Federal Register Vol. 80, No.193,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 193 (October 6, 2015)

Page Range60275-60510
FR Document

80_FR_193
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 60405 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 60416 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 60369 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas During May 2015PDF
80 FR 60371 - DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60435 - Senior Executive Service; Combined Performance Review Board (CPRB)PDF
80 FR 60407 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Demonstration and Evaluation of Community College Interventions for Youth and Young Adults With DisabilitiesPDF
80 FR 60405 - 179th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 60431 - In the Matter of the Designation of ISIL Khorasan, Also Known as Islamic State's Khorasan Province, Also Known as ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, Also Known as ISIL's South Asia Branch, Also Known as South Asian Chapter of ISIL as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 60432 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Keir Collection of Art of the Islamic World” ExhibitionsPDF
80 FR 60356 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF
80 FR 60292 - Extension of Import Restrictions on Certain Categories of Archaeological Material From the Pre-Hispanic Cultures of the Republic of NicaraguaPDF
80 FR 60396 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or HoldersPDF
80 FR 60367 - Change in Practice Regarding Correction of Foreign Priority ClaimsPDF
80 FR 60434 - Environmental Impact Statement: Stark, Billings, and McKenzie Counties, North DakotaPDF
80 FR 60432 - Ninety-Fourth Meeting: Special Committee (159) Global Positioning System (GPS)PDF
80 FR 60433 - Thirtieth Meeting: Special Committee (213) Enhanced Flight Visions Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems (EFVS/SVS)PDF
80 FR 60408 - Canadian Standards Association: Application for Expansion of RecognitionPDF
80 FR 60433 - Sixteenth Meeting: Special Committee (227) Standards of Navigation PerformancePDF
80 FR 60373 - Defense Programs Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60369 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National LaboratoryPDF
80 FR 60371 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas, and Vacating Authority and Change in Control During April 2015PDF
80 FR 60373 - Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Export Liquefied Natural Gas During August 2015PDF
80 FR 60375 - FirstLight Hydro Generating Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 60375 - Mr. Ray F. Ward; Notice of Application Ready for Environmental Analysis and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and PrescriptionsPDF
80 FR 60376 - Kern River Transmission Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Summerlin Pipe Replacement ProjectPDF
80 FR 60377 - Louisiana LNG Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mississippi River LNG Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to Project ChangesPDF
80 FR 60381 - Jordan Cove Energy Project LP; Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline ProjectsPDF
80 FR 60380 - Kentucky River Lock and Dam No. 11 Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic AgreementPDF
80 FR 60383 - Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
80 FR 60380 - Twin Lakes Canal Company; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric ProjectPDF
80 FR 60382 - SAF Hydroelectric, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 60374 - Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC;PDF
80 FR 60379 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 60411 - National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC); MeetingPDF
80 FR 60365 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60320 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Impact Protection, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment Single Unit TrucksPDF
80 FR 60435 - Asleep at the Wheel: A Nation of Drowsy DriversPDF
80 FR 60399 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
80 FR 60355 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 60400 - Established Aggregate Production Quotas for Schedule I and II Controlled Substances and Assessment of Annual Needs for the List I Chemicals Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine for 2016PDF
80 FR 60294 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Trent River, New Bern, NCPDF
80 FR 60398 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants-Grant Application Supplemental InformationPDF
80 FR 60387 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60356 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60384 - Submission for OMB Review; Government PropertyPDF
80 FR 60436 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
80 FR 60385 - Common Formats for Reporting on Health Care Quality and Patient SafetyPDF
80 FR 60433 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Astraeus AerialPDF
80 FR 60411 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 60411 - Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 60394 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Guidance for Industry on Generic Drug User Fee Cover SheetPDF
80 FR 60410 - Privacy Act of 1974; Privacy Act System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 60390 - Established Conditions: Reportable Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Reopening of the Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 60293 - Controlled Group Regulation Examples; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 60368 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Application for Grants Under the Talent Search ProgramPDF
80 FR 60389 - Electronic Common Technical Document Technical Conformance Guide; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 60393 - Medical Devices; Availability of Safety and Effectiveness Summaries for Premarket Approval ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 60387 - Acceptability of Draft Labeling To Support Abbreviated New Drug Application Approval; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 60391 - Electronic Submission of Final Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies and Summary Information in a Standard Structured Product Labeling Format; Pilot ProjectPDF
80 FR 60318 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Maryland's Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques GuidelinesPDF
80 FR 60310 - Pearson Field Airport Special Flight Rules AreaPDF
80 FR 60295 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the Minor New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP) for Portable FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 60400 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 60412 - Information Collection: Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive MaterialPDF
80 FR 60413 - Information Collection: Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory FunctionsPDF
80 FR 60405 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
80 FR 60314 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 60437 - Office of the General Counsel; Appointment of Members of the Legal Division to the Performance Review Board, Internal Revenue ServicePDF
80 FR 60365 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Limits of Application of the Take ProhibitionsPDF
80 FR 60366 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Capital Construction Fund Agreement, Certificate Family of Forms and Deposit/Withdrawal ReportPDF
80 FR 60421 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Submission of “Clearing-Only, Non-Regulatory Reports” to the FINRA Equity Trade Reporting FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 60416 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 0150 to Apply FINRA Rule 2121 and its Supplementary Material .01 and .02 to Transactions in Exempted Securities That Are Government SecuritiesPDF
80 FR 60426 - Program for Allocation of Regulatory Responsibilities Pursuant to Rule 17d-2; Notice of Filing of Proposed Amended Plan for the Allocation of Regulatory Responsibilities Between BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., BOX Options Exchange LLC, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., International Securities Exchange, LLC, ISE Gemini, LLC, Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc., National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc.PDF
80 FR 60419 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Delete Rule 2.13, Fidelity BondsPDF
80 FR 60424 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Delete Rule 2.13, Fidelity BondsPDF
80 FR 60414 - Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of BiotechnologyPDF
80 FR 60298 - Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan ProgramPDF
80 FR 60349 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 60395 - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 60396 - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 60395 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 60293 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ebey Slough (Snohomish River), Marysville, WAPDF
80 FR 60406 - Labor Surplus Area Classification Under Executive Orders 12073 and 10582PDF
80 FR 60362 - Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality AwardPDF
80 FR 60412 - Notice of Permit Modification Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 60435 - Application of Altius Aviation, LLC, for Commuter AuthorityPDF
80 FR 60286 - Airspace Designations; Incorporation by Reference AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 60349 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 60363 - National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Domain Name System-Based Security (DNS) for Electronic Mail Building BlockPDF
80 FR 60397 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Emergency Family Registry and Locator SystemPDF
80 FR 60431 - Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) ServicePDF
80 FR 60439 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Trichomanes punctatum ssp. floridanumPDF
80 FR 60383 - Information Collection; Payment to Small Business SubcontractorsPDF
80 FR 60275 - Organization and Functions; Field Office LocationsPDF
80 FR 60321 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Sonoran Desert Tortoise as an Endangered or Threatened SpeciesPDF
80 FR 60290 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Stockton, CAPDF
80 FR 60335 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Species Status for the Suwannee MoccasinshellPDF
80 FR 60275 - Special Conditions: Cessna Airplane Company Model 680A Airplane, Side-Facing Seats Equipped With Airbag SystemsPDF
80 FR 60303 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 60307 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 60467 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Black Pinesnake With 4(d) RulePDF
80 FR 60491 - Exemptions From Certain Prohibited Transaction RestrictionsPDF
80 FR 60300 - Credit for Lower Tier Small Business SubcontractingPDF
80 FR 60281 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 60284 - Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) AirplanesPDF
80 FR 60289 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Iowa Towns: Audubon, IA; Corning, IA; Cresco, IA; Eagle Grove, IA; Guthrie Center, IA; Hampton, IA; Harlan, IA; Iowa Falls, IA; Knoxville, IA; Oelwein, IA; and Red Oak, IAPDF

Issue

80 193 Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Common Formats for Reporting on Health Care Quality and Patient Safety, 60385-60387 2015-25364 Agricultural Research Agricultural Research Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60349 2015-25305 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Research Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau NOTICES Senior Executive Service; Combined Performance Review Board, 60435-60436 2015-25430 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60387 2015-25370 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Montana Advisory Committee, 60355-60356 2015-25374 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Ebey Slough (Snohomish River), Marysville, WA, 60293-60294 2015-25314 Trent River, New Bern, NC, 60294-60295 2015-25367 2015-25372 Commerce Commerce Department See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60356 2015-25338
Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Property, 60384-60385 2015-25366 Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, 60383-60384 2015-25297 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Established Aggregate Production Quotas for Schedule I and II Controlled Substances: Assessment of Annual Needs for the List I Chemicals Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine for 2016, 60400-60405 2015-25373 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Grants under the Talent Search Program, 60368-60369 2015-25354 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Exemptions from Certain Prohibited Transaction Restrictions, 60492-60510 2015-25254 Meetings: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, 60405-60406 2015-25428 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Labor Surplus Area Classification under Executive Orders 12073 and 10582, 60406-60407 2015-25311 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

National Nuclear Security Administration

NOTICES Authority to Import and Export Natural Gas, etc.: Constellation Energy Services, Inc. Formerly Integrys Energy Services, Inc., Pangea LNG North America Holdings, LLC, Cameron LNG, LLC, et al., 60371-60372 2015-25392 Emera Energy Services, Inc., Oxy Energy Canada, Inc., B and A Global Energy Inc., et al., 60373 2015-25391 Tripolarity Energy Corp., Ecogas De Mexico S. DE R.L. DE C.V., Enviro Express, Inc., et al., 60369-60371 2015-25437 Charter Renewals: DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, 60371 2015-25436 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory, 60369 2015-25393
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Revisions to the Minor New Source Review State Implementation Plan for Portable Facilities, 60295-60297 2015-25343 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maryland—Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines, 60318-60320 2015-25346 Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 60314-60318 2015-25337 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Organization and Functions; Field Office Locations, 60275 2015-25294 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airspace Designations: Incorporation by Reference Amendments, 60286-60289 2015-25306 Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 60281-60284 2015-25219 Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Airplanes, 60284-60286 2015-25218 Amendment of Class D and E Airspace: Stockton, CA, 60290-60292 2015-25281 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Audubon, Corning, Cresco, Eagle Grove, Guthrie Center, Hampton, Harlan, Iowa Falls, Knoxville, Oelwein, and Red Oak, IA, 60289-60290 2015-25083 Special Conditions: Cessna Airplane Company Model 680A Airplane, Side-Facing Seats Equipped with Airbag Systems, 60275-60281 2015-25277 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 60303-60310 2015-25271 2015-25272 Pearson Field Airport Special Flight Rules Area, 60310-60314 2015-25344 NOTICES Meetings: Ninety-Fourth Meeting; Special Committee (159) Global Positioning System, 60432 2015-25404 Sixteenth Meeting; Special Committee (227) Standards of Navigation Performance, 60433 2015-25400 Thirtieth Meeting; Special Committee (213) Enhanced Flight Visions Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems, 60433 2015-25403 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Astraeus Aerial, 60433-60434 2015-25363 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants—Grant Application Supplemental Information, 60398-60399 2015-25371 National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System, 60397 2015-25302 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, 60374-60375 2015-25381 FirstLight Hydro Generating Co., 60375-60376 2015-25390 Ray F. Ward, 60375 2015-25389 SAF Hydroelectric, LLC, 60382-60383 2015-25382 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project; Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project; Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project; Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project, 60383 2015-25384 Kern River Transmission Co.; Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project, 60376-60377 2015-25388 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Jordan Cove Energy Project LP and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP; Jordan Cove Liquefaction Project, 60381-60382 2015-25386 Louisiana LNG Energy, LLC; Planned Mississippi River LNG Project, 60377-60379 2015-25387 Twin Lakes Canal Co. Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project, 60380 2015-25383 Restricted Service List for a Programmatic Agreement: FFP Project 92, LLC; Kentucky Kentucky River Lock and Dam No. 11 Hydroelectric Project, 60380-60381 2015-25385 Staff Attendances, 60379-60380 2015-25380 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Stark, Billings, And Mckenzie Counties, ND, 60434 2015-25405 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Endangered Species Status for Trichomanes punctatum ssp. floridanum (Florida Bristle Fern), 60440-60465 2015-25299 Threatened Species Status for Black Pinesnake With 4(d) Rule, 60468-60489 2015-25270 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Sonoran Desert Tortoise, 60321-60335 2015-25286 Proposed Threatened Species Status for the Suwannee Moccasinshell, 60335-60348 2015-25280 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Guidance for Industry on Generic Drug User Fee Cover Sheet, 60394-60395 2015-25360 Electronic Common Technical Document Technical Conformance Guide, 60389-60390 2015-25353 Electronic Submission of Final Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies and Summary Information in a Standard Structured Product Labeling Format; Pilot Project, 60391-60393 2015-25349 Guidance: Acceptability of Draft Labeling to Support Abbreviated New Drug Application Approval, 60387-60389 2015-25351 Established Conditions -- Reportable Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products, 60390-60391 2015-25356 Medical Devices: Availability of Safety and Effectiveness Summaries for Premarket Approval Applications, 60393-60394 2015-25352 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 60436-60437 2015-25365 Foreign Claims Foreign Claims Settlement Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60405 2015-25500 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Property, 60384-60385 2015-25366 Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, 60383-60384 2015-25297 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60356 2015-25368 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Controlled Group Regulation Examples; Correction, 60293 2015-25355 NOTICES Appointment of Members of the Legal Division to the Performance Review Board, 60437-60438 2015-25336 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Review with August Anniversary Dates, 60356-60362 2015-25414 Joint Joint Board for Enrollment of Actuaries NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations, 60400 2015-25342 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

See

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 60405 2015-25339
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Demonstration and Evaluation of Community College Interventions for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities, 60407-60408 2015-25429
Energy National Nuclear National Nuclear Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Defense Programs Advisory Committee, 60373-60374 2015-25397 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Property, 60384-60385 2015-25366 Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, 60383-60384 2015-25297 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 60410-60411 2015-25357 2015-25358 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee, 60411 2015-25379 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Rear Impact Protection, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment Single Unit Trucks, 60320 2015-25377 NOTICES Meetings: Asleep at the Wheel—A Nation of Drowsy Drivers, 60435 2015-25376 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 60362-60363 2015-25310 National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block, 60363-60365 2015-25304 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 60395-60396 2015-25316 2015-25317 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 60395-60396 2015-25315 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60365 2015-25378 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interim Capital Construction Fund Agreement, Certificate Family of Forms and Deposit/Withdrawal Report, 60366-60367 2015-25331 Limits of Application of the Take Prohibitions, 60365-60366 2015-25332 National Park National Park Service NOTICES National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 60399-60400 2015-25375 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure, 60411 2015-25361 Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research, 60411 2015-25362 Permit Applications: Antarctic Conservation Act, 60412 2015-25309 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions, 60413-60414 2015-25340 Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Material, 60412-60413 2015-25341 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Applications for Expansion of Recognition: Canadian Standards Association, 60408-60410 2015-25401 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Change in Practice Regarding Correction of Foreign Priority Claims, 60367-60368 2015-25407 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2016, 60349-60355 2015-25321 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service PROPOSED RULES Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, 60298-60300 2015-25324 Science Technology Science and Technology Policy Office NOTICES Requests for Information: Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and Developing a Long-Term Strategy for the Regulation of the Products of Biotechnology, 60414-60416 2015-25325 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60416 2015-25451 Program for Allocation of Regulatory Responsibilities: Proposed Amended Plan for the Allocation of Regulatory Responsibilities Between BATS Exchange, Inc., et al., 60426-60431 2015-25328 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 60419-60421 2015-25327 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 60424-60426 2015-25326 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 60416-60419, 60421-60424 2015-25329 2015-25330 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Credit for Lower Tier Small Business Subcontracting, 60300-60303 2015-25234 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Transaction Fees: Consent Based Social Security Number Verification Service, 60431 2015-25300 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Keir Collection of Art of the Islamic World Exhibitions, 60432 2015-25421 Designations as Global Terrorists: ISIL Khorasan, a.k.a. Islamic State's Khorasan Province, ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, et al., 60431-60432 2015-25423 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Applications for Commuter Authority: Altius Aviation, LLC, 60435 2015-25308
Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

RULES Import Restrictions: Certain Categories of Archaeological Material from the Pre-Hispanic Cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua; Extension, 60292-60293 2015-25413
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Import Restrictions: Certain Categories of Archaeological Material from the Pre-Hispanic Cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua; Extension, 60292-60293 2015-25413 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders, 60396-60397 2015-25411 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 60440-60465 2015-25299 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 60468-60489 2015-25270 Part IV Labor Department, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 60492-60510 2015-25254 Reader Aids

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

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

80 193 Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Rules and Regulations FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 600 RIN 3052-AD07 Organization and Functions; Field Office Locations AGENCY:

Farm Credit Administration.

ACTION:

Notice of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, Agency or our) amended our regulations to change the address for a field office as a result of a recent office relocation. In accordance with the law, the effective date of the rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session.

DATES:

Effective Date: Under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 2252, the regulation amending 12 CFR part 600 published on July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40896) is effective October 6, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4124, TTY (703) 883-4056, or Jane Virga, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4071, TTY (703) 883-4056.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Farm Credit Administration amended our regulations to change the address for a field office as a result of a recent office relocation. In accordance with 12 U.S.C. 2252, the effective date of the final rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session. Based on the records of the sessions of Congress, the effective date of the regulations is October 6, 2015.

(12 U.S.C. 2252(a)(9) and (10)) Dated: September 30, 2015. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
[FR Doc. 2015-25294 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2271; Special Conditions No. 25-602-SC] Special Conditions: Cessna Airplane Company Model 680A Airplane, Side-Facing Seats Equipped With Airbag Systems AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Cessna Model 680A airplane. This airplane will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design features side-facing seats equipped with airbag systems. 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 5, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alan Sinclair, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Airplane Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2195; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On January 25, 2012, Cessna Airplane Company applied for an amendment to Type Certificate no. T00012WI to include the new Model 680A airplane. The Cessna 680A airplane, which is a derivative of the Cessna Model 680 airplane currently approved under Type Certificate no. T00012WI, is a new, high-performance, low-wing airplane derived from the Cessna Model 680 beginning with serial no. 680-0501. This airplane will have a maximum takeoff weight of 30,800 pounds with a wingspan of 72 feet, and will have two aft-mounted Pratt & Whitney PW306D1 turbofan engines.

The cabin of the Model 680A airplane is designed to accommodate a crew of two, plus nine passengers in the baseline interior configuration, and will make use of a forward, right-hand-belted, two-place, side-facing seat. An optional seven-passenger interior configuration is also offered, which has a single-place side-facing seat on the forward right-hand side of the airplane. Both the baseline multiple-place and optional single-place side-facing seats are to be occupied for taxi, takeoff, and landing, and will incorporate an integrated, inflatable-airbag occupant-protection system.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of § 21.101, Cessna Airplane Company must show that the Model 680A airplane meets the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate no. T00012WI, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

The regulations listed in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.” The regulations listed in T00012WI are as follows:

14 CFR part 25, effective February 1, 1965, including Amendments 25-1 through 25-98, with special conditions, exemptions, and later amended sections.

In addition, the certification basis includes other regulations, special conditions, and exemptions that are not relevant to these special conditions. Type Certificate no. T00012WI 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 Cessna Model 680A airplane 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, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Cessna Model 680A 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.

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 § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Cessna Model 680A airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Inflatable airbags on multiple-place and single-place side-facing seats of Cessna Model 680A airplanes to reduce the potential for both head and leg injury in the event of an accident.

Discussion

The FAA policy for side-facing seats at the time of application was provided in Policy Statement ANM-03-115-30. This policy statement describes the performance criteria and procedures to follow to certify single- and multiple-place side-facing seats.

Also at the time of Cessna's application, the FAA indicated that further research would be conducted to define criteria to establish a level of safety equivalent to that provided by the current regulations for forward- and aft-facing seats. Research later conducted by the FAA, as documented in report DOT/FAA/AR-09/41, resulted in new policy issued to identify new certification criteria based on the research findings. Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03 was released on June 8, 2012 (and was subsequently revised and reissued as Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 on November 5, 2012). This new policy statement describes how to certify all side-facing seats to the new performance criteria through the issuance of special conditions.

Along with the general seat-performance criteria, also included in the policy statement are the performance criteria for airbag systems used in shoulder-belt restraint systems. However, the policy statement does not specifically address airbag systems that are integrated into passenger-cabin monuments. Although the application date for the Model 680A airplane preceded Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03, Cessna proposed using the guidance in Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 to develop new special conditions applicable to the Model 680A airplane's side-facing seats.

These special conditions allow installation of an airbag system for a two-place side-facing seat and a single-place side-facing seat to protect the occupant from both head and leg-flail injury in Model 680A airplanes. Cessna's proposed airbag system is designed to limit occupant forward excursion in the event of an accident. This will reduce the potential for head injury by reducing the head-injury criteria (HIC) measurement, and will also provide a means for limiting the lower-leg flail of the occupant. The inflatable-airbag system behaves similarly to an automotive inflatable airbag, but in this design, the airbag system is integrated into passenger-cabin monuments; the airbags inflate away from the seated occupants. While inflatable airbags are now standard in the automotive industry, the use of inflatable-airbag systems in commercial aviation is novel and unusual.

Section 25.785 requires that occupants must be protected from head injury by either the elimination of any injurious object within the striking radius of the head, or by padding. Traditionally, this has required a seat setback of 35 inches from any bulkhead or other rigid interior feature or, where such spacing is not practical, the installation of specified types of padding. The relative effectiveness of these means of injury protection was not quantified in the original rule. Amendment 25-64 to § 25.562 established a standard that quantifies required head-injury protection.

Section 25.562 specifies that each seat-type design, approved for crew or passenger occupancy during taxi, takeoff, and landing, must successfully complete dynamic tests, or be shown to be compliant by rational analysis based on dynamic tests of a similar type of seat. In particular, the regulations require that persons must not suffer serious head injury under the conditions specified in the tests, and that protection must be provided, or the seat must be designed such that the head impact does not exceed a HIC of 1000 units. While the test conditions described for HIC are detailed and specific, it is the intent of the requirement that an adequate level of head-injury protection must be provided for passengers the event of an airplane accident.

Because §§ 25.562 and 25.785 and associated guidance do not adequately address seats with inflatable-airbag systems, the FAA recognizes that appropriate pass/fail criteria are required to fully address the safety concerns specific to occupants of these seats. Previously issued special conditions addressed airbag systems integral to the shoulder belt for some forward-facing seats. The special conditions for the Model 680A inflatable-airbag systems are based on the shoulder-belt airbag systems.

Although the special conditions are applicable to the inflatable-airbag system as installed, compliance with the special conditions is not an installation approval. Therefore, while the special conditions relate to each such system installed, the overall installation approval is a separate finding, and must consider the combined effects of all such systems installed.

Part 25 states the performance criteria for head-injury protection in objective terms. However, none of these criteria are adequate to address the specific issues raised concerning seats with inflatable-airbag systems. In addition to the requirements of part 25, special conditions are needed to address requirements particular to seats equipped with an integrated, inflatable-airbag system.

Part 25, appendix F, part I specifies the flammability requirements for interior materials and components. This rule does not reference inflatable-airbag systems because such devices did not exist at the time the flammability requirements were written. The existing requirements are based on material types as well as material applications, and have been specified in light of the state-of-the-art materials available to perform a given function. In the absence of such a specific reference, the default requirement, per the rule, would apply to the type of material used in constructing the inflatable restraint, which, in the case of the rule, would be a fabric.

In writing special conditions, the FAA must also consider how the material is used within the cabin interior, and whether the default requirement is appropriate. Here, the specialized function of the inflatable-airbag system means that highly specialized materials are required. The standard normally applied to fabrics is a 12-second vertical ignition test. However, materials that meet this standard do not perform adequately as inflatable restraints; and materials used in the construction of inflatable-airbag systems do not perform well in this test.

Because the safety benefit of the inflatable-airbag system is very significant, the FAA has determined that the flammability standard appropriate for these devices should not prohibit suitable inflatable-airbag system materials; disqualifying these materials would effectively not allow the use of inflatable-airbag systems. The FAA therefore is required to establish a balance between the safety benefit of the inflatable-airbag system and its flammability performance. At this time, the 2.5-inches-per-minute horizontal burn test provides that necessary balance. As the technology in materials progresses, the FAA may change this standard in subsequent special conditions to account for improved materials.

From the standpoint of a passenger-safety system, the inflatable-airbag system is unique in that it is both an active and entirely autonomous device. While the automotive industry has good experience with inflatable airbags, the conditions of use and reliance on the inflatable-airbag system as the sole means of injury protection are quite different. In automobile installations, the airbag is a supplemental system and works in conjunction with an upper-torso restraint. In addition, the crash event is more definable and of typically shorter duration, which can simplify the activation logic. The airplane-operating environment is quite different from automobiles, and includes the potential for greater wear and tear, and unanticipated abuse conditions (due to galley loading, passenger baggage, etc.); airplanes also operate where exposure to high-intensity electromagnetic fields could affect the activation system.

The inflatable-airbag system has two potential advantages over other means of head-impact protection. First, it can provide significantly greater protection than would be expected with energy-absorbing pads, and second, it can provide essentially equivalent protection for occupants of all stature. These are significant advantages from a safety standpoint because such devices will likely provide a level of safety that exceeds the minimum standards of the Federal aviation regulations. Conversely, inflatable-airbag systems are, in general, active systems and must be relied upon to activate properly when needed, as opposed to an energy-absorbing pad or upper torso restraint that is passive and always available. Therefore, the potential advantages must be balanced against this and other potential disadvantages in developing standards for this design feature.

The FAA considers the installation of inflatable-airbag systems to have two primary safety concerns: First, that they perform properly under foreseeable operating conditions, and second, that they do not perform in a manner or at such times as would constitute a hazard to the airplane or occupants. This latter point has the potential to be the more rigorous of the requirements, owing to the active nature of the system.

The inflatable-airbag system will rely on electronic sensors for signaling, and a stored gas canister for inflation. The sensors and canister could be susceptible to inadvertent activation, causing a potentially unsafe deployment. The consequences of inadvertent deployment, as well as a failure to deploy in a timely manner, must be considered in establishing the reliability of the system. Cessna must substantiate that an inadvertent deployment in-flight either would not cause injuries to occupants, or that the probability of such a deployment meets the requirements of § 25.1309(b). The effect of an inadvertent deployment on a passenger or crewmember, who could be positioned close to an airbag, should also be considered. The person could be either standing or sitting. A minimum reliability level must be established for this case, depending upon the consequences, even if the effect on the airplane is negligible.

The potential for an inadvertent deployment could increase as a result of conditions in service. The installation must take into account wear and tear so that the likelihood of an inadvertent deployment is not increased to an unacceptable level. In this context, an appropriate inspection interval and self-test capability are considered necessary. In addition, outside influences, such as lightning and high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF), may also contribute to or cause inadvertent deployment. Existing regulations regarding lightning, § 25.1316, and HIRF, § 25.1317, are applicable to the Model 680A airplane.

The applicant must verify that electromagnetic interference (EMI) present, under foreseeable operating conditions, will not affect the function of the inflatable-airbag system or cause inadvertent deployment. Finally, the inflatable-airbag system installation must be protected from the effects of fire, so that an additional hazard is not created by, for example, a rupture of the pyrotechnic squib.

To be an effective safety system, the inflatable-airbag system must function properly and must not introduce any additional hazards to occupants or the airplane as a result of its functioning. The inflatable-airbag system differs from traditional occupant-protection systems in several ways, requiring special conditions to ensure adequate performance.

Because the inflatable-airbag system is a single-use device, it potentially could deploy under crash conditions that are not sufficiently severe as to require injury protection from the inflatable-airbag system. Because an actual crash is frequently composed of a series of impacts before the airplane comes to rest, this could render the inflatable-airbag system useless if a larger impact follows the initial impact. This situation does not exist with energy absorbing pads or upper-torso restraints, which tend to provide continuous protection regardless of severity or number of impacts in a crash event. Therefore, the inflatable-airbag system installation should provide protection, when it is required, and not expend its protection when it is not required. And while several large impact events may occur during the course of a crash, there are no requirements for the inflatable-airbag system to provide protection for multiple impacts.

Each occupant's restraint system provides protection for that occupant only. Likewise, the installation must address seats that are unoccupied. The applicant must show that the required protection is provided for each occupant regardless of the number of occupied seats, considering that unoccupied seats may have airbag systems that are active.

The inflatable-airbag system should be effective for a wide range of occupants. The FAA has historically considered the range from the 5th percentile female to the 95th percentile male as the range of occupants that must be taken into account. In this case, the FAA is proposing consideration of a broader range of occupants, i.e., a two-year-old child to a 95th percentile male, plus pregnant females. This is due to the nature of the inflatable-airbag system installation and its close proximity to the occupant. In a similar vein, these persons could assume the brace position for those accidents where an impact is anticipated. Test data indicate that occupants in the brace position do not require supplemental protection, and so it would not be necessary to show that the inflatable-airbag system will enhance the brace position. However, the inflatable-airbag system must not introduce a hazard in the case of deploying into the seated, braced occupant.

Another area of concern is the use of seats so equipped, by children, whether lap-held, in approved child-safety seats, or occupying the seat directly. Similarly, if the seat is occupied by a pregnant woman, the installation should address such use, either by demonstrating that it will function properly, or by adding appropriate limitation on persons allowed to occupy the seat.

Given that the airbag system will be electrically powered, the possibility exists that the system could fail due to a separation in the fuselage. And because this system is intended as a means of crash/post-crash protection, failure to deploy due to fuselage separation is not acceptable. As with emergency lighting, the system should function properly if such a separation occurs at any point in the fuselage. As required by § 25.1353(a), operation of the existing airplane electrical equipment should not adversely impact the function of the inflatable-airbag system under all foreseeable conditions.

The inflatable-airbag system is likely to have a large volume displacement, and, likewise, the inflated airbag could potentially impede egress of passengers. Because the airbag deflates to absorb energy, it is likely that an inflatable-airbag system would be deflated at the time that persons would be trying to leave their seats. Nonetheless, the FAA considers it appropriate to specify a time interval after which the inflatable-airbag system may not impede rapid egress. Ten seconds is indicated as a reasonable time because this corresponds to the maximum time allowed for an exit to be openable (reference: § 25.809).

The FAA position is provided in Policy Statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 “Technical Criteria for Approving Side Facing Seats.” This policy statement refers to airbag systems in the shoulder belts, while Cessna's design configuration has airbag systems integrated into the side-facing seats. The FAA genericized these special conditions to be applicable to the Cessna design configuration.

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. 25-15-06-SC for the Cessna Model 680A airplane was published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2015 (80 FR 49938). No comments were received, and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Cessna Model 680A airplane. Should Cessna apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these 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

Airplane, 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 Cessna Model 680A airplanes.

In addition to the requirements of §§ 25.562 and 25.785, the following special conditions 1 and 2 are part of the type certification basis of the Model 680A airplane with side-facing seat installations. For seat places equipped with airbag systems, additional special conditions 3 through 16 are part of the type certification basis.

1. Additional requirements applicable to tests or rational analysis conducted to show compliance with §§ 25.562 and 25.785 for side-facing seats:

1.1. The longitudinal tests conducted in accordance with § 25.562(b)(2), to show compliance with the seat-strength requirements of § 25.562(c)(7) and (8) and these special conditions, must have an ES-2re anthropomorphic test dummy (ATD) (49 CFR part 572, subpart U) or equivalent, or a Hybrid-II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B, as specified in § 25.562) or equivalent, occupying each seat position, and including all items contactable by the occupant (e.g., armrest, interior wall, or furnishing) if those items are necessary to restrain the occupant. If included, the floor representation and contactable items must be located such that their relative position, with respect to the center of the nearest seat place, is the same at the start of the test as before floor misalignment is applied. For example, if floor misalignment rotates the centerline of the seat place nearest the contactable item 8 degrees clockwise about the airplane x-axis, then the item and floor representations also must be rotated by 8 degrees clockwise to maintain the same relative position to the seat place, as shown in Figure 1 of these special conditions. Each ATD's relative position to the seat, after application of floor misalignment, must be the same as before misalignment is applied. To ensure proper loading of the seat by the occupants, the ATD pelvis must remain supported by the seat pan, and the restraint system must remain on the pelvis and shoulder of the ATD until rebound begins. No injury-criteria evaluation is necessary for tests conducted only to assess seat-strength requirements.

1.2. The longitudinal tests conducted in accordance with § 25.562(b)(2), to show compliance with the injury assessments required by § 25.562(c) and these special conditions, may be conducted separately from the tests to show structural integrity. In this case, structural-assessment tests must be conducted as specified in paragraph 1.1 of these special conditions, and the injury-assessment test must be conducted without yaw or floor misalignment. Injury assessments may be accomplished by testing with ES-2re ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart U) or equivalent at all places. Alternatively, these assessments may be accomplished by multiple tests that use an ES-2re at the seat place being evaluated, and a Hybrid-II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B, as specified in § 25.562) or equivalent used in all seat places forward of the one being assessed, to evaluate occupant interaction. In this case, seat places aft of the one being assessed may be unoccupied. If a seat installation includes adjacent items that are contactable by the occupant, the injury potential of that contact must be assessed. To make this assessment, tests may be conducted that include the actual item, located and attached in a representative fashion. Alternatively, the injury potential may be assessed by a combination of tests with items having the same geometry as the actual item, but having stiffness characteristics that would create the worst case for injury (injuries due to both contact with the item and lack of support from the item).

1.3. If a seat is installed aft of structure (e.g., an interior wall or furnishing) that does not have a homogeneous surface contactable by the occupant, additional analysis and/or tests may be required to demonstrate that the injury criteria are met for the area upon which an occupant could contact. For example, different yaw angles could result in different injury considerations, and may require additional analysis or separate tests to evaluate.

ER06OC15.002

1.4. To accommodate a range of occupant heights (5th percentile female to 95th percentile male), the surface of items contactable by the occupant must be homogenous 7.3 inches (185 mm) above and 7.9 inches (200 mm) below the point (center of area) that is contacted by the 50th percentile male-sized ATD's head during the longitudinal tests, conducted in accordance with paragraphs 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 of these special conditions. Otherwise, additional HIC assessment tests may be necessary. Any surface (inflatable or otherwise) that provides support for the occupant of any seat place must provide that support in a consistent manner regardless of occupant stature. For example, if an inflatable shoulder belt is used to mitigate injury risk, then it must be demonstrated by inspection to bear against the range of occupants in a similar manner before and after inflation. Likewise, the means of limiting lower-leg flail must be demonstrated by inspection to provide protection for the range of occupants in a similar manner.

1.5. For longitudinal tests conducted in accordance with 14 CFR 25.562(b)(2) and these special conditions, the ATDs must be positioned, clothed, and have lateral instrumentation configured as follows:

1.5.1. ATD positioning: Lower the ATD vertically into the seat (see Figure 2 of these special conditions) while simultaneously:

1.5.1.1. Aligning the midsagittal plane (a vertical plane through the midline of the body; dividing the body into right and left halves) with approximately the middle of the seat place.

ER06OC15.003

1.5.1.2. Applying a horizontal x-axis direction (in the ATD coordinate system) force of about 20 lb (89 N) to the torso, at approximately the intersection of the midsagittal plane and the bottom rib of the ES-2re or lower sternum of the Hybrid-II at the midsagittal plane, to compress the seat-back cushion.

1.5.1.3. Keeping the upper legs nearly horizontal by supporting them just behind the knees.

1.5.2. After all lifting devices have been removed from the ATD:

1.5.2.1. Rock it slightly to settle it into the seat.

1.5.2.2. Separate the knees by about 4 inches (100 mm).

1.5.2.3. Set the ES-2re's head at approximately the midpoint of the available range of z-axis rotation (to align the head and torso midsagittal planes).

1.5.2.4. Position the ES-2re's arms at the joint's mechanical detent that puts them at approximately a 40-degree angle with respect to the torso. Position the Hybrid-II ATD hands on top of its upper legs.

1.5.2.5. Position the feet such that the centerlines of the lower legs are approximately parallel to a lateral vertical plane (in the airplane coordinate system).

1.5.3. ATD clothing: Clothe each ATD in form-fitting, mid-calf-length (minimum) pants and shoes (size 11E), all clothing weighing about 2.5 lb (1.1 Kg) total. The color of the clothing should be in contrast to the color of the restraint system. The ES-2re jacket is sufficient for torso clothing, although a form-fitting shirt may be used in addition if desired.

1.5.4. ES-2re ATD lateral instrumentation: The rib-module linear slides are directional, i.e., deflection occurs in either a positive or negative ATD y-axis direction. The modules must be installed such that the moving end of the rib module is toward the front of the airplane. The three abdominal-force sensors must be installed such that they are on the side of the ATD toward the front of the airplane.

1.6. The combined horizontal/vertical test, required by § 25.562(b)(1) and these special conditions, must be conducted with a Hybrid II ATD (49 CFR part 572, subpart B, as specified in § 25.562), or equivalent, occupying each seat position.

1.7. The design and installation of seatbelt buckles must prevent unbuckling due to applied inertial forces or impact of the hands/arms of the occupant during an emergency landing.

1.8. Inflatable-airbag systems must be active during all dynamic tests conducted to show compliance with § 25.562.

2. Additional performance measures applicable to tests and rational analysis conducted to show compliance with §§ 25.562 and 25.785 for side-facing seats:

2.1. Body-to-body contact: Contact between the head, pelvis, torso, or shoulder area of one ATD with the adjacent-seated ATD's head, pelvis, torso, or shoulder area is not allowed. Contact during rebound is allowed.

2.2. Thoracic: The deflection of any of the ES-2re ATD upper, middle, and lower ribs must not exceed 1.73 inches (44 mm). Data must be processed as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 571.214.

2.3. Abdominal: The sum of the measured ES-2re ATD front, middle, and rear abdominal forces must not exceed 562 lbs (2,500 N). Data must be processed as defined in FMVSS 571.214.

2.4. Pelvic: The pubic symphysis force measured by the ES-2re ATD must not exceed 1,350 lbs (6,000 N). Data must be processed as defined in FMVSS 571.214.

2.5. Leg: Axial rotation of the upper leg (femur) must be limited to 35 degrees in either direction from the nominal seated position.

2.6. Neck: As measured by the ES-2re ATD and filtered at CFC 600 as defined in SAE J211:

2.6.1. The upper-neck tension force at the occipital condyle (O.C.) location must be less than 405 lb (1,800 N).

2.6.2. The upper-neck compression force at the O.C. location must be less than 405 lb (1,800 N).

2.6.3. The upper-neck bending torque about the ATD x-axis at the O.C. location must be less than 1,018 in.-lb (115 N-m).

2.6.4. The upper-neck resultant shear force at the O.C. location must be less than 186 lb (825 N).

2.7. Occupant (ES-2re ATD) retention: The pelvic restraint must remain on the ES-2re ATD's pelvis during the impact and rebound phases of the test. The upper-torso restraint straps (if present) must remain on the ATD's shoulder during the impact.

2.8. Occupant (ES-2re ATD) support:

2.8.1. Pelvis excursion: The load-bearing portion of the bottom of the ATD pelvis must not translate beyond the edges of its seat's bottom seat-cushion supporting structure.

2.8.2. Upper-torso support: The lateral flexion of the ATD torso must not exceed 40 degrees from the normal upright position during the impact.

3. For seats with an airbag system, show that the airbag system will deploy and provide protection under crash conditions where it is necessary to prevent serious injury. The means of protection must take into consideration a range of stature from a 2-year-old child to 95th percentile male. The airbag system must provide a consistent approach to energy absorption throughout that range of occupants. When the seat systems include airbag systems, the systems must be included in each of the certification tests as they would be installed in the airplane. In addition, the following situations must be considered:

3.1. The seat occupant is holding an infant.

3.2. The seat occupant is a pregnant woman.

4. The airbag systems must provide adequate protection for each occupant regardless of the number of occupants of the seat assembly, considering that unoccupied seats may have an active airbag system.

5. The design must prevent the airbag systems from being either incorrectly buckled or incorrectly installed, such that the airbag systems would not properly deploy. Alternatively, it must be shown that such deployment is not hazardous to the occupant and will provide the required injury protection.

6. It must be shown that the airbag system is not susceptible to inadvertent deployment as a result of wear and tear, or inertial loads resulting from in-flight or ground maneuvers (including gusts and hard landings), and other operating and environment conditions (vibrations, moisture, etc.) likely to occur in service.

7. Deployment of the airbag system must not introduce injury mechanisms to the seated occupant, nor result in injuries that could impede rapid egress. This assessment should include an occupant whose restraint is loosely fastened.

8. It must be shown that inadvertent deployment of the airbag system, during the most critical part of the flight, will either meet the requirement of § 25.1309(b) or not cause a hazard to the airplane or its occupants.

9. It must be shown that the airbag system will not impede rapid egress of occupants 10 seconds after airbag deployment.

10. The airbag systems must be protected from lightning and high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF). The threats to the airplane specified in existing regulations regarding lighting, § 25.1316, and HIRF, § 25.1317 apply to these special conditions for the purpose of measuring lightning and HIRF protection.

11. The airbag system must function properly after loss of normal airplane electrical power, and after a transverse separation of the fuselage at the most critical location. A separation at the location of the airbag systems does not have to be considered.

12. It must be shown that the airbag system will not release hazardous quantities of gas or particulate matter into the cabin.

13. The airbag system installations must be protected from the effects of fire such that no hazard to occupants will result.

14. A means must be available for a crew member to verify the integrity of the airbag system's activation system prior to each flight, or it must be demonstrated to reliably operate between inspection intervals. The FAA considers that the loss of the airbag-system deployment function alone (i.e., independent of the conditional event that requires the airbag-system deployment) is a major-failure condition.

15. The inflatable material may not have an average burn rate of greater than 2.5 inches/minute when tested using the horizontal flammability test defined in 14 CFR part 25, appendix F, part I, paragraph (b)(5).

16. The airbag system, once deployed, must not adversely affect the emergency lighting system (e.g., block floor proximity lights to the extent that the lights no longer meet their intended function).

Issued in Renton, Washington, September 25, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25277 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1046; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-021-AD; Amendment 39-18286; AD 2015-20-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), and CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that no instructions for continued airworthiness exist for the nose landing gear (NLG) alternate extension actuator of the NLG alternate release system. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate a new airworthiness limitation task for the NLG alternate extension actuator. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the NLG alternate release system and, if the normal NLG extension system also fails, failure of the NLG to extend, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective November 10, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-1046 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-1046.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Luke Walker, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7363; fax 516-794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), and CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3502).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-24R1, dated December 24, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702), CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), and CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes. The MCAI states:

It was discovered that there are no instructions for continued airworthiness for the Nose Landing Gear (NLG) alternate extension actuator. Without an effective maintenance task to maintain the aeroplane's inherent level of safety, there is a potential that a dormant failure of the alternate release system of the NLG could occur. Failure of the NLG alternate release system could prevent the nose landing gear from extending in the case of a failure of the normal NLG extension system.

This [Canadian] AD is to mandate the incorporation of a new maintenance task to prevent failure of the NLG alternate release system.

Revision 1 of this [Canadian] AD changes the phase-in time to be based on the NLG manual release actuators instead of aeroplanes.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-1046-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015)

Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) International agreed with the intent of the NPRM (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015).

Request To Revise Compliance Time

Envoy Airlines and Mesa Airlines asked that we revise the compliance time language in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015) from “whichever occurs first” to “whichever occurs later.” The compliance time, as written, could result in airplanes being grounded. Envoy Airlines added that the compliance time referred to in the TCCA AD is “whichever occurs later.” Mesa Airlines noted that changing the compliance time would also allow for scheduling and parts procurement.

We agree with the commenters' request for the reasons provided, and due to the fact that this was an inadvertent error. We have revised the compliance time in paragraph (h) of this AD as requested.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 3502, January 23, 2015).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Bombardier, Inc. has issued Task 320100-225, Restoration of the NLG Manual Release Actuator, of Subject 1-32, Landing Gear, of Section 1, Systems and Powerplant Program, Volume 1 of Part 1, Maintenance Review Board Report, Revision 14, dated July 10, 2013, of the CRJ 700/900/1000 Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP-B-053. This service information describes an airworthiness limitation task for the NLG alternate extension actuator. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 416 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it takes about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $35,360, or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $85 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-1046; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

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): 2015-20-07 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18286. Docket No. FAA-2014-1046; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-021-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective November 10, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

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

(1) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, serial number (S/N) 10002 and subsequent.

(2) Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705), and CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes, S/N 15001 and subsequent.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that no instructions for continued airworthiness exist for the nose landing gear (NLG) alternate extension actuator of the NLG alternate release system. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the NLG alternate release system and, if the normal NLG extension system also fails, failure of the NLG to extend, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in Task 320100-225, Restoration of the NLG Manual Release Actuator, of Subject 1-32, Landing Gear, of Section 1, Systems and Powerplant Program, Volume 1 of Part 1, Maintenance Review Board Report, Revision 14, dated July 10, 2013, of the CRJ 700/900/1000 Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP-B-053. The initial compliance time for the task is specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(h) Initial Task Compliance Time

Before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles, or within 5,500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Perform the initial restoration specified in Task 320100-225, Restoration of the NLG Manual Release Actuator, of Subject 1-32, Landing Gear, of Section 1, Systems and Powerplant Program, Volume 1 of Part 1, Maintenance Review Board Report, Revision 14, dated July 10, 2013, of the CRJ 700/900/1000 Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP-B-053.

(i) No Alternative Actions and Intervals

After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7300; fax (516) 794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

Refer to MCAI Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-24R1, dated December 24, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-1046-0002.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Task 320100-225, Restoration of the NLG Manual Release Actuator, of Subject 1-32, Landing Gear, of Section 1, Systems and Powerplant Program, Volume 1 of Part 1, Maintenance Review Board Report, Revision 14, dated July 10, 2013, of the CRJ 700/900/1000 Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP-B-053.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 27, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25219 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0684; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-215-AD; Amendment 39-18285; AD 2015-20-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Model DHC-7-1 and DHC-7-100 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks that were discovered in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles. This AD requires a one-time detailed visual inspection for cracking in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles; and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles, which could lead to the loss of stiffness in the forward engine mount; and possible catastrophic failure.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective November 10, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0684 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited, 9574 Hampden Road, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 8V5, Canada; telephone 250-656-7227; fax 250-656-0673; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.vikingair.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0684.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228 7329; fax 516-794 5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Model DHC-7-1 and DHC-7-100 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2015 (80 FR 19572).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-34, dated October 2, 2014, dated (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Model DHC-7-1 and DHC-7-100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Longitudinal cracks were discovered in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles at station XN1 78. The cracks were partially hidden by bearing blocks, Part Number (P/N) 75420978, at the nacelle latch locations. Undetected, these cracks may lead to the loss of stiffness in the forward engine mount; which may lead to a catastrophic failure.

Required actions include a one-time detailed visual inspection for cracking of the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles. Corrective actions include repair, if necessary. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0684-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 19572, April 13, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 19572, April 13, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 19572, April 13, 2015).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Viking Air Limited has issued Service Bulletin V7-54-02, Revision NC, dated December 14, 2012. The service information describes procedures for an inspection for cracks in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles; and repair if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 10 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $2,550, or $255 per product.

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0684; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

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): 2015-20-06 Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.): Amendment 39-18285. Docket No. FAA-2015-0684; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-215-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective November 10, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Viking Air Limited (Type Certificate previously held by Bombardier, Inc.) Model DHC-7-1 and DHC-7-100 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/Pylons.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks that were discovered in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles, which could lead to the loss of stiffness in the forward engine mount; and possible catastrophic failure.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Repair

Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time detailed visual inspection for cracking in the outboard nacelles upper longeron channels and angles, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Viking Air Limited Service Bulletin V7-54-02, Revision NC, dated December 14, 2012. If any cracking is found during the inspection required by this paragraph: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Viking Air Limited's (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Viking Air Limited's (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(i) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

(j) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-34, dated October 2, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0684-0002.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Viking Air Limited Service Bulletin V7-54-02, Revision NC, dated December 14, 2012.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Viking Air Limited, 9574 Hampden Road, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 8V5, Canada; telephone 250-656-7227; fax 250-656-0673; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.vikingair.com.

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 27, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-25218 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. 2015-3375; Amendment No. 71-47] RIN 2120-AA66 Airspace Designations; Incorporation by Reference Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule, technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

This action incorporates certain amendments into FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, for incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1.

DATES:

Effective date 0901 UTC October 6, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 CFR part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah A. Combs, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it makes the necessary updates for airspace areas within the National Airspace System.

History

Federal Aviation Administration Airspace Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1, is published yearly. Amendments referred to as “effective date straddling amendments” were published under Order 7400.9Y (dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014), but became effective under Order 7400.9Z (dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015). This action incorporates these rules into the current FAA Order 7400.9Z.

Accordingly, as this is an administrative correction to update final rule amendments into FAA Order 7400.9Z, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary. Also, to bring these rules and legal descriptions current, I find that good cause exists, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 to incorporate certain final rules into the current FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which are depicted on aeronautical charts.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. Section 71.1 is revised to read as follows:

For Docket No. FAA-2015-2219; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWA-5 (80 FR 42708, July 20, 2015). On page 42709, column 1, line 3, under ADDRESSES; and on page 42709, column 2, line 62 and line 65, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 42709, column 2, line 59, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 42710, column 1, line 33, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2014-0565; Airspace Docket No. 14-ACE-7 (80 FR 43311, July 22, 2015). On page 43311, column 3, line 17, under ADDRESSES; and on page 43312, column 1, line 31 and line 34, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 43312, column 1, line 17, under History; and on page 43312, column 1, line 28, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 43312, column 1, line 49, under The Rule; and on page 43312, column 2, line 45, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2014-1067; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-15 (80 FR 43312, July 22, 2015). On page 43312, column 3, line 38, under ADDRESSES; and on page 43313, column 2, line 2 and line 5, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 43313, column 1, line 55, under History; and on page 43313, column 1, line 65, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 43313, column 3, line 22, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-0046; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-23 (80 FR 44841, July 28, 2015). On page 44841, column 2, line 45, under ADDRESSES; and on page 44841, column 3, line 60 and line 63, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 44841, column 3, line 45, under History; and on page 44841, column 3, line 56, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 44842, column 1, line 17, under The Rule; and on page 44842, column 2, line 16, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-0458; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASO-2 (80 FR 44842, July 28, 2015). On page 44842, column 3, line 7, under ADDRESSES; and on page 44843, column 1, line 18 and line 21, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 44843, column 1, line 4, under History; and on page 44843, column 1, line 14, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 44843, column 2, line 32, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-0044; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASO-3 (80 FR 44843, July 28, 2015). On page 44843, column 3, line 29, under ADDRESSES; and on page 44844, column 1, line 44 and line 47, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 44844, column 1, line 30, under History; and on page 44844, column 1, line 41, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 44844, column 2, line 56, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2014-0968; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-17 (80 FR 44844, July 28, 2015). On page 44845, column 1, line 1, under ADDRESSES; and on page 44845, column 2, line 12 and line 15, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 44845, column 1, line 64, under History; and on page 44845, column 2, line 9, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 44845, column 3, line 28, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1135; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-9 (80 FR 48425, August 13, 2015). On page 48425, column 1, line 41, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48425, column 3, line 7 and line 10, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48425, column 2, line 51, under History; and on page 48425, column 3, line 4, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48426, column 1, line 32, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1481; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-1 (80 FR 48426, August 13, 2015). On page 48426, column 2, line 31, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48426, column 3, line 47 and line 50, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48426, column 3, line 34, under History; and on page 48426, column 3, line 44, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48427, column 1, line 58, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1650; Airspace Docket No. 14-AEA-8 (80 FR 48427, August 13, 2015). On page 48427, column 3, line 3, under ADDRESSES remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48427, column 3, line 58, under Background remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-0691; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-6 (80 FR 48428, August 13, 2015). On page 48428, column 2, line 11, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48428, column 3, line 24 and line 27, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48428, column 3, line 10, under History; and on page 48428, column 3, line 21, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48429, column 1, line 41, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1134; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-7 (80 FR 48429, August 13, 2015). On page 48429, column 2, line 58, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48430, column 1, line 7 and line 10, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48429, column 3, line 60, under History; and on page 48430, column 1, line 4, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48430, column 2, line 22, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1133; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-8 (80 FR 48430, August 13, 2015). On page 48430, column 3, line 22, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48431, column 1, line 32 and line 35, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48431, column 1, line 19, under History; and on page 48431, column 1, line 29, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48431, column 2, line 52, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-0671; Airspace Docket No. 15-ANM-5 (80 FR 48431, August 13, 2015). On page 48431, column 3, line 57, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48432, column 2, line 15 and line 18, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48432, column 2, line 2, under History; and on page 48432, column 2, line 12, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48432, column 3, line 42, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-3325; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-15 (80 FR 48686, August 14, 2015). On page 48686, column 3, line 3, under ADDRESSES; and on page 48687, column 1, line 13 and line 16, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 48686, column 3, line 65, under History; and on page 48687, column 1, line 10, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 48687, column 2, line 23, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2014-1070; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-9 (80 FR 51121, August 24, 2015). On page 51121, column 3, line 40, under ADDRESSES; and on page 51122, column 2, line 25 and line 28, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 51122, column 2, line 13, under History; and on page 51122, column 2, line 22, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 51122, column 3, line 56, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

For Docket No. FAA-2015-1623; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-10 (80 FR 52392, August 31, 2015). On page 52392, column 2, line 32, under ADDRESSES; and on page 52392, column 3, line 45 and line 48, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, . . .”. On page 52392, column 3, line 32, under History; and on page 52392, column 3, line 42, under Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference; and on page 52393, column 1, line 61, under Amendatory Instruction 2 remove “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, . . .” and add in its place “. . . FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, . . .”.

Issued in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2015-25306 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0368; Airspace Docket No. 14-ACE-9] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Iowa Towns: Audubon, IA; Corning, IA; Cresco, IA; Eagle Grove, IA; Guthrie Center, IA; Hampton, IA; Harlan, IA; Iowa Falls, IA; Knoxville, IA; Oelwein, IA; and Red Oak, IA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Audubon County Airport, Audubon, IA; Corning Municipal Airport, Corning, IA; Ellen Church Field Airport, Cresco, IA; Eagle Grove Municipal Airport, Eagle Grove, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; Hampton Municipal Airport, Hampton, IA; Harlan Municipal Airport, Harlan, IA; Iowa Falls Municipal Airport, Iowa Falls, IA; Knoxville Municipal Airport, Knoxville, IA; Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA; and Red Oak Municipal Airport, Red Oak, IA. Decommissioning of the non-directional radio beacons (NDBs) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities has made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roger P. Waite, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: (817) 868-2929.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 12th, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Audubon County Airport, Audubon, IA; Corning Municipal Airport, Corning, IA; Ellen Church Field Airport, Cresco, IA; Eagle Grove Municipal Airport, Eagle Grove, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; Hampton Municipal Airport, Hampton, IA; Harlan Municipal Airport, Harlan, IA; Iowa Falls Municipal Airport, Iowa Falls, IA; Knoxville Municipal Airport, Knoxville, IA; Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA; and Red Oak Municipal Airport, Red Oak, IA. (80 FR 27119). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface for new standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs) at Audubon County Airport, Audubon, IA; Corning Municipal Airport, Corning, IA; Ellen Church Field Airport, Cresco, IA; Eagle Grove Municipal Airport, Eagle Grove, IA; Guthrie County Regional Airport, Guthrie Center, IA; Hampton Municipal Airport, Hampton, IA; Harlan Municipal Airport, Harlan, IA; Iowa Falls Municipal Airport, Iowa Falls, IA; Knoxville Municipal Airport, Knoxville, IA; Oelwein Municipal Airport, Oelwein, IA; and Red Oak Municipal Red Oak, IA. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs and/or the cancellation of the NDB approach at each airport. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airports.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth ACE IA E5 Audubon, IA [Amended] Audubon County Airport, IA (Lat. 41°42′06″ N., long. 94°55′14″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of the Audubon County Airport.

ACE IA E5 Corning IA [Amended] Corning Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 40°59′39″ N., long. 94°45′18″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Corning Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Cresco, IA [Amended] Ellen Church Field Airport, IA (Lat. 43°21′55″ N., long. 92°07′59″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Ellen Church Field Airport.

ACE IA E5 Eagle Grove, IA [Amended] Eagle Grove Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 42°42′36″ N., long 93°54′58″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of the Eagle Grove Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Guthrie Center, IA [Amended] Guthrie County Regional Airport, IA (Lat. 41°41′13″ N., long. 94°26′06″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of the Guthrie County Regional Airport.

ACE IA E5 Hampton, IA [Amended] Hampton Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 42°43′25″ N., long. 93°13′35″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Hampton Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Harlan, IA [Amended] Harlan Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°35′04″ N., long. 95°20′23″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Harlan Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Iowa Falls, IA [Amended] Iowa Falls Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 42°28′17″ N., long. 93°16′15″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Iowa Falls Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Knoxville, IA [Amended] Knoxville Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°17′57″ N., long. 93°06′50″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.8-mile radius of Knoxville Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Oelwein, IA [Amended] Oelwein Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 42°40′51″ N., long. 91°58′28″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.3-mile radius of Oelwein Municipal Airport.

ACE IA E5 Red Oak, IA [Amended] Red Oak Municipal Airport, IA (Lat. 41°00′39″ N., long. 95°15′32″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Red Oak Municipal Airport; and within 2 miles each side of the 354° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 11 miles north of the airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on September 23, 2015. Vonnie L. Royal, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-25083 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1622; Airspace Docket No. 15-AWP-9] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Stockton, CA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Stockton, CA. A review of the airspace and the decommissioning of the Manteca VHF omnidirectional radio range and distance measuring equipment (VOR/DME), has made it necessary to amend the airspace areas for the safety and management of the new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On June 24, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace and Class E airspace at Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Stockton, CA (80 FR 36261) . Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D and Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class D airspace, Class E surface area airspace, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Stockton, CA. Decommissioning of the Manteca VOR/DME, and subsequent review of the airspace revealed airspace redesign necessary for the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airport. The Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace are expanded to within a 4.5-mile radius of Stockton Metropolitan Airport. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within a 7-mile radius of Stockton Metropolitan Airport. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace AWP CA D Stockton, CA (Modified) Stockton Metropolitan Airport, CA (Lat. 37°53′39″ N., long. 121°14′18″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.5 mile radius of Stockton Metropolitan Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas AWP CA E2 Stockton, CA (Modified) Stockton Metropolitan Airport, CA (Lat. 37°53′39″ N., long. 121°14′18″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 4.5 mile radius of Stockton Metropolitan Airport.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth AWP CA E5 Stockton, CA (Modified) Stockton Metropolitan Airport, CA (Lat. 37°53′39″ N., long. 121°14′18″ W.) Stockton Metropolitan Airport, point in space coordinates (Lat. 37°53′04″ N., long. 121°13′18″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of the Stockton Metropolitan Airport point in space coordinates at lat. 37°53′04″ N., long. 121°13′18″ W. That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface bounded on the east by long. 120°04′04″ W, on the southeast by a line extending from lat. 37°52′00″ N, long. 120°04′04″ W; to lat. 37°38′00″ N, long. 121°00′04″ W, on the south by lat. 37°38′00″ N, on the west by long. 121°37′04″ W, and on the north by lat. 38°07′00″ N; excluding that airspace within Restricted Area R-2531 when active.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on September 29, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-25281 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Part 12 [CBP Dec. 15-13] RIN 1515-AE05 Extension of Import Restrictions on Certain Categories of Archaeological Material From the Pre-Hispanic Cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua AGENCY:

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document amends Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations to reflect the extension of import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological material from the Pre-Hispanic cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua. The restrictions, which were originally imposed by Treasury Decision (T.D.) 00-75 and extended by CBP Decision (CBP Dec.) 05-33 and CBP Dec. 10-32 are due to expire on October 20, 2015. The Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, has determined that factors continue to warrant the imposition of import restrictions and no cause for suspension exists. Accordingly, these import restrictions will remain in effect for an additional 5 years, and the CBP regulations are being amended to reflect this extension until October 20, 2020. These restrictions are being extended pursuant to determinations of the United States Department of State made under the terms of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act that implemented the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. T.D. 00-75 contains the Designated List of archaeological material representing Pre-Hispanic cultures of Nicaragua to which the restrictions apply.

DATES:

Effective: October 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For legal aspects, Lisa L. Burley, Chief, Cargo Security, Carriers and Restricted Merchandise Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, (202) 325-0030. For operational aspects, William R. Scopa, Branch Chief, Partner Government Agency Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, (202) 863-6554, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Pursuant to the provisions of the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention, implemented by the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (Pub. L. 97-446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.), the United States entered into a bilateral agreement with the Republic of Nicaragua concerning the imposition of import restrictions on certain categories of archeological material from the Pre-Hispanic cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua on June 16, 1999, and following completion by the Government of Nicaragua of all internal legal requirements, the agreement entered into force on October 20, 2000. On October 26, 2000, the former U.S. Customs Service (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)) published T.D. 00-75 in the Federal Register (65 FR 64140), which amended 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to reflect the imposition of these restrictions and included a list designating the types of articles covered by the restrictions.

Import restrictions listed in 19 CFR 12.104g(a) are “effective for no more than five years beginning on the date on which the agreement enters into force with respect to the United States. This period may be extended for additional periods of not more than five years if it is determined that the factors which justified the initial agreement still pertain and no cause for suspension of the agreement exists” (19 CFR 12.104g(a)).

Since the initial notice was published on October 26, 2000, the import restrictions were extended twice. First, on October 20, 2005, CBP published CBP Dec. 05-33 in the Federal Register (70 FR 61031) which amended 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to reflect the extension for an additional period of 5 years. Subsequently, on October 20, 2010, CBP published CBP Dec. 10-32 in the Federal Register (75 FR 64654) to extend the import restriction for an additional five year period to October 20, 2015.

On October 17, 2014, the Department of State received a request by the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua to extend the Agreement. Subsequently, the Department of State proposed to extend the Agreement. After considering the views and recommendations of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State, determined that the cultural heritage of Nicaragua continues to be in jeopardy from pillage of Pre-Hispanic archaeological materials, and made the necessary determinations to extend the import restrictions for an additional five years. Diplomatic notes have been exchanged, reflecting the extension of those restrictions for an additional five year period. Accordingly, CBP is amending 19 CFR 12.104g(a) to reflect this extension of the import restrictions.

The Designated List of Pre-Hispanic Archaeological Material from Nicaragua covered by these import restrictions is set forth in T.D. 00-75. The Designated List and accompanying image database may also be found at the following Internet Web site address: http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/culprop/nifact.html.

The restrictions on the importation of these archaeological materials from the Republic of Nicaragua are to continue in effect for an additional 5 years. Importation of such material continues to be restricted unless the conditions set forth in 19 U.S.C. 2606 and 19 CFR 12.104c are met.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

This amendment involves a foreign affairs function of the United States and is, therefore, being made without notice or public procedure (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). In addition, CBP has determined that such notice or public procedure would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because the action being taken is essential to avoid interruption of the application of the existing import restrictions (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)). For the same reasons, a delayed effective date is not required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

Executive Order 12866

Because this rule involves a foreign affairs function of the United States, it is not subject to Executive Order 12866.

Signing Authority

This regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.1(a)(1).

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

Cultural property, Customs duties and inspection, Imports, Prohibited merchandise.

Amendment to CBP Regulations

For the reasons set forth above, part 12 of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 12) is amended as set forth below:

PART 12—SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE 1. The general authority citation for part 12 and the specific authority citation for § 12.104g continue to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624;

Sections 12.104 through 12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 2612;

§ 12.104g [Amended]
2. In § 12.104g, paragraph (a), the table is amended in the entry for Nicaragua in the “Decision No.” column by removing the reference to “CBP Dec. 10-32” and adding in its place “CBP Dec. 15-13 ”.
R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: October 1, 2015. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2015-25413 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9737] RIN 1545-BK96 Controlled Group Regulation Examples; Correction AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations; correction.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to final regulations (TD 9737) that were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 (80 FR 55243). The final rules are with revisions to examples that illustrate the controlled group rules applicable to regulated investment companies (RICs).

DATES:

This correction is effective October 6, 2015 and applicable September 15, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Julanne Allen at (202) 317-6945 or Susan Baker at (202) 317-7053 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The final regulation (TD 9737) that is the subject of this correction is under section 851(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Need for Correction

As published, the final regulation (TD 9737) contains errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

Correction of Publication

Accordingly, the final regulation (TD 9737), that is the subject of FR Rule Doc. 2015-23137, published September 15, 2015 (80 FR 55243), is corrected as follows:

1. On page 55243, in the preamble, third column, under section heading “1. Fund of Funds, second line from the bottom of the first full paragraph, “a Lower RIC have different quarter end” is corrected to read “a Lower RIC have different quarter-end”.

2. On page 55245, in the preamble, first column, fifth line from the bottom of the first full paragraph, “test in section 851(b)(3)(ii); and ” is corrected to read “851(b)(3)(B)(ii)”.

3. On page 55245, in the preamble, first column, first line from the bottom of the first full paragraph, “in section 851(b)(3)(iii).” is corrected to read “in section 851(b)(3)(B)(iii).”

Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
[FR Doc. 2015-25355 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0918] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Ebey Slough (Snohomish River), Marysville, WA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BNSF) Bridge 38.3 across Ebey Slough (Snohomish River), mile 1.5 at Marysville, WA. The deviation is necessary to accommodate scheduled bridge rail joint maintenance and replacement. The deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the maintenance to allow safe movement of work crews.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on October 11, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0918] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email the Bridge Administrator, Coast Guard Thirteenth District; telephone 206-220-7234, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

BNSF has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule for the BNSF RR Bridge 38.3, mile 1.5, crossing Ebey Slough (Snohomish River), at Marysville, WA. BNSF requested the BNSF RR Bridge 38.3 remain in the closed-to-navigation position for rail maintenance. This maintenance has been scheduled, and is funded as part of the Cascade Corridor Improvement Project.

The normal operating schedule for this bridge operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5 which states it must open promptly on signal at any time, and requires constant attendance by with a drawtender. BNSF RR Bridge 38.3 provides 5 feet of vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position above high-water, and at the lowest tides up to 16 feet may be available.

This deviation allows the BNSF RR Bridge 38.3, at mile 1.5 crossing Ebey Slough, to remain in the closed-to navigation position, and need not open for maritime traffic from 6 a.m. on October 11, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2015. The bridge shall operate in accordance to 33 CFR part 117 subpart A at all other times.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will be required to open, if needed, for vessels engaged in emergency response operations during this closure period, but any time lost to emergency openings will necessitate a time extension add to the approved dates. Waterway usage on this part of the Snohomish River and Ebey Slough includes vessels ranging from a commercial tug to small pleasure craft. No immediate alternate route for vessels to pass is available on this part of the river. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: September 23, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-25314 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0933] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Trent River, New Bern, NC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the U.S. 70 (Alfred C. Cunningham) Bridge across the Trent River, mile 0.0, at New Bern, NC. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to accommodate the free movement of pedestrians and vehicles during the 2015 Neuse River Bridge Run.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on October 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0933], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Event Director for the 2015 Neuse River Bridge Run, with approval from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the U.S. 70 (Alfred C. Cunningham) Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to accommodate the free movement of pedestrians and vehicles during the 2015 Neuse River Bridge Run. The bridge is a bascule bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 14 feet above mean high water.

The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.843(a). Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation position from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on October 17, 2015. The Trent River is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial vessels and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with commercial and recreational waterway users.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impacts caused by this temporary deviation.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: October 1, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-25367 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0932] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Trent River, New Bern, NC AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the U.S. 70 (Alfred C. Cunningham) Bridge across the Trent River, mile 0.0, at New Bern, NC. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to accommodate the free movement of pedestrians and vehicles during the 2015 New Bern Mumfest celebration.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 9 a.m. on October 10, 2015, until 5 p.m. on October 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0932], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6222, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Event Director for the New Burn Mumfest, with approval from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the U.S. 70 (Alfred C. Cunningham) Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations to accommodate the free movement of pedestrians and vehicles during the 2015 New Bern MumFest celebration. The bridge is a bascule bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 14 feet above mean high water.

The current operating schedule is set out in 33 CFR 117.843(a). Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will open to marine traffic every two hours, on the hour, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on October 10, 2015 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on October 11, 2015. The bridge will operate per 33 CFR 117.843(a) from 7 p.m. on October 10, 2015 until 9 a.m. on October 11, 2015. The Trent River is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial vessels and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with commercial and recreational waterway users.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impacts caused by this temporary deviation.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: October 1, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-25372 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2010-0283; FRL-9935-04-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the Minor New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP) for Portable Facilities AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on March 19, 2010 and July 2, 2010. These revisions to the Texas SIP revise the minor New Source Review (NSR) program to provide for the relocation and change of location of permitted portable facilities, establish definitions related to portable facilities, and establish public participation for changes of location to portable facilities. The EPA finds that these revisions to the Texas SIP comply with the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act or CAA) and are consistent with our regulations and policy for minor NSR. The EPA is finalizing this approval under section 110 of the Act.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on November 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2010-0283. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Aimee Wilson, (214) 665-7596, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. Background

The background for today's action is discussed in detail in our July 17, 2015 proposal (80 FR 42443). In that notice, we proposed to approve severable portions of SIP submittals for the State of Texas submitted on March 19, 2010, and July 2, 2010 that revised the Texas SIP minor NSR program for portable facilities. The TCEQ issues the underlying minor NSR portable facility permits under the existing minor NSR SIP provisions in Chapter 116. 30 TAC Sections 116.20 and 116.178 provide that once a permit has been issued to a portable facility, the facility can be moved either through a change of location or a relocation. A change of location occurs when a portable facility is moved to a new location and is required to go through the SIP-approved minor NSR public notice requirements of Chapter 39. A relocation of a portable facility is movement of the portable facility without public notice under Chapter 39. Relocations occur in one of two scenarios. First, portable facilities can be relocated to a location in support of a public works project in which the new site is located in or contiguous to the right-of way of the public works project. The second possibility, is that a portable facility relocates to a site in which a portable facility has previously been located at any time during the previous two years and the site was subject Chapter 39 public notice requirements. Public notice requirements for the change of location or relocation of a portable facility are established at 30 TAC Section 39.402(a)(12). We received one comment letter in support of our proposal. Therefore, we are taking this final action under section 110 of the Act.

II. Final Action

We are approving severable portions of SIP submittals for the State of Texas submitted on March 19, 2010, and July 2, 2010, that revised the Texas SIP minor NSR program for portable facilities. The EPA has determined that the submitted rules were adopted and submitted in accordance with the CAA and are consistent with our regulations and policies regarding minor NSR permitting. Therefore, the EPA approves the following as revisions to the Texas SIP:

• 30 TAC Section 116.20 as adopted on February 10, 2010, submitted on March 19, 2010;

• 30 TAC Section 116.178 as adopted on February 10, 2010, submitted on March 19, 2010; and

• 30 TAC Section 39.402(a)(12) adopted on June 2, 2010, submitted on July 2, 2010.

This action is being taken under section 110 of the Act.

III. Incorporation by Reference

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

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 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 7, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposed of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon Monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Hydrocarbons, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: September 23, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270(c) the table titled “EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP” is amended by revising the entry for Section 39.402 and adding a new entry for Section 116.20, and by adding a new heading for “Division 8” and a new entry for Section 116.178 in numerical order, to read as follows:
§ 52.2270 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State citation Title/subject State
  • approval/
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA Approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 39—Public Notice Subchapter H—Applicability and General Provisions Section 39.402 Applicability to Air Quality Permits and Permit Amendments 6/2/2010 10/6/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP includes 39.402 (a)(1)-(a)(6), (a)(8), (a)(11), and (a)(12). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 116 (Reg 6)—Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification Subchapter A—Definitions *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.20 Portable Facilities Definitions 2/10/2010 10/6/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Subchapter B—New Source Review Permits *         *         *         *         *         *         * Division 8—Portable Facilities Section 116.178 Relocations and Changes of Location of Portable Facilities 2/10/2010 10/6/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-25343 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 193 Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Part 3555 RIN 0575-AD04 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) proposes to amend the current regulation for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) on the subject of liquidation value appraisals. In order to reduce overall processing time, reduce cost, and expedite claim submission, lenders will order the liquidation value appraisal used to estimate a loss claim against the SFHGLP instead of the Agency. Currently, if a Real Estate Owned (REO) property remains unsold by the lender at the end of the permissible marketing period, the Agency will order a liquidation value appraisal and apply an acquisition and management resale factor to estimate holding and disposition cost. This amendment will require the servicing lender to order the liquidation value appraisal. The costs associated with obtaining the liquidation value appraisal can then be included in the liquidation costs paid under the guarantee.

    DATES:

    Written or email comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before December 7, 2015 to be assured for consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this proposed rule by any one of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0742.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal Express mail, or other courier service requiring a street address to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20024.

    All written comments will be available for public inspection during regular work hours at the 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lilian Lipton, Loan Specialist, Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, STOP 0784, Room 2250, USDA Rural Development, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0784, telephone: (202) 260-8012, email is [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    RHS proposes to amend the current regulation for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) on the subject of liquidation value appraisals. In order to reduce overall processing time, reduce cost, and expedite claim submission, lenders will order the liquidation value appraisal used to estimate a loss claim against the SFHGLP instead of the Agency. Specifically, SFHGLP proposes to amend 7 CFR 3555.306(f)(3), 3555.352(e), 3555.353(b)(1), and 3555.354(b)(1)(i) and (ii) and (2).

    Executive Order 12866, Classification

    This proposed rule has been determined to be non-significant and, therefore was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Except where specified, all State and local laws and regulations that are in direct conflict with this rule will be preempted. Federal funds carry Federal requirements. No person is required to apply for funding under SFHGLP, but if they do apply and are selected for funding, they must comply with the requirements applicable to the Federal program funds. This proposed rule is not retroactive. It will not affect agreements entered into prior to the effective date of the rule. Before any judicial action may be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR part 11 must be exhausted.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

    Environmental Impact Statement

    This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, “Environmental Program.” It is the determination of the Agency that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Public Law 91-190, neither an Environmental Assessment nor an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) the undersigned has determined and certified by signature of this document that this rule change will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule does not impose any significant new requirements on Agency applicants and borrowers, and the regulatory changes affect only Agency determination of program benefits for guarantees of loans made to individuals.

    Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175 imposes requirements on RHS in the development of regulatory policies that have Tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. RHS has determined that the proposed rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian Tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. Thus, this proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If a Tribe determines that this rule has implications of which RHS is not aware and would like to engage with RHS on this rule, please contact USDA's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected].

    Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation

    Theses loan are subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. RHS conducts intergovernmental consultations for each SFHGLP in accordance with 2 CFR part 415, subpart C.

    Programs Affected

    The program affected by this regulation is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Number 10.410, Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans (Section 502 Rural Housing Loans).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection and record keeping requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by OMB in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). The assigned OMB control number is 0570-0179.

    E-Government Act Compliance

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

    Non-Discrimination Policy

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected].

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

    Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Background Information

    The SFHGLP growth has been driven by tight credit markets in which lenders are reluctant to make mortgage loans without Government backing. In order to reduce the time it takes to review and pay a claim, and to increase efficiency of the loss claim process, the program is streamlining the process involved with liquidation value appraisals by requiring the lender to order the appraisal and include the costs associated with this action in the liquidation costs.

    The described change was recommended by a Lean Six Sigma task force as a business process which will improve loss claim payment timeframes by requiring lenders to order liquidation value appraisals, instead of the agency doing so. It will shorten the loss claims process by at least twenty-five-percent, save approximately $203,112 or 5,850 staff hours, and allow the Customer Service Center (CSC) to focus on other stages of the liquidation process that potentially represent greater risk to the taxpayer. As currently performed today, staff will continue to review all appraisals and therefore the proposed change involves no additional program risk.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3555

    Home improvement, Loan Programs—Housing and community development, Mortgage insurance, Mortgages, Rural areas.

    Therefore, chapter XXXV, title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 3555—GUARANTEED RURAL HOUSING PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 3555 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 1471 et seq.

    Subpart G—Servicing Non-Performing Loans 2. Section 3555.306 is amended by revising paragraph (f)(3) to read as follows:
    § 3555.306 Liquidation.

    (f) * * *

    (3) The lender must notify the Agency when the property has not been sold within 30 days of the expiration of the permissible marketing period. If the REO remains unsold at the end of the permissible marketing period, the lender will order a liquidation value appraisal and the Agency will apply an acquisition and management resale factor to estimate holding and disposition cost. Interest expenses accrued beyond 90 days of the foreclosure sale date or expiration of any redemption period, whichever is later, will be the responsibility of the lender and not covered by the guarantee.

    Subpart H—Collecting on the Guarantee 3. Section 3555.352 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 3555.352 Loss covered by the guarantee.

    (e) Liquidation costs. Reasonable and customary liquidation costs, such as attorney fees, liquidation value appraisals, and foreclosure costs. Annual fees advanced by the lender to the Agency are ineligible for reimbursement when calculating the loss payment, as otherwise provided by the Agency.

    4. Section 3555.353 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 3555.353 Net recovery value.

    (b) * * *

    (1) The value of the property as determined by a liquidation value appraisal. The value should be determined as if the property would be sold without the market exposure it would ordinarily receive in a normal transaction, or within 90 days, minus;

    5. Section 3555.354 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 3555.354 Loss claim procedures.

    (b) * * *

    (1) The lender must submit a loss claim request that includes a completed liquidation value appraisal within 30 calendar days of the period ending:

    (i) Nine (9) months after either foreclosure or the end of any applicable redemption period, whichever is later, if the property remains unsold and is not located on American Indian restricted land; or

    (ii) Twelve (12) months after either foreclosure or the end of any applicable redemption period, whichever is later, if the property remains unsold and is located on American Indian restricted land. Late claims made beyond this period of time, or submitted with a liquidation value appraisal not completed within the timeframes described in parts paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, will be rejected.

    (2) The lender must submit a loss claim that includes the completed liquidation value appraisal within 30 calendar days of receiving the appraisal. Late claims made beyond this period of time, or submitted with an appraisal not completed within the timeframes described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, will be rejected.

    Dated: September 3, 2015. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25324 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Parts 121 and 125 RIN 3245-AG71 Credit for Lower Tier Small Business Subcontracting AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) is proposing to amend its regulations to implement Section 1614 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The proposed amendments authorized by this statute would allow an other than small prime contractor that has an individual subcontracting plan for a contract to receive credit towards its small business subcontracting goals for subcontract awards made to small business concerns at any tier. The prime contractor shall incorporate the lower tier subcontracting performance into its subcontracting plan goals. Currently, other than small business prime contractors establish small business subcontracting goals at the first tier level, and receive credit toward their subcontracting plan goal performance at the first tier level. The rule also proposes to implement the statutory requirements related to the subcontracting plans of all subcontractors that are required to maintain such plans, including the requirement to monitor subcontractors' performance and compliance towards reaching the goals set out in those plans as well as their compliance with subcontracting reporting requirements. SBA is also proposing to clarify that the size standard for a particular subcontract must appear in the solicitation for the subcontract.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245-AG71, by any of the following methods:

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

    For mail, paper, disk, or CD/ROM submissions: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    SBA will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. If you wish to submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User Notice at www.regulations.gov, please submit the information to Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, or send an email to [email protected]. Highlight the information that you consider to be CBI and explain why you believe SBA should hold this information as confidential. SBA will review the information and make the final determination on whether it will publish the information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; (202) 207-7337; [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposed rule implements Section 1614 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, Public Law 113-66, December 26, 2013 (hereinafter NDAA 2014). Section 1614 amended section 8(d)(6)(D) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 637(d)(6)(d), to provide that where a prime contractor has a subcontracting plan for a specific prime contract with an executive agency, as required by Section 8(d) of the Small Business Act, the prime contractor will receive credit towards its subcontracting plan goals for awards made to small business concerns at any tier under the contract. When a prime contractor awards a subcontract to a firm it is generally considered a first tier subcontract. That subcontractor may award a subcontract, which would be considered a second tier subcontract, and so on. Currently, a prime contractor generally receives credit towards its small business subcontracting plan goals for awards made at the first tier level.

    Other than small business prime contractors report on their small business subcontracting activity in various ways. Some firms have individual subcontracting plans for each and every Federal prime contract that meets certain threshold requirements. Other firms have commercial plans, which is a plan that covers a firm's entire fiscal year and the firm's entire commercial production sold by either the entire company or a portion thereof (e.g., division, plant, or product line). See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 19.701. Some firms that do business with the Department of Defense have comprehensive subcontracting plans, where the firms' negotiate goals and report on a plant, division or company-wide basis, instead on each individual Federal contract. See Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation § 219.702. Section 1614 further provides that lower tier reporting credit shall not apply where a subcontracting plan applies to more than one contract or to one contract with more than one executive agency. Section 1614 applies only when determining whether or not a prime contractor has met its individual subcontracting plan goals. Thus, Section 1614 does not apply where the prime contractor has a commercial plan or comprehensive subcontracting plan. Section 1614 does not alter the requirement that lower tier subcontractors have subcontracting plans when the subcontracting threshold amounts are met. Section 1614 must be implemented so that subcontracting dollars are only reported once for the same award to avoid double and triple counting the dollars, notwithstanding the fact that a small business subcontract may be reported under more than one subcontracting plan. Section 1614 further provides that where a prime contractor or subcontractor is required to have an individual subcontracting plan, the prime contractor or the subcontractor will review and approve subcontracting plans submitted by their subcontractors, monitor their subcontractors' compliance with the subcontracting plans, ensure that reports are submitted by their subcontractors, acknowledge receipt of subcontractors' reports, monitor subcontractor performance, and discuss subcontractor performance with subcontractors where necessary.

    Section 1614 also requires that a subcontracting plan must contain a recitation of the types of records the prime contractor will maintain to demonstrate the procedures which have been adopted to ensure that subcontractors at all tiers comply with the requirements and goals in their respective subcontracting plans, including the establishment of source lists to identify small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and controlled by women, and efforts to identify and award subcontracts to such concerns.

    SBA is also proposing to clarify that the NAICS code and corresponding size standard for a particular subcontract must appear in the solicitation for the subcontract. The current regulations only reference the subcontract itself. However, the solicitation for the subcontract must contain the size standard that a firm must represent that it meets at the time of its offer for the subcontract in order to be considered a small business concern for that subcontract. In addition, SBA is proposing to allow prime contractors and subcontractors to accept electronic size and socioeconomic representations provided the solicitation and/or subcontract require the firm making the electronic representations to verify the accuracy of the representations. Compliance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 12988, and 13132, 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 (OMB) has determined that this proposed rule is a significant regulatory action for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the next section contains SBA's Regulatory Impact Analysis. This is not a major rule, however, under the Congressional Review Act.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis 1. Is there a need for the regulatory action?

    The proposed regulations implement Section 1614 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. Section 1614(c)(3) requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations necessary to implement the Act.

    2. What are the potential benefits and costs of this regulatory action?

    The benefits and costs of the proposed regulations are minimal. Other than small business prime contractors and subcontractors already establish individual subcontracting plan goals and report on their achievements if the subcontracting plan thresholds are met. Under Section 1614, a prime contractor with an individual subcontracting plan will receive credit towards its goals for small business performance at lower tiers. Thus, there will be some costs to the prime contractor to propose subcontracting plan goals that incorporate small business performance at lower tiers, and there will also be costs to the Government to evaluate whether the prime contractor's goals adequately address maximum practicable small business subcontracting opportunity at all tiers. There may also be costs to the Government as eSRS may have to be modified to allow large business prime contractors to receive small business credit at any tier towards their subcontracting plan goals. There should not be any costs imposed on small business concerns.

    3. What are the alternatives to this final rule?

    Many of the proposed regulations are required to implement specific statutory provisions which require promulgation of implementing regulations. There are no other alternatives that would meet the statutory requirements.

    Executive Order 13563

    As part of its ongoing efforts to engage stakeholders in the development of its regulations, SBA has solicited comments and suggestions from procuring agencies on how to best implement Section 1614. SBA has incorporated those comments and suggestions to the extent feasible. SBA intends to incorporate, where feasible, public input into the final rule.

    Executive Order 12988

    For purposes of Executive Order 12988, SBA has drafted this proposed rule, to the extent practicable, in accordance with the standards set forth in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of that Executive Order, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. This rule has no preemptive or retroactive effect.

    Executive Order 13132

    For the purpose of Executive Order 13132, SBA has determined that this proposed rule 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 layers of government. Therefore, SBA has determined that this proposed rule has no federalism implications warranting preparation of a federalism assessment.

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

    For purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), SBA has determined that this proposed rule, if adopted in final form, would not impose new government-wide reporting and record keeping requirements on other than small prime contractors and subcontractors. When this rule is implemented in the FAR, there may be a requirement to amend or create an information collection. Thus, any PRA implications as part of any proposed rulemaking implementing an SBA final rule in the FAR will be addressed in the FAR rule.

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

    According to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601, when an agency issues a rulemaking, it must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis to address the impact of the rule on small entities. However, section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA defines “small entity” to include “small businesses,” “small organizations,” and “small governmental jurisdictions.” This proposed rule concerns various aspects of SBA's contracting programs. As such, the rule relates to small business concerns, but would not affect “small organizations” or “small governmental jurisdictions” because those programs generally apply only to “business concerns” as defined by SBA regulations, in other words, to small businesses organized for profit. “Small organizations” or “small governmental jurisdictions” are non-profits or governmental entities and do not generally qualify as “business concerns” within the meaning of SBA's regulations.

    There are approximately 290,000 concerns registered as small business concerns in the System for Award Management (SAM) that could potentially be impacted by the implementation of Section 1614. However, we cannot say with any certainty how many will be impacted because we do not know how many of these concerns participate in government contracting as subcontractors. A firm is required to register in SAM in order to participate in Federal contracting as a prime contractor, but not for purposes of subcontracting. However, as discussed elsewhere in this proposed rule, there are no new compliance or other costs imposed by the proposed rule on small business concerns. In sum, the proposed amendments would not have a disparate impact on small businesses and would increase their opportunities to participate in federal government contracting as subcontractors without imposing any additional costs. For the reasons discussed, SBA certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business concerns.

    List of Subjects 13 CFR Part 121

    Government contracts, Government procurement, Small businesses, Size standards.

    13 CFR Part 125

    Government contracts, Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses, Small business subcontracting.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, SBA proposes to amend 13 CFR parts 121 and 125 as follows:

    PART 121—SMALL BUSINESS SIZE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for 13 CFR part 121 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 632, 634(b)(6), 662, and 694a(9).

    2. Amend § 121.411 by removing the second sentence in paragraph (b) and adding two sentences in its place to read as follows:
    § 121.411 What are the size procedures for SBA's Section 8(d) Subcontracting Program?

    (b) * * * Prime contractors may accept a subcontractor's electronic self-certification as to size, if the solicitation for the subcontract contains a clause which provides that the subcontractor verifies by submission of the offer that the size representations and certifications are accurate and complete. Electronic submission may include any method acceptable to the prime contractor including, but not limited to, size representations and certifications made in SAM (or any successor system). * * *.

    PART 125—GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING PROGRAMS 3. The authority citation for 13 CFR part 125 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 632(p), (q); 634(b)(6), 637, 644, 657f, and 657q.

    4. Amend § 125.3 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a)(1) introductory text; b. Add paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C); c. Revise the heading for paragraph (c); d. Revise the first sentence of paragraph (c)(1)(i); e. Revise paragraph (c)(1)(v); f. Remove the word “and” at the end of paragraph (c)(1)(viii); g. Add new paragraphs (c)(1)(x) and (c)(1)(xi).
    § 125.3 What types of subcontracting assistance are available to small businesses?

    (a) * * *

    (1) Subcontract—under this section the term `subcontract' means a legally binding agreement between a contractor that is already under contract to another party to perform work and a third party (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship), hereinafter referred to as the subcontractor, for the subcontractor to perform a part or all of the work that the contractor has undertaken.

    (i) * * *

    (C) Where the subcontracting goals pertain only to an individual subcontracting plan, the contractor may receive credit for small business concerns performing as first tier subcontractors or subcontractors at any tier pursuant to the subcontracting plans required under paragraph (c) of this section in an amount equal to the dollar value of work awarded to such small business concerns. Prime contractors must incorporate the subcontracting plan goals of their lower tier subcontractors in their individual subcontracting plans. Lower tier subcontractors must have their own individual subcontracting plans if the subcontract is at or above the subcontracting plan threshold, and are required to meet their subcontracting plan goals. The actual subcontracting dollars are only reported once for the same award to avoid double counting the dollars, notwithstanding the fact that a small business subcontract may be reported under more than one subcontracting plan.

    (c) Additional responsibilities of other than small contractors. (1) * * *

    (i) Submitting and negotiating before award an acceptable subcontracting plan that reflects maximum practicable opportunities for small businesses in the performance of the contract as subcontractors or suppliers at all tiers of performance. * * *

    (v) The contractor must assign to the solicitation and the resulting subcontract the NAICS code and corresponding size standard that best describes the principal purpose of the subcontract (see § 121.410 of this chapter). The prime contractor may rely on a subcontractor's electronic representations and certifications, if the solicitation for the subcontract contains a clause which provides that the subcontractor verifies by submission of the offer that the size or socioeconomic representations and certifications are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract. Electronic submission may include any method acceptable to the prime contractor including, but not limited to, size or socioeconomic representations and certifications made in SAM (or any successor system). A prime contractor or subcontractor may not require the use of SAM (or any successor system) for purposes of representing size or socioeconomic status in connection with a subcontract;

    (x) The prime contractor must require all subcontractors (except small business concerns) who receive subcontracts in excess of $1,500,000 in the case of a subcontract for the construction of any public facility, or in excess of $650,000 in the case of all other subcontracts, and which offer further subcontracting possibilities, to adopt a subcontracting plan of its own consistent with this section, and must ensure at a minimum that all subcontractors required to maintain subcontracting plans pursuant to this paragraph, will review and approve subcontracting plans submitted by their subcontractors; monitor subcontractor compliance with their approved subcontracting plans; ensure that subcontracting reports are submitted by their subcontractors when required; acknowledge receipt of their subcontractors' reports; compare the performance of their subcontractors to subcontracting plans and goals; and discuss performance with subcontractors when necessary to ensure their subcontractors make a good faith effort to comply with their subcontracting plans; and

    (xi) The prime contractor must recite the types of records the prime will maintain to demonstrate procedures which have been adopted to ensure subcontractors at all tiers comply with the requirements and goals set forth in the plan established in accordance with paragraph (c)(1)(x) of this section, including the establishment of source lists of small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and controlled by women, and the efforts to identify and award subcontracts to such small business concerns.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25234 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3983; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-141-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-300, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for cracks at the floor panel attachment fastener holes; repetitive inspections for cracks in the upper and lower chords of the upper deck floor beams at permanent fastener locations; repetitive inspections for cracks in certain repaired and modified areas; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require repetitive replacement of the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams, including pre-replacement inspections and corrective action if necessary; and post-replacement repetitive inspections and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams. Undetected cracking could result in large deflection or deformation of the upper deck floor beams, resulting in damage to wire bundles and control cables for the flight control system, and reduced controllability of the airplane. Multiple adjacent severed floor beams could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3983.

    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-2015-3983; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roger Caldwell, Aerospace Engineer, Technical Operations Center, ANM-100D, FAA, Denver Aircraft Certification Office, 26805 East 68th Avenue, Room 214, Denver, CO 80249; phone: 303-342-1086; fax: 303-342-1088; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3983; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-141-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as widespread fatigue damage (WFD). As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    An evaluation by the DAH indicated that the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams are subject to WFD. The inspections and replacement in this proposed AD were developed to support the airplane's LOV of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams. Undetected cracking could result in large deflection or deformation of the upper deck floor beams, resulting in damage to wire bundles and control cables for the flight control system, and reduced controllability of the airplane. Multiple adjacent severed floor beams could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

    Other Relevant Rulemaking

    On September 28, 2005, we issued AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005), for certain Boeing Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-300, 747SP, and 747SR series airplanes. AD 2005-20-29 requires repetitive inspections to detect cracks in various areas of the upper deck floor beams, and repair if necessary. AD 2005-20-29 resulted from fatigue testing that revealed severed upper chords of the upper deck floor beams due to fatigue cracking. We issued AD 2005-20-29, to detect and correct cracking in the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams. Undetected cracking could result in large deflection or deformation of the upper deck floor beams, resulting in damage to wire bundles and control cables for the flight control system, and reduced controllability of the airplane. Multiple adjacent severed floor beams could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

    AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005), refers to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, dated April 3, 2003, as the appropriate source of service information for certain inspections. This proposed AD would require new inspections at reduced compliance times, which would end the inspections done using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, dated April 3, 2003.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012. This service information describes procedures for repetitive open hole or surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections, as applicable, for cracks at the floor panel attachment fastener holes in certain areas and stations; repetitive surface HFEC inspections for cracks in the upper and lower chords of the upper deck floor beams at permanent fastener locations in certain areas and stations; and related investigative and corrective actions. This service information also describes procedures, for airplanes on which certain repairs or modifications are done, for repetitive open hole or surface HFEC inspections, as applicable, for cracks in the repaired and modified areas; and repair.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012. This service information describes procedures for repetitive replacement of the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams, including pre-replacement inspections and corrective action, and post-replacement repetitive inspections and repair.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this AD and the Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3983.

    The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary actions, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    For any repair #10 or repair #13 done as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, paragraph (i)(2) of this proposed AD would require that post-repair inspections be done before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD. Operators must contact the FAA or Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) before further flight so that the type of actions and intervals for the post-repair inspections can be determined.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012; specify to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Explanation of Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the installation specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is replaced before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 67 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012 Up to 884 work-hours × $85 per hour = $75,140, per inspection cycle $0 $75,140, per inspection cycle $5,034,380, per inspection cycle. Replacement specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012 Up to 696 work-hours × $85 per hour = $59,160, per replacement 0 [1] $59,160, per replacement $3,963,720, per replacement. Post-replacement inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012 Up to 586 work-hours × $85 per hour = $49,810, per inspection cycle 0 $49,810, per inspection cycle $3,337,270, per inspection cycle. [1] We currently have no specific cost estimates associated with the parts necessary for the proposed replacement.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-3983; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-141-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by November 20, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-300, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams. Undetected cracking could result in large deflection or deformation of the upper deck floor beams, resulting in damage to wire bundles and control cables for the flight control system, and reduced controllability of the airplane. Multiple adjacent severed floor beams could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections of the Upper Chords of the Upper Deck Floor Beams

    At the applicable times specified in Tables 1 through 7 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, except as required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD: Do the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Repeat the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD thereafter at the applicable times specified in Tables 1 through 7 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Doing the inspections required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (m) and (n) of AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005).

    (1) Do an open hole or surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection, as applicable, for cracks at the fastener holes of the floor panel attachment in the applicable areas and stations identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012.

    (2) Do a surface HFEC inspection for cracks in the upper and lower chords of the upper deck floor beams at permanent fastener locations in the applicable areas and stations identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012.

    (h) Terminating Modification and Repair for the Inspection Specified in Paragraph (g)(1) of This AD

    A fastener hole modification or a fastener hole repair in Area 1 or Area 2 as described in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, terminates the inspection of the fastener holes of the floor panel attachment required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD for the repaired or modified area only, provided the modification and repair, including related investigative and corrective actions, are done in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Post Mod/Repair Repetitive Inspections

    (1) For airplanes on which any fastener hole modification or any fastener hole repair was done as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452: Except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in Tables 8 and 9 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, or within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do an open hole or surface HFEC inspection, as applicable, for cracks in the repaired and modified areas, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012. If any cracking is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD. Repeat the applicable inspections thereafter at the times specified in Tables 8 and 9 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012. Doing an inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraph (p) of AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005).

    (2) For any repair #10 or repair #13 done as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452: Before further flight, do post-repair inspections using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD.

    (j) Replacement of the Upper Chords of the Upper Deck Floor Beams (Includes Pre-Replacement Inspections)

    Replace the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams by doing the actions required by paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD at the times specified in those paragraphs. Accomplishing the replacement required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 30,000 total flight cycles, or within 3,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do an open hole HFEC inspection for cracks at certain fastener locations in the floor beam webs and side of body frames, and do a detailed inspection for cracks of any removed part that will be re-installed, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (2) Before further flight after accomplishing the inspections required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, install new upper chords of the upper deck floor beams and reinforcing straps or angles, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD.

    (k) Post-Replacement Repetitive Inspections

    For airplanes on which any replacement required by paragraph (j) or (k)(2)(ii) of this AD is done: At the applicable times specified in Tables 2 through 4 in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012, do HFEC inspections for cracks at the permanent fastener holes and the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012.

    (1) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (k) or (k)(2)(i) of this AD, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD.

    (2) If no cracking is found during any inspection required by the introductory text of paragraph (k) or (k)(2)(i) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Repeat the inspections specified in paragraph (k) of this AD thereafter at the applicable times specified in Tables 8 and 9 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012.

    (ii) Within 10,000 flight cycles after accomplishing the initial HFEC inspections required by paragraph (k) of this AD, replace the upper chords of the upper deck floor beams by doing the actions specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD.

    (l) Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, Revision 1, dated July 16, 2012; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2852, dated June 22, 2012; specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (o) of this AD.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2452, dated April 3, 2003, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2005-20-29, Amendment 39-14326 (70 FR 59246, October 12, 2005).

    (n) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), are not allowed.

    (o) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (p)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (p) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Roger Caldwell, Aerospace Engineer, Technical Operations Center, ANM-100D, FAA, Denver Aircraft Certification Office, 26805 East 68th Avenue, Room 214, Denver, CO 80249; phone: 303-342-1086; fax: 303-342-1088; email: [email protected].

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 27, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25272 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3982; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-098-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 717-200 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by multiple reports of the vertical stabilizer leading edge showing signs of fastener distress. This proposed AD would require a detailed inspection for any distress of the vertical stabilizer leading edge skin, and related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. This proposed AD would also require, for certain airplanes, repetitive detailed inspections of the spar cap for any loose and missing fasteners, repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) and radiographic testing (RT) inspections of the spar cap for any crack, and related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct any crack in the vertical stabilizer leading edge and front spar cap, which may result in the structure becoming unable to support limit load, and may lead to the loss of the vertical stabilizer.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax: 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3982.

    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-2015-3982; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3982; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-098-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We have received reports of ten cases of the vertical stabilizer leading edge on Model 717 airplanes showing signs of fastener distress at the splice station Zfs=52.267. The affected Model 717 airplanes had accrued 22,594 through 40,985 flight hours and 15,352 through 34,766 landing cycles. Similar reports have been found on Model MD-80 and MD-90 airplanes. One Model MD-90 operator reported finding elongated fastener holes at the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer at station Zfs=52.267. The affected Model MD-90 airplane had accrued 15,555 flight-hours and 14,310 landing cycles. Two Model MD-80 operators reported finding a cracked vertical stabilizer skin at station Zfs=52.267; subsequent inspections revealed a severed front spar cap and a cracked front spar web. The affected Model MD-80 airplanes had accrued between 39,749 through 56,212 flight-hours and 32,176 through 44,001 landing cycles when the crack/anomalies were found. Missing fasteners or evidence of elongated fastener holes may be considered an indication that there are undetected cracks in the underlying vertical stabilizer structure. Boeing investigation determined that high loading occurrences, such as, but not limited to, in-flight turbulence can adversely impact the fasteners and loading at the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer.

    This condition, if not corrected, could result in the structure unable to support limit load, and may lead to the loss of the vertical stabilizer.

    Other Relevant Rulemaking

    On May 31, 2011, we issued AD 2011-12-12, Amendment 39-16719 (76 FR 35342, June 17, 2011), for certain The Boeing Company Model MD-90-30 airplanes. That AD requires a detailed inspection to detect distress and existing repairs to the leading edge structure of the vertical stabilizer at the splice at station Zfs=52.267; repetitive inspections for cracking in the front spar cap forward flanges of the vertical stabilizer, and either the aft flanges or side skins; repetitive inspections for loose and missing fasteners; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We issued that AD to detect and correct such cracking damage, which could result in the structure being unable to support limit load, and could lead to the loss of the vertical stabilizer.

    On July 1, 2011, we issued AD 2011-15-01, Amendment 39-16748 (76 FR 41651, July 15, 2011), for certain The Boeing Company Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes. That AD requires a detailed inspection to detect distress and existing repairs to the leading edge structure of the vertical stabilizer at the splice at station Zfs=52.267; repetitive inspections for cracking in the front spar cap forward flanges of the vertical stabilizer, and either the aft flanges or side skins; repetitive inspections for loose and missing fasteners; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We issued that AD to detect and correct such cracking damage, which could result in the structure being unable to support limit load, and could lead to the loss of the vertical stabilizer.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a detailed inspection for any distress of the vertical stabilizer leading edge skin, a detailed inspection for any loose and missing fasteners of the spar cap, HFEC and RT inspections of the spar cap for any crack, and related investigative and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

    The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary action, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 106 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspections for distress 11 work-hours × $85 per hour = $935 per inspection cycle $0 $935 per inspection cycle $99,110 per inspection cycle. Repetitive inspections for cracking and loose and missing fasteners 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 per inspection cycle 0 $595 per inspection cycle $63,070 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-3982; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-098-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by November 20, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 717-200 airplanes, certificated in any category, as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by multiple reports of the vertical stabilizer leading edge showing signs of fastener distress. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct any crack in the vertical stabilizer leading edge and front spar cap, which may result in the structure becoming unable to support limit load, and may lead to the loss of the vertical stabilizer.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Initial Inspection

    Except as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015: Do a detailed inspection for any distress of the vertical stabilizer leading edge skin and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections

    For all airplanes on which no cracking was found during any related investigative action required by paragraph (g) of this AD: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the applicable inspection thereafter at the intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015.

    (1) Do detailed inspections for any for any loose and missing fasteners of the vertical stabilizer leading edge as specified in “Part 4” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015.

    (2) Do high frequency eddy current (HFEC) and radiographic testing (RT) inspections for any crack of the vertical stabilizer spar cap as specified in “Part 2” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015; or do HFEC inspections for any crack of the vertical stabilizer spar cap as specified in “Part 3” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015.

    (i) Exceptions to the Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015 specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-55A0012, dated June 12, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected].

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax: 206-766-5683; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 27, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25271 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 93 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-3980; Notice No. 15-09] RIN 2120-AK74 Pearson Field Airport Special Flight Rules Area AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA is proposing to establish a Special Flight Rules Area in the vicinity of Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, Washington. Pearson Field Airport is located approximately three nautical miles northwest of Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon. The close proximity of the airport traffic patterns and approach courses create converging flight paths between traffic on approach to Portland International Airport and traffic at Pearson Field Airport, increasing the risk for near mid-air collision, mid-air collision and wake turbulence events. The intended effect of this action is to mitigate the identified risk by establishing operating requirements applicable to all aircraft when operating within a designated area at Pearson Field Airport, which would increase overall system efficiency and safety.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-3980 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Jon M. Stowe, Airspace and Rules Team, AJV-113, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8783; email [email protected].

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Lorelei Peter, Office of Chief Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Subtitle I, section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 106(f), which establishes the authority of the Administrator to promulgate regulations and rules. This rulemaking also is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 40103, which vests the Administrator with broad authority to prescribe regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace, and 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires the Administrator to promote safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations and minimum standards for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.

    I. Executive Summary

    This NPRM proposes to establish a special flight rules area (SFRA) around Pearson Field Airport (Pearson Field) in which pilots would have to follow mandatory procedures. These procedures are necessary to assist in the separation of air traffic, and to ensure pilots are aware of potential traffic conflicts between aircraft operating at Pearson Field and Portland International Airport. The purpose is to ensure safety of flight for aircraft operating at Pearson Field Airport and the adjacent Portland International Airport.

    II. Background and History

    Pearson Field is located on the north bank of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, approximately three nautical miles west of Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon. Pearson Field is part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the oldest airports in the United States, and the longest continually operating airport west of the Mississippi. Pearson Field does not have an air traffic control tower.

    Portland International Airport is located 10 miles northeast of downtown Portland and has over 300,000 annual operations, primarily scheduled air carriers conducting operations under title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121. It serves northern Oregon and southwest Washington with service to 120 cities worldwide. Due to the continued growth of Portland International Airport and the close proximity of Pearson Field, the FAA has identified safety issues.

    The airspace area surrounding Pearson Field is excluded from the Portland International Airport Class C airspace area and is commonly referred to as the Pearson cutout. The runway 08 threshold at Pearson Field is directly below the instrument landing system (ILS) final approach course to Portland International Airport's runway 10L. Additionally, runway 10L was expanded to accommodate heavy aircraft and Boeing 757s. These operations increase the risk of wake turbulence events between Portland International Airport arrivals to runway 10L or departures from runway 28L/28R and aircraft operating at Pearson Field.

    The Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) lists the traffic pattern altitude at Pearson Field as 1029 feet mean sea level (MSL) or 1000 feet above ground level (AGL). The A/FD also instructs aircraft operating over the runway centerline or extended runway centerline at Pearson Field to “maintain at or below 700 feet MSL due to traffic and wake turbulence from overflying aircraft to/from Portland International Airport Runway 10L/28R.” This is because aircraft established on the Portland International Airport ILS final approach course to runway 10L pass directly over Pearson's runway 08 threshold at 1091 feet MSL (1062 feet AGL). The close proximity of the traffic pattern and the approach course create converging flight paths between aircraft on approach to Portland International Airport's runway 10L/10R and aircraft operating at Pearson Field.

    These converging flight paths and the lack of vertical separation create potential safety concerns for aircraft operating at both Pearson Field and Portland International Airport, including risk of mid-air collision and wake turbulence events. There is no requirement for pilots to establish communications with air traffic control to receive traffic advisories. In particular, when Portland International Airport is operating on an east traffic flow and weather permits aircraft to operate under visual flight rules (VFR) at Pearson Field the occurrence of traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) resolution advisories (RA) increases.

    To mitigate the identified risk, FAA's Portland Approach Control took measures to increase safety, which included training controllers regarding flight paths into and out of Pearson Field, and refresher training regarding RAs, safety alerts and wake turbulence. Portland Air Traffic Control Tower established the “Pearson Advisory” position to provide traffic advisories to aircraft operating at Pearson Field. Additionally, recommended pilot communications and procedures were placed in the A/FD, which are voluntary but not required. While these mitigations have increased safety and pilot awareness, 20 TCAS RAs were reported and logged by air traffic control during calendar year 2014 and reflect an ongoing safety concern.

    III. The Proposed Rule

    To address the safety concerns between traffic operating at Pearson Field and Portland International Airport, the FAA is proposing to establish a SFRA at Pearson Field by adding new subpart N to part 93, where special air traffic rules are codified. The proposed rule provides a description of the airspace area (proposed § 93.162), communication requirements in the SFRA for both inbound and outbound flights (proposed § 93.163(a)), and procedural requirements necessary to reduce the risks associated with the operation (proposed § 93.163(c)).

    This action proposes to make the following voluntary practices in the A/FD and air traffic procedures applicable in the Pearson Field SFRA and mandatory for all pilots unless otherwise authorized by Air Traffic Control (ATC):

    • Pilots must establish two-way radio communications with Pearson Advisory on the common traffic advisory frequency for the purpose of receiving air traffic advisories prior to entering the SFRA or taxiing onto the runway for departure. Additionally, pilots must continuously monitor the frequency at all times while operating within the designated airspace.

    • When operating over the extended centerline of Pearson Field Runway 8/26, pilots must maintain an altitude at or below 700 feet MSL.

    • Pilots must obtain the Pearson Field weather prior to establishing two-way communications with Pearson Advisory.

    • Pilots must remain outside Portland Class C Airspace.

    • Pilots must make a right-hand traffic pattern when operating to/from Pearson Field Runway 26.

    • Pilots may operate in the area without establishing two-way radio communication, in the event of radio failure, provided that weather conditions at Pearson Field are at or above basic VFR weather minimums.

    IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

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

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

    Due to the continued growth of Portland International Airport and the close proximity of Pearson Field, safety issues have been identified. To address the safety concerns between traffic operating at Pearson Field and Portland International Airport, the FAA is proposing to establish a SFRA at Pearson Field in part 93. The proposed rule provides a description of the area, communication requirements for both inbound and outbound flights, and procedural requirements necessary to reduce the risks associated with the operation.

    Currently, pilots voluntarily comply with procedures in the A/FD, to establish two-way radio communications with Pearson Advisory, and to maintain at or below 700 feet above mean sea level when operating over the extended centerline of Pearson Field Runway 8/26. Additionally, air traffic control instructs pilots on Pearson advisory to obtain the Pearson Field weather, and to remain outside Portland Class C Airspace. As a result of being required to remain outside of Portland's Class C Airspace, pilots must make a non-standard right traffic pattern if landing on runway 26 at Pearson Field. Twenty TCAS resolution advisories (RAs) were reported and logged by air traffic control during calendar year 2014 reflecting an ongoing safety concern. By making the voluntary compliance mandatory, the FAA expects a decrease in the occurrence of, and will avoid an increase in, RAs. Thus, the cost of the rule would be minimal.

    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

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

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

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

    The FAA believes that this proposed rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. With this proposed rule, the procedures and voluntary practices already in place would become mandatory. The intended effect of this action is to mitigate the identified risk by establishing requirements necessary when operating within an established area at Pearson Field, and to increase overall system efficiency and safety; the expected outcome will have only a minimal impact on any small entity affected by this rulemaking action.

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

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

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

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

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

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

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

    G. Environmental Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

    C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

    VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

    • Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

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

    • Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.fdsys.gov.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced above.

    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 93

    Air traffic control, Airports, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 93—SPECIAL AIR TRAFFIC RULES 1. The authority citation for part 93 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40109, 40113, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44715, 44719, 46301.

    2. Add subpart N to part 93 to read as follows: Subpart N—Pearson Field (Vancouver, WA) Airport Traffic Rule Sec. 93.161 Applicability. 93.162 Description of area. 93.163 Aircraft operations.
    § 93.161 Applicability.

    This subpart prescribes special air traffic rules for aircraft conducting VFR operations in the vicinity of the Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver, Washington.

    § 93.162 Description of area.

    The Pearson Field Airport Special Flight Rules Area is designated as that airspace extending upward from the surface to but not including 1,100 feet MSL in an area bounded by a line beginning at the point where the 019° bearing from Pearson Field intersects the 5-mile arc from Portland International Airport extending southeast to a point 11/2 miles east of Pearson Field on the extended centerline of Runway 8/26, thence south to the north shore of the Columbia River, thence west via the north shore of the Columbia River to the 5-mile arc from Portland International Airport, thence clockwise via the 5-mile arc to point of beginning.

    § 93.163 Aircraft operations.

    (a) Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft within the airspace described in § 93.162, or taxi onto the runway at Pearson Field, unless—

    (1) That person establishes two-way radio communications with Pearson Advisory on the common traffic advisory frequency for the purpose of receiving air traffic advisories and continues to monitor the frequency at all times while operating within the specified airspace.

    (2) That person has obtained the Pearson Field weather prior to establishing two-way communications with Pearson Advisory.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, if two-way radio communications failure occurs in flight, a person may operate an aircraft within the airspace described in § 93.162, and land, if weather conditions are at or above basic VFR weather minimums. If two-way radio communications failure occurs while in flight under IFR, the pilot must comply with § 91.185 of this chapter.

    (c) Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, persons operating an aircraft within the airspace described in § 93.162 must—

    (1) When operating over the extended centerline of Pearson Field Runway 8/26, maintain an altitude at or below 700 feet above mean sea level.

    (2) Remain outside Portland Class C Airspace.

    (3) Make a right traffic pattern when operating to/from Pearson Field Runway 26.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40103, and 44701(a)(5) on September 29, 2015. Jodi S. McCarthy, Director, Airspace Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25344 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0388; FRL-9935-08-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport State Implementation Plan for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Texas for the Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The submittal addresses how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (infrastructure SIP or i-SIP). This i-SIP ensures that the State's SIP is adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0388, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    • Email: Nevine Salem at [email protected].

    • Mail or delivery: Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. Deliveries are accepted only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, and not on legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2013-0338. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit electronically any information that you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. 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. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional information on submitting comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Nevine Salem, 214-665-7222, [email protected]. To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with her or Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    On June 22, 2010, the EPA revised the primary SO2 NAAQS (hereafter the 2010 SO2 NAAQS) to establish a new 1-hour standard, with a level of 75 parts per billion, based on the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations (75 FR 35520). Each state must submit the i-SIP within three years after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA includes a list of specific elements the i-SIP must meet.

    On April 23, 2013, the TCEQ submitted an i-SIP for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. On September 13, 2013, the EPA issued guidance addressing the i-SIP elements for all NAAQS.1 This guidance doesn't address CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), which concerns interstate pollution transport affecting attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS.

    1 Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2), Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    The EPA is proposing approval of the April 23, 2013 submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. The EPA is not proposing any action at this time regarding the interstate transport provisions portions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) pertaining to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the NAAQS in other States and the portion of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) regarding visibility protection. We intend to take action as to whether the Texas SIP meets the requirements of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in a later action. In a separate action, we proposed to disapprove the portion of the Texas SO2 i-SIP for CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) pertaining to the visibility protection (79 FR 74818, December 16, 2014). The EPA will take final action on the portion of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) pertaining to visibility protection of the Texas SO2 i-SIP in a future rulemaking. EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Texas' already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation of Texas' 2010 SO2 NAAQS i-SIP Submittal

    Below is a summary of the EPA's evaluation of the Texas i-SIP for each applicable element of CAA section 110(a)(2) A-M.2 Texas provided a demonstration of how the existing Texas i-SIP met all the requirements of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS on May 09, 2013. This SIP submission became complete by operation of law on November 09, 2013. See CAA section 110(k)(1)(B).

    2 Additional information on: The history of SO2, its levels, forms and, determination of compliance; the EPA's approach for reviewing i-SIPs; the details of the SIP submittal and the EPA's evaluation; the effect of recent court decisions on i-SIPs; the statute and regulatory citations in the Texas SIP specific to this review; the specific i-SIP applicable CAA and the EPA regulatory citations; Federal Register Notice citations for Texas' SIP approvals; Texas minor New Source Review program and the EPA approval activities; and Texas' Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD). The TSD can be accessed through www.regulations.gov (e-docket EPA-R06-2013-0388).

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: The CAA § 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of this Act and other related matters as needed to implement, maintain and enforce each of the NAAQS.3

    3 The specific nonattainment area plan requirements of section 110(a)(2)(I) are subject to the timing requirements of section 172, not the timing requirement of section 110(a)(1). Thus, section 110(a)(2)(A) does not require that states submit regulations or emissions limits specifically for attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Those SIP provisions are due as part of each state's attainment plan, and will be addressed separately from the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A). In the context of an infrastructure SIP, the EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, the EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    The Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) provides the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), its Chairman, and its Executive Director with broad legal authority. They can adopt emission standards and compliance schedules applicable to regulated entities; emission standards and limitations and any other measures necessary for attainment and maintenance of national standards; and, enforce applicable laws, regulations, standards and compliance schedules, and seek injunctive relief. This authority has been employed in the past to adopt and submit multiple revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan. The approved SIP for Texas that satisfies the infrastructure requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2) for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS is documented at 40 CFR part 52.2270, Subpart SS. TCEQ's air quality rules and standards are codified at Title 30, Part 1 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). Numerous parts of the regulations codified into 30 TAC necessary for implementing and enforcing the NAAQS have been adopted into the SIP.

    (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: The SIP must provide for establishment and implementation of ambient air quality monitors, collection and analysis of monitoring data, and providing such data to the EPA upon request.

    The TCAA provides the authority allowing the TCEQ to collect air monitoring data, quality-assure the results, and report the data. TCEQ maintains and operates a monitoring network to measure ambient levels of SO2 and submits an annual Network Assessment to the EPA with monitoring requirements. TCEQ's 2014 Air Monitoring Network Plan is the most recent EPA-approved plan and was approved by the EPA on January 14, 2015.4 All monitoring data is measured using the EPA approved methods and subject to the EPA quality assurance requirements. Federally required monitoring is conducted under an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). The TCEQ Web site provides the monitor locations and posts past and current concentrations of criteria pollutants measured in the State's network of monitors.5 TCEQ submits all required data to the EPA, following the EPA regulations. Previously the Texas statewide monitoring network was approved into the SIP on March 7, 1978 (43 FR 9275).

    4 A copy of TCEQ's ambient monitoring network assessment and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    5 See http://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/sites/mon_sites.html and http://www17.tceq.texas.gov/tamis/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.welcome.

    (C) Program for enforcement: The CAA § 110(a)(2)(C) requires SIPs to include the following three elements: (1) A program providing for enforcement of the measures in paragraph A above; (2) a program for the regulation of the modification and construction of stationary sources as necessary to protect the applicable NAAQS (i.e., state-wide permitting of minor sources); and (3) a permit program to meet the major source permitting requirements of the CAA (for areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable for the NAAQS).6

    6 As discussed in further details in the TSD.

    (1) Enforcement of SIP Measures. As noted in (A), the TCAA provides authority for the TCEQ, its Chairman, and its Executive Director to enforce the requirements any regulations, permits or final compliance orders as well as general enforcement powers. Among other things, they can file lawsuits to compel compliance with the statutes and regulations; commence civil actions, issue field citation; conduct investigations of regulated entities; collect criminal and civil penalties; develop and enforce rules and standards related to protection of air quality; issue compliance orders; pursue criminal prosecutions; investigate, enter into remediation agreements; and issue emergency cease and desist orders. The TCAA also provides additional enforcement authorities and funding mechanisms.

    (2) Minor New Source Review (NSR). Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires that the SIP include measures to regulate construction and modification of stationary sources to protect the NAAQS. The Texas minor NSR permitting requirements are approved as part of the SIP.7

    7 The EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove the existing Texas minor NSR program to the extent that it may be inconsistent with the EPA's regulations governing this program. The EPA has maintained that the CAA does not require that new infrastructure SIP submissions correct any defects in existing EPA-approved provisions of minor NSR programs in order for the EPA to approve the infrastructure SIP for element C (e.g., 76 FR 41076-41079). The EPA believes that a number of states may have minor NSR provisions that are contrary to the existing EPA regulations for this program. The statutory requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) provide for considerable flexibility in designing minor NSR programs.

    (3) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. Texas's PSD portion of the SIP covers all NSR regulated pollutants as well as the requirements for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and has been approved by the EPA.8 Texas has a SIP-approved PSD and nonattainment NSR permitting program that contains requirement for sources of air pollutants to obtain an approved permit before beginning construction of a facility and before modifying an existing facility (79 FR 66626, November 10, 2014).

    8 As discussed further in the TSD.

    (D) Interstate and international transport: The requirements for the interstate transport of SO2 emissions are that the SIP contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions to other states which will (1) contribute significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS, (2) interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS, (3) interfere with measures required to prevent significant deterioration or (4) interfere with measures to protect visibility (CAA 110(a)(2)(D)(i)). In addition, States must comply with requirements to prevent transport of international air pollution (CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)).

    The Texas i-SIP submittal discussed the requirements of the CAA section 110(a)(D). We plan to evaluate and take action on the portion of the i-SIP pertaining to emissions which will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS at a later time. As noted above, we proposed to disapprove the portion of the SIP addressing interstate transport and visibility protection in an earlier action (80 FR 74818, December 16, 2014).

    Because Texas has a fully approved Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) SIP addressing all regulated new source review pollutants, we propose to approve the transport portion of the submittal. Revisions to the PSD SIP were approved on November 10, 2014 (79 FR 66626).

    CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires that the SIP contain adequate provisions insuring compliance with the applicable requirements of section 126 (relating to interstate pollution abatement) and 115 (relating to international pollution abatement). Texas meets the section 126 requirements as it has a fully approved PSD SIP and no source or sources have been identified by the EPA as having any interstate impacts under section 126 in any pending action related to any air pollutant. Texas meets the section 115 requirements as there are no final findings by the EPA that Texas air emissions affect other countries. Therefore, we propose to approve the portion of the Texas SO2 i-SIP pertaining to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii).

    (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight: The SIP must provide for the following: (1) Necessary assurances that the state (and other entities within the state responsible for implementing the SIP) will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state or local law to implement the SIP, and that there are no legal impediments to such implementation; (2) requirements relating to state boards; and (3) necessary assurances that the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of any plan provision for which it relies on local governments or other entities to carry out that portion of the plan.

    Both elements (A) and (E) herein address the requirement that there is adequate authority to implement and enforce the SIP and that there are no legal impediments.

    This i-SIP submission for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS describes the SIP regulations governing the various functions of personnel within the TCEQ, including the administrative, technical support, planning, enforcement, and permitting functions of the program.

    With respect to funding, TCAA requires TCEQ establish an emissions fee schedule for sources in order to fund the reasonable costs of administering various air pollution control programs and authorizes TCEQ to collect additional fees necessary to cover reasonable costs associated with processing of air permit applications. The EPA conducts periodic program reviews to ensure that the state has adequate resources and funding to among other things implement and enforce the SIP.

    As required by the CAA, the SIP stipulates that any board or body, which approves permits or enforcement orders, must have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any “significant portion” of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders or who appear before the board on issues related to the CAA. The members of the board or body, or the head of an agency with similar powers, are required to adequately disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    With respect to assurances that the States has responsibility to implement the SIP adequately when it authorizes local or other agencies to carry out portions of the plan, the Texas statutes and the SIP designate the TCEQ as the primary air pollution control agency, and the TCEQ maintains authority to ensure implementation of any applicable plan portion.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: The SIP must provide the establishment of a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and to submit periodic emission reports. It must require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources, to monitor emissions from sources. The SIP shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from sources, and require that the state correlate the source reports with emission limitations or standards established under the CAA. These reports must be made available for public inspection at reasonable times.

    The TCAA authorizes the TCEQ to require persons engaged in operations which result in air pollution to monitor or test emissions and to file reports containing information relating to the nature and amount of emissions. There also are SIP regulations pertaining to sampling and testing and requirements for reporting of emissions inventories. In addition, SIP rules establish general requirements for maintaining records and reporting emissions.

    The TCEQ uses this information, in addition to information obtained from other sources, to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, developing control and maintenance strategies, identifying sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with SIP regulations and additional EPA requirements. The SIP requires this information be made available to the public. Provisions concerning the handling of confidential data and proprietary business information are included in the SIP's regulations. These rules specifically exclude from confidential treatment any records concerning the nature and amount of emissions reported by sources.

    (G) Emergency authority: The SIP must provide for authority to address activities causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment and to include contingency plans to implement such authorities as necessary.

    The TCAA provides TCEQ with authority to address environmental emergencies, and TCEQ has contingency plans to implement emergency episode provisions. Upon a finding that any owner/operator is unreasonably affecting the public health, safety or welfare, or the health of animal or plant life, or property, TCAA authorizes TCEQ to, after a reasonable attempt to give notice, declare a state of emergency and issue without hearing an emergency special order directing the owner/operator to cease such pollution immediately. The TCEQ may issue emergency orders, or issue or suspend air permits as required by an air pollution emergency.

    (H) Future SIP revisions: States must have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or in response to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS.

    The TCAA authorizes the TCEQ to revise its SIP, as necessary, to account for revisions of an existing NAAQS, establishment of a new NAAQS, to attain and maintain the NAAQS, to abate air pollution, to adopt more effective methods of attaining the NAAQS, and to respond to the EPA SIP calls concerning NAAQS adoption or implementation. TCEQ regularly revises the Texas SIP in response to revisions of the NAAQS and the EPA rules.

    (I) Nonattainment areas: The CAA section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of Part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment area. SIP revisions that implement the control strategies necessary to bring a nonattainment area into attainment of the NAAQSs are not required by CAA to be submitted within three years of the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Therefore, § 110(a)(1) does not require this element to be demonstrated as part of an infrastructure SIP submittal (73 FR 16025, at 16206).

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: The SIP must meet applicable requirements of section 121: (1) Relating to interagency consultation regarding certain CAA requirements; section 127 (2) relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and, part C relating to (3) prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    (1) Interagency consultation: As required by the TCAA, there must be a public hearing before the adoption of any regulations or emission control requirements and all interested persons are given a reasonable opportunity to submit data, view, or arguments orally or in writing and to examine witnesses testifying at the hearing. The TCEQ has established public processes for all SIP revisions and permitting programs. The TCEQ consults with other agencies, local agencies, and governmental organizations, as well as with the environmental agencies of other states regarding air quality concerns.

    (2) Public Notification: This i-SIP submission from Texas provides the SIP regulatory citations requiring the TCEQ to regularly notify the public of instances or areas in which any NAAQS are exceeded. Included in the SIP are the rules for TCEQ to advise the public of the health hazard associated with such exceedances; and enhance public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. In addition, as discussed for infrastructure element B above, the TCEQ air monitoring Web site provides quality data for each of the monitoring stations in Texas; this data is provided instantaneously for certain pollutants, such as ozone. The Web site also provides information on the health effects of lead, ozone, particulate matter, and other criteria pollutants.

    (3) PSD and Visibility Protection: All major sources in Texas are subject to Texas' SIP-approved PSD program. The PSD requirements here are the same as those addressed under (C). Texas submitted a SIP revision to address Regional Haze, including a long-term strategy to address visibility impairment for each Class I area that may be impacted by emission from Texas facilities. Texas SIP requirements relating to visibility and regional haze are not affected when the EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS. Therefore, the EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements due to the revision of the NAAQS, and consequently there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to infrastructure element (J) after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.

    (K) Air quality and modeling/data: The SIP must provide for performing air quality modeling, as prescribed by the EPA, to predict the effects on ambient air quality of any emissions of any NAAQS pollutant, and for submission of such data to the EPA upon request.

    The TCEQ has the power and duty, under the TCAA to investigate and develop facts providing for the functions of environmental air quality assessments. Air quality modeling is conducted during development of revisions to the Texas SIP, as appropriate for the State to demonstrate attainment with required NAAQS. Modeling is also a part of the NSR permitting program. Texas has the ability to perform modeling for the primary and secondary SO2 standards and other NAAQS criteria pollutant on a case-by-case permit basis consistent with their SIP-approved PSD rules and with the EPA guidance. Upon request, Texas will submit current and future air quality modeling data to the EPA.

    (L) Permitting Fees: The SIP must require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, to cover the cost of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and, if the permit is issued, the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the permit. The fee requirement applies until a fee program established by the state pursuant to Title V of the CAA, relating to operating permits, is approved by the EPA.

    The TCEQ assesses fees for reviewing permit applications and for enforcing the terms and conditions of permits. See element (E) above for the description of the mandatory collection of permitting fees outlined in the SIP.

    (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: The SIP must provide for consultation and participation by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    The TCEQ has several cooperative agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with various other state and local agencies and organizations. Consultation with a variety of different organizations is a regular part of the TCEQ process for developing a SIP. See element J herein for a discussion of the SIP's public participation process, the authority to advise and consult, and the PSD SIP's public participation requirements. Additionally, the TCAA also requires initiation of cooperative action between local authorities and the TCEQ, between one local authority and another, or among any combination of local authorities and the TCEQ for control of air pollution in areas having related air pollution problems that overlap the boundaries of political subdivisions, and entering into agreements and compacts with adjoining states and Indian tribes, where appropriate.

    III. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve the April 23, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission from Texas, which addresses the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements, or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II) (PSD portion), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). The EPA is not proposing action on: The portion pertaining to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), which concerns interstate pollution transport affecting attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS and the portion pertaining to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) pertaining to visibility protection.

    IV. 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. 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 CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Does not provide 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).

    The EPA is not proposing to approve this infrastructure SIP certification 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, this proposed approval of an infrastructure SIP certification does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Sulfur dioxide reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25337 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0530; FRL-9935-06-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Maryland's Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision pertains to a negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG). This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0530 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-2015-0530, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0530. 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 in www.regulations.gov or may be viewed during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Shandruk, (215) 814-2166, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 172(c)(1) of the CAA provides that SIPs for nonattainment areas must include reasonably available control measures (RACM), including reasonably available control technology (RACT), for sources of emissions. Section 182(b)(2)(A) provides that for certain ozone nonattainment areas, states must revise their SIP to include RACT for sources of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions covered by a CTG document issued after November 15, 1990 and prior to the area's date of attainment. EPA defines RACT as “the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility.” 44 FR 53761 (September 17, 1979).

    CTGs are documents issued by EPA intended to provide state and local air pollution control authorities information to assist them in determining RACT for VOC from various sources. Section 183(e)(3)(c) provides that EPA may issue a CTG in lieu of a national regulation as RACT for a product category where EPA determines that the CTG will be substantially as effective as regulations in reducing emissions of VOC, which contribute to ozone levels, in ozone nonattainment areas. The recommendations in the CTG are based upon available data and information and may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances.

    In 1977, EPA published a CTG for automobile and light-duty truck assembly coatings. After reviewing the 1977 CTG for this industry, conducting a review of currently existing state and local VOC emission reduction approaches for this industry, and taking into account any information that has become available since then, EPA developed a new CTG entitled Control Techniques Guidelines for Automobile and Light-duty Assembly Coatings (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-006; September 2008).

    States can follow the CTG and adopt state regulations to implement the recommendations contained therein. Alternatively, states can adopt a negative declaration documenting that there are no sources or emitting facilities within the state to which the CTG is applicable. The negative declaration must go through the same public review process as any other SIP submittal.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA's Evaluation

    On July 15, 2015, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) submitted to EPA a SIP revision concerning a negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG. MDE stated that the state previously had one source to which this CTG was applicable; however, the source had permanently shut down and dismantled all their equipment as of September 2005.

    EPA reviewed an inspection report provided by MDE indicating that the sole source to which this CTG would have been applicable did indeed permanently shut down in 2005. Additionally, EPA conducted an internet search of key terms relevant to the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG and confirmed that there are no sources or emitting facilities in the State of Maryland to which this CTG is applicable.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the Maryland SIP revision concerning the negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG, which was submitted on July 15, 2015. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. 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 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 rule concerning Maryland's negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25346 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070] RIN 2127-AL57 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Impact Protection, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment Single Unit Trucks AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    This document reopens the comment period for a July 23, 2015 advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that NHTSA issued in response to a petition for rulemaking from Ms. Marianne Karth and the Truck Safety Coalition relating to rear impact (underride) guards. The original comment period closed September 21, 2015. The agency is reopening the comment period for 30 days.

    DATES:

    The comment closing date for the July 23, 2015 ANPRM (Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070; 80 FR 43663) is November 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by the DOT Docket Number) by any of the following methods: the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

    Regardless of how you submit your comments, please mention the docket number of the ANPRM (Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070).

    You may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the discussion under the “Submission of Comments” heading of the July 23, 2015 ANPRM (80 FR at 43679). Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical issues, you may contact Robert Mazurowski, Office of Crashworthiness Standards (telephone: 202-366-1012) (fax: 202-493-2990). For legal issues, you may contact Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (telephone: 202-366-2992) (fax: 202-366-3820). The address for these officials is: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 23, 2015, NHTSA published an ANPRM (80 FR 43663) pertaining to a petition for rulemaking from Ms. Marianne Karth and the Truck Safety Coalition (petitioners) regarding possible amendments to the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) relating to rear impact (underride) guards (FMVSS Nos. 223 and 224). The petitioners requested that NHTSA require underride guards on vehicles not currently required by the FMVSSs to have guards, notably, single unit trucks, and improve the standards' performance requirements for all guards. The ANPRM requested comment on NHTSA's estimated cost and benefits of requirements for underride guards on single unit trucks, and for retroreflective material on the rear and sides of the vehicles to improve the conspicuity of the vehicles to other motorists.1 NHTSA provided a 60-day comment period for the ANPRM, which closed September 21, 2015.

    1 As noted in the ANPRM (80 FR at 43664), in the near future NHTSA will be issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking on improving the standards' performance requirements for guards on all vehicles subject to the standards.

    Reopening of Comment Period

    NHTSA is reopening the comment period for the ANPRM for 30 days.2 NHTSA believes that a 30 day period is sufficient and balances the interests of encouraging public participation in the rulemaking process with the desire to not unnecessarily delay key decisions by NHTSA about the rulemaking and attainment of the potential societal benefits associated with a final rule.

    2 The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) submitted a comment to the docket requesting a “90-day extension” of the comment period for the ANPRM. The request did not meet NHTSA's requirements for timely submissions of petitions for extension of the time to submit comments (see 49 CFR 553.19). The agency's reopening of the comment period does not result from NRMCA's untimely petition. NHTSA also notes that NRMCA's requested 90 day period is excessively long. NRMCA did not explain why 90 additional days, on top of the 60 days originally provided, are needed to respond to the ANPRM.

    Accordingly, the public comment closing dates for DOT Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070 (RIN 2127-AL57) is reopened for 30 days as indicated in the DATES section of this document. NHTSA notes that the 30 day period is in addition to the time that has passed since the original September 21 comment closing date until today. Thus, all in all, more than 30 days has been provided. It is further noted that the agency will consider late comments to the extent possible.

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117 and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

    Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25377 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2015-0150; 4500030113] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Sonoran Desert Tortoise as an Endangered or Threatened Species AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of 12-month petition finding.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of the best available scientific and commercial data, we find that listing the Sonoran desert tortoise is not warranted at this time. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the threats to the Sonoran desert tortoise or its habitat at any time.

    DATES:

    The finding announced in this document was made on October 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2015-0150. Supporting documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this finding to the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Spangle, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES); by telephone at 602-242-0210; or by facsimile at 602-242-2513. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or commercial information that listing the species may be warranted, we make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. In this finding, we will determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not warranted, (2) warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we treat a petition for which the requested action is found to be warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such finding, that is, requiring a subsequent finding to be made within 12 months. We must publish these 12-month findings in the Federal Register.

    Previous Federal Actions

    On December 30, 1982, we published a notice of review, which determined the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) throughout its range in the United States and Mexico to be a Category 2 Candidate species (47 FR 58454); this determination was reaffirmed on September 18, 1985 (50 FR 37958). Category 2 Candidate status was granted to species for which information in our possession indicated that a proposed listing as threatened or endangered was possibly appropriate, but for which sufficient data were not available to make a determination of listing status under the Act. On April 2, 1990, we issued a final rule designating the Mojave population of the desert tortoise (occurring north and west of the Colorado River) as a threatened species under the Act (55 FR 12178). Currently, the Mojave population of the desert tortoise is recognized as a distinct population segment (DPS) under the Act. As part of the Mojave DPS rulemaking, we designated any desert tortoise from the Sonoran population as threatened when observed outside of its known range, due to similarity of appearance under section 4(e) of the Act. On December 5, 1996, we published a rule that discontinued the practice of keeping a list of Category 2 Candidate species (61 FR 64481). From 1996 to 2010 (see below), the Sonoran populations of desert tortoise did not have any Federal status inside their known range (south and east of the Colorado River).

    On October 15, 2008, we received a petition dated October 9, 2008, from WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project (petitioners) requesting that the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise be listed under the Act as a distinct population segment (DPS), as threatened or endangered rangewide (in the United States and Mexico), and critical habitat be designated. On August 28, 2009, we made our 90-day finding that the petition presented substantial scientific information indicating that listing the Sonoran DPS of the desert tortoise may be warranted. The finding and notice of our initiation of a status review was published in the Federal Register on August 28, 2009 (74 FR 44335). On December 14, 2010, we published our 12-month finding that listing the Sonoran DPS of the desert tortoise was warranted, but precluded by other higher priority actions, and the entity was added to our list of candidate species (75 FR 78094).

    Candidate status for the Sonoran DPS of desert tortoise was reaffirmed in the 2011 Candidate Notice of Review (76 FR 66370; October 26, 2011). In 2012, new information was assessed that elevated the Sonoran populations of the desert tortoise to a full species (Gopherus morafkai). We noted this taxonomic change in the 2012 Candidate Notice of Review and revised its accepted nomenclature to “Sonoran desert tortoise” (77 FR 69994; November 21, 2012). We also reaffirmed its candidate status in the Candidate Notices of Review published in 2012 (77 FR 69994; November 21, 2012), 2013 (77 FR 70104; November 22, 2013), and 2014 (79 FR 72450; December 5, 2014).

    In 2011, the Service entered into two settlement agreements regarding species on the candidate list at that time (Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline Litigation, No. 10-377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 (D.D.C. May 10, 2011)). This finding fulfills our obligations regarding the Sonoran desert tortoise under those settlement agreements.

    Species Information

    We collaborated with species experts from public and private sectors to complete the Species Status Assessment Report for the Sonoran Desert Tortoise (SSA Report; Service 2015, entire), which is available online at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2015-0150, and at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Arizona. The SSA Report documents the results of the comprehensive biological status review for the Sonoran desert tortoise (tortoise) and provides an account of the species' overall viability through forecasting of the species' condition in the future (Service 2015, entire). In the SSA Report, we summarized the relevant biological data and a description of past, present, and likely future risk factors and conducted an analysis of the viability of the species. The SSA Report provides the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decision regarding whether this species should be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. This decision involves the application of standards within the Act, its implementing regulations, and Service policies (see Finding below). The SSA Report contains the risk analysis on which this finding is based, and the following discussion is a summary of the results and conclusions from the SSA Report. We solicited peer review of the draft SSA Report from five qualified experts. Responses were received from four of the reviewers, and the SSA Report was modified as appropriate.

    Species Description

    The Sonoran desert tortoise was first described by Cooper in 1863 (pp. 118-123). Since that time, the Sonoran desert tortoise was recognized as a population of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) until advanced genetic analysis supported elevating the Sonoran population of the desert tortoise as a unique species, Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) (Murphy et al. 2011, p. 53). As a result, the Sonoran desert tortoise is recognized as a distinct species (G. morafkai) but retains its common name of “Sonoran desert tortoise” as recommended in Crother et al. (2012, pp. 76-77) to avoid potential confusion of the abbreviation for Morafka's desert tortoise with that of the Mojave desert tortoise (G. agassizii).

    The Sonoran desert tortoise occupies portions of western, northwestern, and southern Arizona in the United States, and the northern two-thirds of the Mexican State of Sonora. In Arizona, adult Sonoran desert tortoises range in total carapace (top shell) length from 8 to 15 inches (in) (20 to 38 centimeters (cm)), with a relatively high domed shell (Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) 2001, p. 1; Brennan and Holycross 2006, p. 54). The maximum recorded length for a Sonoran desert tortoise in Arizona is 19.4 in (49 cm) total carapace length (Jackson and Wilkinson-Trotter 1980, p. 430). The hind limbs are very stocky and elephantine; forelimbs are flattened for digging and covered with large conical scales (AGFD 2001, p. 1; Brennan and Holycross 2006, p. 54). Male Sonoran desert tortoises are differentiated from females by having elongated gular (throat) shields, chin glands visible on each side of the lower jaw (most evident during the breeding season), and a concave plastron (bottom shell) (AGFD 2001, p. 1).

    Sonoran desert tortoises are coldblooded species, which rely on their environment to regulate body temperature (thermoregulation). They feed on a variety of vegetation and spend the majority of their time in underground shelters, coming out mainly to drink, forage, and breed. Tortoises, especially young, small tortoises, are subject to predation by a variety of natural predators, including lizards, snakes, and mammals.

    In general and compared to many other animals, tortoises have relatively low fecundity (females lay about 5 eggs on average every other year), are slow-growing (they may take 15 years to reach sexual maturity), are long-lived (they may live more than 50 years in the wild), experience high survivorship in the wild, and have a relatively long generation time (25 years). The Sonoran desert tortoise's breeding season generally occurs from July through October.

    Habitat and Range

    The tortoise occurs primarily in rocky, steep slopes and bajadas (broad slope extending from the base of a mountain range out into a basin) in various desertscrub habitat types. Tortoise home range size varies with precipitation levels, contracting during wet years and expanding during dry years in response to the availability of forage plants (Averill-Murray and Klug 2000, p. 67). Estimates for average home range sizes for males have varied from 0.04 to 0.10 square miles (sq mi) (10 to 26 hectares (ha)); females generally have smaller home ranges, with averages ranging from 0.01 to 0.09 sq mi (2.6 to 23 ha) (Barrett 1990, p. 203; Averill-Murray and Klug 2000, pp. 55-61; Averill-Murray et al. 2002a, pp. 150-151).

    We conducted a coarse geospatial analysis (see Overview of Analytical Tools) of potential habitat based on elevation, slope, and vegetation type across the species' range. We categorized the potential habitat as high, medium, or low suitability based on the presence of the habitat features that support tortoises (a combination of elevation, vegetation type, and slope). This rangewide geospatial analysis resulted in a prediction of approximately 38,000 sq mi (9.8 million ha) of potential tortoise habitat (see Map 1—Current Sonoran Desert Tortoise Predicted Potential Habitat). Of this total, 64 percent occurs in the United States, and 36 percent occurs in Mexico.

    BILLING CODE 4333-15-P EP06OC15.000 BILLING CODE 4333-15-C Species Needs

    Individual tortoises need access to plants, shelters, and freestanding water. A variety of plants are used for forage, shelter for thermoregulation, and cover from predators. Access to shelter sites is also important for predator avoidance and thermoregulation. Freestanding water is needed for hydration. Finally, tortoises need enough available space to complete movements to support life-history functions of feeding and breeding. Tortoises have a specific combination of habitat needs (forage plants, cover, shelter sites, water), but those habitat needs can be found throughout a wide geographic area.

    For the Sonoran desert tortoise to maintain viability over the long term, it needs populations of adequate size and distribution to support resiliency, redundancy, and representation. While we do not know the size of a viable population of Sonoran desert tortoise, populations with larger numbers of individuals have improved chances of withstanding stochastic events (a measure of resiliency). The tortoise also needs to have resilient populations spread across its range, supported by suitable habitat quantity and quality, to provide for rangewide redundancy (species ability to withstand catastrophic events such as potential large-scale drought) and representation (species genetic and ecological diversity to maintain adaptive capacity).

    Overview of Analytical Tools

    We used two analytical tools to synthesize and summarize our understanding of the best available information about the current and future conditions of the tortoise. These tools include a geospatial analysis of habitat and a population simulation model. Here we describe these tools conceptually to provide context for the discussions that follow. More explanation of these tools is available in the SSA Report (Service 2015, entire).

    One tool we used was a coarse geospatial analysis to determine the extent of potential habitat based on elevation, slope, and vegetation type across the species' range. Potential habitat was categorized by suitability (high, medium, and low) based on presence of habitat features that support tortoises. We then categorized the potential habitat into primary, secondary, or tertiary quality categories. The categorization of habitat quality is based on the current suitability of potential habitat (high, medium, and low) and the possible presence of risk factors that could have population-level effects (see Risk Factors discussion below). The habitat quality analysis was conducted under two alternative assumptions related to the effects of the risk factors (high or low threats) and two alternative assumptions regarding the effects of conservation measures (high or low management). We were able to use the results of this geospatial analysis to estimate the amount and condition of current and future potential habitat, as well as evaluate the scope of various stressors on the landscape. It is important to note that potential habitat is categorized as high, medium, and low suitability, and habitat quality (a combination of potential habitat and risk factors) is categorized as primary, secondary, and tertiary.

    Another tool we used was a population simulation model. The population model takes a given starting abundance of tortoises and calculates the future abundance over time by applying reproductive and survival rates (i.e., vital rates). These vital rates are the proportion of the total tortoises in a population that are surviving, being adding to the population through reproduction, or being removed from the population each year. By calculating the number of tortoises being added to the population through reproduction and taken away from the population through death each year, it allows us to project the change in the abundance of tortoises over time based on those vital rates.

    We used a combination of geospatial analysis and population simulation modeling to project the condition of tortoise populations. The geospatial analysis predicts the amount and condition of habitats available to tortoises currently and in the future, and the population simulation model projects the abundance of tortoises that can be supported by that habitat based on rates of survival, growth, and reproduction (i.e., vital rates). The population simulation model projects higher densities of tortoises in higher quality habitat. As a result, the population simulation model projects abundance based on both the amount and condition of habitats.

    The geospatial analysis and population simulation model combine to project the amount, condition, and distribution of potential habitat; and the abundance, growth rate, and quasi-extinction risk for tortoise populations. We are using the term quasi-extinction to encompass the idea that, before a species actually goes extinct, it will decline to a point where extinction will likely be inevitable as a result of genetic and ecological impacts, even though it has multiple surviving individuals. Because there is a great deal of uncertainty around where the precise quasi-extinction threshold is for each species, our population simulation model assesses a higher and lower threshold of quasi-extinction. Taking into account these and other uncertainties, results of the population simulation modeling are presented as a range in the following discussions.

    Finally, in the models, areas in the United States and Mexico were treated as two separate areas of analysis because there are meaningful differences in the quality and level of information available about status and risk factors between the two areas, and because there are actual differences in habitat quality due to differences in land management between the two countries.

    Risk Factors

    We reviewed the potential risk factors (i.e., threats, stressors) that could be affecting the tortoise. Owing to the relatively wide geographic range of the species, individual tortoises may be impacted by a variety of factors. However, in this document we will discuss only those factors in detail that could meaningfully impact the status of the species. Concerns about the tortoise's status revolve around six primary risk factors: (1) Altered plant communities; (2) altered fire regimes; (3) habitat conversion of native vegetation to developed landscapes; (4) habitat fragmentation; (5) human-tortoise interactions; and (6) climate change and drought.

    We evaluated each of these factors in detail for their potential to have population- and species-level effects to the Sonoran desert tortoise. While many of them could be having effects on individual tortoises, most have not been shown or are not expected to have population-level effects on the species. Some factors may have population-level effects, but, because of the long lifespan, relatively high abundance, and wide range of the Sonoran desert tortoise, these effects would likely take many decades or longer to have measurable impacts on the species if they occur. In addition, many of these factors are ameliorated to some degree by ongoing conservation efforts or land management considerations; an estimated 73 percent of potential habitat in the United States has some conservation management, and 55 percent of potential habitat in the United States was included in a recent interagency conservation agreement committing Federal land managers to continuing conservation efforts for the tortoise (see Conservation Measures and Land Management).

    Altered Plant Communities

    Altered plant communities are a concern due to the presence of nonnative grasses in tortoise habitats. Nonnative grass species can compete with native grass species for space, water, and nutrients, thereby affecting native plant species density and species composition within invaded areas (Stevens and Fehmi 2008, pp. 383-384; Olsson et al. 2012a, entire; 2012b, pp. 10, 18-19; McDonald and McPherson 2011, pp. 1150, 1152; Franklin and Molina-Freaner 2010, p. 1664). This process is primarily driven by the timing and amount of precipitation. Geospatial analysis of available data indicates that about 15 percent of the current predicted suitable habitat for tortoises in Arizona and 20 percent in Mexico may have nonnative vegetation.

    Presence of nonnative grasses does not preclude use of an area by tortoises, but it may impact tortoises by reducing available plants for forage and cover. Reduced access to quality native plants may cause tortoises to expend additional time and energy foraging, thereby reducing fitness and exposing them to additional predation. However, tortoises can and do utilize nonnative grasses as forage, and no studies have confirmed that the nonnative species are significantly less nutritious to tortoises. Reduction in plant cover can negatively impact thermoregulation and increase exposure to predators. A reduction in cover plants used by tortoises can limit thermoregulatory opportunities and reduce periods of potential surface activity, making individuals more susceptible to dehydration, as well as increase predation risk when the individuals are active on the surface (Gray 2012, entire).

    Theoretically, the effects of nonnative grasses on individual tortoises discussed above may manifest in population-level effects if reduced fitness and increased predation resulted in population-level declines. However, such population-level effects have not been identified through long-term monitoring, despite the fact that some species of nonnative grass have occurred within monitoring plots for decades, nor have population-level effects been documented. Further, population-level effects, if they are occurring, would only become discernible (with current research and monitoring methods) over an extremely long period of time (decades to centuries) due to the life history and longevity of the species. Adequate time periods are well outside of both the existing period of monitoring and our ability to reasonably predict such population-level effects in the future.

    Altered Fire Regime

    The presence of nonnative plants has the potential to result in more severe, frequent fires in tortoise habitats than would have occurred naturally. In some conditions, wildfire can occur naturally in tortoise habitats, but fire has not historically been a significant influence in these habitats. In desertscrub communities that are free of nonnative grasses, wildfire has a long return interval and is rarely able to carry itself over a spatially significant area due to the extent of bare ground between vegetated patches. In areas invaded by nonnative grasses, the density of fine fuels increases while open space between vegetation decreases, causing changes in fire behavior and, ultimately, in the fire regime.

    Altered fire regimes resulting in more severe, frequent fires may impact tortoises directly through exposure to fire and indirectly via impacts to plants used as forage and cover. Direct effects to tortoises can include fatality or injury through incineration, elevated body temperature, poisoning from smoke inhalation, and asphyxiation. Fire burns plants used for food and cover, which indirectly impacts tortoises by increasing forage effort and prolonging exposure to predators, both of which reduce fitness of individuals. The magnitude of the impact of fire on tortoises largely depends on the severity of the fire (e.g., a less severe fire may leave patches of usable forage and microhabitat for shelter and thermoregulation).

    The scope of fire as a risk factor in Arizona is associated with presence of nonnatives in conjunction with ignition sources and fire suppression. Geospatial analysis suggests that fire may be a concern in 23 percent of predicted suitable habitat in Arizona. However, despite the fact that many wildfire ignitions occur annually in desertscrub communities within the range of the Sonoran desert tortoise, aggressive wildfire suppression practices are widely implemented by agencies and municipalities across the landscape in desertscrub communities. As a result of these practices, a very limited amount of tortoise habitat has burned in comparison to the total area considered potential habitat for Sonoran desert tortoises across their range. We expect that aggressive wildfire suppression practices will continue in Arizona into the future in order to protect ecological values and human health and property and, therefore, do not expect this stressor to have an appreciable effect on Sonoran desert tortoises at the population-level in Arizona.

    Geospatial analysis suggests that fire may be a concern in 20 percent of predicted suitable habitat in Mexico where fire occurs more regularly to manage buffelgrass (Pennisteum cilare) pastures. Buffelgrass is a nonnative species that is cultivated more widely in Mexico to support grazing. Fires set intentionally in Mexico to benefit buffelgrass pastures could potentially affect tortoise populations. However, while these buffelgrass pasture areas are within the absolute range of the tortoise, pastures are generally found in flat valley bottoms, and tortoises generally prefer rocky slopes, thus tortoises likely have reduced exposure to fire in cultivated pastures. Additionally, the best available information does not suggest that fires to benefit buffelgrass pastures in Mexico are affecting tortoises at a magnitude or frequency that would result in population-level effects. Therefore, we do not expect this stressor will have an appreciable effect on Sonoran desert tortoises in Mexico.

    Habitat Conversion

    Conversion of natural habitat via urban and agricultural development can have a variety of direct and indirect impacts on tortoises depending on the intensity and size of the development. Habitat conversion can directly impact tortoises via fatalities during the construction or development process. If tortoises survive the initial construction, conversion may impact tortoises by making areas entirely unusable (i.e., nonhabitat) or by removing forage and cover sites thus making the habitat less productive for tortoises. Habitat areas converted to dense urban uses likely displace animals into surrounding areas, if adjacent suitable habitat exists. Tortoises that survive the initial development, but are not entirely displaced, likely have reduced access to plants used as forage and cover and, therefore, likely have reduced fitness and are subject to additional predation. Habitat conversion may also result in fragmentation that can impact short- and long-range movements (see Habitat Fragmentation discussion below). However, population-level effects to Sonoran desert tortoises from habitat conversion have not been documented in the literature.

    To assess the potential historical loss of habitat due to conversion to urban landscape, we calculated the amount of area currently designated as urban land within the range boundary of the Sonoran desert tortoise. About 1,279 sq mi (331,260 ha) of area is currently designated as urban in Arizona. If all of this urban area had previously been potential tortoise habitat, which is unlikely, this area would represent approximately 5 percent of all estimated historical habitat. In Mexico, about 53 sq mi (13,730 ha) of area is designated as urban. This represents less than 1 percent of all estimated historical habitat. Even considering additional areas potentially lost historically due to agricultural or other development (which we have not quantified due to data limitations), historical habitat loss appears to be relatively small.

    Looking into the future, urban development in Arizona is expected to occur primarily within a zone referred to as the Sun Corridor Megapolitan, driven primarily by its association with major transportation routes and other existing infrastructure. In a northward direction from the U.S.-Mexico border, this development zone occurs within the range of the Sonoran desert tortoise along Interstate (I)-19, I-10, and I-17 (Gammage et al. 2008 entire; 2011 entire). Additional suburban development zones are expected to occur along I-40 near Kingman and along State Route 93, which connects Wickenburg to Kingman, especially if the latter route is converted into an interstate (proposed I-11). The majority of projected development in Arizona is not anticipated to occur in potential tortoise habitat. However, we expect as much as 9 percent of potential tortoise habitat in Arizona could be developed within the next 50-100 years. In contrast, an estimated 73 percent of potential tortoise habitat in Arizona is not likely subject to development due to land ownership and management. These areas are lands managed for a purpose not compatible with widespread development including military lands, state and municipal parks, and areas owned by Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Small areas on these land ownership types may experience development, but significant urban development in these areas is unlikely.

    In Arizona, the number of acres dedicated to irrigated agriculture has been on the decline (U.S. Department of Agriculture 2009, p. 273). These areas are likely being converted into areas re-zoned for residential or commercial purposes or, rarely, left fallow for natural recovery. This observed declining trend of agricultural use will likely continue in Arizona, unless farming practices or technology change, or a novel crop significantly influences market forces and reverses this trend. Therefore, we do not anticipate appreciable future habitat conversions in Arizona due to agricultural development. Additionally, areas that may be converted to agricultural uses likely would not be preferred tortoise habitat because these uses generally occur in flat valley bottoms while tortoises prefer rocky slopes.

    Within the species' range in Sonora, Mexico, and according to recent reports, urban development is also expected to continue into the future, but at a slower pace and smaller scale than Arizona. Hermosillo is the largest population center in Sonora (approximately 778,000 per the 2014 census) and could expand north and east, which could potentially affect adjacent tortoise populations (Rosen et al. 2014a, pp. 22-23). Limited urban expansion could also be predicted for a small number of other communities within Sonora (Rosen et al. 2014a, pp. 22-23). With respect to agriculture in Sonora, the majority occurs on large river deltas, which are not occupied by tortoises (Rosen et al. 2014a, pp. 22-23). Therefore, neither urban nor agricultural development is considered to be significantly affecting tortoise populations over a large area in Sonora currently, or into the future.

    Habitat Fragmentation

    Habitat fragmentation via infrastructure and other forms of linear development may impact tortoises by restricting movement within and between home ranges, direct fatality, and enabling human collection. The source of habitat fragmentation is any linear feature such as roads of varying capacities, railroad tracks, and canals. These forms of linear development are largely ubiquitous across the range of the tortoise; however, the severity of the impact of linear development depends on the permeability of the feature to tortoise movement.

    Tortoises move within and outside their home ranges for different purposes depending on sex, age class, and size class. Tortoises will move to find preferred plant forage species that may be in season (Oftedal 2007, entire); to a different shelter site with a different exposure, depth, or substrate (Averill-Murray and Klug 2000, p. 62); or to search for potential mates (Averill-Murray et al. 2002a, pp. 139-144). Tortoises will also move to disperse outside of their home ranges, with distances ranging from a few hundred yards to several miles or more (Edwards et al. 2004, entire). When individuals are unable to successfully complete these movements within their home ranges or on the landscape, basic natural-history functions can be compromised to varying degrees. Individual tortoises may spend more time active and exposed if they are unable to access preferred sites for forage and shelter, which may result in reduced fitness.

    Fragmentation can also be a concern if it prevents movements between populations. This degree of fragmentation could impact species' representation through effects on genetic diversity, and it could impact species' redundancy if recolonization of an area extirpated by a stochastic event is precluded.

    Roads can also be a source of injury, mortality, and collection. Unlike some other species, tortoises do not appear to avoid roads and are thus susceptible to impacts there. However, the severity of these kinds of impacts is likely correlated with road width, road type (e.g., rugged, improved gravel, paved), speed limits, traffic volume, availability of washes or other means of crossing under roads, and quality of tortoise habitat being transected. See “Human-Tortoise Interactions” for further discussion of these kinds of impacts.

    More severe effects to tortoise individuals and populations as a result of fragmentation are possible where fragmenting features are less permeable to tortoises or where fragmenting features are more dense. For example, a multi-lane road is less permeable to tortoises than a single lane dirt road. Similarly, an area bisected by multiple roads and canals is likely to have a greater affect on tortoises because there are multiple obstacles to navigate while moving through an area. In these situations, impacts to tortoises could be more severe because there is higher potential for human interactions, and fragmentation of home ranges and populations may be more complete.

    While the effects of fragmentation, as discussed above, could theoretically manifest in population-level effects, there is no evidence of such population-level effects. Population-level effects due to fragmentation would only become discernible (with current research and monitoring methods) over an extremely long period of time (decades to centuries) due to the life history and longevity of the species. Adequate time periods are well outside of both the existing period of monitoring and our ability to reasonably predict such population-level effects in the future.

    Human-Tortoise Interactions

    Inadvertent or purposeful human interactions with tortoises can result in injury or death of tortoises. Human interactions can also result in collection of tortoises, thereby removing them from the wild population. Sources of interaction include roads, wild-urban interface zones, and general recreation areas. Human interaction can lead to either inadvertent or intentional impacts to tortoises. Inadvertent interactions can have incidental effects on tortoises that are not otherwise the intent or purpose of the activity itself. Examples of activities that could lead to human interactions with tortoises (when in occupied tortoise habitat) include the use of vehicles (Lowery et al. 2011, entire), target shooting, hunting, hiking, rock crawling, trail bike riding, rock climbing, and camping (Howland and Rorabaugh 2002, pp. 339-342; AGFD 2010, p. 9). In addition, dogs that escape captivity or are intentionally abandoned can form feral packs, which have been shown to impact individual Sonoran desert tortoises (Zylstra 2008, entire). Other forms of human interaction with tortoises are direct and intentional, such as collection of wild tortoises, release of captive tortoises into wild populations, or physically handling wild tortoises (Grandmaison and Frary 2012, entire).

    These types of human interactions with tortoises occur at highest frequency in the wild-urban interface zone and are thought to lessen with increasing distance from human population centers (Zylstra et al. 2013, pp. 112-113). In fact, one study found that adult tortoise survivorship has been shown to improve with increasing distance from urbanized areas; specifically, the odds of a Sonoran desert tortoise surviving 1 year increases 13 percent for each 6.2-mile (mi) (10-kilometer (km)) increase in distance from a city of at least 2,500 people (Zylstra et al. 2013, pp. 112-113).

    To assess the potential geographic scope of human interactions, we calculated the acreage of predicted potential habitat areas within 6.2-mi (10-km) rings of cities greater than 2,500 in population size. While the potential for human interactions exists beyond these areas, we assumed that the closer tortoises are to human population centers, the more likely that these interactions will occur. Overall, 29 percent of predicted potential tortoise habitat occurs within 12.4 mi (20 km) of urban areas in Arizona and 9 percent in Sonora.

    While the effects of human interactions, as discussed above, could theoretically manifest in population-level effects, there is no evidence of such population-level effects. Population-level effects due to human interactions would only become discernable (with current research and monitoring methods) over an extremely long period of time (decades to centuries) due to the life history and longevity of the species. Adequate time periods are well-outside of both the existing period of monitoring and our ability to reasonably predict such population-level effects in the future.

    Climate Change and Drought

    There is unequivocal evidence that the earth's climate is warming based on observations of increases in average global air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, and rising sea levels, with abundant evidence supporting predicted changes in temperature and precipitation in the southwestern deserts (IPCC 2014, entire). Predicted temperature trends for the region encompassing the range of the Sonoran desert tortoise include warming trends during winter and spring, lowered frequency of freezing temperatures, longer freeze-free seasons, and higher minimum temperatures during the winters (Weiss and Overpeck 2005, p. 2075). In this same region, predictions of potential changes in precipitation due to climate change are less certain, but climate scientists largely agree that annual precipitation totals are likely to decrease as compared to historical averages (Seager et al. 2007, entire; Cook et al. 2015, p. 4). Climate models generally agree that winter and spring precipitation may be influenced by climate change, with predicted decreases in precipitation during these seasons. However, modeling results vary considerably with respect to how climate change could affect summer (monsoon) precipitation in Arizona and northern Mexico. While annual precipitation totals are predicted to decrease, summer precipitation totals may increase (IPCC 2007, p. 20), with wide fluctuation in scope and severity of summer precipitation events.

    Climate change may impact Sonoran desert tortoises, primarily through impacts on drought severity and duration as a result of increased air temperature and reduced precipitation. Increased drought severity and duration may impact tortoise access to freestanding water for drinking and plants for forage and cover. Climate change is predicted to reduce precipitation in the southwest and, therefore, has potential to reduce availability of freestanding water. Reduced precipitation could also reduce abundance of plants available for forage and cover, thereby increasing energy expenditures while finding forage, impairing thermoregulation, and exposing tortoises to predators. All of this can result in reduced fitness and rates of reproduction and survival. Sonoran desert tortoises evolved in a desert ecosystem and have adaptations to withstand drought; however, long-term climate change may stress tortoises beyond those tolerances.

    One study has shown a measurable effect to tortoise populations due to drought. Zylstra et al. (2013, pp. 113-114) showed that, in tortoise populations that experience localized, prolonged drought conditions, annual adult survival can decrease by 10-20 percent, and abundance of adults can be reduced by as much as 50 percent or more in local instances. However, when drought conditions affecting these populations subsided, Sonoran desert tortoise numbers began to increase, reaching near pre-drought status, and the overall rate of change in population size was found to be greater than 1, indicating overall positive population growth in the populations monitored for a period of more than 20 years (Zylstra et al. 2013, pp. 112-114).

    We anticipate that climate change is likely to have population-level impacts to Sonoran desert tortoises to some degree in the future. However, the severity, scope, and timing of those impacts are unknown because the intensity of the environmental changes is unknown and the response at the species level is unknown. In particular, output from climate change models exhibits noticeably increasing confidence intervals, and therefore increased uncertainty, beyond the 50- to 75-year timeframe (Seager et al. 2007, p. 1182). Based on the best available information, we cannot predict the magnitude of environmental change or the severity of the species' response over time with a reasonable degree of certainty. However, due to the potential for climate change to affect tortoises, we carefully analyzed this risk factor to the best of our ability in our population model (see Future Condition and Viability below).

    Cumulative Impacts

    It is possible that several risk factors may be impacting Sonoran desert tortoise populations cumulatively now and into the future. Theoretically, for every additional risk factor occurring in a population area, the likelihood of population-level impacts increases. However, no areas are currently known to be in decline due to individual or cumulative impacts, including impacts from potential stressors that were not discussed in detail in this document, and just as with assessment of the individual risk factors, the theoretical population-level effects due to cumulative impacts at current and predicted levels would only become discernible (with current research and monitoring methods) over an extremely long period of time (decades to centuries) due to the life history and longevity of the species. Adequate time periods are well outside of both the existing period of monitoring and our ability to reasonably predict such population-level effects in the future.

    Conservation Measures and Land Management

    There are a number of conservation actions that have been implemented to minimize stressors and maintain or improve the status of the Sonoran desert tortoise, including a candidate conservation agreement (AIDTT 2015, entire) with AGFD, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Arizona Department of Transportation (collectively referred to as “Parties”). Candidate conservation agreements are formal, voluntary agreements between the Service and one or more parties to address the conservation needs of one or more candidate species or species likely to become candidates in the near future. Participants voluntarily commit to implement specific actions designed to remove or reduce stressors to the covered species, so that listing may not be necessary. The agreement for the Sonoran desert tortoise, which formalizes many existing conservation measures and land management practices, was completed by the Parties in March 2015 and was signed by the final signatory, the Service, on June 19, 2015. The agreement applies to approximately 13,000 sq mi (3.4 million ha) of Sonoran desert tortoise habitat in Arizona. This area represents approximately 55 percent of the species' predicted potential habitat in Arizona and 34 percent of its predicted potential habitat rangewide.

    The agreement is designed to encourage, facilitate, and direct effective tortoise conservation actions across multiple agencies and entities having the potential to directly influence conservation of the species in Arizona. Parties to the agreement identified existing tortoise conservation measures and designed a comprehensive conservation framework for these measures that encourages coordinated actions and uniform reporting, integrates monitoring and research efforts with management, and supports ongoing conservation partnership formation. Management actions in the agreement include, but are not limited to, reducing the spread of nonnative grasses, reducing or mitigating dispersal barriers, reducing the risk and impact of desert wildfires, reducing the impact of off-highway vehicles, population monitoring, and reducing illegal collection of tortoises. A complete list of the stressor-specific conservation measures can be found in Appendix A of the CCA (AIDTT 2015).

    Additionally, as discussed above, an estimated 73 percent of potential tortoise habitat in Arizona is not likely subject to development due to land ownership and management. These areas are lands managed for a purpose not compatible with widespread development including military lands, state and municipal parks, and areas owned by Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Small areas on these land ownership types may experience development, but significant development on these lands is unlikely.

    Current Condition

    Generally, the best available scientific information suggests that the Sonoran desert tortoise has not experienced any appreciable reduction in its overall range or abundance relative to presumed historical levels. Certainly some areas of former habitat have been lost due to conversion to urban and agricultural uses, but our geospatial analysis suggests that the magnitude of these loses is relatively minimal (see “Habitat Conversion” discussion above). This suggests that the species has potential to retain historical levels of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (and, therefore, viability) if the habitat condition now and into the future is in acceptable condition relative to risk factors.

    As discussed above, we conducted a coarse geospatial analysis of potential habitat based on elevation, slope, and vegetation type across the species' range. This rangewide geospatial analysis resulted in a prediction of approximately 38,000 sq mi (9.8 million ha) of potential tortoise habitat. We then evaluated the current condition (status) of the tortoise by categorizing habitat into primary, secondary, or tertiary quality categories. The categorization of habitat is based on the current suitability of potential habitat (high, medium, and low) and the possible presence of risk factors that could have population-level effects. We used four geospatial layers to measure those risk factors: Land management, presence of nonnative vegetation, high fire risk potential, and proximity to urban areas. The habitat quality analysis was conducted under two alternative assumptions related to the effects of the risk factors (high or low threats) and two alternative assumptions regarding the effects of conservation measures (high or low management).

    For the U.S. analysis area, this geospatial analysis resulted in 8 to 25 percent of potential tortoise habitat being categorized primary quality, 62 to 75 percent categorized as secondary quality, and 13 to 17 percent categorized as tertiary quality (see Table 1—Modeled Current Habitat Quality-Arizona). In Mexico, this analysis resulted in 0 to 2 percent of potential habitat being categorized as primary quality, 79 to 98 percent categorized as secondary quality, and 0.2 to 21 percent categorized as tertiary quality (see Table 2—Modeled Current Habitat Quality-Mexico). The amount in each category is presented as a range due to the four alternative assumptions related to the effects of risk factors and effects of conservation measures.

    Table 1—Modeled Current Habitat Quality-Arizona [Please note that some numbers do not add due to rounding] High management and low threats assumptions Primary Secondary Tertiary Total Low management and high threats assumptions Primary Secondary Tertiary Total Area (sq mi) 6,090 15,010 3,100 24,200 1,820 18,270 4,100 24,190 Area (ha) 1,577,300 3,887,570 802,900 6,267,770 471,380 4,731,910 1,061,900 6,265,190 Table 2—Modeled Current Habitat Quality-Mexico [Please note that some numbers do not add due to rounding] High management and low threats assumptions Primary Secondary Tertiary Total Low management and high threats assumptions Primary Secondary Tertiary Total Area (sq mi) 330 13,400 30 13,760 0 10.550 3,210 13,760 Area (ha) 85,470 3,470,580 7,770 3,563,820 0 2,732,440 831,390 3,563,830

    We then used the amount of habitat in each quality category combined with reported density estimates for tortoises to produce rangewide abundance estimates under varying assumptions of habitat conditions and density estimates. The current rangewide abundance estimates ranged from 470,000 to 970,000 total adult tortoises. The current estimate in the United States was 310,000 to 640,000 adult tortoises, and the estimate in Mexico was 160,000 to 330,000 adult tortoises.

    Future Condition and Viability

    The tortoise continues to occupy a large portion of its historical range, with much of that range considered to be primary or secondary quality habitat. Looking to the future, the risk factors that could affect the tortoise include: (1) Altered plant communities; (2) altered fire regimes; (3) habitat conversion of native vegetation to developed landscapes; (4) habitat fragmentation; (5) human-tortoise interactions; and (6) climate change and drought. By its very nature, any status assessment is forward-looking in its evaluation of the risks faced by a species, and future projections will always be dominated by uncertainties, which increase as we project further and further into the future. This analysis of the tortoise is no exception. In spite of these uncertainties, we are required to make decisions about the species with the best information currently available. We have attempted to explain and highlight many of the key assumptions as part of the analytical process documented in the SSA Report (Service 2015). We recognize the limitations in available information, and we handled them through the application of scenario planning, geospatial modeling, and population simulation modeling.

    As discussed above, to project the future condition of the tortoise, we used a combination of geospatial analysis and population simulation modeling. Essentially, the geospatial analysis predicts the amount and condition of habitats available to tortoises in the future, and the population simulation model projects the abundance of tortoises that can be supported by that habitat based on rates of survival, growth, and death. The geospatial analysis and population simulation model combine to project the amount, condition, and distribution of suitable habitat; and the abundance, growth rate, and quasi-extinction risk for tortoise populations.

    The geospatial analysis includes direct consideration of projected habitat losses due to urban development (urban growth potential) and the potential for impacts to tortoises due to altered plant communities (invasive vegetation), altered fire regimes (fire risk), and human interactions (urban influence). Land management, as a surrogate for presence of fire suppression and other ongoing conservation activities, is also included in the geospatial analysis. Finally, the potential effect of climate change is included in the population simulation model by simulating an increasing extent of drought and variation in the magnitude of the effects of drought on tortoise survival.

    For future scenarios in Arizona where we considered a potential loss of overall habitat due to urban development, we calculated an annual rate of habitat loss in each habitat quality category. We calculated this annual rate by dividing the area identified by Gammage et al. (2008, entire; 2011, entire) as potential for urban growth by 60 years. The Gammage et al. estimate was published in 2008 as a possible 2040 projection. However, this estimate was made at the height of an economic expansion during the mid-2000's, which is no longer a realistic assumption to carry forward. We therefore accounted for the slowed rate of urban growth by using the Gammage et al. projection to represent a potential future 60 years from the present. We have no data to reliably predict the potential for urban growth beyond 60 years. While the population simulation model continues to include loss of habitat to urban development beyond the 60 year horizon, the geospatial analysis does not because after the 60 year horizon, there is no information suggesting where those developments may occur. As a result, maps and calculations of area in the future conditions use the 60-year future. In contrast, the results of the population simulation model can be presented at any point in time. We have presented those results most often at the 50- and 75-year future conditions because this is the timeframe considered to be the foreseeable future for this decision (see Threatened Species Throughout Range).

    We developed multiple future condition scenarios to capture the range of uncertainties regarding population-level effects to the tortoise. As we discussed above, with the exception of climate change and drought, none of the risk factors have been shown to result in population-level impacts to the tortoise. However, given that population-level effects may be occurring that current methodologies would not allow us to detect in the short term, we have included scenarios in the geospatial and population modeling that assume impacts from these factors may be greater than is currently understood. All of the scenarios we developed are considered to be within the realm of reasonable possibility. In other words, the worst- and best-case scenarios are not the absolutely worst and best scenarios that one could imagine, but are instead grounded in the realm of realistic uncertainty. Additionally, we have not identified a most likely future scenario. In many cases in this finding, we have only presented the results of the worst-case scenario, but that does not mean it is the most likely scenario.

    The growth rates and quasi-extinction probabilities projected by the model provide a characterization of resiliency. Because each area of analysis (Arizona and Mexico) is treated as a large population, the characterization of resiliency applies at the scale of the area of analysis rather than at the scale of traditional populations within those areas. The resulting population growth rates for all time periods for all scenarios ranged from 0.9915 to 0.9969, indicating slightly decreasing numbers of tortoises in the areas of analysis. All of the scenarios showed declining overall abundances into the future in each of the areas of analysis. However, because of the relatively large current estimated population sizes and the long lifespan of these tortoises, our population simulation model suggests no measurable risks of quasi-extinction in the next 50 years in either the U.S. or Mexican areas of analysis under any scenarios, even though slow population declines are projected. At 75 years, the risks of quasi-extinction increased, ranging from 0 in some scenarios to as high as 0.033 probability of quasi-extinction (in other words, a 3.3 percent risk of quasi-extinction in 75 years) in the worst-case future scenario for the Mexican analysis area. All but 3 (of 18) scenarios resulted in less than 0.01 probability of quasi-extinction in 75 years. When we look further into the future at 100 years, our simulation model suggests the risks of quasi-extinction for some scenarios increased to near 0.05 probability of quasi-extinction (ranging from 0 to 0.089, with 8 of 18 scenarios exceeding 0.03 probability of quasi-extinction). At 200 years, several scenarios exceeded 0.2 probability of quasi-extinction (ranging from 0.07 to 0.323, with 14 of 18 scenarios exceeding 0.1 probability of quasi-extinction).

    We characterized the redundancy (number and distribution of tortoise populations) and representation (ecological diversity) indirectly through projecting the likely quality and quantity of tortoise habitat distributed across the species range under different scenarios. Generally, the scenarios that showed the best and worst result for tortoises in the Arizona area of analysis were also the best and worst case for the Mexican area of analysis. Under the worst-case future scenarios, the distribution of habitats in the United States (considering a 60-year future condition) is projected to include about 11,800 sq mi (3 million ha) of habitat categorized as primary or secondary quality. In Mexico, under the worst-case scenario, about 10,550 sq mi (2.7 million ha) of secondary quality habitat is projected to be maintained (no habitat was projected in the primary quality category). Other scenarios project more favorable conditions in both the United States and Mexico. The habitat quality under the worst-case condition is projected to be distributed across the species' range, although in Arizona the habitat for this scenario is quite reduced compared to more favorable scenarios or current conditions (see Map 2—Future Sonoran Desert Tortoise Predicted Potential Habitat). For this worst-case condition, the estimated abundance of tortoises expected to be supported by these habitats is 316,000 in 50 years and 278,000 in 75 years, which is a reduction of 33 percent in 50 years and 41 percent in 75 years, when compared to the current low end abundance estimates of 470,000.

    BILLING CODE 4333-15-P EP06OC15.001 BILLING CODE 4333-15-C Finding Standard for Review

    Section 4 of the Act, and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(b)(1)(a), the Secretary is to make endangered or threatened determinations required by subsection 4(a)(1) solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available to her after conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into account conservation efforts by States or foreign nations. The standards for determining whether a species is endangered or threatened are provided in section 3 of the Act. An endangered species is any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” A threatened species is any species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Per section 4(a)(1) of the Act, in reviewing the status of the species to determine if it meets the definition of endangered or of threatened, we determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    Summary of Analysis

    The biological information we reviewed and analyzed as the basis for our findings is documented in the SSA Report (Service 2015, entire), a summary of which is provided in the Background section of this finding. The projections for the condition of future populations are based on our expectations of the potential risk factors (in other words, threats or stressors) that may have population-level effects currently or in the future. The six risk factors we evaluated in detail are: (1) Altered plant communities (Factor A from the Act); (2) altered fire regimes (Factor A); (3) habitat conversion of native vegetation to developed landscapes (Factor A); (4) habitat fragmentation (Factor A); (5) human-tortoise interactions (Factor E); and (6) climate change and drought (Factor A). We also reviewed the effects of environmental contaminants, grazing, and litter (Factor A); overutilization (Factor B); disease and predation (Factor C); regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); and undocumented human immigration (Factor E). However, we did not evaluate these latter factors individually in further detail because they are not known or suspected to have meaningful effects on the status of the tortoise.

    For the six risk factors that were evaluated in detail, we used geospatial analysis to assess the scope of those factors currently and into the future. The geospatial model predicts the amount and condition of habitat based on application of several scenarios with varying degrees of effects. We then used a population simulation model to forecast the abundance of the species within those habitats. The results of this analysis are presented in terms of the amount, distribution, and condition of potential habitats; and the abundance, growth rates, and probabilities of quasi-extinction of tortoise populations. These are the metrics we use to describe the resiliency, redundancy, and representation of the species now and in the future in order to determine if the species is likely in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

    Application of Analysis to Determinations

    The fundamental question before the Service is whether the species warrants protection as endangered or threatened under the Act. To make this determination, we evaluated the projections of extinction risk, described in terms of the condition of current and future populations and their distribution (taking into account the risk factors and their effects on those populations). For any species, as population condition declines and distribution shrinks, the species' extinction risk increases and overall viability declines.

    As described in the determinations below, we first evaluated whether the Sonoran desert tortoise is in danger of extinction throughout its range now (an endangered species). We then evaluated whether the species is likely to become in danger of extinction throughout its range in the foreseeable future (a threatened species). We finally considered whether the Sonoran desert tortoise is an endangered or threatened species in a significant portion of its range (SPR).

    Endangered Species Throughout Range Standard

    Under the Act, an endangered species is any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Because of the fact-specific nature of listing determinations, there is no single metric for determining if a species is currently in danger of extinction. We used the best available scientific and commercial data to evaluate the current viability (and thus risk of extinction) of the Sonoran desert tortoise to determine if it meets the definition of an endangered species.

    Evaluation and Finding

    Our review found that the Sonoran desert tortoise continues to occupy a very large portion of its estimated historical range. We estimate approximately 5 percent of historical range may have been lost due to conversion to urban uses. The remaining portion of the range is made up of approximately 38,000 sq mi (9.8 million ha) of modeled potential habitat, and we estimate that approximately 470,000 to 970,000 tortoises inhabit this area. This amount and distribution of habitat and tortoises supports sufficient resiliency to sustain the species into the near future. These levels of tortoises and suitable habitat are commensurate with historical levels, and there is no information available to suggest that the species will not persist at these levels. Furthermore, the habitat available and tortoise populations are spread widely over the known range of the species, suggesting that the species retains the redundancy and representation it had historically.

    Additionally, given the current wide distribution of tortoise habitat and land uses therein, there are no known risk factors that are likely to reduce the status of the species significantly in the near term. The stressors facing the species are relatively slow-moving and, if impacts are seen, will likely be measurable over many years (dozens to hundreds). In other words, there are no immediate, high-magnitude threats acting on the species such that it would be expected to undergo a meaningful decline over the near term.

    This current estimated abundance and distribution of tortoises across the species' range provides resiliency, redundancy, and representation to sustain the species into the near future. Because this estimate of the current condition and distribution of habitat and populations provides sufficient resiliency, redundancy, and representation for the species, we conclude that the current risk of extinction of the Sonoran desert tortoise is sufficiently low that it does not meet the definition of an endangered species under the Act.

    Threatened Species Throughout Range

    Having found that the Sonoran desert tortoise is not an endangered species throughout its range, we next evaluated whether the species is a threatened species throughout its range.

    Standard

    Under the Act, a threatened species is any species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The foreseeable future refers to the extent to which the Secretary can reasonably rely on predictions about the future in making determinations about the future conservation status of the species (U.S. Department of the Interior, Solicitor's Memorandum, M-37021, January 16, 2009). A key statutory difference between a threatened species and an endangered species is the timing of when a species may be in danger of extinction, either now (endangered species) or in the foreseeable future (threatened species).

    Evaluation and Finding

    In considering the foreseeable future as it relates to the status of the Sonoran desert tortoise, we considered the risk factors acting on the species and looked to see if reliable predictions about the status of the species in response to those factors could be drawn. We considered whether we could reliably predict any future effects that might affect the status of the species, recognizing that our ability to make reliable predictions into the future is limited by the variable quantity and quality of available data about impacts to the tortoise and the response of the tortoise to those impacts. For the tortoise, the most significant risk factor looking into the future is climate change. While we have high certainty that environmental conditions will change as a result of climate change, we do not have reasonable certainty about the extent of those changes or the species' response to the changes. In particular, output from climate change models exhibits noticeably increasing confidence intervals, and therefore increased uncertainty, beyond the 50- to 75-year timeframe (see, for example, Seager et al. 2007, p. 1182). We have chosen to use a timeframe of 50 to 75 years as the foreseeable future for this analysis because the available data does not allow us to reasonably rely on predictions about the future beyond that time period.

    The Sonoran desert tortoise is not likely to be in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future (50-75 years) and, therefore, does not meet the definition of a threatened species throughout its range. There are two parallel lines of rationale to explain why the Sonoran desert tortoise does not meet the definition of a threatened species, one more qualitative and one more quantitative.

    Most simply and qualitatively, the best available data does not show that any one or more risk factors are likely to result in meaningful population declines in the foreseeable future. Looking to the future, several risk factors may contribute to population- or species-level declines. These stressors sort into three general categories.

    The first category of stressors is those that are low in magnitude or scope, like effects from human interactions (e.g., collection, vehicle strikes) and habitat conversion. Human interactions can occur throughout the range of the species, but are usually relatively isolated events that generally would not make habitat unsuitable for other tortoises. Habitat conversion is likely limited largely to expansion of existing urban areas. As long as the scope of these stressors and tortoises' exposure to them remain narrow, as they are expected to for the foreseeable future, there is no information to suggest that population-level declines will result due to these stressors.

    The second category of stressors is those that have the potential for population-level impacts, but for which we have limited to no data to support that conclusion at this time. Risk factors that fit into this category include altered plant communities, altered fire regime, and habitat fragmentation. Because the species is so long lived, population declines due to these kinds of stressors, if they are occurring, are very difficult to detect with current techniques in short-term studies. As a very simplistic mathematical example, if we presume a species with a generation time of 5 years is displaying a 10 percent population decline every generation, it would take about 35 years for an overall population decline of 50 percent to manifest. For the Sonoran desert tortoise, which has a generation time of approximately 25 years, it would take nearly 175 years for that 50 percent decline to manifest.

    The last category includes stressors that are likely to impact tortoise populations in the future; however, those impacts are not likely to manifest measurable species responses during the foreseeable future. In other words, those impacts, should they occur, are not likely to occur at a meaningful level until after the time period that we can rely on as reasonably foreseeable. These stressors include the effects of climate change and drought. The magnitude of those impacts and the response of the species cannot be reasonably predicted at this time. These kinds of environmental changes that are relatively slow moving on the geological time scale are expected to take many decades or longer to manifest in measurable declines of the tortoise at the species level.

    The Act does not require absolute proof of impacts and responses in order to consider an entity to be in danger of extinction. However, in order to draw a conclusion that a stressor (or cumulative stressors) will cause a species to be in danger of extinction, the best available information needs to show that an impact is likely to occur and that the species response would likely cause it to be in danger of extinction. Because we do not know what magnitude of impacts would likely cause a discernable response in tortoise populations, we cannot conclude that stressors are or will occur at a level that causes the species to be in danger of extinction.

    Therefore, from a purely qualitative perspective, the tortoise is not facing any stressors that are likely to cause meaningful population declines within the foreseeable future that would cause the species to become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

    Taking a more quantitative approach, looking to the future, several risk factors could contribute to population- or species-level declines. Our geospatial and population simulation models consider the impacts of altered plant communities, altered fire regimes, habitat conversion, habitat fragmentation, human interaction, and climate change, including various scenarios to capture uncertainties around these risk factors and the model parameters. The results of these analyses project that even under worst-case future scenarios the distribution of habitats in the United States (considering a 60-year future condition) is projected to include about 11,800 sq mi (3 million ha) of habitat categorized as primary or secondary quality. In Mexico, even under the worst-case scenario, about 10,550 sq mi (2.7 million ha) of secondary quality habitat is projected to be maintained (no habitat was projected to be in the primary quality category). The abundance of tortoises predicted to be supported by these habitats is 316,000 to 698,000 in 50 years and 278,000 to 632,000 in 75 years. Further, our analysis projected no measurable risks of quasi-extinction in the next 50 years in either the U.S. or Mexican areas of analysis under any scenarios. At 75 years, the risks of quasi-extinction increased, ranging from 0 in some scenarios to as high as 0.033 probability of quasi-extinction (in other words, a 3.3 percent risk of quasi-extinction in 75 years) for the Mexican analysis area and 0.015 in the U.S. analysis area in the worst-case future scenario.

    The relatively high abundance projected in the future condition suggests that the species is likely to retain sufficient resiliency, and the wide distribution of modeled habitats suggests the species is likely to retain sufficient redundancy and representation. Therefore, the low predicted risk of quasi-extinction combined with the large numbers and wide distribution of habitat and tortoises in the foreseeable future suggest the species will have sufficient resiliency, redundancy, and representation such that it will not become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. Therefore, we find that the Sonoran desert tortoise does not meet the definition of a threatened species.

    Endangered or Threatened in a Significant Portion of the Range

    Having found that the Sonoran desert tortoise is not endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, we next consider whether there are any significant portions of its range in which the Sonoran desert tortoise is in danger of extinction or likely to become so.

    Standard

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Act defines “endangered species” as any species which is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,” and “threatened species” as any species which is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” The term “species” includes “any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment (DPS) of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.” Last year, we published a final policy interpreting the phrase “Significant Portion of its Range” (SPR) (79 FR 37578, July 1, 2014). The final policy states that (1) if a species is found to be endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range, the entire species is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species, respectively, and the Act's protections apply to all individuals of the species wherever found; (2) a portion of the range of a species is “significant” if the species is not currently endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, but the portion's contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range; (3) the range of a species is considered to be the general geographical area within which that species can be found at the time FWS or NMFS makes any particular status determination; and (4) if a vertebrate species is endangered or threatened throughout an SPR, and the population in that significant portion is a valid DPS, we will list the DPS rather than the entire taxonomic species or subspecies.

    The SPR policy is applied to all status determinations, including analyses for the purposes of making listing, delisting, and reclassification determinations. The procedure for analyzing whether any portion is an SPR is similar, regardless of the type of status determination we are making. The first step in our analysis of the status of a species is to determine its status throughout all of its range. If we determine that the species is in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range, we list the species as an endangered species (or threatened species) and no SPR analysis will be required. If the species is neither endangered nor threatened throughout all of its range, we determine whether the species is endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range. If it is, we list the species as an endangered species or a threatened species, respectively; if it is not, we conclude that listing the species is not warranted.

    When we conduct an SPR analysis, we first identify any portions of the species' range that warrant further consideration. The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and either endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial information indicating that (1) the portions may be significant and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction in those portions or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. We emphasize that answering these questions in the affirmative is not a determination that the species is endangered or threatened throughout a significant portion of its range—rather, it is a step in determining whether a more detailed analysis of the issue is required. In practice, a key part of this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in some way. If the threats to the species are affecting it uniformly throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats applies only to portions of the range that clearly do not meet the biologically based definition of “significant” (i.e., the loss of that portion clearly would not be expected to increase the vulnerability to extinction of the entire species), those portions will not warrant further consideration.

    If we identify any portions that may be both (1) significant and (2) in danger of extinction or likely to become so, we engage in a more detailed analysis to determine whether these standards are indeed met. As discussed above, to determine whether a portion of the range of a species is significant, we consider whether, under a hypothetical scenario, the portion's contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all of its range. This analysis considers the contribution of that portion to the viability of the species based on the conservation biology principles of redundancy, resiliency, and representation. (These concepts can similarly be expressed in terms of abundance, spatial distribution, productivity, and diversity.) The identification of an SPR does not create a presumption, prejudgment, or other determination as to whether the species in that identified SPR is endangered or threatened. We must go through a separate analysis to determine whether the species is endangered or threatened in the SPR. To determine whether a species is endangered or threatened throughout an SPR, we will use the same standards and methodology that we use to determine if a species is endangered or threatened throughout its range.

    Depending on the biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it may be more efficient to address the “significant” question first, or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of the range is not “significant,” we do not need to determine whether the species is endangered or threatened there; if we determine that the species is not endangered or threatened in a portion of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is “significant.”

    Evaluation and Finding

    We evaluated the current range of the Sonoran desert tortoise to determine if there are any apparent geographic concentrations of potential threats to the species. Generally speaking, the risk factors affecting the tortoise occur throughout the range of the species; however, portions of the range that are within and near areas subject to urban development may be subject to impacts not found throughout the range of the species. If we assume that the entire area on unprotected land identified as having potential for urban development is developed and made entirely unusable to tortoises, that conversion would represent a loss of 9 percent of available habitat. At this scale, we have no information to suggest that the remaining 91 percent of available habitat would not continue to support sufficient resiliency and redundancy. Additionally, there is no information available that suggests there are unique genetic values in this area that would need to be maintained to support representation due to a lack of known genetic structuring for the tortoise. Based on this analysis, we conclude that the portion of the range of the tortoise outside the urban development area contains sufficient redundancy, resiliency, and representation that, even without the contribution of the urban development area, the tortoise would not be in danger of extinction. Therefore, we find that the Sonoran desert tortoise is not in danger of extinction in a significant portion of its range.

    Conclusion

    Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the Sonoran desert tortoise is not in danger of extinction (endangered) nor likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future (threatened), throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Therefore, we find that listing the Sonoran desert tortoise as an endangered or threatened species under the Act is not warranted at this time, and as such the Sonoran desert tortoise will be removed from the candidate list.

    We request that you submit any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the Sonoran desert tortoise to our Arizona Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES) whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor the Sonoran desert tortoise and encourage its conservation. If an emergency situation develops for the Sonoran desert tortoise, we will act to provide immediate protection.

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited is available in the SSA Report (Service 2015), available online at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2015-0150.

    Author(s)

    The primary author(s) of this notice are the staff members of the Arizona Ecological Services Field Office.

    Authority

    The authority for this section is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Cynthia T. Martinez, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25286 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2015-0142; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB09 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Species Status for the Suwannee Moccasinshell AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; 12-month finding and status review.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri), a freshwater mussel species from the Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species. The effect of this regulation will be to add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 7, 2015. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2015-0142, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2015-0142; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments below for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine T. Phillips, Project Leader, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Panama City Ecological Services Field Office, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405; by telephone 850-769-0552; or by facsimile at 850-763-2177. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, if we determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species throughout all or a significant portion of its range, we are required to promptly publish a proposal in the Federal Register and make a determination on our proposal within 1 year. Critical habitat shall be designated, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, for any species determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Act. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species and designations of critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule.

    This rule proposes the listing of the Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri) as a threatened species. The Suwannee moccasinshell is a candidate species for which we have on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and threats to support preparation of a listing proposal, but for which development of a listing regulation has been precluded by other higher priority listing activities. This rule reassesses all available information regarding status of and threats to the Suwannee moccasinshell.

    This rule does not propose critical habitat for the Suwannee moccasinshell. We have determined that designation of critical habitat is prudent, but not determinable at this time because:

    • While we have significant information on the habitat of the species, we need more information on biological needs of the species (i.e., specific habitat features on the landscape) in order to identify specific areas appropriate for critical habitat designation.

    • In addition, as we have not determined the areas that may qualify for designation, the information sufficient to perform a required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking.

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that this species is threatened by degradation of its habitat due to polluted runoff from agricultural lands, discharges from industrial and municipal wastewater sources and mining operations, sedimentation, decreased flows due to groundwater extraction and drought (Factor A); State and Federal water quality standards that are inadequate to protect sensitive aquatic organisms like mussels (Factor D); contaminant spills as a result of transportation accidents or from industrial, agricultural, and municipal facilities (Factor E); increased drought frequency as a result of changing climatic conditions (Factor E); greater vulnerability to certain threats because of small population size and range (Factor E); and competition and disturbance from the introduced Asian clam (Factor E).

    We will seek peer review. We will seek comments from independent specialists to ensure that our designation is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal.

    Because we will consider all comments and information received during the comment period, our final determinations may differ from this proposal.

    Information Requested Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) The Suwannee moccasinshell's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both.

    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors.

    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats. In particular, we seek information concerning the potential threats to the Suwannee moccasinshell, including:

    (a) The effects of pesticides and their ingredients and metabolites on the species;

    (b) The impact of diseases on the species;

    (c) The impact of flood scour on the species and its habitat; and

    (d) The impact of introduced flathead catfish on fishes needed by the species to reproduce.

    (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations of this species.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Panama City Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we are seeking the expert opinions of three appropriate and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. The peer reviewers have expertise in Suwannee moccasinshell biology, habitat, physical or biological factors, etc., and are currently reviewing the species status report, which will inform our determination. We invite comment from the peer reviewers during this public comment period.

    Previous Federal Actions

    We identified the Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri) as a Category 2 species in the Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) published in the Federal Register of November 15, 1994 (59 FR 58982). Category 2 candidates were defined as species for which we had information that proposed listing was possibly appropriate, but for which conclusive data on biological vulnerability and threats were not available to support a proposed rule at the time. In the February 28, 1996, CNOR (61 FR 7596), we discontinued the designation of Category 2 species as candidates; therefore, the Suwannee moccasinshell was no longer a candidate species.

    In 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petitioned the Service to list 404 aquatic, riparian, and wetland species from the southeastern United States under the Act. On September 27, 2011, the Service published a substantial 90-day finding for 374 of the 404 species, including the Suwannee moccasinshell, soliciting information about, and initiating status reviews for, those species (76 FR 59836). In 2013, CBD filed a complaint against the Service for failure to complete a 12-month finding for the Suwannee moccasinshell within the statutory timeframe. In 2014, the Service entered into a settlement agreement with CBD to address the complaint; the court-approved settlement agreement specified that a 12-month finding for the Suwannee moccasinshell would be delivered to the Federal Register by September 30, 2015.

    Background Taxonomy and Species Description

    The Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri) is a freshwater mussel of the family Unionidae. The species was originally described by B.H. Wright in 1897; it was briefly considered a synonym of Medionidus penicillatus (Clench and Turner 1956), but subsequently was recognized as a valid species by Johnson (1977, p. 176). Its distinctiveness as a separate species is recognized by recent authors (Williams and Butler 1994, p. 85; Williams et al. 2014, p. 278). Its sharp posterior ridge and generally dark, rayless shell distinguishes it from other species of Medionidus in Gulf drainages (Johnson 1977, p. 177; Williams and Butler 1994, p. 86).

    The Suwannee moccasinshell is a small mussel that rarely exceeds 50 millimeters (2.0 inches) in length. Its shell is oval in shape and sculptured with corrugations extending along the posterior ridge, although the corrugations are sometimes faint. The shell exterior (periostracum) is greenish yellow to brown with green rays of varying width and intensity in young individuals, and olive brown to brownish black with rays often obscured in mature individuals (Williams et al. 2014, p. 278). The sexes can be distinguished, with female shells being smaller and longer than the males (Johnson 1977, p. 177). The Suwannee moccasinshell is easily distinguished from all other mussels in the Suwannee River Basin by having an oval outline and sculpture on the posterior slope (Williams et al. 2014, p. 279).

    Evaluation of Listable Entity

    Under the Act, the term “species” includes any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). Based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial information (see Taxonomy and Species Description above) the taxonomic entity that is known as Suwannee moccasinshell (Medionidus walkeri) is a distinct species. Therefore, we conclude that the Suwannee moccasinshell does meet the definition of a species under section 3(16) of the Act, and that the petitioned entity does constitute a listable entity and can be listed under the Act.

    Habitat and Biology

    Unionid mussels live in the bottom substrates of streams and lakes where they generally burrow completely into the substrate and orient themselves near the substrate surface to take in food and oxygen. The Suwannee moccasinshell typically inhabits larger streams where it is found in substrates of muddy sand or sand with some gravel, and in areas with slow to moderate current (Williams and Butler 1994, p. 86; Williams 2015, p. 2). Recent surveys by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) for the species in the Suwannee River main channel found individuals at depths ranging from around 0.5 to 2.5 meters (1.6 to 8.2 ft) (FFWCC 2014 unpub. data). Based on stream conditions in areas that still support the species, suitable Suwannee moccasinshell habitat appears to be clear stream reaches along bank margins with a moderate slope and stable sand substrates, where flow is moderate and slightly depositional conditions exist. These are ideal habitat conditions for most mussels in the main channel, and several species occur in areas where the Suwannee moccasinshell is found. In addition, the Suwannee moccasinshell is associated with large woody material, and individuals are often found near embedded logs. These attributes also likely indicate the habitat preferences of its host fishes.

    Adult mussels obtain food items both from the water column and from the sediments. They filter feed by taking water in through the incurrent siphon and across four gills that are specialized for respiration and food collection. They can also move sediment material into the shell by using cilia (hair-like structures) on the foot or through currents created by cilia. Juvenile mussels typically burrow completely beneath the substrate surface for the first several months of their life. During this time, they feed primarily with their ciliated foot, which they sweep through the sediment to extract material, until the structures for filter feeding are more fully developed. Mussels feed on a variety of microscopic food particles that include algae, diatoms, bacteria, and fine detritus (disintegrated organic debris) (McMahon and Bogan 2001, p. 331; Strayer et al. 2004, pp. 430-431, Vaughn et al. 2008, p. 410).

    Spawning in freshwater mussels general occurs from spring to late summer (Haag 2012, p. 38). Water temperature appears to be the primary cue for spawning (McMahon and Bogan 2001, p. 343; Galbraith and Vaughn 2009, p. 42). During spawning, males release sperm into the water column, which females take in through their inhalant aperture during feeding. Fertilization takes place inside the gills, and females brood the fertilized eggs in modified portions of one or both pairs of gills until they develop into mature larvae called glochidia. The timing and duration of the brooding period varies by species, but can be classified as either short term or long term. In short-term brooders, glochidia are released as soon as they are mature, generally 2-6 weeks after fertilization. In long-term brooders, the mature glochidia are brooded over the winter and released the following spring or summer.

    Reproduction in unionid mussels is remarkable in that the glochidia of most species must attach to a fish host in order to transform into a juvenile mussel. Many mussel species use only one or a few specific fish species as hosts, and have evolved lures to attract a particular fish species or group of related fish species (Haag 2012, p. 42). Females of some mussel species release their glochidia, either individually (sometimes in mucus strands for suspension), in packets termed conglutinates, which resemble fish food items, or in one large mass known as a superconglutinate, which resembles a small fish (Barnhart et al. 2008, pp. 374-379). In other species, female mussels transmit glochidia directly to the host fish by using mantel flap lures to entice an attack (Barnhart et al. 2008, p. 380) and expel glochidia into the host's mouth.

    The number of glochidia released by a female in one reproductive cycle can range from several thousand to several million and is extremely variable among species (Haag 2012, p. 196). The variation is related to body size with larger females producing more eggs than smaller individuals (Haag 2012, pp. 200-206). If the glochidia encounter a fish, they attempt to clamp onto the gills, fins, or skin. Glochidia that attach to a suitable host encyst in the tissues and undergo a metamorphosis. The duration of the encystment varies by mussel species, usually lasting from 2-4 weeks, but can last for several months (Haag 2012, p. 42). When the metamorphosis is complete, the juveniles drop from the host and sink to the bottom to begin life as a free-living mussel.

    Parasitism primarily serves as a means of upstream dispersal for this relatively sedentary group of organisms (Haag 2012, p. 145). The intimate relationship between freshwater mussels and their host fish plays a major role in mussel distributions on both a landscape and community scale. Haag and Warren (1998, p. 304) determined that mussel community composition was more a function of fish community pattern variability than of microhabitat variability, and that the type of strategy used by mussels for infecting host fishes was the determining factor.

    An ongoing study has provided preliminary information about the reproductive biology of the Suwannee moccasinshell. Females were found gravid with mature glochidia from December to February, and also in late May/early June (Johnson 2015 unpub. data). In laboratory trials, Suwannee moccasinshell glochidia transformed primarily on the blackbanded darter (Percina nigrofasciata) and to a lesser extent on the brown darter (Etheostoma edwini) (Johnson 2015 unpub. data). Six other fish species from 5 families were also tested but none transformed moccasinshell larvae. This indicates that the Suwannee moccasinshell is a host specialist and dependent on darters for reproduction, and is consistent with other members of the genus Medionidus, which also use only darters (Percidae) as hosts (Haag and Warren 2003, p. 82; Fritts and Bringolf 2014, p. 54). To attract its darter host, the moccasinshell uses a small mantel lure consisting of a vibrant blue patch on the mantel interior that it flashes while wiggling papillae on the mantel margin (Johnson 2015 unpub. data). Darters are small, bottom-dwelling fish that generally do not move considerable distances (Freeman 1995, pp. 363-365; Holt 2013, p. 657). Thus, the exclusive use of darters as a host may limit the Suwannee moccasinshell's ability to disperse, and to recolonize some areas from which it has become extirpated.

    Distribution and Abundance

    The Suwannee moccasinshell is endemic to the Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia. The Suwannee River Basin is a unique river system, characterized by blackwater streams in its headwaters and numerous springs (over 300) in its middle and lower reaches. The river originates in the Okefenokee Swamp and meanders more than 400 kilometers through south-central Georgia and north-central Florida before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. There are three large tributaries to the Suwannee River—the Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers. The Suwannee moccasinshell's historical range includes the lower and middle Suwannee River proper, the Santa Fe River sub-basin, and the lower reach of the Withlacoochee River (Williams 2015, p. 7). There are no freshwater mussels in the upper Suwannee River Basin (upstream of the mouth of Swift Creek) due to naturally low pH and nutrient levels (Williams et al. 2014, p. 62). Within the Suwannee River mainstem, the species is historically known from the mouth of Manatee Springs run, upstream to the vicinity of the junction of the Withlacoochee River. Within the Santa Fe sub-basin, the species is known from several locations in the Santa Fe River, one location in the New River (a headwater tributary), and one location in a small unnamed tributary to the New River. In the Withlacoochee River, it is known from three historical locations in the lower reach of the river.

    There is a single record of the species from the Hillsborough River Basin, a small river basin in Florida that empties into Tampa Bay, collected by van Hyning in 1932 (Williams et al. 2014, p. 280). However, recent information obtained while examining specimens in the collection of the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology calls the record into question. There is a possibility that the specimen, along with at least two other species, were actually collected from the Suwannee River and mislabeled (Williams 2015a in litt.). Incorrect locality data seems plausible considering that none of the three species have been found in the basin before or since the van Hyning collection (Williams 2015, p. 3; Williams 2015a in litt.). Therefore, the Hillsborough River is not considered part of the Suwannee moccasinshell's range at this time, and further research is under way that may clarify this situation.

    The Suwannee moccasinshell's range has declined in recent decades, and it is presently known only from the Suwannee River main channel and the lower Santa Fe River in Florida. Recent occurrence is based on collections made from 2000 to 2015. Within the Suwannee mainstem, the moccasinshell occurs intermittently throughout a 75-mile (121-kilometer) reach of the lower and middle river from river mile (RM) 50 in Dixie/Gilchrist Counties, upstream to RM 125, near the Withlacoochee River mouth. A shell fragment was collected in 2015 approximately 7 miles downstream of the mouth of Manatee Springs run (Williams 2015b in litt.). The fragment was estimated to be several years old, and additional survey work is needed; however, if the species is found to occur in this area, its distribution would be extended downstream by several miles. Within the Santa Fe sub-basin, the species is currently known from four localities (two are shell material only) in a 28-mile segment of the lower Santa Fe River downstream of the rise. The Santa Fe River runs underground for about 5 miles and “rises” back to the surface in Alachua County. The species was not detected in recent surveys in the Withlacoochee River or in the upper Santa Fe sub-basin (upstream of the rise), which includes its tributary, the New River. The species has not been collected in the past 50 years in the Withlacoochee River; however, the lower reach of the river continues to support good mussel diversity (Williams 2015, p. 3), and additional survey work is needed to verify if it is extirpated in this sub-basin.

    Targeted surveys by FFWCC biologists in 2013 and 2014 show that Suwannee moccasinshell numbers are low. Experienced mussel biologists surveyed 96 sites, covering most of its historical range, and collected a total of 67 live individuals at 21 sites, all from the Suwannee River main channel. Fourteen individuals were collected at one location, but at most sites 3 or fewer individuals were found (FFWCC 2014 unpub. data). At locations where the species was detected, it comprised only 1 percent of the mussel sample. In April of 2015, FFWCC biologists surveyed 14 sites in the lower Santa Fe River, and encountered only 1 Suwannee moccasinshell out of 1,880 mussels collected during the survey (Holcomb 2015 in litt.). A summary of occurrence, distribution, and abundance of Suwannee moccasinshell populations by waterbody are shown in Table 1 below.

    Table 1—Summary of Suwannee Moccasinshell Populations by Waterbody Water body State and county Occurrence * Distribution and abundance Suwannee River mainstem FL: Madison Suwannee, Lafayette, Gilchrist, Dixie, Levy, Recent Occurs in a 75-mile reach; 67 individuals at 21 sites; abundance low but population is stable. Santa Fe River FL: Suwannee, Gilchrist, Columbia, Alachua, Union, Bradford Recent Occurs in 28-mile reach in lower river; 2 individuals at 2 sites; drastic decline and abundance very low. New River, and unnamed trib. to New River FL: Union, Alachua, Bradford Historical May be extirpated; last collected in system in 1996. Withlacoochee River GA: Brooks, Lowndes; FL: Madison, Hamilton Historical May be extirpated; last collected in system in 1969. * Recent occurrence is based on collections made from 2000 to 2015; historical occurrence is based on collections made prior to 2000.

    Historical mussel collection data are often limited, making it difficult to compare trends in abundance over time. Available historical collection data seem to indicate that the species was more abundant at one time as several museum lots contain 20 or more individuals. However, it is difficult to compare historical collections to recent collections, as survey efforts for these collections (and for most early mussel collections) are unknown, and sometimes museum lots are split or combined. It does seem clear from museum collections that Suwannee moccasinshell numbers in the Santa Fe River sub-basin have declined dramatically in recent decades. Three lots in the Florida Museum of Natural History (4,133; 4,159; 4,160) collected from the Santa Fe River in 1934 contain a total of 70 individuals. In comparison, only two live moccasinshells have been collected in the entire Santa Fe River sub-basin since 2000 (one in 2012 and another in 2015) despite considerable survey effort in areas where the species historically occurred.

    In summary, an evaluation of historical and recent collection data show the Suwannee moccasinshell has undergone a reduction in range, and may no longer persist at several locations where it historically occurred. The species may be extirpated from the Withlacoochee River, and its range and abundance have clearly declined in the Santa Fe River system, where it is now found only in the lower portion of the Santa Fe River mainstem in exceedingly low abundance. In addition, the species may not be able to reestablish populations in some areas due to its limited ability to disperse. The Suwannee moccasinshell continues to occur throughout most of its known range in the Suwannee River mainstem; however, its numbers are likely lower now than a few decades ago. Despite its low abundance, populations in the Suwannee River mainstem presently appear to be stable. We attribute its persistence in this reach to the stability of the streambed and habitat due to the prevalence of geomorphically stable limestone in the channel, and to the absence of excessive sedimentation. Also, certain threats such as contaminants and reduced flows are likely attenuated in the mainstem due to the larger volume of water (threats are discussed in detail in the following section).

    Summary of Information Pertaining to the Five Factors

    Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) (ESA, Act) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) set forth procedures for adding species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, we may determine that a species is endangered or threatened based on any of the following five factors:

    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

    (C) Disease or predation;

    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

    In making this finding, information pertaining to the Suwannee moccasinshell in relation to the five factors provided in section 4(a)(1) of the Act is discussed below. In considering what factors might constitute threats to this species, we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a particular factor to evaluate whether the species may respond to that factor in a way that causes actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to a factor and the species responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and, during the status review, we attempt to determine how significant a threat it is. The threat is significant if it drives, or contributes to, the risk of extinction of the species so that the species warrants listing as an endangered or threatened species as those terms are defined in the Act. However, the identification of factors that could impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the species warrants listing. The information must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these factors are threats that operate on the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Act.

    Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range

    The stream habitats of freshwater mussels are vulnerable to degradation and modification from a number of threats associated with modern civilization. Within the Suwannee River Basin, a rapidly growing human population and changing land use represent significant threats to the aquatic ecosystem, primarily through pollution and water withdrawal (Katz and Raabe 2005, p. 14). The Suwannee moccasinshell's habitat is subject to degradation as a result of polluted runoff from croplands and poultry and dairy operations, discharges from industries, mines, and sewage treatment facilities, and from decreased flows due to groundwater extraction (pumping) (Williams 2015, pp. 7-10). Based on our current knowledge of the Suwannee moccasinshell and related mussel species, the habitat characteristics needed to sustain healthy populations generally include (1) stable stream channels and banks; (2) stable bottom substrates that are free of excessive algae growth; (3) flows that are adequate to maintain benthic habitats, provide food and oxygen, transport sperm, and remove wastes; (4) good water quality including normal temperature, conductivity, and pH ranges, and adequate oxygen content; and (5) an environment free of toxic levels of pollutants.

    Pollution

    Water quality in the basin has been impaired due to a number of point and nonpoint sources of pollutants. As a group, mussels are more sensitive to pollution than many other aquatic organisms, and are one of the first species to respond to water quality impacts (Haag 2012, p. 355). Descriptions of localized mortality resulting from chemical spills and other discrete point source discharges have been reported. However, rangewide decreases in mussel density and diversity may result from the more damaging effects of chronic, low-level contamination (Newton 2003, p. 2,543; Newton et al. 2003, p. 2,554). There is no specific information on the sensitivity of the Suwannee moccasinshell to common agricultural, municipal, and industrial pollutants. A multitude of bioassays conducted on other mussels show that freshwater mussels, especially in early life stages, are more sensitive than previously known to some pollutants including chlorine, ammonia, copper, nickel, fungicides, and surfactants used in pesticides and household products (Keller and Zam 1991, p. 542; Jacobson et al. 1993, pp. 879-883; Jacobson et al. 1997, pp. 2,387-2,389; Augspurger et al. 2003, pp. 2,571-2,574; Wang et al. 2007, pp. 2,039-2,046; Gibson 2015, pp. 90-91).

    Ammonia poses a serious threat to mussels due to its ubiquity in aquatic systems and its high toxicity to aquatic organisms. It originates primarily from agricultural sources (from fertilizers, which are often applied as ammonia and animal wastes), but also from municipal and industrial wastewater, and atmospheric deposition. Although ammonia may be taken up by plants or converted to less toxic nitrates by naturally occurring nitrifying bacteria, nitrates also have harmful effects on juvenile and adult mussels and may act as endocrine disrupters (Bauer 1988, p. 244; Patzner and Muller 2001, pp. 330-333; Pelley 2003, p. 162; Camargo and Alonso 2006, pp. 831-849). Moreover, ammonia may occur in sediments at greater concentrations than the water column (Frazier et al. 1996, pp. 92-99); such occurrences may go undetected by common water quality monitoring methods, but may have lethal or sublethal effects on mussels (Augspurger et al. 2003, pp. 2,571-2,574; Wang et al. 2007, pp. 2,039-2046), which burrow and feed (with their foot) in sediments. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised its water quality standards to levels considered protective of freshwater mollusks, but it will be several years before facilities must comply with the new limits (see discussion under Factor D).

    Pesticides are other widespread contaminants that have long been implicated in mussel declines. Pesticides have been linked to freshwater mussel die-offs (Fleming et al. 1995, pp. 877-879), and lab studies show that mussel glochidia and juveniles are particularly sensitive to common pesticides (Conners and Black 2004, pp. 362-371; Bringolf et al. 2007a, pp. 2,089-2,093). A surfactant (MON 0818) used in the common herbicide Roundup® was found to be severely toxic to juvenile mussels and glochidia (Bringolf et al. 2007b, pp. 2,096-2,097). The potential role of pesticides in mussel declines has received more attention in recent years, but the full range of long-term effects of pesticides, and their ingredients and metabolites, remain unknown (Haag 2012, pp. 374-379).

    An emerging category of contaminant threats to aquatic species is pharmaceuticals, including birth control drugs, antidepressants, and livestock growth hormones originating from municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewater sources. These chemicals may act as endocrine disrupters and can affect mussel reproduction in a number of ways, including causing feminization of male mussels (Gagne et al. 2001, pp. 260-268; Gagne et al. 2011, pp. 99-106).

    High levels of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus may indirectly impact mussels by stimulating algae growth. In excess, these nutrients lead to algal blooms, which deplete oxygen and can also cause dense mats of filamentous algae to form that can entrain juvenile mussels (Hartfield and Hartfield 1996, p. 373). Juveniles may be particularly sensitive to hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) and eutrophic (nutrient-rich) conditions since they inhabit interstitial spaces in stream substrates rather than the sediment surfaces occupied by adults (Sparks and Strayer 1998, pp. 132-133).

    As discussed under Factor D below, State and Federal regulatory mechanisms have helped to reduce the negative effects of point source discharges since the 1970s, yet discharges continue to impact water quality in the Suwannee River Basin. There are 246 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitted facilities within the basin; most of them discharge into streams that ultimately flow into the middle and lower Suwannee River main channel where the majority of the moccasinshell population occurs. According to 2014 monitoring data, the top pollutants discharged into the Suwannee River Basin by weight were (in decreasing order of value) total suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, fluoride, and ammonia (EPA 2014). Additionally, the toxic-weighted pound equivalent (TWPE), used to compare the potential toxic nature of one pollutant to another, indicates that the most hazardous pollutants discharged into the Suwannee River Basin are (in decreasing order of toxicity) toxaphene (a pesticide), fluoride, chlorine, iron, and ammonia (EPA 2014). In previous years, top toxicants discharged into the basin also included copper and cyanide.

    Facilities permitted to discharge substantial amounts of wastewater into areas that may affect Suwannee moccasinshell populations include the Valdosta wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), which is permitted to discharge 12 million gallons per day (mgd) to the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County, GA; Packaging Corp. of America, which is permitted to discharge 55 mgd to the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County, GA; PCS Phosphate Company, Inc., which is permitted to discharge 200 mgd to creeks that flow to the Suwannee River in Hamilton County, FL; Florida Power Corp., which is permitted to discharge 342 mgd to the Suwannee River in Suwannee County, FL; and Pilgrim's Pride Poultry Processing Facility, which is permitted to discharge 1.5 mgd to the Suwannee River in Suwannee County, FL (EPA 2014).

    Pollutants released by these facilities in 2014, and considered significant (either because of the amount or potential to affect mussels) include total suspended solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonia, fluoride, iron, and copper (EPA 2014). In addition, spills of municipal wastewater at the treatment plant in Valdosta, GA, have leaked untreated sewage into the Withlacoochee River on multiple occasions. This facility has been a source of periodic releases of millions of gallons of untreated sewage, the most recent occurring in the summer of 2013 (Williams 2015, p. 8). This issue is currently being addressed by the City of Valdosta, which is making numerous improvements, including a new WWTP, which is scheduled for completion in 2016. PCS Phosphate Company, Inc., is a large phosphate strip mining and fertilizer manufacturing operation near White Springs, FL. The facility is currently permitted to discharge effluent into creeks that flow to the Suwannee River, but surface runoff and periodic overflow of settling ponds as a result of heavy rain events may have resulted in inputs of total suspended solids, phosphorus, and ammonia into the river (Williams 2015, p. 8).

    Nonpoint source pollution is another significant threat throughout the Suwannee Basin, entering the system by surface runoff or through groundwater. Nonpoint source impacts are attributable primarily to the conversion of forests and wetlands to agricultural lands; agriculture accounts for most of the developed land uses within the basin, and includes silviculture, row crops, and pasture (Katz and Raabe 2005, p. 9). Surface runoff from these lands may transport numerous pollutants including pesticides, fertilizers, metals, sediments, and pathogens into stream channels. Surface drainage is more prevalent in the upper two-thirds of the basin and the upper Santa Fe River sub-basin where the soils are resistant to infiltration (Katz and Raabe 2005, p. 5).

    Pollutants can also enter stream channels via groundwater inflow. The Suwannee River Basin has the highest density of springs globally (FDEP 2003, p. 29). The majority of flow in the middle Suwannee River Basin originates from groundwater sources, as the region is highly connected to the underlying Floridan aquifer (FDEP 1985, p. iv). This is evidenced by the relative lack of surface water bodies in the middle Suwannee River Basin since most water flows through the overlying karst features and directly into the aquifer (FDEP 2003, p. 27). For these reasons, the middle and lower portions of the Basin are particularly vulnerable to groundwater contamination. Katz et al. (1999, pp. 49-50) observed groundwater nitrate levels that were seven times greater than background levels in areas dominated by cropland, and estimate that it may take several decades for nitrogen concentrations to return to their original state. Additionally, all nine springs in the basin monitored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) from 2012-2013 exceeded the nitrate criterion for spring vents (FDEP 2014a, p. 228), suggesting that contamination is persistent and widespread in the central and lower Suwannee River Basin.

    Trends suggest that certain nonpoint source pollutants are becoming more abundant in the Suwannee River Basin. According to FDEP (2003, pp. 76, 83) nitrates are by far the biggest water quality concern in the middle and lower portions of the Suwannee Basin. Total estimated nitrogen increased continuously from 1955 to 1997 in Gilchrist and Lafayette counties (Katz et al. 1999, pp. 45-48). Nitrates have been monitored at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monitoring site at Branford, FL, since 1954 and the overall trend is increasing (Thom et al. 2015, p. 100). Of seven Florida surface water quality stations monitored by FDEP in the basin during 1999-2012, increases in total nitrogen were observed at four sites, levels of algae and nitrates increased at three sites, and phosphorus and fecal coliform increased at two sites (FDEP 2014a, pp. 106-123). Nitrogen levels in the Suwannee River Basin have likely increased due to nonpoint sources such as runoff from croplands, dairy farms, and poultry facilities (Katz et al. 1999, p. 49). Fertilizer use in the area probably peaked in the late 1970s (FDEP 2008, pp. 95-100), yet fertilizer-based nitrogen inputs remain high and have increased in parts of the Suwannee River Basin (Katz et al. 1999, pp. 49-50; FDEP 2014a, pp. 106-123).

    For the 2000 water year, the FDEP determined that the middle Suwannee and lower Santa Fe watersheds contributed more than three-quarters of the basin-wide nitrate-nitrogen load, although these watersheds comprise less than 20 percent of the drainage area (FDEP 2003, p. 35). In 2007, the FDEP (2008, pp. 40-41) found that more than 40 percent of total nitrogen in the middle and lower Suwannee River Basin originates from fertilizer inputs, but also that dairy, poultry, and beef production are prominent nitrogen contributors in the area. The same report showed that atmospheric deposition contributed less than 20 percent of total nitrogen in the area (FDEP 2008, pp. 40-41), suggesting that modern nitrogen concentrations in the basin greatly surpass historical background levels. In addition, the area is also naturally rich in phosphorus, and active and inactive phosphate mining operations exist in the central part of the basin. Historically, discharges from phosphate-fertilizer production have been correlated with major changes in physiochemical properties of basin waters. Spikes in total phosphorus, fluoride, and soluble inorganic nitrogen, as well as depressed dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, were observed immediately downstream of the mouth of Swift Creek, a tributary accepting phosphate mine effluent (FDEP 1985, pp. iv-19).

    Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) requires States to identify waters that do not fully support their designated use classification. These impaired waters are placed on the State's 303(d) list, and a total maximum daily load (TMDL) must be developed for the pollutant of concern. A TMDL is an estimate of the total load of pollutants that a segment of water can receive without exceeding applicable water quality criteria. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division's (GEPD) draft 303(d) list for 2014 identifies a total of 64 impaired stream segments (a total of 695 stream miles) within the Suwannee River Basin (GEPD 2014, pp. 263-273). The list of causes of impairment with established TMDLs in Georgia include mercury, lead, low dissolved oxygen (DO), fecal coliform, pH, algae, and condition of the macroinvertebrate community (GEPD 2014, pp. 263-273). The potential sources of these violations are primarily attributed to nonpoint or unknown sources but also to municipal facilities and urban runoff. FDEP's 303(d) list identifies 52 impaired stream segments or water bodies in the Suwannee River Basin. Florida's list identifies coliform bacteria, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and unionized ammonia as impaired parameters (FDEP 2014b). Impairments within the range of the Suwannee moccasinshell include mercury in the lower Suwannee River, and DO and nutrients (algal mats) in the lower Santa Fe River (FDEP 2003 pp. 138-139).

    Water Withdrawals

    Perhaps the most significant threat to the Suwannee moccasinshell is flow reduction due to the withdrawal of groundwater for agricultural purposes. Stream flows in the Suwannee River Basin are heavily dependent on groundwater contributions. Sufficient groundwater flows are essential for maintaining good mussel habitat in the Basin (Williams et al. 2014, p. 46). In the past 25 years, center pivot irrigation has increased in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin which borders the Suwannee River Basin to the northwest (Torak et al. 2010, p. 2). Most of the groundwater used for irrigation in the ACF Basin is withdrawn from the Upper Floridan aquifer. Increased pumping in the ACF Basin has lowered groundwater levels along the boundary with neighboring Ochlockonee and Suwannee River Basins by more than 24 feet. In southeastern Colquitt County, GA, the aquifer has experienced unprecedented 40- to 50-foot declines since 1969 (Torak et al. 2010, p. 44). Periods of extreme dry conditions causing insufficient recharging flows into the Upper Floridan aquifer occurred in the 1980s-2000s (Torak et al. 2010, p. 47). The lower aquifer levels reduced the hydraulic gradient, thus the amount of groundwater flowing south and east into the Suwannee Basin (Torak et al. 2010, pp. 2, 40).

    Declines in groundwater levels have the potential to lower stream base flows by decreasing the amount groundwater discharged to streams. This may also reduce high-magnitude flows (10,000-15,000-cubic feet per second), which could decrease floodplain connectivity and the transfer of matter and energy from overbank to riverine systems (Light et al. 2002, p. 85; Pringle 2003, entire). Mean annual flow discharge in the lower Suwannee River near Wilcox, FL, has declined more than 30 percent between 1942 and 2012 (USGS 2014). Similar discharge declines of approximately 30 percent have been observed in the Santa Fe River near Fort White between 1928 and 2013 (USGS 2014). Reductions in flow can alter hydraulically mediated sediment sorting throughout the river, which may displace or otherwise alter habitat for Suwannee moccasinshell and its host fishes. Groundwater pumping during long periods of drought can result in extremely reduced flow rates. The upper reaches of the Santa Fe River mainstem and the New River, a major tributary, have ceased to flow due to groundwater pumping during drought (Williams 2015, p. 9). Biologists conducting mussel surveys on the Santa Fe River near Worthington Springs during a dry period in June 2011 observed that a section of the channel was completely dewatered (FFWCC 2011a, p. 2). While pumping does not completely dewater the Withlacoochee River, flow rates are greatly reduced (Williams 2015 p. 9). Reduced flows may exacerbate drought conditions (elevating temperature, pH, and pollutant concentrations (causing biotic die-off, and reducing DO), which in turn may have lethal or other harmful effects (prematurely aborting glochidia, reduced growth rates) to the species, or may cause stranding mortality.

    Sedimentation

    Numerous potential sources of sand and silt sediments occur throughout the basin, and include development, silviculture, livestock grazing, croplands, and unpaved roads. Habitat may be degraded or destroyed in localized areas where sediments accumulate, and suspended fine particles can increase turbidity levels for considerable distances downstream. High levels of suspended sediments may reduce mussel feeding and respiratory efficiency (Dennis 1984, pp. 207-212; Brim Box and Mossa 1999, pp. 101-102). Highly turbid conditions may also affect mussel recruitment by impeding the ability of sight-feeding fishes to find glochidia and mussel lures. The Suwannee moccasinshell uses small mantel lures to attract its darter host fish (see Habitat and Biology section above) and, therefore, is reliant on good water clarity during times that it is reproducing. Another important issue related to sedimentation is that it may serve as a vehicle for pollutants (like pesticides and surfactants) to enter streams (Haag 2012, p. 378).

    The Suwannee River main channel is relatively unimpacted by sedimentation, where inputs are generally low and impacts are mostly localized; however, sedimentation is a problem in the Santa Fe River sub-basin. Surface drainage is more prevalent in the Santa Fe watershed, which is more developed because of its proximity to Gainesville, FL, and several other incorporated areas (FDEP 2003, p. 23). Excessive silt sediment has been cited as a reason for the decline of mussel populations in the Santa Fe sub-basin (FFWCC 2011b, p. 14) and is considered a factor in the decline of the Suwannee moccasinshell in that system.

    Conservation Efforts To Reduce Habitat Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Its Range

    We are not aware of any conservation efforts that may help ameliorate threats specific to the Suwannee moccasinshell. However, the moccasinshell may be indirectly benefited by Federal, State, local, and private programs that acquire or manage lands within the basin, particularly along stream corridors. Florida's Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) owns, manages, or co-manages a significant portion of the basin's riparian lands (more than 48,000 acres, CBI 2010) adjacent to or upstream of Suwannee moccasinshell habitats. Tracts are managed to maintain adequate water supply and water quality for natural systems by preserving riparian habitats and restricting development (SRWMD 2014, p. 3). The SRWMD also established minimum flows and levels for the river channel in the lower basin, downstream of Fanning Springs. Minimum flow and level criteria were not designed with specific consideration for freshwater mussels, but do establish a limit at which further withdrawals would be detrimental to water resources, taking into consideration fish and wildlife habitats, the passage of fish, sediment loads, and water quality, among others (SRWMD 2005, pp. 6-8).

    Summary of Factor A

    Habitat degradation is occurring throughout the entire range of the Suwannee moccasinshell and is due primarily to pollutants discharged from municipal and industrial facilities, polluted runoff from agricultural areas, and reduced flows as a result of groundwater pumping and drought. In portions of the species' range, sedimentation has also impacted the species' habitat. These threats are greater in the two tributary systems, as evidenced by the species' possible disappearance from the Withlacoochee River, and its dramatic decline in the Santa Fe River sub-basin. Currently, nearly the entire population resides in the middle and lower reach of the Suwannee River main channel. The two greatest threats to the species, pollutants and reduced flows, are somewhat attenuated in the main channel, where flows are generally sustained and pollutant concentrations may be diluted by higher flow volumes. While there are programs in place that may indirectly alleviate some detrimental impacts on aquatic habitats, there currently are no conservation efforts designed specifically to protect or recover Suwannee moccasinshell populations. Therefore, we conclude that habitat degradation is presently a significant threat to Suwannee moccasinshell populations in the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe River sub-basins, and a moderate threat to populations in the Suwannee River main channel. This threat is expected to continue into the future and, because it is linked to human activities, is expected to increase as the human population within the Suwannee River Basin grows.

    Factor B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes

    The Suwannee moccasinshell is not a commercially valuable species, and the Suwannee River is not subject to commercial mussel harvesting activities. Suwannee moccasinshell individuals have been taken for scientific and private collections in the past, but collecting is not considered a factor in its decline. Collection interest may increase as the Suwannee moccasinshell becomes an interest of scientific study, and as its rarity becomes better known. However, individuals are very difficult to locate because the species occurs in a large mainstem river in low abundance. Therefore, we do not consider overutilization to be a threat to the Suwannee moccasinshell at this time.

    Factor C. Disease or Predation

    Juvenile and adult mussels are preyed upon by several aquatic predators (for example, dragonfly larvae, crayfishes, turtles, and some fishes), and are prey items for some terrestrial species (for example, raccoon, otter, feral hogs, and birds) (summarized in Hart and Fuller 1974, pp. 225-240; and in Williams et al. 2014, pp. 90-91). Although predation by native predators is a natural occurrence, it may exacerbate declines in mussel populations already diminished by other threats (Neves and Odom 1989, p. 940). However, we have no specific information indicating that predation is negatively impacting Suwannee moccasinshell populations.

    Mussels commonly are hosts for a variety of parasites, including trematodes, copepods, and water mites, and also harbor bacteria and viruses (Grizzle and Brunner 2007, p. 4; Haag 2012, pp. 382-383). Heavy infestations by mites and trematodes have shown to adversely affect mussel reproductive and physiological fitness (Gangloff 2008, pp. 28-30). In addition, exposure to stressors like pollutants can weaken mussel immune systems, making them more prone to diseases. However, the role of diseases in mussel declines has received little attention, and diseases of freshwater mussels remain largely unstudied (Grizzle and Bruner 2007, p. 6; Haag 2012, p. 382). We have no specific information indicating that disease is negatively impacting Suwannee moccasinshell populations. Therefore, we do not consider disease or predation to be threats to the Suwanee moccasinshell at this time.

    Factor D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Point source discharges within the range of the Suwannee moccasinshell have been reduced since the inception of the Clean Water Act, but this statute still may not provide adequate protection for sensitive aquatic organisms like freshwater mussels, which can be impacted by extremely low levels of pollutants. Municipal wastewater plants continue to discharge large amounts of effluent and, in some circumstances, in excess of permitted levels (see discussion under Factor A). There is no specific information on the sensitivity of the Suwannee moccasinshell to common industrial and municipal pollutants, and very little information on other freshwater mussel species. Current State and Federal regulations regarding pollutants are designed to be protective of aquatic organisms; however, freshwater mollusks may be more susceptible to some pollutants than the test organisms commonly used in bioassays. Additionally, water quality criteria may not incorporate data available for freshwater mussels (March et al. 2007, pp. 2,066-2,067). A multitude of bioassays conducted on 16 mussel species (summarized by Augspurger et al. 2007, pp. 2025-2028) show that freshwater mollusks are more sensitive than previously known to some chemical pollutants, including chlorine, ammonia, copper, fungicides, and herbicide surfactants. Another study found that nickel and chlorine were toxic to a federally threatened mussel species at levels below the current criteria (Gibson 2015, pp. 90-91). The study also found the mussel was sensitive to SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate), a surfactant commonly used in household detergents, for which water quality criteria do not currently exist.

    Several studies have demonstrated that the criteria for ammonia developed by EPA in 1999 were not protective of freshwater mussels (Augspurger et al. 2003, p. 2,571; Newton et al. 2003, pp. 2,559-2,560; Mummert et al. 2003, pp. 2,548-2,552). However, in 2013 EPA revised its recommended criteria for ammonia. The new criteria are more stringent and reflect new toxicity data on sensitive freshwater mollusks (78 FR 52192, August 22, 2013; p. 2). Georgia and Florida have not yet adopted the new ammonia criteria. Although Florida's next triennial review will occur in 2015 and Georgia's in 2016, NPDES permits are valid for 5 years, so even after the new criteria are adopted, it could take several years before facilities must comply with the new limits.

    In summary, despite existing authorities such as the Clean Water Act, pollutants continue to impair the water quality throughout the current range of the Suwannee moccasinshell. State and Federal regulatory mechanisms have helped reduce the negative effects of point source discharges since the 1970s, yet these regulations are difficult to implement and regulate. While new water quality criteria are being developed that take into account more sensitive aquatic species, most criteria currently do not. Thus, we conclude that existing regulatory mechanisms do not adequately protect the Suwannee moccasinshell.

    Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence Catastrophic Weather Events

    The Gulf coastal region is prone to extreme hydrologic events. Extended droughts result from persistent high-pressure systems, which inhibit moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from reaching the region (Jeffcoat et al. 1991, pp. 163-170). Warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico can produce strong frontal systems and tropical storms resulting in heavy rainfall events that cause severe flooding (Jeffcoat et al. 1991, pp. 163-170). Although floods and droughts are a natural part of the hydrologic processes that occur in these river systems, these events may exacerbate the decline of mussel populations suffering the effects of other threats. During high flows, flood scour can dislodge mussels (particularly juveniles) where they may be injured, buried, or swept into unsuitable habitats, or mussels may be stranded and perish when flood waters recede (Vannote and Minshall 1982, p. 4,105; Tucker 1996, p. 435; Hastie et al. 2001, pp. 107-115; Peterson et al. 2011, unpaginated). Flood scour generally is attenuated in larger stream channels but can radically alter smaller streams and cause mussel mortality (Hastie et al. 2001, pp. 107-115; Peterson et al. 2011, unpaginated).

    During drought, stream channels may be dewatered entirely, or become disconnected pools where mussels are exposed to higher water temperatures, lower dissolved oxygen levels, and predators. Johnson et al. (2001, p. 6) monitored mussel responses during a severe drought in 2000 in tributaries of the lower Flint River in Georgia, and found that most mortality occurred when dissolved oxygen levels dropped below 5 mg/L. Increased demand for surface and ground water resources for irrigation and human consumption during drought can cause drastic reductions in stream flows and alterations to hydrology (Golladay et al. 2004, p. 504; Golladay et al. 2007 unpaginated). Extended periods of drought have occurred in the region during the last two decades (Torak et al. 2010, p. 47). Substantial declines in mussel diversity and abundance as a direct result of drought have been documented in smaller southeastern streams; however, assemblages in larger streams may be relatively unaffected (Golladay et al. 2004, pp. 494-503; Haag and Warren 2008, p. 1165). Reduced flows as a result of drought and water consumption has been cited as a factor negatively affecting mussels in the Suwannee River Basin (FFWCC 2011b, p. 14), and has been identified as a threat to Suwannee moccasinshell populations in the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers (Williams 2015, p. 9)

    Contaminant Spills

    The linear nature of the Suwannee moccasinshell's habitat and its reduced range makes it vulnerable to contaminant spills. Spills as a result of transportation accidents are a constant potential threat to the species, as numerous highways and railroads traverse the basin. Spills emanating from industrial, agricultural, and municipal facilities are a threat as numerous potential sources are present within the basin, and these spills have occurred in the past. As discussed under Factor A, spills at the municipal WWTP in Valdosta, GA, have leaked raw sewage into the Withlacoochee River on multiple occasions, and the PCS Phosphate Company, Inc. mining operation has had periodic overflows of effluent ponds. Nearly the entire moccasinshell population resides within the Suwannee River main channel; therefore, a spill has the potential to impact a large portion of the population, depending on the type of contaminant and its concentration, amount, and location. In addition, because the species has limited ability to disperse, it may not be able recolonize areas after conditions have improved.

    Climate Change

    Our analyses under the Act include consideration of ongoing and projected changes in climate. The terms “climate” and “climate change” are defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Climate” refers to the mean and variability of different types of weather conditions over time, with 30 years being a typical period for such measurements, although shorter or longer periods also may be used (IPCC 2007, p. 78). The term “climate change” thus refers to a change in the mean or variability of one or more measures of climate (e.g., temperature or precipitation) that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer, whether the change is due to natural variability, human activity, or both (IPCC 2007, p. 78). Various types of changes in climate can have direct or indirect effects on species. These effects may be positive, neutral, or negative and they may change over time, depending on the species and other relevant considerations, such as the effects of interactions of climate with other variables (e.g., habitat fragmentation) (IPCC 2007, pp. 8-14, 18-19). In our analyses, we use our expert judgment to weigh relevant information, including uncertainty, in our consideration of various aspects of climate change.

    There is a growing concern that climate change may lead to increased frequency of severe storms and droughts (McLaughlin et al. 2002, p. 6,074; Golladay et al. 2004, p. 504; Cook et al. 2004, p. 1,015). The present conservation status, complex life histories, and specific habitat requirements of freshwater mussels suggest that they may be quite sensitive to climate change (Hastie et al. 2003, p. 45). Specific effects of climate change to mussels, their habitat, and their fish hosts could include changes in hydrologic and temperature regimes, the timing and levels of precipitation causing more frequent and severe floods and droughts, and alien species introductions.

    Mussel distributions seem to be closely associated with complex hydraulic metrics (Morales et al. 2006 pp. 669-673; Zigler et al. 2008, p. 358) that may be altered by climate change. Mussels are particularly vulnerable to these changes since they are generally sessile and restricted in their ability to adjust their range in response to hydrology and physiochemical alterations mediated by climate change (Strayer 2008, p. 30). Additionally, increases in temperature and reductions in flow may lower dissolved oxygen levels in interstitial habitats, which can be lethal to juveniles (Sparks and Strayer 1998, pp. 131-133). Effects to mussel populations from these environmental changes could include reduced abundance and biomass, altered species composition, and host fish considerations (Galbraith et al. 2010, pp. 1,180-1,182). Since ammonia concentrations may increase with increasing temperatures and low stream flow (Cherry et al. 2005, p. 378; Cooper et al. 2005, p. 381), nitrogen-mediated threats may be intensified by climate change. In addition, saltwater encroachment, as a result of rising sea levels, has the potential to impact freshwater habitats in the lower reaches of coastal rivers.

    Long-term sea level trends available from the Cedar Key tide gage suggest the local sea level is rising about 1.8 mm (0.7 inches) per year based on data from 1914 to 2006 (Thom et al. 2015, pp. 47-48). At this rate, this is equivalent to 0.14 meters (0.46 feet) by 2100. However, all indications are that sea level rise (SLR) is accelerating (Thom et al. 2015, p. 47), and, although there is a range of estimates, recent studies suggest that global mean sea level will rise at least 0.2 meters (0.66 ft) and no more than 2.0 meters (6.6 ft) by 2100 (Parris et al. 2012, pp. 1-2).

    The effects of climate change may amplify stressors currently impacting the Suwannee moccasinshell, including the prospect of more frequent and intense droughts and increased temperatures, which would further reduce flows, increase pollutant toxicity levels, and exacerbate current problems of low DO and excessive algae growth (see discussions under Factor A). Saltwater encroachment also has the potential to impact moccasinshell populations in the lower river, especially during times of low flow conditions. The variables related to climate change are complex, and it is difficult to predict all of the possible ways climate change will affect Suwannee moccasinshell populations and habitat. However, information available is sufficient to indicate that climate change is a significant threat to the Suwannee moccasinshell in the future, as it will likely exacerbate certain stressors already affecting the species, such as reduced flows and degraded water quality.

    Small Population Size

    The Suwannee moccasinshell's reduced range and small population size may increase its vulnerability to many threats. Species with small ranges, few populations, and small or declining population sizes are the most vulnerable to extinction (Primack 2008, p. 137). The effects of certain environmental pressures, particularly habitat degradation and loss, catastrophic weather events, and introduced species, are greater when population size is small (Soulé 1980, pp. 33, 71; Primack 2008, pp. 133-137, 152). Suwannee moccasinshell populations are small and declining and are vulnerable to habitat degradation, droughts, and competition from the introduced Asian clam. In addition, its current range is relatively small, consisting of a stream channel segment of about 103 miles in length (see Distribution and Abundance discussion).

    Nonindigenous Species

    The Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) was first detected in eastern Gulf drainages in the early 1960s and is presently widespread in the Suwannee River Basin. Anecdotal observations suggest that, when the Asian clam became established in other Gulf coast drainages, native mussel abundance declined drastically (Heard 1975, p. 2; Shelton 1995, p. 4). It is unknown, however, if the Asian clam competitively excluded the native mussels, are tolerant of whatever caused them to disappear, or, as Haag (2012, p. 371) suggests, the Asian clam is a poor competitor and can only become dense after a decline in mussel abundance. Mechanisms by which the Asian clam may negatively affect mussels include as a competitor for food and space; by ingesting mussel sperm, glochidia, and newly metamorphosed juveniles; and by displacing newly metamorphosed mussels from the substrate, causing them to be washed downstream (Neves and Widlak 1987, p. 6; Leff et al. 1990, p. 415; Strayer 1999, p. 82; Yeager et al. 2000, pp. 255-257). Although the specific interaction between the Asian clam and native mussels is not well understood, enough information exists to conclude that dense Asian clam populations would negatively affect juvenile mussel survival (Haag 2012, p. 370). Surveys within the range of the Suwannee moccasinshell found Asian clam densities varied from relatively low in some areas to relatively high in other areas (S. Pursifull 2014 pers. obs.). The introduced Asian clam is negatively affecting the Suwannee moccasinshell, although we consider this threat to be low at present.

    The flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) has been introduced to the Suwannee River Basin and may be adversely impacting native fish populations. As discussed in the Habitat and Biology section above, the Suwannee moccasinshell requires a fish host in order to complete its life cycle, and the blackbanded darter and the brown darter were found to serve as larval hosts for the moccasinshell. The flathead catfish is a large predator native to the central United States, and since its introduction outside its native range, it has altered the composition of native fish populations through predation (Boschung and Mayden 2004, p. 350). Many feeding studies have found that flathead catfish prey heavily on other fishes, especially sunfishes (Centrarchidae) (Weller and Robbins 1999, p. 40; Pine et al. 2005, p. 904). One study in the Flint River system in Georgia found that young-of-the-year flatheads consumed several fish species including darters (Etheostoma spp.) (Quinn 1988, p. 88). The loss or reduction of darters, which are essential during the moccasinshell's parasitic larval stage, would affect the Suwannee moccasinshell's ability to recruit and disperse. However, it is not known if the specific darter species needed by this mussel to reproduce are being predated by introduced flatheads; therefore, it is difficult for us to evaluate this potential threat at this time.

    In summary, the Suwannee moccasinshell is adversely affected by other natural or manmade factors including droughts that (along with groundwater consumption) cause reduced flows, past and future contaminant spills, and the introduced Asian clam. In addition, numerous future impacts associated with changing climatic patterns (increased drought frequency, altered water quality, saltwater encroachment) are anticipated, some of which could intensify stressors currently affecting the species, including reduced flows and low DO. For this reason, problems related to reduced flows and degraded water quality are expected to increase in the future. Finally, the Suwannee moccasinshell's small population size and restricted range makes it more vulnerable to certain threats. Therefore, we find that these threats, as a whole, pose a significant threat to the Suwannee moccasinshell, both now and continuing into the future. The Suwannee moccasinshell may also be affected by flood events, and predation of its host fishes by introduced flathead catfish. However, we do not have information indicating that these are currently acting on the species at this time.

    Proposed Determination

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to the Suwannee moccasinshell. The primary reason for the Suwannee moccasinshell's decline is the degradation of its habitat due to polluted runoff from agricultural lands, discharges from industrial and municipal wastewater sources and from mining operations, and decreased flows due to groundwater extraction and drought (Factor A). These threats occur throughout its range, but are more intense in the two tributaries, the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe River systems. In portions of its range, sedimentation has also impacted its habitat. Other threats to the species include State and Federal water quality standards that are inadequate to protect sensitive aquatic organisms like mussels (Factor D); contaminant spills as a result of transportation accidents or from industrial, agricultural, and municipal facilities (Factor E); increased drought frequency as a result of changing climatic conditions (Factor E); greater vulnerability to certain threats because of small population size and range (Factor E); and competition and disturbance from the introduced Asian clam (Factor E). These threats have resulted in the decline of the species throughout its range, and pose the highest risk to populations in the two tributary systems, as evidenced by the species' decline and possible disappearance in the Withlacoochee River, and its decline in the Santa Fe River sub-basin. In addition, the species likely has a limited ability to disperse and, therefore, may not be able recolonize areas from which it has been extirpated. Currently, nearly the entire population resides in the middle and lower reach of the Suwannee River main channel, where the two greatest threats, pollutants and reduced flows, are attenuated by higher flow volumes. Therefore, Suwannee moccasinshell populations in the Withlacoochee and Santa Fe River sub-basins are presently facing threats that are high in magnitude, and populations in the Suwannee River main channel are presently facing threats that are moderate in magnitude. Most of these threats, including reduced flows, pollutants, droughts, and climate change, are expected to increase in the future.

    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.” We find that the Suwannee moccasinshell is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future based on the overall severity and immediacy of threats currently impacting the species. The Suwannee moccasinshell's range and abundance have been reduced, and its remaining habitat and populations are threatened by a variety of factors acting in combination to reduce the overall viability of the species. The risk of becoming endangered is high because remaining Suwannee moccasinshell populations in the main channel are small and numerous threats impact those populations. However, we find that endangered species status is not appropriate, because despite low population densities and numerous threats, the populations in the main channel, which are the largest, appear to be stable, which has been attributed to the threats being attenuated and the streambed habitat being stable. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose listing the Suwannee moccasinshell as threatened in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    Significant Portion of the Range

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Because we have determined that the Suwannee moccasinshell is threatened throughout all of its range, no portion of its range can be “significant” for purposes of the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014).

    Critical Habitat

    Section 3(5)(A) of the Act defines critical habitat as (i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. Section 3(3) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1532(3)) also defines the terms “conserve,” “conserving,” and “conservation” to mean to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this chapter Act are no longer necessary.

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.12), require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Our regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of the following situations exist:

    (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or

    (2) Such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species.

    There is currently no imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism under Factor B for this species, and identification and mapping of critical habitat is not expected to initiate any such threat. In the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, if there are any benefits to a critical habitat designation, a finding that designation is prudent is warranted. Here, the potential benefits of designation include: (1) Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, in new areas for actions in which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur because, for example, it is unoccupied; (2) focusing conservation activities on the most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing people from causing inadvertent harm to the species.

    Because we have determined that the designation of critical habitat will not likely increase the degree of threat to the species and may provide some measure of benefit, we determine that designation of critical habitat is prudent for the Suwannee moccasinshell.

    Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(2)) further state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exists: (1) Information sufficient to perform required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking; or (2) the biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat.

    Delineation of critical habitat requires, within the geographical area occupied by the Suwannee moccasinshell, identification of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the subspecies. While we have significant information on the habitat of the species, we need more information on biological needs of the species (i.e., specific habitat features on the landscape) in order to identify specific areas appropriate for critical habitat designation. In addition, as we have not determined the areas that may qualify for designation, the information sufficient to perform a required analysis of the impacts of the designation is lacking. Accordingly, we find designation of critical habitat to be not determinable at this time.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.

    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems.

    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan also identifies recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for downlisting or delisting, and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. If this species is listed as proposed, a recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan would be made available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our Panama City Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the States of Florida and Georgia would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the Suwannee moccasinshell. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although the Suwannee moccasinshell is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in conservation efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on this species whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for conservation planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service.

    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph include management and any other landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) U.S. Forest Service; issuance of section 404 Clean Water Act permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; construction and maintenance of roads, highways, or bridges by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration; and funding assistance for various projects administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Service has discretion to issue regulations that we find necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to threatened wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, as applied to threatened wildlife and codified at 50 CFR 17.31, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation agencies.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.32. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of species proposed for listing. Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 the Act; this list is not comprehensive:

    Activities that the Service believes could potentially harm the Suwannee moccasinshell and result in “take,” include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Unauthorized handling or collecting of the species;

    (2) Destruction or alteration of the species' habitat by discharge of fill material, dredging, snagging, impounding, channelization, or modification of stream channels or banks;

    (3) Discharge of pollutants into a stream or into areas hydrologically connected to a stream occupied by the species; and

    (4) Diversion or alteration of surface or ground water flow.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Panama City Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act, need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Panama City Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Panama City Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; 4201-4245; unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 17.11(h), add an entry for “Moccasinshell, Suwannee” to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under CLAMS to read as set forth below:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Species Common name Scientific name Historic range Vertebrate
  • population where
  • endangered or
  • threatened
  • Status When listed Critical
  • habitat
  • Special rules
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Clams *         *         *         *         *         *         * Moccasinshell, Suwannee Medionidus walkeri U.S.A. (FL, GA) NA T XX NA NA *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: September 9, 2015. Stephen Guertin, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25280 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    80 193 Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 30, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 5, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Research Service

    Title: Web Forms for Research Data, Models, Materials, and Publications as well as Study and Event Registration.

    OMB Control Number: 0518-0032.

    Summary of Collection: OMB Circular 130 Management of Federal Information Resources, establishes that “agencies will use electronic media and formats . . . in order to make government information more easily accessible and useful to the public” In order to provide information and services related to its program responsibilities defined at 7 CFR 2.65, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) needs to obtain certain basic information from the public. Online forms allow the public to request from ARS research data, models, materials, and publications as well as registration for scientific studies and events.

    Need and Use of the Information: ARS will use the information to respond to requests for specific services. The information will be collected electronically. If this collection is not conducted, ARS will be hindered from reducing the burden on its customers by providing them the most timely and efficient way to request services.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 5,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 250.

    Agricultural Research Service

    Title: Electronic Mailing List Subscription Form—Water Quality Information Center.

    OMB Control Number: 0518-0045.

    Summary of Collection: The National Agricultural Library's Water Quality Information Center (WQIC) currently maintains an on-line announcement list (Enviro-News). The current voluntary “Electronic Mailing List Subscription Form” gives individuals interested in the subject area of water quality and agriculture an opportunity to receive and post messages to this list. The Electronic Mailing List Subscription is available for completion on-line at the Web site of the Water Quality Information Center. The authority for the National Agricultural Library to collect the information can be found at CFR, Title 7, Volume 1, Part 2 Subpart K, Section 2.65 (92).

    Need and Use of the Information: The information requested on the form includes: Name, email address, job title, work affiliation, and topics of interest. Data collected using the form will help WQIC determine a person's eligibility to join the announcement list. In order to make sure people have a significant interest in the topic area, it is necessary to collect the information. WQIC will use the collected information to approve subscription to the Enviro-News on-line announcement list.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 30.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 1.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25305 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2016 AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (the Agency) announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. REAP have two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants.

    The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources.

    The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, grantee, will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.

    DATES:

    Grant applications, guaranteed loan-only applications, and combined grant and guaranteed loan applications for financial assistance under this subpart may be submitted at any time on an ongoing basis. Section IV.E. of this Notice establishes the deadline dates for the applications to be received in order to be considered for funding provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79), commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill Act, for fiscal year 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The applicable USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator for your respective State, as identified via the following link: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf.

    For information about this Notice, please contact Kelley Oehler, Branch Chief, USDA Rural Development, Energy Division, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 3225, Room 6870, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-6819. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Eligible Applicants: This solicitation is for agricultural producers and rural small businesses, as well as units of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentalities of a State, Tribal, or local government; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; public power entities; and councils, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451, which serve agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

    I. Program Description

    REAP is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. REAP has two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants.

    A. General. Applications for REAP can be submitted on an ongoing basis. This Notice announces the deadline times and dates to submit applications for the REAP funds provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014, on February 7, 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), for fiscal year 2016 for grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems, and make energy efficiency improvements; and for grants to conduct energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

    The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources.

    The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, (grantee), will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.

    The administrative requirements applicable to each type of funding available under REAP are described in 7 CFR, part 4280, subpart B. The provisions specified in 7 CFR 4280.101 through 4280.111 apply to each funding type described in this Notice.

    B. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project Grants. In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.112 through 4280.124 apply to renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement project grants.

    C. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project Guaranteed Loans. In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.125 through 4280.152 apply to guaranteed loans for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement projects. For fiscal year 2016, the guarantee fee amount is one percent of the guaranteed portion of the loan, and the annual renewal fee is one-quarter of 1 percent (0.250 percent) of the guaranteed portion of the loan.

    D. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project Combined Grant and Guaranteed Loan Requests. In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.165 apply to a combined grant and guaranteed loan for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement projects.

    E. Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.186 through 4280.196 apply to energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants.

    II. Federal Award Information

    A. Statutory Authority. This program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 8107.

    B. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number. 10.868.

    C. Funds Available. This Notice is announcing deadline times and dates for applications to be submitted for the REAP funds provided by the 2014 Farm Bill for fiscal year 2016. This Notice is being published prior to the congressional enactment of a full-year appropriation for fiscal year 2016. The Agency will continue to process applications received under this announcement and should REAP receive appropriated funds, these funds will be announced on the following Web site: www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-nosas and subject to the same provisions in this Notice.

    (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant-only funds. For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement projects only, there will be an allocation of grant funds to each Rural Development State Office. The State allocations will include an allocation for grants of $20,000 or less funds and an allocation of grant funds that can be used to fund renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants of either $20,000 or less or grants of more than $20,000, as well as the grant portion of a combination grant and guaranteed loan. These funds are commonly referred to as unrestricted grant funds. The funds for grants of $20,000 or less can only be used to fund grants requesting $20,000 or less.

    (a) To ensure that small projects have a fair opportunity to compete for the funding and are consistent with the priorities set forth in the statute, the Agency will set-aside 20 percent of the fiscal year 2016 funds until June 30, 2016, to fund grants of $20,000 or less.

    (b) Grant funds available for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement will consist of fiscal year 2016 funds and any unused mandatory funding from fiscal year 2015.

    (2) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee funds. Rural Development's National Office will maintain a reserve of guaranteed loan funds. The amount of loan guarantee program level available will consist of fiscal year 2016 funds.

    (3) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan and grant combination funds. The amount of funds available for guaranteed loan and grant combination applications are outlined in paragraphs C(b)(1) and C(2) of this section.

    (4) Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grant funds. The amount of funds available for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance in fiscal year 2016 will be 4 percent of fiscal year 2016 mandatory funds. Obligations of these funds will take place through March 31, 2016. Any unobligated balances will be moved to the renewable energy subsidy account as of April 1, 2016. These funds may be utilized in any of the renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement national competitions.

    D. Approximate Number of Awards. The estimated number of awards is 1,000 based on the historical average grant size and the anticipated mandatory funding of $50 million for fiscal year 2016, but will depend on the actual amount of funds made available and on the number of eligible applicants participating in this program.

    E. Type of Instrument. Grant, guaranteed loan, and grant/guaranteed loan combinations.

    III. Eligibility Information

    A. Eligible Applicants. To be eligible for the grant portion of the program, an applicant must meet the requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.109, 7 CFR 4280.110, and 7 CFR 4280.112, or 7 CFR 4280.186, as applicable.

    B. Eligible Lenders and Borrowers. To be eligible for the guaranteed portion of the program, lenders and borrowers must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4280.125 and 7 CFR 4280.127, as applicable.

    C. Eligible Projects. To be eligible for this program, a project must meet the eligibility requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.113, 7 CFR 4280.128, and 7 CFR 4280.187, as applicable.

    D. Cost Sharing or Matching. The 2014 Farm Bill mandates the maximum percentages of funding that REAP can provide.

    (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement funding approved for guaranteed loan-only requests and for combination guaranteed loan and grant requests will not exceed 75 percent of eligible project costs, with any Federal grant portion not to exceed 25 percent of the total eligible project costs, whether the grant is part of a combination request or is a grant-only.

    (2) Under the energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants, a grantee that conducts energy audits must require that, as a condition of providing the energy audit, the agricultural producer or rural small business pay at least 25 percent of the cost of the energy audit.

    E. Other. The definitions applicable to this Notice are published at 7 CFR 4280.103. Ineligible project costs can be found in 7 CFR 4280.114(d), 7 CFR 4280.129(f), and 7 CFR 4280.188(c), as applicable.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    A. Address to Request Application. Application materials may be obtained by contacting one of Rural Development's Energy Coordinators, as identified via the following link:http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf.

    In addition, for grant applications, applicants may obtain electronic grant applications for REAP from http://www.Grants.gov. When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site. To use Grants.gov, all applicants must have a DUNS number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. USDA Rural Development strongly recommends that applicants do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.

    B. Application Submittal.

    (1) Grant applications. All grant applications may be submitted either as hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Energy Coordinator or electronically using the Government-wide Grants.gov Web site. When submitting an application as hard copy, applicants must submit one original.

    (a) All renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement applications are to be submitted to the USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator in the State in which the applicant's proposed project is located. A list of USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinators is available via the following link: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf.

    (b) All energy audit and renewable energy development assistance applications are to be submitted to the USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator in the State in which the applicant is headquartered.

    (c) Grant-only applicants submitting their electronic applications to the Agency via the Grants.gov Web site may download a copy of the application package to complete it off line and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov site, including all information typically included in the application, and all necessary assurances and certifications. After electronically submitting an application through the Web site, the applicant will receive an automated acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.

    (2) Guaranteed loan applications. Guaranteed loan-only applications (i.e., those that are not part of a guaranteed loan/grant combination request) must be submitted as hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Energy Coordinator.

    (3) Guaranteed loan and grant combination applications. Applications for guaranteed loans/grants (combination applications) must be submitted as hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Energy Coordinator.

    C. Content and Form of Application Submission. Applicants seeking to participate in this program must submit applications in accordance with this Notice and 7 CFR part 4280, subpart B. Applicants must submit complete applications containing all parts necessary for the Agency to determine applicant and project eligibility, to score the application, and to conduct the technical evaluation, as applicable, in order to be considered.

    (1) Competition. The application dates published in Section IV.E. of this Notice identify the times and dates by which complete applications must be received in order to compete for the funds available.

    (2) Grant applications. Information required for an application to be considered complete is found in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart B.

    (a) Grant applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects with total project costs of $80,000 or less must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.119.

    (b) Grant applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects with total project costs of $200,000 or less, but more than $80,000, must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.118.

    (c) Grant applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects with total project costs of greater than $200,000 must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.117.

    (d) Guaranteed loan applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.137.

    (e) Combined grant and guaranteed loan applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.165(c).

    (f) Applications for energy audits or renewable energy development assistance grants must provide information required by 7 CFR 4280.190.

    (3) Race, ethnicity, and gender. The Agency is requesting that each applicant provide race, ethnicity, and gender information about the applicant. The information will allow the Agency to evaluate its outreach efforts to under-served and under-represented populations. Applicants are encouraged to furnish this information with their applications, but are not required to do so. An applicant's eligibility or the likelihood of receiving an award will not be impacted by furnishing or not furnishing this information.

    (4) Hybrid projects. If the application is for a hybrid project, as defined in 7 CFR 4280.103, technical reports, as required under 7 CFR 4280.110(h)(3), must be prepared for each technology that comprises the hybrid project.

    (5) Multiple facilities. Applicants may submit a single application that proposes to apply the same renewable energy system (including the same hybrid project) or energy efficiency improvement across multiple facilities. For example, a rural small business owner owns five retail stores and wishes to install solar panels on each store. The rural small business owner may submit a single application for installing the solar panels on the five stores. However, if this same owner wishes to install solar panels on three of the five stores and wind turbines for the other two stores, the owner can only submit an application for either the solar panels or for the wind turbines in the same fiscal year.

    (6) Fiscal Year 2015 Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant Applications for $20,000 or less. If an application for a project was submitted after April 30, 2015, for the first time for fiscal year 2015 funding and that initial application was determined eligible but was not funded in either the State or National unrestricted competitions, the Agency will consider that application for funding in the November 2, 2015, and May 2, 2016, State competitions for grants of $20,000 or less and the National competition for grants of $20,000 or less in fiscal year 2016. If an applicant submitted the initial application on or prior to April 30, 2015, the applicant must submit a new application, meeting the requirements of this Notice in order to be considered for fiscal year 2016 funds for that project, and a new submission date of record will be established.

    D. System for Award Management (SAM) and Dun and Bradstreet Universal Number System (DUNS) Number. Unless exempt under 2 CFR 25.110, all applicants must:

    (1) Be registered in SAM prior to submitting an application;

    (2) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by the Agency; and

    (3) Provide its DUNS number in each application it submits to the Agency.

    (4) At the time the Agency is ready to make an award, if the applicant has not complied with paragraphs A(1) through A(3) of this section, the Agency may determine the applicant is not eligible to receive the award.

    E. Submission Dates and Times. Grant applications, guaranteed loan-only applications, and combined grant and guaranteed loan applications for financial assistance under this subpart may be submitted at any time on an ongoing basis. When an application window closes, the next application window opens on the following day. This Notice establishes the deadline dates for the applications to be received in order to be considered for funding provided by the 2014 Farm Bill for fiscal year 2016. An application received after these dates will be considered with other applications received in the next application window. In order to be considered for funds under this Notice, complete applications must be received by the appropriate USDA Rural Development State Office or via Grants.gov. The deadline for applications to be received to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2016 are outlined in the following paragraphs and also summarized in a table at the end of this section:

    (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications. Application deadlines for fiscal years 2016 grant funds are:

    (a) For applicants requesting $20,000 or less that wish to have their application compete for the “Grants of $20,000 or less set aside,” complete applications must be received no later than:

    (i) 4:30 p.m. local time on November 2, 2015, or

    (ii) 4:30 p.m. local time on May 2, 2016.

    (b) For applicants requesting grant funds of over $20,000 (unrestricted) or funding for a combination grant and guaranteed loan, complete applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. local time on May 2, 2016.

    (2) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan-only applications. Applications will be reviewed and processed when received with monthly competitions on the first business day of each month for those applications eligible and ready to be funded.

    (3) Energy audits and renewable energy development assistance grant applications. Complete applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. local time on February 1, 2016.

    Application Application
  • window
  • opening
  • dates
  • Application
  • window
  • closing
  • dates
  • Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants ($20,000 or less competing for up to 50 percent of the set aside funds) July 1, 2015 November 2, 2015. Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants ($20,000 or less competing for the remaining set aside funds) November 3, 2015 May 2, 2016.* Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants (Unrestricted grants, including combination grant and guaranteed loan) July 1, 2015 May 2, 2016.* Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans Continuous application cycle Continuous application cycle. Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants February 13, 2015 February 1, 2016.* * Applications received after this date will be considered for the next funding cycle in the subsequent fiscal year.

    F. Intergovernmental Review. REAP is not subject to Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.

    G. Funding Limitations. The following funding limitations apply to applications submitted under this Notice.

    (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement projects.

    (a) Applicants may apply for only one renewable energy system project and one energy efficiency improvement project in fiscal year 2016.

    (b) For renewable energy system grants, the minimum grant is $2,500 and the maximum is $500,000. For energy efficiency improvement grants, the minimum grant is $1,500 and the maximum grant is $250,000.

    (c) For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees, the minimum REAP guaranteed loan amount is $5,000 and the maximum amount of a guaranteed loan to be provided to a borrower is $25 million.

    (d) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan and grant combination applications. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section contain the applicable maximum amounts and minimum amounts for grants and guaranteed loans.

    (2) Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants.

    (a) Applicants may submit only one energy audit grant application and one renewable energy development assistance grant application for fiscal year 2016 funds.

    (b) The maximum aggregate amount of energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants awarded to any one recipient under this Notice cannot exceed $100,000 for fiscal year 2016.

    (c) The 2014 Farm Bill mandates that the recipient of a grant that conducts an energy audit for an agricultural producer or a rural small business must require the agricultural producer or rural small business to pay at least 25 percent of the cost of the energy audit, which shall be retained by the eligible entity for the cost of the audit.

    (3) Maximum grant assistance to an entity. For the purposes of this Notice, the maximum amount of grant assistance to an entity will not exceed $750,000 for fiscal year 2016 based on the total amount of the renewable energy system, energy efficiency improvement, energy audit, and renewable energy development assistance grants awarded to an entity under REAP.

    H. Other submission requirements and information.

    (1) Environmental information. For the Agency to consider an application, the application must include all environmental review documents with supporting documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G. Applications for financial assistance for planning or management purposes are typically categorically excluded from the environmental review process by 7 CFR 1940.310(e)(1). Any required environmental review must be completed prior to obligation of funds or the approval of the application. Applicants are advised to contact the Agency to determine environmental requirements as soon as practicable to ensure adequate review time.

    (2) Felony conviction and tax delinquent status. Corporate applicants submitting applications under this Notice must include Form AD 3030, “Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.” Corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice will be required to sign Form AD 3031, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.” Both forms can be found online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad3030; and http://www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad3031.

    (3) Original signatures. USDA Rural Development may request that the applicant provide original signatures on forms submitted through Grants.gov at a later date.

    (4) Transparency Act Reporting. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

    V. Application Review Information

    A. Evaluation Criteria. All complete applications will be scored in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.120, 4280.135, and 4280.192 and as supplemented below.

    (1) For fiscal year 2016, if the State Director and Administrator consider awarding priority points under 7 CFR 4280.120(g), the State Director and the Administrator will take into consideration paragraphs V.A(1)(a) and (b) below.

    (a) With regard to 7 CFR 4280.120(g)(3), which addresses applicants who are members of unserved and under-served populations, a project that is:

    (i) Owned by a veteran, including but not limited to individuals as sole proprietors, members, partners, stockholders, etc., of not less than 20 percent. In order to receive points, applicants must provide a statement in their applications to indicate that owners of the project have veteran status; and

    (ii) Owned by a member of a socially-disadvantaged group, which are groups whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. In order to receive points, the application must include a statement to indicate that the owners of the project are members of a socially-disadvantaged group.

    (b) With regard to 7 CFR 4280.120(g)(4), which addresses applications that further a Presidential initiative or a Secretary of Agriculture priority, projects:

    (i) Located in rural areas with the lowest incomes where, according to the most recent 5-year American Community Survey data by census, tracts show that at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. This will support Secretary of Agriculture's priority of providing 20 percent of its funding by 2016 to these areas of need and

    (ii) Located in designated Strike Force or Promise Zone areas, which is a Secretary of Agriculture's priority.

    (2) Combined grant and guaranteed loan applications will be scored in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.120.

    (3) For hybrid applications, each technical report will be evaluated based on its own merit.

    B. Review and Selection Process. Grant-only applications, guaranteed loan-only applications, and combined grant and guaranteed loan applications for financial assistance may be submitted at any time. In order to be considered for funds, complete applications must be received by the appropriate USDA Rural Development State Office or via Grants.gov, as identified in Section IV.E., of this Notice.

    (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants. Due to the competitive nature of this program, applications are competed based on submittal date. The submittal date is the date the Agency receives a complete application. The complete application date is the date the Agency receives the last piece of information that allows the Agency to determine eligibility and to score, rank, and compete the application for funding.

    (a) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants of $20,000 or less State funds. Funds will be allocated to the States. Applications must be submitted by November 2, 2015, or May 2, 2016, in order to be considered for these set-aside funds. The State will award 50 percent of these funds for those complete applications the Agency receives by November 2, 2015, and 50 percent of the funds for those complete applications the Agency receives by May 2, 2016. All State allocated unused funds for grants of $20,000 or less will be pooled to the National Office.

    (b) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants of $20,000 or less national funds. All unfunded eligible applications for grants of $20,000 or less received by May 2, 2016, will be competed against other applications for grants of $20,000 or less from other States at a final national competition. Obligations of these funds will take place prior to June 30, 2016.

    (c) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement unrestricted grant State funds. Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant funds that can be awarded to any renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement application, regardless of the amount of the funding request, will be allocated to the States. All unused funds for grant funds will be pooled to the National Office.

    (d) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement national grant funds. All unfunded eligible applications for grants, which include grants of $20,000 or less, that are received by May 2, 2016, and that are not funded by State allocations can be submitted to the National Office to compete against grant applications from other States at a final national competition.

    (2) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan funds. The National Office will maintain a reserve for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan funds. Applications will be reviewed and processed when received. Those applications that meet the Agency's underwriting requirements, are credit worthy, and score a minimum of 50 points will compete in national competitions for guaranteed loan funds on the first business day of each month. All unfunded eligible guaranteed loan-only applications received that do not score at least 50 points will be competed against other guaranteed loan-only applications from other States at a final national competition, if the guaranteed loan reserves have not been completely depleted, on September 1, 2016. If funds remain after the final guaranteed loan-only national competition, the Agency may elect to utilize budget authority to fund additional grant-only applications.

    (3) Combined grant and guaranteed loan applications. Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement combined grant and guaranteed loan applications will compete with grant-only applications for grant funds allocated to their State referenced in paragraph B(1)(c) of this section. If the application is ranked high enough to receive State allocated grant funds, the State will request funding for the guaranteed loan portion of any combined grant and guaranteed loan applications from the National Office guaranteed loan reserve, and no further competition will be required.

    (4) Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants. Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grant funds will be maintained in a reserve at the National Office. The two highest scoring applications from each State, based on the scoring criteria established under § 4280.192, will compete for funding at a national competition. If funds remain after the energy audit and renewable energy development assistance national competition, the Agency may elect to transfer budget authority to fund additional renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants from the National Office reserve after pooling.

    (5) Insufficient funds. If a State allocation is not sufficient to fund the total amount of a grant or combination application, the applicant must be notified that they may accept the remaining funds or submit the total request for National Office reserve funds available after pooling. If the applicant agrees to lower its grant request, the applicant must certify that the purposes of the project will be met and provide the remaining total funds needed to complete the project.

    (a) If two or more grant or combination applications have the same score and remaining funds in the State allocation are insufficient to fully award them, the remaining funds must be divided proportionally between the applications. The Agency will notify the applicants that they may either accept the proportional amount of funds or submit their total request for National Office reserve. If the applicant agrees to lower its grant request, the applicant must certify that the purposes of the project will be met and provide the remaining total funds needed to complete the project.

    (b) At its discretion, the Agency may instead allow the remaining funds to be carried over to the next fiscal year rather than selecting a lower scoring application(s) or distributing funds on a pro-rata basis.

    C. Award Considerations. All awards will be on a discretionary basis. In determining the amount of a renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement grant or loan guarantee, the Agency will consider the six criteria specified in 7 CFR 4280.114(e) or 7 CFR 4280.129(g), as applicable.

    D. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates. All awards should be completed by September 30, 2016.

    VI. Federal Award Administration Information

    A. Federal Award Notices. The Agency will award and administer renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants, guaranteed loans in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.122, and 7 CFR 4280.139, as applicable. The Agency will award and administer the energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.195. Notification requirements of 7 CFR 4280.111, apply to this Notice.

    B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

    (1) Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination. The Agency will ensure that equal opportunity and nondiscrimination requirements are met in accordance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq. and 7 CFR part 15d, Nondiscrimination in Programs and Activities Conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Agency will not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided that the applicant has the capacity to contract); because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

    (2) Civil Rights Compliance. Recipients of grants must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794. This may include collection and maintenance of data on the race, sex, and national origin of the recipient's membership/ownership and employees. These data must be available to conduct compliance reviews in accordance with 7 CFR 1901.204.

    (3) Environmental Analysis. 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, or successor regulation outlines environmental procedures and requirements for this subpart. Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Agency to determine environmental requirements as soon as practicable after they decide to pursue any form of financial assistance directly or indirectly available through the Agency.

    (4) Appeals. A person may seek a review of an Agency decision or appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 7 CFR 4280.105.

    C. Reporting.

    Reporting requirements will be in accordance with the Grant Agreement, 7 CFR 4280.123(j), 7 CFR 4280.143, and 7 CFR 4280.196, as applicable. Any question on reporting can be directed to the appropriate Rural Development Energy Coordinator as identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this notice.

    VII. Other Information A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants and guaranteed loans, as covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0050. The information collection requirements associated with energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants have also been approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 0570-0059.

    B. Nondiscrimination Statement

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, religion, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or complete the form at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at [email protected].

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

    Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us directly by mail or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Samuel H. Rikkers, Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25321 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 1:00 p.m. (MDT) on Thursday, October 22, 2015, via teleconference. The purpose of the planning meeting is for the Advisory Committee to continue their discussion and plans to conduct a community forum on Border Town Discrimination Against Native Americans.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-397-5352; Conference ID: 261115. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-397-5352, Conference ID: 261115. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Monday, November 22, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=259 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Introductions Norma Bixby, Chair Civil Rights Discussion Montana State Advisory Committee Administrative Matters Malee V. Craft, Regional Director and Designated Federal Official (DFO) DATES:

    Thursday, October 22, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. (MDT)

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference: Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-397-5352, Conference ID: 261115. TDD: Dial Federal Relay Service 1-800-977-8339 and give the operator the above conference call number and conference ID.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malee V. Craft, Regional Director, [email protected], 303-866-1040

    Dated: October 1, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25374 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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

    Agency: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Title: National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) Information Collection System.

    OMB Control Number: 0693-0003.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 800.

    Average Hours per Response: 3 hours.

    Burden Hours: 2,400.

    Needs and Uses: This information is collected from all testing and calibration laboratories that apply for National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) accreditation. It is used by NVLAP to assess laboratory conformance with applicable criteria as defined in 15 CFR part 285, Section 285.14. The information provides a service to customers in business and industry, including regulatory agencies and purchasing authorities that are seeking competent laboratories to perform testing and calibration services. An accredited laboratory's contact information and scope of accreditation are provided on NVLAP's Web site (http://www.nist.gov/nvlap).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations, not-for-profit institutions, and Federal, State or Local government.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at 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. 2015-25338 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 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: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: License Transfer and Duplicate License Services.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0126.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 38 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 110 respondents.

    Average Hours per Response: 16 to 66 minutes per response.

    Needs and Uses: This collection is needed to provide services to exporters who have either lost their original license and require a duplicate, or who wish to transfer their ownership of an approved license to another party.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the 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 OIRA [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: October 1, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25368 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) has received requests to conduct administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with August anniversary dates. In accordance with the Department's regulations, we are initiating those administrative reviews.

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department has received timely requests, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), for administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with August anniversary dates.

    All deadlines for the submission of various types of information, certifications, or comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting time.

    Notice of No Sales

    If a producer or exporter named in this notice of initiation had no exports, sales, or entries during the period of review (“POR”), it must notify the Department within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All submissions must be filed electronically at http://access.trade.gov in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303.1 Such submissions are subject to verification in accordance with section 782(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(1)(i), a copy must be served on every party on the Department's service list.

    1See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to place the CBP data on the record within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 30 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection should be submitted seven days after the placement of the CBP data on the record of this review. Parties wishing to submit rebuttal comments should submit those comments five days after the deadline for the initial comments.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department has found that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value (“Q&V”) Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete Q&V data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that has requested a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance has prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Separate Rates

    In proceedings involving non-market economy (“NME”) countries, the Department begins with a rebuttable presumption that all companies within the country are subject to government control and, thus, should be assigned a single antidumping duty deposit rate. It is the Department's policy to assign all exporters of merchandise subject to an administrative review in an NME country this single rate unless an exporter can demonstrate that it is sufficiently independent so as to be entitled to a separate rate.

    To establish whether a firm is sufficiently independent from government control of its export activities to be entitled to a separate rate, the Department analyzes each entity exporting the subject merchandise under a test arising from the Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sparklers from the People's Republic of China, 56 FR 20588 (May 6, 1991), as amplified by Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Silicon Carbide from the People's Republic of China, 59 FR 22585 (May 2, 1994). In accordance with the separate rates criteria, the Department assigns separate rates to companies in NME cases only if respondents can demonstrate the absence of both de jure and de facto government control over export activities.

    All firms listed below that wish to qualify for separate rate status in the administrative reviews involving NME countries must complete, as appropriate, either a separate rate application or certification, as described below. For these administrative reviews, in order to demonstrate separate rate eligibility, the Department requires entities for whom a review was requested, that were assigned a separate rate in the most recent segment of this proceeding in which they participated, to certify that they continue to meet the criteria for obtaining a separate rate. The Separate Rate Certification form will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the certification, please follow the “Instructions for Filing the Certification” in the Separate Rate Certification. Separate Rate Certifications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days after publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Certification applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers who purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    Entities that currently do not have a separate rate from a completed segment of the proceeding 2 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. In addition, companies that received a separate rate in a completed segment of the proceeding that have subsequently made changes, including, but not limited to, changes to corporate structure, acquisitions of new companies or facilities, or changes to their official company name,3 should timely file a Separate Rate Application to demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate in this proceeding. The Separate Rate Status Application will be available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/nme/nme-sep-rate.html on the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. In responding to the Separate Rate Status Application, refer to the instructions contained in the application. Separate Rate Status Applications are due to the Department no later than 30 calendar days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The deadline and requirement for submitting a Separate Rate Status Application applies equally to NME-owned firms, wholly foreign-owned firms, and foreign sellers that purchase and export subject merchandise to the United States.

    2 Such entities include entities that have not participated in the proceeding, entities that were preliminarily granted a separate rate in any currently incomplete segment of the proceeding (e.g., an ongoing administrative review, new shipper review, etc.) and entities that lost their separate rate in the most recently completed segment of the proceeding in which they participated.

    3 Only changes to the official company name, rather than trade names, need to be addressed via a Separate Rate Application. Information regarding new trade names may be submitted via a Separate Rate Certification.

    For exporters and producers who submit a separate-rate status application or certification and subsequently are selected as mandatory respondents, these exporters and producers will no longer be eligible for separate rate status unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.

    4 In the July initiation notice published on September 2, 2015, 80 FR 53106 (July Initiation notice), we inadvertently listed two of MCC EuroChem's production subsidiaries, OJSC Nevinnomyssky Azot & OJSC NAK Azot, as separate companies. In this notice, we are hereby correcting the error to list only MCC EuroChem. Moreover because the request for review from the petitioner, the Ad Hoc Committee of Domestic Nitrogen Producers, and its individual members, CF Industries, Inc. and PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer, L.P. misspelled the production subsidiary as OJSC Nevinnomysskiy Azot instead of OJSC Nevinnomyssky Azot, the July Initiation notice contained an incorrect spelling.

    Initiation Of Reviews

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i), we are initiating administrative reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings. We intend to issue the final results of these reviews not later than August 31, 2016.

    Period to be
  • reviewed
  • Antidumping Duty Proceedings MALAYSIA: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-557-813 8/1/14-7/31/15 Euro SME Sdn Bhd MEXICO: Light Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube, A-201-836 8/1/14-7/31/15 Perfiles y Herrajes LM, S.A. de C.V. REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Large Power Transformers, A-580-867 8/1/14-7/31/15 Iljin Iljin Electric Co., Ltd. Hyosung Corporation Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. LSIS Co., Ltd. RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Solid Urea 4, A-821-801 7/1/14-6/30/15 SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM: Frozen Fish Fillets, A-552-801 8/1/14-7/31/15 An Giang Agriculture and Foods Import-Export Joint Stock Company (AFIEX) An Giang Fisheries Import and Export Joint Stock Company (also known as Agifish or AnGiang Fisheries Import and Export) An My Fish Joint Stock Company (also known as Anmyfish or Anmyfishco) An Phat Seafood Co. Ltd. An Phu Seafood Corp. (also known as ASEAFOOD) Anvifish Co., Ltd. Anvifish Joint Stock Company (ANVIFISH) Asia Commerce Fisheries Joint Stock Company (also known as Acomfish JSC or Acomfish) Asia Pangasius Company Limited Basa Joint Stock Company (BASACO) Bien Dong Seafood Company Ltd., (Bien Dong Seafood) Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Co. Bentre Aquaproduct Import & Export Joint Company (also known as Bentre Aquaproduct or Ben Tre Aquaproduct Import and Export Joint Stock Company or Aquatex Bentre) Bentre Forestry and Aquaproduct Import Export Joint Stock Company (also known as Ben Tre Forestry and Aquaproduct Import-Export Company or Ben Tre Forestry Aquaproduct Import-Export Company or Ben Tre Frozen Aquaproduct Export Company or Faquimex) C.P. Vietnam Corporation Cadovimex II Seafood Import-Export and Processing Joint Stock Company (also known as CADOVIMEX II or) Cafatex Corporation (CAFATEX) as CADOVIMEX II Seafood Import-Export) Can Tho Animal Fishery Products Processing Export Enterprise (also known as Cafatex) Can Tho Import-Export Seafood Joint Stock Company Cantho Import-Export Joint Stock Company (CASEAMEX) Cuu Long Fish Joint Stock Company (CL-Fish), Dai Thanh Seafoods Company Limited (DATHACO) East Sea Seafoods LLC (ESS) Europe Joint Stock Company Fatifish Company Limited (FATIFISH) GODACO Seafood Joint Stock Company (GODACO) Golden Quality Seafood Corporation (GOLDEN QUALITY) Green Farms Seafood Joint Stock Company (Green Farms) Hai Huong Seafood Joint Stock Company (also known as HHFish or HH Fish) Hiep Thanh Seafood Joint Stock Co. Hoa Phat Seafood Import-Export and Processing J.S.C. (HOPAFISH) Hoang Long Seafood Processing Co., Ltd. (HLS) Hung Vuong Corporation Hung Vuong Joint Stock Company Hung Vuong Mascato Company Limited Hung Vuong Seafood Joint Stock Company Hung Vuong-Sa Dec Co. Ltd. Hung Vuong-Vinh Long Co., Ltd. International Development & Investment Corporation (IDI) Lian Heng Investment Co., Ltd. (also known as Lian Heng) Lian Hengg Trading Co., Ltd. (also known as Lian Heng) Nam Phuong Seafood Company Ltd. (also known as Nam Phoung Seafood Company Ltd. or NAFISHCO) Nam Viet Company Ltd. Nam Viet Corporation (NAVICO) Ngoc Ha Co., Ltd. Food Processing and Trading Nha Trang Seafoods, Inc. (also known as Nha Trang Seafoods-F89 or Nha Trang Seafoods) NTACO Corporation (NTACO) NTSF Seafoods Joint Stock Company (NTSF) Quang Minh Seafood Co., Ltd. QVD Dong Thap Food Co., Ltd. (also known as Dong Thap) QVD Food Company, Ltd. Saigon-Mekong Fishery Co., Ltd. (also known as SAMEFICO) Seafood Joint Stock Company No. 4—Branch Dong Tam Fisheries Processing Company (DOTASEAFOODCO) Southern Fisheries Industries Company, Ltd. (also known as South Vina) Southern Fishery Industries Company, Ltd. (also known as South Vina) Sunrise Corporation TG Fishery Holdings Corporation (also known as TG) Thanh Hung Co., Ltd. (also known as Thanh Hung Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Co., Ltd. or Thanh Hung) Thien Ma Seafood Co., Ltd. (also known as THIMACO) Thien Ma Seafoods Co., Ltd. (also known as THIMACO) Thien Phat Seafood Co., Ltd. Thuan Hung Co.,Ltd. (also known at THUFICO) Thuan An Production Trading and Service Co., Ltd. (TAFISHCO) Thuan An Production Trading and Services Co., Ltd. (TAFISHCO) Thuan Hung Co., Ltd. (also known as THUFICO) To Chau Joint Stock Company (TOCHAU) Viet Phu Foods and Fish Corporation (Viet Phu) Vinh Hoan Corporation (also known as Vinh Hoan) Vinh Long Import-Export Company (also known as Vinh Long or Imex Cuu Long) Vinh Quang Fisheries Corporation (also known as Vinh Quang) Vinh Quang Fisheries Joint-Stock Company THAILAND: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-549-821 8/1/14-7/31/15 2 P Work Co., Ltd. 2PK Interplas Co., Ltd. Angkapol Plastech Co., Ltd. Asia Industry Co., Ltd. Asian Packaging Limited Partnership Bags and Gloves Co., Ltd. Completely Co., Ltd. C.P. Poly Industry Co., Ltd. CT Import-Export Co., Ltd. Dpac Inter. Corporation Co., Ltd. DTOP Co., Ltd. Ecoplas (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Elite Poly and Packaging Co., Ltd. Firstpack Co. Ltd. G.L.K. (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Green Smile Supply Co., Ltd. Hinwiset Packaging Limited Partnership K. International Packing Co., Ltd. King Bag Co., Ltd. King Pac Industrial Co., Ltd. KPA Packing & Product Co., Ltd. Napa Plastic Co., Ltd. Naraipak Co., Ltd. NKD Intertrade Limited Partnership NNN Packaging Limited Partnership Northeast Pack Company Limited P.C.S. International Company Limited Pasiam Ltd., Partnership PMC Innopack Co., Ltd. Poly Plast (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Poly World Co., Ltd. PPN Plaspack Limited Partnership Prepack Thailand Co., Ltd. PSSP Plaspack Co., Ltd. SSGT Products Limited Partnership Super Grip Co., Ltd. T.P. Plaspack Co., Ltd. T.T.P. Packaging (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Thantawan Industry Public Co., Ltd. Triple B Pack Co., Ltd. Triyamook Vanich Limited Partnership Two Path Plaspack Co., Ltd. Udomrutpanich Limited Partnership Win Win and Pro Pack Co. Ltd. Winbest Industrial (Thailand) Co., Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Certain Steel Nails, A-570-909 8/1/14-7/31/15 Besco Machinery Industry (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd. Cana (Tianjin) Hardware Industrial Co., Ltd. Certified Products International Inc. Chiieh Yung Metal Industrial Corporation China Staple Enterprise (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. Dezhou Hualude Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Hebei Cangzhou New Century Foreign Trade Co. Ltd. Huanghu Jinhai Hardware Products Co. Ltd Huanghua Xiong Hua Hardware Product Co., Ltd. Huanghua Yufutai Hardware Products Limited Jining Huarong Hardware Products Liaocheng Minghui Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Mingguang Abundant Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Mingguang Ruifeng Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Nanjing Caiqing Hardware Co., Ltd. Nanjing Yuechang Hardware Co., Ltd. PT Enterprise Inc. Qingdao D&L Group, Ltd. Qingdao D&L Group Co., Ltd. SDC International Aust. PTY. Ltd. SDC International Australia (PTY) Ltd. Shandong Dinglong Import & Export Co., Ltd. Shandong Oriental Cherry Hardware Group Shandong Oriental Cherry Hardware Import & Export Co., Ltd. Shandong Qingyun Hongyi Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Shanghai Curvet Hardware Products Co., Ltd. Shanghai Yueda Nails Industry Co., Ltd. Shanghai Yueda Fasterners Co., Ltd. Shanxi Hairui Trade Co., Ltd. Shanxi Pioneer Hardware Industrial Co., Ltd. Shanxi Tianli Enterprise Co., Ltd. Shanxi Tianli Industries Co., Ltd. Shanxi Yuci Broad Wire Products Co., Ltd. S-Mart (Tianjin) Technology Development Co., Ltd. Smart (Tianjin) Technology Development Co., Ltd. Suntec Industries Co., Ltd. Suzhou Xingya Nail Co., Ltd. The Stanley Works (Langfang) Fastening Systems Co., Ltd. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. Tianjin Hongli Qiangsheng Import and Export Co., Ltd. Tianjin Jinchi Metal Products Co., Ltd. Tianjin Jinghai County Hongli Industry & Business Co.,Ltd. Tianjin Juxiang Metal Products Co. Tianjin Lianda Group Ltd. Tianjin Lianda Group Co., Ltd. Tianjin Universal Machinery Import & Export Corp. Tianjin Zhonglian Metals Ware Co., Ltd. Xi'an Metals & Minerals Import & Export Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Gem-Chun Hardware Accessory Co., Ltd. THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags, A-570-886 8/1/14-7/31/15 Dongguan Nozawa Plastics Products Co., Ltd. and United Power Packaging, Ltd. (collectively Nozawa) UKRAINE: Silicomanganese, A-823-805 8/1/14-7/31/15 JSC Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant JSC Zaporizhzhya Ferroalloy Plant
    Countervailing Duty Proceedings

    None.

    Suspension Agreements

    None.

    Duty Absorption Reviews

    During any administrative review covering all or part of a period falling between the first and second or third and fourth anniversary of the publication of an antidumping duty order under 19 CFR 351.211 or a determination under 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4) to continue an order or suspended investigation (after sunset review), the Secretary, if requested by a domestic interested party within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the review, will determine, consistent with FAG Italia v. United States, 291 F.3d 806 (Fed Cir. 2002), as appropriate, whether antidumping duties have been absorbed by an exporter or producer subject to the review if the subject merchandise is sold in the United States through an importer that is affiliated with such exporter or producer. The request must include the name(s) of the exporter or producer for which the inquiry is requested.

    Gap Period Liquidation

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period, of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the POR.

    Administrative Protective Orders and Letters of Appearance

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

    Revised Factual Information Requirements

    On April 10, 2013, the Department published Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013), which modified two regulations related to antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301). The final rule identifies five categories of factual information in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21), which are summarized as follows: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The final rule requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. The final rule also modified 19 CFR 351.301 so that, rather than providing general time limits, there are specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after May 10, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in this segment.

    Any party submitting factual information in an antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.5 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives. All segments of any antidumping duty or countervailing duty proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule.6 The Department intends to reject factual submissions in any proceeding segments if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    5See section 782(b) of the Act.

    6See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also the frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Revised Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    On September 20, 2013, the Department modified its regulation concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings: Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013). The modification clarifies that parties may request an extension of time limits before a time limit established under Part 351 expires, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the time limit established under Part 351 expires. For submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Examples include, but are not limited to: (1) Case and rebuttal briefs, filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309; (2) factual information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c), or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2), filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3) and rebuttal, clarification and correction filed pursuant to 19 CFR 351.301(c)(3)(iv); (3) comments concerning the selection of a surrogate country and surrogate values and rebuttal; (4) comments concerning U.S. Customs and Border Protection data; and (5) quantity and value questionnaires. Under certain circumstances, the Department may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, the Department will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. This modification also requires that an extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission, and clarifies the circumstances under which the Department will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. These modifications are effective for all segments initiated on or after October 21, 2013. Please review the final rule, available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.

    These initiations and this notice are in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675(a)) and 19 CFR 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25414 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Board) will meet in open session on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to review and discuss the work of the private sector contractor, which assists the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in administering the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Award), and information received from NIST and from the Chair of the Judges' Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in order to make such suggestions for the improvement of the Award process as the Board deems necessary. Details on the agenda are noted in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time until 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting will be open to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Building 101, Lecture Room A, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1020, telephone number (301) 975-2360, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3711a(d)(2)(B) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Board will meet in open session on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time until 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Board is composed of eleven members selected for their preeminence in the field of organizational performance excellence and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Board consists of a balanced representation from U.S. service, manufacturing, nonprofit, education, and health care industries. The Board includes members familiar with the quality improvement operations and competitiveness issues of manufacturing companies, service companies, small businesses, health care providers, and educational institutions. Members are also chosen who have broad experience in for-profit and nonprofit areas. The purpose of this meeting is to review and discuss the work of the private sector contractor, which assists the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in administering the Award, and information received from NIST and from the Chair of the Judges' Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in order to make such suggestions for the improvement of the Award process as the Board deems necessary. The Board shall make an annual report on the results of Award activities to the Director of NIST, along with its recommendations for the improvement of the Award process. The agenda will include: Report from the Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Baldrige Program Business Plan Status Report, Baldrige Foundation Fundraising Update, Products and Services Update, and Recommendations for the NIST Director. The agenda may change to accommodate Board business. The final agenda will be posted on the NIST Baldrige Performance Excellence Web site at http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/community/overseers.cfm. The meeting will be open to the public.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Board's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda. On December 2, 2015 approximately one-half hour will be reserved in the afternoon for public comments, and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about 3 minutes each. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the Baldrige Web site at http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/community/overseers.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak, but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1020, via fax at 301-975-4967 or electronically by email to [email protected]

    All visitors to the National Institute of Standards and Technology site must pre-register to be admitted. Please submit your name, time of arrival, email address and phone number to Nancy Young no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, November 25, 2015 and she will provide you with instructions for admittance. Non-U.S. citizens must submit additional information and should contact Ms. Young for instructions. Ms. Young's email address is [email protected] and her phone number is (301) 975-2361. For participants attending in person, please note that federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if such license or identification card is issued by a state that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-13), or by a state that has an extension for REAL ID compliance. NIST currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license. For detailed information please contact Ms. Young or visit: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/visitor/.

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25310 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket No. 150917865-5865-01] National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Domain Name System-Based Security (DNS) for Electronic Mail Building Block AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites organizations to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Domain Name System-Based (DNS) Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. This notice is the initial step for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in collaborating with technology companies to address cybersecurity challenges identified under the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. Participation in this building block is open to all interested organizations.

    DATES:

    Interested parties must contact NIST to request a letter of interest template to be completed and submitted to NIST that identifies the organization requesting participation in the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block and the capabilities and components that are being offered to the collaborative effort. Letters of interest will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Collaborative activities will commence as soon as enough completed and signed letters of interest have been returned to address all the necessary components and capabilities, but no earlier than November 5, 2015. When the building block has been completed, NIST will post a notice on the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block Web site athttp://nccoe.nist.gov/DNSSecuredEmail announcing the completion of the building block and informing the public that it will no longer accept letters of interest for this building block.

    ADDRESSES:

    The NCCoE is located at 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Letters of interest must be submitted to [email protected] or via hardcopy to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 9600 Gudelsky Drive; Rockville, MD 20850. Organizations whose letters of interest are accepted in accordance with the process set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice will be asked to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NIST. A CRADA template can be found at:http://nccoe.nist.gov/node/138.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William C. Barker via email to [email protected]; by telephone 301-975-3655; or by mail to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 9600 Gudelsky Drive; Rockville, MD 20850. Additional details about the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block are available at http://nccoe.nist.gov/DNSSecuredEmail.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The NCCoE, part of NIST, is a public-private collaboration for accelerating the widespread adoption of integrated cybersecurity tools and technologies. The NCCoE brings together experts from industry, government, and academia under one roof to develop practical, interoperable cybersecurity approaches that address the real-world needs of complex Information Technology (IT) systems. By accelerating dissemination and use of these integrated tools and technologies for protecting IT assets, the NCCoE will enhance trust in U.S. IT communications, data, and storage systems; reduce risk for companies and individuals using IT systems; and encourage development of innovative, job-creating cybersecurity products and services.

    Process: NIST is soliciting responses from all sources of relevant security capabilities (see below) to enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. The full building block description can be viewed at: http://nccoe.nist.gov/DNSSecuredEmail.

    Interested parties should contact NIST using the information provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. NIST will then provide each interested party with a letter of interest template, which the party must complete, certify that it is accurate, and submit to NIST and which identifies the organization requesting participation in the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block and the capabilities and components that are being offered to the collaborative effort. NIST will contact interested parties if there are questions regarding the responsiveness of the letters of interest to the building block objective or requirements identified below and to obtain additional information. NIST will select participants who have submitted complete letters of interest on a first come, first served basis within each category of product components or capabilities listed below up to the number of participants in each category necessary to carry out the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. However, there may be continuing opportunity to participate even after initial activity commences. Selected participants will be required to enter into a consortium CRADA with NIST (for reference, see ADDRESSES section above). NIST published a notice in the Federal Register on October 19, 2012 (77 FR 64314) inviting U.S. companies to enter into National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnerships (NCEPs) in furtherance of the NCCoE. For this demonstration project, NCEP partners will not be given priority for participation.

    Building Block Objective

    Both public and private sector business operations are heavily reliant on electronic mail (email) exchanges. The need to protect business plans and tactics, the integrity of transactions, financial and other proprietary information, and privacy of employees and clients are only four of the factors that motivate organizations to secure their email exchanges. Whether the security service desired is authentication of the source of an email message, assurance that the message has not been altered by an unauthorized party, or confidentiality of message contents, cryptographic functions are usually employed in providing the service. Economies of scale and a need for uniform security implementation drive most enterprises to rely on mail servers to provide security to the members of an enterprise rather than end-to-end security mechanisms operated by individual users. Most current server-based email security mechanisms are vulnerable to, and have been defeated by, attacks on the integrity of the cryptographic implementations on which they depend. The consequences frequently involve unauthorized parties being able to read or modify supposedly secure information, or to use email as a vector for inserting malware into the system that is intended to deny access to critical information or processes or to damage or destroy system components and/or information. Improved email security can help protect organizations and individuals against these consequences and also serve as a marketing discriminator for email service providers as well as improve the trustworthiness of enterprise email exchanges.

    Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) for the Domain Name System (DNS) are technical mechanisms employed by internet service providers to protect against unauthorized modification to network management information and connections to devices operated by untrustworthy parties. DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) is a protocol that securely associates domain names with cryptographic certificates and related security information so that they can't be fraudulently modified or replaced to breach the security of Internet exchanges. In spite of the dangers of failure to authenticate the identities of network devices, adoption of DNSSEC has been slow. Demonstration of DANE-supported applications such as reliably secure email may support increased user demand for domain name system security. Follow-on projects might include HTTPS, IOT, IPSEC keys in DNS, and DNS service discovery.

    The current project will demonstrate a proof of concept security platform composed of off the shelf components that provides trustworthy mail server-to-mail server email exchanges across organizational boundaries. The DANE protocol will be used to authenticate servers and certificates in two roles in the DNS-Based Security for Email Project: (1) By binding the X.509 certificates used for Transport Layer Security (TLS) to DNS names verified by DNSSEC and supporting the use of these certificates in the mail server-to-mail server communication; and (2) by binding the X.509 certificates used for Secure Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) to email addresses encoded as DNS names verified by DNSSEC. These bindings support trust in the use of S/MIME certificates in the end-to-end email communication. The resulting building block will encrypt email traffic between servers, allow individual email users to digitally sign and/or encrypt email messages to other end users, and allow individual email users to obtain other users' certificates in order to validate signed email or send encrypted email. The project will include an email sending policy consistent with a stated privacy policy that can be parsed by receiving servers so that receiving servers can apply the correct security checks and report back the correctness of the email stream. Documentation of the resulting platform will include statements of the security and privacy policies and standards (e.g., Executive Orders, NIST standards and guidelines, IETF RFCs) supported, technical specifications for hardware and software, implementation requirements, and a mapping of implementation requirements to the applicable policies, standards, and best practices.

    The secure email project will involve composition of a variety of components that will be provided by a number of different vendors. Client systems, DNS/DNSSEC services, mail transfer agents, and certificate providers (CAs) are generally involved. Collaborators are being sought to provide components and expertise for DNS resolvers (stub and recursive) for DNSSEC, authoritative DNS servers for DNSSEC signed zones, mail servers and mail security components, extended validation and domain validation TLS certificates.

    This project will result in one or more demonstration prototype DNS-based secure email platforms, a publicly available NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide that explains how to employ the platform(s) to meet security and privacy requirements, and platform documentation necessary to compose a DNS-based email security platform from off the shelf components.

    A detailed description of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block is available at: http://nccoe.nist.gov/DNSSecuredEmail.

    Requirements: Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify which security platform component(s) or capability(ies) it is offering. Letters of interest should not include company proprietary information, and all components and capabilities must be commercially available. Components are listed in section eight of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block description (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above) and include, but are not limited to:

    • Client systems • DNS/DNSSEC services • Mail transfer agents • DNS resolvers (stub and recursive) for DNSSEC validation • Authoritative DNS servers for DNSSEC signed zones • Mail server/mail security systems • S/MIME certificates • Extended validation and domain validation TLS certificates

    Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify how their product(s) address one or more of the desired solution characteristics in section five of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block description (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above).

    Additional details about the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block are available at: http://nccoe.nist.gov/DNSSecuredEmail.

    NIST cannot guarantee that all of the products proposed by respondents will be used in the demonstration. Each prospective participant will be expected to work collaboratively with NIST staff and other project participants under the terms of the consortium CRADA in the development of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. Prospective participants' contribution to the collaborative effort will include assistance in establishing the necessary interface functionality, connection and set-up capabilities and procedures, demonstration harnesses, environmental and safety conditions for use, integrated platform user instructions, and demonstration plans and scripts necessary to demonstrate the desired capabilities. Each participant will train NIST personnel, as necessary, to operate its product in capability demonstrations. Following successful demonstrations, NIST will publish a description of the security platform and its performance characteristics sufficient to permit other organizations to develop and deploy security platforms that meet the security objectives of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block. These descriptions will be public information.

    Under the terms of the consortium CRADA, participants will commit to providing:

    1. Access for all participants' project teams to component interfaces and the organization's experts necessary to make functional connections among security platform components 2. Support for development and demonstration of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block in NCCoE facilities which will be conducted in a manner consistent with Federal requirements (e.g., FIPS 200, FIPS 201, SP 800-53, and SP 800-63)

    In addition, NIST will support development of interfaces among participants' products by providing IT infrastructure, laboratory facilities, office facilities, collaboration facilities, and staff support to component composition, security platform documentation, and demonstration activities.

    The dates of the demonstration of the Domain Name System-Based Security for Electronic Mail Building Block capability will be announced on the NCCoE Web site at least two weeks in advance at http://nccoe.nist.gov/. The expected outcome of the demonstration is to improve domain name system-based security for electronic mail within the enterprise. Participating organizations will gain from the knowledge that their products are interoperable with other participants' offerings.

    For additional information on the NCCoE governance, business processes, and NCCoE operational structure, visit the NCCoE Web site http://nccoe.nist.gov/.

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25304 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 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: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Environmental Compliance Questionnaire for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Financial Assistance Applicants.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0538.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Average Hours per Response: One to three hours.

    Burden Hours: 3,000.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection. The National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”; 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370) requires federal agencies to complete an environmental analysis for all major federal actions, including funding non-federal projects through federal financial assistance awards where Federal participation in the funded activity is expected to be significant. This Environmental Compliance Questionnaire for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Financial Assistance Applicants (Questionnaire) is used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to collect information about proposed activities for NEPA and other environmental compliance requirements associated with proposed projects, such as federal consultations. The Questionnaire is used in conjunction with NOAA Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). Applicants are required to provide only the information from this Questionnaire that is specified in the FOA to which they are applying. The FOA may present these questions in one of two ways: (1) The applicable questions can be inserted directly into the FOA with reference to the OMB Control Number (0648-0538) for this form; or (2) The FOA can specify which questions (e.g. 1, 2) an applicant must answer, with the entire OMB-approved Questionnaire attached to the FOA. This Questionnaire has been revised to (1) remove repetitive questions; (2) revise specific questions to use plain language instead of NEPA-specific language; and (3) add questions that would be helpful to a wider range of NOAA programs. The revision reduced the overall number of questions by 22.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or tribal government; and federal government.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at 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: October 1, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25378 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NW-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Limits of Application of the Take Prohibitions AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Gary Rule, NOAA Fisheries, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd. Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 230-5424 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection. Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to adopt such regulations as it “deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of” threatened species. Those regulations may include any or all of the prohibitions provided in section 9(a)(1) of the ESA, which specifically prohibits “take” of any endangered species (“take” includes actions that harass, harm, pursue, kill, or capture). The first salmonid species listed by NMFS as threatened were protected by virtually blanket application of the section 9 take prohibitions. There are now 22 separate Distinct Population Segments (DPS) of west coast salmonids listed as threatened, covering a large percentage of the land base in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. NMFS is obligated to enact necessary and advisable protective regulations. NMFS makes section 9 prohibitions generally applicable to many of those threatened DPS, but also seeks to respond to requests from states and others to both provide more guidance on how to protect threatened salmonids and avoid take, and to limit the application of take prohibitions wherever warranted (see 70 FR 37160, June 28, 2005, 71 FR 834, January 5, 2006, and 73 FR 55451, September 25, 2008). The regulations describe programs or circumstances that contribute to the conservation of, or are being conducted in a way that limits impacts on, listed salmonids. Because we have determined that such programs/circumstances adequately protect listed salmonids, the regulations do not apply the “take” prohibitions to them. Some of these limits on the take prohibitions entail voluntary submission of a plan to NMFS and/or annual or occasional reports by entities wishing to take advantage of these limits, or continue within them.

    The currently approved application and reporting requirements apply to Pacific marine and anadromous fish species, as requirements regarding other species are being addressed in a separate information collection.

    II. Method of Collection

    Submissions may be electronically or on paper.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0399.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Federal government; State, local, or tribal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 300.

    Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours for a road maintenance agreement; 5 hours for a diversion screening limit project; 30 hours for an urban development package; 10 hours for an urban development report; 20 hours for a tribal plan; and 5 hours for a report of aided, salvaged, or disposed of salmonids.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,705.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $1,000 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25332 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Interim Capital Construction Fund Agreement, Certificate Family of Forms and Deposit/Withdrawal Report AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Richard VanGorder at (301)427-8784 or [email protected].gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondents will be commercial fishing industry individuals, partnerships, and corporations which entered into Capital Construction Fund (CCF) agreements with the Secretary of Commerce allowing deferral of Federal taxation on fishing vessel income deposited into the fund for use in the acquisition, construction, or reconstruction of fishing vessels. Deferred taxes are recaptured by reducing an agreement vessel's basis for depreciation by the amount withdrawn from the fund for its acquisition, construction, or reconstruction. The interim Capital Construction Fund Agreement and Certificate Family of Forms is required pursuant to 50 CFR part 259.30 and Public Law 99-514 (The Tax Reform Act, 1986). The deposit/withdrawal information collected from agreement holders is required pursuant to 50 CFR part 259.35 and Pub L. 99-514. The information collected from applicants for the Interim CCF Agreement is used to determine their eligibility to participate in the CCF Program. The information collected from agreement holders for the Certificate Family of Forms is used to identify their program eligible vessels, their program projects and to certify the cost of a project at completion. The information collected on the deposit/withdrawal report form is required to ensure that agreement holders are complying with fund deposit/withdrawal requirements established in program regulations and properly accounting for fund activity on their Federal income tax returns. The information collected on the deposit/withdrawal report must also be reported semi-annually to the Secretary of Treasury in accordance with the Tax Reform Act.

    II. Method of Collection

    The information will be collected on forms submitted electronically or by mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0041.

    Form Numbers: NOAA Form 34-82, NOAA Form 88-14.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a current information collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: NOAA Form 34-82, 20 minutes;

    NOAA Form 88-14, 3.5 hours for agreements and 1 hour for certificate.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,917.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $15,320 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25331 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO-P-2015-0049] Change in Practice Regarding Correction of Foreign Priority Claims AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) provided for publication of patent applications at eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed. Thus, the patent laws and regulations require that foreign priority or domestic benefit claims, specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and filing date of any foreign application for which priority is claimed and the application number of any domestic application for which benefit is claimed, be submitted in a timely manner to allow for publication at eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed. It has been United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) practice to require that any correction of the application number in a domestic benefit claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed benefit claim, but to permit correction of the application number in a foreign priority claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim without such a petition. This dissimilar treatment of the correction of foreign priority claims and domestic benefit claims results in the publication of a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate domestic benefit claim information whenever an applicant corrects the application number in a domestic benefit claim in a pending application, but not whenever an applicant corrects the application number of the foreign application in a foreign priority claim. The rationale for the practice of permitting correction of the application number in a foreign priority claim without a petition was because the filing date of a prior foreign patent application did not affect the effective prior art date of a U.S. patent application publication and because the USPTO schedules publication of an application with the filing date provided by applicant in a foreign priority claim. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), however, now provides that the filing date of an earlier foreign patent application may now be the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in a U.S. patent or a U.S. patent application publication. Therefore, U.S. patent application publications should reflect accurate foreign priority information to minimize the burden on examiners and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in such U.S. patent application publications. The USPTO will thus now require that any correction of the identification of the foreign application (by application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and filing date) in a foreign priority claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed priority claim, and once the petition is granted in a pending application, will now publish a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate foreign priority claim information. Requiring a petition and publishing a corrected patent application publication whenever an applicant corrects the application number in a foreign priority claim or a domestic benefit claim will provide for common treatment of the correction of the identification of a foreign or domestic application in a priority or benefit claim. The publication of a corrected patent application publication by the USPTO will result in corrected patent application publications with accurate foreign priority information which will benefit examiners, applicants and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in a U.S. patent application publication.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The change in this notice takes effect on November 5, 2015. Any corrections to the foreign application number in a foreign priority claim that were previously accepted are not affected by this change in practice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eugenia A. Jones, Senior Legal Advisor, by telephone at (571) 272-7727, or Erin M. Harriman, Legal Advisor, by telephone (571) 272-7747, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments—Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Eugenia A. Jones.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: In view of the AIPA, foreign priority or domestic benefit claims must be submitted in a timely manner to allow for publication of patent applications at eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed. See 35 U.S.C. 122(b). The requirements for making a domestic benefit claim are set forth in 37 CFR 1.78 and the requirements for making a foreign priority claim are set forth in 37 CFR 1.55. As provided in 37 CFR 1.55 and 1.78, the claim for priority or benefit must be filed within the later of four months from the actual filing date of the application or sixteen months from the filing date of the prior application (hereinafter referred to as the 4/16 month time period) in a patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). Note that the 4/16 month time period does not apply to an application for a design patent or an application filed before November 29, 2000. A claim for foreign priority must identify the foreign application by specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and the filing date (day, month, and year) of the foreign application. See 37 CFR 1.55(d).

    It has been USPTO practice to require that any correction of the application number in a domestic benefit claim after the 4/16 month time period be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed benefit claim, but to permit correction of the application number in a foreign priority claim after the 4/16 month time period without such a petition (discussed in the Eighteen-Month Publication Questions and Answers on the USPTO Web site). This dissimilar treatment of the correction of foreign priority claims and domestic benefit claims results in the publication of a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate domestic benefit claim information whenever an applicant corrects the application number in a domestic benefit claim in a pending application, but not whenever an applicant corrects the application number of the foreign application in a foreign priority claim. The rationale for this practice was because the USPTO was able to schedule the application for publication with the filing date of the foreign application provided by applicant and the prior art date under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) of the publication was not affected. See the Patent FAQs Web page available at http://www.uspto.gov/help/patent-help.

    Under the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA, a U.S. patent or patent application publication may be effective as prior art as of the filing date of an earlier foreign application. See AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(d) and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) (9th Ed. 2014), Section 2154.01(b). Therefore, the rationale for not requiring a petition to correct an error in the application number of a foreign priority claim is no longer appropriate. In view of the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA, U.S. patent application publications should reflect accurate foreign priority information to minimize the burden on examiners and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in such U.S. patent application publications.

    Change in Practice: The USPTO will now require compliance with all the requirements of 37 CFR 1.55 and thus require a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed claim for foreign priority under 37 CFR 1.55(e) in order to correct any error in a foreign priority claim if the correction is being made after the 4/16 month time period. This is consistent with the practice for correcting any error in a domestic benefit claim under 37 CFR 1.78 if the correction is being made after the 4/16 month time period and will result in a corrected patent application publication with the accurate foreign priority information being published by the USPTO for a pending application.

    Requiring compliance with all the requirements of 37 CFR 1.55 will create consistency between the practices under 37 CFR 1.55 and 1.78 and will result in corrected patent application publications with accurate foreign priority information being published by the USPTO. A U.S. patent application publication which claims priority to a foreign application that identifies the correct foreign application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and date of filing will help ensure that proper examination of patent applications being examined under the first inventor to file provisions of the AIA will occur. Identification of the correct foreign priority information on U.S. patent application publications will also minimize the burden on examiners and members of the public in obtaining a copy of the correct foreign priority document in the event that a copy is not available in the application file of the reference. This change in practice will benefit examiners, applicants, and members of the public by reducing any uncertainty caused by the dissimilar treatment of the correction of foreign priority claims and domestic benefit claims and by ensuring that a corrected U.S. patent application publication reflecting accurate foreign priority information will be published by the USPTO enabling accurate assessment of the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in U.S. patent application publications.

    The Patent FAQs will be modified to reflect that a petition under 37 CFR 1.55(e), including the petition fee, will be required to correct any error in a foreign priority claim after the 4/16 month period of 37 CFR 1.55(d).

    Dated: September 26, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25407 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0118] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Application for Grants Under the Talent Search Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 7, 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-0118. 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 Craig Pooler, 202-502-7640.

    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: Application for Grants under the Talent Search Program.

    OMB Control Number: 1840-0818.

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

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector, State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,230.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 40,860.

    Abstract: The Department of Education is requesting a reinstatement with change of the application for grants under the Talent Search (TS) Program. The Department is requesting a reinstatement with change because the previous TS application expired in October 2013 and the application will be needed for a Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 competition for new awards. The FY 2016 application incorporates new competitive preference priorities and removes the previously-used invitational priorities.

    Dated: October 1, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25354 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Idaho National Laboratory. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, October 29, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    The opportunity for public comment is at 3:45 p.m. This time is subject to change; please contact the Federal Coordinator (below) for confirmation of times prior to the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Sun Valley Inn, 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, ID 83353.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS-1203, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415. Phone (208) 526-6518; Fax (208) 526-8789 or email: [email protected] or visit the Board's Internet home page at: http://inlcab.energy.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Topics (agenda topics may change up to the day of the meeting; please contact Robert L. Pence for the most current agenda):

    • Welcome and Opening Remarks

    • Agency Update Presentations—Idaho Cleanup Project Progress to Date

    • EM SSAB Chairs' Meeting Update

    • Public Comment

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Idaho National Laboratory, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Robert L. Pence at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral presentations pertaining to agenda items should contact Robert L. Pence at the address or telephone number listed above. The request must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://inlcab.energy.gov/pages/meetings.php.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on September 30, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25393 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Import and Export Liquefied Natural Gas During May 2015 AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    FE Docket No. TRIPOLARITY ENERGY CORPORATION 15-37-NG ECOGAS DE MEXICO S. DE R.L. DE C.V 15-48-NG ENVIRO EXPRESS, INC 15-55-LNG ENCANA MARKETING (USA) INC 15-56-NG E.ON GLOBAL COMMODITIES NORTH AMERICA LLC 15-58-NG CP ENERGY MARKETING (US) INC 15-60-NG MIECO INC 15-61-NG DOMINION COVE POINT LNG, LP 11-128-LNG CHENIERE MARKETING, LLC AND CORPUS CHRISTI LIQUEFACTION, LLC 12-97-LNG PIERIDAE ENERGY (USA) INC 14-179-LNG CITIGROUP ENERGY INC 15-64-LNG REPSOL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA CORPORATION 15-66-NG REV LNG LLC 15-77-LNG ALASKA LNG PROJECT, LLC 14-96-LNG IDAHO POWER COMPANY 15-59-NG CITADEL NPGE LLC 15-65-NG CASTLETON COMMODITIES CANADA LP 15-68-NG GDF SUEZ GAS NA LLC 15-69-LNG CITY OF PASADENA 15-70-NG BIG SKY GAS LLC 15-71-NG APACHE CORPORATION 15-72-NG PACIFIC SUMMIT ENERGY LLC 15-73-NG COMANCHE TRAIL PIPELINE, LLC 15-74-NG CNE GAS SUPPLY, LLC 15-76-NG PENTACLES ENERGY LLLP 15-79-NG U.S. GAS & ELECTRIC, INC. 15-80-NG AMERICAN LNG MARKETING LLC 15-19-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, and to import and export liquefied natural gas (LNG). These orders are summarized in the attached appendix and may be found on the FE Web site at http://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 30, 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 3631 05/07/15 15-37-NG Tripolarity Energy Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3632 05/07/15 15-48-NG Ecogas Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada and to export natural gas to Mexico. 3633 05/07/15 15-55-LNG Enviro Express, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from Canada by truck. 3634 05/07/15 15-56-NG Encana Marketing (USA) Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3635 05/07/15 15-58-NG E.On Global Commodities North America 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, and to import LNG from various sources by vessel. 3636 05/07/15 15-60-NG CP Energy Marketing (US) Inc Order granting blanket authority export natural gas to Canada. 3637 05/07/15 15-61-NG Mieco Inc Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3331-A 05/07/15 11-128-LNG Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP 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. 3638 05/12/15 12-97-LNG Cheniere Marketing, LLC and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC Final Order and Opinion granting long-term, Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the proposed Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project to be located in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3639 05/22/15 14-179-LNG Pieridae Energy (USA) Inc Order granting long-term, Multi-contract authority to export LNG to Canada and to other Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3640 05/21/15 15-64-LNG Citigroup Energy Inc Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3641 05/21/15 15-66-NG Repsol Energy North America Corporation Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3642 05/22/15 15-77-LNG Rev LNG LLC Order granting blanket authority to export LNG to Canada by truck. 3643 05/28/15 14-96-LNG Alaska LNG Project, LLC Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3644 05/28/15 15-59-NG Idaho Power Company Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 3645 05/28/15 15-65-NG Citadel NGPE LLC Order granting blanket authority import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3646 05/28/15 15-68-NG Castleton Commodities Canada LP Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3647 05/28/15 15-69-LNG GDF Suez Gas NA LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from Canada by truck. 3648 05/28/15 15-70-NG City of Pasadena Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3649 05/28/15 15-71-NG Big Sky Gas LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3650 05/28/15 15-72-NG Apache Corporation Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3651 05/28/15 15-73-NG Pacific Summit Energy LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico and to import LNG from various international sources. 3652 05/28/15 15-74-NG Comanche Trail Pipeline, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3653 05/28/15 15-76-NG CNE Gas Supply, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import natural gas from Canada. 3654 05/28/15 15-79-NG Pentacles Energy, LLLP Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Mexico. 3655 05/28/15 15-80-NG U.S. Gas & Electric, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3656 05/29/15 15-19-LNG American LNG Marketing LLC Order granting long-term, Multi-contract authority to export LNG in ISO containers loaded at the proposed Titusville Facility in Titusville, Florida, and exported by vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25437 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to section 14(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) and in accordance with Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 102-3.65, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat of the General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) has been renewed for a two-year period.

    The Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Science (DOE), and the Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (NSF), on scientific priorities within the field of basic nuclear science research.

    Additionally, the Secretary of Energy has determined that renewal of the NSAC is essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation and is in the public interest in connection with the performance duties imposed by law upon the Department of Energy. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), and the rules and regulations in implementation of these acts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Timothy Hallman at (301) 903-3613.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 30, 2015. Erica De Vos, Acting Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25436 Filed 10-5-15; 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 Vacating Authority and Change in Control During April 2015 AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    FE Docket Nos. CONSTELLATION ENERGY SERVICES, INC. (formerly INTEGRYS ENERGY SERVICES, INC.) 15-40-NG PANGEA LNG (NORTH AMERICA) HOLDINGS, LLC 12-174-LNG
  • 12-184-LNG
  • 14-002-CIC
  • 14-003-CIC
  • CAMERON LNG, LLC 14-204-LNG LATIN AMERICA NG FUELS LLC 15-28-LNG NOBLE AMERICAS GAS & POWER CORP 15-35-NG PILOT POWER GROUP, INC 15-42-NG SEMPRA GENERATION, LLC 15-47-NG STATOIL NATURAL GAS LLC 15-50-LNG OMIMEX CANADA, LTD 15-52-NG FREEPOINT COMMODITIES LLC 15-46-NG ENI USA GAS MARKETING LLC 15-13-LNG FERUS NATURAL GAS FUELS INC 14-191-LNG RBC ENERGY SERVICES L.P 15-49-NG J.P. MORGAN COMMODITIES CORPORATION 13-76-NG J.P. MORGAN COMMODITIES CANADA CORPORATION 12-151-NG
    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), and vacating authority and Change in Control (CIC). 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 30, 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 3619 15-40-NG 04/01/15 Constellation Energy Services, Inc. (formerly Integrys Energy Services, Inc.) Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada and vacating prior authority. 3227-A 12-174-LNG
  • 12-184-LNG
  • 14-002-CIC
  • 14-003-CIC
  • 04/08/15 Pangea LNG (North America) Holdings, LLC Order vacating authority in Docket No. 12-174-LNG; withdrawing application in Docket No. 12-184-LNG, and vacating Notice of Corporate Reorganization or Change in Control in Docket No. 12-184-LNG and related dockets.
    3620 14-204-LNG 04/09/15 Cameron LNG, LLC Order granting long-term Multi-contract authority to export LNG by vessel from the Cameron LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to Free Trade Agreement Nations. 3621 15-28-LNG 04/09/15 Latin America NG Fuels LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export LNG from/to Mexico by truck. 3622 15-35-NG 04/09/15 Noble Americas Gas & Power Corp Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico and to import LNG from various international sources by vessel. 3623 15-42-NG 04/09/15 Pilot Power Group, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3624 15-47-NG 04/09/15 Sempra Generation, LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Mexico. 3625 15-50-LNG 04/09/15 Statoil Natural Gas LLC Order granting blanket authority to import LNG from various international sources. 3626 15-52-NG 04/09/15 Omimex Canada, Ltd Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3627 15-46-NG 04/15/15 Freepoint Commodities LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 3628 15-13-LNG 04/23/15 Eni USA Gas Marketing LLC Order granting blanket authority to export previously imported LNG by vessel. 3629 14-191-LNG 04/30/15 Ferus Natural Gas Fuels Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export LNG from/to Canada by truck. 3630 15-49-NG 04/30/15 RBC Energy Services L.P Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3308-A 13-76-NG 04/30/15 J.P. Morgan Commodities Corporation Order vacating authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 3246-A 12-151-NG 04/30/15 J.P. Morgan Commodities Canada Corporation Order vacating authority to export natural gas to Canada.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25392 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Orders Granting Authority To Import and Export Natural Gas, and To Export Liquefied Natural Gas During August 2015 AGENCY:

    Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of orders.

    FE Docket Nos. EMERA ENERGY SERVICES, INC 15-93-NG OXY ENERGY CANADA, INC 15-95-NG B AND A GLOBAL ENERGY INC 15-108-NG TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA 15-109-NG PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY 15-112-NG ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS OPERATING LLC 15-113-NG PORT ARTHUR LNG, LLC 15-53-LNG CORPUS CHRISTI LIQUEFACTION, LLC 15-97-LNG SUMMARY:

    The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy gives notice that during August 2015, it issued orders granting authority to import and export natural gas, and to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). 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 30, 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 08/13/15 15-93-NG Emera Energy Services, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 08/13/15 15-95NG Oxy Energy Canada, Inc Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada. 08/13/15 15-108-NG B and A Global Energy Inc Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Canada. 08/13/15 15-109-NG Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Order granting blanket authority to export natural gas to Mexico. 08/20/15 15-112-NG Pacific Gas and Electric Company Order granting blanket authorization to import natural gas from Canada. 08/20/15 15-113-NG Enterprise Products Operating LLC Order granting blanket authority to import/export natural gas from/to Canada/Mexico. 08/20/15 15-53-LNG Port Arthur LNG, LLC Order granting long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG by vessel from the proposed Venture Port Arthur LNG Project in Port Arthur, Texas, to Free Trade Agreement nations. 08/27/15 15-97-LNG Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC Order granting long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG by vessel from the Corpus Christie LNG Terminal in San Patricio and Nueces Counties, Texas, to Free Trade Agreement nations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25391 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a closed meeting of the Defense Programs Advisory Committee (DPAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of meetings be announced in the Federal Register. Due to national security considerations, under section 10(d) of the Act and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), the meeting will be closed to the public and matters to be discussed are exempt from public disclosure under Executive Order 13526 and the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, 42 U.S.C. 2161 and 2162, as amended.

    DATES:

    October 22, 2015, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and October 23, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Loretta Martin, Office of RDT&E (NA-113), National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-7996.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The DPAC provides advice and recommendations to the Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs on the stewardship and maintenance of the Nation's nuclear deterrent.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of this meeting of the DPAC is to discuss the final draft of the classified report to be provided to the National Nuclear Security Administration in response to the charge to the Committee.

    Type of Meeting: In the interest of national security, the meeting will be closed to the public. The Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 10(d), and the Federal Advisory Committee Management Regulation, 41 CFR 102-3.155, incorporate by reference the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b, which, at 552b(c)(1) and (c)(3) permits closure of meetings where restricted data or other classified matters will be discussed. Such data and matters will be discussed at this meeting.

    Tentative Agenda: Day 1—Welcome, discussion and editing of draft report; Day 2—Discussion and editing of draft report, reconciliation of input, (tentative) acceptance of report; conclusion.

    Public Participation: There will be no public participation in this closed meeting. Those wishing to provide written comments or statements to the Committee are invited to send them to Loretta Martin at the address listed above.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will not be available.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 30, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25397 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2601-040] Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC;

    Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Request to amend the project boundary.

    b. Project No: 2601-040.

    c. Date Filed: September 23, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Bryson Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Oconaluftee River in Swain County, North Carolina.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Jeff Lineberger, Director of Water Strategy & Hydro Licensing, Duke Energy, 526 South Church Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202-1006; Telephone: (704) 382-5942; Email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Mark Carter at (678) 245-3083; Email: [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: October 30, 2015.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, or recommendations using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2601-040.

    k. Description of Request: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC proposes to amend the project boundary in order to resolve a property ownership issue with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who owns lands adjacent to the project. The proposed project boundary would include 0.41 acre of new lands and exclude 5.66 acres of existing project lands for a net decrease of 5.25 acres of project lands, and would result in a decrease in the amount of shoreline in the project boundary from 2.11 miles to 2.10 miles. The application states that the proposed project boundary would only include property that is necessary for the safe and effective operation of the project, and states that the removal of project lands would not affect operations, public infrastructure, recreational use, or environmental resources.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field (P-2601) to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214, respectively. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. Any filing made by an intervenor must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25381 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 9842-006] Mr. Ray F. Ward; Notice of Application Ready for Environmental Analysis and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Terms and Conditions, and Prescriptions

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Minor New License.

    b. Project No.: 9842-006.

    c. Date filed: August 28, 2014.

    d. Applicant: Mr. Ray F. Ward.

    e. Name of Project: Ward Mill Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Watauga River, in the Township of Laurel Creek, Watauga County, North Carolina. The project does not occupy lands of the United States.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Andrew C. Givens, Cardinal Energy Service, Inc., 620 N. West St., Suite 103, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603, (919) 834-0909.

    i. FERC Contact: Adam Peer (202) 502-8449, [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 105 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-9842-006.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application has been accepted, and is ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The Ward Mill Project consists of: (1) A 4.6 acre reservoir with an estimated gross storage capacity of 16.3 acre-feet; (2) a 130-foot-long by 20-foot-high dam; (3) a 14-footlong, 5-foot-wide, and 7.5-foot-tall penstock made of rock, concrete and reinforced steel; (4) a powerhouse containing two generating units for a total installed capacity of 168 kilowatts; (5) interconnection with the utility at the meter point on the southwest, exterior wall of the powerhouse; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The project is estimated to generate from about 290,000 to about 599,000 kilowatt-hours annually. The dam and existing facilities are owned by the applicant. No new project facilities are proposed.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “REPLY COMMENTS”, “RECOMMENDATIONS,” “TERMS AND CONDITIONS,” or “PRESCRIPTIONS;” (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies should indicate which recommendations are being submitted pursuant to section 10(j) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 803(j)). Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. Each filing must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed on the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. A license applicant must file no later than 60 days following the date of issuance of this notice: (1) A copy of the water quality certification; (2) a copy of the request for certification, including proof of the date on which the certifying agency received the request; or (3) evidence of waiver of water quality certification.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25389 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2485-070] FirstLight Hydro Generating Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Application for Amendment of Minimum and Maximum Reservoir Elevation Requirement.

    b. Project No.: 2485-070.

    c. Date Filed: September 1, 2015.

    d. Applicant: FirstLight Hydro Generating Company (Firstlight).

    e. Name of Project: Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the east side of the Connecticut River, in the towns of Northfield and Erving, in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. John S. Howard, Director FERC Compliance, FirstLight Hydro Generating Company, Northfield Mountain Station, 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360. Phone (413) 659-4489.

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. Christopher Chaney, (202) 502-6778, or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, or comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-2485-070) on any comments, motions to intervene, or protests filed.

    k. Description of Request: FirstLight is seeking authorization to modify the upper reservoir's upper and lower water surface elevation limits from 1,000.5 feet mean sea level (msl) and 938 feet msl, to 1,004.5 feet msl and 920 feet msl, respectively. FirstLight proposes to use the additional storage capacity annually between December 1 and March 31, beginning December 1, 2015, and continuing until the Commission issues a new license for the project. According to FirstLight, approval of changes in the water surface elevation limits would result in an increase in the maximum daily generation from 8,475 megawatt-hours (MWh) to 10,645 MWh, and provide Independent System Operator-New England with additional resources to address winter reliability needs.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document (i.e. P-2485). You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to the amendment request. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25390 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-132-000] Kern River Transmission Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project, proposed by Kern River Transmission Company (Kern River) in the above-referenced docket. Kern River requests authorization to construct, operate, and maintain a new natural gas pipeline and associated facilities in Clark County, Nevada, and remove a corresponding segment of existing pipeline.

    The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) participated as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis. The BLM will adopt and use the EA to consider the issuance of a right-of-way grant for the portion of the project on BLM lands.

    The proposed Summerlin Pipe Replacement Project includes replacing a 1.56-mile-long segment of its existing 36-inch-diameter A-Line pipeline and expanding an existing 0.22-acre valve and pig launcher yard to 0.37 acre to accommodate a new crossover valve and crossover piping.

    The FERC staff mailed CD copies of the EA to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding.

    In addition, the EA is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies of the EA are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the EA may do so. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that the Commission has the opportunity to consider your comments prior to making its decision on this project, it is important that we receive your comments in Washington, DC on or before October 30, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to file your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the project docket number (CP15-132-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can also file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214).1 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    1 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-132). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25388 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF14-17-000] Louisiana LNG Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mississippi River LNG Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to Project Changes

    On October 3, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued in Docket No. PF14-17-000 a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mississippi River LNG Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). Since the NOI was issued Louisiana LNG Energy, LLC (Louisiana LNG) has made project changes. This Supplemental Notice is being issued to seek comments on the project changes and opens a new scoping period for interested parties to file comments on environmental issues specific to these facilities.

    The October 3, 2014 NOI announced that the FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for conducting the environmental review of the Mississippi River LNG Project (Project) and that the Commission staff will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that discusses the environmental impacts of the Project. Please refer to the NOI for more information about the overall facilities proposed by Louisiana LNG and FERC staff's EIS process. This EIS will be used in part by the Commission to determine whether the Mississippi River LNG Project is in the public convenience and necessity. On November 17, 2015, Louisiana LNG is planning on having another open house to give the new landowners the opportunity to attend and learn about the Project and the FERC process.

    This Supplemental Notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this Project, including new landowners that would be affected by the project changes. We encourage elected officials and government representatives to notify their constituents about the Project and inform them on how they can comment on their areas of concern. Please note that comments on this Notice should be filed with the Commission by October 30, 2015.

    If your property would be affected by the Project, you should have already been contacted by a Louisiana LNG representative. A Louisiana LNG representative may have also contacted you or may contact you in the near future about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned pipeline facilities or request permission to perform environmental surveys on your property. If the Commission approves the Project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain for easement acquisition for the pipeline. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    To help potentially affected landowners better understand the Commission and its environmental review process, the “For Citizens” section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) provides information about getting involved in FERC jurisdictional projects, and a citizens' guide entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?” This guide addresses a number of frequently asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Summary of the Planned Project Changes

    Louisiana LNG is planning the following changes in response to new ownership and additional environmental and engineering analysis:

    • Increase the production capacity to 6.0 million tons per annum (MTPA) from 2.0 MTPA;

    • increase the storage capacity of the LNG storage tanks to 140,000 cubic meters (net) from 100,000 cubic meters;

    • increase the pipeline from the 1.9-mile 24-inch-diameter to 1.9-mile 36-inch-diameter (northern pipeline) with an associated meter station that would deliver gas from the Tennessee Gas interstate pipeline system;

    • increase the pipeline from the 1.6-mile 12-inch-diameter to 3.5-mile 36-inch-diameter (southern pipeline) that would deliver gas from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system to the facility;

    • eliminate the truck loading facility from the Project design; and

    • eliminate the compressor station from the Project design.

    A map depicting the general location of the Project facilities is included in Appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice are not being printed in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” of fromthe Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    The planned construction would impact a 190-acre site on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, which would include the liquefaction trains, LNG storage tanks, marine loading facilities, the electrical power station, and ancillary facilities. The full 190-acre site would be fenced and retained for operations of the planned Project. Construction of the two pipelines and associated meter stations would require approximately 65 acres of land, 33 of which would be permanently impacted during operations. Louisiana LNG is still in the planning phase for the Project and requirements for construction workspaces, access roads, and pipe storage/contractor yards would be determined during engineering and design.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the authorization of LNG facilities. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed Project. We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the planned Project or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section below.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the Louisiana Office of Historic Preservation (State Historic Preservation Office [SHPO]), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on historic properties.3 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include the terminal plot, construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations with the Louisiana Office of Historic Preservation under section 106.

    3 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations are at title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before October 30, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods which you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances please reference the Project docket number (PF14-17-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for Project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed Project.

    When we publish and distribute the EIS, copies will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (Appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Louisiana LNG files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF14-17). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission now offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25387 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meetings related to the transmission planning activities of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM):

    PJM Planning Committee

    October 8, 2015, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EST)

    PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee

    October 8, 2015, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (EST)

    The above-referenced meetings will be held at: PJM Conference and Training Center, PJM Interconnection, 2750 Monroe Boulevard, Audubon, PA 19403.

    The above-referenced meetings are open to stakeholders.

    Further information may be found at www.pjm.com.

    The discussions at the meetings described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket Nos. ER15-33, et al., The Dayton Power and Light Company Docket No. ER15-994, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-2867, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, et al., and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER14-972 and ER14-1485, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-1485, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER13-1957, et al., ISO New England, Inc. et al. Docket Nos. ER13-1944, et al., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-1344, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-1387, PJM Transmission Owners Docket No. ER15-2648, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-2562, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-2563, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-18, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-41, Essential Power Rock Springs, LLC et al. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER13-1927, et al., PJM Interconnection—SERTP Docket No. ER15-2114, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. and Transource West Virginia, LLC Docket No. EL15-79, TransSource, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-95, Delaware Public Service Commission et al., v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. et al. Docket No. EL15-67, Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL05-121, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    For more information, contact the following: Jonathan Fernandez, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6604, [email protected], Alina Halay, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6474, [email protected].

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25380 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12486-008—Idaho] Twin Lakes Canal Company; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)(18 CFR part 380 [FERC Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897]), the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for license for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 12486) and prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project.

    The proposed project would be located on the Bear River, near the city of Preston, in Franklin County, Idaho. The project would occupy 243 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    The draft EIS contains staff's analysis of the applicant's proposal and the alternatives for licensing the Bear River Narrows Project. The draft EIS documents the views of governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, affected Indian tribes, the public, the license applicant, and Commission staff.

    A copy of the draft EIS is available for review at the Commission or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “e-Library” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll-free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    All comments must be filed by Monday, November 30, 2015, and should reference Project No. 12486-008. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's efiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Anyone may intervene in this proceeding based on this draft EIS (18 CFR 380.10). You must file your request to intervene as specified above. You do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    For further information, please contact Shana Murray at (202) 502-8333 or at [email protected]

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25383 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FFP Project 92, LLC; Project No. 14276-002—Kentucky] Kentucky River Lock and Dam No. 11 Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic Agreement

    Rule 2010 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.2010, provides that, to eliminate unnecessary expense or improve administrative efficiency, the Secretary may establish a restricted service list for a particular phase or issue in a proceeding. The restricted service list should contain the names of persons on the service list who, in the judgment of the decisional authority establishing the list, are active participants with respect to the phase or issue in the proceeding for which the list is established.

    The Commission staff is consulting with the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Advisory Council) pursuant to the Advisory Council's regulations, 36 CFR part 800, implementing section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, (54 U.S.C. 306108), to prepare a Programmatic Agreement for managing properties included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places that could be affected by issuance of a license for the proposed Kentucky River Lock and Dam No. 11 Hydroelectric Project.

    The Programmatic Agreement, when executed by the Commission, the Kentucky SHPO, and the Advisory Council, would satisfy the Commission's section 106 responsibilities for all individual undertakings carried out in accordance with the license until the license expires or is terminated (36 CFR 800.13(e)). The Commission's responsibilities pursuant to section 106 for the project would be fulfilled through the Programmatic Agreement, which the Commission staff proposes to draft in consultation with certain parties listed below.

    FFP Project 92, LLC, as the applicant for Project No. 14276-002, is invited to participate in consultations to develop the Programmatic Agreement and to sign as a concurring party to the Programmatic Agreement. For purposes of commenting on the Programmatic Agreement, we propose to restrict the service list for Project No. 14276-002 as follows:

    John Eddins, Advisory Council on Historic, Preservation, 401 F St. NW., Suite 308, Washington, DC 20001-2637. Craig Potts, State Historic Preservation Officer, Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington St., Frankfurt, KY 40601. Kary Stackelbeck, Manager, Site Protection Program, Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington St., Frankfurt, KY 40601. Jennifer Ryall, Environmental Review Coordinator, Kentucky Heritage Council, 300 Washington St., Frankfurt, KY 40601. Jerry Graves, Executive Director, Kentucky River Authority, 627 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601. David Hamilton, Environmental Engineer, Kentucky River Authority, 627 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601. Lisa C. Baker, Acting THPO, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee, Indians in Oklahoma, P.O. Box 746, Tahlequah, OK 74465. Ramya Swaminathan or Representative, Rye Development acting as Agent for: FFP Project 92, LLC, 745 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02111. Kellie Doherty, Rye Development acting as Agent for: FFP Project 92, LLC, 745 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02111. Patricia Stallings, Senior Historian/Program Manager, Brockington and Associates, Inc., 3850 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 105, Norcross, GA 30092.

    Any person on the official service list for the above-captioned proceeding may request inclusion on the restricted service list, or may request that a restricted service list not be established, by filing a motion to that effect within 15 days of this notice date. In a request for inclusion, please identify the reason(s) why there is an interest to be included. Also please identify any concerns about historic properties, including Traditional Cultural Properties. If historic properties are to be identified within the motion, please use a separate page, and label it NON-PUBLIC Information.

    Any such motions may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ferconline.asp) under the “eFiling” link. For a simpler method of submitting text only comments, click on “eComment.” For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected]; call toll-free at (866) 208-3676; or, for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and seven copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please put the project number (P-14276-002) on the first page of the filing.

    If no such motions are filed, the restricted service list will be effective at the end of the 15 day period. Otherwise, a further notice will be issued ruling on the motion.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25385 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP13-483-000; Docket No. CP13-492-000] Jordan Cove Energy Project LP; Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jordan Cove Liquefaction Project proposed by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP (Jordan Cove) and the Pacific Connector Pipeline Project proposed by Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP (Pacific Connector) in the above-referenced dockets. Jordan Cove requests authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to produce a maximum of 6.8 million metric tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a terminal in Coos County, Oregon for export to overseas markets. Pacific Connector seeks a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity under section 7 of the NGA to transport about 1.07 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in a pipeline from the Malin hub to the Jordan Cove terminal, crossing portions of Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties, Oregon.

    The final EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that the proposed projects would have some limited adverse environmental impacts. However, with implementation of Jordan Cove's and Pacific Connector's proposed mitigation measures, and the additional mitigation measures recommended by the FERC staff and federal land managing agencies in the EIS, most of these impacts would be avoided or reduced to less-than-significant levels.

    The United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture Forest Service (Forest Service); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard; U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), and Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation participated as cooperating agencies in preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposals and participated in the NEPA analysis.

    The BLM, with the concurrence of the Forest Service and Reclamation, would adopt and use the EIS to consider issuing a Right-of-Way Grant for the portion of the Pacific Connector pipeline easement on federal lands. Both the BLM and the Forest Service would also use this EIS to evaluate proposed amendments to their District or National Forest land management plans to make provision for the Pacific Connector pipeline. Other cooperating agencies would use this EIS in their regulatory process, and to satisfy compliance with the NEPA and other federal environmental laws. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS, the agencies would present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Records of Decision for the projects.

    Jordan Cove's proposed facilities would include an access channel from the existing Coos Bay navigation channel; a terminal marine slip including a single LNG vessel berth and tug boat berth; a barge berth; a loading platform and transfer pipeline; two LNG storage tanks; four liquefaction trains and associated refrigerant storage bullets; fire water ponds; ground flares; 420-megawatt South Dune Power Plant; support buildings; utility and access corridor between the terminal and the power plant; Southwest Oregon Resource Security Center; and a natural gas treatment plant.

    Pacific Connector's proposed facilities would include a 232-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter underground welded steel pipeline between Malin and Coos Bay; the 41,000 horsepower Klamath Compressor Station; the Klamath-Eagle Receipt Meter Station and Klamath-Beaver Receipt Meter Station within the compressor station tract; the Clarks Branch Delivery Meter Station at the interconnection with Northwest Pipeline's Grants Pass Lateral; the Jordan Cove Delivery Meter Station at the interconnection with the Jordan Cove LNG terminal; 5 pig 1 launchers and receivers; 17 mainline block valves; and 11 communication towers co-located with other facilities.

    1 A “pig” is a tool for cleaning and inspecting the inside of a pipeline.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the EIS to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; regional environmental groups and non-governmental organizations; Indian tribes; affected landowners; newspapers and libraries in the project area; other interested individuals; and parties to the proceedings. Paper copy versions of the EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a compact disc version. In addition, the EIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Additional information about the projects are available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP13-483). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25386 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12451-034] SAF Hydroelectric, LLC; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Request to amend the project boundary.

    b. Project No.: 12451-034.

    c. Date Filed: August 31, 2015.

    d. Applicant: SAF Hydroelectric, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Lower St. Anthony Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River, in the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Bruce Welbourne, Licensing & Compliance Manager, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group, 243 Industrial Park Cr., Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5P3, (705) 256-4493, [email protected].

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. Jeremy Jessup, (202) 502-6779, [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests, is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/doc-sfiling/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-12451-034.

    k. Description of Request: The applicant proposes remove approximately 0.53 acre of land along the south shore of the Mississippi River adjacent to the Corps Lower St. Anthony Falls Dam from the project boundary. The application explains that the parcel of land is not necessary for the operation and maintenance of the project. The application also includes revised Exhibits A and G that the application revised to reflect as-built conditions of the project.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208- 3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Motions To Intervene, or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, or “PROTEST” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person intervening or protesting; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the application. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any motion to intervene or protest must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25382 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 13704-002; Project No. 13701-002, et. al.] Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project [Project No. 13704-002] Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project [Project No. 13701-002] Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project [Project No. 13703-002] Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project [Project No. 13702-002]

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) regulations, 18 Code of Federal Regulations part 380, the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed applications for original licenses for the Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13704-002), Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13701-002), Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13703-002), and Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 13702-002). The proposed projects would be constructed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps') existing Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada dams located within the Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi. The Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project would be near the town of Hernando, Mississippi, in Tate and DeSoto Counties on the Coldwater River at river mile (RM) 86. The Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project would be located near the town of Sardis, Mississippi, in Panola County on the Little Tallahatchie River at RM 69. The Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project would be located near the town of Enid, Mississippi, in Yalobusha County on the Yocona River at RM 14.5. The Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project would be located near the town of Grenada, Mississippi, in Grenada County on the Yalobusha River at RM 47.3. The projects would occupy a total of 172.7 acres of federal land administered by the Corps.

    Staff has prepared a multi-project environmental assessment (EA) that analyzes the potential environmental effects of constructing and operating the four projects. Based on staff's analysis with appropriate environmental protection measures, constructing and operating the projects would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the EA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, 202-502-8659.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to these or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Any comments should be filed within 30 days from the date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, 202-502-8659. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include: “Arkabutla Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13704-002, Sardis Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13701-002, Enid Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13703-002, and Grenada Lake Hydroelectric Project No. 13702-002” as appropriate, on the first page of any comments.

    For further information, contact Jeanne Edwards at 202-502-6181 or by email at [email protected].

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25384 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-00XX; Docket No. 2015-0055; Sequence 49] Information Collection; Payment to Small Business Subcontractors AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Interim rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a request to review and approve a new information collection requirement regarding Payment of Subcontractors.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-00XX, Payment of Subcontractors, by any of the following methods:

    • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching OMB control number 9000-00XX. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-00xx, “Payment of Subcontractors”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-00xx, Payment of Subcontractors” on your attached document.

    • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., ATTN: Hada Flowers, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection, Payment of Subcontractors, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, GSA, at 202-501-1448.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Section 1334 of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-240) and the Small Business Administration's Final Rule at 78 FR 42391, Small Business Subcontracting, published on July 16, 2013, and effective August 15, 2013, requires the prime contractor to self- report to the contracting officer when the prime contractor makes late or reduced payments to small business subcontractors. In addition, the contracting officer is required to record the identity of contractors with a history of late or reduced payments to small business subcontractors in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). FAR Part 42 is revised to include in the past performance evaluation reduced or untimely payments reported to the contracting officer by the prime contractor in accordance with the clause at 52.242-XX, Payments to Small Business Subcontractors, that are determined by the contracting officer to be unjustified.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 5457.

    Responses per respondent: 1.

    Total annual responses: 5457.

    Preparation hours per response: 2.

    Total response burden hours: 10,914.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20404, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-00xx, Payment of Subcontractors, in all correspondence.

    Edward Loeb, Acting Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25297 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0075; Docket 2015-0055; Sequence 6] Submission for OMB Review; Government Property AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning government property. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 34433 on June 16, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before November 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for Information Collection 9000-0075- Government Property. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0075: Government Property”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0075; Government Property” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0075.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0075, in all correspondence related to this collection. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, Office of Acquisition Policy, GSA 202-501-1448 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Government property, as used in FAR Part 45, means all property owned or leased by the Government. Government property includes both Government-furnished property and contractor-acquired property. Government property includes material, equipment, special tooling, special test equipment, and real property. Government property does not include intellectual property and software.

    This part prescribes policies and procedures for providing Government property to contractors; contractors' management and use of Government property; and reporting, redistributing, and disposing of contractor inventory. This clearance covers the following requirements:

    (a) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(ii) requires contractors to document the receipt of Government property.

    (b) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(ii)(A) requires contractors to submit report if overages, shortages, or damages and/or other discrepancies are discovered upon receipt of Government-furnished property.

    (c) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(iii) requires contractors to create and maintain records of all Government property accountable to the contract.

    (d) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(iv) requires contractors to periodically perform, record, and report physical inventories during contract performance, including upon completion or termination of the contract.

    (e) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(vii)(B) requires contractors to investigate and report all incidents of Government property loss as soon as the facts become known.

    (f) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(viii) requires contractors to promptly disclose and report Government property in its possession that is excess to contract performance.

    (g) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(ix) requires contractors to disclose and report to the Property Administrator the need for replacement and/or capital rehabilitation.

    (h) FAR 52.245-1(f)(1)(x) requires contractors to perform and report to the Property Administrator contract property closeout.

    (i) FAR 52.245-1(f)(2) requires contractors to establish and maintain source data, particularly in the areas of recognition of acquisitions and dispositions of material and equipment.

    (j) FAR 52.245-1(j)(2) requires contractors to submit inventory disposal schedules to the Plant Clearance Officer via the Standard Form 1428, Inventory Disposal Schedule.

    (k) FAR 52.245-9(d) requires a contractor to identify the property for which rental is requested.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Number of Respondents: 11,375.

    Responses per Respondent: 1,057.

    Total Responses: 12,023,375.

    Average Burden Hours per Response: .3092.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,717,627.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0075, Government Property, in all correspondence.

    Edward Loeb, Acting Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Govenrmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25366 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Common Formats for Reporting on Health Care Quality and Patient Safety AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Availability—New Common Formats.

    SUMMARY:

    As authorized by the Secretary of HHS, AHRQ coordinates the development of sets of common definitions and reporting formats (Common Formats) for reporting on health care quality and patient safety. The purpose of this notice is to announce the availability of two new sets of Common Formats for public review and comment: 1) Common Formats for retail pharmacies—Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy; and 2) the healthcare associated infection (HAI) module for Common Formats for Surveillance.

    DATES:

    Ongoing public input.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy, the HAI module for Common Formats for Surveillance, and the remaining Common Formats can be accessed electronically at the following HHS Web site: http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/common/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathryn Bach, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, AHRQ, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850; Telephone (toll free): (866) 403-3697; Telephone (local): (301) 427-1111; TTY (toll free): (866) 438-7231; TTY (local): (301) 427-1130; Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. 299b-21 to b-26, (Patient Safety Act) and the related Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Final Rule, 42 CFR part 3 (Patient Safety Rule), published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2008, (73 FR 70732-70814), provide for the formation of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), which collect, aggregate, and analyze confidential information regarding the quality and safety of health care delivery. The collection of patient safety work product allows the aggregation of data that help to identify and address underlying causal factors of patient quality and safety problems.

    The Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule establish a framework by which doctors, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare providers may assemble information regarding patient safety events and quality of care. Information that is assembled and developed by providers for reporting to PSOs and the information received and analyzed by PSOs—called “patient safety work product”—is privileged and confidential. Patient safety work product is used to conduct patient safety activities, which may include identifying events, patterns of care, and unsafe conditions that increase risks and hazards to patients. Definitions and other details about PSOs and patient safety work product are included in the Patient Safety Act and Patient Safety Rule which can be accessed electronically at: http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/legislation/.

    Definition of Common Formats

    The term “Common Formats” refers to the common definitions and reporting formats, specified by AHRQ, that allow health care providers to collect and submit standardized information regarding patient quality and safety to PSOs and other entities. The Common Formats are not intended to replace any current mandatory reporting system, collaborative/voluntary reporting system, research-related reporting system, or other reporting/recording system; rather the formats are intended to enhance the ability of health care providers to report information that is standardized both clinically and electronically.

    In collaboration with the interagency Federal Patient Safety Workgroup (PSWG), the National Quality Forum (NQF), and the public, AHRQ has developed Common Formats for three settings of care—acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and retail pharmacies—in order to facilitate standardized data collection and analysis. The scope of Common Formats applies to all patient safety concerns including: Incidents—patient safety events that reached the patient, whether or not there was harm; near misses or close calls—patient safety events that did not reach the patient; and unsafe conditions—circumstances that increase the probability of a patient safety event.

    AHRQ's Common Formats for patient safety event reporting include:

    • Event descriptions (definitions of patient safety events, near misses, and unsafe conditions to be reported);

    • Specifications for patient safety aggregate reports and individual event summaries that derive from event descriptions;

    • Delineation of data elements and algorithms to be used for collection of adverse event data to populate the reports; and

    • Technical specifications for electronic data collection and reporting.

    The technical specifications promote standardization of collected patient safety event information by specifying rules for data collection and submission, as well as by providing guidance for how and when to create data elements, their valid values, conditional and go-to logic, and reports. These specifications will ensure that data collected by PSOs and other entities have comparable clinical meaning. They also provide direction to software developers, so that the Common Formats can be implemented electronically, and to PSOs, so that the Common Formats can be submitted electronically to the PSO Privacy Protection Center (PPC) for data de-identification and transmission to the Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD).

    Common Formats Development

    In anticipation of the need for Common Formats, AHRQ began their development by creating an inventory of functioning private and public sector patient safety reporting systems. This inventory provided an evidence base to inform construction of the Common Formats. The inventory included many systems from the private sector, including prominent academic settings, hospital systems, and international reporting systems (e.g., from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Australia). In addition, virtually all major Federal patient safety reporting systems were included, such as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

    Since February 2005, AHRQ has convened the PSWG to assist AHRQ with developing and maintaining the Common Formats. The PSWG includes major health agencies within HHS—CDC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, FDA, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Office of Public Health and Science, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—as well as the DoD and VA.

    When developing Common Formats, AHRQ first reviews existing patient safety practices and event reporting systems. In collaboration with the PSWG and Federal subject matter experts, AHRQ drafts and releases beta versions of the Common Formats for public review and comment. The PSWG assists AHRQ with assuring the consistency of definitions/formats with those of relevant government agencies as refinement of the Common Formats continues.

    Since the initial release of the Common Formats in August 2008, AHRQ has regularly revised the formats based upon public comment. AHRQ solicits feedback on beta (and subsequent) versions of Common Formats from private sector organizations and individuals. Based upon the feedback received, AHRQ further revises the Common Formats. To the extent practicable, the Common Formats are also aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) concepts, frameworks, and definitions.

    Participation by the private sector in the development and subsequent revision of the Common Formats is achieved through working with the NQF. The Agency engages the NQF, a non-profit organization focused on health care quality, to solicit comments and advice regarding proposed versions of the Common Formats. AHRQ began this process with the NQF in 2008, receiving feedback on AHRQ's 0.1 Beta release of the Common Formats for Event Reporting—Hospital. After receiving public comment, the NQF solicits the review and advice of its Common Formats Expert Panel and subsequently provides feedback to AHRQ. The Agency then revises and refines the Common Formats and issues them as a production version. AHRQ has continued to employ this process for all subsequent versions of the Common Formats.

    Beginning in 2013, AHRQ began development of Common Formats for Surveillance for hospitals which are also called the Quality and Safety Review System (QSRS). These formats are different than previously-developed Common Formats because they do not support event reporting in hospitals or other settings. QSRS supports retrospective review or audit of medical records in hospitals, and data are entered by medical record coders/abstractors. While Common Formats that support event reporting are of great importance to the quality improvement process, by informing users on the nature and causes of patient safety events, they do not support collection of populations at risk and hence do not allow generation of rates. QSRS allows generation of rates of adverse events and benchmarking and trending of performance in hospitals, including documentation of improvement over time. The principle immediate use planned for QSRS is to update and expand on the scope of the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System (MPSMS) that is currently in use by HHS to audit a sample of U.S. medical records for purposes of establishing national adverse event rates.

    Commenting on Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy

    In 2014, representatives from U.S. retail pharmacies approached AHRQ regarding collaboration to develop Common Formats for the retail pharmacy setting. Development of the new Formats began using the existing AHRQ Common Formats Medication module from the AHRQ Common Formats for Event Reporting—Hospital, version 1.2, as a starting point. AHRQ, in conjunction with retail pharmacy representatives, designed Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy for use in U.S. retail pharmacies. These formats will facilitate improved detection and understanding of medication-related events originating in pharmacies and, if implemented as specified, will allow aggregation of medication-related data across different pharmacy providers.

    The Agency is specifically interested in obtaining feedback from both the private and public sectors on the new Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy. At this time, only the Event Description—which defines adverse events of interest in the retail pharmacy setting—is available. Other elements of the Common Formats, including aggregate reports and technical specifications, will be developed following revision of the Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy based on public comment and NQF advice. Information on how to comment and provide feedback on the Common Formats for Retail Pharmacy is available at the NQF Web site: http://www.qualityforum.org/Project_Pages/Common_Formats_for_Patient_Safety_Data.aspx.

    Commenting on HAI Module for Common Formats for Surveillance

    Common Formats addressing all QSRS modules—except for those for HAIs—were made available for public comment in 2014. During the intervening time, AHRQ was able to consult with CDC in order to refine the HAI module. When integrated with the remaining modules of QSRS, the HAI module will allow completion of the first version of QSRS.

    The Agency is specifically interested in obtaining feedback from both the private and public sectors on the HAI module for Common Formats for Surveillance. Only the Event Description—which defines six HAI adverse events of interest—is available. Based on public comment and NQF advice, AHRQ will finalize this module, which will be incorporated into QSRS software. Information on how to comment and provide feedback on the HAI module is available at the NQF Web site: http://www.qualityforum.org/Project_Pages/Common_Formats_for_Patient_Safety_Data.aspx.

    AHRQ appreciates the time and effort individuals invest in providing comments. The Agency will review and consider all feedback received to help guide the development of a revised version. The process for updating and refining the formats will continue to be an iterative one.

    Future versions of the Common Formats are planned to be developed for additional ambulatory settings, such as ambulatory surgery centers and physician and practitioner offices. More information on the Common Formats can be obtained through AHRQ's PSO Web site: http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/.

    Sharon B. Arnold, AHRQ Deputy Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25364 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: National Youth in Transition Database and Youth Outcome Survey.

    OMB No.: 0970-0340.

    Description: The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (42 U.S.C. 1305 et seq.) as amended by Public Law 106-169 requires State child welfare agencies to collect and report to the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) data on the characteristics of youth receiving independent living services and information regarding their outcomes. The regulation implementing the National Youth in Transition Database, listed in 45 CFR 1356.80, contains standard data collection and reporting requirements for States to meet the law's requirements. ACF will use the information collected under the regulation to track independent living services, assess the collective outcomes of youth, and potentially to evaluate State performance with regard to those outcomes consistent with the law's mandate.

    Respondents: State agencies that administer the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Youth Outcome Survey 20,667 1 0.50 10,334 Data File 52 2 1,849 192,296

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 202,630

    Additional Information

    Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Fax: 202-395-7285, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25370 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-3378] Acceptability of Draft Labeling To Support Abbreviated New Drug Application Approval; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Acceptability of Draft Labeling to Support ANDA Approval.”

    This guidance provides recommendations and information related to the submission of proposed labeling with abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs). It explains FDA's interpretation of the regulatory provision related to submission of copies of applicants' proposed labeling and clarifies that FDA's Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) will accept draft labeling and does not require the submission of final printed labeling (FPL) in order to approve an ANDA.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time.

    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-D-3378 for “Acceptability of Draft Labeling to Support ANDA Approval, Guidance for Industry.” 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. Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tamara Coley, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-6903.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Acceptability of Draft Labeling to Support ANDA Approval.” This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's Good Guidance Practices (GGP) regulation (§ 10.115 (21 CFR 10.115)). This guidance is being implemented without prior public comment because the Agency has determined that prior public participation is not feasible or appropriate (§ 10.115(g)(2)). The Agency made this determination because the guidance presents a less burdensome policy consistent with the public health. Although this guidance document is immediately in effect, it remains subject to comment in accordance with the Agency's GGP regulation.

    This guidance provides recommendations and information related to the submission of copies of proposed labeling with ANDAs under section 505(j)(2)(A)(v) (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(A)(v)) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA's implementing regulations (21 CFR 314.94(a)(8)). This guidance clarifies that OGD will accept and approve ANDAs based on draft labeling.

    In the past, OGD generally asked applicants to submit copies of FPL as opposed to draft labeling before receiving ANDA approval. OGD generally requested FPL before approving ANDAs because this version of the labeling reflected an accurate presentation of both the content and the formatting of the labeling.

    As ANDA labeling submissions have evolved over time, particularly with respect to the submission of electronic versions of labeling, OGD has found that draft versions of labeling can enable an appropriate labeling review before FPL is produced.

    Given changes in submission practices and the applicable regulations over time, OGD is clarifying that it will approve ANDAs on the basis of draft labeling, provided that OGD is able to make a determination that the draft labeling complies with applicable requirements (other than editorial or similar minor deficiencies).

    The guidance represents the Agency's current thinking on the acceptability of draft labeling to support ANDA approval. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. 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 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25351 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-3390] Electronic Common Technical Document Technical Conformance Guide; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of an Electronic Common Technical Document (eCTD) Technical Conformance Guide, Version 1.0. The eCTD Technical Conformance Guide supplements the guidance for industry entitled “Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format—Certain Human Pharmaceutical Product Applications and Related Submissions Using the eCTD Specification” and provides specifications, recommendations, and general considerations on how to submit eCTD-based electronic submissions to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) or the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on this notice at any time, to ensure that the Agency considers your comments, submit either electronic or written comments by November 20, 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-D-3390 for “Electronic Common Technical Document Technical Conformance Guide.” 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.

    Submit written requests for single copies of the documents to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2201, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002 or the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron Fitzmartin, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 1192, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of an eCTD Technical Conformance Guide, Version 1.0. The eCTD Technical Conformance Guide supplements the final guidance for industry “Providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format—Certain Human Pharmaceutical Product Applications and Related Submissions Using the eCTD Specification” (eCTD Guidance) and provides specifications, recommendations, and general considerations on how to submit eCTD-based electronic submission to CDER or CBER. The eCTD guidance will implement the electronic submission requirements of section 745A(a) of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act with respect to electronic submissions for certain investigational new drug applications (INDs); new drug applications (NDAs); abbreviated new drug applications(ANDAs); certain biologics license applications(BLAs); and Master Files that are submitted to the CDER or CBER.

    The Guide provides specifications, recommendations, and general considerations on how to submit eCTD-based electronic submissions to CDER or CBER and is intended to complement and promote interactions between sponsors and applicants and FDA's review divisions. It is not intended to replace the need for sponsors and applicants to communicate directly with review divisions regarding their eCTD-based submissions. The Guide is organized as follows:

    • Section 1: Introduction—provides information on regulatory policy and guidance background, purpose, and document control.

    • Section 2: General Considerations—recommends and provides general details on preparing an eCTD submission.

    • Section 3: Organization of the eCTD—presents specific topics organized by their placement (by module) in the eCTD submission.

    • Section 4: Issues and Solutions—presents instructions for correcting common problems seen in eCTD submissions.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the Guide at either http://www.fda.gov/forindustry/datastandards/studydatastandards/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25353 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-1659] Established Conditions: Reportable Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Reopening of the Comment Period AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reopening the comment period for the “Established Conditions: Reportable Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products; Draft Guidance for Industry,” published in the Federal Register of June 1, 2015. FDA is reopening the comment period to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by January 4, 2016.

    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-D-1659 for Established Conditions: Reportable Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Reopening of the Comment Period. 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.

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The draft guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling CBER at 1-800-835-4709 or 240-402-8010. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Boam, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 4192, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-2400; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of June 1, 2015 (80 FR 31050), FDA announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Established Conditions: Reportable CMC Changes for Approved Drug and Biologic Products.” Interested persons were originally given until July 31, 2015, to comment on the draft guidance. The Agency believes that reopening the comment period for an additional 90 days from the date of publication of this notice will allow adequate time for interested persons to submit comments without significantly delaying Agency decision-making on these important issues.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm, or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25356 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3402] Electronic Submission of Final Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies and Summary Information in a Standard Structured Product Labeling Format; Pilot Project AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of pilot project, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing a pilot project for the submission of final approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) and certain REMS summary information electronically in a standard Structured Product Labeling (SPL) format. Participation in the pilot is voluntary and is open to application holders of drugs with REMS. The pilot is intended to help application holders, FDA, and other interested stakeholders evaluate a potential approach to converting REMS into SPL format and evaluate the usefulness of the REMS information to be provided in SPL format. This project also will help provide FDA with feedback on these topics from pilot participants and other interested stakeholders.

    DATES:

    Submit requests to participate in the REMS SPL pilot from October 6, 2015 to December 7, 2015. See the “Participation” section for instructions on how to submit a request to participate. The pilot will proceed for 4 months, from October 6, 2015 to February 3, 2016. This pilot may be extended as resources and needs allow.

    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-3402 for “Electronic Submission of Final Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies and Summary Information in a Standard Structured Product Labeling Format; Pilot Project.” 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:

    Adam Kroetsch at [email protected] or at 301-796-3842.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing a pilot project for the submission of final approved REMS and certain REMS summary information electronically in an SPL format. This pilot is being conducted as a part of the “Pharmacy Systems Under REMS Project: Standardizing REMS Information for Inclusion Into Pharmacy Systems Using Structured Product Labeling (SPL).” More information on this project—one of four predefined priority projects that are a part of the larger REMS Integration Initiative—can be found in the report “Standardizing and Evaluating Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS)” (the REMS report) (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/UserFees/PrescriptionDrugUserFee/UCM415751.pdf). FDA intends to eventually make REMS in SPL format accessible to the public via a free, publicly available Web site.

    As described in the REMS report, stakeholders have expressed concern that information about REMS materials, tools, and requirements are not communicated to stakeholders in a clear and consistent manner. They also have told FDA that REMS materials and requirements may be difficult to locate, and specific activities and requirements of various stakeholders (e.g., prescriber, pharmacist) are not clearly outlined. Furthermore, some stakeholders have difficulty integrating REMS materials and procedures into their existing health information systems and healthcare delivery processes. Because of these factors, stakeholders reported spending excessive time trying to locate, understand, and comply with different REMS requirements. (For more general background information on REMS, as well as a more comprehensive discussion of the issues mentioned in this paragraph, please refer to the Background Materials (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/UserFees/PrescriptionDrugUserFee/UCM362078.pdf) for the July 2013 REMS Standardization and Evaluation Public Meeting.)

    To help address the problems described in the previous paragraph of this document, FDA committed to develop a standardized REMS format that can be included in SPL. FDA believes that this project, when completed, will address many of the concerns described previously regarding REMS because SPL information can be easily shared and made available online, and is readily incorporable into health information technology. Furthermore, FDA and application holders are both familiar with SPL and possess much of the institutional knowledge needed to create and disseminate files in this format. Ultimately, SPL can serve as a conduit of structured REMS information to healthcare providers and patients, while also providing accessible information about what requirements exist and who is responsible for their completion. SPL may also promote efficiency in the development and review of REMS documents.

    II. About the REMS SPL Pilot

    For all REMS programs (both REMS with and without elements to assure safe use (ETASU)) included in the pilot, the REMS document will be captured using standardized section headings. More information about the REMS document is available in FDA's draft guidance for industry “Format and Content of Proposed Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS), REMS Assessments, and Proposed REMS Modifications” (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/.../Guidances/UCM184128.pdf). For REMS with ETASU, the SPL will include additional information about the requirements these ETASU impose. This information is captured in two places: A human-readable “REMS Summary” (described in detail in “The REMS Summary” section of this document) and associated machine-readable data elements. Both the REMS Summary and the data elements will capture four basic pieces of information about each requirement:

    Who is required to carry out the requirement: For example, a requirement may be carried out by the healthcare provider who prescribes the drug or dispenses it.

    What that individual is required to do: This could include a clinical activity, such as counseling a patient, or an administrative one, such as completing an enrollment form.

    When the activity must be carried out: For example, a REMS activity may need to be completed before a drug is prescribed or dispensed, or before a patient is able to receive the drug.

    References to REMS materials that may contain additional information about the requirement, such as forms and educational materials.

    For REMS approved as a shared system, the REMS information submitted in SPL format should be identical for each product in the shared system.

    A. The REMS Summary

    For REMS with ETASU, the REMS Summary will be presented in a tabular format that facilitates coding of REMS data elements and allows stakeholders to quickly obtain a reader-friendly overview of what the REMS requires. It uses language that is similar to that found in existing REMS documents and the summaries found on FDA's REMS Web site (http://www.fda.gov/REMS). Detailed instructions for creating the REMS Summary are available in the Draft REMS SPL Implementation Guide Excerpt on FDA's SPL Web site (http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DataStandards/StructuredProductLabeling/default.htm). The REMS Summary does not replace the approved REMS document, which will continue to be the enforceable document establishing the REMS requirements.

    B. REMS Data Elements

    For REMS with ETASU, the REMS data elements describe REMS requirements using a standardized, machine-readable format that permits integration of REMS information into electronic health information technology, including clinical decision support, e-Prescribing systems, and electronic pharmacy systems. FDA has developed terminology to assist in the coding of REMS data elements. This terminology is available as part of the Draft REMS SPL Implementation Guide Excerpt on FDA's SPL Web site (http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DataStandards/StructuredProductLabeling/default.htm). The REMS Data Elements do not replace the approved REMS document, which will continue to be the enforceable document establishing the REMS requirements.

    III. How To Participate in the REMS SPL Pilot A. Participation

    Volunteers interested in participating in the pilot should contact pilot staff by email at [email protected] The following information should be included in the request: Contact name, contact phone number, and contact email address. FDA will contact interested applicants to discuss the pilot. FDA is seeking a limited number of participants (no more than nine) to participate in this pilot. FDA is also seeking comment from any stakeholder on its proposed approach for capturing REMS information in SPL format in this pilot, as described in section II.

    B. Procedures

    To create an SPL file and submit it to FDA, a participant will need the following tools: Appropriate software, knowledge of terminology and standards, and access to FDA's Electronic Submissions Gateway (ESG) (http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ElectronicSubmissionsGateway/default.htm). The ESG is an Agency-wide means of accepting electronic regulatory submissions. The FDA ESG enables the secure submission of regulatory submissions. Instructions and information regarding the creation of an SPL file and the converting of REMS information into SPL can be found at http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DataStandards/StructuredProductLabeling/default.htm. There should be no additional cost associated with obtaining the software. In 2010, FDA collaborated with Pragmatic Data, LLC (http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/DataStandards/StructuredProductLabeling/ucm189651.htm), to make available free SPL authoring software that SPL authors may use to create new SPL documents or edit previous versions.

    After the SPL is created, the participant would upload the file through the ESG. The Internet portal can be found at http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ElectronicSubmissionsGateway/default.htm. Prior to uploading an SPL file, one must obtain a digital certificate. Instructions regarding obtaining a digital certificate used with FDA's ESG and uploading the SPL file for submission can be found at http://www.fda.gov/esg/default.htm. The digital certificate binds together the owner's name and a pair of electronic keys (a public and a private key) that can be used to encrypt and sign documents. A fee of up to approximately $20 is charged for the digital certificate. Application holders should have already secured a digital certificate because they are required to do so when they register and list.

    During the pilot, FDA staff will be available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. Pilot participants will be asked to comment on and discuss their experiences converting their REMS into SPL format. Their comments are expected to assist FDA in its completion of the REMS SPL project.

    IV. Duration of the REMS SPL Pilot

    FDA will accept requests for participation in the REMS SPL pilot from October 6, 2015 to December 7, 2015. The pilot will proceed for 4 months, from October 6, 2015 to February 3, 2016. This pilot may be extended as resources and needs allow.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 314 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0001.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25349 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket Nos. FDA-2015-M-1064, FDA-2015-M-1065, FDA-2015-M-1177, FDA-2015-M-1178, FDA-2015-M-1325, FDA-2015-M-1326, FDA-2015-M-1460, FDA-2015-M-1461, FDA-2015-M-1557, FDA-2015-M-1708, FDA-2015-M-1709, FDA-2015-M-1956, FDA-2015-M-1957, FDA-2015-M-1958, FDA-2015-M-1959, FDA-2015-M-2077, FDA-2015-M-2078, FDA-2014-M-2247] Medical Devices; Availability of Safety and Effectiveness Summaries for Premarket Approval Applications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is publishing a list of premarket approval applications (PMAs) that have been approved. This list is intended to inform the public of the availability of safety and effectiveness summaries of approved PMAs through the Internet and the Agency's Division of Dockets Management.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for copies of summaries of safety and effectiveness data to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Please cite the appropriate docket number as listed in table 1 when submitting a written request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the summaries of safety and effectiveness.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Torres, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 1650, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5576.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with sections 515(d)(4) and (e)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360e(d)(4) and (e)(2)), notification of an order approving, denying, or withdrawing approval of a PMA will continue to include a notice of opportunity to request review of the order under section 515(g) of the FD&C Act. The 30-day period for requesting reconsideration of an FDA action under § 10.33(b) (21 CFR 10.33(b)) for notices announcing approval of a PMA begins on the day the notice is placed on the Internet. Section 10.33(b) provides that FDA may, for good cause, extend this 30-day period. Reconsideration of a denial or withdrawal of approval of a PMA may be sought only by the applicant; in these cases, the 30-day period will begin when the applicant is notified by FDA in writing of its decision.

    The regulations provide that FDA publish a quarterly list of available safety and effectiveness summaries of PMA approvals and denials that were announced during that quarter. The following is a list of approved PMAs for which summaries of safety and effectiveness were placed on the Internet from April 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015. There were no denial actions during this period. The list provides the manufacturer's name, the product's generic name or the trade name, and the approval date.

    Table 1—List of Safety and Effectiveness Summaries for Approved PMAs Made Available From April 1, 2015 Through June 30, 2015 PMA No., Docket No. Applicant Trade name Approval date P140003, FDA-2015-M-1177 ABIOMED, Inc Impella® 2.5 System 3/23/2015 P130014, FDA-2015-M-1065 HyperBranch Medical Technology, Inc Adherus® AutoSpray Dural Sealant 3/30/2015 P130021/S010, FDA-2015-M-1064 Medtronic CoreValve, LLC Medtronic CoreValve® System 3/30/2015 P110015, FDA-2015-M-1178 Advanced Breath Diagnostics, LLC Gastric Emptying Breath Test (GEBT) 4/6/2015 P040020/S050, FDA-2015-M-1325 Alcon Research, Ltd AcrySof IQ ReSTOR +2.5 D Multifocal Intraocular Lens 4/13/2015 P120023, FDA-2015-M-1326 AcuFocusTM, Inc KAMRATM inlay 4/17/2015 H130007, FDA-2014-M-2247 CVRx®, Inc Barostim neoTM Legacy System 12/12/2014 P140011, FDA-2015-M-1460 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc MAMMOMAT Inspiration with Tomosynthesis Option 4/21/2015 P120017, FDA-2015-M-1461 Medtronic, Inc Model 5071 Lead 4/27/2015 P130012, FDA-2015-M-1557 Greatbatch Medical Myopore Sutureless Myocardial Pacing Lead 4/30/2015 P140023, FDA-2015-M-1708 Roche Molecular Systems, Inc cobas® KRAS Mutation Test 5/7/2015 P130022, FDA-2015-M-1709 Nevro Corp Nevro Senza Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) System 5/8/2015 P140026, FDA-2015-M-1956 Silk Road Medical, Inc ENROUTETM Transcarotid Stent System 5/18/2015 P140004, FDA-2015-M-1957 Vertiflex®, Inc Superion® InterSpinous Spacer 5/20/2015 P140002, FDA-2015-M-1958 Terumo Medical Corp Misago® Peripheral Self-expanding Stent System 5/22/2015 P120005/S031, FDA-2015-M-1959 Dexcom, Inc Dexcom G4®PLATINUM (Pediatric) Continuous Glucose Monitoring System 5/22/2015 P110010/S096, FDA-2015-M-2077 Boston Scientific Corp PROMUS® ElementTM Plus and Promus PREMIERTM Everolimus-Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent System (MonorailTM and Over-the-Wire) 6/1/2015 P050052/S049, FDA-2015-M-2078 Merz North America Radiesse® Injectable Implant 6/4/2015 II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the documents at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DeviceApprovalsandClearances/PMAApprovals/default.htm.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25352 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-0748] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Guidance for Industry on Generic Drug User Fee Cover Sheet AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by November 5, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0727. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    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:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Generic Drug User Fee Cover Sheet; Form FDA 3794 OMB Control Number 0910-0727—Extension

    On July 9, 2012, the Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA) (Pub. L. 112-144, Title III) was signed into law by the President. GDUFA, designed to speed the delivery of safe and effective generic drugs to the public and reduce costs to industry, requires that generic drug manufacturers pay user fees to finance critical and measurable program enhancements. The user fees required by GDUFA are as follows: (1) A one-time fee for original abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) pending on October 1, 2012 (also known as backlog applications); (2) fees for type II active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and final dosage form (FDF) facilities; (3) fees for new ANDAs and prior approval supplements (PASs); and (4) a one-time fee for drug master files (DMFs).

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit feedback on the collection of information in an electronic form used to calculate and pay generic drug user fees. Proposed Form FDA 3794, the Generic Drug User Fee Cover Sheet, requests the minimum necessary information to determine if a person has satisfied all relevant user fee obligations. The proposed form is modeled on other FDA user fee cover sheets, including Form FDA 3397, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act Cover Sheet. The information collected would be used by FDA to initiate the administrative screening of generic drug submissions and DMFs, support the inspection of generic drug facilities, and otherwise support the generic drug program. A copy of the proposed form will be available in the docket for this notice.

    Respondents to this proposed collection of information would be potential or actual generic application holders and/or related manufacturers (manufacturers of FDF and/or APIs). Companies with multiple applications will submit a cover sheet for each application and facility. Based on FDA's database of application holders and related manufacturers, we estimate that approximately 460 companies would submit a total of 3,544 cover sheets annually to pay for application and facility user fees. FDA estimates that the 3,544 annual cover sheet responses would break down as follows: 1,439 facilities fees, 942 ANDAs, 502 PASs, and 661 Type II API DMFs. The estimated hours per response are based on FDA's past experience with other submissions and range from approximately 0.1 to 0.5 hours. The hours per response are estimated at the upper end of the range to be conservative.

    In the Federal Register of June 2, 2015 (80 FR 31388), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 FDA Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual responses Average burden per response Total hours
    3794 460 7.7 3,544 0.5 (30 minutes) 1,772 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: September 30, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25360 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Initial Review Group; Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Clinical Trials Review Committee: AMSC-1 Clinical Trials Review Meeting.

    Date: October 27-28, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott Suites, 6711 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817.

    Contact Person: Charles H. Washabaugh, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, NIAMS/NIH, 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 816, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-4952, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.846, Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 30, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25317 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; NINDS Research Resource Opportunities Review.

    Date: November 2, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Elizabeth A Webber, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-496-1917, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; T32 Meeting.

    Date: November 9-10, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Monaco Alexandria, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: William C. Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-496-0660, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; Clinical Trials SEP.

    Date: November 12-13, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Monaco Alexandria, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Shanta Rajaram, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NINDS/NIH/DHHS/Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892-9529, 301-435-6033, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.853, Clinical Research Related to Neurological Disorders; 93.854, Biological Basis Research in the Neurosciences, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 30, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25315 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Initial Review Group Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee.

    Date: October 29-30, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel Hilton Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Helen Lin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, NIH/NIAMS/RB, 6701 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, Plaza One, Bethesda, MD 20817, 301-594-4952, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.846, Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 30, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25316 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0057] Agency Information Collection Activities: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day Notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders. CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or to the Information required. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before December 7, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be mailed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Attn: Tracey Denning, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, at 202-325-0265.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13). The comments should address: (a) Whether the 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 estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual cost burden to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Country of Origin Marking Requirements for Containers or Holders.

    OMB Number: 1651-0057.

    Abstract: Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1304, requires each imported article of foreign origin, or its container, to be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article or container permits, with the English name of the country of origin. The marking informs the ultimate purchaser in the United States of the name country in which the article was manufactured or produced. The marking requirements for containers are provided for by 19 CFR 134.22(b).

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 250.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 40.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 seconds.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 41.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25411 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2015-0019; OMB No. 1660-0108] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on an extension of a currently approved information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning the FEMA National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which allows adults that have been displaced by a Presidentially declared disaster or emergency to reunify with their families.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To avoid duplicate submissions to the docket, please use only one of the following means to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID FEMA-2015-0019. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to Docket Manager, Office of Chief Counsel, DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.

    All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Lee, Program Specialist, Recovery Directorate, Individual Assistance Division, Mass Care/Emergency Management Section at (202) 212-5775. You may contact the Records Management Division for copies of the proposed collection of information at email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA), in Title VI of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2007, Public Law 109-295, Section 689c, 120 Stat. 1355 at 1451 is the legal basis for FEMA to provide a National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS). NEFRLS allows adults (including medical patients), displaced by a Presidentially declared major disaster or emergency, to voluntarily register by submitting personal information into a database that can be used by others to help reunify them with their families. Children who are traveling with their families during a Presidentially declared major disaster or emergency can be listed in NEFRLS. NEFRLS allows a registrant to designate up to 7 individuals who are authorized to search for and access the registrant's information in the system. The ability to list children within NEFRLS is only to indicate which family members are together and safe.

    Collection of Information

    Title: National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS).

    Type of Information Collection: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-0108.

    FEMA Forms: FEMA Form 528-1.

    Abstract: NEFRLS is a Web-based database enabling FEMA to provide a nationally available and recognized database allowing adults (including medical patients) that have been displaced by a Presidentially declared major disaster or emergency to voluntarily register via the Internet or a toll-free number. This database allows designated individuals to search for displaced friends, family, and household members. Congress mandated that FEMA establish NEFRLS in the PKEMRA section 689c.

    Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government, Federal Government, and Individuals or Households.

    Number of Respondents: 56,000.

    Number of Responses: 56,000; NEFRLS Tele-registration: 14,000 and NEFRLS Internet Registration: 42,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 10,640.

    Estimated Cost: $241,634. There are no recordkeeping, capital, start-up or maintenance costs associated with this information collection.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (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.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Richard W. Mattison, Records Management Program Chief, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25302 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA-2015-0022; OMB No. 1660-0054] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants—Grant Application Supplemental Information AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on a revision of a currently approved information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning grant application information necessary to assess the needs and benefits of applicants for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To avoid duplicate submissions to the docket, please use only one of the following means to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID FEMA-2015-0022. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    (2) Mail. Submit written comments to Docket Manager, Office of Chief Counsel, DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.

    All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Dunham, Fire Program Specialist, FEMA, Grant Program Directorate, 202-786-9813. You may contact the Records Management Division for copies of the proposed collection of information at email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This package is a revision to the collection originally approved as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program—Grant Application Supplemental Information, OMB Control Number: 1660-0054. FEMA is updating the name of this collection from “Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program—Grant Application Supplemental Information” to “Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants—Grant Application Supplemental Information” to reflect more accurately the grant programs covered. Information sought under this submission will comprise of applications for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants. The Federal Fire Protection and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.), as amended, authorizes FEMA to fund fire department activities. The information collected through the program's application is the minimum necessary to evaluate grant applications and is necessary for FEMA to comply with mandates delineated in the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, as amended.

    Collection of Information

    Title: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants—Grant Application Supplemental Information.

    Type of Information Collection: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    OMB Number: 1660-0054.

    FEMA Forms: FEMA Form 080-0-2, Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Application (General Questions and Narrative); FEMA Form 080-0-2a, Activity Specific Questions for AFG Vehicle Applicants; FEMA Form 080-0-2b, Activity Specific Questions for AFG Operations and Safety Applications; FEMA Form 080-0-3, Activity Specific Questions for Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Applicants; FEMA Form 080-0-3a, Fire Prevention and Safety; FEMA Form 080-0-3b, Research and Development.

    Abstract: The FEMA forms for this collection are used to objectively evaluate each of the anticipated applicants to determine which applicants' submission in each of the AFG activities are close to the established program priorities. FEMA also uses the information to determine eligibility and whether the proposed use of funds meets the requirements and intent of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, as amended.

    Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government; Not-for-profit Institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 22,000.

    Number of Responses: 22,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 158,590 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours and Costs Type of
  • respondent
  • Form name/form
  • number
  • Number of respondents Number of responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average burden per response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden
  • (in hours)
  • Average hourly wage rate Total annual
  • respondent cost
  • State, Local or Tribal Government Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Application (General Questions and Narrative)/FEMA Form 080-0-2 10,000 1 10,000 9 90,000 $49.50 $4,455,000.00 State, Local or Tribal Government Activity Specific Questions for AFG Vehicle Applicants/FEMA Form 080-0-2a 2,600 1 2,600 11 28,600 49.50 1,415,700.00 State, Local or Tribal Government Activity Specific Questions for AFG Operations and Safety Applications/FEMA Form 080-0-2b 7,400 1 7,400 4.6 34,040 49.50 1,684,980.00 State, Local or Tribal Government Activity Specific Questions for Fire Prevention and Safety (FPS) Applicants/FEMA Form 080-0-3 820 1 820 2.5 2,050 49.50 101,475.00 Not-for-profit Institutions Activity Specific Questions for Fire Prevention and Safety (FPS) Applicants/FEMA Form 080-0-3 180 1 180 2.5 450 49.50 22,275.00 State, Local or Tribal Government Fire Prevention and Safety/FEMA Form 080-0-3a 820 1 820 2.5 2,050 49.50 101,475.00 Not-for-profit Institutions Fire Prevention and Safety/FEMA Form 080-0-3a 130 1 130 2.5 325 49.50 16,087.50 Not-for-profit Institutions Research and Development/FEMA Form 080-0-3b 50 1 50 21.5 1,075 48.50 52,137.50 Total 22,000 22,000 158,590 7,849,130.00 Note: The “Avg. Hourly Wage Rate” for each respondent includes a 1.4 multiplier to reflect a fully-loaded wage rate.

    Estimated Cost: The estimated annual cost to respondents for the hour burden is $7,849,130.00. There are no annual costs to respondents' operations and maintenance costs for technical services. There are no annual start-up or capital costs. The cost to the Federal Government is $3,319,699.04.

    Comments

    Comments may be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES caption above. Comments are solicited to (a) evaluate whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) 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; (c) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (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.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Richard W. Mattison, Records Management Program Chief, Mission Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25371 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-78P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NRNHL-19335; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service is soliciting comments on the significance of properties nominated before September 12, 2015 for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places.

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted by October 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be sent via U.S. Postal Service the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St. NW., MS 2280, Washington, DC 20240; by all other carriers, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1201 Eye St. NW., 8th floor, Washington, DC 20005; or by fax, 202-371-6447.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The properties listed in this notice are being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations for their consideration were received by the National Park Service before May 23, 2015. Pursuant to section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60, written comments are being accepted concerning the significance of the nominated properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation.

    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.

    CALIFORNIA Monterey County Aeneas Sardine Packing Company Cannery, 300 Cannery Row, Monterey, 15000739 COLORADO Routt County Hayden Co-Operative Elevator Company, 198 E. Lincoln Ave., Hayden, 15000740 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA District of Columbia Capitol Hill Historic District (Boundary Increase II), Squares 752, 753, 777, 788 bounded by 2nd, 4th & F Sts. NE., Washington, 15000741 Davis, Colonel William Robert, House, 3020 Albemarle St. NW., Washington, 15000742 Young, Browne, Phelps and Springarn Educational Campus Historic District, (Public School Buildings of Washington, DC MPS) 2500 Benning Rd. NE., 704, 820, & 850 26th St. NE., Washington, 15000743 GEORGIA Stephens County Toccoa Downtown Historic District (Boundary Increase), 118 W. Doyle St., Toccoa, 15000744 IOWA Carroll County Manning Commercial Historic District, (Iowa's Main Street Commercial Architecture MPS) 217-411, 413-507, 302-326 Main, 717-723 3rd, 303 Center & 825 5th Sts., Manning, 15000745 Henry County Benjamin Chapel and Richwoods Cemetery, 1936 Franklin Ave., Trenton, 15000746 Boyle, Hugh and Matilda, House and Cemetery Historic District, 3225 Lexington Ave., Lowell, 15000747 Edwards, Joseph A. and Lydia A., House, 1735 Salem Rd., Salem, 15000748 Garretson, Owen A. and Emma J., House, 1878 335th St., Salem, 15000750 Linn County Cedar Rapids 2nd Avenue SE. Automobile Row Historic District, Roughly 2nd to 3rd Aves., SE., from 6th to 8th Sts., SE., Cedar Rapids, 15000749 Monroe Elementary School Historic District, 3200 Pioneer Ave., SE., Cedar Rapids, 15000751 Montgomery County Ellis, William and Amanda J., Farmstead Historic District, 1134 I Ave., Elliott, 15000752 NEW YORK Essex County Helen Hill Historic District, Prescott Place, Helen & Front Sts., Sheppard, Franklin & Clinton Aves., Saranac Lake, 15000754 OHIO Hamilton County William Howard Taft National Historic Site (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation, 2038 Auburn Ave., Cincinnati, 15000753

    A request to move has been made for the following resource:

    INDIANA Clay County Indiana State Highway Bridge 46-11-1316, IN 46 over Eel R., Bowling Green, 00000211

    In the interest of preservation a three day comment period has been requested for the following resource:

    WISCONSIN Ozaukee County SENATOR (steam screw) Shipwreck, (Great Lakes Shipwreck Sites of Wisconsin MPS) Address Restricted, Port Washington, 15000738 Authority:

    60.13 of 36 CFR part 60

    Dated: September 16, 2015. Roger Reed, Acting Chief, National Register of Historic Places/National Historic Landmarks Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25375 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-51-P
    JOINT BOARD FOR THE ENROLLMENT OF ACTUARIES Meeting of the Advisory Committee; Meeting AGENCY:

    Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries gives notice of a closed teleconference meeting of the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 30, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, 703-414-2173.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations will hold a teleconference meeting on October 30, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be closed to the public.

    The purpose of the meeting is to discuss topics and questions that may be recommended for inclusion on future Joint Board examinations in actuarial mathematics, pension law and methodology referred to in 29 U.S.C. 1242(a)(1)(B).

    A determination has been made as required by section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., that the subject of the meeting falls within the exception to the open meeting requirement set forth in Title 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), and that the public interest requires that such meeting be closed to public participation.

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director, Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25342 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-420F] Established Aggregate Production Quotas for Schedule I and II Controlled Substances and Assessment of Annual Needs for the List I Chemicals Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine for 2016 AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    This final order establishes the initial 2016 aggregate production quotas for controlled substances in schedules I and II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the assessment of annual needs for the list I chemicals ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.

    DATES:

    Effective October 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John R. Scherbenske, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, VA 22152, Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Authority

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II. The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

    Section 306 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. 826, requires the Attorney General to determine the total quantity and establish production quotas for each basic class of controlled substance in schedules I and II and for ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine to be manufactured each calendar year to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, for lawful export requirements, and for the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks. This responsibility has been delegated to the Administrator of the DEA through 28 CFR 0.100(b).

    Background

    The 2016 aggregate production quotas and assessment of annual needs represent those quantities of schedule I and II controlled substances and the list I chemicals ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine that may be manufactured in the United States in 2016 to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks. These quotas include imports of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine but do not include imports of controlled substances for use in industrial processes.

    On July 17, 2015, a notice titled, “Proposed Aggregate Production Quotas for Schedule I and II Controlled Substances and Proposed Assessment of Annual Needs for the List I Chemicals Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine for 2016” was published in the Federal Register. 80 FR 42540. This notice proposed the 2016 aggregate production quotas for each basic class of controlled substance listed in schedules I and II and the 2016 assessment of annual needs for the list I chemicals ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. All interested persons were invited to comment on or object to the proposed aggregate production quotas and the proposed assessment of annual needs on or before August 17, 2015.

    Comments Received

    Twenty comments were received from four DEA-registered manufacturers within the published comment period regarding 17 different schedule I and II controlled substances. The DEA did not receive any comments regarding the proposed assessment of annual needs for the list I chemicals ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. Commenters stated that the proposed aggregate production quotas for [1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (THJ-2201), amphetamine (for sale), codeine (for sale), gamma hydroxybutric acid, levorphanol, marihuana, methylphenidate, N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-PINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-FUBINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-CHMINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-PINACA), N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide (acetyl fentanyl), nabilone, oxymorphone (for conversion), oxymorphone (for sale), Quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (5-Flouro-PB-22), and Quinolin-8-yl 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (PB-22) were insufficient to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks.

    Determination of 2016 Aggregate Production Quotas and Assessment of Annual Needs

    In determining the 2016 aggregate production quotas and assessment of annual needs, the DEA has taken into consideration the above comments along with the factors set forth at 21 CFR 1303.11 and 21 CFR 1315.11, in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 826(a), and other relevant factors, including the 2015 manufacturing quotas, current 2015 sales and inventories, anticipated 2016 export requirements, industrial use, additional applications for 2016 quotas, as well as information on research and product development requirements. Based on this information, the DEA has determined that adjustments to the proposed aggregate production quotas for codeine (for sale), hydromorphone, marihuana, methylphenidate, and N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide (acetyl fentanyl) are warranted. This final order reflects those adjustments.

    Regarding [1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (THJ-2201), amphetamine (for sale), gamma hydroxybutric acid, levorphanol, N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-PINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-FUBINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-CHMINACA), N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-PINACA), nabilone, oxymorphone (for conversion), oxymorphone (for sale), Quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (5-Flouro-PB-22), and Quinolin-8-yl 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (PB-22), the DEA has determined that the proposed aggregate production quotas are sufficient to provide for the 2016 estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks. This final order establishes these aggregate production quotas at the same amounts as proposed.

    As described in the previously published notice proposing the 2016 aggregate production quotas and assessment of annual needs, the DEA has specifically considered that inventory allowances granted to individual manufacturers may not always result in the availability of sufficient quantities to maintain an adequate reserve stock pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 826(a), as intended. See 21 CFR 1303.24. This would be concerning if a natural disaster or other unforeseen event resulted in substantial disruption to the amount of controlled substances available to provide for legitimate public need. As such, the DEA has included in all established schedule II aggregate production quotas, and certain schedule I aggregate production quotas, an additional 25% of the estimated medical, scientific, and research needs as part of the amount necessary to ensure the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks. The established aggregate production quotas will reflect these included amounts. This action will not affect the ability of manufacturers to maintain inventory allowances as specified by regulation. The DEA expects that maintaining this reserve in certain established aggregate production quotas will mitigate adverse public effects if an unforeseen event results in the substantial disruption to the amount of controlled substances available to provide for legitimate public need, as determined by the DEA. The DEA does not anticipate utilizing the reserve in the absence of these circumstances.

    In accordance with 21 U.S.C. 826, 21 CFR 1303.11, and 21 CFR 1315.11, the Administrator hereby establishes the 2016 aggregate production quotas for the following schedule I and II controlled substances and the 2016 assessment of annual needs for the list I chemicals ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine, expressed in grams of anhydrous acid or base, as follows:

    Basic class Established 2016 quotas (g) Schedule I (1-Pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl)(2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone (UR-144) 25 [1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazol-3-yl](naphthalen-1-yl)methanone (THJ-2201) 15 [1-(5-Fluoro-pentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl](2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl)methanone (XLR11) 25 1-(1,3-Benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)butan-1-one (butylone) 25 1-(1,3-Benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-(methylamino)pentan-1-one (pentylone) 25 1-(1-Phenylcyclohexyl)pyrrolidine 10 1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (AM2201) 45 1-(5-Fluoropentyl)-3-(2-iodobenzoyl)indole (AM694) 45 1-[1-(2-Thienyl)cyclohexyl]piperidine 15 1-[2-(4-Morpholinyl)ethyl]-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-200) 45 1-Butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-073) 45 1-Cyclohexylethyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (SR-18 and RCS-8) 45 1-Hexyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-019) 45 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-4-propionoxypiperidine 2 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-018 and AM678) 45 1-Pentyl-3-(2-chlorophenylacetyl)indole (JWH-203) 45 1-Pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (JWH-250) 45 1-Pentyl-3-(4-chloro-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-398) 45 1-Pentyl-3-(4-methyl-1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-122) 45 1-Pentyl-3-[(4-methoxy)-benzoyl]indole (SR-19, RCS-4) 45 1-Pentyl-3-[1-(4-methoxynaphthoyl)]indole (JWH-081) 45 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-E) 30 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-D) 30 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-nitro-phenyl)ethanamine (2C-N) 30 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-n-propylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-P) 30 2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-H) 30 2-(4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe; 2C-B-NBOMe; 25B; Cimbi-36) 25 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-C) 30 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe; 2C-C-NBOMe; 25C; Cimbi-82) 25 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-I) 30 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe; 2C-I-NBOMe; 25I; Cimbi-5) 15 2-(Methylamino)-1-phenylpentan-1-one (pentedrone) 25 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylamphetamine (DOET) 25 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-n-propylthiophenethylamine 25 2,5-Dimethoxyamphetamine 25 2-[4-(Ethylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-2) 30 2-[4-(Isopropylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-4) 30 3,4,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine 25 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) 55 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) 50 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA) 40 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone (methylone) 50 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) 35 3-Fluoro-N-methylcathinone (3-FMC) 25 3-Methylfentanyl 2 3-Methylthiofentanyl 2 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (DOB) 25 4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2-CB) 25 4-Fluoro-N-methylcathinone (4-FMC) 25 4-Methoxyamphetamine 150 4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (DOM) 25 4-Methylaminorex 25 4-Methyl-N-ethylcathinone (4-MEC) 25 4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) 45 4-Methyl-α-pyrrolidinopropiophenone (4-MePPP) 25 5-(1,1-Dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol 68 5-(1,1-Dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol or CP-47,497 C8-homolog) 53 5-Methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine 25 5-Methoxy-N,N-diisopropyltryptamine 25 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine 25 Acetyl-alpha-methylfentanyl 2 Acetyldihydrocodeine 2 Acetylmethadol 2 Allylprodine 2 Alphacetylmethadol 2 alpha-Ethyltryptamine 25 Alphameprodine 2 Alphamethadol 2 alpha-Methylfentanyl 2 alpha-Methylthiofentanyl 2 alpha-Methyltryptamine (AMT) 25 alpha-Pyrrolidinobutiophenone (α-PBP) 25 alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP) 25 Aminorex 25 Benzylmorphine 2 Betacetylmethadol 2 beta-Hydroxy-3-methylfentanyl 2 beta-Hydroxyfentanyl 2 Betameprodine 2 Betamethadol 4 Betaprodine 2 Bufotenine 3 Cathinone 70 Codeine methylbromide 5 Codeine-N-oxide 305 Desomorphine 25 Diethyltryptamine 25 Difenoxin 11,000 Dihydromorphine 3,000,000 Dimethyltryptamine 35 Dipipanone 5 Fenethylline 5 gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid 70,250,000 Heroin 50 Hydromorphinol 2 Hydroxypethidine 2 Ibogaine 5 Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) 40 Marihuana 658,000 Mescaline 25 Methaqualone 10 Methcathinone 25 Methyldesorphine 5 Methyldihydromorphine 2 Morphine methylbromide 5 Morphine methylsulfonate 5 Morphine-N-oxide 350 N-(1-Adamantyl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AKB48) 25 N-(1-Amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-PINACA) 50 N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(4-fluorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-FUBINACA) 50 N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-CHMINACA) 15 N-(1-Amino-3-methyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (AB-PINACA) 15 N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylacetamide (acetyl fentanyl) 100 N,N-Dimethylamphetamine 25 Naphthylpyrovalerone (naphyrone) 25 N-Benzylpiperazine 25 N-Ethyl-1-phenylcyclohexylamine 5 N-Ethylamphetamine 24 N-Hydroxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine 24 Noracymethadol 2 Norlevorphanol 52 Normethadone 2 Normorphine 40 Para-fluorofentanyl 5 Parahexyl 5 Phenomorphan 2 Pholcodine 5 Psilocybin 30 Psilocyn 50 Quinolin-8-yl 1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (5-fluoro-PB-22; 5F-PB-22) 50 Quinolin-8-yl 1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxylate (PB-22; QUPIC) 50 Tetrahydrocannabinols 511,250 Thiofentanyl 2 Tilidine 25 Trimeperidine 2 Schedule II 1-Phenylcyclohexylamine 5 1-Piperidinocyclohexanecarbonitrile 5 4-Anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) 2,950,000 Alfentanil 17,750 Alphaprodine 3 Amobarbital 25,125 Amphetamine (for conversion) 15,000,000 Amphetamine (for sale) 39,705,000 Carfentanil 19 Cocaine 200,000 Codeine (for conversion) 50,000,000 Codeine (for sale) 63,900,000 Dextropropoxyphene 45 Dihydrocodeine 226,375 Dihydroetorphine 3 Diphenoxylate (for conversion) 31,250 Diphenoxylate (for sale) 1,337,500 Ecgonine 125,000 Ethylmorphine 3 Etorphine hydrochloride 3 Fentanyl 2,300,000 Glutethimide 3 Hydrocodone (for conversion) 235,000 Hydrocodone (for sale) 88,500,000 Hydromorphone 8,250,000 Isomethadone 5 Levo-alphacetylmethadol (LAAM) 4 Levomethorphan 30 Levorphanol 7,125 Lisdexamfetamine 29,750,000 Meperidine 5,450,000 Meperidine Intermediate-A 6 Meperidine Intermediate-B 11 Meperidine Intermediate-C 6 Metazocine 19 Methadone (for sale) 31,875,000 Methadone Intermediate 34,375,000 Methamphetamine 2,061,375 [1,250,000 grams of levo-desoxyephedrine for use in a non-controlled, non-prescription product; 750,000 grams for methamphetamine mostly for conversion to a schedule III product; and 61,375 grams for methamphetamine (for sale)] Methylphenidate 96,750,000 Morphine (for conversion) 91,250,000 Morphine (for sale) 62,500,000 Nabilone 18,750 Noroxymorphone (for conversion) 17,500,000 Noroxymorphone (for sale) 1,475,000 Opium (powder) 112,500 Opium (tincture) 687,500 Oripavine 30,000,000 Oxycodone (for conversion) 6,250,000 Oxycodone (for sale) 139,150,000 Oxymorphone (for conversion) 29,000,000 Oxymorphone (for sale) 7,750,000 Pentobarbital 38,125,000 Phenazocine 6 Phencyclidine 50 Phenmetrazine 3 Phenylacetone 50 Racemethorphan 3 Racemorphan 3 Remifentanil 3,750 Secobarbital 215,003 Sufentanil 6,255 Tapentadol 25,500,000 Thebaine 125,000,000 List I Chemicals Ephedrine (for conversion) 100,000 Ephedrine (for sale) 4,000,000 Phenylpropanolamine (for conversion) 22,400,000 Phenylpropanolamine (for sale) 8,500,000 Pseudoephedrine (for conversion) 7,000 Pseudoephedrine (for sale) 224,500,000

    The Administrator also establishes aggregate production quotas for all other schedule I and II controlled substances included in 21 CFR 1308.11 and 1308.12 at zero. In accordance with 21 CFR 1303.13 and 21 CFR 1315.13, upon consideration of the relevant factors, the Administrator may adjust the 2016 aggregate production quotas and assessment of annual needs as needed.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25373 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Foreign Claims Settlement Commission [F.C.S.C. Meeting and Hearing Notice No. 09-15] Sunshine Act Meeting

    The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, pursuant to its regulations (45 CFR 503.25) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b), hereby gives notice in regard to the scheduling of open meetings as follows:

    Thursday, October 15, 2015: 10 a.m.—Issuance of Proposed Decisions in claims against Libya.

    Status: Open

    All meetings are held at the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Washington, DC. Requests for information, or advance notices of intention to observe an open meeting, may be directed to: Patricia M. Hall, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Suite 6002, Washington, DC 20579. Telephone: (202) 616-6975.

    Brian M. Simkin, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25500 Filed 10-2-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4410-BA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air Act

    On September 29, 2015, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in the lawsuit entitled United States v. Guardian Industries Corp., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-13426.

    The United States filed this lawsuit under the Clean Air Act. The complaint seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements at eight float glass manufacturing furnaces owned and operated by the defendant, Guardian Industries Corp., in Kingsburg, California; DeWitt, Iowa; Carleton, Michigan; Geneva, New York; Floreffe, Pennsylvania; Richburg, South Carolina; and Corsicana, Texas. The consent decree requires the defendant to perform injunctive relief, which includes complying with emission limitations that are comprised of numerical or work practice standards that together apply continuously at all times. The defendant will also pay a $312,000 civil penalty and perform a $150,000 wood burning appliance replacement mitigation project in the San Joaquin Valley area in California.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the proposed consent decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. Guardian Industries Corp., D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-11128. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected]. By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the proposed consent decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the proposed consent decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to:

    Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $24.25 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. For a paper copy without the exhibits and signature pages, the cost is $19.50.

    Maureen M. Katz, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25339 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 179th Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to the authority contained in Section 512 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1142, the 179th open meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on November 3-4, 2015.

    The meeting will take place in C5320 Room 6, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210 on November 3, from 1 p.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m. On November 4, the meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at approximately 4:00 p.m., with a break for lunch. The morning session on November 4 will be in C5320 Room 6. The afternoon session on November 4 will take place in Room S-2508 at the same address. The purpose of the open meeting on November 3 and the morning of November 4 is for the Advisory Council members to finalize the recommendations they will present to the Secretary. At the November 4 afternoon session, the Council members will receive an update from the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and present their recommendations.

    The Council recommendations will be on the following issues: (1) Model Notices and Plan Sponsor Education on Lifetime Plan Participation and (2) Model Notices and Disclosures for Pension Risk Transfers. Descriptions of these topics are available on the Advisory Council page of the EBSA Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/aboutebsa/erisa_advisory_council.html.

    Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by submitting 30 copies on or before October 27, 2015 to Larry Good, Executive Secretary, ERISA Advisory Council, U.S. Department of Labor, Suite N-5623, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Statements also may be submitted as email attachments in rich text, Word, or pdf format transmitted to [email protected] It is requested that statements not be included in the body of an email. Statements deemed relevant by the Advisory Council and received on or before October 27 will be included in the record of the meeting and will be available by contacting the EBSA Public Disclosure Room. Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed.

    Individuals or representatives of organizations wishing to address the Advisory Council should forward their requests to the Executive Secretary or telephone (202) 693-8668. Oral presentations will be limited to ten minutes, time permitting, but an extended statement may be submitted for the record. Individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Executive Secretary by October 27, 2015 at the address indicated.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 30th day of September, 2015. Judy Mares, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25428 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-29-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Labor Surplus Area Classification Under Executive Orders 12073 and 10582 AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this notice is to announce the annual list of labor surplus areas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The annual list of labor surplus areas is effective October 1, 2015, for all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Samuel Wright, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room C-4514, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-2870 (This is not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Labor's regulations implementing Executive Orders 12073 and 10582 are set forth at 20 CFR part 654, subpart A. These regulations require the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to classify jurisdictions as labor surplus areas pursuant to the criteria specified in the regulations, and to publish annually a list of labor surplus areas. Pursuant to those regulations, ETA is hereby publishing the annual list of labor surplus areas. In addition, the regulations provide exceptional circumstance criteria for classifying labor surplus areas when catastrophic events, such as natural disasters, plant closings, and contract cancellations are expected to have a long-term impact on labor market area conditions, discounting temporary or seasonal factors.

    Eligible Labor Surplus Areas

    A Labor Surplus Area (LSA) is a civil jurisdiction that has a civilian average annual unemployment rate during the previous two calendar years of 20 percent or more above the average annual civilian unemployment rate for all states during the same 24-month reference period. ETA uses only official unemployment estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in making these classifications. The average unemployment rate for all states includes data for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. LSA classification criteria stipulate a civil jurisdiction must have a “floor unemployment rate” of 6.0% or higher to be classified a LSA. Any civil jurisdiction that has a “ceiling unemployment rate” of 10% or higher is classified a LSA.

    Civil jurisdictions are defined as follows:

    1. A city of at least 25,000 population on the basis of the most recently available estimates from the Bureau of the Census; or

    2. A town or township in the States of Michigan, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania of 25,000 or more population and which possess powers and functions similar to those of cities.

    3. All counties, except for the following:

    (a) those counties which contain any type of civil jurisdictions defined in “1” or “2” above,

    (b) a county in the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

    4. A “balance of county” consisting of a county less any component cities and townships identified in “1” or “2” above; or

    5. A county equivalent which is a town in the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, or a municipio in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Procedures for Classifying Labor Surplus Areas

    The Department of Labor (DOL) issues the LSA list on a fiscal year basis. The list becomes effective each October 1, and remains in effect through the following September 30. The reference period used in preparing the current list was January 2013 through December 2014. The national average unemployment rate (including Puerto Rico) during this period was rounded to 6.82 percent. Twenty percent higher than the national unemployment rate is 8.18 percent. Therefore, areas included on the FY 2016 LSA list had a rounded unemployment rate for the reference period of 8.18 percent or higher. To ensure that all areas classified as labor surplus meet the requirements, when a city is part of a county and meets the unemployment qualifier as a LSA, that city is identified in the LSA list, the balance of county, not the entire county, will be identified as LSAs if the balance of county also meets the LSA unemployment criteria. The FY 2016 LSA list, statistical data on the current and some previous year's LSAs, and the list of LSAs in Puerto Rico are available at ETA's LSA Web site http://www.doleta.gov/programs/lsa.cfm.

    Petition for Exceptional Circumstance Consideration

    The classification procedures also provide criteria for the designation of LSAs under exceptional circumstances criteria. These procedures permit the regular classification criteria to be waived when an area experiences a significant increase in unemployment which is not temporary or seasonal and which was not reflected in the data for the 2-year reference period. Under the program's exceptional circumstance procedures, LSA classifications can be made for civil jurisdictions, Metropolitan Statistical Areas or Combined Statistical Areas, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. In order for an area to be classified as a LSA under the exceptional circumstance criteria, the state workforce agency must submit a petition requesting such classification to the Department of Labor's ETA. The current criteria for an exceptional circumstance classification are,

    (1) an area's unemployment rate is at least 8.18 percent for each of the three most recent months;

    (2) a projected unemployment rate of at least 8.18 percent for each of the next 12 months; and

    (3) documentation that the exceptional circumstance event has occurred. The state workforce agency may file petitions on behalf of civil jurisdictions, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

    The addresses of state workforce agencies are available on the ETA Web site at: http://www.doleta.gov/programs/lsa.cfm and https://winwin.workforce3one.org/view/Labor_Surplus_Area_List_Issued/info. State Workforce Agencies may submit petitions in electronic format to [email protected], or in hard copy to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Investment, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room C-4514, Washington, DC 20210, Attention Samuel Wright. Data collection for the petition is approved under OMB 1205-0207, expiration date March 31, 2016.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25311 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Demonstration and Evaluation of Community College Interventions for Youth and Young Adults With Disabilities AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that required data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

    A copy of the proposed Information Collection Request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addressee section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee section below on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either one of the following methods: Email: [email protected]; Mail or Courier: Celeste Richie, Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-2218, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Instructions: Please submit one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions received must include the agency name and OMB Control Number identified above for this information collection. Because we continue to experience delays in receiving mail in the Washington, DC area, commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments electronically via email or to submit them by mail early. Comments, including any personal information provided, become a matter of public record. They will also be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Celeste Richie by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background: In June 2014, ODEP announced the availability of funds for two cooperative agreements to conduct pilot projects to research, develop, test and, in coordination with DOL, evaluate innovative systems models for providing inclusive integrated education and career development services to youth and young adults with disabilities. In September of 2014, ODEP competitively selected Onondaga Community College and Pellissippi State Community College for the Pathways to Careers Grant Program. The program models are designed to (1) increase credential and job attainment of students with disabilities, (2) increase their job placement, and (3) decrease the wage earning differential between students with and without disabilities, and between students with different types of disabilities.

    The grantees are expected to design approaches that work to shift practice and policy across the institution. This involves transforming the entire college's approach for providing services, as opposed to a single division, and enlisting support from and engagement of administrators, deans, department chairs, faculty, student services, and other divisions that have a role in ensuring students' success. It is expected that grantees will leverage their partnerships and relationships with national affiliates, association members or business organizations, and a variety of other entities including the public workforce system. Grantees are also required to capture and use data to assess and manage their program performance, and to participate in an independent evaluation.

    ODEP has oversight responsibility for the Pathways to Careers Grant Program. The Chief Evaluation Office of DOL is conducting the evaluation of the Pathways to Careers Grant Program. The evaluation consists of an implementation study and a descriptive outcomes study. The implementation study will document the institutional change at the two colleges; assess the fidelity of the implemented programs to the intended program model; assess the models for replicability and scalability; and determine the extent to which the grantees used Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and the Guideposts for Success in the development and operation of their programs. The outcomes study will document PTC participant outcomes, examine the extent to which the grantees meet target goals, and conduct predictive analyses to identify participant characteristics associated with particular outcomes.

    The evaluation will involve the collection of data through in-depth interviews of community college administrators, faculty and staff and partner organizations; focus groups of faculty and students with disabilities who participate in the Pathways to Careers Grant Program; and web-based surveys with telephone follow-up for student participants. The interviews with college administrators, faculty and staff will provide information on how the program interventions were implemented, challenges to implementation, and promising practices. Interviews will focus on program design, strengths and weaknesses of infrastructure and logistics, clarity of communication, effectiveness of enrollment, intake, and orientation, impressions of program delivery, and access to support services.

    Focus groups with Pathways to Careers participants will collect information about career planning activity engagement, perceptions of the availability of career planning supports, satisfaction with and perceived importance of career planning, and the extent to which personal challenges influence this process and career choices. Focus groups with faculty who teach the career tracks of the Pathways to Careers program will focus on initial experience and perspectives, and availability of and involvement in professional development.

    The survey will collect information from Pathways to Careers participants about their college experience, self-advocacy and self-determination, and employment and earnings during and after college. The survey will provide data to assess short-term and longer-term outcomes associated with student participation in the Pathways to Careers program.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments: Currently, the Department of Labor is soliciting comments concerning the above data collection as part of the evaluation of the Pathways to Careers Grant Program. Comments are requested to:

    * Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    * evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    * enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    * minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions: At this time, the Department of Labor is requesting clearance for data collection for the evaluation of the Pathways to Careers Grant Program via in-depth interviews with community college administrators, faculty, staff, and partner organizations of the program; focus groups with faculty and students with disabilities who participate in the Pathways to Careers Grant Program; and an online survey with telephone follow-up for student participants.

    Type of review: New information collection request.

    OMB Control Number: XXXX—0NEW

    Affected Public: Community colleges (participating in the Pathways to Careers Grant Program); private sector-businesses or other for profits and not for profit institutions (partners organizations involved with the Pathways to Careers Grant Program); students with disabilities (participating in the Pathways to Careers Grant Program at the two colleges).

    Estimated Burden Hours Form/activity Estimated total
  • respondents
  • Frequency Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • time per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Estimated total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Participant survey 150 (enrolled in 2015-2016 school year) Three times 450 0.5 225 200 (enrolled in 2016-2017 school year) Two times 400 0.5 200 In-depth interviews 28 Three times 84 1.0 84 Faculty focus groups 16 Two times 32 1.0 32 Student focus groups 32 Two times 64 1.0 64 Totals 426 1,030 605

    Comments submitted in response to this request will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed: at Washington, DC, this 17th day of September 2015. Mary Beth Maxwell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25429 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-HX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2006-0042] Canadian Standards Association: Application for Expansion of Recognition AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, OSHA announces the application of Canadian Standards Association for expansion of its recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and presents the Agency's preliminary finding to grant the application.

    DATES:

    Submit comments, information, and documents in response to this notice, or requests for an extension of time to make a submission, on or before October 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments by any of the following methods:

    1. Electronically: Submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions.

    2. Facsimile: If submissions, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, commenters may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    3. Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) service: Submit comments, requests, and any attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2006-0042, Technical Data Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2350 (TTY number: (877) 889-5627). Note that security procedures may result in significant delays in receiving comments and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning delivery of materials by express mail, hand delivery, or messenger service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.

    4. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2006-0042). OSHA places comments and other materials, including any personal information, in the public docket without revision, and these materials will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements they do not want made available to the public, or submitting comments that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and medical data.

    5. Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.

    6. Extension of comment period: Submit requests for an extension of the comment period on or before October 21, 2015 to the Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210, or by fax to (202) 693-1644.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information regarding this notice is available from the following sources:

    Press inquiries: Contact Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: [email protected].

    General and technical information: Contact Mr. Kevin Robinson, Director, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; phone: (202) 693-2110 or email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Notice of the Application for Expansion

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is providing notice that Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is applying for expansion of its current recognition as an NRTL. CSA requests the addition of two test standards to its NRTL scope of recognition.

    OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization meets the requirements specified in 29 CFR 1910.7. Recognition is an acknowledgment that the organization can perform independent safety testing and certification of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition. Each NRTL's scope of recognition includes (1) the type of products the NRTL may test, with each type specified by its applicable test standard; and (2) the recognized site(s) that has/have the technical capability to perform the product-testing and product-certification activities for test standards within the NRTL's scope. Recognition is not a delegation or grant of government authority; however, recognition enables employers to use products approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require product testing and certification.

    The Agency processes applications by an NRTL for initial recognition and for an expansion or renewal of this recognition, following requirements in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. This appendix requires that the Agency publish two notices in the Federal Register in processing an application. In the first notice, OSHA announces the application and provides its preliminary finding. In the second notice, the Agency provides its final decision on the application. These notices set forth the NRTL's scope of recognition or modifications of that scope. OSHA maintains an informational Web page for each NRTL, including CSA, which details the NRTL's scope of recognition. These pages are available from the OSHA Web site at http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.

    CSA currently has six facilities (sites) recognized by OSHA for product testing and certification, with its headquarters located at: 178 Rexdale Boulevard, Etobicoke, Ontario, M9W 1R3, Canada. A complete list of CSA's scope of recognition is available at https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/csa.html.

    II. General Background on the Application

    CSA submitted an application, dated January 29, 2015 (Exhibit 15-1 Application for Expansion of Recognition, OSHA-2006-0042), to expand its recognition to include two additional test standards. OSHA staff performed detailed analysis of the application packet and reviewed other pertinent information. OSHA did not perform any on-site reviews in relation to this application.

    Table 1 below lists the appropriate test standards found in CSA's application for expansion for testing and certification of products under the NRTL Program.

    Table 1—Proposed List Appropriate Test Standards for Inclusion in CSA's NRTL Scope of Recognition Test standard Test standard title UL 1004-1 Standard for Rotating Electrical Machines—General Requirements. AAMI ES 60601-1: 2005/(R) 2012 Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 1: General Requirements for Basic Safety and Essential Performance. III. Preliminary Findings on the Application

    CSA submitted an acceptable application for expansion of its scope of recognition. OSHA's review of the application file and pertinent documentation indicate that CSA can meet the requirements prescribed by 29 CFR 1910.7 for expanding its recognition to include the addition of these two test standards for NRTL testing and certification listed above. This preliminary finding does not constitute an interim or temporary approval of CSA's application.

    OSHA welcomes public comment as to whether CSA meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for expansion of its recognition as an NRTL. Comments should consist of pertinent written documents and exhibits. Commenters needing more time to comment must submit a request in writing, stating the reasons for the request. Commenters must submit the written request for an extension by the due date for comments. OSHA will limit any extension to 10 days unless the requester justifies a longer period. OSHA may deny a request for an extension if the request is not adequately justified. To obtain or review copies of the exhibits identified in this notice, as well as comments submitted to the docket, contact the Docket Office, Room N-2625, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, at the above address. These materials also are available online at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. OSHA-2006-0042.

    OSHA staff will review all comments to the docket submitted in a timely manner and, after addressing the issues raised by these comments, will recommend to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health whether to grant CSA's application for expansion of its scope of recognition. The Assistant Secretary will make the final decision on granting the application. In making this decision, the Assistant Secretary may undertake other proceedings prescribed in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7.

    OSHA will publish a public notice of its final decision in the Federal Register.

    IV. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 657(g)(2), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR 1910.7.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on October 1, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25401 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice (15-068)] Privacy Act of 1974; Privacy Act System of Records AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed revisions to existing Privacy Act systems of records Appendix.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is issuing public notice of its proposal to update its standard Appendix A applicable to all NASA Systems of Records, as set forth below under the caption SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    Submit comments within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. The changes will take effect at the end of that period, if no adverse comments are received.

    ADDRESSES:

    Patti F. Stockman, Privacy Act Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001, (202) 358-4787, [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    NASA Privacy Act Officer, Patti F. Stockman, (202) 358-4787, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This system notice changes the name of Location 3 of Appendix A used with NASA systems of records.

    Renee P. Wynn, NASA Chief Information Officer. Appendix A Location Numbers and Mailing Addresses of NASA Installations at Which Records Are Located Location 1. NASA Headquarters, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington, DC 20546-0001 Location 2. Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000 Location 3. Armstrong Flight Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, PO Box 273, Edwards, CA 93523-0273 Location 4. Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD 20771-0001 Location 5. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, TX 77058-3696 Location 6. John F. Kennedy Space Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899-0001 Location 7. Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA 23681-2199 Location 8. John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135-3191 Location 9. George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812-0001 Location 10. HQ NASA Management Office-JPL, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 Location 11. John C. Stennis Space Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000 Location 12. JSC White Sands Test Facility, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, PO Drawer MM, Las Cruces, NM 88004-0020 Location 13. GRC Plum Brook Station, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Sandusky, OH 44870 Location 14. MSFC Michoud Assembly Facility, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, PO Box 29300, New Orleans, LA 70189 Location 15. NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility (NASA IV&V), 100 University Drive, Fairmont, WV 26554 Location 16. New Jersey Post of Duty, 402 East State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608 Location 17. Western Field Office, Glenn Anderson Federal Building, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802-4222 Location 18. NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC), Building 5100, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000 Location 19. NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA 23337
    [FR Doc. 2015-25358 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice (15-087)] Privacy Act of 1974; Privacy Act System of Records AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of the retirement of Privacy Act systems of records notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, NASA is giving notice that it proposes to cancel the following Privacy Act systems of records, NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program (October 17, 2011, 76 FR 64115) and Government Motor Vehicle Operators Permit Records. (September 30, 2009, 74 FR 50250).

    DATES:

    Submit comments within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. The changes will take effect at the end of that period, if no adverse comments are received.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patti F. Stockman, Privacy Act Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001, (202) 358-4787, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and as part of its biennial System of Records review efforts, NASA is cancelling two of its systems of records:

    NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program (October 17, 2011, 76 FR 64115) because all information contained in these records is now covered under NASA's recently revised system of records NASA 10EDUA, NASA Education Records (March 17, 2015, 80 FR 13899).

    Government Motor Vehicle Operators Permit Records. (09-085, September 30, 2009, 74 FR 50250) is cancelled because the Agency no longer maintains record described therein.

    Renee P. Wynn, NASA Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25357 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION [NARA-2015-065] National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee (NISPPAC); Meeting AGENCY:

    Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app 2) and implementing regulation 41 CFR 101-6, NARA announces an upcoming committee meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be on November 18, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Archivist's Reception Room (Room 105), Washington, DC 20408.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Tringali, Program Analyst, by mail at ISOO, National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20408, by telephone at 202-357-5335, or by email at [email protected], or you may contact the NISPPAC at [email protected] Submit names of attendees to ISOO at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss National Industrial Security Program policy matters. The meeting will be open to the public. However, due to space limitations and access procedures, you must submit the name and telephone number of individuals planning to attend to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) no later than Friday, November 13, 2015. ISOO will provide additional instructions for accessing the meeting's location.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Patrice Little Murray, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25379 Filed 10-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (25150).

    Date and Time:

    November 5, 2015-9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. November 6, 2015-8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

    Place: National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 1235, Arlington, VA 22230.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Contact Person: Amy Friedlan