Federal Register Vol. 80, No.199,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 199 (October 15, 2015)

Page Range61975-62427
FR Document

80_FR_199
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 62111 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection; Comments Requested Research To Support the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)PDF
80 FR 62113 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 62111 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 62093 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Tucson, AZPDF
80 FR 62094 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62014 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 62105 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62099 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62103 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62107 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 61985 - Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2016 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl BromidePDF
80 FR 62114 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 62069 - Registration Review Interim Decisions; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 61996 - Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Open Meetings for the Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps (DPPP) Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation StandardsPDF
80 FR 62098 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Thomas Burke Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 62102 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62012 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's Quality Control Review Schedule Form FNS 380-1PDF
80 FR 62109 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Pejepscot Historical Society, Brunswick, MEPDF
80 FR 62053 - Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related ServicesPDF
80 FR 62105 - Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: City of Bellingham/Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WAPDF
80 FR 62013 - Fremont-Winema National Forest; Chiloquin Ranger District; Oregon: Lobert Restoration Project Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 62097 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 62096 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62100 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIPDF
80 FR 62079 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0040PDF
80 FR 62111 - Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker HealthPDF
80 FR 62026 - Certain High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014PDF
80 FR 62016 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Canada: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 62023 - Heavy Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
80 FR 62086 - Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection to OMB; Emergency Comment Request Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection: Connect Home Baseline Survey Data CollectionPDF
80 FR 62027 - Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 61975 - Final Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards; AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus GyroplanePDF
80 FR 62075 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 62075 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 62089 - Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
80 FR 62018 - Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 62024 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 62019 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 62029 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 62021 - Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From the Sultanate of Oman: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 62028 - Purified Carboxymethylcellulose From the Netherlands: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Revocation of the Antidumping Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 62021 - Silicomanganese from Venezuela: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 61993 - NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation SupplementPDF
80 FR 62171 - Non-VA Care Core Provider NetworkPDF
80 FR 62044 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice That Vendor Will Provide 2016 Cage TagsPDF
80 FR 62074 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
80 FR 61993 - Designation of Health Professional(s) Shortage AreasPDF
80 FR 62161 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 62171 - Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 62116 - Security Exemptions/License Amendment Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power PlantsPDF
80 FR 62077 - Announcement of Solicitation of Written Comments on Modifications of Healthy People 2020 ObjectivesPDF
80 FR 62155 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 62163 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 61981 - Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Paying BenefitsPDF
80 FR 62091 - Proposed Information Collection; Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated FormsPDF
80 FR 62047 - Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 62044 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 62073 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission of Renewals for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0090, -0111, -0136, -0138 & -0171)PDF
80 FR 62076 - Membership of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Performance Review BoardPDF
80 FR 62071 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Risk Management Program Requirements and Petitions To Modify the List of Regulated Substances (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 62079 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 61994 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Available for the Commonwealth of MassachusettsPDF
80 FR 62032 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Pier Replacement ProjectPDF
80 FR 62008 - Finding for a Petition To Exclude Federally-Maintained Dredged Port Channels From New York to Jacksonville From Vessel Speed Restrictions Designed To Reduce Vessel Collisions With North Atlantic Right WhalesPDF
80 FR 62072 - FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN); Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 62046 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive License; Envoy Flight Systems, Inc.PDF
80 FR 62046 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 62085 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special BondPDF
80 FR 62082 - Modification of the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) Regarding Future Updates and New Method of Submission of Accepted DocumentsPDF
80 FR 62169 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FREEDOM; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 62167 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel WAVELENGTH; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 62168 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SUNDOG; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 62166 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FROG PRINTS; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 62169 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SURLY MERMAID; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 62167 - Agency Requests for Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection(s): Maritime Administration (MARAD) Jones Act Vessel Availability DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 62120 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 62120 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 62012 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 62170 - Advisory Committee to the Internal Revenue Service; MeetingPDF
80 FR 62170 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 62171 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 62080 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0108PDF
80 FR 61983 - Safety Zone, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; Oak Island, NCPDF
80 FR 62153 - Application From the State of Ohio to the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program and Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the StatePDF
80 FR 62152 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
80 FR 62155 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
80 FR 62154 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
80 FR 62069 - Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C.; Notice of Informal Settlement ConferencePDF
80 FR 62064 - Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Notice of Public Scoping Meetings for the Planned Alaska LNG ProjectPDF
80 FR 62068 - PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 62065 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed New York Bay Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 62067 - Twin Lakes Canal Company; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project and Intention To Hold Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 62065 - PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Potomac Electric Power Company; Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
80 FR 62111 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
80 FR 62074 - Revocation of License No. 017843, Washington Movers, Inc.; Order To Show CausePDF
80 FR 62075 - Petition of Crowley Caribbean Services, LLC and Crowley Latin America Services, LLC, for an Exemption From Commission Regulations; Notice of Filing and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 62088 - Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Points of Contact To Ensure Payment of Taxes and Homeowners Association Fees and Other Property Charges That Have Not Arisen to Lien Status on FHA Acquired Single Family PropertiesPDF
80 FR 62087 - Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Points of Contact for Lienholders To Ensure Payment of Taxes Liens and Other Types of Liens on FHA Acquired Single Family PropertiesPDF
80 FR 62088 - Redelegation of Authority Within the Office of General CounselPDF
80 FR 62151 - Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
80 FR 62076 - Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 62115 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 61980 - Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Court of Competent Jurisdiction To Foreclose Liens on FHA-Owned PropertiesPDF
80 FR 62137 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications With the Public)PDF
80 FR 62125 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Complex OrdersPDF
80 FR 62139 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Delivery of the Regulatory Element of the Exchange's Continuing Education ProgramPDF
80 FR 62129 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Concerning the Requirement for Clearing Members To Participate in Operation TestingPDF
80 FR 62145 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Sections 902.03, 902.04, 902.05 and 902.06 of the Listed Company Manual To Increase Certain of the Fees Set Forth ThereinPDF
80 FR 62120 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Provide for the Clearance of Additional Western European Sovereign Single NamesPDF
80 FR 62121 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Permit Trades in Eligible Fixed Income Securities Scheduled To Settle on Day After Trade Date To Be Processed for Settlement at National Securities Clearing CorporationPDF
80 FR 62142 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt an Issuer Incentive Program Applicable to Securities Listed on BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 62131 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange ServicesPDF
80 FR 62132 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule on the BOX Market LLC Options FacilityPDF
80 FR 62146 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Adopt a Kill SwitchPDF
80 FR 62123 - Fidelity Management & Research Company and FMR Co., Inc.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 62166 - Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 62166 - Northeast Corridor Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 62045 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 62119 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 62118 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 62015 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 62110 - Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam; Scheduling of Full Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 62079 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 62078 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 62086 - Notice of Maximum Amount of Assistance Under the Individuals and Households ProgramPDF
80 FR 62003 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 62045 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection: Rules Relating to Review of National Futures Association Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial, Registration, and Member Responsibility ActionsPDF
80 FR 62148 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 61997 - DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP)PDF
80 FR 62174 - SES Positions That Were Career Reserved During CY 2014PDF
80 FR 61978 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 61975 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 62390 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Primary Aluminum Reduction PlantsPDF
80 FR 62274 - Open-End Fund Liquidity Risk Management Programs; Swing Pricing; Re-Opening of Comment Period for Investment Company Reporting Modernization ReleasePDF

Issue

80 199 Thursday, October 15, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

Office of Advocacy and Outreach

Chemical Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 62014-62015 2015-26322 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Oak Island, NC, 61983-61985 2015-26193 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62079-62082 2015-26194 2015-26283 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62015-62016 2015-26127
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Rules Relating to Review of National Futures Association Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial, Registration, and Member Responsibility Actions, 62045-62046 2015-26121 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, 61997-62003 2015-25999
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services, 62053-62064 2015-26290 Experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative: Postsecondary Educational Institutions; Invitation to Participate; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs under the Higher Education Act, 62047-62053 2015-26239 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Standards: Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps Working Group, Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee; Open Meetings, 61996 2015-26298
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants, 62390-62427 2015-25137 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: 2016 Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide, 61985-61993 2015-26301 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 62003-62008 2015-26122 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Risk Management Program Requirements and Petitions to Modify the List of Regulated Substances, Renewal, 62071-62072 2015-26231 Registration Review Interim Decisions, 62069-62071 2015-26299 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards: AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus Gyroplane, 61975 2015-26269 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures, 61975-61980 2015-25561 2015-25566 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62073-62074 2015-26237 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, 62072-62073 2015-26224 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Maximum Amount of Assistance Under the Individuals and Households Program, 62086 2015-26123 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC, 62068-62069 2015-26186 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC; New York Bay Expansion Project, 62065-62067 2015-26185 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Twin Lakes Canal Co.; Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project, 62067-62068 2015-26183 Meetings: Alaska Gasline Development Corp., et al.; Alaska LNG Project; Environmental Impact Statement, 62064 2015-26187 Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, LLC; Informal Settlement Conference, 62069 2015-26188 PJM Interconnection, LLC; PJM Interconnection, LLC, and Potomac Electric Power Co.; Technical Conference, 62065 2015-26182 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Applications: Ohio; Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Proposed Memorandum of Understanding Assigning Environmental Responsibilities, 62153-62154 2015-26192 Buy American Waivers, 62152-62155 2015-26189 2015-26190 2015-26191 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 62074-62075 2015-26250 Exemption Petitions: Crowley Caribbean Services, LLC and Crowley Latin America Services, LLC, 62075 2015-26170 Orders to Show Cause: Washington Movers, Inc., 62074 2015-26171 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 62155-62161 2015-26243 Vision, 62161-62165 2015-26242 2015-26248 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Meetings: Northeast Corridor Safety Advisory Committee, 62166 2015-26135 Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, 62166 2015-26136 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 62075-62076 2015-26267 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 62075 2015-26268 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated Forms, 62091-62093 2015-26240 Permit Applications: Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation; Marine Mammals, 62089-62091 2015-26266 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee, 62076-62077 2015-26162 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's Quality Control Review Schedule, 62012-62013 2015-26292 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Lobert Restoration Project, Fremont-Winema National Forest; Chiloquin Ranger District; OR, 62013-62014 2015-26288 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council NOTICES Membership of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Performance Review Board, 62076 2015-26232 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

RULES Designation of Health Professional(s) Shortage Areas; CFR Correction, 61993 2015-26249 NOTICES Modifications of Healthy People 2020 Objectives, 62077-62078 2015-26244
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department RULES Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Court of Competent Jurisdiction to Foreclose Liens on FHA-owned Properties, 61980-61981 2015-26160 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Connect Home Baseline Survey Data Collection, 62086-62087 2015-26271 Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Points of Contact for Lienholders to Ensure Payment of Taxes Liens and Other Types of Liens on FHA Acquired Single Family Properties, 62087-62088 2015-26167 Points of Contact to Ensure Payment of Taxes and Homeowners Association Fees and Other Property Charges That Have Not Arisen to Lien Status on FHA Acquired Single Family Properties, 62088 2015-26169 Redelegations of Authority within the Office of General Counsel, 62088-62089 2015-26165 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62170-62171 2015-26196 2015-26197 Meetings: Advisory Committee to the Internal Revenue Service, 62170-62171 2015-26198 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China; Rescission, 62026-62027 2015-26281 Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Canada, 62016-62018 2015-26278 Glycine from the People's Republic of China, 62027-62028 2015-26270 Heavy Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from the Republic of Turkey, 62023-62024 2015-26274 Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China, 62018-62019 2015-26265 Purified Carboxymethylcellulose from the Netherlands, 62028-62029 2015-26260 Silicomanganese from Venezuela, 62021 2015-26256 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, 62019-62021 2015-26263 Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from India, 62029-62032 2015-26262 Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from the People's Republic of China, 62024-62026 2015-26264 Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from the Sultanate of Oman, 62021-62023 2015-26261 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, 62110-62111 2015-26126 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 62111 2015-26340 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Research to Support the National Crime Victimization Survey, 62111 C1--2015--19907 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 62111 2015-26175 Labor Department Labor Department See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 62113-62114 2015-26368 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Jones Act Vessel Availability Determinations, 62167-62168 2015-26205 Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FREEDOM, 62169-62170 2015-26212 Vessel FROG PRINTS, 62166-62167 2015-26209 Vessel SUNDOG, 62168-62169 2015-26210 Vessel SURLY MERMAID, 62169 2015-26207 Vessel WAVELENGTH, 62167 2015-26211 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements: Technical Amendments, 61993-61994 2015-26255 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 62114-62115 2015-26300 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 62079 2015-26228 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 62079 2015-26125 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 62078-62079 2015-26124 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery: Commercial Quota Available for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 61994-61995 2015-26227 PROPOSED RULES Finding for a Petition to Exclude Federally-Maintained Dredged Port Channels from New York to Jacksonville from Vessel Speed Restrictions Designed to Reduce Vessel Collisions with North Atlantic Right Whale, 62008-62011 2015-26225 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62045 2015-26133 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; 2016 Cage Tags, 62044 2015-26253 Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 62044 2015-26238 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Pier Replacement Project, Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA, 62032-62044 2015-26226 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Pejepscot Historical Society, Brunswick, ME, 62109 2015-26291 Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Tucson, AZ, 62093-62094 2015-26335 Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 62097-62098 2015-26287 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 62094-62097, 62099-62109 2015-26318 2015-26332 2015-26284 2015-26286 2015-26293 2015-26314 2015-26316 2015-26317 Repatriations of Cultural Items: City of Bellingham/Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, 62105 2015-26289 Thomas Burke Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 62098-62099 2015-26296 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62115-62116 2015-26161 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Exclusive Licenses: Envoy Flight Systems, Inc., 62046 2015-26216 Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing, 62046 2015-26215 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Security Exemptions/License Amendment Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants, 62116-62118 2015-26245 Advocacy Outreach Office of Advocacy and Outreach NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62012 2015-26199 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans: Interest Assumptions for Paying Benefits, 61981-61983 2015-26241 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES SES Positions that Were Career Reserved During CY 2014, 62174-62272 2015-25893 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 62118-62120 2015-26129 2015-26130 2015-26131 2015-26132 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service Agreement, 62120 2015-26201 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 62120 2015-26202 2015-26203 2015-26204 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Open-End Fund Liquidity Risk Management Programs; Swing Pricing: Re-Opening of Comment Period for Investment Company Reporting Modernization Release, 62274-62388 2015-24507 NOTICES Applications: Fidelity Management and Research Co. and FMR Co., Inc., 62123-62125 2015-26146 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 62142-62145 2015-26150 BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 62132-62136 2015-26148 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 62125-62129, 62139-62142 2015-26155 2015-26156 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 62137-62139 2015-26157 ICE Clear Credit LLC, 62120-62121 2015-26152 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 62146-62147 2015-26147 National Securities Clearing Corp., 62121-62123 2015-26151 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 62145-62146 2015-26153 NYSE Arca, Inc., 62131-62132 2015-26149 Options Clearing Corp., 62129-62130 2015-26154 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62148-62151 2015-26120 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of Water, 62151-62152 2015-26163 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond, 62085-62086 2015-26214 National Customs Automation Program Test: Automated Commercial Environment Document Image System Regarding Future Updates and New Method of Submission of Accepted Documents, 62082-62085 2015-26213 U.S. Institute United States Institute of Peace NOTICES Meetings: Board of Directors, 62171 2015-26247 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Tribal Consultations: Non-VA Care Core Provider Network, 62171-62172 2015-26254 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES List of Candidates: Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, 62111-62113 2015-26282 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Personnel Management Office, 62174-62272 2015-25893 Part III Securities and Exchange Commission, 62274-62388 2015-24507 Part IV Environmental Protection Agency, 62390-62427 2015-25137 Reader Aids

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

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80 199 Thursday, October 15, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 21 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3031] Final Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards; AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus Gyroplane AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Issuance of final Airworthiness Design Standards.

SUMMARY:

These airworthiness design standards are issued to AutoGyro for certification of the Model Calidus gyroplane under the regulations for primary category aircraft.

DATES:

These airworthiness design standards are effective November 16, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gary Roach, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Any person may obtain a copy of this information by contacting the person named above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Background

The “primary” category for aircraft was created specifically for the simple, low performance personal aircraft. Section 21.17(f) provides a means for applicants to propose airworthiness standards for their particular primary category aircraft. The FAA procedure establishing appropriate airworthiness standards includes reviewing and possibly revising the applicant's proposal, publication of the submittal in the Federal Register for public review and comment, and addressing the comments. After all necessary revisions, the standards are published as approved FAA airworthiness standards.

Comments

Proposed Primary Category Airworthiness Design Standards; AutoGyro USA, LLC (AutoGyro) Model Calidus Gyroplanes was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 2015 (80 FR 43969). One supportive comment was received, and the airworthiness design standards are adopted as proposed.

Applicability

These airworthiness design standards under the primary category rule are applicable to the Autogyro Model Calidus gyroplane. Should Autogyro wish to apply these airworthiness design standards to other gyroplane models, Autogyro must submit a new airworthiness design standard application under the primary rule category.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain airworthiness design standards on the Autogyro Model Calidus gyroplane. It is not a standard of general applicability and it affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the gyroplane.

Citation

The authority citation for these airworthiness standards is as follows:

Authority:

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

Final Airworthiness Standards for Acceptance Under the Primary Category Rule

For Aircraft Certification and the Powerplant Installation:

Section T Light Gyroplanes, of the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (BCAR), Issue 3, dated August 12, 2005.

14 CFR 27.853(a) and (c)(1) Amdt 27-37 Compartment Interior; §§ 23.735(a) through (c) Amdt 23-62 Brakes except that the reference to § 23.75 is replaced with Section T75 of BCAR Section T, Issue 3; §§ 27.735(a) and (c)(1) Amdt 27-21 Brakes; §§ 27.1365(b) and (c) Amdt 27-35 Electrical Cables; and § 27.1561(a) Safety Equipment, as applicable to these aircraft.

For Engine Assembly Certification:

ASTM F2339-06 (2009), “Standard Practice for Design and Manufacture of Reciprocating Spark Ignition Engines for Light Sport Aircraft,” except paragraph A1.1.3.

For Propeller Certification:

Section T Light Gyroplanes, of the BCAR, Issue 3, dated August 12, 2005; ASTM F2506-10 (2009), “Standard Specification for Design and Testing of Fixed-Pitch or Ground Adjustable Light Sport Aircraft Propellers,” paragraph 5.5 Propeller Strength and Endurance and Section 6 Tests and Inspections.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 8, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-26269 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31038; Amdt. No. 3662] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 15, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 15, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matter incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001;

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. 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.

Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center online at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420) Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) by amending the referenced SIAPs. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP is listed on the appropriate FAA Form 8260, as modified by the National Flight Data Center (NFDC)/Permanent Notice to Airmen (P-NOTAM), and is incorporated by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR 97.20. The large number of SIAPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make their verbatim publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, but refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP contained on FAA form documents is unnecessary.

This amendment provides the affected CFRs, and specifies the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPs as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as amended in the transmittal. For safety and timeliness of change considerations, this amendment incorporates only specific changes contained for each SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP as modified by FDC permanent NOTAMs.

The SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, as modified by FDC permanent NOTAM, and contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these changes to SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied only to specific conditions existing at the affected airports. All SIAP amendments in this rule have been previously issued by the FAA in a FDC NOTAM as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for these SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments require making them effective in less than 30 days.

Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), good cause exists for making these SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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. For the same reason, the FAA certifies that this amendment will 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 97

Air traffic control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal regulations, Part 97, (14 CFR part 97), is amended by amending Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows:
§§ 97.23, 97.25, 97.27, 97.29, 97.31, 97.33, 97.35 [Amended]

By amending: § 97.23 VOR, VOR/DME, VOR or TACAN, and VOR/DME or TACAN; § 97.25 LOC, LOC/DME, LDA, LDA/DME, SDF, SDF/DME; § 97.27 NDB, NDB/DME; § 97.29 ILS, ILS/DME, MLS, MLS/DME, MLS/RNAV; § 97.31 RADAR SIAPs; § 97.33 RNAV SIAPs; and § 97.35 COPTER SIAPs, Identified as follows:

EFFECTIVE UPON PUBLICATION

* * *

AIRAC Date State City Airport FDC No. FDC Date Subject 15-Oct-15 OH Bluffton Bluffton 5/1402 08/31/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 1. 15-Oct-15 ND Minot Minot Intl 5/1800 9/1/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Orig. 15-Oct-15 OK Sallisaw Sallisaw Muni 5/2106 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig. 15-Oct-15 MN Paynesville Paynesville Muni 5/2266 9/1/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 MN Paynesville Paynesville Muni 5/2267 9/1/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 GA Baxley Baxley Muni 5/3147 9/2/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 GA Baxley Baxley Muni 5/3149 9/2/2015 NDB RWY 8, Amdt 2A. 15-Oct-15 GA Baxley Baxley Muni 5/3150 9/2/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 SC Beaufort Beaufort County 5/3154 9/2/2015 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 MI Niles Jerry Tyler Memorial 5/3886 08/20/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-B. 15-Oct-15 OH Mansfield Mansfield Lahm Rgnl 5/5015 08/06/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-A. 15-Oct-15 IA Creston Creston Muni 5/5543 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 TX Dallas Collin County Rgnl At Mc Kinney 5/5837 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 3. 15-Oct-15 FL Tallahassee Tallahassee Intl 5/5956 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1B. 15-Oct-15 NJ Wildwood Cape May County 5/5964 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig-C. 15-Oct-15 NJ Wildwood Cape May County 5/5967 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Orig-D. 15-Oct-15 NJ Wildwood Cape May County 5/5968 08/26/15 LOC RWY 19, Amdt 6E. 15-Oct-15 NJ Wildwood Cape May County 5/5969 08/26/15 VOR-A, Amdt 3D. 15-Oct-15 WI Appleton Outagamie County Rgnl 5/6209 08/24/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 2. 15-Oct-15 WI Appleton Outagamie County Rgnl 5/6214 08/24/15 VOR/DME RWY 21, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 MN Jackson Jackson Muni 5/6400 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Amdt 1. 15-Oct-15 MN Jackson Jackson Muni 5/6402 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Amdt 1. 15-Oct-15 CA Palo Alto Palo Alto Arpt Of Santa Clara Co 5/7436 08/26/15 GPS RWY 31, Amdt 1B. 15-Oct-15 DE Georgetown Sussex County 5/7607 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 2A. 15-Oct-15 DE Georgetown Sussex County 5/7608 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 2. 15-Oct-15 DE Georgetown Sussex County 5/7609 08/26/15 VOR RWY 22, Amdt 7. 15-Oct-15 DE Georgetown Sussex County 5/7610 08/26/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 4. 15-Oct-15 MI Detroit Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 5/7669 08/31/15 ILS PRM RWY 22L, (SIMULTANEOUS CLOSE PARALLEL), Orig-E. 15-Oct-15 TX Midland Midland Intl 5/7670 08/31/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 10, Amdt 16A. 15-Oct-15 AR Decatur Crystal Lake 5/7804 09/01/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 1. 15-Oct-15 KS Phillipsburg Phillipsburg Muni 5/7811 08/31/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Orig. 15-Oct-15 TX Palacios Palacios Muni 5/7819 08/31/15 VOR RWY 13, Amdt 10C. 15-Oct-15 SD Brookings Brookings Rgnl 5/7822 08/31/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 12, Orig. 15-Oct-15 TX Cleveland Cleveland Muni 5/7827 08/31/15 VOR-A, Amdt 4C. 15-Oct-15 TX Cleveland Cleveland Muni 5/7830 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Orig-A. 15-Oct-15 MN Glenwood Glenwood Muni 5/7835 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-A. 15-Oct-15 MN Glenwood Glenwood Muni 5/7837 08/26/15 VOR RWY 33, Amdt 2A. 15-Oct-15 MN Glenwood Glenwood Muni 5/7838 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 KS Colby Shalz Field 5/8100 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1. 15-Oct-15 LA Shreveport Shreveport Downtown 5/8422 08/31/15 LOC RWY 14, Amdt 4E. 15-Oct-15 LA Shreveport Shreveport Downtown 5/8423 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-B. 15-Oct-15 TX Port Lavaca Calhoun County 5/8426 9/2/2015 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 4B. 15-Oct-15 MN Windom Windom Muni 5/8568 08/31/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig. 15-Oct-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/8874 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-B. 15-Oct-15 WI Prairie Du Chien Prairie Du Chien Muni 5/8875 08/26/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Orig-B. 15-Oct-15 LA Lafayette Lafayette Rgnl/Paul Fournet Field 5/8917 08/31/15 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 4R, Amdt 2B. 15-Oct-15 LA Lafayette Lafayette Rgnl/Paul Fournet Field 5/8928 08/31/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 22L, Amdt 5B. 15-Oct-15 AL Dothan Dothan Rgnl 5/9171 08/12/15 COPTER VOR RWY 36, Amdt 1A. 15-Oct-15 NC Burlington Burlington-Alamance Rgnl 5/9539 09/01/15 ILS Y OR LOC/NDB Y RWY 6, Orig. 15-Oct-15 NC Burlington Burlington-Alamance Rgnl 5/9543 09/01/15 ILS Z OR LOC/NDB Z RWY 6, Amdt 2A.
[FR Doc. 2015-25561 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31037; Amdt. No. 3661] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule establishes, amends, suspends, or removes Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) and associated Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs) for operations at certain airports. These regulatory actions are needed because of the adoption of new or revised criteria, or because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System, such as the commissioning of new navigational facilities, adding new obstacles, or changing air traffic requirements. These changes are designed to provide safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace and to promote safe flight operations under instrument flight rules at the affected airports.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 15, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 15, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Availability of matters incorporated by reference in the amendment is as follows:

For Examination

1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Ops-M30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

2. The FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located;

3. The office of Aeronautical Navigation Products, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73169 or,

4. 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.

Availability

All SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs are available online free of charge. Visit the National Flight Data Center at nfdc.faa.gov to register. Additionally, individual SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP copies may be obtained from the FAA Air Traffic Organization Service Area in which the affected airport is located.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard A. Dunham III, Flight Procedure Standards Branch (AFS-420), Flight Technologies and Programs Divisions, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK. 73169 (Mail Address: P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125) Telephone: (405) 954-4164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule amends Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97), by establishing, amending, suspending, or removes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS. The complete regulatory description of each SIAP and its associated Takeoff Minimums or ODP for an identified airport is listed on FAA form documents which are incorporated by reference in this amendment under 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 1 CFR part 51, and 14 CFR part § 97.20. The applicable FAA forms are FAA Forms 8260-3, 8260-4, 8260-5, 8260-15A, and 8260-15B when required by an entry on 8260-15A.

The large number of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, their complex nature, and the need for a special format make publication in the Federal Register expensive and impractical. Further, airmen do not use the regulatory text of the SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums or ODPs, but instead refer to their graphic depiction on charts printed by publishers of aeronautical materials. Thus, the advantages of incorporation by reference are realized and publication of the complete description of each SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP listed on FAA form documents is unnecessary. This amendment provides the affected CFRs and specifies the types of SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs with their applicable effective dates. This amendment also identifies the airport and its location, the procedure, and the amendment number.

Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

The material incorporated by reference is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section.

The material incorporated by reference describes SIAPS, Takeoff Minimums and/or ODPS as identified in the amendatory language for part 97 of this final rule.

The Rule

This amendment to 14 CFR part 97 is effective upon publication of each separate SIAP, Takeoff Minimums and ODP as Amended in the transmittal. Some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and textual ODP amendments may have been issued previously by the FAA in a Flight Data Center (FDC) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as an emergency action of immediate flight safety relating directly to published aeronautical charts.

The circumstances that created the need for some SIAP and Takeoff Minimums and ODP amendments may require making them effective in less than 30 days. For the remaining SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, an effective date at least 30 days after publication is provided.

Further, the SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs contained in this amendment are based on the criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). In developing these SIAPs and Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, the TERPS criteria were applied to the conditions existing or anticipated at the affected airports. Because of the close and immediate relationship between these SIAPs, Takeoff Minimums and ODPs, and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and, where applicable, under 5 U.S.C 553(d), good cause exists for making some SIAPs effective in less than 30 days.

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. For the same reason, the FAA certifies that this amendment will 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 97

Air Traffic Control, Airports, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

Issued in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (14 CFR part 97) is amended by establishing, amending, suspending, or removing Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and/or Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures effective at 0901 UTC on the dates specified, as follows:

PART 97—Standard Instrument Approach Procedures 1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40106, 40113, 40114, 40120, 44502, 44514, 44701, 44719, 44721-44722.

2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 15 OCTOBER 2015 Demopolis, AL, Demopolis Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1 Demopolis, AL, Demopolis Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1 Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 30, ILS RWY 30 (CAT II), ILS RWY 30 (CAT III), ILS RWY 30 (SA CAT I), Amdt 29 Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 30, Amdt 5 Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 30, Amdt 3 Hayden, CO, Yampa Valley, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 10, Orig Hayden, CO, Yampa Valley, ILS OR LOC/DME Y RWY 10, Amdt 3, CANCELED Hayden, CO, Yampa Valley, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 3 Hayden, CO, Yampa Valley, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 10, Amdt 3 Hayden, CO, Yampa Valley, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 10, Amdt 2 Telluride, CO, Telluride Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 3 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 27, Amdt 2 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, NDB RWY 27, Amdt 1A, CANCELED Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 1 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Amdt 1 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 1 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Athens, GA, Athens/Ben Epps, VOR RWY 27, Amdt 13 Atlanta, GA, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 27L, ILS RWY 27L (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 27L (CAT II), Amdt 18A Atlanta, GA, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl, ILS PRM RWY 27L, ILS PRM RWY 27L (SA CAT I), ILS PRM RWY 27L (CAT II) (SIMULTANEOUS CLOSE PARALLEL), Amdt 3A Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, ILS OR LOC RWY 20, ILS RWY 20 (CAT II), Amdt 3A Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, ILS OR LOC RWY 29, Amdt 11 Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 2, Orig-B Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, LOC BC RWY 11, Amdt 11 Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-B Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 1A Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 1A Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 1A Bloomington/Normal, IL, Central IL Rgnl Arpt At Bloomington-Normal, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig-A Peru, IL, Illinois Valley Rgnl-Walter A Duncan Field, LOC RWY 36, Amdt 4 Peru, IL, Illinois Valley Rgnl-Walter A Duncan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1 Peru, IL, Illinois Valley Rgnl-Walter A Duncan Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Amdt 1 Peru, IL, Illinois Valley Rgnl-Walter A Duncan Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Oberlin, KS, Oberlin Muni, NDB RWY 35, Amdt 1 Oberlin, KS, Oberlin Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig Oberlin, KS, Oberlin Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig Frankfort, KY, Capital City, RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Amdt 3 Frankfort, KY, Capital City, RNAV (GPS) RWY 25, Amdt 4 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 2, Amdt 18 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 11, ILS RWY 11 (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 11 (CAT II), ILS RWY 11 (CAT III), Amdt 3 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 29, Amdt 10 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, LOC RWY 20, Amdt 3 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 2 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 11, Amdt 2 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 20, Amdt 3 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 29, Amdt 4 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 11, Amdt 1 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 20, Amdt 1 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 29, Amdt 2 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 New Orleans, LA, Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl, VOR/DME RWY 11, Amdt 1 Reserve, LA, St John The Baptist Parish, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 1 Reserve, LA, St John The Baptist Parish, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1 Reserve, LA, St John The Baptist Parish, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Reserve, LA, St John The Baptist Parish, VOR RWY 35, Amdt 1 Houlton, ME, Houlton Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 5, Orig-B Oxford, ME, Oxford County Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 15, Orig-B Oxford, ME, Oxford County Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 33, Orig-B Ludington, MI, Mason County, NDB RWY 26, Orig-A, CANCELED Minneapolis, MN, Minneapolis-St Paul Intl/Wold-Chamberlain, ILS Z OR LOC RWY 30L, ILS Z RWY 30L (CAT II), Amdt 46A Festus, MO, Festus Memorial, NDB OR GPS RWY 36, Amdt 2A, CANCELED Festus, MO, Festus Memorial, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig Festus, MO, Festus Memorial, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4 Bowman, ND, Bowman Muni, GPS RWY 29, Orig, CANCELED Bowman, ND, Bowman Muni, NDB RWY 29, Amdt 3, CANCELED Bowman, ND, Bowman Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig, CANCELED Norwich, NY, Lt Warren Eaton, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1 Norwich, NY, Lt Warren Eaton, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1 Norwich, NY, Lt Warren Eaton, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4 Schenectady, NY, Schenectady County, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig-D San Juan, PR, Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Lexington-Parsons, TN, Beech River Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1 Lexington-Parsons, TN, Beech River Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1 Lexington-Parsons, TN, Beech River Rgnl, VOR-A, Orig-A, CANCELED Nashville, TN, John C Tune, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 20, Amdt 2 Nashville, TN, John C Tune, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Amdt 2 Nashville, TN, John C Tune, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Amdt 2 Nashville, TN, John C Tune, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 2 Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 35R, Amdt 1B Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 35L, Orig Austin, TX, Austin-Bergstrom Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 35R, Orig Castroville, TX, Castroville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16, Amdt 1 Castroville, TX, Castroville Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 34, Amdt 1 Castroville, TX, Castroville Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Eastland, TX, Eastland Muni, NDB RWY 35, Amdt 3A, CANCELED Mosinee, WI, Central Wisconsin, VOR/DME RWY 35, Amdt 9B, CANCELED Stevens Point, WI, Stevens Point Muni, VOR/DME RWY 3, Amdt 15, CANCELED Stevens Point, WI, Stevens Point Muni, VOR/DME RWY 21, Amdt 19, CANCELED Stevens Point, WI, Stevens Point Muni, VOR/DME RWY 30, Amdt 18, CANCELED Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Alexander Field South Wood County, VOR/DME OR GPS-A, Amdt 9A, CANCELED
[FR Doc. 2015-25566 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 203 [Docket No. FR-5823-IA-01] Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Court of Competent Jurisdiction To Foreclose Liens on FHA-Owned Properties AGENCY:

Office of the General Counsel, HUD.

ACTION:

Interpretive rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) generally acquires title to single family properties when it pays mortgage insurance benefits to approved mortgagees. FHA's activities in managing and marketing the properties it acquires include paying real estate taxes referred to as ad valorem taxes (a tax based on the value of the property) and special assessments. For properties in condominiums or planned unit developments, FHA also pays homeowners' association or condominium association fees. During the period over which an insured lender forecloses and FHA becomes the owner of the property, taxes or other fees may become due and payable. With lenders conveying close to 100,000 properties annually to FHA, bills for taxes and fees may be past due and payable at the time of FHA's acquisition and suits are brought for payment of taxes and fees. This rule provides HUD's interpretation of the “sue and be sued” clause contained in section 1, Title I of the National Housing Act. This rule provides that, in the case of an action brought against HUD to foreclose on a lien arising out of unpaid taxes or fees, the term “court of competent jurisdiction” as used in section 1 of the National Housing Act refers to a United States District Court. In conjunction with this interpretive rule, HUD is providing, by separate notices published in today's Federal Register, direction to taxing authorities and other entities owed money as to the proper Point of Contact (POC) at HUD for seeking payment. In the unlikely event that payment is not timely made, the entity can bring an action under the Quiet Title Act in the appropriate United States District Court to foreclose on its lien interest in the property.

DATES:

Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bruce S. Albright, Senior Trial Attorney and Litigation Risk Advisor, Office of Litigation, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10258, Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone number 202-708-0300 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech challenges may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Under FHA's single family mortgage insurance program, FHA took title to approximately 94,500 properties in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 by paying insurance claims to approved mortgagees. In recouping its losses to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), FHA manages and markets these properties through contractors.

There is a time lag between a mortgagee initiating and completing the foreclosure of a defaulted insured mortgage and FHA acquiring and managing the property. Taxes or Homeowners Association (HOA) or Condominium Association (CA) fees, or fees for special assessments may come due and payable at the time when the property is being conveyed to FHA (or shortly thereafter) for the insurance benefits. HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2013-18 on May 31, 2013, addressing unpaid tax and association fees.1 This Mortgagee Letter may reduce, but not entirely eliminate, problems FHA has faced with unpaid taxes and fees when FHA takes title to single family properties. Correspondence regarding tax and other property charges and assessments are presently sent to a myriad of addresses—either to FHA's headquarters and field offices across the nation, or to the contractors handling the management of the FHA properties.

1 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=13-18ml.pdf.

If a taxing authority, HOA, CA, or special assessment entity is unable to obtain payment of the amounts due after sending out notices and contacting FHA offices and contractors, its alternative has been to perfect a lien under applicable local law and then attempt to enforce the lien against the HUD owned property by foreclosing the lien on the property. Normally, absent the involvement of a Federal agency, this is accomplished under a state court procedure, which varies greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as to the time period in which to respond to the summons and complaint, as well as upon who service is required to be made. HUD's involvement as a Federal government agency, however, means that the proper venue should be in Federal District Court. On occasion, when actions are brought in state court, the government's interest cannot be determined quickly enough for a U.S. Attorney's Office to timely respond to a complaint that seeks to foreclose FHA's ownership interest in a property. If the property is taken by the taxing authority or other entity, FHA must expend time and resources to recover the property, and may even lose its ability to recoup its insurance losses to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).

II. This Interpretive Rule A. Introduction

This interpretive rule clarifies HUD's longstanding position on the question of what is meant by the term “court of competent jurisdiction” in the “sue and be sued” clause contained in section 1, Title I of the National Housing Act (NHA) (12 U.S.C. 1702). The purpose of this clarification is to assist FHA to efficiently manage its real estate owned (REO) inventory and ensure prompt payment for taxes and other fees and assessments. The purpose is also to protect FHA's MMIF assets, which include acquired single family properties.2 By accompanying notices in today's Federal Register, HUD provides specific POCs at HUD's Home Ownership Centers (HOCs) that holders of liens on HUD single family property may use to present requests for payment. The publication and use of these POCs by the public should help obviate the need for litigation to enforce non-payment of liens against FHA properties. This interpretive rule provides the process for initiating suit against FHA if for some reason payment is not made and the taxing authority or other entity has a lien that it seeks to foreclose.

2 Section 202(a)(3) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1708(a)(3)) imposes a fiduciary duty on the Secretary to protect the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Section 4(b) of the Department of HUD Act (42 U.S.C. 3533(b)) requires the Secretary to hold FHA managers responsible for protecting federal assets and performing risk management. This interpretive rule is issued pursuant to these statutory mandates.

B. HOC POCs

Ancillary to the interpretive rule, HUD is providing POCs in each of its four HOCs to receive tax bills and similar billings. Each HOC oversees on average 13 states/jurisdictions for FHA activities and has an REO division that handles the day-to-day oversight of FHA's acquired properties. In most cases, having a known POC to send billings should obviate the need to have to bring suit against HUD to levy on a property.

C. Jurisdiction

In the unlikely event it becomes necessary for a taxing authority or HOA, CA or special assessment entity to proceed against HUD's property, this interpretive rule explains the exclusive federal jurisdiction for such an action. Section 1 title I, of the NHA provides a limited waiver of sovereign immunity. Under that provision: “[T]he Secretary shall, in carrying out the functions of this title and titles II, III . . . be authorized, in his official capacity, to sue and be sued in any court of competent jurisdiction, State or Federal.” (Underlining is provided for emphasis). This section was added to the NHA by the Banking Act of 1935, sec. 334, Title III, Public Law 74-305, 49 Stat. 684, approved August 23, 1935). In 1972, Congress passed the Quiet Title Act (QTA) (Pub. L. 92-562, 86 Stat. 1176). The QTA made two changes to Title 28 of the United States Code, which title of the code governs the federal judicial system and judiciary procedures. First, the QTA created a new 28 U.S.C. 2409a, entitled “Real Property Quiet Title Actions.” Paragraph (a) of section 2409a states, “The United States may be named as a party defendant in a civil action under this section to adjudicate a disputed title to real property in which the United States claims an interest.” Second, QTA amended 28 U.S.C. 1346, entitled “United States as defendant” by adding a new paragraph (f), which states, “The district courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of civil actions under section 2409a to quiet title to an estate or interest in property in which an interest is claimed by the United States.”

The Supreme Court succinctly explained the lack of jurisdiction in state courts and the exclusivity of federal court jurisdiction in QTA actions in California v. Arizona, 440 U.S. 59 (1979):

[T]he intent of Congress seems reasonably clear. The congressional purpose was simply to confine jurisdiction to the federal courts and to exclude the courts of the States, which otherwise might be presumed to have jurisdiction over quiet-title suits against the United States, once its sovereign immunity had been waived. . . . We find, therefore, that section 1346(f), by vesting ‘exclusive original jurisdiction’ of quiet title actions against the United States in the federal district courts did no more than assure that such jurisdiction was not conferred upon the courts of any State.

Federal courts have consistently held that 28 U.S.C. 2409a authorizes owners of an interest in real property in which an agency such as HUD holds an interest, including an ownership interest, to bring suit to foreclose the government's interest in the property. The QTA applies to lawsuits involving interests that could cloud title, not just traditional quiet title actions, as the terminology of the QTA by its terms includes any adjudication of a “disputed title” to real property. See, United States v. Bedford Associates, 657 F. 2d 1300, 1316 (2d Cir. 1981), cert. den. 456 U.S. 914 (1982); Robinson v. United States, 586 F. 3d 683, 687 (9th Cir. 2009); Delta Sav. & Loan Ass'n. v. I.R.S., 847 F. 2d 248, 249 n. 1 (5th Cir. 1988); George v. United States, 672 F. 3d 942 (10th Cir. 2012), cert. den. 133 S. Ct. 432, __ U.S. __, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7933 (2012).

III. This Interpretive Rule

In order to have a uniform process that both the public and HUD can use, and which will ensure that HUD can act in a timely, accurate, and consistent manner to protect properties that are assets of the MMIF, it is HUD's interpretation that the sue and be sued clause in 12 U.S.C. 1702, specifically the words “court of competent jurisdiction” means, for purposes of foreclosing tax, HOA, CA, special assessment (i.e., for sidewalks, septic or water systems and the like), or similar fees and assessments that result in liens on HUD properties, the United States District Court in the jurisdiction where the HUD property that is to be the subject of the lien foreclosure is situated or in Washington, DC. This interpretation is based on the provisions of the QTA, and the Supreme Court's analysis of the same in California v. Arizona and similar cases.

As the exclusive venue for foreclosing a lien on HUD-owned property is a United States District Court, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) must be followed. Rule 4(i) sets out the procedures to serve Federal agencies. Under that rule, the head of the agency or his or her designee must be served, as well as the United States Attorney General and the United States Attorney in the applicable district. HUD, by separate notice in today's Federal Register, pursuant to previously published delegations of authority, authorizes Regional Counsel in each of HUD's 10 Regional Counsel Offices to redelegate to staff within their operational jurisdictions the authority to accept service of process in those cases where FHA owns a property, a taxing authority, HOA, CA, or other entity purports to bring suit due to a nonpayment of taxes or other fees and assessments, and the entity seeks to foreclose its lien in order to obtain title to the property.

IV. Conclusion

Accordingly, HUD interprets the “sue and be sued” clause of section 1 of title 1 of the NHA as requiring suit to be brought exclusively in the Federal District Court where the property is located (or in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia) if a lienholder wishes to enforce a lien against a single family property owned by HUD as the result of the payment of a mortgage insurance claim.

Dated: October 7, 2015. Helen R. Kanovsky, General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-26160 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Part 4022 Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Paying Benefits AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the regulation for valuation dates in November 2015. The interest assumptions are used for paying benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by the pension insurance system administered by PBGC.

DATES:

Effective November 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Catherine B. Klion ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4024. (TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

PBGC's regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022) prescribes actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for paying plan benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest assumptions in the regulation are also published on PBGC's Web site (http://www.pbgc.gov).

PBGC uses the interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4022 to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine the amount to pay. Appendix C to part 4022 contains interest assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology. Currently, the rates in appendices B and C of the benefit payment regulation are the same.

The interest assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets. Assumptions under the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule updates the benefit payments interest assumptions for November 2015.1

1 Appendix B to PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) prescribes interest assumptions for valuing benefits under terminating covered single-employer plans for purposes of allocation of assets under ERISA section 4044. Those assumptions are updated quarterly.

The November 2015 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.25 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for October 2015, these interest assumptions are unchanged.

PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market conditions as accurately as possible.

Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the payment of benefits under plans with valuation dates during November 2015, PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.

PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4022

Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4022 is amended as follows:

PART 4022—BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows: Authority:

29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 1344.

2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 265 is added to the table to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments Rate set For plans with a
  • valuation date
  • On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 265 11-1-15 12-1-15 1.25 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 265 is added to the table to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector Payments Rate set For plans with a
  • valuation date
  • On or after Before Immediate
  • annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 265 11-1-15 12-1-15 1.25 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    Issued in Washington, DC, on this 7th day of October 2015. Judith Starr, General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26241 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0809] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; Oak Island, NC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway near Oak Island, North Carolina. This action is necessary to provide the safety of mariners on navigable waters due to the transfer of power cables across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Entry into or movement within the safety zone during the enforcement period is prohibited without approval of the Captain of the Port.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from October 15, 2015 until October 20, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from October 12, 2015 until October 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0809]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Derek J. Burrill, Waterways Management Division Chief, Sector North Carolina, Coast Guard; telephone (910) 772-2230, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because final project details were not submitted to the Coast Guard until September 4, 2015. As such, it's impractical to provide a full comment period due to lack of time. Delaying the effective date for comment would be contrary to the public interest, since immediate action is needed to ensure protection of persons and vessels transiting the area.

    For similar reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Due to the need for immediate action, the restriction of vessel traffic is necessary to protect life, property and the environment. Therefore, a 30-day notice is impracticable. The Coast Guard will provide advance notifications to users via marine information broadcasts and local notice to mariners.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for this rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Public Law 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; and DHS Delegation No. 0170.1. Under these authorities the Coast Guard may establish a safety zone in defined water areas that are determined to have hazardous conditions and in which vessel traffic can be regulated in the interest of safety.

    On October 12, 13, 19, and 20, 2015 Coastal Power will be installing power cables that will run across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at latitude 33°55′11″ N, longitude 078°03′24″ W in Oak Island, North Carolina. To facilitate the safety of mariners and the public, the U.S Coast Guard will require temporary closures of the channel on October 12, 13, 19, 20, 2015.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within a 100 yard radius of latitude 33°55′11″ N, longitude 078°03′24″ W in Oak Island, North Carolina. This safety zone will be established in the interest of public safety due to the transfer of power cables across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The regulated area for this safety zone includes all the water of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within a 100 yard radius of latitude 33°55′11″ N, longitude 078°03′24″ W, a position located north of the Oak Island Fixed Bridge in Oak Island, North Carolina. This rule will be enforced on October 12, 13, 19, 20, 2015 during the times of 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 01:00 p.m. to 04:00 p.m. Vessels authorized by the Captain of the Port or his/her Representative to enter or remain in the safety zone during the above listed time frame must have a height clearance of 30 feet and greater and are required to notify on scene Coastal Power and Electric work boats at a minimum of 40 minutes prior to transiting the area on VHF marine radio channels 13 or 16 or via phone at 910-512-1645.

    Except for vessels authorized by the Captain of the Port or his/her Representative, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone during the time frame listed. The Captain of the Port will give notice of the enforcement of the safety zone by all appropriate means to provide the widest dissemination of notice among the affected segments of the public. This will include publication in the Local Notice to Mariners and Marine Information Broadcasts.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. The primary impact of these regulations will be on limiting all vessels wishing to transit the affected waterways during enforcement of the safety zone on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within a 100 yard radius of latitude 33°55′11″ N., longitude 078°03′24″ W. in Oak Island, North Carolina on October 12, 13, 19, and 20, 2015. Although these regulations prevent traffic from transiting a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway during this incident, that restriction is limited in duration, affects only a limited area, and will be well publicized to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected area.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in waters of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within a 100 yard radius of latitude 33°55′11″ N., longitude 078°03′24″ W. position during the outlined timeframe.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: (i) The safety zone will only be in place for a limited duration, and (ii) before the enforcement period, maritime advisories will be issued allowing mariners to adjust their plans accordingly.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T05-809 to read as follows:
    § 165.T05-809 Safety Zone, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; Oak Island, North Carolina.

    (a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, Captain of the Port means the Commander, Sector North Carolina. Representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized to act on the behalf of the Captain of the Port.

    (b) Location. The following area is a safety zone: Specified waters of the Captain of the Port Sector North Carolina zone, as defined in 33 CFR 3.25-10, all waters of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway within a 100 yard radius of latitude 33°55′11″ N., longitude 078°03′24″ W. in Oak Island, North Carolina.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, North Carolina or his designated representatives.

    (2) The operator of any vessel in the immediate vicinity of this safety zone shall:

    (i) If on scene proceed as directed by any commissioned, warrant or petty officer on shore or on board a vessel that is displaying a U.S. Coast Guard Ensign.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) The Captain of the Port, North Carolina can be reached through the Sector North Carolina Command Duty Officer at Sector North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina at telephone number (910) 343-3882.

    (4) The Coast Guard Representatives enforcing the safety zone can be contacted on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 13 (165.65 Mhz) and channel 16 (156.8 Mhz).

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced on October 12, 13, 19, and 20, 2015, between 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Dated: September 23, 2015. S.R. Murtagh, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port North Carolina.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26193 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 82 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0369; FRL-9935-69-OAR] RIN 2060-AS44 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2016 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorizing uses that qualify for the critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced or imported for those uses for the 2016 control period. EPA is issuing this action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect consensus decisions of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer at the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of the Parties in November 2014.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0369. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and is publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeremy Arling, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Mail Code 6205T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number (202) 343-9055; email address [email protected] You may also visit the methyl bromide section of the Ozone Depletion Web site of EPA's Stratospheric Protection Division at www.epa.gov/ozone/mbr for further information about the methyl bromide critical use exemption, other Stratospheric Ozone Protection regulations, the science of ozone layer depletion, and related topics.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary

    This rule concerns Clean Air Act (CAA) restrictions on the consumption, production, and use of methyl bromide (a Class I, Group VI controlled substance) for critical uses. Under the Clean Air Act, methyl bromide consumption (consumption is defined under section 601 of the CAA as production plus imports minus exports) and production were phased out on January 1, 2005, apart from allowable exemptions, such as the critical use and the quarantine and preshipment (QPS) exemptions. With this action, EPA is authorizing the uses that will qualify for the critical use exemption as well as specific amounts of methyl bromide that may be produced and imported for those critical uses for 2016.

    II. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities and categories of entities potentially regulated by this action include producers, importers, and exporters of methyl bromide; applicators and distributors of methyl bromide; and users of methyl bromide that applied for the 2016 critical use exemption including growers of vegetable crops, ornamentals, fruits, and nursery stock, and owners of stored food commodities. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. To determine whether your facility, company, business, or organization could be regulated by this action, you should carefully examine the regulations promulgated at 40 CFR part 82, subpart A. If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the preceding section.

    III. What is Methyl Bromide?

    Methyl bromide is an odorless, colorless, toxic gas which is used as a broad-spectrum pesticide and is controlled under the CAA as a Class I ozone-depleting substance (ODS). Methyl bromide was once widely used as a fumigant to control a variety of pests such as insects, weeds, rodents, pathogens, and nematodes.

    Methyl bromide is also regulated by EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and other statutes and regulatory authorities, as well as by States under their own statutes and regulatory authority. Under FIFRA, methyl bromide is a restricted use pesticide. Restricted use pesticides are subject to Federal and State requirements governing their sale, distribution, and use. Nothing in this rule implementing Title VI of the Clean Air Act is intended to derogate from provisions in any other Federal, State, or local laws or regulations governing actions including, but not limited to, the sale, distribution, transfer, and use of methyl bromide. Entities affected by this action must comply with FIFRA and other pertinent statutory and regulatory requirements for pesticides (including, but not limited to, requirements pertaining to restricted use pesticides) when producing, importing, exporting, acquiring, selling, distributing, transferring, or using methyl bromide. The provisions in this action are intended only to implement the CAA restrictions on the production, consumption, and use of methyl bromide for critical uses exempted from the phaseout of methyl bromide.

    IV. What is the background to the Phaseout Regulations for Ozone-Depleting substances?

    The regulatory requirements of the stratospheric ozone protection program that limit production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances are in 40 CFR part 82, subpart A. The regulatory program was originally published in the Federal Register on August 12, 1988 (53 FR 30566), in response to the 1987 signing and subsequent ratification of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol). The Montreal Protocol is the international agreement aimed at reducing and eliminating the production and consumption of stratospheric ozone-depleting substances. The United States was one of the original signatories to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, and the United States ratified the Protocol in 1988. Congress then enacted, and President George H.W. Bush signed into law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA of 1990), which included Title VI on Stratospheric Ozone Protection, codified as 42 U.S.C. Chapter 85, Subchapter VI, to ensure that the United States could satisfy its obligations under the Protocol. EPA issued regulations to implement this legislation and has since amended the regulations as needed.

    Methyl bromide was added to the Protocol as an ozone-depleting substance in 1992 through the Copenhagen Amendment to the Protocol. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol (Parties) agreed that each developed country's level of methyl bromide production and consumption in 1991 should be the baseline for establishing a freeze on the level of methyl bromide production and consumption for developed countries. EPA published a rule in the Federal Register on December 10, 1993 (58 FR 65018), listing methyl bromide as a Class I, Group VI controlled substance. This rule froze U.S. production and consumption at the 1991 baseline level of 25,528,270 kilograms, and set forth the percentage of baseline allowances for methyl bromide granted to companies in each control period (each calendar year) until 2001, when the complete phaseout would occur. This phaseout date was established in response to a petition filed in 1991 under sections 602(c)(3) and 606(b) of the CAAA of 1990, requesting that EPA list methyl bromide as a Class I substance and phase out its production and consumption. This date was consistent with section 602(d) of the CAAA of 1990, which, for newly listed Class I ozone-depleting substances provides that “no extension [of the phaseout schedule in section 604] under this subsection may extend the date for termination of production of any class I substance to a date more than 7 years after January 1 of the year after the year in which the substance is added to the list of class I substances.”

    At the Seventh Meeting of the Parties (MOP) in 1995, the Parties agreed to adjustments to the methyl bromide control measures and agreed to reduction steps and a 2010 phaseout date for developed countries with exemptions permitted for critical uses. At that time, the United States continued to have a 2001 phaseout date in accordance with section 602(d) of the CAAA of 1990. At the Ninth MOP in 1997, the Parties agreed to further adjustments to the phaseout schedule for methyl bromide in developed countries, with reduction steps leading to a 2005 phaseout. The Parties also established a phaseout date of 2015 for countries operating under Article 5 of the Protocol (developing countries).

    V. What is the legal authority for exempting the production and import of methyl bromide for critical uses permitted by the parties to the Montreal Protocol?

    In October 1998, the U.S. Congress amended the Clean Air Act to prohibit the termination of production of methyl bromide prior to January 1, 2005, to require EPA to align the U.S. phaseout of methyl bromide with the schedule specified under the Protocol, and to authorize EPA to provide certain exemptions. These amendments were contained in section 764 of the 1999 Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 105-277, October 21, 1998) and were codified in section 604 of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7671c. The amendment that specifically addresses the critical use exemption appears at section 604(d)(6), 42 U.S.C. 7671c(d)(6). EPA revised the phaseout schedule for methyl bromide production and consumption in a rulemaking on November 28, 2000 (65 FR 70795), which allowed for the reduction in methyl bromide consumption specified under the Protocol and extended the phaseout to 2005 while creating a placeholder for critical use exemptions. Through an interim final rule on July 19, 2001 (66 FR 37751), and a final rule on January 2, 2003 (68 FR 238), EPA amended the regulations to allow for an exemption for quarantine and preshipment purposes.

    On December 23, 2004 (69 FR 76982), EPA published a rule (the “Framework Rule”) that established the framework for the critical use exemption, set forth a list of approved critical uses for 2005, and specified the amount of methyl bromide that could be supplied in 2005 from stocks, new production, or through imports to meet the needs of approved critical uses. EPA has subsequently published rules applying the critical use exemption framework for each of the annual control periods from 2006 to 2015.

    In accordance with Article 2H(5) of the Montreal Protocol, the Parties have issued several Decisions pertaining to the critical use exemption. These include Decisions IX/6 and Ex. I/4, which set forth criteria for review of critical uses. The status of Decisions is addressed in NRDC v. EPA, (464 F.3d 1, D.C. Cir. 2006) and in EPA's “Supplemental Brief for the Respondent,” filed in NRDC v. EPA and available in the docket for this action. In this rule, EPA is honoring commitments made by the United States in the Montreal Protocol context.

    Under authority of section 604(d)(6) of the CAA, EPA is now listing approved critical uses, as well as authorizing the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced or imported to satisfy those uses during 2016. The critical uses and amounts reflect Decision XXVI/6, taken at the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of the Parties in November 2014.

    VI. What is the critical use exemption process? A. Background of the Process

    Article 2H of the Montreal Protocol established the critical use exemption provision. At the Ninth Meeting of the Parties in 1997, the Parties established the criteria for an exemption in Decision IX/6. In that Decision, the Parties agreed that “a use of methyl bromide should qualify as `critical' only if the nominating Party determines that: (i) The specific use is critical because the lack of availability of methyl bromide for that use would result in a significant market disruption; and (ii) There are no technically and economically feasible alternatives or substitutes available to the user that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health and are suitable to the crops and circumstances of the nomination.” EPA promulgated these criteria in the definition of “critical use” at 40 CFR 82.3.

    In addition, Decision IX/6 provides that production and consumption, if any, of methyl bromide for critical uses should be permitted only if a variety of conditions have been met, including that all technically and economically feasible steps have been taken to minimize the critical use and any associated emission of methyl bromide, that research programs are in place to develop and deploy alternatives and substitutes, and that methyl bromide is not available in sufficient quantity and quality from existing stocks of banked or recycled methyl bromide.

    EPA requested critical use exemption applications for 2016 through a Federal Register notice published on May 31, 2013 (78 FR 32646). Applicants submitted data on their use of methyl bromide, the technical and economic feasibility of using alternatives, ongoing research programs into the use of alternatives in their sector, and efforts to minimize use and emissions of methyl bromide.

    EPA reviews the data submitted by applicants, as well as data from governmental and academic sources, to establish whether there are technically and economically feasible alternatives available for a particular use of methyl bromide, and whether there would be a significant market disruption if no exemption were available. In addition, an interagency workgroup reviews other parameters of the exemption applications such as dosage and emissions minimization techniques and applicants' research or transition plans. As required in section 604(d)(6) of the CAA, for each exemption period, EPA consults with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).1 This assessment process culminates in the development of the U.S. critical use nomination (CUN). Annually since 2003, the U.S. Department of State has submitted a CUN to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat. The Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), which are advisory bodies to Parties to the Montreal Protocol, review each Party's CUN and make recommendations to the Parties on the nominations. The Parties then take Decisions on critical use exemptions for particular Parties, including how much methyl bromide may be supplied for the exempted critical uses. EPA then provides an opportunity for public comment on the amounts and specific uses of methyl bromide that the Agency proposed to exempt.

    1 See CAA section 604(d)(6): “To the extent consistent with the Montreal Protocol, the Administrator, after notice and the opportunity for public comment, and after consultation with other departments or instrumentalities of the Federal Government having regulatory authority related to methyl bromide, including the Secretary of Agriculture, may exempt the production, importation, and consumption of methyl bromide for critical uses.”

    On January 22, 2014, the United States submitted the twelfth Nomination for a Critical Use Exemption for Methyl Bromide for the United States of America to the Ozone Secretariat of UNEP. This nomination contained the request for 2016 critical uses. In March 2014, MBTOC sent questions to the United States concerning technical and economic issues in the 2016 nomination. The United States transmitted responses to MBTOC in March 2014. In May 2014, the MBTOC provided their interim recommendations on the U.S. nomination in the May TEAP Interim Report. These documents, together with reports by the advisory bodies noted above, are in the public docket for this rulemaking. The critical uses and amounts approved in this rule reflect the analyses contained in those documents.

    B. How does this rule relate to previous critical use exemption rules?

    The December 23, 2004, Framework Rule established the framework for the critical use exemption program in the United States, including definitions, prohibitions, trading provisions, and recordkeeping and reporting obligations. The preamble to the Framework Rule included EPA's determinations on key issues for the critical use exemption program.

    Since publishing the Framework Rule, EPA has annually issued regulations to indicate which uses meet the criteria for the exemption and to exempt specific quantities of production and import of methyl bromide for a particular year.

    This action continues the approach established in the 2013 Rule (78 FR 43797, July 22, 2013) for determining the amounts of Critical Use Allowances (CUAs) to be allocated for critical uses. A CUA is the privilege granted through 40 CFR part 82 to produce or import 1 kilogram (kg) of methyl bromide for an approved critical use during the specified control period. A control period is a calendar year. See 40 CFR 82.3. Each year's allowances expire at the end of that control period and, as explained in the Framework Rule, are not bankable from one year to the next.

    C. Critical Uses

    In Decision XXVI/6, taken in November 2014, the Parties to the Protocol agreed “[t]o permit, for the agreed critical-use categories for 2015 and 2016 set forth in table A of the annex to the present decision for each party, subject to the conditions set forth in the present decision and in decision Ex. I/4 to the extent that those conditions are applicable, the levels of production and consumption for 2015 and 2016 set forth in table B of the annex to the present decision, which are necessary to satisfy critical uses. . . .” Cured pork and strawberry field production are the uses that are set forth in table A of the annex to Decision XXVI/6 for the United States for 2016.

    This rule modifies the table in 40 CFR part 82, subpart A, appendix L to reflect the agreed critical use categories. EPA is amending the table of critical uses and critical users based on the uses permitted in Decision XXVI/6 and the technical analyses contained in the 2016 U.S. nomination that assess data submitted by applicants to the CUE program. For reasons discussed below, EPA is removing the time limitation in appendix L for the approval of dry-cured pork products as a critical use to allow for the continued use of carryover post-harvest methyl bromide after 2016.

    Specifically, this rule removes the food processing uses that were listed in the joint 2014/2015 CUE rule as critical uses for 2014. The California Date Commission as well as all users under the food processing use (rice millers, pet food manufacturing facilities, and members of the North American Millers' Association) did not submit CUE applications for 2016 and therefore were not included in the 2016 U.S. nomination to the Parties of the Montreal Protocol.

    This rule also removes the remaining commodity uses (walnuts, dried plums, figs, and raisins). These sectors applied for a critical use in 2016 but the United States did not nominate them for 2016. In addition, some sectors that were not on the list of critical uses for 2014 or 2015 submitted applications for 2016. These sectors are: Michigan cucurbit, eggplant, pepper, and tomato growers; Florida eggplant, pepper, strawberry, and tomato growers; the California Association of Nursery and Garden Centers; California stone fruit, table and raisin grape, walnut, and almond growers; ornamental growers in California and Florida; and the U.S. Golf Course Superintendents Association. EPA conducted a thorough technical assessment of each application and considered the effects that the loss of methyl bromide would have for each agricultural sector, and whether significant market disruption would occur as a result. Following this technical review, EPA consulted with the USDA and the Department of State. EPA determined that these users did not meet the critical use criteria in Decision IX/6 and the United States did not include them in the 2016 Critical Use Nomination. EPA notified these sectors of their status by letters dated March 28, 2014. For each of these uses, EPA found that there are technically and economically feasible alternatives to methyl bromide. EPA refers readers to the Federal Register Notice “Request for Methyl Bromide Critical Use Exemption Applications for 2017” (79 FR 38887; July 9, 2014) for a summary of information on how the Agency evaluated specific uses and available alternatives when considering applications for critical uses for 2016.

    EPA requested comment on the technical assessments of the applications in the sector summaries found in the docket and the determination that these users did not meet the critical use criteria. EPA also requested any new or additional information that the Agency may consider in preparing future nominations. EPA also sought comment on the technical analyses contained in the U.S. nomination and information regarding any changes to the registration (including cancellations or registrations), use, or efficacy of alternatives that occurred after the nomination was submitted.

    As EPA noted in the proposed rule, as the market for alternatives evolves, the thresholds for what constitutes “significant market disruption” or “technical and economic feasibility” may change. Such information has the potential to alter the technical or economic feasibility of an alternative and could thus cause EPA to modify the analysis that underpins EPA's determination as to which uses and what amounts of methyl bromide qualify for the CUE.

    EPA received one comment on the proposed rule. This commenter highlighted the chemical and non-chemical alternatives in use in the European Union, including other fumigants, integrated crop management systems, heat treatment, gamma irradiation, cold storage, resistant varieties and cultivars, crop rotation, cover crops, soil solarization, and anaerobic disinfestation. EPA considered these alternatives when developing the nomination for critical uses for 2016, but concluded that additional research on alternatives is still necessary for dry cured ham production, and that additional time to transition to chloropicrin is needed for California strawberries.

    The same commenter urged the Agency to announce an end date for all methyl bromide exemptions and, in light of the recent human health incident in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to end the use of all methyl bromide in the United States. Neither the Protocol nor the Clean Air Act establishes a specific end date for the critical use exemption. However, as noted in Decision Ex. I/4, the Parties intended for the critical use exemption to be a limited, temporary derogation from that phaseout. Progress in developing alternatives in key areas of historical methyl bromide use has been significant and has allowed many sectors to successfully transition from methyl bromide over the last decade. Specifically, the number of sectors nominated has declined from seventeen for 2006 to one for 2017.

    With respect to the commenter's request that EPA end all use of methyl bromide in the U.S., we note that production for quarantine and preshipment is excluded from the phaseout under the Montreal Protocol and that section 604(d)(5) of the Clean Air Act directs EPA to exempt production for this purpose. EPA continues to support this important exemption to prevent the introduction and spread of quarantine pests while encouraging research into alternatives that meet the rigorous standards for quarantine and preshipment applications.

    D. Critical Use Amounts

    Table A of the annex to Decision XXVI/6 lists critical uses and amounts agreed by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol for 2016. The maximum amount of new production and import for U.S. critical uses in 2016, specified in Table B of the annex to Decision XXVI/6, is 234.78 MT, minus available stocks. This figure is equivalent to less than 1 percent of the U.S. 1991 methyl bromide consumption baseline of 25,528 MT.

    EPA has determined the level of new production and import according to the Framework Rule, as modified by the 2013 Rule. Under this approach, the amount of new production for each control period equals the total amount permitted by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in their Decisions minus any reductions for available stocks, carryover, and the uptake of alternatives. These terms (available stocks, carryover, and the uptake of alternatives) are discussed in detail below. Applying this approach, EPA is allocating allowances to exempt 140,531 kg of new production and import of methyl bromide for critical uses in 2016, making reductions for available stocks and carryover. This is the same amount EPA proposed to allocate.

    Available Stocks: For 2016 the Parties indicated that the United States should use “available stocks,” but did not indicate a minimum amount expected to be taken from stocks. Consistent with EPA's past practice, EPA considered what amount, if any, of the existing stocks may be available to critical users during 2016. The latest data reported to EPA from December 31, 2014, show existing stocks to be 158,121 kg. This shows that 198,440 kg of pre-2005 stocks were sold in 2014.

    The Parties to the Protocol recognized in their Decisions that the level of existing stocks may differ from the level of available stocks. Decision XXVI/6 states that “production and consumption of methyl bromide for critical uses should be permitted only if methyl bromide is not available in sufficient quantity and quality from existing stocks. . . .” In addition, the Decision states that “parties operating under critical-use exemptions should take into account the extent to which methyl bromide is available in sufficient quantity and quality from existing stocks. . . .” Earlier Decisions also refer to the use of “quantities of methyl bromide from stocks that the Party has recognized to be available.” Thus, it is clear that individual Parties may determine their level of available stocks. Section 604(d)(6) of the CAA does not require EPA to adjust the amount of new production and import to reflect the availability of stocks; however, as explained in previous rulemakings, making such an adjustment is a reasonable exercise of EPA's discretion under this provision.

    In the 2013 CUE Rule (78 FR 43797, July 22, 2013), EPA established an approach that considered whether a percentage of the existing inventory was available. In that rule, EPA took comment on whether 0% or 5% of the existing stocks was available. The final rule found 0% was available for critical use in 2013 for a number of reasons including: A pattern of significant underestimation of inventory drawdown; the increasing concentration of critical users in California while inventory remained distributed nationwide; and the recognition that the Agency cannot compel distributors to sell inventory to critical users. For further discussion, see the 2013 CUE Rule (78 FR 43802).

    EPA believes that 5% of existing stocks will be available in 2016 for the two critical uses. As a result of the changes to the FIFRA labeling, methyl bromide sold or distributed in 2015 can only be used for approved critical uses or for quarantine and preshipment purposes. Except for sectors with quarantine and preshipment uses, California strawberries is the only pre-plant sector that will be able to use stocks in 2015 or 2016. EPA does not anticipate stocks to be used for quarantine and preshipment uses as there are no production allowances required to manufacture that material and it tends to be less expensive than stocks. Distributors will therefore likely make stocks available to California strawberry growers in 2015 and 2016.

    While EPA has not estimated the amount of stocks that will be used in 2015, EPA believes that at least 5% of stocks will be available in 2016. As discussed in the section on carryover below, demand by California strawberry growers in 2014 for critical use methyl bromide was lower than anticipated. For the first time since 2009, not all of the critical use material produced or imported for a control period was sold. Decreased demand for critical use methyl bromide in 2014 means that unsold material already produced will be available in 2015 in addition to stocks.

    Furthermore, EPA now knows the national distribution and composition of stocks (e.g. pure or mixed with chloropicrin) due to a recent information collection request under section 114 of the Clean Air Act. After reviewing results of the information collection request, EPA believes there is geographically accessible pure methyl bromide for ham producers in the Southeastern U.S. as well as pre-plant methyl bromide for California strawberry producers.

    For these reasons, EPA finds that 5% of the existing inventory is available for use in 2016. Existing stocks, as of December 31, 2014, were equal to 158,121 kg. Therefore, EPA is reducing the amount of new production for 2016 by 7,906 kg, as proposed.

    EPA specifically invited comment on whether between 0% and 5% of existing inventory will be available to critical users in 2016. EPA did not receive any comments on that specific issue but did receive a comment that it is unclear whether the information received by EPA is an accurate reflection of the existing and available stocks of methyl bromide in the United States. The commenter encouraged improved information gathering to better ensure that these stocks are being used in compliance with the FIFRA labeling and the critical use exemption.

    EPA has undertaken two information gathering requests in 2015 under section 114 of the CAA. The first request was discussed in the proposed rule and sought information about the composition (i.e. pure vs mixed with chloropicrin), quantity, and location of stocks. The new information provided to the Agency in response to this request has enhanced EPA's understanding of existing and available stocks of methyl bromide in the United States. EPA's second request for information under section 114 of the Clean Air Act was in part a response to the misuse of methyl bromide in a residential space in the U.S. Virgin Islands and sought additional sales information from all known methyl bromide distributors. Specifically, EPA sought the names of all distributors and third party applicators of CUE, QPS, and pre-2005 stocks in 2014. EPA is currently reviewing responses to this request.

    As a further response, under FIFRA, EPA is also working to implement changes to methyl bromide commodity labels in order to clarify uses and provide additional protections for workers and bystanders. EPA is also looking at how additional reporting could help ensure compliance with label requirements through EPA's Registration Review program, which evaluates pesticides on a regular basis. Information on the review of methyl bromide, along with a schedule of when the next public comment periods are anticipated, can be found on regulations.gov at docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0269.

    Carryover Material: EPA regulations prohibit methyl bromide produced or imported after January 1, 2005, under the critical use exemption, from being added to the pre-2005 inventory. Quantities of methyl bromide produced, imported, exported, or sold to end-users under the critical use exemption in a control period must be reported to EPA the next year. EPA uses these reports to calculate any excess methyl bromide left over from that year's CUE and, using the framework established in the 2005 CUE Rule, reduces the following year's total allocation by that amount. Carryover had been reported to the Agency every year from 2005 to 2009. Carryover material (which is produced using critical use allowances) is not included in EPA's definition of existing inventory (which applies to pre-2005 material) because this would lead to a double-counting of carryover amounts.

    In 2015, companies reported that 442,200 kg of methyl bromide was produced or imported for U.S. critical uses in 2014. Companies also reported that 355,857 kg of critical use methyl bromide was sold to end-users in 2014. EPA calculates that the carryover at the end of 2014 was 86,343 kg, which is the difference between the reported amount of critical use methyl bromide produced or imported in 2014 and the reported amount of sales of that material to end users in 2014. EPA's calculation of carryover is consistent with the method used in previous CUE rules, and with the format in Decision XVI/6 for calculating column L of the U.S. Accounting Framework. All U.S. Accounting Frameworks for critical use methyl bromide are available in the public docket for this rulemaking. EPA is therefore reducing the total level of new production and import for critical uses by 86,343 kg to reflect the amount of carryover material available at the end of 2014, in addition to the 7,906 kg reduction for available stocks discussed above.

    EPA has considered the possibility that there might be methyl bromide produced in 2015 and 2016 carried over into subsequent years. Any pre-plant critical use methyl bromide carried over from the 2015 control period could not be subtracted in 2017, as would usually be done. That is because critical use material produced for a pre-plant use must be used on a pre-plant use and the United States has not nominated a pre-plant use for 2017. Such carryover could be used in 2016 while California strawberry production is a critical use. Any pre-plant methyl bromide produced under the authority of this rule in 2016 that is not used in 2016 would have to be destroyed. EPA has discussed these matters with methyl bromide distributors, producers, and importers that reported to EPA that they have carryover material to make them aware of the need to use all pre-plant critical use methyl bromide by the end of 2016. California strawberry growers represent a large end-use with capacity to use all remaining pre-plant critical use material by the end of 2016.

    EPA believes that not all 2014 carryover produced for post-harvest uses may be used by the end of 2016 given the low volume used by the ham production sector. As discussed above, EPA has accounted for 2014 post-harvest carryover in this rule and has reduced the production of new material. EPA is also working to connect dry cured ham producers with distributors that hold post-harvest carryover to help ensure that it will be used. However, EPA believes that ham producers should be allowed to continue to use carryover post-harvest critical use methyl bromide should any remain after 2016. EPA believes that hams may not have a technically or economically feasible alternative by the end of 2016 and thus will likely continue to meet the critical use criteria beyond 2016. Therefore, to provide certainty to the ham producers and to continue an orderly reduction in methyl bromide produced for critical uses, EPA will allow the continued use of post-harvest carryover for hams beyond 2016. Accordingly, EPA is not specifying a date limitation in appendix L for the approval of dry cured pork products as critical uses.

    Uptake of Alternatives: EPA considers data on the availability of alternatives that it receives following submission of each nomination to UNEP. In previous rules EPA has reduced the total CUE amount when a new alternative has been registered and increased the new production amount when an alternative is withdrawn, but not above the amount permitted by the Parties. Neither circumstance has occurred since the nomination was submitted for 2016.

    EPA is not making any other modifications to CUE amounts to account for availability of alternatives. Rates of transition to alternatives have already been applied for permitted 2016 critical use amounts through the nomination and authorization process. EPA continues to gather information about methyl bromide alternatives through the CUE application process, and by other means. EPA also continues to support research and adoption of methyl bromide alternatives, and to request information about the economic and technical feasibility of all existing and potential alternatives.

    Allocation Amounts: EPA is issuing critical use allowances for new production or import of methyl bromide equivalent to 140,531 kg to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Albemarle Corporation, ICL-IP America, and TriCal, Inc in proportion to their respective baselines. Paragraph 3 of Decision XXVI/6 states that “parties shall endeavour to license, permit, authorize or allocate quantities of methyl bromide for critical uses as listed in table A of the annex to the present decision. . . .” This is similar to language in prior Decisions permitting critical uses. These Decisions call on Parties to endeavor to allocate critical use methyl bromide on a sector basis.

    EPA is assigning the 7,906 kg reduction for available stocks and 86,343 kg reduction for carryover in proportion to the amounts indicated in Table A of the annex to Decision XXVI/6. In other words, both the pre-plant and the post-harvest allocation are reduced by 40%. Specifically, the pre-plant allocation for California strawberry production is 138,592 kg and the post-harvest allocation for dry cured ham is 1,939 kg. Reported data show that the critical use methyl bromide carried over from 2014 and the existing stocks include both pre-plant and post-harvest material.

    The proposed Framework Rule contained several options for allocating critical use allowances, including a sector-by-sector approach. The Agency evaluated various options based on their economic, environmental, and practical effects. After receiving comments, EPA determined in the final Framework Rule that a lump-sum, or universal, allocation, modified to include distinct caps for pre-plant and post-harvest uses, was the most efficient and least burdensome approach that would achieve the desired environmental results, and that a sector-by-sector approach would pose significant administrative and practical difficulties. Because there is only one use in the pre-plant sector and one use in the post-harvest sector, this rule follows the breakout of specific uses in Decision XXVI/6.

    Emergency Use: The U.S. government is committed to using flexibility in the Protocol's existing mechanisms as an avenue to address changes in national circumstance that affect the transition to alternatives. EPA requested comments and any new information on specific emergency situations that may necessitate the use of methyl bromide, consistent with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol, and which could be difficult to address using current tools and authorities. EPA did not receive any comments in response to this request.

    E. The Criteria in Decisions IX/6 and Ex. I/4

    Decision XXVI/6 calls on Parties to apply the criteria in Decision IX/6, paragraph 1 and the conditions set forth in Decision Ex. I/4 (to the extent applicable) to exempted critical uses for the 2016 control period. The following section provides references to sections of this preamble and other documents where EPA considers the criteria of those two Decisions.

    Decision IX/6, paragraph 1 contains the critical use criteria, which are summarized in Section III.A of the preamble. The nomination documents detail how each critical use meets the criteria in Decision IX/6, paragraph 1 including: The lack of available technically and economically feasible alternatives under the circumstance of the nomination; efforts to minimize use and emissions of methyl bromide where technically and economically feasible; and the development of research and transition plans. The nomination documents also address the requests in Decision Ex. I/4 paragraphs 5 and 6 that Parties consider and implement MBTOC recommendations, where feasible, on actions a Party may take to reduce the critical uses of methyl bromide and include information on the methodology they use to determine economic feasibility.

    A discussion of the Agency's application of the critical use criteria to the critical uses in this rule appears in Sections III.A., III.C., and III.D. of this preamble. The Agency has previously provided its interpretation of the criterion in Decision IX/6, paragraph (1)(a)(i) regarding the presence of significant market disruption in the absence of an exemption. EPA refers readers to the preamble to the 2006 CUE rule (71 FR 5989, February 6, 2006) as well as to the memo in the docket titled “Development of 2003 Nomination for a Critical Use Exemption for Methyl Bromide for the United States of America” for further elaboration. As explained in those documents, EPA's interpretation of this term has several dimensions, including looking at potential effects on both demand and supply for a commodity, evaluating potential losses at both an individual level and at an aggregate level, and evaluating potential losses in both relative and absolute terms.

    The United States also considered the research and adoption of alternatives when developing the National Management Strategy submitted to the Ozone Secretariat in December 2005 and updated in October 2009. The National Management Strategy addresses all of the aims specified in Decision Ex. I/4, paragraph 3 to the extent feasible and is available in the docket for this rulemaking.

    F. Emissions Minimization

    Previous Decisions of the Parties have stated that critical users shall employ emissions minimization techniques such as virtually impermeable films, barrier film technologies, deep shank injection and/or other techniques that promote environmental protection, whenever technically and economically feasible. EPA developed a comprehensive strategy for risk mitigation through the 2009 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) 2 for methyl bromide, available in the docket to this rulemaking, which is implemented through restrictions on how methyl bromide products can be used. This approach means that methyl bromide labels require that treated sites be tarped. The RED also incorporated incentives for applicators to use high-barrier tarps, such as virtually impermeable film, by allowing smaller buffer zones around those sites. In addition to minimizing emissions, use of high-barrier tarps has the benefit of providing pest control at lower application rates. The amount of methyl bromide nominated by the United States reflects the lower application rates necessary when using high-barrier tarps.

    2 Additional information on risk mitigation measures for soil fumigants is available at http://epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/.

    EPA will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to promote emissions reduction techniques. The Federal government has invested substantial resources into developing and implementing best practices for methyl bromide use, including emissions reduction practices. The Cooperative Extension System, which receives some support from USDA-NIFA, provides locally appropriate and project-focused outreach education regarding methyl bromide transition best practices. Additional information on USDA research on alternatives and emissions reduction can be found at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/programs/programs.htm?NP_CODE=303, http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/programs/programs.htm?NP_CODE=304, and http://www.csrees.usda.gov.

    Users of methyl bromide should continue to minimize overall emissions of methyl bromide. EPA also encourages researchers and users who are using techniques to minimize emissions of methyl bromide to inform EPA of their experiences and to provide information on such techniques with their critical use applications.

    G. Technical Correction to Recordkeeping and Reporting Provisions

    EPA is making minor technical changes to section 82.13(y) and (z) related to recordkeeping and reporting under the quarantine and preshipment exemption. Section 82.13(y) contains a reference to paragraph (aa) where it should reference paragraph (y). Similarly, section 82.13(z) contains a reference to paragraph (bb) where it should reference paragraph (z). This merely corrects a typographical error and is not a substantive change to the recordkeeping requirements or the quarantine and preshipment exemption program.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0482. The application, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements have already been established under previous critical use exemption rulemakings.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. Since this rule allows the use of methyl bromide for approved critical uses after the phaseout date of January 1, 2005, this action confers a benefit to users of methyl bromide. We have therefore concluded that this action will relieve regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. This action allocates allowances for the production and import of methyl bromide to private entities. This rule also limits the critical uses to geographical areas that reflect the scope of the trade associations that applied for a critical use. This rule does not impose any duties or responsibilities on state governments or allocate any rights to produce or use methyl bromide to a state government.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Indian tribal governments nor does it impose any enforceable duties on communities of Indian tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the Agency does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This action's health and risk assessments are contained in the Regulatory Impacts Analysis and Benefits Analysis found in the docket.

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

    This action is not a “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy. This action does not pertain to any segment of the energy production economy nor does it regulate any manner of energy use.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    EPA believes this action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it affects the level of environmental protection equally for all affected populations. Any ozone depletion that results from this action will result in impacts that are, in general, equally distributed across geographical regions in the United States. The impacts do not fall disproportionately on minority or low-income populations but instead vary with a wide variety of factors. Populations that work or live near fields or other application sites may benefit from the reduced amount of methyl bromide applied, as compared to amounts allowed under previous critical use exemption rules.

    K. Congressional Review Act

    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 rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will be effective January 1, 2016.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Exports, Imports, Ozone depletion.

    Dated: October 5, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR part 82 is amended as follows:

    PART 82—PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE 1. The authority citation for part 82 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7414, 7601, 7671-7671q.

    2. Amend § 82.8 by revising the table in paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows:
    § 82.8 Grant of essential use allowances and critical use allowances.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Company 2016 Critical use allowances for pre-plant uses *
  • (kilograms)
  • 2016 Critical use allowances for post-harvest uses *
  • (kilograms)
  • Great Lakes Chemical Corp. A Chemtura Company 84,222 1,179 Albemarle Corp. 34,634 485 ICL-IP America 19,140 268 TriCal, Inc. 596 8 Total 138,592 1,939 * For production or import of Class I, Group VI controlled substance exclusively for the pre-plant or post-harvest uses specified in appendix L to this subpart.
    3. Amend § 82.13 by revising paragraphs (y) and (z) to read as follows:
    § 82.13 Recordkeeping and reporting requirements for class I controlled substances.

    (y) Every distributor of methyl bromide (class I, Group VI controlled substances) who purchases or receives a quantity produced or imported solely for quarantine or preshipment applications under the exemptions in this subpart must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (y) of this section.

    (z) Every applicator of class I, Group VI controlled substances who purchases or receives a quantity produced or imported solely for quarantine and preshipment applications under the exemptions in this subpart must comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (z) of this section.

    4. Amend subpart A by revising appendix L to read as follows: APPENDIX L TO SUBPART A OF PART 82—APPROVED CRITICAL USES AND LIMITING CRITICAL CONDITIONS FOR THOSE USES Column A Column B Column C Approved Critical Uses Approved Critical User, Location of Use Limiting Critical Conditions
  • that exist, or that the approved critical user reasonably expects could arise without methyl bromide fumigation:
  • PRE-PLANT USES Strawberry Fruit California growers in 2015 and 2016. Moderate to severe black root rot or crown rot
  • Moderate to severe yellow or purple nutsedge infestation
  • Moderate to severe nematode infestation
  • Local township limits prohibiting 1,3-dichloropropene
  • POST-HARVEST USES Dry Cured Pork Products Members of the National Country Ham Association and the American Association of Meat Processors, Nahunta Pork Center (North Carolina), and Gwaltney of Smithfield Inc. Red legged ham beetle infestation
  • Cheese/ham skipper infestation
  • Dermestid beetle infestation
  • Ham mite infestation
  • [FR Doc. 2015-26301 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service 42 CFR Part 5 Designation of Health Professional(s) Shortage Areas CFR Correction

    In Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1 to 399, revised as of October 1, 2014:

    1 On page 70, in Appendix A to Part 5, Part III, paragraph A is removed and Part I, paragraph A is redesignated as Part III, paragraph A; and on page 67, Part I, paragraph A is reinstated to read as follows:

    APPENDIX A TO PART 5—CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION OF AREAS HAVING SHORTAGES OF PRIMARY MEDICAL CARE PROFESSIONAL(S) PART I—Geographic Areas A. Criteria

    A geographic area will be designated as having a shortage of primary medical care manpower if the following three criteria are met:

    1. The area is a rational area for the delivery of primary medical care services.

    2. One of the following conditions prevails within the area:

    (a) The area has population to full-time-equivalent primary care physician ratio of at least 3,500:1.

    (b) The area has a population to full-time-equivalent primary care physician ratio of less than 3,500:1 but greater than 3,000:1 and has usually high needs for primary care services or insufficient capacity of existing primary care providers.

    3. Primary medical care manpower in contiguous areas are overutilized, excessively distant, or inaccessible to the population of the area under consideration.

    2. On page 74, in Appendix B to Part 5, Part III, paragraph A is removed and Part I, paragraph A is redesignated as Part III, paragraph A; and on page 71, Part I, paragraph A is reinstated to read as follows:

    APPENDIX B TO PART 5—CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION OF AREAS HAVING SHORTAGES OD DENTAL PROFESSIONAL(S) Part I—Geographic Areas A. Criteria

    A geographic area will be designated as having a dental manpower shortage if the following three criteria are met:

    1. The area is a rational area for the delivery of dental services.

    2. One of the following conditions prevails in the area:

    (a) The area has a population to full-time-equivalent dentist ratio of less than 5,000:1 or

    (b) The area has a population to full-time-equivalent dentist ratio of less than 5,000:1 but greater than 4,000:1 and has unusually high needs for dental services or insufficient capacity of existing dental providers.

    3. Dental manpower in contiguous areas are over utilized, excessively distant, or inaccessible to the population of the area under consideration.

    3. On page 77, in Appendix C to Part 5, Part III, paragraph A is revised to read as follows:

    APPENDIX C TO PART 5—CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION OF AREAS HAVING SHORTAGES OF MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS Part III—Facilities A. Federal and State Correctional Institutions 1. Criteria.

    Medium to maximum security Federal and State correctional institutions and youth detention facilities will be designated as having a shortage of psychiatric manpower if both of the following criteria are met:

    (a) The institution has more than 250 inmates, and

    (b) The ratio of the number of internees per year to the number of FTE psychiatrists serving the institution is at least 1,000:1.

    Here the number of internees is defined as follows:

    (i) If the number of new inmates per year and the average length-of-stay are not specified, or if the information provided does not indicate that intake psychiatric examinations are routinely performed upon entry, then—

    Number of internees=average number of inmates

    (ii) If the average length-of-stay is specified as one year or more, and the intake psychiatric examinations are routinely performed upon entry, then—

    Number internees=average number of inmates+number of new inmates per year

    (iii) If the average length-of-stay is specified as less than one year, and intake psychiatric examinations are routinely performed upon entry, then—

    Number of internees=average number of inmates+1/3×[1+(2×ALOS)]×number of new inmates per year

    where ALOS=average length-of-stay (in fraction of year) (The number of FTE psychiatrists is computed as in Part I, Section B, paragraph 3 above.)

    2. Determination of Degree of Shortage.

    Designated correctional institutions will be assigned to degree-of-shortage groups, based on the number of inmates and/or the ration (R) of internees to FTE psychiatrists, as follows:

    Group 1—Institutions with 500 or more inmates and no psychiatrist.

    Group 2—Other institutions with no psychiatrists and institutions with R greater than (or equal to) 3,000:1.

    Group 3—Institutions with R greater than (or equal to) 2,000:1 but less than 3,000:1.

    [FR Doc. 2015-26249 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1827 and 1852 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    NASA is making technical amendments to the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to provide needed editorial changes.

    DATES:

    Effective: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manuel Quinones, NASA, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, via email at [email protected], or telephone (202) 358-2143.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    As part NASA's retrospective review of existing regulations pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, NASA conducted a comprehensive review of it regulations and published two final rules in the Federal Register (80 FR 12935 and 80 FR 36719) on March 12, 2015, and June 26, 2015, respectively. As published, these rules contain errors due to inadvertent omission of affected clause dates and other errors that need to be corrected. A summary of changes follows:

    • Section 1827.409 is revised to reinsert clause prescription paragraphs 1827.409(g), (i), and (k), which were inadvertently omitted from the rule published on March 12, 2015 (80 FR 12935).

    • Sections 1852.203-71, 1852.204-76, 1852.215-77, 1852.216-90, 1852.225-8, 1852.227-17, 1852.227-19, 1852.227-88, 1852.237-72, and 1852.237-73 are revised to correct clause dates and/or clause titles.

    List of Subject in 48 CFR Parts 1827 and 1852

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, NASA FAR Supplement Manager.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1827 and 1852 are amended as follows:

    PART 1827—PATENTS, DATA, AND COPYRIGHTS 1. The authority citation for part 1827 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    2. Amend section 1827.409 by adding paragraphs (g), (i), and (k) to read as follows:
    1827.409 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (g) The contracting officer shall use the clause at 1852.227-86, Commercial Computer Software License, in lieu of FAR 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License, when it is considered appropriate for the acquisition of existing computer software.

    (i) The contract officer shall modify the clause at FAR 52.227-17, Rights in Data—Special Works by adding paragraph (f) as set forth in 1852.227-17.

    (k)(i) The contracting officer shall add paragraph (e) as set forth in 1852.227-19(a) to the clause at FAR 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License, when it is contemplated that updates, correction notices, consultation information, and other similar items of information relating to commercial computer software delivered under a purchase order or contract are available and their receipt can be facilitated by signing a vendor supplied agreement, registration forms, or cards and returning them directly to the vendor.

    (ii) The contracting officer shall add paragraph (f) as set forth at 1852.227-19(b) to the clause at FAR 52.227-19, Commercial Computer Software License, when portions of a contractor's standard commercial license or lease agreement consistent with the clause, Federal laws, standard industry practices, and the FAR are to be incorporated into the purchase order or contract.

    PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 3. The authority citation for part 1852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    1852.203-71 [Amended]
    4. Amend section 1852.203-71 by removing “AUGUST 2014” and adding “AUG 2014” in its place.
    1852.204-76 [Amended]
    5. Amend section 1852.204-76 by removing “MONTH YEAR” and adding “JAN 2011” in its place.
    1852.215-77 [Amended]
    6. Amend section 1852.215-77 by removing “DEC 1988” and adding “APR 2015” in its place.
    1852.216-90 [Amended]
    7. Amend section 1852.216-90 by removing “AUGUST 2014” and adding “AUG 2014” in its place.
    1852.225-8 [Amended]
    8. Amend the section heading of 1852.225-8 by removing “Duty-free entry of space articles” and adding “Duty-free entry of space articles (FEB 2000)” in its place.
    1852.227-17 [Amended]
    9. Amend the section heading of 1852.227-17 by removing “Rights in data—Special works” and adding “Rights in data—Special works (JUL 1997)” in its place.
    1852.227-19 [Amended]
    10. Amend the section heading of 1852.227-19 by removing “Commercial computer software—Restricted rights” and adding “Commercial computer software—Restricted rights (JUL 1997)” in its place.
    1852.227-88 [Amended]
    11. Amend section 1852.227-88 by adding a clause title and date immediately following the introductory text to read as follows:
    1852.227-88 Government-furnished computer software and related technical data. GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED COMPUTER SOFTWARE AND RELATED TECHNICAL DATA (APR 2015)
    1852.237-72 [Amended]
    12. Amend section 1852.237-72 by removing “JUNE 2005” and adding “JUN 2005” in its place.
    1852.237-73 [Amended]
    13. Amend section 1852.237-73 by removing “JUNE 2005” and adding “JUN 2005” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26255 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 111220786-1781-01] RIN 0648-XE241 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Available for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the 2015 summer flounder commercial fishery within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is reopening to allow permitted vessels to fully harvest remaining commercial summer flounder quota as of October 12, 2015. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this rule to advise Massachusetts that quota remains available to be landed, and to inform Federal vessel and dealer permit holders that Federal commercial summer flounder quota is available for landing in Massachusetts.

    DATES:

    Effective 0001 hours October 12, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, (978) 281-9112, or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage basis among the coastal states from Maine through North Carolina. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.103(b).

    The total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2015 fishing year is 11,069,410 lb (5,020,999 kg) (79 FR 78311, December 30, 2014). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in Massachusetts is 6.82046 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 754,985 lb (342,455 kg). The 2015 Massachusetts allocation was adjusted to 760,785 lb (340,165 kg) to reflect the 2014 quota overages and the transfer of quota from other states. On September 17, 2015, NMFS closed the 2015 commercial summer flounder fishery in Massachusetts based on up-to-date catch information. Analysis after the closure indicates that 16,294 lb (7,390 kg) of the760,785 lb (340,165 kg) of Massachusetts commercial summer flounder quota remains unharvested. Therefore, we are reopening the Federal fishery concurrent with the Massachusetts action to open state waters to allow for full utilization of the 2015 Massachusetts commercial summer flounder quota.

    The Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that there is still commercial summer flounder quota available for harvest in Massachusetts. NMFS is required to publish notification in the Federal Register advising and notifying commercial vessels and dealer permit holders that, effective upon a specific date, the commercial fishery will re-open.

    Therefore, effective 0001 hours October 12, 2015, vessels holding summer flounder commercial Federal fisheries permits can again land summer flounder in Massachusetts until the commercial state quota is fully harvested. Effective 0001 hours October 12, 2015, federally permitted dealers can also purchase summer flounder from federally permitted vessels that land in Massachusetts until the commercial state quota is fully harvested.

    Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be contrary to the public interest. This action reopens the summer flounder fishery for Massachusetts until the state commercial summer flounder quota is fully harvested, under current regulations. If implementation of this reopening were delayed to solicit prior public comment, the quota for this fishing year would not be fully harvested, thereby undermining the conservation objectives of the Summer Flounder Fishery Management Plan. The AA further finds, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period for the reason stated above.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26227 Filed 10-9-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 199 Thursday, October 15, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket Number EERE-2015-BT-STD-0008] RIN 1904-AD52 Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee: Notice of Open Meetings for the Dedicated Purpose Pool Pumps (DPPP) Working Group To Negotiate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Energy Conservation Standards AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) announces public meetings and webinars for the DPPP Working Group. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that agencies publish notice of an advisory committee meeting in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held at U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585 unless otherwise stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    Individuals will also have the opportunity to participate by webinar. To register for the webinars and receive call-in information, please register at DOE's Web site https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx/ruleid/14.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1692. Email: [email protected] Ms. Johanna Hariharan, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9496. Email: [email protected].
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DOE will host public meetings and webinars on the below dates. Meetings will be hosted at DOE's Forrestal Building, unless otherwise stated.

    • October 19, 2015; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT • October 20, 2015; 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT • November 12, 2015; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST; Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, 110 City Parkway, Suite 300, Las Vegas, NV 89106 • November 13, 2015; 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PST; Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services, 110 City Parkway, Suite 300, Las Vegas, NV 89106 • December 7, 2015; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST • December 8, 2015; 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST

    Members of the public are welcome to observe the business of the meeting and, if time allows, may make oral statements during the specified period for public comment. To attend the meeting and/or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, email [email protected] . In the email, please indicate your name, organization (if appropriate), citizenship, and contact information. Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures which require advance notice prior to attendance at the public meeting. If you are a foreign national, and wish to participate in the public meeting, please inform DOE as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Regina Washington at (202) 586-1214 or by email: [email protected] so that the necessary procedures can be completed. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present a government photo identification, such as a passport, driver's license, or government identification. Due to the required security screening upon entry, individuals attending should arrive early to allow for the extra time needed.

    Due to the REAL ID Act implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recent changes have been made regarding ID requirements for individuals wishing to enter Federal buildings from specific states and U.S. territories. Driver's licenses from the following states or territory will not be accepted for building entry and one of the alternate forms of ID listed below will be required.

    DHS has determined that regular driver's licenses (and ID cards) from the following jurisdictions are not acceptable for entry into DOE facilities: Alaska, Louisiana, New York, American Samoa, Maine, Oklahoma, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington, and Minnesota.

    Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include: U.S. Passport or Passport Card; an Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by the states of Minnesota, New York or Washington (Enhanced licenses issued by these states are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License); A military ID or other Federal government issued Photo-ID card.

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the first set of meeting dates due to logistical issues that had to be resolved prior to the meeting date.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 7, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26298 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 188 [Docket ID: DOD-2013-OS-0230] RIN 0790-AJ16 DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would establish policy, assign responsibilities, and provide procedures to be used by DoD personnel for the operation and management of the DoD ELAP. The DoD ELAP provides a unified DoD program through which commercial environmental laboratories can voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international quality systems standards as they are implemented by DoD.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edmund Miller, 571-372-6904.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

    The purpose of this regulatory action is to document the procedures for the operation and management of the DoD Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP). The legal authority for the regulatory action is Section 515, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554), which directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-wide guidelines that “provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal Agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal Agencies.” OMB guidelines, provided by FR Volume 67, Number 36, page 8452 (February 22, 2002) required federal agencies to maintain a basic standard of quality and take appropriate steps to incorporate information quality criteria into DoD public information dissemination practices. The guidance further provided that DoD Components shall adopt standards of quality that are appropriate to the nature and timeliness of the information they disseminate. The DoD ELAP provides the standards for ensuring the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of definitive environmental testing data disseminated by DoD for the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP).

    This rule includes a general overview of DoD ELAP and establishment of standard operating procedures. It utilizes the baseline quality systems requirements of The NELAC Institute (TNI) and ISO/IEC 17025 standards, but alone neither of these standards meet the testing and analysis needs for DERP. Therefore the DoD Quality Systems Manual (QSM) for environmental laboratories serves as the standard for DoD ELAP accreditation. The QSM contains the minimum requirements DoD considers essential to ensure the generation of definitive environmental data of know quality, appropriate for their intended uses. These minimal needs are not met by TNI or ISO 17025 standards alone. The DoD ELAP includes procedures on how to evaluate and recognize 3rd party accreditation bodies; perform and document government oversight of the DoD ELAP to ensure ongoing compliance with program requirements and to identify opportunities for continual improvement; conduct project-specific laboratory approvals for specific tests not addressed in the DoD ELAP; and handle specific complaints concerning the processes established by the DoD ELAP or the QSM.

    Past DoD laboratory assessment programs were specific to each DoD Component and limited to available resources. This created an overlap in assessments and fewer opportunities for laboratories to participate on DoD contracts. This rule proposes to establish a program to allow qualified laboratories to received third-party accreditation and become eligible to provide environmental sampling and testing services for DoD. It will be a voluntary program open to any qualified laboratories wishing to participate, thereby promoting fair and open competition among commercial laboratories.

    Since laboratories fund their own participation in the accreditation process, it will allow DoD to focus its resources on providing oversight of laboratory contracts. By proposing to replace separate DoD Component-specific laboratory approval programs, The DoD ELAP will eliminate redundant assessments, promote interoperability across the Department, streamline the process for DoD to identify and procure competent providers of environmental laboratory services, and provide more opportunities for commercial laboratories to participate in DoD environmental sampling and testing contracts.

    The scope of accreditation under ELAP includes specific laboratory services such as the test methods used, type of material tested (soil, water, etc.), and type of contaminants measured. The evaluation of a test method also includes the use of internal laboratory standard operating procedures.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” but not an economically significant action because it does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

    Sec. 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense does not expect this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et. seq.). The rule establishes a policy to provide a unified DoD program for commercial environmental laboratories to voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international quality system standards already implemented by DoD. The Department's experience with these laboratories indicates that the professional skill and technical requirements of the accreditation program limits the numbers of entities that are likely to be impacted by this rule to approximately 100 entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require that DoD prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 188 does not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The requirements in this rule do not require OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act as the information is collected by the four accreditation bodies and not the Department. These accreditation bodies accredit the laboratories to meet DoD standards for environmental sampling and testing.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 188

    Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, Oversight.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 188 is proposed to be added to read as follows:

    PART 188—DOD ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (ELAP) Sec. 188.1 Purpose. 188.2 Applicability. 188.3 Definitions. 188.4 Policy. 188.5 Responsibilities. 188.6 Procedures. Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3701, Public Law 106-554.

    § 188.1 Purpose.

    This part implements policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures to be used by DoD personnel for the operation and management of the DoD ELAP.

    § 188.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components”).

    § 188.3 Definitions.

    Unless otherwise noted, these terms and their definitions are for the purposes of this part.

    Accreditation. Third-party attestation conveying formal demonstration of a laboratory's competence to carry out specific tasks.

    Accreditation body (AB). Authoritative organization that performs accreditation.

    Assessment. Process undertaken by an AB to evaluate the competence of a laboratory, based on requirements contained in the DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories (QSM), for a defined scope of accreditation.

    Change. A reissuance of the DoD QSM containing minor changes to requirements or clarifications of existing requirements necessary to ensure consistent implementation.

    Complaint. Defined in International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025:2005, “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories” (available for purchase at http://www.iso.org/iso/store.htm).

    Contractor project chemist. Defined in Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services” (available at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/dfars/changenotice/2008/20080303/223.7.pdf).

    Corrective action response. Description, prepared by the laboratory, of specific actions to be taken to correct a deficiency and prevent its reoccurrence.

    Deficiency. An unauthorized deviation from requirements.

    Definitive data. Defined in DoD Instruction 4715.15, “Environmental Quality Systems” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/471515p.pdf).

    Environmental Data Quality Workgroup (EDQW) component principal. A voting member of the DoD EDQW.

    Errata sheet. A document prepared by the EDQW and issued by the EDQW chair, defining minor “pen and ink” changes that apply to the most recently issued version of the DoD QSM. Errata will be corrected in the next change or revision of the DoD QSM.

    Government chemist. Defined in USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.”

    Government oversight. The set of activities performed by or on behalf of the DoD EDQW to provide assurance that ABs and assessors are providing thorough, consistent, objective, and impartial assessments within the specified scopes of accreditation and to identify opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD QSM and DoD ELAP.

    International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) mutual recognition arrangement (MRA). An arrangement through which ABs are evaluated and accepted by their peers for conformance to ILAC rules and procedures. To be accepted into the ILAC MRA, the AB must become a signatory to its requirements; specifically, it must commit to maintain conformance with the current version of Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Ensuring Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public by the Department of Defense”) and ensure that the laboratories it accredits comply with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

    ILAC MRA peer evaluation. The process through which ABs are assessed by other ABs and receive or maintain acceptance into the ILAC MRA.

    Project-specific laboratory approval. The set of activities undertaken by the DoD EDQW to assess whether a laboratory is competent to perform specific tests, in the case where no DoD-ELAP accredited laboratory is able to perform the required tests.

    Quality system. Defined in ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

    Recognition. The acceptance of an AB by the EDQW based on its demonstrated commitment to maintain signatory status in the ILAC MRA and accept the DoD ELAP conditions and criteria for recognition.

    Revision. A reissuance of the DoD QSM containing significant changes in requirements or scope. A significant change is one that could reasonably be expected to affect a laboratory's ability to comply with the requirement (i.e., the laboratory is likely to have to make a change in its quality system or technical procedures in order to maintain compliance).

    Scope of accreditation. Specific laboratory services, stated in terms of test method, matrix, and analyte, for which accreditation is sought or has been granted.

    § 188.4 Policy.

    It is DoD policy, in accordance with DoD Instruction 4715.15, to implement the DoD ELAP for the collection of definitive data in support of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) at all DoD operations, activities, and installations, including government-owned, contractor-operated facilities and formerly used defense sites.

    § 188.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) Secretaries of the Military Departments and Director, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The Director, DLA, is under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(AT&L), through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness. The Secretaries of the Military Departments and Director, DLA:

    (1) Provide resources to support project-specific government oversight for the collection of definitive data in support of the DERP.

    (2) Provide resources to support project-specific laboratory approvals, if required.

    (b) Secretary of the Navy. In addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary of the Navy plans, programs, and budgets for DoD EDQW activities necessary to support government oversight of the DoD ELAP.

    § 188.6 Procedures.

    (a) DoD ELAP Overview—(1) Introduction. (i) DoD ELAP provides a unified DoD program through which commercial environmental laboratories can voluntarily demonstrate competency and document conformance to the international standard established in ISO/IEC 17025:2005 as implemented by the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Memorandum, “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories” (available at http://www.denix.osd.mil/edqw/upload/QSM-V4-2-Final-102510.pdf) (referred to in this part as the “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories (QSM)”). The DoD QSM provides minimum quality systems requirements, based on ISO/IEC 17025:2005, for environmental laboratories performing testing for DoD.

    (ii) DoD ELAP was developed in compliance with 15 U.S.C. 3701 (also known as the “National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act”). Support and guidance was provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, following procedures used to establish similar programs for other areas of testing. The DoD ELAP supports implementation of section 515 of Public Law 106-554, “Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001” and Office of Management and Budget Guidance, “Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies” (67 FR 8452) as implemented by Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Ensuring Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public by the Department of Defense.”

    (iii) Using third party ABs operating in accordance with the international standard ISO/IEC 17011:2004(E), “Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies” (available for purchase at http://www.iso.org/iso/store.htm), the DoD ELAP:

    (A) Promotes interoperability among the DoD Components.

    (B) Promotes fair and open competition among commercial laboratories.

    (C) Streamlines the process for identifying and procuring competent providers of environmental laboratory services.

    (D) Promotes the collection of data of known and documented quality.

    (2) Authority. Operation of the DoD ELAP is authorized by DoD Instruction 4715.15.

    (3) Program Requirements. (i) Pursuant to DoD Instruction 4715.15, laboratories seeking to perform testing in support of the DERP must be accredited in accordance with DoD ELAP.

    (ii) The DoD ELAP applies to:

    (A) Environmental programs at DoD operations, activities, and installations, including government-owned, contractor-operated facilities and formerly used defense sites.

    (B) Permanent, temporary, and mobile laboratories regardless of their size, volume of business, or field of accreditation that generate definitive data.

    (iii) Participation in the program is voluntary and open to all laboratories that operate under a quality system conforming to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Memorandum, “DoD Quality Systems Manual for Environmental Laboratories.” Laboratories may seek accreditation for any method they perform in accordance with documented procedures, including non-standard methods. Laboratories are free to select any participating AB for accreditation services.

    (iv) To participate in DoD ELAP, ABs must be U.S.-based signatories to the ILAC MRA and must operate in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011:2004(E).

    (4) Program Oversight. In accordance with Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Memorandum, “DoD Environmental Data Quality Workgroup Charter” (available at http://www.denix.osd.mil/edqw/upload/USA004743-10-Signed-Memo-to-DASs-DLA-DoD-Envir-Data-Quality-Workgroup-Charter-1Oct10-1.pdf), the DoD EDQW:

    (i) Provides coordinated responses to legislative and regulatory initiatives.

    (ii) Responds to requests for DoD Component information.

    (iii) Develops and recommends department-wide policy related to sampling, testing, and quality assurance for environmental programs.

    (iv) Implements and provides oversight for the DoD ELAP.

    (v) Includes technical experts from the Military Services and DLA as well as an EDQW component principal (voting) member from each of the Military Services.

    (vi) Specifies the EDQW Navy principal, Director of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEASYSCOM) 04XQ(LABS), serve as EDQW chair.

    (b) Maintaining the DoD QSM—(1) General. The DoD EDQW will maintain and improve the DoD QSM to ensure that:

    (i) The DoD QSM remains current in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

    (ii) Minimum essential requirements are met.

    (iii) Requirements are clear, concise, and auditable.

    (iv) The DoD QSM will efficiently and effectively support the DoD ELAP.

    (2) Procedures.—(i) Annual Review. At a minimum, the DoD EDQW will perform an annual review of the DoD QSM, based on feedback received from participants in DoD ELAP (e.g., DoD Components, commercial laboratories, and ABs). The review will also address any revisions to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

    (ii) Ongoing Review. As received, the DoD EDQW will respond to questions submitted through the Defense Environmental Network Information Exchange (DENIX) concerning the interpretation of DoD QSM requirements. DoD EDQW participants will forward all questions through their EDQW component principal to the DoD EDQW chair.

    (iii) Issuances. The DoD EDQW chair will prepare DoD QSM updates:

    (A) Correspondence. The DoD EDQW chair, in consultation with the EDQW component principals, will prepare correspondence (email or memorandum) providing responses to all written requests for clarification and interpretation of the DoD QSM. Depending on the significance of the issue, as determined by the EDQW chair, the response may also result in a posting to the frequently asked question (FAQ) section of the appropriate Web sites.

    (B) Errata Sheets. Minor corrections to the DoD QSM, such as typographical errors, may be made by the issuance of an errata sheet defining “pen and ink” changes that apply to the current version of the DoD QSM. Following concurrence by all EDQW component principals, errata sheets will be issued as needed by the DoD EDQW chair. Errata will be corrected in the next change or revision to the DoD QSM.

    (C) Changes. Changes to the DoD QSM will be issued as necessary to reflect minor changes to requirements or clarifications of existing requirements that are necessary to ensure consistent implementation. Following concurrence by the EDQW component principals, changes will be issued by the DoD EDQW chair in the form of a complete DoD QSM.

    (1) The first change to DoD QSM Version 4 will be numbered Version 4.1, the second change will be Version 4.2, etc.

    (2) Changes to the DoD QSM will be posted on DENIX in place of the previous version or change of the DoD QSM.

    (D) Revisions. A revision will be issued if one or more of the proposed changes could reasonably be expected to affect a laboratory's ability to comply with the requirement (i.e., the laboratory is likely to have to make a change in its quality system or technical procedures).

    (1) Once EDQW component principals have reached consensus on the proposed revision, the DoD EDQW chair will forward the proposed revision to all participating DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories and ABs for review.

    (2) The DoD EDQW will review and respond to comments received from the DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories and ABs within the designated comment period.

    (3) Following concurrence by the EDQW component principals, revisions will be issued by the DoD EDQW chair in the form of a complete DoD QSM.

    (4) A revision of Version 4 will be issued as Version 5, a revision of Version 5 will be issued as Version 6, etc.

    (5) The final revised version of the DoD QSM will be posted on DENIX in place of the previous version including any DoD QSM updates.

    (3) Continual Improvement. The DoD EDQW will meet with the ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP and the DoD QSM.

    (4) Data and Records Management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain all DoD QSM updates in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1, “Department of the Navy Records Management Program: Records Management Manual” (available at http://doni.daps.dla.mil/SECNAV%20Manuals1/5210.1.pdf).

    (c) Recognizing ABs.—(1) General. (i) The DoD EDQW will:

    (A) Use the procedures in this paragraph to evaluate and recognize third-party ABs in support of the DoD ELAP.

    (B) Develop and maintain the application for recognition, the conditions and criteria for recognition and related forms, and review submitted AB applications for completeness and compliance with DoD ELAP requirements.

    (ii) The DoD EDQW chair, following consultation with and concurrence by the EDQW component principals, grants or revokes AB recognition in accordance with this paragraph.

    (2) Limitations. Candidate ABs must be U.S.-based signatories in good standing to the ILAC MRA. ABs must maintain ILAC recognition to maintain DoD ELAP recognition. Because the EDQW continually monitors AB performance, no pre-defined limits are placed on the duration of recognition; however, the EDQW may revoke recognition at any time, for cause, in accordance with paragraph (c)(3)(vii) of this section.

    (3) Procedures.

    (i) Upon receipt of an application for recognition, the DoD EDQW will review the application package for completeness. A complete application package must include:

    (A) Application for recognition.

    (B) Signed acceptance of the conditions and criteria for DoD ELAP recognition.

    (C) Electronic copy of the AB's quality systems documentation.

    (D) Copy of the most recent ILAC MRA peer evaluation documentation.

    (ii) If necessary to complete the review, the DoD EDQW will request additional documentation from the applicant.

    (iii) The EDQW component principals will review the application package for compliance with requirements. Prior to granting recognition, the EDQW component principals must unanimously concur that all application requirements have been met.

    (iv) Once the EDQW component principals have completed review of the application package, the DoD EDQW chair will notify the AB, either granting recognition or citing specific reasons for not doing so (i.e., indicating which areas of the application package are deficient).

    (v) Once recognition has been granted, the DoD EDQW chair will post the name and contact information of the AB on DENIX.

    (vi) With unanimous concurrence, the EDQW component principals may revoke recognition if the AB:

    (A) Violates any of the conditions or criteria for recognition.

    (B) Fails to operate in accordance with its documented quality system.

    (vii) Should it become necessary to revoke an AB's recognition, the DoD EDQW chair will notify the AB stating specific reasons for the revocation and remove the AB's name from the list of DoD ELAP-recognized ABs.

    (viii) If recognition is revoked, the AB must immediately cease to perform all DoD ELAP assessments.

    (ix) ABs who have been denied recognition, or ABs whose recognition has been revoked, may appeal that decision.

    (A) Within 15 calendar days of its receipt of a notice denying or revoking recognition, the AB must submit to the DoD EDQW chair a written statement with supporting documentation contesting the denial or revocation.

    (B) The submission must demonstrate that:

    (1) Clear, factual errors were made by the DoD EDQW during the review of the AB's application for recognition; or

    (2) The decision to revoke recognition was based on clear, factual errors, and that the AB would have been determined to meet all requirements for recognition if those errors had been corrected.

    (x) The DoD EDQW will have up to 30 calendar days to review the appeal and provide written notice to the AB either accepting the appeal and granting, or restoring, recognition, or explaining the basis for denying the appeal.

    (4) Continual Improvement. The DoD EDQW will meet with ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP. On a 5-year cycle, at minimum, the DoD EDQW will evaluate whether the process for evaluating and recognizing ABs is continuing to meet DoD needs.

    (5) Data and Records Management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW, will maintain copies of all application packages and associated documentation in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

    (d) Performing Government Oversight—(1) General. DoD personnel will use the procedures in this paragraph to perform and document government oversight of the DoD ELAP. Government oversight will include monitoring the performance of AB assessors during laboratory assessments, reviewing laboratory assessment reports, observing ILAC MRA peer evaluations, and evaluating AB Web sites for content on accredited laboratories.

    (2) Limitations. (i) DoD personnel performing oversight must observe, but must not participate in, laboratory assessments or ILAC MRA peer evaluations. Specifically, DoD personnel must not:

    (A) Offer specific advice to the laboratory regarding the development or implementation of quality systems or technical procedures;

    (B) Offer specific advice or direction to assessors or peer evaluators regarding accreditation processes, assessment procedures, or documentation of findings; or

    (C) Impede assessors, peer reviewers, or laboratory personnel in any way during the performance of their work, including technical procedures, document reviews, observations, interviews, and meetings.

    (ii) If, during the course of an assessment, questions by laboratory personnel or assessors are directed to DoD personnel, personnel must limit responses to specific text from the DoD QSM or published FAQs. DoD personnel must not render opinions regarding interpretation of the DoD QSM. If there are questions about the DoD QSM that require interpretation, DoD personnel must advise the assessor to contact the AB who may, if necessary, contact the DoD EDQW chair for a coordinated response.

    (iii) If DoD personnel observe any evidence of inappropriate practices on the part of assessors or laboratory personnel during the course of the assessment, they must record the observations and notify the DoD EDQW chair immediately (inappropriate practices are identified in the DoD QSM). DoD personnel must not call either the laboratory's or the assessor's attention to the specific practice in question.

    (3) Personnel Qualifications. DoD personnel or contractors performing oversight must:

    (i) Meet the government chemist or contractor project chemist requirements contained in the USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.”

    (ii) Have a working knowledge of the DoD QSM requirements and be familiar with environmental test methods and instrumentation.

    (iii) Obey all laboratory instructions regarding health and safety precautions while in the laboratory.

    (4) Procedures. (i) The DoD EDQW will maintain an up-to-date calendar of scheduled assessments and peer evaluations based on input from the ABs, peer evaluators, and assigned oversight personnel.

    (ii) Once an assessment or peer review has been scheduled, the EDQW component principals will determine if DoD oversight of the activity will be performed. The goal will be to observe a representative number of activities for each AB.

    (iii) The EDQW component principals will provide the DoD EDQW chair the names of personnel from their respective DoD Components who will participate in the oversight.

    (iv) The DoD EDQW chair will provide the AB with contact information for the oversight personnel.

    (v) If two or more DoD personnel are scheduled to monitor the assessment, the DoD EDQW chair will designate a lead that will be responsible for compiling an oversight report.

    (vi) The lead for the oversight activity will request a copy of the assessment plan from the AB's lead assessor and distribute it to other oversight personnel.

    (vii) The lead will review the assessment plan to determine the scope of accreditation and ensure that oversight personnel are assigned to monitor a cross-section of the assessment.

    (viii) Persons performing oversight will review previous oversight reports, if available, for the particular AB and assessors performing the assessment.

    (ix) Observing all health and safety protective measures, oversight personnel must accompany the assessor(s) as they witness procedures and conduct interviews, taking care not to interfere with the assessment.

    (5) Reporting. Within 15 calendar days of the onsite assessment, the lead for the oversight activity will complete an oversight report and forward the completed report through the appropriate EDQW component principal to the DoD EDQW chair.

    (i) The DoD EDQW chair will provide copies of the report to the EDQW component principals for review.

    (ii) After review by the EDQW component principals, the DoD EDQW chair will provide a summary of the oversight report to the AB performing the assessment.

    (6) Handling Disputes. Laboratories must follow the AB's dispute resolution process for all disputes concerning the assessment or accreditation of the laboratory, including disagreements involving an interpretation of the DoD QSM arising during the accreditation process.

    (i) In the event the laboratory and the AB are unable to resolve a disagreement concerning the interpretation of the DoD QSM, either the laboratory or the AB may request the DoD EDQW provide an interpretation of the DoD QSM. The DoD EDQW chair will provide a written response to the laboratory and the AB providing the DoD authoritative interpretation of the DoD QSM. No review of this interpretation will be available to the laboratory or the AB.

    (ii) The DoD EDQW will not consider or take a position on requests by either a laboratory or an AB on a dispute concerning accreditation of the laboratory.

    (7) Continual Improvement. The DoD EDQW will:

    (i) Review the ABs' assessment reports and the DoD oversight reports to evaluate the thoroughness, consistency, objectivity, and impartiality of the DoD ELAP assessments.

    (ii) Compare assessment reports across laboratories, ABs, and assessors.

    (iii) Compare DoD ELAP findings to findings from previous assessments.

    (iv) Identify opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP.

    (v) Meet with ABs on an annual basis to review lessons learned and identify additional opportunities for continual improvement of the DoD ELAP.

    (8) Data and Records Management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all oversight reports in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

    (e) Conducting Project-Specific Laboratory Approvals. (1) General. The DoD EDQW will use the procedures in this paragraph to conduct project-specific laboratory approvals for specific tests in the rare instances when DoD is unable to identify a DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory capable of providing the required services. This will ensure that competent laboratories are used to support DoD environmental projects. Examples of these rare instances include:

    (i) The required method, matrix, or analyte is not included in the scope of accreditation for any existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories.

    (ii) The required method, matrix, and analyte combination is included in the scope of accreditation for an existing accredited laboratory; however, the laboratory is unable to meet one or more of the project-specific measurement performance criteria.

    (2) Limitations. (i) Project-specific laboratory approvals are not to be used as substitutes for the required DoD ELAP-accreditation.

    (ii) The DoD EDQW will not perform project-specific laboratory approvals in cases where one or more DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories capable of meeting project-specific requirements are available.

    (iii) The project-specific laboratory approval is a one-time approval, the specific terms of which will be outlined in the approval notice issued by the DoD EDQW.

    (3) Personnel Qualifications. DoD personnel and contractors assessing laboratories for the purpose of performing project-specific laboratory approvals must meet the government chemist or contractor project chemist requirements contained in USD(AT&L) Memorandum, “Acquisitions Involving Environmental Sampling or Testing Services.” Personnel must have a working knowledge of the DoD QSM requirements and be familiar with required environmental test methods and instrumentation.

    (4) Procedures. (i) If a project-specific laboratory approval is requested, the DoD EDQW will request and review a copy of the project's quality assurance project plan (QAPP).

    (ii) If, after review of the QAPP, the DoD EDQW determines that an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is available to provide the required services, the laboratory contact information will be provided to the project manager requesting assistance.

    (iii) If, after review of the QAPP, the DoD EDQW determines that no existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is available to provide the required services, the DoD EDQW will:

    (A) Work with the project team to determine whether the use of alternative procedures by an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory is feasible;

    (B) Determine if the required services can be added to the scope of accreditation of an existing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratory; or

    (C) Work with the project team to identify a candidate laboratory for project-specific laboratory approval.

    (iv) If a project-specific approval is needed, the DoD EDQW will:

    (A) Determine the type of assessment required (on-site, document review, etc.).

    (B) Determine if additional funding is required to support the assessment. If additional funding is required, the DoD EDQW will provide a cost estimate and work with the project manager to establish funding.

    (v) If the DoD EDQW determines that a project-specific laboratory approval is warranted and resources (including funding and technical expertise) are available to support the assessment, the DoD EDQW chair will coordinate with the EDQW component principals to appoint an assessment team with appropriate technical backgrounds.

    (vi) The DoD EDQW chair will designate an assessment team leader. The assessment team leader will:

    (A) Request the documentation needed to perform the assessment.

    (B) Assign responsibilities for individual members of the assessment team, if appropriate.

    (C) Coordinate the document reviews.

    (D) Lead the assessment team in the performance of the on-site assessment, if required.

    (E) Provide a report to the DoD EDQW chair. The report will identify whether:

    (1) The laboratory is capable of meeting all project-specific requirements.

    (2) Documentation procedures are in place to provide data that are scientifically valid, defensible, and reproducible.

    (3) Any deficiencies must be corrected prior to granting the project-specific laboratory approval.

    (vii) The DoD EDQW chair, with concurrence by the EDQW component principals, will issue a report to the project manager and laboratory detailing the results of the assessment and any deficiencies that must be corrected prior to granting a project-specific laboratory approval.

    (viii) Upon receipt of the laboratory's corrective action response, if required, the assessment team will:

    (A) Review the laboratory's corrective action response for resolving the deficiencies.

    (B) Provide the EDQW component principals with a final report describing the resolution of findings and containing recommendations on whether to grant the project-specific laboratory approval.

    (ix) The DoD EDQW chair, with concurrence by the EDQW component principals, will prepare a report for the DoD project manager describing the results of the assessment and the status and terms of the project-specific laboratory approval. Information about project-specific laboratory approvals will not be posted on Web sites listing DoD ELAP-accredited laboratories.

    (5) Continual Improvement. The EDQW component principals will review project-specific laboratory assessment reports to evaluate the thoroughness, consistency, objectivity, and impartiality of project-specific assessments and make recommendations for continual improvement of the DoD QSM and the DoD ELAP.

    (6) Data and Records Management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all laboratory records and project-specific assessment reports in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

    (f) Handling Complaints—(1) General. The DoD EDQW will use the procedures in this paragraph to handle complaints concerning the processes established in the DoD ELAP or the DoD QSM. The DoD EDQW will document and resolve complaints promptly through the appropriate channels, consistently and objectively, and identify and implement any necessary corrective action arising from complaints. Complaints generally fall into one of four categories:

    (i) Complaints by any party against an accredited laboratory.

    (ii) Complaints by any party against an AB.

    (iii) Complaints by any party concerning any assessor acting on behalf of the AB.

    (iv) Complaints by any party against the DoD ELAP itself.

    (2) Limitations. The procedures in this paragraph:

    (i) Do not address appeals by laboratories regarding accreditation decisions by ABs. Appeals to decisions made by ABs regarding the accreditation status of any laboratory must be filed directly with the AB in accordance with agreements in place between the laboratory and the AB.

    (ii) Are not designed to handle allegations of unethical or illegal actions as described in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (iii) Do not address complaints involving contractual requirements between a laboratory and its client. All contracting issues must be resolved with the contracting officer.

    (3) Procedures. (i) All complaints must be filed in writing to the EDQW chair. All complaints must provide the basis for the complaint (i.e., the specific process or requirement in the DoD ELAP or the DoD QSM that has not been satisfied or is believed to need changing) and supporting documentation, including descriptions of attempts to resolve the complaint by the laboratory or the AB.

    (ii) Upon receipt of the complaint, the DoD EDQW chair will assign a unique identifier to the complaint, send a notice of acknowledgement to the complainant, and forward a copy of the complaint to the EDQW component principals.

    (iii) In consultation with the EDQW component principals, the DoD EDQW chair will make a preliminary determination of the validity of the complaint. Following preliminary review, the actions available to the DoD EDQW chair include:

    (A) If the DoD EDQW chair determines the complaint should be handled directly between the complainant and the subject of the complaint, the DoD EDQW will refer the complaint to the laboratory, or AB, as appropriate. The DoD EDQW will notify the complainant of the referral, but will take no further action with respect to investigation of the compliant. The subject of the complaint will be expected to respond to the complainant in accordance with their established procedures and timelines. A copy of the response will be provided to the DoD EDQW.

    (B) If insufficient information has been provided to determine whether the complaint has merit, the DoD EDQW will return the complaint to the complainant with a request for additional supporting documentation.

    (C) If the complaint appears to have merit and the parties to the complaint have been unable to resolve it, the DoD EDQW will investigate the complaint and recommend actions for its resolution.

    (D) If available information does not support the complaint, the DoD EDQW may reject the complaint.

    (E) If the complaint alleges inappropriate laboratory practices or other misconduct, the DoD EDQW chair will consult legal counsel to determine the recommended course of action.

    (iv) In all cases, the DoD EDQW will notify the complainant and any other entity involved in the complaint and explain the response of the EDQW to the complaint.

    (4) Continual Improvement. The DoD EDQW will look into root causes and trends in complaints to help identify actions that should be taken by the DoD EDQW, or any parties involved with DoD ELAP, to prevent recurrence of problems that led to the complaints.

    (5) Data and Records Management. Through NAVSEASYSCOM, the DoD EDQW will maintain copies of all complaint documentation in accordance with Secretary of the Navy Manual M-5210.1.

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-25999 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0864; FRL-9935-67-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport for the 2008 Lead 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 a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Texas for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The submittal addresses how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 Pb 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, including the four CAA requirements for interstate transport of Pb emissions.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0864, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions.

    Email: Tracie Donaldson at [email protected]

    Mail or delivery: Mary Stanton, Chief, Air Grants Section (6PD-S), 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-2011-0864. 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 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. 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:

    Tracie Donaldson, telephone 214-665-6633, [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 October 5, 1978, we published the first NAAQS for lead (Pb) (43 FR 46246). Both the primary and secondary standards were set at 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). In 2008, following a periodic review of the NAAQS for lead, we revised the NAAQS to 0.15 µg/m3 for both the primary and secondary standards (73 FR 66964, November 13, 2008). For more information on these standards, please see the Technical Support Document (TSD) and EPA Web site http://epa.gov/airquality/lead.

    Each state must submit an 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 October 14, 2011, the EPA issued guidance addressing the i-SIP elements for NAAQS.1 The Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted an i-SIP revision on October 14, 2011 to address this revised NAAQS for Pb and a separate September 14, 2011 SIP submission that addresses the interstate transport of Pb emissions.

    1 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Pb NAAQS,” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, October 14, 2011, http://epa.gov/air/urbanair/sipstatus/docs/Guidance_on_Infrastructure_SIP_Elements_Multipollutant_FINAL_Sept_2013.pdf.

    EPA is proposing approval of the Texas i-SIP submittals for the 2008 Pb NAAQS 2 as meeting the requirements for an i-SIP, including the requirements for interstate transport of Pb emissions.

    2 Additional information on: The history of Pb, its levels, forms and, determination of compliance; EPA's approach for reviewing i-SIPs; the details of the SIP submittal and 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 EPA regulatory citations; Federal Register Notice citations for Texas SIP approvals; Texas' minor New Source Review program and EPA approval activities; and Texas' Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD).

    II. EPA's Evaluation of the Texas' i-SIP and Interstate Transport Submittals

    The TCEQ submittals on September 14, 2011 and October 14, 2011 provided a demonstration of how the existing Texas SIP met all the requirements of the 2008 Pb NAAQS. These SIP submittals became complete by operation of law on March 14, 2012, and April 14, 2012, respectively pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(1)(B). Below is a summary of EPA's evaluation of the Texas i-SIP for each applicable element of CAA 110(a)(2) A-M.

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: The SIP must include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance 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 2008 Pb 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, EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, 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 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; 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 is documented at 40 CFR part 52.1620, Subpart SS.4 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.5

    4http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=64943a7422504656d8d72e9d6f87f177&mc=true&node=sp40.5.52.ss&rgn=div6.

    5 See the TSD page 4 for additional information.

    (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 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 Pb-monitoring network to measure ambient levels of Pb in accordance with EPA regulations which specify siting and monitoring requirements. All monitoring data is measured using EPA approved methods and subject to the EPA quality assurance requirements. TCEQ submits all required data to EPA, following the EPA regulations. The Texas statewide monitoring network was initially approved into the SIP (37 FR 10842, 10895), was revised on March 7, 1978 (43 FR 9275), and it undergoes annual review by EPA.6 In addition, TCEQ conducts a recurrent assessment of its monitoring network every five years, which includes an evaluation of the need to conduct ambient monitoring for Pb, as required by EPA rules. The most recent of these 5-year monitoring network assessments was approved by EPA in December 2010.7 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.8

    6 A copy of the 2014 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    7 A copy of TCEQ's 2010 5-year ambient monitoring network assessment and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    8see 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 SIP must 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).9

    9 As discussed in further detail in the TSD beginning on page 6.

    (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 of the TCAA, and any regulations, permits, or final compliance orders. These statutes also provide the TCEQ, its Chairman, and its Executive Director with general enforcement powers. Among other things, they can file lawsuits to compel compliance with the statutes and regulations; commence civil actions; issue field citations; 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). The SIP is required to 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.10

    10 EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove the existing Texas minor NSR program to the extent that it may be inconsistent with EPA's regulations governing this program. 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 EPA to approve the infrastructure SIP for element C (e.g., 76 FR 41076-41079). 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. The Texas PSD portion of the SIP covers all NSR regulated pollutants as well as the requirements for the 2008 Pb NAAQS and has been approved by EPA (79 FR 66626, November 10, 2014).11

    11 As discussed further in the TSD

    (D) Interstate and international transport: The statue requires that the SIP contain adequate provisions prohibiting Pb 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)).

    With respect to significant contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the Pb NAAQS, the physical properties of Pb, which is a metal and very dense, prevent Pb emissions from experiencing a significant degree of travel in the ambient air. No complex chemistry is needed to form Pb or Pb compounds in the ambient air; therefore, ambient concentrations of Pb are typically highest near Pb sources. More specifically, there is a sharp decrease in ambient Pb concentrations as the distance from the source increases. According to EPA's report entitled Our Nation's Air: Status and Trends Through 2010,12 Pb concentrations that are not near a source of Pb are approximately 8 times less than the typical concentrations near the source.13 For these reasons, EPA believes that the interstate transport requirements pertaining to significant contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the Pb NAAQS can be satisfied through a state's assessment as to whether a lead source located within its state in close proximity to a state border has emissions that contribute significantly to the nonattainment in or interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in the neighboring state.

    12http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2011/.

    13http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2011/report/fullreport.pdf.

    Texas submitted a separate SIP submission addressing the interstate transport provisions of subsection (2)(D)(i)(I), in which air dispersion modeling was conducted for seven operational sources in the state of Texas with the highest reported emissions of Pb in calendar year 2008: Fort Hood near Killeen; Oxbow Carbon in Port Arthur; ASARCO Refining near Amarillo; ECS Refining in Terrell; Exide Technologies in Frisco; Coleto Creek Power Station near Fannin; and the San Miguel Electric Cooperative near Christine. Two of these sources, Coleto Creek and San Miguel, reported emissions of Pb between 0.5 and 1.0 tons in 2008, and the remaining five sources reported emissions equal to or exceeding 1.0 ton. The modeled lead emissions from Coleto Creek and San Miguel each result in ambient concentrations of less than 1% of the level of the 2008 Pb NAAQS and indicate that there will be no impact on surrounding states. The Fort Hood and Oxbow model results predict levels of less than 15% of the NAAQS. For Exide Technologies, ECS Refining, and ASARCO Refining, the predicted concentrations dropped to below half the level of the NAAQS within 2 kilometers of the property line. For more detailed information on these modeling results, see the TSD and the Interstate Transport SIP submission in the docket for this rulemaking.

    The Frisco Texas area is the one area within the state of Texas that is designated as nonattainment with respect to the 2008 Pb NAAQS. Exide Technologies battery recycling center was the sole contributing source responsible for the ambient Pb concentrations that led to the nonattainment designation. However, the source has been permanently shut down. During calendar year 2011 there were eight significant sources of Pb emissions within Texas that reported Pb emissions in amounts approximately equal to or exceeding 0.5 tons per year, including the aforementioned Exide Technologies in Frisco; however, none of these sources of Pb emissions are located within two miles of a neighboring state line. Total reported Pb emissions within Texas in 2011 were 31.2 tons,14 and most of the Pb-emitting sources within the state are general aviation airports where aviation gasoline containing tetra-ethyl lead is still in use by propeller-driven aircraft. Therefore, EPA finds that Texas has presumptively satisfied the requirements of subsection (2)(D)(i)(I).

    14 See the TSD and the docket for this rulemaking for more detailed information on Pb-emitting sources in Texas and the Pb emissions reported in calendar year 2011.

    The necessary provisions under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) are contained in the PSD portion of the SIP, as discussed with respect to element (C) above. With regard to the applicable requirements for visibility protection of visibility under subsection (2)(D)(i)(II), significant impacts from Pb emissions from stationary sources are expected to be limited to short distances from emitting sources and most, if not all, stationary sources of Pb emissions are located at sufficient distances from Class I areas such that visibility impacts would be negligible. Although Pb can be a component of coarse and fine particles, Pb generally comprises only a small fraction these particles. A recent EPA study conducted to evaluate the extent that Pb could impact visibility concluded that Pb-related visibility impacts at Class I areas were found to be insignificant (e.g., less than 0.10% contribution).15

    15 Analysis by Mark Schmidt, OAQPS, “Ambient Pb's Contribution to Class I Area Visibility Impairment,” June 17, 2011.

    The Texas SIP includes provisions that satisfy the CAA interstate pollution abatement requirements of 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). There are no findings by EPA that air emissions originating in Texas 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 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 2008 Pb 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, the TCAA requires TCEQ to 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. 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 Texas statutes and the SIP stipulate 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 Federal CAA or the TCAA. 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 State 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 TCEQ maintains authority to ensure implementation of any applicable plan portion.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: The SIP must provide for 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-approved state regulations pertaining to sampling and testing and requirements for reporting of emissions inventories. In addition, SIP-approved 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 determining compliance with SIP-approved 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-approved 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, the TCAA and 30 TAC chapters 35 and 118 authorize 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 “Texas Air Quality Control Contingency Plan for Prevention of Air Pollution Episodes” is part of the Texas SIP. However, because of the low levels of Pb emissions emitted and monitored statewide, Texas is not required to have contingency plans for the 2008 Pb NAAQS. However, to provide additional protection, the State has general emergency powers to address any possible dangerous Pb-related air pollution episode if necessary to protect the environment and public health.

    (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 the Texas SIP, as necessary, to account for revisions of an existing NAAQS, establishment of a new NAAQS, to attain and maintain a NAAQS, to abate air pollution, to adopt more effective methods of attaining a NAAQS, and to respond to EPA SIP calls concerning NAAQS adoption or implementation.

    (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 areas.

    Texas currently has one nonattainment area for the 2008 Pb NAAQS, located in the city of Frisco in Collin County. For more information on the Frisco nonattainment area and past nonattainment areas under the 1978 Pb NAAQS, please refer to the TSD for this rulemaking.

    As noted earlier, EPA does not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address subsection (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. Instead, EPA will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions, including the attainment plan submission for the Frisco nonattainment area, through a separate rulemaking process governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: The SIP must meet the following three CAA requirements: (1) Section 121, relating to interagency consultation; (2) section 127 relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and, (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 must be given a reasonable opportunity to review the action that is being proposed and to submit data or arguments, either orally or in writing, and to examine the testimony of witnesses from the hearing. In addition, the TCAA provides the TCEQ the power and duty to establish cooperative agreements with local authorities, and consult with other states, the federal government and other interested persons or groups in regard to matters of common interest in the field of air quality control. Furthermore, the Texas PSD SIP rules mandate that the TCEQ shall provide for public participation and notification regarding permitting applications to any other state or local air pollution control agencies, local government officials of the city or county where the source will be located, tribal authorities, and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. Additionally, the State's PSD SIP rules require the TCEQ to consult with FLMs regarding permit applications for sources with the potential to impact Class I Federal Areas. The SIP also includes a commitment to consult continually with the FLMs on the review and implementation of the visibility program, and the State recognizes the expertise of the FLMs in monitoring and new source review applicability analyses for visibility and has agreed to notify the FLMs of any advance notification or early consultation with a major new or modifying source prior to the submission of a permit application. Likewise, the State's Transportation Conformity SIP rules provide procedures for interagency consultation, resolution of conflicts, and public notification.

    (2) Public Notification: The 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: The PSD requirements for this element are the same as those addressed under element (C) above. The Texas SIP requirements relating to visibility and regional haze are not affected when EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS. Therefore, EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements due to the revision of the Pb NAAQS in 2008, and consequently there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to infrastructure element (J).

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

    The TCEQ has the authority and duty under the TCAA to investigate and develop facts providing for the functions of environmental air quality assessments. Past modeling and emissions reductions measures have been submitted by the State and approved into the SIP. Additionally, TCEQ has the ability to perform modeling for the primary and secondary Pb standards and other criteria pollutant NAAQS on a case-by-case permit basis consistent with their SIP-approved PSD rules and EPA guidance. As discussed with regard to element (D) above, TCEQ has conducted air quality dispersion modeling on the emissions of Pb from numerous stationary sources to determine the impact of such emissions on air quality in neighboring states. TCEQ has also conducted extensive modeling on the emissions of Pb from the former Exide Technologies facility located in the Frisco nonattainment area and has prepared and submitted an attainment demonstration with a control strategy based on the results of this modeling to the EPA.

    The TCAA authorizes and requires TCEQ to cooperate with the federal government and local authorities concerning matters of common interest in the field of air quality control, thereby allowing the agency to make such submissions 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. The fees 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 such a time when a fee program is established by the state pursuant to Title V of the CAA, and is submitted to and is approved by EPA.

    See the discussion for 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.

    See the discussion for element (J)(1) and (2) above for a description 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. The transportation conformity component of the Texas SIP requires that interagency consultation and opportunity for public involvement be provided before making transportation conformity determinations and before adopting applicable SIP revisions on transportation-related issues.

    IV. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the October 14, 2011 infrastructure SIP and the September 14, 2011 interstate transport submissions from Texas, which address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 Pb NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). EPA is not acting on the submittal pertaining to CAA section 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan or Plan Revisions because EPA believes these need not be addressed in the i-SIP. Based upon review of the state's infrastructure and interstate transport SIP submissions, in light of the relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in the Texas SIP, EPA believes that Texas has the infrastructure in place to address all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) (except otherwise noted) to ensure that the 2008 Pb NAAQS are implemented in the state. We also are proposing to approve the State's demonstration that it meets the four statutory requirements for interstate transport of Pb emissions.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, 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 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 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).

    EPA is not proposing to approve this infrastructure SIP certification 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, 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, Lead (Pb), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26122 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 224 RIN 0648-XD314 Finding for a Petition To Exclude Federally-Maintained Dredged Port Channels From New York to Jacksonville From Vessel Speed Restrictions Designed To Reduce Vessel Collisions With North Atlantic Right Whales AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Petition finding.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS received a petition to exclude federally-maintained dredged channels and pilot boarding areas (and the immediately adjacent waters) for ports from New York to Jacksonville from the vessel speed restrictions that were established to reduce the threat of vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales. After reviewing the information in the petition and public comments thereon, NMFS finds that the petition does not present substantial information indicating that that exclusion of these areas is necessary to address the concerns, and denies the petition. NMFS will review and revise our existing compliance guide to provide clarifying information about the navigational safety exception (i.e., the October 10, 2008, final rule's deviation provision) for the speed restrictions.

    DATES:

    October 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Notice of receipt of the petition, information related to the previous request for public comment, and related information is available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory Silber, Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring, MD (301) 427-8402.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On October 10, 2008, NMFS published a final rule (73 FR 60173) that established a 10-knot vessel speed restriction for vessels 65 feet or greater in length in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the United States to reduce the likelihood of deaths and serious injuries to endangered North Atlantic right whales from collisions with vessels. Of note here, the 2008 final speed regulation included a provision allowing for deviation from the speed restriction if weather and/or sea conditions severely restrict the vessel's maneuverability, operating at a higher speed is necessary to maintain safe maneuvering speed, and the need to operate at a higher speed is confirmed by the pilot or, if there is no pilot on board, by the master of the vessel. The 2008 regulation also contained a December 9, 2013, expiration or “sunset” date.

    On June 6, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule to eliminate the rule's sunset provision (78 FR 34024). Following a notice and public comment period, on December 9, 2013, NMFS published a final rule (78 FR 73726) that removed the sunset provision. All other aspects of the regulation remained the same, including the navigational safety exception referenced above.

    During the public comment period on the June 2013 proposed rule to remove the sunset provision, some commenters expressed their continuing concern that the speed regulation, notwithstanding the navigational safety exception noted above, compromised navigational safety through reduced vessel maneuverability in some circumstances. In particular, the American Pilots' Association indicated that safe navigation is hindered by operating at or below ten knots in specific areas and recommended that NMFS “exclude federally-maintained dredged channels and pilot boarding areas (and the immediately adjacent waters) for ports from New York to Jacksonville”—which they stated is an approximate aggregate area of 15 square miles—from the vessel speed restrictions.

    NMFS elected to treat the American Pilots' Association's recommendation to exclude vessels using federally-maintained dredged port entrance channels from the speed restrictions as a petition for rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. Accordingly, we issued a Notice in the Federal Register announcing receipt of the petition and solicited comments on the request (79 FR 4883; January 31, 2014). The Notice indicated that if we decided to proceed with the suggested rulemaking, we would notify the petitioner within 120 days, publish a notice in the Federal Register of our decision to engage in rulemaking, and thereafter proceed in accordance with the requirements for rulemaking. If we decided not to proceed with the petitioned rulemaking, we would notify the petitioner, provide a brief statement of the grounds for the decision, and publish a notice in the Federal Register regarding our decision not to proceed with the petitioned action.

    Based on consideration of information in the petition, public comments thereon, and related information, NMFS finds that the petitioned action is not necessary to address the concerns. The petitioner and commenters in favor of the petitioned action maintained that vessels navigating federally-maintained port entrance channels are faced with hazardous conditions unique to those channels. Commenters, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) identified incidents where vessels lost propulsion and, had the vessel not been travelling in excess of 10 knots, it could have created a considerable safety risk. ACOE submitted a study that found the speed limit increases the likelihood of pilot error. Concerns were also raised that communication barriers among foreign vessel masters, owners, and pilots, coupled with the need to sometimes make speed adjustments on short time frames, can place the vessel in jeopardy.

    The speed regulation, including the navigational safety exception provision, has been in effect for over 6 years, and in that time there have been no specific reports of navigational safety issues or related problems that were not addressed by the existing exception. Recent studies indicate that the vessel speed restriction appears to be achieving the objective of reducing fatal collisions with North Atlantic right whales. NMFS believes that it does not need to exclude federally-dredged and maintained navigation channels from the speed restrictions in order to effectively address the concerns.

    NMFS will review and revise our existing compliance guide for the speed restrictions to provide clarifying information about the deviation provision. For these reasons and as further explained in the responses to comments, NMFS denies the petition.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received over 32,000 public comments in response to the January 30, 2014, Federal Register notice regarding this petition that were provided by 88 separate organizations or commenters. The majority of these were signed form letters from members of environmental groups; 18 commenters provided substantive or new data or information (e.g., analysis or synthesis of new or existing data; legal analyses; draft or final technical papers or reports; or information about vessel navigation) not previously considered in our analysis of vessel speed restrictions.

    All of the signed form letters, and 39 of the commenters that provided information beyond a signed form letter, opposed the petitioned action. A total of 46 commenting organizations or individuals favored the petitioned action. Several comments were ambiguous or offered no specific opinion about the petition. Summaries of key points in the substantive comments and responses to these comments are included below.

    Comment 1: Commenters in favor of the petitioned action indicated that the vessel speed restrictions create serious navigational safety concerns, particularly in areas encompassing narrow, federally-maintained dredged channels where two-way traffic, cross currents, seas and winds impact safe navigation.

    Response: Navigational safety is of paramount importance to NMFS. The original 2006 proposed speed regulation (71 FR 36299; June 26, 2006) did not contain a navigational safety exception. During the public comment period for that proposed rule, NMFS received comments indicating that large vessels experience reduced steerage at low speeds, which is exacerbated in adverse wind and sea conditions, thereby compromising navigational safety. At that time a number of pilots and pilots' associations indicated that adequate maneuverability was particularly important when negotiating a port entrance or channel.

    As a result, in the 2008 final rule, NMFS instituted a navigational safety exception to account for severe wind and sea conditions (73 FR 60173, 60178; October 10, 2008). Vessels may operate at a speed greater than 10 knots when oceanographic, hydrographic or meteorological conditions restrict the maneuverability of the vessel to the point that increased speed is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the vessel, as confirmed by the pilot or master. Any deviation from the speed restriction must be entered into the logbook, including the specific conditions necessitating the deviation, time and duration of deviation, location (latitude/longitude) where the deviation began and ended, and speed at which vessel was operated. The master of the vessel must sign and date the logbook entry, attesting to its accuracy. The speed regulation, including the navigational safety exception provision (which has been invoked a number of times), has been in effect for over 6 years, and in that time there have been no specific reports of navigational safety issues or related problems that were not addressed by the existing exception. In fact, thousands of trips at or below 10 knots have occurred in the period since the rule was implemented, including in the port areas identified by the petitioners, and NMFS is not aware of any instance in which a vessel was endangered by a loss of maneuverability as a result of the speed restrictions. We continue to believe the navigational safety exception provides vessel pilots and masters sufficient discretion to deviate from the speed regulation when necessary to ensure vessel safety. Nonetheless, there may be specific areas within navigation channels where conditions supporting a deviation occur frequently. NMFS is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to better understand the specific conditions under which deviations may frequently occur in these areas.

    Comment 2: Most commenters who opposed the petitioned action noted that the rule (73 FR 60173; October 10, 2008) contains an exception provision for navigational safety concerns and encouraged NMFS not to grant the petition.

    Response: NMFS agrees. See our response to Comment 1, above.

    Comment 3: We received comments that the rule's (73 FR 60173; October 10, 2008) navigational safety exception is ambiguous and that some mariners are confused by the provision; specifically that communication barriers among foreign vessel masters, owners, and pilots make the speed limit impracticable; that vessel owners and shipping interests have been discouraging, or even prohibiting, their masters from invoking the deviation authority; and that the lack of understanding may result in a deviation not being invoked when necessary, placing the vessel in jeopardy.

    Response: To facilitate compliance, NMFS will review our existing compliance guide for the speed restrictions and provide clarifying information about the deviation provision. We will also investigate other ways to provide such clarifying information to the regulated community (e.g., through the U.S. Coast Pilot). Further, as noted in the December 9, 2013, final rule that removed the sunset provision, NMFS will continue to synthesize, review, and report on various aspects of the speed regulation, including navigational safety impacts, within 5 years (78 FR 73734).

    Comment 4: Some commenters suggested that any lack of understanding or confusion about the deviation would be better addressed through further outreach and communication with stakeholders, rather than excluding some areas from the restrictions.

    Response: NMFS agrees that a rulemaking is not necessary at this time. See our response to the previous comment.

    Comment 5: A number of commenters contended that because the area in federally-maintained channels is a fraction of the total area included in vessel speed restriction zones, the conservation value would not be diminished by excluding these areas. Conversely, commenters indicated that the vessel speed restrictions are working as intended—both the probability and actual number of fatal vessel-related right whale deaths have been reduced by the speed restrictions—as demonstrated by several recent studies. Commenters also noted that vessel traffic density is most concentrated in port entrances and right whale vulnerability to vessel collisions is elevated in these areas. They concluded that the requested exclusions would increase right whale vulnerability to vessel strikes in excluded areas.

    Response: Recent studies indicate that the vessel speed restriction appears to be achieving the objective of reducing fatal collisions with North Atlantic right whales. By design, the speed restriction focuses on those areas where vessels and whale occurrences overlap, including port entrance channels. Therefore, if NMFS were to grant the petitioned action the conservation value of the speed regulation would be diminished.

    Comment 6: One commenter noted that nearly all comments from shipping industry representatives on the proposed rule to remove the sunset provision accepted an extension of the speed restrictions (for at least a fixed period) without expressing concern for vessel safety in federally-maintained dredged entrance channels.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges that most industry comments regarding our proposal to remove the rule's sunset provision were in favor of extending (rather than removing) the sunset provision and most did not discuss concerns about safety in federally dredged channels. However, several pilots' associations and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) submitted comments citing safety-related concerns.

    Comment 7: Another commenter observed that the petitioned action did not include all the U.S. east coast federally-maintained channels and noted, in particular, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) imposed vessel speed restrictions in the Cape Cod Canal.

    Response: NMFS has verified the existence of an ACOE speed control regulation in Cape Cod Canal (33 CFR 207.20) and acknowledges that the Canal is not among the areas included in the petition.

    Comment 8: Several commenters stated that ship captains were being issued notices of violation for going speeds just above the 10-knot limit and, in particular, after the vessel captain had invoked the deviation for weather conditions.

    Response: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of General Counsel, Enforcement Section (GC) issued a total of 53 Notices of Violation and Assessment of civil penalties (NOVAs) between November 2010 and December 2014. In all cases to date, NOVAs were only issued in cases in which the vessel exceeded the 10-knot speed restriction by a significant amount and for a significant distance. Cases involving justified deviations from the speed restriction, properly documented in a manner consistent with 50 CFR 224.105(c), have not resulted in the imposition of penalties. In addition, NOAA only began issuing NOVAs after several years of outreach and education during the initial phase of the regulation to ensure that the regulated community was informed of and educated regarding the new speed restriction.

    OLE/GC has also changed the way in which violations are investigated. Current procedures now include an opportunity, prior to a NOVA being issued, for vessel operators to provide log entries documenting their need to deviate from the speed restrictions for incidents under investigation.

    Comment 9: A number of commenters cited analysis and anecdotal information about hazardous situations that occurred in several instances when a vessel's propulsion system malfunctioned or a vessel suffered a complete loss of power. These commenters maintained that had these vessels been traveling 10-knots or less at the time of power loss, the situation could have been far worse.

    Response: NMFS recognizes that deviating from the speed limit when necessary to ensure the safety of the vessel is appropriate and allowed under our regulations. NMFS will revise its compliance guide to clarify how and when to properly invoke the regulation's deviation provision. NMFS will consult with the ACOE and the USCG on these revisions. As noted, NOAA has the utmost concern for the safety of humans and the safe and efficient transport of materials.

    Comment 10: Several commenters reiterated earlier public comments on the need for modifications to the speed restriction rule (73 FR 60173; October 10, 2008), in particular the need to: Increase management zones to include waters 30 nautical miles from shore; make the voluntary Dynamic Management Areas program mandatory; and consider making vessels <65 feet in length also subject to the provisions of the rule.

    Response: NMFS has addressed comments regarding modification of the rule in previous responses to public comments (78 FR 73733, 73734; December 9, 2013). While not germane to the petitioned action, NMFS is continuing to evaluate and consider these and other suggestions for possible future rulemaking. No decisions have been made.

    Comment 11: The ACOE submitted a study concluding that vessel speed restrictions can adversely impact the risk of ship grounding accidents when a ship loses power in the Charleston, SC, harbor entrance, based on the assumption that the restriction increased the “likelihood of a piloting error by 20%” due to diminished vessel maneuverability.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the concerns raised by ACOE and others regarding the potential safety risk if a pilot does not deviate from the speed restrictions when necessary. NMFS is working with ACOE, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other relevant agencies to facilitate increased awareness and appropriate use of the deviation provision. This collaboration will inform NMFS' review and revision of our existing compliance guide which provides clarifying information about the deviation provision.

    Comment 12: The ACOE commented that NOAA lacks the legal authority to establish vessel speed restrictions and the authority lies instead with the Secretary of the Army and the ACOE under the 1894 Rivers and Harbors Act.

    Response: NMFS does not dispute the ACOE's assertion of authority to regulate activity in navigation channels. However, NMFS does not believe this equates to an exclusive authority to do so. The 2008 speed regulation, which was extended in 2013 through the removal of a sunset provision, is a valid exercise of NMFS' own regulatory authority under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act to further the purposes of those laws (in this case, protecting highly endangered right whales from injury and death from collisions with ships). NMFS notes the U.S. Coast Guard has likewise imposed speed regulations in river and port entrances pursuant to their own regulatory authorities (some of which are cited in our 2013 final rule).

    Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26225 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 199 Thursday, October 15, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of Advocacy and Outreach Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 8, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach

    Title: USDA/1890 National Scholars Program Application

    OMB Control Number: 0503-0015

    Summary of Collection: The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is an annual recruiting effort by the USDA/1890 National Program Office and the participating eighteen 1890 Land-Grant Universities. This human capital initiative is a collective effort geared towards attracting graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled college students who are rising sophomores or juniors, into pursuing disciplines in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences at any of the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program offers scholarships to U.S. citizens who are seeking a bachelor's degree, in the fields of agriculture, food, or natural resources sciences and related majors, at one of the eighteen Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. Each applicant is required to submit a hard copy of the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program Application Form to the USDA/1890 Program Liaison assigned to the 1890 Land-Grant University to which they want to apply.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information to be collected from the application includes the applicant name, address, educational background (grade point average, test scores), name of universities interested in attending, desired major, extracurricular activities, interest and habits. The information will be used to assist the selecting agencies in their process of identifying potential recipients of the scholarship. The program would not be able to function consistently without this annual collection.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 1,500.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,900.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26199 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3412-88-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's Quality Control Review Schedule Form FNS 380-1 AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection for OMB No. 0584-0299.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Stephanie Proska, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 822, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Stephanie Proska at 703-305-0928 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Stephanie Proska at 703-305-2437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Quality Control Review Schedule.

    Form Number: FNS 380-1.

    OMB Number: 0584-0299.

    Expiration Date: February 29, 2016.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Form FNS 380-1 is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's (SNAP) Quality Control (QC) Review Schedule which collects QC and household characteristics data. The information needed to complete this form is obtained from the SNAP case record and state quality control findings. The information is used to monitor and reduce errors, develop policy strategies and analyze household characteristic data. We estimate that it takes 1.05 hours per response and .0236 hours per record for recordkeeping to complete the form.

    Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Government: Respondent groups identified include: 53 State agencies.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: The total estimated number of responses per respondent is 1,039.02.

    Estimated Frequency per Respondent: 1.9980769.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: The estimated total annual responses are 110,136. This includes 55,068 sampled active cases for QC review and the same 55,068 records being kept by the 53 State agencies.

    Estimated Time per Response: The estimated time of response for State agencies to report is approximately 63.36 minutes and the estimated response time for State agencies to do recordkeeping is approximately 1.42 minutes. Therefore, the total time per response is approximately 64.78 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,567,055.8 minutes (59,450.93 hours). See the table below for estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

    Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden Respondent Estimated
  • number
  • respondents
  • Responses
  • annually per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • (col. bxc)
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • hours per
  • response
  • Estimated
  • total hours
  • (col. dxe)
  • State Agencies Reporting 53 1,039.02 55,068 1.056 58,151.87 State Agencies Recordkeeping 53 1,039.02 55,068 0.0236 1,299.60 Total Reporting Burden 106 110,136 1.0796 59,450.93
    Dated: October 2, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26292 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Fremont-Winema National Forest; Chiloquin Ranger District; Oregon: Lobert Restoration Project Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to disclose the environmental effects of commercial and non-commercial vegetation management activities, prescribed burning, road activities, recreation opportunity improvements, and other restoration activities. Other design criteria are included to protect resources and facilitate management activities. The project is located on the Chiloquin Ranger District, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath County, Oregon.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by November 16, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected September 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected December 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Constance Cummins, Forest Supervisor, Fremont-Winema National Forest, c/o Kelly Ware, 38500 Highway 97 North, Chiloquin, OR 97624. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 541-783-2134.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Ware, NEPA Planner, Chiloquin Ranger District, 38500 Highway 97 North, Chiloquin, OR 97624. Phone: 541-783-4039. Email: [email protected].

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Lobert project area encompasses approximately 97,500 acres of National Forest System lands and is located within the Klamath Tribes' former 1954 reservation. The project lies within portions of the Sprague River, Hog Creek-Williamson River, Swan Lake Valley, Long Lake Valley-Upper Klamath Lake, Yonna Valley-Lost River, and Wood River watersheds. The project area is in Klamath County, generally located between the communities of Fort Klamath and Chiloquin, south to Hagelstein Park, and east to Swan Lake Point and Saddle Mountain. The legal description for the project planning area includes Townships 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 South, and Ranges 07, 08, 09, 10 East, Willamette Meridian, Klamath County, Oregon.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose and need for the Lobert Restoration Project was developed by comparing the management objectives and desired conditions of the Winema Forest Plan to the existing conditions in the project planning area related to watershed and forest resiliency and function. Where plan information was not explicit, best available science and local research, including the Klamath Tribes' Management Plan, were utilized. Comparison of the existing and desired condition indicates the specific needs to: (1) Restore forest structure, composition, and density toward more resistance and resilient vegetative conditions given the historic fire regime by reducing the horizontal and vertical connectivity and density of standing vegetation, surface fuels, and/or ladder fuels; (2) protect and release large and old trees from competition; (3) reduce uncharacteristic wildfire effects within the project planning area including the Saddle Mountain Cultural Resource Area and WUI; (4) Maintain and improve habitat for fish and wildlife species present in the project planning area, particularly mule deer; (5) restore degraded physical and biological stream processes that sustain floodplain ecosystem structure, function and diversity; (6) implement recovery plans for federally listed species; (7) reduce risk of northern spotted owl habitat degradation and loss from uncharacteristic wildfire and/or insect and disease outbreak; (8) conserve and restore cultural plants and maintain habitat for two rare endemic plant populations; (9) provide for a variety of social and cultural values and opportunities in the project area, including availability of traditional use plants, a variety of wood products, enhanced recreation experiences and opportunities, and a safe road system that moves toward current public access and resource management objectives.

    Proposed Action

    The Forest proposed action includes restoration activities for the following resources: Vegetation management, aquatic restoration, recreation interpretive site improvement, and associated road management activities to address the purpose and need. These activities would occur over approximately the next 10 years.

    Vegetation management will include a mix of commercial thinning, small tree thinning, prescribed fire, and other fuels treatments. The use of different methods would be determined by site conditions, accessibility and specific resource protection needs. The proposal includes 9 different restoration treatments: (1) Dry ponderosa pine restoration; (2) dry mixed conifer restoration; (3) moist mixed conifer restoration; (4) xeric ponderosa pine restoration; (5) dispersal habitat for northern spotted owl (NSO); (6) foraging habitat (NSO); (7) wildland urban interface fuels reduction; (8) riparian restoration; (9) endemic plant enhancement.

    The proposed action will include large wood and spawning gravel placement in six stream reaches that are deficient in wood, riparian hardwood species planting, headcut repair, and spring enhancement. Spring enhancement may include: (1) Removal or repair of spring boxes or other spring development equipment; (2) installation of protective fencing; (3) vegetation treatments to improve hydrologic conditions (4) planting/sowing riparian species.

    Approximately 13.2 miles of roads are proposed to be closed post-implementation, 162 miles of roads are proposed for decommissioning, and 4.5 miles of roads would have their operational maintenance levels upgraded.

    Recreation activities proposed include removal of three flush facilities from the Spring Creek Campground and picnic area and installation of one vault toilet. Two vault toilets that no longer meet water quality standards would be removed from the Oux Kanee Overlook; one would be replaced with a vault toilet that meets current standards.

    The Lobert Restoration Project will also include a variety of project design criteria that serve to mitigate impacts of activities to forest resources, including wildlife, soils, watershed condition, aquatic species, riparian habitat conservation areas, heritage resources, visuals, rangeland, botanical resources, and invasive plants. The proposed action may also include amendments to the Winema National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, as amended.

    Possible Alternatives

    The Forest Service will consider a range of alternatives. One of these will be the “no action” alternative in which none of the proposed action would be implemented. Additional alternatives may be included in response to issues raised by the public during the scoping process or due to additional concerns for resource values identified by the interdisciplinary team.

    Responsible Official

    The Forest Supervisor of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 1301 South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630, is the Responsible Official. As the Responsible Official, I will decide if the proposed action will be implemented. I will document the decision and rationale for the decision in the Record of Decision. I have delegated the responsibility for preparing the draft EIS and final EIS to the District Ranger, Chiloquin Ranger District.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    Based on the purpose and need, the Responsible Official reviews the proposed action, the other alternatives, the environmental consequences, and public comments on the analysis in order to make the following decision: (1) Whether to implement timber harvest and associated fuels treatments, prescribed burning, and watershed work, including the design features and potential mitigation measures to protect resources; and if so, how much and at what specific locations; (2) What, if any, specific project monitoring requirements are needed to assure design features and potential mitigation measures are implemented and effective, and to evaluate the success of the project objectives. A project specific monitoring plan will be developed.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. The interdisciplinary team will continue to seek information, comments, and assistance from Federal, State, and local agencies, Tribal governments, and other individuals or organizations that may be interested in, or affected by, the proposed action.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered.

    Dated: October 1, 2015. Constance Cummins, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26288 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    CHEMICAL SAFETY AND HAZARD INVESTIGATION BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    October 21, 2015, 1 p.m. EDT.

    PLACE:

    Palomar Hotel, 2121 P St. NW., Phillips Ballroom, Washington, DC 20037.

    STATUS:

    Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) will convene a public meeting on October 21, 2015, starting at 1 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC at the Palomar Hotel, 2121 P St. NW., in the Phillips Ballroom. The Board will discuss the final report and recommendations on the Caribbean Petroleum incident. The Board may then vote on the Caribbean Petroleum report. The Board will discuss the status of several current CSB investigations, including ExxonMobil Torrance, West Fertilizer, Freedom Industries, DuPont LaPorte, Macondo, and Williams Olefins. The Board will also discuss the agency action plan for FY 15 in addition to the newly confirmed Chairperson's overview of her first 60 days. An opportunity for public comment will be provided.

    Additional Information

    The meeting is free and open to the public. If you require a translator or interpreter, please notify the individual listed below as the “Contact Person for Further Information,” at least three business days prior to the meeting.

    This meeting will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person. Please visit www.csb.gov for access to the live webcast.

    The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating accidents and hazards that result, or may result, in the catastrophic release of extremely hazardous substances. The agency's Board Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents and hazards, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

    Public Comment

    The time provided for public statements will depend upon the number of people who wish to speak. Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited to three minutes or less, but commenters may submit written statements for the record.

    Contact Person for Further Information

    Shauna Lawhorne, Public Affairs Specialist, [email protected] or (202) 384-2839. Further information about this public meeting can be found on the CSB Web site at: www.csb.gov.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Kara Wenzel, Acting General Counsel, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26322 Filed 10-13-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6350-01-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: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Redistricting Data Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Request: Regular Submission.

    Number of Respondents: 416.

    FY 2016: 156.

    FY 2017: 52.

    FY 2018: 156.

    FY 2019: 52.

    Average Hours per Response: Varies.

    Average Time per Response Phase 1:

    Block Boundary Suggestion Project (BBSP) Annotation: 124 hours.

    BBSP Verification: 62 hours.

    Average Time per Response Phase 2:

    Voting District Project (VTDP) Delineation: 248 hours.

    VTDP Verification: 124 hours.

    Average Time per Response Phase 4:

    115th Congressional Districts (CDs) & State Legislative Districts (SLDs) Collection: 2 hours.

    115th CDs & SLDs Verification: 2 hours.

    116th CDs & SLDs Collection: 2 hours.

    116th CDs & SLDs Verification: 2 hours.

    Burden Hours: 29,432 (All Phases, All FYs).

    FY 2016 Burden Hours: 6,656.

    FY 2017 Burden Hours: 3,224.

    FY 2018 Burden Hours: 13,104.

    FY 2019 Burden Hours: 6,448.

    Burden Hours Phase 1:

    BBSP Annotation (FY 2016): 6,448 hours.

    BBSP Verification (FY 2017): 3,224 hours.

    Phase 1 Total Burden Hours: 9,672 hours.

    Burden Hours Phase 2:

    VTD Delineation (FY 2018): 12,896 hours.

    VTD Verification (FY 2019): 6,448 hours.

    Phase 2 Total Burden Hours: 19,344 hours.

    Burden Hours Phase 4:

    115th CDs & SLDs Collection (FY 2016): 104 hours.

    115th CDs & SLDs Verification (FY 2016): 104 hours.

    116th CDs & SLDs Collection (FY 2018): 104 hours.

    116th CDs & SLDs Verification (FY 2018): 104 hours.

    Phase 4 Total Burden Hours: 416 hours.

    Needs and Uses: The mission of the Geography Division (GEO) within the U.S. Census Bureau is to plan, coordinate, and administer all geographic and cartographic activities needed to facilitate Census Bureau statistical programs throughout the United States and its territories. GEO manages programs that continuously update features, boundaries, addresses, and geographic entities in the Master Address File/Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (MAF/TIGER) System. GEO, also, conducts research into geographic concepts, methods, and standards needed to facilitate Census Bureau data collection and dissemination programs.

    The Census Bureau is requesting a new collection to cover the five phases of the Redistricting Data Program (RDP) that was originally part of the Geographic Partnership Programs (GPPs) generic clearance. The Census Bureau requests a three-year clearance and a project specific OMB Control Number for RDP. GEO is creating a separate clearance for this critical program. A project specific clearance allows the Census Bureau to provide RDP specific materials, burden hours, and procedures. The need to only provide RDP materials ensures the program phases are uninterrupted by other program clearances unrelated to RDP. The RDP specific clearance provides flexibility in the timing, allowing the program to establish the schedule for RDP clearance needs and renewal.

    Under the provisions of Title 13, Section 141(c) of the United States Code (U.S.C.), the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) is required to provide the “officers or public bodies having initial responsibility for the legislative apportionment or districting of each state . . .” with the opportunity to specify geographic areas (e.g., voting districts) for which they wish to receive Decennial Census population counts for the purpose of reapportionment or redistricting.

    By April 1 of the year following the Decennial Census, the Secretary is required to furnish the state officials or their designees with population counts for American Indian areas (AIAs), counties, cities, census blocks, and state-specified congressional, legislative, and voting districts.

    The Census Bureau has issued an invitation to the officers or public bodies having initial responsibility for legislative reapportionment and redistricting, through the Census Redistricting and Voting Rights Data Office (CRVRDO), inviting states to identify a non-partisan liaison that will work directly with the Census Bureau on the 2020 Census RDP.

    Since the 1990 Census, participation in the Census RDP BBSP and VTDP, 2020 Census RDP Phases 1 and 2 under Title 13, U.S.C., is voluntary on the part of each state. However, if states choose not to participate in Phase 1 and Phase 2, the Census Bureau cannot ensure that the 2020 Decennial Census tabulation geography will support the redistricting needs of their state.

    The RDP invites respondent participation in the following phases of the program:

    Phase 1: BBSP

    The purpose of the BBSP is to afford states the opportunity to identify non-standard Features often used as electoral boundaries (such as a power line or stream, rather than a street centerline, which might divide voters on different sides of a street into two districts) as Census block boundaries. The BBSP option affords the state liaison the opportunity to provide suggestions for 2020 Census tabulation block boundaries, resulting in more meaningful block data for the state. Liaisons are able to work with local officials including county election officers and others to ensure local geography is represented in the 2020 Census tabulation block inventory. In addition, the liaison, on behalf of the state, will make suggestions for features not desirable as census tabulation blocks. By identifying undesirable features, the liaison may assist the Census Bureau in reducing the overall number of census tabulation blocks from the 2010 inventory. Beginning in late fall of 2015, states that choose to participate in Phase 1 will begin receiving guidelines and training for providing their suggestions for the 2020 Census tabulation blocks, as well as their suggestions for exclusion of line segments, for consideration in the final 2020 Census tabulation block inventory. For the first time, states will have the opportunity to review legal limits, such as county and incorporated place boundaries, as reported through the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS). The Census Bureau conducts the BAS annually to update information about the legal boundaries and names of all governmental units. The alignment of the BAS with the BBSP will facilitate the cooperation between state and local government. A verification phase will occur in early 2017.

    Phase 2: VTDP

    The VTDP will provide the state liaison, on behalf of the state, to submit the voting Districts (a generic term used to represent areas that administer elections such as precincts, election districts, wards, etc.) to the Census Bureau for representation in the 2020 Census Public Law 94-171 products (data and geographic products). Beginning in late 2017, states that choose to participate in VTDP will receive on a flow basis, geographic products that allow them the opportunity to update the Voting Districts (VTDs) for inclusion in the 2020 Census tabulation geography. State liaisons will continue to align their effort with updates from state and local government officials participating in the BAS. The VTD/BAS update and alignment will continue through spring of 2018. A verification phase will occur in early 2019 for states that participated in VTDP.

    Phase 3: Delivery of the 2020 Decennial Census Redistricting Data

    By April 1, 2021, the Director of the Census Bureau will, in accordance with Title 13, U.S.C., furnish the Governor and state legislative leaders, both the majority and minority, with 2020 Census population counts for standard census tabulation areas (e.g., state, Congressional district, state legislative district, AIA, county, city, town, census tract, census block group, and census block) regardless of a state's participation in Phase 1 or 2. The Director of the Census Bureau will provide 2020 Census population counts for those states participating in Phase 2, for both the standard tabulation areas and for VTDs. For each state, this delivery will occur prior to general release and no later than April 1, 2021.

    Phase 4: Collection of Post-Census Redistricting Data Plans

    The Census Bureau requests from every state, the newly drawn Legislative and Congressional district plans and prepares appropriate data sets based on new districts. Between the 2010 Census and the 2020 Census, the effort began in 2011 using the 2010 Census as a baseline. Beginning in 2021, the Census Bureau will use the 2020 Census as a baseline. This effort will occur every two years in advance of the next Census in order to update these boundaries with new or changed plans. A verification phase will occur with each update.

    Phase 5: Review of the 2020 Census RDP and Recommendations for the 2030 Census RDP

    As the final phase of the 2020 Census RDP, the Census Bureau will work with the states to conduct a thorough review of the RDP. The intent of this review, and the final report that results, is to provide guidance to the Secretary and the Census Bureau Director in planning the 2030 Census RDP.

    Affected Public: All fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, U.S.C., Sections 16, 141, and 193.

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

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

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26127 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-122-853] Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Canada: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On June 8, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the fifth administrative review of the antidumping duty order on citric acid and certain citrate salts (citric acid) from Canada.1 The review covers one producer and exporter of the subject merchandise, Jungbunzlauer Canada Inc. (JBL Canada).

    1See Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Canada: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 32342 (June 8, 2015) (Preliminary Results).

    Based on our analysis of the comments received, we made changes to our margin calculations. The final weighted-average dumping margin for JBL Canada is listed below in the “Final Results of the Review” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Trainor or Kate Johnson, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4007 or (202) 482-4929, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 8, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results. We invited parties to comment on the preliminary results of the review. We received a case brief from Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, Incorporated, and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC (collectively, the petitioners) on July 8, 2015, and a rebuttal brief from JBL Canada on July 13, 2015. The Department conducted this administrative review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is citric acid and certain citrate salts from Canada. The product is currently classified under subheadings 2918.14.0000, 2918.15.1000, 2918.15.5000, and 3824.90.9290 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of merchandise subject to the scope is dispositive.2

    2 A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the 2013-2014 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Canada” (Issues and Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    Period of Review

    The POR is May 1, 2013, through April 30, 2014.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised by parties in the case and rebuttal briefs are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix I. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov; the Issues and Decision Memorandum is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit (CRU), Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on a review of the record and comments received from interested parties regarding our Preliminary Results, we recalculated JBL Canada's weighted-average dumping margin. Our calculations are discussed in detail in the accompanying final calculation memorandum.3

    3See Memorandum to the File entitled, “Final Results Margin Calculations for Jungbunzlauer Canada Inc.,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice.

    Final Results of the Review

    We determine that a weighted-average dumping margin of 0.00 percent exists for entries of subject merchandise that were produced and/or exported by JBL Canada and that entered, or were withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the POR.

    Assessment Rates

    The Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 41 days after publication of these final results of review. Because we have calculated a zero margin for JBL Canada in the final results of this review, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003.4 This clarification applies to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by JBL Canada for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate effective during the POR if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. See Assessment Policy Notice for a full discussion of this clarification.

    4See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for JBL Canada will be that established in the final results of this review, (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not participating in this review, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a previous review, or the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 23.21 percent, the all-others rate made effective by the LTFV investigation.5 These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    5See Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Canada and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Orders, 74 FR 25703 (May 29, 2009)

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), this notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO, which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This administrative review and notice are published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Margin Calculations V. Discussion of the Issues 1. Fixed Overhead Costs 2. U.S. Indirect Selling Expenses 3. Exclusion of Below-Cost Sales From the Normal Value Calculation VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-26278 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-952] Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On June 9, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published in the Federal Register the preliminary results of the 2013-2014 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on narrow woven ribbons with woven selvedge (“NWR”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”), in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).1 This review covers one company, Yama Ribbons Co., Ltd. (“Yama Ribbons”).2 The Department preliminarily found that Yama Ribbons did not have reviewable transactions during the POR.

    1See Narrow Woven Ribbons with Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 32534 (June 9, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 64565 (October 30, 2014) (“Initiation Notice”). The Department determined in the underlying investigation that merchandise produced and exported by Yama Ribbons is excluded from the antidumping duty order. See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From Taiwan and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Orders, 75 FR 53632 (September 1, 2010), as amended in Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From Taiwan and the People's Republic of China: Amended Antidumping Duty Orders, 75 FR 56982 (September 17, 2010) (“Order”). However, merchandise which Yama exports but did not produce, as well as merchandise Yama produces but is exported by another company, remain subject to the Order.

    The Department invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. No parties commented. Accordingly, our Preliminary Results remain unchanged in these final results of review and are adopted as the final results of the review.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karine Gziryan and Robert Bolling, AD/CVD Operations, Office 4, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4081 and (202) 482-3434, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 16, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results in the Federal Register. We invited interested parties to submit comments on the Preliminary Results, but no comments were received.

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are narrow woven ribbons with woven selvedge. The merchandise subject to the order is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings 5806.32.1020; 5806.32.1030; 5806.32.1050 and 5806.32.1060. Subject merchandise also may enter under HTSUS subheadings 5806.31.00; 5806.32.20; 5806.39.20; 5806.39.30; 5808.90.00; 5810.91.00; 5810.99.90; 5903.90.10; 5903.90.25; 5907.00.60; and 5907.00.80 and under statistical categories 5806.32.1080; 5810.92.9080; 5903.90.3090; and 6307.90.9889. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description in the Order remains dispositive.3

    3 For a complete description of the scope of the order, please see “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge from the People's Republic of China,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”), dated May 29, 2015.

    Methodology

    The Department has conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby incorporated in, and adopted by, these final results. This memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Period of Review

    The period of review is September 1, 2013, through August 31, 2014.

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    As noted the in Preliminary Results, Yama Ribbons had no reviewable transactions of merchandise during the POR.4 As there are no changes from, or comments upon, the Preliminary Results, the Department finds that there is no reason to modify its analysis. Therefore, we continue to find that Yama Ribbons did not have reviewable transactions during the POR.

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 5.

    Assessment

    The Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.5 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review. Pursuant to the Department's practice in non-market economy cases, because Yama Ribbons had no shipments of the subject merchandise during the POR, the Department intends to instruct CBP to liquidate entries of subject merchandise that entered under Yama Ribbons' rate at the PRC-wide rate of 247.65 percent. For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    5See 19 CFR 351.212(b) (1).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For exports of merchandise made by Yama Ribbons of merchandise it did not produce, the cash deposit rate is the PRC-wide rate of 247.65, as stated in the Order;  6 (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters which are not under review in this segment of the proceeding but which have been determined by Commerce to have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate the cash deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate of 247.65 percent; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    6See Order.

    Notification to Importers Regarding the Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties has occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

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

    We are issuing and publishing these results and this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 2, 2015. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26265 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-122-855] Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that certain polyethylene terephthalate resin (“PET resin”) from Canada is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karine Gziryan, Cara Lofaro, or Krisha Hill, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4081, (202) 482-5720, or (202) 482-4037, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 6, 2015.1 Pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department postponed this preliminary LTFV determination by 50 days until October 6, 2015.2

    1See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 18376 (April 6, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    2See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 45640 (July 31, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. The merchandise subject to this investigation is properly classified under subheading 3907.60.00.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

    For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, hereby adopted by this notice.3 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada,” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum appears in Appendix I, below.

    Scope Comments

    The Initiation Notice provided interested parties an opportunity to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). However, no party to the proceeding provided scope comments.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export price (“EP”) is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value (“NV”) has been calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, hereby adopted by this notice.

    All Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. We based our calculation of the “all others” rate on the margin calculated for Selenis Canada Inc. (“Selenis Canada”), the only mandatory respondent in this investigation.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist during the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Selenis Canada Inc. 13.29 All Others 13.29
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of PET resin from Canada as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds EP as indicated in the chart above.4 These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    4See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days of any public announcement of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for submitting case briefs.5 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, the Department intends to verify the information submitted by Selenis Canada prior to making a final determination in this investigation.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    Selenis Canada requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV for Selenis Canada, the Department postpone its final determination pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.7 In addition, Selenis Canada requested to extend the application of the provisional measures, from a four-month period to a period not to exceed six months.

    7See Letter from the Selenis Canada to the Department regarding, “Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin (“PET Resin”) from Canada Request to Extend the Due Date of the Final Determination,” dated September 30, 2015.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), because: (1) Our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.8

    8See 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the preliminary determination in this proceeding is affirmative, section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires that the ITC make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of PET resin from Canada before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I: List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Postponement of Preliminary Determination V. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Scope Comments VIII. Discussion of Methodology A. Fair Value Comparisons 1. Determination of the Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis B. Product Comparisons C. Date of Sale D. U.S. Price E. Normal Value 1. Comparison-Market Viability 2. Level of Trade 3. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices 4. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value F. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the COP Test IX. Currency Conversion X. Verification XI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-26263 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-307-820] Silicomanganese from Venezuela: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on silicomanganese from Venezuela for the period May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Hoefke or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4947 and (202) 482-0649, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 1, 2015, based on a timely request for review by Eramet Marietta, Inc. (Eramet) and Felman Production, LLC (Felman) (collectively, Petitioners), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on silicomanganese from Venezuela covering the period May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.1 On August 25, 2015, Petitioners withdrew its request for an administrative review of all of the companies listed in its review request.2

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 37588 (July 1, 2015).

    2See letter from Petitioners to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Silicomanganese from Venezuela: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review of Antidumping Order,” dated August 25, 2015.

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party that requested the review withdraws its request within 90 days of the publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. In this case, Petitioners timely withdrew its review request by the 90-day deadline, and no other party requested an administrative review of the antidumping duty order. As a result, we are rescinding the administrative review of silicomanganese from Venezuela for the period May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Because the Department is rescinding this administrative review in its entirety, the entries to which this administrative review pertained shall be assessed antidumping duties at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of this notice.

    Notifications

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

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

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duties.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26256 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-523-810] Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From the Sultanate of Oman: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that certain polyethylene terephthalate resin (“PET resin”) from the Sultanate of Oman (“Oman”) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Hill, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3518.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 6, 2015.1 Pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department postponed this preliminary LTFV determination by 50 days until October 6, 2015.2

    1See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 18376 (April 6, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    2See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 45640 (July 31, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is polyethylene terephthalate (“PET”) resin. The merchandise subject to this investigation is properly classified under subheading 3907.60.00.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

    For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, hereby adopted by this notice.3 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, Enforcement and Compliance “Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From the Sultanate of Oman: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation,” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum appears in Appendix I, below.

    Scope Comments

    The Initiation Notice provided interested parties an opportunity to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). However, no party to the proceeding provided scope comments.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export prices (“EP”) and constructed export prices (“CEP”) have been calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value (“NV”) has been calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, hereby adopted by this notice.

    All Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis dumping margins, and any dumping margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. We based our calculation of the “all others” rate on the dumping margin calculated for OCTAL SAOC—FZC (“OCTAL”), the only mandatory respondent in this investigation. This margin was not zero or de mininis and it was not determined entirely under section 776 of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist during the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • OCTAL SAOC—FZC 6.62 All Others 6.62
    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of PET resin from Oman, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 4 equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds EP, or CEP as indicated in the chart above. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    4See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for submitting case briefs.5 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed hearing request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, the Department intends to verify the information submitted by OCTAL and its affiliates prior to making a final determination in this investigation.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    OCTAL requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV for OCTAL, the Department postpone its final determination pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2).7 In addition, OCTAL requested to extend the application of the provisional measures prescribed under section 733(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2), from a four-month period to a period not to exceed six months.

    7See Letter from OCTAL to the Secretary of Commerce “OCTAL's Request for Extension of Final Determination and Provisional Measures Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Resin from the Sultanate of Oman,” dated September 24, 2015.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), because: (1) Our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.8

    8See 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the preliminary determination in this proceeding is affirmative, section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires that the ITC make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of PET resin from Oman before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I: List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Postponement of Preliminary Determination V. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Scope Comments VIII. Discussion of Methodology A. Fair Value Comparisons 1. Determination of the Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis B. Product Comparisons C. Date of Sale D. U.S. Price E. Normal Value 1. Comparison-Market Viability 2. Level of Trade 3. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices 4. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value F. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of COP Test IX. Currency Conversion X. Verification XI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-26261 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-825] Heavy Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reza Karamloo at (202) 482-4470 or Rebecca Trainor at (202) 482-4007, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On August 10, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of heavy walled rectangular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from the Republic of Turkey.1 Currently, the preliminary determination is due no later than October 14, 2015.

    1See Heavy Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation, 80 FR 49207 (August 17, 2015).

    Postponement of the Preliminary Determination

    Section 703(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), requires the Department to issue the preliminary determination in a CVD investigation within 65 days after the date on which the Department initiated the investigation. However, if the Department concludes that the parties concerned are cooperating, and that the case is extraordinarily complicated such that additional time is necessary to make the preliminary determination, section 703(c)(1)(B) of the Act allows the Department to postpone making the preliminary determination until no later than 130 days after the date on which the administering authority initiated the investigation. We have concluded that the parties concerned are cooperating and that the case is extraordinarily complicated, such that we need more time to make the preliminary determination. Specifically, the analysis will involve not only the usual consideration of financial contribution and specificity for numerous programs, but will also involve the more complex consideration of the provision for less than adequate remuneration for several inputs. The deadline for completion of the preliminary determination is now December 18, 2015.

    We also note that, on September 30, 2015, the petitioners 2 in this investigation, requested that the deadline for the preliminary determination be postponed to 130 days from the date of initiation in accordance with 19 CFR 351.205(b)(2).

    2 The petitioners are Atlas Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, Bull Moose Tube Company, EXLTUBE, Hannibal Industries, Inc., Independence Tube Corporation, Maruichi American Corporation, Searing Industries, Southland Tube, and Vest, Inc.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 703(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(l).3

    3 We acknowledge that the Department inadvertently did not notify the parties to this investigation of this postponement within the timeframe provided in section 703(c)(2) of the Act.

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26274 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-024] Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain polyethylene terephthalate resin (PET resin) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation (POI) is July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The estimated margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Bezirganian or Tyler Weinhold, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1131 or (202) 482-1121, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 6, 2015.1 Pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department postponed this preliminary LTFV determination by 50 days until October 6, 2015.2

    1See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 18376 (April 6, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 45640 (July 31, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. The merchandise subject to this investigation is properly classified under subheading 3907.60.00.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

    For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum hereby adopted by this notice.3 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from the People's Republic of China from the People's Republic of China,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope Comments

    The Initiation Notice provided interested parties an opportunity to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). However, no interested party provided scope comments.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. We calculated export prices and constructed export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, normal value (NV) was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum hereby adopted by this notice.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 4 the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. Policy Bulletin 05.1 describes this practice.5

    4See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 18381-82.

    5See Enforcement and Compliance's Policy Bulletin No. 05.1, regarding, “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (Policy Bulletin 05.1), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist during the period July 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    Exporter Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Far Eastern Industries (Shanghai) Ltd. or Oriental Industries (Suzhou) Limited Far Eastern Industries (Shanghai) Ltd. or Oriental Industries (Suzhou) Limited 125.12 Jiangyin Xingyu New Material Co., Ltd. or Jiangsu Xingye Plastic Co., Ltd. or Jiangyin Xingjia Plastic Co., Ltd. or Jiangyin Xingtai New Material Co., Ltd. or Jiangsu Xingye Polytech Co., Ltd Jiangyin Xingyu New Material Co., Ltd. or Jiangsu Xingye Plastic Co., Ltd. or Jiangyin Xingjia Plastic Co., Ltd. or Jiangyin Xingtai New Material Co., Ltd. or Jiangsu Xingye Polytech Co., Ltd 131.16 Dragon Special Resin (XIAMEN) Co., Ltd Hainan Yisheng Petrochemical Co., Ltd 129.42 Hainan Yisheng Petrochemical Co., Ltd Zhejiang Wankai New Materials Co., Ltd 129.42 Shanghai Hengyi Polyester Fiber Co., Ltd Dragon Special Resin (XIAMEN) Co., Ltd 129.42 Zhejiang Wankai New Materials Co., Ltd Shanghai Hengyi Polyester Fiber Co., Ltd 129.42 PRC-Wide Entity 145.94
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.6 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    6See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.7 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues parties intend to present at the hearing. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Prior to the date of the hearing, the Department will contact all parties that submitted case or rebuttal brief to determine if they wish to participate in the hearing. The Department will then distribute a hearing schedule to the parties prior to the hearing and only those parties listed on the schedule may present issues raised in their briefs.

    7See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of PET resin from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 8 equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds U.S. price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through,9 as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the exporter/producer combinations listed in the table above will be the rate the Department determines in this preliminary determination; (2) for all combinations of PRC exporters/producers of merchandise under consideration that have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate established for the PRC-wide entity; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of merchandise under consideration which have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter.

    8See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    9See sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See, e.g., Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    As stated previously, we will adjust cash deposit rates by the amount of export subsidies, where appropriate. In the companion CVD investigation, Jiangyin Xingyu New Material Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Xingye Plastic Co., Ltd., Jiangyin Xingjia Plastic Co., Ltd., Jiangyin Xingtai New Material Co., Ltd., and Jiangsu Xingye Polytech Co., Ltd. (collectively “Xingyu Group”) received a calculated export subsidy rate of 0.80 percent, and, thus, we will offset the calculated rate for the Xingyu Group by 0.80 percent. Far Eastern Industries (Shanghai) Ltd. and Oriental Industries (Suzhou) Limited (collectively “FEIS Group”) was not a mandatory respondent in the companion CVD investigation, so we will offset the calculated rate for the FEIS Group by 1.83 percent, the average of the export subsidy rates for the two mandatory respondents in the companion CVD investigation. Dragon Special Resin (XIAMEN) Co., Ltd., one of the separate rate companies, was a mandatory respondent in the companion CVD investigation and received a calculated export subsidy rate of 2.85 percent, and, thus, we will offset the calculated rate for Dragon by 2.85 percent. The other separate rate companies were not mandatory respondents in the companion CVD investigation, so we will offset the calculated rate for each of them by 1.83 percent, the average of the export subsidy rates for the two mandatory respondents in the companion CVD investigation. Finally, we are adjusting the cash deposit rate for the PRC-wide entity by 0.80 percent, the lowest adjustment for any party in the companion CVD investigation.10

    10See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Pursuant to 777A(f) of the Act, we are also adjusting preliminary cash deposit rates for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through, where appropriate. We will adjust the Xingyu Group's by 0.91 percent, but we are not adjusting the rate for the FEIS Group because it failed to justify such an adjustment. We are adjusting the rates for each of the other separate rate companies by 1.83 percent. Finally, we are not adjusting the PRC-wide entity's rate for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through.11

    11Id.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination by the Department, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination by the Department, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    In a joint letter dated September 30, 2015, Xingyu, Xingye, Dragon, Hainan Yisheng Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Wankai New Materials Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Hengyi Polyester Fiber Co., Ltd. requested that, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination in this investigation, the Department postpone its final determination by 60 days (i.e., to 135 days after publication of the preliminary determination) pursuant to section 735(a)(2)(A) and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), and agreed to extend the application of the provisional measures prescribed under section 733(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2), from a four-month period to a period not to exceed six months.12 In a letter dated October 2, 2015, FEIS requested the same.13

    12See letter to the Secretary dated September 30, 2015.

    13See letter to the Secretary dated October 2, 2015.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.14

    14See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV. Because the preliminary determination in this proceeding is affirmative, section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires that the ITC make its final determination whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of PET resin from the PRC before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum:

    Summary Background Initiation Period of Investigation Postponement of Preliminary and Final Determinations Scope of the Investigation Scope Comments Product Characteristics Selection of Respondents Discussion of the Methodology Non-Market Economy Country Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Comments Separate Rates Margin for the Separate Rate Companies Combination Rates The PRC-wide Entity Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences Affiliation/Single Entity Date of Sale Fair Value Comparisons Export Price Value-Added Tax Normal Value Factor Valuation Methodology Comparisons to Normal Value Currency Conversion Verification Adjustments for Countervailable Subsidies International Trade Commission Notification Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-26264 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-978] Certain High Pressure Steel Cylinders From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014 AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain high pressure steel cylinders (HPSC) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period of review (POR) January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, based on the timely withdrawal of the request for review.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Kennedy, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7883.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 1, 2015, the Department published the notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the order on HPSC from PRC for the period of review January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.1 On June 15, 2015, Norris Cylinder Company (Norris) requested that the Department conduct an administrative review of Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd. (BTIC).2 On June 30, 2015, BTIC requested an administrative review of its POR sales.3 Pursuant to the requests and in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), the Department published a notice initiating an administrative review of BTIC.4 On September 9, 2015, both Norris and BTIC timely withdrew their requests for an administrative review of BTIC.5

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 31017 (June 1, 2015).

    2See Letter from Norris, “High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China Request for Administrative Review,” dated June 15, 2015.

    3See Letter from BTIC, “Request for the Third Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China, C-570-978 (POR:01/01/14-12/31/14),” dated June 30, 2015.

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 45947 (August 3, 2015).

    5See Letter from Norris, “Withdrawal of Request for an Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China,” dated September 9, 2015; Letter from BTIC, “Withdrawal of Review Request in the Third Administrative Review of Countervailing Duty Order on High Pressure Steel Cylinders from the People's Republic of China,” dated September 9, 2015.

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party or parties that requested a review withdraws the request within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of the requested review. As noted above, both Norris and BTIC withdrew their requests, and they did so within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation. No other parties requested an administrative review of the order. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this review in its entirety.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries of HPSC from PRC. CVDs shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated CVDs required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice of rescission of administrative review.

    Notifications

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

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26281 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-836] Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    On April 8, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on glycine from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 We gave interested parties an opportunity to comment on the Preliminary Results. Based upon our analysis of the comments and information we received, we made changes to the margin calculation for Baoding Mantong Fine Chemistry Co., Ltd. (Baoding Mantong) for these final results. The final antidumping duty margin for Baoding Mantong for this review is listed in the “Final Results of Review” section below.

    1See Glycine from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Intent to Rescind, In Part; 2013-2014, 80 FR 18814 (April 8, 2015) (Preliminary Results).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dena Crossland or Angelica Townshend, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3362 or (202) 482-3019, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On April 8, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results. A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Preliminary Results may be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum accompanying this notice, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2 The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://iaaccess.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the memorandum are identical in content.

    2See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations entitled “Glycine from the People's Republic of China: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014” dated October 5, 2015 (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Final Partial Rescission of Review

    In our Preliminary Results, we preliminarily rescinded the review with respect to Evonik.3 For the Final Results, we are continuing to rescind the administrative review with respect to Evonik.4

    3See Preliminary Results.

    4See Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 6.

    Period of Review

    The period of review (POR) is March 1, 2013, through February 28, 2014.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this antidumping duty order is glycine, which is a free-flowing crystalline material, like salt or sugar. Glycine is currently classified under subheading 2922.49.4020 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under the order is dispositive.5

    5 For a full description of the scope of the order, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties to this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum accompanying this notice, which is hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the issues which the parties raised and to which the Department responded in the memorandum appears in Appendix I of this notice.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, we made certain changes to Baoding Mantong's margin calculation since the Preliminary Results. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum, and accompanying Final Analysis Memorandum for Baoding Mantong, dated concurrently with this notice.

    Final Results of Review

    The Department determines that the following estimated weighted-average dumping margin exists for the period March 1, 2013, through February 28, 2014:

    Exporter Dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Baoding Mantong Fine Chemistry Co. Ltd 143.87
    Assessment Rates

    The Department determined, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review.6 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review.

    6See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash-deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of this notice of final results of the administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended: (1) For any previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters which are not under review in this segment of the proceeding that received a separate rate in a previous segment of this proceeding, the cash-deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recently-completed period; (2) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, including Evonik, the cash-deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity (i.e., 453.79 percent); and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash-deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied the non-PRC exporter. These cash-deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this period of review. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

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

    We are issuing and publishing these final results and this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 5, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. List of Issues III. Background IV. Scope of the Review V. Period of Review VI. Changes Since the Preliminary Results VII. Discussion of Interested Party Comments A. Baoding Mantong-Specific Issues Comment 1: Whether the Review Should Be Rescinded With Regard to Baoding Mantong Comment 2: Whether Baoding Mantong's Sale was a Bona Fide Sale Comment 3: Whether Baoding Mantong's Requested By-Product Offset Should Be Denied or Valued at Zero or the Lowest Available Value on the Record Comment 4: Surrogate Financial Ratios B. Evonik-Specific Issues Comment 5: Whether Evonik's Sales Were Bona Fide Comment 6: Whether the 453.79 Percent PRC-Wide Rate is Accordance With Law
    [FR Doc. 2015-26270 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-421-811] Purified Carboxymethylcellulose From the Netherlands: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Revocation of the Antidumping Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    On August 31, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published its initiation and preliminary results 1 of a changed circumstances review (CCR), preliminarily determining to revoke the antidumping duty (AD) Order2 on purified carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) from the Netherlands. We invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. We received no comments. Thus, we make no changes to our preliminary determination in these final results of changed circumstances review and hereby revoke the Order in toto.

    1See Purified Carboxymethylcellulose From the Netherlands: Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review and Intent to Revoke the Antidumping Duty Order, 80 FR 52447 (August 31, 2015) (Preliminary Results).

    2See Notice of Antidumping Duty Orders: Purified Carboxymethylcellulose from Finland, Mexico, the Netherlands and Sweden, 70 FR 39734 (July 11, 2005) (the Order).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Drury, or Angelica Townsend, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0195 or (202) 482-3019, respectively.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 1, 2014.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 8, 2015, in accordance with sections 751(b) and 751(d)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), 19 CFR 351.216(b); 351.222(g)(1), and 351.221(c)(3)(ii), Ashland Specialty Ingredients, G.P. (Ashland), the petitioner and sole domestic producer of CMC, requested, effective July 1, 2014, revocation of the Order with respect to the Netherlands as part of an expedited CCR. On August 31, 2015, the Department preliminarily determined to revoke the Order and invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results.

    We received no comments from interested parties on the Preliminary Results.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is all purified CMC, sometimes also referred to as purified sodium CMC, polyanionic cellulose, or cellulose gum, which is a white to off-white, non-toxic, odorless, biodegradable powder, comprising sodium CMC that has been refined and purified to a minimum assay of 90 percent. Purified CMC does not include unpurified or crude CMC, CMC Fluidized Polymer Suspensions, and CMC that is cross-linked through heat treatment. Purified CMC is CMC that has undergone one or more purification operations which, at a minimum, reduce the remaining salt and other by-product portion of the product to less than ten percent.

    The merchandise subject to this order is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at subheading 3912.31.00. This tariff classification is provided for convenience and customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review

    Section 782(h)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.222(g)(1)(i), provide that the Department may revoke an order (in whole or in part) if it determines that producers accounting for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product have no further interest in the order, in whole or in part. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.222(g)(1), we find that the petitioner's affirmative statement of no interest constitutes good cause to conduct this review. Ashland stated that, as the sole U.S. producer of CMC, it accounts for substantially all of the production of the domestic like product. Ashland also stated that it has no interest in the continuation of the Order.3 Therefore, at the request of Ashland and in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 751(d)(1) of the Act, 19 CFR 351.216, and 351.222(g)(1)(i) and (vi), we are revoking the Order on CMC from the Netherlands. As stated in the Preliminary Results, the revocation will be effective July 1, 2014, which is the effective date requested by Ashland and also the first day of the most recent period not subject to administrative review.4

    3See Ashland's July 8, 2015, submission to the Department; see also Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 52447-48.

    4See Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 52448.

    Termination of Suspension of Liquidation

    Because we determine that there are changed circumstances that warrant the revocation of the Order, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to terminate the suspension of liquidation of the merchandise subject to this order entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after July 1, 2014, and to release any cash deposit or bond on all unliquidated entries of the merchandise covered by the revocation that are not covered by the final results of an administrative review or automatic liquidation.5 Entries of subject merchandise prior to the effective date of revocation will continue to be subject to suspension of liquidation and antidumping duty deposit requirements.

    5See 19 CFR 351.222(g)(4).

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

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

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these final results and notice in accordance with sections 751(b)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216, 351.221(b)(5), and 351.222(g)(1)(i) and (g)(3)(vii).

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26260 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-861] Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 15, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that certain polyethylene terephthalate resin (PET resin) products from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Baker or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2924 or (202) 482-0649.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on April 6, 2015.1 Pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department postponed this preliminary LTFV determination by 50 days until October 6, 2015.2

    1See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin From Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 80 FR 18376 (April 6, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from Canada, the People's Republic of China, India, and the Sultanate of Oman: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 45640 (July 31, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by these investigations is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin

    The merchandise subject to these investigations is properly classified under subheading 3907.60.00.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

    For a full description of the scope of the investigation, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, hereby adopted by this notice.3 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, Enforcement and Compliance “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin from India,” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum) dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum appears in the Appendix below.

    Scope Comments

    The Initiation Notice provided interested parties an opportunity to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope). However, no party to the proceeding provided scope comments.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Export price (EP) has been calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value (NV) has been calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On July 16, 2015, petitioners filed a timely critical circumstances allegation, pursuant to section 773(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(1), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the merchandise under consideration.4 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.206(c)(2)(i), when a critical circumstances allegation is submitted more than 20 days before the scheduled date of the preliminary determination, the Department must issue a preliminary finding whether there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist no later than the date of the preliminary determination. We have conducted an analysis of critical circumstances in accordance with section 733(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206, and preliminarily determine that: (1) There is a history of dumping and material injury by reason of dumped imports in the United States or elsewhere of the subject merchandise in accordance with section 733(e)(1)(A)(i) of the Act; and (2) imports of the subject merchandise have been massive over a relatively short period in accordance with section 733(e)(1)(B) of the Act. Therefore, we preliminarily determine that critical circumstances exist. For a full description of the methodology and results of our analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    4See letter from Petitioners, “Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate Resin—Critical Circumstances Allegation,” date July 16, 2015.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, we calculated weighted-average dumping margins for both mandatory respondents that are above de minimis and which are not based on section 776 of the Act. However, because there are only two relevant weighted-average dumping margins for this final determination, using a weighted-average of these two rates risks disclosure of business proprietary data. Therefore, the Department assigned a margin to the all-others rate companies based on the simple average of the two mandatory respondents' rates.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist during the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Dhunseri Petrochem, Ltd. 19.41 Ester Industries, Ltd. 10.68 JBF Industries, Ltd. 19.41 Reliance Industries, Ltd. 6.31 All Others 8.50
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for submitting case briefs.5 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, the Department intends to verify the information submitted by Ester and Reliance prior to making a final determination in this investigation.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of PET resin from India as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 7 equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds EP as indicated in the chart above, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies.8 These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    7See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    8See section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    Pursuant to section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 9 equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds EP, as indicated in the chart above, as follows: (1) The rate for Dhunseri, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 14.28 percent; (2) the rate for Ester, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 5.55 percent; (3) the rate for JBF, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 0.00 percent; (4) the rate for Reliance, when adjusted for export subsidies, is 1.18, (5) if the exporter is not a firm identified in this investigation, but the producer is, then the rate will be the rate established for the producer of the subject merchandise; (6) the rate for all other producers or exporters, when adjusted for export subsidies, will be 3.37 percent. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    9See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. As described above, we preliminarily find that critical circumstances exist for imports produced or exported by all Indian exporters. Therefore, in accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    Reliance requested that, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination in this investigation, the Department postpone its final determination by 60 days (i.e., to 135 days after publication of the preliminary determination) pursuant to section 735(a)(2)(A) and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), and agreed to extend the application of the provisional measures prescribed under section 733(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2), from a four-month period to a period not to exceed six months.10

    10See letter from Reliance dated September 24, 2015.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.11 The suspension of liquidation described above will be extended accordingly.

    11See 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the preliminary determination in this proceeding is affirmative, section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires that the ITC make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of PET resin from India before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Postponement of Preliminary Determination V. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Scope Comments VIII. Discussion of Methodology A. Fair Value Comparisons 1. Determination of the Comparison Method 2. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis B. Product Comparisons C. Date of Sale D. U.S. Price E. Normal Value 1. Comparison-Market Viability 2. Level of Trade 3. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices F. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of COP 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of COP Test IX. Facts Available X. Critical Circumstances XI. Currency Conversion XII. U.S. International Trade Commission Notification XIII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIV. Verification XV. Adjustments for Countervailable Subsidies XVI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-26262 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE057 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Pier Replacement Project AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals during construction activities associated with a pier replacement project at Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, CA.

    DATES:

    This authorization is effective from October 8, 2015, through October 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability

    An electronic copy of the Navy's application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA established an expedited process by which citizens of the U.S. can apply for an authorization to incidentally take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment. Section 101(a)(5)(D) establishes a 45-day time limit for NMFS review of an application followed by a 30-day public notice and comment period on any proposed authorizations for the incidental harassment of marine mammals. Within 45 days of the close of the comment period, NMFS must either issue or deny the authorization. Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as “any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    Summary of Request

    On June 12, 2015, we received a request from the Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to pile installation and removal associated with a pier replacement project in San Diego Bay at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, CA (NBPL). The Navy also submitted a separate monitoring plan and draft monitoring report pursuant to requirements of the previous IHA. The Navy submitted revised versions of the request on July 3 and July 26, 2015, a revised version of the monitoring plan on July 21, 2015, and a revised monitoring report on July 29, 2015. These documents were deemed adequate and complete. The pier replacement project is planned to occur over four years; this IHA covers only the third year of work and is valid for a period of one year, from October 8, 2015, through October 7, 2016. Hereafter, use of the generic term “pile driving” may refer to both pile installation and removal unless otherwise noted.

    The use of both vibratory and impact pile driving is expected to produce underwater sound at levels that have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals. Species with the expected potential to be present during all or a portion of the in-water work window include the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), and either short-beaked or long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus spp.). California sea lions are present year-round and are very common in the project area, while bottlenose dolphins and harbor seals are common and likely to be present year-round but with more variable occurrence in San Diego Bay. Gray whales may be observed in San Diego Bay sporadically during migration periods. The remaining species are known to occur in nearshore waters outside San Diego Bay, but are generally only rarely observed near or in the bay. However, recent observations indicate that these species may occur in the project area and therefore could potentially be subject to incidental harassment from the aforementioned activities.

    This is the third such IHA, following the IHAs issued effective from September 1, 2013, through August 31, 2014 (78 FR 44539) and from October 8, 2014, through October 7, 2015 (79 FR 65378). Monitoring reports are available on the Internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm and provide environmental information related to issuance of this IHA.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    NBPL provides berthing and support services for Navy submarines and other fleet assets. The existing fuel pier serves as a fuel depot for loading and unloading tankers and Navy underway replenishment vessels that refuel ships at sea (“oilers”), as well as transferring fuel to local replenishment vessels and other small craft operating in San Diego Bay, and is the only active Navy fueling facility in southern California. Portions of the pier are over one hundred years old, while the newer segment was constructed in 1942. The pier as a whole is significantly past its design service life and does not meet current construction standards.

    Over the course of four years, the Navy plans to demolish and remove the existing pier and associated pipelines and appurtenances while simultaneously replacing it with a generally similar structure that meets relevant standards for seismic strength and is designed to better accommodate modern Navy ships. Demolition and construction are planned to occur in two phases to maintain the fueling capabilities of the existing pier while the new pier is being constructed. During the third year of construction (the specified activity considered under this proposed IHA), approximately 226 piles will be installed (including six 30-in steel pipe piles, 88 30 x 24-in concrete piles, and 132 16-in concrete-filled fiberglass piles). Demolition of the existing pier will continue concurrently, including the removal of approximately one hundred steel and concrete piles and twenty concrete-filled steel caissons. Removals may occur by multiple means, including vibratory removal, pile cutter, dead pull, and diamond belt saw, as determined to be most effective. Construction work under this IHA is anticipated to require a total of 115 days of in-water work. All steel piles will be driven with a vibratory hammer for their initial embedment depths and finished with an impact hammer, as necessary.

    The planned actions with the potential to incidentally harass marine mammals within the waters adjacent to NBPL are vibratory and impact pile installation and removal of piles via pile cutter. Vibratory pile removal is not planned but could occur if deemed the most effective technique to remove a given pile; because this technique is not expected to occur we do not consider it separately in this document from vibratory pile driving. Concurrent use of multiple pile driving rigs is not planned; however, pile removal conducted as part of demolition activities (which could occur via a number of techniques) may occur concurrently with pile installation conducted as part of construction activities.

    Dates and Duration

    The entire project is scheduled to occur from 2013-17; the planned activities that are planned to occur during the period of validity for this IHA, during the third year of work, would occur for one year. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), all noise- and turbidity-producing in-water activities in designated least tern foraging habitat are to be avoided during the period when least terns are present and engaged in nesting and foraging (a window from approximately May 1 through September 15). However, it is possible that in-water work, as described below, could occur at any time during the period of validity of this IHA. The conduct of any such work would be subject to approval from FWS under the terms of the MOU. We expect that in-water work will primarily occur from October through April. In-water pile driving and removal work using pile cutters or vibratory drivers is limited to 115 days in total under this IHA. Pile driving will occur during normal working hours (approximately 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

    Specific Geographic Region

    NBPL is located on the peninsula of Point Loma near the mouth and along the northern edge of San Diego Bay (see Figures 1-1 and 1-2 in the Navy's application). San Diego Bay is a narrow, crescent-shaped natural embayment oriented northwest-southeast with an approximate length of 24 km and a total area of roughly 4,500 ha. The width of the bay ranges from 0.3 to 5.8 km, and depths range from 23 m mean lower low water (MLLW) near the tip of Ballast Point to less than 2 m at the southern end (see Figure 2-1 of the Navy's application). San Diego Bay is a heavily urbanized area with a mix of industrial, military, and recreational uses. The northern and central portions of the bay have been shaped by historic dredging to support large ship navigation. Dredging occurs as necessary to maintain constant depth within the navigation channel. Outside the navigation channel, the bay floor consists of platforms at depths that vary slightly. Sediments in northern San Diego Bay are relatively sandy as tidal currents tend to keep the finer silt and clay fractions in suspension, except in harbors and elsewhere in the lee of structures where water movement is diminished. Much of the shoreline consists of riprap and manmade structures. San Diego Bay is heavily used by commercial, recreational, and military vessels, with an average of over 80,000 vessel movements (in or out of the bay) per year (not including recreational boating within the Bay) (see Table 2-2 of the Navy's application). For more information about the specific geographic region, please see section 2.3 of the Navy's application.

    Detailed Description of Activities

    In order to provide context, we described the entire project in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization associated with the first-year IHA (78 FR 30873; May 23, 2013). Please see that document for an overview of the entire fuel pier replacement project, or see the Navy's Environmental Assessment (2013) for more detail. In the notice of proposed authorization associated with the third-year IHA (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015) we provided an overview of relevant construction methods before describing only the specific project portions scheduled for completion during the third work window. We do not repeat that information here; please refer to that document for more information. Approximately 498 piles in total are planned to be installed for the project, including steel, concrete, and plastic piles. For the third year of work, approximately 226 steel and concrete piles will be installed. Tables 1 and 2 detail the piles to be installed and removed, respectively, under this IHA.

    Table 1—Details of Piles To Be Installed Purpose Location Planned timing Pile type Pile
  • number
  • Dolphin batter piles North mooring Fall 2015 30-in steel pipe 6 Fender piles Bayward side of new pier Fall-Winter 2015 24 x 30-in concrete 88 Fender piles Bayward side of new pier Fall-Winter 2015 16-in concrete-filled fiberglass 132
    Table 2—Details of Piles To Be Removed Pile type Number Concrete fender piles (14-, 16-, and 24-in) 56 Plastic fender piles (13-in) 34 Temporary steel piles (30-in) 12 Concrete-filled steel caissons 20 Description of Work Accomplished

    During the first in-water work season, two primary activities were conducted: relocation of the Marine Mammal Program and the Indicator Pile Program (IPP). During the second in-water work season, the IPP was concluded and simultaneous construction of the new pier and demolition of the old pier begun. These activities were detailed in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015) and are not repeated here.

    Comments and Responses

    We published a notice of receipt of the Navy's application and proposed IHA in the Federal Register on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53115). We received a letter from the Marine Mammal Commission; the Commission's comments and our responses are provided here, and the comments have been posted on the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. Please see the Commission's letter for background and rationale regarding these recommendations.

    Comment 1: The Commission recommends that we (1) authorize a small number of Level A harassment takes of California sea lions for construction activities at NBPL and (2) take a consistent approach in authorizing Level A harassment for other activities in which there is a potential for Level A harassment to occur (i.e., impact pile driving and seismic surveys).

    Response: California sea lions are abundant in the vicinity of the project area, and it is therefore difficult to assume as is typical that all animals will be observed either prior to entering the shutdown zone or immediately upon surfacing within the shutdown zone. Therefore, the Navy evaluated use of a buffered shutdown zone during the course of Year 2 construction activities. The Navy ultimately proposed use of a pinniped shutdown zone with radial distance twice as large as the modeled Level A harassment zone in its request for authorization related to Year 3 construction activities. The Commission commends the Navy for amending its mitigation measures using an adaptive approach, but notes that four of 107 sea lion sightings resulting in shutdown involved animals observed within the modeled zone, rather than within the larger buffered zone. We have previously authorized Level A harassment for activities where we believe that such take is likely unavoidable. The Commission therefore believes that authorization of Level A harassment is warranted and, further, that we should take a consistent approach to such authorizations across projects.

    We do not believe that the authorization of Level A harassment is warranted in this case. These four observations, within the relevant zone for impact driving of 30- and 36-in steel pipe piles, occurred over one hundred days of such activity and 238 driven piles. This gives a rate of 0.02 animals observed within the actual Level A zone per driven pile. While this rate would likely be highly variable, it does give an indication of the rarity of the event (i.e., an animal was not observed prior to traversing the buffer zone and entering the actual modeled zone). Only six days of similar pile driving (i.e., impact driving of 30-in steel pipe piles) is planned for Year 3. Based on the small number of piles associated with source levels that exceed the Level A harassment threshold, the low likelihood of an animal entering the actual Level A harassment zone, and the demonstrated success in implementation of the buffered shutdown zone, the Navy did not request authorization of Level A harassment, and we concur with that decision.

    We agree with the Commission's recommendation that we consider the need for authorization of Level A harassment consistently, but disagree that our decision here displays an inconsistent approach. We consider the need for authorization of Level A harassment on a case-by-case basis. Consistency does not demand that we reach the same outcome in all cases, but merely that we consider like factors consistently across actions.

    Comment 2: The Commission recommends that we develop criteria and provide guidance to applicants regarding the circumstances under which we will consider requests for Level A harassment takes under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA.

    Response: We do not agree that formal criteria are necessary, but will continue to provide guidance to applicants regarding the need to consider Level A harassment authorization. As has been our practice, we will consider relevant factors consistently in reaching action-specific decisions.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    There are four marine mammal species which are either resident or have known seasonal occurrence in the vicinity of San Diego Bay, including the California sea lion, harbor seal, bottlenose dolphin, and gray whale (see Figures 3-1 through 3-4 and 4-1 in the Navy's application). In addition, common dolphins (see Figure 3-4 in the Navy's application), the Pacific white-sided dolphin, Risso's dolphin, and northern elephant seals are known to occur in deeper waters in the vicinity of San Diego Bay and/or have been recently observed within the bay. Although the latter three species of cetacean would not generally be expected to occur within the project area, the potential for changes in occurrence patterns due to developing El Niño conditions in conjunction with recent observations leads us to believe that authorization of incidental take is warranted. Common dolphins have been documented regularly at the Navy's nearby Silver Strand Training Complex, and were observed in the project area during both previous years of project activity. The Pacific white-sided dolphin has been sighted along a previously used transect on the opposite side of the Point Loma peninsula (Merkel and Associates, 2008) and there were several observations of Pacific white-sided dolphins during Year 2 monitoring. Risso's dolphin is fairly common in southern California coastal waters (e.g., Campbell et al., 2010), and could occur in the bay. Northern elephant seals are included based on their continuing increase in numbers along the Pacific coast (Carretta et al., 2015) and the likelihood that animals that reproduce on the islands offshore of Baja California and mainland Mexico—where the population is also increasing—could move through the project area during migration, as well as the observation of a juvenile seal near the Fuel Pier in April 2015.

    Note that common dolphins could be either short-beaked (Delphinus delphis delphis) or long-beaked (D. capensis capensis). While it is likely that common dolphins observed in the project area would be long-beaked, as it is the most frequently stranded species in the area from San Diego Bay to the U.S.-Mexico border (Danil and St. Leger, 2011), the species distributions overlap and it is unlikely that observers would be able to differentiate them in the field. Therefore, we consider that any common dolphins observed—and any incidental take of common dolphins—could be either species.

    In addition, other species that occur in the Southern California Bight may have the potential for isolated occurrence within San Diego Bay or just offshore. In particular, a short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) was observed off Ballast Point, and a Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus monteriensis) was seen in the project area during Year 2. These species are not typically observed near the project area and, unlike the previously mentioned species, we do not believe it likely that they will occur in the future. Given the unlikelihood of their exposure to sound generated from the project, these species are not considered further.

    We have reviewed the Navy's detailed species descriptions, including life history information, for accuracy and completeness and refer the reader to Sections 3 and 4 of the Navy's application instead of reprinting the information here. Please also refer to NMFS' Web site (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals) for generalized species accounts and to the Navy's Marine Resource Assessment for the Southern California and Point Mugu Operating Areas, which provides information regarding the biology and behavior of the marine resources that may occur in those operating areas (DoN, 2008). The document is publicly available at www.navfac.navy.mil/products_and_services/ev/products_and_services/marine_resources/marine_resource_assessments.html (accessed August 21, 2015). In addition, we provided information for the potentially affected stocks, including details of stock-wide status, trends, and threats, in our Federal Register notices of proposed authorization associated with the first- and second-year IHAs (78 FR 30873; May 23, 2013 and 79 FR 53026; September 5, 2014) and refer the reader to those documents rather than reprinting the information here.

    Table 3 lists the marine mammal species with expected potential for occurrence in the vicinity of NBPL during the project timeframe and summarizes key information regarding stock status and abundance. See also Figures 3-1 through 3-5 of the Navy's application for observed occurrence of marine mammals in the project area. Taxonomically, we follow Committee on Taxonomy (2014). Please see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of these stocks' status and abundance. All potentially affected species are addressed in the Pacific SARs (Carretta et al., 2015).

    Table 3—Marine Mammals Potentially Present in the Vicinity of NBPL Species Stock ESA/MMPA
  • status;
  • Strategic (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance
  • (CV, Nmin, most
  • recent
  • abundance survey) 2
  • PBR 3 Annual M/SI 4 Relative occurrence
  • in San Diego Bay;
  • season of
  • occurrence
  • Order Cetartiodactyla—Cetacea—Superfamily Mysticeti (baleen whales) Family Eschrichtiidae Gray whale Eastern North Pacific -; N 20,990 (0.05; 20,125; 2011) 624 1326 Occasional migratory visitor; winter. Superfamily Odontoceti (toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises) Family Delphinidae Bottlenose dolphin California coastal -; N 3235 (0.13; 290; 2005) 2.4 0.2 Common; year-round. Short-beaked common dolphin California/Oregon/Washington -; N 411,211 (0.21; 343,990; 2008) 3,440 64 Occasional; year-round (but more common in warm season). Long-beaked common dolphin California -; N 107,016 (0.42; 76,224; 2009) 610 13.8 Occasional; year-round (but more common in warm season). Pacific white-sided dolphin California/Oregon/Washington -; N 26,930 (0.28; 21,406; 2008) 171 17.8 Uncommon; year-round. Risso's dolphin California/Oregon/Washington -; N 6,272 (0.3; 4,913; 2008) 39 1.6 Rare; year-round (but more common in cool season). Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) California sea lion U.S -; N 296,750 (n/a; 153,337; 2011) 9,200 389 Abundant; year-round. Family Phocidae (earless seals) Harbor seal California -; N 30,968 (n/a; 27,348; 2012) 1,641 43 Common; year-round. Northern elephant seal California breeding -; N 179,000 (n/a; 81,368; 2010) 4,882 8.8 Rare; year-round. 1 Endangered Species Act (ESA) status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR (see footnote 3) or which is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 CV is coefficient of variation; Nmin is the minimum estimate of stock abundance. In some cases, CV is not applicable. For certain stocks of pinnipeds, abundance estimates are based upon observations of animals (often pups) ashore multiplied by some correction factor derived from knowledge of the species (or similar species) life history to arrive at a best abundance estimate; therefore, there is no associated CV. In these cases, the minimum abundance may represent actual counts of all animals ashore. 3 Potential biological removal, defined by the MMPA as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population size (OSP). 4 These values, found in NMFS' SARs, represent annual levels of human-caused mortality plus serious injury from all sources combined (e.g., commercial fisheries, subsistence hunting, ship strike). Annual M/SI often cannot be determined precisely and is in some cases presented as a minimum value. 5 This value is based on photographic mark-recapture surveys conducted along the San Diego coast in 2004-05, but is considered a likely underestimate, as it does not reflect that approximately 35 percent of dolphins encountered lack identifiable dorsal fin marks (Defran and Weller, 1999). If 35 percent of all animals lack distinguishing marks, then the true population size would be closer to 450-500 animals (Carretta et al., 2015). 6 Includes annual Russian harvest of 127 whales.
    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals and Their Habitat

    We provided discussion of the potential effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat in our Federal Register notices of proposed authorization associated with the first- and second-year IHAs (78 FR 30873; May 23, 2013 and 79 FR 53026; September 5, 2014). The specified activity associated with this IHA is substantially similar to those considered for the first- and second-year IHAs and the potential effects of the specified activity are the same as those identified in those documents. Therefore, we do not reprint the information here but refer the reader to those documents. We also provided brief definitions of relevant acoustic terminology in our notice of proposed authorization associated with this IHA (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015).

    Mitigation

    In order to issue an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    The mitigation strategies described below largely follow those required and successfully implemented under the first- and second-year IHAs. For this IHA, data from acoustic monitoring conducted during the first two years of work was used to estimate zones of influence (ZOIs; see “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment”); these values were used to develop mitigation measures for pile driving activities at NBPL. The ZOIs effectively represent the mitigation zone that would be established around each pile to prevent Level A harassment to marine mammals, while providing estimates of the areas within which Level B harassment might occur. In addition, the Navy has defined buffers to the estimated Level A harassment zones to further reduce the potential for Level A harassment. In addition to the measures described later in this section, the Navy would conduct briefings between construction supervisors and crews, marine mammal monitoring team, acoustic monitoring team, and Navy staff prior to the start of all pile driving activity, and when new personnel join the work, in order to explain responsibilities, communication procedures, marine mammal monitoring protocol, and operational procedures.

    Monitoring and Shutdown for Pile Driving

    The following measures apply to the Navy's mitigation through shutdown and disturbance zones:

    Shutdown Zone—For all pile driving and removal activities, the Navy will establish a shutdown zone intended to contain the area in which SPLs equal or exceed the 180/190 dB rms acoustic injury criteria. The purpose of a shutdown zone is to define an area within which shutdown of activity would occur upon sighting of a marine mammal (or in anticipation of an animal entering the defined area), thus preventing injury of marine mammals (serious injury or death are unlikely outcomes even in the absence of mitigation measures). Estimated radial distances to the relevant thresholds are shown in Table 4. For certain activities, the shutdown zone would not exist because source levels are lower than the threshold, or the source levels indicate that the radial distance to the threshold would be less than 10 m. However, a minimum shutdown zone of 20 m will be established during all pile driving and removal activities, regardless of the estimated zone. This represents a buffer of 10 m added to the previously implemented 10 m minimum shutdown zone. In addition the Navy will effect a buffered shutdown zone that is intended to significantly reduce the potential for Level A harassment given that, in particular, California sea lions are quite abundant in the project area and bottlenose dolphins may surface unpredictably and move erratically in an area with a large amount of construction equipment. The Navy considered typical swim speeds (Godfrey, 1985; Lockyer and Morris, 1987; Fish, 1997; Fish et al., 2003; Rohr et al., 2002; Noren et al., 2006) and past field experience (e.g., typical elapsed time from observation of an animal to shutdown of equipment) in initially defining these buffered zones, and then evaluated the practicality and effectiveness of the zones during the Year 2 construction period. The Navy will add a buffer of 75 m to the 190 dB zone for impact driving of steel piles (doubling the effective zone to 150 m radius) and will add a buffer of 100 m to the 180 dB zone for impact driving of steel piles (increasing the effective zone to 450 m). These zones are also shown in Table 5. These precautionary measures are intended to prevent the already unlikely possibility of physical interaction with construction equipment and to establish a precautionary minimum zone with regard to acoustic effects.

    Disturbance Zone—Disturbance zones are the areas in which SPLs equal or exceed 160 and 120 dB rms (for impulse and continuous sound, respectively). Disturbance zones provide utility for monitoring conducted for mitigation purposes (i.e., shutdown zone monitoring) by establishing monitoring protocols for areas adjacent to the shutdown zones. Monitoring of disturbance zones enables observers to be aware of and communicate the presence of marine mammals in the project area but outside the shutdown zone and thus prepare for potential shutdowns of activity. However, the primary purpose of disturbance zone monitoring is for documenting incidents of Level B harassment; disturbance zone monitoring is discussed in greater detail later (see “Monitoring and Reporting”). Nominal radial distances for disturbance zones are shown in Table 4.

    In order to document observed incidents of harassment, monitors record all marine mammal observations, regardless of location. The observer's location, as well as the location of the pile being driven, is known from a GPS. The location of the animal is estimated as a distance from the observer, which is then compared to the location from the pile. If acoustic monitoring is being conducted for that pile, a received SPL may be estimated, or the received level may be estimated on the basis of past or subsequent acoustic monitoring. It may then be determined whether the animal was exposed to sound levels constituting incidental harassment in post-processing of observational and acoustic data, and a precise accounting of observed incidences of harassment created. Therefore, although the predicted distances to behavioral harassment thresholds are useful for estimating incidental harassment for purposes of authorizing levels of incidental take, actual take may be determined in part through the use of empirical data.

    Acoustic measurements will continue during the third year of project activity and zones would be adjusted as indicated by empirical data. Please see the Navy's Acoustic and Marine Species Monitoring Plan (Monitoring Plan; available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm) for full details.

    Monitoring Protocols—Monitoring will be conducted before, during, and after pile driving activities. In addition, observers will record all incidents of marine mammal occurrence, regardless of distance from activity, and will document any behavioral reactions in concert with distance from piles being driven. Observations made outside the shutdown zone will not result in shutdown; that pile segment would be completed without cessation, unless the animal approaches or enters the shutdown zone, at which point all pile driving activities would be halted. Monitoring will take place from fifteen minutes prior to initiation through thirty minutes post-completion of pile driving activities. Pile driving activities include the time to remove a single pile or series of piles, as long as the time elapsed between uses of the pile driving equipment is no more than thirty minutes. Please see the Monitoring Plan for full details of the monitoring protocols.

    The following additional measures apply to visual monitoring:

    (1) Monitoring will be conducted by qualified observers, who will be placed at the best vantage point(s) practicable (as defined in the Monitoring Plan) to monitor for marine mammals and implement shutdown/delay procedures when applicable by calling for the shutdown to the hammer operator. Qualified observers are trained biologists, with the following minimum qualifications:

    • Visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient for discernment of moving targets at the water's surface with ability to estimate target size and distance; use of binoculars may be necessary to correctly identify the target;

    • Advanced education in biological science or related field (undergraduate degree or higher is required);

    • Experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may include academic experience);

    • Experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals, including the identification of behaviors;

    • Sufficient training, orientation, or experience with the construction operation to provide for personal safety during observations;

    • Writing skills sufficient to prepare a report of observations including but not limited to the number and species of marine mammals observed; dates and times when in-water construction activities were conducted; dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended to avoid potential incidental injury from construction sound of marine mammals observed within a defined shutdown zone; and marine mammal behavior; and

    • Ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real-time information on marine mammals observed in the area as necessary.

    (2) Prior to the start of pile driving activity, the shutdown zone will be monitored for fifteen minutes to ensure that it is clear of marine mammals. Pile driving will only commence once observers have declared the shutdown zone clear of marine mammals; animals will be allowed to remain in the shutdown zone (i.e., must leave of their own volition) and their behavior will be monitored and documented. The shutdown zone may only be declared clear, and pile driving started, when the entire shutdown zone is visible (i.e., when not obscured by dark, rain, fog, etc.). In addition, if such conditions should arise during impact pile driving that is already underway, the activity would be halted.

    (3) If a marine mammal approaches or enters the shutdown zone during the course of pile driving operations, activity will be halted and delayed until either the animal has voluntarily left and been visually confirmed beyond the shutdown zone or fifteen minutes have passed without re-detection of the animal. Monitoring will be conducted throughout the time required to drive a pile and for thirty minutes following the conclusion of pile driving.

    Timing Restrictions

    In-order to avoid impacts to least tern populations when they are most likely to be foraging and nesting, in-water work will be concentrated from October 1-April 1 or, depending on circumstances, to April 30. However, this limitation is in accordance with agreements between the Navy and FWS, and is not a requirement of this IHA. All in-water construction activities will occur only during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset).

    Soft Start

    The use of a soft start procedure is believed to provide additional protection to marine mammals by warning or providing a chance to leave the area prior to the hammer operating at full capacity, and typically involves a requirement to initiate sound from the hammer at reduced energy followed by a waiting period. This procedure is repeated two additional times. It is difficult to specify the reduction in energy for any given hammer because of variation across drivers and, for impact hammers, the actual number of strikes at reduced energy will vary because operating the hammer at less than full power results in “bouncing” of the hammer as it strikes the pile, resulting in multiple “strikes.” The project will utilize soft start techniques for both impact and vibratory pile driving of steel piles. We require the Navy to initiate sound from vibratory hammers for fifteen seconds at reduced energy followed by a thirty-second waiting period, with the procedure repeated two additional times. For impact driving, we require an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at reduced energy, followed by a thirty-second waiting period, then two subsequent three strike sets. Soft start will be required at the beginning of each day's pile driving work and at any time following a cessation of pile driving of thirty minutes or longer; these requirements are specific to both vibratory and impact driving and the requirement. For example, the requirement to implement soft start for impact driving is independent of whether vibratory driving has occurred within the past thirty minutes.

    We have carefully evaluated the Navy's proposed mitigation measures and considered their effectiveness in past implementation to determine whether they are likely to effect the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another: (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals, (2) the proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and (3) the practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) we prescribe should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    (1) Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    (2) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of individual marine mammals exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (3) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of times any individual marine mammal would be exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (4) A reduction in the intensity of exposure to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of behavioral harassment only).

    (5) Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying particular attention to the prey base, blockage or limitation of passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    (6) For monitoring directly related to mitigation, an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of the Navy's proposed measures, as well as any other potential measures that may be relevant to the specified activity, we have determined that the planned mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking”. The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for incidental take authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area.

    Any monitoring requirement we prescribe should improve our understanding of one or more of the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species in action area (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) Affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) Co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) Biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual responses to acute stressors, or impacts of chronic exposures (behavioral or physiological).

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of an individual; or (2) Population, species, or stock.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat and resultant impacts to marine mammals.

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    Please see the Monitoring Plan (available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm) for full details of the requirements for monitoring and reporting. Notional monitoring locations (for biological and acoustic monitoring) are shown in Figures 3-1 and 3-2 of the Plan. The purpose of this Plan is to provide protocols for acoustic and marine mammal monitoring implemented during pile driving and removal activities. We have determined this monitoring plan, which is summarized here and which largely follows the monitoring strategies required and successfully implemented under the previous IHAs, to be sufficient to meet the MMPA's monitoring and reporting requirements. The previous monitoring plan was modified to integrate adaptive changes to the monitoring methodologies as well as updates to the scheduled construction activities. Monitoring objectives are as follows:

    • Monitor in-water construction activities, including the implementation of in-situ acoustic monitoring efforts to continue to measure SPLs from in-water construction and demolition activities not previously monitored or validated during the previous IHAs. At minimum, acoustic sound levels would be collected and evaluated acoustic for five piles of each type of fender pile to be installed.

    • Monitor marine mammal occurrence and behavior during in-water construction activities to minimize marine mammal impacts and effectively document marine mammals occurring within ZOI boundaries.

    • Continue the collection of ambient underwater sound measurements in the absence of project activities to develop a rigorous baseline for the project area.

    Acoustic Measurements

    The primary purpose of acoustic monitoring is to empirically verify modeled injury and behavioral disturbance zones (defined at radial distances to NMFS-specified thresholds of 160-, 180-, and 190-dB (rms) for underwater sound (where applicable) and 90- and 100-dB (unweighted) for airborne sound; see “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” below). For non-pulsed sound, distances will continue to be evaluated for attenuation to the point at which sound becomes indistinguishable from background levels. Empirical acoustic monitoring data will be used to document transmission loss values determined from measurements collected during the IPP and to examine site-specific differences in SPL and affected ZOIs on an as needed basis.

    Should monitoring results indicate it is appropriate to do so, marine mammal mitigation zones would be revised as necessary to encompass actual ZOIs in subsequent years of the fuel pier replacement project. Acoustic monitoring will be conducted as specified in the approved Monitoring Plan. Please see Table 2-2 of the Plan for a list of equipment to be used during acoustic monitoring. Monitoring locations will be determined based on results of previous acoustic monitoring effort and the best professional judgment of acoustic technicians.

    Some details of the methodology include:

    • No acoustic data to be collected for 30-in steel piles as sufficient data has been collected for 36-in steel piles during previous two years. One airborne sound monitoring station will be maintained.

    • Hydroacoustic monitoring to be conducted at source for impact driving of a minimum of five of each type of fender pile in order to document SPLs.

    • Sound level meters to be deployed to continue validation of source SPLs and 160/120 dB ZOIs as documented from previous acoustic monitoring efforts.

    • Source SPLs for all construction or demolition activities will be measured for the first five events of each size or type of pile or activity if not sufficiently measured and/or validated previously; Navy would conduct additional monitoring if source unexpectedly exceeds any assumed values.

    • For underwater recordings, sound level meter systems will follow methods in accordance with NMFS' 2012 guidance for the collection of source levels.

    • For airborne recordings, to the extent that logistics and security allow, reference recordings will be collected at approximately 15 m from the source via a sound meter with integrated microphone. Other distances may also be utilized to obtain better data if the signal cannot be isolated clearly due to other sound sources (e.g., barges or generators).

    • Ambient conditions will be measured at the project site in the absence of construction activities to determine background sound levels. Ambient levels will be recorded over the frequency range from 7 Hz to 20 kHz. Ambient conditions will be recorded at least three times during the IHA period consistent with NMFS' 2012 guidance for the measurement of ambient sound. Each time, data will be collected for eight-hour periods for three days during typical working hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday) in the absence of in-water construction activities. The three recording periods will be spaced to adequately capture variation across the notional work window (October-March).

    • Environmental data would be collected including but not limited to: wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity, surface water temperature, water depth, wave height, weather conditions and other factors that could contribute to influencing the airborne and underwater sound levels (e.g., aircraft, boats).

    • From all the strikes associated with each pile occurring during the Level 4 (highest energy) phase these measures will be made:

    ○ Mean, minimum, and maximum rms pressure level in dB.

    ○ Mean duration of a pile strike (based on the ninety percent energy criterion).

    ○ Number of hammer strikes.

    ○ Mean, minimum, and maximum single strike SEL in dB re μPa2 sec.

    ○ Cumulative SEL as defined by the mean single strike SEL + 10*log (# hammer strikes) in dB re μPa2 sec.

    ○ A frequency spectrum (pressure spectral density) in [dB re μPa2 per Hz] based on the average of up to eight successive strikes with similar sound. Spectral resolution will be 1 Hz and the spectrum will cover nominal range from 7 Hz to 20 kHz.

    Full details of acoustic monitoring requirements may be found in section 3.2 of the Navy's approved Monitoring Plan and in section 13 of the Navy's application.

    Visual Marine Mammal Observations

    The Navy will collect sighting data and behavioral responses to construction for marine mammal species observed in the region of activity during the period of activity. All observers will be trained in marine mammal identification and behaviors and are required to have no other construction-related tasks while conducting monitoring. The Navy will monitor the shutdown zone and disturbance zone before, during, and after pile driving as described under “Mitigation” and in the Monitoring Plan, with observers located at the best practicable vantage points. Notional monitoring locations are shown in Figures 3-1 and 3-2 of the Navy's Plan. Please see that plan, available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm, for full details of the required marine mammal monitoring. Section 4.2 of the Plan and section 13 of the Navy's application offer more detail regarding monitoring protocols. Based on our requirements, the Navy would implement the following procedures for pile driving:

    • MMOs would be located at the best vantage point(s) in order to properly see the entire shutdown zone and as much of the disturbance zone as possible.

    • During all observation periods, observers will use binoculars and the naked eye to search continuously for marine mammals.

    • If the shutdown zones are obscured by fog or poor lighting conditions, pile driving at that location will not be initiated until that zone is visible. Should such conditions arise while impact driving is underway, the activity would be halted.

    • The shutdown and disturbance zones around the pile will be monitored for the presence of marine mammals before, during, and after any pile driving or removal activity.

    One MMO will be placed on the active construction/demolition platform in order to observe the respective shutdown zones for vibratory and impact pile driving or for applicable demolition activities. Monitoring will be primarily dedicated to observing the shutdown zone; however, MMOs would record all marine mammal sightings beyond these distances provided it did not interfere with their effectiveness at carrying out the shutdown procedures. Additional land, pier, or vessel-based MMOs will be positioned to monitor the shutdown zones and the buffer zones, as notionally indicated in Figures 3-1 and 3-2 of the Navy's application. Up to five additional MMOs will be deployed during driving of steel piles, and at least one additional MMO will be deployed during driving of fender piles and during applicable demolition activities.

    Because there are different threshold distances for different types of marine mammals (pinniped and cetacean), the observation platform at the shutdown zone will concentrate on the 190 dB rms and 180 dB rms isopleths locations and station the observers and vessels accordingly. The MMOs associated with these platforms will record all visible marine mammal sightings. Confirmed takes will be registered once the sightings data has been overlaid with the isopleths identified in Table 4 and visualized (for steel piles) in Figure 6-2 of the Navy's application, or based on refined acoustic data, if amendments to the ZOIs are needed. The acousticians on board will be noting SPLs in real-time, but, to avoid biasing the observations, will not communicate that information directly to the MMOs. These platforms may move closer to, or farther from, the source depending on whether received SPLs are less than or greater than the regulatory threshold values. All MMOs will be in radio communication with each other so that the MMOs will know when to anticipate incoming marine mammal species and when they are tracking the same animals observed elsewhere.

    If any species for which take is not authorized is observed by a MMO during applicable construction or demolition activities, all construction will be stopped immediately. If a boat is available, MMOs will follow the animal(s) at a minimum distance of 100 m until the animal has left the Level B ZOI. Pile driving will commence if the animal has not been seen inside the Level B ZOI for at least one hour of observation. If the animal is resighted again, pile driving will be stopped and a boat-based MMO (if available) will follow the animal until it has left the Level B ZOI.

    Individuals implementing the monitoring protocol will assess its effectiveness using an adaptive approach. Monitoring biologists will use their best professional judgment throughout implementation and seek improvements to these methods when deemed appropriate. Any modifications to protocol will be coordinated between NMFS and the Navy.

    Data Collection

    We require that observers use approved data forms. Among other pieces of information, the Navy will record detailed information about any implementation of shutdowns, including the distance of animals to the pile and description of specific actions that ensued and resulting behavior of the animal, if any. In addition, the Navy will attempt to distinguish between the number of individual animals taken and the number of incidents of take. We require that, at a minimum, the following information be collected on the sighting forms:

    • Date and time that monitored activity begins or ends;

    • Construction activities occurring during each observation period;

    • Weather parameters (e.g., percent cover, visibility);

    • Water conditions (e.g., sea state, tide state);

    • Species, numbers, and, if possible, sex and age class of marine mammals;

    • Description of any observable marine mammal behavior patterns, including bearing and direction of travel and distance from pile driving activity, and if possible, the correlation to measured SPLs;

    • Distance from pile driving activities to marine mammals and distance from the marine mammals to the observation point;

    • Description of implementation of mitigation measures (e.g., shutdown or delay);

    • Locations of all marine mammal observations; and

    • Other human activity in the area.

    In addition, photographs would be taken of any gray whales observed. These photographs would be submitted to NMFS' West Coast Regional Office for comparison with photo-identification catalogs to determine whether the whale is a member of the WNP population.

    Reporting

    A draft report will be submitted to NMFS within 45 calendar days of the completion of marine mammal monitoring, or sixty days prior to the issuance of any subsequent IHA for this project, whichever comes first. The report will include marine mammal observations pre-activity, during-activity, and post-activity during pile driving days, and will also provide descriptions of any behavioral responses to construction activities by marine mammals and a complete description of all mitigation shutdowns and the results of those actions. A final report will be prepared and submitted within thirty days following resolution of comments on the draft report. Required contents of the monitoring reports are described in more detail in the Navy's Acoustic and Marine Species Monitoring Plan.

    Monitoring Results From Previously Authorized Activities

    The Navy complied with the mitigation and monitoring required under the previous authorizations for this project. Acoustic and marine mammal monitoring was implemented as required, with marine mammal monitoring occurring before, during, and after each pile driving event. During the course of Year 2 activities, the Navy did not exceed the take levels authorized under the IHA. However, the Navy did record four observations of California sea lions within the defined 190-dB shutdown zone. Previous acoustic and marine mammal monitoring results were detailed in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015) and are not repeated here.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment resulting from vibratory and impact pile driving or demolition and involving temporary changes in behavior. The planned mitigation and monitoring measures (i.e., buffered shutdown zones) are expected to minimize the possibility of Level A harassment such that we believe it is unlikely. We do not expect that injurious or lethal takes would occur even in the absence of the planned mitigation and monitoring measures.

    If a marine mammal responds to a stimulus by changing its behavior (e.g., through relatively minor changes in locomotion direction/speed or vocalization behavior), the response may or may not constitute taking at the individual level, and is unlikely to affect the stock or the species as a whole. However, if a sound source displaces marine mammals from an important feeding or breeding area for a prolonged period, impacts on animals or on the stock or species could potentially be significant (e.g., Lusseau and Bejder, 2007; Weilgart, 2007). Given the many uncertainties in predicting the quantity and types of impacts of sound on marine mammals, it is common practice to estimate how many animals are likely to be present within a particular distance of a given activity, or exposed to a particular level of sound. In practice, depending on the amount of information available to characterize daily and seasonal movement and distribution of affected marine mammals, it can be difficult to distinguish between the number of individuals harassed and the instances of harassment and, when duration of the activity is considered, it can result in a take estimate that overestimates the number of individuals harassed. In particular, for stationary activities, it is more likely that some smaller number of individuals may accrue a number of incidences of harassment per individual than for each incidence to accrue to a new individual, especially if those individuals display some degree of residency or site fidelity and the impetus to use the site (e.g., because of foraging opportunities) is stronger than the deterrence presented by the harassing activity.

    The project area is not believed to be particularly important habitat for marine mammals, nor is it considered an area frequented by marine mammals (with the exception of California sea lions, which are attracted to nearby haul-out opportunities). Sightings of other species are relatively rare. Therefore, behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic sound associated with these activities are expected to affect only a relatively small number of individual marine mammals, although those effects could be recurring over the life of the project if the same individuals remain in the project vicinity.

    The Navy requested authorization for the potential taking of small numbers of California sea lions, harbor seals, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Risso's dolphins, northern elephant seals, and gray whales in San Diego Bay and nearby waters that may result from pile driving during construction activities associated with the fuel pier replacement project described previously in this document. In order to estimate the potential incidents of take that may occur incidental to the specified activity, we typically first estimate the extent of the sound field that may be produced by the activity and then consider in combination with information about marine mammal density or abundance in the project area.

    We provided detailed information on applicable sound thresholds for determining effects to marine mammals and described the information used in estimating the sound fields, the available marine mammal density or abundance information, and the method of estimating potential incidents of take, in our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015). That information is unchanged, and our take estimates were calculated in the same manner and on the basis of the same information as what was described in the Federal Register notice. Measured distances to relevant thresholds are shown in Table 4, assumed ZOIs and days of activity are shown in Table 5, and total estimated incidents of take are shown in Table 6. Please see our Federal Register notice of proposed authorization (80 FR 53115; September 2, 2015) for full details of the process and information used in estimating potential incidents of take.

    Table 4—Measured Distances to Relevant Thresholds Activity Distance to threshold in meters 190 dB 180 dB 160 dB 120 dB 100 dB 90 dB Impact driving, steel piles 1 75 2 350 2 2,000 n/a 78 182 Vibratory driving, steel piles <10 <10 n/a 3,000 Impact driving, 24×30 concrete piles <10 <10 505 n/a Impact driving, 16-in concrete-filled fiberglass piles <10 <10 259 n/a Pile cutting (demolition) <10 <10 n/a 1,500 1 Note that, for underwater zones, these values are based on data for bayside piles and will be precautionary for shoreside piles. 2 The buffered zones for use in mitigation will be 150 m and 450 m, respectively. The minimum zone for other activities listed here will be 20 m. Description of Take Calculation

    The following assumptions are made when estimating potential incidences of take:

    • All marine mammal individuals potentially available are assumed to be present within the relevant area, and thus incidentally taken;

    • An individual can only be taken once during a 24-h period;

    • The assumed ZOIs and days of activity are as shown in Table 5; and,

    • Exposures to sound levels at or above the relevant thresholds equate to take, as defined by the MMPA.

    The estimation of marine mammal takes typically uses the following calculation:

    Exposure estimate = (n * ZOI) * days of total activity where: n = density estimate used for each species/season ZOI = sound threshold ZOI area; the area encompassed by all locations where the SPLs equal or exceed the threshold being evaluated n * ZOI produces an estimate of the abundance of animals that could be present in the area for exposure, and is rounded to the nearest whole number before multiplying by days of total activity.

    The ZOI impact area is estimated using the relevant distances in Table 4, assuming that sound radiates from a central point in the water column slightly offshore of the existing pier and taking into consideration the possible affected area due to topographical constraints of the action area (i.e., radial distances to thresholds are not always reached). When local abundance is the best available information, in lieu of the density-area method described above, we may simply multiply some number of animals (as determined through counts of animals hauled-out) by the number of days of activity, under the assumption that all of those animals will be present and incidentally taken on each day of activity.

    Table 5—Activity-Specific Days and Calculated ZOIs Activity Number
  • of days
  • ZOI
  • (km2)
  • Impact and vibratory driving, 30-in steel piles 1 6 5.6572 Vibratory removal 6 5.6572 Impact driving, 24×32-in concrete piles 22 0.1914 Impact driving, 16-in concrete-filled fiberglass piles 33 0.0834 Hydraulic pile cutting/diamond saw cutting 48 3.0786 1 We assume that impact driving of 30-in steel piles would always occur on the same day as vibratory driving of the same piles. Therefore, the impact driving ZOI (3.8894 km2) would always be subsumed by the vibratory driving ZOI.

    Where appropriate, we use average daily number of individuals observed within the project area during Navy marine mammal surveys converted to a density value by using the largest ZOI as the effective observation area. It is the opinion of the professional biologists who conducted these surveys that detectability of animals during these surveys, at slow speeds and under calm weather and excellent viewing conditions, approached one hundred percent.

    There are a number of reasons why estimates of potential incidents of take may be conservative, assuming that available density or abundance estimates and estimated ZOI areas are accurate (aside from the contingency correction discussed above). We assume, in the absence of information supporting a more refined conclusion, that the output of the calculation represents the number of individuals that may be taken by the specified activity. In fact, in the context of stationary activities such as pile driving and in areas where resident animals may be present, this number more realistically represents the number of incidents of take that may accrue to a smaller number of individuals. While pile driving can occur any day throughout the period of validity, and the analysis is conducted on a per day basis, only a fraction of that time (typically a matter of hours on any given day) is actually spent pile driving. The potential effectiveness of mitigation measures in reducing the number of takes is typically not quantified in the take estimation process. For these reasons, these take estimates may be conservative. See Table 6 for total estimated incidents of take.

    Table 6—Calculations for Incidental Take Estimation Species Density Impact driving, steel 1 Vibratory driving, steel Impact driving, concrete Impact driving, concrete/
  • fiberglass
  • Vibratory removal Pile
  • cutting
  • Total authorized takes
  • (% of total stock)
  • California sea lion 15.9201 372 540 22 33 540 2,352 3,487 (1.2) Harbor seal 0.4987 12 18 0 0 18 96 132 (0.4) Bottlenose dolphin 1.2493 30 42 0 0 42 192 2 276 (55.2) Common dolphin 1.5277 36 54 0 0 54 240 3 348 (0.3 [LB]/0.1 [SB]) Gray whale 0.115 0 6 0 0 6 0 12 (0.1) Northern elephant seal 4 0.0508 1 1 0 0 1 1 3 (0.002) Pacific white-sided dolphin 5 0.0493 1 1 0 0 1 1 21 (0.04) Risso's dolphin 0.2029 6 6 0 0 6 48 60 (1.0) 1 We assume that impact driving of steel piles would occur on the same day as vibratory driving of the same piles. Therefore, these estimates are provided for reference only and are not included in the total take authorization. 2 Total stock assumed to be 500 for purposes of calculation. See Table 3. 3 LB = long-beaked; SB = short-beaked. 4 Although the density calculation gives a result of zero for all scenarios, we assume one occurrence of one northern elephant seal will occur in the relevant ZOI for each indicated activity. 5 Although the density calculation gives a result of zero for all scenarios, we assume one occurrence of a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins will occur in the relevant ZOI for each indicated activity, with a group size of seven.
    Analyses and Determinations Negligible Impact Analysis

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, we consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    Pile driving activities associated with the pier replacement project have the potential to disturb or displace marine mammals. Specifically, the specified activities may result in take, in the form of Level B harassment (behavioral disturbance) only, from underwater sounds generated from pile driving. Potential takes could occur if individuals of these species are present in the ensonified zone when pile driving is happening.

    No injury, serious injury, or mortality is anticipated given the nature of the activity and measures designed to minimize the possibility of injury to marine mammals. The potential for these outcomes is minimized through the construction method and the implementation of the planned mitigation measures. For example, use of vibratory hammers does not have significant potential to cause injury to marine mammals due to the relatively low source levels produced (site-specific acoustic monitoring data show no source level measurements above 180 dB rms) and the lack of potentially injurious source characteristics. Impact pile driving produces short, sharp pulses with higher peak levels and much sharper rise time to reach those peaks. When impact driving is necessary, required measures (implementation of buffered shutdown zones) significantly reduce any possibility of injury. Given sufficient “notice” through use of soft start (for impact driving), marine mammals are expected to move away from a sound source that is annoying prior to its becoming potentially injurious. The likelihood that marine mammal detection ability by trained observers is high under the environmental conditions described for San Diego Bay (approaching one hundred percent detection rate, as described by trained biologists conducting site-specific surveys) further enables the implementation of shutdowns to avoid injury, serious injury, or mortality.

    Effects on individuals that are taken by Level B harassment, on the basis of reports in the literature as well as monitoring from past years of this project and other similar activities, will likely be limited to reactions such as increased swimming speeds, increased surfacing time, or decreased foraging (if such activity were occurring) (e.g., Thorson and Reyff, 2006; HDR, 2012; Lerma, 2014). Most likely, individuals will simply move away from the sound source and be temporarily displaced from the areas of pile driving, although even this reaction has been observed primarily only in association with impact pile driving. In response to vibratory driving, pinnipeds (which may become somewhat habituated to human activity in industrial or urban waterways) have been observed to orient towards and sometimes move towards the sound. The pile driving activities analyzed here are similar to, or less impactful than, numerous other construction activities conducted in San Francisco Bay and in the Puget Sound region, which have taken place with no reported injuries or mortality to marine mammals, and no known long-term adverse consequences from behavioral harassment. Repeated exposures of individuals to levels of sound that may cause Level B harassment are unlikely to result in hearing impairment or to significantly disrupt foraging behavior. Thus, even repeated Level B harassment of some small subset of the overall stock is unlikely to result in any significant realized decrease in fitness for the affected individuals, and thus would not result in any adverse impact to the stock as a whole. Level B harassment will be reduced to the level of least practicable impact through use of mitigation measures described herein and, if sound produced by project activities is sufficiently disturbing, animals are likely to simply avoid the project area while the activity is occurring.

    In summary, this negligible impact analysis is founded on the following factors: (1) The possibility of injury, serious injury, or mortality may reasonably be considered discountable; (2) the anticipated incidents of Level B harassment consist of, at worst, temporary modifications in behavior; (3) the absence of any significant habitat within the project area, including rookeries, significant haul-outs, or known areas or features of special significance for foraging or reproduction; (4) the presumed efficacy of the planned mitigation measures in reducing the effects of the specified activity to the level of least practicable impact. In addition, these stocks are not listed under the ESA or considered depleted under the MMPA. In combination, we believe that these factors, as well as the available body of evidence from other similar activities, demonstrate that the potential effects of the specified activity will have only short-term effects on individuals. The specified activity is not expected to impact rates of recruitment or survival and will therefore not result in population-level impacts. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, we find that the total marine mammal take from Navy's pier replacement activities will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers Analysis

    The number of incidents of take authorized for these stocks, with the exception of the coastal bottlenose dolphin (see below), would be considered small relative to the relevant stocks or populations (see Table 6) even if each estimated taking occurred to a new individual. This is an extremely unlikely scenario as, for pinnipeds occurring at the NBPL waterfront, there will almost certainly be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day and in general, there is likely to be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day for animals in estuarine/inland waters.

    The numbers of authorized take for bottlenose dolphins are higher relative to the total stock abundance estimate and would not represent small numbers if a significant portion of the take was for a new individual. However, these numbers represent the estimated incidents of take, not the number of individuals taken. That is, it is likely that a relatively small subset of California coastal bottlenose dolphins would be incidentally harassed by project activities. California coastal bottlenose dolphins range from San Francisco Bay to San Diego (and south into Mexico) and the specified activity would be stationary within an enclosed water body that is not recognized as an area of any special significance for coastal bottlenose dolphins (and is therefore not an area of dolphin aggregation, as evident in Navy observational records). We therefore believe that the estimated numbers of takes, were they to occur, likely represent repeated exposures of a much smaller number of bottlenose dolphins and that, based on the limited region of exposure in comparison with the known distribution of the coastal bottlenose dolphin, these estimated incidents of take represent small numbers of bottlenose dolphins.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, we find that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Therefore, we have determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    The Navy initiated informal consultation under section 7 of the ESA with NMFS Southwest Regional Office (now West Coast Regional Office) on March 5, 2013. NMFS concluded on May 16, 2013, that the proposed action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, WNP gray whales. The Navy has not requested authorization of the incidental take of WNP gray whales and no such authorization was proposed, and there are no other ESA-listed marine mammals found in the action area. Therefore, no consultation under the ESA is required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as implemented by the regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the Navy prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the direct, indirect and cumulative effects to the human environment resulting from the pier replacement project. NMFS made the Navy's EA available to the public for review and comment, in relation to its suitability for adoption by NMFS in order to assess the impacts to the human environment of issuance of an IHA to the Navy. Also in compliance with NEPA and the CEQ regulations, as well as NOAA Administrative Order 216-6, NMFS has reviewed the Navy's EA, determined it to be sufficient, and adopted that EA and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on July 8, 2013.

    We have reviewed the Navy's application for a renewed IHA for ongoing construction activities for 2015-16 and the 2014-15 monitoring report. Based on that review, we have determined that the proposed action is very similar to that considered in the previous IHAs. In addition, no significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns have been identified. Thus, we have determined that the preparation of a new or supplemental NEPA document is not necessary, and, after review of public comments reaffirm our 2013 FONSI. The 2013 NEPA documents are available for review at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

    Authorization

    As a result of these determinations, we have issued an IHA to the Navy for conducting the described pier replacement activities in San Diego Bay, from October 8, 2015 through October 7, 2016, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated.

    Dated: October 6, 2015. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26226 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE246 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting (webinar).

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) will convene a webinar meeting of its Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT). The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The webinar will be held Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    To attend the webinar, visit: http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar. The Webinar ID and call-in information will be available on the Council's Web site in advance of the meeting.

    Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kerry Griffin, Staff Officer; telephone: (503) 820-2409.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss agenda items on the November 2015 Pacific Council meeting agenda. Topics may include the Pacific sardine distribution workshop report, anchovy general status, data-limited stock assessments for CPS, and/or methodology review topic selection.

    Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the CPSMT's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The public listening station is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt (503) 820-2280 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26238 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE243 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries; Notice That Vendor Will Provide 2016 Cage Tags AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of vendor to provide fishing year 2016 cage tags.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS informs surfclam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota (ITQ) allocation holders that they will be required to purchase their fishing year 2016 (January 1, 2016-December 31, 2016) cage tags from the National Band and Tag Company. The intent of this notice is to comply with regulations for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries and to promote efficient distribution of cage tags.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anna Macan, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9165; fax (978) 281-9161.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery regulations at 50 CFR 648.77(b) authorize the Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, to specify in the Federal Register a vendor from whom cage tags, required under the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP), shall be purchased. Notice is hereby given that National Band and Tag Company of Newport, Kentucky, is the authorized vendor of cage tags required for the fishing year 2016 Federal surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Detailed instructions for purchasing these cage tags will be provided in a letter to ITQ allocation holders in these fisheries from NMFS within the next several weeks.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26253 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-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: Annual Economic Survey of Federal Gulf and South Atlantic Shrimp Permit Holders.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0591.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1,850.

    Average Hours per Response: Vessel owner survey, 45 minutes; crew survey, 15 minutes

    Burden Hours: 788.

    Needs and Uses: his request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, annually collects socioeconomic data from commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic shrimp fisheries who hold one or more permits for harvesting shrimp from federal waters (U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone). Information about revenues, variable and fixed costs, capital investment and other socioeconomic information is collected from a random sample of permit holders. Additionally, we will pilot a short demographic/socioeconomic survey of shrimp vessel crews. Next to nothing is known about the 4-5 thousand individuals crewing federally permitted shrimp vessels. These data are needed to conduct socioeconomic analyses in support of management of the shrimp fishery and to satisfy legal requirements. The data will be used to assess how fishermen will be impacted by and respond to federal regulation likely to be considered by fishery managers.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    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: October 8, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26133 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection: Rules Relating to Review of National Futures Association Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial, Registration, and Member Responsibility Actions AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the renewal of a collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment. This notice solicits comments on rules relating to review of National Futures Association decisions in disciplinary, membership denial, registration, and member responsibility actions.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “OMB Control No. 3038-0043” by any of the following methods:

    • The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Chiang, Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5578; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA, Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of Information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3 and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the CFTC is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information listed below.

    Title: Rules Relating to Review of National Futures Association Decisions in Disciplinary, Membership Denial, Registration, and Member Responsibility Actions (OMB Control No. 3038-0043). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: 17 CFR part 171 rules require a registered futures association to provide fair and orderly procedures for membership and disciplinary actions. The Commission's review of decisions of registered futures associations in disciplinary, membership denial, registration, and member responsibility actions is governed by Section 17(h)(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 21(h)(2). The rules establish procedures and standards for Commission review of such actions, and the reporting requirements included in the procedural rules are either directly required by Section 17 of the Commodity Exchange Act or are necessary to the type of appellate review role Congress intended the Commission to undertake when it adopted that provision.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the CFTC's regulations were published on December 30, 1981. See 46 FR 63035 (Dec. 30, 1981). The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on June 1, 2012 (77 FR 32593).

    With respect to the collection of information, the CFTC invites comments on:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;

    • The accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of 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.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the information collection request will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 1 hour per response. This estimate includes the time needed to transmit decisions of disciplinary, membership denial, registration, and member responsibility actions to the Commission for review. The estimated burden of 1 hour is determined by the following:

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Individuals or entities filing appeals from disciplinary and membership decisions by National Futures Association.

    Estimated number of respondents per year: 1.

    Estimated number of responses: 3.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 3 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) Dated: October 8, 2015. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26121 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially Exclusive License; Envoy Flight Systems, Inc. AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to Envoy Flight Systems, Inc. located at 201 Ruthar Drive, Suite 3, Newark, Delaware 19711, a revocable, nonassignable, partially exclusive license throughout the United States (U.S.) in the fields of use for Portable Firefighting Systems, Portable Cleaning Systems and Water Desalination in the Government-Owned inventions described in U.S. Patent number 5,520,331 issued on May 28, 1996 entitled “Liquid Atomizing Nozzle” and U.S. Patent number 7,523,876 B2 issued on April 28, 2009 entitled “Adjustable Liquid Atomization Nozzle”.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Technology Transfer Office, Attention Michelle Miedzinski, Code 5.0H, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, within fifteen (15) days of the date of this published notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Miedzinski, 301-342-1133, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: October 6, 2015. N. A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26216 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and is available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patent is available for licensing: U.S. Provisional Patent No. 62/038569: SPINDLE LOCATOR TOOL

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for a copy of the invention cited should be directed to NAVFAC Engineering & Expeditionary Warfare Center, RDT&E C19, 1100 23rd Avenue, Port Hueneme, CA 93043-4370.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victor Cai, Technology Transfer Office, NAVFAC-EXWC RDT&E C19, 1100 23rd Avenue, Port Hueneme, CA 93043-4370 telephone 805-982-3009, FAX 805-982-1253, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Spindle Locator Tool enables identification of proper and improper placement of a spindle in a locking mechanism. Specifically, it will be used for the X-10 electromechanical lock which has experienced a spindle and cam interface issue that can result in lockouts requiring neutralization.

    (Authority: 35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404) Dated: October 6, 2015. N. A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26215 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary invites postsecondary educational institutions (institutions) that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to apply to participate in a new institutionally based experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). Under the ESI, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers from certain title IV, HEA statutory or regulatory requirements to allow a limited number of institutions to participate in experiments to test alternative methods for administering the title IV, HEA programs. The alternative methods of title IV, HEA program administration that the Secretary is permitting under the ESI are designed to facilitate efforts by institutions to test certain innovative practices aimed at improving student outcomes and the delivery of services.

    The Experiment

    The Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) experiment is intended to encourage increased innovation in higher education through partnerships between the participating institutions and non-traditional providers in order to learn whether those partnerships increase access to innovative and effective educational programs, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds; assess quality assurance processes appropriate for non-traditional providers and programs; and identify ways to protect students and taxpayers from risk in this emerging area of post-secondary education. Under this experiment, participating title IV-eligible postsecondary institutions will be provided a waiver to allow them to provide some types of Federal student aid under the title IV, HEA programs (title IV aid) to otherwise eligible students who are pursuing a program of study offered by the institution where 50 percent or more of the educational program is provided by one or more entities that are not traditionally eligible to participate in the title IV programs (non-traditional providers), through a contractual agreement with the participating institution. A requirement of these partnerships between the participating institution and the non-traditional provider is that the educational program must have been approved by a quality assurance entity (QAE), engaged by the institution, that has expertise and capacity as described in this notice.

    DATES:

    Letters of interest to participate in the proposed experiment described in this notice must be received by the Department no later than December 14, 2015 in order for an institution to ensure that it is considered for participation in the experiment. Institutions submitting letters that are received after December 14, 2015 may still be considered for participation, at the discretion of the Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Letters of interest must be submitted by electronic mail to the following email address: [email protected] For formats and other required information, see “Instructions for Submitting Letters of Interest” under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Warren Farr, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002. Telephone: (202) 377-4380 or by email at: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Instructions for Submitting Letters of Interest: Letters of interest must be submitted as a PDF attachment to an email message sent to the email address provided in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The subject line of the email should read “ESI 2015—Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP).” The text of the email should include the name and address of the institution.

    The letter of interest must include the institution's official name and Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Identification (OPEID) number, as well as the name, mailing address, email address, FAX number, and telephone number of a contact person at the institution. Additional details on the application process requirements are provided in the “Application and Selection” section in this notice.

    The letter of interest should be on institutional letterhead and should be signed by at least two officials of the institution. One of these officials should be the institution's financial aid administrator, and the other should be an academic official of the institution.

    Content of the Letter of Interest: The letter of interest should include a brief description of the educational program or programs that the institution is considering for inclusion in this experiment. For each of those programs, we are interested in information such as the name(s) of the non-traditional provider(s) with whom the institution intends to partner, an estimate of the number of title IV-eligible students who will be enrolled in the program, and the name of the QAE to be engaged, if known. The letter should indicate which of the following two title IV student aid program options the institution will choose (in all cases providing title IV aid only to otherwise eligible students): (1) Allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants only; or (2) allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants, undergraduate Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and the Campus-Based Programs. Direct PLUS Loans for parents and graduate students and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students are not included in this experiment. See “Application for Pell Grants Alone or for Pell Grants and Certain Other Title IV Aid” below for further information. The Department understands that the specific components of the actual programs developed may vary from the information submitted in the letter of interest.

    Background: The landscape for learning in postsecondary education is undergoing tremendous development. Innovations in technology, pedagogy, and business models are driving rapid change. While much of this development has been led by traditional postsecondary institutions, there are also significant educational changes occurring outside of the traditional educational sector. Non-traditional providers have begun to offer educational opportunities to students in new ways, such as through intensive short-term programs, online or blended approaches, or personalized/adaptive learning. These opportunities have the potential to advance goals such as increased equity and access, more flexible and personalized learning, high-quality student outcomes, and reduced costs.

    Although some of these educational opportunities show promise in advancing these priorities, they remain out of reach for many students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, in part because they generally do not provide students with access to title IV aid. The unavailability of title IV aid could increase the potential for educational inequity, because only those students with significant financial resources are able to enroll in these innovative programs, and it may constrain the growth of promising new approaches to learning.

    Moreover, many of these non-traditional providers and educational opportunities are not subject to review by the traditional postsecondary accrediting agencies that historically have held the primary responsibility for ensuring academic quality in higher education. Since the purview of those accrediting agencies typically does not extend to non-traditional providers, these new providers lack the broadly recognized mechanisms for ensuring quality that are required for the Department to make title IV aid available. The lack of those structures may also reduce opportunities for external review and sharing of best practices in general that traditional accreditation can offer.

    In general, under the Department's regulations, an eligible institution may enter into a contractual agreement with an institution or organization that is not eligible to participate in the title IV programs, under which the ineligible institution or organization provides part of an educational program of study. However, the regulations provide that the ineligible institution or organization cannot provide 50 percent or more of the title IV eligible educational program. The experiment outlined in this notice will allow participating institutions to provide title IV aid to otherwise eligible students pursuing a program of study for which 50 percent or more of the content and instruction is provided by one or more title IV-ineligible organizations (non-traditional providers). As part of the experiment, the Secretary will provide participating institutions with certain statutory and regulatory waivers, which are listed in the section of this notice titled “Waivers.”

    The experiment is intended to encourage increased innovation in higher education through partnerships between the participating institutions and non-traditional providers. In doing so, the Department hopes to:

    • Learn whether permitting partnerships between institutions and non-traditional providers increases equity by providing access to innovative educational programs for students from diverse backgrounds, particularly those from low-income backgrounds;

    • Examine student outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of these non-traditional providers;

    • Assess quality-assurance processes that are appropriate for non-traditional providers and the programs they offer; and

    • Identify ways to protect students and taxpayers from risks in an innovative and emerging area of postsecondary education.

    The experiment is intended to focus predominantly on low-cost, short-term programs serving students who do not yet have an undergraduate degree.

    The Experiment

    Background: The regulations in 34 CFR 668.8(a) require that an eligible program be provided by an eligible institution. The regulations in 34 CFR 668.5(c) provide, with certain exceptions, that an eligible institution may enter into a contractual agreement with an ineligible institution or organization under which the ineligible organization provides part of the educational program of study to students enrolled at the eligible institution. However, the ineligible institution or organization cannot provide 50 percent or more of the eligible educational program. In addition, if the amount of the educational program provided by the ineligible institution or organization is more than 25 percent but less than 50 percent, the ineligible institution or organization and the eligible institution cannot be owned or controlled by the same individual, partnership, or corporation. Finally, the regulations provide that the eligible institution's recognized accrediting agency must determine and confirm in writing that the agreement meets its standards for contracting out education services. Other restrictions apply as well.

    Title I, part A of the HEA and federal regulations describe other conditions for an institution and its educational programs to be eligible for title IV aid. In general, for an educational program to be title IV-eligible, it must be included in the accreditation of the institution by the institution's recognized accrediting agency and in the institution's legal authorization to provide an educational program beyond secondary education in the State in which the institution is located. In addition, the program must prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation as described in Department regulations, except if it is offered by a public or non-profit institution and either leads to a degree or is at least a two-year program acceptable at the institution for full credit towards a degree. In general, under section 481(b)(1)(A) of the HEA and 34 CFR 668.8(d), title IV-eligible programs must be at least 15 weeks in duration and provide at least 600 clock hours, 16 semester or trimester hours, or 24 quarter hours of academic credit. These statutes and regulations play a critical role in protecting students and taxpayers from abuse by low-quality higher education programs.

    Under current regulations, institutions are prevented from building partnerships to create programs of study comprised of content and instruction provided largely by one or more non-traditional providers. In some cases, an institution may believe it has identified a non-traditional provider whose expertise or approach complements that of the institution and could work effectively with particular student populations or toward desired student outcomes. These limitations on partnerships could constrain innovation and make high-quality educational opportunities offered by non-traditional providers accessible only to students who do not need title IV aid.

    In accordance with the waiver authority granted to the Secretary under section 487A(b) of the HEA, the Secretary will waive for this experiment the restriction on providing title IV aid to students enrolled in programs that an eligible institution offers through partnerships with title IV-ineligible entities (non-traditional providers) that, with oversight, are delivered to students primarily by those non-traditional providers. Through this and other waivers described in this notice, this experiment will examine whether extending eligibility for title IV aid to non-traditional postsecondary programs offered through these partnerships increases access to high-quality academic programs for students from a diversity of backgrounds, particularly students from low-income backgrounds. In addition, the experiment will examine student outcomes at these promising non-traditional providers to determine whether they are effective. The experiment will also examine whether the waivers create any challenges or obstacles to an institution's administration of the title IV, HEA programs.

    Description: The Secretary will grant institutions participating in this experiment limited waivers of statutory and regulatory requirements in order to support innovative educational programs developed through partnerships between title IV-eligible institutions and non-traditional providers. Specifically, through this experiment the Secretary will waive the provision of 34 CFR 668.5(c)(3) that provides that an ineligible entity may not provide 50 percent or more of a title IV-eligible educational program. The Secretary will also waive the requirement under 34 CFR 668.8(a) that an eligible program must be provided by a participating institution.

    In order for an institution to provide title IV aid to students in a program that is provided primarily by one or more non-traditional providers under the experiment, the Department will require that, in addition to being included in the institution's recognized accreditation, the program must be reviewed, approved, and monitored by an independent quality assurance entity (QAE) that is appropriately qualified to review and monitor such programs. These requirements are further described later in this notice.

    The Secretary will also waive or modify the following statutory and regulatory provisions that might otherwise limit participation in flexible, high-quality programs of study offered through contractual agreements between postsecondary institutions and non-traditional providers. To participate in the experiment, an applicant institution must use at least one of the waivers in this experiment but need not use all of them.

    Minimum Program Length: The Secretary will waive the requirement that a title IV-eligible program must include at least 15 weeks of instructional time and at least 600 clock hours, 16 semester or trimester hours, or 24 quarter hours. The Secretary will allow title IV aid to be received by otherwise eligible students who are enrolled in a program of at least eight weeks in length that, at a minimum, includes at least 12 semester or trimester hours, 18 quarter hours, or 450 clock hours. The normal proration requirements for each title IV aid program apply. The Department's definition of “credit hour” in 34 CFR 600.2 applies to credit hour programs offered under the experiment.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Through this experiment, the Secretary will modify the requirements for monitoring a title IV aid recipient's SAP. An institution will be required to evaluate a student's SAP upon the student's completion of each of the program's academic years, as measured in weeks of instructional time, though an institution will be permitted and is encouraged to evaluate a student's SAP more frequently. For programs that are less than one academic year in length, the institution will be required to evaluate a student's SAP upon the completion of each payment period. Institutions will not be required to determine the student's SAP pace by dividing the number of hours the student has completed by the number of hours the student has attempted. Instead, the institution will determine whether the student has completed sufficient credit hours, clock hours, or the equivalent to complete the program within the maximum timeframe (no more than 150 percent of the program's published length), as provided in the definition of “maximum timeframe” in the regulations in 34 CFR 668.34(b), as of the point in time when the institution conducts the evaluation of a student's pace.

    Additionally, under this experiment, if the institution accepts any transfer credit to meet the requirements of a student's program, it may, but is not required to, prorate the student's maximum timeframe based on the remaining amount of the program after the transfer credit has been applied.

    Application for Pell Grants Alone or for Pell Grants and Certain Other Title IV Aid: The costs of postsecondary programs where all or a portion of the program is provided by non-traditional providers vary widely; for some programs, Pell Grants alone might cover direct costs (tuition, fees, books, and supplies), while others may require a combination of Pell Grants and loans to cover those costs. Some programs may wish to focus solely on Pell Grant-eligible students. While this experiment aims to focus primarily on low-cost programs, it may also seek to learn from programs that may have a range of costs. Institutions must choose one of two title IV student aid program options: (1) Allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants only, or (2) allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants, undergraduate Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and the Campus-Based Programs. Direct PLUS Loans for parents and graduate students and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students are not included in this experiment. Existing statutory and regulatory awarding requirements for the Campus-Based Programs are not changed under this experiment. For an institution choosing to provide only Pell Grants, any title IV aid recipients enrolled in the program must be Pell-grant eligible and be advised before enrollment that their title IV aid awards will be limited to Pell Grants. Similarly, for an institution choosing to provide Pell and the other title IV aid available in this experiment, any title IV aid recipients enrolled in the program must be otherwise eligible for that title IV aid and must be advised before enrollment of the limitations on their title IV aid eligibility for the program. Additional requirements for student protections will also be in place for institutions choosing to utilize title IV aid in addition to Pell Grants in the experiment (see “Requirements for Participation”).

    Requirements for Participation: The Department intends to select a limited number of institutions to participate in this experiment. Each institution will curate a program of study comprised of educational programming that may be provided by one or more non-traditional providers. The Department intends to select some institutions that will make only Pell Grant funding available to otherwise eligible students enrolled in the program, and some institutions that will make Pell Grant funding and certain other types of title IV aid program funding available to otherwise eligible students enrolled in the program as described elsewhere in this notice.

    An institution participating in this experiment will be required to do the following:

    Program design: Create one or more coherent programs of study by curating educational content from one or more non-traditional providers of postsecondary education that are not currently participating in the title IV, HEA programs. At least 50 percent, and up to 100 percent, of the program's content and instruction must be provided by one or more non-traditional providers through a contractual arrangement with the participating institution. The institution must award a certificate, degree, or other recognized credential to students who successfully complete the program, and the certificate, degree, or credential must have externally validated value in the workforce, for academic transfer, or both. The program must meet applicable title I, HEA requirements, including that the program must prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation as described in Department regulations, unless it is offered by a public or private non-profit institution and either leads to a degree or is at least two years in length and acceptable for full credit towards a degree at the institution. The certificate, degree, or credential resulting from the program must represent the equivalent of at least 12 semester or trimester hours, 18 quarter hours, or 450 clock hours over a minimum of eight weeks. An institution's contractual agreement with a non-traditional provider must stipulate that the non-traditional provider agrees to provide information to the institution necessary for the institution to carry out its duties related to the administration of title IV aid. Upon request, the institution will provide evidence regarding its compliance with the terms of the experiment. Contractual agreements under which a non-traditional provider provides 50 percent or more of the instruction in a program must be reviewed and approved by the participating institution's accrediting agency.

    Quality assurance: Identify a QAE with the capacity to review, monitor, and report on the proposed program and ensure the quality of the providers and their program components as outlined in this notice under “Quality Assurance Questions and QAE Role.” The institution must demonstrate that the QAE is an independent organization that is free from conflicts of interest with the institution and the non-traditional providers.

    Accreditor review: Submit the program created in collaboration with one or more non-traditional providers to the applicant institution's recognized institutional accrediting agency for consideration for inclusion in the institution's existing accreditation. The program must fall within the accreditor's scope of recognition, and the eligible institution must obtain a determination from its accrediting agency that the institution's arrangement meets the standards and procedures the agency considers appropriate. The Department is not requiring the accrediting agency to provide specific program approval.

    Disclosure: Clearly disclose to prospective students information about the experimental nature of the programs, the possibility of termination of the programs, and how a teach-out to provide the remainder of the program will be conducted should a program or the relationship with the non-traditional provider(s) be terminated.

    Title IV disbursement: Only disburse title IV aid to otherwise eligible students under the option chosen by the institution.

    Consequences of low quality: Take immediate action to improve, suspend, or terminate programs or non-traditional providers that the Department, the QAE, the accreditor, or the institution determines are not meeting the quality standards established by the QAE. In the event that a program is suspended or terminated, a teach-out plan, as generally defined under 34 CFR 600.2, must be developed to provide the remainder of the program by the institution, or for the provision of the remainder of the program by another title IV-eligible institution, at no additional cost to students.

    Protections for students and taxpayers: For those programs in which students will have access to Federal student loans in addition to Pell Grants, submit detailed plans describing how students and taxpayers will be protected in cases where programs are suspended, terminated, or otherwise limited in their participation in the experiment by the Department, the QAE, the accreditor, or the institution, for any reason, including poor student outcomes and low quality. Institutions will be required to describe in detail what actions they will take, such as loan repayments and refunds to students (in addition to what is normally required of them under the existing title IV, HEA program regulations), and the conditions under which they will take these actions. In its review of experimental site applications that would allow access to both Pell Grants and other title IV aid programs, the Department will give preference to those applications that offer the strongest student and taxpayer protections.

    The Department will monitor programs based on regular reports from the institution and the QAE, along with any data available to the Secretary, including information provided by the accreditor, students, or others regarding the performance of the participating entities, student enrollment, and student outcomes. Based on this information, the Department may take a number of actions, including removal of the institution from the experiment and any enforcement actions authorized by the HEA.

    Quality Assurance Questions and QAE Role

    As part of this experiment, the Department is interested in understanding how a QAE will determine the quality of a program of study through a set of largely outcome-based questions, rigorous and timely monitoring, and accountability processes.

    While the Department continues to refine this set of quality assurance questions, participating institutions must ensure that the QAE in this experiment has established a thorough quality assurance process that defines and monitors outcome-based standards for the numbered questions below. Draft questions are included here to provide an overview; the final set of questions will be provided to applicants in Phase Two of the application process.

    A. Claims for Learning

    1. What measurable claims is the institution making about the learning outcomes of students participating in the program? For example:

    • What is the evidence that the learning claims are commensurate with postsecondary- or post-baccalaureate-level work?

    • Do the institution's statements about student outcomes capture requisite knowledge and skills? How?

    2. How are the value and relevance of those claims established? For example, what external stakeholders have been consulted to verify the value and relevance of the claims?

    3. How will the claims be measured?

    4. How will institutions be held accountable for meeting those claims?

    5. How do all the claims for learning come together into a meaningful and coherent set of overall program outcomes and goals?

    B. Assessments and Student Work

    1. How does the institution assess whether students enrolled in the program can meet the claims outlined in Section A? For example:

    • How are assessments aligned with the specific tasks, expectations, and contexts for which programs claim to be preparing students?

    • Beyond one-time assessments, is student work reviewed as part of the assessment of student learning and program outcomes? Do external stakeholders review students' work? How are examples of student work made available to outside parties (with appropriate privacy and other protections)?

    2. How has the reliability of these assessments been established?

    3. How has the validity of these assessments been established, for example, in terms of the following?

    Face validity: Does the assessment appear to measure what it says it measures?

    Content validity: Does the assessment accurately measure the knowledge and skills covered by the program?

    Predictive validity: Does the assessment accurately predict the student's ability to demonstrate a given competency in the future?

    Concurrent validity: Does the assessment correlate with other measures of the desired performance meant to be assessed?

    4. How and how often does the QAE review these assessments?

    C. Outputs, Which, Where Applicable, Must Be Disaggregated To Show Outcomes Specifically for Low-Income Students

    1. How are students performing on program assessments?

    2. How are students progressing through the program? For example:

    • Retention rate?

    • Withdrawal rate?

    • Average time to completion?

    • Completion rate (within 100 percent and 150 percent of expected time)?

    3. What are the actual program outcomes for students (e.g., entry into subsequent phase of study, career, etc.)? For example:

    • Employment outcomes, for all programs that have a stated mission focused on employment (include method for how these outcomes are measured):

    • Job placement rates in field of study?

    • Average length of time between completion of program and employment in field of study?

    • Job retention rates?

    • Median starting salaries?

    • Transfer rates to other academic or vocational programs, where applicable.

    • Certifications and licensure exam passage rates, where applicable.

    4. What are the following ratios for the program, where relevant?

    • Published tuition and fees versus earnings.

    • Average net price versus earnings.

    • Median student debt versus earnings.

    5. How does the program rate on measures of student satisfaction? For example, how does the program rate in the following:

    • Comments from students about what made them successful or unsuccessful in the program?

    • A rigorous and transparent methodology for gathering and synthesizing customer satisfaction measures?

    D. Management

    1. How has the stability of the non-traditional provider(s) been evaluated (e.g., longevity and past outcomes, leadership/board, etc.)?

    2. How are privacy, security, and student authentication managed?

    3. Are activities related to student recruitment appropriate and transparent?

    4. How is pricing made transparent?

    5. Are all materials accessible to learners with disabilities?

    6. What is the process for continuous improvement of all aspects of the learning experience (content, platform, student support, faculty engagement, etc.)?

    Based on the standards developed by the QAE, the QAE must establish a rigorous and timely process to assess the program before students are enrolled, monitor and report on an approved program's performance, and take action based on the program's performance. The institution must require the QAE to perform the following functions:

    • Develop a process to review the proposed program, including its components and providers, based on clear, specific, and measurable standards consistent with the questions listed above, among others.

    • Monitor the proposed program, including its components and providers, to confirm the program is being implemented and assessed as proposed, and to confirm the achievement of provider claims for learning and student outcomes; and have a written policy that outlines timely and significant consequences for lack of performance. If groups of students enroll in a program at distinct and regularly scheduled points in time, monitoring must be conducted, at a minimum, at four points in time: An early stage in the program to identify early warning signs of issues related to implementation, quality, or management; the midpoint of a program in order to have sufficient time to correct potential problems that have been identified; at the completion of a program; and at a pre-determined time period after completion of the program (e.g., six months) to monitor post-completion outcomes for participants. If students do not enroll in this manner and a program is instead offered on a “rolling” basis, monitoring must be conducted at regular intervals that represent the average time it takes a student to reach an early stage, the midpoint, the completion of the program, and some pre-determined time period after completion.

    • Report on the performance of the non-traditional providers to the institution, accreditor, and the Department every six months, as well as at any time the QAE identifies program quality concerns or determines that the program is at risk of or subject to any adverse action.

    This notice refers to a single QAE for each participating institution because the Department believes it is important to have a single organization ultimately responsible for affirming the quality of a program and taking action based on its assessment. However, given the range and depth of expertise and knowledge required for the quality assurance process, we expect that some applicants may wish to have two or more organizations working together to fulfill the requirements of this role. Subcontracts for specific portions of the role would be acceptable as long as one organization is clearly designated as having the lead role and final responsibility for quality determination and consequences, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the organizations are clearly delineated along with the means of coordination among all the partners. QAEs could be any of a number of kinds of organizations, including employer associations, new entities created for this specific purpose, existing accreditors (as long as the proposed quality assurance process is new, meets the stated requirements, and does not create conflicts of interest), accounting firms, or others.

    Waivers: Institutions selected for this experiment will be granted waivers of any or all of the following statutory and regulatory provisions. As mentioned earlier under “Application for Pell Grants Alone or for Pell Grants and Certain Other Title IV Aid,” each institution will need to choose between two options: (1) Allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants only; or (2) allowing students to be eligible for Pell Grants, undergraduate Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and the Campus-Based Programs. Direct PLUS Loans for parents and graduate students and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students are not included in this experiment.

    To participate in the experiment, an applicant institution must use at least one of the waivers in this experiment but need not use all of them.

    • 34 CFR 668.8(a), to the extent that the regulation requires that an eligible program be provided by the participating institution.

    • 34 CFR 668.5(c)(3), to the extent that the regulation restricts the amount of an eligible program that may be provided by an ineligible institution or organization. Notwithstanding this waiver, the eligible institution must provide documentation from its accrediting agency confirming that the accrediting agency considers the program within its accreditation of the eligible institution. The waiver does not apply to the prohibition on the eligible institution and the ineligible institution or organization (non-traditional provider) being owned or controlled by the same individual, partnership, or corporation.1

    1 If the non-traditional provider provides any services that would qualify it as a third-party servicer, the institution should notify the Department and disclose this information in its letter of interest and in its application.

    • Section 481(b)(1)(A) of the HEA and 34 CFR 668.8(d)(1)(i) and (ii), which establish minimum timeframes for non-degree programs and programs offered by proprietary and postsecondary vocational institutions. Under the experiment the program may be no less than 12 semester or trimester credit hours, 18 quarter hours, or 450 clock hours, all offered over a minimum of eight weeks.

    • Section 484(c) of the HEA and 34 CFR 668.34(a)(3)(ii), (a)(5)(ii), and (b), to the extent these provisions relate to the timeframe when the institution must determine whether a student is making satisfactory academic progress and to the method by which an institution must calculate the pace of a student's academic progression.

    All other provisions and regulations of the title IV, HEA programs will apply to institutions participating in this experiment.

    Reporting and Evaluation: With this experiment, the Department is interested in evaluating three main areas: (1) The extent to which new programs provide access for students from low-income backgrounds to high-quality postsecondary education and training programs; (2) whether the partnerships between participating institutions and non-traditional providers provide low-cost and high-value postsecondary education and training programs that produce strong student outcomes; and (3) how innovative and effective processes are developed to assure the quality of these types of programs and protect students and taxpayers. Accordingly, institutions will be asked to provide information to support the Department's evaluation of the experiment.

    Institutions that are selected for participation in the experiment will likely be required to provide the Department with identifying information for students who have enrolled in one of the programs included in the experiment and who submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additional information may also be required about students who could serve as a comparison group for benchmarking purposes, for example, similar students not enrolled in programs included in the experiment.

    In addition, participating institutions will be required to submit reports and/or participate in surveys, interviews, or site visits to provide information about the implementation of the experiment. Institutions will likely be asked to provide information on courses and programs offered, numbers and types of degrees and/or certificates awarded, numbers and types of students served, their experiences in the program, their outcomes after leaving the program (such as employment status, earnings, credits transferred), provider expenditures per student, and information on the cost of the programs and the amounts borrowed by students attending the programs. Institutions will also be required to provide information on how they partnered with the non-traditional providers and the QAEs, the quality assurance process, and any challenges experienced and how those challenges were addressed.

    The specific evaluation and reporting requirements will be finalized prior to the start of this experiment.

    Application and Selection: From the institutions that submit letters of interest and full applications, the Secretary will select a limited number to participate in the experiment. Applications will be evaluated on five criteria:

    (1) The extent to which the proposed activities are innovative and will produce high-quality programs likely to lead to positive student learning and employment outcomes, and for programs focused on student learning outcomes, the Department will give preference to programs that either lead to a degree or demonstrate evidence of transferability of academic credit;

    (2) The extent to which programs will provide equitable access to innovative postsecondary education programs, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds;

    (3) The extent to which the proposed quality assurance processes have the potential to address the types of quality assurance questions outlined in this notice;

    (4) The extent to which the programs are affordable; and

    (5) For programs in which students will have access to Federal student loans, the strength of proposed student and taxpayer protections.

    The Secretary will also consider institutional diversity in, among other characteristics, institutional type and control, geographic location, enrollment size, and title IV, HEA program participation levels.

    Institutions selected to participate in the experiment must have a strong track record with regard to student outcomes, especially in serving students from low-income backgrounds. When selecting institutions, the Secretary will consider not only the information in the institution's application, including the information provided about the QAEs and non-traditional providers that would provide the program in whole or in part, but any additional information available to the Department including, but not limited to, evidence of title IV, HEA program compliance, student completion rates, cohort default rates, financial responsibility ratios, gainful employment data, and, for for-profit institutions, “90/10” funding levels. The institution's recognized accrediting agency will also need to provide a notice of inclusion of the program in the applicant institution's accreditation by Phase Three in the application and selection process (described below).

    The application and selection process will entail three phases:

    Phase One: The institution will submit a letter of interest to the Department, as described above under “Instructions for Submitting Letters of Interest.” If all of the institutional qualifications for participation are met and the Department determines this initial letter to be of sufficient quality and alignment with the goals of the experiment, the institution will receive an invitation to submit a full application.

    Phase Two: Institutions invited to submit a full application will be required to submit materials addressing questions in areas such as program design, student population, and intended outcomes; provider and QAE selection and roles; process for defining, implementing, monitoring, and taking appropriate actions based on rigorous quality assurance standards; and student supports and protections. Institutions will also need to demonstrate the commitment of the non-traditional provider(s) to offer content and instruction once required approvals are secured, and demonstrate their accrediting agency's agreement to consider including the proposed program in the institution's accreditation.

    Full applications will be reviewed based on the stated criteria, including the preferences described in this notice. On this basis, the Secretary will select the institutions to be invited to participate and provide those institutions an amendment to the program participation agreement (PPA) that must be signed by the institution's authorized official and returned to the Department. PPA amendments will reflect the specific statutory or regulatory provisions that the Secretary has waived or modified for the experiment. The institution must acknowledge its commitment to properly administer the experiment by establishing any necessary procedures and by coordinating with other institutional offices and staff. The PPA amendments will also document the agreement between the Secretary and the institution about how the experiment will be conducted, including, for institutions intending to disburse title IV, HEA aid other than Pell Grants, additional student and taxpayer protections.

    Phase Three: After signing its PPA amendment document and receiving the Department's countersigned copy, the institution must submit its programs to the Department for review and final approval through the E-App system, along with documentation that the program has been reviewed and approved by the QAE, is included in the institution's accreditation and State authorization, and meets all other title IV, HEA eligibility requirements. Proposed programs will not be eligible for access to title IV aid until the Department's final review and approval in Phase Three is complete.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1094a(b).

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26239 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities—Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.325K. DATES:

    Applications Available: October 15, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 14, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 12, 2016.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help address State-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 662 and 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services.

    Background:

    The purpose of the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services priority is to improve the quality and increase the number of personnel who are fully credentialed to serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities—especially in areas of chronic personnel shortage—by supporting projects that prepare special education, early intervention, and related services personnel at the baccalaureate, master's, and specialist levels. State demand for fully credentialed special education, early intervention, and related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities exceeds the available supply (Bruder, 2004a; Bruder, 2004b; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008; McLeskey, Tyler, & Flippin, 2004). These shortages of fully credentialed personnel can negatively affect the quality of services provided to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families (McLeskey et al., 2004).

    Personnel preparation programs that prepare personnel to enter the fields of special education, early intervention, and related services as fully credentialed personnel who are well qualified, have the necessary competencies, and effectively use evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for children with disabilities are critical to overcoming the personnel shortages in these fields. Federal support of these personnel preparation programs is needed to increase the supply of personnel with the necessary competencies to effectively serve infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families, and to make sure students with disabilities have access to and meet college- and career-ready standards.

    Consistent with the Ready to Work Initiative: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity,1 the Department is particularly interested in supporting personnel preparation programs that meet the needs of working professionals, people with child care considerations, career switchers, or people living in geographically isolated areas in order to expand the reach of training programs and promote diversity in the special education workforce.

    1 Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity (July 2014). Available at: www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/skills_report.pdf.

    Priority:

    Except as provided for Focus Area D projects that allow a one-year planning period, to meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project associated with a pre-existing baccalaureate, master's, or specialist degree personnel preparation program that will prepare and support scholars 2 to complete, within the project period of the grant, a degree, State certification, professional license, or State endorsement in special education, early intervention, or a related services field. Projects also can be associated with personnel preparation programs that (a) prepare individuals to be assistants in related services professions (e.g., physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants) or educational interpreters; or (b) provide an alternate route to certification or that support dual certification (special education and regular education) for teachers. For purposes of this priority, the term “personnel preparation program” refers to the program with which the applicant's proposed project is associated.

    2 For the purposes of this priority, the term “scholar” means an individual who is pursuing a degree, license, endorsement, or certification related to special education, related services, or early intervention services and who receives scholarship assistance under section 662 of IDEA (see 34 CFR 304.3(g)).

    To be considered for funding under the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services absolute priority, all program applicants must meet the application requirements contained in the priority. All projects funded under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.

    The requirements of this priority are as follows:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how—

    (1) The project addresses national, State, regional, or district shortages of personnel who are fully qualified to serve children with disabilities, ages birth through 21, including high-need children with disabilities,3 by preparing special education, early intervention, or related services personnel at the baccalaureate, master's, or specialist levels. To address this requirement, the applicant must—

    3 For the purposes of this priority, “high-need children with disabilities” refers to children (ages birth through 21, depending on the State) who are eligible for services under IDEA, and who may be further disadvantaged and at risk of educational failure because they: (1) Are living in poverty, (2) are far below grade level, (3) are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on time, (4) are homeless, (5) are in foster care, (6) have been incarcerated, (7) are English learners, (8) are pregnant or parenting teenagers, (9) are new immigrants, (10) are migrant, or (11) are not on track to being college- or career-ready by graduation.

    (i) Present appropriate and applicable national, State, regional, or district data demonstrating the need for the personnel the applicant proposes to prepare; and

    (ii) Present data on the effectiveness of the personnel preparation program to date in areas such as: The average amount of time it takes for program participants to complete the program; the percentage of program graduates finding employment related to their preparation within one year of graduation; the effectiveness of program graduates in providing special education, early intervention, or related services, which could include data on the learning and developmental outcomes of children with disabilities they serve; and the percentage of program graduates who maintain employment for three or more years in the area for which they were prepared and who are fully qualified under IDEA.

    Note: Data on the effectiveness of a personnel preparation program should be no older than five years prior to the start date of the project proposed in the application. When reporting percentages, the denominator (i.e., total number of students or program graduates) must be provided.

    (2) The project will increase the number of personnel who demonstrate the competencies needed to provide high-quality instruction, evidence-based interventions, and services for children with disabilities, ages birth through 21, including high-need children with disabilities, that result in improvements in learning and developmental outcomes (e.g., academic, social, emotional, behavioral), and successful transition to postsecondary education and the workforce. To address this requirement, the applicant must—

    (i) Identify the competencies 4 that special education, early intervention, or related services personnel need in order to provide high-quality services using evidence-based instruction and interventions that will: Lead to improved learning and developmental outcomes; ensure access to college- and career-ready standards; lead to successful transition to college and career for children with disabilities, including high-need children with disabilities; and maximize the use of effective technology to deliver instruction, interventions, and services;

    4 For the purposes of this priority, the term “competencies” means what a person knows and can do: The knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to effectively function in a role (National Professional Development Center on Inclusion, 2011). These competencies should ensure that personnel are able to use challenging national and State content standards, child achievement and functional standards, and State assessments, to improve instructional practices, services, and learning and developmental outcomes (e.g., academic, social, emotional, behavioral) and college- and career-readiness of children with disabilities.

    (ii) Demonstrate that the identified competencies are supported by evidence of promise 5 that they will result in improved outcomes for children with disabilities; and

    5 Under 34 CFR 77.1, “evidence of promise” means there is empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice. Specifically, “evidence of promise” means the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this definition are met:

    (i) There is at least one study that is a—

    (A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias;

    (B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or

    (C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.

    (ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition found a statistically significant or substantively important (defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger) favorable association between at least one critical component and one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice.

    (iii) Provide the conceptual framework of the personnel preparation program, including any empirical support, that will promote the acquisition of the identified competencies (see paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this priority) needed by special education, early intervention, or related services personnel, and how these competencies relate to the proposed project.

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” how—

    (1) The project will recruit and retain high-quality scholars and ensure equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups who have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. To meet this requirement, the applicant must—

    (i) Describe the selection criteria the applicant will use to identify high-quality applicants for admission in the program;

    (ii) Describe the recruitment strategies the applicant will use to attract high-quality applicants and any specific recruitment strategies targeting high-quality applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including individuals with disabilities;

    (iii) Describe strategies the applicant would use to recruit and retain working professionals, people with child care considerations, career switchers, or people living in geographically isolated areas to more easily participate in the proposed personnel preparation program, using the Job-Driven Checklist 6 as a tool to maximize opportunities for job-driven training; and

    6 Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity (July 2014). Available at: www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/skills_report.pdf.

    (iv) Describe the approach, including mentoring, monitoring, and accommodations, the applicant will use to support scholars to complete the personnel preparation program.

    (2) The project reflects current research and evidence-based practices, and is designed to prepare scholars in the identified competencies. To address this requirement, the applicant must—

    (i) Describe how the project will incorporate current research and evidence-based practices that improve outcomes (e.g., meeting college- and career-ready standards) for children with disabilities (including relevant research citations) into the project's required coursework and clinical experiences; and

    (ii) Describe how the project will use current research and evidence-based professional development practices for adult learners to instruct scholars.

    (3) The project is of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to prepare scholars in the identified competencies. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe how—

    (i) The components of the proposed project (e.g., coursework, clinical experiences, or internships) will support scholars' acquisition and enhancement of the identified competencies;

    (ii) The components of the proposed project (e.g., coursework, clinical experiences, or internships) will be integrated to allow scholars to use their content knowledge in clinical practice, and how scholars will be provided with ongoing guidance and feedback; and

    (iii) The proposed project will provide ongoing induction opportunities and support to program graduates after completion of the personnel preparation program.

    (4) The project will collaborate with appropriate partners, including—

    (i) High-need LEAs; 7 high-poverty schools; 8 low-performing schools, including persistently lowest-achieving schools; 9 priority schools (in the case of States that have received the U.S. Department of Education's (Department's) approval of a request for Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), flexibility); 10 or publicly funded preschool programs, including Head Start programs and programs serving children eligible for services under IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619, that are located within the geographic boundaries of a high-need LEA. The purpose of these partnerships is to provide clinical practice for scholars aimed at developing the identified competencies; and

    7 For the purposes of this priority, the term “high-need LEA” means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line.

    8 For the purposes of this priority, the term “high-poverty school” means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data (www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2010-4/121510b.html).

    9 For the purposes of this priority, the term “persistently lowest-achieving schools” means, as determined by the State—

    (a)(1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that—

    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or

    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and

    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that—

    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or

    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.

    (b) To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into account both—

    (i) The academic achievement of the “all students” group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and

    (ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the “all students” group.

    For the purposes of this priority, the Department considers schools that are identified as Tier I or Tier II schools under the School Improvement Grants Program (see 75 FR 66363 [October 28, 2010]) as part of a State's approved application to be persistently lowest-achieving schools. A list of these Tier I and Tier II schools can be found on the Department's Web site at www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.

    10 For the purposes of this priority, the term “priority school” means a school that has been identified by the State as a priority school pursuant to the State's approved request for ESEA flexibility.

    (ii) Other programs on campus or at partnering universities for the purpose of sharing resources, supporting program development and delivery, and addressing personnel shortages.

    (5) The project will use technology, as appropriate, to promote scholar learning, enhance the efficiency of the project, collaborate with partners, and facilitate ongoing mentoring and support for scholars.

    (6) The project will align with and use resources, as appropriate, available through technical assistance centers, which may include centers funded by the Department.

    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Evaluation,” how—

    (1) The applicant will use comprehensive and appropriate methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of the project, including the effectiveness of project processes and outcomes.

    (2) The applicant will collect, analyze, and use data related to specific and measurable goals, objectives, and outcomes of the project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How scholar competencies and other project processes and outcomes will be measured for formative evaluation purposes, including proposed instruments, data collection methods, and possible analyses; and

    (ii) How data on the quality of services provided by proposed project graduates, including data on the learning and developmental outcomes (e.g., academic, social, emotional, behavioral, meeting college- and career-ready standards) and on growth toward these outcomes of the children with disabilities that the project graduates serve, will be collected and analyzed.

    Note: Following the completion of the project period, grantees are encouraged to engage in ongoing data collection activities.

    (3) The methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data for objective performance measures that are related to the outcomes of the proposed project.

    (4) The methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and allow for periodic assessment of progress towards meeting the project outcomes. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe how—

    (i) Results of the evaluation will be used as a basis for improving the proposed project to prepare special education, early intervention, or related services personnel to provide high-quality interventions and services to improve outcomes of children with disabilities; and

    (ii) The grantee will report the evaluation results to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in its annual and final performance reports.

    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative under “Project Assurances,” or appendices, as applicable, that the following program requirements are met. The applicant must—

    (1) Include, in the application as Appendix B, syllabi for all required coursework of the proposed project, including syllabi for new or proposed courses.

    (2) Ensure that the proposed number of scholars to be recruited into the program can graduate from the program by the end of the grant's project period. The described scholar recruitment strategies, including recruitment of individuals with disabilities, the program components and their sequence, and proposed budget must be consistent with this project requirement.

    (3) Ensure scholars will not be selected based on race or national origin/ethnicity. Per the Supreme Court's decision in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995), the Department does not allow the selection of individuals on the basis of race or national origin/ethnicity. For this reason, grantees must ensure that any discussion of the recruitment of scholars based on race or national origin/ethnicity distinguishes between increasing the pool of applicants and actually selecting scholars.

    (4) Ensure that the project will meet the requirements in 34 CFR 304.23, particularly those related to informing all scholarship recipients of their service obligation commitment. Failure by a grantee to properly meet these requirements would be a violation of the grant award that could result in sanctions, including the grantee being liable for returning any misused funds to the Department. Specifically, the grantee must prepare, and ensure that each scholarship recipient signs, the following two documents:

    (i) A Pre-Scholarship Agreement prior to the scholar receiving a scholarship for an eligible program (Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 1820-0686); and

    (ii) An Exit Certification immediately upon the scholar leaving, completing, or otherwise exiting that program (OMB Control Number 1820-0686).

    (5) Ensure that prior approval from the OSEP project officer will be obtained before admitting additional scholars beyond the number of scholars proposed in the application and before transferring a scholar to another OSEP-funded grant.

    (6) Ensure that the project will meet the statutory requirements in section 662(e) through 662(h) of IDEA.

    (7) Ensure that at least 65 percent of the total requested budget over the five years will be used for scholar support.

    (8) Ensure that the institution of higher education (IHE) will not require scholars enrolled in the program to work (e.g., as graduate assistants) as a condition of receiving support (e.g., tuition, stipends) from the proposed project, unless the work is specifically related to the acquisition of scholars' competencies and the requirements for completion of their personnel preparation program. This prohibition on work as a condition of receiving support does not apply to the service obligation requirements in section 662(h) of IDEA.

    (9) Ensure that the budget includes attendance of the project director at a three-day project directors' meeting in Washington, DC, during each year of the project.

    (10) Ensure that if the project maintains a Web site, relevant information and documents are in a format that meets government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility.

    (11) Ensure that annual data will be submitted on each scholar who receives grant support (OMB Control Number 1820-0686). The primary purposes of the data collection are to track the service obligation fulfillment of scholars who receive funds from OSEP grants and to collect data for program performance measure reporting under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). Applicants are encouraged to visit the Personnel Development Program Data Collection System (DCS) Web site at https://pdp.ed.gov/osep for further information about this data collection requirement. Typically, data collection begins in January of each year, and grantees are notified by email about the data collection period for their grant, although grantees may submit data as needed, year round. This data collection must be submitted electronically by the grantee and does not supplant the annual grant performance report required of each grantee for continuation funding (see 34 CFR 75.590). Data collection includes the submission of a signed, completed Pre-Scholarship Agreement and Exit Certification for each scholar funded under an OSEP grant (see paragraph (4) of this section, subparagraphs (i) and (ii)).

    Focus Areas:

    Within this absolute priority, the Secretary intends to support projects under the following four focus areas: (A) Preparing Personnel to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children with Disabilities; (B) Preparing Personnel to Serve School-Age Children with Low Incidence Disabilities; (C) Preparing Personnel to Provide Related Services to Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with Disabilities; and (D) Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of Higher Education to Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with Disabilities. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged to apply under Focus Area A, B, C, or D. Interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines.

    Note: Applicants must identify the specific focus area (i.e., A, B, C, or D) under which they are applying as part of the competition title on the application cover sheet (SF form 424, line 4). Applicants may not submit the same proposal under more than one focus area.

    Focus Area A: Preparing Personnel To Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children with Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund six awards under this focus area. For the purpose of Focus Area A, early intervention personnel are those who are prepared to provide services to infants and toddlers with disabilities ages birth to three, and early childhood personnel are those who are prepared to provide services to children with disabilities ages three through five (and in States where the age range is other than ages three through five, we will defer to the State's certification for early childhood). In States where certification in early intervention is combined with certification in early childhood, applicants may propose a combined early intervention and early childhood personnel preparation project under this focus area. We encourage interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines for early intervention providers or early childhood special educators and related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children with disabilities. Projects preparing only related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children with disabilities are not eligible under this focus area (see Focus Area C). Scholars in the program should be able to demonstrate the competencies outlined in a State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework,11 as appropriate.

    11 For the purposes of this priority, “Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework” has the meaning given it in the notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2013 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (78 FR 53992) published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2013: a set of expectations that describes what Early Childhood Educators (including those working with children with disabilities and English learners) should know and be able to do. The Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework, at a minimum (a) is evidence-based; (b) incorporates knowledge and application of the State's Early Learning and Development Standards, the Comprehensive Assessment Systems, child development, health, and culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for working with families; (c) includes knowledge of early mathematics and literacy development and effective instructional practices to support mathematics and literacy development in young children; (d) incorporates effective use of data to guide instruction and program improvement; (e) includes effective behavior management strategies that promote positive social-emotional development and reduce challenging behaviors; and (f) incorporates feedback from experts at the State's postsecondary institutions and other early learning and development experts and Early Childhood Educators.

    Focus Area B: Preparing Personnel To Serve School-Age Children with Low Incidence Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund 14 awards under this focus area. For the purpose of Focus Area B, personnel who serve children with low incidence disabilities are special education teachers prepared to serve school-age children with low incidence disabilities, including visual impairments, hearing impairments, simultaneous visual and hearing impairments, significant intellectual disabilities, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, and persistent and severe learning and behavioral problems that need the most intensive individualized supports. Programs preparing special education teachers to provide services to children with visual impairments or blindness that can be appropriately provided in braille must prepare those individuals to provide those services in braille, including the Unified English Braille Code. Projects preparing educational interpreters are eligible under this focus area. We encourage interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines for special education teachers and related services personnel to serve school-aged children with low incidence disabilities. Projects preparing early intervention or preschool personnel are not eligible under this focus area (see Focus Area A).

    Focus Area C: Preparing Personnel To Provide Related Services to Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund eight awards under this focus area. Programs preparing related services personnel to serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities are eligible within Focus Area C. For the purpose of this focus area, related services include, but are not limited to, psychological services, physical therapy (including therapy provided by personnel prepared at the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) level), adapted physical education, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, social work services, counseling services, audiology services (including services provided by personnel prepared at the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) level), speech and language services, and applied behavior analysis services provided by personnel at the Board Certified Behavior Specialists level. Preparation programs in States where personnel prepared to serve children with speech and language impairments are considered to be special educators are eligible under this focus area. We encourage interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines for related services personnel who serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. Projects preparing educational interpreters are not eligible under this focus area (see Focus Area B).

    Focus Area D: Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of Higher Education To Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund 10 awards under this focus area. Programs in minority IHEs are eligible under Focus Area D if they prepare one of the following: (a) Personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children with disabilities; (b) personnel to serve school-age children with low incidence disabilities, including those with persistent and severe learning or behavioral problems that need the most intensive individualized supports; or (c) personnel to provide related services to children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. Minority IHEs are IHEs with a minority enrollment of 50 percent or more, which may include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and Predominantly Hispanic Serving Colleges and Universities. We encourage interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines for: (a) Early intervention providers or early childhood special educators and related services personnel who serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children with disabilities; (b) special education teachers and related services personnel who serve school-age children with low incidence disabilities; or (c) related services personnel who serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. Programs in minority IHEs preparing personnel in Focus Area A, B, or C are eligible within Focus Area D. Programs preparing high incidence special education personnel are not eligible under this priority.

    Note: In Focus Area D, OSEP intends to fund in FY 2016 at least three high-quality applications from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and, as a result, may fund applications out of rank order.

    Note: A project funded under Focus Area D may budget for less than the 65 percent required for scholar support if the applicant can provide sufficient justification for a designation less than this required percentage. Sufficient justification for proposing less than 65 percent of the budget for scholar support would include support for activities such as program development, program expansion, or the addition of a new area of emphasis. Some examples of projects that may be eligible to designate less than 65 percent of their budget for scholar support include the following:

    (1) A project that is proposing to develop and deliver a newly established baccalaureate, master's, and specialist level personnel preparation program or add a new area of emphasis may request up to a year of funding for program development (e.g., hiring of a new faculty member or consultant to assist in course development, providing professional development and training for faculty). In the initial project year, scholar support would not be required. The project must demonstrate that the newly established program or area of emphasis is approved and ready for implementation in order to receive continuation funds in year two.

    (2) A project that is proposing to expand or enhance an existing program may request funding for capacity building (e.g., hiring of a clinical practice supervisor, providing professional development and training for faculty) or purchasing needed resources (e.g., additional teaching supplies or specialized equipment to enhance instruction).

    Note: Applicants proposing projects to develop, expand, or add a new area of emphasis to special education or related services programs must provide, in their applications, information on how these new areas will be sustained once Federal funding ends.

    References: Bruder, M.B. (December, 2004a). The National Landscape of Early Intervention in Personnel Preparation Standards under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Study I Data Report). Farmington, CT: A. J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Retrieved from: www.uconnucedd.org/pdfs/projects/per_prep/pp_data_report_study1_partc_11_14_08.pdf. Bruder, M.B. (December, 2004b). The National Landscape of Early Childhood Special Education in Personnel Preparation Standards under 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Study I Data Report). Farmington, CT: A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Retrieved from: www.uconnucedd.org/pdfs/projects/per_prep/pp_data_report_study1_619_11_19_08%20ccs.pdf. McLeskey, J., & Billingsley, B. (2008). How does the quality and stability of the teaching force influence the research-to-practice gap? Remedial and Special Education, 29(5), 293-305. McLeskey, J., Tyler, N., & Flippin, S.S. (2004). The supply and demand for special education teachers: A review of research regarding the chronic shortage of special education teachers. Journal of Special Education, 38(1), 5-21. National Professional Development Center on Inclusion. (August, 2011). Competencies for early childhood educators in the context of inclusion: Issues and guidance for States. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, Author.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 304.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to IHEs.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $83,700,000 for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program for FY 2016, of which we intend to use an estimated $9,500,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: See chart.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.

    Maximum Award: See chart.

    Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.

    Project Period: See chart.

    Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities (84.325K) Application Notice for Fiscal Year 2016 CFDA number and name Applications available Deadline for transmittal of applications Deadline for intergovernmental
  • review
  • Estimated range of awards Estimated average size of awards Maximum award for each budget period of 12 months Estimated number of awards Project
  • period
  • Contact person
    84.325K Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services October 15, 2015 December 14, 2015 February 12, 2016 Focus Area A: Preparing Personnel To Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children With Disabilities $225,000-$250,000 $237,500 $250,000 6 Up to 60 mos Maryann McDermott
  • 202-245-7439
  • [email protected]
  • Potomac Center Plaza, Room 4062.
  • Focus Area B: Preparing Personnel To Serve School-Age Children With Low Incidence Disabilities $225,000-$250,000 $237,500 $250,000* 14 Up to 60 mos Maryann McDermott
  • 202-245-7439
  • [email protected]
  • Potomac Center Plaza, Room 4062.
  • Focus Area C: Preparing Personnel To Provide Related Services to Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, With Disabilities $225,000-$250,000 $237,500 $250,000* 8 Up to 60 mos Sarah Allen
  • 202-245-7875
  • [email protected]
  • Potomac Center Plaza, Room 4105.
  • Focus Area D: Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of Higher Education To Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, With Disabilities $225,000-$250,000 $237,500 $250,000* 10 Up to 60 mos Dawn Ellis
  • 202-245-6417
  • [email protected]
  • Potomac Center Plaza, Room 4092.
  • * We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the maximum award for a single budget period of 12 months. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs and private nonprofit organizations.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to the following types of entities: IHEs and private nonprofit organizations.

    (b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.

    3. Other General Requirements: (a) Recipients of funding under this program must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

    (b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding under this program must involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address To Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.325K.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ × 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

    • Use a font that is 12 point or larger.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    The page limit and double-spacing requirements do not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the page limit and double-spacing requirements do apply to all of Part III, the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit in the application narrative section or if you apply standards other than those specified in the application package.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: October 15, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 14, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 12, 2016.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note: Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services competition, CFDA number 84.325K, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.325, not 84.325K).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

    These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues With the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Mary Ann McDermott, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4062, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2600. FAX: (202) 245-7617.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.325K), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.325K), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in each group.

    4. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    4. Performance Measures: Under GPRA, the Department has established a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and quality of the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These measures include: (1) The percentage of Special Education Personnel Development projects that incorporate evidence-based practices into their curricula; (2) the percentage of scholars completing Special Education Personnel Development funded programs who are knowledgeable and skilled in evidence-based practices for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities; (3) the percentage of Special Education Personnel Development funded scholars who exit preparation programs prior to completion due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of Special Education Personnel Development funded degree/certification recipients who are working in the area(s) for which they were prepared upon program completion; (5) the percentage of Special Education Personnel Development funded degree/certification recipients who are working in the area(s) for which they were prepared upon program completion and who are fully qualified under IDEA; (6) the percentage of Special Education Personnel Development funded degree/certification recipients who maintain employment in the area(s) for which they were prepared for three or more years and who are fully qualified under IDEA; and (7) the Federal cost per fully qualified degree/certification recipient.

    In addition, the Department will gather information on the following outcome measures: (1) The number and percentage of degree/certification recipients who are employed in high-need schools; (2) the number and percentage of degree/certification recipients who are employed in a school for at least two years; and (3) the number and percentage of degree/certification recipients who are rated as effective by their employers.

    Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing information on these aspects of program quality.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contacts For Further Information Contact:

    See chart in the Award Information section in this notice for the name, room number, telephone number, and email address of the contact person for each Focus Area of this competition. You can write to the Focus Area contact person at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2600.

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5037, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26290 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF14-21-000] Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Notice of Public Scoping Meetings for the Planned Alaska LNG Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will conduct public scoping meetings as part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Alaska LNG Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; and TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP (Applicants) in Alaska.

    More information about the Commission's EIS and the Alaska LNG Project is available in the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Alaska LNG Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI), issued March 4, 2015. The NOI describes the scoping process that is under way seeking public participation in the environmental review of this project. The public scoping meetings, listed on page 2, provide an opportunity to submit verbal comments in addition to, or in lieu of, written comments on issues of environmental concern related to the Alaska LNG Project. Both written and verbal comments receive equal consideration. Please note that the scoping period will close on December 4, 2015.

    Additional information about the project is available from FERC's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC (3372) 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., PF14-21). 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.

    Schedule and Locations for the Alaska LNG Project Public Scoping Meetings

    The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter to ensure comments are accurately depicted on the public record. The Commission invites you to attend one of the following public scoping meetings in the project area.

    Date and Time Location October 27, 2015, 6:00 p.m Nikiski Recreation Center—Banquet Hall, Mile 23.4 Kenai Spur Hwy, Nikiski, AK 99611. October 27, 2015, 6:00 p.m Kaktovik Community Center, 2051 Barter Avenue, Kaktovik, AK 99747. October 28, 2015, 6:00 p.m Houston High School, 12501 W. Hawk Lane, Houston, AK 99694. October 28, 2015, 6:00 p.m Barrow Inupiat Heritage Center-Multipurpose Room, 5421 North Star Street, Barrow, AK 99723. October 29, 2015, 6:00 p.m Trapper Creek Elementary School, 6742 Petersville Rd, Trapper Creek, AK 99683. October 29, 2015, 6:00 p.m Nuiqsut Kisik Community Center, 2230 2nd Avenue, Nuiqsut, AK 99789.

    AK LNG representatives will be present one hour before the scoping meeting at all locations except Barrow, Alaska with maps depicting the project and to answer questions. In Barrow, AK LNG representatives will be present one hour after the scoping meeting. The meetings will end once all speakers have provided their comments or at 9 p.m., whichever comes first.

    Additional meetings at other locations are being scheduled. A supplemental notice will be issued, announcing the dates and times for these additional meetings.

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26187 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. ER15-1344-001; ER15-1344-002; ER15-1387-001] PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Potomac Electric Power Company; Notice of Technical Conference

    By order dated September 15, 2015,1 the Commission directed staff to convene a technical conference regarding PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.'s (PJM) filing, in Docket Nos. ER15-1344-001 and ER15-1344-002, related to cost responsibility assignments for 61 baseline upgrades included in the recent update to the PJM Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP), and regarding requests for rehearing, submitted in Docket No. ER15-1387-001, related to the PJM Transmission Owners' proposal to change the cost allocation methodology for reliability projects selected in the RTEP solely to address local transmission owner planning criteria. The technical conference will explore issues related to PJM's application of its Order No. 1000-compliant transmission planning process 2 to local transmission facilities, including, but not limited to, the process PJM and the PJM Transmission Owners use to identify local transmission needs and to solicit proposed solutions to identified local transmission needs (such as opening proposal windows),3 and the process PJM uses to determine whether a transmission solution to an identified local transmission need should be selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation as the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution.

    1PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 152 FERC ¶ 61,197 (2015).

    2Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities, Order No. 1000, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,323 (2011), order on reh'g, Order No. 1000-A, 139 FERC ¶ 61,132, order on reh'g, Order No. 1000-B, 141 FERC ¶ 61,044 (2012), aff'd sub nom. S.C. Pub. Serv. Auth. v. FERC, 762 F.3d 41 (D.C. Cir. 2014).

    3 As discussed in the order establishing the technical conference, Dominion Resources Services' revisions to its individual transmission planning criteria will not be discussed at the technical conference. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., 152 FERC ¶ 61,197 at P15 (2015).

    Take notice that such conference will be held on November 12, 2015, at the Commission's headquarters at 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Hearing Room 7. Additional information regarding the conference program will be provided in a subsequent supplemental notice of technical conference.

    The technical conference will be led by Commission staff. The conference is open to the public. Pre-registration through the Commission's Web site (https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/11-12-15-form.asp) is encouraged but not required.

    The technical conference will not be transcribed. However, there will be a free audio cast of the conference. Anyone wishing to listen to the meeting should send an email to Sarah McKinley at [email protected] by November 3, 2015, to request call-in information. Please reference “call information for ER15-1344/1387 technical conference” in the subject line of the email. The call-in information will be provided prior to the meeting. Persons listening to the technical conference may participate by submitting questions, either prior to or during the technical conference, by emailing [email protected].

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY); or send a fax to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about this technical conference, please contact Katherine Scott, 202-502-6495, [email protected], regarding Docket Nos. ER15-1344-001 and ER15-1344-002; Nicole Buell, 202-502-6846, [email protected], regarding Docket No. ER15-1387-001; or Sarah McKinley, 202-502-8368, [email protected], regarding logistical issues.

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26182 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-527-000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed New York Bay Expansion Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the New York Bay Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in Chester, Pennsylvania; Essex and Middlesex, New Jersey; and Richmond, New York. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. 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. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. 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 November 8, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on July 8, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP15-527 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    Transco provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (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 file your comments electronically by 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.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP15-527-000) with your submission:

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    Transco proposes the New York Bay Expansion Project to modify existing facilities and replace existing pipeline to provide an additional 115,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service to National Grid New York to meet 2017-2018 winter heating season needs. The project would involve the following activities at existing aboveground facilities in the specified towns and municipalities:

    • Uprate Compressor Station 200 from 30,860 horsepower (hp) to 33,000 hp (East Whiteland Township, Chester, Pennsylvania);

    • uprate a unit of Compressor Station 303 from 25,000 hp to 27,500 hp (Roseland Borough, Essex, New Jersey);

    • add 11,000 hp of electric-driven compression to Compressor Station 207 (Old Bridge Township, Middlesex, New Jersey); and

    • install various appurtenances and modifications at three meter and regulation stations in East Brandywine Township (Chester, Pennsylvania), Sayreville Borough (Middlesex, New Jersey), and Staten Island Borough (Richmond, New York).

    In addition, Transco proposes to replace three segments of its 42-inch-diameter Lower New York Bay Lateral pipeline, totaling 0.25 mile, and uprate the lateral pipeline's operating pressure from 960 to 1000 pounds per square inch in Middlesex County, NJ.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear 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” or from the 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

    Construction of the project would disturb about 56.70 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and 14.05 acres of land for the pipe replacement; these acres would be restored by Transco and revert to former uses. The permanent footprint for Compressor Stations 200 and 303 would remain unchanged. The permanent footprint of Compressor Station 207 would expand by 0.59 acre, and the three existing meter and regulation stations would expand by combined total of 0.8 acre. No new acreage would be required for the replacement pipe as Transco would replace the pipeline in the same permanent right-of-way.

    The EA 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 issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. 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 EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, part 1501.6.

    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 applicable State Historic Preservation Offices (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.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPOs as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    4 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.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes: Federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; 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.

    If we publish and distribute the EA, 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

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, 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 “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.

    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., CP15-527). 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.

    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: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26185 Filed 10-14-15; 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 and Intention To Hold Public Meetings

    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.

    In addition to or in lieu of sending written comments, you are invited to attend public meetings that will be held to receive comments on the draft EIS. The agency scoping meeting will focus on resource agency and non-governmental organization input, while the public scoping meeting is primarily for public input. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend one or both of the meetings. The time and locations of the meetings are as follows:

    Agency Meeting DATE: Thursday, October 29, 2015 TIME: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PLACE: Robinson Building ADDRESS: 186 W. 2nd North, Preston, ID 83263 Public Meeting DATE: Thursday, October 29, 2015 TIME: 6:00 p.m. PLACE: Robinson Building ADDRESS: 186 W. 2nd North, Preston, ID 83263

    At these meetings, resource agency personnel and other interested persons will have the opportunity to provide oral and written comments and recommendations regarding the draft EIS. The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter, and all statements (verbal and written) will become part of the Commission's public record for the project. These meetings are posted on the Commission's calendar located at http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    For further information, please contact Shana Murray at (202) 502-8333 or at [email protected]

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26183 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15-558-000; PF15-1-000] PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on September 24, 2015, PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC (PennEast), One Meridian Boulevard, Suite 2C01, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) in Docket No. CP15-558-000 an application pursuant section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as amended, and Parts 157 and 284 of the Commission's regulations, requesting authorization to construct and operate a new natural gas pipeline system, including pipeline facilities, a compressor station, metering and regulating stations and appurtenant facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web 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, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Anthony C. Cox, Project Manager, PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC, One Meridian Boulevard, Suite 2C01, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610. Phone (610) 406-4322, email [email protected]

    PennEast seeks authorization to construct, own and operate a new pipeline system comprising 114 miles of 36-inch diameter mainline transmission pipeline from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey; a 2.1 mile, 24-inch lateral in Northhampton County, Pennsylvania; a 0.6 mile, 12-inch diameter lateral in Huntedon County, New Jersey; a 1.4 mile, 36-inch diameter lateral in Hunterdon County, New Jersey; a 47,700 horsepower compressor station in Carbon County, Pennsylvania; and various aboveground facilities, including interconnects, launchers, receivers and mainline block valves.

    PennEast further requests blanket certificates pursuant to Part 157, Subpart F, and Part 284, Subpart G of the Commission's regulations; approval of PennEast's pro forma gas tariff; and other appropriate authorizations and waivers.

    On October 10, 2014, the Commission staff granted PennEast's request to use the pre-filing process and assigned Docket No. PF15-1-000 for this proceeding during the pre-filing review of the project. Now, as of the filing of the application on September 24, 2015, the pre-filing process for this project has ended. From this time forward, PennEast's proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP15-558-000, as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit seven copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and five copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: October 29, 2015.

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26186 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RP15-1026-000] Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C.; Notice of Informal Settlement Conference

    Take notice that an informal settlement conference will be convened in this proceeding commencing at 10:00 a.m. on October 20, 2015 at the offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission), 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, for the purpose of exploring settlement of the above-referenced docket.

    Any party, as defined by 18 CFR 385.102(c), or any participant as defined by 18 CFR 385.102(b), is invited to attend. Persons wishing to become a party must move to intervene and receive intervenor status pursuant to the Commission's regulations under 18 CFR 385.214.

    FERC conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free (866) 208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY), or send a fax to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For additional information, please contact John Perkins (202-502-6591) or Frank Kelly (202-502-8185).

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26188 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0393; FRL-9934-06] Registration Review Interim Decisions; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decisions for the pesticides listed in Unit II of this notice. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without causing unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment. This document also announces the Agency's closure of the registration review docket for flufenpyr-ethyl. All pesticide products containing flufenpyr-ethyl have been cancelled.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information, contact the Chemical Review Manager identified in the table in Unit II for the pesticide of interest.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the pesticide specific contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0393, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), this notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decision or case closure document for the pesticides in the following table:

    Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Contact and contact information Carbon and Carbon Dioxide (Case 4019) EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0705 James Parker, (703) 306-0469, [email protected]. Debacarb (2-EEEBC) (Case 4031) EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0802 Roy Johnson, (703) 347-0492, [email protected]. Flufenpyr-ethyl (Case 7262) EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0768 Tracy Perry, (703) 308-0128, [email protected]. Inorganic Nitrate-Nitrite (Case 4052) EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1118 Brittany Pruitt, (703) 347-0289, [email protected]. Maleic Hydrazide (Case 0381) EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0387 Ricardo Jones, (703) 347-0493, [email protected]. Soap Salts (Case 4083) EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0519 Tracy Perry, (703) 308-0128, [email protected]. Sulfur (Case 0031) EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0176 Jose Gayoso, (703) 347-8652, [email protected].

    The registration review final decisions for these cases are dependent on the assessments of threatened and endangered (listed) species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), determinations on the potential for endocrine disruption, and/or pollinator risk assessments.

    Debacarb (Interim Decision). The registration review docket for debacarb (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0802) opened in December 2008. Debacarb is a fungicide registered to control diseases in ornamental trees, and is applied via injection into the tree trunk. Because of its limited use and potential exposure, the Agency did not conduct a new human health risk assessment during registration review. There are very little data on adverse effects and potential routes of exposure for wildlife and the environment, so the Agency conducted a qualitative ecological risk assessment. The Agency concluded that debacarb does not pose risk concerns for birds, mammals, and plants (both listed and non-listed). Risk could not be precluded for aquatic organisms (from leaf drop into aquatic habitats) and pollinators (from residues in pollen and nectar). To address these concerns, the Agency proposed prohibitions on treating trees within 20' of water bodies and before and during bloom. More recently, in characterizing exposure, the Agency determined that the pathway from treatment of leaves to receiving waters diluted the potential for adverse effects in aquatic organisms. Concerns about pollinator risks remain, and the Agency is directing the registrant to amend labels to prohibit application before and during bloom. The Agency will likely require pollinator data at a later time. Debacarb has not been evaluated under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).

    Gas Cartridges; Inorganic Nitrate—Nitrite, Carbon and Carbon Dioxide, and Sulfur (Interim Decision). Potassium and sodium nitrate, carbon and carbon dioxide, and sulfur are ingredients in fumigant gas cartridge products, which are available in small and large sizes. Both sizes are registered to control burrowing mammals, but only the large gas cartridge is registered to also control coyotes, red foxes and skunks. Gas cartridges are registered for outdoor use only. To use the products, the user lights the fuse, places the cartridge in the burrow or den and seals the entrance. Animals within the burrow or den are asphyxiated by the release of carbon dioxide and toxic gases.

    The Agency relied on a previous human health risk assessment in making its registration review decisions and determined that no human health risks of concern exist for these compounds. The Agency conducted a new ecological risk assessment for the gas cartridges for registration review. The risk assessment did find the potential for adverse effects to a number of listed species from gas cartridge use. EPA developed mitigation to address the risk to a number of listed species. In most cases, the mitigation involves the use of Endangered Species Protection Bulletins. Because the gas cartridges may contain up to three different active ingredients compounds, these Bulletins are available in the Inorganic Nitrate—Nitrite, Carbon and Carbon Dioxide, and Sulfur Registration Review dockets (EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1118, EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0705, and EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0176, respectively). Although implementation of these Bulletins will address risk to some listed species from gas cartridge use, risk to a number of other listed species remains. Additionally, potassium and sodium nitrate, carbon and carbon dioxide, and sulfur have not been evaluated under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Therefore, the Agency's final registration review decisions are dependent upon the result of ESA Section 7 consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the evaluation of potential endocrine disruptor risk.

    Maleic Hydrazide (Interim Decision). The registration review docket for maleic hydrazide (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0387) opened in September 2009. Maleic hydrazide is a systemic plant growth regulator registered for use on tobacco, potato, onions, non-bearing citrus, turf, utility and highway rights-of-way, airports, industrial land, lawns, recreational areas, ornamental/shade trees and ornamental plants. EPA published human health and ecological risk assessments in July 2014, which included a screening-level listed species assessment. No human health risks of concern were identified. The ecological risk assessment indicated potential risks to non-target terrestrial birds, terrestrial invertebrates, and certain species of semi-aquatic and terrestrial monocotyledonous plants. To address findings of the maleic hydrazide registration review, the Agency is reducing maximum application rates for certain uses, requiring additional data on chronic avian effects, and requiring label clarifications. Maleic hydrazide has not been evaluated under the EDSP nor has the EPA completed an ESA section 7 consultation with the USFWS and the National Marine and Fisheries Service (the Services). Therefore, the Agency's final registration review decision is dependent upon the result of the evaluation of potential endocrine disruptor risk and consultation with the Services for potential risk to listed species.

    Soap Salts (Interim Decision). The registration review docket for soap salts (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0519) opened in September 2008. Soap salts are used as acaricides, herbicides, and insecticides on food and non-food crops in various settings, chiefly residential and agricultural. Ammonium and sodium soap salts are also used as animal repellants. EPA published draft human health and ecological risk assessments in March 2013 for a 60-day public comment period. In March 2015, EPA published a revised ecological risk assessment and the Soap Salts Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision for a 60-day public comment period. In this Soap Salts Interim Decision, the Agency has determined that no additional data are required and no changes to the affected registrations or their labeling are needed at this time. The Agency's final registration review decision for soap salts will depend upon the results of an ESA section 7 consultation with the services, an EDSP determination, and an assessment of the non-target exposure to bees.

    Sulfur (Interim Decision). The registration review docket for sulfur (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0176) opened in March 2008. Sulfur is used as an insecticide and fungicide on a wide range of field and greenhouse-grown food and feed crops, livestock, livestock quarters, and indoor and outdoor residential sites. Sulfur is also registered for use in gas cartridge products, along with inorganic nitrate/nitrite, carbon, and carbon dioxide. EPA has conducted a qualitative assessment for both human health and ecological risks, including listed species, for sulfur. Details of the assessment for the gas cartridge use are summarized under the gas cartridge heading in this unit. For uses of sulfur other than gas cartridges, the Agency is making a “no effect” determination for all listed aquatic species, and a “no effect” determination for direct effects to listed terrestrial vertebrates that do not rely on insects as a primary food source. However, at this time, the Agency is not able to make a listed species determination for effects to terrestrial invertebrates, terrestrial plants, or indirect effects to terrestrial vertebrates with insects as a primary food source. Sulfur has not been evaluated under the EDSP. Therefore, the Agency's final registration review decision is dependent upon the result of an ESA Section 7 consultation with the USFWS and the evaluation of potential endocrine disruptor risk.

    Case Closure for Flufenpyr-ethyl (PC Code 108853; Case 7262). Flufenpyr-ethyl is an herbicide which was labeled for post-emergence control of broadleaf weeds in field corn, soybeans, and sugarcane. On March 19, 2015, the Agency received a request for voluntary cancellation of flufenpyr-ethyl from the technical and end-use product registrant, Valent USA Corporation. EPA subsequently issued a Federal Register notice announcing receipt of the request (FRL-9928-54) on July 8, 2015 (80 FR 39100), and allowed for a 30-day period for public comment on the request. No comments were received, and on September 22, 2015, EPA issued the cancellation order terminating the last pesticide products containing flufenpyr-ethyl registered in the United States (80 FR 57179) (FRL-9933-58). There were no existing stocks of these products and no requests for existing stocks provisions. Therefore no existing stocks provision was provided for these product registrations. With the cancellation of these remaining products, the Agency is announcing the closure of the registration review case for flufenpyr-ethyl.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.57, a registration review decision is the Agency's determination whether a pesticide meets, or does not meet, the standard for registration in FIFRA. EPA has considered the pesticides listed in light of the FIFRA standard for registration. The interim decision documents in the dockets describe the Agency's rationale for issuing registration review interim decisions for these pesticides.

    In addition to the interim registration review decision documents, the registration review docket for these pesticides also includes other relevant documents related to the registration review of these cases. The proposed interim registration review decisions were previously posted to each docket and the public was invited to submit any comments or new information.

    EPA has addressed the substantive comments or information received during the 60-day comment period in the interim decision document for each pesticide listed in this document.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), the registration review case docket for each pesticide discussed in this notice will remain open until all actions required in the interim decisions have been completed.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review. Links to earlier documents related to the registration review of this pesticide are provided in the Pesticide Chemical Search data base accessible at: http://iaspub.epa.gov/apex/pesticides/f?p=chemicalsearch.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Bernard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26299 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0052; FRL-9935-45-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Risk Management Program Requirements and Petitions To Modify the List of Regulated Substances (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Risk Management Program Requirements and Petitions to Modify the List of Regulated Substances under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)” (EPA ICR No. 1656.15, OMB Control No. 2050-0144) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through December 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 33518) on June 12, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0052, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Belke, Office of Emergency Management, Mail Code 5104A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-8023; fax number: 202-564-2625; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The 1990 CAA Amendments added section 112(r) to provide for the prevention and mitigation of accidental releases. Section 112(r) mandates that EPA promulgate a list of “regulated substances” with threshold quantities and establish procedures for the addition and deletion of substances from the list of regulated substances. Processes at stationary sources that contain more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance are subject to accidental release prevention regulations promulgated under CAA section 112(r)(7). These two rules are codified as 40 CFR part 68. Part 68 requires that sources with more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance in a process develop and implement a risk management program and submit a risk management plan to EPA. The compliance schedule for the Part 68 requirements, established by rule on June 20, 1996, requires the implementation of the source risk management programs and the submission of initial Risk Management Plans (RMPs) by June 21, 1999, and at least every five years after the initial submission. Sources must resubmit earlier than their next five-year deadline if they undergo certain changes to their covered processes as specified in Part 68. Therefore, after the initial submission, some sources re-submitted their RMPs prior to the next 5-year deadline because they had process changes that required an earlier update. These sources were then assigned a new five-year resubmission deadline based on the date of their revised plan submission. Most covered sources had no significant changes to their covered processes and therefore resubmitted their updated RMP on June 21, 2004. This same pattern continued through the next two submission cycles—some sources updated and resubmitted their RMP prior to their next five-year deadline and were assigned a new (off-cycle) five-year deadline, but a majority of sources submitted their updated RMP on or near the next scheduled five-year resubmission deadlines (June 2009 and June 2014). Similarly, while most sources' next submission is due in June 2019, because of off-cycle resubmission deadlines assigned to sources who have resubmitted RMPs prior to their next 5-year resubmission date, only a portion of the RMP-regulated universe has a submission deadline occurring in June 2019.

    Other than the costs for gathering information and filling out the on-line RMP form, the regulations require sources to maintain on-site documentation, perform a compliance audit every three years, provide refresher training to employees, perform a hazard analysis at least every five years, etc. Some of these activities are expected to occur annually or are on-going. Some are required every three years or every five years, unless there are changes at the facility. Therefore, the burden and costs incurred by sources vary from ICR to ICR. The five-year resubmission deadline set by the regulations or assigned by EPA based on the latest RMP resubmission also will cause the burden to vary from ICR to ICR.

    Form Numbers: 8700-25, 8700-27, 8700-28.

    Respondents/affected entities: Chemical manufacturers, petroleum refineries, water treatment systems, agricultural chemical distributors, refrigerated warehouses, chemical distributors, non-chemical manufacturers, wholesale fuel distributors, energy generation facilities, etc.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 68).

    Estimated number of respondents: 13,396 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 54,000 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b)

    Total estimated cost: $6,680,625 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the estimates: There is a decrease of 26,546 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. The reason for this decrease is because this ICR period does not include a major filing deadline year and the previous ICR did include a major filing deadline. Second, the number of sources subject to the regulations fluctuates regularly, and is lower in this ICR period than in the previous ICR.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26231 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN); Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, which will be held in Washington, DC. The Advisory Committee will provide advice and recommendations on initiatives to expand access to banking services by underserved populations.

    DATES:

    Friday, October 30, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the FDIC Board Room on the sixth floor of the FDIC Building located at 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for further information concerning the meeting may be directed to Mr. Robert E. Feldman, Committee Management Officer of the FDIC, at (202) 898-7043.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda: The agenda will be focused on the Bank On 2.0 initiative, mobile banking research, expanding economic inclusion for individuals with disabilities, and Money Smart for Small Business. The agenda may be subject to change. Any changes to the agenda will be announced at the beginning of the meeting.

    Type of Meeting: The meeting will be open to the public, limited only by the space available on a first-come, first-served basis. For security reasons, members of the public will be subject to security screening procedures and must present a valid photo identification to enter the building. The FDIC will provide attendees with auxiliary aids (e.g., sign language interpretation) required for this meeting. Those attendees needing such assistance should call (703) 562-6067 (Voice or TTY) at least two days before the meeting to make necessary arrangements. Written statements may be filed with the committee before or after the meeting. This ComE-IN meeting will be Webcast live via the Internet at: https://fdic.primetime.mediaplatform.com/#/channel/1384299229422/ Advisory+Committee+on+Economic+Inclusion. Questions or troubleshooting help can be found at the same link. For optimal viewing, a high speed internet connection is recommended. The ComE-IN meeting videos are made available on-demand approximately two weeks after the event.

    Dated: October 9, 2015.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26224 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission of Renewals for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0090, -0111, -0136, -0138 & -0171) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, 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 the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. On July 10, 2015, (80 FR 39777), the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collections listed below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of these information collections, and again invites comment on these renewals.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Gary A. Kuiper (202.898.3877), Counsel MB-3016, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary A. Kuiper at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Public Disclosure by Banks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0090.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,015.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5

    Total Annual Burden: 2,008 hours.

    General Description: 12 CFR part 350 requires a bank to notify the general public, and in some instances shareholders, that financial disclosure statements are available by request. Required disclosures consist of financial reports for the current and preceding year, which can be photocopied directly from the year-end call reports. The FDIC may also require, on a case-by-case basis, that descriptions of enforcement actions be included in disclosure statements. This regulation allows, but does not require, the inclusion of management discussion and analysis.

    2. Title: Activities and Investments of Insured State Banks.

    OMB Number: 3064-0111.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 110.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 880 hours.

    General Description: Section 24 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), 12 U.S.C. 1831a, limits investments and other activities in which state banks may engage as principal to those permissible for national banks and those approved by the FDIC under procedures set forth in part 362 of the FDIC's Rules and Regulations, 12 CFR part 362. With certain exceptions, section 24 of the FDI Act limits the direct equity investments of state chartered banks to equity investments that are permissible for national banks. In addition, the statute prohibits an insured state bank from directly engaging, as a principal, in any activity that is not permissible for a national bank, or indirectly through a subsidiary in an activity that is not permissible for a subsidiary of a national bank, unless such bank meets its minimum capital requirements and the FDIC determines that the activity does not pose significant risk to the Deposit Insurance Fund. The FDIC can make such a determination for exception by regulation or by order. The FDIC's implementing regulation for section 24 is 12 CFR part 362. This regulation details the activities that insured state nonmember banks or their subsidiaries may engage in, under certain criteria and conditions, and identifies the information that banks must furnish to the FDIC in order to obtain the FDIC's approval or nonobjection.

    3. Title: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information.

    OMB Number: 3064-0136.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Insured state nonmember banks and consumers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: Initial notice, 208; annual notice and change in terms 4,084; opt-out notice, 866; consumer opt-out/status update, 212,432.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 217,590.

    Total Annual Burden: 162,456 hours.

    General Description: The elements of this collection are required under section 504 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Public Law 106-102. The collection mandates notice requirements and restrictions on a financial institution's ability to disclose nonpublic personal information about consumers to nonaffiliated third parties.

    4. Title: Applicant Background Questionnaire.

    OMB Number: 3064-0138.

    Form Number: FDIC 2100/14.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: FDIC job applicants who are not current FDIC employees.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3 minutes.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,500 hours.

    General Description: The FDIC Applicant Background Questionnaire is voluntarily completed by prospective FDIC job applicants who are not current employees. Responses to survey questions provide information regarding gender, age, disability, race, and national origin. Additional survey questions address the applicant's source of vacancy announcement information. Data is used by the FDIC Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and the FDIC Human Resources Branch to evaluate the efficacy of various FDIC recruitment methods used to ensure that the agency meets workforce diversity objectives.

    5. Title: Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators.

    OMB Number: 3064-0171.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 608,867, which is comprised of:

    A. Financial Institution Policies and Procedures for Ensuring Employee-Mortgage Loan Originator Compliance With S.A.F.E. Act Requirements Affected Public

    Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 81,600 hours.

    B. Financial Institution Procedures to Track and Monitor Compliance With S.A.F.E. Act

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 60 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 244,800 hours.

    C. Financial Institution Procedures for the Collection and Maintenance of Employee Mortgage Loan Originators Criminal History Background Reports

    Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 81,600 hours.

    D. Financial Institution Procedures for Public Disclosure of Mortgage Loan Originator's Unique Identifier

    Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 25 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 102,000 hours.

    E. Financial Institution Information Reporting to Registry

    Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 1,020 hours.

    F. Financial Institution Procedures for the Collection of Employee Mortgage Loan Originator's Fingerprints

    Affected Public: FDIC-supervised institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,080.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 4 hours.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 16,320 hours.

    G. Mortgage Loan Originator Initial and Annual Renewal Registration Reporting and Authorization Requirements

    Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 59,592.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 14,898 hours.

    H. Mortgage Loan Originator Registration Updates Upon Change in Circumstances

    Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 29,646.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 7,412 hours.

    I. Mortgage Loan Originator Procedures for Disclosure to Consumers of Unique Identifier

    Affected Public: Employee Mortgage Loan Originators.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 59,292.

    Frequency of Response: Annually.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Estimated Annual Burden: 59,292 hours.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 9th day of October, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Ralph E. Frable, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26237 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION [Docket No. 15-10] Revocation of License No. 017843, Washington Movers, Inc.; Order To Show Cause AGENCY:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    DATES:

    The Order to Show Cause was served October 8, 2015.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Order to show cause.

    Authority:

    46 U.S.C. 41312 & 40903.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 8, the Commission issued an Order to Washington Movers, Inc. to show cause why its ocean transportation intermediary license, FMC No. 017843, should not be revoked as a result of the felony convictions of its owner, President and Qualifying Individual, the failure to report material changes in fact, and the failure to obtain prior approval for a change in corporate name, rendering such licensee no longer qualified to provide ocean transportation intermediary services.

    The Order may be viewed in its entirety at http://www.fmc.gov/15-10.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26171 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreement Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreement to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. A copy of the agreement is available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 012307-001.

    Title: Maersk Line/APL Slot Exchange Agreement.

    Parties: A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S trading under the name of Maersk Line and APL Co. Pte. Ltd./American President Lines, Ltd. (acting as a single party).

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment would revise the amount of space to be chartered, delete obsolete language from the agreement, and change the Maersk entity that is party to the agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012365.

    Title: Volkswagen Konzernlogistik GmbH & Co. OHG.

    Parties: Volkswagen Konzernlogistik GmBH & Co. OHG and Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

    Filing Party: Eric. C. Jeffrey, Esq.; Nixon Peabody LLP; 799 9th Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to each other for the transportation of vehicles and other Ro/Ro cargo in the trade between the U.S. on the one hand, and Mexico, Germany and Canada on the other hand.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26250 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION [Petition No. P4-15] Petition of Crowley Caribbean Services, LLC and Crowley Latin America Services, LLC, for an Exemption From Commission Regulations; Notice of Filing and Request for Comments

    This is to provide notice of filing and to invite comments on or before October 23, 2015, regarding the Petition described below.

    Crowley Caribbean Services, LLC and Crowley Latin America Services, LLC (Petitioners), have petitioned the Commission pursuant to 46 CFR 502.76 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, for an exemption from the Commission's rules requiring individual service contract amendments, 46 CFR 530.10. Specifically, Petitioners explain that on or about October 31, 2015, Crowley will acquire the assets of ocean common carrier Seafreight Line, Ltd. (“Seafreight”), including Seafreight's service contracts and, as such, request that the Commission permit the submission of a “universal notice to the Commission and to all affected service contract parties in lieu of requiring individual filings reflecting amendment by mutual agreement.” In addition, because existing tariffs must be renumbered and republished due to this acquisition, instead of amending each individual contract, Petitioners also seek a waiver to permit insertion of notices in existing Seafreight tariffs and in new “Crowley d/b/a Seafreight” tariffs. Petitioners separately commit to provide each service contract shipper counter-party with electronic notice of this corporate change.

    The Petition in its entirety is posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fmc.gov/p4-15. Comments filed in response to this Petition also will be posted on the Commission's Web site at this location.

    In order for the Commission to make a thorough evaluation of the Petition, interested persons are requested to submit views or arguments in reply to the Petition no later than October 23, 2015. Commenters must send an original and 5 copies to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, 800 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20573-0001, and be served on Petitioners' counsel, Wayne R. Rohde, Cozen O'Connor, 1200 19th Street NW., Washington, DC 20036. A text-searchable PDF copy of the reply must also be sent as an email attachment to [email protected], and include in the subject line: “P4-15, Crowley Caribbean Services Petition.” Replies containing confidential information should not be submitted by email.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26170 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than November 9, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc., Irvine, California, to merge with Security California Bancorp, and thereby indirectly acquire Security Bank of California, both of Riverside, California.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 9, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26268 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than October 29, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Rick Chochon, Columbus, Nebraska; R&T Capital, LLC, Columbus, Nebraska; Revocable Trust Agreement of Thomas K. Hermansen and Charlene A. Hermansen (Trust), Cassville, Missouri; Charlene Hermansen, Cassville, Missouri, individually and as trustee of Trust; Lance Hermansen, St. Libory, Nebraska; Scott Mueller, Columbus, Nebraska; Jordan Mueller, Columbus, Nebraska; Brandon Mueller, Lincoln, Nebraska; Bruce Mueller, Columbus, Nebraska; and Rod Hassebrook, Platte Center, Nebraska; to acquire shares of Rae Valley Financials, Inc., Petersburg, Nebraska, and thereby indirectly acquire Petersburg State Bank, Petersburg, Nebraska.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Kent Steven McKinney and Janet Martin McKinney, as trustees of the McKinney Living Revocable Trust u/a/d 8/3/99, all of Kerrville, Texas, individually, and together with the trust constituting a “McKinney Family Control Group”; to acquire shares of Relationship Financial Corporation, and thereby indirectly acquire Guadalupe National Bank, both of Kerrville, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 9, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26267 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GULF COAST ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION COUNCIL Membership of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Performance Review Board AGENCY:

    Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Membership on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council's Performance Review Board Membership.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(4), the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (GCERC), announce the appointment of those individuals who have been selected to serve as members of GCERC's Performance Review Board. The Performance Review Board is responsible for reviewing performance appraisals and rating of Senior Executive Service (SES) members and making recommendations to the appointing authority on other performance management issues, such as pay adjustments, bonuses and Presidential Rank Awards for SES members. The appointment of these members to the Performance Review Board will be for a period of twenty-four (24) months.

    DATES:

    The period of appointment for those individuals selected for GCERC's Performance Review Board begins on October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Munz, Department of Commerce, Office of Human Resources Management, Office of Executive Resources, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Room 51010, Washington, DC 20230, at (202) 482-4051.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 4314(c)(4), the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (GCERC), announce the appointment of those individuals who have been selected to serve as members of GCERC's Performance Review Board. The Performance Review Board is responsible for (1) reviewing performance appraisals and rating of Senior Executive Service (SES) members and (2) making recommendations to the appointing authority on other performance management issues, such as pay adjustments, bonuses and Presidential Rank Awards for SES members. The appointment of these members to the Performance Review Board will be for a period of twenty-four (24) months.

    DATES:

    The period of appointment for those individuals selected for GCERC's Performance Review Board begins on October 15, 2015. The name, position title, and type of appointment of each member of GCERC's Performance Review Board are set forth below by organization:

    Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary (OS) Pravina Raghaven, Senior Advisor for Policy and Program Integration, Department of Commerce, Career SES, Chairperson (New Member) Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, Limited Term SES (New Member) Mary Pleffner, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, Career SES (New Member) Department of Agriculture Homer Wilkes, Director Gulf Coast Restoration Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Career SES (New Member) Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, State of Texas Stephen Tatum, Executive Assistant and Special Counsel to Commissioner Toby Baker of Texas, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, State of Texas, (New Member) Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State of Alabama Patti Powell, State Lands Director, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State of Alabama (New Member) Dated: September 24, 2015. Denise A. Yaag, Director, Office of Executive Resources, Office of Human Resources Management, Office of the Secretary/Office of the CFO/ASA, Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26232 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0001] Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of a public advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The meeting will be open to the public.

    Name of Committee: Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee.

    General Function of the Committee: To provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on FDA's regulatory issues.

    Date and Time: The meeting will be held on November 24, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Location: FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    Contact Person: Philip Bautista, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31, Rm. 2417, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-9001, FAX: 301-847-8533, [email protected], or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    Agenda: The committee will discuss new drug application (NDA) 206031, drisapersen solution for injection, sponsored by BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., for the treatment of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy with mutations in the dystrophin gene that are amenable to treatment with exon 51 skipping as determined by genetic testing.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's Web site after the meeting. Background material is available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before November 9, 2015. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 12:40 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before October 30, 2015. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by November 2, 2015.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact Philip Bautista at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Jill Hartzler Warner, Associate Commissioner for Special Medical Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26162 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERIVCES Announcement of Solicitation of Written Comments on Modifications of Healthy People 2020 Objectives AGENCY:

    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services solicits written comments regarding new objectives proposed to be added to Healthy People 2020 since the fall 2014 public comment period, as well as written comments proposing new objectives to be included within existing Healthy People 2020 topic areas. Public participation helps shape Healthy People 2020, its framework, objectives, organization, and targets. Healthy People 2020 will provide opportunities for public input periodically throughout the decade to ensure that Healthy People 2020 reflects current public health priorities and public input. The updated set of Healthy People 2020 objectives will be incorporated on www.HealthyPeople.gov. This set will reflect further review and deliberation by the topic area workgroups, Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020, and other Healthy People 2020 stakeholders.

    DATES:

    Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. ET on November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments will be accepted via an online public comment database at http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/history-development/Public-Comment; by mail at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Attn: Public Comment, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Room LL-100, Rockville, MD 20852; fax—(240) 453-8281; or email[email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caitie Blood, MPH, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Room LL-100, Rockville, MD 20852, [email protected] (email), (240) 453-8265 (telephone), (240) 453-8281 (fax).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For three decades, Healthy People has provided a comprehensive set of national 10-year health promotion and disease prevention objectives aimed at improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 objectives provide a framework by presenting a comprehensive picture of the nation's health at the beginning of the decade, establishing national goals and targets to be achieved by the year 2020, and monitoring progress over time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is soliciting the submission of written comments regarding new objectives proposed to be added to Healthy People 2020 since the fall 2014 public comment period.

    Healthy People 2020 is the product of an extensive collaborative process that relies on input from a diverse array of individuals and organizations, both within and outside the federal government, with a common interest in improving the nation's health. Public comments were a cornerstone of Healthy People 2020's development. During the first phase of planning for Healthy People 2020, HHS asked for the public's comments on the vision, mission, and implementation of Healthy People 2020. Those comments helped set the framework for Healthy People 2020. The public was also invited to submit comments on proposed Healthy People 2020 objectives, which helped shape the final set of Healthy People 2020 objectives.

    The public is now invited to comment on new objectives proposed to be added to Healthy People 2020. These new objectives were developed by topic area workgroups led by various agencies within the federal government. They have been reviewed by the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020 and are presented now for the public's review and comment. The public is also invited to suggest additional objectives for consideration that address critical public health issues within existing Healthy People 2020 topic areas. Any proposed new objective must meet all of the objective selection criteria (see below).

    Written comments will be accepted at http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/history-development/Public-Comment during a 30-day public comment period beginning in October 2015. The public will also be able to submit written comments via mail, fax, and email (see contact information above). Comments received in response to this notice will be reviewed and considered by the appropriate topic area workgroup, Federal Interagency Workgroup on Healthy People 2020, and other Healthy People 2020 stakeholders.

    Objective Selection Criteria

    The following nine criteria should be taken into consideration when commenting on the proposed new objectives or suggesting additional objectives.

    1. The result to be achieved should be important and understandable to a broad audience and support the Healthy People 2020 goals.

    2. Objectives should be prevention oriented and should address health improvements that can be achieved through population-based and individual actions, and systems-based, environmental, health-service, or policy interventions.

    3. Objectives should drive actions that will work toward the achievement of the proposed targets (defined as quantitative values to be achieved by the year 2020).

    4. Objectives should be useful and reflect issues of national importance. Federal agencies, states, localities, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors should be able to use objectives to target efforts in schools, communities, work sites, health practices, and other environments.

    5. Objectives should be measurable and should address a range of issues, such as: Behavior and health outcomes; availability of, access to, and content of behavioral and health service interventions; socio-environmental conditions; and community capacity—directed toward improving health outcomes and quality of life across the life span. (Community capacity is defined as the ability of a community to plan, implement, and evaluate health strategies.)

    6. Continuity and comparability of measured phenomena from year to year are important, thus, when appropriate, retention of objectives from previous Healthy People iterations is encouraged. However, in instances where objectives and/or measures have proven ill-suited to the purpose or are inadequate, new improved objectives should be developed. Whether or not an objective has met its target in a previous Healthy People iteration should not be the sole basis for retaining or archiving an objective.

    7. The objectives should be supported by the best available scientific evidence. The objective selection and review processes should be flexible enough to allow revisions to objectives in order to reflect major updates or new knowledge.

    8. Objectives should address population disparities. These include populations categorized by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, and geographic location. For particular health issues, additional special populations should be addressed, based on an examination of the available evidence on vulnerability, health status, and disparate care.

    9. Healthy People 2020, like past versions, is heavily data driven. Valid, reliable, nationally representative data and data systems should be used for Healthy People 2020 objectives. Each objective must have (1) a data source, or potential data source, identified, (2) baseline data and (3) assurance of at least one additional data point throughout the decade.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Don Wright, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26244 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-32-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable materials, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel—Harnessing Genome Editing Technologies to Functionally Validate Genetic Variants in Substance Use Disorders (R21/R33).

    Date: November 6, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Jagadeesh S. Rao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 02892, 301-443-9511, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel—Phase II In-person Interview: NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS Research (DP1).

    Date: December 1, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Hiromi Ono, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Affairs, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4238, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-402-6020, [email protected].

    Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 8, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26124 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 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 contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; HIV Staged Vaccine Development (N01).

    Date: November 3, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Room 8F100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: P. Chris Roberts, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G22, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-7616, 240-669-5053, paul.rober[email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 8, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26125 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Special Topics in HIV/AIDS Behavioral Research

    Date: November 5, 2015.

    Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Mark P Rubert, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5218, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1775, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Conference and Meetings: Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP).

    Date: November 10, 2015

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Cathleen L Cooper, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2130, MSC 7720, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-443-4512, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Vascular and Hematology.

    Date: November 12-13, 2015.

    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Anshumali Chaudhari, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4124, MSC 7802, Bethesda, MD 20892 (301) 435-1210, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 9, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26228 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0694] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0040 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0040, Application for Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate, Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate for Entry Level Ratings, Small Vessel Sea Service Form, DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing Form, Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or Other Convictions, Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate, Recognition of Foreign Certificate. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0694] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2100 2ND STREET SW., STOP 7101, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

    Contact Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0694], and must be received by December 14, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts; you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    Title: Application for Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate, Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate for Entry Level Ratings, Small Vessel Sea Service Form, DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing Form, Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or Other Convictions, Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate, Recognition of Foreign Certificate.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0040.

    Summary: The Application for Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate, Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate for Entry Level Ratings, Small Vessel Sea Service Form, DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing Form, Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or Other Convictions, contain the following information: Signature of applicant and supplementary material required to show that the mariner meets the mandatory requirements for the credential or medical certificate sought; proof of applicant passing all applicable vision, hearing, medical, and/or physical exams; negative chemical test for dangerous drugs; discharges or other documentary evidence of sea service indicating the name, tonnage, propulsion mode and power of the vessels, dates of service, capacity in which the applicant served, and on what waters; and disclosure documentation for narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or other convictions.

    Need: Title 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) subtitle II, part E, title 46 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) part 10, subpart B, and International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW Convention) and the STCW Code, including the STCW Final Rule (Docket No. USCG-2004-17914) published on December 24, 2013, requires MMC and Medical Certificate applicants to apply at one of the Coast Guard's seventeen Regional Examination Centers located nationwide. MMC's are established for individuals who are required to hold a credential under subtitle II. The Coast Guard has the responsibility of issuing MMC's and Medical Certificates to applicants found qualified as to age, character, habits of life, experience, professional qualifications, and physical fitness. The instruments contained within OMB Control No. 1625-0040 serve as a means for the applicant to apply for a MMC and Medical Certificate.

    Forms: CG-719B, Application for Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC); CG-719C, Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI, and/or Other Convictions; CG-719K, Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate; CG-719K/E, Application for Merchant Mariner Medical Certificate for Entry Level Ratings; CG-719S, Small Vessel Sea Service Form; CG-719P, DOT/USCG Periodic Drug Testing Form.

    Respondents: Applicants for MMC, whether original, renewal, duplicate, raise of grade, or a new endorsement on a previously issued MMC. Applicants for Medical Certificates include National and STCW credentialed mariners, and first-class pilots.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains at 47,444 hours a year (CG-719B = 8,475 hours, CG-719C = 1,413 hours, CG-719K = 16,440 hours, CG-719K/E = 2,283 hours, CG719P = 4,708 hours, and CG-719S = 14,125 hours).

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: October 5, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26283 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0637] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0108 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0108, Standard Numbering System for Undocumented Vessels. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0637] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2100 2ND STREET SW., STOP 7101, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek an extension of approval for the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0637], and must be received by December 14, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request:

    Title: Standard Numbering System for Undocumented Vessels.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0108.

    Summary: The Standard Numbering System collects information on undocumented vessels and vessel owners operating on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies use information from the system for enforcement of boating laws or theft and fraud investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the need has increased for identification of undocumented vessels to meet port security and other missions to safeguard the homeland.

    Need: Subsection 12301(a) of title 46 United States Code, requires undocumented vessels equipped with propulsion machinery of any kind to be numbered in the State where the vessel is principally operated. In 46 U.S.C. 12302(a), Congress authorized the Secretary to prescribe, by regulation, a Standard Numbering System (SNS). The Secretary shall approve a State numbering system if that system is consistent with the SNS. The Secretary has delegated his authority under 46 U.S.C. 12301 and 12302 to Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. DHS Delegation No. 0170.1. The regulations requiring the numbering of undocumented vessels are in 33 CFR part 173 and regulations establishing the SNS for States to voluntarily carry out this function are contained in 33 CFR part 174.

    In States that do not have an approved system, the Federal Government (U.S. Coast Guard) must administer the vessel numbering system. Currently, all 56 States and Territories have approved numbering systems. The approximate number of undocumented vessels registered by the States in 2014 was nearly 12 million.

    The SNS collects information on undocumented vessels and vessel owners. States submit reports annually to the Coast Guard on the number, size, construction, etc., of vessels they have numbered. That information is used by the Coast Guard in (1) publication of an annual “Boating Statistics” report required by 46 U.S.C. 6102(b), and (2) for allocation of Federal funds to assist States in carrying out the Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program established by 46 U.S.C. chapter 131.

    On a daily basis or as warranted, Federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel use SNS information from the States' numbering systems for enforcement of boating laws or theft and fraud investigations. In addition, when encountering a vessel suspected of illegal activity, information from the SNS increases officer safety by assisting boarding officers in determining how best to approach a vessel. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the need has increased for identification of undocumented vessels and their owners for port security and other missions to safeguard the homeland, although the statutory requirement for numbering of vessels dates back to 1918.

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Owners of all undocumented vessels propelled by machinery are required by Federal law to apply for a number from the issuing authority of the State in which the vessel is to be principally operated. In addition, States may require other vessels, such as sailboats or even canoes and kayaks, to be numbered. “Owners” may include individuals or households, non-profit organizations, and small businesses (e.g., liveries that offer recreational vessels for rental by the public) or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: There are no recordkeeping requirements for this information collection. The frequency for the reporting requirements is, one time.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden has decreased from 286,458 hours to 257,986 hours a year due to a change in methodology.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: October 5, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26194 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Modification of the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) Regarding Future Updates and New Method of Submission of Accepted Documents AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document announces U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) plan to modify the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning document imaging, known as the Document Image System (DIS) test. The DIS test allows Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) participants to submit electronic images of a specific set of CBP and Partner Government Agency (PGA) forms, documents, and supporting information to CBP via a CBP-approved Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

    This notice announces several changes to the DIS test. First, eligibility to participate in the test is being expanded to include anyone transmitting cargo release or entry summary information to ACE. Second, CBP has added forms to the list of forms and documents supported by the DIS test. Third, the list of eligible forms and documents will now be maintained on the CBP Web site. Fourth, all future additions and changes to the list of eligible forms and documents will be announced on the CBP Web site, rather than by Federal Register notice. Finally, the DIS test is being amended to permit participants to submit all DIS eligible forms and documents as attachments to email, in addition to the methods of transmission previously authorized. This notice provides DIS test details including commencement date for the modifications announced herein, eligibility, procedural and documentation requirements, and test development and evaluation methods.

    DATES:

    The modifications of the DIS test made by this notice are effective on October 15, 2015. The test will continue until concluded by way of announcement in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice and any aspect of the test may be submitted at any time during the test via email to Monica Crockett at [email protected] In the subject line of your email, please indicate “Comment on Document Image System (DIS).”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For policy-related questions, contact Monica Crockett at [email protected] For technical questions related to Automated Broker Interface (ABI) transmissions, contact your assigned client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should direct their questions to Steven Zaccaro at [email protected] Any partner government agency (PGA) interested in participating in DIS should contact Elizabeth McQueen at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established in Subtitle B of Title VI—Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2170, December 8, 1993) (Customs Modernization Act) (19 U.S.C. 1411-14). Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization was on trade compliance and the development of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the planned successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial trade processing which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and all of its communities of interest.

    The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions. CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE component functionality designed to introduce new functionality or to replace a specific legacy ACS function. Each release will begin with a test and will end with mandatory compliance with the new ACE feature and the retirement of the legacy ACS function. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases.

    On April 6, 2012, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a NCAP test called the Document Image System (DIS) test. See 77 FR 20835. The DIS test notice allowed ACE participants to submit electronic images of a specific set of CBP and Partner Government Agency (PGA) forms and supporting information to CBP via a CBP-approved Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

    On July 23, 2013, CBP published a subsequent notice in the Federal Register announcing a second phase, Phase II, of the DIS test and modifications to both the DIS test and the ACE Cargo Release test (formerly known as the Simplified Entry test). That notice reduced the metadata elements required for each DIS transmission and allowed the submission of certain documents through DIS earlier in the importation process, i.e. at the time of manifest. In Phase II, CBP also expanded the pool of eligible participants to include software providers who merely transmit data electronically on behalf of ACE participating importers or brokers. Finally, in Phase II, CBP specified forms that were eligible to be transmitted via a CBP-approved EDI to support ACE Cargo Release filings (previously known as Simplified Entry filings). See 78 FR 44142.

    On June 25, 2014, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a third phase, Phase III, of the DIS test and adding to the list of documents and forms supported by the DIS test. See 79 FR 36083. In addition to the new documents and forms, that notice listed all CBP and PGA forms and documents which the DIS test supported as of that date. On January 30, 2015, CBP published a notice modifying Phase III of the DIS test to permit importers and brokers participating in the DIS test to file DIS test-supported APHIS documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) file format, via email to [email protected] See 80 FR 5126. The list of APHIS documents which may be sent in PDF file format is set forth in the January 30, 2015 notice.

    For the convenience of the public, a chronological listing of Federal Register publications detailing ACE test developments is set forth below in Section VI, entitled, “Development of ACE Prototypes.”

    The procedures, terms, conditions and rules set forth in the previous DIS notices remain in effect unless otherwise explicitly changed by this or subsequent notices published in the Federal Register.

    Authorization for the Test

    The Customs Modernization Act authorizes the Commissioner of CBP to conduct limited test programs or procedures designed to evaluate planned components of the NCAP. This test is authorized pursuant to section 101.9(b) of the CBP Regulations (19 CFR 101.9(b)) which provides for the testing of NCAP programs or procedures. See Treasury Decision (T.D.) 95-21, 60 FR 14211 (March 16, 1995).

    Document Image System (DIS) Test Program

    This notice announces Phase IV of the DIS test. Under the DIS test, parties who file entry or entry summaries in ACE are allowed to submit specified CBP and PGA forms and documents via a CBP-approved EDI. DIS capabilities will continue to be delivered in multiple phases. As PGA Message Sets are programmed into ACE, CBP envisions that the documentation filed in DIS will be significantly reduced to only those documents that continue to be paper based (e.g. foreign certificates).

    The first phase of the DIS test enabled participating importers and brokers to transmit images of specified CBP and PGA forms and documents with supporting information via a CBP-approved EDI in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) format, in lieu of conventional paper methods. See 77 FR 20835 (April 6, 2012). In Phase II, CBP reduced the number of metadata elements required for each document and specified forms that were eligible to be submitted earlier, i.e., at the time of manifest, or transmitted via a CBP-approved EDI to support ACE Cargo Release filings (previously known as Simplified Entry filings). See 78 FR 44142 (July 23, 2013). Additionally, the pool of eligible participants was expanded to include software providers that merely transmitted electronic data received from filers for transmission to CBP. In Phase III, CBP added forms and documents to the list of documentation supported by the DIS test and provided alternative methods of transmission. See 79 FR 36083 (June 25, 2014). Phase III was further modified to allow transmission of limited documents via email. See 80 FR 5126 (January 30, 2015).

    This notice announces Phase IV of the DIS test. In Phase IV, the eligibility requirements are modified to permit any filer transmitting cargo release or entry summary data, information, forms, or documents to use DIS. Phase IV also expands the list of documents eligible for submission under the DIS test. Because CBP frequently updates the list of forms and documents eligible to be transmitted using DIS, the complete list will be maintained on the CBP Web site, at the following address: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/features under the Document Image System tab. CBP will no longer publish announcements in the Federal Register to notify ACE participants when new CBP or PGA forms may be submitted pursuant to the DIS test, or when DIS test-supported forms may be submitted via email. All future additions and changes to the list of forms and documents eligible to be transmitted under the DIS test will be announced on the CBP Web site. Finally, this notice announces that DIS eligible forms and documents may be submitted as attachments to an email as an alternative submission via DIS.

    Test Participation I. Eligibility Requirements

    As announced in this notice, Phase IV of the DIS test alters the eligibility requirements for participation in the DIS test. Now, any filer transmitting cargo release or entry summary data, information, forms or documents to ACE pursuant to the Cargo Release (80 FR 16414), or Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (76 FR 37136) tests is eligible to use DIS. Such filers must use a software program that has completed ACE certification testing. Additionally, CBP is expanding the list of CBP- and PGA-approved forms and documents that may be submitted as part of the DIS test. All other eligibility criteria as specified in prior DIS test notices remain the same, to the extent they are not inconsistent with this notice.

    II. Rules for Submitting Images in Document Image System (DIS)

    The following rules apply to all participants involved in the DIS testing process:

    • In Phase II of the DIS test, CBP indicated two categories of documents which could be transmitted through DIS: (1) Documents that require a request from CBP or a PGA prior to transmission; and (2) documents that may be transmitted without a prior request. Beginning with Phase III, the rules for submitting images through DIS were updated as follows: (1) If the document transmitted is required to obtain the release of merchandise, including a release certified from ACE entry summary, the document may be transmitted without a prior request from CBP or the PGA; and (2) if the document is transmitted in support of entry summary pursuant to a request from CBP or the PGA, the document may be transmitted. Only eligible documents and forms required for the release of merchandise or requested by CBP should be transmitted using DIS. ACE will acknowledge every successful DIS transmission. Any form or document submitted via DIS is an electronic copy of an original document or form and both the original and the imaged copy are subject to the recordkeeping requirements of 19 CFR part 163 and any applicable PGA recordkeeping requirements.

    • Test participants may only transmit forms and documents that CBP has permitted to be transmitted under this test. See documents supported in Section III below. If CBP cannot accept the form, document or information electronically, the filer must file using paper.

    • Every form or document transmitted through DIS must be legible and must be a complete, accurate, and unaltered copy of the original document.

    III. Documents Supported in the Fourth Phase of the Test

    The forms and documents listed in the first, second and third phases of the DIS test may continue to be transmitted using DIS. Upon the effective date of this notice, CBP is permitting additional forms and documents to be transmitted using DIS. For a complete list of forms and documents that may be submitted using DIS, please go to the Document Image System tab at: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/features. To ensure the availability of the most up-to-date information regarding DIS-eligible forms, CBP will maintain the list of forms and documents on the Web page. The list is frequently updated as PGA functionality in ACE increases, and as more PGAs become operational in ACE. ACE participants should check the Web site on a regular basis to determine whether a particular form or document may be transmitted using DIS. As changes are made to the list of eligible forms, they will be announced on the CBP Web site and may also be announced via the Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS). Therefore, CBP also recommends that trade members subscribe to CSMS to receive email notifications from CBP regarding important information posted to CBP.gov. For information about subscribing to CSMS, please go to: http:­//apps.cbp.gov/csms/csms.asp?display_page=1. The DIS test is limited to the forms listed on the Web site. Please note that not all forms referenced in the DIS Implementation Guidelines are currently eligible for the DIS test. The DIS Implementation Guidelines are available on CBP.gov at: http://www.cbp.gov/document/forms/dis-implementation-guide.

    IV. Recordkeeping

    Any form or document submitted via DIS is an electronic copy of an original document or form and both the original and the imaged copy are subject to the recordkeeping requirements of 19 CFR part 163 and any applicable PGA recordkeeping requirements. Original documents transmitted via this test must be retained under the general CBP recordkeeping requirements in 19 CFR part 163, and any PGA's recordkeeping requirements, and made available upon request by CBP or a PGA.

    V. Technical Specifications

    In Phase II, the DIS test reduced the number of metadata elements required for each document to only those necessary to identify the transmitter, the document preparer, the CBP request (if applicable), the document and description, and the associated transaction. Documents submitted in an XML format must be sent via secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Secure Web Services, or existing EDI Message Queue (MQ) interfaces. All responses back to test participants who submit using this format will also be sent in the form of an XML message. For additional information pertaining to technical specifications, please see the DIS Implementation Guidelines which can be accessed on CBP.gov at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/document/forms/dis-implementation-guide.

    This notice also announces that, in addition to the manner of transmission authorized in previous DIS test notices, test participants may send DIS authorized forms and documents as an attachment to an email. Test participants may, at their option, transmit any authorized forms and documents in XML format, as specified in prior DIS test notices, or as an attachment to an email, pursuant to this notice. Emails should be submitted as follows:

    • Submit to [email protected]

    • The subject line should begin with CAT=GEN and be followed by either: The bill of lading number, the SCAC code, and the action requested (add, delete or replace), separated by semi-colons; or the entry number, the filer code, and the action requested (add, delete or replace), separated by semi-colons.

    • The body of the email should contain the following information, separated by semi-colons: A point of contact and submitter email address, and the agency or agencies that should receive or review the information submitted.

    • The name of the attachment should begin with an alphanumeric Document Code (Documents Codes may be found in the DIS Implementation Guidelines) and may be followed by whatever name the submitter wishes to use.

    CBP prefers that attachments to emails use the Portable Document Format (PDF) file format; however, the following file formats are also allowed: Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), MS Word Documents and MS Excel Spreadsheets. The Tagged Image Format (TIF) file format is not allowed. Emails and their attachments cannot exceed 10 megabytes (MBs). If the 10 MB limit is insufficient, the email/attachment submission must be broken down into smaller submissions/files.

    VI. Development of ACE Prototypes

    A chronological listing of Federal Register publications detailing ACE test developments is set forth below.

    • ACE Portal Accounts and Subsequent Revision Notices: 67 FR 21800 (May 1, 2002); 69 FR 5360 and 69 FR 5362 (February 4, 2004); 69 FR 54302 (September 8, 2004); 70 FR 5199 (February 1, 2005).

    • ACE System of Records Notice: 71 FR 3109 (January 19, 2006).

    • Terms/Conditions for Access to the ACE Portal and Subsequent Revisions: 72 FR 27632 (May 16, 2007); 73 FR 38464 (July 7, 2008).

    • ACE Non-Portal Accounts and Related Notice: 70 FR 61466 (October 24, 2005); 71 FR 15756 (March 29, 2006).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR I) Capabilities: 72 FR 59105 (October 18, 2007).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR II) Capabilities: 73 FR 50337 (August 26, 2008); 74 FR 9826 (March 6, 2009).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR III) Capabilities: 74 FR 69129 (December 30, 2009).

    • ACE Entry Summary, Accounts and Revenue (ESAR IV) Capabilities: 76 FR 37136 (June 24, 2011).

    • Post-Entry Amendment (PEA) Processing Test: 76 FR 37136 (June 24, 2011).

    • ACE Announcement of a New Start Date for the National Customs Automation Program Test of Automated Manifest Capabilities for Ocean and Rail Carriers: 76 FR 42721 (July 19, 2011).

    • ACE Simplified Entry: 76 FR 69755 (November 9, 2011).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS): 77 FR 20835 (April 6, 2012).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Simplified Entry: Modification of Participant Selection Criteria and Application Process: 77 FR 48527 (August 14, 2012).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Regarding Reconciliation for Filing Certain Post-Importation Preferential Tariff Treatment Claims under Certain FTAs: 78 FR 27984 (May 13, 2013).

    • Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE): 78 FR 44142 (July 23, 2013).

    • Modification of Two National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Tests Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System (DIS) and Simplified Entry (SE); Correction: 78 FR 53466 (August 29, 2013).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release (formerly known as Simplified Entry): 78 FR 66039 (November 4, 2013).

    • Post-Summary Corrections to Entry Summaries Filed in ACE Pursuant to the ESAR IV Test: Modifications and Clarifications: 78 FR 69434 (November 19, 2013).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food Safety and Inspection Service Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set Through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE): 78 FR 75931 (December 13, 2013).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release for Ocean and Rail Carriers: 79 FR 6210 (February 3, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release to Allow Importers and Brokers to Certify From ACE Entry Summary: 79 FR 24744 (May 1, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release for Truck Carriers: 79 FR 25142 (May 2, 2014).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System: 79 FR 36083 (June 25, 2014).

    • Announcement of eBond Test: 79 FR 70881 (November 28, 2014).

    • eBond Test Modifications and Clarifications: Continuous Bond Executed Prior to or Outside the eBond Test May Be Converted to an eBond by the Surety and Principal, Termination of an eBond by Filing Identification Number, and Email Address Correction: 80 FR 899 (January 7, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Document Image System Relating to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Document Submissions: 80 FR 5126 (January 30, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the use of Partner Government Agency Message Set through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) for the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 80 FR 6098 (February 4, 2015).

    • Announcement of Modification of ACE Cargo Release Test to Permit the Combined Filing of Cargo Release and Importer Security Filing (ISF) Data: 80 FR 7487 (February 10, 2015).

    • Modification of NCAP Test Concerning ACE Cargo Release for Type 03 Entries and Advanced Capabilities for Truck Carriers: 80 FR 16414 (March 27, 2015).

    • Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Air Cargo Test: 80 FR 39790 (July 10, 2015).

    • National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Concerning Remote Location Filing Entry Procedures in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the Use of the Document Image System for the Submission of Invoices and the Use of eBonds for the Transmission of Single Transaction Bonds: 80 FR 40079 (July 13, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set Regarding Types of Transportation Modes and Certain Data Required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): 80 FR 47938 (August 10, 2015).

    • Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test: 80 FR 50644 (August 20, 2015).

    • Modification of National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Certain Data Required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE): 80 FR 52051 (August 27, 2015).

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Brenda B. Smith, Assistant Commissioner Office of International Trade.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26213 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0004] Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special Bond 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: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond (CBP Form 3495). CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or Information collected. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before December 14, 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 (Public Law 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: Application for Exportation of Articles under Special Bond.

    OMB Number: 1651-0004.

    Form Number: CBP Form 3495.

    Abstract: CBP Form 3495, Application for Exportation of Articles Under Special Bond, is an application for exportation of articles entered under temporary bond pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1202, Chapter 98, subchapter XIII, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and 19 CFR 10.38. CBP Form 3495 is used by importers to notify CBP that the importer intends to export goods that were subject to a duty exemption based on a temporary stay in this country. It also serves as a permit to export in order to satisfy the importer's obligation to export the same goods and thereby get a duty exemption. This form is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms?title=3495&=Apply.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information being collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 500.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 30.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 15,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,000.

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26214 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002] Notice of Maximum Amount of Assistance Under the Individuals and Households Program AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    FEMA gives notice of the maximum amount for assistance under the Individuals and Households Program for emergencies and major disasters declared on or after October 1, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 1, 2015, and applies to emergencies and major disasters declared on or after October 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher B. Smith, Recovery Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 212-1000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5174, prescribes that FEMA must annually adjust the maximum amount for assistance provided under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP). FEMA gives notice that the maximum amount of IHP financial assistance provided to an individual or household under section 408 of the Stafford Act with respect to any single emergency or major disaster is $33,000. The increase in award amount as stated above is for any single emergency or major disaster declared on or after October 1, 2015. In addition, in accordance with 44 CFR 61.17(c), this adjustment includes the maximum amount of available coverage under any Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP) issued.

    FEMA bases the adjustment on an increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers of 0.2 percent for the 12-month period, which ended in August 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor released the information on September 16, 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.048, Federal Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs. W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26123 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5831-N-49] Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection to OMB; Emergency Comment Request Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection: Connect Home Baseline Survey Data Collection AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HUD has requested from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) emergency approval of the information collection described in this notice.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: October 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Anna Guido at Colette Pollard@hud.gov or telephone 202-402-3400. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. This is not a toll-free number. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD has submitted to OMB a request for approval of the information collection described in section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Connect Home Baseline Survey Data Collection.

    OMB Approval Number: 2528-New.

    Type of Request New collection.

    Form Number: Survey.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The purpose of this effort is to support communities in the 28 ConnectHome sites in administering a baseline survey of targeted residents' current at-home Internet access. The survey administration will include the development of an outreach plan with HUD ConnectHome collaborators and communities; selection of a sample of participants to be surveyed; administration of an initial baseline internet access survey; and submission of a database, codebook, frequency output tables for collected data; and submission of a summary analysis of the collected data.

    The baseline survey will provide HUD with baseline measures of in-home high-speed internet access, barriers to access among those without access, and types of devices used to access the internet. Upon establishing baseline measures, HUD's ConnectHome team will use this information to support local efforts in closing the digital divide.

    Respondents (describe): The survey is expected to be administered by mail or by PHA staff in person or by phone to targeted assisted households at 28 ConnectHome sites. Communities are targeted different populations, which the survey's sampling process will recognize: some communities are targeting only public housing households with children, while others are also targeting voucher holders or residents of HUD multifamily housing in addition or instead.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,800.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 2,800.

    Frequency of Response: One time.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes (.0833 hours).

    Total Estimated Burdens: 233.33 (233 hours and 33 minutes).

    Note:

    Preparer of this notice may substitute the chart for everything beginning with estimated number of respondents above:

    Information collection Number
  • of respondents
  • Frequency of response Responses
  • per annum
  • Burden hour
  • per response
  • Annual burden hours Hourly cost
  • per response
  • Annual cost
    Total 2,800 Once 2,800 .0833 233.33 $100.00 $23,333.33
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35.

    Dated: October 8, 2015. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26271 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5823-N-01] Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Points of Contact for Lienholders To Ensure Payment of Taxes Liens and Other Types of Liens on FHA Acquired Single Family Properties AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing-FHA Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of FHA points of contact for payment.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice proactively provides lienholders of single family properties acquired by FHA in payment of mortgage insurance claims with FHA points of contact to ensure payment of tax liens and other types of liens on these single family properties. FHA uses contractors to manage these properties and make property charge payments. Inadvertently at times, these payments remain unpaid. This Notice provides direction for taxing authorities and similarly situated entities such as homeowners associations owed money for finding the proper point of contact at HUD for payment. As litigation to enforce liens should be a last resort, HUD is providing these specific points of contact that lienholders can use to obtain payment and avoid litigation. Through a related notice published elsewhere in today's Federal Register, HUD provides separate points of contact for payment of taxes and other property charges which have not risen to lien status. Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, HUD is publishing an interpretive rule regarding the procedures to be followed in bringing an action to foreclose HUD's ownership interest in properties with such liens that are unpaid.

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivery Himes, Director, Office of Single Family Asset Management, Office of Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 9172, Washington, DC 20410-8000, telephone number 202-708-1672. (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    This Notice provides lienholders on single family properties acquired by FHA in payment of mortgage insurance claims with a Point of Contact in each of the four Homeownership Centers (HOCs). Each one of the four HOCs contains in its organizational structure the FHA operations staff who oversee much of the day-to-day work regarding FHA programs. Each HOC oversees on average 13 states/jurisdictions for FHA activities and has a Real Estate Owned (REO) division that handles the day-to-day oversight of FHA's acquired properties so they are (1) protected from vandalism and deterioration and (2) aggressively marketed for as high a price as possible. This Notice provides that the HUD offices that manage these properties are the proper recipients for tax bills and billings of a similar nature. In most cases, having a known point of contact to send billings should obviate the need to have to bring suit against HUD to levy on a property.

    II. Points of Contact and Procedure

    HUD's FHA single family REO properties are managed and marketed out of four HOCs that are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Santa Ana, California (with counsel for Santa Ana being located in San Francisco).

    Tax bills, condominium and homeowner association fee billings, and billings for special assessments on properties owned by FHA that have arisen to lien status are to be sent to the attention of the director of the FHA REO Divisions in the HOC which has jurisdiction over the property that is subject to the taxes and/or fees. These bills should be sent in a timely manner to the appropriate HOC so that the HOC can remit payment promptly to avoid need for litigation to enforce any liens associated with such billings.

    Philadelphia HOC—has jurisdiction over properties located in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

    The Philadelphia REO Director is the point of contact and can be reached by calling 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342) or by writing to: Attention: Single Family HOC-REO Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3380.

    Atlanta HOC—has jurisdiction over properties located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida.

    The Atlanta REO Director is the point of contact and can be reached by calling 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342) or by writing to: Attention: Single Family HOC-REO Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Five Points Plaza, 40 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30303-2806.

    Denver HOC—has jurisdiction over properties located in the Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

    The Denver REO Director is the point of contact and can be reached by calling 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342) or by writing to: Attention: Single Family HOC-REO Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, UMB Plaza, 1670 Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80202-4801.

    Santa Ana HOC—has jurisdiction over properties located in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, Guam and Arizona.

    The Santa Ana REO Director is the point of contact and can be reached by calling 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342) or by writing to: Attention: Single Family HOC-REO Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Santa Ana Federal Building, 34 Civic Center Plaza, Room 7015, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4003.

    If the addresses of the HOCs and POCs change over time, HUD will inform the public of such changes as promptly as possible by Federal Register Notice or other means of mass communication.

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant, Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26167 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5823-N-02] Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Points of Contact To Ensure Payment of Taxes and Homeowners Association Fees and Other Property Charges That Have Not Arisen to Lien Status on FHA Acquired Single Family Properties AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing-FHA Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of FHA points of contact for payment.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice proactively provides taxing authorities and others that are owed money on HUD-owned single family properties acquired by payment of FHA mortgage insurance claims, points of contact to ensure payment of taxes, homeowners association fees and other property charges that have not risen to lien status under state law on these properties. FHA uses contractors to manage these properties and make property charge payments. Inadvertently at times, these payments may remain unpaid. This Notice provides direction for taxing authorities and associations owed money (where there is no lien) for finding the appropriate proper point of contact for payment. Through a related notice published elsewhere in today's Federal Register, HUD provides separate points of contact for payment of taxes and property charges which have risen to lien status. As litigation to enforce liens should be a last resort, HUD is also providing specific points of contact that taxing authorities and others can use to obtain payment in lien cases and avoid litigation. Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, HUD is also publishing an interpretive rule regarding the procedures to be followed in bringing an action to foreclose HUD's ownership interest in properties when these property charges have risen to lien status due to nonpayment of the taxes, fees and other charges.

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivery Himes, Director, Office of Single Family Asset Management, Office of Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 9172, Washington, DC 20410-8000, telephone number 202-708-1672 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    HUD contracts with private Management and Marketing (M&M) contractors to handle the sale of its inventory of single family acquired properties. HUD published a delegation of authority, authorizing its M&M contractor to act on behalf of HUD in matters regarding the management and sale of residential property acquired by HUD, including the direct payment of association fees, taxes and other property charges that have not risen to lien status due to nonpayment of these charges on its real estate owned (REO) inventory.

    II. Points of Contact and Procedure

    In most cases, having a known point of contact for payment of billings should expedite the payment of taxes, association fees and other property charges that have not risen to lien status under state law on HUD-owned single family properties acquired by payment of FHA mortgage insurance claims. HUD requests that all invoices or inquiries pertaining to such unpaid property charges be remitted to the appropriate geographical M&M contractor. In order to assist taxing authorities and homeowner associations, or other municipal entities, identify the appropriate M&M contractor to remit invoices, HUD has provided the following link that will identify by the state or portion of a state in which a specific property is located, the contact information for the geographically responsible M&M contractor as follows: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/reo/mm/mminfo, and follow the “AM Awardees Contact Information” hyperlink located at the bottom of the page.

    For further information or for additional assistance in identifying the appropriate M&M contractor to contact, place contact the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-CALLFHA (800-225-5342).

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26169 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5823-D-01] Redelegation of Authority Within the Office of General Counsel AGENCY:

    Office of General Counsel, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of redelegation of authority.

    SUMMARY:

    Through this notice, the General Counsel authorizes Office of General Counsel (OGC) Regional Counsel to redelegate to staff within their operating jurisdictions the authority to accept service of summonses, subpoenas and other judicial process for the foreclosure of tax and other liens on HUD-owned single family properties that HUD acquires through the payment of mortgage insurance claims.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 7, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John B. Shumway, Assistant General Counsel, Administrative Law Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 9262, telephone number 202-402-5190. (This is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number through TTY by calling 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, HUD is publishing an interpretive rule that discusses HUD's longstanding interpretation of the phrase “court of competent jurisdiction” in the “sue and be sued” clause contained in section 1, Title I of the National Housing Act (NHA) (12 U.S.C. 1702). More specifically, this provision authorizes the Secretary to sue and be sued in any court of competent jurisdiction. HUD's interpretive rule clarifies the meaning of a court of competent jurisdiction, and is based on the Quiet Title Act, (Pub. L. 92-562, 86 Stat. 1176) (28 U.S.C. 2409a and 28 U.S.C. 1346). The purpose of HUD's interpretive rule is to assist the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) efficiently manage its Real Estate Owned (REO) inventory and ensure prompt payment for taxes and other fees and assessments. HUD's interpretive rule concludes that when an action is brought to foreclose a lien on a property in which the government owns, the Federal District Court where the property is situated (or the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia) is the court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to the Quiet Title Act and HUD's interpretation of section 1, Title I of the National Housing Act. HUD's interpretive rule does not apply to situations where HUD does not hold title to the single family property, but holds only a mortgage or other lien interest. In those situations, lienholders would follow the procedures contained at 28 U.S.C. 2410.

    On July 18, 2011 at 76 FR 42463, HUD published a Consolidated Redelegation of Authority to the Office of General Counsel. Section B.1. of the redelegation delegates to the Associate General Counsel for Litigation in Headquarters and to the ten Regional Counsel the authority to accept service of all summonses, subpoenas, and other judicial, administrative, or legislative processes directed to the Secretary or an employee of HUD Headquarters in an official capacity. This section also authorized the Associate General Counsel for Litigation to redelegate this authority within the Office of Litigation and the Regional Counsel to redelegate this authority to the Associate Regional Counsel for Housing Finance and Programs in their jurisdictions. The July 18, 2011, Redelegation, however, prohibited this authority from being further redelegated.

    To effectuate this interpretive rule, however, the General Counsel has determined to revise Section B.1. of the Consolidated Redelegation of Authority to the Office of General Counsel. Specifically, the General Counsel has determined that authority to accept service of summonses, subpoenas, and other judicial, administrative, or legislative processes should be expanded to ensure a timely response to litigation to enforce liens on REO properties to protect and secure HUD's interest in the property. To this end, this Redelegation of Authority authorizes Regional Counsel to redelegate authority to accept service of all summonses, subpoenas, and other judicial, administrative, or legislative processes directed to the Secretary in an official capacity to staff within their operating jurisdictions.

    As a result, today's Redelegation of Authority revises Section B.1. of the July 18, 2011, Consolidated Redelegation of Authority to the Office of General Counsel, to read as follows:

    1. To the Associate General Counsel for Litigation and to Regional Counsel, the authority to accept, on behalf of the Secretary, service of all summonses, subpoenas, and other judicial, administrative, or legislative processes directed to HUD or the Secretary or to a HUD employee in an official capacity. The Associate General Counsel for Litigation may redelegate this authority within the Office of Litigation and the Regional Counsel may redelegate this authority within their operating jurisdictions.

    With the exception of the revisions to Section B.1., this redelegation of authority does not revoke or supersede any previous redelegations of authority included in the July 18, 2011, Consolidated Redelegation of Authority to the Office of General Counsel.

    Authority:

    Section 7(d) Department of Housing and Urban Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3535(d)).

    Dated: October 7, 2015. Helen R. Kanovsky, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26165 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2015-0149; FXIA16710900000-167-FF09A30000] Endangered Species; Wild Bird Conservation; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of applications for permit.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species, marine mammals, or both. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities. The public is also invited to comment on the following applications for approval to conduct certain activities with bird species covered under the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992, which was enacted to ensure that exotic bird species are not harmed by international trade and to encourage wild bird conservation programs in countries of origin.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before November 16, 2015. We must receive requests for marine mammal permit public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2015-0149.

    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-IA-2015-0149; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information).

    Viewing Comments: Comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-2095.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Endangered Species Applications: Brenda Tapia, Program Analyst/Data Administrator, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: IA; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-2104; facsimile 703-358-2280.

    Wild Bird Conservation Act Applications: Craig Hoover, Chief, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: IA; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; telephone 703-358-2095; facsimile 703-358-2298. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I request copies of applications or comment on submitted applications?

    Send your request for copies of applications or comments and materials concerning any of the applications to the contact listed under ADDRESSES. Please include the Federal Register notice publication date, the PRT-number, and the name of the applicant in your request or submission. We will not consider requests or comments sent to an email or address not listed under ADDRESSES. If you provide an email address in your request for copies of applications, we will attempt to respond to your request electronically.

    Please make your requests or comments as specific as possible. Please confine your comments to issues for which we seek comments in this notice, and explain the basis for your comments. Include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include.

    The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) Those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or comments delivered to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES).

    B. May I review comments submitted by others?

    Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the street address listed under ADDRESSES. The public may review documents and other information applicants have sent in support of the application unless our allowing viewing would violate the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    II. Background

    To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), along with Executive Order 13576, “Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,” and the President's Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009—Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009), which call on all Federal agencies to promote openness and transparency in Government by disclosing information to the public, we invite public comment on these permit applications before final action is taken. Under the MMPA, you may request a hearing on any MMPA application received. If you request a hearing, give specific reasons why a hearing would be appropriate. The holding of such a hearing is at the discretion of the Service Director.

    III. Permit Applications A. Endangered Species Applicant: The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Keenesburg, CO; PRT-59839B

    The applicant requests a permit to import seven captive-bred tigers (Panthera tigris), two captive-bred jaguars (Panthera onca), and one captive-bred leopard (Panthera pardus) for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 1-year period.

    Applicant: Brady Champion Ranch, LLC, Rochelle, TX; PRT-51308B

    On July 23, 2015, we published a Federal Register notice inviting the public to comment on an application for a permit to conduct certain activities with endangered species (80 FR 43790). We made any error by omitting one species in the Brady Champion Ranch application, which starts at the upper right in column 3 on page 43791. The omitted species is Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx). All the other information we printed was correct. With this notice, we correct that error and reopen the comment period for PRT-51308B. The correct entry for this application is as follows: The applicant requests a permit authorizing interstate and foreign commerce, export, and cull of excess Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), Eld's deer (Rucervus eldii), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), and Red lechwe (Kobus lechwe) from the captive herd maintained at their facility, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project, Region 2, Albuquerque, NM; PRT-001904

    The applicant requests renewal of a permit to import live Mexican or lobo wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) for breeding and reintroduction, as well as the import of biological samples for genetic studies, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species and scientific research. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Abilene Zoological Gardens, Abilene, TX; PRT-66556B

    The applicant requests a permit to export one captive-bred maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 1-year period.

    Applicant: St. Catherines Island Foundation, Midway, GA; PRT 77387B

    The applicant requests a permit to export 10 male captive-born ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) to the Australia Zoo, Queensland, Australia, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.

    Applicant: Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA; PRT-69024B

    The applicant requests a permit to export two male and six female captive-bred chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to Wingham Wildlife Park, Wingham, United Kingdom, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.

    Applicant: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, Santa Barbara, CA; PRT-74563B

    The applicant requests a permit to import biological samples from wild African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) for the purpose of scientific research. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Multiple Applicants

    The following applicants each request a permit to import the sport-hunted trophy of one male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) culled from a captive herd maintained under the management program of the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.

    Applicant: Donald Meyer, San Antonio, TX; PRT-73590B Applicant: Arthur Gutierrez, Weston, MA; PRT-71490B Applicant: Christopher Gannon, Jupiter, FL; PRT-76689B Applicant: Joshua Braun, Calhoun, MO; PRT-76169B Applicant: Michael Long, Sterling City, TX; PRT-78222B B. Wild Bird Conservation Act Applicant: Marelina Salmones, Plano, TX

    The applicant wishes to establish a cooperative breeding program for the following: Grey-headed lovebird (Agapornis canus), Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri), Lilian's lovebird (Agapornis lilianae), black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis), red-headed lovebird (Agapornis pullarius), black-collared lovebird (Agapornis swindernianus), black-winged lovebird (Agapornis taranta), and masked lovebird (Agapornis personatus). The applicant wishes to be an active participant in this program along with four other individuals.

    If approved, the program will be overseen by the South Florida Lovebird Breeders Association, affiliated with Agapornis Breeders & Exhibitors, Plano, Texas.

    C. Endangered Marine Mammals and Marine Mammals Applicant: John Downer Productions Ltd., Bristol, England; PRT-68000B

    The applicant requests a permit to photograph northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) in Alaska for commercial and educational purposes. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant for less than a 1-year period.

    Applicant: U.S. Geological Survey—Biological Resources Division, Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, CA; PRT-672624

    The applicant requests an amendment of the permit to take southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) in the wild to include studies on the foraging behaviors of the species for the purpose of scientific research. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant for the remainder of the validity of the permit.

    Applicant: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA; PRT-186914

    The applicant requests an amendment of the permit to take up to 6 wild, captive-held southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) that are being held for rehabilitation/release or are considered non-releasable, to investigate the use of an alternative life-history tag for the purpose of scientific research. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant for the remainder of the validity of the permit.

    Concurrent with publishing this notice in the Federal Register, we are forwarding copies of the above applications to the Marine Mammal Commission and the Committee of Scientific Advisors for their review.

    Brenda Tapia, Program Analyst/Data Administrator, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26266 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FW-R7-SM-2015-N191; FXRS12610700000-156-FF07J00000; FBMS#4500085506] Proposed Information Collection; Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated Forms AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. This IC is scheduled to expire on February 29, 2016. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on this IC, we must receive them by December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the IC to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or [email protected] (email). Please include “1018-0075” in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this IC, contact Hope Grey at [email protected] (email) or 703-358-2482 (telephone).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) and regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 100 and 36 CFR 242 require that persons engaged in taking fish, shellfish, and wildlife on public lands in Alaska for subsistence uses must apply for and obtain a permit to do so and comply with reporting provisions of that permit. We use the following forms to collect information from qualified rural residents for subsistence harvest:

    (1) FWS Form 3-2326 (Federal Subsistence Hunt Application, Permit, and Report).

    (2) FWS Form 3-2327 (Designated Hunter Permit Application, Permit, and Report).

    (3) FWS Form 3-2328 (Federal Subsistence Fishing Application, Permit, and Report).

    (4) FWS Form 3-2378 (Designated Fishing Permit Application, Permit, and Report).

    (5) FWS Form 3-2379 (Federal Subsistence Customary Trade Recordkeeping Form).

    We use the information collected to evaluate:

    • Eligibility of applicant.

    • Subsistence harvest success.

    • Effectiveness of season lengths, harvest quotas, and harvest restrictions.

    • Hunting patterns and practices.

    • Hunter use.

    The Federal Subsistence Board uses the harvest data, along with other information, to set future season dates and harvest limits for Federal subsistence resource users. These seasons and harvest limits are set to meet the needs of subsistence users without adversely impacting the health of existing animal populations.

    Also included in this ICR are three forms associated with recruitment and selection of members for regional advisory councils.

    (1) FWS Form 3-2321 (Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council Membership Application/Nomination).

    (2) FWS Form 3-2322 (Regional Advisory Council Candidate Interview).

    (3) FWS Form 3-2323 (Regional Advisory Council Reference/Key Contact Interview).

    The member selection process begins with the information that we collect on the application. Ten interagency review panels interview applicants and nominees, their references, and regional key contacts. These contacts are all based on the information that the applicant provides on the application form. The information that we collect through the application form and subsequent interviews is the basis of the Federal Subsistence Board's recommendations to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture for appointment and reappointment of council members.

    In addition to the above forms, regulations at 50 CFR 100 and 36 CFR 242 contain requirements for the collection of information. We collect nonform information on:

    (1) Repeal of Federal subsistence rules and regulations (50 CFR 100.14 and 36 CFR 242.14).

    (2) Proposed changes to Federal subsistence regulations (50 CFR 100.18 and 36 CFR 242.18).

    (3) Special action requests (50 CFR 100.19 and 36 CFR 242.19).

    (4) Requests for reconsideration (50 CFR 100.20 and 36 CFR 242.20).

    (5) Requests for permits and reports, such as traditional religious/cultural/educational permits, fishwheel permits, fyke net permits, and under-ice permits (50 CFR 100.25-27 and 36 CFR 242.25-27).

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0075.

    Title: Federal Subsistence Regulations and Associated Forms, 50 CFR 100 and 36 CFR 242.

    Service Form Number: FWS Forms 3-2321, 3-2322, 3-2323, 3-2326, 3-2327, 3-2328, 3-2378, and 3-2379.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Description of Respondents: Federally defined rural residents in Alaska.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Form/activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Completion time
  • per response
  • Total annual
  • burden hours 1
  • 3-2321—Membership Application 76 76 2 hours 152 3-2322—Applicant Interview 76 76 30 minutes 38 3-2323—Reference/Contact Interview 189 189 15 minutes 47 3-2326—Hunt Application and Permit 11,141 11,141 10 minutes 1,857 3-2326—Hunt Report 11,141 11,141 5 minutes 928 3-2327—Designated Hunter Application and Permit 701 701 10 minutes 117 3-2327—Designated Hunter—Hunt Report 701 701 5 minutes 58 3-2328—Fishing Application and Permit 2,136 2,136 10 minutes 356 3-2328—Fishing Report 2,136 2,136 5 minutes 178 3-2378—Designated Fishing Application and Permit 58 58 10 minutes 10 3-2378—Designated Fishing Report 58 58 5 minutes 5 3-2379—Customary Trade Recordkeeping Application and Permit 18 18 10 minutes 3 3-2379—Customary Trade Recordkeeping—Report 18 18 5 minutes 2 Petition to Repeal 1 1 2 hours 2 Proposed Changes 70 70 30 minutes 35 Special Actions Request 17 17 30 minutes 9 Request for Reconsideration (Appeal) 741 741 4 hours 2,964 Traditional/Cultural/Educational Permits and Reports 5 5 30 minutes 3 Fishwheel, Fyke Net, and Under-Ice Permits and Reports 7 7 15 minutes 2 Totals 29,290 29,290 6,766 1 Rounded.

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    III. Comments

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26240 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19470;PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Tucson, AZ AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME) has completed an inventory of human remains, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request to the PCOME. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the PCOME at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Bruce Anderson, Forensic Anthropologist, Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 2825 E District Street, Tucson, AZ 85714, telephone (520) 724-8600, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the PCOME, Tucson, AZ. The human remains were removed from an unknown location within Navajo County, AZ.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the PCOME professional staff, in consultation with representatives of Ak Chin Indian Community of the Maricopa (Ak Chin) Indian Reservation, Arizona; Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona; Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona; Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona; Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona; San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona; Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona; White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona; and the Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.

    History and Description of the Remains

    In 1989, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from an unknown location in Navajo County, AZ. The human remains were found by hikers and were recovered by the Navajo Department of Public Safety (which is analogous to the current Navajo Police Department), on an unknown date. On October 17, 1989, the human remains were transferred to the PCOME, which were then analyzed by Dr. Walter H. Birkby, a forensic anthropologist at the PCOME. The human remains were designated Forensic Anthropology case FA#89-038, which also indicates that the medical examiners at the PCOME had no involvement in this particular case. According to Dr. Birkby, the human remains were of an adult female of Native American ancestry and likely historic or prehistoric. The human remains have since resided within the PCOME as an unidentified case, and were rediscovered by Dr. Bruce Anderson, the current forensic anthropologist at the PCOME, in 2012. In 2012, an inventory was made but no analysis was done. No known individuals were identified and no associated funerary objects are present.

    Determinations Made by the PCOME

    Officials of the PCOME have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice may be Native American based on possible prehistoric condition.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of one individual of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), a relationship of shared group identity cannot be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and any present-day Indian tribe.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(15), the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the tribal land of Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah.

    • According to final judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or the Court of Federal Claims, the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.

    • Treaties, Acts of Congress, or Executive Orders, indicate that the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.

    • Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.11(c)(1), the disposition of the human remains may be to Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico.

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Dr. Bruce Anderson, Forensic Anthropologist, Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 2825 E District Street, Tucson, AZ 85714, telephone (520) 724-8600, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico may proceed.

    The PCOME is responsible for notifying Hopi Tribe of Arizona; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; and Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico, that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Melanie O'Brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26335 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19368; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and associated funerary objects and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request to the University of Michigan. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains and associated funerary objects to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Michigan at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects under the control of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from Leelanau, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Otsego Counties, MI.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary objects was made by the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan; Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan; Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan.

    Additional requests for consultation were sent to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin; Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin; Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota; and the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota.

    Hereafter, all tribes listed in this section are referred to as “The Invited and Consulted Tribes.”

    History and Description of the Remains

    On an unknown date in 1969, human remains representing, at minimum, five individuals were removed from the Sheridan site (20LU23) in Leelanau County, MI. A construction crew unearthed remains and objects while working near Sleeping Bear Bay. They contacted archeologists from the UMMAA who conducted a salvage excavation and collected human remains and objects from the site. The remains are from 1 child, 1 adolescent, 1 young adult male, and 2 adult males. No date or time period could be established for the site. No known individuals were identified. The 3 associated funerary objects present are 2 lots of soil and 1 oxidized metal nail fragment.

    In the summer of 1925, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Aetna Mound 1 site (20MA33) in Missaukee County, MI. UMMAA archeologists excavated the smaller of two burial mounds located on a nature preserve owned by the University of Michigan. They collected the human remains of an adult male buried in a tightly flexed position from the center of the mound. Charcoal was found near the human remains and two stones had been placed on the individual's chest. (To date, the stones have not been located.) The human remains are dated to the Woodland Period (850 B.C.-A.D. 1400) based on mortuary treatment. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    In the summer of 1925, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Aetna Mound 2 site (20MA10) in Missaukee County, MI. UMMAA archeologists excavated the larger of two burial mounds located on a nature preserve owned by the University of Michigan. They collected a small amount of cremated human remains of an adult of indeterminate sex with several other objects from the center of the mound. The human remains are dated to the Woodland Period (850 B.C.-A.D. 1400) based on mortuary treatment. No known individuals were identified. The 6 associated funerary objects present are 2 worked animal bone fragments, 1 chert flake, 1 chert fragment, 1 small stone gorget, and 1 copper axe.

    On an unknown date in 1960, human remains representing, at minimum, three individuals were removed from the Rossman site (20ML4) in Montcalm County, MI. State highway workers reported human remains had surfaced in a borrow pit they were using. The workers collected the human remains, along with multiple objects, and donated them to the UMMAA. UMMAA archeologists visited the site, but only found two fire pits in the area. The human remains are from 1 juvenile, 1 adult female, and 1 adult possible male. The human remains have been dated to the Late Woodland Period (A.D. 500-1400) based on a ceramic sherd collected from the site; however, a Busycon contrarium shell also collected from the site is typically associated with Late Archaic to Middle Woodland Period burials (Glacial Kame and Hopewell Periods). No known individuals were identified. The 6 associated funerary objects present are 1 Busycon contrarium shell, 4 shell fragments, and 1 ceramic sherd.

    On an unknown date in 1959, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Haieght Mound site (20MU20) in Muskegon County, MI. With construction activities posing an imminent threat to the mound, UMMAA archeologists and members of the Wright L. Coffinberry Society conducted a salvage excavation of the site. They collected the remains of a young adult female buried in a flexed position from the center of the mound and donated the remains to the UMMAA in 1964. The remains are dated to the Woodland Period (850 B.C.-A.D. 1400) based on mortuary treatment. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    On an unknown date in 1954, human remains representing, at minimum, two individuals were removed from the Parson's Mound site (20NE100) in Newaygo County, MI. Members of the Wright L. Coffinberry Society excavated this site that consists of 5 mounds of varying heights and sizes. Human remains were collected from 3 of the 5 mounds. Human remains from 1 of these 3 mounds were donated to the UMMAA in 1964. It is not known who possesses the human remains collected from the other 2 mounds. The human remains in the UMMAA's possession are of an adult male and an adult of indeterminate sex. No objects were found in the 3 mounds that contained human remains. The human remains are dated to the Middle Woodland Period (300 B.C.-A.D. 500) based on mortuary treatment. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    In May 1965, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Brunett Mound site (20NE104) in Newaygo County, MI. UMMAA archeologists excavated this site that consists of a single mound with a circular burial pit at its center. The pit contained a bundle burial of a young adult female, accompanied by multiple objects. Among the objects were 2 ceramic vessels containing deer and fish bones. The human remains are dated to the Early Late Woodland Period (A.D. 500-700) based on diagnostic artifacts from the site. No known individuals were identified. The 25 associated funerary objects present are 1 ceramic Wayne ware vessel, 1 lot ceramic sherds, 1 biface, 1 scraper, 10 turtle shell fragments, 1 lot of fish bones, 1 lot of animal bones and shell fragments, 8 chert fragments, and 1 lot of clay with animal bone fragments.

    In May 1966, human remains representing, at minimum, five individuals were removed from the Carrigan Mound B site (20NE111) in Newaygo County, MI. Carrigan Mound B is 1 mound in a 5-mound group collectively referred to as the Carrigan-Croton Dam Mound Complex. UMMAA archeologists and students excavated this mound that contained a burial pit near its center. A charred log was found at the top of the burial pit. The bottom of the burial pit contained cremated and non-cremated human remains within an area of burnt red sand. The human remains are from 1 cremated juvenile, 3 cremated adults of indeterminate sex, and 1 non-cremated adult of indeterminate sex. The human remains are dated to the Early Woodland Period (850-300 B.C.) based on Carbon 14 dating of the charred log. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    In 1965, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Croton Dam Mound A site (20NE105) in Newaygo County, MI. A UMMAA archeologist and students excavated this mound that contained an irregular oval fire pit feature with cremated remains of an adult of indeterminate sex. The human remains are dated to the Early Woodland Period (850-300 B.C.) based on dating for the Carrigan Mound B site (20NE111), which is part of the same mound complex. No known individuals were identified. The 124 associated funerary objects present are 1 lithic blade, 86 lithic bifaces, 10 ovate lithic bifaces, 3 lithic scrapers, 5 lithic preforms, 18 lithic debitage fragments, and 1 copper needle.

    Between May 12 and 15, 1966, human remains representing, at minimum, two individuals were removed from the Croton Dam Mound B site (20NE112) in Newaygo County, MI. Members of the Newaygo County Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society, under the direction of UMMAA archeologists, excavated a central burial pit in this mound. Soil and cremated human remains of 2 adults of indeterminate sex were distributed evenly through the burial pit, commingled with small fragments of cremated faunal bone. The base of a stemmed projectile point was collected from the bottom of the burial pit. The human remains are dated to the Early Woodland Period (850-300 B.C.) based on dating for the Carrigan Mound B site (20NE111), which is part of the same mound complex. No known individuals were identified. The 1 associated funerary object present is a projectile point base.

    In 1966, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Croton Dam Mound C site (20NE116) in Newaygo County, MI. Members of the Newaygo County Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society, under the direction of a UMMAA archeologist, excavated this mound that was the smallest of those that comprised the Carrigan-Croton Dam Mound Complex. Croton Dam Mound C contained a round burial pit near its center, capped with a layer of clay. A rolled copper bead was located on top of the clay cap. Cremated bone fragments of an adult of indeterminate sex, commingled cremated faunal bone, and heavily ochred sand were located under the clay cap. The human remains are dated to the Early Woodland Period (850-300 B.C.) based on dating for the Carrigan Mound B site (20NE111), which is part of the same mound complex. No known individuals were identified. The 3 associated funerary objects present are 1 copper tube bead and 2 worked deer phalanges (possibly awls).

    On an unknown date prior to 1924, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Cobmoosa Lake East site (20OA3) in Oceana County, MI. An amateur collector excavated one mound of a 3-mound group located near Cobmoosa Lake. He collected the human remains of a child, along with some objects, and sent them to the UMMAA in 1923. The human remains are dated to the Middle to Early Late Woodland Period (300 B.C.-A.D. 500) based on diagnostic artifacts collected from the site. No known individuals were identified. The 6 associated funerary objects present are 1 lot of small shell and stone fragments, and 5 shell beads.

    In April 1937, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Ditchdiggers site (20OE22) in Otsego County, MI. Workers for the City of Gaylord unearthed the human remains while installing sewer lines. They contacted the Otsego County Sherriff. The Sherriff collected the human remains of a young adult female who had been buried, lying on her side, in an extended position. No date or time period could be established for the remains. No known individuals were identified. The 1 associated funerary object present is a worked faunal bone.

    Determinations Made by the University of Michigan

    Officials of the University of Michigan have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice are Native American based on cranial morphology, dental traits, archeological context, and accession documentation.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of 25 individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), the 175 objects described in this notice are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), a relationship of shared group identity cannot be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and any present-day Indian tribe.

    • According to final judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or the Court of Federal Claims, the land from which the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Treaties, Acts of Congress, or Executive Orders, indicate that the land from which the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.11(c)(1), the disposition of the human remains and associated funerary objects may be to The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains and associated funerary objects and associated funerary objects to The Invited and Consulted Tribes may proceed.

    The University of Michigan is responsible for notifying The Invited and Consulted Tribes that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Melanie O'Brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26332 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19370; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human remains, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request to the University of Michigan. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Michigan at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains were removed from Clinton County, MI.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan; Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan.

    Additional requests for consultation were sent to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin; Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin; Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota; and the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota.

    Hereafter, all tribes listed in this section are referred to as “The Invited and Consulted Tribes.”

    History and Description of the Remains

    In April 1951, human remains representing, at minimum, four individuals were removed from the Steinbower site (20CL04) in Clinton County, MI. Workers unearthed human remains at the site while conducting gravel removal operations. They contacted the Clinton County Sherriff who collected the human remains and donated them to the UMMAA on April 24, 1951. The human remains are from 1 juvenile, 1 young adult, and 2 adults. The human remains are dated to the Glacial Kame Period, or Late Archaic to Early Woodland Periods (1000-500 B.C.), based on a conch shell collected from the site, although the shell was not donated to the UMMAA. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    Determinations Made by the University of Michigan

    Officials of the University of Michigan have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice are Native American based on cranial morphology, dental traits, archeological context, and accession documentation.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of four individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), a relationship of shared group identity cannot be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and any present-day Indian tribe.

    • According to final judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or the Court of Federal Claims, the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.

    • Treaties, Acts of Congress, or Executive Orders, indicate that the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.11(c)(1), the disposition of the human remains may be to The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to The Invited and Consulted Tribes may proceed.

    The University of Michigan is responsible for notifying The Invited and Consulted Tribes that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Melanie O'Brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26286 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19356; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington (Burke Museum) has completed an inventory of human remains, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is a cultural affiliation between the human remains and present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request to the Burke Museum. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the lineal descendants, Indian tribes, or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the Burke Museum at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Peter Lape, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195, telephone (206) 685-3849 x2, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. The human remains were removed from Pacific County, WA.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the Burke Museum professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Washington and Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), Washington.

    History and Description of the Remains

    In the late 19th or early 20th century, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual, were removed from near the mouth of the Columbia River in the vicinity of sites 45-PC-25/45-PC-4, a known Chinook village and cemetery in Pacific County, WA. The human remains were removed by the property owner and donated to the University of Washington Anthropology Department in 1959, and subsequently accessioned by the Burke Museum in 1964 (Accn. #1964-146). No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    In 1959 and 1976, human remains representing a minimum of one individual were removed from the Martin Site (45-PC-7), in Pacific County, WA. The human remains excavated in 1959 were removed as part of a University of Washington field school excavation conducted by Robert Kidd and brought to the Burke Museum in the 1960s. The human remains excavated in 1976 were removed as part of an excavation led by Chris Brown of Washington State University. The entire collection from this excavation was transferred to the Burke Museum from Washington State University in 2013. Both the 1959 and 1976 excavations were formally accessioned by the Burke Museum in 2013 (Accn. #2013-163). The human remains from this site were not identified as human during the excavation. Only in 2014 did the Burke Museum identify them as human. No known individuals were identified. No funerary objects are present.

    All of the human remains are from sites located in the southwestern part of Pacific County, WA. According to historical and anthropological sources (Kidd, 1967; Mooney, 1896; Ray, 1938; Ruby 1986; Spier, 1936; Suttles 1990), as well as information provided during consultation, this area is within the traditional aboriginal territory of the Lower Chinook people, which included the northern bank of the Columbia River mouth, and lands north along the shore and into Willapa Bay. The people of this area spoke the same Chinook dialect and were linguistically separate from other Chinook who lived farther up the Columbia River (Suttles, 1990). The human remains have been determined to be Native American based on archaeological, geographical and osteological evidence. Sites 45-PC-25/45-PC-4 were identified as a village site and cemetery with pre-historic and historic cultural components by Hudziak and Smith in 1948, and by Robert Cook in 1955. Site 45-PC-7 is a large site dating from 700-1800 years ago. All of these sites exhibit material culture consistent with Chinook culture. Today the Chinook people are members of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), and the Chinook Indian Tribe, a nonfederally recognized Indian group represented by the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington).

    Determinations Made by the Burke Museum

    Officials of the Burke Museum have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of two individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington).

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Peter Lape, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195, telephone (206) 685-3849 x2, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), Washington, may proceed.

    The Burke Museum is responsible for notifying the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Washington and Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), Washington that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Melanie O'Brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26287 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19355;PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Thomas Burke Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington (Burke Museum), in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, has determined that the cultural items listed in this notice meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects. Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request to the Burke Museum. If no additional claimants come forward, transfer of control of the cultural items to the lineal descendants, Indian tribes, or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request with information in support of the claim to the Burke Museum at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Peter Lape, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195, telephone (206) 685-3849 x2, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3005, of the intent to repatriate cultural items under the control of the Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, that meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects under 25 U.S.C. 3001.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    History and Description of the Cultural Item(s)

    In the late 19th or early 20th century, three cultural objects were removed from near the mouth of the Columbia River in the vicinity of sites 45-PC-25/45-PC-4, a known Chinook village and cemetery in Pacific County, WA. The objects were removed by the property owner and donated to the University of Washington Anthropology Department in 1959, and subsequently accessioned by the Burke Museum in 1964 (Accn. #1964-146). The three unassociated funerary objects include one lot of glass and shell beads and two copper rod bracelets. Sites 45-PC-25/45-PC-4 were identified as a village site and cemetery by Hudziak and Smith in 1948, and by Robert Cook in 1955. Cook documented these objects being in the possession of the property owner at the time he documented the site.

    Sites 45-PC-25 and 45-PC-4 are located on the north bank of the Columbia River near the mouth of the river, in Pacific County, WA. Site 45-PC-25 is a village site and site 45-PC-4 is an adjacent burial ground. The objects documented from site 45-PC-4 include beads. Funerary objects found in burials at a nearby site include copper metal bracelets and blue and white glass trade beads that are similar to the objects listed above. Additionally, information provided during consultation indicates that these objects are consistent with funerary objects typically found in Chinook territory. Sites 45-PC-25 and 45-PC-4 are within an area of a known historic Chinook village, in the traditional aboriginal territory of the Lower Chinook people. According to historical and anthropological sources (Kidd, 1967; Mooney, 1896; Ray, 1938; Ruby 1986; Spier, 1936; Suttles 1990), as well as information provided during consultation, the aboriginal territory of the Lower Chinook people included the northern bank of the Columbia River mouth and lands north along the shore and into Willapa Bay. The people of this area spoke a Chinook dialect and were linguistically separate from other Chinook who lived farther up the Columbia River (Suttles, 1990). Today the Chinook people are members of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), and the Chinook Indian Tribe, a non-federally recognized Indian group represented by the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington).

    Determinations Made by the Burke Museum

    Officials of the Burke Museum have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the three cultural items described above are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony and are believed, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have been removed from a specific burial site of a Native American individual.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably traced between the unassociated funerary objects and Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington).

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Lineal descendants or representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to claim these cultural items should submit a written request with information in support of the claim to Peter Lape, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195, telephone (206) 685-3849 x2, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional claimants have come forward, transfer of control of the unassociated funerary objects to Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington) may proceed.

    The Burke Museum is responsible for notifying the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Washington and Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation (previously listed as the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation, Washington), that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 17, 2015. Melanie O'brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26296 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19369; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human remains, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request to the University of Michigan. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Michigan at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains under the control of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains were removed from Ionia and Van Buren Counties, MI.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan; Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan; Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan; Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan; Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan (previously listed as the Huron Potawatomi, Inc.); Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan.

    Additional requests for consultation were sent to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin; Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma; Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin; Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin; Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma; Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (previously listed as the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation, Kansas); Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California & Arizona; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota; and the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota.

    Hereafter, all tribes listed in this section are referred to as “The Invited and Consulted Tribes.”

    History and Description of the Remains

    In 1956, human remains representing, at minimum, two individuals were removed from the Lyons Prairie site (20IA51) in Ionia County, MI. An amateur archeologist collected the human remains in 1956 and donated them to the UMMAA in 1964. The human remains are from an adolescent and an adult. It is uncertain how the site was identified or excavated. However, records at the UMMAA indicated there were 3 mounds that had been leveled off, located on a “prairie” between Lyons and Muir, south of the Grand River. The human remains are dated to the Woodland Period (850 B.C.-A.D. 1400) based on the presumption that they were removed from one of the burial mounds noted in the UMMAA's records. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    On an unknown date between 1939 and 1940, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Ament Village site (20VA01) in Van Buren County, MI. Amateur collectors found scattered objects that had emerged from 16 blowholes on the bank of School Section Lake. They reported that weathered bone was found near one of the blowholes. The collections were sent to the UMMAA on March 13, 1941, for identification. On December 9, 1941, museum experts determined some of the bone fragments collected from the site to possibly be human. In 2012, UMMAA staff conducting re-inventory work located a box containing the cremated human remains of an adult that were noted as coming from the Ament Village site. These human remains are calcined, highly weathered, sun-bleached, and show horizontal cracking. No date or time period could be established for the human remains. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    Determinations Made by the University of Michigan

    Officials of the University of Michigan have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice are Native American based on cranial morphology, dental traits, archeological context, and accession documentation.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of three individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), a relationship of shared group identity cannot be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and any present-day Indian tribe.

    • According to final judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or the Court of Federal Claims, the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Treaties, Acts of Congress, or Executive Orders, indicate that the land from which the Native American human remains were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.11(c)(1), the disposition of the human remains may be to The Invited and Consuled Tribes.

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains to The Invited and Consulted Tribes may proceed.

    The University of Michigan is responsible for notifying The Invited and Consulted Tribes that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Melanie O'Brien Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26317 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19365;PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request to the University of Michigan. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains and associated funerary objects to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Michigan at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects under the control of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from sites in Genesee and Tuscola Counties, MI.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary objects was made by the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) professional staff, in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan; Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan; Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan; Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan; Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan; Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan (previously listed as the Huron Potawatomi, Inc.); Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan; and the Wyandotte Nation, Oklahoma.

    Additional requests for consultation were sent to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin; Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma; Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin; Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin; Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma; Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Kansas (previously listed as the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation, Kansas); Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California and Arizona; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota; and the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota.

    Hereafter, all tribes listed in this section are referred to as “The Consulted and Invited Tribes.”

    History and Description of the Remains

    On June 25, 1972, human remains representing, at minimum, seven individuals were removed from the Budd site (20GS26) in Genesee County, MI. Individuals walking along the Flint River noticed human remains eroding out of the riverbank. They collected the human remains, along with objects, which the landowner later donated to the UMMAA, on June 29, 1979. The human remains are from one child, one adult male, two adult females, and three adults of indeterminate sex. At least three of the individuals were noted as having been interred in a flexed position. The human remains are dated to the Middle Late Woodland Period (A.D. 900-1200), based on diagnostic artifacts collected from the site. No known individuals were identified. The 2 associated funerary objects present are 1 ceramic elbow pipe with a collared rim and 1 awl made from a turkey bone.

    In June 1959, human remains representing, at minimum, two individuals were removed from the Ray Bradshaw Farm site (20TU1) in Tuscola County, MI. Workers excavating gravel inadvertently dug into a burial mound and unearthed commingled human remains and objects. The landowner collected the human remains and objects, and donated them to the UMMAA in July 1959. The human remains are from two adults. The human remains are dated to the Pre-Contact Period, based on diagnostic artifacts collected from the site. No known individuals were identified. The 10 associated funerary objects present are 6 antler tines and 4 pieces of chipped stone.

    In 1988, human remains representing, at minimum, six individuals were removed from the Hancock I site (20TU147) in Tuscola County, MI. The landowners were excavating sediment from what they thought was a natural knoll on their property. While depositing the sediment elsewhere on their property, the landowners noticed human remains and red ochre mixed in with the soil. They contacted archeologists at Saginaw Valley State University and Alma College for assistance. Although the human remains had been relocated away from the knoll where they were buried, the archeologists, their students, and members of the Michigan Archaeological Society carried out a survey and salvage excavation effort.

    The collections were donated to the UMMAA in 1990. The human remains are from one juvenile, one adolescent, three adults of indeterminate sex, and one cremated adult of indeterminate sex. The cremated human remains were found commingled with the non-cremated remains of an adult. Although the human remains were highly fragmentary, one individual was noted as possibly cremated in a flexed position. The human remains are dated to the Late Archaic to Early Woodland Periods (3500-500 B.C.), based on mortuary treatment. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    Determinations Made by the University of Michigan

    Officials of the University of Michigan have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice are Native American based on cranial morphology, dental traits, mortuary treatment, archeological context, and accession documentation.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of 15 individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), there are 12 objects described in this notice reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains at the time of death or later as part of the death rite or ceremony.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(2), a relationship of shared group identity cannot be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and any present-day Indian tribe.

    • According to final judgments of the Indian Claims Commission or the Court of Federal Claims, the land from which the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects were removed is the aboriginal land of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.

    • Treaties, Acts of Congress, or Executive Orders indicate that the land from which the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects were removed is the aboriginal land of The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    • Pursuant to 43 CFR 10.11(c)(1), the disposition of the human remains and associated funerary objects may be to The Invited and Consulted Tribes.

    Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request with information in support of the request to Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected], by November 16, 2015. After that date, if no additional requestors have come forward, transfer of control of the human remains and associated funerary objects to The Invited and Consulted Tribes may proceed.

    The University of Michigan is responsible for notifying The Invited and Consulted Tribes that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 22, 2015. Melanie O'Brien, Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26284 Filed 10-14-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-19371; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The University of Michigan has completed an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects, in consultation with the appropriate Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, and has determined that there is no cultural affiliation between the human remains and associated funerary objects and any present-day Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request to the University of Michigan. If no additional requestors come forward, transfer of control of the human remains and associated funerary objects to the Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations stated in this notice may proceed.

    DATES:

    Representatives of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization not identified in this notice that wish to request transfer of control of these human remains and associated funerary objects should submit a written request with information in support of the request to the University of Michigan at the address in this notice by November 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Dr. Ben Secunda, NAGPRA Project Manager, University of Michigan Office of Research, 4080 Fleming Building, 503 S. Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340, telephone (734) 647-9085, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects under the control of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. The human remains and associated funerary objects were removed from Bay and Saginaw Counties, MI.

    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003(d)(3) and 43 CFR 10.11(d). The determinations in this notice are the sole responsibility of the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects. The National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.

    Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary objects was made by the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan; Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan; Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Michigan; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan.

    Additional requests for consultation were sent to the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin; Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas; Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma; Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin; Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska; Sac & Fox Nation, Oklahoma; Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa; Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota; and the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota.

    Hereafter, all tribes listed in this section are referred to as “The Invited and Consulted Tribes.”

    History and Description of the Remains

    In July 1965, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Butterfield site (20BY29) in Bay County, MI. UMMAA archeologists conducted a test excavation of the site. They collected a single juvenile tooth cap from a fire pit that also contained fire cracked rock and lithics. The human remains were dated to the Late Woodland Period (A.D. 500-1400) based on diagnostic artifacts from other areas of the site. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    From June 20-28, 1966, human remains representing, at minimum, one individual were removed from the Kantzler site (20BY30) in Bay County, MI. Members of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society originally excavated the site in 1965. They noted multiple archeological components and evidence of occupation from the Archaic to Post-Contact Periods. No human remains were found during this excavation. UMMAA archeologists also conducted an excavation of the site in 1966. They collected the human remains of a child, buried in a tightly flexed position, along with turtle and fish bones. No date or time period could be established for the human remains. No known individuals were identified. The 1 associated funerary object present is 1 lot of turtle and fish bones.

    In 1923, human remains representing, at minimum, four individuals were removed from the Schmidt 2-4 site (20BY1) in Bay County, MI. A landowner donated these human remains and objects to the UMMAA on an unknown date. The human remains are of 1 child, 1 adolescent possibly male, 1 young adult female, and 1 adult male. No date or time period could be established for the human remains. No known individuals were identified. The 1 associated funerary object present is 1 lot of unworked stones, fossil coral, and animal bone.

    In the summer of 1963, human remains representing, at minimum, two individuals were removed from the Mahoney Property site (20SA193) in Saginaw County, MI. UMMAA archeologists collected the human remains as part of a survey project conducted in the area. The human remains are sun-bleached and highly weathered, and are from 1 adult and 1 cremated adult. No date or time period could be established for the human remains. No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

    Determinations Made by the University of Michigan

    Officials of the University of Michigan have determined that:

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice are Native American based on cranial morphology, dental traits, archeological context, and accession documentation.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described in this notice represent the physical remains of eight individuals of Native American ancestry.

    • Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(A), the 2 objects described in this notice is reasonably