The proposed amendment to Rule 351(b) would reduce that amount of time to three days but would provide persons who oppose the proposed corrections three days to file an opposition.

    10 17 CFR 201.351.

    11 17 CFR 201.351(b).

    Proposed new Rule 351(c) 12 would state that, no later than five days after the Secretary serves a final record index, the parties shall submit electronically, through the same secure system used for filings under Rules 151 and 152, copies of all exhibits that were admitted, or offered and not admitted, during the hearing, and any other exhibits that were admitted after the hearing. The parties shall submit such evidence in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site and shall certify that exhibits and other documents or items submitted to the Secretary are true and accurate copies of exhibits that were admitted, or offered and not admitted, during the hearing. Generally speaking, parties would follow Rule 351 to submit record exhibits and other documents or items that are not attached to filings, i.e., materials accepted into evidence by a hearing officer under Rule 351 in connection with an in-person hearing. As under Rule 151(a), the submission deadline depends on the method of delivery that is used.

    12 17 CFR 201.351(c).

    As under Rule 151(e), the proposed amendment to Rule 351(c) would set forth the same definition of sensitive personal information, require its redaction or omission from all submissions under Rule 351, provide a process for seeking a protective order under Rule 322 with respect to sensitive personal information that is necessary to the proceeding, and require a certification that sensitive personal information has been excluded or redacted or filed under seal. A person who reasonably cannot submit exhibits electronically must file a certification under Rule 351(c)(2) that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary submission or all submissions made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person shall submit originals of any exhibits that have not already been submitted to the Secretary by other means. Rule 351(c) also would state that electronic submissions that require a signature pursuant to Rule 153 may be signed with an “/s/” notation, which shall be deemed the signature of the person making the filing for purposes of Rule 153.

    E. Phase-In Period

    For the first 90 days after the proposed amendments become final, the Commission intends to administer a phase-in period that would require all filings to be made both electronically and in paper format. The Commission preliminarily believes that a 90-day phase-in period is a reasonable amount of time for persons to become proficient in the electronic filing procedures while ensuring that the Commission receives the filing should there be an electronic transmission failure. However, it may be appropriate to extend the phase-in period if persons are experiencing substantial difficulties with the electronic filing.

    F. Other Proposed Amendments

    Rule 150(c) 13 would be amended to require parties to serve each other electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site. Electronic service by email is a practice that appears to occur already in administrative proceedings. Electronic service would need to occur contemporaneously with filing, and the timing of service would therefore differ depending on the filing method. As with electronic filing, a party who reasonably cannot comply with the electronic service requirement must file a certification under Rule 150(c)(1) that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary instance of service or all instances of service made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person may serve paper documents by any additional method listed in Rule 150(d). Rule 150(d) would be amended to provide additional methods of service if a person reasonably cannot comply with the electronic service requirements, or if service is of an investigative subpoena pursuant to 17 CFR 203.8. Under Rule 150(e),14 electronic service would be deemed complete upon transmission.

    13 17 CFR 201.150(c).

    14 17 CFR 201.150(e).

    Rule 141(b) 15 would be amended to allow the Secretary to serve orders and decisions, other than an order instituting proceedings, electronically.

    15 17 CFR 201.141(b).

    Currently, Rule 102(d) 16 requires a person to provide to the Commission certain contact information that may be used during an administrative proceeding. The proposed amendment clarifies that a mailing address and an email address shall be provided under paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(4).17

    16 17 CFR 201.102(d).

    17 17 CFR 201.102(d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(4).

    Rule 193 18 currently provides that an original and three copies of an application shall be filed under Rules 151, 152, and 153, and that such application shall be supported by a manually signed affidavit. The proposed amendment would delete the term “manually,” delete the reference to one original and three copies, and leave the cross reference to Rules 151, 152, and 153 to account for electronic filing.

    18 17 CFR 201.193.

    Rule 420 19 sets forth the requirements regarding appeals of determinations by self-regulatory organizations. Currently, Rule 420(e) 20 requires a self-regulatory organization to certify and file with the Commission one copy of the record upon which the action complained of was taken, to file with the Commission three copies of an index to such record, and to serve upon each party one copy of the index within fourteen days after receiving an application for review or a Commission order for review. The proposed amendment would require the self-regulatory organization to file such information electronically. Further, if such information contains sensitive personal information, the self-regulatory organization would be required to file electronically a copy of the record and index that redacts or omits the sensitive personal information and to certify that any sensitive personal information has been excluded or redacted. The requirements for filing and serving would continue to be governed by Rules 150-152.

    19 17 CFR 201.420.

    20 17 CFR 201.420(e).

    Rule 440 21 sets forth the requirements regarding appeals of determinations by the PCAOB. Rule 440(d) 22 currently requires the PCAOB to certify and file with the Commission one copy of the record upon which it took the complained of action, to file with the Commission three copies of an index to such record, and to serve upon each party one copy of the index within fourteen days after receiving an application for review. The proposed amendment would require the PCAOB to file such information electronically. Further, if such information contains sensitive personal information, the PCAOB would be required to file electronically a redacted copy of the record and index that redacts or omits the sensitive personal information and to certify that any sensitive personal information has been excluded or redacted. The requirements for filing and serving would continue to be governed by Rules 150-152.

    21 17 CFR 201.440.

    22 17 CFR 201.440(d).

    The United States Postal Service changed the name of the product known as Express Mail to Priority Mail Express. Rule 141(a)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), (vi), (a)(3) and Rule 150(a)(2), (d) would be amended to refer generically to “express mail.”

    III. Request for Public Comment

    We request and encourage any interested person to submit comments regarding: (1) The definition of sensitive personal information, (2) the potential adverse effects, if any, of disclosing personal email addresses and home addresses of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission, (3) alternative approaches to handling personal email addresses and home addresses of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission, (4) the other proposed changes that are the subject of this release, (5) additional or different changes, or (6) other matters that may have an effect on the proposals contained in this release.

    IV. Administrative Procedure Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Commission finds, in accordance with Section 553(b)(3)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act,23 that these revisions relate solely to agency organization, procedure, or practice. They are therefore not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act requiring notice, opportunity for public comment, and publication. The Regulatory Flexibility Act 24 therefore does not apply.25 Nonetheless, the Commission has determined that it would be useful to publish these proposed rules for notice and comment before adoption. Because these rules relate to “agency organization, procedure or practice that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties,” they are not subject to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.26 To the extent these rules relate to agency information collections during the conduct of administrative proceedings, they are exempt from review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.27

    23 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A).

    24 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    25See 5 U.S.C. 603.

    26 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C).

    27See 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii); 5 CFR 1320.4 (exempting collections during the conduct of administrative proceedings or investigations).

    V. Economic Analysis

    The Commission is sensitive to the costs and benefits of its rules. The current processes and filing requirements for administrative proceedings serve as the baseline against which the economic impacts of the proposed rules are measured. At present, submissions are permitted to be filed with the Commission in paper format or by facsimile followed by a paper submission. The Commission's current Rules of Practice do not identify sensitive personal information that must be redacted from these documents by those who file them. Instead, such redaction is undertaken by the Commission when necessary in responding to document requests from the public or posting documents on the Commission's public Web site. Service by email is already generally an accepted practice by parties to administrative proceedings who mutually agree to it, although it is not expressly permitted by rule.

    The scope of the benefits and costs of the proposed rules depends on the expected volume of administrative proceedings and the number of filed documents and document requests associated with these proceedings. In fiscal year 2014, 230 new administrative proceedings were initiated and not settled immediately. New proceedings initiated and not immediately settled in fiscal years 2013 and 2012 totaled 202 and 207 respectively.28 From 2011 to 2013, an average of approximately 1,900 filings were submitted per fiscal year in relation to litigated proceedings, including filings by outside parties as well as Commission staff. These filings consist of one or more documents, such as motions, briefs, and record exhibits, and the length of the filings generally ranges from one page to a few thousand pages. The Commission also received numerous requests from the public to release documents related to these proceedings. Requests for records related to administrative proceedings (both settled and litigated) numbered 127, 83, and 100 for fiscal years 2013, 2012, and 2011 respectively.

    28 The total number of administrative proceedings initiated and not immediately settled each fiscal year encompasses a variety of types of proceedings, including proceedings instituted pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 seeking to determine whether it is necessary and appropriate for the protection of investors to suspend or revoke the registration of an issuer's securities and proceedings instituted under Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act or Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 seeking to determine what, if any, remedial action is appropriate in the public interest.

    The implementation of electronic filing and the related proposed rules are intended to improve the efficiency and transparency of the Commission's operations and to modernize the document management process to be consistent with common practice in other tribunals. Benefits of the proposed rules are anticipated to accrue to the public and outside parties to administrative proceedings as well as the Commission.

    Specifically, the proposed rules may benefit members of the public with an interest in the Commission's administrative proceedings by permitting the Commission to more quickly make public the documents relating to these proceedings. The proposed rules may increase the speed at which information from administrative proceedings is transmitted as well as the overall transparency of these proceedings. Additionally, parties to administrative proceedings may benefit from the increased flexibility enabled by the changes, such as the Commission's acceptance of electronic and facsimile submissions until midnight rather than the close of business on a given day. These parties may also benefit from savings on printing and mailing costs because, after the phase-in period, filing paper copies generally will not be required. In addition, the changes expressly require service by electronic means, which may increase further the savings in printing and mailing. The Commission's response to document requests is expected to be more time- and cost-effective due to the efficiency of electronic retrieval and the fact that sensitive information will have been redacted in advance. However, the magnitude of the above benefits is difficult to quantify due to the limitations of existing data.

    The costs of the proposal will be borne by the Commission as well as the outside parties to administrative proceedings. The proposed rules place the primary burden of redacting sensitive personal information on the parties submitting documents in administrative proceedings—either outside parties or Commission staff—following common practice in federal courts. The Commission believes that parties filing documents are well positioned to redact the documents—or initially draft documents to avoid the use of sensitive personal information—and that the proposed narrow definition of sensitive personal information will limit the burden on parties required to redact documents. The Commission recognizes, however, that the costs of reviewing and editing the content to protect sensitive information might be significant for some parties. Additionally, when sensitive personal information is necessary to the proceedings, outside parties or the Commission may expend additional resources filing a motion for a protective order in accordance with Rule 322 to limit disclosure of the sensitive information and to prepare a redacted and unredacted version of the documents.

    Parties to administrative proceedings will also bear any incremental burden of electronic filings over the current practice of facsimile or paper transmissions. The magnitude of costs will depend primarily on whether the original format of the documents to be submitted is electronic or whether they must be scanned or otherwise converted to an electronic format. Other factors that may affect these costs include the ease of access the party has to the internet and to any hardware and software that may be involved in processing the documents. For most parties, we do not expect these costs to be significant because, among other things, most parties already are subject to similar requirements in other kinds of legal proceedings or have access to the Internet and conversion programs at a reasonable cost. Further, these potential burdens may be mitigated for some parties as the proposed rules provide for relief from the electronic filing requirements in situations in which a party certifies a reasonable inability to comply with the electronic filing requirements.

    As an alternative to the proposed rules, the Commission could implement electronic filing with different requirements. In particular, the Commission could continue to allow the filing of unredacted documents—requiring that redaction be undertaken by Commission staff when necessary—or could permit electronic filing on a voluntary, rather than mandatory, basis. Relative to these alternatives, or to the existing paper format and facsimile document submission and management system for administrative proceedings, the Commission believes that the proposed changes achieve the benefits described above in a cost-efficient manner. The Commission does not expect significant effects on efficiency, competition, or capital formation to result from the proposed changes. And to the extent that the changes impose any burden on competition, the Commission believes that such burden would be necessary and appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Exchange Act.29

    29See 15 U.S.C. 78w(a)(2).

    The Commission requests comment on all aspects of the economic effects of the proposal, including any anticipated impacts that are not mentioned here. We are particularly interested in quantitative estimates of the benefits and costs, in general or for particular types of participants in administrative proceedings, including smaller entities. We also request comment on reasonable alternatives to the proposed rules and on any effect the proposed rules may have on efficiency, competition, and capital formation.

    VI. Statutory Basis and Text of Proposed Amendments

    These amendments to the Rules of Practice are being proposed pursuant to statutory authority granted to the Commission, including section 3 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, 15 U.S.C. 7202; section 19 of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. 77s; sections 4A, 19, and 23 of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78d-1, 78s, and 78w; section 319 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, 15 U.S.C. 77sss; sections 38 and 40 of the Investment Company Act, 15 U.S.C. 80a-37 and 80a-39; and section 211 of the Investment Advisers Act, 15 U.S.C. 80b-11.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 201

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    Text of the Amendments

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 17 CFR part 201 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 201—RULES OF PRACTICE 4. The authority citation for Part 201, subpart D, is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 77f, 77g, 77h, 77h-1, 77j, 77s, 77u, 78c(b), 78d-1, 78d-2, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o(d), 78o-3, 78s, 78u-2, 78u-3, 78v, 78w, 77sss, 77ttt, 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-37, 80a-38, 80a-39, 80a-40, 80a-41, 80a-44, 80b-3, 80b-9, 80b-11, 80b-12, 7202, 7215, and 7217.

    5. Section 201.102 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(4) to read as follows:
    § 201.102 Appearance and practice before the Commission.

    (d) Designation of address for service; notice of appearance; power of attorney; withdrawal—(1) Representing oneself. When an individual first makes any filing or otherwise appears on his or her own behalf before the Commission or a hearing officer in a proceeding as defined in § 201.101(a), he or she shall file with the Commission, or otherwise state on the record, and keep current, a mailing address and email address at which any notice or other written communication required to be served upon him or her or furnished to him or her may be sent and a telephone number where he or she may be reached during business hours.

    (2) Representing others. When a person first makes any filing or otherwise appears in a representative capacity before the Commission or a hearing officer in a proceeding as defined in § 201.101(a), that person shall file with the Commission, and keep current, a written notice stating the name of the proceeding; the representative's name, business address, email address, and telephone number; and the name, email address, and address of the person or persons represented.

    (4) Withdrawal. Any person seeking to withdraw his or her appearance in a representative capacity shall file a notice of withdrawal with the Commission or the hearing officer. The notice shall state the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the withdrawing representative; the name, address, and telephone number of the person for whom the appearance was made; and the effective date of the withdrawal. If the person seeking to withdraw knows the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the new representative, or knows that the person for whom the appearance was made intends to represent him- or herself, that information shall be included in the notice. The notice must be served on the parties in accordance with § 201.150. The notice shall be filed at least five days before the proposed effective date of the withdrawal.

    6. Section 201.140 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 201.140 Commission orders and decisions: Signature and availability.

    (a) Signature required. All orders and decisions of the Commission shall be signed by the Secretary or any other person duly authorized by the Commission. The signature may be an electronic signature that consists of an “/s/” notation or any other digital signature.

    7. Section 201.141 is amended by: a. Removing the words “Express Mail” each time they appear and adding in their place the words “express mail”; and b. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 201.141 Orders and decisions: Service of orders instituting proceedings and other orders and decisions.

    (b) Service of Orders or Decisions Other than an Order Instituting Proceedings. Written orders or decisions issued by the Commission or by a hearing officer shall be served promptly on each party pursuant to any method of service authorized under paragraph (a) of this section or § 201.150(c) and (d). * * *

    8. Section 201.150 is amended by: a. Redesignating paragraphs (c) and (d) as paragraphs (d) and (e); b. Adding new paragraph (c); c. Revising newly redesignated paragraphs (d) introductory text and (d)(4); d. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (e); and e. Removing the words “Express Mail” each time they appear and adding in their place the words “express mail”.

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 201.150 Service of papers by parties.

    (c) How made. Service shall be made electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site. Persons serving each other shall have provided the Commission and the parties with notice of an email address.

    (1) Certification of inability to serve electronically. If a person reasonably cannot serve electronically, due to a lack of access to electronic transmission devices (due to incarceration or otherwise), the person promptly shall file a certification under this paragraph that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary instance of service or all instances of service made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person may serve paper documents by any additional method listed in Rule 150(d).

    (d) Additional methods of service. If a person reasonably cannot serve electronically, or if service is of an investigative subpoena pursuant to 17 CFR 203.8, service may be made by delivering a copy of the filing. Delivery means:

    (4) Transmitting the papers by facsimile transmission to the person required to be served. The persons so serving each other shall have provided the Commission and the parties with notice of a facsimile machine telephone number.

    (e) When service is complete. Electronic service is complete upon transmission. Personal service, service by U.S. Postal Service express mail or service by a commercial courier or express delivery service is complete upon delivery. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Service by facsimile is complete upon confirmation of transmission.

    9. Section 201.151 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (d) and adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 201.151 Filing of papers with the Commission: Procedure.

    (a) When to file. All papers required to be served upon any person shall also be filed contemporaneously with the Commission electronically pursuant to the requirements of § 201.152(a). The person making such filing is responsible for ensuring that the Commission receives a complete and legible filing within the time limit set for such filing. Documents that are attached to filings shall be filed in accordance with this Rule. Documents or items that are not attached to filings (i.e., are admitted by the hearing officer at an in-person hearing), shall be submitted in accordance with § 201.351.

    (d) Certificate of service. Papers filed with the Commission or a hearing officer shall be accompanied by a certificate stating the name of the person or persons served, the date of service, the method of service, and the mailing address or email address to which service was made, if not made in person.

    (e) Sensitive personal information. Sensitive personal information is defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. Sensitive personal information shall not be included in, and must be redacted or omitted from, all filings subject to:

    (1) Exceptions. The following information may be included and is not required to be redacted from filings:

    (i) The last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number;

    (ii) Home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission;

    (iii) Business telephone numbers; and

    (iv) Copies of unredacted filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site.

    (2) Confidential treatment of information. If the person making any filing believes that sensitive personal information (as defined above) contained therein is necessary to the proceeding, the person shall file unredacted documents, along with a motion for a protective order in accordance with § 201.322 to limit disclosure of unredacted sensitive personal information.

    (3) Certification. Any filing must include a certification that any sensitive personal information as defined in § 201.151(e) has been excluded or redacted from the filing or, if necessary to the filing, has been filed under seal pursuant to § 201.322.

    10. Section 201.152 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (d); b. Redesignating paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d); c. Redesignating paragraph (a) as paragraph (b) and revising it; d. Adding new paragraph (a); e. Removing newly redesignated paragraph (b)(6); f. Revising newly designated paragraph (c); and g. Removing the phrase “or microfilming” from newly redesignated paragraph (d).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 201.152 Filing of papers: Form.

    (a) Electronic filing. Papers filed in connection with any proceeding as defined in § 201.101(a) shall be filed electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site. Papers filed electronically must be received by the Commission by midnight Eastern Time on the date the filing is due.

    (1) Certification of Inability to File Electronically. If a person reasonably cannot comply with the requirements of this section, due to a lack of access to electronic transmission devices (due to incarceration or otherwise), the person promptly shall file a certification under this paragraph that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary filing or all filings made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person may file paper documents by any additional method listed in § 201.152(a)(2).

    (2) Additional methods of filing. If a person reasonably cannot file electronically, filing may be made by hand delivering the filing by 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time through a commercial courier service or express delivery service; mailing the filing through the U.S. Postal Service by first class, certified, registered, or express mail delivery so that it is received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time; or transmitting the filing by facsimile transmission so that it is received by the Commission by midnight Eastern Time.

    (b) Form. Papers filed in connection with any proceeding as defined in § 201.101(a) shall:

    (1) Reflect a page, electronically or otherwise, that measures 81/2 × 11 inches when printed, except that, to the extent that the reduction of larger documents would render them illegible when printed, such documents may be filed on larger paper;

    (2) Use 12-point or larger typeface;

    (3) Include at the head of the paper, or on a title page, the name of the Commission, the title of the proceeding, the names of the parties, the subject of the particular paper or pleading, and the file number assigned to the proceeding;

    (4) Be paginated with left hand margins at least 1 inch wide, and other margins of at least 1 inch; and

    (5) Be double-spaced, with single-spaced footnotes and single-spaced indented quotations.

    (c) Signature required. All papers must be dated and signed as provided in § 201.153. Electronic filings that require a signature pursuant to § 201.153 may be signed with an “/s/” notation, which shall be deemed the signature of the person making the filing for purposes of § 201.153.

    (d) Suitability for recordkeeping. Documents which, in the opinion of the Commission, are not suitable for computer scanning may be rejected.

    11. Section 201.193 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 201.193 Applications by barred individuals for consent to associate.

    (b) Form of application. Each application shall be supported by an affidavit, signed by the applicant, that addresses the factors set forth in paragraph (d) of this section. The application shall be filed pursuant to §§ 201.151, 201.152 and 201.153. Each application shall include as exhibits:

    12. Section 201.322 is amended by revising paragraph (a), redesignating paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) as paragraphs (c), (d), and (e), and adding new paragraph (b).

    The revision and addition read as follows:

    § 201.322 Evidence: Confidential information, protective orders.

    (a) Procedure. In any proceeding as defined in § 201.101(a), a party, any person who is the owner, subject or creator of a document subject to subpoena or which may be introduced as evidence, or any witness who testifies at a hearing may file a motion requesting a protective order to limit from disclosure to other parties or to the public documents or testimony that contain confidential information. The motion should include a general summary or extract of the documents without revealing confidential details.

    (b) If review of the documents that are the subject of a request for a protective order is necessary to a ruling on the motion and the information as to which a protective order is sought is available to the movant, the motion shall be accompanied by:

    (1) A complete, sealed copy of the materials containing the information as to which a protective order is sought, with the allegedly confidential information marked as such, and with the first page of the document labeled “Under Seal.” If the movant seeks a protective order against disclosure to other parties as well as the public, copies of the documents shall not be served on other parties; and

    (2) A redacted copy of the materials containing the information as to which a protective order is sought, with the allegedly confidential information redacted. The redacted version shall indicate any omissions with brackets or ellipses, and its pagination and depiction of text on each page shall be identical to that of the sealed version. A redacted copy need not accompany a motion requesting a protective order if the materials would be redacted in their entirety.

    13. Section 201.351 is amended by revising paragraph (b), redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d), and adding new paragraph (c).

    The revision and addition read as follows:

    § 201.351 Transmittal of documents to Secretary; record index; electronic copy of exhibits; certification.

    (b) Preparation, certification of record index. Promptly after the close of the hearing, the hearing officer shall transmit to the Secretary an index of the originals of any motions, exhibits or any other documents filed with or accepted into evidence by the hearing officer that have not been previously transmitted to the Secretary, and the Secretary shall prepare a record index. Prior to issuance of an initial decision, or if no initial decision is to be prepared, within 30 days of the close of the hearing, the Secretary shall transmit the record index to the hearing officer and serve a copy of the record index on each party. Any person may file proposed corrections to the record index with the hearing officer within three days of service of the record index. Any opposition to the proposed corrections shall be filed within three days of service of the proposed corrections. The hearing officer shall, by order, direct whether any corrections to the record index shall be made. The Secretary shall make such corrections, if any, and issue a revised record index. If an initial decision is to be issued, the initial decision shall include a certification that the record consists of the items set forth in the record index or revised record index issued by the Secretary.

    (c) Electronic exhibits. Within two weeks after the close of a hearing, the parties shall submit electronically to the Secretary a copy of all exhibits that were admitted, or offered and not admitted, during the hearing, and any other exhibits that were admitted after the hearing. The parties shall submit such evidence in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site.

    (1) Sensitive personal information. Sensitive personal information is defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. Sensitive personal information shall not be included in, and must be redacted or omitted from, all filings subject to:

    (i) Exceptions. The following information may be included and is not required to be redacted from filings:

    (A) The last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number;

    (B) Home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission;

    (C) Business telephone numbers; and

    (D) Copies of unredacted filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site.

    (ii) Confidential treatment of information. If the person submitting record exhibits and other documents or items that are not attached to filings believes that sensitive personal information (as defined in § 201.351(c)(1)) contained therein is necessary to the proceeding, the person shall file unredacted documents, along with a motion for a protective order in accordance with § 201.322 to limit disclosure of unredacted sensitive personal information.

    (2) Certification of inability to submit exhibits electronically. A person who reasonably cannot submit exhibits electronically must file a certification under § 201.351(c)(2) that explains why the person reasonably cannot comply. The filing also must indicate the expected duration of the person's reasonable inability to comply, such as whether the certification is intended to apply to a solitary submission or all submissions made during the proceeding. The certification is immediately effective. Upon filing the certification, it will be part of the record of the proceeding, and the person shall submit originals of any exhibits that have not already been submitted to the Secretary by other means.

    (3) Signature requirement. Electronic submissions that require a signature pursuant to § 201.153 may be signed with an “/s/” notation, which shall be deemed the signature of the person making the submission for purposes of § 201.153.

    (4) Certification. The parties shall certify that exhibits and other documents or items submitted to the Secretary under this rule:

    (i) Are true and accurate copies of exhibits that were admitted, or offered and not admitted, during the hearing; and

    (ii) That any sensitive personal information as defined in § 201.351(c) has been excluded or redacted, or, if necessary, has been filed under seal pursuant to § 201.322.

    14. Section 201.420 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 201.420 Appeal of determinations by self-regulatory organizations.

    (e) Certification of the record; service of the index. Fourteen days after receipt of an application for review or a Commission order for review, the self-regulatory organization shall certify and file electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site one unredacted copy of the record upon which the action complained of was taken. If such record contains any sensitive personal information, as defined in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the self-regulatory organization also shall file electronically with the Commission one redacted copy of such record, subject to the following:

    (1) Sensitive personal information. Sensitive personal information is defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. Sensitive personal information shall not be included in, and must be redacted or omitted from, all filings subject to:

    (i) Exceptions. The following information may be included and is not required to be redacted from filings:

    (A) The last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number;

    (B) Home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission;

    (C) Business telephone numbers; and

    (D) Copies of unredacted filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) Index. The self-regulatory organization also shall file electronically with the Commission one copy of an index to such record, and shall serve upon each party one copy of the index. If such index contains any sensitive personal information, as defined in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the self-regulatory organization also shall file electronically with the Commission one redacted copy of such index, subject to the requirements of paragraphs (e)(1) introductory text and (e)(1)(i).

    (3) Certification. Any filing made pursuant to this section must include a certification that any sensitive personal information as defined in § 201.420(e)(1) has been excluded or redacted from the filing.

    15. Section 201.440 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 201.440 Appeal of determinations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

    (d) Certification of the record; service of the index. Within fourteen days after receipt of an application for review, the Board shall certify and file electronically in the form and manner that is prescribed in the guidance posted on the Commission's Web site one unredacted copy of the record upon which it took the complained-of action. If such record contains any sensitive personal information, as defined in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the Board also shall file electronically with the Commission one redacted copy of such record, subject to the following:

    (1) Sensitive personal information. Sensitive personal information is defined as a Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, home address (other than city and state), telephone number, date of birth (other than year), names and initials of minor children, as well as any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. Sensitive personal information shall not be included in, and must be redacted or omitted from, all filings subject to:

    (i) Exceptions. The following information may be included and is not required to be redacted from filings:

    (A) The last four digits of a taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, and state-issued identification number;

    (B) Home addresses and telephone numbers of parties and persons filing documents with the Commission;

    (C) Business telephone numbers; and

    (D) Copies of unredacted filings by regulated entities or registrants that are available on the Commission's public Web site.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) Index. The Board shall file electronically with the Commission one copy of an index of such record, and shall serve one copy of the index on each party. If such index contains any sensitive personal information, as defined in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the Board also shall file electronically with the Commission one redacted copy of such index, subject to the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) introductory text and (d)(1)(i).

    (3) Certification. Any filing made pursuant to this section must include a certification that any sensitive personal information as defined in § 201.440(d)(1) has been excluded or redacted from the filing.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: September 24, 2015. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24705 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 201 [Release No. 34-75976; File No. S7-18-15] RIN 3235-AL87 Amendments to the Commission's Rules of Practice AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is proposing for public comment amendments to update its Rules of Practice to, among other things, adjust the timing of hearings in administrative proceedings; allow for discovery depositions; clarify the rules for admitting hearsay and assertion of affirmative defenses; and make certain related amendments.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before December 4, 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/proposed.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number S7-18-15 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 S7-18-15. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help us process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method of submission. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec/gov/rules/proposed.shtml). Comments are also 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 in submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adela Choi, Senior Counsel, and Laura Jarsulic, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, (202) 551-5150, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission proposes to amend its Rules of Practice. The amendments are being proposed to update its existing rules.

    I. Introduction

    As it has done from time to time, the Commission proposes to amend its Rules of Practice.1 The Commission proposes amendments to update the Rules of Practice to adjust the timing of hearings and other deadlines in administrative proceedings and to provide parties in administrative proceedings with the ability to use depositions and other discovery tools. The Commission proposes additional amendments to implement the newly available discovery tools. These proposed Rules are intended to introduce additional flexibility into administrative proceedings, while still providing for the timely and efficient disposition of proceedings. The Commission also proposes amendments to clarify certain other Rules, including the assertion of affirmative defenses in answers and the admissibility of hearsay.

    1See, e.g., Rules of Practice, Exchange Act Release No. 35833, 60 FR 32738 (June 9, 1995); Rules of Practice, Exchange Act Release No. 40636, 63 FR 63404 (Nov. 4, 1998); Rules of Practice, Exchange Act Release No. 48018, 68 FR 35787 (June 11, 2003); Adoption of Amendments to the Rules of Practice and Delegations of Authority of the Commission, Exchange Act Release No. 49412, 69 FR 13166 (Mar. 12, 2004); Adoption of Amendments to the Rules of Practice and Related Provisions and Delegations of Authority of the Commission, Exchange Act Release No. 52846, 70 FR 72566 (Dec. 5, 2005); Rules of Practice, Exchange Act Release No. 63723, 76 FR 4066 (Jan. 24, 2011).

    II. Discussion of Proposed Amendments

    The proposed amendments are as follows:

    A. Proposed Amendments to Rule 360

    Rule 360 2 sets forth timing for certain stages of an administrative proceeding. These stages include a prehearing period, a hearing, a period during which parties review hearing transcripts and submit briefs, and then a deadline by which the hearing officer must file an initial decision with the Office of the Secretary. Under current Rule 360, the deadlines for these stages are calculated from the date of service of an order instituting proceedings. Initial decisions must be filed within the number of days prescribed in the order instituting proceedings—120, 210, or 300 days from the date of service of the order instituting proceedings. Broadly speaking, administrative proceedings instituted pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Exchange Act 3 are designated as 120-day cases, administrative proceedings seeking sanctions as a result of an injunction or conviction 4 are designated as 210-day cases, and administrative proceedings alleging violations of the securities laws are designated as 300-day cases. Because deadlines are calculated from the date of service of the order instituting proceedings, if there are delays early on in the proceeding, the hearing occurs later and the hearing officer then has less time to prepare an initial decision in advance of the Rule 360 deadline.

    2 17 CFR 201.360.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78l(j).

    4See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 78o(b)(6); 15 U.S.C. 80b-3(f).

    The amount of time for parties to prepare during the prehearing period may vary from case to case with the number of factual and legal allegations, the complexity of the claims and defenses, and the size of the record. Parties in 300-day cases, for example, have increasingly requested extensions of time to review investigative records and prepare for hearing, citing the volume and time it takes to load and then review electronic productions. Parties in such cases frequently file motions before the hearing officer or the Commission to resolve complicated issues prior to the hearing. In addition, the Chief Administrative Law Judge has sought several extensions of time for hearing officers to file initial decisions in more complicated 300-day cases.5

    5See, e.g., Natural Blue Resources, Inc., et al., Exchange Act Release No. 74891 (May 6, 2015) (order granting extension); Lawrence M. Labine, Exchange Act Release No. 74883 (May 6, 2015) (same); Total Wealth Management, Inc., et al., Exchange Act Release No. 74353 (Feb. 23, 2015) (same); Donald J. Anthony, Jr., et al., Exchange Act Release No. 74139 (Jan. 26, 2015) (order granting second motion for extension).

    As amended, Rule 360 would include three modifications to address the timing of a proceeding. First, the deadline for filing the initial decision would run from the time that the post-hearing briefing or briefing of dispositive motions or defaults has been completed, rather than the date of service of the order instituting proceedings. This modification would divorce the deadline for the completion of an initial decision from other stages of the proceeding. Under the proposed amendment, the deadlines for initial decisions that would be designated in orders instituting proceedings would be 30, 75, and 120 days from the completion of post-hearing or dispositive briefing. The proposed length of time afforded for the preparation of an initial decision in each type of proceeding would be the same as the amount of time hearing officers are afforded under current Rule 360, if a proceeding actually progresses according to the timeline set out in the current rule.

    Second, amended Rule 360 would provide a range of time during which the hearing must begin. For example, in 300-day cases, current Rule 360 states that a hearing should occur within approximately four months. The amended rule would provide that the hearing must be scheduled to begin approximately four months after service of the order instituting proceedings, but not later than eight months after service of the order.6 Significantly, the amendment doubles the maximum length of the current rule's prehearing period. This is intended to provide additional flexibility during the prehearing phase of a proceeding and afford parties sufficient time to conduct deposition discovery pursuant to new proposed rules, while retaining an outer time limit to ensure the timely and efficient resolution of the proceeding. It also would allow respondents more time to review electronic documents in cases involving an electronic production from the Division.

    6 As amended, Rule 360 would retain the same amount of time as current Rule 360 for parties to obtain the transcript of the hearing and submit post-hearing briefs—approximately two months.

    Third, amended Rule 360 would create a procedure for extending the initial decision deadline by up to thirty days. This extension is intended to complement the Chief Law Judge's ability under current Rule 360 to request extensions of time from the Commission. Under amended Rule 360, the hearing officer may certify to the Commission in writing the need to extend the initial decision deadline by up to thirty days for case management purposes. This certification would need to be issued at least thirty days before the expiration of the initial decision deadline and the proposed extension would take effect if the Commission does not issue an order to the contrary within fourteen days after receiving the certification.

    This procedure for extending the initial decision deadline by a thirty-day period is intended to promote effective case management by the hearing officers. For example, for a hearing officer faced with several initial decision deadlines in the same week, a thirty-day extension would provide flexibility to stagger the deadlines. The amended rule would retain the provision allowing the Chief Law Judge to request an extension of any length from the Commission, without regard to whether a hearing officer has already sought to extend the deadline.

    We seek comments about the amount of time proposed for each phase of the proceeding, including the eight-month cap on the prehearing period for cases with the longest initial decision deadlines, the time allotted for post-hearing briefing, and the time provided for the hearing officer to prepare an initial decision.

    B. Proposed Amendments to Rule 233

    Rule 233 7 currently permits parties to take depositions by oral examination only if a witness will be unable to attend or testify at a hearing. The proposed amendment would allow respondents and the Division to file notices to take depositions. If a proceeding involves a single respondent, the proposed amendment would allow the respondent and the Division to each file notices to depose three persons (i.e., a maximum of three depositions per side) in proceedings designated in the proposal as 120-day cases (known as 300-day cases under current Rule 360). If a proceeding involves multiple respondents, the proposed amendment would allow respondents to collectively file notices to depose five persons and the Division to file notices to depose five persons in proceedings designated in the proposal as 120-day cases (i.e., a maximum of five depositions per side).8 Under the amendment, parties also could request that the hearing officer issue a subpoena for documents in conjunction with the deposition.

    7 17 CFR 201.233.

    8 The provision in current Rule 233 that allows for depositions when a witness is unable to attend or testify at a hearing has been preserved under the amended rule as Rule 233(b). Depositions requested under new Rule 233(b) would not count against the per-side limit on discovery depositions under new Rule 233(a).

    The proposed amendment is intended to provide parties with an opportunity to develop arguments and defenses through deposition discovery, which may narrow the facts and issues to be explored during the hearing. Allowing depositions should facilitate the development of the case during the prehearing stage, which may ultimately result in more focused prehearing preparations, with issues distilled for the hearing and post-hearing briefing.

    We recognize that additional time during the prehearing stage of the proceeding would facilitate the effective use of depositions for discovery. As a result, we have proposed amendments to Rule 360, discussed above, that provide additional flexibility over deadlines during the prehearing discovery period of a proceeding, permitting the hearing to begin up to eight months after service of the order instituting proceedings. We anticipate that four to eight months would be a sufficient amount of time for parties to prepare for the hearing, review documents, and take up to three depositions per side in a single-respondent proceeding, and up to five depositions per side in a multiple-respondent proceeding. In selecting this increased amount of time and number of depositions permitted, we intend to provide parties with the potential benefits of this discovery tool, without sacrificing the public interest in resolving administrative proceedings promptly and efficiently.

    We propose additional amendments to Rule 233 to guide the use of depositions for discovery purposes. The amendments would allow the issuance of subpoenas to order a witness to attend a deposition noticed by a party pursuant to Rule 233, and would not preclude the deposition of a witness if the witness testified during an investigation. Notices of depositions also would be served on each party pursuant to Rule 150 and would need to be consistent with the prehearing conference and the hearing officer's scheduling order.

    Other proposed amendments to Rule 233 would outline procedures for deposition practice that are consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.9 For example, the amendments would be consistent with federal rules on the location of the depositions; the method of recording; the deposition officer's duties; examination and cross-examination of the witness; forms of objections and waiver of objections; motions to terminate or limit depositions; review of the transcript or recording by the witness; certification and delivery of the deposition; attachment of documents and tangible things; and copies of the transcript or recording. We would retain current Rule 233's explicit statement that a witness being deposed may have counsel during the deposition.

    9See generally Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 45(c), 30(b), (d), (e), and (f); but see Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(c) (limiting depositions to seven hours instead of the six hours proposed in the amendment to Rule 233). While the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are tailored for use in the federal court system, they represent a well-settled body of procedural rules familiar to practitioners. We have borrowed from those rules, but we have also made changes or declined to follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where appropriate to tailor those rules to our own administrative forum.

    We seek comments about the proposed structure of the amendments that provide for depositions, including the number of depositions allowed in single-respondent and multiple-respondent proceedings.

    C. Proposed Amendments To Support Amended Rule 233

    We also propose amendments to Rules 180,10 221,11 232,12 and 234 13 to support the purpose and intent of the proposed amendments to Rule 233. These amendments are based on the expectation that depositions would play an increased role in the prehearing stage of administrative proceedings, and adjust other rules accordingly.

    10 17 CFR 201.180.

    11 17 CFR 201.221.

    12 17 CFR 201.232.

    13 17 CFR 201.234.

    Rule 180 allows the Commission or a hearing officer to exclude a person from a hearing or conference, or summarily suspend a person from representing others in a proceeding, if the person engages in contemptuous conduct before either the Commission or a hearing officer. The exclusion or summary suspension can last for the duration or any portion of a proceeding, and the person may seek review of the exclusion or suspension by filing a motion to vacate with the Commission. We propose to amend Rule 180 to allow the Commission or a hearing officer to exclude or summarily suspend a person for any portion of a deposition, as well as the proceeding, a conference, or a hearing for contemptuous conduct. The person would have the same right to review of the exclusion or suspension by filing a motion to vacate with the Commission.

    Rule 221 sets forth the purposes of a prehearing conference and includes a list of the subjects to be discussed. We propose amendments to Rule 221 to add depositions and expert witness disclosures or reports to the list of subjects to be discussed at the prehearing conference. Under the current rule, the list of subjects for discussion at the prehearing conference covers most other significant aspects of the prehearing period. By adding depositions and the timing of expert witness disclosure to that list, the proposed amendment recognizes the impact that depositions and other discovery tools may have on the development of a schedule that makes efficient use of time during the prehearing period and the proceeding more broadly. It also conforms to the proposed amendment to Rule 233, which would require notices of depositions to be consistent with the prehearing conference and the hearing officer's scheduling order.

    Rule 232 sets forth standards for the issuance of subpoenas and motions to quash. With the proposed amendments, Rule 232(a) would make clear that parties may request the issuance of a subpoena in connection with a deposition permitted under Rule 233, and Rule 233(e) would allow any person to whom a notice of deposition is directed to request that the notice of deposition be quashed. This proposed amendment is intended to promote efficiency in the discovery process because it would allow persons who are noticed for depositions to move to quash at the notice stage, rather than waiting for a party to request the issuance of a subpoena to order attendance.

    We also propose to amend the standards governing applications to quash or modify subpoenas. Rule 232(e)(2) provides that the hearing officer or the Commission shall quash or modify a subpoena, or order return upon specified conditions, if compliance with the subpoena would be unreasonable, oppressive or unduly burdensome. As amended, Rule 232(e)(2) would provide that the hearing officer or Commission shall quash or modify a subpoena or notice of deposition, or order return upon specified conditions, if compliance with the subpoena would be unreasonable, oppressive, unduly burdensome, or would unduly delay the hearing. This amendment would require the hearing officer or Commission to consider the delaying effect of compliance with a subpoena or notice of deposition as part of the motion to quash standard and is intended to promote the efficient use of time for discovery during the prehearing period.

    Finally, we propose to amend Rule 232(e) to add a new provision that specifies an additional standard governing motions to quash depositions noticed or subpoenaed pursuant to Rule 233(a), as amended. Under new Rule 232(e)(3), the hearing officer or Commission would quash or modify a deposition notice or subpoena filed or issued under Rule 233(a) unless the requesting party demonstrates that the deposition notice or subpoena satisfies the requirements under Rule 233(a). This is intended to ensure that parties notice the correct number of depositions pursuant to Rule 233(a) and follow other requirements of that rule.

    Rule 232(e)(3) also would require the party requesting the deposition to demonstrate that the proposed deponent is a fact witness,14 a designated expert witness under Rule 222(b), or a document custodian.15 This provision is intended to foster use of depositions where appropriate and encourage meaningful discovery, within the limits of the number of depositions provided per side pursuant to Rule 233(a). This provision should encourage parties to focus any requested depositions on those persons who are most likely to yield relevant information and thereby make efficient use of time during the prehearing stage of the proceeding.

    14 Under proposed Rule 232(e)(3), this type of proposed deponent must have witnessed or participated in “any event, transaction, occurrence, act, or omission that forms the basis for any claim asserted by the Division, or any defense asserted by any respondent in the proceeding (this excludes a proposed deponent whose only knowledge of relevant facts about claims or defenses of any party arises from the Division's investigation or litigation).”

    15 This excludes Division of Enforcement or other Commission officers or personnel who have custody of documents or data that was produced from the Division to the respondent. In that circumstance, the Division or Commission officers or personnel were not the original custodian of the documents.

    Rule 232(f) provides for the payment of witness fees and mileage. We propose to add a provision to Rule 232(f) stating that each party is responsible for paying any fees and expenses incurred as a result of deposition or testimony by the expert witness whom that party has designated under Rule 222(b).

    Rule 234 contains procedures for taking depositions through the use of written questions. Under Rule 234, a party may make a motion to take a deposition on written questions by filing the questions with the motion. We propose to amend the rule to provide that the moving party may take a deposition on written questions either by stipulation of the parties or by filing a motion demonstrating good cause. This proposed amendment is intended to provide a clear standard under which the hearing officer or Commission would review such a motion, and is consistent with standards for other types of motions articulated under other Rules of Practice.16 The amendment would replace the standard under the current rule, which references current Rule 233(b)'s limit on depositions to witnesses unable to appear or testify at a hearing.

    16See, e.g., 17 CFR 201.155(b) (good cause showing to set aside a default); 17 CFR 201.161 (good cause showing for extending or shortening time limits for filings); 17 CFR 201.201(b) (good cause showing for severing a proceeding).

    We seek comments about the proposed amendments to the standards for motions to quash subpoenas and notices for depositions, including the consideration of whether compliance with the subpoena would unduly delay the hearing and the requirement that a proposed deponent must be a fact witness, expert witness under Rule 222(b), or document custodian.

    D. Proposed Amendment to Rule 222

    Rule 222 17 provides that a party who intends to call an expert witness shall submit a variety of information. The proposed amendment to the rule provides for two exceptions: (1) Drafts of any material that is otherwise required to be submitted in final form; and (2) communications between a party's attorney and the party's expert witness who would be required to submit a report under the rules, except under limited circumstances.

    17 17 CFR 201.222.

    The proposed amendment also would require disclosure of a written report for a witness retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case, or an employee of a party whose duties regularly involve giving expert testimony. The proposed amendment would outline the elements that must be contained in that written report, including a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them, the facts or data considered by the witness in forming them, any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support them, and a statement of the compensation to be paid for the expert's study and testimony in the case. These proposed amendments are consistent with the requirements for expert witness disclosures and expert reports in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and we believe they would promote efficiency in both prehearing discovery and the hearing.18 Moreover, the administrative law judges already have required such expert reports in proceedings before them.19

    18See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(4), (a)(2), respectively.

    19See, e.g., ZPR Investment Management, Inc., Admin Proc. Ruling Rel. No. 775 (Aug. 6, 2013), available at http://www.sec.gov/alj/aljorders/2013/ap-775.pdf. (general prehearing order stating that “expert reports should be as specific and detailed as those presented in federal district court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26”).

    We propose amendments to current Rule 222(b)'s requirement that parties submit a list of other proceedings in which their expert witness has given expert testimony and a list of publications authored or co-authored by their expert witness. As amended, Rule 222(b) would limit the list of proceedings to the previous four years, and would limit the list of publications to the previous ten years.

    E. Proposed Amendment to Rule 141

    Rule 141(a)(2)(iv) 20 specifies the requirements for serving an order instituting proceedings on a person in a foreign country. The proposed amendment would incorporate additional methods of service. The current rule allows for service of an order instituting proceedings on persons in foreign countries by any method specified in the rule, or “by any other method reasonably calculated to give notice, provided that the method of service used is not prohibited by the law of the foreign country.”

    20 17 CFR 201.141(a)(2)(iv).

    We propose to amend this rule to state that service reasonably calculated to give notice includes any method authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; methods prescribed by the foreign country's law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction; or as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request. In addition, under the proposed rules, unless prohibited by the foreign country's law, service may be made by delivering a copy of the order instituting proceedings to the individual personally, or using any form of mail that the Secretary or the interested division addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a signed receipt.

    The proposed rule would also allow service by any other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the Commission or hearing officer orders. Like the similar provision in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this provision would cover situations where existing agreements do not apply, or efforts to serve under such agreements are or would not be successful.

    In addition to providing clarification that proper service on persons in foreign countries may be made by any of the above methods, the amended rule would provide some certainty regarding whether service of an order instituting proceedings has been effected properly and would allow the Commission to rely on international agreements in which foreign countries have agreed to accept certain forms of service as valid.

    We also propose to amend Rule 141(a)(3), 21 which requires the Secretary to maintain a record of service on parties. In instances where a division of the Commission, rather than the Secretary, serves an order instituting proceedings, the Secretary does not always receive a copy of the service. The proposed amendment would make it clear that a division that serves an order instituting proceedings must file with the Secretary either an acknowledgement of service by the person served or proof of service.

    21 17 CFR 201.141(a)(3).

    F. Proposed Amendment to Rule 161

    Rule 161 22 governs extensions of time, postponements, and adjournments requested by parties. Under the current Rule 161(c)(2), a hearing officer may stay a proceeding pending the Commission's consideration of offers of settlement under certain limited circumstances, but that stay does not affect any of the deadlines in Rule 360. We propose to amend Rule 161(c)(2) to allow a stay pending Commission consideration of settlement offers to also stay the timelines set forth in Rule 360.23 All the other requirements for granting a stay that are in the current rule would remain unchanged. This proposed amendment recognizes the important role of settlement in administrative proceedings.

    22 17 CFR 201.161.

    23 We also propose a conforming amendment to Rule 360(a)(2)(iii) to include a cross-reference to amended Rule 161(c)(2).

    G. Proposed Amendment to Rule 230

    Rule 230(a) 24 requires the Division to make available to respondents certain documents obtained by the Division in connection with an investigation prior to the institution of proceedings. Rule 230(b) 25 provides a list of documents that may be withheld from this production. We propose amending Rule 230(b) to provide that the Division may redact certain sensitive personal information from documents that will be made available to respondents, unless the information concerns the person to whom the documents are being produced. Under the amendment, the Division would be able to redact an individual's social-security number, an individual's birth date, the name of an individual known to be a minor, or a financial account number, taxpayer-identification number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, or state-issued identification number other than the last four digits of the number. This proposed amendment is intended to enhance the protection afforded to sensitive personal information.

    24 17 CFR 201.230(a).

    25 17 CFR 201.230(b).

    We also propose to amend Rule 230(b) to clarify that the Division may withhold or redact documents that reflect settlement negotiations with persons or entities who are not respondents in the proceeding at issue. This proposed amendment is intended to preserve the confidentiality of settlement discussions and safeguard the privacy of potential respondents with whom the Division has negotiated and is consistent with case law that favors the important public policy interest in candid settlement negotiations.26

    26See, e.g., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Chiles Power Supply, Inc., 332 F.3d 976, 980-81 (6th Cir. 2003) (“The public policy favoring secret negotiations, combined with the inherent questionability of the truthfulness of any statements made therein, leads us to conclude that a settlement privilege should exist, and that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow discovery.”).

    H. Proposed Clarifying Amendments to Rules 220, 235, and 320

    Rule 220 27 sets forth the requirements for filing answers to allegations in an order instituting proceedings. Currently, Rule 220 states that a defense of res judicata, statute of limitations, or any other matter constituting an affirmative defense shall be asserted in the answer. We propose amendments to Rule 220 to emphasize that a respondent must affirmatively state in an answer whether the respondent is asserting any avoidance or affirmative defense, including but not limited to res judicata, statute of limitations, or reliance. This proposed amendment would not change the substantive requirement under the current rule to include affirmative defenses in the answer. Instead, it is intended to clarify that any theories for avoidance of liability or remedies, even if not technically considered affirmative defenses, must be stated in the answer as well.28 Timely assertion of affirmative defenses or theories of avoidance would focus the use of prehearing discovery, foster early identification of key issues and, as a result, make the discovery process more effective and efficient.

    27 17 CFR 201.220.

    28 For example, some might argue that “reliance on counsel” is not a formal affirmative defense, but a basis for negating liability.

    Rule 235 29 provides the standard for granting a motion to introduce a prior sworn statement of a witness who is not a party. Although current Rule 235(a) states that the standard applies to “a witness, not a party,” we propose adding new Rule 235(b) to make clear that sworn statements or declarations of a party or agent may be used by an adverse party for any purpose. Further, new Rule 235(b) would clarify that “sworn statements” include a deposition taken pursuant to Rules 233 or 234 or investigative testimony, and allows for the use of declarations pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1746.

    29 17 CFR 201.235.

    Rule 320 30 provides the standard for admissibility of evidence. Under the current rule, the Commission or hearing officer may receive relevant evidence and shall exclude all evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious. We propose to amend the rule to add “unreliable” to the list of evidence that shall be excluded. This amended admissibility standard is consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.31 We also propose to add new Rule 320(b) to clarify that hearsay may be admitted if it is relevant, material, and bears satisfactory indicia of reliability so that its use is fair. Admitting hearsay evidence if it meets a threshold showing of relevance, materiality, and reliability also is consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.32

    30 17 CFR 201.320.

    31 5 U.S.C. 556(c)(3) (allowing hearing officers to receive relevant evidence); 5 U.S.C. 556(d) (stating that a sanction may not be imposed or rule or order issued except on consideration of the whole record or of those parts thereof cited by a party and supported by and in accordance with the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence).

    32See 5 U.S.C. 556(d) (stating that any oral or documentary evidence may be received, but the agency as a matter of policy shall provide for the exclusion of irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence); see, e.g., J.A.M. Builders, Inc. v. Herman, 233 F.3d 1350, 1354 (11th Cir. 2000) (hearsay admissible in administrative proceedings if “reliable and credible”); Calhoun v. Bailar, 626 F.2d 145, 148 (9th Cir. 1980) (hearsay admissible if “it bear[s] satisfactory indicia of reliability” and is “probative and its use fundamentally fair”). Courts also have held that hearsay can constitute substantial evidence that satisfies the APA requirement. See, e.g., Echostar Communications Corp. v. FCC, 292 F.3d 749, 753 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (hearsay evidence is admissible in administrative proceedings if it “bear[s] satisfactory indicia of reliability” and “can constitute substantial evidence if it is reliable and trustworthy”); see generally Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 407-08 (1971) (holding that a medical report, though hearsay, could constitute substantial evidence in social security disability claim hearing); cf. Federal Rule of Evidence 403 (stating that relevant, material, and reliable evidence shall be admitted).

    I. Proposed Amendments to Appellate Procedure in Rules 410, 411, 420, 440, and 450

    We propose amendments to certain procedures that govern appeals to the Commission. Rule 410(b) 33 outlines the procedure for filing a petition for review of an initial decision and directs a party to set forth in the petition the specific findings and conclusions of the initial decision as to which exception is taken, together with supporting reasons for each exception. Rule 410(b) also states that an exception may be deemed to have been waived by the petitioner if the petitioner does not include the exception in the petition for review or a previously filed proposed finding made pursuant to Rule 340.

    33 17 CFR 201.410(b).

    We propose to amend Rule 410(b) to eliminate both the requirement that a petitioner set forth all the specific findings and conclusions of the initial decision to which exception is taken, and the provision stating that if an exception is not stated, it may be deemed to have been waived by the petitioner. Instead, under amended Rule 410(b), a petitioner would be required to set forth only a summary statement of the issues presented for review. We also propose to add new Rule 410(c) to limit the length of petitions for review to three pages. Incorporation of pleadings or filings by reference would not be permitted.

    This proposed amendment is intended to address timing issues and potential inequities in the number of briefs each party is permitted to submit to the Commission. The timing issues arise out of the requirement under Rule 410 that a party must file its petition for review within 21 days after service of the initial decision or 21 days from the date of the hearing officer's order resolving a motion to correct manifest error in an initial decision. This means that during the three-week period immediately following the issuance of the initial decision, a party must decide whether to file a motion to correct manifest error and, if not, whether to appeal. If the party decides to file a petition to appeal, then the petitioner is required under the current rule to quickly determine every exception the petitioner takes with the findings and conclusions in the initial decision, along with supporting reasons. Requiring the petitioner to submit a petition that includes all exceptions and supporting reasons, which may be deemed waived if not raised in the petition, encourages petitioners to file lengthy petitions that provide lists of exceptions with little refinement of the arguments or narrowing of issues to those most significant to the Commission's review. As a result, petitions for review often have exceeded the length of opening briefs later filed in support of a petition for review. In addition, petitions often list exceptions that are later abandoned or unsupported in the opening brief.

    The proposed amendment would address these issues by allowing a party to file a petition for review that provides only a brief summary of the issues presented for review under Rule 411(b), which refers to prejudicial errors, findings or conclusions of material fact that are clearly erroneous, conclusions of law that are erroneous, or exercises of discretion or decisions of law or policy that the Commission should review.34 After filing a petition for review that gives the Commission summary notice of the issues presented by the case, the petitioner would then be able to focus on the brief that develops the reasoned arguments in support of the petition. This practice is consistent with the Commission's routine grant of appeals, without allowing parties to file oppositions to petitions.35 Providing for a summary petition would also be consistent with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which requires only notice filing if a petitioner may appeal as of right.36

    34 This is consistent with the Commission's current rules governing appeals to the Commission from determinations by self-regulatory organizations pursuant to Rule 420. Under Rule 420, an application for review of a determination of a self-regulatory organization must set forth in summary form a brief statement of the alleged errors in the determination and supporting reasons, and must not exceed two pages. Rule 420 does not contain a waiver provision.

    35Proposed Amendments to the Rules of Practice and Related Provisions, Exchange Act Release No. 48832, 68 FR 68185, 68191 (Dec. 5, 2003) (“In the Commission's experience, the utility of such oppositions has been quite limited, given that the Commission has long had a policy of granting petitions for review, believing that there is a benefit to Commission review when a party takes exception to a decision.”); Adoption of Amendments to the Rules of Practice and Delegations of Authority of the Commission, Exchange Act Release No. 49412, 69 FR 13166, 13167 (Mar. 12, 2004) (deleting the provision for oppositions to petitions for review). The Commission issues a scheduling order within approximately three weeks of granting a petition for review. Pursuant to Rule 450, the scheduling order generally provides the petitioner with thirty days to submit a brief in support of the petition of no more than 14,000 words.

    36 Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(c) (stating that a notice of appeal when there is an appeal as of right must specify the parties taking appeal, designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being appeals, and name the court to which the appeal is taken); cf. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 5 (stating that a petition for appeal when an appeal is within the court's discretion must include the facts necessary to understand the question presented, the question itself, the relief sought, the reasons why the appeal should be allowed and is authorized by statute or rule, and a copy of the order, decree, or judgment complained of and any related opinion or memorandum, and any order stating the district court's permission to appeal or finding that the necessary conditions are met).

    Allowing parties to file only a summary statement of the issues on appeal also would address potential briefing inequities in the current rule. As described above, a petitioner often files a lengthy petition for review that is followed, in the typical case, by an opening brief limited to 14,000 words. Essentially, petitioners are afforded two opportunities under the current rule to brief the issues in the case, while under current Rule 450, the opposing party typically may submit only a brief in opposition that is limited to 14,000 words. As a practical matter, that brief in opposition must address not only the arguments explained in the petitioner's opening brief, but also each exception listed in the petition for review. This has the potential to place opposing parties at a disadvantage. The proposed amendment to Rule 410(b) would correct this apparent inequity by requiring a petitioner to make arguments in its opening brief rather than in the petition for review. This also has the benefit of encouraging a petitioner to narrow the issues and explain supporting arguments, while allowing opposing parties to address only those arguments asserted in the petitioner's opening brief.

    We propose an amendment to Rule 411(d) 37 to effect the amendments to Rule 410(b). Rule 411(b) states that Commission review of an initial decision is limited to the issues specified in the petition for review and any issues specified in the order scheduling briefs.38 We propose to amend Rule 411(b) to state that Commission review of an initial decision is limited to the issues specified in an opening brief and that any exception to an initial decision not supported in an opening brief may be deemed to have been waived by the petitioner.

    37 17 CFR 201.411(d).

    38 Rule 411(d) also states that on notice to all parties, the Commission may, at any time prior to issuance of its decision, raise and determine any other matters that it deems material, with opportunity for oral or written argument thereon by the parties.

    We propose amendments to Rule 450 39 to provide additional support for a structure in which opening briefs are the primary vehicles for arguments on appeal. Rule 450(b) states that reply briefs are confined to matters in opposition briefs of other parties. We propose amendments to Rule 450(b) to make clear that any argument raised for the first time in a reply brief shall be deemed to have been waived by the petitioner.

    39 17 CFR 201.450.

    We also propose amendments to Rule 450(c) to prohibit parties from incorporating pleadings or filings by reference. Under current Rule 450(c), parties are permitted to incorporate pleadings or filings by reference, although the number of words in documents incorporated by reference count against Rule 450(c)'s word limit for briefs. As a practical matter, it is difficult to enforce a word count that allows for incorporation by reference, and the rule has encouraged parties to rely on pleadings or filings from the hearing below, which already are in the record, rather than addressing the relevant evidence or developing the arguments central to the appeal before the Commission. Prohibiting incorporation by reference is intended to sharpen the arguments and require parties to provide specific support for each assertion, rather than non-specific support through incorporation of other briefs or filings.

    We propose amendments to Rule 450(d) to conform to the proposed amendments to Rule 450(c). Rule 450(d) requires parties to certify compliance with the length limitations set forth in Rule 450(c). As amended, Rule 450(d) would no longer refer to pleadings incorporated by reference, and would require parties to certify compliance with the requirements set forth in Rule 450(c), instead of certifying only compliance with the length limitations in Rule 450(c).

    Finally, we propose amendments to Rules 420(c) 40 and 440(b) 41 to make them consistent with the proposed amendments to Rules 410(b) and 450(b). Rule 420 governs appeals of determinations by self-regulatory organizations and Rule 440 governs appeals of determinations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Current Rule 420(c) is similar to proposed amended Rule 410(b) in that it limits the length of an application for review and requires that applicants set forth in summary form only a brief statement of alleged errors in the determination and supporting reasons. We propose to amend Rule 420(c) to include a provision stating that any exception to a determination that is not supported in an opening brief may be deemed to have been waived by the applicant. Likewise, current Rule 440(b) is similar to proposed amendments to Rule 410(b) because it requires that an applicant set forth in summary form only a brief statement of alleged errors in the determination and supporting reasons. We propose to amend Rule 440(b) to include a page limit for the application (two pages, which is consistent with current Rule 420(c)) and a provision stating that any exception to a determination that is not supported in an opening brief may be deemed to have been waived by the applicant. These proposed amendments would align appeals from determinations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board with appeals from determinations by self-regulatory organizations and appeals from initial decisions issued by hearing officers.

    40 17 CFR 201.420(c).

    41 17 CFR 201.440(b).

    J. Proposed Amendments to Rule 900 Guidelines

    We propose amendments to Rule 900,42 which sets forth guidelines for the timely completion of proceedings, provides for confidential status reports to the Commission on pending cases, and directs the publication of summary information concerning the pending case docket. Rule 900(a) states that the guidelines will be examined periodically and, if necessary, readjusted in light of changes in the pending caseload and the available level of staff resources. Consistent with that provision, we propose to amend Rule 900(a) to state that a decision by the Commission with respect to an appeal from the initial decision of a hearing officer, a review of a determination by a self-regulatory organization or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or a remand of a prior Commission decision by a court of appeals ordinarily will be issued within eight months from the completion of briefing on the petition for review, application for review, or remand order, and, if the Commission determines that the complexity of the issues presented in an appeal warrant additional time, the decision of the Commission may be issued within ten months of the completion of briefing. We also propose to amend Rule 900(a) to provide that if the Commission determines that a decision by the Commission cannot be issued within the eight or ten-month periods, the Commission may extend that period by orders as it deems appropriate in its discretion. Finally, we propose to amend Rule 900(c) to include additional information in the published report concerning the pending case docket. Specifically, we propose to amend the rule to include, in addition to what is already included, the median number of days from the completion of briefing of an appeal to the time of the Commission's decision for the cases completed in the given time period.

    42 17 CFR 201.900.

    K. Effective Date and Transition

    We are proposing that the amended Rules govern any proceeding commenced after the effective date of the amended Rules. We seek comments about whether the amended Rules should be applied, in whole or in part, to proceedings that are pending or have been docketed before or on the effective date, and, if so, the standard for applying any amended Rules to such pending proceedings.

    III. Request for Public Comment

    We request and encourage any interested person to submit comments regarding: (1) The time periods for each stage of the proceeding under proposed amendments to Rule 360, (2) the structure and number of depositions provided under proposed amendments to Rule 233, (3) the standards governing an application to quash deposition notices or subpoenas under proposed amendments to Rule 232, (4) the standards governing the admission of evidence, including hearsay, under Rule 320, (5) the assertion of affirmative defenses under Rule 220, (6) the effective date and whether and how any amended rules should apply to proceedings pending on the effective date, (7) the other proposed changes that are the subject of this release, (8) additional or different changes, or (9) other matters that may have an effect on the proposals contained in this release.

    IV. Administrative Procedure Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Commission finds, in accordance with Section 553(b)(3)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act,43 that these revisions relate solely to agency organization, procedure, or practice. They are therefore not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act requiring notice, opportunity for public comment, and publication. The Regulatory Flexibility Act 44 therefore does not apply.45 Nonetheless, we have determined that it would be useful to publish these proposed rules for notice and comment before adoption. Because these rules relate to “agency organization, procedure or practice that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties,” they are not subject to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.46 To the extent these rules relate to agency information collections during the conduct of administrative proceedings, they are exempt from review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.47

    43 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A).

    44 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    45See 5 U.S.C. 603.

    46 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C).

    47See 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii); 5 CFR 1320.4 (exempting collections during the conduct of administrative proceedings or investigations).

    V. Economic Analysis

    We are mindful of the costs and benefits of our rules. In proposing these amendments, we seek to enhance flexibility in the conduct of administrative proceedings while maintaining the facility to efficiently resolve individual matters.

    The current rules governing administrative proceedings serve as the baseline against which we assess the economic impacts of these proposed amendments. At present, Commission rules set the prehearing period of a proceeding at approximately four months for a 300-day proceeding and do not permit parties to take depositions solely for the purpose of discovery. Rules governing the testimony of expert witnesses have not been formalized, but the administrative law judges already have required expert reports in proceedings before them.

    The scope of the benefits and costs of the proposed rules depends on the expected volume of administrative proceedings. In fiscal year 2014, 230 new administrative proceedings were initiated and not settled immediately. New proceedings initiated and not immediately settled in fiscal years 2013 and 2012 totaled 202 and 207 respectively.48

    48 The total number of administrative proceedings initiated and not immediately settled each fiscal year encompasses a variety of types of proceedings, including proceedings instituted pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 seeking to determine whether it is necessary and appropriate for the protection of investors to suspend or revoke the registration of an issuer's securities and proceedings instituted under Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act or Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 seeking to determine what, if any, remedial action is appropriate in the public interest.

    The amendments to Rule 233 and Rule 360, as well as the supporting amendments, may benefit respondents and the Division of Enforcement by providing them with additional time and tools to discover relevant facts and information. The proposed amendment to Rule 233 and supporting amendments would permit respondents and the Division of Enforcement to take depositions by oral examination, permitting a more efficient discovery period. We preliminarily believe that the proposed amendments regarding depositions will provide parties with an opportunity to further develop arguments and defenses, which may narrow the facts and issues to be explored during the hearing. The proposed amendments to Rule 360 would alter the timeline to allow for expanded discovery. We anticipate that the potential for a longer discovery period would allow respondents additional time to review investigative records and to load and then review electronic productions. Together, allowing depositions and providing time for additional discovery should facilitate the information acquisition during the prehearing stage, and may ultimately result in more focused hearings. Furthermore, we preliminarily believe that more information acquisition at the prehearing stage may lead to cost savings to respondents and the Division of Enforcement stemming from the earlier resolution of cases through settlement or shorter, more focused, hearings. We are unable to quantify these benefits, however, as the potential savings would depend on multiple factors, including the complexity of actions brought to administrative proceedings and the impact that the change to discovery may have on settlement terms, which are unknown.

    We preliminarily believe that the costs of the proposed amendments will be borne by the Commission as well as respondents in administrative proceedings and witnesses who provide deposition testimony. These costs will primarily stem from the cost of depositions and the additional length of administrative proceedings.

    Costs stemming from depositions depend on whether respondents and the Division of Enforcement take depositions for the purpose of discovery and how they choose to participate in these depositions. Costs of depositions include the expenses of travel, attorney's fees, and reporter and transcription expenses. Based on staff experience, we preliminarily estimate the cost to a respondent of conducting one deposition could be approximately $36,840.49 However, we recognize that respondents and the Division of Enforcement play a large role in managing their own costs by determining whether to take or attend depositions, managing attorney costs, including the number of attorneys attending each deposition, contracting with a competitively-priced reporter, arranging for less expensive travel, and choosing the location of depositions. We note that determinations regarding the approach to depositions will likely reflect parties' beliefs regarding the potential benefits they expect to realize from participation in depositions. However we recognize that although respondents and the Division of Enforcement can choose the extent and manner in which they request depositions, the costs of depositions are borne not only by the party choosing to conduct a deposition, but also by other parties who choose to attend the deposition, the witness, and other entities in time, travel, preparation, and attorney costs.50

    49 This estimate is comprised of the following expenses: (i) travel expenses: $4,000; (ii) reporter/videographer: $7,000; and (iii) professional costs for two attorneys (including reasonable preparation for the deposition): 34 hours × $460/hr and 34 hours × $300/hr = $25,840. The hourly rates for the attorneys are based on the 2014-2015 Laffey Matrix. The Laffey Matrix is a matrix of hourly rates for attorneys of varying experience levels that is prepared annually by the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. See Laffey Matrix—2014-2015, available at http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-dc/legacy/2014/07/14/Laffey%20Matrix_2014-2015.pdf (last visited Sept. 10, 2015) (the “Laffey Matrix”); see Save Our Cumberland Mountains v. Hodel, 857 F.2d 1516, 1525 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (en banc); Covington v. District of Columbia, 57 F.3d 1101, 1105 & n.14, 1109 (D.C. Cir. 1995). We have applied different estimates of the outside legal costs in connection with public company reporting, but believe that the Laffey Matrix is an appropriate measure for calculating reasonable attorneys fees in litigation. Compare Pay Ratio Disclosure, Exchange Act Release No. 75610, 80 FR 50103 (Aug. 5, 2015) (applying a $400 per hour estimate of professional costs for Paperwork Reduction Act calculations).

    50 Some witnesses who are deposed might bear little if any out-of-pocket cost if, for example, the deposition is conducted in the city in which they live or work, and they choose not be represented by counsel at the deposition. Moreover, the party seeking the deposition might under the rules reimburse the witness for mileage or other travel costs. On the other hand, if the witness is required to pay for his or own travel to the deposition, and chooses to retain counsel to represent him or her at the deposition, we preliminary estimate that the deposition cost to the witness could be approximately $19,640 ($4000 in travel expenses for the witness and an attorney, and attorney time of 34 hours (preparation and attendance at the deposition) × $460 per hour). The hourly rate for the attorney is based on the Laffey Matrix.

    The longer potential discovery period permitted by the proposed amendment to Rule 360, while intended to provide sufficient time for parties to engage in discovery, may impose costs on respondents and the Commission. We preliminarily estimate that potentially lengthening the overall administrative proceedings timeline by up to four months to allow more time for discovery may result in additional costs to respondents in a single matter of up to $462,400.51 Again, however, we recognize that while parties are likely to incur these costs only to the extent that they expect to receive benefits from engaging in depositions and additional discovery, the costs imposed by the additional time for discovery may be incurred by all parties, not just the party advocating for additional time for discovery. Further, to the extent that the proposed rules may result in the earlier resolution of cases through settlement or shorter, more focused, hearings, some of these costs may potentially be offset.

    51 This estimate is comprised of the following expenses: (i) 1 senior attorney × 40 hours per week × 16 weeks × $460/hr = $294,400; (ii) 1 mid-level attorney × 20 hours per week × 16 weeks × $300/hr = $96,000; (iii) 1 paralegal × 30 hours per week × 16 weeks × $150/hr = $72,000. The hourly rates for the attorneys and paralegal are based on the Laffey Matrix.

    The proposed amendments related to discovery may also affect efficiency in certain cases. To the extent that the proposed amendments facilitate the discovery of relevant facts and information through depositions and extending the time for discovery, they may lead to more expeditious resolution of administrative proceedings, which could enhance the overall efficiency of the Commission's processes. For example, for complex cases that may benefit significantly from the additional information there could be efficiency gains from the proposed rules if the costs associated with the use of depositions are smaller than the value of the information gained from depositions. However, we note that because parties may not take into account the costs that depositions may impose on other entities, a potential consequence of the proposed amendments to Rule 233 and Rule 360 is that parties may engage in more discovery than is efficient. For example, for simple cases which may not benefit significantly from the additional information gained from a deposition, requesting depositions may result in inefficiency by imposing costs on all parties and witnesses involved without any significant informational benefit. However, we preliminarily believe that the supporting proposed amendments to Rule 232 and 233 may mitigate the risk of this efficiency loss by setting forth standards for the issuance of subpoenas and motions to quash depositions and setting a limit on the maximum number of depositions each side may request.

    As an alternative to the proposed rules, we could continue to permit depositions only when a witness is unable to testify at a hearing, or propose other limited discovery tools, such as the use of interrogatories or requests for admissions in lieu of depositions. Although alternatives such as interrogatories or admissions may reduce some of the costs of the discovery process (i.e., the cost of depositions), they might increase other costs (resulting from the time attorneys and parties need to prepare responses) and also may yield less useful information for the administrative proceeding given the limited nature of questioning these forms permit. Relative to these alternatives, we believe that the proposed amendments would achieve the benefits of discovery in a cost-efficient manner.

    The proposed amendments to Rule 222 specify the requirements for parties requesting to call expert witnesses. To the extent that the requirements specified in Rule 222 are identical to the current practices of administrative law judges, we do not anticipate any significant economic effects. However, the proposed amendments to Rule 222 may impose costs on parties involved in proceedings before administrative law judges whose current practices differ in any way from the requirements specified in Rule 222.

    We preliminarily do not expect any significant economic consequences to stem from proposed amendments to Rules 141, 161, 220, 230, 235, 320, 410, 411, 420, 440, 450, and 900. For Rule 233 and its supporting amendments and Rule 360, we expect that these proposed amendments will have an impact on the efficiency of administrative proceedings but do not expect them to significantly affect the efficiency, competition, or capital formation of securities markets. We also do not expect the proposed amendments to impose a significant burden on competition.52

    52See 15 U.S.C. 78w(a)(2).

    We request comment on all aspects of the economic effects of the proposal, including any anticipated impacts that are not mentioned here. We are particularly interested in comments regarding the expected benefits and costs of the proposed rules, including the specific benefits and costs parties expect to result from the proposed amendments. We are also interested in comments regarding how the amendments may affect the overall length and outcomes of administrative proceedings, and how parties approach administrative proceedings. Additionally, we request quantitative estimates of the benefits and costs on respondents in administrative proceedings and witnesses who provide deposition testimony, in general or for particular types of proceedings. We also request comment on reasonable alternatives to the proposed rules and on any effect the proposed rules may have on efficiency, competition, and capital formation.

    VI. Statutory Basis and Text of Proposed Amendments

    These amendments to the Rules of Practice are being proposed pursuant to statutory authority granted to the Commission, including section 3 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, 15 U.S.C. 7202; section 19 of the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. 77s; sections 4A, 19, and 23 of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78d-1, 78s, and 78w; section 319 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, 15 U.S.C. 77sss; sections 38 and 40 of the Investment Company Act, 15 U.S.C. 80a-37 and 80a-39; and section 211 of the Investment Advisers Act, 15 U.S.C. 80b-11.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 201

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    Text of the Amendments

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 17 CFR part 201 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 201—RULES OF PRACTICE 1. The authority citation for part 201, subpart D, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 77f, 77g, 77h, 77h-1, 77j, 77s, 77u, 77sss, 77ttt, 78c(b), 78d-1, 78d-2, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o(d), 78o-3, 78s, 78u-2, 78u-3, 78v, 78w, 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-37, 80a-38, 80a-39, 80a-40, 80a-41, 80a-44, 80b-3, 80b-9, 80b-11, 80b-12, 7202, 7215, and 7217.

    2. Section 201.141 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2)(iv) and (v) and (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 201.141 Orders and decisions: Service of orders instituting proceedings and other orders and decisions.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Upon persons in a foreign country. Notice of a proceeding to a person in a foreign country may be made by any of the following methods:

    (A) Any method specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section that is not prohibited by the law of the foreign country; or

    (B) By any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; or

    (C) Any method that is reasonably calculated to give notice

    (1) As prescribed by the foreign country's law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction; or

    (2) As the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

    (3) Unless prohibited by the foreign country's law, by delivering a copy of the order instituting proceedings to the individual personally, or using any form of mail that the Secretary or the interested division addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a signed receipt; or

    (D) By any other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the Commission or hearing officer orders.

    (v) In stop order proceedings. Notwithstanding any other provision of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, in proceedings pursuant to Sections 8 or 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. 77h or 77j, or Sections 305 or 307 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, 15 U.S.C. 77eee or 77ggg, notice of the institution of proceedings shall be made by personal service or confirmed telegraphic notice, or a waiver obtained pursuant to paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (3) Record of service. The Secretary shall maintain a record of service on parties (in hard copy or computerized format), identifying the party given notice, the method of service, the date of service, the address to which service was made, and the person who made service. If a division serves a copy of an order instituting proceedings, the division shall file with the Secretary either an acknowledgement of service by the person served or proof of service consisting of a statement by the person who made service certifying the date and manner of service; the names of the persons served; and their mail or electronic addresses, facsimile numbers, or the addresses of the places of delivery, as appropriate for the manner of service. If service is made in person, the certificate of service shall state, if available, the name of the individual to whom the order was given. If service is made by U.S. Postal Service certified or Express Mail, the Secretary shall maintain the confirmation of receipt or of attempted delivery, and tracking number. If service is made to an agent authorized by appointment to receive service, the certificate of service shall be accompanied by evidence of the appointment.

    3. Section 201.161 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(2)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 201.161 Extensions of time, postponements and adjournments.

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) The granting of any stay pursuant to this paragraph (c) shall stay the timeline pursuant to § 201.360(a).

    4. Section 210.180 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text, (a)(1)(i), and (a)(2) to read as follows:
    § 201.180 Sanctions.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Subject to exclusion or suspension. Contemptuous conduct by any person before the Commission or a hearing officer during any proceeding, including at or in connection with any conference, deposition or hearing, shall be grounds for the Commission or the hearing officer to:

    (i) Exclude that person from such deposition, hearing or conference, or any portion thereof; and/or

    (2) Review procedure. A person excluded from a deposition, hearing or conference, or a counsel summarily suspended from practice for the duration or any portion of a proceeding, may seek review of the exclusion or suspension by filing with the Commission, within three days of the exclusion or suspension order, a motion to vacate the order. The Commission shall consider such motion on an expedited basis as provided in § 201.500.

    5. Revise § 201.220 to read as follows:
    § 201.220 Answer to allegations.

    (a) When required. In its order instituting proceedings, the Commission may require any respondent to file an answer to each of the allegations contained therein. Even if not so ordered, any respondent in any proceeding may elect to file an answer. Any other person granted leave by the Commission or the hearing officer to participate on a limited basis in such proceedings pursuant to § 201.210(c) may be required to file an answer.

    (b) When to file. Except where a different period is provided by rule or by order, a respondent shall do so within 20 days after service upon the respondent of the order instituting proceedings. Persons granted leave to participate on a limited basis in the proceeding pursuant to § 201.210(c) may file an answer within a reasonable time, as determined by the Commission or the hearing officer. If the order instituting proceedings is amended, the Commission or the hearing officer may require that an amended answer be filed and, if such an answer is required, shall specify a date for the filing thereof.

    (c) Contents; effect of failure to deny. Unless otherwise directed by the hearing officer or the Commission, an answer shall specifically admit, deny, or state that the party does not have, and is unable to obtain, sufficient information to admit or deny each allegation in the order instituting proceedings. When a party intends in good faith to deny only a part of an allegation, the party shall specify so much of it as is true and shall deny only the remainder. A statement of a lack of information shall have the effect of a denial. A respondent must affirmatively state in the answer any avoidance or affirmative defense, including but not limited to res judicata, statute of limitations or reliance. Any allegation not denied shall be deemed admitted.

    (d) Motion for more definite statement. A respondent may file with an answer a motion for a more definite statement of specified matters of fact or law to be considered or determined. Such motion shall state the respects in which, and the reasons why, each such matter of fact or law should be required to be made more definite. If the motion is granted, the order granting such motion shall set the periods for filing such a statement and any answer thereto.

    (e) Amendments. A respondent may amend its answer at any time by written consent of each adverse party or with leave of the Commission or the hearing officer. Leave shall be freely granted when justice so requires.

    (f) Failure to file answer: default. If a respondent fails to file an answer required by this section within the time provided, such respondent may be deemed in default pursuant to § 201.155(a). A party may make a motion to set aside a default pursuant to § 201.155(b).

    6. Section 201.221 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows.
    § 201.221 Prehearing conference.

    (c) Subjects to be discussed. At a prehearing conference consideration may be given and action taken with respect to any and all of the following:

    (1) Simplification and clarification of the issues;

    (2) Exchange of witness and exhibit lists and copies of exhibits;

    (3) Timing of disclosure of expert witness disclosures and reports, if any;

    (4) Stipulations, admissions of fact, and stipulations concerning the contents, authenticity, or admissibility into evidence of documents;

    (5) Matters of which official notice may be taken;

    (6) The schedule for exchanging prehearing motions or briefs, if any;

    (7) The method of service for papers other than Commission orders;

    (8) Summary disposition of any or all issues;

    (9) Settlement of any or all issues;

    (10) Determination of hearing dates;

    (11) Amendments to the order instituting proceedings or answers thereto;

    (12) Production of documents as set forth in § 201.230, and prehearing production of documents in response to subpoenas duces tecum as set forth in § 201.232;

    (13) Specification of procedures as set forth in § 201.202;

    (14) Depositions to be conducted, if any, and date by which depositions shall be completed; and

    (15) Such other matters as may aid in the orderly and expeditious disposition of the proceeding.

    7. Section 201.222 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 201.222 Prehearing submissions and disclosures.

    (b) Expert witnesses—(1) Information to be supplied; reports. Each party who intends to call an expert witness shall submit, in addition to the information required by paragraph (a)(4) of this section, a statement of the expert's qualifications, a listing of other proceedings in which the expert has given expert testimony during the previous 4 years, and a list of publications authored or co-authored by the expert in the previous 10 years. Additionally, if the witness is one retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case or one whose duties as the party's employee regularly involve giving expert testimony, then the party must include in the disclosure a written report—prepared and signed by the witness. The report must contain:

    (i) A complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them;

    (ii) The facts or data considered by the witness in forming them;

    (iii) Any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support them; and

    (iv) A statement of the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony in the case.

    (2) Drafts and communications protected. (i) Drafts of any report or other disclosure required under this section need not be furnished regardless of the form in which the draft is recorded.

    (ii) Communications between a party's attorney and the party's expert witness who is identified under this section need not be furnished regardless of the form of the communications, except if the communications relate to compensation for the expert's study or testimony, identify facts or data that the party's attorney provided and that the expert considered in forming the opinions to be expressed, or identify assumptions that the party's attorney provided and that the expert relied on in forming the opinions to be expressed.

    8. Section 201.230 is amended by: a. Revising the paragraph (b) subject heading; b. Redesignating paragraph (b)(1)(iv) as paragraph (b)(1)(v) and adding new paragraph (b)(1)(iv); c. Redesignating paragraph (b)(2) as paragraph (b)(3) and adding new paragraph (b)(2); and d. In paragraph (c), removing the term “(b)(1)(iv)” and adding in its place “(b)(1)(v)” wherever it occurs.

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 201.230 Enforcement and disciplinary proceedings: Availability of documents for inspection and copying.

    (b) Documents that may be withheld or redacted.

    (1) * * *

    (iv) The document reflects only settlement negotiations between the Division of Enforcement and a person or entity who is not a respondent in the proceeding; or

    (2) Unless the hearing officer orders otherwise upon motion, the Division of Enforcement may redact information from a document if:

    (i) The information is among the categories set forth in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (v) of this section; or

    (ii) The information consists of the following with regard to a person other than the respondent to whom the information is being produced:

    (A) An individual's social-security number;

    (B) An individual's birth date;

    (C) The name of an individual known to be a minor; or

    (D) A financial account number, taxpayer-identification number, credit card or debit card number, passport number, driver's license number, or state-issued identification number other than the last four digits of the number.

    9. Section 201.232 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (e), and (f) to read as follows:
    § 201.232 Subpoenas.

    (a) Availability; procedure. In connection with any hearing ordered by the Commission or any deposition permitted under § 201.233, a party may request the issuance of subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses at such depositions or at the designated time and place of hearing, and subpoenas requiring the production of documentary or other tangible evidence returnable at any designated time or place. Unless made on the record at a hearing, requests for issuance of a subpoena shall be made in writing and served on each party pursuant to § 201.150. A person whose request for a subpoena has been denied or modified may not request that any other person issue the subpoena.

    (c) Service. Service shall be made pursuant to the provisions of § 201.150 (b) through (d). The provisions of this paragraph (c) shall apply to the issuance of subpoenas for purposes of investigations, as required by 17 CFR 203.8, as well as depositions and hearings.

    (d) Tender of fees required. When a subpoena ordering the attendance of a person at a hearing or deposition is issued at the instance of anyone other than an officer or agency of the United States, service is valid only if the subpoena is accompanied by a tender to the subpoenaed person of the fees for one day's attendance and mileage specified by paragraph (f) of this section.

    (e) Application to quash or modify—(1) Procedure. Any person to whom a subpoena or notice of deposition is directed, or who is an owner, creator or the subject of the documents that are to be produced pursuant to a subpoena, or any party may, prior to the time specified therein for compliance, but in no event more than 15 days after the date of service of such subpoena or notice, request that the subpoena or notice be quashed or modified. Such request shall be made by application filed with the Secretary and served on all parties pursuant to § 201.150. The party on whose behalf the subpoena or notice was issued may, within five days of service of the application, file an opposition to the application. If a hearing officer has been assigned to the proceeding, the application to quash shall be directed to that hearing officer for consideration, even if the subpoena or notice was issued by another person.

    (2) Standards governing application to quash or modify. If compliance with the subpoena or notice of deposition would be unreasonable, oppressive, unduly burdensome or would unduly delay the hearing, the hearing officer or the Commission shall quash or modify the subpoena or notice, or may order a response to the subpoena, or appearance at a deposition, only upon specified conditions. These conditions may include but are not limited to a requirement that the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued shall make reasonable compensation to the person to whom the subpoena was addressed for the cost of copying or transporting evidence to the place for return of the subpoena.

    (3) Additional standards governing application to quash deposition notices or subpoenas filed pursuant to § 201.233(a). The hearing officer or the Commission shall quash or modify a deposition notice or subpoena filed or issued pursuant to § 201.233(a) unless the requesting party demonstrates that the deposition notice or subpoena satisfies the requirements of § 201.233(a), and:

    (i) The proposed deponent was a witness of or participant in any event, transaction, occurrence, act, or omission that forms the basis for any claim asserted by the Division of Enforcement, or any defense asserted by any respondent in the proceeding (this excludes a proposed deponent whose only knowledge of relevant facts about claims or defenses of any party arises from the Division of Enforcement's investigation or the proceeding);

    (ii) The proposed deponent is a designated as an “expert witness” under § 201.222(b); provided, however, that the deposition of an expert who is required to submit a written report under § 201.222(b) may only occur after such report is served; or

    (iii) The proposed deponent has custody of documents or electronic data relevant to the claims or defenses of any party (this excludes Division of Enforcement or other Commission officers or personnel who have custody of documents or data that was produced by the Division to the respondent).

    (f) Witness fees and mileage. Witnesses summoned before the Commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid to witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States. Witness fees and mileage shall be paid by the party at whose instance the witnesses appear. Except for such witness fees and mileage, each party is responsible for paying any fees and expenses of the expert witnesses whom that party designates under § 201.222(b), for appearance at any deposition or hearing.

    10. Section 201.233 is revised to read as follows:
    § 201.233 Depositions upon oral examination.

    (a) Depositions upon written notice. In any proceeding under the 120-day timeframe under § 201.360(a)(2), except as otherwise set forth in these rules, and consistent with the prehearing conference and hearing officer's scheduling order:

    (1) If the proceeding involves a single respondent, the respondent may file written notices to depose no more than three persons, and the Division of Enforcement may file written notices to depose no more than three persons. No other depositions shall be permitted, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section;

    (2) If the proceeding involves multiple respondents, the respondents collectively may file joint written notices to depose no more than five persons, and the Division of Enforcement may file written notices to depose no more than five persons. The depositions taken under this paragraph (a)(2) shall not exceed a total of five depositions for the Division of Enforcement, and five depositions for all respondents collectively. No other depositions shall be permitted except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section;

    (3) A deponent's attendance may be ordered by subpoena issued pursuant to the procedures in § 201.232; and

    (4) The Commission or hearing officer may rule on a motion by a party that a deposition shall not be taken upon a determination under § 201.232(e). The fact that a witness testified during an investigation does not preclude the deposition of that witness.

    (b) Depositions when witness is unavailable. In addition to depositions permitted under paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission or the hearing officer may grant a party's request to file a written notice of deposition if the requesting party shows that the prospective witness will likely give testimony material to the proceeding; that it is likely the prospective witness, who is then within the United States, will be unable to attend or testify at the hearing because of age, sickness, infirmity, imprisonment, other disability, or absence from the United States, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party requesting the deposition; and that the taking of a deposition will serve the interests of justice.

    (c) Service and contents of notice. Notice of any deposition pursuant to this section shall be made in writing and served on each party pursuant to § 201.150, and shall be consistent with the prehearing conference and hearing officer's scheduling order. A notice of deposition shall designate by name a deposition officer. The deposition officer may be any person authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the deposition is to be held. A notice of deposition also shall state:

    (1) The name and address of the witness whose deposition is to be taken;

    (2) The scope of the testimony to be taken;

    (3) The time and place of the deposition; provided that a subpoena for a deposition may command a person to attend a deposition only as follows:

    (A) Within 100 miles of where the person resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person;

    (B) Within the state where the person resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person, if the person is a party or a party's officer;

    (C) At such other location that the parties and proposed deponent stipulate; or

    (D) At such other location that the hearing officer or the Commission determines is appropriate; and

    (4) The manner of recording and preserving the deposition.

    (d) Producing documents. In connection with any deposition pursuant to § 201.233(a), a party may request the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum under § 201.232. The party conducting the deposition shall serve upon the deponent any subpoena duces tecum so issued. The materials designated for production, as set out in the subpoena, must be listed in the notice of deposition or in an attachment.

    (e) Method of recording—(1) Method stated in the notice. The party who notices the deposition must state in the notice the method for recording the testimony. Unless the hearing officer or Commission orders otherwise, testimony may be recorded by audio, audiovisual, or stenographic means. The noticing party bears the recording costs. Any party may arrange to transcribe a deposition.

    (2) Additional method. With prior notice to the deponent and other parties, any party may designate another method for recording the testimony in addition to that specified in the original notice. That party bears the expense of the additional record or transcript unless the hearing officer or the Commission orders otherwise.

    (f) By remote means. The parties may stipulate—or the hearing officer or Commission may on motion order—that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means. For the purpose of this section, the deposition takes place where the deponent answers the questions.

    (g) Deposition officer's duties—(1) Before the deposition. The deposition officer designated pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section must begin the deposition with an on-the-record statement that includes:

    (i) The deposition officer's name and business address;

    (ii) The date, time, and place of the deposition;

    (iii) The deponent's name;

    (iv) The deposition officer's administration of the oath or affirmation to the deponent; and

    (v) The identity of all persons present.

    (2) Conducting the deposition; Avoiding distortion. If the deposition is recorded non-stenographically, the deposition officer must repeat the items in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section at the beginning of each unit of the recording medium. The deponent's and attorneys' appearance or demeanor must not be distorted through recording techniques.

    (3) After the deposition. At the end of a deposition, the deposition officer must state on the record that the deposition is complete and must set out any stipulations made by the attorneys about custody of the transcript or recording and of the exhibits, or about any other pertinent matters.

    (h) Order and record of the examination—(1) Order of examination. The examination and cross-examination of a deponent proceed as they would at the hearing. After putting the deponent under oath or affirmation, the deposition officer must record the testimony by the method designated under paragraph (e) of this section. The testimony must be recorded by the deposition officer personally or by a person acting in the presence and under the direction of the deposition officer. The witness being deposed may have counsel present during the deposition.

    (2) Form of objections stated during the deposition. An objection at the time of the examination—whether to evidence, to a party's conduct, to the deposition officer's qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition—must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds and the testimony is taken subject to any objection. An objection must be stated concisely in a nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner. A person may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the hearing officer or the Commission, or to present a motion to the hearing officer or the Commission for a limitation on the questioning in the deposition.

    (i) Waiver of objections—(1) To the notice. An objection to an error or irregularity in a deposition notice is waived unless promptly served in writing on the party giving the notice.

    (2) To the deposition officer's qualification. An objection based on disqualification of the deposition officer before whom a deposition is to be taken is waived if not made:

    (i) Before the deposition begins; or

    (ii) Promptly after the basis for disqualification becomes known or, with reasonable diligence, could have been known.

    (3) To the taking of the deposition—(i) Objection to competence, relevance, or materiality. An objection to a deponent's competence—or to the competence, relevance, or materiality of testimony—is not waived by a failure to make the objection before or during the deposition, unless the ground for it might have been corrected at that time.

    (ii) Objection to an error or irregularity. An objection to an error or irregularity at an oral examination is waived if:

    (A) It relates to the manner of taking the deposition, the form of a question or answer, the oath or affirmation, a party's conduct, or other matters that might have been corrected at that time; and

    (B) It is not timely made during the deposition.

    (4) To completing and returning the deposition. An objection to how the deposition officer transcribed the testimony—or prepared, signed, certified, sealed, endorsed, sent, or otherwise dealt with the deposition—is waived unless a motion to suppress is made promptly after the error or irregularity becomes known or, with reasonable diligence, could have been known.

    (j) Duration; cross-examination; motion to terminate or limit—(1) Duration. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the hearing officer or the Commission, a deposition is limited to one day of 6 hours, including cross-examination as provided in this subsection. In a deposition conducted by or for a respondent, the Division of Enforcement shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time for cross-examination of the deponent. In a deposition conducted by the Division, the respondents collectively shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time for cross-examination of the deponent. The hearing officer or the Commission may allow additional time if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.

    (2) Motion to terminate or limit—(i) Grounds. At any time during a deposition, the deponent or a party may move to terminate or limit it on the ground that it is being conducted in bad faith or in a manner that unreasonably annoys, embarrasses, or oppresses the deponent or party. If the objecting deponent or party so demands, the deposition must be suspended for the time necessary to present the motion to the hearing officer or the Commission.

    (ii) Order. The hearing officer or the Commission may order that the deposition be terminated or may limit its scope. If terminated, the deposition may be resumed only by order of the hearing officer or the Commission.

    (k) Review by the witness; changes—(1) Review; statement of changes. On request by the deponent or a party before the deposition is completed, and unless otherwise ordered by the hearing officer or the Commission, the deponent must be allowed 14 days after being notified by the deposition officer that the transcript or recording is available, unless a longer time is agreed to by the parties or permitted by the hearing officer, in which:

    (i) To review the transcript or recording; and

    (ii) If there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them.

    (2) Changes indicated in the deposition officer's certificate. The deposition officer must note in the certificate prescribed by paragraph (l)(1) of this section whether a review was requested and, if so, must attach any changes the deponent makes during the 14-day period.

    (l) Certification and delivery; exhibits; copies of the transcript or recording—(1) Certification and delivery. The deposition officer must certify in writing that the witness was duly sworn and that the deposition accurately records the witness's testimony. The certificate must accompany the record of the deposition. Unless the hearing officer orders otherwise, the deposition officer must seal the deposition in an envelope or package bearing the title of the action and marked “Deposition of [witness's name]” and must promptly send it to the attorney or party who arranged for the transcript or recording. The attorney or party must store it under conditions that will protect it against loss, destruction, tampering, or deterioration.

    (2) Documents and tangible things—(i) Originals and copies. Documents and tangible things produced for inspection during a deposition must, on a party's request, be marked for identification and attached to the deposition. Any party may inspect and copy them. But if the person who produced them wants to keep the originals, the person may:

    (A) Offer copies to be marked, attached to the deposition, and then used as originals—after giving all parties a fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparing them with the originals; or

    (B) Give all parties a fair opportunity to inspect and copy the originals after they are marked—in which event the originals may be used as if attached to the deposition.

    (ii) Order regarding the originals. Any party may move for an order that the originals be attached to the deposition pending final disposition of the case.

    (3) Copies of the transcript or recording. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the hearing officer or Commission, the deposition officer must retain the stenographic notes of a deposition taken stenographically or a copy of the recording of a deposition taken by another method. When paid reasonable charges, the deposition officer must furnish a copy of the transcript or recording to any party or the deponent.

    11. Section 201.234 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 201.234 Depositions upon written questions.

    (a) Availability. Any deposition permitted under § 201.232 may be taken and submitted on written questions upon motion of any party, for good cause shown, or as stipulated by the parties.

    (c) Additional requirements. The order for deposition, filing of the deposition, form of the deposition and use of the deposition in the record shall be governed by paragraphs (c) through (l) of § 201.233, except that no cross-examination shall be made.

    12. Section 201.235 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(2), and (a)(5), and by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 201.235 Introducing prior sworn statements or declarations.

    (a) At a hearing, any person wishing to introduce a prior, sworn deposition taken pursuant to § 201.233 or § 201.234, investigative testimony, or other sworn statement or a declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, of a witness, not a party, otherwise admissible in the proceeding, may make a motion setting forth the reasons therefor. If only part of a statement or declaration is offered in evidence, the hearing officer may require that all relevant portions of the statement or declaration be introduced. If all of a statement or declaration is offered in evidence, the hearing officer may require that portions not relevant to the proceeding be excluded. A motion to introduce a prior sworn statement or declaration may be granted if:

    (2) The witness is out of the United States, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the prior sworn statement or declaration;

    (5) In the discretion of the Commission or the hearing officer, it would be desirable, in the interests of justice, to allow the prior sworn statement or declaration to be used. In making this determination, due regard shall be given to the presumption that witnesses will testify orally in an open hearing. If the parties have stipulated to accept a prior sworn statement or declaration in lieu of live testimony, consideration shall also be given to the convenience of the parties in avoiding unnecessary expense.

    (b) Sworn statement or declaration of party or agent. An adverse party may use for any purpose a deposition taken pursuant to § 201.233 or § 201.234, investigative testimony, or other sworn statement or a declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, of a party or anyone who, when giving the sworn statement or declaration, was the party's officer, director, or managing agent.

    13. Section 201.320 is revised to read as follows:
    § 201.320 Evidence: Admissibility.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Commission or the hearing officer may receive relevant evidence and shall exclude all evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious, or unreliable.

    (b) Subject to § 201.235, evidence that constitutes hearsay may be admitted if it is relevant, material, and bears satisfactory indicia of reliability so that its use is fair.

    14. Section 201.360 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 201.360 Initial decision of hearing officer.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Time period for filing initial decision and for hearing—(i) Initial decision. In the order instituting proceedings, the Commission will specify a time period in which the hearing officer's initial decision must be filed with the Secretary. In the Commission's discretion, after consideration of the nature, complexity, and urgency of the subject matter, and with due regard for the public interest and the protection of investors, this time period will be either 30, 75, or 120 days from the completion of post-hearing briefing, or if there is no in-person hearing, the completion of briefing on a dispositive motion (including but not limited to a motion for summary disposition or default) or the occurrence of a default under § 201.155(a).

    (ii) Hearing. Under the 120-day timeline, the hearing officer shall issue an order scheduling the hearing to begin approximately 4 months (but no more than 8 months) from the date of service of the order instituting the proceeding, allowing parties approximately 2 months from the conclusion of the hearing to obtain the transcript and submit post-hearing briefs, and no more than 120 days after the completion of post-hearing or dispositive motion briefing for the hearing officer to file an initial decision. Under the 75-day timeline, the hearing officer shall issue an order scheduling the hearing to begin approximately 21/2 months (but no more than 6 months) from the date of service of the order instituting the proceeding, allowing parties approximately 2 months from the conclusion of the hearing to obtain the transcript and submit post-hearing briefs, and no more than 75 days after the completion of post-hearing or dispositive motion briefing for the hearing officer to file an initial decision. Under the 30-day timeline, the hearing officer shall issue an order scheduling the hearing to begin approximately 1 month (but no more than 4 months) from the date of service of the order instituting the proceeding, allowing parties approximately 2 months from the conclusion of the hearing to obtain the transcript and submit post-hearing briefs, and no more than 30 days after the completion of post-hearing or dispositive motion briefing for the hearing officer to file an initial decision. These deadlines confer no substantive rights on respondents. If a stay is granted pursuant to § 201.161(c)(2)(i) or § 201.210(c)(3), the time period specified in the order instituting proceedings in which the hearing officer's initial decision must be filed with the Secretary, as well as any other time limits established in orders issued by the hearing officer in the proceeding, shall be automatically tolled during the period while the stay is in effect.

    (3) Certification of extension; motion for extension. (i) In the event that the hearing officer presiding over the proceeding determines that it will not be possible to file the initial decision within the specified period of time, the hearing officer may certify to the Commission in writing the need to extend the initial decision deadline by up to 30 days for case management purposes. The certification must be issued no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the time specified for the issuance of an initial decision and be served on the Commission and all parties in the proceeding. If the Commission has not issued an order to the contrary within fourteen days after receiving the certification, the extension set forth in the hearing officer's certification shall take effect.

    (ii) Either in addition to a certification of extension, or instead of a certification of extension, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may submit a motion to the Commission requesting an extension of the time period for filing the initial decision. First, the hearing officer presiding over the proceeding must consult with the Chief Administrative Law Judge. Following such consultation, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may determine, in his or her discretion, to submit a motion to the Commission requesting an extension of the time period for filing the initial decision. This motion may request an extension of any length but must be filed no later than 15 days prior to the expiration of the time specified in the certification of extension, or if there is no certification of extension, 30 days prior to the expiration of the time specified in the order instituting proceedings. The motion will be served upon all parties in the proceeding, who may file with the Commission statements in support of or in opposition to the motion. If the Commission determines that additional time is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, the Commission shall issue an order extending the time period for filing the initial decision.

    (iii) The provisions of this paragraph (a)(3) confer no rights on respondents.

    (b) Content. An initial decision shall include findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, as to all the material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record and the appropriate order, sanction, relief, or denial thereof. The initial decision shall also state the time period, not to exceed 21 days after service of the decision, except for good cause shown, within which a petition for review of the initial decision may be filed. The reasons for any extension of time shall be stated in the initial decision. The initial decision shall also include a statement that, as provided in paragraph (d) of this section:

    15. Section 201.410 is amended by revising paragraph (b), redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d), and adding new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 201.410 Appeal of initial decisions by hearing officers.

    (b) Procedure. The petition for review of an initial decision shall be filed with the Commission within such time after service of the initial decision as prescribed by the hearing officer pursuant to § 201.360(b) unless a party has filed a motion to correct an initial decision with the hearing officer. If such correction has been sought, a party shall have 21 days from the date of the hearing officer's order resolving the motion to correct to file a petition for review. The petition shall set forth a statement of the issues presented for review under § 201.411(b). In the event a petition for review is filed, any other party to the proceeding may file a cross-petition for review within the original time allowed for seeking review or within ten days from the date that the petition for review was filed, whichever is later.

    (c) Length limitation. Except with leave of the Commission, the petition for review shall not exceed three pages in length. Incorporation of pleadings or filings by reference is not permitted. Motions to file petitions in excess of those limitations are disfavored.

    16. Section 201.411 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 201.411 Commission consideration of initial decisions by hearing officers.

    (d) Limitations on matters reviewed. Review by the Commission of an initial decision shall be limited to the issues specified in an opening brief that complies with § 201.450(b), or the issues, if any, specified in the briefing schedule order issued pursuant to § 201.450(a). Any exception to an initial decision not supported in an opening brief that complies with § 201.450(b) may, at the discretion of the Commission, be deemed to have been waived by the petitioner. On notice to all parties, however, the Commission may, at any time prior to issuance of its decision, raise and determine any other matters that it deems material, with opportunity for oral or written argument thereon by the parties.

    17. Section 201.420 is amended by adding a sentence to the end of paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 201.420 Appeal of determinations by self-regulatory organizations.

    (c) * * * Any exception to a determination not supported in an opening brief that complies with § 201.450(b) may, at the discretion of the Commission, be deemed to have been waived by the applicant.

    18. Section 201.440 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 201.440 Appeal of determinations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

    (b) Procedure. An aggrieved person may file an application for review with the Commission pursuant to § 201.151 within 30 days after the notice filed by the Board of its determination with the Commission pursuant to 17 CFR 240.19d-4 is received by the aggrieved person applying for review. The applicant shall serve the application on the Board at the same time. The application shall identify the determination complained of, set forth in summary form a brief statement of alleged errors in the determination and supporting reasons therefor, and state an address where the applicant can be served. The application should not exceed two pages in length. The notice of appearance required by § 201.102(d) shall accompany the application. Any exception to a determination not supported in an opening brief that complies with § 201.450(b) may, at the discretion of the Commission, be deemed to have been waived by the applicant.

    19. Section 201.450 is amended by revising paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) to read as follows.
    § 201.450 Briefs filed with the Commission.

    (b) Contents of briefs. Briefs shall be confined to the particular matters at issue. Each exception to the findings or conclusions being reviewed shall be stated succinctly. Exceptions shall be supported by citation to the relevant portions of the record, including references to the specific pages relied upon, and by concise argument including citation of such statutes, decisions and other authorities as may be relevant. If the exception relates to the admission or exclusion of evidence, the substance of the evidence admitted or excluded shall be set forth in the brief, or by citation to the record. Reply briefs shall be confined to matters in opposition briefs of other parties; except as otherwise determined by the Commission in its discretion, any argument raised for the first time in a reply brief shall be deemed to have been waived.

    (c) Length limitation. Except with leave of the Commission, opening and opposition briefs shall not exceed 14,000 words and reply briefs shall not exceed 7,000 words, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, table of authorities, and any addendum that consists solely of copies of applicable cases, pertinent legislative provisions or rules, and exhibits. Incorporation of pleadings or filings by reference is not permitted. Motions to file briefs in excess of these limitations are disfavored.

    (d) Certificate of compliance. An opening or opposition brief that does not exceed 30 pages in length, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, table of authorities, and any addendum that consists solely of copies of applicable cases, pertinent legislative provisions, or rules and exhibits, is presumptively considered to contain no more than 14,000 words. A reply brief that does not exceed 15 pages in length, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, table of authorities, and any addendum that consists solely of copies of applicable cases, pertinent legislative provisions, or rules and exhibits is presumptively considered to contain no more than 7,000 words. Any brief that exceeds these page limits must include a certificate by the party's representative, or an unrepresented party, stating that the brief complies with the requirements set forth in § 201.450(c) and stating the number of words in the brief. The person preparing the certificate may rely on the word count of the word-processing system used to prepare the brief.

    20. Section 201.900 is revised to read as follows:
    § 201.900 Informal Procedures and Supplementary Information Concerning Adjudicatory Proceedings.

    (a) Guidelines for the timely completion of proceedings. (1) Timely resolution of adjudicatory proceedings is one factor in assessing the effectiveness of the adjudicatory program in protecting investors, promoting public confidence in the securities markets and assuring respondents a fair hearing. Establishment of guidelines for the timely completion of key phases of contested administrative proceedings provides a standard for both the Commission and the public to gauge the Commission's adjudicatory program on this criterion. The Commission has directed that:

    (i) To the extent possible, a decision by the Commission on review of an interlocutory matter should be completed within 45 days of the date set for filing the final brief on the matter submitted for review.

    (ii) To the extent possible, a decision by the Commission on a motion to stay a decision that has already taken effect or that will take effect within five days of the filing of the motion, should be issued within five days of the date set for filing of the opposition to the motion for a stay. If the decision complained of has not taken effect, the Commission's decision should be issued within 45 days of the date set for filing of the opposition to the motion for a stay.

    (iii) Ordinarily, a decision by the Commission with respect to an appeal from the initial decision of a hearing officer, a review of a determination by a self-regulatory organization or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or a remand of a prior Commission decision by a court of appeals will be issued within eight months from the completion of briefing on the petition for review, application for review, or remand order. If the Commission determines that the complexity of the issues presented in a petition for review, application for review, or remand order warrants additional time, the decision of the Commission in that matter may be issued within 10 months of the completion of briefing.

    (iv) If the Commission determines that a decision by the Commission cannot be issued within the period specified in paragraph (a)(1)(iii), the Commission may extend that period by orders as it deems appropriate in its discretion. The guidelines in this paragraph (a) confer no rights or entitlements on parties or other persons.

    (2) The guidelines in this paragraph (a) do not create a requirement that each portion of a proceeding or the entire proceeding be completed within the periods described. Among other reasons, Commission review may require additional time because a matter is unusually complex or because the record is exceptionally long. In addition, fairness is enhanced if the Commission's deliberative process is not constrained by an inflexible schedule. In some proceedings, deliberation may be delayed by the need to consider more urgent matters, to permit the preparation of dissenting opinions, or for other good cause. The guidelines will be used by the Commission as one of several criteria in monitoring and evaluating its adjudicatory program. The guidelines will be examined periodically, and, if necessary, readjusted in light of changes in the pending caseload and the available level of staff resources.

    (b) Reports to the Commission on pending cases. The administrative law judges, the Secretary and the General Counsel have each been delegated authority to issue certain orders or adjudicate certain proceedings. See 17 CFR 200.30-1 et seq. Proceedings are also assigned to the General Counsel for the preparation of a proposed order or opinion which will then be recommended to the Commission for consideration. In order to improve accountability by and to the Commission for management of the docket, the Commission has directed that confidential status reports with respect to all filed adjudicatory proceedings shall be made periodically to the Commission. These reports will be made through the Secretary, with a minimum frequency established by the Commission. In connection with these periodic reports, if a proceeding pending before the Commission has not been concluded within 30 days of the guidelines established in paragraph (a) of this section, the General Counsel shall specifically apprise the Commission of that fact, and shall describe the procedural posture of the case, project an estimated date for conclusion of the proceeding, and provide such other information as is necessary to enable the Commission to make a determination under paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section or to determine whether additional steps are necessary to reach a fair and timely resolution of the matter.

    (c) Publication of information concerning the pending case docket. Ongoing disclosure of information about the adjudication program caseload increases awareness of the importance of the program, facilitates oversight of the program and promotes confidence in the efficiency and fairness of the program by investors, securities industry participants, self-regulatory organizations and other members of the public. The Commission has directed the Secretary to publish in the first and seventh months of each fiscal year summary statistical information about the status of pending adjudicatory proceedings and changes in the Commission's caseload over the prior six months. The report will include the number of cases pending before the administrative law judges and the Commission at the beginning and end of the six-month period. The report will also show increases in the caseload arising from new cases being instituted, appealed or remanded to the Commission and decreases in the caseload arising from the disposition of proceedings by issuance of initial decisions, issuance of final decisions issued on appeal of initial decisions, other dispositions of appeals of initial decisions, final decisions on review of self-regulatory organization determinations, other dispositions on review of self-regulatory organization determinations, and decisions with respect to stays or interlocutory motions. For each category of decision, the report shall also show the median age of the cases at the time of the decision, the number of cases decided within the guidelines for the timely completion of adjudicatory proceedings, and, with respect to appeals from initial decisions, reviews of determinations by self-regulatory organizations or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and remands of prior Commission decisions, the median days from the completion of briefing to the time of the Commission's decision.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: September 24, 2015. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24707 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 901 [SATS No. AL-078-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2015-0005; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 156S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 15XS501520] Alabama Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Alabama regulatory program (Alabama program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Alabama proposes revisions to its Program by clarifying that the venue for appeals of Alabama Surface Mining Commission decisions resides in the Circuit Court of the county in which the agency maintains its principal office.

    This document gives the times and locations that the Alabama program and proposed amendment to that program are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., c.d.t., November 4, 2015. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on October 30, 2015. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.d.t. on October 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. AL-078-FOR by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama 35209

    Fax: (205) 290-7280

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned Docket ID OSM-2015-0005. If you would like to submit comments go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Alabama program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Birmingham Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to review at www.regulations.gov.

    Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama 35209, Telephone: (205) 290-7282, Email: [email protected]

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location: Alabama Surface Mining Commission, 1811 Second Ave., P.O. Box 2390, Jasper, Alabama 35502-2390, Telephone: (205) 221-4130.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham Field Office. Telephone: (205) 290-7282. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Alabama Program II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Alabama Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, “a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act . . . ; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Alabama program effective May 20, 1982. You can find background information on the Alabama program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Alabama program in the May 20, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 22030). You can also find later actions concerning the Alabama program and program amendments at 30 CFR 901.10, 901.15 and 901.16.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated June 12, 2015 (Administrative Record No. AL-0666), Alabama sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) at its own initiative. Below is a summary of the changes proposed by Alabama. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

    Code of Alabama Section 9-16-79 Hearing and Appeals; Procedures

    Alabama proposes to add new language to clarify that procedures under this section shall take precedence over the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, which shall in no respect apply to proceedings arising under this article.

    Alabama, at Section 9-16-79(4)b., proposes to make edits and add new language, clarifying that the venue for appeals of Alabama Surface Mining Commission decisions resides in the Circuit Court of the county in which the agency maintains its principal office.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State program.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    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 us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., c.d.t. on October 20, 2015. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 901

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: July 9, 2015. William L. Joseph, Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25255 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0510; FRL-9934-03-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from graphic arts facilities and aerospace assembly and component manufacturing operations. The EPA is proposing to approve local rules to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act). These revisions also address rescission of two rules no longer required, and approval of administrative revisions to the emergency episode plan requirements.

    DATES:

    Any comments on this proposal must arrive by November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0510, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to the EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94105-3901. While all documents in the docket are listed at www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vanessa Graham, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal addresses the following local rules: AVAQMD 701—Air Pollution Emergency Contingency Actions, rescission of AVAQMD 1110—Emissions from Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (Demonstration), AVAQMD 1124—Aerospace Assembly and Component Manufacturing Operations, rescission of AVAQMD 1128—Paper, Fabric and Film Coating Operations, and AVAQMD 1130—Graphic Arts. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, the EPA is approving these local rules and rule rescissions in a direct final action without prior proposal because the EPA believes these SIP revisions are not controversial. If the EPA receives adverse comments, however, the EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in subsequent action based on this proposed rule. Please note that if the EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    The EPA does not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If the EPA does not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: September 1, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25160 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542; FRL-9933-53-Region 9] Revision of Air Quality Implementation Plan; California; Feather River Air Quality Management District; Stationary Source Permits AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing to approve a revision to the Feather River Air Quality Management District (FRAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns a permitting rule that regulates construction and modifications of major stationary sources of air pollution. The revisions correct deficiencies in FRAQMD Rule 10.1, New Source Review, previously identified by EPA in a final rule dated September 24, 2013. We are proposing to approve revisions that correct the identified deficiencies.

    DATES:

    Any comments must arrive by November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542, by one of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail or deliver: Gerardo Rios (Air-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

    Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov or email. http://www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send email directly to EPA, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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: EPA has established a docket for this action under EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0542. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents are listed at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps, multi-volume reports), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lornette Harvey, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3498, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal addresses FRAQMD Rule 10.1, New Source Review. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, we are approving this local rule in a direct final action without prior proposal because we believe these SIP revisions are not controversial. If we receive adverse comments, however, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in a subsequent action based on this proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    We do not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If we do not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: August 21, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25140 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0008; FRL-9934-10-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds Definition AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Illinois State Implementation Plan. The revision amends the Illinois Administrative Code by updating the definition of volatile organic material or volatile organic compounds to exclude 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene. This revision is in response to an EPA rulemaking in 2013 which exempted this compound from the Federal definition of volatile organic compounds on the basis that the compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Fax: (312) 692-2450.

    4. Mail: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony Maietta, Environmental Protection Specialist, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8777 [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, 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. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 8, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25154 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 70 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0594; FRL-9935-09-Region 3] Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program Revision; West Virginia AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program submitted by the State of West Virginia on June 17, 2015. The West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program is implemented through its “Requirement for Operating Permits” rule, codified at Title 45, Series 30 of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations (45CSR30). The June 17, 2015 revision amends West Virginia 45CSR30 to increase the annual Title V operating permit fees collected by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). The Title V Operating Permit fees paid annually by individual Title V operating permit holders are used by the WVDEP to implement and oversee the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. This action is being taken under section 502 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0594 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-2015-0594, David Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and State Programs, Mailcode 3AP10, 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-2015-0594. 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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, 601 57th Street SE., Charleston, West Virginia 25304.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Wentworth, (215) 814-2183, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    EPA granted full approval of the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program effective November 19, 2001. See 66 FR 50325. Under 40 CFR 70.9(a) and (b), an approved state Title V operating permits program must require that the owners or operators of part 70 sources pay annual fees, or the equivalent over some other period, that are sufficient to cover the permit program costs and ensure that any fee required under 40 CFR 70.9 is used solely for permit program costs. The fee schedule must result in the collection and retention of revenues sufficient to cover the permit program implementation and oversight costs.

    West Virginia's initial Title V permit emission fee, established in 1994 at 45CSR30.8, was $18 per ton of regulated pollutant as emitted by individual sources subject to the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. Subject sources are not required to pay annual fees for emissions in excess of 4,000 tons per year. West Virginia's fee has been not been increased or adjusted since 1994.

    West Virginia has determined that its Title V annual emission fee revenues collected are no longer sufficient to cover the cost of implementing and overseeing the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. Installation of air pollution control technology over the past two decades on major stationary sources, the retirement or curtailment of operations by major sources, and the conversion at many major facilities from burning coal or oil to burning natural gas have resulted in significant reductions in the emission of regulated pollutants that are subject to annual emission fees. Thus, the amount of annual Title V Operating Permit fees West Virginia has collected has decreased dramatically.

    Therefore, West Virginia amended its fee provisions at 45CSR30.8 to increase the annual emission fee from $18 per ton to $25 per ton of regulated pollutant as emitted by individual sources subject to the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. Fees remain capped at 4,000 tons per year from an individual source. West Virginia has submitted this program revision for review and action by EPA.

    II. Summary of Program Revision

    In the June 17, 2015 program revision submittal, West Virginia included revisions to 45CSR30.8 which was amended to increase West Virginia's annual emission fees for its Title V Operating Permit Program. Annual fees are increased to $25 per ton of emissions of a regulated pollutant from an individual source subject to the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. The previous rate was $18 per ton of regulated pollutant. Fees are capped at 4,000 tons per year from an individual source. The revised fee rate is designed to cover all reasonable costs required to implement and administer the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program as required by 40 CFR 70.9(a) and (b). These costs include those for activities such as: Reviewing and processing preconstruction and operating permits, conducting inspections, responding to complaints and pursuing enforcement actions, emissions and ambient air monitoring, preparing applicable regulations and guidance, modeling, analyses, demonstrations, emission inventories, and tracking emissions.

    Without this fee increase, West Virginia anticipates funds will not be sufficient to adequately sustain its Title V Operating Permit Program in a manner that is consistent with state and Federal requirements. If funds were to become insufficient to sustain an adequate Title V program in West Virginia, EPA may determine that West Virginia has not taken “significant action to assure adequate administration and enforcement of the Program” and take subsequent action as required under 40 CFR 70.10(b) and (c) which could lead to EPA withdrawal of approval of the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. Were that to occur, EPA would have the authority and obligation to implement a Federal Title V operating permit program in West Virginia pursuant to 40 CFR part 71. The withdrawal of program approval could also lead to the imposition of mandatory and discretionary sanctions under the CAA.

    III. EPA Analysis of Program Revision

    The June 17, 2015 Title V Operating Permit Program revision consists of amendments to West Virginia's rules which establish annual emission fees under Title V of the CAA. This rulemaking proposes approval of West Virginia's increase of the annual Title V fees paid by the owner or operator of a Title V facility in West Virginia from $18 per ton of regulated air pollutant to $25 per ton because the revision meets requirements in section 502 of the CAA and 40 CFR 70.9 for the collection of sufficient Title V fees to cover permit program implementation and oversight costs. The emission fees apply to emissions up to 4,000 tons of any regulated pollutant. The proposed revision does not establish a fee structure for carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases (GHGs). EPA's rules do not mandate revisions to state Title V programs to account for GHG emissions.

    IV. Proposed Action

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 70.4(i)(2), EPA is proposing to approve a revision to the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program submitted on June 17, 2015 to increase the annual Title V fees paid by the owners or operators of all facilities required to obtain an operating permit under the West Virginia Title V Operating Permit Program. The revision meets the relevant requirements of section 502 of the CAA and 40 CFR 70.9. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This proposed action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed approval of the revision to West Virginia's Title V Operating Permit Program which increases permit fees does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the program 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.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 70

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25163 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197 & 10-90; DA 15-1036] Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support; Connect America Fund AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for reconsideration; reopening of comment periods.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) reopens the comment periods for oppositions and replies to oppositions to CTIA—The Wireless Association (CTIA)'s Petition for Partial Reconsideration of the Commission's Order on Reconsideration requiring Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) to retain documentation demonstrating subscriber eligibility for the Lifeline Program.

    DATES:

    The comment periods for the petition for reconsideration published on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53088), are reopened. Opposition Filing Deadline is October 8, 2015. Replies to Opposition Filing Deadline is October 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit oppositions, identified by WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197 or 10-90, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Cook, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Wireline Competition Bureau's document in WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197 and 10-90; DA 15-1036, released September 16, 2015. The complete text of these documents are available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554 or at the following Internet address: https://www.fcc.gov/document/ctia-recon-petition-extension-order-pn.

    1. On June 18, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an Order on Reconsideration (Order on Reconsideration) in which, among other matters, the Commission required eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) to retain documentation demonstrating subscriber eligibility for the Lifeline Program. On August 13, 2015, CTIA—The Wireless Association (CTIA) filed a Petition for Partial Reconsideration of the Commission's Order on Reconsideration.

    2. On August 26, 2015, a Public Notice was issued announcing that any oppositions to the CTIA Petition must be filed within 15 days of public notice of the CTIA Petition in the Federal Register. Additionally, the Public Notice announced that any replies to oppositions to the CTIA Petition must be filed within 10 days after the time for filing oppositions has expired. On September 2, 2015, notice of the CTIA Petition was published in the Federal Register, which established a September 17, 2015 opposition filing deadline and September 28, 2015 reply to opposition filing deadline.

    3. On September 9, 2015, the Center for Democracy & Technology, Free Press, New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, and Public Knowledge (Requestors) jointly filed a motion to extend the established opposition filing deadline for the CTIA Petition by 30 days. In support of their motion, the Requestors point out that certain of the comments that were recently filed pursuant to the Commission's Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second FNPRM) in the above captioned proceeding specifically raise issues that are relevant to the CTIA Petition. The Requestors also argue that a 30-day extension is in the public interest because a number of reply comments may be filed on issues relevant to the CTIA Petition by the September 30th deadline. The Requestors also cite the Commission's recent IT-modernization efforts, which made some already-filed comments inaccessible to the public for several days, and intervening holidays as circumstances that help to justify an extension in this case.

    4. The Commission does not routinely grant extensions of time. Here, however, the Requestors have pointed to a potential relationship between issues addressed in the CTIA Petition and certain of the comments, and potentially the reply comments, filed pursuant to the Second FNPRM on or before September 30. Furthermore, the Commission's major IT-modernization efforts, making some relevant documents unavailable, occurred during the fifteen days that parties would normally have to prepare oppositions. Taken together, these special circumstances present a sufficiently unique situation to justify a longer period for oppositions than is typical. We also are persuaded that granting an extension to the opposition-filing deadline so that oppositions are due after the September 30th deadline for reply comments on the Second FNPRM will facilitate more thorough and deliberate consideration of the issues raised in the CTIA Petition. We therefore waive the 15-day deadline established in section 1.429(f) and will allow oppositions to be filed by October 8. Replies to those oppositions must be filed by October 19.

    5. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to Section 4(i) and 4(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), (j), and Sections 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, 1.46, 1.415, and 1.429 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 0.91, 0.291, 1.3, 1.46, 1.415, 1.429, the motion of the Center for Democracy & Technology, Free Press, New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, and Public Knowledge is granted to the extent indicated herein and the deadline to file oppositions in response to the Petition for Partial Reconsideration filed by CTIA—The Wireless Association is reopened and will close on October 8, 2015, and the deadline to file replies to oppositions is reopened and will close on October 19, 2015.

    Federal Communications Commission. Ryan B. Palmer, Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25094 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 192 Monday, October 5, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Foreign Agricultural Service Special Agricultural Safeguard Measures Pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act AGENCY:

    Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notification of invocation of special agricultural safeguard duty on imports of butter and fresh or sour cream containing over 45 percent by weight of butterfat.

    SUMMARY:

    After reviewing the volume of butter imports (including fresh or sour cream containing over 45 percent by weight of butterfat), the Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service has determined that the yearly special safeguard trigger level has been met and a special safeguard duty on certain imports of butter and fresh or sour cream will be imposed effective from the date of this notification through December 31, 2015. This additional duty, as described in subheadings 9904.04.20 and 9904.04.21 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), will be applicable to butter and fresh or sour cream imported under HTS subheadings 0401.50.75, 0403.90.78, and 0405.10.20.

    DATES:

    Effective October 5, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Lord, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Stop 1021, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1022, or telephone (202) 720-6939.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    U.S. Notes 1 and 2 to Subchapter IV, Chapter 99, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) contain safeguard measures established pursuant to Article 5 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture, as approved pursuant to Section 101 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465). These safeguard measures include the imposition of additional duties based upon the volume of butter and fresh or sour cream imports into the United States. Subheadings 9904.04.20 and 9904.04.21 of the HTS provide for the imposition of additional safeguard duties for butter and fresh or sour cream upon notification in the Federal Register by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary's delegee that a specific volume of imports has been exceeded. The 2015 trigger level for butter and fresh or sour cream is 9,414,976 kilograms (80 FR 36962, June 29, 2015). Specifically, HTS subheadings 9904.04.20 and 9904.04.21 provide for an additional duty of 54.9 cents per kilogram on imports entered under HTS subheadings 0401.50.75 and 0403.90.78, and an additional duty of 51.4 cents per kilogram on imports entered under HTS subheading 0405.10.20.

    Section 405(a) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires, among other things, that the President shall determine and cause to be published in the Federal Register the list of special safeguard agricultural goods and the applicable trigger prices and, on an annual basis, quantity trigger levels. Section 405(b) of that Act provides, in relevant part, that if the President determines with respect to a special safeguard agricultural good that it is appropriate to impose the volume-based safeguard, then the President shall determine the amount of the duty to be imposed, the period such duty shall be in effect, and any other terms and conditions applicable to the duty.

    Further to the application of such special agricultural safeguard duties, the President proclaimed on December 23, 1994 (Presidential Proclamation No. 6763) the provisions of U.S. Notes 1 and 2 to Subchapter IV, Chapter 99, of the HTS as well as the automatically applicable safeguard duties set forth in such subchapter upon satisfaction of the requisite conditions. Such U.S. Notes 1 and 2 set forth the other terms and conditions for application of any such duty.

    As also provided in Presidential Proclamation 6763, the President delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to make the determinations and effect the publications described in section 405(a) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. The Secretary of Agriculture has further delegated this authority to the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (7 CFR 2.16(a)(3)(x1ii)), who has in turn further delegated the authority to determine the quantity trigger levels to the Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service (7 CFR 2.43(a)(42)). The Administrator determined that the 2015 trigger level for butter and fresh or sour cream is 9,414,976 kilograms (80 FR 36962, June 29, 2015).

    Notice

    The Administrator has determined that the amount of butter and fresh or sour cream imported during 2015 has exceeded the trigger level of 9,414,976 kilograms. In accordance with U.S. Notes 1 and 2, Subchapter IV, Chapter 99 of the HTS and HTS subheadings 9904.04.20 and 9904.04.21, an additional duty of 54.9 cents per kilogram shall apply to HTS subheadings 0401.50.75 and 0403.90.78, and an additional duty of 51.4 cents per kilogram shall apply to HTS subheading 0405.10.20, from the date of publication of this notice through December 31, 2015.

    As provided in U.S. Note 1, goods of Canada, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, Chile, Australia, Morocco, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bahrain, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Peru, Oman, Korea, Colombia, and Panama imported into the United States are not subject to such duty. As provided in U.S. Note 2, this duty shall not apply to any goods en route on the basis of a contract settled before the date of publication of this notice.

    Issued at Washington, DC, this 25th day of September 2015. Philip C. Karsting, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25235 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Pike & San Isabel Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pike & San Isabel Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Pueblo, Colorado. 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/goto/psicc/RAC

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. (MST) on November 12, 2015.

    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 Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) Supervisor's Office, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, Colorado. The public may access the meeting by attending a Video Teleconference (VTC) at the following U.S. Forest Service facilities in Colorado: Leadville, Salida, Fairplay and Ft. Collins.

    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 PSICC. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Timock, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 719-553-1415 or via email at [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. Review project proposals;

    2. Vote and recommend projects;

    3. Public comment; and

    4. Elect Chairman and Vice Chairman

    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 November 2, 2015 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Barbara Timock, RAC Coordinator, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, Colorado; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 719-553-1416.

    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 28, 2015. Erin Conelly, Forest and Grassland Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25231 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by December 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA-RUS, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA-RUS, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: 7 CFR part 1744-C, Advance and Disbursement of Funds—Telecommunications.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0023.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection package.

    Abstract: The RUS manages the Telecommunications loan program in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, and as prescribed by OMB Circular A-129, Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivables. In addition, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 101-171) amended the RE Act to add Title VI, Rural Broadband Access, to provide loans and loan guarantees to fund the cost of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment for the provision of broadband service in eligible rural communities. RUS therefore requires Telecommunications and Broadband borrowers to submit Form 481, Financial Requirement Statement. This form implements certain provisions of the standard Rural Utilities Service loan documents by setting forth requirements and procedures to be followed by borrowers in obtaining advances and making disbursements of loan funds.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit, not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 177.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 6.3.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,223 hours.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25147 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The USDA Rural Development invites comments on the following information collections for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by December 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. This notice identifies information collections that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Michele Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: Extensions of Payments of Principal and Interest.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0123.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: This collection of information describes information procedures which borrowers must follow in order to request extensions of principal and interest. Authority for these is contained in section 12 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (REAct), as amended and in section 236 of the “Disaster Relief Act of 1970” (Pub. L. 91-606), as amended by the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-354). Eligible purposes include financial hardship, energy resource conservation (ERC) loans, renewable energy projects, distributed generation projects, and contribution-in-aid of construction. These procedures are codified at 7 CFR part 1721, subpart B.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 4.71 hours per response.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 45.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 424 hours.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25150 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice DATE AND TIME:

    Thursday, October 8, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Suite D, 7600 Boston Blvd., Springfield, VA 22153.

    SUBJECT:

    Notice of Meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    SUMMARY:

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors (Board) will be meeting at the time and location listed above. The Board will vote on a consent agenda consisting of the minutes of its July 1, 2015 meeting, a resolution honoring the 65th anniversary of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasting in the Romanian language to Romania and Moldova, a resolution honoring the 60th anniversary of Voice of America's Khmer Service, a resolution on 2015 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Awards, and a resolution on BBG meeting dates in 2016. The Board will receive a report from Governor Matt Armstrong on his recent trip and a report from the Chief Executive Officer and Director of BBG. The Board will also receive a review of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. The Board will convene a panel discussion featuring Under Secretary Richard Stengel and BBG Chief Executive Officer and Director John Lansing.

    This meeting will be available for public observation via streamed webcast, both live and on-demand, on the agency's public Web site at www.bbg.gov. Information regarding this meeting, including any updates or adjustments to its starting time, can also be found on the agency's public Web site.

    The public may also attend this meeting in person at the address listed above as seating capacity permits. Members of the public seeking to attend the meeting in person must register at http://bbgboardmeetingoctober2015.eventbrite.com by 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on October 7. For more information, please contact BBG Public Affairs at (202) 203-4400 or by email at [email protected]

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Persons interested in obtaining more information should contact Oanh Tran at (202) 203-4545.

    Oanh Tran, Director of Board Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25443 Filed 10-1-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8610-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Advisory Committees Expiration AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Solicitation of applications.

    SUMMARY:

    Because the terms of the members of the Mississippi Advisory Committee are expiring on January 23, 2016, the United States Commission on Civil Rights hereby invites any individual who is eligible to be appointed to apply. The memberships are exclusively for the Mississippi Advisory Committee, and applicants must be residents of Mississippi to be considered. Letters of interest must be received by the Midwestern Regional Office of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights no later than November 29, 2015. Letters of interest must be sent to the address listed below.

    DATES:

    Letters of interest for membership on the Mississippi Advisory Committee should be received no later than November 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send letters of interest for the Mississippi Advisory Committee to: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Midwestern Regional Office, 55 W. Monroe Street, Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60603. Letters can also be sent via email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 353-8311. Questions can also be directed via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mississippi Advisory Committee is a statutorily mandated federal advisory committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1975a. Under the charter for the advisory committees the purpose is to provide advice and recommendations to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) on a broad range of civil rights matters in its respective state that pertain to alleged deprivations of voting rights or discrimination or denials of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or the administration of justice. Advisory committees also provide assistance to the Commission in its statutory obligation to serve as a national clearinghouse for civil rights information.

    Each advisory committee consists of not more than 19 members, each of whom will serve a four-year term. Members serve as unpaid Special Government Employees who are reimbursed for travel and expenses. To be eligible to be on an advisory committee, applicants must be residents of the respective state or district, and have demonstrated expertise or interest in civil rights issues.

    The Commission is an independent, bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957 to focus on matters of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. Its mandate is to:

    • Investigate complaints from citizens that their voting rights are being deprived,

    • study and collect information about discrimination or denials of equal protection under the law,

    • appraise federal civil rights laws and policies,

    • serve as a national clearinghouse on discrimination laws,

    • submit reports and findings and recommendations to the President and the Congress, and

    • issue public service announcements to discourage discrimination.

    The Commission invites any individual who is eligible to be appointed a member of the Mississippi Advisory Committee covered by this notice to send a letter of interest and a resume to the respective address above.

    Dated September 30, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25247 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Michigan Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Approval of a Project Proposal Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of Civil Forfeiture Practices in the State; Correction AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a document in the Federal Register of August 5, 2015, concerning a meeting of the Michigan Advisory Committee to discuss and vote on approval of a project proposal regarding the civil rights impact of civil forfeiture practices in the state. The time and date of this meeting has been changed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, 312-353-8311.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of August 5, 2015, in FR doc. 2015-19185, on page 46538, in the third column, correct the first sentence of the first paragraph to read:

    Friday October 30th at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of August 5, 2015, in FR doc. 2015-19185, on page 46539, in the first column, correct DATES to read:

    Friday October 30, 2015 at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

    Dated September 30, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25248 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Membership of the Departmental Performance Review Board AGENCY:

    Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Membership on the Departmental Performance Review Board.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C., 4314(c)(4), Department of Commerce (DOC) announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of the Departmental Performance Review Board (DPRB). The DPRB provides an objective peer review of the initial performance ratings, performance-based pay adjustments and bonus recommendations, higher-level review requests and other performance-related actions submitted by appointing authorities for Senior Executive Service (SES) members whom they directly supervise, and makes recommendations based upon its review. The term of the new members of the DPRB will expire December 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The effective date of service of appointees to the Departmental Performance Review Board is based upon publication of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Denise A. Yaag, Director, Office of Executive Resources, Office of Human Resources Management, Office of the Director, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The names and position titles of the members of the DPRB are set forth below by organization:

    Departmental Performance Review Board 2015-2016 Pravina Raghavan, Senior Advisor for Policy and Program Integration, Office of the Deputy Secretary Ian J. Kahn, Chief Data Officer, OS (non-career) Theodore C.Z. Johnston, Director, Office of Business Liaison, OS (non-career) Jennifer Ayers, Director, Office of the Secretary Financial Management, CFO/ASA Benjamin P. Friedman, Associate General Counsel for Oversight, OGC Richard Majauskus, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, BIS H. Philip Paradice, Jr., Regional Director, EDA Kenneth A. Arnold, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, ESA Joanne Buenzli Crane, Associate Director for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Census Kurt Bersani, Deputy Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, ITA Edith McCloud, Associate Director for Management, MBDA Mark Seiler, Chief Financial Officer, NOAA Leonard M. Bechtel, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration, NTIA Mary Saunders, Associate Director for Management Resources, NIST Alejandro Rodriguez, Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Secretary Dated: September 22, 2015. Denise A. Yaag, Director, Office of Executive Resources.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25073 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-BS-M
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Membership of the Office of the Secretary Performance Review Board AGENCY:

    Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Membership on the Office of the Secretary Performance Review Board.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 5.U.S.C., 4314(c)(4), Department of Commerce (DOC) announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of the Office of the Secretary (OS) Performance Review Board (PRB). The OS PRB is responsible for reviewing performance ratings, pay adjustments and bonuses of Senior Executive Service (SES) members. The term of the new members of the OS PRB will expire December 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The effective date of service of appointees to the Office of the Secretary Performance Review Board is upon publication of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Denise A. Yaag, Director, Office of Executive Resources, Office of Human Resources Management, Office of the Director, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-3600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The names, position titles, and type of appointment of the members of the OS/PRB are set forth below by organization:

    Office of the Secretary Performance Review Board 2015-2016 Members Lisa A. Casias, Director for Financial Management Deputy Chief Financial Officer, CFO/ASA Pravina Raghavan, Senior Advisor for Policy and Program Integration, Office of the Deputy Secretary Rafael Madan, Acting Assistant General Counsel for Administration, U.S. Department of Justice Tinisha L. Agramonte, Director, Office of Civil Rights, CFO/ASA Theresa Christopher, Senior Advisor for Gulf Restoration, Office of the Deputy Secretary (Noncareer) Theodore C.Z. Johnston, Director, Office of Business Liaison, OS (Noncareer) Stephen D. Kong, Chief Counsel for Economic Development, Office of the General Counsel Theodore E. Lecompte, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary Carol M. Rose, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security Alternates Barry K. Robinson, Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs. Office of the General Counsel Gordon T. Alston, Director, Financial Reporting and Internal Controls, CFO/ASA Ethan Corson, Director, Executive Secretariat, OS (Noncareer) Lauren Leonard, Director, Office of White House Liaison (Noncareer) Dated: September 22, 2015. Denise A. Yaag, Director, Office of Executive Resources.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25071 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DBS-M
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0354.

    Form Number(s): There are no forms. We conduct all interviews on computers.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Number of Respondents: 78,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 0.41667.

    Burden Hours: 32,500.

    Needs and Uses: The income data from the ASEC are used by social planners, economists, government officials, and market researchers to gauge the economic well-being of the country as a whole, and selected population groups of interest. Government planners and researchers use these data to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of various assistance programs. Market researchers use these data to identify and isolate potential customers. Social planners use these data to forecast economic conditions and to identify special groups that seem to be especially sensitive to economic fluctuations. Economists use ASEC data to determine the effects of various economic forces, such as inflation, recession, recovery, and so on, and their differential effects on various population groups.

    The Census Bureau is considering an option to include an experiment whereby a portion of the March ASEC sample would receive different income and health insurance coverage questions than the remaining sample in March. The questions will differ in that they will consist of the 2013 version of income and health insurance coverage questions, rather than the redesigned questions that began in 2014. To minimize the risk with implementation, we are choosing only one of the five data collection instruments that make up the ASEC collection (March) to include these questions. A final decision to exercise this option may come as late as January 2016, whereupon the Census Bureau may elect not to do so.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority:

    Title 13, United States Code, Sections 8(b), 141, 182; and Title 29, United States Code, Sections 1-9.

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

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

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25236 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open conference call.

    SUMMARY:

    The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC) will hold a conference call on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 2 p.m. The call is open to the public and interested parties are requested to contact the U.S. Department of Commerce in advance to receive dial-in instructions.

    DATES:

    October 15, 2015, from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Daylight Saving Time (DST). Members of the public wishing to participate must notify Andrew Bennett at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. DST on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, in order to pre-register.

    For All Further Information, Please Contact: Andrew Bennett, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-5235; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Secretary of Commerce established the RE&EEAC pursuant to his discretionary authority and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) on July 14, 2010. The RE&EEAC was re-chartered on June 12, 2014. The RE&EEAC provides the Secretary of Commerce with consensus advice from the private sector on the development and administration of programs and policies to enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

    During the October 15th conference call, committee members will consider and potentially approve recommendations and/or input for the Secretary of Commerce.

    A limited amount of time before the close of the meeting will be available for pertinent oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two to five minutes per person (depending on the number of public participants). Individuals wishing to reserve additional speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Bennett and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments, as well as the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. DST on Monday, October 12, 2015. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the teleconference, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a copy of their oral comments by email to Mr. Bennett for distribution to the participants in advance of the teleconference.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the RE&EEAC's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, c/o: Andrew Bennett, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop: 4053, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. All public comments made at REEEAC meetings or submitted to the REEEAC at any time will be distributed to all Committee members and posted on the Committee Web site.

    Copies of RE&EEAC meeting minutes will be available within 30 days following the meeting.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Man Cho, Acting Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25189 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-947] Certain Steel Grating From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of this sunset review, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain steel grating (“steel grating”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping, at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Erin Kearney, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0167.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 23, 2010, the Department published the antidumping duty order on steel grating from the PRC.1 On June 1, 2015, the Department initiated a sunset review of the antidumping duty order on steel grating from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).2 On June 15, 2015, the Department received a timely notice of intent to participate in the sunset review from the Metal Grating Coalition, consisting of individual members Alabama Metal Industries Corporation; Fisher & Ludlow, Inc.; Harsco Industrial IKG; Interstate Gratings, LLC; and Ohio Gratings, Inc., domestic interested parties, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). On July 1, 2015, the Metal Grating Coalition filed a timely substantive response with the Department pursuant to 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department did not receive a substantive response from any respondent interested party. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2), the Department conducted an expedited sunset review of the Order.

    1See Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 75 FR 43143 (July 23, 2010) (“Order”).

    2See Initiation of Five-year (“Sunset”) Review, 80 FR 31012 (June 1, 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this CVD Order is steel grating. Imports of merchandise included within the scope of this order are currently classifiable under subheading 7308.90.7000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice, provides a full description of the scope of the order.3

    3 For a full description of the scope of the order, including exclusions, see the “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (“Decision Memorandum”).

    The Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this sunset review are addressed in the Decision Memorandum. The issues discussed in the Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the Order were to be revoked.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to Section 752(c)(3) of the Act, the Department determines that revocation of the Order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average dumping margins up to 145.18 percent.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

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

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

    Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25301 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-948] Certain Steel Grating From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) finds that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain steel grating (steel grating) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Toni Page, Office VII, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-1398.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 23, 2010, the Department published the CVD Order on steel grating from the PRC.1 On June 1, 2015, the Department published a notice of initiation of the first sunset review of the CVD Order on steel grating from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On June 15, 2015, Metal Grating Coalition and its individual members, Alabama Metal Industries Corporation, Fisher & Ludlow, Inc., Harsco Industrial IKG, Interstate Gratings, LLC, and Ohio Gratings, Inc. (collectively, MGC) filed a notice of intent to participate in the review.3 Metal Grating Corporation claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(F) of the Act, as an association of domestic producers of the domestic like product.4 The domestic producers comprising the association claimed interested party status pursuant to section 771(9)(C) of the Act.

    1See Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 75 FR 43144 (July 23, 2010) (CVD Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year “Sunset” Reviews, 80 FR 31012 (June 1, 2015).

    3See Letter to the Department, “Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Intent to Participate in Sunset Review, Entry of Appearance, and APO Application,” (June 15, 2015).

    4See Letter to the Department, “Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China: Substantive Response to Notice Initiating Sunset Review,” (July 1, 2015) (MGC's Substantive Response).

    The Department received an adequate substantive response from the domestic industry within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department did not receive a response from the Government of the PRC (GOC) or any respondent interested party to the proceeding. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(l)(ii)(B)(2) and (C)(2), the Department conducted an expedited review of this CVD Order on steel grating.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this CVD Order is steel grating. Imports of merchandise included within the scope of this order are currently classifiable under subheading 7308.90.7000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice, provides a full description of the scope of the order.5

    5See Department Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Certain Steel Grating from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The issues discussed include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy and the net countervailable subsidy rate likely to prevail if the CVD Order were revoked.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(b)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the CVD Order on steel grating from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a net countervailable subsidy at the rates listed below:

    Manufacturers/
  • Exporters/
  • Producers
  • Net
  • countervailable
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Ningbo Jiulong Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd 62.46 All Others 62.46
    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

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

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

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25296 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-963] Potassium Phosphate Salts From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) finds that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on potassium phosphate salts (Salts) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the “Final Results of Sunset Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Arrowsmith, Office VII, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 22, 2010, the Department published the CVD order on Salts from the PRC.1 On June 1, 2015, the Department published a notice of initiation of the first sunset review of the CVD Order on Salts from the PRC pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 On June 11, 2015, ICL Performance Products, LP and Prayon, Inc. (collectively, Petitioners) filed a notice of intent to participate in the review.3 Petitioners claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as domestic producers of the domestic like product.4

    1See Certain Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China: Amended Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 75 FR 42682 (July 22, 2010) (CVD Order).

    2See Initiation of Five-Year “Sunset” Reviews, 80 FR 31012 (June 1, 2015).

    3See Letter to the Department, “Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Intent to Participate and APO application,” dated June 11, 2015.

    4 On July 1, 2015, ICL Performance Products, LP and Prayon, Inc. both claimed to be domestic producers of phosphate salts. See Letter to the Department, “Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China: Substantive Response to Notice of Initiation of Five Year (First Sunset) Review of the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders,” dated July 1, 2015, (Petitioners' Substantive Response).

    The Department received an adequate substantive response from the domestic industry within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i). The Department did not receive a response from the Government of the People's Republic of China (GOC) or any respondent interested party to the proceeding. As a result, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(l)(ii)(B)(2) and (C)(2), the Department conducted an expedited sunset review of this CVD Order on Salts.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this CVD Order is Salts. Imports of merchandise included within the scope of this order are currently classifiable under subheadings 2835.24.0000 and 2835.39.1000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice, provides a full description of the scope of the order.5

    5See Department Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The issues discussed include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy and the net countervailable subsidy rate likely to prevail if the CVD Order were revoked.

    Final Results of Sunset Review

    Pursuant to sections 752(b)(1) and (3) of the Act, we determine that revocation of the CVD Order on Salts from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of a net countervailable subsidy at the rates listed below:

    Manufacturers/
  • exporters/
  • producers
  • Net
  • countervailable
  • subsidy
  • (percent)
  • Lianyungang Mupro Import Export Co Ltd 109.11 Mianyang Aostar Phosphate Chemical Industry Co. Ltd 109.11 Shifang Anda Chemicals Co. Ltd 109.11 All Others 109.11
    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

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

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

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25303 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-962] Certain Potassium Phosphate Salts From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On June 1, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) published the notice of initiation of the first five-year (“sunset”) review of the antidumping duty order on certain potassium phosphate salts (“salts”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”).1 As a result of this sunset review, the Department finds that revocation of the antidumping duty order on salts from the PRC would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping. The magnitude of the dumping margins likely to prevail is indicated in the “Final Results of Review” section of this notice.

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review, 80 FR 31012 (June 1, 2015).

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katie Marksberry or Ryan Mullen, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7906 or (202) 482-5260, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    As noted above, on June 1, 2015, the Department published the initiation of the first sunset review of salts from the PRC.2 On June 11, 2015, ICL Performance Products, LP and Prayon, Inc. (collectively, “Petitioners”) timely notified the Department of their intent to participate within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i), claiming domestic interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act.3 On July 1, 2015, the Department received an adequate substantive response from Petitioners within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).4 We received no responses from respondent interested parties. As a result, the Department conducted an expedited (120-day) sunset review of the order, pursuant to section 751(c)(3)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(e)(1)(ii)(C)(2).

    2Id.

    3See Petitioners' June 11, 2015, submission.

    4See Petitioners' July 1, 2015, submission.

    Scope of the Order

    The phosphate salts covered by the scope of the order include anhydrous Dipotassium Phosphate (DKP) and Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate (TKPP), whether anhydrous or in solution (collectively “phosphate salts”).

    TKPP, also known as normal potassium pyrophosphate, Diphosphoric acid or Tetrapotassium salt, is a potassium salt with the formula K4P2O7. The CAS registry number for TKPP is 7320-34-5. TKPP is typically 18.7 percent phosphorus and 47.3 percent potassium. It is generally greater than or equal to 43.0 percent P2O5 content. TKPP is classified under heading 2835.39.1000, HTSUS.

    DKP, also known as Dipotassium salt, Dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate or Potassium phosphate, dibasic, has a chemical formula of K2HPO4. The CAS registry number for DKP is 7758-11-4. DKP is typically 17.8 percent phosphorus, 44.8 percent potassium and 40 percent P2O5 content. DKP is classified under heading 2835.24.0000 HTSUS.

    The products covered by this order include the foregoing phosphate salts in all grades, whether food grade or technical grade. The products covered by this order also include anhydrous DKP without regard to the physical form, whether crushed, granule, powder or fines. Also covered are all forms of TKPP, whether crushed, granule, powder, fines or solution.

    For purposes of the order, the narrative description is dispositive, and not the tariff heading, American Chemical Society, CAS registry number or CAS name, or the specific percentage chemical composition identified above.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in this sunset review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.5 The issues discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum include the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail if the order were to be revoked. Parties may find a complete discussion of all issues raised in the review and the corresponding recommendations in this public memorandum which is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    5See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, Re: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Certain Potassium Phosphate Salts from the People's Republic of China, dated concurrently with this notice.

    Final Results of Review

    Pursuant to section 752(c) of the Act, the Department determines that revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average margins up to 95.40 percent.

    Administrative Protective Order

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

    We are publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(c), 752(c), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25295 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE204 Endangered Species; File No. 19621 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Mike Arendt, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback (Dermochelys coraicea) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 19621 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Hapeman or Malcolm Mohead, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The applicant requests a five-year permit to assess the distribution, relative abundance, demographic structure, and health of foraging sea turtles in the waters of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Researchers would capture by trawl or tangle net; annual requested take numbers per species vary by year and project. Turtles would have the following procedures performed before release: Measure, flipper tag; passive integrated transponder tag; photograph/video; tumor, scute, blood, fecal, and tissue sampling; cloacal swab; ultrasound; weigh; carapace marking; and epibiota removal. A subset of animals would receive an epoxy-attached transmitter before release. A subset of 20 Kemp's ridleys annually would be temporarily transported to a facility for laparoscopy to validate testosterone radioimmunoassay thresholds for assigning sex. The applicant also requests a limited number of mortalities due to capture over the life of the permit: 5 loggerheads, 2 Kemp's ridley, 2 greens, and 2 leatherbacks.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25215 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public hearings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold twelve public hearings/workshops and two webinars to solicit public comments on Amendment 39—Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper, Amendment 41—Charter for-hire Red Snapper Management, and Amendment 42—Headboat Reef Fish Management.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held October 19-November 3, 2015. The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and will conclude no later than 9 p.m. For specific dates and times see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Written public comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. e.s.t., Friday, November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public documents can be obtained by contacting the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; (813) 348-1630 or on their Web site at www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Meeting addresses: The meetings will be held in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, and League City, TX; Gulfport, MS; Mobile and Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, AL; Destin, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, FL; Baton Rouge and Houma, LA, and two webinars. For specific locations, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Public comments: Comments may be submitted online through the Gulf Council's public portal by visiting www.gulfcouncil.org and clicking on “CONTACT US”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Gregory, Executive Director, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The agenda for the following twelve hearings/workshops and two webinars are as follows: Council staff will brief the public on the respective amendment(s) for each meeting, including Amendment 39—Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper, Amendment 41—Charter for-hire Red Snapper Management, and Amendment 42—Headboat Reef Fish Management. Staff will then open the meeting for questions and public comments. The schedule is as follows:

    Locations, Schedules, and Agendas

    Monday, October 19, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendments 39, 41 and 42—Courtyard Marriott Gulfport Beachfront, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, MS 39501; telephone: (228) 864-4310; Amendment 39—Hilton Garden Inn, 6717 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412; telephone: (361) 991-8200.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendment 39—Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602; telephone: (251) 438-4000; Amendment 39—Embassy Suites San Antonio, 10110 US Highway 281 North, San Antonio, TX 78216; telephone: (210) 525-9999.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendment 39—Hampton Inn and Suites, 2320 Gulf Freeway South, League City, TX 77573; telephone: (281) 614-5437; Amendments 41 and 42—Adult Activity Center; 26251 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL; (251) 981-3440.

    Thursday, October 22, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendments 39, 41 and 42—Embassy Suites, 570 Scenic Gulf Drive, Destin, FL 32550; telephone: (850) 337-7000; Amendments 41 and 42—Hilton Galveston Island, 5400 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77551; telephone: (409) 744-5000.

    Monday, October 26, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendments 41 and 42—Marriott Clearwater Beach on Sand Key, 1201 Gulf Boulevard, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767; telephone: (727) 596-1100.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Amendment 39—Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33716; telephone: (727) 540-0050.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Webinar public hearing for Amendment 39, register to participate at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6937796694781610242 . Thursday, October 29, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; Webinar workshop for Amendments 41 and 42, register to participate https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3438241399083407617.

    Monday, November 2, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; for Amendment 39—DoubleTree, 4964 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70808; telephone: (225) 925-1005.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015, from 6-9 p.m.; for Amendments 41 and 42—Courtyard Marriott, 142 Library Drive, Houma, LA 70360; telephone: (985) 223-8996.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25139 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE211 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; nominations for Advisory Panel.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS solicits nominations for the “SEDAR Pool,” also known as the Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Workshops. The SEDAR Pool is comprised of a group of individuals who may be selected to consider data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Nominations are being sought for a 5-year appointment (2016-2021). Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership on the SEDAR Pool.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be received on or before November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit nominations and request the SEDAR Pool Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Karyl Brewster-Geisz, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Include on the envelope the following identifier: “SEDAR Pool Nomination.”

    Fax: 301-713-1917.

    Additional information on SEDAR and the SEDAR guidelines can be found at http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/. The terms of reference for the SEDAR Pool, along with a list of current members, can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/SEDAR/SEDAR.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Delisse Ortiz or Karyl Brewster-Geisz, (301) 425-8503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Section 302(g)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., states that each Council shall establish such advisory panels as are necessary or appropriate to assist it in carrying out its functions under the Act. For the purposes of this section, NMFS applies the above Council provision to the HMS Management Division (See Section 304(g)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides that the Secretary will prepare fishery management plans for HMS and consult with Advisory Panels under section 302(g) for such FMPs). As such, NMFS has established the SEDAR Pool under this section. The SEDAR Pool currently consists of 33 individuals, each of whom may be selected to review data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. While the SEDAR Pool was created specifically for Atlantic oceanic sharks, it may be expanded to include other HMS, as needed.

    The primary purpose of the individuals in the SEDAR Pool is to review, at SEDAR workshops, the scientific information (including but not limited to data and models) used in stock assessments that are used to advise NMFS, as a delegate to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), about the conservation and management of the Atlantic HMS, specifically but not limited to, Atlantic sharks. Individuals in the SEDAR Pool, if selected, may participate in the various data, assessment, and review workshops during the SEDAR process of any HMS stock assessment. In order to ensure that the peer review is unbiased, individuals who participated in a data and/or assessment workshop for a particular stock assessment will not be allowed to serve as reviewers for the same stock assessment. However, these individuals may be asked to attend the review workshop to answer specific questions from the reviewers concerning the data and/or assessment workshops. Members of the SEDAR Pool may serve as members of other Advisory Panels concurrent with, or following, their service on the SEDAR Pool.

    Procedures and Guidelines A. Participants

    The SEDAR Pool is comprised of individuals representing the commercial and recreational fishing communities for Atlantic sharks, the environmental community active in the conservation and management of Atlantic sharks, and the academic community that have relevant expertise either with sharks and/or stock assessment methodologies for marine fish species. Also, individuals who may not necessarily work directly with sharks, but who are involved in fisheries with similar life history, biology and fishery issues may be part of the SEDAR panel. Members of the SEDAR Pool must have demonstrated experience in the fisheries, related industries, research, teaching, writing, conservation, or management of marine organisms. The distribution of representation among the interested parties is not defined or limited.

    Additional members of the SEDAR Pool may also include representatives from each of the five Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, each of the 18 Atlantic states, both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and each of the interstate commissions: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

    If NMFS requires additional members to ensure a diverse pool of individuals for data or assessment workshops, NMFS may request individuals to become members of the SEDAR Pool outside of the annual nomination period.

    Panel members serve at the discretion of the Secretary. Not all members will attend each SEDAR workshop. Rather, NMFS will invite certain members to participate at specific stock assessment workshops dependent on their ability to participate, discuss, and recommend scientific decisions regarding the species being assessed.

    NMFS is not obligated to fulfill any requests (e.g., requests for an assessment of a certain species) that may be made by the SEDAR Pool or its individual members. Members of the SEDAR Pool who are invited to attend stock assessment workshops will not be compensated for their services but may be reimbursed for their travel-related expenses to attend such workshops.

    B. Nomination Procedures for Appointments to the SEDAR Pool

    Member tenure will be for 5 years. Nominations are sought for terms beginning early in 2016 and expiring in 2021. Nomination packages should include:

    1. The name, address, phone number, and email of the applicant or nominee;

    2. A description of his/her interest in Atlantic shark stock assessments or the Atlantic shark fishery;

    3. A statement of background and/or qualifications; and

    4. A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall participate actively and in good faith in the tasks of the SEDAR Pool, as requested.

    C. Meeting Schedule

    Individual members of the SEDAR Pool meet to participate in stock assessments at the discretion of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS. Stock assessment timing, frequency, and relevant species will vary depending on the needs determined by NMFS and SEDAR staff. In 2016, NMFS intends to update the dusky shark stock assessment. In 2017, NMFS anticipates updating the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark stock assessment. During an assessment year, meetings and meeting logistics will be determined according to the SEDAR Guidelines. All meetings are open for observation by the public.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25223 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE212 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of a public draft of the Endangered Species Act Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for the California Coastal Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Northern California steelhead (O. mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the Central California Coast steelhead (O. mykiss) DPS. These species spawn and rear in streams and rivers along the central and northern California coast, and in tributaries to San Francisco Bay. NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Public Draft Recovery Plan, and will consider all substantive comments received during the review period before submitting the Recovery Plan for final approval.

    DATES:

    Comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan must be received by close of business on December 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan by the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via: [email protected].

    Mail: Recovery Team, National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

    Public Workshops: Written comments will be accepted.

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Electronic copies of the Public Draft Recovery Plan are available online at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/salmon_steelhead/recovery_planning_and_implementation/north_central_california_coast/north_central_california_coast_salmon_recovery_domain.html. A CD-ROM of these documents can be obtained by emailing a request to [email protected] or by writing to: Recovery Team, National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Korie Schaeffer, (707) 575-6087, [email protected], or Erin Seghesio, (707) 578-8515, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires we develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of threatened and endangered species under our jurisdiction, unless it is determined that such plans would not promote the conservation of the species. The Public Draft Recovery Plan was developed for three salmon and steelhead species: The California Coastal (CC) Chinook salmon ESU, and the Northern California (NC) and Central California Coast (CCC) steelhead DPSs. Between 1997 and 2000, NMFS listed the CCC steelhead DPS (62 FR 43937; August 18, 1997), the CC Chinook salmon ESU (64 FR 50394; September 16, 1999), and the NC steelhead DPS (65 FR 36074; June 7, 2000), as threatened under the ESA due to the precipitous and ongoing declines in their populations.

    Our goal is to restore the threatened CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead to the point where they are self-sustaining populations within their ecosystems and no longer need the protections of the ESA.

    A series of public workshops will be held to help inform interested parties on the Public Draft Recovery Plan. Written comments will be accepted at the workshops. These include:

    • UKIAH—October 14, 2015, UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino, 890 N. Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482, from 6-8 p.m.

    • ARCATA—October 15, 2015, Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524, from 6-8 p.m.

    • SANTA CRUZ—October 20, 2015, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, from 3-5 p.m.

    • OAKLAND—November 3, 2015 Elihu M Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland, CA 94612, from 1-3 p.m.

    • SANTA ROSA—November 5 2015, Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 from 1-3 p.m.

    The Public Draft Recovery Plan

    The ESA requires recovery plans incorporate, to the maximum extent practicable: (1) Objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goal for the conservation and survival of the species; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions.

    The Public Draft Recovery Plan provides background on the natural history, population trends and the potential threats to the viability of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead. The Public Draft Recovery Plan lays out a recovery strategy to address conditions and threats based on the best available science and incorporates objective, measurable criteria for recovery. The Public Draft Recovery Plan is not regulatory, but presents guidance for use by agencies and interested parties to assist in the recovery of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead. The Public Draft Recovery Plan identifies actions needed to achieve recovery by improving population and habitat conditions and addressing threats to the species; links management actions to a research and monitoring program intended to fill data gaps and assess effectiveness of actions; incorporates an adaptive management framework by which management actions and other elements may evolve as we gain information through research and monitoring; and describes agency guidance on time lines for reviews of the status of species and recovery plans. To address threats related to the species, the Public Draft Recovery Plan references many of the significant efforts already underway to restore salmon and steelhead access to high quality habitat and to improve habitat previously degraded.

    Recovery of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead will require a long-term effort in cooperation and coordination with Federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, and the community. Consistent with the Recovery Plan, we will implement relevant actions for which we have authority, work cooperatively on implementation of other actions, and encourage other Federal and state agencies to implement recovery actions for which they have responsibility and authority.

    In compliance with the requirements of the ESA section 4(f), NMFS is providing public notice and an opportunity to review and comment on the Public Draft Recovery Plan for CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead prior to its final approval.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25203 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE201 Notice of Availability of a Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of a Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) have prepared a Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft PDARP/PEIS). As required by OPA, in this Draft PDARP/PEIS, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees present the assessment of impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico and on the services those resources provide, and determine the restoration needed to compensate the public for these impacts. The Draft PDARP/PEIS describes the Trustees' programmatic alternatives considered to restore natural resources, ecological services, and recreational use services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees evaluate these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment regulations, and also evaluate the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft PDARP/PEIS and to seek public comments on the document.

    DATES:

    The Trustees will consider public comments received on or before December 4, 2015.

    Public Meetings: The Trustees will host a series of public meetings to facilitate public review and comment on the Draft PDARP/PEIS. Both written and verbal public comments will be taken at each public meeting. The Trustees will hold an open house for each meeting followed by a formal meeting. Each public meeting will include a presentation of the Draft PDARP/PEIS. Public meetings will be held between October 19th and November 18th. The full public meeting schedule is listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download the Draft PDARP/PEIS at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may request a CD of the Draft PDARP/PEIS (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may also view the document at any of the public facilities listed at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov. The Draft PDARP/PEIS also will be available for download at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon.

    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments on the Draft PDARP/PEIS by one of following methods:

    • Via the Web: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov and

    • U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345. Please note that mailed comments must be received on or before the comment deadline of December 4, 2015 to be considered.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Courtney Groeneveld at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon mobile drilling unit exploded, caught fire, and eventually sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a massive release of oil and other substances from BP's Macondo well. Tragically, 11 workers were killed and 17 injured by the explosion and fire. Initial efforts to cap the well following the explosion were unsuccessful, and for 87 days after the explosion, the well continuously and uncontrollably discharged oil and natural gas into the northern Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 3.19 million barrels (134 million gallons) of oil were released into the ocean, by far the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States.

    Oil spread from the deep ocean to the surface and nearshore environment, from Texas to Florida. The oil came into contact with and injured natural resources as diverse as deep-sea coral, fish and shellfish, productive wetland habitats, sandy beaches, birds, endangered sea turtles, and protected marine life. The oil spill prevented people from fishing, going to the beach, and enjoying their typical recreational activities along the Gulf. Extensive response actions, including, use of dispersants, cleanup activities, and actions to try to prevent the oil from reaching sensitive resources, were undertaken to try to reduce harm to people and the environment. However, many of these response actions had collateral impacts on the environment. The oil and other substances released from the well in combination with the extensive response actions together make up the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    The Trustees are conducting the natural resource damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon incident under the Oil Pollution Act 1990 (OPA; 33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.). Pursuant to OPA, Federal and State agencies act as trustees on behalf of the public to assess natural resource injuries and losses and to determine the actions required to compensate the public for those injuries and losses. OPA further instructs the designated trustees to develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of the injured natural resources under their trusteeship, including the loss of use of those resources and the loss of services they provide from the time of injury until the time of restoration to baseline (the resource quality and conditions that would exist if the spill had not occurred) is complete.

    The Trustees 1 are as follows:

    1 Although a trustee under OPA by virtue of the proximity of its facilities to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is not a member of the Trustee Council and did not participate in development of this Draft PDARP/PEIS.

    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

    • U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), as represented by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management;

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA);

    • State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources;

    • State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;

    • State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Geological Survey of Alabama;

    • State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and

    • For the State of Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

    Background

    On February 17, 2011, the Trustees initiated a 90-day formal scoping and public comment period for this Draft PDARP/PEIS (76 FR 9327) through a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Begin Restoration Scoping and Prepare a Gulf Spill Restoration Planning PEIS. The Trustees conducted the scoping in accordance with OPA (15 CFR 990.14(d)), NEPA (40 CFR 1501.7), and State authorities. That NOI requested public input to identify and evaluate a range of restoration types that could be used to fully compensate the public for the environmental and recreational use damages caused by the spill, as well as develop procedures to select and implement restoration projects that will compensate the public for the natural resource damages caused by the spill. As part of the scoping process, the Trustees hosted public meetings across all the Gulf States during Spring 2011.

    Overview of the Draft PDARP/PEIS

    The Draft PDARP/PEIS is being released in accordance with the OPA, the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 15 CFR part 990, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    In the Draft PDARP/PEIS, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees present to the public their findings on the extensive injuries to multiple habitats, biological species, ecological functions, and geographic regions across the northern Gulf of Mexico that occurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, as well as their programmatic plan for restoring those resources and the services they provide. The Draft PDARP/PEIS proposes four programmatic alternatives evaluated in accordance with OPA and NEPA. The Deepwater Horizon Trustees decided to fulfill NEPA requirements by conducting a PEIS that evaluates broad (as opposed to project-specific) restoration alternatives. As the Draft PDARP/PEIS shows, the injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident cannot be fully described at the level of a single species, a single habitat type, or a single region. Rather, the injuries affected such a wide array of linked resources over such an enormous area that the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident constitute an ecosystem-level injury. Consequently, the Trustees' preferred alternative for a restoration plan employs a comprehensive, integrated ecosystem approach to best address these ecosystem-level injuries. The Trustees' evaluation determines this alternative is best, among several other alternatives, at compensating the public for the losses to natural resources and services caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    The four alternatives under the Draft PDARP/PEIS are as follows:

    • Alternative A (Preferred Alternative): Comprehensive Integrated Ecosystem Restoration Plan based on the programmatic Trustee goals;

    • Alternative B: Resource-Specific Restoration Plan based on the programmatic Trustee goals;

    • Alternative C: Continued Injury Assessment and Defer Comprehensive Restoration Plan; and

    • Alternative D: No Action/Natural Recovery.

    The Trustees have jointly examined and assessed the extent of injury and the restoration alternatives. In the Draft PDARP/PEIS, the Trustees present to the public their findings on the extensive injuries to multiple habitats, biological species, ecological functions, and geographic regions across the northern Gulf of Mexico that occurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, as well as the programmatic plan for restoring those resources. In particular, they considered restoration types and approaches to restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and services. The Trustees believe that the preferred alternative in this Draft PDARP/PEIS is most appropriate for addressing the injuries to natural resources.

    The Trustees' proposed decision is to select a comprehensive restoration plan to guide and direct subsequent restoration planning and implementation during the coming decades. The Draft PDARP/PEIS is programmatic; it describes the framework by which subsequent project specific restoration plans will be identified and developed, and sets forth the types of projects the Trustees will consider in each of several described restoration areas. The subsequent restoration plans would identify, evaluate, and select specific restoration projects for implementation that are consistent with the restoration framework laid out by the PDARP/PEIS. The Trustees are considering this programmatic restoration planning decision in light of the proposed settlement among BP, the United States and the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas to resolve BP's liability for natural resource damages associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Under this proposed settlement, BP would pay a total of $8.1 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries (this includes $1 billion already committed for early restoration), plus up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the settlement and/or to provide for adaptive management. As noted below, the proposed Consent Decree for the proposed settlement is the subject of a separate public notice and comment process.

    Next Steps

    The public is encouraged to review and comment on the Draft PDARP/PEIS. As described above, public meetings are scheduled to facilitate the public review and comment process. After the close of the public comment period, the Trustees will consider and address the comments received before issuing a Final PDARP/PEIS. A summary of comments received and the Trustees' responses will be included in the final document. After issuing the Final PDARP/PEIS, the Trustees will prepare a Record of Decision that formally selects an alternative.

    The public is also encouraged to review and comment on the proposed Consent Decree through a separate process managed by the Department of Justice. A link for the proposed Consent Decree and directions for comment to the Department of Justice is available at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

    Public Meeting Schedule Date Time (local times) Location Mon., Oct. 19, 2015 5 p.m. Open House
  • 6 p.m. Public Meeting
  • Courtyard by Marriott—Houma, Versailles Parlour, 142 Liberty Boulevard, Houma, LA 70360.
    Tues., Oct. 20, 2015 5 p.m. Open House
  • 6 p.m. Public Meeting
  • University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach FEC Auditorium, 730 East Beach Boulevard, Long Beach, MS 39560.
    Thurs., Oct. 22, 2015 5 p.m. Open House
  • 6 p.m. Public Meeting
  • Hilton Garden Inn, New Orleans Convention Center, Garden Ballroom, 10001 South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
    Mon., Oct. 26, 2015 6 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. Public Meeting
  • The Battle House, Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, Moonlight Ballroom A, 26 North Royal Street, Mobile, AL 36602.
    Tues., Oct. 27, 2015 6 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. Public Meeting
  • Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory Street, Pensacola, FL 32502.
    Thurs., Oct. 29, 2015 6 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. Public Meeting
  • Hilton St. Petersburg, Bayfront, Salon AB, 333 1st Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Tues., Nov. 10, 2015 6 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. Public Meeting
  • Hilton Galveston Island Resort, Crystal Ballroom, 5400 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77551.
    Wed., Nov. 18, 2015 6 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. Public Meeting
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Washington DC, Terrace Ballroom, 1515 Rhode Island, Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005.
    Invitation to Comment

    The Trustees seek public review and comment on the Draft PDARP/PEIS. 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 publicly available at any time.

    Administrative Record

    The documents included in the Administrative Record can be viewed electronically at the following location: http://www.doi.gov/deepwaterhorizon/adminrecord. The Trustees opened a publicly available Administrative Record for the NRDA for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including restoration planning activities, concurrently with publication of the 2011 NOI (pursuant to 15 CFR 990.45).

    Authority:

    The authority of this action is the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) and the implementing NRDA regulations found at 15 CFR part 990.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24913 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE226 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 22, 2015, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar with a telephone-only connection option. Details on webinar registration and telephone-only connection details will be available at: http://www.mafmc.org.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Advisory Panel (AP) will meet jointly with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass AP. The purpose of this meeting is to solicit advisor input on specific commercial management measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. These include, but are not limited to, the commercial minimum fish size, trawl mesh size requirements, seasonal possession limits triggering the minimum mesh size requirements (i.e., incidental possession limits), other possession limits, other gear requirements, and exemption programs for all three species. The Council and the ASMFC will consider the input from the AP in December when reviewing recommendations on commercial measures from the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring and Technical Committees.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25239 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC667 Application for a Permit Modification: Endangered Species; File No. 17304 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for a permit modification.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Kristen Hart, Ph.D., U.S. Geological Survey, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314, has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 17304-01.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The modification request and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 17304 Mod 2 from the list of available applications. These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected] Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Hapeman or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject modification to Permit No. 17304, issued on September 20, 2013 (78 FR 59657) is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226).

    Permit No. 17304-01 authorizes researchers to capture 100 green, 100 loggerhead, 90 Kemp's ridley, and 20 hawksbill sea turtles annually by hand or using nets in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Alternative to direct capture, researchers may obtain sea turtles for study that are legally captured during relocation trawling for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sea turtles may have the following types of procedures performed before release: Morphometrics, marking, photograph/video, tagging, biological sampling, and/or attachment of transmitters and subsequent tracking. The permit is valid through September 30, 2018. Dr. Hart is seeking to modify the permit to (1) authorize trawling as a capture method, and (2) increase the annual number of loggerhead and Kemp's ridley sea turtles taken by 200 and 210 turtles, respectively. This work would be used to (1) provide density and abundance data to managers for these species in Louisiana waters and associated federal waters, and (2) establish the feasibility of sea turtle monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico by trawl.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25209 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE228 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee (RSC) to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Thursday October 22, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Boulevard, Taunton, MA 02780; telephone: (508) 823-0490; fax: (508) 880-6483.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Research Steering Committee will meet to review several cooperative research projects, which include Scallop RSA projects that address gray meats in the scallop fishery. The RSC may also review other cooperative research projects, which may include a 2012 Monkfish RSA project. In addition, the Research Steering Committee may discuss the outcome of the Cooperative Research & Cooperative Management Review White Paper. The Research Steering Committee may also discuss other topics at the meeting as it pertains to cooperative research. Other business may be discussed.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25241 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE220 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of telephonic meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Charter Implementation Committee will meet by teleconference October 21, 2015.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday October 21, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held telephonically at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252. Teleconference line is (907) 271-2896.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve MacLean, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    The agenda is to identify a range of potential management measures for the Area 2C and Area 3A charter halibut fisheries in 2016, using the management measures in place for 2015 as a baseline. For Area 2C, the baseline management measure is a daily limit of one fish less than or equal to 42 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in length. For Area 3A, the baseline management measure is a daily limit of two fish, one fish of any size, and a second fish which must be 29 inches or less in length. Committee recommendations will be incorporated into an analysis for Council review in December 2015. The Council will recommend preferred management measures for consideration by the International Pacific Halibut Commission at its January 2016 meeting, for implementation in 2016.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25238 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE218 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Salmon Subcommittee of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will hold a joint methodology review meeting with the Salmon Technical Team and Model Evaluation Workgroup.

    DATES:

    The joint methodology review meeting will be held Tuesday, October 20, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 21, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, October 22, 2015, from 9 a.m. to noon, or until business is completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held in the Concourse Room of the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, 6233 NE 78th Ct., Portland, OR 97218; telephone: (503) 251-2000.

    Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mike Burner, Pacific Council; telephone: (503) 820-2414.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the methodology review meeting is to discuss and review proposed changes to analytical methods used in salmon management. Methodology review topics were adopted by the Council at their September 9-16, 2015 meeting in Sacramento, CA and are posted on the Pacific Council's Web page (www.pcouncil.org). Recommendations from this methodology review meeting will be presented at the November 13-19, 2015 Council meeting in Garden Grove, CA where the Council is scheduled to take final action on the proposals.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820-2425 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25237 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE229 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Council will hold a meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) in N. Charleston, SC. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SSC will meet 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, October 20, 2015; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday, October 21, 2015; and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, October 22, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel, 4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard, North Charleston, SC 29418; phone: (800) 503-5762 or (843) 744-4422; fax: (843) 744-4472.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following items will be discussed and considered by the SSC during this meeting:

    1. Review South Atlantic landings and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) 2. Consider units for fishing level recommendations 3. Review final Southeast headboat survey data evaluation 4. Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) projects update, including report on the Data Best Practices Workshop and September 2015 Steering Committee meeting 5. Council Citizen Science update 6. Review Snapper-Grouper Amendments 36, 37, and Regulatory Amendment 16 7. Review the Council's System Management Plan 8. Report on recreational catch estimation for rare species 9. SSC Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) Control Rule revision progress report 10. Review the Council's Research Priorities Plan 11. Review NOAA Fisheries' Stock Prioritization Tool 12. Consider the Blueline Tilefish stock assessment and fishing levels 13. Review Hogfish projections and fishing level recommendations 14. Receive progress reports on ongoing fishery management plans and amendments

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Written comment on SSC agenda topics is to be distributed to the Committee through the Council office, similar to all other briefing materials. Written comment to be considered by the SSC shall be provided to the Council office no later than one week prior to an SSC meeting. For this meeting, the deadline for submission of written comment is 12 p.m., Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Two opportunities for comment on agenda items will be provided during SSC meetings and noted on the agenda. The first will be at the beginning of the meeting, and the second near the conclusion, when the SSC reviews its recommendations.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25242 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XZ31 Issuance of Permit Amendment: Marine Mammals; File No. 14603 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Charles Mayo, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Director, Right Whale Program—Center for Coastal Studies, 115 Bradford St., Provincetown, MA 02657 has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Permit No. 14603.

    ADDRESSES:

    The amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brendan Hurley or Amy Hapeman, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requested amendment has been granted under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The original permit (No. 14603), issued on September 9, 2010 (75 FR 61135) authorizes Dr. Mayo to study North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) off Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. The permitted activities include photo-identification, aerial and shipboard surveys, suction-cup tagging, photo-identification, sonar for prey mapping, passive acoustic recording, and behavioral observation (by vessel and aerial). Whales of all ages may be harassed during surveys. The permit also authorizes incidental harassment of unidentified baleen whales during research activities, and is authorized through September 30, 2015. The minor amendment (No. 14603-01) extends the duration of the permit through September 30, 2016 but does not change any other terms or conditions of the permit.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25210 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notice of Intent To Conduct Scoping and To Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Wisconsin—Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to conduct scoping, hold public scoping meetings and to prepare a draft environmental impact statement and management plan.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 304(a) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), and based on the resources and boundaries described in the community-based nomination submitted to NOAA on December 2, 2014 (www.nominate.noaa.gov/nominations), NOAA is initiating a process to consider designating an area of Wisconsin's Lake Michigan as a national marine sanctuary. The designation process, as required by the NMSA, will be conducted concurrently with a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). This notice also informs the public that NOAA will coordinate its responsibilities under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 U.S.C. 470) with its ongoing NEPA process, pursuant to 36 CFR 800.8(a), including the use of NEPA documents and public and stakeholder meetings to also meet the requirements of section 106. The public scoping process is intended to solicit information and comments on the range of issues and the significant issues to be analyzed in depth in an environmental impact statement related to designating this area as a national marine sanctuary. The results of this scoping process will assist NOAA in moving forward with the designation process and in formulating alternatives for the draft environmental impact statement and proposed regulations, including developing national marine sanctuary boundaries. It will also inform the initiation of any consultations with federal, state, or local agencies and other interested parties, as appropriate.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 15, 2016. Public scoping meetings will be held as detailed below:

    (1) Manitowoc, WI

    Date: November 17, 2015.

    Location: Wisconsin Maritime Museum.

    Address: 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, WI.

    Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

    (2) Port Washington, WI

    Date: November 18, 2015.

    Location: Wilson House.

    Address: 200 N. Franklin St., Port Washington, WI.

    Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

    (3) Sheboygan, WI

    Date: November 19, 2015.

    Location: University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, Main Building, Wombat Room (Room 2114).

    Address: 1 University Drive, Sheboygan, WI.

    Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov//#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2015-0112, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Ellen Brody, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, 4840 S. State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-9719.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily submitted by the commenter will be publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brody, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, 734-741-2270, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The NMSA authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to designate and protect as national marine sanctuaries areas of the marine environment that are of special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archeological, educational, or esthetic qualities. Day-to-day management of national marine sanctuaries has been delegated by the Secretary to ONMS. The primary objective of the NMSA is to protect the biological and cultural resources of the sanctuary system, such as coral reefs, marine animals, historic shipwrecks, historic structures, and archaeological sites.

    The area being considered for designation as a national marine sanctuary is a region that includes 875 square miles of Lake Michigan waters and bottomlands adjacent to Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties and the cities of Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Two Rivers. It includes 80 miles of shoreline and extends 9 to 14 miles from the shoreline. The area contains an extraordinary collection of submerged maritime heritage resources as demonstrated by the listing of 15 shipwrecks on the National Register of Historic Places. The area includes 39 known shipwrecks, 123 reported vessel losses, numerous other historic maritime-related features, and is adjacent to communities that have embraced their centuries-long relationship with Lake Michigan.

    This collection of shipwrecks is nationally significant because of the architectural and archaeological integrity of the shipwrecks, the representative nature of the sample of vessels, their location on one of the nation's most important transportation corridors, and the potential for the discovery of other shipwrecks and submerged pre-contact cultural sites. The historic shipwrecks are representative of the vessels that sailed and steamed this corridor, carrying grain and raw materials east as other vessels came west loaded with coal. Many of the shipwrecks retain an unusual degree of architectural integrity, with 15 vessels that are intact. NOAA encourages the public to review the full nomination at www.nominate.noaa.gov/nominations.

    II. Need for action

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, on behalf of the State of Wisconsin; the Cities of Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Port Washington; the Counties of Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee submitted a nomination to NOAA on December 2, 2014 through the Sanctuary Nomination Process (SNP) (79 FR 33851) asking NOAA to consider designating this area of Wisconsin's Lake Michigan waters as a national marine sanctuary. The State of Wisconsin's selection of this geographic area for the nomination drew heavily from a 2008 report conducted by the Wisconsin History Society and funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (Wisconsin's Historic Shipwrecks: An Overview and Analysis of Locations for a State/Federal Partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Program, 2008). This report analyzed all Wisconsin shipwrecks in both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, concluding that the 875-square-mile area in the nomination had the best potential for a national marine sanctuary designation based on the national significance of the shipwrecks. The nomination also identified opportunities for NOAA to strengthen and expand on resource protection, education, and research programs by state of Wisconsin agencies and in the four communities along the Lake Michigan coast.

    NOAA is initiating the process to designate this area as a national marine sanctuary based on the nomination submitted to the agency as part of the SNP. NOAA's review of the nomination against the criteria and considerations of the SNP, including the requirement for broad-based community support indicated strong merit in proposing this area as a national marine sanctuary. NOAA completed its review of the nomination on February 5, 2015, and added the area to the inventory of nominations that are eligible for designation. Designation under the NMSA would allow NOAA to supplement and complement work by the State of Wisconsin and other federal agencies to protect this collection of nationally significant shipwrecks.

    III. Process

    The process for designating the Wisconsin—Lake Michigan area as a national marine sanctuary includes the following stages:

    1. Public Scoping Process—Information collection and characterization, including the consideration of public comments received during scoping;

    2. Preparation and release of draft designation documents including a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that identifies boundary alternatives, a draft management plan (DMP), as well as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to define proposed sanctuary regulations. Draft documents would be used to initiate consultations with federal, state, or local agencies and other interested parties, as appropriate;

    3. Public review and comment on the DEIS, DMP and NPRM;

    4. Preparation and release of a final environmental impact statement, final management plan, including a response to public comments, with a final rule and regulations, if appropriate.

    With this notice, NOAA is initiating a public scoping process to:

    1. Gather information and public comments from individuals, organizations, and government agencies on the designation of the Wisconsin—Lake Michigan area as a national marine sanctuary based on the community-based nomination of December 2014, especially: (a) The spatial extent of the proposed boundary; and (b) the resources that would be protected;

    2. Help determine the scope and significance of issues to be addressed in the preparation of an environmental analysis under NEPA including socioeconomic impacts of designation, effects of designation on cultural and biological resources, and threats to resources within the proposed area;

    3. Help determine the proposed action and possible alternatives pursuant to NEPA and to conduct any appropriate consultations.

    IV. Consultation Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    This notice confirms that NOAA will fulfill its responsibility under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) through the ongoing NEPA process, pursuant to 36 CFR 800.8(a) including the use of NEPA documents and public and stakeholder meetings to meet the section 106 requirements. The NHPA specifically applies to any agency undertaking that may affect historic properties. Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.16(1)(1), historic properties includes: “any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. The term includes artifacts, records, and remains that are related to and located within such properties. The term includes properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and that meet the National Register criteria.” In fulfilling its responsibility under the NHPA and NEPA, NOAA intends to identify consulting parties; identify historic properties and assess the effects of the undertaking on such properties; initiate formal consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, and other consulting parties; involve the public in accordance with NOAA's NEPA procedures, and develop in consultation with identified consulting parties alternatives and proposed measures that might avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties and describe them in any environmental assessment or draft environmental impact statement.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25398 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Joint Skate Advisory Panel and Committee Meeting to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 2081 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 739-3000; fax: (401) 732-9309.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Skate Committee and Advisory Panel will begin work on a framework adjustment. The Committee and Advisory Panel will consider updated status determinations for the Northeast Skate Complex, recommendations for the Skate Allowable Biological Catch (ABC), and associated possession limits. The Committee and Advisory Panel will review PDT discussion of potential restructuring of the Northeast Skate Complex FMP. They will also discuss priorities for 2016 and any other business. Other business may be discussed as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25138 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE227 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Baltimore BWI Airport, 1671 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090; telephone: (410) 859-8855.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The MAFMC's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee, with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Technical Committee, will hold a workshop to review methods, datasets, and considerations for recommending and evaluating recreational management measures for these three species. The meeting will focus on specific technical methods for calculating adjustments to bag limits, size limits, and seasonal limits, as well as current and potential supporting recreational datasets, tools, and models. The objective of the meeting is for the Committees to identify potential improvements to the current processes and methods for recommending and evaluating recreational measures. A detailed agenda will be posted at www.mafmc.org prior to the meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25240 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Market Risk Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announces that on November 2, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) will hold a public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC, headquarters. The MRAC will be presented with and discuss the CCP Risk Management Subcommittee's recommendations to the MRAC regarding how the CCP default plans presented at the April 2, 2013 meeting of the MRAC can better reflect market conditions in the case of the default of a significant clearing member.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 2, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581. Written statements should be submitted by mail to: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, attention: Office of the Secretary; or by electronic mail to: [email protected]. Please use the title “Market Risk Advisory Committee” in any written statement you submit. Any statements submitted in connection with the committee meeting will be made available to the public, including publication on the CFTC Web site, www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Petal Walker, MRAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5794.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public may also listen to the meeting by telephone by calling a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation.

    Domestic Toll Free: 1-866-844-9416.

    International Toll and Toll Free: Will be posted on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov, on the page for the meeting, under Related Documents.

    Pass Code/Pin Code: CFTC.

    After the meeting, a transcript of the meeting will be published through a link on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov. All written submissions provided to the CFTC in any form will also be published on the CFTC's Web site. Persons requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting because of a disability should notify the contact person above.

    (Authority: 5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2)). Dated: September 29, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25191 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Guidelines for Carrying Out Section 221(a) (4) of the Flood Control Act of 1970, as Amended. AGENCY:

    United States Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has updated the existing guidance for providing in-kind credit under Section 221(a)(4) of the Flood Control Act of 1970, as further amended by Section 1018 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. In response to requests to extend the comment period, we are extending the comment period by 30 days.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before October 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-2015-0013 by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include the docket number, COE-2015-0013, in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CE, Janice.E.Rasgus, 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, we cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2015-0013. All comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the commenter indicates that 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 regulations.gov or email. The regulations.gov Web site is an anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email directly to the Corps without going through 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, we recommend 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 we cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov . All documents in the docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, such as 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janice E. Rasgus, Planning and Policy Division, Washington, DC at 202-761-7674.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    None.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Bruce D. Carlson, Deputy Chief, Planning and Policy Division, Directorate of Civil Works.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25284 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0117] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), 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 an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 4, 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-0117. 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 Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    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: Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0095.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households, Private Sector, State, Tribal and Local Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 5,460.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,829.

    Abstract: The Department of Education is requesting an extension of the current information collection. These regulations identify the requirements under which institutions must readmit service members with the same academic status they held at the institutions when they last attended or where accepted for attendance. The regulations require institutions to charge readmitted service members, for the first academic year of their return, the same institutions charges they were charged for the academic year during which they left the institution to fulfill a service requirement in the uniformed services.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25279 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, Amending Authority, Vacating Prior Authority, and Errata During March 2015 FE Docket Nos. DOWNEAST LNG, INC 14-172-LNG AMERICAN LNG MARKETING LLC 14-209-LNG LAKE CHARLES LNG EXPORT COMPANY, LLC (formerly known as TRUNKLINE LNG EXPORT LLC) 13-04-LNG CENTRA GAS MANITOBA INC 15-12-NG AECO GAS STORAGE PARTNERSHIP 15-15-NG PACIFICORP 15-16-NG JUST ENERGY NEW YORK CORP 15-17-NG JUST ENERGY ONTARIO L.P 15-18-NG GULF LNG ENERGY, L.L.C 15-21-LNG PLANET ENERGY CORP 15-22-NG HUDSON ENERGY SERVICES, LLC 15-24-NG ST. LAWRENCE GAS COMPANY, INC 15-26-NG SPARK ENERGY CANADA CORP 15-27-NG UNITED STATES GYPSUM COMPANY 15-29-NG DIVERSE-NRG, LLC 15-30-LNG EXCELERATE ENERGY GAS MARKETING, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 15-32-LNG NEXTERA ENERGY POWER MARKETING, LLC 15-34-NG SPARK ENERGY CANADA CORP 15-27-NG HARTREE PARTNERS, L.P. (formerly HESS ENERGY TRADING COMPANY, LLC) 15-31-NG EL PASO MARKETING COMPANY, L.L.C 15-41-NG MARITIMES & NORTHEAST PIPELINE, L.L.C 15-43-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 March 2015, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), amending authority, vacating prior authority and errata. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2015. 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 29, 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 3600 14-172-LNG 03/06/15 Downeast LNG, Inc Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the proposed Downeast LNG Terminal in Robbinston, Maine to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3601 14-209-LNG 03/16/15 American LNG Marketing LLC Order granting long-term, Multi-contract authority to Export LNG in ISO Containers loaded at the proposed Hialeah Facility in Medley, Florida, and exported by vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3252-A 13-04-LNG 03/18/15 Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC (formerly known as Trunkline LNG Export, LLC) Order granting request to amend DOE/FE Order No. 3252 and pending application to reflect corporate name change. 3602 15-12-NG 03/19/15 Centra Gas Manitoba Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3603 15-15-NG 03/19/15 AECO Gas Storage Partnership Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3604 15-16-NG 03/19/15 Pacificorp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3605 15-17-NG 03/19/15 Just Energy New York Corp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3606 15-18-NG 03/19/15 Just Energy Ontario L.P Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3607 15-21-LNG 03/19/15 Gulf LNG Energy, L.L.C Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources. 3608 15-22-NG 03/19/15 Planet Energy Corp Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3609 15-24-NG 03/19/15 Hudson Energy Services LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3610 15-26-NG 03/19/15 St. Lawrence Gas Company Inc Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3611 15-27-NG 03/19/15 Spark Energy Canada Corp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3612 15-29-NG 03/19/15 United States Gypsum Company Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3613 15-30-LNG 03/19/15 Diverse-NRG, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export LNG from/to Mexico by truck. 3614 15-32-LNG 03/19/15 Excelerate Energy Gas Marketing, Limited Partnership Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3615 15-34-NG 03/19/15 NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. Errata 15-27-NG 03/26/15 Spark Energy Power Canada Corp Errata correcting the effective date in DOE/FE Order No. 3611 in Ordering Paragraph A issued 3/19/15. 3616 15-31-NG 03/26/15 Hartree Partners, L.P. (formerly Hess Energy Trading Company, LLC) Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada and vacating prior authority. 3617 15-41-NG 03/26/15 El Paso Marketing Company L.L.C Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3618 15-43-NG 03/26/15 Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25230 Filed 10-2-15; 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, Vacating Prior Authorization, and Errata During February 2015 FE Docket Nos. ALPHA GAS AND ELECTRIC, LLC 14-195-NG ENN CANADA CORPORATION 14-197-LNG ENCANA NATURAL GAS INC 13-152-LNG TOTAL GAS & POWER NORTH AMERICA, INC 15-02-NG PROGAS USA INC 15-04-NG SELKIRK COGEN PARTNERS L.P 15-09-NG SOCIETE GENERALE ENERGY INC 15-10-NG PUGET SOUND ENERGY, INC 15-11-LNG SABINE PASS LIQUEFACTION, LLC 14-92-LNG SABINE PASS LIQUEFACTION, LLC 14-92-LNG FORTISBC ENERGY INC 14-196-NG CITIGROUP ENERGY CANADA ULC 15-03-NG SEQUENT ENERGY CANADA CORP 15-05-NG GAS NATURAL APROVISIONAMIENTOS SDG, S.A 15-07-NG 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 February 2015, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), vacating prior authorization, and errata. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2015.

    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 29, 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 3588 14-195-NG 02/04/15 Alpha Gas and Electric, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3589 14-197-LNG 02/04/15 ENN Canada Corporation Order granting blanket authority to export LNG to Canada by truck. 3378-A 13-152-LNG 02/12/15 Encana Natural Gas Inc. Order vacating authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3590 15-02-NG 02/12/15 Total Gas & Power North America, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico, and to import LNG from various international sources. 3591 15-04-NG 02/12/15 ProGas USA Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3592 15-09-NG 02/12/15 Selkirk Cogen Partners L.P Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3593 15-10-NG 02/12/15 Societe Generale Energy Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico, to import LNG from Canada/Mexico by truck, to export LNG to Canada/Mexico by vessel/truck, and to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3594 15-11-LNG 02/12/15 Puget Sound Energy, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from Canada by truck. 3595 14-92-LNG 02/12/15 Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to Free Trade Agreement nations. Errata 14-92-LNG 02/24/15 Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC Modification of Order 3595. 3596 14-196-NG 02/26/15 FortisBC Energy Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3597 15-03-NG 02/26/15 Citigroup Energy Canada ULC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3598 15-05-NG 02/26/15 Sequent Energy Canada Corp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3599 15-07-NG 02/26/15 Gas Natural Aprovisionamientos SDG, S.A Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25228 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice and Request for Comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE), pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to extend for three years, an information collection request with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The information collection request, Historic Preservation for Energy Efficiency Programs, was initially approved on December 1, 2010 under OMB Control No. 1910-5155 and will expire on September 30, 2015. The extension will allow DOE to continue data collection on the status of Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program (SEP) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program activities to ensure compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the extended 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 collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before December 4, 2015. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to: Christine Platt Patrick, EE-2K, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, Email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Platt Patrick, EE-2K, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, Email: [email protected].

    Additional information and reporting guidance concerning the Historic Preservation reporting requirement for the WAP, SEP and EECBG Program are available for review at the following Web site:http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/historic_preservation.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. 1910-5155; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Historic Preservation for Energy Efficiency Programs; (3) Type of Review: Extension; (4) Purpose: To collect data on the status of the WAP, SEP, and EECBG Program activities to ensure compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA; (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,473; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 2,473; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 5,264; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: 0.

    Statutory Authority:

    (Pub. L. 89-665)

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25225 Filed 10-2-15; 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, Amending Authorization, and Errata During January 2015 AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    FE Docket Nos. STABILIS ENERGY SERVICES LLC 14-84-LNG MPOWER ENERGY LLC 14-175-NG TECHGEN S.A. DE C.V 14-94-NG ENI USA GAS MARKETING LLC 14-201-LNG CARGILL, INCORPORATED 14-180-NG MERRILL LYNCH COMMODITIES CANADA, ULC 14-198-NG IRVING OIL TERMINALS INC 14-200-NG CHENIERE MARKETING, LLC 14-186-NG TRANSALTA ENERGY MARKETING CORP 14-202-NG MANSFIELD POWER AND GAS, LLC 15-01-NG NORTH DAKOTA LNG, LLC 14-203-LNG GAS NATURAL PUERTO RICO, INC 14-205-LNG JD IRVING LIMITED 14-207-NG MARITIMES NG SUPPLY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 14-208-NG DYNEGY MARKETING AND TRADE, LLC 15-06-NG SOCIETE GENERALE ENERGY LLC 14-08-NG SEMPRA LNG MARKETING, LLC 14-177-LNG SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during January 2015, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas (NG), to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG), amending authorization, and errata. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://energy.gov/fe/downloads/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-issued-2015. 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 28, 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 Errata 01/05/15 14-84-LNG Stabilis Energy Services Modification to include Agency Rights. Errata 01/08/15 14-175-NG MPower Energy LLC Modification to increase requested authority. Errata 01/08/15 14-94-NG Techgen S.A. de C.V Amending authorization. 3574 01/15/15 14-201-LNG ENI USA Gas Marketing LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3575 01/08/15 14-180-NG Cargill, Incorporated Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico, to import LNG from Canada/Mexico by truck, to export LNG to Canada/Mexico by vessel, and to import LNG from various sources by vessel. 3576 01/08/15 14-198-NG Merrill Lynch Commodities Canada, ULC Order granting blanket authority export natural gas to Canada. 3577 01/08/15 14-200-NG Irving Oil Terminals Inc Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3578 01/08/15 14-186-NG Cheniere Marketing, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico, to export LNG to Canada/Mexico, and to import LNG from various international sources. 3579 01/15/15 14-202-NG TransAlta Energy Marketing Corp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3580 01/15/15 15-01-NG Mansfield Power and Gas, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3581 01/29/15 14-203-LNG North Dakota LNG, LLC Order granting blanket authority to export LNG to Canada by truck. 3582 01/29/15 14-205-LNG Gas Natural Puerto Rico, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3583 01/29/15 14-207-NG JD Irving Limited Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3584 01/29/15 14-208-NG Maritimes NG Supply Limited Partnership Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3585 01/29/15 15-06-NG Dynegy Marketing and Trade LLC Order granting blanket authority import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3586 01/29/15 14-08-NG Societe Generale Energy LLC Order granting blanket authority to Import/Export Natural Gas from/to Canada/Mexico, to Import LNG from Canada/Mexico by Truck, to Export LNG to Canada/Mexico by Vessel/Truck, and to Import LNG from Various Sources by Vessel. 3587 01/30/15 14-177-LNG Sempra LNG Marketing, LLC Order granting blanket authority to export Previously Imported LNG by vessel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25227 Filed 10-2-15; 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 and To Vacate Prior Authorization During December 2014 AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    FE DOCKET NOS. SEAONE PASCAGOULA, LLC 14-83-CGL BP ENERGY COMPANY 14-160-NG VITOL INC 14-166-NG DIRECT ENERGY BUSINESS MARKETING, INC 14-170-NG ALASKA PIPELINE COMPANY 14-182-NG ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY 14-184-NG STAND ENERGY CORPORATION 14-185-NG H.Q. ENERGY SERVICES (U.S.) INC 13-20-NG SPRAGUE OPERATING RESOURCES LLC 14-168-NG MPOWER ENERGY LLC 14-175-NG COMISION FEDERAL DE ELECTRICIDAD 14-183-NG INTEGRYS ENERGY SERVICES, INC 14-187-NG SCT&E LNG, INC 14-89-LNG FREEPORT LNG EXPANSION, L.P. AND FLNG LIQUEFACTION, LLC, FLNG LIQUEFACTION, LLC 2), FLNG LIQUEFACTION, LLC 3 11-161-LNG CHEVRON U.S.A. INC 14-119-LNG UGI ENERGY SERVICES, LLC 14-158-NG POWEREX CORP 14-188-NG HUSKY MARKETING AND SUPPLY COMPANY 14-189-NG FERUS NATURAL GAS FUELS (CNG) LLC 14-190-NG DOMINION COVE POINT LNG, LP 14-192-LNG ROYAL BANK OF CANADA 14-193-NG SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during December 2014, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas (NG), to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and to vacate prior authority. These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site athttp://energy.gov/fe/downloads/listing-doefe-authorizationsorders-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 28, 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 3555 12/02/14 14-83-CGL SeaOne Pascagoula, LLC Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export by vessel natural gas contained in or mixed with Compressed Gas Liquid from the proposed Pascagoula Compressed Gas Liquid Export Facility to be located at the Port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Free Trade Agreement Nations in the Caribbean Basin and Gulf of Mexico. 3556 12/04/14 14-160-NG BP Energy Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3557 12/04/14 14-166-NG Vitol Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3558 12/04/14 14-170-NG Direct Energy Business Marketing, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3559 12/04/14 14-182-NG Alaska Pipeline Company Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3560 12/04/14 14-184-NG Arizona Public Service Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3561 12/04/14 14-185-NG Stand Energy Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3250-A 12/11/14 13-20-NG H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc Order vacating blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3562 12/11/14 14-168-NG Sprague Operating Resources LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3563 12/11/14 14-175-NG MPower Energy LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3564 12/11/14 14-183-NG Comision Federal de Electricidad Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico and vacating prior authorization. 3565 12/11/14 14-187-NG Integrys Energy Services, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3566 12/15/14 14-89-LNG SCT&E LNG, LLC Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the proposed SCT&E LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to Free Trade Agreement Nations. Unnumbered 12/22/14 11-161-LNG Freeport LNG Expansion L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC FLNG Liquefaction 3, LLC Tolling Order granting Request for Rehearing and Motion for Leave to Answer for the Purpose of Further Consideration. 3567 12/22/14 14-119-LNG Chevron U.S.A. Inc Order granting blanket authority to export previously imported LNG by vessel. 3568 12/31/14 14-158-NG UGI Energy Services, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada, and to import LNG from Canada by truck. 3569 12/31/14 14-188-NG Powerex Corp. Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3570 12/31/14 14-189-NG Husky Marketing and Supply Company Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3571 12/31/14 14-190-NG Ferus Natural Gas Fuels (CNG) LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3572 12/31/14 14-192-LNG Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3573 12/31/14 14-193-NG Royal Bank of Canada Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25226 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9023-3] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 09/28/2015 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9.

    Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at:https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20150283, Draft, NOAA, LA, PROGRAMMATIC—Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, Comment Period Ends: 12/04/2015, Contact: Courtney Groeneveld 301-427-8666 Dated: September 28, 2015. Karin Leff, Acting Director,NEPA Compliance Division,Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2015-24929 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW_2008-0719; FRL-9935-28-OW] Proposed Information Collection Requests; Comment Requests AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit three information collection requests (ICRs): “Information Collection Request for Cooling Water Intake Structures New Facility Final Rule (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1973.06, OMB Control No. 2040-0241); “ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request: National Pretreatment Program” (EPA ICR No. 0002.15, OMB Control No. 2040-0009); and “ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0229.21, OMB Control No. 2040-0004) 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 collections as described below. This is a proposed extension of the three ICRs, which are currently approved through December 31, 2015. 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 December 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing the Docket ID numbers provided for each item in the text online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected] (Identify Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719 in the subject line), 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:

    Amelia Letnes, State and Regional Branch, Water Permits Division, OWM Mail Code: 4203M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-5627; fax number: (202) 564 9544; 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.

    A. List of ICRS Planned To Be Submitted (1) “Information Collection Request for Cooling Water Intake Structures New Facility Final Rule (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1973.06, OMB Control No. 2040-0241), expiration date: December 31, 2015. Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OW_2008-0719 (2) “ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request for National Pretreatment Program” (EPA ICR No. 0002.15, OMB Control No. 2040-0009), expiration date: December 31, 2015. Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OW_2008-0719 (3) “ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0229.21, OMB Control No. 2040-0004), expiration date: December 31, 2015. Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OW_2008-0719 B. Individual ICRS (1) Information Collection Request for Cooling Water Intake Structures New Facility Final Rule (Renewal) (EPA ICR No. 1973.06, OMB Control No. 2040-0241), expiration date: December 31, 2015

    Abstract: Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) provides that “[a]ny standard established pursuant to [CWA section 301] or [CWA section 306] and applicable to a point source shall require that the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact.” The section 316(b) New Facility Rule (66 FR 65256; December 18, 2001) and minor amendments (68 FR 36749; June 19, 2003) implement section 316(b) of the CWA as it applies to new facilities that use cooling water intake structures (CWISs). The rule requires new facilities to submit several distinct types of information as part of their NPDES permit application. In addition, the rule requires new facilities to maintain monitoring and reporting data as outlined by the Director in their NPDES permits. The information requirements in this ICR are necessary to ensure that new facilities are complying with the rule's provisions, and thereby minimizing adverse environmental impact resulting from impingement and entrainment losses due to the withdrawal of cooling water.

    Applications for an NPDES permit may contain confidential business information. However, EPA does not consider the specific information being requested by the final rule to be typical of confidential business or personal information. If a respondent does consider this information to be of a confidential nature, the respondent may request that such information be treated as confidential. All confidential data will be handled in accordance with 40 CFR 122.7, 40 CFR part 2, and EPA's Security Manual part III, chapter 9, dated August 9, 1976.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Respondents affected include any new industrial facility that operates a cooling water intake structure that withdraws greater than 2 MGD of surface water and uses 25% or more of this water for cooling purposes. While respondents for this ICR would include any new facilities that meet the applicable requirements of the rule, EPA estimates that there are six primary industrial sectors that account for more than 99 percent of all cooling water used in the United States: (1) Traditional steam electric utilities, (2) nonutility power producers, (3) manufacturers in SIC Major Group 26 (paper and allied products), (4) manufacturers in SIC Major Group 28 (chemicals and allied products), (5) manufacturers in SIC Major Group 29 (petroleum and coal products, and (6) manufacturers in SIC Major Group 33 (primary metals). A detailed description of the SIC (and NAICS) codes can be found at 66 FR 65257.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory—Section 316(b) New Facility Rule (66 FR 65256; December 18, 2001) and minor amendments (68 FR 36749; June 19, 2003).

    Estimated number of respondents: The estimated number of respondents is 145 (total).

    Frequency of response: The frequency of response varies depending on the specific response activity and can range between monthly and once every 5 years.

    Total estimated burden: 151,789 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $11,817,460 (per year), includes $2,267,728 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: There is a net increase of 13,367 hours (10%) in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is primarily due to the addition of the newly built facilities and an increase in the number of facilities are entering the renewal phase of the permitting process.

    (2) ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request: National Pretreatment Program” (EPA ICR No. 0002.15, OMB Control No. 2040-0009), expiration date: December 31, 2015.

    Abstract: This ICR calculates the burden and costs associated with managing and implementing the National Pretreatment Program as mandated under sections 402(a) and (b) and 307(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA or the Act). This ICR includes all existing tasks under the National Pretreatment Program, as amended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Streamlining Rule. Section 402(b) of CWA requires EPA to develop national pretreatment standards to control industrial discharges into sewage systems. The purpose of these standards is to prevent pollutants from passing through the treatment plant or interfering with treatment plant operations, possibly resulting in damage to the environment or a threat to public health.

    Reporting requirements may contain CBI, proprietary information, or information containing compromising trade secrets. In such cases, the respondent has the right to request that the information be treated as CBI. If a respondent does consider this information to be of a confidential nature, the respondent may request that such information be treated as confidential. All confidential data will be handled in accordance with 40 CFR 122.7, 40 CFR part 2, and EPA's Security Manual part III, chapter 9, dated August 9, 1976.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Various industrial categories, publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), Local and State governments.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory—Sections 402(a) and (b) and 307(b) of the CWA.

    Estimated number of respondents: The estimated number of respondents is 23,571 (total).

    Frequency of response: The frequency of response varies depending on the specific response activity and can range between monthly and once every 5 years.

    Total estimated burden: 1,744,406 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $77,907,187 (per year), includes $2,515,470 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: There is a net decrease of 62,110 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This change is primarily the result of revised estimates of the number of SIUs, including facilities that closed, facilities that were downgraded from CIU or SIU status, and the addition of facilities that opened or are newly permitted. The reduction also reflects a reduction in the number of POTWs projected to develop a pretreatment program during the three-year ICR period.

    (3) ICR Supporting Statement Information Collection Request for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program (Renewal) (EPA ICR No. 0229.21, OMB Control No. 2040-0004), expiration date: December 31, 2015.

    Abstract: This consolidated ICR calculates the burden and costs associated with the NPDES program, identifies the types of activities regulated under the NPDES program, describes the roles and responsibilities of state governments and the Agency, and presents the program areas that address the various types of regulated activities. It is an update of the 2011 Information Collection Request for the NPDES Program (OMB Control Number: 2040-0004; EPA ICR Number: 0229.20) that consolidated the burden and costs associated with activities previously reported in ten of the 15 NPDES program or NPDES-related ICRs administered by EPA's Water Permits Division. This renewal includes the addition of the burden and costs for the Airport Deicing Category, which were previously contained in a separate ICR.

    Permit applications and other respondent reports may contain confidential business information. If a respondent does consider this information to be of a confidential nature, the respondent may request that such information be treated as confidential. All confidential data will be handled in accordance with 40 CFR 122.7, 40 CFR part 2, and EPA's Security Manual part III, chapter 9, dated August 9, 1976.

    Form Numbers: OMB No. 2040-0086; OMB No. 2040-0250; OMB No. 2040-0188, OMB No. 2040-0211; OMB No. 1004-0189; and OMB No. 2040-0004.

    Respondents/affected entities: Any industrial point source discharger of pollutants, including but not limited to publicly owned and privately owned treatment works (POTWs and PrOTWs), sewage sludge management and disposal operations, small and large vessels, airports with deicing operations, dischargers of stormwater, construction sites, municipalities, local and state governments.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory. Sections 301, 302, 304, 306, 307, 308, 401, 402, 403, 405, and 510 of the CWA; the 1987 Water Quality Act (WQA) revisions to CWA section 402(p); 40 (CFR) Parts 122, 123, 124, and 125 (and Parts 501 and 503 for Biosolids); and the Great Lakes Critical Programs Act (CPA).

    Estimated number of respondents: 532,523 total (321,205 facilities, 210,681 vessels, and 637 States/Tribes/Territories).

    Frequency of response: The frequency of response varies depending on the specific response activity and can range from ongoing and monthly to once every 5 years.

    Total estimated burden: 21,038,480 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,035,773,445 (per year), includes $20,453,959 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: There is a net decrease of 286,261 (1.3%) hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease is primarily due to a reduction in the estimate of the number of respondents. This net reduction included an increase in burden related to: The addition of the burden associated with the airport deicing category; changes in the burden associated with agency actions related to changes in the VGP; and addition of burden associated with the issuance of the small vessels general permit (sVGP).

    Dated: September 24, 2015. Andrew D. Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25345 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-SFUND-2005-0007, FRL-9935-26-OSWER; EPA ICR Number 1426.11, OMB Control Number 2050-0105] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; EPA Worker Protection Standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2005-0007 by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: 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 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sella M. Burchette, U.S. Environmental Response Team, MS 101, Building 205, Edison, NJ 08837, telephone number: 732-321-6726; fax number: 732-321-6724; 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 specifically solicits 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: Section 126(f) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) requires EPA to set worker protection standards for State and local employees engaged in hazardous waste operations and emergency response in the 27 States that do not have Occupational Safety and Health Administration approved State plans. The EPA coverage, as cited in 40 CFR 311, required to be identical to the OSHA standards, extends to three categories of employees: Those engaged in clean-ups at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, including corrective actions at Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities regulated under the Resource Conservation and recovery Act (RCRA); employees working on routine hazardous waste operations at RCRA TSD facilities; and employees involved in emergency response operations without regard to location. This ICR renews existing mandatory record keeping collection of ongoing activities including monitoring of any potential employee exposure at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, maintaining records of employee training, refresher training, medical exams and reviewing emergency response plans.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are those State and local employees engaged in hazardous waste operations and emergency response in the 27 States that do not have Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) approved State plans.

    Respondent's Obligation To Respond: 40 CFR part 311 has no reporting requirements. There are record keeping requirements by inference in Section (e) and by statue in Section (f)[8] of OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.120.

    Estimated Total Number of Respondents: 24,000.

    Frequency of Response: Annually recordkeeping. No response required to Agency.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 255,427 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Costs: $3,528,888, which is entirely for labor. There are no capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

    Changes in Estimates: These burden estimates reflect what is currently approved by OMB, without change. EPA will provide revised burden estimates when the second comment period for this ICR is opened. However, as the universe and regulations have not changed, EPA does not anticipate any substantive changes to the burden figures.

    Dated: September 24, 2015. James E. Woolford, Director, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25323 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10033, Suburban Federal Savings Bank Crofton, Maryland

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Suburban Federal Savings Bank, Crofton, Maryland (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Suburban Federal Savings Bank on January 30, 2009. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 32.1, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Dated: September 30, 2015. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25253 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10239, Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, Missouri

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, Missouri (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Southwest Community Bank on May 14, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 32.1, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25143 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC intends to ask the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) to extend for an additional three years the current Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) clearance 1 for the information collection requirements in the FTC Red Flags, Card Issuers, and Address Discrepancies Rules 2 (“Rules”). That clearance expires on December 31, 2015.3

    1 OMB Control No. 3084-0137.

    2 16 CFR 681.1; 16 CFR 681.2; 16 CFR part 641.

    3 The related preceding Federal Register Notice, 80 FR 42806 (Jul. 20, 2015) (“July 20, 2015 Notice”), erroneously stated that existing clearance expires November 30, 2015.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Red Flags Rule, PRA Comment, Project No. P095406” on your comment. File your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RedFlagsPRA2 by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be addressed to Steven Toporoff, Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, (202) 326-2252, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Red Flags Rule, 16 CFR 681.1; Card Issuers Rule, 16 CFR 681.2; Address Discrepancy Rule, 16 CFR part 641

    OMB Control Number: 3084-0137

    Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection

    Abstract: The Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions and certain creditors to develop and implement written Identity Theft Prevention Programs. The Card Issuers Rule requires credit and debit card issuers to assess the validity of notifications of address changes under certain circumstances. The Address Discrepancy Rule provides guidance on what users of consumer reports must do when they receive a notice of address discrepancy from a nationwide consumer reporting agency. Collectively, these three anti-identity theft provisions are intended to prevent impostures from misusing another person's personal information for a fraudulent purpose.

    The Rules implement sections 114 and 315 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., to require businesses to undertake measures to prevent identity theft and increase the accuracy of consumer reports.

    The Commission received no relevant public comments on the Rules' information collection requirements and FTC staff's associated PRA burden analysis and estimates that appeared in the July 20, 2015 Federal Register Notice. That Notice discusses in greater detail staff's methodology behind the estimates restated here in summary form, while also providing an overview of the Rules' and the statutes that underlie them.

    Pursuant to the OMB regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, that implement the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., the FTC is providing a second opportunity for the public to comment on: (1) Whether the disclosure requirements are necessary, including whether the information will be practically useful; (2) the accuracy of our burden estimates, including whether the methodology and assumptions used are valid; (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.

    Estimated Annual Burden A Section 114: Red Flags and Card Issuers Rules: (1) Red Flags: (a) Estimated Number of Respondents: 162,3024

    4 This figure comprises 6,298 financial institutions and 156,004 creditors (95,030 high-risk entities, excluding financial institutions + 60,974 low-risk creditors). Due both to prior math error and mistakenly incorporating the tally of financial institutions with creditors, the July 20, 2015 Notice misstated the number of creditors as 162,295, instead of 156,004. The total number of financial institutions draws from FTC staff analysis of state credit unions and insurers within the FTC's jurisdiction using 2012 Census data (“County Business Patterns,” U.S.) and other online industry data. The total number of creditors draws from FTC staff analysis of 2012 Census data and industry data for businesses or organizations that market goods and services to consumers or other businesses or organizations subject to the FTC's jurisdiction, reduced by entities not likely to: (1) Obtain credit reports, report credit transactions, or advance loans; and (2) entities not likely to have covered accounts under the Rule.

    (i) High-Risk Entities 5 101,328

    5 High-risk entities include, for example, financial institutions within the FTC's jurisdiction and utilities, motor vehicle dealerships, telecommunications firms, colleges and universities, and hospitals.

    (ii) Low-Risk Entities: 60,974 6

    6 Low-risk entities include, for example, public warehouse and storage firms, nursing and residential care facilities, automotive equipment rental and leasing firms, office supplies and stationery stores, fuel dealers, and financial transactions processing firms.

    (b) Estimated Hours Burden:7

    7 See the July 20, 2015 Notice, 80 FR at 42808, for details underlying the Red Flags hours burden estimates.

    (i) High-Risk Entities: 1,317,264 hours. (ii) Low-Risk Entities: 37,601 hours.

    (2) Card Issuers Rule:

    (a) Estimated Number of Respondents: 16,301 8

    8 FTC staff estimates that the Rule affects as many as 16,301 card issues within the FTC's jurisdiction. This includes, for example, state credit unions, general retail merchandise stores, colleges and universities, and telecoms.

    (b) Estimated Hours Burden: 65,204 hours. (3) Combined Labor Cost Burden: $76,683,726. B. Section 315—Address Discrepancy Rule: 9

    9 See the July 20, 2015 Notice, 80 FR at 42809, for details underlying Section 315 and the Card Issuer Rule population and burden estimates.

    (1) Estimated Number of Respondents (a) Customer Verification: 1,875,275. (b) Address Verification: 10,000. (2) Estimated Hours Burden. (a) Customer Verification: 875,128 hours. (b) Address Verification: 1,667 hours. (3) Estimated Labor Cost Burden: $15,782,310. C. Capital/Non-Labor Costs for Sections 114 and 315

    FTC staff believes that the Rules impose negligible capital or other non-labor costs, as the affected entities are likely to have the necessary supplies and/or equipment already (e.g., offices and computers) for the information collections described herein.

    Request for Comment

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the FTC to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before November 4, 2015. Write “Red Flags Rule, PRA2, Project No. P095406” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment doesn't include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment doesn't include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, don't include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, don't include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).10 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    10 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online, or to send them to the Commission by courier or overnight service. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/RedFlagsPRA2 by following the instructions on the web-based form. When this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Red Flags Rule, PRA Comment, Project No. P095406,” on your comment and on the envelope. You can mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before November 4, 2015. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. For supporting documentation and other information underlying the PRA discussion in this Notice, see http://www.reginfo.gov/public/jsp/PRA/praDashboard.jsp.

    Comments on the information collection requirements subject to review under the PRA should additionally be submitted to OMB. If sent by U.S. mail, they should be addressed to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Trade Commission, New Executive Office Building, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Comments sent to OMB by U.S. postal mail, however, are subject to delays due to heightened security precautions. Thus, comments instead should be sent by facsimile to (202) 395-5806.

    David C. Shonka, Principal Deputy General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25257 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-OGP-2015-01; Docket 2015-0002; Sequence 17] Federal Management Regulation; Redesignation of Federal Building AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a bulletin.

    SUMMARY:

    The attached bulletin announces the redesignation of a Federal building.

    DATES:

    This bulletin expires April 5, 2016. The building redesignation remains in effect until canceled or superseded by another bulletin.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), Attn: Carolyn Austin-Diggs, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, at 202-219-1800, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This bulletin announces the redesignation of a Federal building. Public Law 114-16, 129 STAT. 200, dated May 22, 2015, designated the United States Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry located at First Street and Pan American Avenue in Douglas, Arizona, as the “Raul Hector Castro Port of Entry.”

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Denise Turner Roth, Administrator of General Services. General Services Administration Redesignation of Federal Building OGP-2015-01 TO: Heads of Federal Agencies SUBJECT: Redesignation of Federal Building

    1. What is the purpose of this bulletin? This bulletin announces the redesignation of a Federal building.

    2. When does this bulletin expire? This bulletin announcement expires April 5, 2016. The building designation remains in effect until canceled or superseded by another bulletin.

    3. Redesignation. The former and new name of the redesignated building is as follows:

    Former name New name United States Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry Raul Hector Castro Port of Entry. First Street and Pan American Avenue, Douglas, Arizona First Street and Pan American Avenue, Douglas, Arizona.

    4. Who should we contact for further information regarding redesignation of this Federal building? U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), Attn: Carolyn Austin-Diggs, 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone number: 202-219-1800, or email at [email protected]

    Denise Turner Roth, Administrator of General Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25152 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (P.L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce the following meeting for the aforementioned committee:

    Times and Dates 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., November 5, 2015 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., November 6, 2015

    Place: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Communications Center, Building 19, Auditorium B, 1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the space available. Please register for the meeting at www.cdc.gov/hicpac.

    Purpose: The Committee is charged with providing advice and guidance to the Director, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, the Director, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), the Director, CDC, the Secretary, Health and Human Services regarding (1) the practice of healthcare infection prevention and control; (2) strategies for surveillance, prevention, and control of infections, antimicrobial resistance, and related events in settings where healthcare is provided; and (3) periodic updating of CDC guidelines and other policy statements regarding prevention of healthcare-associated infections and healthcare-related conditions.

    Matters for Discussion: The agenda will include updates on CDC's activities for prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HAIs), updates on hospital antimicrobial stewardship activities, improving reprocessing of medical devices in healthcare settings, infection control practice improvements.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person for More Information: Erin Stone, M.S., HICPAC, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, NCEZID, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop A-07, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Telephone (404) 639-4045. Email: [email protected].

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    [FR Doc. 2015-25213 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-0949] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Occupational Safety and Health Program Elements in the Wholesale Retail Trade Sector—Extension—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    For the current study, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (OBWC) have been collaborating to examine the association between survey-assessed Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program elements (organizational policies, procedures, practices) and workers compensation (WC) injury/illness outcomes in a stratified sample of OBWC-insured wholesale/retail trade (WRT) firms. Crucial OSH program elements with particularly high impact on WC losses will be identified in this study and disseminated to the WRT sector.

    There are expected to be up to 4,404 participants per year. Surveys are being administered twice to the same firms in successive years (e.g. from January-December 2014 and again from January-December 2015). An individual responsible for the OSH program at each firm is being asked to complete a survey that includes a background section related to respondent and company demographics and a main section where individuals are being asked to evaluate organizational metrics related to their firm's OSH program. The firm-level survey data will be linked to five years of retrospective injury and illness WC claims data and two years of prospective injury and illness WC claims data from OBWC to determine which organizational metrics are related to firm-level injury and illness WC claim rates. A nested study is asking multiple respondents at a subset of 60 firms to participate by completing surveys. A five-minute interview will be conducted with a 10% sample of non-responders (up to 792 individuals).

    In order to maximize efficiency and reduce burden, a Web-based survey is proposed for the majority (95%) of survey data collection. Collected information will be used to determine whether a significant relationship exists between self-reported firm OSH elements and firm WC outcomes while controlling for covariates. Once the study is completed, benchmarking reports about OSH elements that have the highest impact on WC losses in the WRT sector will be made available through the NIOSH-OBWC Internet sites and peer-reviewed publications.

    In summary, this study will determine the effectiveness of OSH program elements in the WRT sector and enable evidence-based prevention practices to be shared with the greatest audience possible. NIOSH expects to complete data collection in 2018. There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Safety and Health Managers Occupational Safety and Health Program Survey 4,404 1 20/60 Informed Consent Form 4,404 1 2/60 Non Responder Interview 792 1 5/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25194 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel: Initial review

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PS16-001, Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) to Build HIV Prevention Treatment and Research Capacity in Disproportionately Affected Black and Hispanic Communities and Among Historically Underrepresented Researchers.

    DATES:

    10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., December 9-10, 2015 (Closed).

    ADDRESSES:

    Teleconference.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Anderson, M.S., M.P.H., Scientific Review Officer, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop E60, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Telephone: (404) 718-8833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c)(4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) to Build HIV Prevention Treatment and Research Capacity in Disproportionately Affected Black and Hispanic Communities and Among Historically Underrepresented Researchers”, FOA PS16-001.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25274 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket No. CDC-2015-0016] Final Revised Vaccine Information Materials for Seasonal Influenza Vaccines AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) (42 U.S.C. 300aa-26), the HHS/CDC must develop vaccine information materials that all health care providers are required to give to patients/parents prior to administration of specific vaccines. On May 20, 2015, CDC published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 29009) seeking public comments on proposed new vaccine information materials for inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines. Following review of comments submitted and consultation as required under the law, CDC has finalized the materials. Copies of the final vaccine information materials for inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines are available to download from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html or http://www.regulations.gov (see Docket Number CDC-2015-0016).

    DATES:

    Beginning no later than March 1, 2016, each health care provider who administers any seasonal influenza vaccine to any child or adult in the United States shall provide copies of the relevant revised vaccine information materials contained in this notice, in conformance with the August 7, 2015 CDC Instructions for the Use of Vaccine Information Statements prior to providing such vaccinations. These revised vaccine information materials may also be used earlier than that date. Prior to March 1, 2016, the previous edition of these two VISs can be used.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Suzanne Johnson-DeLeon ([email protected]), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop A-19, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-660), as amended by section 708 of Public Law 103-183, added section 2126 to the Public Health Service Act. Section 2126, codified at 42 U.S.C. 300aa-26, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and disseminate vaccine information materials for distribution by all health care providers in the United States to any patient (or to the parent or legal representative in the case of a child) receiving vaccines covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

    Development and revision of the vaccine information materials, also known as Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), have been delegated by the Secretary to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Section 2126 requires that the materials be developed, or revised, after notice to the public, with a 60-day comment period, and in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, appropriate health care provider and parent organizations, and the Food and Drug Administration. The law also requires that the information contained in the materials be based on available data and information, be presented in understandable terms, and include:

    (1) A concise description of the benefits of the vaccine,

    (2) A concise description of the risks associated with the vaccine,

    (3) A statement of the availability of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and

    (4) Such other relevant information as may be determined by the Secretary.

    The vaccines initially covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program were diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and poliomyelitis vaccines. Since April 15, 1992, any health care provider in the United States who intends to administer one of these covered vaccines is required to provide copies of the relevant vaccine information materials prior to administration of any of these vaccines. Since then, the following vaccines have been added to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, requiring use of vaccine information materials for them as well: Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), varicella (chickenpox), pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningococcal, human papillomavirus (HPV), and seasonal influenza vaccines. Instructions for use of the vaccine information materials are found on the CDC Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html.

    Revised Vaccine Information Materials

    The revised inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccine information materials referenced in this notice were developed in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, the Food and Drug Administration, and parent and healthcare provider organizations. Following consultation and review of comments submitted, the vaccine information materials covering inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccine have been finalized and are available to download from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html or http://www.regulations.gov (see Docket Number CDC-2015-0016). The Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), are: “Influenza (Flu) Vaccine (Inactivated or Recombinant): What you need to know” (publication date August 7, 2015) and “Influenza (Flu) Vaccine (Live, Intranasal): What you need to know” (publication date August 7, 2015).

    With publication of this notice, as of March 1, 2016, all health care providers will be required to provide copies of these updated inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccine information materials prior to immunization in conformance with HHS/CDC's August 7, 2015 Instructions for the Use of Vaccine Information Statements. Prior to that date, the previous edition of these two VISs can be used.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Sandra Cashman, Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat, Office of the Chief of Staff, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25159 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10565] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by November 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395 -5806 or Email: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Off-cycle Submission of Summaries of Model of Care Changes; Use: All Medicare Advantage (MA) Special Needs Plans (SNPs) must be approved by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The SNPs must submit Models of Care (MOC) as a component of the Medicare Advantage application process. Approval is based on NCQA's evaluation of SNPs using MOC scoring guidelines. Based on their scores, SNPs receive an approval for a period of 1-, 2-, or 3-years. We are developing an MOC off-cycle revision process so that SNPs can revise the MOC to modify its processes and strategies for providing care during their MOC approval period. We will require that SNPs submit summaries of their MOC revisions to CMS for NCQA evaluation when a SNP makes significant changes to its MOC as described in the annual Announcement of Medicare Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Policies and Final Call letter for CY 2015 and CY2016. The NCQA will review the summary of changes to verify that the revisions are consistent with the acceptable, high quality standards as included in the original approved MOC. The package has been revised subsequent to the publication of the 60-day Federal Register notice (June 17, 2015; 80 FR 34647). Form Number: CMS-10565 (OMB control number 0938-New); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions); Number of Respondents: 313; Total Annual Responses: 421; Total Annual Hours: 2,400. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Susan Radke at 410-786-4450).

    Dated: September 30, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25212 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0045] International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Ketamine and Nine Other Substances; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of 10 drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by October 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0045 for International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Ketamine; Phenazepam; Etizolam; 1-cyclohexyl-4-(1,2-diphenylethyl)-piperazine (MT-45); N-(1-Phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide (Acetylfentanyl); α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP); 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA); para-Methyl-4-methylaminorex (4,4'-DMAR); para-Methoxymethylamphetamine (PMMA); 2-(ethylamino)-2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-cyclohexanone (Methoxetamine or MXE); Request for Comments. Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION”. The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James R. Hunter, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Controlled Substance Staff, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 5150, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3156, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The United States is a party to the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (Psychotropic Convention). Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention provides that if a party to the convention or WHO has information about a substance, which in its opinion may require international control or change in such control, it shall so notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations (the U.N. Secretary-General) and provide the U.N. Secretary-General with information in support of its opinion.

    Section 201 of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811) (Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970) provides that when WHO notifies the United States under Article 2 of the Psychotropic Convention that it has information that may justify adding a drug or other substances to one of the schedules of the Psychotropic Convention, transferring a drug or substance from one schedule to another, or deleting it from the schedules, the Secretary of State must transmit the notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary of HHS). The Secretary of HHS must then publish the notice in the Federal Register and provide opportunity for interested persons to submit comments that will be considered by HHS in its preparation of the scientific and medical evaluations of the drug or substance.

    II. WHO Notification

    The Secretary of HHS received the following notice from WHO (emphasis removed):

    Ref.: C.L.28.2015

    The World Health Organization (WHO) presents its compliments to Member States and Associate Members and has the pleasure of informing that the Thirty-sixth Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) will meet in Geneva from 16 to 20 November 2015 to review a number of substances with potential for dependence, abuse and harm to health, and will make recommendations to the U.N. Secretary-General, on the need for and level of international control of these substances.

    At its 126th session in January 2010, the Executive Board approved the publication “Guidance on the WHO review of psychoactive substances for international control” (EB126/2010/REC1, Annex 6) which requires the Secretariat to request relevant information from Ministers of Health in Member States to prepare a report for submission to the ECDD. For this purpose, a questionnaire was designed to gather information on the legitimate use, harmful use, status of national control and potential impact of international control for each substance under evaluation. Member States are invited to collaborate, as in the past, in this process by providing pertinent information as requested in the questionnaire and concerning substances under review.

    It would be appreciated if a person from the Ministry of Health could be designated as the focal point responsible for coordinating and answering the questionnaire. It is requested that the focal point's contact details (including email address) be emailed to: [email protected] The designated focal point, and only this person, should access and complete the questionnaires via these links:

    1. Ketamine INN—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/961512/lang-en 2. Phenazepam—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/482684/lang-en 3. Etizolam—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/278963/lang-en 4. MT-45—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/465468/lang-en 5. Acetylfentanyl—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/495475/lang-en 6. α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP)—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/758275/lang-en 7. 4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA)—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/538126/lang-en 8. para-Methyl-4-methylaminorex (4,4'-DMAR)—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/422472/lang-en 9. para-Methoxymethylamphetamine (PMMA)—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/665818/lang-en 10. Methoxetamine (MXE)—https://extranet.who.int/dataform/266376/lang-en

    Upon accessing the links the focal point will be prompted for a token (password) which is the country name in English, non-case sensitive and without spaces.

    For ease of reference a PDF version of the questionnaire in English, French and Spanish may be downloaded from the link http://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/ecdd/en/. Further clarification regarding the questionnaire may be obtained from the Secretariat by emailing: [email protected]

    Replies to the questionnaire must reach the Secretariat by 15 October 2015 in order to facilitate analyses and preparation of the report before the planned meeting. Where there is a competent National Authority under the International Drug Control Treaties, it is kindly requested that the questionnaire be completed in collaboration with such body.

    The summary information from the questionnaire will be published online as part of the report on the Web site for the 37th ECDD linked to the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products (EMP).

    The World Health Organization takes this opportunity to renew to Member States and Associate Members the assurance of its highest consideration.

    GENEVA, 11 September 2015

    FDA has verified the Web site addresses contained in the WHO notice, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    III. Substances Under WHO Review

    Ketamine is classified as a rapid-acting general anesthetic agent used for short diagnostic and surgical procedures that do not require skeletal muscle relaxation. It is marketed in the United States as an injectable product for medical and veterinary use. Ketamine is controlled in Schedule III of the CSA in the United States. It is not controlled internationally under either the Psychotropic Convention or the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence reviewed ketamine at its 34th, 35th, and 36th meetings. On March 13, 2015, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs decided by consensus to postpone the consideration of a proposal concerning the recommendation to place ketamine in Schedule IV of the Psychotropic Convention and to request additional information from the WHO.

    Phenazepam and Etizolam belong to a class of substances known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines produce central nervous system depression and are commonly used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and seizure disorders. Phenazepam and Etizolam are currently prescribed in some countries, but neither drug substance is approved for medical use or controlled in the United States under the CSA.

    1-cyclohexyl-4-(1,2-diphenylethyl)-piperazine (MT-45) is a synthetic opioid with potent analgesic activity comparable to morphine despite being structurally unrelated to most other opioids. MT-45 use has been associated with deaths in the United States and in other countries. MT-45 is not currently controlled in the United States under the CSA.

    Acetylfentanyl (N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide) is a potent opioid analgesic in the phenylpiperidine class of synthetic opioids. With the exception of its analgesic effects, this fentanyl-like substance is similar to other opioid analgesics that produce a variety of pharmacological effects, including alteration in mood, euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constriction of pupils (miosis), and impaired gastrointestinal motility. Acetylfentanyl has been associated with several confirmed deaths in the United States. On July 17, 2015, Acetylfentanyl was temporarily placed into Schedule I of the CSA for 2 years upon finding that it posed an imminent hazard to the public safety. The Attorney General, though, may extend this temporary scheduling for up to 1 year.

    α-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP or alpha-PVP) is a synthetic cathinone structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); cathinone; and other related substances. Effects reported by abusers of synthetic cathinone substances include euphoria; sense of well-being; and increased sociability, energy, empathy, alertness, and concentration and focus. Abusers also report experiencing unwanted effects such as tremor, vomiting, agitation, sweating, fever, and chest pain. Other adverse or toxic effects that have been reported with the abuse of synthetic cathinones include tachycardia, hypertension, hyperthermia, mydriasis, rhabdomyolysis, hyponatremia, seizures, altered mental status (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions), and even death. On March 7, 2014, alpha-PVP was temporarily placed into Schedule I of the CSA for 2 years upon finding that it posed an imminent hazard to the public safety. The Attorney General, though, may extend this temporary scheduling for up to 1 year.

    4-Fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) is a psychoactive substance of the phenethylamine and substituted amphetamine chemical classes and produces stimulant effects. 4-FA is not currently controlled in the United States under the CSA.

    Para-Methyl-4-methylaminorex (4,4'-DMAR) is a derivative of the stimulant drug 4-methylaminorex and has been involved in several deaths in the United States. 4,4'-DMAR is not currently controlled in the United States under the CSA.

    Para-Methoxymethylamphetamine (PMMA) is a substituted amphetamine of the phenethylamine class, as well as a structural analog of para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA) which produces effects similar but not identical to that of MDMA. PMMA is not currently controlled in the United States under the CSA.

    2-(ethylamino)-2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-cyclohexanone (Methoxetamine or MXE) is an arylcyclohexamine and is not currently controlled under the CSA in the United States. At its 36th meeting, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence noted the insufficiency of data regarding dependence, abuse, and risks to the public health, thereby recommending that Methoxetamine not be placed under international control but be kept under international surveillance.

    IV. Opportunity To Submit Domestic Information

    As required by section 201(d)(2)(A) of the CSA (21 U.S.C. 811(d)(2)(A)), FDA, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), invites interested persons to submit comments regarding the 10 named drugs. Any comments received will be considered by HHS when it prepares a scientific and medical evaluation of these drugs. HHS will forward a scientific and medical evaluation of these drugs to WHO, through the Secretary of State, for WHO's consideration in deciding whether to recommend international control/decontrol of any of these drugs. Such control could limit, among other things, the manufacture and distribution (import/export) of these drugs and could impose certain recordkeeping requirements on them.

    Although FDA is, through this notice, requesting comments from interested persons which will be considered by HHS when it prepares an evaluation of these drugs, HHS will not now make any recommendations to WHO regarding whether any of these drugs should be subjected to international controls. Instead, HHS will defer such consideration until WHO has made official recommendations to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which are expected to be made in early 2016. Any HHS position regarding international control of these drugs will be preceded by another Federal Register notice soliciting public comments, as required by section 201(d)(2)(B) of the CSA.

    V. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25201 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0559] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to this notice. This notice solicits comments on the collection of information contained in the Public Health Service (PHS) guideline entitled “PHS Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation” dated January 19, 2001.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by December 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0559 for “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION”. The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA'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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    PHS Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation OMB Control Number 0910-0456—Extension

    The statutory authority to collect this information is provided under sections 351 and 361 of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 262 and 264) and the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that apply to drugs (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.). The PHS guideline recommends procedures to diminish the risk of transmission of infectious agents to the xenotransplantation product recipient and to the general public. The PHS guideline is intended to address public health issues raised by xenotransplantation, through identification of general principles of prevention and control of infectious diseases associated with xenotransplantation that may pose a hazard to the public health. The collection of information described in this guideline is intended to provide general guidance on the following topics: (1) The development of xenotransplantation clinical protocols; (2) the preparation of submissions to FDA; and (3) the conduct of xenotransplantation clinical trials. Also, the collection of information will help ensure that the sponsor maintains important information in a cross-referenced system that links the relevant records of the xenotransplantation product recipient, xenotransplantation product, source animal(s), animal procurement center, and significant nosocomial exposures. The PHS guideline describes an occupational health service program for the protection of health care workers involved in xenotransplantation procedures, caring for xenotransplantation product recipients, and performing associated laboratory testing. The PHS guideline is intended to protect the public health and to help ensure the safety of using xenotransplantation products in humans by preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of infectious diseases associated with xenotransplantation.

    The PHS guideline also recommends that certain specimens and records be maintained for 50 years beyond the date of the xenotransplantation. These include: (1) Records linking each xenotransplantation product recipient with relevant health records of the source animal, herd or colony, and the specific organ, tissue, or cell type included in or used in the manufacture of the product (section 3.2.7.1); (2) aliquots of serum samples from randomly selected animal and specific disease investigations (section 3.4.3.1); (3) source animal biological specimens designated for PHS use (section 3.7.1); animal health records (section 3.7.2), including necropsy results (section 3.6.4); and (4) recipients' biological specimens (section 4.1.2). The retention period is intended to assist health care practitioners and officials in surveillance and in tracking the source of an infection, disease, or illness that might emerge in the recipient, the source animal, or the animal herd or colony after a xenotransplantation.

    The recommendation for maintaining records for 50 years is based on clinical experience with several human viruses that have presented problems in human to human transplantation and are therefore thought to share certain characteristics with viruses that may pose potential risks in xenotransplantation. These characteristics include long latency periods and the ability to establish persistent infections. Several also share the possibility of transmission among individuals through intimate contact with human body fluids. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Human T-lymphotropic virus are human retroviruses. Retroviruses contain ribonucleic acid that is reverse-transcribed into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) using an enzyme provided by the virus and the human cell machinery. That viral DNA can then be integrated into the human cellular DNA. Both viruses establish persistent infections and have long latency periods before the onset of disease; 10 years and 40 to 60 years, respectively. The human hepatitis viruses are not retroviruses, but several share with HIV the characteristic that they can be transmitted through body fluids, can establish persistent infections, and have long latency periods, e.g., approximately 30 years for hepatitis C.

    In addition, the PHS guideline recommends that a record system be developed that allows easy, accurate, and rapid linkage of information among the specimen archive, the recipient's medical records, and the records of the source animal for 50 years. The development of such a record system is a one-time burden. Such a system is intended to cross-reference and locate relevant records of recipients, products, source animals, animal procurement centers, and nosocomial exposures.

    Respondents to this collection of information are the sponsors of clinical studies of investigational xenotransplantation products under investigational new drug applications (INDs) and xenotransplantation product procurement centers, referred to as source animal facilities. There are an estimated three respondents who are sponsors of INDs that include protocols for xenotransplantation in humans and five clinical centers doing xenotransplantation procedures. Other respondents for this collection of information are an estimated four source animal facilities which provide source xenotransplantation product material to sponsors for use in human xenotransplantation procedures. These four source animal facilities keep medical records of the herds/colonies as well as the medical records of the individual source animal(s). The burden estimates are based on FDA's records of xenotransplantation-related INDs and estimates of time required to complete the various reporting, recordkeeping, and third-party disclosure tasks described in the PHS guideline.

    FDA is requesting an extension of OMB approval for the following reporting, recordkeeping, and third-party disclosure recommendations in the PHS guideline:

    Table 1—Reporting Recommendations PHS guideline Section Description 3.2.7.2 Notify sponsor or FDA of new archive site when the source animal facility or sponsor ceases operations. Table 2—Recordkeeping Recommendations PHS guideline section Description 3.2.7 Establish records linking each xenotransplantation product recipient with relevant records. 4.3 Sponsor to maintain cross-referenced system that links all relevant records (recipient, product, source animal, animal procurement center, and nosocomial exposures). 3.4.2 Document results of monitoring program used to detect introduction of infectious agents which may not be apparent clinically. 3.4.3.2 Document full necropsy investigations including evaluation for infectious etiologies. 3.5.1 Justify shortening a source animal's quarantine period of 3 weeks prior to xenotransplantation product procurement. 3.5.2 Document absence of infectious agent in xenotransplantation product if its presence elsewhere in source animal does not preclude using it. 3.5.4 Add summary of individual source animal record to permanent medical record of the xenotransplantation product recipient. 3.6.4 Document complete necropsy results on source animals (50-year record retention). 3.7 Link xenotransplantation product recipients to individual source animal records and archived biologic specimens. 4.2.3.2 Record baseline sera of xenotransplantation health care workers and specific nosocomial exposure. 4.2.3.3 and 4.3.2 Keep a log of health care workers' significant nosocomial exposure(s). 4.3.1 Document each xenotransplant procedure. 5.2 Document location and nature of archived PHS specimens in health care records of xenotransplantation product recipient and source animal. Table 3—Disclosure Recommendations PHS Guideline Section Description 3.2.7.2 Notify sponsor or FDA of new archive site when the source animal facility or sponsor ceases operations. 3.4 Standard operating procedures (SOPs) of source animal facility should be available to review bodies. 3.5.1 Include increased infectious risk in informed consent if source animal quarantine period of 3 weeks is shortened. 3.5.4 Sponsor to make linked records described in section 3.2.7 available for review. 3.5.5 Source animal facility to notify clinical center when infectious agent is identified in source animal or herd after xenotransplantation product procurement.

    FDA estimates the burden for this collection of information as follows:

    Table 4—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 PHS guideline section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total
  • hours
  • 3.2.7.2 2 1 1 1 0.50 (30 minutes) 0.50 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection information. 2 FDA is using 1 animal facility or sponsor for estimation purposes.
    Table 5—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 PHS guideline section Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total
  • hours
  • 3.2.7 2 1 1 1 16 16 4.3 3 3 1 3 0.75 (45 minutes) 2.25 3.4.2 4 3 10.67 32 0.25 (15 minutes) 8 3.4.3.2 5 3 2.67 8 0.25 (15 minutes) 2 3.5.1 6 3 0.33 1 0.50 (30 minutes) 0.50 3.5.2 6 3 0.33 1 0.25 (15 minutes) 0.25 3.5.4 3 1 3 0.17 (10 minutes) 0.51 3.6.4 7 3 2.67 8 0.25 (15 minutes) 2 3.7 7 4 2 8 0.08 (5 minutes) 0.64 4.2.3.2 8 5 25 125 0.17 (10 minutes) 21.25 4.2.3.2 6 5 0.20 1 0.17 (10 minutes) 0.17 4.2.3.3 and 4.3.2 6 5 0.20 1 0.17 (10 minutes) 0.17 4.3.1 3 1 3 0.25 (15 minutes) 0.75 5.2 9 3 4 12 0.08 (5 minutes) 0.96 Total 55.45 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection information. 2 A one-time burden for new respondents to set up a recordkeeping system linking all relevant records. FDA is using one new sponsor for estimation purposes. 3 FDA estimates there is minimal recordkeeping burden associated with maintaining the record system. 4 Monitoring for sentinel animals (subset representative of herd) plus all source animals. There are approximately 6 sentinel animals per herd × 1 herd per facility × 4 facilities = 24 sentinel animals. There are approximately 8 source animals per year (see footnote 7 of this table); 24 + 8 = 32 monitoring records to document. 5 Necropsy for animal deaths of unknown cause estimated to be approximately 2 per year × 1 herd per facility × 4 facilities = 8. 6 Has not occurred in the past 3 years and is expected to continue to be a rare occurrence. 7 On average 2 source animals are used for preparing xenotransplantation product material for one recipient. The average number of source animals is 2 source animals per recipients × 4 annually = 8 source animals per year. (See footnote 5 of table 6.) 8 FDA estimates ther are 5 clinical centers doing xenotransplantation procedures × approximately 25 health care workers involved per center = 125 health care workers. 9 Eight source animal records + 4 recipient records = 12 total records.
    Table 6—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden PHS guideline section Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • disclosures per
  • respondent
  • Total annual disclosures Average burden per disclosure Total hours
    3.2.7.2 2 1 1 1 0.50 (30 minutes) 0.50 3.4 3 4 0.25 1 0.08 (5 minutes) 0.08 3.5.1 4 4 0.25 1 0.25 (15 minutes) 0.25 3.5.4 5 4 1 4 0.50 (30 minutes) 2 3.5.5 4 4 0.25 1 0.25 (15 minutes) 0.25 Total 3.08 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. 2 FDA is using one animal facility or sponsor for estimation purposes. 3 FDA's records indicate that an average of 1 IND is expected to be submitted per year. 4 To our knowledge, has not occurred in the past 3 years and is expected to continue to be a rare occurrence. 5 Based on an estimate of 12 patients treated over a 3-year period, the average number of xenotransplantation product recipients per year is estimated to be 4.

    Because of the potential risk for cross-species transmission of pathogenic persistent virus, the guideline recommends that health records be retained for 50 years. Since these records are medical records, the retention of such records for up to 50 years is not information subject to the PRA (5 CFR 1320.3(h)(5)). Also, because of the limited number of clinical studies with small patient populations, the number of records is expected to be insignificant at this time.

    Information collections in this guideline not included in tables 1 through 6 can be found under existing regulations and approved under the OMB control numbers as follows: (1) “Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Finished Pharmaceuticals,” 21 CFR 211.1 through 211.208, approved under OMB control number 0910-0139; (2) “Investigational New Drug Application,” 21 CFR 312.1 through 312.160, approved under OMB control number 0910-0014; and (3) information included in a biologics license application, 21 CFR 601.2, approved under OMB control number 0910-0338. (Although it is possible that a xenotransplantation product may not be regulated as a biological product (e.g., it may be regulated as a medical device), FDA believes, based on its knowledge and experience with xenotransplantation, that any xenotransplantation product subject to FDA regulation within the next 3 years will most likely be regulated as a biological product.) However, FDA recognized that some of the information collections go beyond approved collections; assessments for these burdens are included in tables 1 through 6.

    In table 7, FDA identifies those collections of information activities that are already encompassed by existing regulations or are consistent with voluntary standards which reflect industry's usual and customary business practice.

    Table 7—Collection of Information Required by Current Regulations and Standards PHS guideline section Description of collection of information activity 21 CFR Section
  • (unless otherwise stated)
  • 2.2.1 Document offsite collaborations 312.52. 2.5 Sponsor ensures counseling patient + family + contacts 312.62(c). 3.1.1 and 3.1.6 Document well-characterized health history and lineage of source animals 312.23(a)(7)(a) and 211.84. 3.1.8 Registration with and import permit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 42 CFR 71.53. 3.2.2 Document collaboration with accredited microbiology labs 312.52. 3.2.3 Procedures to ensure the humane care of animals 9 CFR parts 1, 2, and 3 and PHS Policy.1 3.2.4 Procedures consistent for accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) and consistent with the National Research Council's (NRC) Guide AAALAC International Rules of Accreditation 2 and NRC Guide.3 3.2.5, 3.4, and 3.4.1 Herd health maintenance and surveillance to be documented, available, and in accordance with documented procedures; record standard veterinary care 211.100 and 211.122. 3.2.6 Animal facility SOPs PHS Policy.1 3.3.3 Validate assay methods 211.160(a). 3.6.1 Procurement and processing of xenografts using documented aseptic conditions 211.100 and 211.122. 3.6.2 Develop, implement, and enforce SOP's for procurement and screening processes 211.84(d) and 211.122(c). 3.6.4 Communicate to FDA animal necropsy findings pertinent to health of recipient 312.32(c). 3.7.1 PHS specimens to be linked to health records; provide to FDA justification for types of tissues, cells, and plasma, and quantities of plasma and leukocytes collected 312.23(a)(6). 4.1.1 Surveillance of xenotransplant recipient; sponsor ensures documentation of surveillance program life-long (justify >2 yrs.); investigator case histories (2 yrs. after investigation is discontinued) 312.23(a)(6)(iii)(f) and (g), and 312.62(b) and (c). 4.1.2 Sponsor to justify amount and type of reserve samples 211.122. 4.1.2.2 System for prompt retrieval of PHS specimens and linkage to medical records (recipient and source animal) 312.57(a). 4.1.2.3 Notify FDA of a clinical episode potentially representing a xenogeneic infection 312.32. 4.2.2.1 Document collaborations (transfer of obligation) 312.52. 4.2.3.1 Develop educational materials (sponsor provides investigators with information needed to conduct investigation properly) 312.50. 4.3 Sponsor to keep records of receipt, shipment, and disposition of investigative drug; investigator to keep records of case histories 312.57 and 312.62(b). 1 The “Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (http://www.grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm). 2 AAALAC International Rules of Accreditation (http://www.aaalac.org/accreditation/rules.cfm). 3 The NRC's “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.”
    Dated: September 29, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25155 Filed 10-2-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services; Meeting AGENCY:

    Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the public meeting of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services (Advisory Council). The Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services provides advice on how to prevent or reduce the burden of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias on people with the disease and their caregivers. During the October meeting, the Advisory Council will welcome its new members and invite them to share their experiences and where they see the Council going over the length of their terms. The Advisory Council will also spend some time discussing the process of developing recommendations and how those recommendations relate to the National Plan. The Council will also hear a presentation from members of the HHS Strategic Planning Team about how the National Plan fits into the greater HHS Strategic Plan.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 26th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Room 800 in the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201.

    Comments: Time is allocated in the afternoon on the agenda to hear public comments. The time for oral comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per individual. In lieu of oral comments, formal written comments may be submitted for the record to Rohini Khillan, OASPE, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Room 424E, Washington, DC 20201. Comments may also be sent to