Federal Register Vol. 80, No.201,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 201 (October 19, 2015)

Page Range63071-63408
FR Document

80_FR_201
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 63214 - Notice of Opportunity To Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Jatropha Curcas Oil for Use in Biofuel ProductionPDF
80 FR 63405 - Blind Americans Equality Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 63080 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63255 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 63077 - Columbus Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 63075 - General Pulaski Memorial Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 63073 - International Day of the Girl, 2015PDF
80 FR 63071 - National School Lunch Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 63215 - Guidance Regarding the Prohibition of Certain Communications During the Incentive Auction, Auction 1000PDF
80 FR 63238 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection 2015 East Coast Trade Symposium: “Transforming Global Trade”PDF
80 FR 63153 - Proposed Establishment of and Modification to Restricted Areas; Fort Sill, OKPDF
80 FR 63251 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Wisconsin Historical Society, Museum Division, Madison, WIPDF
80 FR 63242 - Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC)PDF
80 FR 63239 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petroleum Refineries in Foreign Trade Sub-ZonesPDF
80 FR 63238 - Notice of Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Quarterly Business MeetingPDF
80 FR 63092 - Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 63196 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 63204 - Manual for Courts-Martial; Proposed AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 63213 - New York State Prohibition of Discharges of Vessel Sewage; Notice of Final Determination; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 63213 - Board of Scientific Counselors Homeland Security Subcommittee; Notification of Public Teleconference Meeting and Public CommentPDF
80 FR 63254 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Applicant Information Form (1-783)PDF
80 FR 63255 - NASA Advisory Council; Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 63120 - Ohio Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 63117 - Kentucky Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 63125 - Pennsylvania Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 63201 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); MeetingPDF
80 FR 63200 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 63190 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial Quota RetentionPDF
80 FR 63212 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Personal Identity Verification (PIV) RequestPDF
80 FR 63224 - Senior Executive Service Performance Review BoardPDF
80 FR 63201 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Greater Atlantic Region Logbook Family of FormsPDF
80 FR 63225 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 63199 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; NIST Generic Clearance for Program Evaluation Data CollectionsPDF
80 FR 63202 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 63224 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 63115 - Paroling, Recommitting, and Supervising Federal Prisoners: Prisoners Serving Sentences Under the United States and District of Columbia CodesPDF
80 FR 63234 - Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines; Request for Nominations for Voting MembersPDF
80 FR 63203 - Proposed collection; comment requestPDF
80 FR 63240 - South Carolina; Emergency and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 63240 - South Carolina; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 63241 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 63241 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 63242 - California; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 63241 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 63235 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 63130 - Suspension of Community EligibilityPDF
80 FR 63253 - Proposed Renewal of Information Collection: OMB Control Number 1035-0003, Application To Withdraw Tribal Funds From Trust StatusPDF
80 FR 63281 - Voluntary Service National Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingsPDF
80 FR 63246 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Notice To Amend an Existing System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 63250 - Eastern States: Filing of Plat of SurveyPDF
80 FR 63244 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications; Greater Sage-Grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances for Wyoming Ranch ManagementPDF
80 FR 63272 - Environmental Impact Statement; Manatee and Hillsborough Counties, FloridaPDF
80 FR 63228 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled WaterPDF
80 FR 63230 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A VirusesPDF
80 FR 63232 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Administrative Detention and Banned Medical DevicesPDF
80 FR 63226 - Office of Women's Health General Update on Strategic Priorities and InitiativesPDF
80 FR 63231 - Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Animal Drugs for the Reduction of Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coliPDF
80 FR 63237 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 63237 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 63227 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; User Fee Cover Sheet; Form FDA 3397PDF
80 FR 63227 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Reclassification Petitions for Medical DevicesPDF
80 FR 63234 - Office of Women's Health Update on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives for NursesPDF
80 FR 63245 - Opening of Nomination Period for Members of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource SciencePDF
80 FR 63214 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 63196 - MeetingsPDF
80 FR 63199 - Announcing the Withdrawal of Six (6) Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)PDF
80 FR 63193 - Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection (Laboratories)PDF
80 FR 63264 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin Methodology by Incorporating Variations in Implied VolatilityPDF
80 FR 63257 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 63261 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Modify Chapter XV, Entitled “Options Pricing,” at Section 2 Governing Pricing for NASDAQ MembersPDF
80 FR 63267 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Mini OptionsPDF
80 FR 63269 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating to Credit Default Swap Risk PoliciesPDF
80 FR 63256 - Columbia Trust, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 63193 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 63197 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
80 FR 63250 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
80 FR 63281 - Agency Information Collection (VA Form 21P-0847) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 63254 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil ProcedurePDF
80 FR 63194 - Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notice in the Rocky Mountain Region, Which Includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Parts of South Dakota and WyomingPDF
80 FR 63243 - Agency Information Collection Activities: USCIS Case Status Online; Extension of an Existing Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 63238 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 63236 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 63237 - National Cancer Institute; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 63236 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 63272 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 63185 - Air Plan Approval; Phoenix, Arizona; Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance PlanPDF
80 FR 63222 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 63223 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 63275 - General Motors, LLC, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 63375 - Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 StudentsPDF
80 FR 63168 - Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer SeatsPDF
80 FR 63155 - Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and StoolsPDF
80 FR 63083 - Airworthiness Directives; CFM International S.A. Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 63088 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Louisiana Towns: Jonesboro, LA and Winnfield, LAPDF
80 FR 63087 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Nebraska Towns: Albion, NE; Bassett, NE; Lexington, NEPDF
80 FR 63085 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Missouri Towns: Chillicothe, MO; Cuba, MO; Farmington, MO; Lamar, MO; Mountain View, MO; Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff, MOPDF
80 FR 63089 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Tekamah, NebraskaPDF
80 FR 63276 - Hazardous Materials: Delayed ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 63277 - Hazardous Materials: Actions on Special Permit ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 63279 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Applications for Special PermitsPDF
80 FR 63280 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Application for Modification of Special PermitPDF
80 FR 63151 - Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63145 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France)PDF
80 FR 63134 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63141 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63132 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63136 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63079 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63147 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 63252 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Extraordinary Operation and Maintenance Environmental Impact Statement for the Truckee Canal, Lahontan Basin Area Office, NevadaPDF
80 FR 63090 - Revocation of Class D Airspace; Springfield, OHPDF
80 FR 63091 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Tomah, WIPDF
80 FR 63084 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Hart/Shelby, MIPDF
80 FR 63094 - Secretarial Election ProceduresPDF
80 FR 63272 - The Entire United States and U.S. TerritoriesPDF
80 FR 63283 - Hazardous Waste Export-Import RevisionsPDF
80 FR 63321 - Technology Transitions, Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange CarriersPDF

Issue

80 201 Monday, October 19, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

Architectural Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board NOTICES Meetings, 63196 2015-26430 Bonneville Bonneville Power Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Personal Identity Verification Request, 63212-63213 2015-26470 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63225-63226 2015-26467 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63202-63203 2015-26421 2015-26465 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, 63155-63168 2015-26385 Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats, 63168-63185 2015-26386 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63203-63204 2015-26461 Manual for Courts-Martial; Proposed Amendments, 63204-63212 2015-26485 Energy Department Energy Department See

Bonneville Power Administration

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Phoenix, AZ; Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan, 63185-63190 2015-26405 Hazardous Waste Export-Import Revisions, 63284-63320 2015-25348 NOTICES Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and Transport of Jatropha Curcas Oil for Use in Biofuel Production, 63214 C1--2015--26039 Meetings: Board of Scientific Counselors Homeland Security Subcommittee, 63213-63214 2015-26483 New York State Prohibition of Discharges of Vessel Sewage; Correction, 63213 2015-26484 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 63079-63083 2015-26219 2015-26603 CFM International S.A. Turbofan Engines, 63083-63084 2015-26345 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Albion, NE; Bassett, NE; Lexington, NE, 63087-63088 2015-26275 Chillicothe, MO; Cuba, MO; Farmington, MO; Lamar, MO; Mountain View, MO; Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff, MO, 63085-63087 2015-26273 Jonesboro, LA and Winnfield, LA, 63088-63089 2015-26277 Tekamah, NE, 63089-63090 2015-26272 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Hart/Shelby, MI, 63084-63085 2015-26177 Tomah, WI, 63091-63092 2015-26178 Revocation of Class D Airspace: Springfield, OH, 63090-63091 2015-26179 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 63134-63141 2015-26220 2015-26223 Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France), 63145-63147 2015-26229 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 63141-63145, 63147-63151 2015-26217 2015-26222 Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes, 63151-63153 2015-26230 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 63132-63134 2015-26221 Establishment of and Modification to Restricted Areas: Fort Sill, OK, 63153-63155 2015-26499 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Technology Transitions, Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange Carriers, 63322-63373 2015-24505 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63214-63215, 63222-63224 2015-26403 2015-26404 2015-26431 Guidance Regarding the Prohibition of Certain Communications during the Incentive Auction, Auction 1000, 63215-63222 2015-26525 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency RULES Suspension of Community Eligibility, 63130-63131 2015-26449 NOTICES Emergency Determinations: South Carolina, 63240 2015-26460 Major Disaster Declarations: California; Amendment No. 5, 63242 2015-26452 South Carolina, 63240-63241 2015-26459 South Carolina; Amendment No. 1, 63241-63242 2015-26457 South Carolina; Amendment No. 2, 63241 2015-26454 South Carolina; Amendment No. 3, 63241 2015-26451 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Manatee and Hillsborough Counties, FL, 63272 2015-26443 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63272-63275 2015-26409 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 63224 2015-26464 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board, 63224-63225 2015-26469 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications; Greater Sage-Grouse Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Wyoming Ranch Management, 63244-63245 2015-26444 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Administrative Detention and Banned Medical Devices, 63232-63234 2015-26440 Guidance on Reagents for Detection of Specific Novel Influenza A Viruses, 63230-63231 2015-26441 Reclassification Petitions for Medical Devices, 63227-63228 2015-26434 Recordkeeping Requirements for Microbiological Testing and Corrective Measures for Bottled Water, 63228-63229 2015-26442 User Fee Cover Sheet, 63227 2015-26435 Guidance: Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Animal Drugs for the Reduction of Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Cattle, 63231-63232 2015-26438 Meetings: Office of Women's Health General Update on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives, 63226-63227 2015-26439 Office of Women's Health Update on Strategic Priorities and Initiatives for Nurses, 63234 2015-26433 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63193 2015-26420 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Laboratories, 63193-63194 2015-26428 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notice in the Rocky Mountain Region -- Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of South Dakota, and Wyoming, 63194-63196 2015-26415 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science, 63245-63246 2015-26432 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63235-63236 2015-26450
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, 63234-63235 2015-26462 Historic Historic Preservation, Advisory Council NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 63238 2015-26490 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

PROPOSED RULES Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students, 63376-63404 2015-26395 NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, 63242-63243 2015-26494
Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau RULES Secretarial Election Procedures, 63094-63115 2015-26176 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

See

Special Trustee for American Indians Office

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 63246-63249 2015-26446
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from the People's Republic of China, 63196-63197 2015-26487 Export Trade Certificate of Review, 63197-63199 2015-26419 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure, 63254 2015-26416 Justice Department Justice Department See

Parole Commission

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Applicant Information Form, 63254 2015-26481
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Eastern States, 63250 2015-26445 Morris K. Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 63255 2015-26602 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee, 63255 2015-26480 National Council National Council on Disability NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 63255-63256 2015-26599 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Inconsequential Noncompliance; Petition Denials: General Motors, LLC, 63275-63276 2015-26400 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for Program Evaluation Data Collections, 63199-63200 2015-26466 Withdrawal of Six Federal Information Processing Standards, 63199 2015-26429 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Cancer Institute, 63236-63237 2015-26410 2015-26411 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 63237-63238 2015-26436 2015-26437 National Institute on Aging, 63236 2015-26412 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 63238 2015-26413 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial Quota Retention, 63190-63192 2015-26471 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Greater Atlantic Region Logbook Family of Forms, 63201-63202 2015-26468 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 63201 2015-26473 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Correction, 63200-63201 2015-26472 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Wisconsin Historical Society, Museum Division, Madison, WI, 63251-63252 2015-26497 National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 63250-63251 2015-26418 Parole Parole Commission RULES Paroling, Recommitting, and Supervising Federal Prisoners: Prisoners Serving Sentences under the United States and District of Columbia Codes, 63115-63117 2015-26463 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Applications for Special Permits, 63279-63280 2015-26257 Special Permit Applications: Actions, 63277-63279 2015-26258 Delayed Applications, 63276-63277 2015-26259 Modifications, 63280-63281 2015-26251 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Blind Americans Equality Day (Proc. 9349), 63405-63408 2015-26687 Columbus Day (Proc. 9348), 63077-63078 2015-26589 General Pulaski Memorial Day (Proc. 9347), 63075-63076 2015-26588 International Day of the Girl (Proc. 9346), 63073-63074 2015-26585 National School Lunch Week (Proc. 9345), 63071-63072 2015-26584 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Truckee Canal, Lahontan Basin Area Office, NV, 63252 2015-26195 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Columbia Trust, et al., 63256-63257 2015-26422 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 63257-63261 2015-26426 ICE Clear Europe, Ltd., 63269-63272 2015-26423 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 63267-63269 2015-26424 The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 63261-63263 2015-26425 The Options Clearing Corp., 63264-63267 2015-26427 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Entire United States and U.S. Territories, 63272 2015-26043 Social Social Security Administration RULES State Disability Examiners: Authority to Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations; Expiration Date Extension, 63092-63094 2015-26488 Special Trustee Special Trustee for American Indians Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application to Withdraw Tribal Funds from Trust Status, 63253-63254 2015-26448 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office RULES Regulatory Program: Kentucky, 63117-63120 2015-26478 Ohio, 63120-63125 2015-26479 Pennsylvania, 63125-63130 2015-26477 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Case Status Online; Extension, 63243-63244 2015-26414 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petroleum Refineries in Foreign Trade Sub-Zones, 63239 2015-26492 Meetings: East Coast Trade Symposium -- Transforming Global Trade, 63238-63239 2015-26509 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 63281 2015-26417 Meetings: Voluntary Service National Advisory Committee, 63281 2015-26447 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 63284-63320 2015-25348 Part III Federal Communications Commission, 63322-63373 2015-24505 Part IV Homeland Security Department, 63376-63404 2015-26395 Part V Presidential Documents, 63405-63408 2015-26687 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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80 201 Monday, October 19, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0656; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-224-AD; Amendment 39-18295; AD 2015-21-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; removal.

SUMMARY:

We are removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-08-08, which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-243, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes. AD 2010-08-08 required deactivating the water scavenge automatic operation and revising the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM). We are also removing AD 2011-06-04, which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-243F airplanes. AD 2011-06-04 required revising the Limitations section of the AFM. We issued ADs 2010-08-08 and 2011-06-04 to prevent fuel flow restriction, caused by ice, resulting in a possible engine surge or stall condition, and the engine being unable to provide the commanded thrust. Since we issued AD 2010-08-08 and AD 2011-06-04, we received new data indicating that the water scavenge system (WSS) operation does not induce any risk of fuel feed system (including the engine) blockage by ice on the pipework or pump inlets. We have also determined that the risk of fuel flow restriction by ice at the fuel oil heat exchanger (FOHE) interface on airplanes equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines is now addressed by a redesigned FOHE, which incorporates enhanced anti-icing and de-icing performance.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective November 23, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0656; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A330-243, -243F, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 2, 2014 (79 FR 59468). The NPRM proposed to remove AD 2010-08-08, Amendment 39-16263 (75 FR 19196, April 14, 2010), and AD 2011-06-04, Amendment 39-16628 (76 FR 13075, March 10, 2011).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2010-0132-CN, dated October 14, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to cancel EASA AD 2010-0132R1, dated June 10, 2013, which superseded EASA AD 2010-0132, dated June 28, 2010. The requirements of FAA AD 2010-08-08, Amendment 39-16263 (75 FR 19196, April 14, 2010), and AD 2011-06-04, Amendment 39-16628 (76 FR 13075, March 10, 2011), correspond to EASA AD 2010-0132. The MCAI states:

During an in-service event, the flight crew of a Trent 700 powered A330 aeroplane reported a temporary Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR) shortfall on engine 2 during the takeoff phase of the flight. The ENG STALL warning was set. The flight crew followed the standard procedures which included reducing throttle to idle. The engine recovered and provided the demanded thrust level for the remainder of the flight.

Data analysis confirmed a temporary fuel flow restriction and subsequent recovery, and indicated that also engine 1 experienced a temporary fuel flow restriction shortly after the initial event on engine 2, again followed by a full recovery. The engine 1 EPR shortfall was insufficient to trigger any associated warning and was only noted through analysis of the flight data. No flight crew action was necessary to recover normal performance on this engine. The remainder of the flight was uneventful.

Based on industry-wide experience, the investigation of the event focused on the possibility for ice to temporarily restrict the fuel flow. While no direct fuel system fault was identified, the operation of the water scavenge system (WSS) at Rib 3 was considered to have been a contributory factor.

Prompted by these findings, EASA issued [EASA] Emergency AD 2010-0042-E [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2010-0042-E] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2010-08-08, Amendment 39-16263 (75 FR 19196, April 14, 2010] to require deactivation of the automatic Standby Fuel Pump Scavenge System and to prohibit dispatch of an aeroplane with one main fuel pump inoperative.

Subsequently, EASA issued [EASA] AD 2010-0132 which superseded EASA AD 2010-0042-E, retaining its requirements, to expand the applicability to the newly certified model A330-243F [which corresponds to FAA AD 2011-06-04, Amendment 39-16628 (76 FR 13075, March 10, 2011, for the A330-243F requirements]. EASA AD 2010-0132 was later revised to remove the dispatch restriction with one main fuel pump inoperative.

Since EASA AD 2010-0132R1 was issued, extensive fuel system icing risk investigations testing was conducted by Airbus and Rolls-Royce, the results of which confirmed that the Rib 3 WSS operation does not induce any risk of fuel feed system (including the engine) blockage by ice accreted on the pipework and/or pump inlets. In addition, it was demonstrated that the risk of fuel flow restriction by ice at the Fuel Oil Heat Exchanger (FOHE) interface on aeroplanes equipped with Trent 700 engines is now adequately addressed by introduction of a re-designed FOHE, more tolerant to the release of ice (modification 200218). The modified FOHE (incorporating enhanced anti-icing and de-icing performance) is required to be installed on all Trent 700 engines through EASA AD 2009-0257 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2009-0257] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2010-07-01, Amendment 39-16244 (75 FR 15326, March 29, 2010)].

Previously, the operation of the WSS at Rib 3 was no longer considered as a main contributory factor on ice build-up and subsequent release of ice into the fuel system. Based on the latest information, the deactivation of the automatic Standby Fuel Pump Scavenge System is no longer required.

For the reasons described above, this Notice cancels EASA AD 2010-0132R1.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0656-0004.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (79 FR 59468, October 2, 2014), or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

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

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59468, October 2, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59468, October 2, 2014).

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0656; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: (a) Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-08-08, Amendment 39-16263 (75 FR 19196, April 14, 2010); and AD 2011-06-04, Amendment 39-16628 (76 FR 13075, March 10, 2011), and (b) Adding the following new AD: 2015-21-03 Airbus: Amendment 39-18295. Docket No. FAA-2014-0656; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-224-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective November 23, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD removes AD 2010-08-08, Amendment 39-16263 (75 FR 19196, April 14, 2010); and AD 2011-06-04, Amendment 39-16628 (76 FR 13075, March 10, 2011).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

(1) Airbus Model A330-243, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, on which Airbus Modification 56966MP16199 has been embodied in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-28-3105 has been embodied in service.

(2) Airbus Model A330-243F airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers on which Airbus Modification 56966H16199 has been embodied in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-28-3105 has been embodied in service.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 6, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-26219 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4203; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-142-AD; Amendment 39-18299; AD 2015-21-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. This AD requires a detailed inspection of the girt installation of each escape slide and slide raft, and corrective action if necessary. This AD was prompted by a report of incorrect installation of the girt panel on passenger doors and an incorrectly installed quick release (girt) bar into the girt panel of the slide raft. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrect girt installation of the escape slide and slide raft, which could prevent slide deployment during an emergency, and result in reduced evacuation capacity from the airplane and possible injury to occupants.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective November 3, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 3, 2015.

We must receive comments on this AD by December 3, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4203.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4203; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0183R1, dated September 29, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During inspections of two different A330 aeroplanes before delivery, incorrect connection of the girt panel was noticed on one passenger (PAX) door 2 and one PAX door 4. Further investigation revealed that the quick release (girt) bar was incorrectly installed into the girt panel of the affected slide raft.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, would cause the slide pack to remain attached to the door, preventing slide deployment during an emergency (door in “ARMED” mode), leading to reduced evacuation capacity from the aeroplane and possible injury to occupants.

Further inspections at the Airbus final assembly line revealed a third case of incorrect installation of girt panel, on one emergency exit door.

Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A25L004-15 to provide inspection instructions.

For the reasons described above, EASA issued AD 2015-0183 to require a one-time inspection of the escape slide and slide/raft attachments and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s) [including reinstalling the slide or declaring the affected door inoperative].

Since that AD was issued, it was found that the Applicability could be reduced by excluding some aeroplanes and that there was a need to clarify the applicable Airbus MPD Tasks and MRBR MSI.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4203.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A25L004-15, Rev 00, dated August 24, 2015. The service information describes procedures for performing a visual inspection of the girt installations of each slide and slide raft, and corrective action. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because incorrect girt installation of the of escape slide and slide raft could prevent slide deployment during an emergency and result in reduced evacuation capacity from the airplane and possible injury to occupants. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4203; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-142-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 30 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $2,550, or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 18 work-hours, for a cost of $1,530 per escape slide/slide raft. We have no way of determining the number escape slides/slide rafts on the aircraft that might need this action.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-21-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18299. Docket No. FAA-2015-4203; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-142-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective November 3, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

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

(1) This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (c)(1)(vii) of this AD.

(i) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

(ii) Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

(iii) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(iv) Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes.

(v) Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes.

(vi) Model A340-541 airplanes.

(vii) Model A340-642 airplanes.

(2) This AD does not apply to airplanes on which the installations of all escape slides and slide rafts have passed an inspection as specified in any task/item identified in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (c)(2)(v) of this AD.

(i) Task 25-62-41-01-1 Cabin Escape Facilities, of the applicable Airbus Maintenance Planning Document.

(ii) Task 25-62-41-02-1 Cabin Escape Facilities, of the applicable Airbus Maintenance Planning Document.

(iii) Task 25-62-41-03-1 Cabin Escape Facilities, of the applicable Airbus Maintenance Planning Document.

(iv) Task 25-62-41-04-1 Cabin Escape Facilities, of the applicable Airbus Maintenance Planning Document.

(v) Maintenance Schedule Item 25.62.00 section 01, 02, or 03, of the Cabin Escape Facilities, of the applicable Airbus Maintenance Review Board Report.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of incorrect installation of the girt panel on passenger doors and an incorrectly installed quick release (girt) bar into the girt panel of the slide raft. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrect girt installation of the escape slide and slide raft, which could prevent slide deployment during an emergency, and result in reduced evacuation capacity from the airplane and possible injury to occupants.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect to identify the slide raft and escape slide part numbers installed on the airplane. A review of the airplane delivery or maintenance records may be used in lieu of the inspection if the slide raft and escape slide part numbers can be conclusively defined through such review.

(h) Affected Slides and Slide Rafts

(1) If the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD reveals any slide raft having P/N 7A1508, 7A1510, 7A1539, or 4A3934 series, or any escape slide having P/N 7A1509 or 4A3928 series: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection of the girt installation of the affected escape slide and slide raft, in accordance with paragraph 4.2 of Airbus AOT A25L004-15, Rev 00, dated August 24, 2015.

(2) For any door position where an affected slide raft or escape slide has been removed and reinstalled, or replaced since the airplane's entry into service, the inspection of the girt installation of the slide raft or escape slide at that position, as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, does not have to be done.

(i) Corrective Action

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, the girt bar fitted into the girt of an escape slide, or the quick release bar fitted into the girt of a slide raft, is found to be incorrectly installed, before further flight, accomplish the applicable corrective action(s), in accordance with paragraph 4.3 of Airbus AOT A25L004-15, Rev 00, dated August 24, 2015.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

(k) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0183, dated August 31, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4203.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A25L004-15, Rev 00, dated August 24, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

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

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 11, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-26603 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0277; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-05-AD; Amendment 39-18262; AD 2015-18-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; CFM International S.A. Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is correcting an airworthiness directive (AD) that published in the Federal Register. That AD applies to certain CFM International S.A. (CFM) CFM56-7B and CFM56-3 turbofan engines. Four headings in the Compliance section are incorrect. This document corrects the errors. In all other respects, the original document remains the same.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on October 20, 2015. The effective date of AD 2015-18-04, Amendment 39-18262 (80 FR 55235, September 15, 2015) remains October 20, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kyle Gustafson, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7183; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

AD 2015-18-04, Amendment 39-18262 (80 FR 55235, September 15, 2015), requires AGB/transfer gearbox (TGB) magnetic chip detector (MCD) inspection of the affected gearshafts until removal.

As published, four headings in the Compliance section are incorrect.

No other part of the final rule has been changed.

The effective date of AD 2015-18-04 remains October 20, 2015.

Correction of Regulatory Text
§ 39.13 [Corrected]
2. The FAA republishes airworthiness directive (AD) 2015-18-04, Amendment 39-18262 (80 FR 55235, September 15, 2015) as follows: 2015-18-04 CFM International S.A.: Amendment 39-18262; Docket No. FAA-2015-0277; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-05-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 20, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to CFM International S.A. (CFM) CFM56-7B and CFM56-3 engines with a 73-tooth or 41-tooth gearshaft installed in the accessory gearbox (AGB), that has a gearshaft serial number in Appendix A or Appendix B of CFM Service Bulletin (SB) No. CFM56-7B S/B 72-0964, Revision 1, dated December 15, 2014.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a report of an uncommanded in-flight shutdown on a CFM CFM56-7B engine following rupture of the 73-tooth gearshaft located in the engine AGB. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of certain AGB gearshafts, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Initial AGB/Transfer Gearbox (TGB)/Magnetic Chip Detector (MCD) Inspection and Analysis for CFM56-7B Engines

(i) For affected 73-tooth gearshafts, perform an AGB/TGB MCD inspection within 250 flight hours (FHs) since last inspection, within 25 FHs from the effective date of this AD, or when the gearshaft accumulates 3,000 FHs since new, whichever comes later.

(ii) For affected 41-tooth gearshafts, perform an AGB/TGB MCD inspection within 250 FHs since last inspection, within 25 FHs from the effective date of this AD, or when the gearshaft accumulates 6,000 FHs since new, whichever comes later.

(iii) If any magnetic particles, including fuzz, are seen, determine with laboratory analysis if the particles are 73-tooth or 41-tooth gearshaft material.

(iv) If the particles are 73-tooth or 41-tooth gearshaft material, remove the affected gearshaft(s) within 75 FHs since the AGB/TGB MCD inspection.

(2) Repetitive AGB/TGB MCD Inspection and Analysis for CFM56-7B Engines

(i) For affected 73-tooth gearshafts, perform an AGB/TGB MCD inspection and laboratory analysis within every 500 FHs since the last AGB/TGB MCD inspection until affected gearshaft is removed.

(ii) For affected 41-tooth gearshafts, perform an AGB/TGB MCD inspection and laboratory analysis within every 500 FHs since the last AGB/TGB MCD inspection until affected gearshaft is removed.

(iii) If any magnetic particles, including fuzz, are seen, determine with laboratory analysis if the particles are 73-tooth or 41-tooth gearshaft material.

(iv) If the particles are 73-tooth or 41-tooth gearshaft material, remove the affected gearshaft(s) within 75 FHs since the AGB/TGB MCD inspection.

(f) Mandatory Terminating Action for CFM56-7B Engines

(1) Remove the affected 73-tooth gearshaft prior to the gearshaft accumulating 6,000 FHs since new or within 50 FHs after the effective date of this AD, whichever comes later.

(2) Remove the affected 41-tooth gearshaft prior to the gearshaft accumulating 9,000 FHs since new or within 50 FHs after the effective date of this AD, whichever comes later.

(g) Installation Prohibition for CFM56-3 and CFM56-7B Engines

After the effective date of this AD, do not install an affected gearshaft into an AGB.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected].

(i) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Kyle Gustafson, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7183; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 20, 2015.

(i) CFM International Service Bulletin No. CFM56-7B S/B 72-0964, Revision 1, dated December 15, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) For CFM service information identified in this AD, contact CFM International Inc., Aviation Operations Center, 1 Neumann Way, M/D Room 285, Cincinnati, OH 45125; phone: 877-432-3272; fax: 877-432-3329; email: [email protected].

(5) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on October 6, 2015. Ann C. Mollica, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-26345 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1835; Airspace Docket No. 14-AGL-7] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Hart/Shelby, MI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Hart/Shelby, MI. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at Oceana County Airport. The FAA is proposing this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5857.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On July 28, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Oceana County Airport, Hart/Shelby, MI., (80 FR 44895). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

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

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL MI E5 Hart/Shelby, MI [New] Oceana County Airport, MI (Lat. 43°38′30″ N., long. 086°19′45″ W.)

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

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 5, 2015 Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26177 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0842; Airspace Docket No. 15-ACE-2] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Missouri Towns: Chillicothe, MO; Cuba, MO; Farmington, MO; Lamar, MO; Mountain View, MO; Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff, MO AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, Chillicothe, MO; Cuba Municipal Airport, Cuba, MO; Farmington Regional Airport, Farmington, MO; Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, MO; Mountain View Airport, Mountain View, MO; Nevada Municipal Airport, Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, Poplar Bluff, MO. Decommissioning of the non-directional radio beacons (NDB) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities has made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports. Geographic coordinates are also adjusted at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, Chillicothe, MO; Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, MO; and Nevada Municipal Airport, Nevada, MO.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Pharmakis, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: (817) 222-5855.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On July 17th, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, Chillicothe, MO; Cuba Municipal Airport, Cuba, MO; Farmington Regional Airport, Farmington, MO; Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, MO; Mountain View Airport, Mountain View, MO; Nevada Municipal Airport, Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, Poplar Bluff, MO (80 FR 42436). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface for new standard instrument approach procedures at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, Chillicothe, MO; Cuba Municipal Airport, Cuba, MO; Farmington Regional Airport, Farmington, MO; Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, MO; Mountain View Airport, Mountain View, MO; Nevada Municipal Airport, Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, Poplar Bluff, MO. Also, Class E airspace extending upward from the surface is amended at Farmington Regional Airport, Farmington, MO. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs and/or cancellation of the NDB approach at each airport. Additionally, geographic coordinates are adjusted for Lamar Municipal Airport, Lamar, MO; Nevada Municipal Airport, Nevada, MO; and Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, Poplar Bluff, MO, to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as a Surface Area. ACE MO E2 Farmington, MO [Amended] Farmington Regional Airport, MO (Lat. 37°45′40″ N., long. 90°25′43″ W.)

Within a 3.9-mile radius of Farmington Regional Airport and within 1.7 miles each side of the 202° bearing from the airport extending from the 3.9-mile radius to 4 miles south of the airport.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE MO E5 Chillicothe, MO [Amended] Chillicothe Municipal Airport, MO (Lat. 39°46′55″ N., long. 93°29′47″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.9-mile radius of Chillicothe Municipal Airport.

ACE MO E5 Cuba, MO [Amended] Cuba Municipal Airport, MO (Lat. 38°04′08″ N., long. 91°25′44″ W.)

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

ACE MO E5 Farmington, MO [Amended] Farmington Regional Airport, MO (Lat. 37°45′40″ N., long. 90°25′43″ W.) Farmington VORTAC (Lat. 37°40′24″ N., long. 90°14′03″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Farmington Regional Airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 204° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 11.5 miles southwest of the airport, and within 1.3 miles each side of the Farmington VORTAC 300° radial extending from the 6.4-mile radius of the airport to the VORTAC.

ACE MO E5 Lamar, MO [Amended] Lamar Municipal Airport, MO (Lat. 37°29′10″ N., long. 94°18′43″ W.)

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

ACE MO E5 Mountain View, MO [Amended] Mountain View Airport, MO (Lat. 36°59′34″ N., long. 91°42′52″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Mountain View Airport.

ACE MO E5 Nevada, MO [Amended] Nevada Municipal Airport, MO (Lat. 37°51′09″ N., long. 94°18′17″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Nevada Municipal Airport.

ACE MO E5 Poplar Bluff, MO [Amended] Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport, MO (Lat. 36°46′26″ N., long. 90°19′30″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 8, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26273 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0841; Airspace Docket No. 15-ACE-3] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Nebraska Towns: Albion, NE; Bassett, NE; Lexington, NE AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Albion Municipal Airport, Albion, NE; Rock County Airport, Bassett, NE; and Jim Kelly Field Airport, Lexington, NE. Decommissioning of the non-directional radio beacons (NDBs) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities has made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports. Also, the geographic coordinates are being updated for Rock County Airport and Jim Kelly Field Airport.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Pharmakis, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: (817) 222-5855.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 11th, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Albion Municipal Airport, Albion, NE; Rock County Airport, Bassett, NE; and Jim Kelly Field Airport, Lexington, NE. (80 FR 26870). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface for new standard instrument approach procedures at Albion Municipal Airport, Albion, NE; Rock County Airport, Bassett, NE; and Jim Kelly Field Airport, Lexington, NE. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs and/or the cancellation of the NDB approach at each airport. Additionally, geographic coordinates are adjusted for Rock County Airport and Jim Kelly Field to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE NE E5 Albion, NE [Amended] Albion Municipal Airport, NE (Lat. 41°43′43″ N., long. 98°03′21″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Albion Municipal Airport.

ACE NE E5 Bassett, NE [Amended] Rock County Airport, NE (Lat. 42°34′16″ N., long. 99°34′10″ W.)

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

ACE NE E5 Lexington, NE [Amended] Jim Kelly Field, NE (Lat. 40°47′26″ N., long. 99°46′33″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8-mile radius of Jim Kelly Field.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 8, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26275 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0843; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-5] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Louisiana Towns: Jonesboro, LA and Winnfield, LA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Jonesboro Airport, Jonesboro, LA, and David G. Joyce Airport, Winnfield, LA. Decommissioning of the non-directional radio beacons (NDB) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities has made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Pharmakis, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: (817) 222-5855.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 11th, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Jonesboro Airport, Jonesboro, LA, and David G. Joyce Airport, Winnfield, LA. (80 FR 26872). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface for standard instrument approach procedures at Jonesboro Airport, Jonesboro, LA; and David G. Joyce Airport, Winnfield, LA. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs and/or the cancellation of the NDB approach at each airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW LA E5 Jonesboro, LA [Amended] Jonesboro Airport, LA (Lat. 32°12′07″ N., long. 92°43′59″ W.)

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

ASW LA E5 Winnfield LA [Amended] David G. Joyce Airport, LA (Lat. 31°57′49″ N., long. 92°39′37″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of David G. Joyce Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 8, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26277 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1394; Airspace Docket No. 15-ACE-4] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Tekamah, Nebraska AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action amends Class E airspace at Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE. A Class E extension is no longer required due to the decommissioning of the Tekamah VHF Omni-directional radio range (VOR) facility and its associated standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs). This enhances the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Pharmakis, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: (817) 222-5855.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 21st, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE. A Class E extension is no longer required due to the decommissioning of the Tekamah VHF Omni-directional radio range (VOR) facility and its associated standard instrument approach procedures (80 FR 29226). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.4-mile radius of Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE., reconfiguring the airspace for standard instrument approach procedures at the airport. The Tekamah VOR facility has been decommissioned and its associated standard instrument approach procedures have been canceled.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE NE E5 Tekamah, NE [Amended] Tekamah Municipal Airport, NE (Lat. 41°45′49″ N., long. 96°10′41″ W.)

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

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 8, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26272 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1071; Airspace Docket No. 14-AGL-15] Revocation of Class D Airspace; Springfield, OH AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action removes Class D airspace at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, OH. The closure of the air traffic control tower has necessitated the need to remove the Class D airspace area at the airport.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Shelby, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5857.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On May 29, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to remove Class D airspace at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, OH, (80 FR 30632). Interested parties were invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by removing Class D airspace at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, OH. The closing of the air traffic control tower at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport has made this action necessary for the efficient use of airspace within the National Airspace System.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1 of the FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015 is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace Areas Extending Upward From the Surface of the Earth. AGL OH D Springfield, OH [Removed]
Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 7, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26179 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1387; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-4] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Tomah, WI AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

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

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/publications.

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5857.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

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

History

On June 22, 2015, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Bloyer Field Airport, Tomah, WI (80 FR 35599). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

The Rule

This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Bloyer Field Airport, Tomah, WI, to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures at the airport. This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

Environmental Review

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL WI E5 Tomah, WI [New] Bloyer Field Airport, WI (Lat. 43°58′34″ N., long. 090°28′50″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Bloyer Field Airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on October 7, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-26178 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 [Docket No. SSA-2015-0011] RIN 0960-AH77 Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowance Determinations AGENCY:

Social Security Administration.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are extending the expiration date of our rule that authorizes State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our quick disability determination (QDD) and compassionate allowance (CAL) processes. The current rule will expire on November 13, 2015. In this final rule, we are changing the November 13, 2015 expiration or “sunset” date to November 11, 2016, extending the authority for 1 year. We are making no other substantive changes.

DATES:

This final rule is effective October 19, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Williams, Office of Disability Policy, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401, (410) 965-0608, for information about this notice. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background of the QDD and CAL Disability Examiner Authority

On October 13, 2010, we published a final rule that temporarily authorized State agency disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations without the approval of a State agency medical or psychological consultant in claims that we consider under our QDD and CAL processes. 75 FR 62676.

We included in 20 CFR 404.1615(c)(3) and 416.1015(c)(3) provisions by which the State agency disability examiner authority to make fully favorable determinations without medical or psychological consultant approval in QDD and CAL claims would no longer be effective, unless we decided to terminate the rule earlier or extend it beyond that date by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register. On August 28, 2014, we published a final rule extending the expiration date until November 13, 2015. 79 FR 51241.

Explanation of Provision

This final rule extends for 1 year the authority in the rule that we published on October 13, 2010 allowing disability examiners to make fully favorable determinations in certain disability claims under our QDD and CAL processes without the approval of a medical or psychological consultant. This rule allows us to make fully favorable determinations when we can as quickly as possible. The rule also helps us process claims more efficiently because it allows State agency medical and psychological consultants to spend their time on claims that require their expertise.

In the rule that we published on October 13, 2010, we noted that our experience adjudicating QDD and CAL claims led us to our decision to allow disability examiners to make some fully favorable determinations without a medical or psychological consultation. When we implemented the rule, we also knew that State agencies would require some time to establish procedures, adopt necessary software modifications, and satisfy collective bargaining obligations. Extending the rule provides data on the active processes as well as ongoing analysis of the data we will use to make a decision on whether to make the authority permanent.

Regulatory Procedures Justification for Issuing a Final Rule Without Notice and Comment

We follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 553 when developing regulations. Section 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5). Generally, the APA requires that an agency provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing a final rule. However, the APA provides exceptions to its notice and public comment procedures when an agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures because they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

We have determined that good cause exists for dispensing with the notice and public comment procedures for this rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Good cause exists because this final rule only extends the expiration date of the existing provisions. It makes no substantive changes. The current regulations expressly provide that we may extend or terminate the current rule. Therefore, we have determined that opportunity for prior comment is unnecessary, and we are issuing this rule as a final rule.

In addition, for the reasons cited above, we find good cause for dispensing with the 30-day delay in the effective date of this final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). We are not making any substantive changes in our current rule, but are extending the expiration date of the rule. In addition, as discussed above, the change we are making in this final rule will allow us to better utilize our scarce administrative resources in light of the current budgetary constraints under which we are operating. For these reasons, we find that it is contrary to the public interest to delay the effective date of our rule.

Executive Order 12866, as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, OMB did not review it.

We also determined that this final rule meets the plain language requirement of Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

We certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it affects individuals only. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

Paperwork Reduction Act

These rules do not create any new or affect any existing collections and, therefore, do not require Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social Security—Disability Insurance; 96.002, Social Security—Retirement Insurance; 96.004, Social Security—Survivors Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income.) List of Subjects 20 CFR Part 404

Administrative practice and procedure; Blind, Disability benefits; Old-age, Survivors and Disability Insurance; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Social Security.

20 CFR Part 416

Administrative practice and procedure; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, we are amending subpart Q of part 404 and subpart J of part 416 of title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950- ) Subpart Q—[Amended] 1. The authority citation for subpart Q of part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 205(a), 221, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(a), 421, and 902(a)(5)).

2. Amend § 404.1615 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
§ 404.1615 Making disability determinations.

(c) * * *

(3) A State agency disability examiner alone if the claim is adjudicated under the quick disability determination process (see § 404.1619) or the compassionate allowance process (see § 404.1602), and the initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to you. This paragraph will no longer be effective on November 11, 2016 unless we terminate it earlier or extend it beyond that date by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register; or

PART 416—SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED Subpart J—[Amended] 3. The authority citation for subpart J of part 416 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5), 1614, 1631, and 1633 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1382c, 1383, and 1383b).

4. Amend § 416.1015 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
§ 416.1015 Making disability determinations.

(c) * * *

(3) A State agency disability examiner alone if you are not a child (a person who has not attained age 18), and the claim is adjudicated under the quick disability determination process (see § 416.1019) or the compassionate allowance process (see § 416.1002), and the initial or reconsidered determination is fully favorable to you. This paragraph will no longer be effective on November 11, 2016 unless we terminate it earlier or extend it beyond that date by publication of a final rule in the Federal Register; or

[FR Doc. 2015-26488 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs 25 CFR Parts 81 and 82 [156A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G] RIN 1076-AE93 Secretarial Election Procedures AGENCY:

Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is amending its regulations governing Secretarial elections and procedures for tribal members to petition for Secretarial elections. This rule reflects changes in the law and the requirement that regulations be written in plain language. The rule also clarifies how tribes may remove Secretarial election requirements from their governing documents.

DATES:

This rule is effective November 18, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Laurel Iron Cloud, Chief, Division of Tribal Government Services, Central Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs at telephone (202) 513-7641. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary II. Summary of Comments on the Proposed Rule and Responses to Comments A. General 1. Application to Federally Recognized Tribes Only 2. General 3. Removal of Requirement for Secretarial Election B. Definitions C. Provisions Applicable to All Secretarial Elections 1. Tribal Request 2. Informal Review and Official Request 3. Who May Vote in a Secretarial Election 4. Costs of Holding a Secretarial Election D. IRA (and OIWA, as applicable) Secretarial Elections 1. Secretarial Election Board 2. Ballot and Submission of Ballot 3. Eligible Voters List 4. Notice 5. Registration 6. Polling Sites 7. Challenges 8. Participation in the Election E. Petitioning F. Miscellaneous III. Consultations IV. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866) B. Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act E. Takings (E.O. 12630) F. Federalism (E.O. 13132) G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988) H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175) I. Paperwork Reduction Act J. National Environmental Policy Act K. Information Quality Act L. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211) I. Executive Summary

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is amending 25 CFR parts 81 (Tribal Reorganization under a Federal Statute) and 82 (Petitioning Procedures for Tribes Reorganized under Federal Statute and Other Organized Tribes), combining them into one Code of Federal Regulations part at 25 CFR part 81 (Secretarial Elections). The Secretarial elections regulations were originally adopted in 1964, and the Petitioning Procedures regulations were originally adopted in 1967. See 29 FR 14359 (October 17, 1964); 32 FR 11779 (August 16, 1967). The Department has not updated either of these regulations since 1981. See 46 FR 1668 (January 7, 1981).

A Secretarial election is a Federal election conducted by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) under a Federal statute or tribal governing document under 25 CFR part 81. See Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law section 4.06[2][a]-[b], at 286-297 (Nell Jessup Newton ed., 2012). See also Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Andrus, 566 F. 2d 1085 (8th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 820 (1978). This final rule:

• Responds to the 1988 amendments made to section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) (June 18, 1934, 48 Stat. 984) (25 U.S.C. 476), as amended, which established time frames within which the Secretary must call and conduct Secretarial elections;

• Provides that all elections will be handled by mailout ballot unless polling places are expressly required by the amendment or adoption article of the tribe's governing document;

• Responds to the amendments made to Section 17 of the IRA by the Act of May 24, 1990 (104 Stat. 207) (25 U.S.C. 477) under which additional tribes may petition for charters of incorporation and removes the requirement of an election to ratify the approval of new charters issued after May 24, 1990, unless required by tribal law; and

• Reflects the 1994 addition of two subsections to section 16 of the IRA by the Technical Corrections Act of 1994 (108 Stat. 707) (25 U.S.C. 476(f) & (g)) that prohibit the Federal government from making a regulation or administrative decision “that classifies, enhances, or diminishes the privileges and immunities available to a federally recognized Indian tribe relative to the privileges and immunities available to other federally recognized tribes by virtue of their status as Indian tribes.”

When Congress enacted the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA) in 1936, the language it used to guarantee the right of tribes to organize and adopt constitutions and bylaws was different from that used in the IRA. The OIWA language requires the Secretary to approve the constitution before it is submitted to the tribal membership for a vote to ratify it. These regulations reflect the difference in language between the IRA and the OIWA.

For many tribes, the requirement for Secretarial elections or Secretarial approval is anachronistic and inconsistent with modern policies favoring tribal self-governance. The rule includes language clarifying that a tribe reorganized under the IRA may amend its governing document to remove the requirement for Secretarial approval of future amendments. The Department encourages amendments to governing documents to remove vestiges of a more paternalistic approach toward tribes. Once the requirement for Secretarial approval is removed through a Secretarial election, Secretarial approval of future amendments is not required, meaning there will be no future Secretarial elections conducted for the tribe, and future elections will be purely tribal elections, governed and run by the tribe rather than BIA. Additionally, without a requirement for Secretarial approval, the constitution will no longer be governed by the other election-related requirements of the IRA, such as the minimum number of tribal voters to make an election effective. Such matters will be governed by tribal policy decisions rather than Federal ones. Tribes with Secretarial election requirements are encouraged to remove them in furtherance of tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

The rule also clarifies that the Secretary will accept petitions for Secretarial elections only from federally recognized tribes included on the list of recognized tribes published by the Secretary pursuant to section 479a-1.

It is the policy of the Federal government to support tribal self-governance as a substitute for Federal governance to the maximum extent permitted under Federal law. This rule seeks to effectuate that policy.

II. Summary of Comments on the Proposed Rule and Responses to Comments

BIA published a proposed rule on Secretarial elections procedures on October 9, 2014. See 79 FR 61021. The original comment deadline was then extended to January 16, 2015. See 79 FR 75103. We received several comments during the public comment period and at tribal consultation and listening sessions. Several commenters stated their support for the proposed revisions to simplify and clarify the process, as well as provisions that recognize tribal self-determination and self-governance. A few commenters opposed the revisions, stating that the proposal exceeds statutory authority, establishes quasi government-to-government relationships with individuals, and includes inconsistencies. The following summarizes specific comments received and BIA's responses to those comments.

A. General 1. Application to Federally Recognized Tribes Only

Comment: One tribal commenter opposed the proposal to limit the availability of Secretarial elections to federally recognized tribes only. This commenter stated that the IRA, at 25 U.S.C. 479, allows for organization of residents of a reservation as a tribe, and that, as such, BIA is bound to allow residents to organize as a tribe under these regulations. The tribe points to several instances throughout the rule that fail to account for residents of a reservation organizing for the first time (e.g., § 81.4 does not include in the definition of “petition” organization for the first time; “spokesman for petitioners” does not include an eligible voter selected by reservation residents seeking to organize for the first time; § 81.10(a)(2) allows any member to vote regardless of residence; § 81.52 limiting authority to petition to those instances where the tribe's governing document or charter of incorporation allows petitioning; § 81.57(b) requires a certain percentage of tribal members but does not include residence on reservation requirement).

Response: The final rule retains the draft rule's limitation of the availability of Secretarial elections to federally recognized tribes. The commenter is correct that, as a matter of law, a group of half-bloods on a reservation could seek to organize through a Secretarial election, even though the group is not listed as a federally recognized tribe. See Pit River Home & Agric. Coop. Ass'n v. U.S., 30 F.3d 1088, 1096 (9th Cir. 1994). However, federal reservations currently in existence are under the jurisdiction of a federally recognized tribe. In practice, this means that it is no longer necessary to allow individual Indians residing on a federal reservation the option of requesting a Secretarial election. The Department has therefore determined that it is appropriate to limit the definition of “tribe” in the Secretarial elections regulation to listed federally recognized Indian tribes.

2. General

Comment: A few commenters stated that, where a tribe's election code is sufficient, the Secretarial elections should follow the tribe's procedures rather than the procedures in these regulations. The commenters stated that having different requirements causes unnecessary complications and that using the tribe's procedures would minimize the potential for confusion and show greater respect for tribal sovereignty.

Response: The Department agrees with the spirit in which this comment was made. The current rule included a provision, at § 81.5(d), that the election would be conducted as prescribed by the regulations unless the amendment article for the tribe's constitution and bylaws or charter provided otherwise, in which case the provisions of those documents would rule where applicable. The proposed rule omitted this provision without including a basis for its omission. The final rule reinserts this provision, with the addition that the tribal procedures must not violate Federal law. See § 81.2(b). This provision allows for the use of tribal election procedures. If a tribe wishes to use tribal voting procedures for a Secretarial election, it may prescribe voting procedures in its amendment article. The exception is that a tribe may not apply voting qualifications that conflict with Federal voting qualifications, such as the requirement that voters be at least 18 years of age. Federal voting qualifications continue to apply, regardless of tribal voting qualifications, because a Secretarial election is a Federal election in which Federal voting standards apply (see discussion below).

If a tribe wishes to avoid entirely the application of all Federal voting requirements, including Federal voting qualifications, the tribe may hold a Secretarial election to remove the requirement for Secretarial approval, such that all future elections would be tribal elections conducted in accordance with tribal voting procedures and substantive requirements.

Comment: A tribal commenter questioned why, in proposed § 81.2(f), a tribe would have to undergo a Secretarial election to amend a Federal charter of incorporation if the charter was ratified before the 1990 IRA amendments.

Response: Prior to 1990, the IRA required a Secretarial election for the issuance and amendment of a Federal charter of incorporation. Therefore, the amendment article of the corporate charter would have language requiring a Secretarial election. The 1990 amendments to the IRA removed this election requirement as a matter of Federal law, allowing the tribal governing body, rather than “a majority vote of the adult Indians living on the reservation,” to ratify the charter. The regulations had not been updated since 1990, so they continued to include the requirement for a Secretarial election for the issuance of a Federal charter of incorporation, and the proposed rule would have carried forward that requirement. In response to the comment, the final rule removes this requirement, so that a Secretarial election is required to amend a charter only if the charter itself states that a Secretarial election is required to amend it. See final § 81.2(a)(6).

3. Removal of Requirement for Secretarial Election

Comment: Several tribal commenters stated their support for the provision at proposed § 81.2(h), which states that a tribe may amend its governing documents to remove the requirement for Secretarial approval. One tribe stated that this provision promotes tribal sovereignty and self-governance, allowing the tribe to have the ultimate say in whether a Secretarial election should be required. One tribe asked about the consequences to a tribe of removing the requirement for Secretarial approval of future governing document amendments.

Response: The final rule retains this proposed provision, as each tribe has the discretion to require a Secretarial election or not in its governing documents. See final § 81.2(a)(8). As explained by a Federal representative at the tribal consultation sessions, removing the requirement for Secretarial approval of future amendments means that Secretarial elections will no longer be required for additional amendments to the tribe's governing document and the governing document will no longer be considered to have been adopted pursuant to a Federal statute. Of course, removing the Secretary from the amendments section does not diminish the government-to-government relationship or Federal trust responsibilities owed to the tribe. The Department encourages tribes to take such action in furtherance of tribal self-governance.

Comment: One tribal commenter asked whether a tribe that has reorganized under the IRA and wishes to remove the requirement for a Secretarial election must hold a Secretarial election to remove that requirement.

Response: The tribe must hold a Secretarial election to remove the requirement for a Secretarial election from its governing document. Final § 81.2(a)(8) addresses this issue.

Comment: One tribal commenter requested clarification in § 81.2 that removing the requirement for Secretarial approval of amendments does not mean removing the requirement for Secretarial elections.

Response: The IRA makes it clear that Secretarial approval of a tribe's organic documents is part of the Secretarial election process, not a separate action. See, e.g., 25 U.S.C 476(d)(1).

B. Definitions

Comment: Two tribal commenters opposed including Solicitor opinions in the definition of “applicable law.” One stated it is unclear whether “opinion of the Solicitor” includes opinions written by those in regional Solicitor offices or only M-opinions. The other stated that such opinions may provide guidance, but do not carry the force of law.

Response: The proposed rule included Solicitor opinions and Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) decisions to alert the public that the Department intends to abide by its own prior interpretations of statutes, regulations, and other primary law. In response to the concern expressed by the commenters, the final rule removes these items from the definition of “applicable law.” However, the Department is bound by opinions of the Solicitor and IBIA decisions to the extent such interpretations resolve any ambiguity or vague provision of the law.

Comment: One commenter stated confusion over defining “cast” as “received” because the Secretarial Election Board would not know a ballot was spoiled before cast.

Response: No change to the proposed definition of “cast” is necessary in response to this comment because the voter must recognize a ballot is spoiled before cast and identify it as such to the Board in order to obtain a new ballot. If the voter does not recognize the ballot is spoiled, then the vote is considered cast when the Board receives it.

Comment: One commenter stated that the “Eligible Voters List” and “tribal request” should not include individuals' birthdates for privacy reasons.

Response: The Eligible Voters List, and the list provided as part of the tribal request, must include individuals' birthdates to allow the Secretarial Election Board to ascertain whether each individual is over 18 years of age and to distinguish between individuals with the same name. The Secretarial Election Board does not make these lists public; it posts only the Registered Voters List, which does not include birthdates. See final § 81.30.

Comment: A tribal commenter asked whether “local Bureau office” means the agency or regional office or both, and noted that “local Bureau Official” includes the Superintendent, Field Representative, or other official with delegated responsibility, stating that there is a potential for confusion.

Response: In most of Indian country, the BIA office serving as the primary point of contact between tribes and the Bureau is an Agency headed by a Superintendent. In some places, however, the primary point of contact may be a BIA Field Office; in other places, the Regional Office may serve as the primary point of contact. The terms “local Bureau office” and “local Bureau official” are used because these terms embrace all three possibilities. For this reason, no changes to these terms have been made in response to the comment.

Comment: A commenter stated that the proposed definition of “member” would not provide for tribes without written criteria for membership or for tribes that do not have formal enrollment.

Response: The final rule revises the definition of “member” to account for tribes without written criteria, by deleting the word “written.” The final rule also accounts for tribes without formal enrollment by deleting “duly enrolled” and instead providing that the member must be someone who meets the criteria for membership in the tribe and, if required by the tribe, is formally enrolled. This definition signifies that there is a rebuttable presumption that the tribe's identification of its members is accurate in the list it provides of all members who will be 18 years old or older within 120 days of the tribal request. This definition also signifies that the list must, in fact, be accurate, by including all persons who meet the tribe's criteria for membership and who will be 18 years old or older within 120 days of the request (and, if the tribe's governing document's amendment article imposes additional requirements for petitioning, also meets those requirements).

Comment: A commenter stated that the definitions of “petition” and “spokesperson for the petitioners” should be revised to include circumstances in which a tribe may be adopting or ratifying a governing document for the first time.

Response: The final rule makes no change to the proposed definition of “petition” because it would already cover circumstances in which a federally recognized tribe is adopting or ratifying a governing document for the first time. The final rule makes a change to the definition of “spokesperson for the petitioners” to replace “eligible voter” to “member” in response to this comment, because the tribe would not yet have a list of eligible voters if adopting or ratifying a governing document for the first time.

Comment: A tribal commenter stated that using the same definition for “absentee ballot” and “mailout ballot” is confusing and makes it difficult to discern the difference in procedures in proposed § 81.22(f) and (g).

Response: A mailout ballot and an absentee ballot are the same types of ballots; they are identified with different nomenclature depending on whether the entire election is conducted by mail (“mailout ballot”) or whether polling sites are used but individual voters submit their ballots by mail on a case-by-case basis because they are unable to vote in person at the polls (“absentee ballot”). In response to this comment, the final rule clarifies the differences between procedures for absentee ballots and mailout ballots by making the differences explicit in final §§ 81.4 and 81.22(f) and (g).

Comment: A few commenters asked why the term “Indian” is not defined in the rule. One noted that such a definition is necessary to allow groups of Indians residing on a reservation to organize.

Response: The rule does not need to define the term “Indian” because the rule does not use this term and instead relies on whether an individual meets the criteria for membership in the tribe.

C. Provisions Applicable to All Secretarial Elections 1. Tribal Request

Comment: One commenter requested clarification on what BIA considers to be the official date the tribal request is submitted, starting the clock on the statutory deadline for holding the election.

Response: The final regulations consider the clock to start when the Bureau receives a complete tribal request, as defined in 83.4 to include the duly adopted tribal resolution or other appropriate tribal document, the exact document or amended language to be voted on, and the list of all tribal members who will be 18 or older within 120 days of the request with last known addresses, dates of birth, and voting district, if any.

2. Informal Review and Official Request

Comment: A tribal commenter stated that proposed § 81.5 should include an instruction that the local Bureau official will also review and comment on the procedures set out in the federally approved governing document.

Response: The final rule addresses this comment by clarifying in § 81.5 that Bureau officials will offer technical assistance to the tribe during an informal review.

Comment: A few commenters opposed the proposed approach of requiring the tribe to seek technical assistance from the Bureau prior to submitting a request for Secretarial election, noting that the statute provides that technical assistance should occur following submission of the request. One commenter stated that imposing a pre-submission requirement that would bar any formal requests unless and until BIA comments and a tribe or petitioners respond is unlawful. A few other commenters stated that the proposed regulations call for a quick time period in which the election may be held after the request, leaving a short turnaround time for notice, voter education and registration. One of these commenters stated that the timeframe is “unrealistic” and noted that the Board becomes “overwhelmed with workload” once the process begins.

Response: The statute requires the Secretary to call and hold an election within a certain period of time following the receipt of a tribal request for an election. See 25 U.S.C. 476(c) (requiring the Secretary to call and hold an election within 180 days to ratify a proposed document or revoke an existing document or 90 days to ratify an amendment to an existing document). The statute also requires that, during this time period, the Secretary provide technical advice and assistance and review the final draft of the document to determine if any provision is contrary to applicable laws. See 25 U.S.C. 476(c)(2).

Practically, these timeframes pose a challenge for even the most skilled and experienced of Bureau and Department personnel because there are many steps required to “call and hold” an election and require considerable responsive cooperation from tribal officials (e.g., allow the tribe at least 10 days to appoint members to the Secretarial Election Board, prepare and send the Secretarial Election Notice Packet sufficiently in advance of the election date, allow time for the return of registration forms, prepare the Registered Voters List, allow for challenges to the Registered Voters List, prepare and send official ballots to voters). As some commenters pointed out, taking all these steps leaves little time to provide technical advice and assistance or review the final draft to determine if any provision is contrary to applicable laws. Further, in nearly all cases, Bureau expertise is required to perfect a request to include all necessary information and avoid inconsistencies. For these reasons, while it is not required by law or regulation, the Department strongly recommends that tribes seek an informal review from the Department to take advantage of the Bureau's and Department's accumulated experience before submitting an official request for election. This informal review will provide the Department with the time to ensure that all the necessary documents are internally consistent and as compliant as possible with applicable laws and avoid complications resulting from conflicting or noncompliant documents. Informal review reflects best practices and good governance. It helps to ensure competent and thoughtful handling of this most important of government functions and seeks to avoid inadvertent disenfranchisement of voters. While the informal review is entirely optional, and a tribe may choose instead to immediately submit a request for Secretarial election, the informal review will ultimately be more efficient by helping to ensure that the election runs as smoothly as possible and that the results are meaningful. The final rule clarifies at §§ 81.5 and 81.6 that this informal review is prior to, and separate from, the process that follows the submission of a request for election that triggers the statutory timeframes.

Comment: A commenter also noted that requiring two submissions (a pre-submission review and then the formal request) will require two tribal resolutions.

Response: No tribal resolution is required to request the informal review. The Bureau has the discretion to ask for confirmation in some form of the authority of the person requesting, however, that the request is on behalf of the tribe.

Comment: A commenter also noted that BIA is under no deadline to provide comments in the initial review.

Response: While the commenter is correct that the rule does not provide a deadline for the Bureau to assist the tribe as part of the informal review, it is in the Bureau's best interest to respond as expeditiously as possible because, at any time, the tribe could submit a formal request triggering the statutory timeframe.

Comment: A tribal commenter stated that the rule should allow the tribe to end the consultation process and require BIA to move forward in holding the election, in lieu of responding to BIA's issues.

Response: The final rule allows a tribe to end the informal review and require the Bureau to move forward in holding an election at any time by submitting a tribal request for election. For IRA elections, once a formal request for election is submitted, the Bureau will provide technical assistance, culminating in a letter that either authorizes the election with no suggestions for changes, or authorizes the election with suggestions for changes and advises the tribe of any provisions that are contrary to applicable laws. The tribe may choose to accept the suggested changes, or may choose to reject the suggested changes; in either case, the election will proceed. Note, however, that if the tribe chooses to reject the suggested changes, it risks having the Bureau disapprove of the constitution or amendment if it contains provisions that are contrary to applicable laws. The final rule clarifies this risk at § 81.7(b). For OIWA elections, once a formal request for election is submitted, the Bureau will provide technical assistance, culminating in a letter that either authorizes the election, or identifies a provision of the proposed document that is contrary to law to be addressed before the election may be authorized. See final § 81.46.

Comment: A commenter stated that the technical assistance provisions in proposed §§ 81.6 and 81.47 contain similar provisions but are not worded the same.

Response: These sections in the final rule are combined in Subpart C, General Provisions, to ensure that they match. Please note that there is a substantive difference in how the Bureau handles the request depending on whether the election occurs under the IRA or OIWA because of differences in the language of the statutes. Documents adopted pursuant to the OIWA become effective upon ratification by the membership; therefore, Departmental review and approval must necessarily be completed before the election is held. Stated differently, elections under the OIWA require a Secretarial determination that the proposed document or amendment is not contrary to applicable law before the Secretary may authorize the election.

Comment: A tribal commenter stated concern that the authorizing official could reverse positions after the election results are in, by finding the proposal is contrary to Federal law even though the official did not find it was contrary to Federal law during the initial review. This commenter suggested that the determination should be made only once—when the proposal is first presented.

Response: The commenter is correct that the determination as to whether the proposal is contrary to applicable laws is made twice: when the request for election is first submitted, and then after the election. The statute requires the Department to make the determination at these points. See 25 U.S.C. 476(c)(2)(B) (when the Department reviews the tribal request) and 476(d))(when the Department determines whether to approve of the document). The Department's first interpretation of whether any provision is contrary to applicable laws is binding on the Department's later interpretation, to ensure consistency; however, it is conceivable that, between the time the Department makes its first determination to the end of the election, a change in the applicable law could occur. The Department must review the results of the election in light of whether any provision is contrary to applicable laws at the time approval is given.

Comment: A few commenters stated their support for the provision at proposed § 81.8 that the Department will defer to the tribe's interpretation of its own documents, but stated their opposition to the second sentence of proposed § 81.8 that allows the Secretary to interpret tribal law when necessary “to carry out the government-to-government relationship with the tribe.” These commenters disagreed with the implication that the Secretarial interpretation of tribal law would trump the tribe's interpretation.

Response: The final rule retains the proposed language at final § 81.9, reserving the Secretary's authority to interpret tribal law when necessary. Udall v. Littell, 366 F.2d 668, 672 (D.C. Cir. 1966), cited in United States v. Eberhardt, 789 F.2d 1354, 1361 (9th Cir. 1986), and in Cal. Valley Miwok Tribe v. United States, 515 F.3d 1262, 1267 (D.C. Cir. 2008). The specific provision allowing the Secretary to interpret tribal law in those rare cases when it is necessary to carry out the government-to-government relationship with the tribe incorporates IBIA precedent establishing that the Bureau should refrain from interpreting tribal law unless it must do so in order to make a decision it is required to make in furtherance of its government-to-government relationship with the tribe. William H. Richards, et al. v. Acting Pacific Regional Director, 2007 I.D. LEXIS 50, *10, 45 IBIA 187 (2007); Sandra Maroquin v. Anadarko Area Director, 29 IBIA 45 (1996), citing Parmenton Decorah, 22 IBIA 98. Consistent with its strong policies in favor of tribal self-governance, the Bureau will not exercise this authority to interpret tribal law lightly or often, and reserves the authority for those cases where, for example, it believes a tribe diverges from the apparent mandate of its governing document without a reasonable explanation. The Secretary must balance deference to tribes with the duty to ensure the Secretarial election includes the safeguards of any other Federal election.

3. Who May Vote in a Secretarial Election

Comment: Several tribes asked questions regarding who may vote in a Secretarial election. For example, at least one tribe asked for language stating that the tribe's governing documents may establish eligibility for voting. Another tribe asked what happens if the tribe's governing document establishes an age different from 18 years to define eligible voters.

Response: The 26th Amendment to the Federal constitution established the minimum voting age for Federal elections to be 18. Secretarial elections are Federal elections, and, as such, anyone who is 18 years of age or older and otherwise qualified is eligible to vote, even if the tribal governing document requires voters to be 21 to be eligible to vote in tribal elections. This provision is at final § 81.11. Any other eligibility qualifications that the tribal governing document imposes for voting in Secretarial elections apply.

Comment: A tribal commenter asked under what circumstances voting is limited to only the class of citizens who voted on the original tribal charter or governing document.

Response: Voting is limited to the class of citizens who voted on the original tribal charter or governing document only if the tribe's governing documents establish that limitation.

Comment: A commenter stated that proposed § 81.9 appears to allow any tribal member to vote on an amendment to a governing document, even if the governing document limits who may vote to those members who reside on the reservation.

Response: The proposed § 81.9(b)(2) and final § 81.10(b)(2) state that the member must meet the qualifications in the tribe's governing documents or charter in addition to being over the age of 18. Any restrictions in the tribe's governing document or charter on who can vote continue to apply (unless it is an age restriction, because Federal law establishes a voting age of 18). For example, if the governing document's amendments article limits the vote to those members who reside on the reservation, then only those members who reside on the reservation (and are age 18 or older) may vote.

4. Costs of Holding a Secretarial Election

Comment: One commenter requested that the rule clarify that once a tribe removes the Secretarial election requirement, the tribe must pay for all subsequent elections.

Response: The final rule clarifies in § 81.16 that the tribe is responsible for paying the costs of tribal elections.

Comment: A commenter asked whether the Bureau will pay for interpreters, audio-visual aids, or reasonable accommodations for those with impairments required by proposed § 81.12. Another commenter asked for additional detail on what covered costs would include.

Response: The final rule states that the Bureau will pay for costs of holding a Secretarial election. See final § 81.16. Examples of costs the Bureau will pay for are the costs of printing and mailing ballots and, if polling places are required, use of voting machines. In many cases, the Secretarial Election Board is able to arrange for facilities and services such as interpreters and audio-visual aids at no cost. In those cases where such costs are necessary, the Bureau will pay for them.

Comment: A few commenters stated that compacting and contracting tribes should be responsible for paying for Secretarial elections only if they received compact or contract funds specifically for the purpose of conducting a Secretarial election.

Response: The final rule clarifies that a tribe will be responsible for the costs of a Secretarial election only if it has contracted or compacted for that function.

Comment: One commenter suggested the rule should require the Bureau to pay for an election requested by petition where the tribe contracting or compacting for that function refuses.

Response: If a contracting or compacting tribe that has contracted for this function refuses to pay the costs of a Secretarial election for any reason, the tribe would be in violation of the contract or compact. If necessary to meet statutory timeframes, the Regional Director may draw Bureau funds to pay for the election and seek reimbursement from the tribe.

D. IRA (and OIWA, as Applicable) Secretarial Elections 1. Secretarial Election Board

Comment: A few commenters requested that proposed § 81.19(b) clarify that, when a tribe fails to appoint two tribal members to the Secretarial Election Board, the individuals that the Local Bureau Official appoints will be tribal members.

Response: The final rule at § 81.19(c) adds that the Local Bureau Official will appoint tribal members if they are available.

Comment: A commenter stated that the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board should be a tribal member, rather than a Bureau employee.

Response: The final rule retains the requirement for the Chair to be a Bureau employee. A Federal employee is necessary for this role because a Secretarial election is a Federal election and a Federal responsibility and, as such, it is the Bureau's responsibility to fulfill the Chair duties of ensuring the Board fulfills its responsibilities and that the proper procedures are followed. In most cases, a tribe may ultimately avoid this provision in the future by amending its governing documents to remove the requirement of a Secretarial election.

Comment: A few commenters stated that where the election is being held as a result of a petition, the spokesperson for the petitioners, rather than the tribe, should appoint the two members to the Secretarial Election Board.

Response: The final rule provides that, where the election is being held as a result of a petition, the spokesperson for the petitioners may appoint one member to the Board and the tribe may appoint one member to the Board.

Comment: A commenter requested replacing “tribe” with “tribe's governing body” in § 81.19 to clarify who specifically appoints individuals to the Board.

Response: The final rule retains the term “tribe” because who speaks for the tribe may vary by tribe.

Comment: A commenter stated that the 10-day timeline is not sufficient time for the Tribe to appoint two members to the Board, and requested increasing the time to 15 days. This commenter stated that there are times of the year, such as during Tribal Council breaks, that it could be difficult to make an appointment within 10 days.

Response: Because the tribe has control over when it submits a tribal request for election and has advance notice that it will need to appoint two members to the Board and because BIA is required to move very quickly, the final rule does not increase the 10-day timeline for appointment.

Comment: A commenter asked whether the Board must conduct business at a known location so voters will know where to request a new ballot.

Response: There is no established location for the Board to conduct its business. Final § 81.40 clarifies that voters can go to the local Bureau official to request a new ballot.

2. Ballot and Submission of Ballot

Comment: A commenter stated that proposed § 81.24(f) is confusing because it implies that a voter must submit a request for a mailout ballot in addition to registering, rather than automatically receiving a mailout ballot upon registering.

Response: The final rule clarifies at § 81.24(f) the procedure required only where a voter needs an absentee ballot even though there are polling sites.

Comment: A commenter suggested that the regulations require a cover sheet describing all proposed amendments and ballots if there are several amendments to be voted on, and therefore several ballots.

Response: As proposed and final § 81.34(a) state, each proposed amendment will have a separate ballot so there may be several ballots, as the commenter notes. The final regulations adopt the commenter's suggestion for a cover sheet enumerating the ballots in final § 81.36(a).

Comment: A commenter asked what “ballot transactions” in proposed § 81.35 are. A few commenters suggested using alternative delivery methods, beyond U.S. mail, such as commercial carrier or personal delivery, to increase voter turnout. Another commenter stated that the proposal to allow voting only through U.S. mail may stifle voter participation by disallowing voters the opportunity to return registration forms and ballots in person.

Response: The final rule clarifies § 81.35 to use the word “deliveries” rather than “transactions.” The final rule also adds hand-delivery as a method for submitting ballots. Other methods of delivery are not added because the regularity and uniformity of the U.S. mail allows the Bureau to better track receipt of ballots by limiting intake to one carrier.

Comment: A commenter requested that a timeline be added by which ballots must be mailed to voters, to ensure that the voters receive the ballot a minimum amount of time before the election.

Response: The final rule adds that the Board must send the ballots to registered voters “promptly upon completion” of the final list of registered voters (i.e., after resolution of any challenges).

3. Eligible Voters List

Comment: A commenter stated that the tribe should have the option to request that the Board return the Eligible Voters List to the tribe for retention, to avoid opening it to the possibility of being disclosed under FOIA.

Response: Because the Secretary's determination of who can vote is based on the Eligible Voters List, the list becomes a Federal record, which is retained in accordance with Federal records schedules. While Federal documentation is subject to FOIA disclosure, it is also protected by the Privacy Act, as applicable, and tribal rolls are generally excluded from disclosure under one or both of these laws.

Comment: A commenter stated that tribes, rather than the Bureau or Board, should determine who qualifies as registered voters under tribal standards for eligibility to vote. This voter also stated that eligible voters should be determined in accordance with eligible voter qualifications in tribal ordinances.

Response: The Eligible Voters List, supplied by the tribe, is the starting point for determining who can register to vote; however, the Federal requirement that individuals must be 18 years of age or older to vote applies to Secretarial elections because they are Federal elections. The Department has a responsibility to verify the list provided by the tribe to ensure that the rights of individual tribal members to vote in the Federal election are protected. If the amendment section of the tribe's governing document includes eligibility qualifications, the Bureau will apply those qualifications.

4. Notice

Comment: A few commenters suggested requiring the Secretarial election notice and results to be posted on the tribe's Web site.

Response: The Department encourages tribes to publicize both the notice and results, including encouraging tribes to post such information on their Web sites. Proposed and final § 81.25 require the Board to post the Secretarial election notice at the local Bureau office and tribal headquarters, and provides the flexibility for the Board to post in other public places, which may include posting on the tribe's Web site. The Board is also required to post the results at the local Bureau office, tribal headquarters, and other places listed in the Secretarial lection notice under § 81.42. The final § 81.42 also adds that the Board may publicize the election results in other ways, such as by posting on the tribe's Web site.

Comment: One commenter stated that access to information is especially needed where a large portion of the tribal voting population is located off the reservation. This commenter also stated that the information such voters receive is not always clear or complete.

Response: The regulations require the Board to send the Secretarial election notice to all eligible voters. The Bureau also encourages the tribe to provide informational meetings to members. The Board Chairman works with the tribal government, including any appointed board members, to ensure the information in the Secretarial election notice packet is as complete and as accurate as possible. For example, if an amendment is to be voted on, the packet will include a side-by-side comparison of the new and old language. The final rule adds to § 81.23 that such a comparison will be included in the packet.

Comment: A commenter stated that the lack of an accurate membership roll has disenfranchised voters and is a chronic problem. This commenter recounted experiences with Secretarial elections in the past in which mailings were returned as undeliverable.

Response: Each tribe is responsible for its own enrollment and maintaining its membership roll, if any. Tribal members are responsible for updating their addresses with the tribe. Tribes are strongly encouraged to engage in address update initiatives with members as soon as the tribe realizes it will need to eventually provide a list of eligible voters as part of an upcoming tribal request. The Department relies on the tribe's Eligible Voters List in compiling the Registered Voters List; however, in recognition that there may be inaccuracies, the regulations allow individuals the opportunity to challenge the Registered Voters List.

Comment: A commenter suggested developing internal procedures, based on input from election boards, to help ensure compliance with Secretarial election regulations.

Response: These updates to the regulations are intended to provide more explicit procedures for Secretarial elections to ensure uniformity. To the extent necessary to fully implement these revised regulations, the Department will develop handbooks or other implementing documents.

Comment: A commenter stated that the proposed requirement at § 81.22(b) for the Board to send the Secretarial Election Notice Packet at least 60 days before the election leaves too little time for the Bureau to conduct the other necessary activities, such as preparing the notice packet.

Response: The proposed rule required the packet to be sent at least 60 days before the election to ensure that voters had as much notice as possible of the election. In response to the comment that this leaves too little time on the front end for other activities, the final rule instead provides that the Board must mail the package at least 30 days before the election, but no more than 60 days before the election. This final language at § 81.22(b) adopts the timeframes set out in the current rule at § 81.14.

5. Registration

Comment: One commenter suggested editing proposed § 81.9 to clarify that the voters must meet the qualifications required by the tribe's governing documents or charter “for that particular type of Secretarial election.” The commenter also stated that the section should state that, for a tribe already reorganized under Federal statute, if the tribe's governing documents or charter do not define the voting qualifications, then the tribe's election code or ordinance should apply. A few commenters stated that voting qualifications established by the tribe should apply. A tribe stated that its constitution requires amendments to be approved by a majority of tribally registered voters, but the proposed regulations require the constitutional amendments be approved by federally registered voters.

Response: The final § 81.10 incorporates the suggested edits clarifying that the voting qualifications must be required “for that particular type of Secretarial election.” The final rule does not make any change to address when the tribal governing documents or charter of a tribe already reorganized under Federal statute do not define voting qualifications. In these situations, any tribal member age 18 or older may vote.

Comment: One commenter stated that voters should not have to “re-register” to vote in a Secretarial election, but that registration for a tribal election should also count as registration for a Secretarial election. The commenter stated that requiring separate registration could cause confusion, suspicion, and disenfranchisement if voters are unaware of or disinclined to comply with the registration requirement. This commenter stated that eliminating the need for separate registration would also allow Secretarial elections to be conducted at the same time as tribal elections, minimizing confusion and maximizing voter participation.

Response: Registration for a Secretarial election must be separate from registration for a tribal election because Federal voting qualifications may be different from tribal voting qualifications. The Board will work with the tribal governing body to ensure that voters are informed of the need to register specifically for the Secretarial election, separately from tribal election registration. Tribes have the option of holding a Secretarial election to remove the Secretarial election requirement if they believe the separate registration process is unnecessary or inappropriate. Indeed, tribes are encouraged to do so, consistent with the strong Federal policy favoring tribal self-governance. The proposed and final regulations recommend that Secretarial elections not be conducted at the same time as tribal elections because of the potential for confusion, given that different voting qualifications may apply.

Comment: A few commenters stated that, in the past, several tribal members failed to register for the Secretarial election. One asked how the Board can verify that every eligible member registers.

Response: The tribe provides the Board with the Eligible Voters List, and the Board then sends out the registration form to each individual on the list. While the Board will work with the tribe to inform voters of the need to register specifically for the Secretarial election, it is up to each individual to register.

Comment: One commenter stated that the definition of “Registered Voters List,” which states that the posted list will include the voting district, is inconsistent with proposed § 81.31, which states that the list will show names only.

Response: The final § 81.31 clarifies that the Registered Voters List will include both the names and, if applicable, voting districts.

Comment: A commenter stated that there should be a mechanism, even if after the fact, to challenge the removal of a name from the Registered Voters List.

Response: Both the proposed and final § 81.32 provide the opportunity to challenge the Registered Voters List prior to the election. The election occurs only after the Board has resolved challenges and finalized the Registered Voters List. If someone disputes how the Board resolved a challenge to the Registered Voters List, that person may appeal the Board's determination.

Comment: One commenter stated that if the registration of a voter is rejected, that person should be allowed to vote under supervised circumstances, rather than holding a whole new election.

Response: If a voter's registration is rejected, that person has the opportunity to challenge his or her omission from the registered voter's list. The election is not held until challenges to the Registered Voters List are decided.

Comment: One commenter stated that voters should be able to mail the registration form at the same time as the ballot, or if polling sites are used, to allow same-day registration. This commenter stated that doing so would reduce unnecessary steps, eliminate confusion, and increase voter turnout.

Response: The regulations establish a process whereby registration is completed as a first, and separate, step from voting, to allow for the compilation of a Registered Voters List prior to the election, and allow time for resolution of challenges to the Registered Voters List prior to the election. This process is designed to promote due process and confidence in the election's outcome. By combining these steps, there would be no allowance for challenges to the Registered Voters List. Allowing for challenges to the Registered Voters List after the election would delay posting of election results, because the Board would first have to review and resolve challenges, and would require tracking the source of each individual ballot, undermining anonymity, to allow the Board to extract the vote of anyone ultimately removed from the Registered Voters List. However, a tribe may request a waiver to allow for registration and voting at the same time; for example, if a tribe plans to hold an event where most of the membership is expected to be present, same-day registration and voting may be appropriate.

Comment: One commenter suggested having a universal registration form showing the address to which the ballot may be mailed.

Response: With this proposed rule, the Department submitted a request for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, including a universal registration form. We have revised the form to include a placeholder for the address to which the ballot may be mailed.

6. Polling Sites

Comment: A commenter opposed the proposed rule's requirement that mailout ballots be used, rather than polling places, except where the tribe's governing documents require polling sites. This commenter stated that it is unlikely that a tribe's governing document would even address whether polling sites are required. According to this commenter, the regulations should provide for more flexibility to allow a tribe to decide to use polling sites by including the decision in the tribal request. This commenter also stated the rationale for using mailout ballots is unclear, as the tribes will have to pay for mailing through contracts/compacts, and the requirement is unnecessary and could have unintended consequences. The commenter pointed out that mailout ballots may not increase voter participation in remote areas where tribal members do not retrieve mail on a daily basis or open mail from the tribe or Bureau because they receive so much of it. Another tribal commenter stated they “wholeheartedly support” the proposed rule's requirement for voting through mailout ballots, rather than polling places, because mailout ballots lessen the burden of voting, encourage greater voter participation overall, and allow voters flexibility and convenience. This commenter stated that voter participation increased by 51 percent for a tribally held referendum by mailout ballot as compared to the prior election that relied on polling places and absentee ballots.

Response: The proposed rule and final rule require the use of mailout ballots, rather than polling sites, because polling sites require more resources and because mailout ballots tend to maximize voter turnout and prevent the disenfranchisement of urban members and others who are living away, temporarily or permanently, from the reservation. The rule accounts for the fact that some tribes have governing documents with amendment articles requiring use of polling sites, providing that, in such cases, polling sites will be provided in addition to mailout ballots.

Comment: A commenter stated that their tribe's constitution refers only to a “polling site” but does not require polling sites.

Response: To be considered required, the amendments section of the tribe's governing document must require polling sites in Secretarial elections. If you have a question as to whether your tribal governing document requires polling sites, please consult with your local Bureau official.

Comment: A tribal commenter stated that voting in person would allow Secretarial elections to be held at the same time as tribal elections to increase voter turnout. Another tribal commenter stated that they agree Secretarial elections should not be scheduled at the same time as tribal elections and recounted a personal experience, in the past, where the two were held at the same time, resulting in “complete confusion between the two elections.”

Response: Generally, the Department suggests avoiding holding Secretarial elections and tribal elections at the same time because the lists of registered voters are different, but final § 81.14 allows the Board to hold a Secretarial election at the same time as a tribal election as long as voters are educated as to the need for separate ballots.

Comment: One commenter stated that the requirement to notarize absentee ballots is outdated.

Response: Notarization is not required for absentee ballots. The voter must sign a certification, but there is no need for a notary.

7. Challenges

Comment: One commenter stated their support for the provision that anyone who submitted a registration form, even one that was ultimately rejected, can challenge the results of an election.

Response: The proposed rule at § 81.43 stated that “any person who submitted a voter registration form” may challenge the election results. The final rule requires that a challenger also be an eligible voter, such that only eligible voters who submitted a registration form may challenge election results. Requiring that the person be an eligible voter prevents a non-member who happens to obtain and submit a registration form from challenging the election results. Therefore, someone who submitted a registration form but was ultimately rejected from the Registered Voters List may challenge the results only if he or she is also an eligible voter.

Comment: A commenter asked whether the 3-day time period for challenges established in proposed § 81.43 includes the day of posting.

Response: Final § 81.43 clarifies that the time period does not include the day of posting. The final rule further clarifies what is considered a “business day” by adding a definition in § 81.4.

Comment: One commenter stated that the 3-day challenge period is too short and suggested 10 calendar days instead.

Response: The final rule increases the challenge period to 5 days at § 81.43, to better accommodate filing challenges by mail. The final rule allows for 5, rather than 10, days to prevent undue delay, given that the Secretary is required by statute to issue an approval decision within 45 days of the election results.

Comment: One commenter stated that election results should not be publicized until all challenges have been resolved.

Response: Challenges to the election results must necessarily follow posting of the election results; challenges to the results generally require knowing the results. Following resolution of any challenges, the Authorizing Official's approval of the governing document or amendment is the finalization of the process.

Comment: A commenter stated that the proposed § 81.45(a) is vague, in that it states that a recount or new election may be held if a challenge is sustained and “may have an impact on the outcome of the election.”

Response: The final rule clarifies that a recount or new election may be held if a challenge is sustained and the errors would invalidate the election.

Comment: One commenter stated that the rule should provide more specificity on what types of challenges merit consideration by the Board.

Response: To clarify, the Board decides challenges to the Registered Voters List prior to the election, and the Authorizing Official decides challenges to the election results after the election. The final rule does not provide any greater specificity on what types of challenges merit consideration because each challenge is fact-specific.

Comment: One commenter asked how challenges may be made and when they must be filed.

Response: Proposed and final § 81.43 set out how challenges may be made and when they must be filed.

Comment: One commenter requested that the provision that the “Secretary's approval of the documents must be considered as given” in § 81.45(e) instead state simply that the governing document or amendment “is approved.”

Response: The language providing that the Secretary's approval must be “considered as given” is taken directly from the statute: “If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove the constitution and bylaws or amendments within the forty-five days, the Secretary's approval shall be considered as given.” 25 U.S.C. 476(d). In other words, it shall be deemed approved by the Secretary. The statutory language is retained in the final rule.

8. Participation in the Election

Comment: A few commenters stated that the regulation should establish a threshold for participation by eligible voters in the election—either that a certain percentage of eligible voters register to vote or that a certain percentage of eligible voters vote. The requested provision would deem an election invalid if a certain percentage of the eligible voters failed to register or vote. One commenter illustrated that if there are 6,500 eligible voters, but only 100 register, and only 40 of those actually cast a ballot, the election would be valid under the proposed regulation because more than 30 percent of registered voters voted, even though less than 1 percent of the eligible voters cast a vote. Another commenter stated that often, a voter will protest by not voting rather than by submitting a “no” vote, and that the regulation disregards this form of protest by not requiring a minimum number of voters to register.

Response: The final rule does not add a minimum participation threshold for eligible voters, because it includes other provisions designed to increase voter participation (e.g., all mailout packets). The Board Chair will work with the tribe to improve voter education for each Secretarial election to promote participation in the elections.

Comment: One commenter stated that there is no requirement for 30 percent participation by registered voters in the statute. This commenter stated that the tribe's governing documents should be the sole source of voter participation requirements.

Response: The requirement for 30 percent participation by registered voters is statutorily required at 25 U.S.C. 478a. Because Federal law establishes this participation requirement, it supersedes any contrary requirement in the tribe's governing documents. Therefore, if a tribe has a threshold for participation that is lower than 30 percent in their amendment article, a 30 percent threshold will be applied.

Comment: One commenter stated that a “spoiled ballot” should not be included in the tally to determine if enough registered voters voted because the vote is not counted toward the results.

Response: A spoiled ballot that has been cast indicates that a voter intended to vote, and indeed attempted to vote. To protect that intention to participate, the spoiled ballot is counted for the purpose of determining the number of registered voters who participated, even though the vote cannot count toward the results of the election because its spoiled state obscures whether the voter intended to vote for or against the proposed document or amendment.

E. Petitioning

Comment: One commenter stated that the petitioning procedures set out in proposed § 81.65 ignore statutory deadlines for holding Secretarial elections. This commenter stated that the rule should specify that the petition need not undergo the initial review, and that the petition may simply request an election by filing a completed petition with the Bureau.

Response: The IRA timeframes for calling and holding an election apply to requests by “an Indian tribe.” See 25 U.S.C. 476(a), (c). We interpret a request by petition to be a request by the tribe. Therefore, like the commenter, we interpret the statutory timeframes as applying to election requests in the form of a petition. Nevertheless, the regulations apply the timeframes once the petition is validated, and the procedures set out in final § 81.62 for validating a petition occur before timeframes are triggered. The final rule clarifies when the petition is considered a “tribal request” that triggers the timeframes for calling and holding the election. Unlike when a tribal governing body submits a resolution requesting an election, petitioners must first undergo a review to verify the petition. This review is necessary to determine if the request is a valid tribal request.

Comment: Several commenters pointed out various points in the process where the petitioner or Bureau must rely on the tribe to provide a list of tribal members who are 18 and older. One commenter noted that in most cases, petitions do not have the support of elected tribal officials and the tribe has no incentive to assist the petitioners by providing membership lists. A commenter stated that requiring the list as part of the “tribal request” will “eviscerate” the ability of petitioners, who have a constitutional right to petition, to make a proper request for election.

• One commenter stated that petitioners do not have access to a list of all tribal members who are 18 and older because those records are maintained by the tribe, and that requiring such a list in the definition of “tribal request” effectively prevents petitioners from making a proper request for election.

• Another commenter stated that proposed § 81.60(a), which provides that the Bureau will determine how many signatures are needed on a petition, should provide some alternative to relying on the tribe to provide the current number of tribal members 18 years of age and older, in case the tribe refuses to turn over the information.

• A commenter asked how the Bureau creates its own list of members where the tribe refuses to provide an Eligible Voters List.

Response: It is not necessary for the petitioner to provide the Eligible Voters List. For each petition, the Bureau requests the Eligible Voters List from the tribe. This process has been Bureau practice and is now being codified in the regulation. Although commenters expressed concern that the tribe may refuse to provide the information, tribes generally cooperate with this request. If a tribe refused to provide the information, the Bureau will make a reasonable effort given its responsibilities and statutory requirements to coordinate with the tribe to obtain the information through some means in order to allow the Bureau to meet its statutorily mandated duties. For example, in a past occasion when a tribe refused to provide the Eligible Voters List, the Bureau conducted its own research to compile a number and then provided the tribe a certain time period to correct the number or affirm by silence.

Comment: A commenter stated that the rule should define “petitioner” to better specify how a petitioner may request a Secretarial election upon filing a petition.

Response: The final rule adds a definition for “petitioner.”

Comment: A commenter stated that proposed § 81.54 provides that the Bureau will provide technical assistance to the tribe and notify the tribe of any provisions that are contrary to Federal law, rather than providing the petitioner with assistance and notifying the petitioner. Another commenter noted that the IRA requires the Bureau to provide tribes, not individual members, with technical assistance. The commenter stated that proposed §§ 81.53 and 81.54, in allowing the Bureau to provide technical assistance to petitioners, puts the Bureau in a position to advocate against the tribe's governing body in a manner potentially adverse to the tribe's best interests. A commenter also stated that the section is of concern because the Bureau has an obligation to the existing tribe, rather than to the group of petitioners.

Response: The final rule clarifies that technical assistance on a petition will be provided to both the tribal governing body and spokesperson for the petitioners. The Bureau does not provide technical assistance to petitioners to undermine tribal governments; rather, it provides technical assistance to petitioners to facilitate bringing the issue to a vote, without taking sides on the content of the vote. This approach furthers tribal self-determination because the tribe provided for the petitioning process in its governing document amendments article. Technical assistance on a petition is provided only after the Bureau has determined that the petition is valid, and represents the required percentage of tribal membership rather than any one individual who wants to challenge the tribal governing body in some way. Both the tribal governing body and petitioners benefit from this technical assistance, because it ensures that the issue is as clearly stated as possible for voters' understanding. The technical assistance provided to the petitioners is also provided to the tribal governing body as part of the Bureau's government-to-government relationship with the tribe.

Comment: A commenter suggested reducing the amount of time allowed for gathering signatures from one year to 6 months to prevent the number of signatures required under § 81.60 from changing dramatically during the petitioning process.

Response: When the tribe or Local Bureau Official provides the spokesperson with the number of signatures required for a petition, under final § 81.57 (proposed § 81.60), that number is set regardless of whether the number actually increases because more tribal members turn 18 or decreases because of tribal members passing away over the course of the year in which signatures are collected.

Comment: A commenter stated that the proposal to allow tribal members a year to gather signatures is too lengthy and is supported by no known legal authority. This commenter expressed concern that over the course of a year, a voter could change his or her decision.

Response: The final rule establishes a year to gather signatures because in some cases, the number of signatures required would require several months and possibly up to a year, to collect them all. The commenter's concern as to a signer changing his or her decision may not have considered that the original signer still has an opportunity to express his or her change of position by removing his or her signature from the petition. Ultimately, signatures on a petition represent only a request to bring the issue to a vote, rather than a decision on the question to be voted upon.

Comment: A commenter stated that proposed § 81.63(b)(2), which states that the Bureau official must provide a copy of the receipt and petition to the recognized tribal governing body, should add “if any” since the tribe may not have a recognized tribal governing body.

Response: The final rule does not add the words “if any” because they are surplusage: if there is no recognized tribal governing body for whatever reason, then there is no recognized tribal governing body to whom to provide a copy of the receipt and petition. See final § 81.60.

Comment: One commenter opposed the proposed requirement that 20 percent of the tribal members who are 18 or older must sign a petition for a federally recognized tribe adopting a governing document under Federal statute for the first time. See proposed § 81.60. That commenter stated that the 20 percent threshold relaxes requirements, and the switch from the 60 percent requirement is “concerning.” Another commenter stated that the 20 percent standard could be appropriate if, at the tribe's request, the members are establishing the first governing document and thus the 20 percent standard would provide a more realistic opportunity for tribes to reorganize. This commenter stated their belief that the 60 percent requirement has never been used, thus rendering the process obsolete.

Response: The final rule lowers the current 60 percent requirement to 50 percent. The lowering recognizes that the current 60 percent requirement may never have been met, but keeps it high enough to avoid the harassment of the governments of organized tribes through frivolous petitions by a small minority of the membership. See final § 81.57. A lower percentage, such as the proposed 20 percent, may be appropriate for unorganized tribes.

Comment: A commenter asked for clarification on whether the percentage “of the tribal members who are 18 years of age or older” should instead be attached to eligible voters rather than the entire enrollment.

Response: The percentage requirement applies for a federally recognized tribe adopting a governing document under Federal statute for the first time; therefore, the tribe will not have a governing document imposing restrictions on who may vote beyond the baseline of being a tribal member 18 years or older.

Comment: One commenter stated that the proposed rules for petitioners place unnecessary obstacles and processes designed to thwart the efforts of petitioners.

Response: The rule is not designed to thwart the efforts of petitioners, but to balance the Secretary's duties to tribal governments and to tribal members. As mentioned above, the Bureau will provide technical assistance to petitioners and will work with the tribe to obtain necessary information that the petitioners lack.

Comment: One commenter stated that proposed § 81.56, which provides that a member of the tribe who is 18 or older may sign the petition, is misleading because the tribe's governing document may impose additional qualifications, such as residence on the reservation.

Response: The final rule clarifies that if the tribe's governing document includes additional requirements for petitioning, that are not inconsistent with Federal law such as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, then those additional requirements also apply. See final § 81.53.

Comment: A commenter requested clarification on how an election request is withdrawn if the request is based on a petition. The commenter asked specifically whether the same number of people that signed the petition must agree on withdrawing.

Response: The final rule clarifies that a majority of those who signed the original petition must request the withdrawal of the petition; this is intended to prevent the spokesperson from withdrawing the petition without authority from the other petitioners to do so. See final § 81.18.

F. Miscellaneous

Comment: A commenter requested retaining the current § 81.5(e) in the regulations as currently published, which states “if the amendment provisions of a tribal constitution or charter have become outdated and amendment cannot be effected pursuant to them, the Secretary may authorize an election under this part to amend the documents when the recognized tribal government so requests.”

Response: The final rule adds the substance of current § 81.5(e), as requested. See final § 81.2(c).

Comment: A commenter stated that proposed § 81.14 should clarify what a “final action” is that allows for resubmission of a conflicting proposal.

Response: The final rule provides a definition of “final agency action” to include the Authorizing Official's approval or disapproval of the election, or acknowledgment of the tribe's or petitioners' withdrawal. See final § 81.15.

Comment: A tribal commenter stated that proposed § 81.17, allowing withdrawal of a request for election, does not address what happens if a tribal judicial forum makes a ruling on the subject of the election.

Response: Because Secretarial elections are Federal elections, the Bureau is bound by the statutory requirements regardless of whether a tribal judicial forum makes a ruling on the subject of the election.

Comment: One commenter suggested requiring notarization of ballots to avoid ballot fraud. Another commenter objected to requiring notarization of ballots because of the inconvenience.

Response: Neither the proposed nor final rule requires notarization of ballots. Notarization of ballots is not required because it often requires money and may negatively impact voter participation, potentially resulting in disenfranchisement.

Comment: A tribal commenter requested cross-referencing 25 CFR 1.2 to allow for waivers of the Part 81 requirements, when in the best interest of the Indians, to acknowledge that such a waiver is available. This tribal commenter also stated that adding escape clauses in the regulations would help address situations that were unanticipated or where the regulations inadvertently undermine the tribe.

Response: The Secretary's regulations at 25 CFR 1.2 provide that, “the Secretary retains the power to waive or make exceptions to his regulations as found in chapter I of title 25 CFR in all cases where permitted by law and the Secretary finds that such waiver or exception is in the best interest of the Indians.” The Secretary's authority to waive regulations applies regardless of whether it is restated in the rule. The final rule does not address waiver, but it nevertheless exists as an option of the Secretary. The final rule does not add escape clauses because the Secretary already has the authority to waive requirements. In addition, waiving regulations is an extraordinary remedy. Pointing out the existence of that remedy in the rule might be misconstrued as suggesting that such waivers are routine.

Comment: One commenter asked whether the Bureau can unilaterally withdraw a request in 81.17, and suggested the rule provide limits on when the Bureau can withdraw.

Response: The Bureau may not withdraw a tribal request; there is no provision in the statute allowing the Bureau to do so.

Comment: A commenter stated that the statute requires submission of the tribal request to the “Area Office” and recommended changing the regulation to require filing at the Bureau's Regional Offices (the organizational successor to Area Offices).

Response: While the statute does refer to the Area Office, see 102 Stat. 2938, 2939, the Local Bureau Official, who is most often in the local agency office rather than the regional office, is the first point of contact for tribes and petitioners and reviews the request for validity.

III. Consultations

Efforts to revise this regulation date back to 1992, when the first consultations were held. More recently, the Department hosted tribal consultation sessions on December 1, 2009, in Anchorage, Alaska; Brooks, California, on January 12, 2010; Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 20, 2010; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on January 26, 2010; Pala, California, on February 2, 2010; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 4, 2010. The Department also accepted written comments on the regulations. The Department reviewed the comments and made significant changes to the draft in response to tribes' comments and suggestions. Following publication of the proposed rule in October 2014, the Department hosted additional tribal consultation sessions including a session on October 26, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia during the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) annual convention; on November 18, 2014, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and on November 20, 2014, in Rocklin, California. The Department also held a listening session with tribes in Alaska in December 2014. Several tribes provided their input at these sessions or in writing. The final rule incorporates this input and responds to comments, above.

IV. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866)

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant. E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The E.O. directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. This rule is also part of the Department's commitment under the Executive Order to reduce the number and burden of regulations and provide greater notice and clarity to the public.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). It does not change current funding requirements or regulate small entities.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. Secretarial elections are funded by the BIA. Nor will this rule have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of the U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector, of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this rule does not affect individual property rights protected by the Fifth Amendment nor does it involve a compensable “taking.” A takings implication assessment is not required.

F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this rule has no 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. This rule clarifies the procedures for conducting a Secretarial election, which is a Federal election, for federally recognized Indian tribes.

G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, this rule has been reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and written to minimize litigation; and is written in clear language and contains clear legal standards.

H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments,” Executive Order 13175 (59 FR 22951, November 6, 2000), and 512 DM 2, we have held several consultation sessions with representatives of federally recognized tribes throughout the development of this rule. Details on these consultation sessions and the comments received are described above.

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., prohibits a Federal agency from conducting or sponsoring a collection of information that requires OMB approval, unless such approval has been obtained and the collection request displays a currently valid OMB control number. Nor is any person required to respond to an information collection request that has not complied with the PRA. In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), BIA submitted the information collection and recordkeeping requirements of the rule to OMB for review and approval. The following describes the information collection requirements in each section of the rule and any changes from the current rule.

Title: Secretarial elections (25 CFR part 81).

OMB Control Number: 1076-0183.

Requested Expiration Date: Three years from the approval date.

Summary: Section 81.6 of the revised Part 81 regulations requires the Department of the Interior to collect information from tribes that are requesting a Secretarial election. The information to be collected includes the language to be voted on, and a certified list of tribal members who will be age 18 at the time of the Secretarial election and their current addresses or a certified Eligible Voters List with addresses. Such a list with names and addresses is necessary to ensure that all eligible voters receive notice of the Secretarial election and the opportunity to register and vote in the election.

Section 81.55 of the revised Part 81 regulations requires the Department to collect information from tribal members who petition for a Secretarial election. Such petitioners are required to provide certain information in the petition, that tribal members who wish to vote in the election to register for the election, that votes be submitted via ballots. In addition, the section requires anyone wishing to challenge the results of an election to provide substantiating evidence for the challenge.

Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

Description of Respondents: Indian tribes, Indian tribal members.

Total Annual Responses: 252,041.

Total Annual Burden Hours: 64,305 (1,280 hours for tribal submissions, 63,025 hours for member submissions).

Total Annual Cost Burden: $ 110,880.

You can receive a copy of BIA's submission to OMB by contacting the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, or by requesting the information from the Indian Affairs Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action, 1849 C Street, NW., MS-3623, Washington, DC 20240. You may also view the information collection request as submitted to OMB at www.reginfo.gov.

Comments should address: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Program, including the practical utility of the information to the BIA; (2) the accuracy of the BIA's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

J. National Environmental Policy Act

This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

K. Information Quality Act

In developing this rule, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554).

L. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

List of Subjects in 25 CFR Parts 81 and 82

Administrative practice and procedure, Elections, Indians—tribal government, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons given in the preamble, under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301 and 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9, the Department amends parts 81 and 82 of chapter I, title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

1. Revise part 81 to read as follows: PART 81—SECRETARIAL ELECTION PROCEDURES Subpart A—Purpose and Scope Sec. 81.1 What is the purpose of this part? 81.2 When does this part apply? 81.3 Information collection. Subpart B—Definitions 81.4 What terms do I need to know? Subpart C—Provisions Applicable to All Secretarial Elections 81.5 What informal review is available to a tribe or petitioner when anticipating adopting or amending a governing document? 81.6 How is a Secretarial election requested? 81.7 What technical assistance will the Bureau provide after receiving a request for election? 81.8 What happens if a governing Federal statute and this part disagree? 81.9 Will the Secretary give deference to the Tribe's interpretation of its own documents? 81.10 Who may cast a vote in a Secretarial election? 81.11 May a tribe establish a voting age different from 18 years of age for Secretarial elections? 81.12 What type of electioneering is allowed before and during a Secretarial election? 81.13 What types of voting assistance are provided for a Secretarial election? 81.14 May Secretarial elections be scheduled at the same time as tribal elections? 81.15 How are conflicting proposals to amend a single document handled? 81.16 Who pays for holding the Secretarial election? 81.17 May a tribe use its funds to pay non-Federal election officials? 81.18 Who can withdraw a request for a Secretarial election? Subpart D—The Secretarial Election Process under the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) 81.19 How does the Bureau proceed after receiving a request for a Secretarial election? 81.20 What is the first action to be taken by the Chair of the Election Board? 81.21 What are the responsibilities of the Secretarial Election Board in conducting a Secretarial election? 81.22 How is the Secretarial election conducted? 81.23 What documents are included in the Secretarial Election Notice Packet? 81.24 What information must be included on the Secretarial election notice? 81.25 Where will the Secretarial election notice be posted? 81.26 How does BIA use the information I provide on the registration form? 81.27 Must I re-register if I have already registered for a tribal or Secretarial election? 81.28 How do I submit my registration form? 81.29 Why does the Secretarial Election Board compile a Registered Voters List? 81.30 What information is contained in the Registered Voters List? 81.31 Where is the Registered Voters List posted? 81.32 May the Registered Voters List be challenged? 81.33 How does the Secretarial Election Board respond to challenges? 81.34 How are the official ballots prepared? 81.35 When must the Secretarial Election Board send ballots to voters? 81.36 What will the mailout or absentee ballot packet include? 81.37 How do I cast my vote at a polling site? 81.38 When are ballots counted? 81.39 How does the Board determine whether the required percentage of registered voters have cast ballots? 81.40 What happens if a ballot is spoiled before it is cast? 81.41 Who certifies the results of the Election? 81.42 Where are the results of the Election posted? 81.43 How are the results of the Election challenged? 81.44 What documents are sent to the Authorizing Official? 81.45 When are the results of the Secretarial election final? Subpart E—The Secretarial Election Process under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA) 81.46 How does the Bureau proceed upon receiving a request for an OIWA Election if no provisions are contrary to applicable law? 81.47 How is the OIWA Secretarial election conducted? 81.48 When are the results of the OIWA Election final? Subpart F—Formulating Petitions to Request a Secretarial Election 81.49 What is the purpose of this subpart? 81.50 Who must follow these requirements? 81.51 How do tribal members circulate a petition to adopt or amend the tribe's governing document? 81.52 Who may initiate a petition? 81.53 Who may sign a petition? 81.54 Who is authorized to submit a petition to the Secretary? 81.55 How is the petition formatted and signed? 81.56 Do petitions have a minimum or maximum number of pages? 81.57 How do I determine how many signatures are needed for a petition to be valid? 81.58 How long do tribal members have to gather the signatures? 81.59 How does the spokesperson file a petition? 81.60 How does the Local Bureau Official process the petition? 81.61 How can signatures to the petition be challenged? 81.62 How is the petition validated? 81.63 May the same petition be used for more than one Secretarial election? Authority

: 25 U.S.C. 473a, 476, 477, as amended, and 503.

Subpart A—Purpose and Scope
§ 81.1 What is the purpose of this part?

This part prescribes the Department's procedures for authorizing and conducting elections when Federal statute or the terms of a tribal governing document require the Secretary to conduct and approve an election to:

(a) Adopt, amend, or revoke tribal governing documents; or

(b) Adopt or amend charters.

§ 81.2 When does this part apply?

(a) This part applies only to federally recognized tribes, in the circumstances shown in the following table.

If a tribe wants to . . . And . . . (1) Adopt a new governing document to reorganize under Federal statute The Federal statute requires an election before or after Secretarial approval. (2) Adopt a new governing document to reorganize outside Federal statute The governing document requires approval under the Secretary's general authority to approve. (3) Amend or revoke a governing document adopted under Federal statute The Federal statute requires an election and approval for amendment or revocation. (4) Amend or revoke a governing document adopted outside Federal statute The governing document requires Secretarial approval of an amendment or revocation. (5) Ratify a federal charter of incorporation The charter requires Secretarial approval or is being ratified under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA). (6) Amend a federal charter of incorporation The charter requires a Secretarial election to amend. (7) Take other action A Federal statute or tribal law requires a Secretarial election in order to take that action. (8) Remove the requirement for a Secretarial approval from a governing document A Federal statute or tribal law requires a Secretarial election in order to take that action.

(b) Secretarial elections will be conducted in accordance with the procedures in this part unless the amendment article of the tribe's governing document provides otherwise and is not contrary to Federal voting qualifications or substantive provisions, in which case the provisions of those documents shall rule, where applicable.

(c) If the amendment provisions of a tribal governing document have become outdated and the amendment cannot be effected under them, and the recognized tribal governing body requests a Secretarial election, the Bureau may authorize a Secretarial election under this part to amend the documents.

§ 81.3 Information collection.

The information collection requirements contained in this part are approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), and has been assigned OMB control number 1076-0183. This information is collected when, under Federal statute or the tribe's governing documents, the Secretarial election is authorized to adopt, amend, or revoke governing documents; or adopt or amend charters. This information is required to obtain or retain benefits. A Federal agency may not collect or sponsor an information collection without a valid OMB control number.

Subpart B—Definitions
§ 81.4 What terms do I need to know?

For purposes of this part:

Absentee ballot means a ballot the Secretarial Election Board provides to a registered voter, upon request, to allow him or her to vote by mail even though polling sites are used.

Amendment means any modification or change to one or more provisions of an existing governing document or charter.

Applicable law means any treaty, statute, Executive Order, regulation, or final decision of a Federal court, which is applicable to the tribe.

Authorizing Official means the Bureau official with delegated Federal authority to authorize a Secretarial election.

Bureau means the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior.

Business day means a weekday (Monday through Friday), excluding Federal holidays.

Cast means the action of a registered voter, when the ballot is received through the mail by the Secretarial Election Board, or placed in the ballot box at the polling site.

Charter means a charter of incorporation issued under a Federal statute and ratified by the governing body in accordance with tribal law or, if adopted before May 24, 1990, by a majority vote in an election conducted by the Secretary.

Day means a calendar day. A Secretarial election may be held on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal holiday.

Department means the Department of the Interior.

Director means the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs or his or her authorized representative.

Electioneering means campaigning for or against the adoption, ratification, revocation or amendment of a proposed governing document or a charter.

Eligible voter means a tribal member who will be 18 years of age or older on the date of the Secretarial election (and, if the tribe's governing document imposes additional requirements for voting in a Secretarial election, also meets those requirements).

Eligible Voters List means a list of eligible voters, including their birthdates and their last known mailing addresses. The Eligible Voters List is compiled and certified by the tribe's governing body or the Bureau if the Bureau maintains the current membership roll for the tribe.

Federal statute means the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), 25 U.S.C. 476, 477, as amended, the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA), 25 U.S.C. 503, and any tribe-specific Federal statute that requires a Secretarial election for the adoption of a governing document.

Final agency action means the Authorizing Official's approval or disapproval of a Secretarial election or acknowledgment of the tribe's or petitioners' withdrawal of a request for Secretarial election, and is final for the Department.

Governing document means any written document that prescribes the extent, limitations, and manner in which the tribe exercises its sovereign powers.

Local Bureau office means the local administrative office of the Bureau that is the primary point of contact between the Bureau and the tribe.

Local Bureau Official means the Superintendent, Field Representative, or other official having delegated Federal administrative responsibility under this part.

Mailout ballot means a ballot the Secretarial Election Board provides to a registered voter to allow him or her to vote by mail in an election conducted entirely by mail.

Member of a tribe or tribal member means any person who meets the criteria for membership in a tribe and, if required by the tribe, is formally enrolled.

Petition means the official document submitted by the petitioners to the Secretary to call a Secretarial election for the purpose of adopting or ratifying a new governing document, amending the tribe's existing governing document, or revoking the tribe's existing governing document.

Petitioner means a tribal member who is 18 years of age or older (and, if the tribe's governing document imposes additional requirements for petitioning, also meets those requirements), and signs a petition.

Polling site ballot means the ballot the Secretarial Election Board provides to a registered voter, allowing him or her to vote when polling sites are required by the amendment and adoption article of the tribe's governing document.

Recognized governing body means the tribe's governing body recognized by the Bureau for the purposes of government-to-government relations.

Registered Voter means an eligible voter who has registered to vote in the Secretarial election.

Registered Voters List means the list of all Registered Voters showing only names and, where applicable, voting districts.

Registration means the process by which an eligible voter signs up to vote in the Secretarial election.

Revocation means that act whereby the registered voters of a tribe vote to revoke their current governing document.

Secretarial election means a Federal election conducted by the Secretary under a Federal statute or tribal governing document under this part.

Secretarial Election Board means the body of officials appointed by the Bureau and the tribe (and the spokesperson for petitioners, as applicable) to conduct the Secretarial election.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or his or her authorized representative.

Spoiled ballot means the ballot is mismarked, mutilated, rendered impossible to determine the voter's intent, or marked so as to violate the secrecy of the ballot.

Spokesperson for the petitioners or spokesperson means a tribal member who provides a document signed by other tribal members that provides him or her authority to speak or submit a petition on their behalf.

Tribal request means a request that includes all of the components set out in 81.6.

Tribe means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that is listed in the Federal Register under 25 U.S.C. 479a—1(a), as recognized and receiving services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Voting district means a geographic area established to facilitate the voting process, if required, by the amendment and adoption articles of the tribe's governing document.

Subpart C—Provisions Applicable to All Secretarial Elections
§ 81.5 What informal review is available to a tribe or petitioner when anticipating adopting or amending a governing document?

A tribe that plans to adopt or amend a governing document or a spokesperson for a petitioner may, but is not required to, submit the proposed document with a request for informal review to the Local Bureau Official.

(a) During the informal review:

(1) Bureau personnel will help the tribal government or petitioner spokesperson in drafting governing documents, bylaws, charters, amendments and revocations, explain the Secretarial election process, and provide guidance on methods for voter education, such as informational meetings.

(2) The Local Bureau Official will review the proposed document and will offer technical assistance and comments to the tribe or petitioner spokesperson, including but not limited to guidance on whether any of the provisions of the proposed document or amendment may be contrary to applicable laws.

(b) The Bureau will provide technical assistance for a petition only upon request of the spokesperson. Bureau personnel will provide a courtesy copy to the tribe's governing body of all correspondence regarding technical assistance to the petitioners. The spokesperson will be responsible for obtaining the approval of the tribal members it represents on changes to the content of the petition.

§ 81.6 How is a Secretarial election requested?

To request a Secretarial election:

(a) The tribe or petitioner must submit:

(1) A duly adopted tribal resolution, tribal ordinance, other appropriate tribal document requesting the Secretary to call a Secretarial election, or, in the absence of an existing governing document or if authorized or required by the existing governing documents, a petition that has been verified by the Bureau as having the minimum number of required signatures of tribal members; and

(2) The exact document or amended language to be voted on; and

(b) The tribe must submit a list in an electronically sortable format with names, last known addresses, dates of birth, and voting district, if any, of all tribal members who:

(1) Will be 18 years of age or older within 120 days of the date of the request; and

(2) Meet any other voting restrictions imposed by the tribe's governing document for voting in the Secretarial election.

§ 81.7 What technical assistance will the Bureau provide after receiving a request for election?

After receiving a tribal request for election under § 81.6, the Bureau will provide the following technical assistance.

(a) The Local Bureau Official will review and make a recommendation on the proposed document or amendment, prepare background information on the tribe, and submit to the Authorizing Official.

(b) The Authorizing Official must do all of the following:

(1) Review the proposed document or amendment and offer technical assistance to the tribe (and spokesperson, for petitions);

(2) Consult with the Office of the Solicitor to determine whether any of the provisions of the proposed document or amendment may be contrary to applicable law; and

(3) Notify the tribe (and spokesperson, for petitions) in writing of the results of the review.

(i) If the review finds that a provision is or may be contrary to applicable law, the notification must explain how the provision may be contrary to applicable law and list changes to the document that would be required to allow the Authorizing Official to approve the document as not contrary to applicable law.

(ii) The notification must be sent to the tribe (and spokesperson, for petitions) promptly but in no case less than 30 days before calling the election.

(iii) For IRA elections, the tribe may choose to proceed with the election without incorporating required changes, but the Authorizing Official may not approve election results ratifying provisions that are contrary to applicable law.

(iv) For OIWA elections, the Authorizing Official may not authorize a Secretarial election on any proposed document that contains provisions that may be contrary to applicable law.

§ 81.8 What happens if a governing Federal statute and this part disagree?

If a conflict appears to exist between this part and a specific requirement of the Federal statute, this part must be interpreted to conform to the statute.

§ 81.9 Will the Secretary give deference to the Tribe's interpretation of its own documents?

The Secretary will give deference to the tribe's reasonable interpretation of the amendment and adoption articles of the tribe's governing documents. The Secretary retains authority, however, to interpret tribal law when necessary to carry out the government-to-government relationship with the tribe or when a provision, result, or interpretation may be contrary to Federal law.

§ 81.10 Who may cast a vote in a Secretarial election? If the tribe: Then the following individuals may cast a vote: (a) Is reorganizing under Federal statute for the first time, Any member of the tribe who:
  • (1) Will be 18 years of age or older on the date of the Secretarial election; and
  • (2) Has duly registered, regardless of residence or other qualifications contained in the tribe's governing documents or charter
  • (b) Is already reorganized under Federal statute, Any member of the tribe who:
  • (1) Will be 18 years of age or older on the date of the Secretarial election; and
  • (2) Otherwise meets the qualifications required by the tribe's governing documents or charter for that particular type of Secretarial election; and
  • (3) Has duly registered.
  • (c) Is not reorganized under a Federal statute but tribal law requires a Secretarial election Any member of the tribe who:
  • (1) Will be 18 years of age or older on the date of the Secretarial election; and
  • (2) Otherwise meets the qualifications, if any, required by the tribe's governing documents or charter for that particular type of Secretarial election, if any; and
  • (3) Has duly registered.
  • § 81.11 May a tribe establish a voting age different from 18 years of age for Secretarial elections?

    No. A Secretarial election is a Federal election. According to the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, adopted July 1, 1971, all individuals 18 years of age and older must be allowed to vote in Federal elections.

    § 81.12 What type of electioneering is allowed before and during Secretarial election?

    There shall be no electioneering within 50 feet of the entrance of a polling site.

    § 81.13 What types of voting assistance are provided for a Secretarial election?

    If polling sites are required by the amendment or adoption article of the tribe's governing document, the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board will:

    (a) Appoint interpreters;

    (b) Ensure that audio or visual aids for the hearing or visually impaired are provided;

    (c) Ensure that reasonable accommodations are made for others with impairments that would impede their ability to vote; and

    (d) Allow the interpreter or Secretarial Election Board member to explain the election process and voting instructions. At the request of the voter, the interpreter or Board member may accompany the voter into the voting booth, but must not influence the voter in casting the ballot.

    § 81.14 May Secretarial elections be scheduled at the same time as tribal elections?

    The Secretarial Election Board will, generally, avoid scheduling Secretarial elections at the same time as tribal elections to avoid confusion. If the Secretarial Election Board decides to schedule a Secretarial election at the same time as a tribal election, the Secretarial Election Board must clearly inform eligible voters of any differences between the tribal election and the Secretarial election and separate ballots must be used for each type of election.

    § 81.15 How are conflicting proposals to amend a single document handled?

    When conflicting proposals to amend a single provision of a tribal governing document or charter provision are submitted, the proposal first received by the Local Bureau Official, if properly submitted as a complete tribal request, must be voted on before any consideration is given other proposals. Other proposals must be considered in order of their receipt if they are resubmitted following final agency action on the first submission. This procedure applies regardless of whether the proposal is a new or revised tribal governing document.

    § 81.16 Who pays for holding the Secretarial election?

    (a) A Secretarial election is a Federal election; therefore, Federal funding will be used to cover costs. The Bureau will pay for the costs, unless the tribe has received funding for this function through contracts or self-governance compacts entered into under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 450f, et seq.

    (b) Once a tribe removes the requirement for Secretarial approval, all subsequent elections it holds to amend the governing document are tribal elections and the tribe is responsible for the costs of those elections.

    § 81.17 May a tribe use its funds to pay non-Federal election officials?

    A recognized tribal governing body may use tribal funds to compensate non-Federal personnel to respond to the needs of the tribal government in the conduct of the Secretarial election.

    § 81.18 Who can withdraw a request for a Secretarial election?

    The tribe may withdraw the request for Secretarial election in the same manner in which the Secretarial election was requested. The petitioners may withdraw the request for Secretarial election by submitting a new petition, with signatures of at least a majority of the signers of the original petition, seeking withdrawal of the original petition. However, the request for a Secretarial election cannot be withdrawn after the established deadline for voter registration.

    Subpart D- The Secretarial Election Process under the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA)
    § 81.19 How does the Bureau proceed after receiving a request for a Secretarial election?

    (a) Upon receiving a request for a Secretarial election, the Local Bureau Official will forward the request to the Authorizing Official with any appropriate background information.

    (b) The Authorizing Official will issue a memorandum to the Local Bureau official. The memorandum will do all of the following:

    (1) Direct the Local Bureau Official to call and conduct a Secretarial election by one of the following deadlines:

    (i) If the tribal request is to amend an existing governing document, within 90 days from the date of receipt of the request;

    (ii) If the tribal request is to adopt a new governing document (including an amendment to a governing document in the nature of an entire substitute) or to revoke an existing governing document, within 180 days after receiving the request.

    (2) Include as an attachment the document or proposed language to be voted upon;

    (3) Include as an attachment the Certificate of Results of Election with instructions to return it after the Secretarial election. The Certificate shall read as follows:

    Certificate of Results of Election

    Under a Secretarial election authorized by (name and title of authorizing official) on (date), the attached [insert: Governing document and Bylaws, charter of incorporation, amendment or revocation] of the (official name of tribe) was submitted to the registered voters of the tribe and on (date) duly (insert: adopted, ratified, rejected or revoked) by a vote of (number) for and (number) against and (number) cast ballots found spoiled in an election in which at least 30 percent (or such “percentages” as may be required to amend according the governing document) of the (number) registered voters cast their ballot in accordance with (appropriate Federal statute).

    Signed: (by the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and Board Members) Date: ____; and

    (4) Advise that no changes or modifications can be made to any attached document, without the Authorizing Official's prior approval.

    (c) The Local Bureau Official will appoint a Bureau employee to serve as the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and notify the tribe of the need to appoint at least two tribal members, who are at least 18 years of age, to the Secretarial Election Board. If the election is to be held as the result of a petition, then the Local Bureau Official will appoint a Bureau employee to serve as the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and notify the tribe and the spokesperson for the petitioners of the need to appoint one tribal member each, who is at least 18 years of age, to the Secretarial Election Board. If the tribe or spokesperson for the petitioners declines or fails for any reason to make the appointment(s) by close of business on the 10th day after the date the notice letter is issued, the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board must appoint the representative(s), who are tribal members, if available, on the 11th day after the notice letter is issued.

    § 81.20 What is the first action to be taken by the Chair of the Election Board?

    Within 5 days after the Secretarial Election Board representatives are appointed, the Chair must hold the first meeting of the Secretarial Election Board to set the election date.

    § 81.21 What are the responsibilities of the Secretarial Election Board in conducting a Secretarial election?

    The Secretarial Election Board conducts the Secretarial election. Except as provided in § 81.43, decisions of the Secretarial Election Board are not subject to administrative appeal.

    § 81.22 How is the Secretarial election conducted?

    The Secretarial Election Board:

    (a) Uses the list provided in the tribal request as the basis for the Eligible Voters List;

    (b) Assembles and mails the Secretarial Election Notice Packet at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, before the date of the Secretarial election to all persons on the Eligible Voters List;

    (c) Confirms that registration forms were received on or before the deadline date;

    (d) Retains the completed registration form as part of the record;

    (e) Develops the Registered Voters List for posting;

    (f) Where the election is conducted entirely by mailout ballot, notes on a copy of the Registered Voters List, by the individual's name, the date the ballot was mailed, and the date the ballot was returned; and

    (g) Where polling sites are required and an individual requests an absentee ballot, notes on a copy of the Registered Voters List, by the individual's name, the date his or her absentee ballot request was received, the date the absentee ballot was mailed, and the date the absentee ballot was returned.

    § 81.23 What documents are included in the Secretarial Election Notice Packet?

    The Secretarial Election Notice Packet includes the following:

    (a) Mailout Balloting:

    (1) The Secretarial election notice;

    (2) A registration form with instructions for returning the completed form by mail;

    (3) An addressed envelope with which to return the completed registration form;

    (4) If the entire document is to be amended or adopted, a copy of the proposed document including proposed language; and if applicable, a copy of the current document proposed for change; and

    (5) A side-by-side comparison showing the current language to be changed, if applicable, in the left column and the proposed language in the right column.

    (b) Polling Sites (if required by the amendment or adoption articles of the tribe's governing document):

    (1) The Secretarial election notice;

    (2) A registration form with instructions for returning the completed form by mail;

    (3) An absentee ballot request form with instructions for returning the completed form by mail;

    (4) An addressed envelope with which to return the completed registration form and absentee ballot request form;

    (5) If the entire document is to be amended or adopted, a copy of the proposed document including proposed language; and if applicable, a copy of the current document proposed for change; and

    (6) A side-by-side comparison showing the current language to be changed, if applicable, in the left column and the proposed language in the right column.

    § 81.24 What information must be included on the Secretarial election notice?

    The Secretarial election notice must contain all of the following items.

    (a) The date of the Secretarial election;

    (b) The date which registration forms must be received by the Secretarial Election Board;

    (c) A description of the purpose of the Secretarial election;

    (d) A description of the statutory and tribal authority under which the Secretarial election is held;

    (e) The deadline for filing challenges to the Registered Voters List;

    (f) If polling sites are to be used, the date an absentee ballot request must be received by the Secretarial Election Board;

    (g) A statement as to whether the Secretarial election is being held entirely by mailout ballot or with polling sites, in accordance with the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles; and

    (h) The locations and hours of established polling sites, if any.

    § 81.25 Where will the Secretarial election notice be posted?

    The Secretarial election notice will be posted at the local Bureau office, if any, the tribal headquarters, and other public places determined by the Secretarial Election Board.

    § 81.26 How does BIA use the information I provide on the registration form?

    We use the information you provide on the registration form to determine whether you will be registered for and vote in the Secretarial election. The registration form must include the following statements:

    (a) Completing and returning this registration is necessary if you desire to vote in the forthcoming Secretarial election;

    (b) This form, upon completion and return to the Secretarial Election Board, will be the basis for determining whether your name will be placed upon the list of registered voters, and therefore may receive a ballot, and

    (c) Completion and return of this form is voluntary, but failure to do so will prevent you from participating in the Secretarial election.

    § 81.27 Must I re-register if I have already registered for a tribal or Secretarial election?

    Yes. A Secretarial election is a Federal election and you must register for each Secretarial election.

    § 81.28 How do I submit my registration form?

    You must submit your registration form to the Secretarial Election Board by U.S. mail.

    § 81.29 Why does the Secretarial Election Board compile a Registered Voters List?

    The Registered Voters List is a list of eligible voters who have registered and are, therefore, entitled to vote in the Secretarial election. We use this list, after all challenges have been resolved, to determine whether voter participation in the Secretarial election satisfies the minimum requirements of the tribe's governing documents and Federal law.

    § 81.30 What information is contained in the Registered Voters List?

    The Registered Voters List must contain the names, in alphabetical order, of all registered voters and their voting districts, if voting districts are required by the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles.

    § 81.31 Where is the Registered Voters List posted?

    A copy of the Registered Voters List, showing only names and, where applicable, voting districts, must be posted at the local Bureau office, the tribal headquarters, and other public places the Secretarial Election Board designates.

    § 81.32 May the Registered Voters List be challenged?

    (a) It is possible to challenge in writing the inclusion or exclusion or omission of a name on the Registered Voters List. The written challenge must be received by the Secretarial Election Board by the established deadline and include the following:

    (1) The name of the affected individual or individuals;

    (2) The reason why the individual's name should be added to or removed from the Registered Voters List; and

    (3) Supporting documentation.

    (b) If an individual failed to submit his or her registration form on time, that individual is precluded from challenging the omission of his/her name from the list.

    § 81.33 How does the Secretarial Election Board respond to challenges?

    All challenges must be resolved by close of business on the third day after the date of the challenge deadline established by the Secretarial Election Board and all determinations of the Secretarial Election Board are final for the purpose of determining who can vote in the Secretarial election.

    (a) If the challenge was received after the deadline, the Secretarial Election Board must deny the challenge.

    (b) If the challenge was received on or before the deadline, the Secretarial Election Board will decide the challenge by reviewing the documentation submitted. Thereafter, the Secretarial Election Board will include the name of any individual whose name should appear or remove the name of any individual who should not appear on the Registered Voters List.

    § 81.34 How are the official ballots prepared?

    (a) The Secretarial Election Board must prepare the official ballot so that it is easy for the voters to indicate a choice between no more than two alternatives (i.e., adopting or rejecting the proposed language). Separate ballots should be prepared for each proposed amendment or a single ballot for adoption of a proposed document (with a reference to the document provided in the Secretarial election notice).

    (b) The following information must appear on the face of the mailout or absentee ballot:

    OFFICIAL BALLOT

    (Facsimile Signature)

    CHAIR, SECRETARIAL ELECTION BOARD

    (c) When polling places are required by the tribe's governing document, the official ballot may be a paper ballot, voting machine ballot, or other type of ballot supporting the secret ballot process.

    § 81.35 When must the Secretarial Election Board send ballots to voters?

    (a) Unless the amendment or adoption articles of the tribe's governing document require the use of polling sites in the election, the election must be conducted entirely by mailout ballots, and the Secretarial Election Board must send mailout ballots to registered voters promptly upon completion of the Registered Voters List.

    (b) When the amendment or adoption articles of the tribe's governing document require the use of polling sites in the election, the Secretarial Election Board must send an absentee ballot to every registered voter who requests an absentee ballot, as long as the request is received before the Secretarial election date.

    (c) All mailout or absentee ballot deliveries must be via U.S. Mail or by hand-delivery to the location identified in the Secretarial election notice before the date of the Secretarial election.

    § 81.36 What will the mailout or absentee ballot packet include?

    The mailout or absentee ballot packet contains:

    (a) A cover letter summarizing what the ballot packet contains and, if there is more than one ballot included in the packet, enumerating the ballots and advising voters to give consideration to each enumerated ballot;

    (b) A mailout or absentee ballot (or, if several amendments are to be voted on, multiple ballots, each printed on a different colored sheet if possible);

    (c) Instructions for voting by mailout or absentee ballot including the date the ballot must be received by the Secretarial Election Board;

    (d) An inner envelope with the words “Mailout Ballot” or “Absentee Ballot” printed on the outside, as applicable;

    (e) A copy of the proposed governing document or amendment, if the full text is not printed on the mailout ballot and if the entire document is to be amended or adopted; and

    (f) A pre-addressed outer envelope with the following certification printed on the back:

    I, (print name of voter), hereby certify I am a registered voter of the (name of Tribe); I will be 18 years of age or older on the day of the Secretarial election; I am entitled to vote in the Secretarial election to be held on (date of Secretarial election). I further certify that I marked the enclosed mailout ballot in secret.

    Signed:

    (voter's signature)
    § 81.37 How do I cast my vote at a polling site?

    If polling sites are required by the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles, the Secretarial Election Board will establish procedures for how polling site ballots will be presented and collected, including, but not limited to, paper ballots, voting machines, or other methods supporting a secret ballot.

    § 81.38 When are ballots counted?

    The ballots will be counted under the supervision of the Secretarial Election Board, after the deadline established for receiving all ballots or closing of the polls, if polling sites are required by the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles.

    § 81.39 How does the Board determine whether the required percentage of registered voters have cast ballots?

    The Secretarial Election Board must count the number of valid ballots and cast spoiled ballots to determine total voter participation. The Board must take the total voter participation and divide it by the total number of Registered Voters. This total is used to determine whether the percentage of Registered Voters who cast votes meets the requirements of the tribe's governing documents or Federal statute that requires at least 30 percent voter participation. For example:

    (a) If there were 200 registered voters of which 75 cast valid ballots and 5 cast spoiled ballots for a total of 80 cast ballots (75 + 5 = 80). The percentage of voter participation would be determined as follows:

    Total number of votes cast (80) divided by the total number registered voters (200) or 80 ÷ 200 = 0.40 or 40 percent voter participation.

    (b) This example meets the Federal statutory requirement of at least 30 percent voter participation.

    § 81.40 What happens if a ballot is spoiled before it is cast?

    If a ballot is spoiled before it is cast, this section applies.

    (a) The registered voter may return the spoiled ballot to the Secretarial Election Board by mail or in person at the local Bureau office with a request for a new ballot before the election date. The new ballot will be promptly provided to the registered voter. The Secretarial Election Board must retain all “spoiled uncast ballots” for recordkeeping purposes.

    (b) If polling sites are required, the voter may return the spoiled ballot to the polling site worker and request a new ballot. Upon receiving the new ballot, the voter must then complete the voting process. The polling site worker will mark the spoiled ballot “spoiled uncast” and record that the ballot has been spoiled. The polling site worker must retain all “spoiled uncast ballots” for recordkeeping purposes.

    § 81.41 Who certifies the results of the Election?

    The Chair and all members of the Secretarial Election Board must be present during the counting of the ballots and must sign the Certificate of Results of Election.

    § 81.42 Where are the results of the Election posted?

    The Secretarial Election Board must post a copy of the Certificate of Results of Election at the local Bureau office, the tribal headquarters, and at other public places listed in the election notice. The Board also has the discretion to publicize the results using additional methods, such as by posting on the tribe's Web site.

    § 81.43 How are the results of the Election challenged?

    Any person who was listed on the Eligible Voters List and who submitted a voter registration form may challenge the results of the Secretarial election. The written challenge, with substantiating evidence, must be received by the Chairman of the Secretarial Election Board within 5 days after the Certificate of Results of Election is posted, not including the day the Certificate of Results of Election is posted. Challenges received after the deadline for filing challenges will not be considered. If the third day falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the challenge must be received by close of business on the next business day.

    § 81.44 What documents are sent to the Authorizing Official?

    The Chair of the Secretarial Election Board must transmit all documents pertaining to the Secretarial election to the Authorizing Official, including:

    (a) The original text of the material voted on;

    (b) The Eligible Voters List;

    (c) The Registered Voters List;

    (d) The Secretarial Election Notice Packet;

    (e) Any challenges to the Secretarial election results; and

    (f) The Certificate of Results of Election.

    § 81.45 When are the results of the Secretarial election final?

    The Authorizing Official will review election results and challenges, if any, as follows:

    (a) If a challenge alleges errors that would invalidate the election, and the Authorizing Official sustains any such challenges, the Authorizing Official must authorize a recount or call for a new Secretarial election. The Authorizing Official will take the appropriate steps necessary to provide for a recount or a new Secretarial election.

    (b) If all challenges are denied or dismissed, the Authorizing Official will review and make a decision based on the following:

    (1) The percentage of total votes cast was at least 30 percent, or other percentages required according to the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles.

    (2) The voters rejected or accepted the proposed document or each proposed amendment; and

    (3) The proposed documents or amendments are not contrary to Federal law.

    (c) The Authorizing Official must notify, in writing, the recognized governing body of the tribe, and the Director of the Bureau, of the following:

    (1) The decisions on challenges;

    (2) The outcome of the voting;

    (3) Whether the proposed governing document, proposed amendment(s) or charter or charter amendments are approved or ratified, or if the proposed documents contain language that is contrary to Federal law and, therefore, disapproved; and

    (4) That the decision is a final agency action.

    (d) The Authorizing Official must:

    (1) Forward the original text of the document, Original Certificate of Approval or Disapproval, and the Certificate of Results of Election to the tribe and a copy of all documents to the Bureau Director; and

    (2) Retain, as required by the Records Disposition Schedule, a copy of all document(s) relevant to the Secretarial election.

    (e) If the certified election results show that the tribal members ratified the documents, but the Authorizing Official does not approve or disapprove the governing document or amendment by close of business on the 45th day after the date of the Secretarial election, the Secretary's approval of the documents must be considered as given.

    (f) The Authorizing Official's decision to approve or disapprove the governing document or amendment is a final agency action.

    Subpart E—The Secretarial Election Process Under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA)
    § 81.46 How does the Bureau proceed upon receiving a request for an OIWA Election if no provisions are contrary to applicable law?

    If the proposed document does not contain any provision that may be contrary to applicable law, the Bureau will take the following steps.

    (a) The Authorizing Official will issue a memorandum to the Local Bureau Official:

    (1) Approving the proposed document or proposed amendments;

    (2) Authorizing the Local Bureau Official to call and conduct a Secretarial election, within 90 days from the date of receiving the tribal request;

    (3) Attaching the document or proposed language to be voted upon;

    (4) Attaching the Certificate of Results of Election, with instructions to return it at the conclusion of the Secretarial election. The Certificate shall read as follows:

    Certificate of Results of Election

    Under a Secretarial election authorized by (name and title of authorizing official) on (date), the attached [insert: Governing document and Bylaws, charter of incorporation, amendment or revocation] of the (official name of tribe) was submitted to the registered voters of the tribe and on (date) duly (insert: adopted, ratified, rejected or revoked) by a vote of (number) for and (number) against and (number) cast ballots found spoiled in an election in which at least 30 percent (or such “percentages” as may be required to amend according the governing document) of the (number) registered voters cast their ballot in accordance with (appropriate Federal statute).

    Signed: ______________________________

    (by the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and Board Members)

    Date: _____________________.; and

    (5) Advising that no changes or modifications can be made to any of the attached documents, without prior approval from the Authorizing Official.

    (b) The Local Bureau Official will appoint the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and notify the tribe of the need to appoint at least two tribal members to the Secretarial Election Board. If the election is to be held as the result of a petition, then the Local Bureau Official will appoint a Bureau employee to serve as the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and notify the tribe and the spokesperson for the petitioners of the need to appoint one tribal member each, who is at least 18 years of age, to the Secretarial Election Board. If the tribe or spokesperson declines or fails for any reason to make the appointment(s) by close of business on the 10th day after the date the notice letter is issued, the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board must appoint the representative(s), who are tribal members, if available, on the 11th day after the notice letter is issued.

    § 81.47 How is the OIWA Secretarial election conducted?

    After the Chair of the Election Board receives the authorization of the Election, the Chair of the Secretarial Election Board will conduct the election following the procedures set out in §§ 81.19 through § 81.45 of subpart D.

    § 81.48 When are the results of the OIWA Election final?

    (a) If a challenge is sustained and has an effect on the outcome of the election, the Authorizing Official must authorize a recount or call for a new Secretarial election. The Authorizing Official will take the appropriate steps necessary to provide for a recount or a new Secretarial election.

    (b) If the challenges are denied or dismissed, the Authorizing Official will review and determine whether:

    (1) The percentage of total votes cast was at least 30 percent, or such percentages as may be required according to the tribe's governing document's amendment or adoption articles; and

    (2) The voters ratified or rejected the proposed document, proposed amendment or revocation.

    (c) The Authorizing Official must notify, in writing, the recognized governing body of the tribe, and the Director of the Bureau, of the following:

    (1) The decisions on challenges;

    (2) The outcome of the voting; and

    (3) That the proposed document, proposed amendments or revocation becomes effective as of the date of the Secretarial election; and

    (4) That the decision is a final agency action.

    (d) The Authorizing Official must:

    (1) Forward the original text of the document, Original Certificate of Approval, and the Certificate of Results of Election to the tribe and a copy of all documents to the Director of the Bureau; and

    (2) Retain, as required by the Records Disposition Schedule, a copy of all document(s) relevant to the Secretarial election.

    Subpart F—Formulating Petitions To Request a Secretarial Election
    § 81.49 What is the purpose of this subpart?

    This subpart establishes requirements for formulating and submitting petitions to request the Secretary to call a Secretarial election as required by the governing documents or charters of incorporation of tribes issued under the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), 25 U.S.C. 476 and 477, as amended, and the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (OIWA), 25 U.S.C. 503. This Subpart may also be used by a federally recognized tribe that is adopting a governing document, under Federal statute, for the first time.

    § 81.50 Who must follow these requirements?

    Any tribe meeting the criteria in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section must follow the requirements of this subpart.

    (a) A tribe whose governing document or charter of incorporation provides for petitioning the Secretary to call a Secretarial election for any of the following purposes:

    (1) Amending or revoking the governing document;

    (2) Amending a charter of incorporation ratified under 25 U.S.C. 477 of the IRA before May 24, 1990 where the amendments section or article specifically requires it;

    (3) Amending or ratifying a charter of incorporation under 25 U.S.C. 503 of the OIWA; or

    (4) Taking any other action authorized by the governing document or charter of incorporation.

    (b) A federally recognized tribe, without an existing governing document, adopting a governing document under Federal statute, for the first time.

    § 81.51 How do tribal members circulate a petition to adopt or amend the tribe's governing document?

    Tribal members wishing to circulate a petition to adopt or amend the tribe's governing document may submit the proposed document to the Local Bureau Official for review and comment. The Local Bureau Official may help the petitioners in drafting governing documents, bylaws, charters, amendments and revocations. The Bureau may also explain the Secretarial election process.

    § 81.52 Who may initiate a petition?

    A member of the tribe who is 18 years of age or older whose tribe's governing document or charter of incorporation permits tribal members to petition the Secretary to authorize a Secretarial election.

    § 81.53 Who may sign a petition?

    A member of the tribe who is 18 years of age or older may sign a petition. Where the tribe's governing document imposes additional requirements (other than age requirements) on who may petition, those requirements also apply.

    § 81.54 Who is authorized to submit a petition to the Secretary?

    The petitioners must designate a spokesperson to submit the petition and act on their behalf for the petitioning process.

    § 81.55 How is the petition formatted and signed?

    (a) Each page of the petition must contain:

    (1) A summary of the purpose of the petition, or proposed document, or proposed amendment language;

    (2) Numbered lines for each individual to print their legal name, current mailing address, date, and signature, and;

    (3) The following declaration at the bottom of each page to confirm the collector was present when each signature was collected:

    “I, (Collector's Printed Name) , hereby declare that each individual whose name appears above signed and dated the petition. To the best of my knowledge, the individual signing the petition is a member of the tribe and is 18 years or older.

    (Signature of Collector)

    (Notary Certification)”,

    (b) Each individual must print their legal name, current mailing address, date, and sign on a numbered line.

    (c) Each collector must complete and sign the declaration on each page in front of a notary, who will sign and certify.

    § 81.56 Do petitions have a minimum or maximum number of pages?

    A petition can have as many pages as necessary to obtain the required signatures. However, each page must have the information shown in § 81.58 of this subpart.

    § 81.57 How do I determine how many signatures are needed for a petition to be valid?

    (a) For a tribe whose governing document or charter of incorporation provides for petitioning the Secretary to call a Secretarial election:

    (1) The spokesperson for the petitioners may ask the tribe or the Local Bureau Official how many signatures are required.

    (2) The Local Bureau Official will:

    (i) Contact the tribal governing body to obtain the current number of tribal members, 18 years of age or older, to determine the number of tribal members who must sign a petition as required by the tribe's governing document; and

    (ii) Notify the petitioners' spokesperson how many signatures are required and that the number is valid for 180 days from the date of this notification.

    (b) For a federally recognized tribe adopting a governing document under Federal statute for the first time, the petition must have signatures of 50 percent of the tribal members who are 18 years of age or older.

    § 81.58 How long do tribal members have to gather the signatures?

    Tribal members have one year from the date of the first signature to gather the required signatures.

    § 81.59 How does the spokesperson file a petition?

    The spokesperson must submit the original petition to the Local Bureau Official.

    § 81.60 How does the Local Bureau Official process the petition?

    (a) The Local Bureau Official must, on the date of receipt, date stamp the petition to record the Official Filing Date, and make four copies of the petition for use as follows:

    (1) Posting at the local Bureau office for 30 days from the Official Filing Date, including a statement of the proposal contained in the petition and instructions for filing a challenge;

    (2) Use in determining sufficiency of petition; and

    (3) For viewing at the Local Bureau Office by a member of the tribe, 18 years of age or older.

    (b) The Local Bureau Official must, within one week of the Official Filing Date:

    (1) Provide the spokesperson written acknowledgment of receiving the petition, which contains the Official Filing Date, the exact number of signatures submitted on the petition, and the statement “The petitioners may not add or withdraw any signatures from the petition after the Official Filing Date”; and

    (2) Provide a copy of the written acknowledgment of receipt and petition to the recognized tribal governing body.

    (c) The Local Bureau Official must:

    (1) Consult with the Office of the Solicitor to determine if any of the provisions that are the subject of the petition are or may be contrary to applicable law; and

    (2) If it appears that a provision is or may be contrary to applicable law, notify the petitioner's spokesperson in writing (with a copy to the recognized tribal governing body) how the provision may be contrary to applicable law.

    (d) The Local Bureau Official must promptly notify the petitioners (with a copy to the recognized tribal governing body) of any problems identified under paragraph (c) of this section at least 30 days before calling the election.

    § 81.61 How can signatures to the petition be challenged?

    Any member of the tribe, 18 years of age or older, may challenge in writing the signatures appearing on the petition. The challenge must be submitted to the Local Bureau Official, within 30 days of the Official Filing Date of the petition and must:

    (a) Identify the page and line on which a signature appears; and

    (b) Provide documentation supporting a challenge that at least one of the following is true:

    (1) A signature was forged;

    (2) An individual was ineligible to sign the petition;

    (3) A petition page is inconsistent or improperly formatted; or

    (4) A petition page contains an incomplete or un-notarized declaration statement.

    § 81.62 How is the petition validated?

    (a) The Local Bureau Official must:

    (1) Confirm the petition has the required number of signatures;

    (2) Indicate any signatures appearing more than once and include only one in the count;

    (3) Make recommendations regarding any challenge to the validity of signatures based upon the documentation provided by the challenger; and

    (4) Verify the petitioning procedures complied with this Subpart.

    (5) Transmit within 45 calendar days of the Official Filing Date the original petition, challenges, and recommendations to the Authorizing Official.

    (b) The Authorizing Official must within 60 calendar days of the Official Filing Date:

    (1) Determine whether the petition complies with the requirements of this Subpart;

    (2) Inform the spokesperson for the petitioners and the recognized tribal governing body, in writing, whether the petition is valid, the basis for that determination, and a statement that the decision of the Authorizing Official is a final agency action.

    (i) If the petition is determined valid for the purposes of calling a Secretarial election, it will be deemed a “tribal request” for the purposes of this part, and the Authorizing Official will instruct the Local Bureau Official to call and conduct the Secretarial election in accordance with §§ 81.19 through 81.45 of subpart D.

    (ii) If the petition is determined invalid, the Authorizing Official will notify the spokesperson for the petitioners, with a courtesy copy to the tribe's governing body, that the petition was not valid and a Secretarial election will not be called.

    § 81.63 May the same petition be used for more than one Secretarial election?

    No. A petition may not be used for more than one Secretarial election. Each request for a Secretarial election requires a new petition.

    PART 82—[REMOVED AND RESERVED] 2. Remove and reserve part 82. Dated: October 2, 2015. Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26176 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4339-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Parole Commission 28 CFR Part 2 [Docket No. USPC-2015-01] Paroling, Recommitting, and Supervising Federal Prisoners: Prisoners Serving Sentences Under the United States and District of Columbia Codes AGENCY:

    United States Parole Commission, Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Parole Commission is adopting a final rule to apply the parole guidelines of the former District of Columbia Board of Parole that were in effect until March 4, 1985 in its parole decisionmaking for D.C. Code prisoners who committed their offenses while those guidelines were in effect.

    DATES:

    Effective October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Parole Commission, 90 K Street NE., Washington, DC 20530, telephone (202) 346-7030. Questions about this publication are welcome, but inquiries concerning individual cases cannot be answered over the telephone.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The U.S. Parole Commission is responsible for making parole release decisions for District of Columbia felony offenders who are eligible for parole. D.C. Code section 24-131(a). The Commission took over this responsibility on August 5, 1998 as a result of the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33). The Commission immediately enacted regulations to implement its new duties, including paroling policy guidelines at 28 CFR 2.80. 63 FR 39172-39183 (July 21, 1998). In enacting these decision-making guidelines, the Commission used the basic approach and format of the 1987 guidelines of the District of Columbia Board of Parole, but made modifications to the Board's guidelines in an effort to incorporate factors that led to departures from the guidelines. 63 FR 39172-39174. In 2000, the Commission modified the guidelines for D.C. prisoners, creating suggested ranges of months to be served based on the pre- and post-incarceration factors evaluated under the guidelines, which in turn allowed the Commission to extend presumptive parole dates to prisoners up to three years from the hearing date. 65 FR 45885-45903.

    Also in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Garner v. Jones, 529 U.S. 244 (2000), indicating that parole rules that allow for the use of discretionary judgment may be covered by the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution. For over twenty years, federal appellate courts had rejected claims that the Commission's use of discretionary guidelines for parole release decisions violated the constitutional ban against ex post facto laws. As a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Garner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that parole release guidelines may constitute laws that are covered by the Ex Post Facto Clause. Fletcher v. District of Columbia, 391 F.3d 250 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (Fletcher II). Following upon the Fletcher II decision and the decision in Fletcher v. Reilly, 433 F.3d 867 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (Fletcher III), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Huvelle, District Judge) held that the Parole Commission's application of its 2000 paroling guidelines for several D.C. Code prisoners violated the Ex Post Facto Clause. Sellmon v. Reilly, 551 F.Supp.2d 66 (D.D.C. 2008). Several other prisoner-plaintiffs were denied relief by the district court, which showed that not every D.C. prisoner must be reconsidered under the 1987 guidelines to avoid ex post facto problems. Notwithstanding that ex post facto violations must be shown on a case-by-case basis, as a matter of administrative convenience, the Commission chose to apply the same rules to all similarly situated offenders. Accordingly, the Commission enacted a rule calling for application of the 1987 D.C. Board Guidelines to any offender who committed his crime between March 4, 1985 (the effective date of the “1987 Guidelines”), and August 4, 1998 (the last day the D.C. Board exercised parole release authority) (“Sellmon Rule”). 74 FR 34688 (July 17, 2009) (interim rule, effective August 17, 2009) and 28 CFR 2.80(o) (November 13, 2009) (final rule).

    Since the Sellmon decision, prisoner-plaintiffs who committed their offenses before March 1985 have sought to have the D.C. Courts find that the Commission's use of the revised 2000 parole guidelines violates the Ex Post Facto Clause when applied retroactively to their cases. Because of the broad discretion to grant parole which was vested in the D.C. Board of Parole under the 1972 regulations, federal courts have declined to find that Commission's use of its revised guidelines violates the Ex Post Facto Clause. However, the Parole Commission has decided to reconsider its use of the 2000 regulations in light of the developing case law that relates to parole guidelines and the Ex Post Facto Clause, and consistent with its previous decision to apply the D.C. Board of Parole's guidelines that were in effect at the time that the D.C. Code offender committed the offense, i.e., the Sellmon rule.

    Discussion of the Rule and Public Comment: On June 15, 2015, the Parole Commission published a proposed rule in the Federal Register proposing new parole guidelines for D.C. Code prisoners who committed their offenses before March 3, 1985. See 80 FR 34111 (June 15, 2015). After publishing the proposed rule change, the Parole Commission received comments from 3 organizations and several private individuals. The comments were generally in favor of adopting the rule, and included additional suggestions for amendments, which are highlighted below:

    Rehearings: Many commenters recommended that the rule include the provision in the D.C. Board's 1972 regulations that called for annual rehearings. The final rule restates the D.C. Board's regulation calling for annual rehearings as suggested, but includes the portion of the D.C. Board's regulation that permits the Commission to establish a rehearing date “at any time it feels such would be proper.”

    Statutory criteria: Many commentators recommended that the Parole Commission include a restatement of the statutory criteria for release on parole. The statutory criteria for release of D.C. Code offenders, which applies to all D.C. Code prisoners and has not changed since the 1970's, are already contained in the regulations at 28 CFR 2.73. Instead, the final rule will incorporate another section of the D.C. Board's regulations that restated the Board's discretionary authority to grant parole.

    Offenses committed on March 3, 1985: Several commenters noted that the Sellmon rules apply to offenses after March 3, 1985, and the proposed rule would apply the 1972 guidelines to offenses before that date, leaving a void with regard to offenses committed on March 3, 1985. This suggestion was adopted and the final rule states that the 1972 parole guidelines apply to offenses committed “on or before March 3, 1985.”

    Retroactive consideration: Several commenters recommended that the Commission follow the procedure it followed after publication of the Sellmon rule: That it determine what decision it would have made at the initial hearing, and each subsequent hearing, as if it had applied the 1972 rules at that time. Such a procedure was required in applying the 1987 guidelines at issue in Sellmon, because the grid score is computed at each hearing using the prior score as a starting point. The 1972 guidelines are not structured in such a way that this procedure is necessary.

    Reasons for Denial of Parole: A few commenters recommended that the Commission modify the rule to require that the Commission provide reasons for denial of parole, which is not found in the 1972 regulations. The Parole Commission's regulations at 28 CFR 2.74(a) already require the Commission to “provide the prisoner with a notice of action that includes an explanation of the reasons for the decision,” so an additional requirement is not needed.

    Further, the recommendation by several commenters that the Commission modify the rule to require it to inform the parole applicant of steps he needs to take to be deemed suitable for parole release was not required by the 1972 rules. Parole Commission hearing examiners may continue, as is current practice, to make such recommendations where appropriate, but are not compelled to do so in every case.

    Transcripts of hearings/disclosure to inmate, counsel, and others: Some commenters recommend that records be made available to the prisoner, his attorney, or family. Although in 1972 the D.C. Board deemed records of parole hearings confidential and did not permit disclosure to prisoners, the Commission's regulations already provide for disclosure of documents. See 28 CFR 2.89 (miscellaneous provisions) and § 2.56 (disclosure of Parole Commission file).

    Implementation: The Parole Commission will identify those prisoners who committed their offenses on or before March 4, 1985, and who have previously had a parole hearing at which the Parole Commission applied the 2000 parole guidelines for its decision and who have not received a parole effective date. The Commission will schedule special dockets for these prisoners as soon as possible, by videoconference if available, and with the goal of completing the hearings in 6 months.

    Executive Order 13132

    These regulations 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. Under Executive Order 13132, these rules do not have sufficient federalism implications requiring a Federalism Assessment.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The rules will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The rules will not cause State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector, to spend $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. No action under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 is necessary.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Subtitle E—Congressional Review Act)

    These rules are not “major rules” as defined by Section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 Subtitle E—Congressional Review Act, now codified at 5 U.S.C. 804(2). The rules will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies. Moreover, these are rules of agency practice or procedure that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties, and do not come within the meaning of the term “rule” as used in Section 804(3)(C), now codified at 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C). Therefore, the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 does not apply.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Prisoners, Probation and Parole.

    The Final Rule

    Accordingly, the U.S. Parole Commission amends 28 CFR part 2 as follows:

    PART 2—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    18 U.S.C. 4203(a)(1) and 4204(a)(6).

    2. Amend § 2.80 by adding paragraph (p) to read as follows:
    § 2.80 Guidelines for D.C. Code Offenders.

    (p)(1) A prisoner who is eligible under the criteria of paragraph (p)(2) of this section may receive a parole determination using the parole guidelines in the 1972 regulations of the former District of Columbia Board of Parole (9 DCMR section 105.1) (hereinafter “the 1972 Board guidelines”).

    (2) A prisoner must satisfy the following criteria to obtain a determination using the 1972 Board guidelines:

    (i) The prisoner committed the offense of conviction on or before March 3, 1985;

    (ii) The prisoner is not incarcerated as a parole violator; and

    (iii) The prisoner has not been granted a parole effective date.

    (3) The granting of a parole is neither a constitutional or statutory requirement, and release to parole supervision by Commission action is not mandatory.

    (4) Factors considered: Among others, the U.S. Parole Commission takes into account some of the following factors in making its determination as to parole:

    (i) The offense, noting the nature of the violation, mitigating or aggravating circumstances and the activities and adjustment of the offender following arrest if on bond or in the community under any pre-sentence type arrangement.

    (ii) Prior history of criminality, noting the nature and pattern of any prior offenses as they may relate to the current circumstances.

    (iii) Personal and social history of the offender, including such factors as his family situation, educational development, socialization, marital history, employment history, use of leisure time and prior military experience, if any.

    (iv) Physical and emotional health and/or problems which may have played a role in the individual's socialization process, and efforts made to overcome any such problems.

    (v) Institutional experience, including information as to the offender's overall general adjustment, his ability to handle interpersonal relationships, his behavior responses, his planning for himself, setting meaningful goals in areas of academic schooling, vocational education or training, involvements in self-improvement activity and therapy and his utilization of available resources to overcome recognized problems. Achievements in accomplishing goals and efforts put forth in any involvements in established programs to overcome problems are carefully evaluated.

    (vi) Community resources available to assist the offender with regard to his needs and problems, which will supplement treatment and training programs begun in the institution, and be available to assist the offender to further serve in his efforts to reintegrate himself back into the community and within his family unit as a productive useful individual.

    (5) A prisoner who committed the offense of conviction on or before March 3, 1985 who is not incarcerated as a parole violator and is serving a maximum sentence of five years or more who was denied parole at their original hearing ordinarily will receive a rehearing one year after a hearing conducted by the U.S. Parole Commission. In all cases of rehearings, the U.S. Parole Commission may establish a rehearing date at any time it feels such would be proper, regardless of the length of sentence involved. No hearing may be set for more than five years from the date of the previous hearing.

    (6) If a prisoner has been previously granted a presumptive parole date under the Commission's guidelines in paragraphs (b) through (m) of this section, the presumptive date will not be rescinded unless the Commission would rescind the date for one of the accepted bases for such action, i.e., new criminal conduct, new institutional misconduct, or new adverse information.

    (7) Prisoners who have previously been considered for parole under the 1987 guidelines of the former DC Board of Parole will continue to receive consideration under those guidelines.

    (8) Decisions resulting from hearings under this section may not be appealed to the U.S. Parole Commission.

    Dated: October 13, 2015. J. Patricia Wilson Smoot, Chairman, U.S. Parole Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26463 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 917 [SATS No. KY-253-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2009-0014; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16X501520] Kentucky Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; approval of amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We are approving an amendment to the Kentucky regulatory program (the Kentucky program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). As a result of OSMRE's review of the Kentucky program, OSMRE has determined that two previously required amendments, 30 CFR 917.16(e) and (h), are to be removed because Kentucky's program, with regard to Ownership and Control (O&C), and Transfer, Assignment or Sale of Permit Rights (TAS) is now consistent with SMCRA and the corresponding Federal regulations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Evans, Field Office Director, Telephone: (859) 260-3904. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Kentucky Program II. Submission of the Amendment III. OSMRE's Findings IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments V. OSMRE's Decision VI. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Kentucky Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, “a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act . . .; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See U.S.C. 1253 (a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Kentucky program on May 18, 1982. You can find background information on the Kentucky program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the Kentucky program in the May 18, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 21434). You can also find later actions concerning Kentucky's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 917.11, 917.12, 917.13, 917.15, 917.16, and 917.17.

    II. Submission of the Proposed Amendment

    OSMRE first promulgated final rules to address O&C and TAS over 20 years ago. Subsequently, OSMRE published changes to O&C and TAS, some in response to Federal Court mandates, culminating in the issuance of Federal rulemaking on December 3, 2007. 72 FR 68000. Specifically, the Federal rulemaking amended definitions pertaining to ownership, control, and transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights and OSMRE regulatory provisions governing: Permit eligibility determinations; improvidently issued permits; ownership or control challenges; post-permit issuance actions and requirements; transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights; application and permit information; and alternative enforcement.

    Prior to the implementation of the December 2007 Federal rulemaking, OSMRE issued required amendments to the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources (KYDNR) in 1991 and 1993. These previously required amendments are codified at 30 CFR 917.16(e), as noticed in the September 23, 1991, Federal Register (56 FR 47907), and 30 CFR 917.16(h), as noticed in the January 12, 1993, Federal Register (58 FR 3833), respectively. These previously required amendments were established prior to OSMRE's final rulemaking on O&C on December 3, 2007, 72 FR 68000. On December 8, 2008, following publication in the Federal Register, and resolution of litigation resulting from this rulemaking, the Director of OSMRE issued a memorandum to the Regional Directors to conduct a review of the applicable provisions of all the State programs to ascertain what, if any, amendments were required to conform to the December 3, 2007, Federal rulemaking.

    Following the instructions given by the Director, OSMRE's Lexington Field Office (LFO) conducted an evaluation of the Kentucky program to determine if amendments to the Kentucky program were required. Consistent with 30 CFR 732.17, LFO reviewed the Kentucky program, comparing it to the current Federal regulations using a standard no less stringent than SMCRA and no less effective than the Federal regulations, in meeting the requirements of the Act. This review included review of the determinations in 1991, and 1993, codified at 30 CFR 917.16(e) and (h), that Kentucky must submit two required amendments relative to O&C. As part of the evaluation, LFO conducted several meetings with KYDNR and considered whether the Kentucky program was being implemented in conformity with current Federal regulations.

    During the review, LFO solicited assistance from the OSMRE Applicant Violator System Office (AVSO). The AVSO is a division of OSMRE that assists regulatory authorities in making permit eligibility determinations using the Applicant Violator System (AVS) as required under section 510(c) of SMCRA for applicants of coal mining permits.

    Subsequent to programmatic review by LFO and independent review by the AVSO, LFO requested removal of the two previously required amendments because LFO and AVSO independently verified and determined that Kentucky has proper statutory authority to implement the requisite O&C and TAS standards in a manner that is no less stringent than provisions in SMCRA found at 30 U.S.C. 1260(c), and no less effective than the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 778.14. Further, LFO and AVSO determined Kentucky is appropriately implementing the Federal O&C and TAS rules as required by the Federal rulemaking on December 3, 2007.

    OSMRE announced the proposed decision, which would eliminate the previously required amendments, in the September 19, 2012, Federal Register (77 FR 58053). In the same document, OSMRE opened the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing or meeting. OSMRE did not hold a public hearing or meeting because neither was requested. The public comment period ended on October 19, 2012. OSMRE received one comment from the Kentucky Resources Council (KRC), an environmental advocacy group.

    III. OSMRE's Findings

    Following are the findings made concerning the amendment under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. OSMRE is approving the removal of two previously required amendments to the Kentucky program, found at 30 CFR 917.16(e) and (h), due to the following: (a) After significant review, OSMRE has determined that Kentucky has statutory authority to implement 405 Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) 8:010 section 13, when coupled with the statutes and regulations referenced therein, in a manner no less stringent than SMCRA and no less effective than the Federal regulation counterpart found at 30 CFR part 774; and (b) Kentucky is implementing 405 KAR 8:010 section 13, in accordance with the Federal O&C regulations codified into law on December 3, 2007, as indicated in the Federal Register (72 FR 68000).

    OSMRE approves the removal of the required amendment found at 30 CFR 917.16 (e) regarding the Kentucky O&C regulations. KYDNR implements the Kentucky program in a manner that is no less stringent than SMCRA and no less effective than the regulations found at 30 CFR part 774. Previously, via a Federal Register notice dated September 23, 1991, (56 FR 47907), OSMRE reviewed and found a program amendment submitted by Kentucky to be less effective than the Federal counterpart. Among other things, Kentucky proposed to add a regulation which prohibited “the issuance of a permit if the applicant, operator or anyone who owns or controls the applicant, controls or has controlled any surface coal mining and reclamation operation with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of KRS chapter 350 and regulations adopted thereto. . . .” OSMRE disapproved the proposed revisions and required Kentucky to further amend its program to correct the deficiencies identified, adding the following required program amendment:

    30 CFR 917.16(e). By March 23, 1992, Kentucky shall amend its rules at 405 KAR 8:010 § 13(4) to include violations of Federal regulatory programs and other State regulatory programs, not just violations of KRS chapter 350 and regulations adopted thereto.

    At the time the 1991 required amendment was authored, OSMRE took the position that Kentucky was solely and independently responsible for the collection of violation data in Kentucky and other states for the purpose of determining if it was necessary to deny a Kentucky permit applicant a surface mining permit, based on outstanding violations of SMCRA or certain other environmental protection statutes and rules. OSMRE's former position did not account for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OSMRE and the Commonwealth of Kentucky that provides, among other things:

    OSMRE shall develop, maintain, and provide for the use of Kentucky the AVS, which contains or will contain ownership and control data and violator information to assist Kentucky in meeting the mandated requirements under KRS 350.085(6).

    In addition to the required obligations of OSMRE, Kentucky, prior to making any decisions regarding permitting, agreed to perform an independent review of an applicant's history, then “query AVS to determine whether the applicant is linked to a violator through ownership and control.” MOU, page 5, paragraph IV(C)(5).

    While evaluating the impact of the 2007 Federal rulemaking on O&C and TAS, OSMRE concluded that KYDNR is appropriately relying on AVS data when determining to block or approve a permit in accordance with applicable provisions of SMCRA, Federal regulations and the MOU, consistent with 30 CFR parts 773 and 774. Further, OSMRE's AVSO independently verified that KYDNR utilizes the nationwide AVS on a daily basis to determine if Kentucky applicants are permit eligible prior to issuing any permit, evidencing conformity with the MOU. Additionally, as part of the AVS review, it was determined that Kentucky denies any permit application associated with any unabated Federal violations or violations issued by other states. Moreover, OSMRE concludes Kentucky is supplying sufficient information to AVS, and KYDNR is implementing Kentucky statutes and regulations consistent with SMCRA and the Federal regulations.

    OSMRE determines the current O&C program in Kentucky is implemented in a manner that ensures that no permit will be issued to an applicant who owns or controls operations with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of the Kentucky program, SMCRA, or any other surface coal mining regulatory program, that are of such nature and duration that may result in irreparable damage to the environment as to indicate an intent not to comply with the Kentucky program, SMCRA, or with any other surface coal mining regulatory program.

    Based upon the plain language contained in both SMCRA and corresponding Kentucky statutes there is an additional basis for removing the required amendment. Both the Federal and Kentucky provisions refer to violations that cause irreparable damage to the environment. These types of violations, by definition, can never be abated, because “irreparable” means “[i]ncapable of being rectified, repaired, or corrected.” Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary 645 (1984). Violators of SMCRA, or of other state programs' provisions, whose violations cause irreparable damage would remain forever blocked on the AVS. Thus, they would be permanently blocked in Kentucky, regardless of the state in which the violations occurred, since Kentucky faithfully follows AVS recommendations. Should it later be determined that Kentucky is not faithfully following AVS requirements as outlined in the MOU, OSMRE will take appropriate corrective action.

    For these reasons, OSMRE concludes the Kentucky program is no less stringent than SMCRA and no less effective than the promulgated regulations thereunder, at 30 CFR 774.11(c). Specifically, Kentucky Revised Statute Annotated §§ 350.085 and 350.060(3)(h), and 405 KY Admin. Regs. 8:010 section 13(4), incorporating the corresponding statute by reference, in conjunction with the discussion of the meaning of “irreparable,” above, clarify that KYDNR must consider all violations of SMCRA and any law, rule, or regulation in effect for the protection of air or water resources when issuing permits. Thus, OSMRE is removing the required amendment at 30 CFR 917.16(e).

    In addition, OSMRE approves the removal of the required amendment found at 30 CFR 917.16(h) regarding the Kentucky operator change revision regulations. Previously, OSMRE reviewed a program amendment submitted by Kentucky which proposed to “established a new category of permit revision for operator changes that do not constitute a transfer, assignment or sale of permit rights.” OSMRE disapproved that submission as detailed in the January 12, 1993, Federal Register (58 FR 3833), and added a required program amendment in its decision as follows:

    30 CFR 917.16(h) By June 14, 1993, Kentucky shall amend its rules at 405 KAR 8:010 § 20(6)(h) by including OSM[RE] as one of the parties to be notified of the cabinet's decision to approve or deny the application for an operator change and to require that the regulatory authority be notified when the approved change is consummated.

    Historically, OSMRE interpreted the Federal rules as meaning the changes in the operator of the mine—as the term is defined at 30 CFR 701.5—must be processed as a TAS, consistent with 30 CFR part 774. Following OSMRE's interpretation of the holding in Peabody Western Coal Co., v. OSMRE, No. DV 2000-1-PR (June 15, 2000), comments received in response to OSMRE's 2005 proposed rule setting forth revisions to the definition of TAS, and further communications with state regulatory authorities, OSMRE issued a Federal rulemaking, announcing that OSMRE no longer considers a change of operator of a mine as a transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights. 72 FR 68000 (December 3, 2007). OSMRE concluded that a change of a permittee's owners or controllers does not constitute a TAS because nothing in SMCRA imports the ownership and control concepts of section 510(c) of the Act to the definition of TAS. However, OSMRE made it clear that regulatory authorities may continue to consider the two concepts linked. Kentucky continues to process a change in permittee as a TAS, as detailed in the Federal regulations set forth in 30 CFR part 774. Additionally, as detailed above, Kentucky continues to enter all data concerning a revision of the mine operator in both AVS and the state counterpart, the Kentucky Surface Mining Information System.

    For these reasons, OSMRE concludes that 405 KY Admin. Regs. 8:010 section 22 renders the Kentucky program no less stringent than SMCRA and no less effective than the promulgated regulations there under. Thus, OSMRE is removing the required amendment at 30 CFR 917.16(h).

    IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments Public Comments

    We asked for public comments on the amendment via the Federal Register on September 19, 2012, (77 FR 58053) (Administrative Record No. OSM-2009-0014-001). Neither an extension of the public comment period nor a public hearing or meeting was requested. One comment (Administrative Record No. OSMRE-2009-0014-003) was received from a representative of Kentucky Resource Council (KRC) on October 22, 2012, indicating that the KRC had no comments. The public comment period closed on October 19, 2012.

    Federal Agency Comments

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and section 503(b) of SMCRA, OSMRE is required to request comments on an amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential interest or special expertise related to the Kentucky program. This amendment removes two previously required amendments relative to O&C and TAS. Therefore, no request for comments is required for this amendment as no Federal agency, other than OSMRE has an actual or potential interest or special expertise in the amendment. Moreover, in reviewing Kentucky statutes and regulations relevant to these issues in a December 3, 2007, Federal rulemaking, OSMRE sought appropriate agency review. OSMRE sought the review of the AVSO, the office within OSMRE having specialized knowledge related to the issues within this amendment.

    State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), OSMRE is required to request comments from the SHPO and ACHP on amendments that may have an effect on historic properties. As detailed within this final rule, this amendment deals with O&C regulations; therefore, no SHPO or ACHP may be affected by these changes and their comment was not required.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to obtain written concurrence from the EPA for those provisions of the program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). As detailed within this final rule, this amendment deals with O&C regulations; therefore, no water or air quality standards are under review that trigger the requirement for EPA concurrence.

    V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based upon the above finding, we approve the removal of two previously required amendments found at 30 CFR 917.16(e) and (h).

    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations, at 30 CFR part 917, that codify decisions concerning the Kentucky program. We find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this final rule effective immediately. Section 503(a) of SMCRA requires that the State's program demonstrate that the State has the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. Making this rule effective immediately will expedite that process. SMCRA requires consistency of State and Federal standards.

    VI. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12630—Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.

    Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of Interior has conducted the reviews required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988, and has determined that, to the extent allowable by law, this rule meets the applicable standards of Subsections (a) and (b). However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of State regulatory programs and program amendments because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSMRE. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731 and 732 have been met.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and State governments regarding the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to “establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.” Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that State laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be “in accordance with” the requirements of SMCRA, and Section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Government

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on Federally-recognized Indian tribes and have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct effects 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.

    Executive Order 13211—Regulations That Significantly Affect the Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 requiring agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule that is (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866, and (2) likely to have significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866, and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1992(d)) provides that agency decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507 et seq.).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have significant economic impact, the Department relied upon data and assumptions for the counterpart Federal regulations.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million; (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; and (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

    Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any given year. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 917

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 30 CFR part 917 is amended as follows:

    PART 917—KENTUCKY 1. The authority citation for Part 917 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

    § 917.16 [Amended]
    2. Section 917.16 is amended in the table by removing and reserving paragraphs (e) and (h).
    [FR Doc. 2015-26478 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 935 [OH-254-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2012-0012; S1D1S SS08011000 SX066A000 156S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX066A000 15XS501520] Ohio Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; approval of amendment and addition of a required regulatory program amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We are approving, with one additional requirement, an amendment to the Ohio regulatory program (the Ohio program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). The amendment we are approving updates the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) to address issues raised by OSMRE regarding the consistency of Ohio's program with the final Federal rule relative to Ownership and Control, Permit and Application Information and Transfer, and Assignment or Sale of Permit Rights, which became effective on December 3, 2007. The amendment specifically revises the following regulations within the OAC: Definitions; Incorporation by reference; permit applications, requirements for legal, financial, compliance and related information; permit applications, revisions, and renewals, and transfers, assignments, and sales of permit rights; improvidently issued permits; and enforcement and individual civil penalties. Ohio submitted this amendment to ensure the Ohio program is consistent with, and in accordance with, SMCRA, and no less effective than the corresponding regulations. During the course of our review of this amendment, we determined that Ohio must amend its program to ensure the term “violation notice” is consistent with the approved Ohio program.

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 4605 Morse Road, Rm. 102, Columbus, Ohio 43230; Telephone: (614) 416-2238; email: [email protected]; Fax: (614) 416-2248.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background of the Ohio Program II. Description and Submission of the Amendment III. OSMRE's Findings IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments V. OSMRE's Decision VI. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Ohio Program

    Section 503(a) of the SMCRA permits a state to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its program includes, among other things, “a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act . . . ; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Ohio program effective August 16, 1982. You can find background information on the Ohio program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Ohio program in the August 16, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 34688). You can also find later actions concerning Ohio's regulatory program and regulatory program amendments at 30 CFR 935.11, 935.15, and 935.30.

    II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment

    Following the approval of the December 3, 2007, Federal rule, “Ownership and Control; Permit and Application Information; Transfer, Assignment, or Sale of Permit Rights; Final Rule,” Federal Register (72 FR 68000), OSMRE performed a side-by-side comparison of Ohio's regulations to ensure the OAC provisions were no less effective than the Federal regulations. Following the review of Ohio's regulations, OSMRE and Ohio discussed the implementation of Ohio regulations and potential revisions. Ohio, via a letter of September 25, 2009, (Administrative Record Number OH-2190-01) responded to the findings of the OSMRE side-by-side analysis. This response described Ohio's plan to address provisions that were determined by OSMRE to be less effective than the Federal regulations, and stated an Ohio proposed amendment would be submitted to OSMRE. By letter dated March 30, 2012, (Administrative Record Number OH 2190-01), Ohio sent OSMRE a request to approve six revised regulations. This amendment contains the changes made to the OAC as a result of the side-by-side review conducted by OSMRE. Key provisions of the approved amendment add the definitions of “knowingly,” “transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights,” and “violation” to the OAC; require enhanced identification of interests; add a provision for a central repository documenting identification of interests; and alter procedures for the determination of an improvidently issued permit.

    We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the August 3, 2012, Federal Register (77 FR 46346). In the same document, we opened the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing or meeting.

    We did not hold a public hearing or meeting because no one requested one. The public comment period ended on September 4, 2012. One comment was posted in the Federal Docket Management System in response to the proposal. However, it was later determined that this comment was erroneously posted and was not related to the proposed amendment. Therefore, no comments were received.

    III. OSMRE's Findings

    We are approving the amendment request under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. There are a few changes that are not addressed in the Findings because they involve minor clarifications and non-substantive corrections. The following outlines the approved amendment to the OAC:

    1501:13-1-02. Definitions

    The definition of “knowing” or “knowingly” has been added. This definition is now substantively identical to and therefore no less effective than, its Federal counterpart definition at 30 CFR 701.5, because it substitutes the word “person”, which is used in the Federal definition, for the word “individual.” Additionally, the approved amendment revises the definition in other sections of the OAC. Ohio added the definition of “[t]ransfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights” to the definition section. Ohio's definition of this term describes any change of a permittee, including any fundamental legal changes in the structure or nature of the permittee or a name change. The Ohio definition is substantively identical to, and therefore no less effective than, its Federal counterpart definition at 30 CFR 701.5.

    The definition of “violation” has been added for the purposes of the following OAC sections:

    • Permit applications; requirements for legal, financial, compliance and related information;

    • Review, public participation, and approval or disapproval of permit applications and permit terms and conditions; and

    • Improvidently issued permits.

    Violation is defined as any of the following:

    • Written notification from a governmental agency identifying a failure to comply with applicable Federal or state law or regulations relative to environmental air or water protection;

    • Noncompliance identified by the Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management, OSMRE, or a comparable authority, pursuant to the Federal or state regulatory program. Notice of this noncompliance may be given via a notice of violation, cessation order, final order, bill or demand letter relative to a delinquent civil penalty; a bill or demand letter relative to delinquent reclamation fees or a performance security or bond forfeiture order.

    The Ohio definition is substantively identical to, and therefore no less effective than, the Federal counterpart definition at 30 CFR 701.5.

    The definition of “violation notice” has been revised to apply to the following OAC sections:

    • Permit applications; requirements for legal, financial, compliance and related information;

    • Review, public participation, and approval or disapproval of permit applications and permit terms and conditions;

    • Improvidently issued permits; and

    • A violation notice is now defined as a written notification from a regulatory authority or other governmental entity of a violation, as defined in this section. This change reflects the language used to define this term in 30 CFR 701.5.

    The Ohio definition is substantively identical to, and therefore, no less effective than, the Federal counterpart definition at 30 CFR 701.5.

    1501:13-14-02. Enforcement

    Section (A)(8) has been revised to require any permittee, within thirty days of the issuance of a cessation order, to provide accurate and current identification of interest information as defined in the Permit applications; requirements for legal, financial compliance and related information sections of the OAC. This additional language is identical to the requirement in OAC 1501:13-5-01(G)(5), which is already part of Ohio's approved program. Therefore, we are approving it. Formatting changes were made throughout section 13-14-02 to reflect changes in numbering.

    1501: 13-14-06. Individual Civil Penalties

    Revisions were made to remove the definition of “knowingly” from this section. Consequently, formatting changes were required to account for the elimination of this definition. In this same amendment, Ohio added a nearly identical definition of “Knowing or knowingly” to OAC 1501:13-1-02. Therefore, the definition proposed for deletion is no longer needed; the deletion is hereby approved.

    1501: 13-4-03. Permit Applications; Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance and Related Information

    Grammar and formatting changes are present that do not alter the meaning or intent of the OAC as previously structured. Multiple changes have been made to incorporate all inclusive gender references. In addition, sections (B)(2) and (3) have been revised to require submission of addresses for all owners of record, holders of record of any leasehold interests, and any purchasers of record of the property to be mined. Previously this requirement did not require the submission of addresses. The revision expands the requirements for providing addresses in order to encompass all aspects of interest. These changes render the Ohio provisions no less effective than the Federal counterpart regulation at 30 CFR 778.13(a) and they are, therefore, approved.

    As discussed further below, at section (J), this section is further clarified to require submission of data when a departure or change of an individual named in a permit application occurs.

    Section (B)(5)(d) is revised by deleting the requirement that, for each permit owned or controlled by an owner or controller of the applicant within a five year period preceding the submission of the application, the application must contain the dates of issuance of any Federal or state permits and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) identification numbers. Dates of issuance are not required to be submitted pursuant to the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 778.12(c). Therefore, we are approving this deletion.

    Section (C)(1) requires violation history relative to an operator to be provided in the permit application. Previously, the applicant was the only individual required to submit this information. This addition renders the Ohio provision no less effective than the counterpart at 30 CFR 778.14(a), and it is, therefore, approved.

    Section (C)(2) requires the applicant to provide the date of suspension or revocation of a permit, or forfeiture of a bond. The requirement to provide the date of issuance of any permit that was subsequently suspended or revoked, or for which a bond was forfeited, is proposed to be deleted. Section (C)(3) also adds a provision requiring all applications to include a listing of any of the applicant's, operator's, or owner's and controller's unabated cessation orders or notices of violation, or uncorrected air or water quality violations.

    Furthermore, Section (C)(4) requires a certification by the Federal or state regulatory authority that issued the notice of violation or cessation order to confirm that the violation is being abated or corrected. It also adds a requirement to provide the identification numbers of any violation notice or cessation order. This provision does not interfere with the requirement in (C)(4)(f), which is being revised to clarify that the application shall contain information for all violations and cessation orders having an expired abatement period, and describe the action taken to abate or correct the violation or cessation order. These changes to Sections (C)(2) through (C)(4) are no less effective than their respective counterparts contained in the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 778.14(b) and (c), and they are, therefore, approved.

    However, Section (C)(3) remains narrower in scope than its Federal counterpart at 30 CFR 778.14(c) because it only requires the listing of unabated cessation orders and uncorrected air and water quality violation notices received; whereas, the Federal regulation requires listing of all unabated violation notices. The term “violation notice,” as defined in both the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 701.5, and in the Ohio program at OAC 1501: 13-1-02, the latter of which is part of this submission, includes more than just cessation orders and air and water quality violations. For example, it includes unpaid reclamation fees or civil penalties. As such, we are requiring Ohio to amend its program to require permit applications to list all unabated “violation notices,” as that term is defined in the Ohio approved program.

    Under Section (J), the addition of a “Central file for identity information” allows applicants or permittees to provide requisite information in a streamlined method whereby all “identification of interests” information required in permit applications, revisions and renewals and transfers, assignments and sales of permit rights provisions, is submitted to the Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management, and is applicable to all permits held by that applicant or permittee. These items will be maintained in a central file for reference in the event of any subsequent submission. To participate, applicants or permitees must submit a sworn or affirmed oath, in writing, verifying all the information is accurate and complete, including all ownership and permittee interests. The central file will be updated and maintained for reference, eliminating the need to provide identity information in each application. The file will be available for public review upon request.

    In the event a permittee or applicant has an established central file, certification shall be made that the file is accurate and complete when submitting permit applications, revisions, renewals, transfers, assignments, and sales of permits rights in accordance with 1501:13-4-06. Upon submission, the permittee shall submit a certification, provided by the Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management swearing or affirming that the information is accurate, complete, and updated. This must be in the form of a written oath. Any information that is missing, as required by the provisions set forth herein, must be submitted and accompanied by a written oath providing affirmation of a complete information repository.

    The corresponding regulations refer to the central repository for identification information and incorporate by reference provisions of the statute. While proposed Section (J) of the OAC has no precise Federal counterpart, we find that it provides an alternative means for submitting, updating and maintaining “identification of interests” information that is consistent with the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 778.8(c), which allows OSMRE to create a central file for this type of information; we are, therefore, approving it.

    1501:13-4-06. Permit Applications Revisions, and Renewals, and Transfers, Assignments and Sales of Rights

    The amendment revises Section (I) by adding a provision requiring notification within 30 days of any addition, departure or change required to be shown in the permit application. This must be done in writing and must include any person's name, address, telephone number, title, and relationship to the applicant, including percentage of ownership, interest and position within the organizational structure. Information detailing commencement and departure are also required. These changes render Section (I) no less effective than the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 774.12(c).

    1501:13-5-02. Improvidently Issued Permits

    Pursuant to the approved amendment, should the Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management have reason to believe a coal mining and reclamation permit was improvidently issued, he or she shall make a preliminary finding indicating improvident issuance if:

    • A determination based on the permit eligibility, in effect at the time of issuance, indicates either:

    (a) The permit should not have been issued due to an unabated or uncorrected violation or,

    (b) The permit was issued based on the presumption that a violation was in the process of being corrected;

    • The violation remains unabated or uncorrected and the time frame for appeal is expired or a payment schedule, as approved, is not being complied with as ordered; and

    • Ownership or control existing at the time of issuance demonstrates a link to the violation and remains in effect, or if the link was severed, the permittee continues to be responsible for the violation.

    Upon a preliminary finding of an improvidently issued permit, the Chief may serve the permittee with written notice establishing a prima facie case indicating the permit was improvidently issued. Within thirty days, the permittee may request an informal review and may provide evidence to the contrary.

    Section (C) augments references to abatement of a violation by adding the term “correction.” It also deletes references to penalties and fees, because these terms are now included within the definition of the term “violation.”

    Section (D) allows the Chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management to suspend a permit as opposed to the previous regulation granting only the right to rescind the permit. Moreover, the approved amendment provides that, upon a determination indicating the permit was improvidently issued, the Chief shall serve the permittee notice of the proposed suspension and rescission, which includes the reasons for the finding and stipulates within sixty days the permit will be suspended, or in one hundred and twenty days, the permit will be rescinded, unless the permittee submits rebuttal proof and the Chief finds:

    • The previous determination was incorrect;

    • The violation has been abated or corrected;

    • The violation is under appeal and an initial judicial decision affirming the violation is absent;

    • The violation is subject to an approved abatement, correction plan or payment schedule;

    • Ownership or control is severed and no continuing responsibility is apportioned to the permittee; or

    • An appeal as to ownership or control exists and an initial judicial decision affirming such ownership or control is absent.

    The approved amendment eliminates previous provisions allowing automatic suspension within ninety days upon proper showing. In the event the permit is deemed suspended or rescinded, the Chief shall immediately order the cessation of coal mining and reclamation operations and post written notice of the cessation order at the Division of Mineral Resources Management District Office closest to the permit area.

    We find that these changes render the Ohio provisions governing improvidently issued permits no less effective than their Federal counterpart provisions found in 30 CFR 773.21, 773.22, and 773.23. Therefore, the changes are approved.

    1501: 13-1-14. Incorporation by Reference

    The Web site provided in the approved amendment is updated to ensure public access to Federal regulation references. The revised Web site is www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/. Also, the dates for the Code of Federal Regulations and for the United States Code have been updated to incorporate subsequent publications of both codes. These incorporations by reference have no Federal counterparts; nevertheless, the changes are not inconsistent with SMCRA or the Federal regulations, and are therefore approved.

    IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments Public Comments

    We asked for public comments on the amendment (Administrative Record Numbers OH-2190-05 and 06), but did not receive any.

    Federal Agency Comments

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and § 503(b) of SMCRA, OSMRE is to request comments on an amendment when any Federal agency has an actual or potential interest or special expertise related to the program amendment. On April 12, 2012, OSMRE sent requests for comment to the following agencies (in addition to the agencies specifically outlined below): The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service; the U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; and the U.S. Department of Labor, MSHA. On May 4, 2012, the MSHA responded to the request for comments (Administrative Record Number OH-2190-04), stating that they concur with the amendment and have no further comments to offer. None of the other agencies responded to the requests for comment.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence

    On April 12, 2012, OSMRE notified and requested comment from EPA regarding the amendment (Administrative Record Number OH-2190-02). Although OSMRE requested comments on the amendment, EPA did not respond to our request. Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii) we are required to obtain written concurrence from EPA for those provisions of the program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). As detailed within this final rule, this amendment deals with ownership and control regulations; therefore, no water or air quality standards are under review that may trigger the requirement for EPA concurrence.

    State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), OSMRE is required to request comments from the SHPO and ACHP on amendments that may have an effect on historic properties. Consistent with this regulation, on April 12, 2012, OSMRE requested comments (Administrative Record Number OH-2190-02), on Ohio's amendment from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, but neither responded to the request.

    V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based on the above findings, OSMRE approves the amendment Ohio sent us on March 30, 2012. In addition, we are requiring Ohio to amend its program to require permit applications to list all unabated “violation notices,” as that term is defined in the Ohio approved program.

    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations at 30 CFR part 935, which codify decisions concerning the Ohio program. OSMRE finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this final rule effective immediately. Section 503(a) of SMCRA requires that Ohio's program demonstrates it has the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. Making this regulation effective immediately will expedite that process.

    VI. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12630—Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.

    Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required by Section 3 of Executive Order 12988, and has determined that, to the extent allowable by law, this rule meets the applicable standards of Subsections (a) and (b). However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of state regulatory programs and program amendments because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific state, not by OSMRE. Under Sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed state regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the states must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731 and 732 have been met.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and state governments regarding the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to “establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.” Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that state laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be “in accordance with” the requirements of SMCRA, and Section 503(a)(7) requires that state programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Government

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on Federally-recognized Indian tribes and have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct effects 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.

    Executive Order 13211—Regulations That Significantly Affect the Supply Distribution or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 requiring agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule that is (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), and (2) likely to have significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866, and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because Section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1992(d)) provides that agency decisions on proposed state regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507 et seq.).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have significant economic impact, the Department relied upon data and assumptions for the Federal regulations.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million; (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, geographic regions, or Federal, state, or local government agencies; and (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

    Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any given year. This determination is based upon the facts that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule is based upon Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 935

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining. Underground mining. Required regulatory program amendments.

    Dated: June 26, 2015. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 935, is amended as set forth below:

    PART 935—OHIO 1. The authority citation for part 935 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

    2. Section 935.15 is amended in the table by adding a new entry in chronological order by “Date of final publication” to read as follows:
    § 935.15 Approval of Ohio regulatory program amendments. Original amendment
  • submission date
  • Date of final
  • publication
  • Citation/description
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * March 30, 2012 October 19, 2015 OAC §§ 1501:13-1-02; -14-02; -14-06; -4-03; -4-06; -5-02; -1-14. Changes to Definitions, Ownership and Control, Permit and Application Information and Transfer, assignment or Sale of Permit Rights, and Improvidently Issued Permit procedures.
    3. Section 935.16 is added to read as follows:
    § 935.16 Required regulatory program amendments.

    (a) By December 18, 2015, Ohio shall amend its program, or provide a written description of an amendment together with a timetable for enactment which is consistent with established administrative or legislative procedures in the State, to require permit applications to list all unabated “violation notices”, as that term is defined in the Ohio approved program.

    (b) [Reserved]

    Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of Federal Register on October 14, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-26479 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 938 [SATS No. PA-154-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2010-0002; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110 S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Pennsylvania Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; approval of amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We are approving an amendment to the Pennsylvania regulatory program (the “Pennsylvania program”) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). The amendment that we are approving involves a statutory amendment to Pennsylvania's Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (CRDCA). The amendment adds another category of sites considered as preferred when selecting a location for the placement of coal refuse.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program II. Description and Submission of the Amendment III. OSMRE's Findings IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments V. OSMRE's Decision VI. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its state program includes, among other things, “a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of the Act . . .; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to the Act.” 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7).

    You can find background information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval in the July 30, 1982, Federal Register, (47 FR 33050). You can also find later actions concerning Pennsylvania's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.13, 938.15, and 938.16. We are providing the following background information as it is referenced in our findings and/or response to comments.

    Background: Pennsylvania's Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (CRDCA)

    CRDCA and Preferred Sites: Section 4.1(a) of the CRDCA, 52 P.S. 30.54a(a) provides site selection criteria for determining where to place coal refuse following mining activities. The Act provides for coal refuse to be disposed on a “preferred site” unless it can be demonstrated to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) that another site is more suitable based upon engineering, geology, economics, transportation systems, and social factors, and is not adverse to the public interest.

    Pennsylvania provided various justifications for the inclusion of such provisions: It limits sites eligible to receive coal refuse placement by prohibiting placement in certain environmentally sensitive areas; it encourages disposal of coal refuse on areas previously affected by coal mining; and it is better to have a few large refuse disposal areas than numerous small coal refuse disposal sites. The CRDCA provided that areas that have been previously affected by mining activities within a specific area of the source mine are preferred for coal refuse disposal unless the applicant demonstrates that another site is more suitable based on site-specific conditions.

    Pennsylvania had defined a preferred site as one of the following: (1) A watershed polluted by acid mine drainage; (2) a watershed containing an unreclaimed surface mine, but which has no mining discharge; (3) a watershed containing an unreclaimed surface mine with discharges that could be improved by the proposed coal refuse disposal operation; (4) unreclaimed coal refuse piles that could be improved by the proposed coal refuse disposal operation; and (5) other unreclaimed areas previously affected by mining activities. Section 4.1(a), 52 P.S. 30.54a(a) of CRDCA.

    Permitting Pennsylvania Coal Refuse Disposal Sites: The CRDCA at section 4.1 and the regulations provide a two-step process for the permitting of coal refuse disposal sites. The first step is a pre-application site selection process intended to steer applicants to areas previously disturbed by mining. In the absence of previously disturbed sites, the site selection process requires an evaluation of nearby candidate sites with the goal of choosing the site that results in minimal adverse impacts. Following Pennsylvania's approval of the applicant's site selection, the applicant proceeds to the second step, which involves preparing and submitting a permit application for the selected site. Pennsylvania's regulations, at 25 Pa. Code 90.5, outline the need to conduct the mandatory site selection step prior to applying for a permit for coal refuse disposal activities, and 25 Pa. Code 90.3 and 90.11 through 90.50 outline the coal refuse disposal permitting requirements.

    Pennsylvania's Coal Refuse Disposal Program Guidance [Protection of Endangered Species]: The Federal regulations at 30 CFR 816/817.97, concerning the protection of fish and wildlife and related values, require the minimization of disturbance and adverse impacts and enhancement where practicable, and consultations with State and Federal fish and wildlife resources agencies. See Other Background Information (Endangered Species for additional information). Pennsylvania's Coal Refuse Disposal Program Guidance (CRDPG), effective February 23, 1998, was intended to further clarify what PADEP stated in a March 8, 1996, letter to the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the implementation of section 4.1(b) of the CRDCA. The CRDPG specifically clarifies the intended implementation of section 4.1(b) related to threatened or endangered species. Pennsylvania's policy concerning the implementation of section 4.1(b) is as follows:

    With respect to preferred sites, Pennsylvania's regulations provide that Pennsylvania will not approve (via the site selection process, See 25 Pa. Code § 90.202(e)(7)) or permit (via the permitting process) a site that is known or likely to contain Federally listed threatened or endangered species, unless Pennsylvania concludes and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurs that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the “take” of Federally listed threatened or endangered species in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act.

    OSMRE Approval of CRDCA Section 4.1: We approved section 4.1 of the CRDCA (section noted above), Site Selection, on April 22, 1998, finding that while there are no direct Federal counterparts to the statutory language, the establishment of criteria to be used for selecting sites for coal refuse disposal is not inconsistent with SMCRA. See 30 U.S.C. 1202(d). Pennsylvania's rationale for encouraging coal mining activities that will result in the improvement of previously mined areas with preexisting pollutional discharges is reasonable and not inconsistent with SMCRA at section 102, concerning the purposes of SMCRA. See 63 FR 19802.

    II. Description and Submission of the Amendment

    By letter dated February 24, 2010 (Administrative Record No. PA 837.111), Pennsylvania sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Pennsylvania submitted the amendment to include changes made at its own initiative. The changes involve a recent statutory amendment to Pennsylvania's CRDCA, 52 P.S., Section 30.51 et seq.

    With this amendment, Pennsylvania proposed a revision adding another category of sites to the list of “preferred sites” currently found in section 4.1(a). The proposed addition (subsection 4.1(a)(6)) would designate an “area adjacent to or an expansion of an existing coal refuse disposal site” as a preferred site.

    In its submission, Pennsylvania indicates this amendment should be approved as consistent with Federal requirements for the following reasons:

    (1) Counterpart Federal Regulations: There is no counterpart to section 4.1 of the CRDCA contained either in SMCRA or in OSMRE's regulations implementing Federal SMCRA;

    (2) Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act: The amendment is consistent with the “findings and declaration of policy” in section 1 of the CRDCA, which states that: The accumulation and storage of coal refuse material can cause a condition which fails to comply with the established rules, regulations, or quality standards adopted to avoid air or water pollution and can create a danger to persons, property, or public roads or highways, either by reason of shifting or sliding, or by exposing persons walking onto the refuse to the danger of being burned. In order to minimize the exposure to these conditions and dangers, it is better to have a few large coal refuse disposal sites as opposed to numerous small coal refuse disposal sites. 52 P.S. 30.51(1);

    (3) Pennsylvania Regulations—Chapter 86: All coal refuse disposal permit applications must comply with chapter 86 (regulations that apply to all coal mining activities); thus, permitting requirements remain unchanged by this statutory amendment. See 25 Pa. Code chapter 86;

    (4) Pennsylvania Regulations—Chapter 90: All coal refuse disposal permit applications must comply with chapter 90 (regulations that apply to coal refuse disposal activities); the site-selection process established by the CRDCA is in addition to these requirements. See 25 Pa. Code chapter 90; and

    (5) Species-specific Protective Measures: All coal refuse disposal permit applications must comply with any applicable species-specific protective measures developed by the USFWS and Pennsylvania's mining regulatory program to minimize anticipated incidental take of threatened or endangered species; thus, species-specific protective measures remain unaffected by the amendment.

    III. OSMRE's Findings

    For the reasons set forth below, we are approving the amendment request under SMCRA at 30 U.S.C. 1253, and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17.

    Federal Counterparts: Five categories of preferred sites in section 4.1(a) were approved by OSMRE on April 22, 1998. See 63 FR 19802. As we stated in that notice, there was no direct Federal counterpart to the proposed State language. We further noted that the establishment of criteria to be used for selecting sites for coal refuse disposal is not itself inconsistent with the intent of SMCRA. The Federal regulations do not include specific criteria for establishing coal refuse disposal areas. Allowing refuse disposal on areas adjacent to or an expansion of an existing coal refuse disposal site, provided that all other environmental and safety requirements are met, is not inconsistent with section 102(d) of SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1202(d), which requires surface coal mining operations to be conducted so as to protect the environment. That same rationale applies to our approval of the addition of the sixth category.

    Consistent with CRDCA Policy: We note that the five preferred site categories previously identified in the CRDCA involve watershed areas previously affected by coal mining; other unreclaimed areas previously affected by mining activities; and unreclaimed coal refuse disposal sites that could be improved by the proposed coal refuse disposal operation. While the additional criterion that is the subject of this amendment would allow a previously undisturbed site to be deemed “preferred,” we note that the addition of “an area adjacent to or an expansion of an existing coal refuse disposal site” to the categories of “preferred” sites is consistent with the CRDCA policy as it would expand an already existing coal refuse disposal site, rather than create a new one. Also, adding this category would minimize the need to increase the number of coal refuse disposal sites.

    Pennsylvania Regulations: As mentioned above, preferred sites are subject to all the permitting requirements established to ensure environmental protection. Once the selection of a site has been approved, an applicant must submit a site development plan that meets the informational requirements, permitting requirements, and performance standards in chapter 90, and also meets the requirements of chapter 86. The permitting regulations at chapter 86.31(c)(4) require Pennsylvania to notify Federal, State, and local government agencies with jurisdiction over, or an interest in, the area of the proposed activities, including, but not limited to, general governmental entities and fish and wildlife and historic preservation agencies, upon receipt of an application for a mining permit. The regulations at 25 Pa. Code 90.202(e)(7) regarding site selection, provide that at preferred sites known to contain Federally listed threatened or endangered species, approval will be granted only when the Department concludes, and the USFWS concurs, that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the take of Federally listed threatened or endangered species in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1538.

    Pennsylvania Technical Guidance Document No. 563-2113-660, Coal Refuse Site Selection, further explains how chapter 90.202(e)(7) will be administered by PADEP. In the Background section on page 1, the guidance states that the “District Mining Office will encourage meetings involving the applicant, the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, the Pa. Game Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at key points in the review process, including: Prior to the site selection process to discuss the procedures to be used; before defining the search area; before selecting the final site; and before developing a mitigation plan. The District Mining Office will also solicit input from the Pennsylvania office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the site selection process and the permit application review process.”

    In addition, Pennsylvania asserts that compliance with any applicable species-specific protective measures developed by the USFWS and Pennsylvania's mining regulatory program to minimize anticipated incidental take of threatened or endangered species remains unaffected by this program amendment.

    Conclusion: Section 503(a) of SMCRA provides that state regulatory program laws must be in accordance with the requirements of SMCRA, and the state regulatory program regulations must be consistent with the regulations issued pursuant to SMCRA. The term “in accordance with” is defined at 30 CFR 730.5 as “must be no less stringent than, meet the minimum requirements of and include all applicable provisions of [SMCRA].” Section 505(b) of SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1255(b), further provides that any state program provision which provides for more stringent land use and environmental controls and regulations shall not be construed to be inconsistent with SMCRA.

    There are no direct Federal counterparts to the new proposed site selection criterion. However, by providing this criterion, and by prohibiting, generally, coal refuse disposal operations on non-preferred sites, Pennsylvania imposes a more stringent environmental control of coal refuse disposal operations than is provided in either SMCRA or its implementing regulations. Moreover, Pennsylvania will continue to apply the Pennsylvania counterparts to the Federal permitting and performance standard requirements. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, OSMRE finds that Pennsylvania's amendment is not inconsistent with the provisions of SMCRA. We are, therefore, approving this amendment.

    IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments Public Comments

    In the June 21, 2010, Federal Register notice announcing our receipt of this amendment, we asked for public comments (75 FR 34962). No requests for public meetings were received. We received public comments from one organization, Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) on July 21, 2010, (Administrative Record No. 837.118), which are discussed below.

    Comment Number 1 (Preparation Activities). PennFuture states that OSMRE may not approve a program amendment that would reduce the protection of Federally listed threatened and endangered species unless and until Pennsylvania amends its regulatory program under SMCRA to require that all site preparation activities, including timbering, be authorized in advance by the issuance of a mining permit. PennFuture provided a summary of a 2010 event whereby timbering activities were undertaken by an operator without a coal mining permit (pre-permit timbering activities). PennFuture had requested that OSMRE undertake a review of this situation. PennFuture asserted that PADEP's response to OSMRE's inquiry regarding this event (stating that timbering is not a mining activity and, therefore, not subject to permit requirements, etc.) is evidence that a programmatic deficiency needs to be corrected. PennFuture states that OSMRE must limit its approval of the amendment so that, until the programmatic deficiency is corrected, the absolute prohibition in section 4.1(b) of the CRDCA, 52 P.S. 30.54a(b) must apply to all sites, whether preferred or non-preferred, that are “known to contain Federally listed threatened or endangered plants or animals.” The “absolute prohibition” PennFuture refers to prohibits coal refuse disposal on sites known to contain Federal endangered or threatened animals or plants or State threatened or endangered animals, unless the site is designated a preferred site. PennFuture is asking OSMRE to require Pennsylvania to also apply the prohibition to preferred sites until the timbering issue is resolved.

    PennFuture's comments address Pennsylvania's assertion in the program amendment that compliance with any applicable species-specific protective measures developed by the USFWS and Pennsylvania's mining regulatory program to minimize anticipated incidental take of threatened or endangered species remains unaffected by this program amendment. PennFuture's comments also address Pennsylvania's assertion in the program amendment that all coal refuse disposal permit applicants must implement the measures required to implement the 1996 Biological Opinion.

    PennFuture refutes these assertions by referencing Pennsylvania's actions regarding pre-permit timbering activities undertaken by the mining company, which the USFWS found to be beyond the scope of the 1996 Biological Opinion because it occurred without a SMCRA permit. PennFuture asserts that the reason PADEP's implementation of the 1996 Biological Opinion falls short is its interpretation that timbering is not a mining activity, even if it occurs on a site for which a mining permit application is pending. Under PADEP's interpretation of the State program, timbering is outside the scope of regulated mining activities that must be authorized in advance by the issuance of a SMCRA-based mining permit. PennFuture further comments that continuing to give effect to this interpretation would mean that the 1996 Biological Opinion would be inapplicable to the activity (timbering) presenting the greatest threat to a threatened and endangered species, the Indiana Bat, which the Biological Opinion is intended to protect.

    OSMRE's Response

    In its February 24, 2010, program amendment submission, PADEP asserts that the proposed amendment to the CRDCA does not alter provisions that implement the 1996 Biological Opinion, nor does it affect compliance with any species-specific protective measures developed by the USFWS or Pennsylvania's mining regulatory program. There are no aspects of the site selection criteria, including this amendment to the criteria that adds to the list of sites deemed “preferred,” that will allow operations to occur outside the scope of the approved program that was the basis for the USFWS's decision to issue the 1996 Biological Opinion. The mere selection of a site is not the equivalent of an authorization to begin coal refuse disposal, or any other pre-disposal activities that are likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species, or result in the “take” of Federally listed or endangered species. As such, this amendment will not alter the conditions that lead to the implementation of the 1996 Biological Opinion.

    As noted in the findings above, Pennsylvania's coal refuse disposal site selection process is in addition to SMCRA's and the State program's permitting requirements, and, as such, provides an additional layer of environmental regulation of coal refuse disposal operations to that set forth in SMCRA and its implementing regulations. The site selection process is more stringent than SMCRA and the Federal regulations because it encourages coal refuse disposal on already disturbed sites, and also encourages construction of fewer, though larger, coal refuse disposal sites. Neither SMCRA nor the Federal regulations contains these environmentally sound incentives. While our approval of this amendment may render the site selection process less restrictive than before, that process remains more stringent than the environmental control and regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations contained in SMCRA.

    Comment Number 2 (Section 7 Consultation with USFWS). Under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, OSMRE must engage in consultation with USFWS about the proposed program amendment.

    PennFuture states that under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, OSMRE must engage in formal consultation with the USFWS over any action that “may affect” the Indiana bat or any other Federally listed threatened or endangered species, unless, after informal consultation, OSMRE determines, and the USFWS concurs, that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect any listed species or critical habitat. PennFuture states that in light of the consultation between the two agencies that occurred when the amendment to the CRDCA was submitted to OSMRE as a program amendment, and the fact that the proposed program amendment currently under review could significantly add to the number of preferred sites, OSMRE must initiate consultation with USFWS over the proposed amendment.

    OSMRE's Response

    Our approval of this amendment is subject to the same restrictions contained in our April 22, 1998, approval of an amendment to the CRDCA. Namely, with respect to preferred sites, the State will not approve (via the site selection process) or permit (via requirements in chapters 86 or 90) a site that is known or likely to contain Federally listed threatened or endangered species unless the State demonstrates, and the USFWS concurs, that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the “take” of Federally listed threatened or endangered species in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act. See 63 FR 19805. Further, the presence of Federally listed threatened or endangered species on a preferred site would still require Pennsylvania to conclude, and the USFWS to concur, prior to the commencement of surface mining activity, that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the taking of such species. 25 Pa. Code 90.202(e)(7). As confirmed by PADEP in the submission, the 1996 Biological Opinion, and any species-specific protective measures required by the USFWS would apply to all permits issued under this new category of preferred sites, thereby providing the required protection of Federally listed endangered and threatened species. For all of these reasons, we have determined that additional section 7 consultation for this amendment is not warranted.

    Federal Agency Comments

    Under Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and section 503(b) of SMCRA, we requested comments on the amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential interest in the Pennsylvania program (Administrative Record No. PA 837.111). The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), District 1, in a letter dated March 31, 2010, (Administrative Record No. PA 837.116), responded that it does not have any comments or concerns with this request.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence and Comments

    Under Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to get a written concurrence from EPA for those provisions of the program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). The revision that Pennsylvania proposes to make in this amendment does not pertain to air or water quality standards. Therefore, we did not ask EPA to concur on the amendment.

    V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based on the above findings, we approve the amendment Pennsylvania sent to us on February 24, 2010, pertaining to Pennsylvania's CRDCA. However, our approval is with the understanding that, with respect to preferred sites, the State will not approve a site (via the site selection process) or permit (via requirements in chapters 86 or 90) a site that is known or likely to contain Federally listed threatened or endangered species, unless the State concludes, and the USFWS concurs, that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect Federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the “take” of Federally listed or endangered species in violation of section 9 of the Endangered Species Act.

    VI. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12630—Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulations.

    Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review).

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that, to the extent allowable by law, this rule meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of that section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of State regulatory programs and program amendments because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSMRE. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731, and 732 have been met.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and State governments with regard to the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to “establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.” Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that State laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be “in accordance with” the requirements of SMCRA, and section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Government

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on Federally-recognized Indian tribes and have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct effects 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. The basis for this determination is that our decision is on a State regulatory program and does not involve a Federal program involving Indian lands.

    Executive Order 13211—Regulations That Significantly Affect the Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 which requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule that is (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866, and (2) likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866 and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1292(d)) provides that agency decisions on proposed state regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act. (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C) et seq.).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507 et seq.).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have a significant economic impact, the Department relied upon data and assumptions for the Federal regulations.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million; (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, geographic regions, or Federal, State, or local government agencies or geographic regions; and (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S. based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

    Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any given year. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 938

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 29, 2015. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 938 is amended as set forth below:

    PART 938—PENNSYLVANIA 1. The authority citation for part 938 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

    2. Section 938.15 is amended in the table by adding a new entry in chronological order by “Date of Final Publication” to read as follows:
    § 938.15 Approval of Pennsylvania regulatory program amendments. Original amendment submission date Date of final publication Citation/description *         *         *         *         *         *         * February 24, 2010 October 19, 2015 52 P.S. 30.54a(a)(6)
    [FR Doc. 2015-26477 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 64 [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0001: Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-8405] Suspension of Community Eligibility AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 64

    Flood insurance, Floodplains.

    Accordingly, 44 CFR part 64 is amended as follows:

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

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

    § 64.6 [Amended]
    2. The tables published under the authority of § 64.6 are amended as follows: State and location Community No. Effective date authorization/cancellation of sale of flood insurance in community Current effective map date Date certain Federal assistance no longer available in SFHAs Region III Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, City of, Philadelphia County 420757 January 14, 1972, Emerg; June 15, 1979, Reg; November 18, 2015, Susp November 18, 2015 November 18, 2015. Region IV Florida: Highlands County, Unincorporated Areas 120111 November 25, 1975, Emerg; February 16, 1983, Reg; November 18, 2015, Susp November 18, 2015 November 18, 2015. Lake Placid, Town of, Highlands County 120068 N/A, Emerg; April 25, 2006, Reg; November 18, 2015, Susp ......do*   Do. Sebring, City of, Highlands County 120690 September 29, 2003, Emerg; N/A, Reg; November 18, 2015, Susp ......do*   Do. Region VII Kansas: 23 Hanover, City of, Washington County 200502 January 25, 1977, Emerg; September 27, 1985, Reg; November 18, 2015, Susp ......do*   Do. *-do- = Ditto. Code for reading third column: Emerg.—Emergency; Reg.—Regular; Susp.—Suspension.
    Dated: October 1, 2015. Roy E. Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26449 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-12-P
    80 201 Monday, October 19, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3987; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-066-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of wire chafing caused by a certain left wing spoiler actuator wire not having enough separation from a certain bracket when the spoiler is in the deployed position. This proposed AD would require measuring the separation between a certain electro-mechanical actuator wire of the left wing, spoiler 4, and the support bracket of the flap variable camber trim unit, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct wire chafing, which could result in an electrical short and potential fire in a flammable fluid leakage zone, and possible loss of several functions essential for safe flight.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3987.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3987; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3987; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-066-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    During an inspection in final assembly, insufficient clearance and wire chafing was found on an airplane between the wiring on the number 4 spoiler electric motor actuator (SEMA) and a bracket with the flaps fully extended and the spoiler fully drooped. This condition, if not corrected, could result in an electrical short and potential fire in a flammable fluid leakage zone, and possible loss of several functions essential for safe flight.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB270024-00, Issue 001, dated September 24, 2014. The service information describes procedures for accomplishing the following actions.

    • Measuring the separation between the electro-mechanical actuator wire W801182 of the left wing, spoiler 4, and the support bracket of the flap variable camber trim unit.

    • Related investigative actions and corrective actions such as doing a general visual inspection for chafing of the electro-mechanical actuator wire W801182 of the left wing, spoiler 4; adjusting the electro-mechanical actuator wire W801182 of the left wing, spoiler 4; and replacing the electro-mechanical actuator wire W801182 of the left wing, spoiler 4.

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

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. Refer to this service information for details on the procedures.

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

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 12 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Measurement 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 $0 $510 $6,120

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Related investigative and corrective actions 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 $24 $194

    According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all the available costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-3987; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-066-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB270024-00, Issue 001, dated September 24, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of wire chafing caused by a certain left wing spoiler actuator wire not having enough separation from a certain bracket when the spoiler is in the deployed position. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct wire chafing, which could result in an electrical short and potential fire in a flammable fluid leakage zone and possible loss of several functions essential for safe flight.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Wire Separation Measurement, Related Investigative Actions, and Corrective Actions

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Measure the separation between the electro-mechanical actuator wire W801182 of the left wing, spoiler 4, and the support bracket of the flap variable camber trim unit, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB270024-00, Issue 001, dated September 24, 2014. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sean J. Schauer, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6479; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 6, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26221 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3990; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-255-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of incorrect installation of jiffy joint connectors on cables connected to certain passenger service units (PSU), which could cause the passenger oxygen container to malfunction if the connector becomes disengaged during flight due to vibration. This proposed AD would require identification of the affected PSUs, and depending on findings, doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the door of the passenger oxygen container to open in the event of airplane decompression, resulting in lack of oxygen supply and consequent injury to occupants.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For Airbus service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    For Airbus Operations GMBH service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Operations GMBH, Cabin Electronics, Lueneburger Schanze 30, 21614 Buxtehude, Germany; telephone +49 40 7437 46 32; telefax +49 40 7437 16 80; email [email protected]

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3990; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3990; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-255-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0256, dated November 26, 2014, (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A quality issue was reported regarding incorrect installation of jiffy joint connectors on cables connected to certain Passenger Service Units (PSU), which may lead to a malfunction of the passenger oxygen container in case of connector disengagement during flight due to vibrations. All the aeroplanes that had a potentially affected PSU installed were identified. Most of those aeroplanes were corrected during a specific quality inspection on the final assembly line prior to customer delivery. Unfortunately, a limited number of aeroplanes were delivered before the quality inspection was implemented.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the door of the passenger oxygen container and open in case of aeroplane decompression, possibly resulting in lack of oxygen supply and consequent injury to occupants.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires identification of the affected PSU and, depending on the findings, * * * related investigative and corrective actions.

    Related investigative actions include a detailed inspection to determine if the jiffy joint connector works properly. Corrective actions include rework or replacement of the jiffy joint connectors. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3990.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1B20, dated October 9, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspecting for affected PSU part numbers and serial numbers, and depending on findings, doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. Related investigative actions include a detailed inspection to determine if the jiffy joint connector works properly. Corrective actions include rework or replacement of the jiffy joint connectors.

    • Airbus Operations GmbH Vendor Service Bulletin Z315H-25-004, dated September 26, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspecting for the connection of the jiffy joint connectors, and depending on findings, doing rework or replacement of the jiffy joint connectors.

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a Note under the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1B20, dated October 9, 2014, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 7 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 5 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $2,975, or $425 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-3990; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-255-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Airbus Model A321-211 and -231 airplanes, certificated in any category, having manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 5583, 5598, 5602, 5604, 5608, 5610, 5613 through 5622 inclusive, 5624 through 5627 inclusive, 5629 through 5632 inclusive, 5634 through 5636 inclusive, 5638, 5640 through 5644 inclusive, 5646 through 5649 inclusive, 5651 through 5653 inclusive, 5655, 5657 through 5661 inclusive, 5663, 5665, 5667, 5670, 5672, 5673, and 5675.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/Furnishings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of incorrect installation of jiffy joint connectors on cables connected to certain passenger service units (PSU), which could cause the passenger oxygen container to malfunction if the connector becomes disengaged during flight due to vibration. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the door of the passenger oxygen container to open in the event of airplane decompression, resulting in lack of oxygen supply and consequent injury to occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

    Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, do an inspection to identify the part number and serial number of each PSU and if an affected part number or serial number is found, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1B20, dated October 9, 2014. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first. An affected PSU part number or serial number is one listed in Appendix 1 of Airbus Operations GmbH Vendor Service Bulletin Z315H-25-004, dated September 26, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of the PSU can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (h) Clarification of Vendor Service Information

    Appendix 1 of Airbus Operations GmbH Vendor Service Bulletin Z315H-25-004, dated September 26, 2014, identifies Attachment 1 as the list of affected PSU part numbers and serial numbers. Also, the “List of Attachments” in Appendix 1, specifies Attachment 1 as Table 4, however “Attachment 1” and “Table 4” do not appear on any of the pages of the list of affected PSU part numbers and serial numbers, nor does a date. Furthermore, the pagination of the list of affected PSU part numbers and serial numbers is independent of the pagination of Airbus Operations GmbH Vendor Service Bulletin Z315H-25-004, dated September 26, 2014.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0256, dated November 26, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3990.

    (2) For Airbus service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. For Airbus Operations GMBH service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Operations GMBH, Cabin Electronics, Lueneburger Schanze 30, 21614 Buxtehude, Germany; telephone +49 40 7437 46 32; telefax +49 40 7437 16 80; email [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 6, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26223 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3989; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-250-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318; A319; A320; and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine if certain passenger chemical oxygen generators are installed and replacement of affected passenger chemical oxygen generators. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to the airplane occupants.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For Airbus service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

    For B/E Aerospace service information identified in this proposed AD, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/home/globalsupport.

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3989; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3989; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-250-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2015-0117, dated June 24, 2015; corrected August 7, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318; A319; A320; and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Reports have been received indicating premature ageing of certain chemical oxygen generators, Part Number (P/N) 117042-XX (XX representing any numerical value), manufactured by B/E Aerospace. Some operators reported that when they tried to activate generators, some older units failed to activate. Given the number of failed units reported, all generators manufactured in 1999, 2000 and 2001 were considered unreliable.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to failure of the generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to aeroplane occupants.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35N006-14, making reference to B/E Aerospace Service Information Letter (SIL) D1019-01 (currently at Revision 1) and B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 117042-35-001.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD * * * (later revised) to require identification and replacement of the affected oxygen generators.

    Since EASA AD 2014-0275R1 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2014-0275R1] was issued, and following new investigation results, EASA have decided to introduce a life limitation concerning all P/N 117042-XX chemical oxygen generators, manufactured by B/E Aerospace.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of the EASA AD 2014-0275R1, which is superseded, expands the scope of the [EASA] AD to include chemical oxygen generators manufactured after 2001, and requires their removal from service before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3989.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Alert AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01.

    B/E Aerospace Inc. has issued Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014.

    This service information describes procedures to replace certain passenger chemical oxygen generators. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 953 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $390 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $533,680, or $560 per product.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-3989; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-250-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD; all manufacturer serial numbers, except those that have embodied Airbus modification 33125 (gaseous system for all oxygen containers) in production.

    (1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to the airplane occupants.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Part Number Inspection

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time inspection of passenger chemical oxygen generators, part numbers (P/N) 117042-02 (15 minutes (min)-2 masks), 117042-03 (15 min-3 masks), 117042-04 (15 min-4 masks), 117042-22 (22 min-2 masks), 117042-23 (22 min-3 masks), and 117042-24 (22 min-4 masks) to determine the date of manufacture as specified in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01. Refer to figure 1 and figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD for the location of the date. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable for the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, provided the date of manufacture can be conclusively determined by that review.

    EP19OC15.000 EP19OC15.001 (h) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 1999, 2000, or 2001

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date of manufacture in 1999, 2000, or 2001 is found: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), or (h)(3) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); and Airbus AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01 (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators).

    (1) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 1999: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2000: Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (3) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2001: Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 2002 and Later

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date specified in table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD is found: At the applicable time specified in table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators) and Airbus AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01 (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators).

    Table 1 to Paragraph (i) of this AD—Replacement Compliance Times Year of
  • manufacture
  • Compliance time
    2002 Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD. 2003 Within 16 months after the effective date of this AD. 2004 Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD. 2005 Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD. 2006 Within 28 months after the effective date of this AD. 2007 Within 32 months after the effective date of this AD. 2008 Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD. 2009 Before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture of the passenger chemical oxygen generator.
    (j) Definition of Serviceable

    For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable unit is a passenger chemical oxygen generator having P/N 117042-XX with a manufacturing date not older than 10 years, or any other approved part number, provided that the generator has not exceeded the life limit established for that generator by the manufacturer.

    (k) Reporting

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD, submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, in accordance with paragraph 7., “Reporting,” of Airbus AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01. The report must include the information specified in Appendix 1 of Airbus AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014.

    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (l) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a passenger chemical oxygen generator, unless it is determined, prior to installation, that the oxygen generator is a serviceable unit as specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive EASA AD 2015-0117, dated June 24, 2015; corrected August 7, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3989.

    (2) For Airbus service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. For BE service identified in this proposed AD, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/home/globalsupport. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 6, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26220 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-005-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-17-51, for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes. AD 2014-17-51 currently requires inspecting the inboard flap fasteners of the hinge-box forward fitting at Wing Station (WS) 76.50 and WS 127.25 to determine the orientation and condition of the fasteners, as applicable, and replacement or repetitive inspections of the fasteners if necessary. AD 2014-17-51 also provides for optional terminating action for the requirements of that AD. Since we issued AD 2014-17-51, we have determined that additional action is necessary. This proposed AD would also require accomplishment of the previously optional terminating action. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct incorrectly oriented or fractured fasteners, which could result in premature failure of the fasteners attaching the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting; failure of the fasteners could lead to the detachment of the flap hinge box and the flap surface, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3988; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion and Services Branch, ANE-173, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-005-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On October 13, 2014, we issued AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014). AD 2014-17-51 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes.

    The preamble to AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), explains that we consider the requirements “interim action” and were considering further rulemaking. We now have determined that further rulemaking is indeed necessary, and this proposed AD follows from that determination.

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-27R1, dated August 29, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    There have been three in-service reports on 604 Variant aeroplanes of a fractured fastener head on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting at Wing Station (WS) 76.50, found during a routine maintenance inspection. Investigation revealed that the installation of these fasteners on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fittings at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, does not conform to the engineering drawings. Incorrect installation may result in premature failure of the fasteners attaching the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting. Failure of the fasteners could lead to the detachment of the flap hinge box and consequently the detachment of the flap surface. The loss of a flap surface could adversely affect the continued safe operation of the aeroplane.

    The original issue of [Canadian] AD CF-2013-39 [http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0054-0002] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014)] mandated a detailed visual inspection (DVI) of each inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting, on both wings, and rectification as required. Incorrectly oriented fasteners require repetitive inspections until the terminating action is accomplished.

    After the issuance of [Canadian] AD CF-2013-39, there has been one reported incident on a 604 Variant aeroplane where four fasteners were found fractured on the same flap hinge-box forward fitting. The investigation determined that the fasteners were incorrectly installed.

    The original issue of this [Canadian] AD was issued to reduce the initial and repetitive inspection intervals previously mandated in [Canadian] AD CF-2013-39, and to impose replacement of the incorrectly oriented fasteners within 24 months. The CL-600-1A11, -2A12 and -2B16 (601-3A/-3R Variant) aeroplanes are addressed through [Canadian] AD CF-2013-39R1.

    Revision 1 of this [Canadian] AD is issued to clarify the requirements for the initial and repetitive inspections.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3988.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued Alert Service Bulletins:

    • A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013,

    • A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, and

    The service information describes detailed visual inspection of each inboard flap fastener of the hinge-box forward fitting at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, and, if necessary, replacement of the fasteners. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 285 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), and retained in this proposed AD take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2014-17-51 is $85 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 58 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $753 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $1,619,655, or $5,683 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 58 work-hours and require parts costing $753, for a cost of $5,683 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-3988; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-005-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    (1) This AD replaces AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014).

    (2) This AD affects AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014), only for the airplanes identified in paragraph (c) of this AD.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 5301 through 5665 inclusive, and 5701 through 5920 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of fractured fastener heads on the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting at Wing Station (WS) 76.50 due to incorrect installation. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrectly oriented or fractured fasteners, which could result in premature failure of the fasteners attaching the inboard flap hinge-box forward fitting; failure of the fasteners could lead to the detachment of the flap hinge box and the flap surface, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection, With New Service Information: Airplanes Not Previously Inspected

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), with new service information. For airplanes on which the actions required by AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014), have not been done as of November 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-17-51): Within 10 flight cycles after November 12, 2014, or within 100 flight cycles after March 6, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014)), whichever occurs first, do a detailed visual inspection of each inboard flap fastener of the hinge-box forward fitting at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, to determine if the fasteners are correctly oriented and intact (non-fractured, with intact fastener head). Do the inspection in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 01, dated September 26, 2013, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, Revision 02, dated January 22, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, or Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013 (for serial numbers 5301 through 5665 inclusive); or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 01, dated September 26, 2013, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, Revision 02, dated January 22, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, or Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013 (for serial numbers 5701 through 5920 inclusive). As of the effective date of this AD, only use Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; as applicable; for the actions required by this paragraph.

    (1) If all fasteners are found intact and correctly oriented, no further action is required by this AD.

    (2) If any fastener is found fractured: Before further flight, remove and replace all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, regardless of condition or orientation, on both wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, only use Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; as applicable; for the actions required by this paragraph. After replacement of all fasteners as required by this paragraph of this AD, no further action is required by this AD.

    (3) If any incorrectly oriented but intact fastener is found, and no fractured fastener is found, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10 flight cycles, until the requirements of paragraph (i)(1) or (k) of this AD have been done.

    (h) Retained Actions, With New Service Information: Airplanes Previously Inspected, Having Incorrectly Oriented Fastener(s)

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), with new service information. For airplanes on which an inspection required by paragraph (g) or (j) of AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014), has been done as of November 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-17-51), and on which any incorrectly oriented fastener, but no fractured fastener, was found: Except as provided by paragraph (i)(3) of this AD, do a detailed visual inspection of all inboard flap fasteners of the hinge-box forward fitting at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, to determine if the fasteners are intact (non-fractured, with intact fastener head). Inspect within 10 flight cycles after November 12, 2014, or within 100 flight cycles after the most recent inspection done as required by AD 2014-03-17, whichever occurs first. Inspect in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, only use Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; as applicable; for the actions required by this paragraph.

    (1) If all fasteners are found intact, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10 flight cycles, until the requirements of paragraph (i)(1) or (k) of this AD have been done.

    (2) If any fastener is found fractured: Before further flight, remove and replace all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, regardless of condition or orientation, on both wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, only use Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; as applicable; for the actions required by this paragraph. After replacement of all fasteners as required by this paragraph, no further action is required by this AD.

    (i) Retained Terminating Action, With New Service Information

    This paragraph restates the terminating action specified in paragraph (i) of AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), with new service information.

    (1) Replacement of all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, on both wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD, terminates the requirements of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, only use Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013; as applicable; for the actions specified in this paragraph.

    (2) Accomplishment of the applicable requirements of this AD constitutes terminating action for the requirements of AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014), for that airplane only.

    (3) Replacement of all fractured and incorrectly oriented fasteners before November 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014)), as provided by paragraph (i) or (k) of AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014), is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD.

    (j) Retained Special Flight Permit Prohibition

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014). Special flight permits to operate the airplane to a location where the airplane can be repaired in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) are not allowed.

    (k) New Requirement of This AD: Post-Inspection Fastener Replacement

    For airplanes on which incorrectly oriented fasteners were found during any inspection required by paragraph (g), (g)(3), (h), or (h)(1) of this AD, but none were found to be fractured: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, remove and replace all forward and aft fasteners at WS 76.50 and WS 127.25, regardless of condition or orientation, on both wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013 (for serial numbers 5301 through 5665 inclusive); or Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 04, dated November 12, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013 (for serial numbers 5701 through 5920 inclusive). Accomplishing the requirements of this paragraph terminates the requirements of this AD.

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (l)(1)(i) and (l)(1)(ii) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 03, dated August 19, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013.

    (ii) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 03, dated August 19, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (k) of this AD, if those actions were done before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (l)(2)(i) through (l)(2)(iv) of this AD.

    (i) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 01, dated September 26, 2013, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014).

    (ii) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-006, Revision 02, dated January 22, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014).

    (iii) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A605-57-004, Revision 01, dated September 26, 2013, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-03-17, Amendment 39-17754 (79 FR 9389, February 19, 2014).

    (iv) Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A604-57-004, Revision 02, dated January 22, 2014, including Appendices 1 and 2, dated September 26, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014).

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs previously approved for AD 2014-17-51, Amendment 39-17999 (79 FR 64088, October 28, 2014), are acceptable for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

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

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Emergency Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-27R1, dated August 29, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3988.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514 855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 6, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26222 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-043-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede airworthiness directive (AD) 2010-23-02 for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2010-23-02 currently requires amending the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) to limit the never-exceed velocity (VNE) to 150 Knots Indicated Air Speed (KIAS) and to add a 1,500 ft/minute rate of descent (R/D) limitation beyond 140 KIAS. Since we issued AD 2010-23-02, a design change designated as modification (MOD) 0755B28 improved the dynamic behavior of the horizontal stabilizer such that AD actions are not required. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2010-23-01 and revise the applicability to exclude helicopters with MOD 0755B28. These proposed actions are intended to exclude certain helicopters from the applicability and restrict the VNE on other helicopters to prevent failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    On October 15, 2010, we issued AD 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010) for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2010-23-02 requires amending the Limitations section of the RFM to limit the VNE to 150 KIAS and to add a 1,500 ft/minute R/D limitation beyond 140 KIAS and installing one or more placards on the cockpit instrument panel in full view of the pilot and copilot. AD 2010-23-01 was prompted by failures of the horizontal stabilizers on then-recently delivered Model AS 365 N3 helicopters due to a vibration phenomenon that may arise during the descent flight phases at high speed regardless of the stabilizer installed. Those actions were intended to prevent failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    Actions Since AD 2010-23-02 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2010-23-01 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010), Eurocopter France changed its name to Airbus Helicopters. EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2008-0204R1, Revision 1, dated May 21, 2014, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, SA-365N2 and AS 365 N3 helicopters, all serial numbers, except those that have “embodied” MOD 07 55B28. EASA advises that Airbus Helicopters developed MOD 07 55B28 to improve the dynamic behavior of the horizontal stabilizer and thus reduce the vibration levels during high speed descent. EASA revised a prior AD and issued AD No. 2008-0204R1 to exclude helicopters with MOD 07 55B28 from the applicability.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information

    We reviewed a Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) with three numbers (01.00.60, 01.00.16, and 01.28), Revision 1, dated December 2, 2008. EASB No. 01.00.60 applies to U.S. type-certificated Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters and also to military Model AS365F, Fs, Fi, and K helicopters that are not certificated in the United States. EASB 01.00.16 applies to military Model AS565AA, MA, MB, SA, SB, and UB helicopters that are not type certificated in the United States. EASB 01.28 applies to the Model SA-366G1 helicopter. The EASB specifies bonding one or more locally-produced labels to the instrument panel stating that the VNE is limited to 150 KIAS and the R/D must not exceed 1,500 ft/min beyond 140 KIAS. Eurocopter states in the EASB that it is working on an enhanced definition that will be proposed as soon as possible. EASA classified this EASB as mandatory and issued AD No. 2008-0204-E, dated December 4, 2008, and revised with Revision 1, dated May 21, 2014, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

    We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS365-55.00.06, Revision 0, dated November 14, 2014, which Airbus Helicopters identifies as MOD 0755B28. The SB specifies repairing the stabilizer for suppression of the flutter phenomenon.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010) to amend the Limitations section of the RFM to limit the VNE to 150 KIAS and to add a 1,500 ft/minute R/D limitation for airspeeds beyond 140 KIAS and installing one or more placards on the cockpit instrument panel in full view of the pilot and copilot stating the limitations. This proposed AD would also revise the applicability to exclude those helicopters with MOD 0755B28 installed.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 33 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per hour. We estimate about 1/2 work-hour per helicopter to make copies to include in the RFM and to make and install the placards. The parts costs are minimal. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators would be $1,403 for the fleet.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010), and adding the following new AD: Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA-2015-4112; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-043-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters, with a horizontal stabilizer, part number 365A13-3030-1901, -1902, -1903, -1904, -1905, -1906, -1908, -1909; 365A13-3036-00, -0001, -0002, -0003; or 365A13-3038-00, installed, except those with modification 0755B28 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as vibration during descent at high speed. This condition could result in failure of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2010-23-02, Amendment 39-16491 (75 FR 68169, November 5, 2010).

    (d) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 18, 2015.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (f) Required Actions

    Before further flight:

    (1) Revise the airspeed operating limitation in the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) by making pen and ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD into the RFM stating: “The never-exceed speed (VNE) is limited to 150 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS)” and “The rate-of-descent (R/D) must not exceed 1,500 ft/min when the airspeed is beyond 140 KIAS.”

    (2) Install one or more self-adhesive placards, with 6 millimeter red letters on white background, on the cockpit instrument panel in full view of the pilot and co-pilot to read as follows: “VNE LIMITED TO 150 KIAS” and “R/D MUST NOT EXCEED 1,500 ft/min when airspeed is beyond 140 KIAS”

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (h) Additional Information

    (1) Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 01.00.60, 01.00.16, and 01.28, Revision 1, dated December 2, 2008, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, Texas 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2008-0204R1, dated May 21, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4112.

    (j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code 5310: Horizontal Stabilizer Structure.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 1, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26229 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3986; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-057-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of chafing damage due to insufficient clearance on the main landing gear (MLG) stabilizer brace, the nacelle A-frame structure, and the adjacent electrical wiring harnesses. An insufficient fillet radius may also exist on certain airplanes. This proposed AD would require, depending on airplane configuration, an inspection of the nacelle A-frame structure for insufficient fillet radius; an inspection for cracking of affected structure, and rework or repair if necessary, and rework of the nacelle A-frame structure; repetitive inspections of the nacelle A-frame structure and the MLG stabilizer brace for insufficient clearance and damage, and repair if necessary, and rework of the nacelle A-frame structure, which would terminate the repetitive inspections; installation of new stop brackets and a shim on each MLG stabilizer brace assembly; and rework of the electrical wiring harnesses in the nacelle area. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct chafing damage and subsequent premature cracking and fracture of the nacelle A-frame structure, which could result in failure of the MLG stabilizer brace and loss of the MLG down-lock indication, which could adversely affect the safe landing of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3986; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-3986; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-057-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-45, dated December 23, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    The aeroplane manufacturer has discovered that an insufficient fillet radius may exist on the flange of the nacelle A-frame structure on certain aeroplanes. There have also been several in-service reports of chafing damage on the main landing gear (MLG) stabilizer brace, the nacelle A-frame structure and its adjacent electrical wiring harnesses due to insufficient clearance.

    An insufficient fillet radius and chafing damage on the nacelle A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace could lead to premature cracking. Fracture of the nacelle A-frame structure or failure of the MLG stabilizer brace could adversely affect the safe landing of the aeroplane. The damage to the electrical wiring harnesses could result in the loss of the MLG downlock indication.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the inspection and rework of the nacelle A-frame structure, and the rework of the forward MLG stabilizer brace assembly and the electrical harnesses in the nacelle area adjacent to the A-frame structure.

    Required actions include, depending on airplane configuration, the following actions:

    • A detailed inspection of the nacelle A-frame structure for insufficient fillet radius, an eddy current or fluorescent dye penetrant inspection for cracking of affected structure, and rework or repair if necessary.

    • Rework of the left-hand (LH) side and right-hand (RH) side nacelle A-frame structure, including doing a measurement of the clearance between the fasteners/A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly and making sure no fouling condition exists, and repair if necessary.

    • Repetitive detailed inspections of the nacelle A-frame structure and the MLG stabilizer brace for insufficient clearance and damage, and repair if necessary.

    • Rework of the nacelle A-frame structure, including a measurement of the clearance between the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly and a fluorescent dye penetrant inspection or high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking and repair if necessary, which would terminate the repetitive inspections.

    • Installation of new stop brackets and a shim on each MLG stabilizer brace assembly.

    • Rework of the electrical wiring harnesses in the nacelle area. The rework includes a detailed inspection of the conduit assembly for certain conditions and repair if any condition is found, replacement of damaged conduit, a measurement of the clearance between the stabilizer brace and electrical harness on both LH and RH nacelles to make sure there is 0.100 inch (2.54 millimeters (mm)) minimum clearance between the MLG stabilizer brace, and a check for damage on the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace and repair if necessary.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3986. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued the following service information.

    • ModSum IS4Q2400028, Revision B, dated June 22, 2012; and ModSum IS4Q240029, Revision A, dated July 6, 2014. These modsums describe procedures for rerouting certain electrical harnesses and installing grommets.

    • ModSum IS4Q5450002, Revision B, dated April 30, 2012. This modsum describes procedures for installing specified fasteners on the MLG A-frame, in both the LH and RH nacelles.

    • ModSum IS4Q5450003, Revision C, released November 29, 2012. This modsum describes procedures for trimming the horizontal and vertical stiffeners on the MLG A frame in both the LH and RH nacelles.

    • Service Bulletin 84-32-112, Revision B, dated September 12, 2014, and Goodrich Service Bulletin 46400-32-102R1, Revision 1, dated June 24, 2013, as referenced in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-112, Revision B, dated September 12, 2014. This service information describes procedures for incorporating Bombardier ModSum 4-902416 by installing new stop brackets and new stop shims for all MLG stabilizer brace assemblies.

    • Service Bulletin 84-32-114, Revision A, dated September 18, 2013. This service information describes procedures for rework of the electrical wiring harnesses in the nacelle area. The rework includes a detailed inspection of the conduit assembly for certain conditions and repair, replacement of damaged conduit, a measurement of the clearance to make sure there is 0.100 inch (2.54 mm) minimum clearance between the MLG stabilizer brace, and a check for damage on the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace and repair.

    • Service Bulletin 84-54-19, dated April 18, 2013. This service information describes procedures for detailed inspections of the nacelle A-frame structure for insufficient fillet radius, an eddy current or fluorescent dye penetrant inspection for cracking of affected structure, and rework or repair.

    • Service Bulletin 84-54-20, Revision B, dated October 2, 2014. This service information describes procedures for detailed inspections of the nacelle A-frame structure and the MLG stabilizer brace for insufficient clearance and damage, and repair. This service information also describes procedures for rework of the nacelle A-frame structure, including a measurement of the clearance between the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly, and a fluorescent dye penetrant inspection or high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking and repair, which would end the inspections.

    • Service Bulletin 84-54-21, dated May 9, 2013. This service information describes procedures for rework of the LH side and RH side nacelle A-frame structure, including a measurement of the clearance between the fasteners/A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly and to make sure no fouling condition exists, and repair.

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

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of this Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 80 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take up to 50 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost $8,452 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be up to $1,016,160, or $12,702 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-3986; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-057-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers (S/Ns) 4001 through 4431 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of chafing damage due to insufficient clearance on the main landing gear (MLG) stabilizer brace, the nacelle A-frame structure, and the adjacent electrical wiring harnesses. An insufficient fillet radius might also exist on certain airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafing damage and subsequent premature cracking and fracture of the nacelle A-frame structure, which could result in failure of the MLG stabilizer brace and loss of the MLG down-lock indication, which could adversely affect the safe landing of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection, Corrective Actions if Necessary, and Rework

    For airplanes having S/Ns 4001 through 4055 inclusive: Do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Within 600 flight hours or 100 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a detailed inspection of the left-hand (LH) side and right-hand (RH) side nacelle A-frame structure for insufficient fillet radius, in accordance with “Part A—Inspection” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-19, dated April 18, 2013. If an insufficient fillet radius exists, before further flight, do an eddy current or fluorescent dye penetrant inspection for cracking, in accordance with “Part A—Inspection” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-19, dated April 18, 2013.

    (i) If any cracking is found: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

    (ii) If no cracking is found: Before further flight, rework the structure, in accordance “Part B—Rectification” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-19, dated April 18, 2013.

    (2) Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Rework the LH side and RH side nacelle A-frame structure, including doing a measurement of the clearance between the fasteners/A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly and making sure no fouling condition exists, in accordance with paragraph 3.B. “Procedure,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-21, dated May 9, 2013. If the clearance is found to be less than 0.100 inch (2.54 millimeters (mm)) between the fasteners/A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly after the rework is done, or a fouling condition exists during the extension of the MLG after rework is done, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions if Necessary

    For airplanes having S/Ns 4056 through 4426 inclusive: Within 600 flight hours or 100 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a detailed inspection of the LH side and RH side nacelle A-frame structure and upper surface of the MLG stabilizer brace for insufficient clearance and damage (e.g., cracking), in accordance with “Part A—Inspection,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-20, Revision B, dated October 2, 2014. If no damage is found and clearance is sufficient: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 flight hours until the terminating action required by paragraph (i) of this AD has been done.

    (1) If a clearance less than 0.100 inch (2.54 mm) exists between the A-frame structure and the MLG stabilizer brace assembly in the retracted position, after the rework is done, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (2) If any damage is found: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (i) Terminating Action for Certain Airplanes

    For airplanes having S/Ns 4056 through 4426 inclusive: Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first; Rework the LH side and RH side nacelle A-frame structure, including doing a measurement of the clearance between the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace assembly and doing a fluorescent dye penetrant inspection or high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking, in accordance with “Part B-Rework,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-20, Revision B, dated October 2, 2014. Accomplishment of the actions required by this paragraph terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (1) If a clearance less than 0.100 inch (2.54 mm) exists between the A-frame structure and the MLG stabilizer brace assembly in the retracted position after the rework is done, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (2) If any cracking is found: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (j) Modification of MLG Stabilizer Brace Assembly

    For airplanes having S/Ns 4001 through 4431 inclusive with a MLG stabilizer brace assembly having part number 46400-27 installed: Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first; incorporate Bombardier ModSum 4-902416 by installing new stop brackets and a new shim on each MLG stabilizer brace assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-112, Revision B, dated September 12, 2014, and Goodrich Service Bulletin 46400-32-102R1, Revision 1, dated June 24, 2013, as referenced in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-112, Revision B, dated September 12, 2014.

    (k) Rework of the Electrical Wiring Harnesses

    For airplanes having S/Ns 4001 through 4411 inclusive: Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first; rework the LH and RH sides of the electrical wiring harnesses in the nacelle area adjacent to the A-frame structure, including doing the actions specified in paragraphs (k)(1) through (k)(4) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-114, Revision A, dated September 18, 2013. If any damage is found on the A-frame structure or MLG stabilizer brace, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (1) Doing a detailed inspection of the conduit assembly for the conditions specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-114, Revision A, dated September 18, 2013, and, before further flight, repairing if any condition is found.

    (2) Replacing damaged conduit.

    (3) Measuring the clearance between the stabilizer brace and electrical harness on both LH and RH nacelles to make sure there is 0.100 inch (2.54 mm) minimum clearance between the MLG stabilizer brace.

    (4) Checking for damage on the A-frame structure and MLG stabilizer brace.

    (l) Optional Installations

    (1) Installing specified fasteners on the MLG A-frame, in both LH and RH nacelles, in accordance with Bombardier ModSum IS4Q5450002, Revision B, dated April 30, 2012, is acceptable for compliance with the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, provided the actions specified in Bombardier ModSum IS4Q5450002 are done within the compliance time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, except where ModSum IS4Q5450002, Revision B, dated April 30, 2012, specifies to contact Bombardier for reduced clearances, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (2) Trimming the horizontal and vertical stiffeners on MLG A-frame in both LH and RH nacelles, in accordance with Bombardier ModSum IS4Q5450003, Revision C, released November 29, 2012, is acceptable for compliance with the actions specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, provided the actions specified in Bombardier ModSum IS4Q5450003 are done within the compliance time specified in paragraph (i) of this AD, except where ModSum IS4Q5450003, Revision C, released November 29, 2012, specifies to contact Bombardier for reduced clearances, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (3) Rerouting certain electrical harnesses and installing grommets, in accordance with Bombardier ModSum IS4Q2400028, Revision B, dated June 22, 2012 (for S/Ns 4001 through 4098 inclusive) or Bombardier ModSum IS4Q2400029, Revision A, dated July 6, 2014 (for S/Ns 4090 through 4411 inclusive), is acceptable for compliance with the actions specified in paragraph (k) of this AD, provided the actions specified in the applicable modsum are done within the compliance time specified in paragraph (k) of this AD, except where Bombardier ModSum IS4Q2400028, Revision B, dated June 22, 2012; and Bombardier ModSum IS4Q2400029, Revision A, dated July 6, 2014; specify to contact Bombardier to report stabilizer brace or structural damaged findings, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (m) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraph (m)(1)(i) or (m)(1)(ii) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-20, dated April 25, 2013.

    (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-54-20, Revision A, dated April 9, 2014.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraph (m)(2)(i) or (m)(2)(ii) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-112, dated December 20, 2012.

    (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-112, Revision A, dated April 16, 2014.

    (3) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (k) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-32-114, dated June 6, 2013. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (n) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-45, dated December 23, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3986.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 5, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26217 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4213; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-022-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-46-500TP airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of the wing upper skin joints being manufactured without sealant, which allows water to enter and stay in sealed, bonded stringers. This proposed AD would require inspecting the upper wing surface for sealant; inspecting the wing stringers for water intrusion; inspecting for deformation and corrosion if evidence of water intrusion exists; and taking corrective actions as necessary. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., Customer Service, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (877) 879-0275; fax: none; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piper.com. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4213; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4213; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-022-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report of wing upper skin joints on Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-46-500TP airplanes being manufactured without sealant, which allows water to enter and stay in sealed, bonded stringers. This condition, if not corrected, could result in water entering the stringers common to the upper wing skin. Left uncorrected, corrosion could develop, and freeze/thaw cycles of water at this location could cause deformation of the skin with follow-on disbonding between the stringer flanges and the inner surface of the wing skin. Consequently, the corrosion or disbonding could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262B, dated April 23, 2015. The service bulletin provides instructions for inspecting the upper wing surface for sealant and sealing or resealing (if necessary). This service bulletin also provides instructions for inspecting the wing stringers for water intrusion, and, if water intrusion was found as a result of the inspection, inspecting for corrosion or deformation. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 440 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection for sealant 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 Not Applicable $170 $74,800

    We estimate the following costs to do any additional necessary inspections, rework of the stringers, and installation of sealant that would be required based on the results of the proposed initial inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need this rework of the stringers and installation of sealant:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Rework stringers and seal skin joints 12 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,020 $200 $1,220

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-4213; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-022-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 3, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-46-500TP airplanes, serial numbers 4697001 through 4697528, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 5700, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of wing upper skin joints being manufactured without sealant, which allows water to enter and stay in sealed, bonded stringers. We are issuing this AD to prevent water from entering the stringers common to the upper wing skin. Left uncorrected, corrosion could develop, and freeze/thaw cycles of water at this location could cause deformation of the skin with follow-on disbonding between the stringer flanges and the inner surface of the wing skin. Consequently, the corrosion or disbonding could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspect the Upper Skin Joints for Adequate Sealant

    Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD or 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the upper skin joints for adequate sealant following Part I of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262B, dated April 23, 2015. No further action per this AD is required if adequate sealant is already applied.

    (h) Inspect for Evidence of Water Intrusion/Moisture

    If you find missing or inadequate sealant during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, inspect for evidence of water intrusion/moisture following Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262B, dated April 23, 2015.

    (1) If no evidence of water intrusion/moisture is found during the inspection required in paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, rework the stringers and apply sealant as required in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (2) If evidence of water intrusion/moisture is found during the inspection required in paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, do the actions required in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD.

    (i) Inspect for Corrosion

    If you find, as a result of the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, evidence of water intrusion/moisture, before further flight, inspect for corrosion following Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262B, dated April 23, 2015.

    (1) If no evidence of corrosion is found during the inspection required in paragraph (i) of this AD, before further flight, rework the stringers and apply sealant as required in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (2) If evidence of corrosion is found during the inspection required in paragraph (i) of this AD, before further flight, obtain and implement an FAA-approved corrective action, approved specifically for this AD. At the operator's discretion, assistance may be provided by contacting Piper Aircraft, Inc. at the address identified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD. After obtaining and implementing an FAA-approved corrective action, approved specifically for this AD, before further flight, rework the stringers and apply sealant as required in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (j) Inspect for Deformation

    If you find, as a result of the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, evidence of water intrusion/moisture, before further flight, do a visual inspection for skin or stringer deformation.

    (1) If no evidence of deformation is found during the inspection required in paragraph (j) of this AD, before further flight, rework the stringers and apply sealant as required in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (2) If any visible deformation is found during the inspection required in paragraph (j) of this AD, before further flight, obtain and implement an FAA-approved corrective action, approved specifically for this AD. At the operator's discretion, assistance may be provided by contacting Piper Aircraft, Inc. at the address identified in paragraph (o)(2) of this AD. After obtaining and implementing an FAA-approved corrective action, approved specifically for this AD, before further flight, rework the stringers and apply sealant as required in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (k) Rework Stringers and Seal Skin Joints

    If any inspection required by paragraphs (g) through (j) of this AD reveals discrepancies (no sealant/inadequate sealant, evidence of water intrusion/moisture, corrosion, or deformation), before further flight, after completing any necessary corrective actions, rework wing stringers and seal skin joints following Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262B, dated April 23, 2015.

    (l) Credit for Actions Done in Accordance With Previous Service Information

    Actions done before the effective date of this AD following Part I and Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262, dated October 16, 2013; or Part I and Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1262A, dated November 14, 2013, as applicable, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions specified in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), and (k) (including subparagraphs) of this AD. Additional inspections beyond Service Bulletin No. 1262 are required to fully comply with paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (m) Special Flight Permit

    (1) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.23, a single flight is allowed to a location to do the actions in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.23, a single flight is allowed to a location to do the inspections, rework and installation of sealant required in paragraphs (h) through (k) of this AD. Prior to the flight to perform the inspections, rework, and installation of sealant, the following inspection must be performed: If the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD reveals no sealant, inspect for evidence of wing damage (skin or stringer deformation, e.g. buckling). Any wing damage that is found must be repaired before further flight and before any special flight permit is authorized.

    (n) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (o) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., Customer Service, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (877) 879-0275; fax: none; email: [email protected]; Internet: www.piper.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 7, 2015. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26230 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3680; Airspace Docket No. 13-ASW-15] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Establishment of and Modification to Restricted Areas; Fort Sill, OK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish 2 new restricted areas (R-5601G and R-5601H) to expand the special use airspace (SUA) complex located at Fort Sill, OK, to provide additional maneuvering airspace for current and planned training activities determined to be hazardous to non-participating aircraft. Specifically, the proposed restricted areas would provide participating fighter or bomber aircraft with laser-firing and maneuvering airspace when training at the Falcon Bombing Range contained in R-5601C, at the West Range Target Area contained in R-5601B, or at the East Range Target Area contained in R-5601A. In addition, the using agency for all Fort Sill restricted areas would be updated to reflect the current organization tasked with that responsibility. The U.S. Army requested that the FAA take this action to allow realistic training on current tactics developed and refined during recent combat operations for employing hazardous targeting laser systems and weapons capabilities at longer ranges from the target area.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-3680 and Airspace Docket No. 13-ASW-15, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments on environmental and land use aspects to should be directed to: Mr. Glen Wheat, U.S. Army Garrison, Directorate of Public Works, IMWE-SIL-PWE, 5503 NW. Currie Road, Fort Sill, OK 73503-9051; email: [email protected] and telephone: (580) 442-2715.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would restructure the restricted airspace at Fort Sill, OK, to enhance safety and accommodate essential military training.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-3680 and Airspace Docket No. 13-ASW-15) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-3680 and Airspace Docket No. 13-ASW-15.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRM's

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person at the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Background

    Military use of the airspace at Fort Sill, OK, can be traced back to 1949. Today, the Fort Sill SUA complex consists of six restricted areas, designated R-5601A, R-5601B, R-5601C, R-5601D, R-5601E, and R-5601F. The three ranges (Falcon Range, West Range, and East Range) contained within the Fort Sill SUA complex are used for a wide variety of military air and ground activities; including, but not limited to, air-to-surface weapons delivery training, laser systems, artillery, and joint air and ground forces exercises. Weapons events include high-, medium-, and low-altitude bombing runs, to include level, climbing, and diving deliveries. Today, real-world combat tactics for employing targeting lasers and weapons systems at distances farther from the target are driving the requirement for increased lateral dimensions of the Fort Sill SUA complex to support aircrew training in laser employment and weapons delivery tactics. Although the R-5601A, R-5601B, R-5601C, and R-5601F airspace areas extend to a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), the relatively small north to south dimensions of the restricted areas (approximately 9 nautical miles (NM) at its widest point) is not sufficient to provide the required distance from targets needed by aircrews employing current combat laser targeting or weapons deliveries tactics. Since there is no alternative SUA complex within 200 NM where combat lasers may be employed, aircrew training is significantly restricted at the Fort Sill ranges.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to 14 CFR part 73 to establish 2 new restricted areas (designated R-5601G and R-5601H) at Fort Sill, OK. This action would establish restricted area R-5601G with a ceiling to, but not including, 8,000 feet MSL under the Washita Military Operations Area (MOA), and establish restricted area R-5601H with a ceiling of Flight Level (FL) 400 to match the adjacent restricted areas; thus, expanding the lateral limits of restricted area airspace at the Fort Sill SUA complex. Restricted area R-5601G would abut the existing restricted area complex to the north, underlying the Washita MOA, and extend from 500 feet above ground level (AGL) to, but not including, 8,000 feet MSL. R-5601G would extend approximately three quarters of the existing restricted area complex northward, between 5 NM to 11 NM, to provide the required expanded lateral space from the current range boundaries. Restricted area R-5601H would extend from the surface to FL400. R-5601H would fill a small airspace area surrounded by two continuously active restricted areas (R-5601A and R-5601B) extending from the surface to FL400 and a MOA extending from 8,000 feet MSL to, but not including, FL180. Additionally, when active, R-5601H would overlay the Fort Sill post and a portion of the Class D airspace supporting the non-joint use military airfield located at Fort Sill.

    The two new restricted areas would allow participating aircraft to maneuver within the current Fort Sill Approach Control Airspace and contain the hazardous combat laser energy (not eye-safe) within restricted airspace. As proposed, R-5601G would only be used for aircraft maneuvering and combat laser targeting employment and R-5601H would only be used for aircraft conducting Close Air Support (CAS) training. There would be no changes to the existing pattern of firing, ordnance delivery runs, or weapons impact areas and all weapons release would continue to occur in R-5601A, R-5601B, or R-5601C, as they are now. Additionally, no supersonic flight will occur.

    In addition to the proposed establishment of R-5601G and R-5601H, the following minor changes to the descriptions of the six existing Fort Sill restricted areas would be made. The using agency for R-5601A-E would be changed from “U.S. Army, Commanding General, Fort Sill, OK,” to “U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.” The using agency for R-5601F would be changed from “Commanding General, United States Army Field Artillery Center (USAFACFS), Fort Sill, OK,” to “U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.” This change would reflect the current organizational responsibilities. The new using agency would also apply to the proposed R-5601G and R-5601H. The boundaries, designated altitudes, times of designation, and controlling agency information for restricted areas R-5601A-F would not be changed by this proposal.

    The FAA does not anticipate any aeronautical impacts as a result of this proposed action since Fort Sill Approach Control has radar coverage over the proposed restricted areas and already controls the airspace from surface to 7,000 feet MSL. Procedures will be established to continue allowing non-participating aircraft access to the airspace even when the restricted areas are in use. Pilots seeking information about the activity status of R-5601G and R-5601H should contact Fort Sill Approach Control on the frequency listed in the “Special Use Airspace” panel of the Dallas—Ft. Worth Sectional Aeronautical Chart. Fort Sill Approach Control will continue to provide VFR traffic advisories, as they do today, to non-participating aircraft requesting them.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed 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 Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal.

    Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subjected to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 73.56 (Amended)
    2. § 73.56 is amended as follows: R-5601A Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601B Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601C Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601D Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601E Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601F Fort Sill, OK [Amended]

    By removing the current using agency and substituting the following:

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601G Fort Sill, OK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at Lat. 34°46′07″ N., long. 98°25′50″ W.; to Lat. 34°45′03″ N., long. 98°29′46″ W.; thence counterclockwise via the 46 NM arc of SPS VORTAC to Lat. 34°43′46″ N., long. 98°49′55″ W.; to Lat. 34°47′00″ N., long. 98°51′00″ W.; to Lat. 34°50′30″ N., long. 98°46′02″ W.; to Lat. 34°57′51″ N., long. 98°25′47″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. 500 feet AGL to, but not including, 8,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. Sunrise to 2200 local time, Monday-Friday; other times by NOTAM.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Fort Worth ARTCC.

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    R-5601H Fort Sill, OK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at Lat. 34°38′15″ N., long. 98°20′56″ W.; to Lat. 34°38′30″ N., long. 98°21′41″ W.; to Lat. 34°38′50″ N., long. 98°22′06″ W.; to Lat. 34°39′53″ N., long. 98°22′16″ W.; to Lat. 34°40′47″ N., long. 98°23′09″ W.; thence counterclockwise along an arc, 3-mile radius centered at Lat. 34°38′18″ N., long. 98°24′07″ W.; to Lat. 34°40′12″ N., long. 98°26′18″ W.; to Lat. 34°38′15″ N., long. 98°26′19″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to FL 400.

    Time of designation. By NOTAM.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Fort Worth Center.

    Using agency. U.S. Army, Commanding General, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence (USAFCOE), Fort Sill, OK.

    Issued in Washington, DC on October 8, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26499 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1112, 1130, and 1232 [Docket No. CPSC-2015-0029] Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”) requires the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) to promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. These standards are to be “substantially the same as” applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission determines that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. The Commission is proposing a safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools in response to the direction under Section 104(b) of the CPSIA. In addition, the Commission is proposing an amendment to 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1232 in the list of notice of requirements (“NORs”) issued by the Commission and an amendment to 16 CFR part 1130 to identify children's folding stools as a durable infant or toddler product.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments related to the Paperwork Reduction Act aspects of the marking, labeling, and instructional literature requirements of the proposed mandatory standard for children's folding chairs and stools should be directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: CPSC Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-6974, or emailed to [email protected]

    Other comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2015-0029, may be submitted electronically or in writing:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this proposed rulemaking. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number CPSC-2015-0029, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Edwards, Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; email: [email protected]; telephone: (301) 987-2224.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Statutory Authority

    The CPSIA was enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA, part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires the Commission to: (1) Examine and assess the effectiveness of voluntary consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, in consultation with representatives of consumer groups, juvenile product manufacturers, and independent child product engineers and experts; and (2) promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant and toddler products. Standards issued under section 104 are to be “substantially the same as” the applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission determines that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product.

    The term “durable infant or toddler product” is defined in section 104(f)(1) of the CPSIA as “a durable product intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years.” Although section 104(f)(2) does not specifically identify children's folding chairs, high chairs, booster chairs and hook-on chairs are explicitly deemed to be “durable infant or toddler products.” Because folding chairs and folding stools serve functions and have characteristics similar to the listed types of chairs, folding chairs and folding stools likewise should be considered to be “durable infant or toddler products.” This conclusion is consistent with the Commission's prior determination that “children's folding chairs” fall within the definition of a “durable infant or toddler product” and are covered by product registration card rule promulgated under CPSIA section 104(d).1

    1 Requirements for Consumer Registration of Durable Infant or Toddler Products; Final Rule, 74 FR 68668 (Dec. 29, 2009); 16 CFR 1130.2(a)(13).

    Although the product registration card rule does not specifically mention children's folding stools, the Commission considers folding stools to be a subset of folding chairs. Thus, the Commission proposes to include children's folding stools within the scope of the proposed standard. The Commission proposes to amend the product registration card rule so the scope of that rule will be clear that children's folding chairs and folding stools are identified as durable infant or toddler products for purposes of registration card requirements.

    As required by section 104(b)(1)(A), the Commission consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and members of the public in the development of this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”), largely through the standards development process of ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) (“ASTM”). The proposed rule is based on the current voluntary standard developed by ASTM, ASTM F2613-14, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools (“ASTM F2613-14”), with several modifications.

    The testing and certification requirements of section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”) apply to product safety standards promulgated under section 104 of the CPSIA. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA requires the Commission to publish an NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies (test laboratories) to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. The children's folding chairs and stools standard, if issued as a final rule, will be a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of an NOR. To meet the requirement that the Commission issue an NOR for the children's folding chairs and stools standard, this NPR proposes to amend 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1232, the CFR section where the children's folding chairs and stools standard will be codified, if the standard becomes final.

    II. Product Description

    ASTM F2613-14 defines a “children's chair” as “seating furniture with a rigid frame that is intended to be used as a support for the body, limbs, or feet of a child when sitting or resting in an upright or reclining position.” A “children's stool” is defined as a “children's chair without back, or armrest.” ASTM further defines “folding chair” and “folding stool” as “a children's chair or stool which can be folded for transport or storage.” ASTM F2613-14, Section 3. The standard covers a chair or stool intended to be used by a single child who can get in and get out of the product unassisted and with a seat height 15 inches or less, with or without a rocking base. The Commission proposes to limit the scope of the mandatory standard to folding chairs and folding stools because the hazards presented by folding chairs and folding stools are different from non-folding chairs and stools, as discussed further in section V of the preamble.

    There are two primary designs associated with children's folding chairs and folding stools: (1) Straight tube versions that contact the surface in three or more capped-tube legs, and (2) bent tube versions that contact the ground along a substantial portion of the tubular frame. Although there are a variety of other designs used for children's folding chairs and folding stools, the primary characteristic that applies to all of the products is the folding mechanism of the chair and stool that is used for transport or storage of the product.

    III. Incident Data

    CPSC staff received reports of 98 injuries, 45 non-injury incidents, and another 39 recall-related complaints associated with children's folding chairs or stools in the Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System (“CPSRMS”) database for the period January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2014. Only one of the reported incidents involved a folding stool, while the remainder involved folding chairs. There were no fatalities reported in the data. Reporting is ongoing, and thus, the number of reported injury and non-injury incidents from the CPSRMS system may change in the future.

    1. Incidents With Injuries

    Ninety-eight (98) nonfatal incident injuries were reported, some not medically treated. Injuries involving chairs designed for the under 5 age range (51%) were the most frequently reported incidents. The most frequent injuries (76) involved fingers, thumbs, or other parts of the hand, with most of the remaining incidents (14) affecting the head or face. The youngest injury victim was 12 months old. Some victims exceeded the intended age range of the chair, but their injuries demonstrated hazards with chairs relevant to the standard (i.e., intended for children under 5). Two injured adults were included among the 98 nonfatal incidents, as were several children over 5 years of age. Reports in which the submitter suggested injuries from the same repeating hazard on multiple occasions and/or affecting multiple victims were counted as a single injury incident. These injury counts, therefore, may be considered conservative.

    2. Incidents With No Injury Reported

    Forty-five (45) incidents did not report an injury. However, these reports illustrate a potential for injuries. These reports included incidents in which the chair was occupied or used by a child, plus incidents in which a parent or submitter detected a malfunction or hazardous issue while the chair was not in use.

    3. Non-Incident Complaints

    Thirty-nine (39) reports did not describe incidents, but merely reflected concerns regarding recalls. These concerns involved questions about recalled products (e.g., determining whether a product was subject to recall), or concerns regarding apparent similarities in design between recalled and non-recalled products.

    4. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System Estimates

    CPSC also evaluates data reported through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (“NEISS”), which gathers summary injury data from hospital emergency departments selected as a probability sample of all the U.S. hospitals with emergency departments. This surveillance information enables CPSC staff to make timely national estimates of the number of injuries associated with specific consumer products. Based on a review of emergency department visits from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2014, CPSC staff determined that there were an estimated 17,500 children younger than 5 years of age treated in emergency departments for injuries related to folding chairs and stools.

    Information from hospital records, however, does not contain sufficient information to determine which injuries involved chairs specially designed for children under age 5. A known proportion of these injuries may have involved folding chairs or stools designed for children older than 5, or adults. Accordingly, CPSC staff focused on incident reports with specific information (e.g., make and model of the product, photos, or a sufficiently detailed description) that allowed staff to characterize incidents involving chairs specifically intended or reasonably expected to be used by children under age 5. Reports indicating that the product was a folding chair but lacking information necessary for staff to determine the age for which the product is intended were excluded.

    A. Hazard Pattern Identification

    CPSC staff considered all 182 reports and complaints to identify four different hazard patterns associated with children's folding chairs and stools. One hundred forty-three reports involved incidents, and 39 reports involved complaints (without incident).

    1. Pinch/Shear Hazards—Ninety (90) incidents demonstrated pinching or shearing hazards (including the possibility of crushing or scissoring when the chair folds or unfolds, regardless of intent). Victims were injured while transitioning the chair between its folded and unfolded states. Victims were also injured following unexpected folding or unfolding of the chair (generally described as “collapse”), or because of some malfunction or issue relevant to these hazards (such as a failed locking mechanism). Although most of these injuries involved pinched/sheared fingers or other body parts, there were two incidents in which the child was injured, but avoided being pinched or sheared. In these two incidents, the injuries resulted when a child's head or face struck the floor as a consequence of the child falling out of the collapsing chair.

    Fingers and hands were the body parts most commonly involved in pinching or shearing hazards. In two incidents, other body parts were pinched/sheared from unexpected folding/collapsing (1 neck incident and 1 leg incident). Out of all 90 pinch/shear hazard incidents, including incidents without actual pinch/shear injuries, at least eight incidents involved recalled products (6 injured; 2 without injuries).

    2. Undetermined Hazard Finger Injuries—Fourteen (14) incidents involved finger injuries that were caused by an undetermined hazard. In seven of these incidents, there was evidence that the victim's finger was caught in a chair mechanism. For these incidents, the hazard likely is either pinch/shear related or entrapment related. In the other seven incidents, the child suffered finger injuries, but there was insufficient information to determine the cause of injury. In general, these injuries were severe (such as amputation or fracture). Two of the incidents involved recalled chairs.

    3. Stability/Tipover—Twenty-two (22) incidents involved the chair tipping over without indication of chair collapse. Fifteen (15) of these incidents resulted in injuries. CPSC staff was unable to determine if any of the chairs involved in these stability/tipover incidents were recalled models.

    4. Miscellaneous—Seventeen (17) incidents related to various other folding chair or stool issues. These incidents included exposures to high levels of lead or other hazardous substances; a collapsing table associated with the chair; or loose parts, sharp points, and seat issues.

    C. Recall Activities

    Since January 1, 1997, there have been 11 children's folding chair or stool recalls involving 10 different firms, and 5,394,600 units of product. The hazards include pinching, bruising, fractures, finger amputations, and lead paint violations.

    IV. The ASTM Standard A. History of ASTM F2613

    Section 104(b)(1)(A) of the CPSIA requires the Commission to consult representatives of “consumer groups, juvenile product manufacturers, and independent child product engineers and experts” to “examine and assess the effectiveness of any voluntary consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products.” As a result of incidents arising from children's folding chairs, CPSC staff requested that ASTM develop voluntary requirements to address the hazard patterns related to the use of folding chairs. Through the ASTM process, CPSC staff consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and members of the public.

    ASTM F2613 was first published in 2007, and since then, the voluntary standard has been revised five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014). The scope of products covered by the original version, F2613-07, was limited to “children's folding chairs” with a seat height of 15 inches or less. Significant revisions were made in 2013, in ASTM F2613-13, that were designed to expand the scope of the voluntary standard to all children's chairs and stools. In addition, the ASTM 2613-13 standard added definitions for “children's chair” and “children's stool,” and clarified the definition of a “folding chair” and “folding stool.” Specifically, “stools” were defined as a specific subset of a chair (“a children's chair without back or armrests”). ASTM 2613-13 also added stability requirements, a test method for stability, and clarified that locking mechanism requirements are applicable only for folding chairs and folding stools.

    The current version, ASTM F2613-14, was approved on October 1, 2014, and published in October 2014. ASTM F2613-14 excludes products that do not have a rigid frame (such as bean bag chairs or foam chairs), seats with restraint systems, products intended for use by more than a single child, and products in which the child could not get in and out of the product unassisted. ASTM F2613-14 also includes products “with or without a rocking base” and contains many general requirements that are common to other juvenile product standards, such as requirements for sharp edges or points, small parts, and lead in paint. There are also specific performance requirements to address incidents that may result in lacerations, fractures, pinches, amputations, and other injuries. ASTM F2613-14 also contains requirements for marking and labeling.

    B. International Standards for Children's Folding Chairs and Folding Stools

    CPSC staff compared the performance requirements of ASTM F2613-14 to the performance requirements of international standards: FIRA C001:2008 Furniture—Children's Domestic Furniture—General Safety Requirements and FIRA C002:2008 Furniture—Children's Domestic Furniture Seating—Requirements for Strength, Stability, and Durability, which address children's chairs.

    CPSC staff's review showed that ASTM F2613-14 is the most comprehensive of the standards to address the incident hazards because ASTM F2613-14 includes requirements for labeling, pinch/shear, locking devices, entrapment, stability, strength, and small parts. FIRA C001/C002 standards include some requirements not found in ASTM F2613-14, such as a requirement for materials to be clean and free from infestation, and requirements that deal with corrosion-resistant metals, prohibition of glass and glass mirrors, retention of magnets, partially bound and V-shaped openings above 23.5 inches, moisture content of timber components, and powered-mechanism shear/pinch hazards. However, the hazard patterns identified in CPSC staff's review of the incident data did not indicate that similar requirements need to be added to ASTM F2613-14. However, CPSC staff will continue to monitor hazard patterns and recommend future changes, if necessary.

    V. Assessment of Voluntary Standard ASTM F2163-14

    CPSC staff considered the fatalities, injuries, and non-injury incidents associated with children's folding chairs and folding stools, and evaluated ASTM F2163-14 to determine whether the current ASTM standard adequately addresses the incidents, or whether more stringent standards would further reduce the risk of injury associated with these products. Based on CPSC staff's assessment, the Commission proposes the following modifications to ASTM F2163-14: (1) Limit the scope of the proposed mandatory standard to children's folding chairs and folding stools; (2) change the stability test method to add a new performance requirement and test method to address sideways stability incidents in addition to rearwards stability incidents; and (3) revise the marking and labeling sections.

    A. Scope

    ASTM F2613-13 expanded the scope of the standard beyond children's folding chairs to include all children's chairs and stools. CPSC staff conducted a preliminary review of the incident data involving all children's chairs and stools. CPSC staff determined that, based on the total number of incidents, the number of incidents over time (years), the body parts injured, and the incident victim's average age reported, the hazards associated with children's folding chairs or stools are substantially different from the hazards reported for children's non-folding chairs or stools. Accordingly, the NPR encompasses both folding chairs and folding stools, but does not include all children's chairs and stools. However, CPSC staff will continue to review incidents from children's non-folding chairs and stools to monitor whether hazards associated with non-folding chairs and stools also need to be addressed.

    ASTM defines “children's chair” as “seating furniture with a rigid frame that is intended to be used as a support for the body, limbs, or feet of a child when sitting or resting in an upright or reclining position.” A “children's stool” is defined as a “children's chair without back, or armrest.” ASTM defines “children's folding chair” and “children's folding stool” as “a children's chair or stool which can be folded for transport or storage.” ASTM's definition considers children's folding stools to be a subset of children's folding chairs, albeit without a back or armrest. CPSC staff also agrees that stools are a subset of chairs. Significantly, folding chairs and folding stools have similar configurations, and the same potential hazards are presented in the folding mechanisms. One reported incident in the injury data involved folding stools and a pinching injury to a child's fingers when the stool's locking mechanism failed and caused the stool to fold. This is the same scenario that occurs with folding chairs. The configuration of folding stools is similar to folding chairs, even though stools lack a backrest and arms. Like folding chairs, folding stools can fold unexpectedly or collapse unexpectedly during use, if there is a faulty locking mechanism—or no locking mechanism at all—and result in serious injuries to fingers if there is a lack of adequate clearance. Although CPSC staff is not aware of any reported stability-related incidents associated with folding stools, ASTM F2613-14 currently requires folding stools to be tested to the same rearward stability test as required for folding chairs. The sideways stability test would be equally applicable to folding stools. CPSC staff's review indicated that the test methods for loading, locking mechanisms, clearances, stability testing, and labeling requirements for folding stools would be the same for folding chairs.

    Based on CPSC staff's review of the configurations of children's folding chairs and folding stools and the hazards presented by them, the Commission proposes to include children's folding stools, along with children's folding chairs, in the scope of the proposed rule. However, the Commission seeks public comments regarding the inclusion of children's folding stools in the proposed standard.

    B. Hazards

    CPSC believes that ASTM F2613-14 adequately addresses many of the general hazards associated with durable nursery products, such as lead in paint and surface coatings, sharp edges/sharp points, small parts, wood part splinters, openings/entrapments, flammable solids, and attached toy accessories. The standard covers specific requirements for folding chairs and stools, including requirements for adequate clearances or locking mechanisms to address pinch/shear hazards related to folding of the chair, load requirements to address structural integrity, stability requirements to address rearward tipover and warning and labeling requirements to inform the user of the hazards associated with children's folding chairs and stools. CPSC believes that these requirements adequately address the majority of incidents associated with folding chairs and folding stools. However, as discussed below, the Commission proposes to change the stability test method to include a sideways stability test method, as well as changes to the warning and labeling requirements to further reduce the risk of injury associated with folding chairs and stools.

    Pinch/Shear Hazards—ASTM F2613-14 includes requirements to prevent injury to the occupant from scissoring, shearing, or pinching when structural members or components rotate about a common axis, slide, pivot, fold, or otherwise move relative to one another. CPSC staff's review concluded that the current mechanical requirements adequately address the pinch and shear hazards in children's folding chairs and stools. The number of reported incidents has continued to decline since ASTM F2613 was first published in 2007, with reported incidents continuing to occur on chairs that are either noncompliant or not readily identifiable as folding chairs or folding stools. Although these injuries and incidents have declined, CPSC believes that strengthening the warning and labeling requirements for finger amputation hazards may make caregivers more aware of the hazard, and possibly reduce the likelihood that these types of incidents will occur in the future.

    Undetermined Hazard Finger Injuries—CPSC staff's review of the incident data indicates that some of the undetermined hazard finger injuries are likely due to pinching and shearing issues discussed above in in the hazard patterns and finger entrapments. However, CPSC staff did not obtain enough information in the incident reports to make a definitive determination. Other than pinching/shearing, fingers can be caught between non-moving parts, in circular holes, or in grooves or slots. Finger entrapment in circular holes results in cutting off circulation, which does not generally occur with grooves or slots. The current standard includes requirements to avoid finger entrapment in circular holes by establishing allowable dimensions for circular holes. At this time, the Commission is not proposing any changes to ASTM F2613-14 to address these undetermined incidents.

    Stability/Tipover Hazard—A review of incident data reveals 22 occurrences of chairs tipping over with no evidence of the chair collapsing. The incident descriptions often state that the child was leaning over or reaching to one side when the chair tipped over. ASTM F2613-14 contains a requirement to address the rearward stability of the chair or stool, but sets forth no requirement to address tipovers from lack of sideways stability. The majority of the tipover incidents were due to sideways tipovers. Even though most of the injuries sustained were minor, due to the short height of the chair, there is the potential for more severe injuries to occur, if the child falls onto a nearby object. Accordingly, CPSC staff performed testing to various stability test methods and found that the stability method currently in ASTM F2613-14 could be used to determine both rearward and sideways stability with modifications.

    CPSC staff compared the existing ASTM F2613-14 stability test to the stability requirements found in the European standard EN 1022 Domestic Furniture Seating—Determination of Stability. However, the requirements in EN 1022 are applicable to adult-sized furniture, not children's furniture. Accordingly, CPSC staff reviewed a standard developed by the UK Furniture Industry Research Association (“FIRA”), FIRA C002:2008 Furniture—Children's Domestic Furniture Seating—Requirements for Strength, Stability, and Durability. FIRA C002 specifies the EN 1022 test method, but adjusts the test loads based on the weight of the intended child occupant. FIRA C002 further references EN 1729-2 Furniture—Chairs and Tables for Educational Institutions Part 2, for determining the loading points for the test loads. After testing both methods (ASTM F2613-14 and EN 1022) for sideways stability on sample children's folding chairs, CPSC staff determined that both methods were valid and the results were comparable between the two methods. However, the ASTM F2613-14 test method already is being used to test rearwards stability, and CPSC staff found that the test method could be used also to test sideways stability with modifications, to reduce the incidents of tipovers.

    On July 24, 2015, ASTM balloted the sideways stability requirement, which received five negative votes and several comments, most of which contained editorial comments to the ballot. The negatives all pertain to a common style non-folding chair without arms that fails the balloted requirement, but is not associated with any incidents. However, the proposed rule does not include non-folding chairs and stools, and non-folding chairs and stools are outside the scope of the proposed rule. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to change the stability test method in ASTM F2613-14 to include a sideways stability test method, in addition to rearward stability testing, to reduce the number of tip-over-related incidents for folding chairs and folding stools.

    Miscellaneous Hazards—CPSC staff's review of the incident data included 17 incidents involving miscellaneous hazards. Three incidents related to elevated levels of hazardous materials (e.g., lead, bromine, or mercury). One of the incidents appears to be “non-product-related,” and the remaining 13 incidents involved various integrity issues, such as loose screws, loose plastic pieces, or a detached seat pad.

    ASTM 2613-14 contains requirements prohibiting certain hazardous substances, including lead and flammable substances. In addition, ASTM 2613-14 also includes requirements for sharp points and edges, which were noted in some incidents. CPSC staff's review also indicated that the static load and fatigue tests in ASTM 2613-14 also would minimize integrity issues. Accordingly, the Commission is not proposing any changes to the existing ASTM F2613-14 standard to address these miscellaneous incidents at this time.

    Marking and Labeling—CPSC staff's review of the warning labels in ASTM 2613-14 indicates that the existing warning labels found in the 2014 version of the standard can be improved in terms of content and format, by improving three areas: (1) Noticing the label; (2) processing the safety message; and (3) motivating behavior changes.

    Noticing the Label—Currently, many folding chairs and folding stools place the warning label on the bottom of the seating surface of the chair. CPSC staff believes that consumers are less likely to notice the warnings on the bottom of the chair for several reasons. First, consumers are not likely to notice the warning when the chair is unfolded and in the upright position. Second, a child's folding chair or stool has no obvious hazards. If the perception of hazard associated with a product is low, consumers are less likely to look for a warning. Third, in many instances, even if consumers looked for a warning on a currently-marketed folding chair or stool, the consumer may not notice the warning because the warning is embedded or buried among non-safety messages.

    Although CPSC staff believes that the ideal placement of the label is on the front of the chair, such placement may detract from the appearance of the product and make consumers remove the label. Accordingly, CPSC staff looked at other locations for appropriate label placement. For example, one area that may be separate and distinct label on a folding chair is on the back of the chair's back rest away from warnings on the underside of the chair. An example of separate and distinct label on a folding stool is on a visible location such as on the legs in such a way that the label does not wrap around the legs.

    Processing the Safety Message—Currently, ASTM2613-14 requires that the warnings be easy to read and understand. However, this requirement is vague and gives no guidance on how to implement these requirements. CPSC staff's research indicates that warnings in a bullet point, outline-type list are rated higher by subjects on perceived effectiveness than when in paragraph format. Similarly, text arranged in a list format, rather than horizontally, makes instructions easier to follow. Other changes, such as using “white space” to break up text into “chunks” of information, using sans serif typestyle for short word messages, and a mixture of upper and lower case lettering, can be less confusing and easier to read than all uppercase lettering because there is more variation among the letter shapes. CPSC staff's evaluation indicated that if these elements are included, warning labels will be easier to read and understand.

    Motivating Behavioral Change—CPSC staff's research indicates that if a consumer notices the label, and reads and understands the safety messages, the label should motivate a change in behavior. To motivate consumers to comply with the warning, the warning should tell consumers why they need to comply. Therefore, the way in which the warning describes the hazard, as well as a statement about the consequences of ignoring the warning, may have an influence on compliance rates. Further, the label needs to tell consumers what to do to avoid the hazard.

    CPSC staff developed suggested wording and formatting changes for children's folding chairs and folding stools that CPSC staff believed would improve the warning label sections of the voluntary standard. CPSC staff circulated these proposed wording and formatting changes to the ASTM subcommittee responsible for ASTM F2613-14, and discussed the proposed changes at public ASTM meetings in January and May 2015. In response to feedback received from ASTM and stakeholders, CPSC staff made adjustments to staff's proposed warning labels.

    Based on staff's evaluation, the Commission now proposes to adopt ASTM F2613-14, with modifications to some of the warning labels for children's folding chairs and stools, to provide specific guidance for a more consistent and prominent presentation of hazard information through the use of clear and conspicuous text. In addition, the proposed rule recommends that the warnings be separate and distinct from other written material or graphics, so that the label is clearly visible when consumers approach the folding chair or folding stool.

    VI. The Proposed Rule A. CPSC's Proposed Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools

    The Commission is proposing to incorporate by reference ASTM F2613-14, with certain modifications to strengthen the standard. As discussed in the previous section, the Commission concludes that these modifications will further reduce the risk of injury associated with children's folding chairs and stools.

    The proposed rule would limit the scope of the rule to children's folding chairs and folding stools under section 1232.1. The definition of “children's folding chair” and “folding stool” is provided in ASTM F2613-14 in section 3.1.4. In addition, section 1232.2(a) would incorporate by reference ASTM F2613-14, with the exception of certain provisions that the Commission proposes to modify. Section 1232.2(b) would detail the changes and modifications to ASTM F2613-14 that the Commission has determined would further reduce the risk of injury from children's folding chairs and folding stools.

    In particular, we would revise section 5.13 (Stability), to specify that all products shall not tip over backwards or sideways when tested in accordance with the stability test methods and provide that tip over shall consist of the product moving past equilibrium and begin to overturn. In addition, we propose to revise Section 6.8 (Stability Test Method) to include a test method for sideways stability testing, as well as rearward stability testing. We also propose to add Section 6.8.1 to provide the requirements for the test equipment and preparation, and specify the test surface area, test cylinders, and measurement of product seating surface height.

    The proposed rule would add section 6.8.2. to provide the test method for rearward stability and section 6.8.3 to provide the test method for sideways stability. Those sections would also specify the product orientation, the application of the load, cylinder positioning for folding chairs, and cylinder positioning for folding stools.

    We also propose revisions to the marking and labeling section in section 7.2. Specifically, section 7.2 would be changed to state that each folding chair and each folding stool requires warning statements. New proposed requirements would provide specific instructions so that warnings are easier to read and are more conspicuous. Some of these requirements include putting the warnings in the English language, using highly contrasting color(s) in non-condensed sans serif type, text size, and placing the label separate and distinct from any other graphic or written material on the product. Other proposed requirements would provide specific language for the warning statements including the use of the safety alert symbol

    EP19OC15.007 and the signal words “WARNING,” and “AMPUTATION HAZARD”. B. Other Provisions of the Proposed Rule

    The Commission is also proposing to amend 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1232 in the list of notice of requirements (“NORs”) issued by the Commission, as discussed in section VIII of the preamble.

    In addition, for consistency in deeming both children's folding chairs and folding stools to be “durable infant or toddler products,” the Commission also is proposing to amend 16 CFR 1130.2 to make the scope of the registration card rule applicable to both children's folding chairs and folding stools. As discussed in section V of the preamble, although the registration card rule specifically lists children's folding chairs, the rule is silent on children's folding stools (16 CFR 1130.2(a)(13)). The Commission considers folding stools to be a subset of folding chairs, and therefore, proposes to include children's folding stools within the scope of the proposed standard. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to amend § 1130.2 by revising paragraph (a)(13) to include both children's folding chairs and folding stools.

    VII. Incorporation by Reference

    Section 1232.2(a) of the proposed rule incorporates by reference ASTM F2670-13. The Office of the Federal Register (“OFR”) has regulations concerning incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. The OFR regulations require that, for a proposed rule, agencies must discuss in the preamble to the NPR, ways that the materials the agency proposes to incorporate by reference are reasonably available to interested persons, or explain how the agency worked to make the materials reasonably available. In addition, the preamble to the proposed rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(a).

    In accordance with the OFR's requirements, section V of this preamble summarizes the provisions of ASTM F2613-14 that the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference. ASTM F2613-14 is copyrighted. By permission of ASTM, the standard can be viewed as a read-only document during the comment period on this NPR, at: http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm. Interested persons may also purchase a copy of ASTM F2613-14 from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org. One may also inspect a copy at CPSC's Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923.

    VIII. Amendment of 16 CFR Part 1112 To Include NOR for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools

    The CPSA establishes certain requirements for product certification and testing. Products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard or regulation under any other act enforced by the Commission, must be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). Certification of children's products subject to a children's product safety rule must be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body. Id. 2063(a)(2). The Commission must publish a NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. Id. 2063(a)(3). Thus, the proposed rule for 16 CFR part 1232, Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, if issued as a final rule, would be a children's product safety rule requiring the issuance of a NOR.

    The Commission published a final rule, Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies, 78 FR 15836 (March 12, 2013), codified at 16 CFR part 1112 (“part 1112”) and effective on June 10, 2013, establishing requirements for CPSC acceptance of third party conformity assessment bodies to test for conformance with a children's product safety rule in accordance with section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA. Part 1112 also codifies all of the NORs previously issued by the Commission.

    All new NORs for new children's product safety rules, such as the children's folding chairs and stools standard, require an amendment to part 1112. To meet the requirement that the Commission issue a NOR for the proposed children's folding chairs and stools standard, as part of this NPR, the Commission proposes to amend the existing rule that codifies the list of all NORs issued by the Commission to add children's folding chairs and stools to the list of children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued a NOR.

    Test laboratories applying for acceptance as a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body to test to the new standard for children's folding chairs and stools would be required to meet the third party conformity assessment body accreditation requirements in part 1112. When a laboratory meets the requirements as a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body, the laboratory can apply to the CPSC to have 16 CFR part 1232, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools, included in the laboratory's scope of accreditation of CPSC safety rules listed for the laboratory on the CPSC Web site at: www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.

    IX. Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) generally requires that the effective date of a rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). The Commission is proposing an effective date of 6 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register for products manufactured or imported on or after that date. The proposed rule would require manufacturers to make design or manufacturing changes to address the proposed sideways stability testing requirements. The warning label changes do not affect the design and manufacturing of the folding chairs or folding stools, but rather, require printing new labels. The Commission believes that most firms should be able to comply within the 6-month time frame and allow ample time for manufacturers and importers to arrange for third party testing, consistent with the timeframe adopted in a number of other section 104 rules. However, the Commission seeks comments regarding the economic impact on small manufacturers and importers on meeting the side stability testing requirements as well as meeting the third party testing requirements discussed in section X below. In addition, we ask for comments on the proposed 6-month effective date.

    X. Regulatory Flexibility Act A. Introduction

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) requires agencies to consider the impact of proposed rules on small entities, including small businesses. The RFA generally requires agencies to review proposed rules for their potential impact on small entities and prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (“IRFA”) unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 603 and 605. Because CPSC staff was unable to estimate precisely all costs of the proposed rule, staff conducted such an analysis. The IRFA must describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities and identify significant alternatives that accomplish the statutory objectives and minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities. Specifically, the IRFA must contain:

    • A description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities to which the proposed rule will apply;

    • a description of the reasons why action by the agency is being considered;

    • a succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis for, the proposed rule;

    • a description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities subject to the requirements and the type of professional skills necessary for the preparation of reports or records; and

    • identification, to the extent possible, of all relevant federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule; and

    • a description of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and minimize the rule's economic impact on small entities.

    B. Market

    CPSC staff is aware of four domestic firms manufacturing and ten domestic firms importing children's folding chairs and/or stools in the United States. Most firms only supply one model of chair; two supply two models, and one supplies five distinct models. All four manufacturers and six importers are categorized as “small firms” under the guidelines of the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”). One importer's size could not be determined.

    The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (“JPMA”) maintains a certification program for children's folding chairs and folding stools but at this time there are no active participants. JPMA does not maintain a list of firms complying with the voluntary standard for children's chairs; compliance of firms with the voluntary standard is self-reported and several firms report compliance with ASTM standards. Some of the firms in the market participate actively in the ASTM standard process and those firms are likely to comply with the voluntary standard.

    C. Reason for Agency Action and Legal Basis for Proposed Rule

    Section 104(b) of the CPSIA requires the CPSC to promulgate a mandatory standard for children's folding chairs and stools that is substantially the same as, or more stringent than, the voluntary standard if the Commission determines that a more stringent standard would further reduce the risk of injury associated with such products. The Commission is proposing a safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools in response to the requirements of section 104(b).

    D. Other Federal Rules

    The Commission has not identified any federal or state rule that duplicates, overlaps, or conflicts with the proposed rule.

    E. Impact of the New Standards and Testing Requirements on Small Businesses

    Under SBA guidelines, a manufacturer of children's folding chairs and stools is categorized as “small” if it has 500 or fewer employees, and importers and wholesalers are considered “small” if they have 100 or fewer employees. Staff has identified four firms currently manufacturing and ten firms importing children's folding chairs and stools in the United States. All four manufacturers and six of the importers are categorized as small businesses. One importer's size could not be determined.

    Small Manufacturers

    Of the four identified small manufacturers of children's folding chairs and stools in the United States, two claim compliance with the voluntary standard, and at least one participates in the ASTM process. Of the two remaining manufacturers, one does not comply with warning label requirement and possibly other requirements; the compliance of the other could not be determined. Regardless of conformance to the voluntary standard, the proportion of chairs that might need modifications to comply with side stability requirements could be high. In testing conducted by CPSC Engineering Sciences (“ES”) staff, 7 models out of 9 model samples (from both small and large firms) failed the proposed test for side stability.

    If a folding chair or a folding stool must be modified to comply with the staff's proposed side-stability requirements, costs will vary with the necessary modification. CPSC ES staff has identified the addition of a small plastic stabilizer to each corner as a possible modification for chairs or stools with rounded tube frames, based on one model tested which passed with these stabilizers and failed the test with them removed. Similarly designed models found in Europe, where side stability requirements exist for children's folding chairs, also contain these stabilizers. The costs of adding these small pieces of plastic would likely be low, due to the size and material.

    For chairs with other frame types and arms that extend farther out from the seating area, for which the plastic stabilizers are either not possible or not sufficient, a redesign may be necessary to eliminate the arms or otherwise modify the chair's design for compliance with the requirements. One manufacturer estimates the costs to redesign a non-compliant chair to be $10,000, including 9 to 12 months of labor and development time. This cost could be significant for one manufacturer, if a redesign were required for all models. The costs for a non-compliant folding chair that does not require a full redesign would likely be lower. The costs for redesign of warning labels is expected to be 1 hour of labor time at current labor rates, as discussed in section XII below.

    At this time, CPSC staff does not have sufficient information to determine what proportion of folding chair or folding stool models currently in the market will be able to meet the side-stability requirements through a simple and inexpensive fix like adding a plastic stabilizer versus the proportion of models that will require a more costly redesign. Without this information, the economic impact that the four small manufacturers will experience due to the proposed side-stability requirements is difficult to assess. Therefore, we cannot rule out a significant economic impact for small folding chair manufacturers.

    The Commission seeks information on the modifications that manufacturers expect are needed for existing folding chair or folding stool models to meet the side-stability requirements as well as any data regarding the expected costs of such modifications. In particular, the Commission seeks comments on the likely costs of compliance with the side-stability requirements and the extent to which the total cost of any necessary modifications might exceed one percent of the manufacturer's gross revenue.

    Three of the small manufacturers of children's folding chairs and folding stools have diversified product lines. If the cost of compliance with the proposed rule is too high, these firms might discontinue production, thus avoiding significant economic harm. However, because revenue data for these firms was not sufficiently detailed, CPSC staff cannot determine with any certainty whether exit from the market is an economically viable option. The remaining manufacturer supplies a folding chair as an accessory with its one main product. This manufacturer's folding chair does not currently comply with the voluntary standard. Although the firm might be able to offer its product line without a folding chair, CPSC staff cannot determine whether ceasing the sale of its folding chair would have a significant adverse impact on the firm, and thus, CPSC staff is unable to rule out a significant economic impact based on this manufacturer's ability to exit the market.

    To better assess the economic impact on small manufacturers, the Commission is interested in obtaining data on the importance of children's folding chairs and stools relative to a manufacturer's overall product line and gross revenues, and feedback regarding the desirability of exit as a strategy for averting regulatory compliance costs. For example, do sales of children's folding chairs or folding stools constitute a small proportion of a manufacturer's overall revenue (i.e. less than one percent of gross revenue)? Would a typical manufacturer of children's folding chairs or folding stools be able to discontinue production without experiencing significant economic hardship?

    Under section 14 of the CPSA, children's folding chairs and stools are subject to third party testing and certification. Once the new requirements become effective, all manufacturers will be subject to the additional costs associated with the third party testing and certification requirements under the testing rule, Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification (16 CFR part 1107). Third party testing will include physical and mechanical test requirements specified in the folding chairs final rule; lead testing is already required. Third party testing costs are in addition to the direct costs of meeting the standard.

    CPSC staff contacted two small manufacturers regarding testing costs and one firm estimated that chemical and structural testing of one unit of a children's folding chair costs around $1,000 annually. No other firms were willing or able to supply the requested testing cost information. Estimates provided by suppliers for other section 104 rulemakings indicate that around 40 to 50 percent of testing costs can be attributed to structural requirements, with the remaining 50 to 60 percent resulting from chemical testing (lead testing). CPSC staff estimates that testing to structural components of the ASTM voluntary standard could cost about $400 to $500 per sample tested ($1,000 × .4 to $1,000 × .5). These costs are consistent with testing cost estimates for products with standards of similar complexity.

    CPSC staff's review of the children's folding chairs and folding stools market shows that three small domestic manufacturers supply one model of children's folding chair or folding stool to the U.S. market annually. The fourth small manufacturer supplies five models of children's folding chairs and folding stools. Therefore, if third party testing were conducted every year, third party testing costs for three manufacturers with only one model would be about $400-$500 annually per model tested, and $2,000-$2,500 for the other manufacturer ($400-$500 per model, five models), if only one sample were tested for each model.

    The testing and labeling rule (16 CFR part 1107) is not explicit regarding the number of samples firms will need to test to meet the “high degree of assurance” criterion. However, based on an examination of each small domestic manufacturer's revenues from recent Dun & Bradstreet or Reference USA reports, testing costs are likely to be under one percent of gross revenue for these small manufacturers. Thus, it seems unlikely that testing costs, by themselves, would be economically significant for the small manufacturers unless a very high number of samples per model were needed to meet the “high degree of assurance” criterion. The Commission seeks comments on the typical number of samples that are tested to satisfy third party testing requirements, and whether third party testing would lead to significant economic impact.

    Small Domestic Importers. Of the six or seven small importers, only one claims that its products comply with the ASTM standard. The state of compliance for the remainder could not be determined. For the importer or importers currently in compliance with the voluntary standard, if their products pass the sideways stability test, there should be minimal burden associated with compliance. As most of the imported chairs tested by CPSC engineering staff failed the proposed sideways stability test, it is probable that many importers' products would not comply with the proposed rule.

    Whether there is a significant economic impact on small importers will depend upon the extent of the changes required to come into compliance and the response of their supplying firms. In general, if the supplying firm comes into compliance, the importer could elect to continue importing the compliant product. Any increase in production costs experienced by suppliers as a result of changes made to meet the mandatory standard could be passed on to the importers. If an importer is unwilling or unable to accept the increased costs, or if the importer's supplier decides not to comply with the mandatory standard, the importer could find another supplier of children's folding chairs and stools or stop importing children's folding chairs and stools. Because no small importers responded to requests for information, however, staff could not estimate the economic impact on these firms and cannot rule out a significant economic impact.

    To assist with further analysis of the impact of the rule on small importers, the Commission seeks information on the degree to which supplying firms tend to pass on increases in production and regulatory costs to importers. To what extent is the ability to pass on these costs limited by the ease with which importers can switch suppliers or substitute an alternative product for children's folding chairs and stools?

    As with manufacturers, all importers will be subject to third party testing and certification requirements, and consequently, will be subject to costs similar to those for manufacturers if the importer's supplying foreign firm(s) does not perform third party testing. These testing costs are not likely, by themselves, to exceed one percent of gross revenue for the six small domestic importers for which revenue information is available. The impact on the other importer is unknown. Again, the Commission is interested in the size of the economic impact third party testing poses for importers, and whether testing costs would constitute a small proportion of a manufacturer's overall revenue (i.e. less than one percent of gross revenue).

    Alternatives. CPSC staff reviewed the alternatives to the proposed mandatory standard. Adopting ASTM F2613-14 with respect to children's folding chairs and stools, but without any further modifications to the performance requirements is one alternative. This alternative would reduce the impact on all of the known small businesses supplying children's folding chairs and stools to the U.S. market by not including the additional requirements and tests for sideways stability and additional labeling requirements. Another alternative would be to set a later effective date than the 6 month effective date proposed in the NPR. The NPR requests comments on the economic impacts of the proposed rule, as well as comments on the 6 month effective date.

    F. Impact of Proposed 16 CFR Part 1112 Amendment on Small Businesses

    As required by the RFA, staff conducted a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“FRFA”) when the Commission issued the part 1112 rule (78 FR 15836, 15855-58). Briefly, the FRFA concluded that the accreditation requirements would not have a significant adverse impact on a substantial number of small testing laboratories because no requirements were imposed on test laboratories that did not intend to provide third party testing services. The only test laboratories that were expected to provide such services were those that anticipated receiving sufficient revenue from the mandated testing to justify accepting the requirements as a business decision.

    Based on similar reasoning, amending 16 CFR part 1112 to include the NOR for the children's folding chair and stool standard will not have a significant adverse impact on small test laboratories. Moreover, based upon the number of test laboratories in the United States that have applied for CPSC acceptance of accreditation to test for conformance to other mandatory juvenile product standards, we expect that only a few test laboratories will seek CPSC acceptance of their accreditation to test for conformance with the children's folding chair and stool standard. Most of these test laboratories will have already been accredited to test for conformance to other mandatory juvenile product standards, and the only costs to them would be the cost of adding the children's folding chair and stool standard to their scope of accreditation. As a consequence, the Commission certifies that the NOR amending 16 CFR part 1112 to include the children's folding chair and stool standard will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    XI. Environmental Considerations

    The Commission's regulations address whether we are required to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Under these regulations, a rule that has “little or no potential for affecting the human environment” is categorically exempt from this requirement. 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1). The proposed rule falls within the categorical exemption.

    XII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains information collection requirements that are subject to public comment and review by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). In this document, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), we set forth:

    • A title for the collection of information;

    • a summary of the collection of information;

    • a brief description of the need for the information and the proposed use of the information;

    • a description of the likely respondents and proposed frequency of response to the collection of information;

    • an estimate of the burden that shall result from the collection of information; and

    • notice that comments may be submitted to the OMB.

    Title: Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools.

    Description: The proposed rule would require each folding chair and folding stool to comply with ASTM F2613-14, with the changes proposed in this Notice, which contains requirements for marking and labeling. These requirements fall within the definition of “collection of information,” as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).

    Description of Respondents: Persons who manufacture or import children's folding chairs and folding stools.

    Estimated Burden: We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 16 CFR Section Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of
  • responses
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • 1232.2 14 1.4 20 1 20

    Our estimate is based on the following:

    There are 14 known firms supplying children's folding chairs or folding stools to the U.S. market. All firms are assumed to use labels on both their products and their packaging already, but they might need to make some modifications to their existing labels. The estimated time required to make these modifications is about 1 hour per model. Each of these firms supplies an average of 1.4 different models of children's folding chairs or folding stools; therefore, the estimated burden hours associated with labels is 1 hour × 14 firms × 1.4 models per firm = 20 annual hours.

    We estimate that hourly compensation for the time required to create and update labels is $30.09 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation,” December 2014, Table 9, total compensation for all sales and office workers in goods-producing private industries: http://www.bls.gov/ncs/). Therefore, the estimated annual cost associated with the proposed requirements is $602 ($30.09 per hour × 20 hours = $601.80).

    In compliance with the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), we have submitted the information collection requirements of this rule to the OMB for review. Interested persons are requested to submit comments regarding information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB (see the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice).

    Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), we invite comments on:

    • Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the CPSC's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • the accuracy of the CPSC'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, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    • ways to reduce the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology; and

    • the estimated burden hours associated with label modification, including any alternative estimates.

    XIII. Preemption

    Section 26(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2075(a), provides that where a consumer product safety standard is in effect and applies to a product, no state or political subdivision of a state may either establish or continue in effect a requirement dealing with the same risk of injury unless the state requirement is identical to the federal standard. Section 26(c) of the CPSA also provides that states or political subdivisions of states may apply to the Commission for an exemption from this preemption under certain circumstances. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA refers to the rules to be issued under that section as “consumer product safety rules.” Therefore, the preemption provision of section 26(a) of the CPSA would apply to a rule issued under section 104.

    XIV. Request for Comments

    This NPR begins a rulemaking proceeding under section 104(b) of the CPSIA to issue a consumer product safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools, and to amend part 1112 to add children's folding chairs and stools to the list of children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued an NOR. We invite all interested persons to submit comments on any aspect of the proposed mandatory safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools and on the proposed amendment to part 1112. Specifically, the Commission requests comments on the costs of compliance with, and testing to, the proposed mandatory children's folding chairs and stools standard, the proposed 6-month effective date for the new mandatory children's folding chairs and stools standard, and the amendment to part 1112. In addition, the Commission requests comments on the proposed amendment to part 1130, to include folding stools in the proposed rule.

    Comments should be submitted in accordance with the instructions in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice.

    List of Subjects 16 CFR Part 1112

    Administrative practice and procedure, Audit, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third party conformity assessment body.

    16 CFR Part 1130

    Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    16 CFR Part 1232

    Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants and children, Labeling, Law enforcement, and Toys.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission proposes to amend 16 CFR chapter II, as follows:

    PART 1112—REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES 1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 Stat. 3016, 3017 (2008); 15 U.S.C. 2063.

    2. Amend § 1112.15 by adding paragraph (b)(43) to read as follows:
    § 1112.15 When can a third party conformity assessment body apply for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule and/or test method?

    (b) * * *

    (43) 16 CFR part 1232, Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools.

    3. Amend § 1130.2 by revising paragraph (a)(13) to read as follows: PART 1130—REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSUMER REGISTRATION OF DURABLE INFANT OR TODDLER PRODUCTS
    § 1130.2 Definitions.

    (a) * * *

    (13) Children's folding chairs and stools;

    4. Add part 1232 to read as follows: PART 1232—SAFETY STANDARD FOR CHILDREN'S FOLDING CHAIRS AND STOOLS Sec. 1232.1 Scope. 1232.2 Requirements for children's folding chairs and stools. Authority:

    Sec. 104, Public Law 110-314, 122 Stat. 3016.

    § 1232.1 Scope.

    This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for children's folding chairs and stools.

    § 1232.2 Requirements for children's folding chairs and stools.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each children's folding chair and stool shall comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F2613-14, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools, approved October 1, 2014. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org. You may inspect a copy at the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federalregulations/ibr_locations.html.

    (b) Comply with ASTM F2613-14 with the following additions or exclusions:

    (1) Instead of complying with section 5.13 of ASTM F2613-14, comply with the following:

    (i) 5.13 Stability—All chairs shall not tip over backward or sideways when tested in accordance with 6.8. Tip over shall consist of the product moving past equilibrium and begin to overturn.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) Instead of complying with section 6.8 of ASTM F2613-14, comply with the following:

    (i) 6.8 Stability Test Method—(A) 6.8.1 Test equipment and preparation—(1) 6.8.1.1 Test surface—any rigid material covered with a high pressure laminate of unspecified color with a smooth matte finish and inclined at an angle of 10° (± 0.5°) to the horizontal plane.

    (2) 6.8.1.2 50 lb. test cylinder—cylinder weighing 50.0 ± 0.5 lbs. (22.7 ± 0.2 kg) that is 12.0 ± 0.1 in. (305 ± 2 mm) high with a diameter of 6.0 ± 0.1 in. (152 ± 2 mm) and a center of gravity of 6.0 ± 0.1 in. (152 ± 2 mm) from either face (see Fig. 5). This cylinder shall be applied to a product seating surface whose height is 10 in. (254 mm) or less from the floor.

    (3) 6.8.1.3 100 lb. test cylinder—cylinder weighing 100.0 ± 0.5 lbs. (45.4 ± 0.2 kg) that is 12.0 ± 0.1 in. (305 ± 2 mm) high with a diameter of 6.0 ± 0.1 in. (152 ± 2 mm) and a center of gravity of 6.0 ± 0.1 in. (152 ± 2 mm) from either face (see Fig. 5). This cylinder shall be applied to a product seating surface whose height is greater than 10 in. (254 mm) above the floor.

    (4) 6.8.1.4 Measurement of the product seating surface height—This height shall be measured from the floor to the midpoint on the upper surface of the front edge of the seating surface, when a 2 lb. (0.9 kg) load is applied vertically downward using a 1/2″ (13 mm) diameter disk onto the midpoint on the upper surface of the front edge of the seat (see Fig X).

    Note X—Use of stops to prevent sliding: If necessary to prevent the product from sliding down the incline, either by its own weight when initially placed on the incline or during the conduct of the test in the following sections, stops can be placed against the product's legs. Stops shall be the minimum height required to prevent sliding and shall not inhibit overturning.

    (B) 6.8.2 Rearward stability

    (1) 6.8.2.1 Product orientation: Place the product on the test surface with the front of the product facing the upward slope.

    (2) 6.8.2.2 Application of the load: Place the applicable test cylinder so that it is centered side to side on the product seating surface, oriented perpendicular to the plane of this surface, and allow the cylinder to come to rest.

    (3) 6.8.2.3 Cylinder Positioning for Chairs: Place the cylinder as far back or downslope on the seating surface as permitted by the seat back or chair frame (see Fig. 4).

    (4) 6.8.2.4 Cylinder Positioning for Stools: Place the cylinder as far back or downslope as permitted by the seating surface without allowing any part of the cylinder to extend beyond the rearmost or downslope edge of the stool.

    (C) 6.8.3 Sideways stability

    (1) 6.8.3.1 Product orientation: Place the product on the test surface in the most unfavorable position with a side of the product facing the upward slope.

    (2) 6.8.3.2 Application of the load: Place the applicable test cylinder so that it is centered front to back on the product seating surface, oriented perpendicular to the plane of this surface, and allow the cylinder to come to rest.

    (3) 6.8.3.3 Cylinder Positioning for Chairs: Place the cylinder as far back or downslope on the seating surface as permitted by the chair frame or arms (see Fig. Y).

    (4) 6.8.3.4 Cylinder Positioning for Stools: Place the cylinder as far back or downslope as permitted by the seating surface without allowing for any part of the cylinder to extend beyond the rearmost or downslope edge of the stool.

    EP19OC15.008

    (3) Instead of complying with section 7.2 of ASTM F2613-14, including all subsections of section 7.2, comply with the following:

    (i) 7.2 Warning Statements: Each folding chair and each folding stool shall have warning statements.

    (A) 7.2.1 The warnings shall be easy to read and understand and be in the English language at a minimum.

    (B) 7.2.2 The warning statements shall be conspicuous in highly contrasting color(s) (e.g., black text on white background), in non-condensed sans serif type, permanent and applied so they are in a prominent location, visible to the caregiver when the product is in the manufacturer's use position.

    (C) 7.2.3 The specified warnings shall be separate and distinct from any other graphic or written material on the product and surrounded by a black border. Note: Separate and distinct, for example, on the back of the chair's back rest away from warnings on the underside of the chair so that it is clearly visible to a consumer approaching the chair from the back. For stools, where possible, the label shall be placed in a visible location such as on the legs in such a way that the label does not wrap around the legs.

    (D) 7.2.4 Any labels or written instructions provided in addition to those required by this section shall not contradict or confuse the meaning of the required information or be otherwise misleading to the consumer.

    (E) 7.2.5 The safety alert symbol

    EP19OC15.009 and, the signal word “WARNING”, and the words “AMPUTATION HAZARD” shall precede the warning statements.

    (F) 7.2.6 The safety alert symbol

    EP19OC15.010 and the signal word “WARNING” shall not be less than 0.2-in. (5-mm) high and the remainder of the text shall be in characters whose upper case is at least 0.1-in. (2.5-mm) high except as specified.

    (G) 7.2.7 The signal word WARNING shall be in black letters on an orange panel surrounded by a black border.

    Note 1—When special circumstances preclude the use of the color orange, yellow or red may be used, whichever contrasts best against the product background.

    (H) 7.2.8 The solid triangle portion of the safety alert symbol shall be the same color as the signal word lettering, and the exclamation mark shall be the same color as the signal word panel.

    (I) 7.2.9 The words “AMPUTATION HAZARD” shall be in bold black letters.

    (J) 7.2.10  The precautionary statements shall be indented from the hazard statements, preceded with bullet points, and appear as shown in Figs. 6 and 7.

    (K) 7.2.11  The warning label shall contain sufficient white space as shown as shown in Figs. 6 and 7.

    (L) 7.2.12 Overall height and width of the label may be modified as necessary to fit on the product, but still meet requirements for conspicuousness. An example of the warning label format described in this section is shown in Figs. 6 and 7.

    (M) 7.2.13 For folding chairs and folding stools with latch(es), warnings shall address the following:

    (1) 7.2.13.1 Amputation hazard:

    Hazard and Consequence Statement: AMPUTATION HAZARD Chair can fold or collapse if lock not fully engaged. Moving parts can amputate child's fingers if chair folds or collapses. Precautionary Statements: • Keep fingers away from moving parts. • Completely unfold chair and fully engage locks before allowing child to sit in chair. • Never allow child to fold or unfold chair.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (N) 7.2.14 For folding chairs and folding stools without latch(es), warnings shall address the following:

    (1) 7.2.14.1 Amputation hazard:

    Hazard and Consequence Statement AMPUTATION HAZARD Moving parts can amputate child's fingers. Precautionary Statements: • Keep fingers away from moving parts. • Completely unfold chair before allowing child to sit in chair. • Never allow child to fold or unfold chair.

    (2) [Reserved]

    (4) In addition to the figures in ASTM F2613-14, use the following figure 6:

    EP19OC15.011

    (5) In addition to the figures in ASTM F2613-14, use the following figure 7:

    EP19OC15.012
    Dated: October 13, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26385 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1112 and 1229 [Docket No. CPSC-2015-0028] Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”), requires the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) to promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. These standards are to be “substantially the same as” applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard, if the Commission determines that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. The Commission is proposing a safety standard for infant bouncer seats (“bouncer seats”) in response to the direction of section 104(b) of the CPSIA. In addition, the Commission is proposing an amendment to 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1229 in the list of notice of requirements (“NORs”) issued by the Commission.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments related to the Paperwork Reduction Act aspects of the marking, labeling, and instructional literature requirements of the proposed mandatory standard for bouncer seats should be directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: CPSC Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-6974, or emailed to [email protected]

    Other comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2015-0028, may be submitted electronically or in writing:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this proposed rulemaking. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket number, CPSC-2015-0028, into the “Search” box, and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Suad Wanna-Nakamura, Ph.D., Project Manager, Directorate for Health Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone: 301-987-2550; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background and Statutory Authority

    The CPSIA was enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA, part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires the Commission to: (1) Examine and assess the effectiveness of voluntary consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, in consultation with representatives of consumer groups, juvenile product manufacturers, and independent child product engineers and experts; and (2) promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant and toddler products. Standards issued under section 104 are to be “substantially the same as” the applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard, if the Commission determines that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product.

    The term “durable infant or toddler product” is defined in section 104(f)(1) of the CPSIA as “a durable product intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years,” and the statute specifies twelve categories of products that are included in the definition, including walkers, carriers and various types of children's chairs. In issuing regulations governing product registration under section 104, the Commission determined that an “infant bouncer” falls within the definition of a “durable infant or toddler product.” 74 FR 68668 (Dec. 29, 2009); 16 CFR 1130.2(a)(15).

    Pursuant to section 104(b)(1)(A) of the CPSIA, the Commission consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and members of the public in the development of this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”), largely through the ASTM process. The NPR is based on the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), ASTM F2167-15, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats (“ASTM F2167-15”), with specific modifications to improve and strengthen the requirements for on-product warnings and instructional materials provided with bouncer seats.

    The testing and certification requirements of section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”) apply to the standards promulgated under section 104 of the CPSIA. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA requires the Commission to publish an NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies (“test laboratories”) to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. The proposed rule for bouncer seats, if issued as a final rule, would be a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of an NOR. To meet the requirement that the Commission issue an NOR for the bouncer seat standard, this NPR also proposes to amend 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1229, the CFR section where the bouncer seat standard will be codified, if the standard becomes final.

    II. Product Description A. Definition of “Bouncer Seats”

    The scope section of ASTM F2167-15 defines an “infant bouncer seat” as: “a freestanding product intended to support an occupant in a reclined position to facilitate bouncing by the occupant, with the aid of a caregiver or by other means.” ASTM F2167-15 states that infant bouncer seats are intended for “infants who have not developed the ability to sit up unassisted (approximately 0 to 6 months of age).”

    Bouncer seats vary widely in style and complexity, but typically, bouncer seats consist of a cloth cover stretched over a wire or tubular frame. Wire frame bouncers have two designs. The forward bend design is constructed with the seating area supported from the front side of the product. The second wire frame design is a rear bend design. In the rear bend design, the seat is supported from the rear side of the product. Other bouncer designs are also currently available, including, but not limited to, products with individual wire legs, solid bases, and spring designs. These infant bouncer designs use different methods to support the seat and are intended for “bouncing,” as defined in ASTM F2167.

    All bouncer seats support the child in an inclined position, and some brands have adjustable seat backs. Various bouncer seat models include a “soothing unit” that vibrates or bounces the chair, and may play music or other sounds. Most bouncer seats also feature an accessory bar with attached toys that are, or at some point will be, within the child's reach. Most of the bouncer seat models examined by Commission staff provide a 3-point restraint system consisting of wide cloth crotch restraints, and short adjustable waist straps with plastic buckles. Only two models of bouncer seats reviewed by CPSC employed upper body restraints. Many bouncer seat brands also include an “infant insert,” intended for use to support smaller babies. See Tabs C and D, Staff Briefing Package: Infant Bouncer Seats Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, dated September 30, 2015 (“Staff NPR Briefing Package”), available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/Global/Newsroom/FOIA/CommissionBriefingPackages/2015/ProposedRuleSafetyStandardforInfantBouncerSeatSeptember302.pdf.

    B. Market Description

    Although additional suppliers may exist, CPSC staff identified 22 firms supplying infant bouncer seats to the U.S. market. The 22 identified firms primarily specialize in the manufacture and/or distribution of children's products, including durable nursery products. The majority of the 22 known firms are domestic (including 8 manufacturers and 10 importers). The remaining four firms are foreign manufacturers.1 In 2013, the CPSC conducted a Durable Nursery Product Exposure Survey (“DNPES”) of U.S. households with children under age 6. Data from the DNPES indicate that an estimated 6.75 million infant bouncers are in U.S. households (with 95% probability that the actual value is between 5.78 million and 7.72 million). Data collected also indicate that about 31 percent of the infant bouncers in U.S. households are currently in use (an estimated 2.09 million infant bouncers, with 95 percent probability that the actual value is between about 1.5 million and 2.68 million). Tab F, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    1 Determinations were made using information from Dun & Bradstreet and ReferenceUSAGov, as well as firm Web sites.

    III. Incident Data

    CPSC's Directorate for Epidemiology, Division of Hazard Analysis is aware of 277 reported incidents involving bouncer seats, including 11 fatalities and 51 injuries, occurring between January 1, 2006 and February 2, 2015. The incidents are based on reports involving victims 12 months and younger in the Injury or Potential Injury Incident (“IPII”), In-Depth Investigation (“INDP”), and Death Certificates (“DTHS”) databases (collectively referred to as Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System data, or “CPSRMS” data). Additionally, CPSC staff found 672 bouncer-related incidents, including two fatalities, reported in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (“NEISS”) records retrieved for bouncer incidents from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013, involving children 12 months old and younger. A detailed review of the incident data and analysis associated with bouncer seats can be found in Tabs A, B, and D of the Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    A. Fatalities

    For the reporting periods described in the preceding paragraph, CPSC staff found 11 reported fatalities in the CPSRMS data, and two reported fatalities in the NEISS data. A brief description of each incident follows:

    • 120427HCC1640: A 6-month-old died of blunt force trauma to the head when the infant's father lifted him in the bouncer seat. The bouncer collapsed and the child fell out of the back onto carpeted floor. He suffered a linear skull fracture and died the following day.

    • 121001HCC2002: A 3-month-old was fed and left to sleep in her bouncer seat. The child's father reported that he found her face down, unrestrained, in the seat. The seat was on the floor, and the child's mother and 2-year-old sister had been asleep on a couch nearby.2 Cause of death was positional asphyxia.

    2 Both a car seat and an infant bouncer were present at the scene. CPSC Health Sciences staff found the information in the report insufficient to determine the hazard that contributed to the fatality in this incident.

    • 070214CCC1300: A 2-month-old who suffered from reflux and a respiratory infection was placed, unrestrained, to sleep in a bouncer that was lined with a blanket; the bouncer was on the floor next to the couch where his mother slept for the night. The child turned over in the seat, and was found unresponsive, face down against seat back. Cause of death was positional asphyxia.

    • 110726CAA3941: A 3-month-old was placed on an adult bed in an infant bouncer seat, unrestrained, for a nap. The mother reported that the child had fallen out of the seat and she found her face down on the bed. The child was diagnosed with an irreversible anoxic brain injury and died 19 days later.

    • 726037034: A 3-month-old was left in a “bouncey (sic) seat on an adult bed.” Cause of death was probable asphyxia due to suffocation. No further information is available.

    • 1051041332: A 4-month-old “suffocated when face down in soft bedding on bouncey (sic) seat at home.” No further information is available.

    • 101012HCC3049: A 6-month-old (born several weeks premature) was placed in a bouncer on the floor (in front of a television) as he was falling asleep while his mother showered. She placed a pillow under the rear legs of the bouncer to raise it. She found the child unresponsive, turned with his face against the side of the bouncer, one leg out of the restraints. Cause of death was positional asphyxia.

    • 080917HBB3900: A 2-month-old in a bouncer was placed in a crib to sleep. She was found suspended, partially upside down, over the side of the bouncer with one leg entwined in the restraints. A depression in the mattress suggests that the child's face was against it. Cause of death was mechanical asphyxia.

    • X1490229A: A 4-month-old was swaddled and placed for a nap, unrestrained, in a bouncer, which was then placed on the floor; the child reportedly just started to roll over, but had not done so completely on her own. Her parents found her unresponsive “with her face against the back of the infant seat and half way off the chair from the waist level down . . .”; she could not be resuscitated. Cause of death was positional asphyxia.

    • 140102HWE0001: A 6-month-old was sleeping, strapped into a bouncer and when she awoke, was moved in the bouncer to a bedroom and left briefly with two toddlers, and possibly a pet dog. When the caregiver returned, she found the chair overturned on the floor with the victim's neck lying over the chair's [toy bar]. The report is inconsistent regarding whether the bouncer was placed initially on the bed or on the floor. HS staff considers the injuries described in the ME's report to be consistent with a fall rather than a tip-over at floor level. The child died five days later. Cause of death was positional asphyxia.

    • 140422CAA1573: A 3-month-old was placed to sleep for the evening, unrestrained, in a bouncer on the floor in a room with several other children. Her mother found her five hours later face down in front of the bouncer on the floor and not breathing.

    • NEISS: 120328281: The parents of a 5-month-old found him unresponsive, flipped over in the bouncer seat with his leg still through one leg hole. The cause listed was cardiac arrest.3

    3 CPSC staff found the information in this incident insufficient to determine the hazard that contributed to the fatality because the term “leg hole” was deemed inconsistent with the features of an infant bouncer and because of the lack of detail provided.

    • NEISS: 130645295: A 2-month-old child had been asleep in a “bouncy”; his father awoke to find the child unresponsive on the floor. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.4

    4 CPSC staff found the information in this incident insufficient to determine the hazard that contributed to the fatality.

    Most of the infants' deaths involved the presence of excess bedding in or under the bouncer; placement of the bouncer on a soft surface such as an adult bed; placement of the bouncer in a crib; and carrying or placing the bouncer at an elevated height. Most of the bouncer seat deaths also involved the infant being placed in the bouncer to sleep unrestrained, which allowed the infant unsupervised time and movement within the hazardous environment which contributed to the death. Tab B, Staff NPR Briefing Package. In nine cases, the child was reported as napping or sleeping and without restraints in five of the nine incidents. In two cases, the child was partially out of the restraints when found; in the case when the bouncer was inside the crib, the child was partially suspended upside down over the side of the bouncer with one leg in the restraints. Moreover, in at least four cases, the child's emerging ability to turn over, resulted in the child's face resting against the conforming surface of the seat back, and this appears to have been a significant factor in causing the child's death. Tab D, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    B. Non-Fatalities

    Of the 277 CPSRMS bouncer-related incidents involving children 12 months old and younger, 266 incidents were nonfatal. Fifty-one (51) of these nonfatal incidents reported injuries. Four of the 51 reported injuries involved serious head injuries related to falls from a bouncer placed on an elevated surface. Other reported injuries included skull fractures, leg fractures, head contusions, eye bruises, facial bruises and scratches, a split lip and torn upper frenulum, a finger bruise, leg cuts, leg bruises, heel lacerations, and a blood blister. Because reporting is ongoing, the number of injuries and fatalities associated with bouncer seats are subject to change. See Tab A, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    Incidents involving the infant occupant falling from the bouncer are of most concern to CPSC because falls have the greatest potential for a serious injury. According to Health Sciences staff's analysis, 77 of the 266 nonfatal incidents involved the infant occupant falling from the bouncer. In five of these incidents, the infant occupant fell from a bouncer placed at an elevated height, such as on a kitchen countertop or dining table, or the bouncer was being carried by the caregiver; in four (80%) of these elevated-height incidents, the infant fell from the bouncer and sustained a severe head injury. Severe head injuries, such as concussions and fractured skulls, could cause extensive brain damage and affect the infant's motor development, emotional development, speech, ability to think and learn, and overall quality of life, long after the incident has occurred. The majority of the remaining 189 nonfatal incidents that did not involve a fall resulted in no injuries or minor injuries. Only one incident resulted in a moderate injury; in that incident a 3-month-old infant shifted in the bouncer and sustained a fractured leg. See Tab B, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    C. Hazard Pattern Identification for CPSRMS Incidents

    To identify hazard patterns associated with infant bouncer seats, CPSC staff considered all 277 reported incidents in CPSRMS involving product-related issues. Tab A, Staff NPR Briefing Package. Product-related issues associated with these incidents include:

    Product Design—Seventy-five (75) incident reports describe issues related to bouncer product design. Design issues described in these incident reports consist of sharp plastic rods, uncushioned side metal bars, overhead attachments not clipping properly, sharp pieces of fabric, lack of padding in the footing area, bouncer frames that easily entrap arms/legs/fingers, easily movable feet cushion flaps, sharp plastic grooves from a musical component, sagging seat belts, and lopsided or low-riding bouncer frames. Sixteen of the 75 incidents resulted in injuries, all of which were minor.

    Structural Integrity—Seventy (70) incident reports describe issues related to the structural integrity of bouncer components, such as bouncer seats collapsing when picked up, collapsing during use, and releasing fabric from the plastic frame, plus various other structural issues involving broken sides, recline adjustment pieces, wire bases, front tube retainers, and rubber feet. Twelve of the 70 incidents resulted in minor injuries.

    Toy Bar-Related—Thirty-six (36) incident reports involve problems with the toy bar or toys attached to the toy bar. These reports describe the following types of issues: Toy bars that fail to snap into place, toy bars breaking after being used as a handle, toys breaking off the bar, toys on the bar swinging back to hit the victim, toys scratching and pinching fingers or toes, and children getting hands or feet caught on the toy attachments. Ten of the 36 incidents resulted in minor injuries.

    Stability—Stability issues comprise thirty-three (33) tip-over incidents involving a bouncer seat placed on the floor. While 26 bouncer tip-over incidents resulted in no reported injuries, seven incident reports include injuries such as a split lip, head contusions, and facial bruises.

    Chemical/Electric Hazards—Thirty (30) incident reports describe issues related to chemical or electrical hazards, including two reported injuries (a thigh welt and a rash). One incident involved a bouncer seat emanating a toxic smell; another incident involved a victim who developed a rash after directly touching the bouncer; and 28 incidents involved batteries or the vibration motors. Twenty-four of the battery/motor incidents included reports of leaking, cracking, or exploding batteries. Four of the battery/motor incident reports specifically described motor-related issues, which include overheating motors, motors making strange noises, and motors catching on fire, resulting in burning plastic and structural burn marks.

    Restraints—Twenty (20) incidents, including two reported minor injuries, involve issues with bouncer restraints, including falling out of bouncer seats despite being strapped in, tearing/fraying straps, non-latching seat belts, and breaking seat buckles.

    Hazardous Placement—Eleven (11) incidents involved a hazardous placement of the bouncer where victims in bouncer seats fell from elevated surfaces, fell face down onto soft bedding, or suffocated while attempting to slip out of a bouncer seat placed on an unstable surface. One incident included a reported skull fracture injury; another incident involved a fatality resulting from blunt force head trauma; and nine incidents involved fatalities due to asphyxia.

    Unknown—Two (2) incidents involved an unknown hazard, including one that involved a reported injury, and one that resulted in a death from positional asphyxia.

    D. NEISS Data Analysis

    CPSC staff retrieved 672 NEISS records (estimated total of 17,200 injuries) describing infant bouncer seat incidents between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2013. See Tab A, Staff NPR Briefing Package. Injury estimates are derived from NEISS data, where sampling weights are used to project the number of cases reported by NEISS hospitals to national estimates. A statistically significant upward trend exists in the estimated emergency department-treated injuries involving bouncer seats for victims under 1-year-old from 2006 to 2013.

    An estimated 15,500 patients were treated and released for bouncer injuries, and an estimated 1,300 patients were treated and admitted, treated and transferred to another hospital, or held for observation. An estimated 15,100 (92%) bouncer injuries involved the head and face, while 1,300 estimated injuries involved an unknown area, or the rest of the body (appendages, torso, internal). Two cases involved a victim who died from cardiac arrest. One victim died after flipping over in an infant bouncer seat with his leg still through one leg opening, and the other victim was found on the floor unresponsive after being asleep in the bouncer. These two fatalities are in addition to the 11 fatalities reported in CPSRMS.

    Of the 672 NEISS records describing bouncer injuries, 287 incidents took place on the floor or an unknown location. The remaining 385 incidents, or an estimated 9,200 injuries, involved hazardous placements: 342 of these incidents, or an estimated 8,100 injuries, resulted from falls. Hazardous placements included counters, tables, and other elevated surfaces (e.g., beds, carried or lifted positions, chairs, couches, dressers, stairs, and appliances). An estimated 6,800 injuries, or 74 percent of all estimated bouncer injuries associated with a hazardous placement, involved the bouncer being placed on a counter or table. Health Sciences staff analysis determined that 50 of these hazardous placement incidents resulted in a severe head injury, such as a concussion or fractured skull. Twelve severe head injuries were the result of the caregiver carrying the infant in the bouncer. See Tab B, Staff's NPR Briefing Package. CPSC staff noted two other factors in the fall-related NEISS data. In 54 of the reports, the incident occurred when someone was carrying or picking up the child in the infant bouncer. In 33 of the cases, the child was reported to be unrestrained at the time of the incident; the number of cases of children falling while unrestrained is likely to be underreported.

    Eighty-one percent of the incidents resulted in injuries (n=532; estimate=13,900). CPSC staff reviewed the NEISS cases and determined the severity of the reported injuries. Based on that analysis, 11 percent of the injuries were severe, such as skull fractures and intracranial hemorrhages; and 41 percent were moderate, such as less serious head injuries and fractures involving other body parts. CPSC staff concluded that infants were more likely to sustain a severe head injury when they fell from elevated heights, and that the potential for severe head injury increases if the child is being carried in the bouncer, and/or if they are unrestrained in the bouncer.

    E. Product Recalls

    Since January 1, 2006, Compliance staff conducted two bouncer seat recalls involving two different firms. The first recall, in April 2007, involved 1,400 units of Oeuf, LLC, infant bouncer seats.5 The bouncer seat was recalled after six reports of tubular steel frame breakage. The second recall of bouncer seats, in July of 2009, involved 6,500 units of BabySwede LLC BabyBjörn® Babysitter Balance and Babysitter Balance Air bouncer seats.6 Bouncer seats were recalled because small, sharp metal objects found in the padded area of the bouncer chair could protrude through the fabric, posing a laceration hazard to children. No injuries were associated with either product at the time of the recall. See Tab E, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    5 CPSC link to recalled product: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2007/Infant-Bouncer-Seats-Recalled-Due-to-Frame-Failure/.

    6 CPSC link to recalled product: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2009/BabySwede-LLC-Recalls-Bouncer-Chairs-Due-to-Laceration-Hazard/.

    IV. International Standards for Bouncer Seats

    CPSC staff found no other standard for infant bouncer seats. See Tab C, Staff NPR Briefing Package. However, CPSC staff identified two closely related international standards, BS EN 14036:2003, Child Use and Care Articles—Baby Bouncers—Safety requirements (“BS EN 14036”) and BS EN 12790:2002, Test Methods and Child Care Articles—Reclined cradles (“BS EN 12790”), which pertain to products with some characteristics similar to infant bouncer seats. The scope of BS EN 14036 does not include bouncers intended for inclined seating; rather, the standard involves products designed to suspend a child, from above, in an essentially vertical, semi-seated position. These products, sold as baby jumpers in the United States, enable the child's toes/balls of the feet to have contact with the floor to activate and maintain the bouncing action. General requirements in BS EN 14036 are similar to ASTM F2167, but are less stringent. Remaining requirements in BS EN 14036 are not applicable to infant bouncer seats.

    BS EN 12790 specifies safety requirements and the corresponding test methods for fixed or folding reclined cradles intended for children up to 6 months and/or up to a weight of 9 kg. Unlike infant bouncer seats, BS EN 12790 is intended to cover non-bouncing products designed to be a safe sleeping environment. BS EN 12790 contains the same general requirements as BS EN 14036. Additional testing in BS EN 12790 includes stability, static strength, dynamic strength, slip resistance, unintentional folding, and restraints. ASTM F2167 contains more stringent stability, static strength, and dynamic testing than BS EN 12790. Slip-resistance tests are substantially similar in both standards. BS EN 12790 contains an unintentional folding test that is not applicable to infant bouncer seats. Finally, although ASTM F2167 does not have a restraint slip test, the restraint strength test requires an additional pull test at 45lb (200 N) to the normal use direction. Accordingly, overall, ASTM F2167-15 is more stringent in most areas than BS EN 12790 and addresses the hazard patterns identified in CPSC's incident data.

    V. Voluntary Standard—ASTM F2167 A. History of ASTM F2167

    A voluntary standard for infant bouncer seats was first approved in December 2001 and published in January 2002, as ASTM F2167-01, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats. Since then, ASTM has revised the standard nine times. Tab C of the Staff NPR Briefing Package includes a description of each revision. The current version, ASTM F2167-15, was approved on May 1, 2015, and published in June 2015. ASTM F2167-15 includes modified and new performance and labeling requirements developed by CPSC staff, in conjunction with stakeholders on the ASTM subcommittee task group, to address the hazards associated with bouncer seats. A description of the current voluntary standard for bouncer seats follows.

    B. Description of the Current Voluntary Standard—ASTM F2167-15

    ASTM F2167-15 includes the following key provisions: Scope, terminology, general requirements, performance requirements, test methods, marking and labeling, and instructional literature.

    Scope. Section 1 of ASTM F2167-15 states the scope of the standard, detailing what constitutes an “infant bouncer seat.” As stated in section II.A of this preamble, the Scope section defines an “infant bouncer seat” as “a freestanding product intended to support an occupant in a reclined position to facilitate bouncing by the occupant, with the aid of a caregiver or by other means.” ASTM F2167-15 states that infant bouncer seats are intended for “infants who have not developed the ability to sit up unassisted (approximately 0 to 6 months of age).”

    Terminology. Section 3 of ASTM F2167-15 provides definitions of terms specific to this standard. For example, section 3.1.1 of the ASTM standard defines “conspicuous” to mean a “label that is visible, when the infant bouncer seat is in a manufacturer's recommended use position, to a person sitting near the infant bouncer seat at any one position around the infant bouncer seat but is not necessarily visible from all positions.”

    General Requirements. Section 5 of ASTM F2167-15 addresses numerous hazards with several general requirements, most of which are also found in the other ASTM juvenile product standards. Several requirements reference an existing CPSC standard. The following general requirements apply to bouncer seats. Where the ASTM standard relies on a CPSC mandatory standard, the mandatory standard is cited in parentheses next to the requirement:

    • Hazardous sharp points and edges (16 CFR 1500.48 and 1500.49);

    • Small parts (16 CFR 1501);

    • Lead in paint (16 CFR 1303);

    • Banned articles (16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4));

    • Wood parts;

    • Latching and locking mechanisms;

    • Scissoring, shearing, and pinching;

    • Openings;

    • Exposed coil springs;

    • Protective components;

    • Permanency of labels and warnings; and

    • Toys (ASTM F963).

    Performance Requirements and Test Methods. Sections 6 and 7 of ASTM F2167-15 contain performance requirements specific to bouncer seats, as well as test methods that must be used to assess conformity with such requirements. Below is a discussion of each performance requirement and the related test method.

    • Restraints. ASTM F2167-15 requires that restraints be provided with a bouncer seat that are capable of securing a child when the bouncer is placed in any use position recommended by the manufacturer. ASTM F 2167-15 requires both a waist and a crotch restraint, and the restraint must be designed in such a way that the crotch restraint must be used when the waist restraint is in use. The standard specifies that the restraint's anchorages shall not separate from the attachment points to the bouncer when tested. Testing to this requirement is performed by securing the bouncer seat and applying a 45lb (200N) force for a period of 10 seconds to a single attachment point of the restraint in the normal use direction. Although no provisions in the performance requirements address the actual use of the restraint, ASTM F2167-15 contains a warning label requirement regarding proper use of the restraint.

    • Stability. ASTM F2167-15 includes a test for bouncer stability in each direction, forward, sideward, and rearward. In the forward stability test, an infant CAMI dummy is placed in the infant bouncer and the restraints are adjusted to fit in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The dummy is then removed and the stability test fixture is placed in the seat. A vertical static force of 21lb (93N) or three times the manufacturer's recommended weight, whichever is greater, is applied for 60 seconds to the fixture at a distance of 6in (152.4mm) in front of the crotch post. To pass the test, the bouncer must not tip over or the front edge must not touch the test surface.

    Repeatable stability testing in the sideward and rearward directions is more difficult to accomplish based on a bouncer's potential shifts in the center of gravity. Because of these potential shifts, sideward and rearward testing for bouncers is done differently than in the forward direction. The current sideward and rearward stability tests are performed with the infant CAMI dummy placed in the seat and the bouncer placed on a 20-degree incline in the most unstable orientation other than forward. To pass the test, the bouncer must not tip over in this position.

    • Slip Resistance. The slip resistance test is designed to keep bouncers from traveling across a surface while being used by a child. Bouncers placed on smooth, hard surfaces, such as a kitchen counter, are less likely to creep along the surface while a child is in the seat, if the product is designed to meet the slip resistance requirement. The slip resistance requirement in ASTM F2167-15 includes both static and dynamic components. The static slip resistance test is performed on a smooth laminate surface with a matte finish and a 10-degree incline. A 7.5lb (3.4kg) CAMI dummy is placed in the bouncer with the front of the bouncer facing down the incline. The bouncer must not move down the incline more than 1/8 in. (3mm) in 1 minute. The test is repeated with the bouncer seat oriented with the left, right, and rear sides pointed down the incline.

    In the dynamic slip resistance test, a test fixture is placed in the bouncer seat with a 7.5lb (93.4kg) weight, and the bouncer is placed on the 10-degree inclined surface. Additionally, if the bouncer has a feature, such as a vibration unit, the unit is to be turned on during the test. An additional 2.5lb (1.13kg) weight is dropped onto the test fixture from a height of 6 in. (152.4mm) a total of 10 times. To pass, the bouncer seat is not allowed to move more than 1/2in (13mm) during the test. This test is repeated with the bouncer in the remaining sideways and rear orientations.

    • Structural Integrity and Disassembly/Collapse. ASTM F2167-15 requires that bouncer seats pass a series of three tests to evaluate structural integrity: (1) A static load test; (2) a dynamic load test; and (3) a disassembly/collapse test.

    To pass the first two tests, at the conclusion of the tests, the bouncer seat shall have no failure of seams, breakage of materials, or changes of adjustments that could cause the product not to fully support the child or that creates a hazardous condition outlined in the general requirements of the standard. The static load test requires that a 6″ × 6″ × 3/4″ (152.4 × 152.4 × 1.91mm) wood block be placed in the bouncer seat and loaded with the greater of 60lb (27.3kg), or 3 times the manufacturer's recommended maximum weight, whichever is greater. The test is intended to ensure that the bouncer design is sufficient to hold the weight of any child that is likely to use the product.

    The dynamic load test requires that a 6″ (152.4mm) weld cap be dropped from a distance of 1″ (25mm) with the convex surface face down onto the bouncer seat. Extra weight is added to the weld cap to provide a total weight of 33lb (15kg). The drop for the dynamic load test is repeated a total of 100 times. This test simulates the child being placed in the seat and removed, as well as the forces applied to the bouncer while the child is in the seat. This test provides a reasonable factor of safety to ensure that the bouncer seat does not fail when used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

    The disassembly/collapse test simulates lifting the bouncer by the ends with a child seated in the product to see whether the bouncer collapses or folds up into a position that might result in injury. To conduct the test, a newborn CAMI dummy is placed in the bouncer seat and a 15lb (67N) force is applied to the bouncer at the location most likely to cause disassembly. In situations where multiple locations are present that could result in disassembly, the test is repeated for each location. If a hazardous condition results from the test, the bouncer fails the requirement. A hazardous condition is anything that would result in the bouncer not meeting the general requirements, or any visual indications of disassembly or collapse of the bouncer.

    • Drop Test. The drop test is intended to evaluate the durability of bouncer seats in instances of misuse, and to assess compliance with the general safety requirements, such as small parts, sharp points, and sharp edges. The drop test applies dynamic forces to the bouncer in directions not associated with normal use by a child. The bouncer must be dropped from a height of 36″ (914.4mm), once in each of six different planes (top, bottom, front, rear, left side, and right side). If the bouncer is of a folding design, the six drops must be done in both the folded and unfolded configurations (for a total of 12 drops). At the end of the test, the bouncer must meet the general requirements outlined in Section 5.0 of the standard.

    • Toy Bar Attachment Integrity. ASTM F2167-15 includes general performance requirements to test toy bars on bouncer seats. A static test is performed with a 6″x6″x3/4″ (152.4x152.4x1.91mm) wood block placed in the bouncer seat and loaded with the greater of 40lb (18.2kg) or two times the manufacturer's recommended maximum weight. The bouncer is then gradually lifted. In the dynamic test, an infant CAMI is placed in the seat and a cable is attached to the center grasping point of the handle. The bouncer is raised and allowed to drop 2″ (5.1cm). The toy bar must completely release from the bouncer or move less than 2″ (5.1cm) from the resting position if the bar has a single attachment point. Additionally, individual toys included with the bouncer are required to meet the general requirements in the standard.

    • Battery Compartments. ASTM recently added battery and containment requirements to F2167. The new requirements include permanently marking the correct battery polarity adjacent to the battery compartment, providing a means to contain the electrolytic material in the event of battery leakage, protection against the possibility of charging non-rechargeable batteries, and defining a maximum surface temperature for any accessible component. The battery polarity requirement requires a visual inspection of the battery compartment. Surface temperature and charging protection are accomplished through the performance of an operational test. The bouncer is operated using new batteries of the type recommended by the manufacturer. Testing is performed by operating the bouncer at the highest setting for 60 minutes. Upon conclusion, no battery leakage, explosion, or fire can occur, and no accessible component shall exceed 160 °F degrees (71°C). The performance requirement includes a provision for testing using a/c power; but staff is unaware of bouncers currently on the market that are a/c powered.

    Marking and Labeling. Section 8 of ASTM F2167-15 requires products to be marked or labeled with manufacturing information and relevant product warnings.

    • Manufacturing Information. Section 8.1 requires that each product and its retail packaging be marked or labeled, clearly, legibly, and permanently, to include the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or seller, and a code or other means to identify the date of manufacture. Section 8.2 states that a manufacturer should change the model number when the product undergoes a significant structural or design change that affects conformance to the standard.

    • Product Warnings. CPSC staff and the ASTM task group and subcommittee worked to improve the warning label requirements for bouncer seats in section 8.3 of ASTM F2167 to address the hazard of falls from elevated surfaces. ASTM F2167-15 includes several changes to the warnings requirements intended to address this hazard, as well as suffocation. Bouncer seats must be labeled with two groups of warning statements, a fall hazard warning and a suffocation warning. ASTM F2167-15 includes new content on color in the warning labels, placement of the fall hazard warning on the front of the product, and changes to the suggested warning language for both falls and suffocation. As set forth in more detail in section VI of the preamble, CPSC is proposing to include additional changes to the warning label requirements to address the deaths and injuries associated with infants falling from bouncer seats, and associated with infants falling while remaining in the seat, that occur when caregivers place bouncer seats on an elevated surface.

    Instructional Literature. Section 9 of ASTM F2167-15 requires that instructions be provided with bouncer seats and be easy to read and understand. Additionally, the section contains requirements relating to instructional literature contents, including warnings.

    VI. Assessment of the Voluntary Standard ASTM F2167-15

    CPSC staff examined the relationship between the performance requirements in ASTM F2167-15 and each of the hazard patterns identified in section III.C of this preamble. Tab C, Staff NPR Briefing Package. Based on staff's assessment, CPSC finds that the current voluntary standard, ASTM F2167-15, adequately addresses the mechanical hazard patterns identified in the incident data associated with bouncer seats. However, CPSC finds that the warning label requirements in ASTM F2167-15 can be improved to address infant falls from bouncers placed on an elevated surface. At this time, such falls cannot be addressed by a performance requirement for bouncer seats. Addressing incidents when infants fall from bouncer seats, as well as incidents when infants fall while remaining in the seat, will require a change in caregiver behavior. Accordingly, CPSC is proposing to strengthen the requirements for the warning label to increase compliance by caregivers and reduce the risk of injury to infants. Tab D, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    The following section discusses how each of the product-related hazard patterns identified in section III.C of this preamble is addressed by the current voluntary standard, ASTM F2167-15. Where CPSC is proposing additional requirements, the rationale for these changes is also explained.

    A. Product Design—CPSC staff evaluated the current requirements in ASTM F2167 and tested bouncer samples to the tests for product design. The performance requirements to test for hazards related to product design are the same as those used to test for structural integrity. Additionally, the drop test and the general requirements in Section 5.0 are used to address this hazard pattern. CPSC staff found that each type of failure identified in the incidents is addressed in the standard with performance requirements and associated tests. CPSC staff opined that many of the incidents may be the result of manufacturing, shipping, or consumer assembly-related issues. Accordingly, at this time, the Commission does not believe that adding or strengthening requirements is likely to reduce the occurrence of these incidents, and the current performance requirements are adequate to address this hazard pattern.

    B. Structural Integrity—As reviewed in section V.B of this preamble, ASTM F2167-15 subjects infant bouncers to a series of three tests to evaluate structural integrity including: (1) A static load test; (2) a dynamic load test; and (3) a disassembly/collapse test. After reviewing the available incident information, CPSC staff concluded that it is likely that many of the incidents included in the structural integrity category are the result of product misassembly, and may not be the result of product design. CPSC staff opined that the three structural tests subject infant bouncers to the reasonable forces that could be applied during the normal life of the product and adequately test the structural strength of a bouncer. Based on staff's assessment, the Commission is not proposing to add more stringent performance requirements at this time.

    C. Toy Bar-Related—Based on staff's assessment of the standard, the toy bar requirements in ASTM F 2167-15 are adequate to address the identified hazards. Staff evaluated many bouncers that included a bar designed with small toys attached that hang over the body of a child seated in the bouncer. Individual toys included with the bouncer are required to meet the general requirements in the standard, including ASTM F 963. Additionally, the toy bar is required to meet the toy bar integrity test requirement. The toy bar integrity requirement uses two different tests, a static integrity test and a dynamic integrity test, to address incidents in which the toy bars are used as handles. CPSC is unaware of any injuries involving toy bars releasing when being used as a handle that have occurred since 2012, when the toy bar integrity tests were added to ASTM F2167. Although many of the recent toy bar incident reports describe consumer complaints about the toy bar releasing or bending, CPSC does not consider these reports to be safety related, because the toy bars are specifically designed to perform in a manner that does not allow a consumer to use the toy bar as a handle, and no reported injuries resulted from these incidents.

    D. Stability—ASTM F2167-15 adequately addresses stability-related incidents. CPSC staff worked with the ASTM subcommittee on bouncers to modify and enhance all the stability performance requirements. Beginning with ASTM F2167-14, the rear and side stability tests were strengthened by ASTM when the angle of incline was from 12 to 20 degrees. Additional changes in ASTM F2167-15 include a longer distance between the crotch post of the test fixture and the application of force for the forward stability test. Changes to the stability requirements will require the design of increasingly stable bouncer designs similar to ones currently available. CPSC believes that these additional requirements will reduce the likelihood of bouncer tip overs and associated injuries.

    E. Chemical/Electrical Hazards—To address reported chemical and electrical incidents, ASTM recently added battery and containment requirements to the 2015 version of ASTM F2167. These additional requirements were developed with support from CPSC staff and based on the incidents reported to CPSC. New requirements include permanently marking the correct battery polarity adjacent to the battery compartment, providing a means to contain the electrolytic material in the event of battery leakage, protection against the possibility of charging non-rechargeable batteries, and defining a maximum surface temperature for any accessible component. Based on CPSC staff's assessment, CPSC believes that the new battery requirements adequately address reported electrical incidents by reducing the likelihood of overheating and battery leakage incidents.

    F. Restraints—ASTM F2167-15 adequately addresses mechanical incidents involving restraints. ASTM F2167-15 requires that restraints be provided with a bouncer seat. Restraints must be capable of securing a child when the bouncer is placed in any use position recommended by the manufacturer. ASTM F 2167 requires both a waist and a crotch restraint, and the restraint must be designed in such a way that the crotch restraint must be used when the waist restraint is in use. Additionally, on-product warning information regarding use of restraints is required. See Tab D, Staff NPR Briefing Package. As described below in section VI.G.1, CPSC is proposing additional language for the product warning label to address incidents involving children who fell from bouncers when placed, unrestrained, to sleep.

    G. Hazardous Placement—Hazardous placement of bouncer seats occurs when caregivers place bouncers in a hazardous environment, resulting in suffocation or head injuries. Factors that contribute most to these hazards include the presence of excess bedding in or under the bouncer; placement of the bouncer on a soft surface, such as an adult bed; placement of the bouncer in a crib; the infant being placed in the bouncer to sleep unrestrained, which allows the infant unsupervised time and movement within the hazardous environment; and carrying or placing the bouncer at an elevated height. ASTM F2167 addresses hazardous placement of bouncer seats with tests for stability and slip resistance, designed to keep bouncers from traveling across a surface while being used by a child. These performance requirements may help reduce the risk of injury in hazardous placement.

    Although the standard includes performance testing for better stability and slip resistance, addressing hazardous placement incidents with performance requirements is difficult because the hazard scenario involves consumer behavior, a foreseeable misuse of the bouncer seat, which should be used only on the floor. Accordingly, CPSC is proposing modifications to the text, placement, and formatting of warnings requirements and instructional literature requirements of ASTM F2167-15 to help further reduce injuries related to this hazard pattern. A detailed description of staff's assessment, rationale, and citations to the relevant literature for the recommended changes appear in Tab D of the Staff's NPR Briefing Package.

    1. Modifications to the Warning Label Content

    The Commission proposes to add two components to the warning statements for bouncer seats that are absent in ASTM F2167-15: (1) The phrase “even if baby is sleeping” to the warning to use restraints; and (2) developmental guidance on when to stop using the product to help avoid suffocation and fall risks. In general, guidelines for warning statements agree that warnings should identify the hazards, the consequences, and the means to avoid them (e.g., Madden, 2006; Singer, Balliro, & Lerner, 2003, October). The content of the proposed modified warnings meets these requirements by calling attention to each of the behaviors that are related to the specific hazards identified, and advising caregivers how to avoid those hazards.

    (a) Use of Restraints

    “Always use restraints” is a part of the warnings and instructions in the current version of ASTM F2167, and has been so over many editions of the standard. Based on the incident data relating deaths to suffocation among unrestrained infants while they slept, and serious head injuries to unrestrained infants in falls from bouncer seats that are placed on elevated surfaces and falls from bouncer seats that are being carried, CPSC believes that the current requirement is inadequate to address the risk of injury to infants from falls out of bouncer seats, or the risk of suffocation among unrestrained infants who are sleeping.

    The Commission's proposed warning language includes the statement, “Adjust to fit snugly, even if baby is sleeping.” ASTM F2167-15 lacks the phrase that addresses sleeping. CPSC staff reports that while working with ASTM, some ASTM members expressed the opinion that “Always use restraints” is adequate because it allows for no exceptions to the use of restraints, and contended that the staff's recommended language communicates that the product is intended for use as a place for the child to sleep, and may encourage such use. One member was concerned that including language regarding sleep may suggest that manufacturers should bring bouncers into compliance with requirements for products that are designed for sleep.

    Although the Commission understands the marketing concerns of some manufacturers, the proposed rule addresses how caregivers use bouncer seats, the sleeping activity of infants that are intended to use the product, and the deaths and injuries reflected in the data when caregivers fail to use restraints. Accordingly, to address caregiver behavior, it is essential to include language that conveys the hazard associated with allowing a child to sleep in a bouncer seat while unrestrained. The Commission's concern is that young infants, such as those intended to use bouncer seats, spend more time asleep than awake.7 Infants that spend more than brief periods in a bouncer seat will fall asleep on occasion (and caregivers will place infants to sleep for the night in bouncer seats under some circumstances), just as infants fall asleep in strollers, swings, and car-seat carriers. It may be counterintuitive, and therefore unlikely to occur to consumers, that products made for infants' use, especially those that have features intended to soothe and comfort them, would be unsafe places for infants to sleep. In fact, despite claims that bouncer seats are not intended for children to sleep in, CPSC staff found that some manufacturers' marketing suggests that bouncers are intended for sleep as well as play.

    7 For example, see the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site, http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/default.aspx.

    Caregivers may remove or loosen restraints while a child is sleeping in a bouncer seat. Removing or loosening product restraints while a child naps or sleeps is a known hazard pattern across infant products that use restraints. It is foreseeable that some caregivers will perceive the restraints as uncomfortable and unnecessary (Lerner, Huey, & Kotwal; 2001), particularly for younger users, who may be seen as not yet mobile enough to be at risk of falling out of the bouncer, and even less at risk of falling if the infant is asleep. CPSC's proposed warning statement addresses the fact that a child will sleep in the bouncer, and addresses caregivers' known inclination to loosen or remove the restraints by specifying that they should do the opposite to avoid the risk of injury or death from the child falling from the bouncer seat or turning in the seat.

    (b) Developmental Guidance

    The second modification to ASTM F2167-15 in CPSC's proposed warning content is in the developmental guidance given in the suffocation warning and in the product instructions. The warning in the current ASTM standard includes the developmental statement: “never use for a child able to sit up unassisted,” a milestone which, on average, a child will accomplish at about 6 months of age. Some packaging and instructions that CPSC staff reviewed also stated that the product is for use from birth until the child is able to sit up unassisted, and use a weight limit (25 lb) that reflects a 50th percentile 18-month-old. The Commission is concerned that this combination of guidance leads caregivers to use the product beyond the point that it is safe. Before infants can sit steadily by themselves, they lack upper body and torso control, but actively try to sit, turn, and reach for objects. Infants in bouncer seats are supported in an inclined position with their upper body unconstrained. The infant's actions may cause them to hang over the side or front, fall out or tip over the bouncer, or turn into the surface of the seat where the flexible, conforming design of the seat can compromise the external airways.

    CPSC proposes that the bouncer seat warning label and product instructions advise caregivers to stop using the product when children start trying to sit up. On average, children reach this milestone at 4.8 months.8 CPSC staff recommended this milestone based on the data indicating that most witnessed instances in which the child's activities reportedly preceded tip-overs or resulted in the child hanging out of the bouncer involved children 5 months of age or younger.

    8 Range, 3-8 months. Bayley, N. (1969). Manual for the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. New York, NY: The Psychological Corporation.

    2. Modifications to Warning Label Placement

    Language in ASTM F2167-15 requires the fall hazard warning to appear anywhere on the front surface of the product's seat back. To address hazards, warning labels must be conspicuous, formatted to help attract and maintain attention, and include appropriate instructional content. Accordingly, CPSC proposes that the fall hazard warning label be required to be on the front of the product near the infant's head to increase the likelihood that caregivers will notice it, and comply with its recommendations, at decision points affecting the child's safety. This location near the infant's head was adopted for warnings on hand-held infant carriers in 16 CFR part 1225, Safety Standard for Hand-Held Infant Carriers (“HHIC”; FR 78, No. 235; 73415, December 6, 2013) and the National Highway Transportation Administration's (“NHTSA”) car seat standard, 49 CFR 571.213 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (“FMVSS”) No, 213.

    CPSC's research indicates that placement of the warning label near the child's face on the bouncer seat is essential in the effort to influence caregivers' behavior. Research indicates that the location of a warning label plays a vital role in its salience, a crucial factor in effectiveness (cf. topic reviews by Lesch, 2006; Silver & Braun, 1999). ASTM F2167-15 requires only that the label be visible on the front surface of the seat back with the Newborn CAMI manikin placed in the seat. The Commission is concerned that, because of its artificial and static nature, the test procedure in ASTM F2167-15 for visibility of the fall hazard warning label is unlikely to replicate visibility of the label under normal conditions of product use. In addition to allowing considerable variability in the conspicuity of the label location, a basic flaw in this method is the assumption that what is visible under static test conditions will be visible during routine use. A label below the shoulder level or along the torso down to the seat bight may be covered by parts of the child's body or clothing, and the area may be covered by a blanket, including an accessory cover that comes with at least one product.

    Because a label must be seen to have an effect, visibility is a prerequisite to effectiveness. Visibility, in itself, however, is an insufficient requirement. Given the number, type, and severity of the incidents that prompted the revisions to the warnings, the appropriate criterion is that the label be likely to draw the caregiver's attention at any decision point that may affect safe use. As with the required labeling for hand-held infant carriers, the warning label should be near the child's face because that is where the caregiver's attention is most likely to be focused. This is the most conspicuous location on the product and offers the best opportunity to influence the caregiver's behavior.

    During the ASTM process, when CPSC staff suggested locating the fall hazard warning next to the infants' head, ASTM subcommittee members expressed concerns that (1) common label materials present potential abrasion and cut hazards if adjacent to an infant's face; (2) the location is design-restrictive for smaller models because of the size of the label; and (3) due to space restrictions, the location is challenging for those firms that use labels in multiple languages.

    Based on staff's review of bouncer seats and the identified issues, the Commission believes these issues can be resolved. As noted above, CPSC's proposed location for the fall hazard warning is the same as that recently adopted for warnings on infant car seats that are also hand-held carriers. NHTSA adopted this location for its air bag warning in these products in the late 1990's, based on its own research. CPSC staff examined car seats and found that both heat transfer and sewn-on labels, the latter of which was identified by industry as a concern, are used on car seats. CPSC's project manager for the hand-held carrier standard reported that neither injuries nor space requirements due to the need to produce labels in multiple languages were raised as concerns for hand-held carriers. Firms that produce infant car seat carriers have managed these issues successfully. CPSC staff contacted NHTSA staff responsible for routine data review, who confirmed that there have been no complaints of injury of any type resulting from car seat labels near a child's face. Finally, CPSC's proposed label is approximately 2.25 inches long and 2.0 inches wide. Review of hand-held infant carriers that are also infant car seats, which require a larger 9 label for both the CPSC mandated strangulation warning and the NHTSA-mandated air bag warning, suggests that there is at least as much space, and perhaps more, on many infant bouncer models, as on car seat carriers.

    9 The message panel of the air bag warning alone must be no smaller than 30 cm2 (11 in.2); the pictogram must be at least 30 mm in diameter (1.18 in.).

    Although no voluntary or mandatory requirement exists for multiple languages on products sold in the U.S., given the relatively small size of the proposed warning label, multiple options appear available to firms for placement of the fall hazard warning in multiples languages. For example, the warning label could appear in a different language on either side of the child's head, as suggested by the Canadian representative to the task group; different labels could be made for different markets; or the label length could be extended to accommodate additional languages, as some firms have done with infant car seat labels.

    3. Modifications to Warning Label Format

    ASTM F2167-15 (1) allows the text and the background of the warning label, except for the area behind the word “WARNING,” to be any color as long as it is contrasting, and (2) provides no format guidance. Although example labels with CPSC's recommended format are presented in the voluntary standard, the standard includes the permissive statements that the figures “ . . . are presented as EXAMPLES ONLY . . . [emphasis in original]” and that the format and “wording content,” as well as the use of highlighting, “are at the discretion of the manufacturer.”

    The Commission proposes that the formatting requirements for bouncer seats reflect the format shown in the label in Figure 1. Good formatting helps attract and maintain attention, and aids reading and comprehension. Information is processed more quickly and easily when it is organized by content into brief chunks. CPSC is concerned that the quoted statements make it likely that some firms will continue to use poor quality labels that present warning information in a cluttered paragraph style that is difficult to read, rather than a label that is conspicuous, easy to read, and easy to comprehend, as is the recommended warning label.

    EP19OC15.002 VII. Proposed CPSC Standard for Bouncer Seats

    The Commission concludes that ASTM F2167-15 adequately addresses most of the hazards associated with bouncer seats, but proposes to modify the warning label requirements to increase effectiveness aimed at changing caregiver behavior to further reduce the risk of injury to infants from falls. Thus, the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference ASTM F2167-15 with the following modifications to the warning label requirements:

    • Revise the content of the warnings, markings, and instructions to:

    • Add text to the warnings that states to use the restraints “. . . even if baby is sleeping . . .”;

    • change the text in the warnings to read, “stop using when baby starts trying to sit up”; and

    • change the developmental guidance in the instructions, if stated, to read, “from birth (or “0”) until baby starts trying to sit up.”

    • Require that the fall hazard label be located on the front surface of the bouncer adjacent to the area where the child's head would rest, and modify the current visibility test to reflect this requirement.

    • Specify a standard format (including black text on a white background, table design, bullet points, and black border) for the warnings on the product and in the instructions.

    VIII. Amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 To Include NOR for Bouncer Seat Standard

    The CPSA establishes certain requirements for product certification and testing. Products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard or regulation under any other act enforced by the Commission, must be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). Certification of children's products subject to a children's product safety rule must be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body. Id. 2063(a)(2). The Commission must publish an NOR for the accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's product is subject. Id. 2063(a)(3). Thus, the proposed rule for 16 CFR part 1229, Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats, if issued as a final rule, would be a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of an NOR.

    The Commission published a final rule, Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies, 78 FR 15836 (March 12, 2013), codified at 16 CFR part 1112 (“part 1112”) and effective on June 10, 2013, which establishes requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to test for conformity with a children's product safety rule in accordance with section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA. Part 1112 also codifies all of the NORs issued previously by the Commission.

    All new NORs for new children's product safety rules, such as the infant bouncer seat standard, require an amendment to part 1112. To meet the requirement that the Commission issue an NOR for the proposed bouncer seat standard, as part of this NPR, the Commission proposes to amend the existing rule that codifies the list of all NORs issued by the Commission to add bouncer seats to the list of children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued an NOR.

    Test laboratories applying for acceptance as a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body to test to the new standard for bouncer seats would be required to meet the third party conformity assessment body accreditation requirements in part 1112. When a laboratory meets the requirements as a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body, the laboratory can apply to the CPSC to have 16 CFR part 1229, Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats, included in the laboratory's scope of accreditation of CPSC safety rules listed for the laboratory on the CPSC Web site at: www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.

    IX. Incorporation by Reference

    Section 1229.2(a) of the proposed rule would incorporate by reference ASTM F2167-15. The Office of the Federal Register (“OFR”) has regulations concerning incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. The regulations require that, for a proposed rule, agencies discuss in the preamble of the NPR ways that the materials the agency proposes to incorporate by reference are reasonably available to interested persons or how the agency worked to make the materials reasonably available. In addition, the preamble of the proposed rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(a).

    In accordance with the OFR's requirements, section V.B. of this preamble summarizes the provisions of ASTM F2167-15 that the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference. ASTM F2167-15 is copyrighted. By permission of ASTM, the standard can be viewed as a read-only document during the comment period on this NPR, at: http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm. Interested persons may also purchase a copy of ASTM F2167-15 from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm. One may also inspect a copy at CPSC's Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923.

    X. Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) generally requires that the effective date of a rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). The Commission is proposing an effective date of 6 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Without evidence to the contrary, CPSC generally considers 6 months to be sufficient time for suppliers to come into compliance with a new standard, and a 6-month effective date is typical for other CPSIA section 104 rules. Six months is also the period that the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (“JPMA”) typically allows for products in the JPMA certification program to transition to a new standard once that standard is published. We also propose a 6-month effective date for the amendment to part 1112. We ask for comments on the proposed 6-month effective date.

    XI. Regulatory Flexibility Act A. Introduction

    The Commission is issuing a proposed rule under the requirements of section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (“CPSIA”) that would incorporate by reference the most recent ASTM standard for infant bouncer seats, ASTM F2167-15, with several modifications to the requirements for product warnings and instructional literature. In this section, we summarize staff's evaluation of the potential economic impact of the proposed rule on infant bouncer seats on small entities, including small businesses, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”). Section 603 of the RFA requires that agencies prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (“IRFA”) and make it available to the public for comment when the general notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) is published, unless the head of the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The IRFA must describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities and identify any alternatives that may reduce the impact. See Tab F, Staff NPR Briefing Package.

    B. The Product

    An infant bouncer seat is defined in ASTM F2167-15, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats, as “a freestanding product intended to support an occupant in a reclined position to facilitate bouncing by the occupant, with the aid of a caregiver or by other means.” It is intended for “infants who have not developed the ability to sit up unassisted (approximately 0 to 6 months of age).” These products vary widely in price; they can be purchased for as little as $20, but can also easily cost more than $200.

    C. The Market for Infant Bouncer Seats

    Staff identified 22 firms (including large and small) supplying infant bouncer seats to the U.S. market, although there may be additional firms as well. These firms specialize primarily in the manufacture and/or distribution of children's products, including durable nursery products. The majority of the 22 known firms are domestic (including 8 manufacturers and 10 importers). The remaining four firms are foreign manufacturers.10 Staff expects that the infant bouncer seats of 17 of these firms are already compliant with ASTM F2167 because the firms either: (1) Have their bouncers certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (“JPMA”) (six firms); (2) claim compliance with the voluntary standard (ten firms); or (3) have been tested to the ASTM standard by CPSC staff (one firm).11

    10 Determinations were made using information from Dun & Bradstreet and ReferenceUSAGov, as well as firm Web sites.

    11 JPMA typically allows 6 months for products in their certification program to shift to a new standard once it is published. The version of the standard that firms are likely testing to currently is ASTM F2167-14. Two newer versions of the standard have been published since then, but neither will become effective for JPMA certification purposes before September 2015. Additionally, many infant bouncer seats are expected to be compliant with ASTM F2167-14a without modification, and firms compliant with earlier versions of the standard are likely to remain compliant as the standard evolves.

    D. Reason for Agency Action and Legal Basis for the Proposed Rule

    Section 104 of the CPSIA requires the CPSC to promulgate a mandatory standard for infant bouncer seats that is substantially the same as, or more stringent than, the voluntary standard if the Commission determines that a more stringent standard would further reduce the risk of injury associated with such products.

    CPSC staff worked closely with ASTM to develop the revised requirements, test procedures, and warning labels that have been incorporated into ASTM F2167 since the rulemaking process started in January 2013 in an effort to reduce this risk. However, not all of staff's warning label recommendations were adopted into the most recent version of the voluntary standard, ASTM F2167-15. Therefore, the Commission proposes to incorporate by reference ASTM F2167-15, with the remaining modifications staff recommended to ASTM.

    E. Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    The Commission proposes adopting the voluntary ASTM standard for infant bouncer seats (ASTM F2167-15) with additional changes to the warning labels (in particular, the location of the fall hazard warning label) and a test to ensure the visibility of those labels on the product. A description of the current voluntary standard appears in section V of this preamble, and a description of the proposed modifications to the warning requirements appears in section VII of this preamble.

    All firms would need to modify the text of their warnings for both the product and the instruction manual. The fall hazard warning would need to be re-located next to the child's head 12 and be visible when accessories are in use (such as a toy bar or an infant insert used for supporting a smaller child's upper body).

    12 The warning was only recently moved to the front of the bouncer (ASTM F2167-15).

    Staff discussed these changes with several ASTM members and supplier representatives. The possible economic impact of these changes on small business is discussed in Tab F of Staff's NPR Briefing Package and in section XI.G of this preamble.

    F. Other Federal or State Rules

    No federal rules duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule.

    G. Impact on Small Businesses

    CPSC is aware of approximately 22 firms (large and small) currently marketing infant bouncer seats in the United States, 18 of which are domestic. Under U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) guidelines, a manufacturer of infant bouncer seats is categorized as small if it has 500 or fewer employees, and importers and wholesalers are considered small if they have 100 or fewer employees. Our analysis is limited to domestic firms because SBA guidelines and definitions pertain to U.S.-based entities. Based on these guidelines, about 12 of the 22 firms are small—five domestic manufacturers and seven domestic importers. Additional unknown small domestic infant bouncer seats suppliers may be operating in the U.S. market.

    1. Small Manufacturers

    The economic impact of the proposed bouncer standard should be small for the five small domestic manufacturers, apart from third party testing costs. The bouncers of all of these firms already comply with the ASTM voluntary standard currently in effect for testing purposes (F2167-14). These firms are expected to remain compliant with the voluntary standard as it evolves, because they follow and, in at least three cases, actively participate in the standard development process. Therefore, compliance with the voluntary standard is part of an established business practice. ASTM F2167-15, the version the Commission proposes to incorporate, will be in effect by the time the mandatory standard becomes final and these firms are likely to be in compliance based on their history.

    None of the small manufacturers typically includes more than four languages in their warnings (two firms use two languages; two firms use three languages; and one firm uses four languages). Based upon inspection of their products and the space available for the warnings, redesign should not be required for any of the bouncers supplied by the known small manufacturers. The firm using four languages might opt to redesign to give their product(s) a less cluttered appearance. However, discussions with a firm representative contacted by staff indicated that the firm was not concerned about the location of the warning labels.

    Under section 14 of the CPSA, once the new infant bouncer seat requirements become effective, all manufacturers will be subject to the third party testing and certification requirements of the CPSA and the Commission's rule Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification at 16 CFR part 1107 (“the 1107 rule”). Third party testing will include any physical and mechanical test requirements specified in the final infant bouncer seats rule. Manufacturers and importers should already be conducting required lead testing for bouncers. Third party testing costs are in addition to the direct costs of meeting the infant bouncer seats standard.

    All infant bouncer seats sold by U.S. manufacturers are currently tested to verify compliance with the ASTM standard, though not necessarily via third party. Thus, the impact to testing costs will be limited to the difference between the cost of third party tests and the cost of current testing regimes. As a frame of reference, suppliers have estimated that testing to the ASTM voluntary standard typically costs about $560-$800 per model sample. Based on an examination of firm revenues from recent Dun & Bradstreet or ReferenceUSAGov reports, the impact of third party testing to ASTM F2167-15 is unlikely to be economically significant for most small manufacturers (i.e., testing costs will be less than 1 percent of gross revenue). Although the Commission does not know how many samples will be needed to meet the “high degree of assurance” criterion required in the 1107 rule, over 24 units per model would be required to make testing costs to exceed one percent of gross revenue for the small manufacturer with the lowest gross revenue. One firm has a much larger number of infant bouncer models than the other small manufacturers, however, and its testing costs could exceed 1 percent of gross revenue if as few as seven units per model were required for testing. Note that this calculation assumes the rule would generate additional testing costs in the $560-$800 per model sample range. Given that all firms are conducting some testing already, this likely overestimates the impact of the rule with respect to testing costs. However, we do not know specifically how much the third party requirement adds to testing costs or precisely how many models are needed to meet the “high degree of assurance” criterion and cannot rule out a significant economic impact. We welcome comments regarding incremental costs due to third party testing (i.e., how much does moving from a voluntary to a mandatory third party testing regime add to testing costs, in total and on a per test basis). In addition, we seek comments regarding the accuracy of assuming that a “high degree of assurance” can be achieved with fewer than seven samples.

    2. Small Importers a. Small Importers With Compliant Infant Bouncer Seats

    Five small importers of infant bouncer seats are currently in compliance with the voluntary standard and, based on prior compliance with the voluntary standard, would likely continue compliance as new versions of the voluntary standard are published. The bouncers supplied by these firms would, for the most part, only require modifications to meet the warning label changes.

    The placement of the new warnings could potentially require significant changes to existing models of imported bouncers. Imported bouncers tend to be produced to broadly meet the current requirements for several trading partners simultaneously, including the labeling requirements for multiple countries. Producers for international markets typically address labeling requirements for their various trading partners by simply providing a warning that covers all required safety issues in multiple languages. However, the proposed rule's specificity regarding warning label location could make simple replication of the warning label in multiple languages impractical due to space constraints on the front surface of the back of the bouncer. While only the English-language warning would be required for products sold in the United States, this could mean that foreign producers will need to design a product for the U.S. market. One solution could be as straightforward as reducing the number of languages used for warnings on U.S.-bound bouncer seats. Regardless, having a differing product for the U.S market could create logistical problems or costs, which could be passed on to importers.

    We have no information regarding the degree to which foreign producers tend to pass on increases in regulatory costs to importers and are seeking comment on this topic. Because we lack information on the costs to importers associated with complying with the proposed rule, we are unable to rule out a significant impact for three of the five importers of compliant bouncers. We begin our discussion of potential impacts by assuming, when possible, firms would prefer to develop a U.S.-specific product with fewer warning labels rather than exit the bouncer market or develop a bouncer with sufficient room to accommodate warnings in languages for both their U.S. and foreign markets. Developing such a bouncer would address the requirements in the proposed rule, while ensuring that the appearance of their bouncers remains comparable to their competition's products (for which one to three languages is typical). The Commission requests feedback from the public, particularly from small importers, on the portion of regulatory compliance costs typically borne by importers, as well as information on the costs of developing a compliant bouncer for the U.S. market.

    CPSC staff believes that one importer would not likely experience a significant economic impact based on comparing redesign cost estimates provided by suppliers (around $200,000 to $300,000) to its annual revenue, even if its supplier passed on 100 percent of the costs of redesign.

    The Commission requests feedback on the cost estimate for product redesign, as well as how that cost level might differ if the redesign focused exclusively on warning label changes and the logistical problems it might create. Based upon examination of this firm's revenues and the revenues associated with the sale of bouncers, this firm also could likely exit the market without experiencing a significant economic impact.

    If product redesign costs $200,000 and the supplying firm only passed on roughly 50 percent of the expected redesign costs, then two of the remaining four importers would not likely experience significant economic impact. The Commission requests input on whether it is reasonable to assume, in the absence of alternative information, foreign suppliers will share up to 50 percent of the costs of redesign, as well as information supporting any alternative estimates of the relative portions of cost sharing that is typical for an importer and its supplying firm. If the supplying firm were unwilling or unable to limit cost passed through, then one of these firms could probably exit the market without significant economic impact as sales of bouncers are likely to contribute less than one percent to its overall revenue.

    The fourth importer would likely only avoid significant economic impact if their supplier absorbed 100 percent of the cost of a redesign. Dropping bouncers from their product line could be an option. However, it is likely that the sales revenue generated by bouncer sales exceeds one percent of their overall revenue. This importer is an exclusive distributor for their supplier's products in the U.S., so an alternative supplier is not an option.

    We request information on the relationship between exclusive distributors and their suppliers, particularly as it pertains to willingness to shoulder redevelopment costs to maintain a U.S. market presence.

    Neither annual revenue nor bouncer sales revenue was available for the final small importer of compliant bouncers; therefore, no assessment of impact could be made.

    b. Small Importers With Noncompliant Infant Bouncer Seats

    Two firms import bouncers that do not comply with the voluntary standard. The bouncers for these firms will require changes to come into compliance with the voluntary standard as well as modifications to meet the proposed warning label requirements. Similar to the case of importers of compliant bouncers, the proposed location of the warning labels on the front of the bouncer adjacent to the head could present a problem, because one firm typically uses nine languages while the other uses six. These importers may need to tailor a product for the U.S, which could be logistically difficult or costly, especially for a small firm with low sales volume.

    The size of the economic impact on the two firms with noncompliant infant bouncer seats will depend upon the cost of the changes required and the degree to which their supplying firms pass on any increases in production costs associated with changes in the product needed to meet the mandatory standard. Again, we do not have any information on the proportion of compliance costs passed on and are seeking public comment on this topic. It is possible that these two importers could discontinue the sale of infant bouncer seats altogether, as the product does not appear to represent a substantial portion of either firms' product lines. However, one of the two firms would likely only avoid a significant economic impact if its supplier absorbed 100 percent of the cost of a redesign and it seems likely that its bouncer sales might exceed 1 percent of its annual sales revenue as well. Again, we do not have specific information on bouncer sales revenues, and cannot rule out a significant economic impact for either firm.

    Both of the small importers with noncompliant bouncers are directly tied to their foreign suppliers and finding an alternate supply source would not be a viable alternative for these firms. However, given this close relationship, the foreign suppliers likely would have an incentive to work with their U.S. subsidiaries to maintain an American market presence.

    The Commission is interested in information regarding the relationship between foreign producers and their U.S. subsidiaries and whether such relationships decrease the likelihood that the subsidiary experiences a significant economic impact due to a rule.

    3. Third Party Testing Costs for Small Importers

    As with manufacturers, all importers will be subject to third-party testing and certification requirements, and consequently, will be subject to costs similar to those for manufacturers if their supplying foreign firm(s) does not perform third party testing. The majority of bouncer importers are already testing their products to verify compliance with the ASTM standard, and any costs would be limited to the incremental costs associated with third party testing over the current testing regime.

    We were able to obtain revenue data for one of the small importers with noncompliant bouncers. For that importer, third party testing costs, considered alone and apart from any additional performance requirements due to the proposed rule, would not exceed one percent of gross revenue unless around 12 units per model required testing to provide a “high degree of assurance.” Although staff believes that it is unlikely that any importer would need to test more than 12 samples, we are seeking information regarding the validity of that assumption. We had no basis for examining the size of the impact for the remaining importer of noncompliant bouncers.

    It is important to note that our analysis of the impact of the draft proposed rule have evaluated the impacts of complying with performance requirements and third party testing requirements independently. Firms will, in fact, experience the costs jointly. It is possible for testing costs, when evaluated independently, to not create significant economic impact (and vice versa).

    The Commission seeks information on the extent to which performance requirements and testing costs evaluated jointly generate significant economic impact even when each component evaluated independently is not expected to lead to significant impact.

    H. Alternatives

    Three alternatives are available to the Commission that may minimize the economic impact on small entities: (1) Adopt ASTM F2167-15 with no modifications; 13 (2) adopt ASTM F2167-15 with the proposed modifications, except for the warning label location specificity; and (3) allow a later effective date.

    13 As discussed in the briefing memo, adopting the voluntary standard with no modifications is an option if the Commission determines that a more stringent standard would not further reduce the risk of injury associated with infant bouncers.

    Section 104 of the CPSIA requires that the Commission promulgate a standard that is either substantially the same as the voluntary standard or more stringent. Therefore, adopting ASTM F2167-15 with no modifications is the least stringent rule allowed by law. This alternative would reduce the impact on all of the known small businesses supplying infant bouncers to the U.S. market because this alternative would eliminate any economic impact related directly to complying with the proposed rule for all five of the known small domestic manufacturers and the five small importers with compliant infant bouncers, all of whom are expected to comply with ASTM F2167-15 by the time the final rule becomes effective. Firms with compliant products, however, would continue to be affected by third party testing requirements.

    Alternatively, the Commission could adopt a more stringent alternative that is still less stringent than the proposed rule by adopting ASTM F2167-15 with the proposed modifications, except for the requirement that the warning labels on the product be located next to the occupant's head. With the exception of impacts due to third party testing, this would eliminate most of the impact on small manufacturers (all of which sell compliant bouncer seats), leaving them with only minor costs associated with changing the wording and format of their warning labels. The impact on the five small importers of compliant bouncers would be similarly reduced.

    Finally, the Commission could reduce the proposed rule's impact on small businesses by setting a later effective date. A later effective date would reduce the economic impact on firms in two ways. One, firms would be less likely to experience a lapse in production/importation, which could result if they are unable to comply and third party test within the required timeframe. Two, firms could spread costs over a longer time period, thereby reducing their annual costs, as well as the present value of their total costs. We request comment on the 6-month effective date, as well as feedback on how firms (particularly small importers) would likely address the proposed rule.

    I. Small Business Impacts of the Accreditation Requirements for Testing Laboratories

    In accordance with section 14 of the CPSA, all children's products that are subject to a children's product safety rule must be tested by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body (i.e., testing laboratory) for compliance with applicable children's product safety rules. Testing laboratories that want to conduct this testing must meet the NOR pertaining to third party conformity testing. NORs have been codified for existing rules at 16 CFR part 1112. Consequently, the Commission proposes an amendment to 16 CFR part 1112 that would establish the NOR for those testing laboratories that want to test for compliance with the bouncers final rule. This section assesses the impact of the amendment on small laboratories.

    A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“FRFA”) was conducted as part of the promulgation of the original 1112 rule (78 FR 15836, 15855-58) as required by the RFA. Briefly, the FRFA concluded that the accreditation requirements would not have a significant adverse impact on a substantial number of small laboratories because no requirements were imposed on laboratories that did not intend to provide third party testing services. The only laboratories that were expected to provide such services were those that anticipated receiving sufficient revenue from the mandated testing to justify accepting the requirements as a business decision.

    Based on similar reasoning, amending the rule to include the NOR for the bouncer seat standard will not have a significant adverse impact on small laboratories. Moreover, based upon the number of laboratories in the U.S. that have applied for CPSC acceptance of the accreditation to test for conformance to other juvenile product standards, we expect that only a few laboratories will seek CPSC acceptance of their accreditation to test for conformance with the infant bouncer seat standard. Most of these laboratories will have already been accredited to test for conformance to other juvenile product standards, and the only costs to them would be the cost of adding the bouncer seat standard to their scope of accreditation, a cost that test laboratories have indicated is extremely low when they are already accredited for other section 104 rules. As a consequence, the Commission certifies that the NOR for the infant bouncer seat standard will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    XII. Environmental Considerations

    The Commission's regulations address whether the agency is required to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. Under these regulations, a rule that has “little or no potential for affecting the human environment,” is categorically exempt from this requirement. 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1). The proposed rule falls within the categorical exemption.

    XIII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains information collection requirements that are subject to public comment and review by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). In this document, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), we set forth:

    • A title for the collection of information;

    • a summary of the collection of information;

    • a brief description of the need for the information and the proposed use of the information;

    • a description of the likely respondents and proposed frequency of response to the collection of information;

    • an estimate of the burden that shall result from the collection of information; and

    • notice that comments may be submitted to the OMB.

    Title: Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats.

    Description: The proposed rule would require each infant bouncer seat to comply with ASTM F2167-15, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats. Sections 8 and 9 of ASTM F2167-15 contain requirements for marking, labeling, and instructional literature. These requirements fall within the definition of “collection of information,” as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).

    Description of Respondents: Persons who manufacture or import bouncer seats.

    Estimated Burden: We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 16 CFR section Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency
  • of responses
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • 1229.2(a) 22 4 88 1 88

    Our estimate is based on the following:

    Section 8.1.1 of ASTM F2167-15 requires that the name and the place of business (city, state, and mailing address, including zip code) or telephone number of the manufacturer, distributor, or seller be marked clearly and legibly on each product and its retail package. Section 8.1.2 of ASTM F2167-15 requires a code mark or other means that identifies the date (month and year, as a minimum) of manufacture.

    Twenty-two known entities supply bouncer seats to the U.S. market may need to make some modifications to their existing labels. We estimate that the time required to make these modifications is about 1 hour per model. Based on an evaluation of supplier product lines, each entity supplies an average of four models of bouncer seats; 14 therefore, the estimated burden associated with labels is 1 hour per model × 22 entities × 4 models per entity = 88 hours. We estimate the hourly compensation for the time required to create and update labels is $30.19 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation,” March 2015, Table 9, total compensation for all sales and office workers in goods-producing private industries: http://www.bls.gov/ncs/). Therefore, the estimated annual cost to industry associated with the labeling requirements is $2,656.72 ($30.19 per hour × 88 hours = $2,656.72). No operating, maintenance, or capital costs are associated with the collection.

    14 This number was derived during the market research phase of the initial regulatory flexibility analysis by dividing the total number of bouncer seats supplied by all bouncer seat suppliers by the total number of bouncer seat suppliers.

    Section 9.1 of ASTM F2167-15 requires instructions to be supplied with the infant bouncer. Bouncer seats are complicated products that generally require use and assembly instructions. Under the OMB's regulations (5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2)), the time, effort, and financial resources necessary to comply with a collection of information that would be incurred by persons in the “normal course of their activities” are excluded from a burden estimate, where an agency demonstrates that the disclosure activities required to comply are “usual and customary.” We are unaware of bouncer seats that generally require use instructions but lack such instructions. Therefore, we tentatively estimate that no burden hours are associated with section 9.1 of ASTM F2167-15, because any burden associated with supplying instructions with bouncer seats would be “usual and customary” and not within the definition of “burden” under the OMB's regulations.

    Based on this analysis, the proposed standard for bouncer seats would impose a burden to industry of 88 hours at a cost of $2,656.72 annually.

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), we have submitted the information collection requirements of this rule to the OMB for review. Interested persons are requested to submit comments regarding information collection by November 18, 2015, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB (see the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice).

    Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), we invite comments on:

    • Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the CPSC's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • the accuracy of the CPSC'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, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    • ways to reduce the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology; and

    • the estimated burden hours associated with label modification, including any alternative estimates.

    XIV. Preemption

    Section 26(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2075(a), provides that when a consumer product safety standard is in effect and applies to a product, no state or political subdivision of a state may either establish or continue in effect a requirement dealing with the same risk of injury unless the state requirement is identical to the federal standard. Section 26(c) of the CPSA also provides that states or political subdivisions of states may apply to the Commission for an exemption from this preemption under certain circumstances. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA refers to the rules to be issued under that section as “consumer product safety rules.” Therefore, the preemption provision of section 26(a) of the CPSA would apply to a rule issued under section 104.

    XV. Request for Comments

    This NPR begins a rulemaking proceeding under section 104(b) of the CPSIA to issue a consumer product safety standard for bouncer seats, and to amend part 1112 to add bouncer seats to the list of children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued an NOR. We invite all interested persons to submit comments on any aspect of the proposed mandatory safety standard for bouncer seats and on the proposed amendment to part 1112. Specifically, the Commission requests comments on the costs of compliance with, and testing to, the proposed bouncer seats safety standard; the impact of the proposed rule on small businesses; the proposed 6-month effective date for the new mandatory bouncer seats safety standard; and the proposed amendment to part 1112. During the comment period, the ASTM F2167-15, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats, is available as a read-only document at: http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm.

    Comments should be submitted in accordance with the instructions in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice.

    List of Subjects 16 CFR Part 1112

    Administrative practice and procedure, Audit, Consumer protection, Incorporation by Reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third party conformity assessment body.

    16 CFR Part 1229

    Bouncer seats, Chairs, Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants and children, Labeling, Law enforcement, Seats, and Toys.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission proposes to amend Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 1112—REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT BODIES 1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 Stat. 3016, 3017 (2008); 15 U.S.C. 2063.

    2. Amend § 1112.15 by adding paragraph (b)(42) to read as follows:
    § 1112.15 When can a third party conformity assessment body apply for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule and/or test method?

    (b) * * *

    (42) 16 CFR part 1229, Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats.

    3. Add part 1229 to read as follows: PART 1229—SAFETY STANDARD FOR INFANT BOUNCER SEATS Sec. 1229.1 Scope. 1229.2 Requirements for infant bouncer seats. Authority:

    Sec. 104, Pub. L. 110-314, 122 Stat. 3016.

    § 1229.1 Scope.

    This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for infant bouncer seats.

    § 1229.2 Requirements for infant bouncer seats.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each infant bouncer seat must comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F2167-15, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats, approved on May 1, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428; http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm. You may inspect a copy at the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federalregulations/ibr_locations.html.

    (b) Comply with ASTM F2167-15 with the following additions or exclusions:

    (1) Instead of complying with sections 7.11.1 through 7.11.3.3 of ASTM F2167-15, comply with the following:

    (i) 7 .11.1 Visibility with Accessories Excluding Toy Bar. Identify and install each accessory unrelated to the toy bar that could obscure the warning label during a caregiver's interaction with the occupant. Place the bouncer on the floor.

    (ii) 7.11.1.1 Face the front of the bouncer from a distance of 1.0 ft (0.3 m and verify that all warning text is visible and not obscured by the accessory(ies).

    (iii) 7.11.1.2 A label on the bouncer seat back surface that is obscured by an accessory such as an infant insert would meet the visibility requirement if the label is plainly visible and easily readable on the accessory.

    (A) 7.11.2 Visibility with Toy Bar and Related Accessories. Identify and install the toy bar and related accessory(ies) that could obscure the warning label during a caregiver's interaction with the occupant. Place the bouncer on the floor.

    (B) 7.11.2.1 Face the front of the bouncer from a distance of 1.0 ft (0.3 m and verify that all warning text is visible and not obscured by the toy bar and related accessory(ies).

    (C) 7.11.2.2 A fall hazard label that is partly obscured by a toy bar or its related accessories, but is visible with a shift of the observer's head position would meet the visibility requirement.

    (2) Instead of complying with sections 8.3.1 through 8.3.3.1 of ASTM F2167-15, comply with the following:

    (i) 8.3.1 Warning Groups and Header—Each infant bouncer seat shall be labeled with two groups of warning statements: a fall hazard warning and a suffocation warning. Each warning statement group shall be preceded by a header consisting of the safety alert symbol

    EP19OC15.003 and the signal word “WARNING.”

    (ii) 8.3.2 Warning Format—The background color for the safety alert symbol and the signal word shall be orange, red or yellow, whichever provides best contrast against the product material. The safety alert symbol and the signal word shall be in bold capital letters not less than 0.2 in. (5 mm) high. The remainder of the text shall be characters whose upper case shall be at least 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) high. All elements of these warnings shall be permanent, and in sans serif, non-condensed style font. Precautionary statements shall be indented from hazard statements and preceded with bullet points. The warning label and the panel containing the signal word “WARNING” shall be surrounded by a heavy black line. Message panels within the labels shall be delineated with solid lines between sections of differing content. The background color in the message panel shall be white and the text shall be black. If an outside border is used to surround the heavy black lines of the label, the border shall be white and the corners may be radiused.

    (iii) 8.3.3 Warning Locations:

    (A) 8.3.3.1 The fall hazard warnings label in 8.3.4.1 shall be on the front surface of the infant bouncer seat back adjacent to the area where a child's head would rest, so that the label is plainly visible and easily readable. If one or more accessories are provided with the bouncer that could obscure the warning label during use, the visibility of the label shall be verified in accordance with 7.11.

    (B) [Reserved].

    (3) Instead of complying with sections 8.3.4.1 through 8.3.5 of ASTM F2167-15, comply with the following:

    (i) 8.3.4.1 Fall Hazard:

    Fall Hazard: Babies have suffered skull fractures falling while in and from bouncers.

    • Use bouncer ONLY on floor.

    • Always use restraints. Adjust to fit snugly, even if baby is sleeping.

    • Never lift or carry baby in bouncer. [NOTE: Bouncer seats with a handle(s) intended for use to lift and carry a child are exempt from including this warning statement.]

    (ii) 8.3.4.2 Suffocation Hazard:

    Suffocation Hazard: Babies have suffocated when bouncers tipped over on soft surfaces.

    • Never use on a bed, sofa, cushion, or other soft surface.

    • Never leave baby unattended. To prevent falls and suffocation:

    • Always use restraints. Adjust to fit snugly, even if baby is sleeping.

    • Stop using bouncer when baby starts trying to sit up.

    (iii) 8.3.5 Figs. 10-12 The safety alert symbol

    EP19OC15.013 and the signal word “WARNING” shall be as specified above, but with the option of background colors as described above. The warning statements' wording content, as well as the use of any underlining, capital lettering, or bold typeface, or a combination thereof, are at the discretion of the manufacturer.

    (4) In section 9 of ASTM F2167-15, replace Figure 10 with the following:

    EP19OC15.004

    (5) Instead of complying with section 9.1.1.5 of ASTM F2167-15, comply with the following:

    (i) 9.1.1.5 Instructions must indicate the manufacturer's recommended maximum weight, height, age, developmental level, consistent with the warning statement in 8.3.4.2, or combination thereof of the occupant for which the infant bouncer seat is intended. If the infant bouncer seat is not intended for use by a child for a specific reason (insert reason), the instructions shall so state this limitation.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (6) In section 10 of ASTM F2167-15, replace Figures 11 and 12 with the following:

    EP19OC15.005 EP19OC15.006
    Dated: October 13, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26386 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0645; FRL-9935-80-Region 9] Air Plan Approval; Phoenix, Arizona; Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing approval of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Arizona. On March 9, 2005, the EPA redesignated Phoenix, Arizona from nonattainment to attainment for the carbon monoxide (CO) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and approved the State's plan addressing the area's maintenance of the NAAQS for ten years. On April 2, 2013, the State of Arizona submitted to the EPA a second maintenance plan for the Phoenix area that addressed maintenance of the NAAQS for an additional ten years. The EPA is also proposing to find adequate and approve a transportation conformity motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEB) for the year 2025 and beyond.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0645, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets for instructions. 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.

    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kelly, Planning Office (Air-2), Air Division, Region 9, Environmental Protection Agency, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 94105, (415) 947-4151, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Definitions

    For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows:

    (i) The words or initials Act or CAA mean or refer to the Clean Air Act, unless the context indicates otherwise.

    (ii) The initials AADT mean or refer to Annual Average Daily Traffic.

    (iii) The initials ADEQ mean or refer to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

    (iv) The initials ANP mean or refer to Annual Monitoring Network Plans, commonly known as Annual Network Plans or ANP.

    (v) The initials CO mean or refer to carbon monoxide.

    (vi) The words EPA, we, us or our mean or refer to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    (vii) The initials MAG mean or refer to the Maricopa Association of Governments.

    (viii) The initials MCAQD mean or refer to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.

    (ix) The initials MVEB mean or refer to Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget.

    (x) The initials mtpd mean or refer to metric tons per day.

    (xi) The initials NAAQS mean or refer to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

    (xii) The initials ppm mean or refer to parts per million.

    (xiii) The initials RTP mean or refer to Regional Transportation Plan.

    (xiv) The initials SIP mean or refer to State Implementation Plan.

    (xv) The initials TIP mean or refer to Transportation Improvement Plan.

    (xvi) The initials TSA mean or refer to an air monitoring program Technical Systems Audit.

    (xvii) The words Arizona and State mean or refer to the State of Arizona.

    I. Background A. Phoenix (Maricopa County), Arizona Attainment Status

    Under the Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments of 1990, the Phoenix metropolitan area in Maricopa County, Arizona (hereinafter referred to as Phoenix, the Phoenix area or the area) was designated and classified as a moderate CO nonattainment area. On July 29, 1996, the EPA found that the area had not attained the CO NAAQS by the moderate attainment date and the area was reclassified to serious nonattainment by operation of law, effective August 28, 1996. 61 FR 39343.

    The primary CO NAAQS are attained when ambient concentration design values do not exceed either the 1-hour 35 parts per million (ppm) standard or the 8-hour 9 ppm standard more than once per year. 40 CFR 50.8(a). There have been no violations in Phoenix of the 1-hour CO standard since 1984 and no violations of the 8-hour standard since 1996. 2013 Maintenance Plan, page 1-1. The EPA determined in 2003 that the area had attained the CO NAAQS by the area's December 31, 2000 attainment deadline. 68 FR 55008, September 22, 2003. This determination did not affect the designation of the area as nonattainment or its classification as a serious area.

    On May 30, 2003, the State of Arizona submitted a request to the EPA to redesignate Phoenix from nonattainment to attainment for the CO NAAQS. Along with this request, the State submitted a CAA section 175A(a) maintenance plan which demonstrated that the area would maintain the CO NAAQS for the first 10 years following our approval of the redesignation request (“2003 CO Maintenance Plan”). We approved the State's redesignation request and 10-year maintenance plan on March 9, 2005, effective April 8, 2005. 70 FR 11553. For a detailed history of the CO planning efforts in the area up to 2004, please see the Technical Support Document that accompanied the EPA's proposal to approve the first 10-year maintenance plan for the area. 69 FR 60328, October 8, 2004.

    B. 2013 CO Maintenance Plan

    Eight years after an area is redesignated to attainment, CAA section 175A(b) requires the State to submit a subsequent maintenance plan to the EPA, covering a second 10-year period.1 The second maintenance plan must demonstrate continued compliance with the NAAQS during this second 10-year period. To fulfill this requirement of the CAA, Arizona submitted the second 10-year update of the Phoenix area CO maintenance plan to the EPA on April 2, 2013. The plan was developed by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and is titled “MAG 2013 Carbon Monoxide Maintenance Plan for the Maricopa County Area” (hereinafter, “2013 Maintenance Plan”). MAG is the State's delegated Agency with authority to develop SIPs for Maricopa County. With this action, we are proposing to approve the 2013 Maintenance Plan as a revision to the Arizona SIP.

    1 In this case, the initial maintenance period extended through 2015. Thus, the second 10-year period extends through 2025.

    C. Transportation Conformity

    Section 176(c) of the Act defines conformity as meeting the SIP's purpose of eliminating or reducing the severity and number of violations of the NAAQS and achieving expeditious attainment of such standards. The Act further defines transportation conformity to mean that no Federal transportation activity will: (1) Cause or contribute to any new violation of any standard in any area; (2) increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation of any standard in any area; or (3) delay timely attainment of any standard or any required interim emission reductions or other milestones in any area. The Federal transportation conformity rule, 40 CFR part 93 subpart A, sets forth the criteria and procedures for demonstrating and assuring conformity of transportation plans, programs and projects which are developed, funded or approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and by metropolitan planning organizations or other recipients of Federal funds under Title 23 U.S.C. or the Federal Transit Laws. 49 U.S.C. chapter 53.

    The transportation conformity rule applies within all nonattainment and maintenance areas. As prescribed by the transportation conformity rule, once an area has an applicable SIP with MVEBs, the expected emissions from planned transportation activities must be consistent with such established budgets for that area.

    With this action, the EPA proposes to find adequate and approve a CO transportation conformity MVEB for the year 2025 and beyond.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation of Arizona's Submittal

    The 2013 Maintenance Plan contains the following major sections:

    1. Introduction. This section contains a general discussion of CO plan approvals and the area's redesignation to attainment. 2013 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 1.

    2. Continued Attainment of the Carbon Monoxide NAAQS. This section includes some historical background, a description of the CO monitoring network in Phoenix, monitoring results and the State's demonstration that the area has continued to attain the CO standards, and information regarding the State's monitoring data quality assurance program. 2013 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 2.

    3. Maintenance Plan. This section includes control measures, maintenance demonstration, monitoring network information and verification that the area has continued to attain the CO standards, contingency provisions, a transportation conformity budget and subsequent maintenance plan revisions. 2013 Maintenance Plan, Chapter 3.

    The following is the EPA's evaluation of the ambient air monitoring information and maintenance plan provided in the State's submittal.

    A. Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Data

    The primary NAAQS for CO are: “(1) 9 parts per million (10 milligrams per cubic meter) for an 8-hour average concentration not to be exceeded more than once per year and (2) 35 parts per million (40 milligrams per cubic meter) for a 1-hour average concentration not to be exceeded more than once per year.” 40 CFR 50.8. At the time of submittal of the 2013 Maintenance Plan in March 2013, there had been no violations in Phoenix of the 1-hour carbon monoxide standard since 1984 and no violations of the 8-hour standard since 1996. 2013 Maintenance Plan, page 1-1.

    Table 1—CO Design Values for Phoenix, AZ, Years 2005-2014 Design values (ppm) 2 1-Hour 8-Hour Years 7.0 4.6 2005 6.5 4.6 2006 6.0 4.1 2007 4.5 3.0 2008 4.8 3.3 2009 8.9 3.2 2010 3.9 2.9 2011 4.5 2.5 2012 4.2 2.7 2013 4.9 2.8 2014

    The EPA also examined monitoring data for Phoenix from the entire period covered by the first maintenance plan. Table 1 shows the complete, quality assured and certified ambient air monitoring design values for CO in the area for the years 2005 to 2014. The monitoring data show the area has not violated the CO standards during the first maintenance period. The EPA notes the trend of 8-hour CO design values decreasing during this period, as also described in the 2013 Maintenance Plan for the years 2004 to 2011. 2013 Maintenance Plan, figure 2-2, page 2-8.

    2 Design values were derived from the EPA Air Trends (http://www3.epa.gov/airtrends/values.html) Web site.

    B. Maintenance Plan Control Measures

    The State and MAG commit to continue to implement the nine control measures listed in the 2003 Maintenance Plan, and have implemented a tenth control measure that had been identified in that plan as a contingency measure. 2013 Maintenance Plan, page 3-1. Table 2 lists these control measures. 2013 Maintenance Plan, table 3-1, page 3-2.

    Table 2—Maintenance Measures in the 2013 Maintenance Plan 1. California Phase 2 Reformulated Gasoline with 3.5% Oxygen Content from November 1 through March 31 2. Off-Road Vehicle and Engine Standards 3. Phased-in Emission Test Cutpoints 4. One-Time Waiver from Vehicle Emissions Test 5. Defer Emissions Associated with Government Activities 6. Coordinate Traffic Signal Systems 7. Develop Intelligent Transportation Systems 8. Tougher Enforcement of Vehicle Registration and Emissions Test Compliance 9. Clean Burning Fireplace Ordinances 10. Expansion of Area A Boundaries

    The tenth control measure listed in Table 2 is described in the 2003 Maintenance Plan as a contingency measure. 2003 Maintenance Plan, Exhibit 2, Appendix A, Technical Support Document, Section VII-2-2. The State has implemented the expansion of Area A boundaries and the EPA approved the expansion of Area A boundaries as a revision to the Arizona SIP on May 22, 2013. 78 FR 30209.

    C. Emissions Inventories

    The 2013 Maintenance Plan provides a comparison of actual CO emissions in the Phoenix maintenance area in 2008 with projected emissions in 2025. 2003 Maintenance Plan, page 3-4, table 3-3. These emissions are for an average weekday during the winter season, the months November to January. The 2008 emissions are taken from the latest periodic emissions inventory for the area, the 2008 periodic emissions inventory, which is included in Appendix A, Exhibit 1 of the 2013 Maintenance Plan. Emissions for the year 2025 used growth factors for the area derived from the 2005 special U.S. census conducted in the area and EPA models for estimating onroad emissions and nonroad equipment emissions, as well as the Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System and the Federal Aviation Administration Terminal Area Forecast system database for all airports except Luke Air Force Base (AFB). Emissions of CO from the Luke AFB were derived from two documents: the first, titled “2008 Mobile Source Emissions Inventory for Luke Air Force Base,” prepared by Weston Solutions, Inc. for the Air Education and Training Command, U.S. Air Force, Randolph AFB, Texas, in June 2010; the second document is titled “F-35A Training Basing Environmental Impact Statement, Final Volume 1,” prepared by the U.S. Air Force in 2012.

    Several emissions reductions are credited in the projected emissions for the year 2025. The first two control measures listed in Table 2, California Phase 2 Reformulated Gasoline with 3.5 percent Oxygen Content from November 1 through March 31, and Off-Road Vehicle and Engine Standards, are estimated to produce reductions of CO emissions of 128.9 mtpd and 15 mtpd, respectively. These reductions represent about a 19 percent reduction of emissions by 2025. The State and MAG commit to continued implementation of all other control measures listed in Table 2. However, their collective reduction is expected to be less than one percent of 2025 emissions, and therefore no numeric credit was taken for those measures in the State's projections of CO emissions in 2025.

    Details regarding the technical inputs and assumptions used in preparing the emissions inventories are provided in Chapter II of the technical support document for the 2013 Maintenance plan, in Appendix A, Exhibit 2. The results of MAG's inventory of actual emissions in 2008 and projected emissions in 2025 are provided in Table 3.

    Table 3—Average Weekday Emissions during the Winter Season in the Phoenix CO Maintenance Area, in metric tons per day (mtpd) Source category CO Emissions 2008 2025 Point 0.7 19.8 Area 37.8 47.3 Nonroad 281.5 213.1 Onroad 581.6 359.4 Total 901.6 639.6

    Compared to emissions in 2008, projected emissions in 2025 show a downward trend. Total CO emissions projected in the year 2025, 639.6 mtpd, represent approximately 70 percent of the actual emissions in the year 2008.

    D. Maintenance Demonstration

    The 2013 Maintenance Plan relies on a series of technical analyses to demonstrate maintenance of the CO NAAQS through the year 2025. MAG performed three different modeling analyses to project CO emissions out to the year 2025 and estimate their impact on maximum ambient CO concentration. In addition, MAG conducted two weight-of-evidence evaluations using actual trends in air quality and meteorological data to reinforce the modeling analyses. MAG also developed a modeling protocol to detail the technical approaches and assumptions to be used in demonstrating maintenance of the CO NAAQS. 2013 Maintenance Plan, Appendix A, Exhibit 2, Technical Support Document.

    MAG's first modeling analysis was based on an emissions inventory comparison. MAG developed two sets of CO emissions inventories: one representing the CO modeling domain in 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2025; another representing the maintenance area in 2008 and 2025. The modeling domain covers 792 square miles, including the busiest intersections in the area and the ambient air monitors with the highest readings, while the maintenance area is 1,814 square miles. MAG calculated the ratio of the total emissions expected in 2025 to the total emissions in a prior year (2006 for the modeling domain and 2008 for the maintenance area). MAG then multiplied these ratios by the maximum concentration in the earlier year to yield a predicted 2025 concentration. The maximum 8-hour CO concentration at West Indian School monitor in 2006 was 5.3 ppm. When multiplied by the ratio of 2025 emissions for the maintenance area (403.9 mtpd) divided by 2006 emissions (803.0 mtpd) for the maintenance area, or 0.503, the predicted concentration in 2025 at the West Indian School monitoring site is 2.7 ppm, well below the 9 ppm level of the 8-hour CO NAAQS.

    MAG's second modeling analysis involved updating the modeling of CO concentrations performed in the 2003 Maintenance Plan using the EPA-approved Urban Airshed Model (UAM) and the intersection hotspot model (CAL3QHC). In particular, MAG updated the projections of concentrations for the years 2006 and 2015 in the 2003 Maintenance Plan by adjusting by the ratio of new to old emissions inventory totals and then scaling them for the year 2025. The highest concentrations in 2025 predicted at the two busiest intersections in Phoenix (at the Phoenix Grand Avenue and West Indian School monitors) using these models was 4.0 ppm, less than half of the level of the 8-hour standard.

    MAG's third modeling approach in the 2013 Maintenance Plan was an intersection hotspot analysis. The three intersections projected to have the highest traffic volumes and the three intersections projected to have the worst traffic congestion were identified using the MAG TransCAD traffic assignment for the year 2025. MAG used CAL3QHC to determine the maximum 8-hour concentration at these intersections in 2025, then added the expected background concentration, 1.3 ppm CO. The highest CO concentration expected in 2025 was 1.7 ppm at two intersections, 16th Street and Camelback Road, and Priest Drive and Southern Avenue. This level is also well below the 8-hour CO NAAQS.

    In addition to the above three modeling exercises, MAG conducted two weight-of-evidence evaluations to support the maintenance demonstration. In one, historical trends of 1-hour and 8-hour monitored CO concentrations were applied to a regression analysis to project concentrations in 2015 and 2025. The monitoring data used was from the period 1980 to 2011. Projecting forward the trend lines using regression analysis for each monitoring site, the West Phoenix site has the highest projected 8-hour CO concentration, 2.7 ppm in 2015 and 1.6 ppm in 2025.

    In a second weight-of-evidence evaluation, MAG conducted a meteorological analysis to assess whether unusually favorable meteorology played a role in continued maintenance of the CO standard. In particular, MAG assessed long-term values of key meteorological parameters, including temperature, wind speed, wind direction, atmospheric stability and mixing height and compared these values to CO monitored concentration trends during the same period. Four meteorological analyses were performed, comparing later meteorological data to the data from the 1994 episode used in the evaluation, when there was an exceedance of the 8-hour CO standard, with the following results: (1) The maximum 8-hour CO concentrations have continued to decline, while meteorological conditions have not differed significantly from the 1994 episode; (2) 8-hour CO concentrations declined while daily variations in wind speeds, temperatures and mixing heights have not varied significantly over time; (3) 1-hour CO concentrations have continued to decrease over time regardless of meteorological conditions; and (4) daily maximum 8-hour CO concentrations below the CO NAAQS were predominant during the period 1997 through 2011 under the same range of wind speeds and mixing heights.

    The EPA finds that the three modeling exercises and two weight-of-evidence evaluations provide compelling evidence that the Phoenix area will continue to maintain the CO NAAQS.

    E. Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network

    The Phoenix area has maintained an ambient air quality monitoring network consisting of twelve State and Local Air Monitoring Stations (SLAMS). Of these twelve monitoring stations, 11 are operated by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and one monitor is operated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). These agencies provide the EPA with Annual Monitoring Network Plans (commonly known as Annual Network Plans or ANPs) for the area, and have committed to continue to operate an appropriate air quality monitoring network in accordance with appendix D of 40 CFR part 58. 2013 Maintenance Plan, page 3-17.

    The EPA approved the area's ANPs, which describe the monitoring network for the area and any changes anticipated for the following year. The most recent ANP from the MCAQD was the “MCAQD 2013 Final Air Monitoring Network Review,” dated December 5, 2014. The most recent ANP from ADEQ was the “State of Arizona Air Monitoring Network Plan for the Year 2014,” dated July 1, 2014. The 2014 MCAQD ANP was approved by the EPA on March 31, 2015. Letter from Meredith Kurpius, Manager, Air Quality Analysis Office, to William Wiley, Director, MCAQD, dated March 31, 2015. The 2014 ADEQ ANP was approved by the EPA on October 30, 2014. Letter from Meredith Kurpius, Manager, Air Quality Analysis Office, to Eric Massey, Director, Air Quality Division, ADEQ, dated October 30, 2014.

    The EPA performs Technical Systems Audits (TSA) of ambient air monitoring programs in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, section 2.5, which requires that the EPA conduct TSAs of primary quality assurance organizations every three years. The most recent TSA for the MCAQD was conducted by the EPA on September 25 to September 27, 2013. The EPA's findings from this TSA are presented in a final report. There were no findings that were cause for data invalidation. Letter from Deborah Jordan, Director, U.S. EPA Region 9 Air Division, to Phil McNeely, Director, Maricopa County Air Quality Department, dated December 12, 2014, transmitting “Technical System Audit, Maricopa County Air Quality Department, Ambient Air Monitoring Program, September 25-September 27, 2013,” dated December 2014.

    The most recent TSA for ADEQ was conducted by the EPA on April 9 to April 13, 2012. The EPA's findings from this TSA are presented in a final report. There were no findings that were cause for data invalidation. Letter from Deborah Jordan, Director, U.S. EPA Region 9 Air Division, to Eric Massey, Director, ADEQ Air Division, dated January 18, 2013, transmitting “Technical System Audit, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Ambient Air Monitoring Program, April 9-April 13, 2012,” dated January 2013.

    The EPA is confident that the area's air quality monitoring network is being implemented in accordance with requirements in the CAA and implementing regulations in 40 CFR part 58.

    F. Contingency Plan

    Section 175A(d) of the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include contingency provisions to promptly correct any violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation of an area. A maintenance plan's contingency measures are not required to be fully adopted. However, the plan should contain clearly identified contingency measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation, and a specific time limit for action by the State. In addition, specific indicators should be identified which will be used to determine when the contingency measures need to be implemented. EPA memorandum, “Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment,” September 4, 1992.

    Two contingency measures that were included in the 2003 Maintenance Plan are included in the 2013 Maintenance Plan: Gross Polluter Option for I/M Program Waivers, and Increased Waiver Repair Limit Options. These contingency measures have already been implemented in the area. A third contingency measure has been added to the 2013 Maintenance Plan: Reinstatement of the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance (VEI) Program for Motorcycles. The VEI program for motorcycles was a control measure in the area prior to redesignation to attainment, but the State subsequently exempted motorcycles from the VEI program. Pursuant to section CAA section 175A(d) of the CAA, the contingency provisions of a maintenance plan must include all the control measures that were included in the SIP for the area before redesignation. Therefore, the State is required to include the VEI program for motorcycles as a contingency measure in the 2013 CO Maintenance Plan. ADEQ has fulfilled this requirement by submitting a SIP revision committing to request Legislative action to reinstate emissions testing for motorcycles in the Phoenix area should the area experience a violation of the CO standards. See 78 FR 30209, May 22, 2013. In addition, as noted above, the State has expanded Area A in Maricopa County, which extends additional controls beyond the previous boundary for Area A, converting this expansion from a contingency measure in the 2003 Maintenance Plan, to a control measure in the 2013 Maintenance Plan.

    We propose to find that the contingency plan in the 2013 Maintenance Plan is sufficient to meet the requirements of section 175A(d) of the CAA.

    G. Transportation Conformity

    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the CAA. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS (CAA section 176(c)(1)(B)). The EPA's conformity rule at 40 CFR part 93, subpart A requires that transportation plans, programs and projects conform to SIPs and establish the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they conform. To effectuate its purpose, the conformity rule generally requires a demonstration that emissions from the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are consistent with MVEBs contained in the control strategy SIP revision or maintenance plan (40 CFR 93.101, 93.118, and 93.124). An MVEB is defined as the level of mobile source emissions of a pollutant relied upon in the attainment or maintenance demonstration to attain or maintain compliance with the NAAQS in the nonattainment or maintenance area.3 The EPA's process for determining adequacy of a MVEB consists of three basic steps: (1) Notifying the public of a SIP submission; (2) providing the public the opportunity to comment on the MVEB during a public comment period; and, (3) making a finding of adequacy or inadequacy. See 40 CR 93.118(f). The 2003 Maintenance Plan established CO MVEBs (calculated for Friday in December) of 699.7 mtpd in 2006 and 662.9 mtpd in 2015. The EPA found the CO MVEBs adequate for transportation conformity purposes on September 29, 2003, 68 FR 55950, and approved the MVEBs on March 9, 2005, 70 FR 11553.

    3 Further information concerning the EPA's interpretations regarding MVEBs can be found in the preamble to the EPA's November 24, 1993, transportation conformity rule (see 58 FR 62193-62196).

    The 2013 Maintenance Plan establishes a 2025 MVEB of 559.4 mtpd for the CO maintenance area. We are not announcing the availability of this MVEB through the EPA's Adequacy Web site and providing a separate comment period on the adequacy of the MVEB. Instead, we are reviewing the adequacy of the MVEB simultaneously with our review of the 2013 Maintenance Plan itself. See 40 CFR 93.118(f)(2). In order to determine whether this MVEB is adequate and approvable, we have evaluated whether the MVEB meets the conformity adequacy provisions of 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5). The details of the EPA's evaluation of the MVEB for compliance with the budget adequacy criteria of 40 CFR 93.118(e) are provided in a memo to file for this proposed rulemaking. Memo from John J. Kelly, Air Planning Office, EPA Region 9, to Docket EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0645, dated September 29, 2015. Based on this evaluation, we propose to find the 2025 MVEB adequate and to approve it. Any and all comments on the adequacy and approvability of the 2025 MVEB should be submitted during the comment period stated in the DATES section of this document.

    If today's proposed action is finalized, the 2015 MVEB, which is already approved for 2015 and later years, would apply only up to the year 2024. For the year 2025 and later years, the budget will be 559.4 mtpd. See Table 4.

    Table 4—Approved and Proposed Transportation Conformity Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for the Phoenix CO Maintenance Area, in metric tons per day (mtpd) Year Approved 2006 Approved 2015 Proposed 2025 CO MVEB 699.7 662.9 559.4 III. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve the 2013 Maintenance Plan submitted on April 3, 2012. This maintenance plan meets the applicable CAA requirements and the EPA has determined it is sufficient to provide for maintenance of the CO NAAQS over the course of the second 10-year maintenance period out to 2025.

    The EPA is also proposing to find adequate and approve the CO MVEB of 559.4 mtpd for use in the year 2025 and later years.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 30, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region 9.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26405 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150826781-5781-01] RIN 0648-BF33 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2016 Red Snapper Commercial Quota Retention AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would withhold 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota prior to the annual distribution of red snapper allocation to red snapper Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ) shareholders on January 1, 2016. The purpose of this proposed rule is to allow the allocations being established through Amendment 28 to the FMP (Amendment 28) to be effective for the 2016 fishing year.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by November 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2015-0121” by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0121, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Richard Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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

    Electronic copies of the framework action, which includes an environmental assessment, a regulatory impact review, and a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) analysis, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Malinowski, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf reef fish fishery is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to achieve on a continuing basis the optimum yield from federally managed fish stocks. This mandate is intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems.

    In recent years, the Council has expressed its intent to evaluate and possibly adjust the allocation of reef fish resources between the commercial and recreational sectors. At its August 2015 meeting, the Council approved Amendment 28 for submission to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review and implementation. Amendment 28 would reallocate 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, 317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight of red snapper from the commercial sector to the recreational sector. This is equal to 4.9 percent of the current red snapper commercial quota.

    This proposed rule would allow for the implementation of Amendment 28 in early 2016. While the recreational fishing season does not open until June 1 each year, NMFS distributes IFQ allocation to the shareholders on January 1 each year. After NMFS distributes the red snapper commercial quota to shareholders, it cannot be effectively recalled. If Amendment 28 is approved, it is unlikely that NMFS would be able to implement the reallocation until after the IFQ program's annual distribution of red snapper quota to the commercial sector on January 1, 2016. Therefore, without the management measures in this proposed rule, the reallocation could not occur until 2017.

    Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would withhold distribution of 4.9 percent of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota (352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight; 317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight) when allocation to the red snapper IFQ shareholders is released on January 1, 2016. If NMFS does not implement Amendment 28, NMFS would distribute the withheld 4.9 percent of the 2016 IFQ allocation of red snapper to shareholders based on the shares held as of the date of distribution.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the framework amendment, the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows:

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to withhold 4.9 percent of the Gulf commercial red snapper quota (352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight; 317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight) to ensure that the allocations established through Amendment 28, and scheduled to be implemented in 2016, if approved by the Secretary, are effective for the 2016 fishing year. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this proposed rule.

    NMFS expects this proposed rule, if implemented, to directly affect commercial vessels that harvest red snapper in the Gulf. Based on commercial logbook data, over the period of 2009-2013, an average of 353 vessels per year recorded commercial red snapper harvests. The maximum number of vessels with recorded commercial red snapper harvests during this period was 375 in 2010. However, in 2010, 384 vessels were identified in the red snapper IFQ on-line account program, which tracks activity in the Red Snapper Limited Access Privilege Program. This system, however, is not the official record for trip harvests of all species by vessels with commercial harvests of red snapper, nor does it capture all landings, or associated revenues, from all species harvested on all trips by vessels that also harvest red snapper. Therefore, data from both sources are used for this analysis to estimate the number of potentially affected entities. As a result, this proposed rule would be expected to apply to 353-384 commercial fishing vessels. The average annual gross revenue from all species harvested on all trips by the vessels identified with recorded red snapper harvests in logbook data over the period 2009-2013 (353 vessels) was approximately $110,000 (2013 dollars).

    NMFS has not identified any other entities that would be expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule.

    The Small Business Administration has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including fish harvesters. A business involved in fish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. All commercial fishing vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are determined to be small business entities.

    This proposed rule would withhold from distribution 4.9 percent or 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight; 317,117 lb (143,842 kg), gutted weight, of the 2016 Gulf red snapper commercial quota, valued at approximately $1.46 million ($4.75 median ex-vessel price per lb gutted weight, minus the 3-percent IFQ program cost recovery fee, all vessels; 2013 dollars). This is equivalent to the amount of red snapper quota proposed to be reallocated from the commercial sector to the recreational sector in proposed Amendment 28. Across all vessels (353-384 vessels), this amount of quota would be equivalent to an average of approximately 826-898 lb (375-407 kg), gutted weight, of red snapper per vessel, valued at approximately $3,800-$4,100. Thus, the proposed quota withholding in this framework action would result in a reduction in ex-vessel revenue in 2016 to the entities in this fishery; however, this reduction is consistent with the analysis and expected economic effects of Amendment 28, which projects a reduction in red snapper commercial quota, and associated economic benefits to commercial fishermen, beginning in 2016. The reallocation would, however, be expected to result in an increase in economic benefits to the recreational sector. If approved by the Secretary, final rulemaking to implement the allocation change proposed by Amendment 28 cannot occur until after January 1, 2016, whereas distribution of the commercial quota to IFQ shareholders occurs at the start of each fishing year to allow vessels to begin harvesting red snapper on January 1. After the annual red snapper quota is distributed to shareholders, it cannot be effectively recalled. Thus, to ensure the effects of Amendment 28 are realized in 2016, NMFS is withholding from distribution the commensurate amount of quota equivalent to the amount reallocated in Amendment 28 for the 2016 fishing season. If NMFS implements the proposed rulemaking and the reallocation in Amendment 28, then the effects of the reduced commercial quota, including this proposed withholding, will be attributable to and analyzed with Amendment 28's rulemaking. If NMFS does not implement the proposed reallocation in Amendment 28, then the portion of the quota withheld through this framework action will be distributed as soon as possible to the appropriate shareholders. Because this allocation would be available later in the fishing year, a reduction in normal total revenue (disruption of the timing of harvest may reduce the price and total revenue received), alteration of the flow of receipts, and disruption of normal business operation may occur. However, these effects would be expected to be minor because only a small portion of the available quota (4.9 percent) would be affected for only a portion of the year.

    Based on the discussion above, NMFS determines that this proposed rule, if implemented, would not have a significant adverse economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Recreational, Red snapper, Reef fish.

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

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.39, add paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(B) (1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 622.39 Quotas.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (1) NMFS will withhold distribution of 4.9 percent of the 2016 IFQ allocation of red snapper commercial quota on January 1, 2016, totaling 352,000 lb (159,665 kg), round weight, of the 2016 red snapper commercial quota specified in § 622.39(a)(1)(i)(B).

    (2) As determined by NMFS, remaining 2016 IFQ allocation of red snapper will be distributed to the current shareholders based on their current shares held as of the date of distribution.

    [FR Doc. 2015-26471 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 201 Monday, October 19, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 13, 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.

    Food Safety and Inspection Service

    Title: Petitions for Rulemaking.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0136.

    Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Egg Product Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. The Administrative Procedures Act requires that Federal agencies give interested persons the right to petition for issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule (5 U.S.C. 553 (e)).

    Need and Use of the Information: FSIS will use the information associated with petitions to assess the merits of the petition and to determine whether to issue, amend, or repeal its regulations. FSIS will use the information provided to assess the merits of the petition.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 400.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26420 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0038] Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection (Laboratories) AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to renew the approved information collection on two laboratory programs. FSIS is requesting a reduction in the estimated burden associated with these two programs from 24 hours to 13 hours based on historical use of certain forms to collect the information on the laboratories in the programs. The current approval for this information collection will expire on December 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

    Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163A, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2015-0038. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250; (202) 720-5627.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Laboratories.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0158.

    Type of Request: Renewal of an approved information collection.

    Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled. FSIS is requesting renewal of the approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements regarding two different forms to collect information for two laboratory programs. FSIS is requesting a reduction in the estimated burden from 24 hours to 13 hours based on historical use of the forms described below to collect the information on the laboratories in the programs. FSIS uses the PEPRL-F-0008.04 form as a self-assessment audit checklist to collect information related to the quality assurance/quality control procedures in place at in-plant and private laboratories participating in the Pasteurized Egg Product Recognized Laboratory (PEPRLab) program (9 CFR 590.580). FSIS uses the data collected in the desk audit of existing labs or the appraisal of a new applicant.

    Any non-Federal laboratory that is applying for the FSIS Accredited Laboratory program needs to complete an Application for FSIS Accredited Laboratory Program form (9 CFR 439). State or private laboratories need only submit the application once for entry into the program. FSIS uses the information collected by the form to help access the laboratory applying for admission to the FSIS Accredited Laboratory program.

    FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment.

    Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 0.96 hours per year to complete a laboratory form.

    Respondents: Laboratories.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 13.

    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 13 hours. Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence SW., Room 6077, South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (202)690-6510.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

    Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442,

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC on: October 13, 2015. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26428 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notice in the Rocky Mountain Region, Which Includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Parts of South Dakota and Wyoming AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice lists the newspapers that Ranger Districts, Forests, and the Regional Office of the Rocky Mountain Region will use to publish legal notices required under 36 CFR part 218 and 219. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers will be used to publish legal notices for opportunities to comment or file an administrative review on USDA Forest Service proposals.

    DATES:

    Publication of legal notices in the listed newspapers will begin on the date of this publication and continue until further notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region; ATTN: Regional Administrative Review Coordinator; 740 Simms Street, Golden, Colorado, 80401

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Miller, Regional Administrative Review Coordinator, 303 275-5373.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The administrative review procedures at 36 CFR 218 and 219 require the Forest Service to publish notices in a newspaper of general circulation. The content of the notices is specified in 36 CFR 218 and 219. In general, the notices will identify: The decision or project, by title or subject matter; the name and title of the official making the decision; how to obtain additional information; and where and how to file comments or requests for administrative review. The date the notice is published will be used to establish the official date for the beginning of the comment or filing period. The newspapers to be used are as follows:

    Rocky Mountian Regional Office

    Regional Forester decisions affecting National Forest System lands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and those portions of South Dakota and Wyoming within the Rocky Mountain Region: The Denver Post, published daily in Denver, Colorado.

    Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Coloradoan, published daily in Fort Collins, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Canyon Lakes District: Coloradoan, published daily in Fort Collins, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Pawnee District: Greeley Tribune, published daily in Greeley, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Boulder District: Daily Camera, published daily in Boulder, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Clear Creek District: Clear Creek Courant, published weekly in Idaho Springs, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Sulphur District: Middle Park Times, published weekly in Granby, Colorado.

    Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Casper Star-Tribune, published daily in Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions: Casper Star-Tribune, published daily in Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming.

    Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota and Eastern Wyoming

    Forest Supervisor decisions: The Rapid City Journal, published daily in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota.

    District Ranger decision: The Rapid City Journal, published daily in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota.

    Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, Colorado

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, published daily in Grand Junction, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Grand Valley District: Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, published daily in Grand Junction, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Paonia District: Delta County Independent, published weekly in Delta, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Gunnison Districts: Gunnison Country Times, published weekly in Gunnison, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Norwood District: Telluride Daily Planet, published daily in Telluride, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Ouray District: Montrose Daily Press, published daily in Montrose, Colorado.

    Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Colorado and Wyoming

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Laramie Daily Boomerang, published daily in Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Laramie District: Laramie Daily Boomerang, published daily in Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Douglas District: Casper Star-Tribune, published daily in Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Brush Creek-Hayden District: Rawlins Daily Times, published daily in Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Hahns Peak-Bears Ears District: Steamboat Pilot, published weekly in Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Yampa District: Steamboat Pilot, published weekly in Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Parks District: Jackson County Star, published weekly in Walden, Jackson County, Colorado.

    Nebraska National Forest, Nebraska and South Dakota

    Forest Supervisor decisions: The Rapid City Journal, published daily in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota.

    District Ranger decisions for Bessey District/Charles E. Bessey Tree Nursery: The North Platte Telegraph, published daily in North Platte, Lincoln County, Nebraska.

    District Ranger decisions for Pine Ridge District: The Rapid City Journal, published daily in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota.

    District Ranger decisions for Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest: The North Platte Telegraph, published daily in North Platte, Lincoln County, Nebraska.

    District Ranger decisions for Fall River and Wall Districts, Buffalo Gap National Grassland: The Rapid City Journal, published daily in Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota.

    District Ranger decisions for Fort Pierre National Grassland: The Capital Journal, published Monday through Friday in Pierre, Hughes County, South Dakota.

    Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, Colorado and Kansas

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Pueblo Chieftain, published daily in Pueblo, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for San Carlos District: Pueblo Chieftain, published daily in Pueblo, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Comanche District-Carrizo Unit: Plainsman Herald, published weekly in Springfield, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Comanche District-Timpas Unit: Tribune Democrat, published daily in La Junta, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Cimarron District: The Elkhart Tri-State News, published weekly in Elkhart, Kansas.

    District Ranger decisions for South Platte District: Douglas County News Press, published weekly in Castle Rock, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Leadville District: Herald Democrat, published weekly in Leadville, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Salida District: The Mountain Mail, published daily in Salida, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for South Park District: Fairplay Flume, published weekly in Bailey, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Pikes Peak District: The Gazette, published daily in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Valley Courier, published Tuesday through Saturday in Alamosa, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for all Districts: Valley Courier, published, published Tuesday through Saturday in Alamosa, Colorado.

    San Juan National Forest, Colorado

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Durango Herald, published daily in Durango, La Plata County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Columbine and Pagosa Districts: Durango Herald, published daily in Durango, La Plata County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Dolores District: Cortez Journal, published two times per week in Cortez, Montezuma County, Colorado.

    Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming

    Forest Supervisor decisions: Cody Enterprise, published twice weekly in Cody, Park County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Clarks Fork District: Powell Tribune, published twice weekly in Powell, Park County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Wapiti and Greybull Districts: Cody Enterprise, published twice weekly in Cody, Park County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Wind River District: The Dubois Frontier, published weekly in Dubois, Fremont County, Wyoming.

    District Ranger decisions for Washakie District: Lander Journal, published twice weekly in Lander, Fremont County, Wyoming.

    White River National Forest, Colorado

    Forest Supervisor decisions: The Glenwood Springs Post Independent, published daily in Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Aspen-Sopris District: Aspen Times, published daily in Aspen, Pitkin County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Blanco District: Rio Blanco Herald Times, published weekly in Meeker, Rio Blanco County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Dillon District: Summit Daily, published daily in Frisco, Summit County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Eagle-Holy Cross District: Vail Daily, published daily in Vail, Eagle County, Colorado.

    District Ranger decisions for Rifle District: Citizen Telegram, published weekly in Rifle, Garfield County, Colorado.

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Jacqueline Buchanan, Deputy Regional Forester, Rocky Mountain Region.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26415 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD Meetings AGENCY:

    Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) plans to hold its regular committee and Board meetings in Washington, DC, Monday and Tuesday, November 9-10, 2015 at the times and location listed below.

    DATES:

    The schedule of events is as follows:

    Monday, November 9, 2015 1:30-2:30 p.m. Ad Hoc Committee on Frontier Issues 2:30-3:00 Ad Hoc Committee on Design Guidance 3:00-4:30 Technical Programs Committee Tuesday, November 10, 2015 10:30-11:00 a.m. Ad Hoc Committee Meetings: Closed 11:00-11:30 Planning and Evaluation Committee 11:30-Noon Budget Committee 1:30-3:00 Board Meeting ADDRESSES:

    Meetings will be held at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information regarding the meetings, please contact David Capozzi, Executive Director, (202) 272-0010 (voice); (202) 272-0054 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    At the Board meeting scheduled on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10, 2015, the Access Board will consider the following agenda items:

    • Approval of the draft September 10, 2015 meeting minutes (vote)

    • Ad Hoc Committee Reports: Frontier Issues; Design Guidance; Information and Communications Technologies; and, Public Rights-of-Way and Shared Use Paths

    • Budget Committee

    • Technical Programs Committee

    • Planning and Evaluation Committee

    • Election Assistance Commission Report

    • Executive Director's Report

    • Public Comment (final 15 minutes of the meeting)

    Members of the public can provide comments either in-person or over the telephone during the final 15 minutes of the Board meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. Any individual interested in providing comment is asked to pre-register by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Access Board meeting—Public Comment” with your name, organization, state, and topic of comment included in the body of your email. All emails to register for public comment must be received by Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Commenters will be called on in the order by which they pre-registered. Due to time constraints, each commenter is limited to two minutes. Commenters on the telephone will be in a listen-only capacity until they are called on. Use the following call-in number: (877) 701-1628; passcode: 41662680 and dial in 5 minutes before the meeting begins at 1:30 p.m.

    All meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. An assistive listening system, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), and sign language interpreters will be available at the Board meeting and committee meetings.

    Persons attending Board meetings are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of other participants (see www.access-board.gov/the-board/policies/fragrance-free-environment for more information).

    You may view the Tuesday, November 10, 2015 meeting through a live captioned webcast from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at: http://www.access-board.gov/webcast.

    David M. Capozzi, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26430 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8150-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-937] Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From the People's Republic of China: 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 citric acid and certain citrate salts (“citric acid”) from the People's Republic of China (“the PRC”) for the period of review May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maisha Cryor, 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) 482-5831.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 1, 2015, the Department published the notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the order on citric acid from the PRC for the period of review May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.1 On May 28, 2015, Laiwu Taihe Biochemistry Co., Ltd. (“Taihe”) requested that the Department conduct an administrative review of its period of review (“POR”) sales.2 On May 29, 2015, RZBC Co., Ltd., RZBC Import & Export Co., Ltd., and RZBC (Juxian) Co., Ltd. (collectively, “RZBC”) requested an administrative review of its POR sales.3 On June 1, 2015, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Incorporated, and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC (“Petitioners”) requested an administrative review of the POR sales of Taihe and RZBC.4 RZBC withdrew its request for an administrative review on July 2, 2015.5 Taihe withdrew its request for an administrative review on July 31, 2015.6 Petitioners withdrew their request for an administrative review on July 31, 2015.7

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 37588, 37593 (July 1, 2015).

    2See Letter from Taihe to the Department, dated May 28, 2015.

    3See Letter from RZBC to the Department, dated May 29, 2015.

    4See Letter from Petitioners to the Department, dated June 1, 2015.

    5See Letter from RZBC, dated July 2, 2015.

    6See Letter from Taihe, dated July 31, 2015.

    7See Letter from Petitioners, dated July 31, 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, all parties withdrew their requests for administrative reviews 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 antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of citric acid from the PRC. Antidumping duties shall be assessed 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 date of publication of this notice of rescission of administrative review.

    Notifications

    This notice also 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 presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double 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 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 9, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26487 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 84-26A12] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of Application for an Amended Export Trade Certificate of Review by Northwest Fruit Exporters, Application No. 84-26A12.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA), has received an application for an amended Export Trade Certificate of Review (“Certificate”) from Northwest Fruit Exporters. This notice summarizes the proposed amendment and seeks public comments on whether the amended Certificate should be issued.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, by telephone at (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. Sections 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. The regulations implementing Title III are found at 15 CFR part 325 (2015). OTEA is issuing this notice pursuant to 15 CFR 325.6(a), which requires the Secretary of Commerce to publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the applicant and summarizing the conduct for which certification is sought. Under 15 CFR 325.6(a), interested parties may, within twenty days after the date of this notice, submit written comments to the Secretary on the application.

    Request for Public Comments: Interested parties may submit written comments relevant to the determination whether an amended Certificate should be issued. If the comments include any privileged or confidential business information, it must be clearly marked and a nonconfidential version of the comments (identified as such) should be included. Any comments not marked as privileged or confidential business information will be deemed to be nonconfidential.

    An original and five (5) copies, plus two (2) copies of the nonconfidential version, should be submitted no later than 20 days after the date of this notice to: Export Trading Company Affairs, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21028, Washington, DC 20230.

    Information submitted by any person is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). However, nonconfidential versions of the comments will be made available to the applicant if necessary for determining whether or not to issue the amended Certificate. Comments should refer to this application as “Export Trade Certificate of Review, application number 84-26A12.”

    Description of Amendments to the Certificate

    1. Under the heading Products, add “fresh pears.”

    2. Under the heading Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation, add “fresh pears” to the subtitles of sections 1 and 3.

    3. Add coverage for Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation relating to “fresh pears” for the following existing Members of the Certificate (within the meaning of section 325.2(l) of the regulations (15 CFR 325.2(l)):

    Apple House Warehouse & Storage, Inc. Blue Bird, Inc. Blue Star Growers, Inc. Borton & Sons, Inc. Chelan Fruit Cooperative Congdon Packing Co. L.L.C. Conrad & Adams Fruit L.L.C. Crane & Crane, Inc. Diamond Fruit Growers Inc. Gold Digger Apples, Inc. Hansen Fruit & Cold Storage Co., Inc. Highland Fruit Growers, Inc. HoneyBear Growers, LLC Matson Fruit Company McDougall & Sons, Inc. Stadelman Fruit, L.L.C. Stemilt Growers, LLC Strand Apples, Inc. The Dalles Fruit Company, LLC/Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Co. Valley Fruit III L.L.C.

    4. Add the following new Members of the Certificate (within the meaning of section 325.2(l) of the regulations (15 CFR 325.2(l)), for Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation relating to “fresh pears”:

    Duckwall Fruit Naumes, Inc. Peshastin Hi-Up Growers

    5. Add the following new Members of the Certificate for Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation relating to apples:

    Piepel Premium Fruit Packing LLC Ron LeFore, d/b/a Ron LeFore Apple Farms Western Traders LLC

    6. Remove the following companies as Members of the Certificate: Blue Mountain Growers, Inc. (Milton-Freewater, OR), and Obert Cold Storage (Zillah, WA); and

    7. Change the name of the following existing Members: The Apple House, Inc. (Brewster, WA) is now Apple House Warehouse & Storage, Inc. (Brewster, WA); C&M Fruit Packers (Yakima, WA) is now Columbia Fruit Packers/Airport Division (Yakima, WA); Domex Marketing (Yakima, WA) is now Domex Superfresh Growers LLC (Yakima, WA); Stemilt Growers Inc. is now Stemilt Growers, LLC; and The Dalles Fruit Company, LLC is now The Dalles Fruit Company, LLC Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Co. (Dallesport, WA).

    NWF's Export Trade Certificate of Review complete amended membership is listed below:

    1. Allan Bros., Naches, WA 2. AltaFresh L.L.C. dba Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, WA 3. Apple House Warehouse & Storage, Inc., Brewster, WA 4. Apple King, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 5. Auvil Fruit Co., Inc., Orondo, WA 6. Baker Produce, Inc., Kennewick, WA 7. Blue Bird, Inc., Peshastin, WA 8. Blue Star Growers, Inc., Cashmere, WA 9. Borton & Sons, Inc., Yakima, WA 10. Brewster Heights Packing & Orchards, LP, Brewster, WA 11. Broetje Orchards LLC, Prescott, WA 12. C.M. Holtzinger Fruit Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 13. Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Chelan, WA 14. Chiawana, Inc. dba Columbia Reach Pack, Yakima, WA 15. Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 16. Columbia Fruit Packers/Airport Division, Yakima, WA 17. Columbia Marketing International Corp., Wenatchee, WA 18. Columbia Valley Fruit, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 19. Congdon Packing Co. L.L.C., Yakima, WA 20. Conrad & Adams Fruit L.L.C., Grandview, WA 21. Cowiche Growers, Inc., Cowiche, WA 22. CPC International Apple Company, Tieton, WA 23. Crane & Crane, Inc., Brewster, WA 24. Custom Apple Packers, Inc., Brewster, Quincy, and Wenatchee, WA 25. Diamond Fruit Growers, Odell, OR 26. Domex Superfresh Growers LLC, Yakima, WA 27. Douglas Fruit Company, Inc., Pasco, WA 28. Dovex Export Company, Wenatchee, WA 29. E. Brown & Sons, Inc., Milton-Freewater, OR 30. Evans Fruit Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 31. E.W. Brandt & Sons, Inc., Parker, WA 32. Frosty Packing Co., LLC, Yakima, WA 33. G&G Orchards, Inc., Yakima, WA 34. Garrett Ranches Packing, Wilder, ID 35. Gilbert Orchards, Inc., Yakima, WA 36. Gold Digger Apples, Inc., Oroville, WA 37. Hansen Fruit & Cold Storage Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 38. Henggeler Packing Co., Inc., Fruitland, ID 39. Highland Fruit Growers, Inc., Yakima, WA 40. HoneyBear Growers, Inc., (Brewster, WA) 41. Honey Bear Tree Fruit Co., LLC, Wenatchee, WA 42. Hood River Cherry Company, Hood River, OR 43. Ice Lakes LLC, E. Wenatchee, WA 44. JackAss Mt. Ranch, Pasco, WA 45. Jenks Bros Cold Storage Packing (Royal City, WA) 46. Kershaw Fruit & Cold Storage, Co., Yakima, WA 47. L&M Companies, Selah, WA 48. Larson Fruit Co., Selah, WA 49. Manson Growers Cooperative, Manson, WA 50. Matson Fruit Company, Selah, WA 51. McDougall & Sons, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 52. Monson Fruit Co.—Apple operations only, Selah, WA 53. Morgan's of Washington dba Double Diamond Fruit, Quincy, WA 54. Northern Fruit Company, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 55. Olympic Fruit Co., Moxee, WA 56. Oneonta Trading Corp., Wenatchee, WA 57. Orchard View Farms, Inc., The Dalles, OR 58. Pacific Coast Cherry Packers, LLC, Yakima, WA 59. Phillippi Fruit Company, Inc., Wenatchee, WA 60. Polehn Farm's Inc., The Dalles, OR 61. Price Cold Storage & Packing Co., Inc., Yakima, WA 62. Pride Packing Company, Wapato, WA 63. Quincy Fresh Fruit Co., Quincy, WA 64. Rainier Fruit Company, Selah, WA 65. Roche Fruit, Ltd., Yakima, WA 66. Sage Fruit Company, L.L.C., Yakima, WA 67. Smith & Nelson, Inc., Tonasket, WA 68. Stadelman Fruit, L.L.C., Milton-Freewater, OR, and Zillah, WA 69. Stemilt Growers, LLC, Wenatchee, WA 70. Strand Apples, Inc., Cowiche, WA 71. Symms Fruit Ranch, Inc., Caldwell, ID 72. The Dalles Fruit Company, LLC Underwood Fruit & Warehouse Co., Dallesport, WA 73. Valicoff Fruit Co., Inc., Wapato, WA 74. Valley Fruit III L.L.C., Wapato, WA 75. Washington Cherry Growers, Peshastin, WA 76. Washington Fruit & Produce Co., Yakima, WA 77. Western Sweet Cherry Group, LLC, Yakima, WA 78. Whitby Farms, Inc. dba: Farm Boy Fruit Snacks LLC, Mesa, WA 79. Yakima Fresh, Yakima, WA 80. Yakima Fruit & Cold Storage Co., Yakima, WA 81. Zirkle Fruit Company, Selah, WA Dated: October 13, 2015. Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26419 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 141021884-5743-02] Announcing the Withdrawal of Six (6) Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the withdrawal of six Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS): FIPS 181, FIPS 185, FIPS 188, FIPS 190, FIPS 191 and FIPS 196.

    These FIPS are obsolete and are being withdrawn because they have not been updated to reference current or revised voluntary industry standards, federal specifications, or federal data standards. Federal agencies are responsible for using current voluntary industry standards and current federal specifications and data standards in their acquisition and management activities.

    DATES:

    The withdrawal of FIPS 181, FIPS 185, FIPS 188, FIPS 190, FIPS 191 and FIPS 196 is effective on October 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Diane Honeycutt, telephone (301) 975-8443, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930 or via email at [email protected]

    Authority:

    Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS PUBS) are issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology after approval by the Secretary of Commerce, pursuant to Section 5131 of the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-106), and the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-347).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (Division E of Pub. L. 104-106) and Executive Order 13011 emphasize agency management of information technology and Government-wide interagency support activities to improve productivity, security, interoperability, and coordination of Government resources. Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113), Federal agencies and departments are directed to use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments. Voluntary industry standards are the preferred source of standards to be used by the Federal government. The use of voluntary industry standards eliminates the cost to the government of developing its own standards, and furthers the policy of reliance upon the private sector to supply goods and services to the government.

    A notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 2398) on January 16, 2015, announcing the proposed withdrawal of FIPS 181, FIPS 185, FIPS 188, FIPS 190, FIPS 191 and FIPS 196. The Federal Register notice solicited comments from the public, users, the information technology industry, and Federal, State, and local government organizations concerning the withdrawal of the FIPS.

    Comments were received from one commenter: an industry organization. These comments are posted at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsFIPS.html.

    Following is a summary of the comments received.

    The single set of comments received was from an industry organization and pertained solely to the withdrawal of FIPS 185, Escrowed Encryption Standard. The comments supported the withdrawal of FIPS 185, Escrowed Encryption Standard. The commenter stated that the citation of Skipjack as the reference algorithm, vulnerabilities in Escrowed Encryption Standards, and potential for misuse of escrowed encryption keys were reasons for supporting the withdrawal of FIPS 185.

    No comments were received concerning the other five standards that had been proposed for withdrawal.

    The FIPS number and title for each of the six FIPS being withdrawn are:

    FIPS 181, Automated Password Generator, FIPS 185, Escrowed Encryption Standard, FIPS 188, Standard Security Label for Information Transfer, FIPS 190, Guideline for the Use of Advanced Authentication Technology Alternatives, FIPS 191, Guideline for the Analysis of Local Area Network Security, and FIPS 196, Entity Authentication using Public Key Cryptography.

    Withdrawal means that these FIPS will no longer be part of a subscription service that is provided by the National Technical Information Service, and federal agencies will no longer be required to comply with these FIPS. NIST will continue to provide relevant information on standards and guidelines by means of electronic dissemination methods. Current versions of the data standards and specifications are available through the Web pages of the Federal agencies that develop and maintain the data codes. NIST will keep references to these withdrawn FIPS on its FIPS Web pages, and will link to current versions of these standards and specifications where appropriate.

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26429 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; NIST Generic Clearance for Program Evaluation Data Collections AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Darla Yonder, Management Analyst, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 1710, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1710, telephone 301-975-4064 or via email to [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    In accordance with Executive Order 12862, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the Department of Commerce, proposes to conduct a number of surveys—both quantitative and qualitative—designed to evaluate our current programs from a customer's perspective. NIST proposes to perform program evaluation data collections by means of, but not limited to, focus groups, reply cards that accompany product distributions, and Web-based surveys and dialogue boxes that offer customers the opportunity to express their views on the programs they are asked to evaluate. NIST will limit its inquiries to data collections that solicit strictly voluntary opinions and will not collect information that is required or regulated. Steps will be taken to assure anonymity of respondents in each activity covered under this request.

    II. Method of Collection

    NIST will collect this information by electronic means when possible, as well as by mail, fax, telephone and person-to-person interviews.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: #0693-0033.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission [revision of a currently approved information collection.]

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit organizations; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 12,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: Varied, dependent upon the data collection method used. The response time may vary from two minutes for a response card or two hours for focus group participation. The average time per response is expected to be 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 5,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: October 14, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26466 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE195 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of correction to a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management (Habitat) Advisory Panel (AP) in St. Petersburg, FL. The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, and from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Florida Fish and Wildlife and Resources Institute (FWRI), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 100 8th Ave SE 3370, St. Petersburg, FL; phone: (727) 896-8626.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC, 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice being re-published in its entirety is a correction to a meeting notice that published on October 2, 2015 (80 FR 59739). The original notice stated in the SUMMARY that the meeting was to be held in N. Charleston, SC. The ADDRESSES section, however, was correct. The meeting is to be held in St. Petersburg, FL.

    Items to be addressed or sessions to be conducted during the Habitat AP meeting include but not limited to: The review and completion of a redrafted Council Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Policy Statement on Energy Exploration, Development and Transportation; a presentation on the Florida Artificial Reef Program and discussion on the developing Artificial Reef Policy Statement; a roundtable discussion on issues associated with South Atlantic Climate Variability and Fisheries and South Atlantic Food Webs and Connectivity for possible future policy statement development; and a Panel member working session highlighting regional research program activities and facilitating the update of Volume V of Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) II, Regional Programs and Data Needs and associated appendices presenting Council, State, Commission and partner research, monitoring and data needs. Other status reports will focus on regional ecosystem modelling, threats to EFH, and EFH updates associated with FEP II development.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 5 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Dated: October 14, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26472 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE254 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC's) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will hold a public meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for agenda details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Providence Biltmore, Curio Collection by Hilton, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903; telephone: (401) 421-0700.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331; Web site: www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee will meet from Monday, November 9 through Tuesday, November 10 (see DATES and ADDRESSES). Topics to be addressed include:

    (1) Monitoring Committee recommendations for recreational management measures for the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries for the 2016 fishing year;

    (2) Possible discussion of Monitoring Committee review of commercial management measures for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries, depending on progress made prior to meeting.

    A detailed agenda and background documents will be made available on the Council's Web site (www.mafmc.org) prior to the meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: October 14, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26473 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Greater Atlantic Region Logbook Family of Forms AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to James St.Cyr, (978) 281-9369 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) has the responsibility for the conservation and management of marine fishery resources. Much of this responsibility has been delegated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Under this stewardship role, the Secretary was given certain regulatory authorities to ensure the most beneficial uses of these resources. One of the regulatory steps taken to carry out the conservation and management objectives is to collect data from users of the resource. Thus, as regional Fishery Management Councils develop specific Fishery Management Plans (FMP), the Secretary has promulgated rules for the issuance and use of a vessel Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and vessel logbooks (VTR) to obtain fishery-dependent data to monitor, evaluate, and enforce fishery regulations.

    Fishing vessels permitted to participate in Federally-permitted fisheries in the Northeast are required to submit logbooks containing catch and effort information about their fishing trips. Participants in the herring, tilefish and red crab fisheries are also required to make weekly reports on their catch through IVR. In addition, vessels fishing under a days-at sea (DAS) management system can use the IVR system to request a DAS credit when they have canceled a trip for unforeseen circumstances. The information submitted is needed for the management of the fisheries.

    II. Method of Collection

    Most information is submitted on paper forms, although some vessels are utilizing an electronic vessel trip reporting system (EVTR). The IVR system is used by vessel owners to provide supplemental information related to specific activities such as harvesting research set-aside quota species, conducting exempted fishing activities, or declaring a block of days out of the fishery. In the herring and tilefish fisheries vessel owners or operators must provide weekly catch information to an IVR system. In the NE Multispecies fishery, vessel owners or operators must declare catch and discards of groundfish species of concern through VMS for all trips.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0212.

    Form Number: NOAA Forms 88-30 and 88-40.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a current information collection).

    Affected Public: Business and other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,346.

    Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes per Fishing Vessel Trip Report page (FVTR); 12.5 minutes per response for the Shellfish Log; 4 minutes for a herring or red crab report to the IVR system; 2 minutes for a tilefish report to the IVR system; 30 seconds for voluntary additional halibut information; and 5 minutes for each DAS credit request.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 12,228.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $43,012.00.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 14, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26468 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0085. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0085, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to the Commission through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Comments may also be mailed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581 or by Hand Delivery/Courier at the same address.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://reginfo.gov. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter A. Kals, Special Counsel, Division of Clearing and Risk, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, (202) 418-5466; email: [email protected] and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0085.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Rule 50.50 End-User Notification of Non-Cleared Swap (OMB Control No. 3038-0085). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Rule 50.50 specifies requirements for non-financial end-users who elect the exception from the Commission's swap clearing requirement set forth in section 2(h)(7) of the Commodity Exchange Act. Among the requirements of Rule 50.50 is reporting certain information to a swap data repository registered with the Commission.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to require between 10 minutes and one hour per response.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Non-financial end-users.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,092.

    Estimated Total Average Annual Burden on Respondents: 633 hours.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion; annually.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 14, 2015. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26465 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0079. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0079, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to the Commission through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Comments may also be mailed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581 or by Hand Deliver/Courier at the same address.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://reginfo.gov. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Chachkin, Special Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5496, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0079.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Conflict of Interest Policies and Procedures by Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants (OMB Control No. 3038-0079). This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: On April 3, 2012, the Commission adopted Commission regulation 23.605 (Conflicts of interest policies and procedures) under section 4s(j)(5) 1 of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). Commission regulation 23.605 requires, among other things, that swap dealers (“SD”) 2 and major swap participants (“MSP”) 3 adopt and implement conflicts of interest procedures and disclosures, establish written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with the conflicts of interest and disclosure obligations within the regulations, and maintain specified records related to those requirements.4 The Commission believes that the information collection obligations imposed by Commission regulation 23.605 are essential to ensuring that SDs and MSPs develop and maintain the conflicts of interest systems, procedures and disclosures required by the CEA and Commission regulations, and to the effective evaluation of these registrants' actual compliance with the CEA and Commission regulations.

    1 7 U.S.C. 6s(j)(5).

    2 For the definition of SD, see section 1a(49) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(ggg). 7 U.S.C. 1a(49) and 17 CFR 1.3(ggg).

    3 For the definitions of MSP, see section 1a(33) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(hhh). 7 U.S.C. 1a(33) and 17 CFR 1.3(hhh).

    4See 17 CFR 23.605.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Number of Registrants: 125.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours Per Registrant: 44.5.

    Estimated Aggregate Burden Hours: 5,562.5.

    Frequency of Recordkeeping/Third-party Disclosure: As applicable.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    Dated: October 13, 2015. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26421 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3651-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2013-HA-0192] Proposed collection; comment request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs announces a proposed revision to the existing DoD Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) information collection system, and seeks public comment on the revisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) whether the proposed revisions will impact the proper performance and functions of the DoDSER system, including whether the revisions shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed revisions; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be revised; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including how these revisions shall affect user burden.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), 9933 West Hayes Street, BOX 339500 MS 34, Joint Base Lewis-McChord 98431 or call (253) 968-2946.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Department of Defense Suicide Event Report; DD2996; OMB Control Number 0720-0058.

    Needs and Uses: The revision of this information collection system is necessary to the continued provision of integrated enterprise and survey data to be used for direct reporting of suicide events and ongoing population-based health surveillance activities. These surveillance activities include the systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of outcome-specific data for use in planning, implementation, evaluation, and prevention of suicide behaviors within the Department of Defense. Data is collected on individuals with reportable suicide and self-harm behaviors (to include suicide attempts, self-harm behaviors, and suicidal ideation). All other DoD active and reserve military personnel records collected without evidence of reportable suicide and self-harm behaviors will exist as a control group. Records are integrated from enterprise systems and created and revised by civilian and military personnel in the performance of their duties. We propose to revise the system to make specific changes that have been recommended for improving the completeness of DoDSER data.

    Affected Public: Individuals and households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 330.

    Number of Respondents: 1975.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Frequency: As required by qualifying event.

    Form completers are behavioral and medical health providers, military unit leadership or their designees. The DoDSER form is used to collect information regarding suicide events of military service members. Form completers collect information from military personnel records, military medical records, enterprise data systems within the DoD and persons (respondent) familiar with the event details. Respondents include but are not limited to family members, friends, unit members, unit leadership and clergy members. The DoDSER form data is used to produce ad hoc reports for services leadership and the DoDSER Annual Report. The annual report is a comprehensive description and analysis of the data collected, which provides information for DoD suicide prevention efforts.

    Dated: October 14, 2015. Morgan F. Park, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26461 Filed 10-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2015-OS-0099] Manual for Courts-Martial; Proposed Amendments AGENCY:

    Joint Service Committee on Military Justice (JSC), Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Amendments to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2012 ed.) and Notice of Public Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense requests comments on proposed changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2012 ed.) (MCM). The proposed changes concern the rules of procedure and evidence and the punitive articles applicable in trials by courts-martial. The approval authority for these changes is the President. These proposed changes have not been coordinated within the Department of Defense under DoD Directive 5500.01, “Preparing, Processing and Coordinating Legislation, Executive Orders, Proclamations, Views Letters, and Testimony,” June 15, 2007, and do not constitute the official position of the Department of Defense, the Military Departments, or any other Government agency.

    The proposed changes also concern supplementary materials that accompany the rules of procedure and evidence and punitive articles. The Department of Defense, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, publishes these supplementary materials to accompany the Manual for Courts-Martial. These materials consist of a Discussion (accompanying the Preamble, the Rules for Courts-Martial, the Military Rules of Evidence, and the Punitive Articles), an Analysis, and various appendices. The approval authority for changes to the supplementary materials is the General Counsel, Department of Defense; changes to these items do not require Presidential approval.

    The proposed amendments would change military justice practice by implementing recommendations made by the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, incorporating recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence into the Military Rules of Evidence, and modifying the Rules for Courts-Martial, Military Rules of Evidence, and Punitive Articles explanation to reflect recent statutory amendments and developments in case law.

    This notice is provided in accordance with DoD Directive 5500.17, “Role and Responsibilities of the Joint Service Committee (JSC) on Military Justice,” May 3, 2003.

    The JSC invites members of the public to comment on the proposed changes; such comments should address specific recommended changes and provide supporting rationale.

    This notice also sets forth the date, time, and location for a public meeting of the JSC to discuss the proposed changes.

    This notice is intended only to improve the internal management of the Federal Government. It is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed changes must be received no later than December 18, 2015. A public meeting for comments will be held on November 5, 2015, at 10 a.m. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces building, 450 E Street NW., Washington DC 20442-0001.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Captain Harlye S. Carlton, USMC, Executive Secretary, JSC, (703) 693-9299, [email protected] The JSC Web site is located at http://jsc.defense.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The proposed amendments to the MCM are as follows:

    Annex

    Section 1. Part II of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, is amended as follows:

    (a) A new R.C.M. 103(22) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(22) The definition of “signature” below includes a digital or electronic signature.”

    (b) The title of R.C.M. 104(b)(1) is amended to read as follows:

    “(1) Evaluation of member, defense counsel, or special victims' counsel.”

    (c) R.C.M. 104(b)(1)(B) is amended to read as follows:

    “(B) Give a less favorable rating or evaluation of any defense counsel or special victims' counsel because of the zeal with which such counsel represented any client. As used in this rule, “special victims' counsel” are judge advocates who, in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044e, are designated as Special Victims' Counsel by the Judge Advocate General of the armed force in which the judge advocates are members, and within the Marine Corps, by the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”

    (d) A new R.C.M. 305(i)(2)(A)(v) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(v) Victim's right to be reasonably protected from the prisoner. A victim of an alleged offense committed by the prisoner has the right to be reasonably protected from the prisoner.”

    (e) R.C.M. 306(b) is amended to read as follows:

    “(b) Policy.

    (1) Generally. Allegations of offenses should be disposed of in a timely manner at the lowest appropriate level of disposition listed in subsection (c) of this rule.”

    (f) A new R.C.M. 306(b)(2) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(2) Victims of a sex-related offense.

    (A) For purposes of this subsection, a “sex-related offense” means any allegation of a violation of Article 120, 120a, 120b, 120c, or 125 or any attempt thereof under Article 80, UCMJ.

    (B) Under such regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe, for alleged sex-related offenses committed in the United States, the victim of the sex-related offense shall be provided an opportunity to express views as to whether the offense should be prosecuted by court-martial or in a civilian court with jurisdiction over the offense. The commander shall consider such views as to the victim's preference for jurisdiction, if available, prior to making an initial disposition decision. For purposes of this rule, “victim” is defined as an individual who has suffered direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the commission of an alleged sex-related offense as defined in subsection (A).

    (C) Under such regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe, if the victim of an alleged sex-related offense expresses a preference for prosecution of the offense in a civilian court, the convening authority shall ensure that the civilian authority with jurisdiction over the offense is notified of the victim's preference for civilian prosecution. If the convening authority learns of any decision by the civilian authority to prosecute or not prosecute the offense in civilian court, the convening authority shall ensure the victim is notified.”

    (g) R.C.M. 405(i)(2)(A) is amended to read as follows:

    “(2) Notice to and presence of the victim(s).

    (A) The victim(s) of an offense under the UCMJ has the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of a preliminary hearing relating to the alleged offense, the right to be reasonably protected from the accused, and the reasonable right to confer with counsel for the government during the preliminary hearing. For the purposes of this rule, a “victim” is a person who is alleged to have suffered a direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the matters set forth in a charge or specification under consideration and is named in one of the specifications under consideration.”

    (h) R.C.M. 705(c)(2)(A) is amended to read as follows:

    “(A) A promise to enter into a stipulation of fact concerning offenses to which a plea of guilty or a confessional stipulation will be entered;”

    (i) A new R.C.M. 705(d)(3) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(3) Victim consultation. Whenever practicable, prior to the convening authority accepting a pretrial agreement the victim shall be provided an opportunity to express views concerning the pretrial agreement terms and conditions in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned. The convening authority shall consider any such views provided prior to accepting a pretrial agreement. For purposes of this rule, a “victim” is an individual who is alleged to have suffered direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the matters set forth in a charge or specification under consideration and is named in one of the specifications under consideration.”

    (j) R.C.M. 705(d)(3) is renumbered as R.C.M. 705(d)(4).

    (k) R.C.M. 705(d)(4) is renumbered as R.C.M. 705(d)(5).

    (l) A new R.C.M. 806(b)(2) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(2) Right of victim to notice. A victim of an alleged offense committed by the accused has the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of court-martial proceedings relating to the offense.”

    (m) R.C.M. 806(b)(2) is renumbered as R.C.M. 806(b)(3).

    (n) R.C.M. 806(b)(3) is renumbered as R.C.M. 806(b)(4).

    (o) R.C.M. 806(b)(4) is renumbered as R.C.M. 806(b)(5).

    (p) A new R.C.M. 806(b)(6) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(b)(6) Right of victim to be reasonably protected from the accused. A victim of an alleged offense committed by the accused has the right to be reasonably protected from the accused.”

    (q) R.C.M. 907(b)(1) is amended to read as follows:

    “(1) Nonwaivable grounds. A charge or specification shall be dismissed at any stage of the proceedings if the court-martial lacks jurisdiction to try the accused for the offense.”

    (r) R.C.M. 907(b)(1)(A)-(B) is deleted.

    (s) R.C.M. 907(b)(3) is amended to read as follows:

    “(3) Permissible grounds. A specification may be dismissed upon timely motion by the accused if:

    (A) The specification is so defective that it substantially misled the accused, and the military judge finds that, in the interest of justice, trial should proceed on remaining charges and specifications without undue delay;

    (B) The specification is multiplicious with another specification, is unnecessary to enable the prosecution to meet the exigencies of proof through trial, review, and appellate action, and should be dismissed in the interest of justice; or

    (C) The specification fails to state an offense.”

    (t) R.C.M. 910(f)(4) is amended to read as follows:

    “(4) Inquiry. The military judge shall inquire to ensure:

    (A) That the accused understands the agreement;

    (B) That the parties agree to the terms of the agreement; and

    (C) That the victim was provided an opportunity to express views as to the terms and conditions of the agreement as provided in R.C.M. 705.”

    (u) R.C.M. 1002 is amended to read as follows:

    “(a) Generally. Subject to limitations in this Manual, the sentence to be adjudged is a matter within the discretion of the court-martial; except when a mandatory minimum sentence is prescribed by the code, a court-martial may adjudge any punishment authorized in this Manual, including the maximum punishment or any lesser punishment, or may adjudge a sentence of no punishment.

    (b) Unitary Sentencing. Sentencing by a court-martial is unitary. The court will adjudge a single sentence for all the offenses of which the accused was found guilty. A court-martial may not impose separate sentences for each finding of guilty, but may impose only a single, unitary sentence covering all of the guilty findings in their entirety.”

    (v) R.C.M. 1103(b)(2)(B)(i) is amended to read as follows:

    “(i) Any part of the sentence adjudged exceeds twelve months confinement, forfeiture of pay greater than two-thirds pay per month, or any forfeiture of pay for more than twelve months or other punishments that may be adjudged by a special court-martial; or”

    (w) The Note currently located immediately following the title of R.C.M. 1107 and prior to R.C.M. 1107(a) is amended to read as follows:

    “[Note: R.C.M. 1107(b)-(f) apply to offenses committed on or after 24 June 2014; however, if at least one offense resulting in a finding of guilty in a case occurred prior to 24 June 2014, then the prior version of R.C.M. 1107 applies to all offenses in the case, except that mandatory minimum sentences under Article 56(b) and applicable rules under R.C.M. 1107(d)(1)(D)-(E) still apply.]”

    (x) R.C.M. 1107(b)(5) is amended to remove the last sentence starting with “Nothing” and ending with “sentence.”

    (y) R.C.M. 1107(c) is amended to read as follows:

    “(c) Action on findings. Action on the findings is not required. However, the convening authority may take action subject to the following limitations:

    (1) Where a court-martial includes a finding of guilty for an offense listed in (c)(1)(A), the convening authority may not take the actions listed in subsection (c)(1)(B):

    (A) Offenses

    (i) Article 120(a) or (b), Article 120b, or Article 125;

    (ii) Offenses for which the maximum sentence of confinement that may be adjudged exceeds two years without regard to the jurisdictional limits of the court; or

    (iii) Offenses where the adjudged sentence for the case includes dismissal, dishonorable discharge, bad-conduct discharge, or confinement for more than six months.

    (B) Prohibited actions

    (i) Dismiss a charge or specification by setting aside a finding of guilty thereto; or

    (ii) Change a finding of guilty to a charge or specification to a finding of guilty to an offense that is a lesser included offense of the offense stated in the charge or specification.

    (2) The convening authority may direct a rehearing in accordance with subsection (e) of this rule.

    (3) For offenses other than those listed in subsection (c)(1)(A):

    (A) The convening authority may change a finding of guilty to a charge or specification to a finding of guilty to an offense that is a lesser included offense of the offense stated in the charge or specification; or

    (B) Set aside any finding of guilty and:

    (i) Dismiss the specification and, if appropriate, the charge; or

    (ii) Direct a rehearing in accordance with subsection (e) of this rule.

    (4) If the convening authority acts to dismiss or change any charge or specification for an offense, the convening authority shall provide, at the same time, a written explanation of the reasons for such action. The written explanation shall be made a part of the record of trial and action thereon.”

    (z) R.C.M. 1107(d) is amended to read as follows:

    “(d) Action on the sentence.

    (1) The convening authority shall take action on the sentence subject to the following:

    (A) The convening authority may disapprove, commute, or suspend, in whole or in part, any portion of an adjudged sentence not explicitly prohibited by this rule, to include reduction in pay grade, forfeitures of pay and allowances, fines, reprimands, restrictions, and hard labor without confinement.

    (B) Except as provided in subsection (d)(1)(C), the convening authority may not disapprove, commute, or suspend, in whole or in part, that portion of an adjudged sentence that includes:

    (i) confinement for more than six months; or

    (ii) dismissal, dishonorable discharge, or bad-conduct discharge.

    (C) Exceptions

    (i) Trial counsel recommendation. Upon the recommendation of the trial counsel, in recognition of the substantial assistance by the accused in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense, the convening authority or another person authorized to act under this section shall have the authority to disapprove, commute, or suspend the adjudged sentence, in whole or in part, even with respect to an offense for which a mandatory minimum sentence exists.

    (ii) Pretrial agreement. If a pretrial agreement has been entered into by the convening authority and the accused, as authorized by R.C.M. 705, the convening authority or another person authorized to act under this section shall have the authority to approve, disapprove, commute, or suspend a sentence, in whole or in part, pursuant to the terms of the pretrial agreement. However, if a mandatory minimum sentence of a dishonorable discharge applies to an offense for which an accused has been convicted, the convening authority or another person authorized to act under this section may commute the dishonorable discharge to a bad-conduct discharge pursuant to the terms of the pretrial agreement.

    (D) If the convening authority acts to disapprove, commute, or suspend, in whole or in part, the sentence of the court-martial for an offense listed in subsection (c)(1)(A), the convening authority shall provide, at the same time, a written explanation of the reasons for such action. The written explanation shall be made a part of the record of trial and action thereon.”

    (aa) R.C.M. 1107(e) is amended to read as follows:

    “(e) Ordering rehearing or other trial.

    (1) Rehearings not permitted. A rehearing may not be ordered by the convening authority where the adjudged sentence for the case includes a sentence of dismissal, dishonorable discharge, or bad-conduct discharge or confinement for more than six months.

    (2) Rehearings permitted.

    (A) In general. Subject to subsection (e)(1) and subsections (e)(2)(B) through (e)(2)(E) of this rule, the convening authority may in the convening authority's discretion order a rehearing. A rehearing may be ordered as to some or all offenses of which findings of guilty were entered and the sentence, or as to sentence only.

    (B) When the convening authority may order a rehearing. The convening authority may order a rehearing:

    (i) When taking action on the court-martial under this rule. Prior to ordering a rehearing on a finding, the convening authority must disapprove the applicable finding and the sentence and state the reasons for disapproval of said finding. Prior to ordering a rehearing on the sentence, the convening authority must disapprove the sentence.

    (ii) When authorized to do so by superior competent authority. If the convening authority finds a rehearing as to any offenses impracticable, the convening authority may dismiss those specifications and, when appropriate, charges.

    (iii) Sentence reassessment. If a superior competent authority has approved some of the findings of guilty and has authorized a rehearing as to other offenses and the sentence, the convening authority may, unless otherwise directed, reassess the sentence based on the approved findings of guilty and dismiss the remaining charges. Reassessment is appropriate only where the convening authority determines that the accused's sentence would have been at least of a certain magnitude had the prejudicial error not been committed and the reassessed sentence is appropriate in relation to the affirmed findings of guilty.”

    (C) Limitations.

    (i) Sentence approved. A rehearing shall not be ordered if, in the same action, a sentence is approved.

    (ii) Lack of sufficient evidence. A rehearing may not be ordered as to findings of guilty when there is a lack of sufficient evidence in the record to support the findings of guilty of the offense charged or of any lesser included offense. A rehearing may be ordered, however, if the proof of guilt consisted of inadmissible evidence for which there is available an admissible substitute. A rehearing may be ordered as to any lesser offense included in an offense of which the accused was found guilty, provided there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the lesser included offense.

    (iii) Rehearing on sentence only. A rehearing on sentence only shall not be referred to a different kind of court-martial from that which made the original findings. If the convening authority determines a rehearing on sentence is impracticable, the convening authority may approve a sentence of no punishment without conducting a rehearing.

    (D) Additional charges. Additional charges may be referred for trial together with charges as to which a rehearing has been directed.

    (E) Lesser included offenses. If at a previous trial the accused was convicted of a lesser included offense, a rehearing may be ordered only as to that included offense or as to an offense included in that found. If, however, a rehearing is ordered improperly on the original offense charged and the accused is convicted of that offense at the rehearing, the finding as to the lesser included offense of which the accused was convicted at the original trial may nevertheless be approved.

    (3) “Other” trial. The convening or higher authority may order an “other” trial if the original proceedings were invalid because of lack of jurisdiction or failure of a specification to state an offense. The authority ordering an “other” trial shall state in the action the basis for declaring the proceedings invalid.”

    (bb) The Note currently located immediately following the title of R.C.M. 1108(b) and prior to the first line, “The convening authority may. . .” is amended to read as follows:

    “[Note: R.C.M. 1108(b) applies to offenses committed on or after 24 June 2014; however, if at least one offense in a case occurred prior to 24 June 2014, then the prior version of R.C.M. 1108(b) applies to all offenses in the case.]”

    (cc) R.C.M. 1109(a) is amended to read as follows:

    _“(a) In general. Suspension of execution of the sentence of a court-martial may be vacated for violation of any condition of the suspension as provided in this rule.”

    (dd) R.C.M. 1109(c)(4)(A) is amended to read as follows:

    “(A) Rights of probationer. Before the preliminary hearing, the probationer shall be notified in writing of:”

    (ee) R.C.M. 1109(c)(4)(C) is amended to read as follows:

    “(C) Decision. The hearing officer shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated the conditions of the probationer's suspension. If the hearing officer determines that probable cause is lacking, the hearing officer shall issue a written order directing that the probationer be released from confinement. If the hearing officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of suspension, the hearing officer shall set forth this determination in a written memorandum that details therein the evidence relied upon and reasons for making the decision. The hearing officer shall forward the original memorandum or release order to the probationer's commander and forward a copy to the probationer and the officer in charge of the confinement facility.”

    (ff) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(d)(1)(A) and reads as follows:

    “The purpose of the hearing is for the hearing officer to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of the probationer's suspension.”

    (gg) R.C.M. 1109(d)(1)(C) is amended to read as follows:

    “(C) Hearing. The procedure for the vacation hearing shall follow that prescribed in subsection (h) of this rule.”

    (hh) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(d)(1)(D) and reads as follows:

    “This record shall include the recommendation, the evidence relied upon, and reasons for making the decision.”

    (ii) R.C.M. 1109(d)(2)(A) is amended to read as follows:

    “(A) In general. The officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction over the probationer shall review the record produced by and the recommendation of the officer exercising special court-martial jurisdiction over the probationer, decide whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of the probationer's suspension, and, if so, decide whether to vacate the suspended sentence. If the officer exercising general court-martial jurisdiction decides to vacate the suspended sentence, that officer shall prepare a written statement of the evidence relied on and the reasons for vacating the suspended sentence.”

    (jj) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(e)(1) and reads as follows:

    “The purpose of the hearing is for the hearing officer to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated the conditions of the probationer's suspension.”

    (kk) R.C.M. 1109(e)(3) is amended to read as follows:

    “(3) Hearing. The procedure for the vacation hearing shall follow that prescribed in subsection (h) of this rule.”

    (ll) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(e)(5) and reads as follows:

    “This record shall include the recommendation, the evidence relied upon, and reasons for making the decision.”

    (mm) R.C.M. 1109(e)(6) is amended to read as follows:

    “(6) Decision. The special court-martial convening authority shall review the record produced by and the recommendation of the person who conducted the vacation proceeding, decide whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of the probationer's suspension, and, if so, decide whether to vacate the suspended sentence. If the officer exercising jurisdiction decides to vacate the suspended sentence, that officer shall prepare a written statement of the evidence relied on and the reasons for vacating the suspended sentence.”

    (nn) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(g)(1) and reads as follows:

    “The purpose of the hearing is for the hearing officer to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated the conditions of the probationer's suspension.”

    (oo) R.C.M. 1109(g)(3) is amended to read as follows:

    “(3) Hearing. The procedure for the vacation hearing shall follow that prescribed in subsection (h) of this rule.”

    (pp) A new sentence is added to the end of R.C.M. 1109(g)(5) and reads as follows:

    “This record shall include the recommendation, the evidence relied upon, and reasons for making the decision.”

    (qq) R.C.M. 1109(g)(6) is amended to read as follows:

    “(6) Decision. A commander with authority to vacate the suspension shall review the record produced by and the recommendation of the person who conducted the vacation proceeding, decide whether there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of the probationer's suspension, and, if so, decide whether to vacate the suspended sentence. If the officer exercising jurisdiction decides to vacate the suspended sentence, that officer shall prepare a written statement of the evidence relied on and the reasons for vacating the suspended sentence.”

    (rr) A new R.C.M. 1109(h) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(h) Hearing procedure

    (1) Generally. The hearing shall begin with the hearing officer informing the probationer of the probationer's rights. The government will then present evidence. Upon the conclusion of the government's presentation of evidence, the probationer may present evidence. The probationer shall have full opportunity to present any matters in defense, extenuation, or mitigation. Both the government and probationer shall be afforded an opportunity to cross-examine adverse witnesses. The hearing officer may also question witnesses called by the parties.

    (2) Rules of evidence. The Military Rules of Evidence—other than Mil. R. Evid. 301, 302, 303, 305, 412, and Section V—shall not apply. Nor shall Mil. R. Evid. 412(b)(1)(C) apply. In applying these rules to a vacation hearing, the term “military judge,” as used in these rules, shall mean the hearing officer, who shall assume the military judge's authority to exclude evidence from the hearing, and who shall, in discharging this duty, follow the procedures set forth in these rules. However, the hearing officer is not authorized to order production of communications covered by Mil. R. Evid. 513 or 514.

    (3) Production of witnesses and other evidence. The procedure for the production of witnesses and other evidence shall follow that prescribed in R.C.M. 405(g), except that R.C.M. 405(g)(3)(B) shall not apply. The hearing officer shall only consider testimony and other evidence that is relevant to the limited purpose of the hearing.

    (4) Presentation of testimony. Witness testimony may be provided in person, by video teleconference, by telephone, or by similar means of remote testimony. All testimony shall be taken under oath, except that the probationer may make an unsworn statement.

    (5) Other evidence. If relevant to the limited purpose of the hearing, and not cumulative, a hearing officer may consider other evidence, in addition to or in lieu of witness testimony, including statements, tangible evidence, or reproductions thereof, offered by either side, that the hearing officer determines is reliable. This other evidence need not be sworn.

    (6) Presence of probationer. The taking of evidence shall not be prevented and the probationer shall be considered to have waived the right to be present whenever the probationer:

    (i) After being notified of the time and place of the proceeding is voluntarily absent; or

    (ii) After being warned by the hearing officer that disruptive conduct will cause removal from the proceeding, persists in conduct that is such as to justify exclusion from the proceeding.

    (7) Objections. Any objection alleging failure to comply with these rules shall be made to the convening authority via the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall include a record of all objections in the written recommendations to the convening authority.

    (8) Access by spectators. Vacation hearings are public proceedings and should remain open to the public whenever possible. The convening authority who directed the hearing or the hearing officer may restrict or foreclose access by spectators to all or part of the proceedings if an overriding interest exists that outweighs the value of an open hearing. Examples of overriding interests may include: P reventing psychological harm or trauma to a child witness or an alleged victim of a sexual crime, protecting the safety or privacy of a witness or alleged victim, protecting classified material, and receiving evidence where a witness is incapable of testifying in an open setting. Any closure must be narrowly tailored to achieve the overriding interest that justified the closure. Convening authorities or hearing officers must conclude that no lesser methods short of closing the hearing can be used to protect the overriding interest in the case. Convening authorities or hearing officers must conduct a case-by-case, witness-by-witness, circumstance-by-circumstance analysis of whether closure is necessary. If a convening authority or hearing officer believes closing the hearing is necessary, the convening authority or hearing officer must make specific findings of fact in writing that support the closure. The written findings of fact must be included in the record.

    (9) Victim's rights. Any victim of the underlying offense for which the probationer received the suspended sentence, or any victim of the alleged offense that is the subject of the vacation hearing, has the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of the vacation hearing. For purposes of this rule, the term “victim” is defined as an individual who has suffered direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the commission of an offense.”

    Section 2. Part III of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, is amended as follows:

    (a) Mil. R. Evid. 304(c) is amended to read as follows:

    “(c) Corroboration of a Confession or Admission.

    (1) An admission or a confession of the accused may be considered as evidence against the accused on the question of guilt or innocence only if independent evidence, either direct or circumstantial, has been admitted into evidence that would tend to establish the trustworthiness of the admission or confession.

    (2) Other uncorroborated confessions or admissions of the accused that would themselves require corroboration may not be used to supply this independent evidence. If the independent evidence raises an inference of the truth of the admission or confession, then it may be considered as evidence against the accused. Not every element or fact contained in the confession or admission must be independently proven for the confession or admission to be admitted into evidence in its entirety.

    (3) Corroboration is not required for a statement made by the accused before the court by which the accused is being tried, for statements made prior to or contemporaneously with the act, or for statements offered under a rule of evidence other than that pertaining to the admissibility of admissions or confessions.

    (4) Quantum of Evidence Needed. The independent evidence necessary to establish corroboration need not be sufficient of itself to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the truth of facts stated in the admission or confession. The independent evidence need raise only an inference of the truth of the admission or confession. The amount and type of evidence introduced as corroboration is a factor to be considered by the trier of fact in determining the weight, if any, to be given to the admission or confession.

    (5) Procedure. The military judge alone is to determine when adequate evidence of corroboration has been received. Corroborating evidence must be introduced before the admission or confession is introduced unless the military judge allows submission of such evidence subject to later corroboration.”

    (b) Mil. R. Evid. 311(a) is amended to read as follows:

    “(a) General rule. Evidence obtained as a result of an unlawful search or seizure made by a person acting in a governmental capacity is inadmissible against the accused if:

    (1) The accused makes a timely motion to suppress or an objection to the evidence under this rule;

    (2) the accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the person, place or property searched; the accused had a legitimate interest in the property or evidence seized when challenging a seizure; or the accused would otherwise have grounds to object to the search or seizure under the Constitution of the United States as applied to members of the Armed Forces; and

    (3) exclusion of the evidence results in appreciable deterrence for future Fourth Amendment violations and the benefits of such deterrence outweigh the costs to the justice system.”

    (c) A new Mil. R. Evid. 311(c)(4) is inserted and reads as follows:

    “(4) Reliance on Statute. Evidence that was obtained as a result of an unlawful search or seizure may be used when the official seeking the evidence acts in objectively reasonable reliance on a statute later held violative of the Fourth Amendment.”

    (d) Mil. R. Evid. 414(d)(2)(A) is amended to read as follows:

    “(A) any conduct prohibited by Article 120 and committed with a child, or prohibited by Article 120b.”

    (e) Mil. R. Evid. 504 is amended to read as follows:

    “Rule 504. Marital privilege

    (a) Spousal Incapacity. A person has a privilege to refuse to testify against his or her spouse. There is no privilege under subdivision (a) when, at the time of the testimony, the parties are divorced, or the marriage has been annulled.

    (b) Confidential Communication Made During the Marriage.

    (1) General Rule. A person has a privilege during and after the marital relationship to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, any confidential communication made to the spouse of the person while they were married and not separated as provided by law.

    (2) Who May Claim the Privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the spouse who made the communication or by the other spouse on his or her behalf. The authority of the latter spouse to do so is presumed in the absence of evidence of a waiver. The privilege will not prevent disclosure of the communication at the request of the spouse to whom the communication was made if that spouse is an accused regardless of whether the spouse who made the communication objects to its disclosure.

    (c) Exceptions.

    (1) To Confidential Communications Only. Where both parties have been substantial participants in illegal activity, those communications between the spouses during the marriage regarding the illegal activity in which they have jointly participated are not marital communications for purposes of the privilege in subdivision (b) and are not entitled to protection under the privilege in subdivision (b).

    (2) To Spousal Incapacity and Confidential Communications. There is no privilege under subdivisions (a) or (b):

    (A) In proceedings in which one spouse is charged with a crime against the person or property of the other spouse or a child of either, or with a crime against the person or property of a third person committed in the course of committing a crime against the other spouse;

    (B) When the marital relationship was entered into with no intention of the parties to live together as spouses, but only for the purpose of using the purported marital relationship as a sham, and with respect to the privilege in subdivision (a), the relationship remains a sham at the time the testimony or statement of one of the parties is to be introduced against the other; or with respect to the privilege in subdivision (b), the relationship was a sham at the time of the communication; or

    (C) In proceedings in which a spouse is charged, in accordance with Article 133 or 134, with importing the other spouse as an alien for prostitution or other immoral purpose in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1328; with transporting the other spouse in interstate commerce for prostitution, immoral purposes, or another offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2421-2424; or with violation of such other similar statutes under which such privilege may not be claimed in the trial of criminal cases in the United States district courts.

    (d) Definitions. As used in this rule:

    (1) “A child of either” means a biological child, adopted child, or ward of one of the spouses and includes a child who is under the permanent or temporary physical custody of one of the spouses, regardless of the existence of a legal parent-child relationship. For purposes of this rule only, a child is:

    (A) an individual under the age of 18; or

    (B) an individual with a mental handicap who functions under the age of 18.

    (2) “Temporary physical custody” means a parent has entrusted his or her child with another. There is no minimum amount of time necessary to establish temporary physical custody, nor is a written agreement required. Rather, the focus is on the parent's agreement with another for assuming parental responsibility for the child. For example, temporary physical custody may include instances where a parent entrusts another with the care of his or her child for recurring care or during absences due to temporary duty or deployments.

    (3) As used in this rule, a communication is “confidential” if made privately by any person to the spouse of the person and is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those reasonably necessary for transmission of the communication.”

    (f) Mil. R. Evid. 801(d)(1)(B) is amended to read as follows:

    “(B) is consistent with the declarant's testimony and is offered:

    (i) to rebut an express or implied charge that the declarant recently fabricated it or acted from a recent improper influence or motive in so testifying; or

    (ii) to rehabilitate the declarant's credibility as a witness when attacked on another ground; or”

    (g) The first sentence of Mil. R. Evid. 803(6)(E) is amended to read as follows:

    “(E) the opponent does not show that the source of information or the method or circumstance of preparation indicate a lack of trustworthiness.”

    (h) Mil. R. Evid. 803(7)(C) is amended to read as follows

    “(C) the opponent does not show that the possible source of the information or other circumstances indicate a lack of trustworthiness.”

    (i) The first sentence of Mil. R. Evid. 803(8)(B) is amended to read as follows:

    “(B) the opponent does not show that the source of information or other circumstances indicate a lack of trustworthiness.”

    (j) Mil. R. Evid. 803(10)(B) is amended to read as follows:

    “(B) a counsel for the government who intends to offer a certification provides written notice of that intent at least 14 days before trial, and the accused does not object in writing within 7 days of receiving the notice—unless the military judge sets a different time for the notice or the objection.”

    Section 3. Part IV of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, is amended as follows: Paragraph 110, Article 134—Threat, communicating, subparagraph c. is amended to read as follows:

    “c. Explanation. For purposes of this paragraph, to establish that the communication was wrongful it is necessary that the accused transmitted the communication for the purpose of issuing a threat, with the knowledge that the communication would be viewed as a threat, or acted recklessly with regard to whether the communication would be viewed as a threat. However, it is not necessary to establish that the accused actually intended to do the injury threatened. Nor is the offense committed by the mere statement of intent to commit an unlawful act not involving injury to another. See also paragraph 109, Threat or hoax designed or intended to cause panic or public fear.”

    Section 4. Appendix 21, Analysis of Rules for Courts-Martial is amended as follows:

    (a) Rule 306 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 306(b)(2) was added to implement Section 534(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, P.L. 113-291, 19 December 2014.”

    (b) Rule 401 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: The first paragraph of the R.C.M. 401(c) Discussion was added in light of the recommendation in the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel's (RSP) June 2014 report for trial counsel to convey victims' preferences as to disposition to the convening authority. This discussion implements this recommendation by allowing Service regulations to determine the appropriate authority responsible for communicating the victims' views to the convening authority. The RSP was a congressionally mandated panel tasked to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses.”

    (c) Rule 604 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: The fourth paragraph of the R.C.M. 604(a) Discussion was added to align the Discussion with R.C.M. 705(d)(3).”

    (d) Rule 907 is amended inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 907(b) was amended in light of United States v. Humphries, 71 M.J. 209 (C.A.A.F. 2012), where the court held that a defective specification does not constitute structural error or warrant automatic dismissal.”

    (e) Rule 910 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 910(f)(4)(C) was added in light of the recommendation in the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel's (RSP) June 2014 report for victims to be consulted regarding a pretrial agreement. The RSP was a congressionally mandated panel tasked to conduct an independent review and assessment of the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses.”

    (f) Rule 1002 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 1002(b) was added to clarify the military's unitary sentencing concept. See United States v. Gutierrez, 11 M.J. 122, 123 (C.M.A. 1981). See generally Jackson v. Taylor, 353 U.S. 569 (1957).”

    (g) Rule 1103(b) is amended by inserting the following immediately before the paragraph beginning with “Subsection 2(C)”:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 1103(b)(2)(B)(i) was amended to align the requirement for a verbatim transcript with special courts-martial jurisdictional maximum punishments.”

    (h) Rule 1108 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: The R.C.M. 1107(b) Discussion was amended to clarify that the limitations contained in Article 60 apply to the convening authority or other commander acting under Article 60.”

    (i) Rule 1109 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: R.C.M. 1109 was revised in light of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, P.L. 113-66, 26 December 2013, amendments to Article 32 and the resulting changes to R.C.M. 405 as promulgated by Executive Order 13696. It was further revised to clarify throughout the rule that the purpose of vacation hearings is to determine whether there is probable cause that the probationer violated any condition of the probationer's suspension.”

    Section 5. Appendix 22, Analysis of the Military Rules of Evidence is amended as follows:

    (a) Rule 304(c) is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: This change was adopted to bring military practice in line with federal practice. See Opper v. United States, 348 U.S. 84 (1954), and Smith v. United States, 348 U.S. 147 (1954).”

    (b) Rule 311 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Rule 311(a)(3) was added to incorporate the balancing test limiting the application of the exclusionary rule set forth in Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135 (2009), where the Supreme Court held that to trigger the exclusionary rule, “the deterrent effect of suppression must be substantial and outweigh any harm to the justice system.” Id. at 147; see also United States v. Wicks, 73 M.J. 93, 104 (C.A.A.F. 2014) (“The exclusionary rule applies only where it results in appreciable deterrence for future Fourth Amendment violations and where the benefits of deterrence must outweigh the costs” (internal quotation marks omitted)).

    Rule 311(c)(4) was added to adopt the expansion of the “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule set forth in Illinois v. Krull, 480 U.S. 340 (1987), where the Supreme Court held that the exclusionary rule is inapplicable to evidence obtained by an officer acting in objectively reasonable reliance on a statute later held violative of the Fourth Amendment.”

    (c) Rule 504 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: References to gender were removed throughout the Rule. Rule 504(c)(1) was amended to make clear that the exception only applies to confidential communications. The definition of “confidential communications” was moved to Rule 504(d).”

    (d) Rule 801 is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment. Rule 801(d)(1)(B)(ii) was added in accordance with an identical change to Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(B). The amendment retains the requirement set forth in Tome v. United States, 513 U.S. 150 (1995): that under Rule 801(d)(1)(B), a consistent statement offered to rebut a charge of recent fabrication of improper influence or motive must have been made before the alleged fabrication or improper inference or motive arose. The intent of the amendment is to extend substantive effect to consistent statements that rebut other attacks on a witness—such as the charges of inconsistency or faulty memory. The amendment does not change the traditional and well-accepted limits on bringing prior consistent statements before the factfinder for credibility purposes. It does not allow impermissible bolstering of a witness. As before, prior consistent statements under the amendment may be brought before the factfinder only if they properly rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been attacked. As before, to be admissible for rehabilitation, a prior consistent statement must satisfy the strictures of Rule 403. As before, the trial court has ample discretion to exclude prior consistent statements that are cumulative accounts of an event. The amendment does not make any consistent statement admissible that was not admissible previously—the only difference is that prior consistent statements otherwise admissible for rehabilitation are now admissible substantively as well.”

    (e) The fourth paragraph of Rule 803(6), beginning with, “Paragraph 144 d” is amended to read as follows:

    “Paragraph 144 d prevented a record “made principally with a view to prosecution, or other disciplinary or legal action;” from being admitted as a business record.”

    (f) Rule 803(6) is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Rule 803(6)(E) was modified based on the amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 803(6), effective 1 December 2014. It clarifies that if the proponent of a record has established the requirements of the exception, then the burden is on the opponent to show a lack of trustworthiness. In meeting its burden, the opponent is not necessarily required to introduce affirmative evidence of untrustworthiness. It is appropriate to impose the burden of proving untrustworthiness on the opponent, as the basic admissibility requirements are sufficient to establish a presumption that the record is reliable.”

    (g) Rule 803(7) is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Rule 803(7)(C) was modified based on the amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 803(7), effective 1 December 2014. It clarifies that if the proponent has established the stated requirements of the exception then the burden is on the opponent to show a lack of trustworthiness.”

    (h) Rule 803(8) is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Rule 803(8)(B) was modified based on the amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 803(8)(B), effective 1 December 2014. The amendment clarifies that if the proponent has established that the record meets the stated requirements of the exception then the burden is on the opponent to show a lack of trustworthiness as public records have justifiably carried a presumption of reliability. The opponent, in meeting its burden is not necessarily required to introduce affirmative evidence of untrustworthiness. A determination of untrustworthiness necessarily depends on the circumstances.”

    (i) Rule 803(8) is amended by deleting the following:

    “Rule 803(8)(C) makes admissible, but only against the Government, “factual findings resulting from an investigation made pursuant to authority granted by law, unless the sources of information or other circumstances indicate lack of trustworthiness.” This provision will make factual findings made, for example, by an Article 32 Investigating Officer or by a Court of Inquiry admissible on behalf of an accused. Because the provision applies only to “factual findings,” great care must be taken to distinguish such factual determinations from opinions, recommendations, and incidental inferences.”

    (j) Rule 803(10) is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Rule 803(10) was modified based on the amendment to Fed. R. Evid. 803(10), effective 1 December 2013. The amendment of the Federal Rules was in response to Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (2009). The Melendez-Diaz Court declared that a testimonial certificate could be admitted if the accused is given advance notice and does not timely demand the presence of the official who prepared the certificate. The amendment to Rule 803(10) is taken largely from the amendment to the Fed. R. Evid. 803(10) but has been modified to adapt it to the military environment.”

    Section 6. Appendix 23, Analysis of Punitive Articles is amended as follows:

    Paragraph 110, Article 134—Threat, communicating, is amended by inserting the following at the end:

    2016 Amendment: Subparagraph (c) was amended in light of Elonis v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2001 (2015).

    Section 7. The Discussion to Part II of the Manual for Courts-Martial, United States, is amended as follows:

    (a) A new Discussion is inserted after R.C.M. 306(b)(2)(B) and before R.C.M. 306(b)(2)(C) and reads as follows:

    “Any preferences as to disposition expressed by the victim regarding jurisdiction, while not binding, should be considered by the cognizant commander prior to making initial disposition.

    The cognizant commander should continue to consider the views of the victim as to jurisdiction until final disposition of the case.”

    (b) Section (H)(ii) of the Discussion immediately following 307(c)(3) is amended to read as follows:

    “(ii) Victim. In the case of an offense against the person or property of a person, the first name, middle initial, and last name or first, middle, and last initials of such person should be alleged, if known. If the name of the victim is unknown, a general physical description may be used. If this cannot be done, the victim may be described as “a person whose name is unknown.” Military rank or grade should be alleged, and must be alleged if an element of the offense, as in an allegation of disobedience of the command of a superior officer. If the person has no military position, it may otherwise be necessary to allege the status as in an allegation of using provoking words toward a person subject to the code. See paragraph 42 of Part IV. Counsel for the government should be aware that if initials of victims are used, additional notice of the identity of victims will be required.”

    (c) The Discussion immediately following R.C.M. 401(c) is amended by inserting the following new paragraph at the beginning of the Discussion:

    “When an alleged offense involves a victim, the victim should, whenever practicable, be provided an opportunity to express views regarding the disposition of the charges. The commander with authority to dispose of charges should consider such views of the victim prior to deciding how to dispose of the charges and should continue to consider the views of the victim until final disposition of the case. A “victim” is an individual who is alleged to have suffered direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the matters set forth in a charge or specification under consideration and is named in one of the specifications under consideration.”

    (d) The Discussion immediately after R.C.M. 604(a) is amended by inserting the following new paragraph between the third and fourth paragraphs:

    “When an alleged offense involves a victim, the victim should, whenever practicable, be provided an opportunity to express views regarding the withdrawal of any charges or specifications in which the victim is named. The convening authority or other individual authorized to act on the charges should consider such views of the victim prior to withdrawing said charges or specifications and should continue to consider the views of the victim until final disposition of the case. A “victim” is an individual who is alleged to have suffered direct physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result of the matters set forth in a charge or specification under consideration and is named in one of the specifications under considera