Federal Register Vol. 80, No.207,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 207 (October 27, 2015)

Page Range65605-65880
FR Document

80_FR_207
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 65877 - United Nations Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 65757 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 65605 - Delegation of Authority Under Sections 110(c) and (d)(4) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000PDF
80 FR 65757 - Government in the Sunshine Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 65822 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 65850 - New York & Atlantic Railway Company-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Queens County, N.Y.PDF
80 FR 65835 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 65822 - Performance Review Boards for Senior Executive ServicePDF
80 FR 65846 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Petition to Classify Special Immigrant Under INA 203(b)(4) as Employee or Former Employee of the U.S. Government AbroadPDF
80 FR 65845 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: ECA Exchange Student SurveysPDF
80 FR 65844 - Imposition of Nonproliferation Measures Against Foreign Persons, Including a Ban on U.S. Government Procurement; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 65847 - Foreign Affairs Policy Board Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 65845 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Special Immigrant Visa Biodata FormPDF
80 FR 65607 - General Schedule Locality Pay AreasPDF
80 FR 65752 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Information Collection Activities Associated With EPA's ENERGY STAR® Product Labeling; EPA ICR No. 2078.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0528PDF
80 FR 65700 - Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Initiation of Countervailing Duty InvestigationPDF
80 FR 65846 - Department of State Performance Review Board MembersPDF
80 FR 65738 - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund, Section 128(a); Notice of Grant Funding Guidance for State and Tribal Response Programs for FY2016PDF
80 FR 65696 - Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Initiation of Antidumping Duty InvestigationPDF
80 FR 65670 - Proposed Establishment of the Lewis-Clark Valley Viticultural Area and Realignment of the Columbia Valley Viticultural Area; Comment Period ReopeningPDF
80 FR 65792 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Promise ZonesPDF
80 FR 65649 - Changes To Facilitate Applicant's Authorization of Access to Unpublished U.S. Patent Applications by Foreign Intellectual Property OfficesPDF
80 FR 65621 - Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions (FIRs)PDF
80 FR 65646 - Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service; Dates of Previously Announced 30-Day Period of Non-EnforcementPDF
80 FR 65704 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65756 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10342, Sunshine State Community Bank Port Orange, FLPDF
80 FR 65805 - Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Forced or Indentured Child Labor in the Production of Goods in Foreign Countries and Efforts by Certain Foreign Countries To Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child LaborPDF
80 FR 65637 - General Allocation and Accounting Regulations Under Section 141; Remedial Actions for Tax-Exempt BondsPDF
80 FR 65784 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 65786 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65783 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 65783 - National Eye Institute Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 65785 - National Cancer Institute Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65785 - Center for Scientific Review Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 65786 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 65783 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 65670 - General Allocation and Accounting Regulations Under Section 141PDF
80 FR 65723 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65718 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request; WithdrawalPDF
80 FR 65750 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 65749 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Emission Guidelines for Existing Other Solid Waste Incineration Units (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 65753 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Integrated Iron and Steel Manufacturing Facilities (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 65751 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Part 70 State Operating Permit Program (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 65748 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Public Water System Supervision ProgramPDF
80 FR 65802 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Supplemental Information on Water Quality ConsiderationsPDF
80 FR 65803 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Office of Human Resources and Professional Development Student and Supervisor Training Validation SurveysPDF
80 FR 65800 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; List of Responsible PersonsPDF
80 FR 65801 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Strategic Planning Environmental Assessment OutreachPDF
80 FR 65802 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of an Approved Collection; Semi-annual Progress Report for Children and Youth Exposed to Violence ProgramPDF
80 FR 65804 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Revision of an Approved Collection; Certification of Compliance With the Statutory Eligibility Requirements of the Violence Against Women Act as AmendedPDF
80 FR 65647 - Safety Zone; Rich Passage, Manchester, WAPDF
80 FR 65727 - Excess Uranium Management: Secretarial Determination of No Adverse Impact on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment IndustriesPDF
80 FR 65761 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 65763 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 65792 - Committee Name: Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC)PDF
80 FR 65726 - National Coal CouncilPDF
80 FR 65727 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New MexicoPDF
80 FR 65726 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New MexicoPDF
80 FR 65687 - Syngenta Seeds Inc.; Availability of Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact and Preliminary Decision for an Extension of a Determination of Nonregulated Status of Corn Genetically Engineered for Glyphosate and Glufosinate-Ammonium ResistancePDF
80 FR 65612 - Removal of Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Electronic OperationsPDF
80 FR 65756 - Designated Reserve Ratio for 2016PDF
80 FR 65692 - Notice of Request To Extend an Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 65693 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65689 - Monsanto Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status of Maize Genetically Engineered For Protection Against Corn Rootworm and Resistance to GlyphosatePDF
80 FR 65756 - Appraisal Subcommittee Notice Of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65850 - Wisconsin Central Ltd.-Abandonment Exemption-in Lincoln County, Wis.PDF
80 FR 65851 - Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039GPDF
80 FR 65694 - Streamlining Summary Level 070 Tables in the 5-Year American Community SurveyPDF
80 FR 65754 - Deletion of Agenda Items From October 22, 2015 Open MeetingPDF
80 FR 65755 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 65725 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 65663 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
80 FR 65696 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65797 - Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract ActionsPDF
80 FR 65765 - Bulk Drug Substances That Can Be Used To Compound Drug Products in Accordance With Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Establishment of a Public DocketPDF
80 FR 65770 - Bulk Drug Substances That Can Be Used To Compound Drug Products in Accordance With Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Establishment of a Public DocketPDF
80 FR 65781 - Interim Policy on Compounding Using Bulk Drug Substances Under Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 65768 - Interim Policy on Compounding Using Bulk Drug Substances Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 65666 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 65635 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Vicks® VapoInhaler®PDF
80 FR 65632 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor InhalerPDF
80 FR 65799 - Certain Toy Figurines and Toy Sets Containing the Same; Commission's Determination To Terminate the Investigation in Its Entirety Based Upon Consent Order Stipulations and Settlement Agreements; Issuance of Consent OrdersPDF
80 FR 65704 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Front Street Transload Facility ConstructionPDF
80 FR 65757 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 65757 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 65793 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Gila Chub Draft Recovery PlanPDF
80 FR 65683 - International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Vessel Register Required Information, International Maritime Organization Numbering SchemePDF
80 FR 65843 - Privacy Act of 1974: New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65795 - South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge; Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact ReportPDF
80 FR 65806 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Definition of Plan Assets-Participant ContributionsPDF
80 FR 65873 - Joint Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development and Clinical Science Research and Development Services Scientific Merit Review Board; Notice of Meetings-November 2015PDF
80 FR 65734 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 65733 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 65736 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 65870 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65788 - Proposed Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 65787 - Final Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 65790 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 65874 - Privacy Act of 1974: Computer Matching ProgramPDF
80 FR 65872 - Privacy Act of 1974; Report of Matching ProgramPDF
80 FR 65761 - Information Collection; Evaluation of Export OffersPDF
80 FR 65784 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 65875 - Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65764 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65711 - Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA)PDF
80 FR 65711 - Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 65796 - Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Kaufman Properties, Thurston County, Washington; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 65710 - Performance Review Board MembershipPDF
80 FR 65716 - TRICARE, Formerly Known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS); Fiscal Year 2016 Mental Health Rate UpdatesPDF
80 FR 65719 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65717 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65712 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65720 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65714 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65722 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65724 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 65838 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Reporting of OTC Transactions in Exchange-Traded Managed Fund Shares (NextShares) to FINRAPDF
80 FR 65830 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
80 FR 65826 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 65832 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1.5(r), 11.1(a), 11.23, 14.6, 14.11, and 14.12 and Adopt Rule 11.1(a)(1)PDF
80 FR 65828 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 11.25, Retail Order Attribution ProgramPDF
80 FR 65823 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1.5(r) and 11.1 and Adopt New Rule 11.1(a)(1)PDF
80 FR 65824 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 11.24, Retail Price Improvement ProgramPDF
80 FR 65833 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule Related to the Amex Customer Engagement ProgramPDF
80 FR 65841 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
80 FR 65835 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1.5(s), 11.1(a)(1), 11.6 and 11.8PDF
80 FR 65823 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 1.5(s), 11.1(a)(1), 11.6 and 11.8PDF
80 FR 65836 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 11.11, Routing to Away Trading CentersPDF
80 FR 65796 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Tribal Self-Governance ProgramPDF
80 FR 65800 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Approval, With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Bioterrorism Preparedness Act: Entity/Individual InformationPDF
80 FR 65704 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14628PDF
80 FR 65875 - Proposed Information Collection (NCA: Legacy (Historic Resources Education Program Research)); Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 65874 - Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65847 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Information Technology Services Survey Portal Customer Satisfaction Assessment (Formerly COMPASS Portal Consumer Satisfaction Assessment)PDF
80 FR 65691 - Tongass National Forest Wrangell Ranger District; Alaska; Wrangell Island Project Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 65784 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 65784 - In VitroPDF
80 FR 65779 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Electronic Submission of Medical Device Registration and ListingPDF
80 FR 65774 - Medical Devices; Exemptions From Premarket Notifications; Class II Devices; Autosomal Recessive Carrier Screening Gene Mutation Detection System; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 65626 - Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of Autosomal Recessive Carrier Screening Gene Mutation Detection SystemPDF
80 FR 65770 - Joint Meeting of the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 65848 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65758 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65690 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 65614 - Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Division Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 65736 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 65731 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 65738 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 65730 - Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 65735 - Dominion Transmission, Inc.; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed New Market ProjectPDF
80 FR 65736 - Notice of Meeting, Notice of Vote, Explanation of Action Closing Meeting and List of Persons To AttendPDF
80 FR 65733 - Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, BP Alaska LNG, LLC, Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company, ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC, TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Supplemental Notice of Public Scoping Meetings for the Planned Alaska LNG ProjectPDF
80 FR 65732 - Seneca Falls Power Corporation; C-S Canal Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application for Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 65730 - Blythe Solar 110, LLC; Supplemental Notice that Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 65730 - Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 65735 - Jether Energy Research, Ltd.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 65732 - PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 65655 - Air Plan Approval; OR; Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 65671 - Air Plan Approval; OR; Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 65675 - Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation PlanPDF
80 FR 65680 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Interstate Transport of OzonePDF
80 FR 65683 - Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for MarylandPDF
80 FR 65661 - Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for MarylandPDF
80 FR 65672 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of OzonePDF
80 FR 65618 - Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 65807 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
80 FR 65660 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Arizona; Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery ProgramPDF
80 FR 65616 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

80 207 Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

Natural Resources Conservation Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PROPOSED RULES Proposed Establishment of Lewis-Clark Valley Viticultural Area and Realignment of the Columbia Valley Viticultural Area: Comment Reopening, 65670-65671 2015-27362 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Determination of Nonregulated Status: Monsanto Co.; Maize Genetically Engineered for Protection Against Corn Rootworm and Resistance to Glyphosate, 65689-65690 2015-27284 Determination of Nonregulated Status; Extension: Syngenta Seeds Inc., Corn Genetically Engineered for Glyphosate and Glufosinate-Ammonium Resistance, 65687-65689 2015-27296 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Army Education Advisory Subcommittee, 65711-65712 2015-27237 Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, 65711 2015-27238 Performance Review Board Membership, 65710-65711 2015-27235 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Streamlining Summary Level 070 Tables in the 5-Year American Community Survey, 65694-65695 2015-27280 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65761-65764 2015-27301 2015-27302 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65764-65765 2015-27239 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Rich Passage, Manchester, WA, 65647-65649 2015-27304 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65696 2015-27273
Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65723-65724 2015-27318 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Export Offers, 65761 2015-27243 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Withdrawal, 65718-65719 2015-27317 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 65712-65725 2015-27227 2015-27228 2015-27229 2015-27230 2015-27231 2015-27232 2015-27233 TRICARE: Fiscal Year 2016 Mental Health Rate Updates, 65716-65717 2015-27234
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products -- Vicks VapoInhaler, 65635-65637 2015-27266 Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products -- Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler, 65632-65635 2015-27264 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

National Nuclear Security Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico, 65726-65727 2015-27297 2015-27298 National Coal Council, 65726-65727 2015-27299
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arizona; Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery Program, 65660-65661 2015-27028 Oregon: Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, 65655-65660 2015-27170 Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland, 65661-65663 2015-27158 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation Plan, 65675-65680 2015-27168 Oregon: Interstate Transport of Ozone, 65680-65683 2015-27165 Oregon: Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, 65671-65672 2015-27169 Washington; Interstate Transport of Ozone, 65672-65675 2015-27153 Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland, 65683 2015-27159 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Emission Guidelines for Existing Other Solid Waste Incineration Units, 65749-65750 2015-27314 EPA ENERGY STAR Product Labeling;, 65752-65753 2015-27379 NESHAP for Integrated Iron and Steel Manufacturing Facilities, 65753-65754 2015-27313 NSPS for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines, 65750-65751 2015-27315 Public Water System Supervision Program, 65748-65749 2015-27311 State Operating Permit Program, 65751-65752 2015-27312 Grant Funding Guidance for State and Tribal Response Programs for FY2016; under CERCLA, 65738-65748 2015-27374 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Helicopters, 65618-65620 2015-27137 Pratt and Whitney Division Turbofan Engines, 65614-65616 2015-27184 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 65616-65618 2015-26979 Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions (FIRs), 65621-65626 2015-27334 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 65666-65670 2015-27267 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65755-65756 2015-27278 Meetings: Deletion of Agenda Items from October 22, 2015 Open Meeting, 65754-65755 2015-27279 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation RULES Removal of Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Electronic Operations, 65612-65614 2015-27292 NOTICES Designated Reserve Ratio, 65756 2015-27290 Termination of Receiverships: Sunshine State Community Bank, Port Orange, FL, 65756 2015-27330 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Flood Hazard Determinations, 65787-65788 2015-27247 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 65790-65792 2015-27246 Flood Hazard Determinations; Proposals, 65788-65789 2015-27248 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Seneca Falls Power Corp.; C-S Canal Hydro, LLC, 65732 2015-27176 Combined Filings, 65731-65734, 65736-65738 2015-27181 2015-27182 2015-27183 2015-27251 2015-27252 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dominion Transmission, Inc.; New Market Project, 65735 2015-27179 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Alaska Gasline Development Corp., et al.; Alaska LNG Project, 65733 2015-27177 Filings: PJM Interconnection, LLC, 65732-65733 2015-27172 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Blythe Solar 110, LLC, 65730 2015-27175 Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC, 65730 2015-27174 Jether Energy Research, Ltd., 65735-65736 2015-27173 Meetings, 65736 2015-27178 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 65734 2015-27253 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Florida Gas Transmission Co., LLC, 65730-65731 2015-27180 Federal Financial Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council NOTICES Meetings: Appraisal Subcommittee, 65756 2015-27283 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 65757 2015-27478 2015-27479 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Information Technology Services Survey Portal Customer Satisfaction Assessment (Formerly COMPASS Portal Consumer Satisfaction Assessment), 65847-65848 2015-27205 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65848-65850 2015-27195 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 65757 2015-27260 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 65757 2015-27261 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 65757-65758 2015-27436 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65758-65761 2015-27194 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Gila Chub Draft Recovery Plan, 65793-65795 2015-27259 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Draft Habitat Conservation Plan, Kaufman Properties, Thurston County, WA; Correction, 65796 2015-27236 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Phase 2; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 65795-65796 2015-27256 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of Autosomal Recessive Carrier Screening Gene Mutation Detection System, 65626-65632 2015-27197 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Submission of Medical Device Registration and Listing, 65779-65781 2015-27199 Bulk Drug Substances That Can Be Used to Compound Drug Products in Accordance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 65765-65768, 65770-65774 2015-27270 2015-27271 Guidance: Interim Policy on Compounding Using Bulk Drug Substances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 65768-65769, 65781-65783 2015-27268 2015-27269 Medical Devices: Exemptions from Premarket Notifications; Class II Devices; Autosomal Recessive Carrier Screening Gene Mutation Detection System; Request for Comments, 65774-65779 2015-27198 Meetings: Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, 65770 2015-27196 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 65690-65691 2015-27187 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Wrangell Island Project, Tongass National Forest Wrangell Ranger District, AK, 65691-65692 2015-27204 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of Export Offers, 65761 2015-27243 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee; Corrections, 65792 2015-27300
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Promise Zones, 65792-65793 2015-27341 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Tribal Self-Governance Program, 65796-65797 2015-27211 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES General Allocation and Accounting: Remedial Actions for Tax-Exempt Bonds, 65637-65646 2015-27328 PROPOSED RULES General Allocation and Accounting: Partial Withdrawal, 65670 2015-27319 NOTICES Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen to Expatriate, 65851-65870 2015-27281 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India, 65696-65703 2015-27364 2015-27376 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Toy Figurines and Toy Sets Containing the Same, 65799 2015-27263 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Bioterrorism Preparedness Act: Entity/Individual Information, 65800 2015-27209 Certification of Compliance with the Statutory Eligibility Requirements of the Violence Against Women Act as Amended, 65804 2015-27305 List of Responsible Persons, 65800-65801 2015-27308 Office of Human Resources and Professional Development Student and Supervisor Training Validation Surveys, 65803-65804 2015-27309 Semi-annual Progress Report for Children and Youth Exposed to Violence Program, 65802-65803 2015-27306 Strategic Planning Environmental Assessment Outreach, 65801 2015-27307 Supplemental Information on Water Quality Considerations, 65802 2015-27310
Labor Department Labor Department See

Wage and Hour Division

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Definition of Plan Assets -- Participant Contributions, 65806-65807 2015-27255 Requests for Information: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Forced or Indentured Child Labor in the Production of Goods in Foreign Countries, etc., 65805-65806 2015-27329
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80 207 Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 531 RIN 3206-AM88 General Schedule Locality Pay Areas AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management is issuing final regulations on behalf of the President's Pay Agent. These final regulations link the definitions of General Schedule (GS) locality pay area boundaries to updated metropolitan area definitions established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February 2013. These final regulations also establish 13 new locality pay areas, which the Federal Salary Council recommended after reviewing pay levels in all “Rest of U.S.” metropolitan statistical areas and combined statistical areas with 2,500 or more GS employees.

DATES:

The regulations are effective November 27, 2015. The regulations are applicable on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Ratcliffe, (202) 606-2838; fax: (202) 606-0824; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 5304 of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), authorizes locality pay for General Schedule (GS) employees with duty stations in the United States and its territories and possessions. Section 5304(f) authorizes the President's Pay Agent (the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)) to determine locality pay areas. The boundaries of locality pay areas must be based on appropriate factors, which may include local labor market patterns, commuting patterns, and the practices of other employers. The Pay Agent must give thorough consideration to the views and recommendations of the Federal Salary Council, a body composed of experts in the fields of labor relations and pay policy and representatives of Federal employee organizations. The President appoints the members of the Federal Salary Council, which submits annual recommendations on the locality pay program to the Pay Agent. The establishment or modification of locality pay area boundaries must conform to the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553).

On June 1, 2015, OPM published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on behalf of the Pay Agent. (See 80 FR 30955.) The proposed rule proposed linking locality pay area definitions to metropolitan areas defined by OMB in February 2013, and proposed establishing 13 new locality pay areas: Albany-Schenectady, NY; Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM; Austin-Round Rock, TX; Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC; Colorado Springs, CO; Davenport-Moline, IA-IL; Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA; Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS; Laredo, TX; Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL; St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL; and Tucson-Nogales, AZ. The proposed rule did not propose modifying the standard commuting and GS employment criteria used in the locality pay program to evaluate, as possible areas of application, locations adjacent to the metropolitan area comprising the basic locality pay area. (A basic locality pay area is an OMB-defined metropolitan area on which the definition of a locality pay area is based, and an area of application is a location that is not part of a basic locality pay area but is included in the locality pay area.) However, the proposed rule proposed using updated commuting patterns data to calculate commuting interchange rates to evaluate, as potential areas of application, locations adjacent to the metropolitan area comprising the basic locality pay area. The updated commuting patterns data used to calculate commuting interchange rates were collected as part of the American Community Survey between 2006 and 2010. In January 2014, the Federal Salary Council recommended use of those commuting patterns data in order to calculate commuting interchange rates used in the locality pay program. (The commuting interchange rate is the sum of the percentage of employed residents of the area under consideration who work in the basic locality pay area and the percentage of the employment in the area under consideration that is accounted for by workers who reside in the basic locality pay area. The commuting interchange rate is calculated by including all workers in assessed locations, not just Federal employees.)

The proposed rule provided a 30-day comment period. The Pay Agent reviewed comments received through July 1, 2015. After considering those comments, the Pay Agent has decided to implement the locality pay area definitions in the proposed rule, with three additional changes. Those changes, which are further discussed below, are a name change for one locality pay area; the addition of Berkshire County, MA, to the Albany-Schenectady, NY, locality pay area; and the addition of Harrison County, OH, to the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH, locality pay area.

Based on questions OPM staff received on the definition of the “Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA” locality pay area defined in the proposed rule, the Pay Agent has decided to change the name of that locality pay area to “Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA.” The definition of the locality pay area remains the same as in the proposed rule, and the name change is intended to help clarify that York County, PA, is not included in the Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA, locality pay area. Before the name change, that locality pay area's name was based on the name of the February 2013 Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA, Combined Statistical Area, the OMB-defined metropolitan area to which the definition of the Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA, locality pay area is linked. However, York County, PA, which has been an area of application to the Washington-Baltimore locality pay area since January 2005, will remain in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA, locality pay area.

In the proposed rule, the Pay Agent invited comment on how to address “Rest of U.S.” locations that are almost but not completely surrounded by potentially higher-paying locality pay areas. After considering comments received, the Pay Agent has decided to include, as areas of application, Berkshire County, MA, in the Albany-Schenectady, NY, locality pay area and Harrison County, OH, in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH, locality pay area. While not completely surrounded by potentially higher-paying locality pay areas, each of those two counties is bordered by three separate locality pay areas. This action includes Berkshire County, MA, and Harrison County, OH, in an adjacent locality pay area with which each county has the highest commuting interchange rate. This policy is consistent with the Pay Agent's treatment, in the proposed rule and under these final regulations, of completely surrounded locations.

Berkshire County, MA, and Harrison County, OH, if left in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area, would each have a land boundary more than 75 percent bordered by three separate locality pay areas. In addition, Berkshire and Harrison Counties each have commuting interchange rates, with the three locality pay areas they border, that sum to more than 7.5 percent. (The Pay Agent notes that the two completely surrounded locations included in separate locality pay areas under these final regulations—Kent County, MD, which will be included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA, locality pay area, and Lancaster County, PA, which will be included in the Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA, locality pay area—also have significant commuting interchange rates. Kent and Lancaster Counties each have commuting interchange rates of more than 7.5 percent with the locality pay area to which they will become areas of application under these final regulations.)

In analyzing counties almost but not completely surrounded by separate locality pay areas under the locality pay area definitions proposed in the proposed rule, the Pay Agent also considered the driving distance by road between an evaluated county's most populous duty station, in terms of GS employment, and the most populous duty station, in terms of GS employment, in the closest county within the adjacent locality pay area with the highest commuting interchange rate. (Driving distances and commuting interchange rates served different purposes in the analysis of locations almost but not completely surrounded by potentially higher-paying locality pay areas. While commuting interchange rates were used to indicate the extent to which a location is part of each adjacent locality pay area's local labor market, driving distances were considered as an indicator of the potential for GS employees to commute to a higher-paying locality pay area.) For both Berkshire County, MA, and Harrison County, OH, the driving distance is less than 50 miles between the county's most populous duty station, in terms of GS employment, and the most populous duty station, in terms of GS employment, in the closest county within the adjacent locality pay area with the highest commuting interchange rate.

The Pay Agent does not believe that a “Rest of U.S.” county being mostly bordered by separate locality pay areas necessarily warrants action unless there is evidence of a substantial labor market linkage with one or more neighboring locality pay areas. However, the Pay Agent believes the aforementioned information on commuting and driving distances for Berkshire County, MA, and Harrison County, OH, when considered along with the extent to which each of these counties is bordered by three separate locality pay areas, does warrant action. The other single-county “Rest of U.S.” locations bordered by three separate locality pay areas have a smaller percentage of land boundary bordered by separate locality pay areas and/or have lesser commuting or greater driving distances to the adjacent locality pay areas. (No single-county “Rest of U.S.” locations are bordered by more than three separate locality pay areas.) Individuals concerned about agency recruitment or retention capabilities in locations bordered by multiple separate locality pay areas and remaining in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area under these final regulations may provide testimony to the Federal Salary Council on locations of concern.

Impact and Implementation

Using February 2013 OMB-defined metropolitan area definitions as the basis for locality pay area boundaries and using updated commuting patterns data to evaluate potential areas of application will add a number of counties now included in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area to separate locality pay areas, which will impact about 6,300 GS employees.

Establishing 13 new locality pay areas will impact about 102,000 GS employees. Implementing the 13 new locality pay areas will not automatically change locality pay rates now applicable in those areas because locality pay percentages are established by Executive order under the President's authority in 5 U.S.C. 5304 or 5304a, and the President decides each year whether to adjust locality pay percentages. When locality pay percentages are increased, past practice has been to allocate a percent of the total GS payroll for locality raises and to have the overall dollar cost for such pay raises be the same, regardless of the number of locality pay areas. If a percent of the total GS payroll is allocated for locality pay increases, the addition of new areas could result in a smaller amount to allocate for locality pay increases in existing areas. Implementing higher locality pay rates in the 13 new locality pay areas could thus result in relatively lower pay increases for employees in existing locality pay areas than they would otherwise receive.

Comments on the Proposed Rule

OPM received 707 comments on the proposed rule. Most commenters supported the proposed changes in the definitions of locality pay areas.

Many commenters expressed the belief that various indicators of living costs should be considered in defining locality pay areas or in setting locality pay. Living costs are not directly considered in the locality pay program. Locality pay is not designed to equalize living standards for GS employees across the country. Under 5 U.S.C. 5304, locality pay rates are based on comparisons of GS pay and non-Federal pay at the same work levels in a locality pay area. Relative living costs may indirectly affect non-Federal pay levels, but living costs are just one of many factors that affect the supply of and demand for labor, and therefore labor costs, in a locality pay area.

Some commenters disagreed it is appropriate to establish 13 new locality pay areas. A number of those commenters expressed concern that existing locality pay areas' future pay levels could be set lower than they otherwise would, due to establishment of new locality pay areas. The President's Pay Agent continues to believe it is appropriate to establish the 13 new locality pay areas. The goal of the locality pay program is to reduce disparities between GS pay and non-Federal pay for the same levels of work in locations where such disparities are significant. The Federal Salary Council recommended the 13 new locality pay areas after reviewing pay levels in all “Rest of U.S.” metropolitan statistical areas and combined statistical areas with 2,500 or more GS employees. The Federal Salary Council found that the percentage difference between GS and non-Federal pay levels for the same levels of work—i.e., the pay disparity—in these 13 locations was substantially greater than the “Rest of U.S.” pay disparity over an extended period. Because pay disparities calculated for the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area are based on average pay across many metropolitan areas throughout the United States with varying pay levels, and because pay in those metropolitan areas can change over time, the Pay Agent believes it is appropriate to monitor pay levels in “Rest of U.S.” metropolitan areas to the extent it is feasible to do so. When such monitoring reveals that a metropolitan area has a pay disparity significantly exceeding the overall “Rest of U.S.” pay disparity over an extended period, the Pay Agent believes it is appropriate to establish the metropolitan area as a separate locality pay area.

Some commenters disagreed it is appropriate to use February 2013 OMB-defined metropolitan areas to define locality pay areas. Some of those commenters made living-cost comparisons between different portions of the February 2013 OMB metropolitan areas, e.g., comparisons between the central and outlying portions of those metropolitan areas. Some commenters expressed concern that future locality pay levels might be set lower than they otherwise would due to including certain portions of a metropolitan area, such as its outlying locations, in a locality pay area. Some commenters suggested splitting OMB-defined metropolitan areas into separate locality pay areas so that some locations in a metropolitan area could receive higher pay rates than other locations within the metropolitan area.

Prior to implementation of locality pay, the Federal Salary Council recommended, and the Pay Agent approved, the use of OMB-defined metropolitan areas as the basis for locality pay area boundaries, and OMB-defined metropolitan areas have been the basis for locality pay area boundaries since locality pay was implemented in 1994. (A detailed history of the use of OMB-defined metropolitan areas in the locality pay program can be found in the Federal Salary Council's January 2014 recommendations, which are posted on the OPM Web site at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-systems/general-schedule/federal-salary-council/recommendation13.pdf.)

The Pay Agent continues to believe it is appropriate to use OMB-defined metropolitan areas as the basis for locality pay area boundaries and has no evidence that it is appropriate to split an OMB-defined metropolitan area into separate locality pay areas. Since OMB-defined metropolitan areas will continue to serve as the basis for locality pay area boundaries, the Pay Agent believes it makes sense to update the metropolitan areas used in the locality pay program to the February 2013 OMB-defined metropolitan areas, since the definitions of those metropolitan areas reflect the most recent information on population distribution and commuting patterns. Departing from the practice of defining basic locality pay areas based on OMB-defined metropolitan areas or splitting those metropolitan areas into separate locality pay areas would be a significant change, and the implications would have to be carefully considered. Individuals interested in recommending alternatives to defining basic locality pay areas based on entire OMB-defined metropolitan areas may provide testimony to the Federal Salary Council.

Some commenters disagreed it is appropriate to establish new areas of application or maintain existing ones, with some commenters expressing concern that future locality pay levels could be set lower than they otherwise would due to including new areas of application in locality pay areas. Prior to implementation of locality pay, the Federal Salary Council recommended, and the Pay Agent agreed, that OMB-defined metropolitan areas not be the sole basis for defining locality pay areas. Ever since locality pay was implemented in 1994, criteria have been used in the locality pay program to evaluate, as potential areas of application, locations adjacent to the metropolitan area comprising the basic locality pay area. The Pay Agent continues to believe it is appropriate to establish areas of application when approved criteria for doing so are met.

Some commenters disagreed it is appropriate to retain, in their current locality pay area, locations that would otherwise move to a potentially lower-paying locality pay area as a result of using February 2013 OMB-defined metropolitan areas as the basis for locality pay area boundaries. The Pay Agent continues to believe it is appropriate to retain such locations in their current locality pay area. If such a location were moved to a lower-paying locality pay area, current GS employees in the location might be entitled to pay retention under 5 U.S.C. 5363 and 5 CFR part 536 and would not have a reduction in pay. GS employees hired after movement of the location to the lower-paying locality pay area would not be entitled to pay retention and would receive the lower locality pay rates that would be applicable in the location. The Pay Agent believes such an outcome would be disruptive for agencies and employees in affected locations.

A number of commenters objected that locations not included in a separate locality pay area were to remain in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area under the proposed rule. Some of those locations are metropolitan areas for which the Federal Salary Council has studied disparities between non-Federal pay and Federal pay (pay disparities) over several years of data and found that the pay disparities do not significantly exceed the pay disparity for the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area over the same period. Other locations referred to in this category of comments do not meet the criteria for areas of application. In some cases, commenters cited possible recruitment and retention difficulties the commenters believe agencies may have in certain locations that would remain in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area when these final regulations are put into effect. The Pay Agent has no evidence that the changes these final regulations will make in locality pay area definitions will create recruitment and retention challenges for Federal employers. However, should recruitment and retention challenges exist in a location, Federal agencies have considerable administrative authority to address those challenges through the use of current pay flexibilities. Information on these flexibilities is posted on the OPM Web site at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-and-leave-flexibilities-for-recruitment-and-retention.

A number of commenters expressed their views on pay levels in locality pay areas. Some commenters suggested specific locality pay percentages to apply to new or existing locality pay areas, and some commenters offered opinions on the extent to which pay increases are needed in some locality pay areas compared to others. Such comments as these are outside of the scope of these final regulations. The purpose of these final regulations is to define the boundaries of locality pay areas. The role of the Pay Agent with regard to locality pay percentages is to report annually to the President what locality pay percentages would go into effect under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. The President establishes a base General Schedule and sets locality pay percentages each year by Executive order.

Some commenters expressed concern that certain Federal pay systems outside of the General Schedule would not benefit from the changes planned for definitions of GS locality pay areas. Other commenters suggested that Federal retirees should receive increased retirement payments if, before they retired, they worked in a “Rest of U.S.” duty station that will now be included in a higher-paying locality pay area. Such comments as these are outside of the scope of these final regulations. The purpose of these final regulations is to define locality pay areas for current Federal employees who receive locality pay under 5 U.S.C. 5304, not to set pay levels for Federal employees who do not receive locality pay under 5 U.S.C. 5304 or to determine retirement payments.

A number of comments reflected misunderstanding of the proposed rule's definitions of locality pay areas, with some comments indicating a belief that certain counties actually included in a proposed locality pay area were excluded. The definitions of locality pay areas are based on combined statistical areas (CSAs) and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Because over time counties can be added to CSAs and MSAs, and because the Pay Agent wanted any such changes in CSAs and MSAs to be reflected automatically in the definitions of locality pay areas, rather than list every county in each locality pay area, these final regulations will define locality pay areas by listing the CSA and MSA comprising the basic locality pay area, with areas of application listed as single counties. These final regulations define CSA as the geographic scope of a CSA, as defined in OMB Bulletin No. 13-01, plus any areas subsequently added to the CSA by OMB, and define MSA as the geographic scope of an MSA, as defined in OMB Bulletin No. 13-01, plus any areas subsequently added to the MSA by OMB. (OMB Bulletin 13-01 can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b-13-01.pdf.)

A number of comments concerned locations which, under the locality pay area definitions in the proposed rule, would remain in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area and be bordered by multiple locality pay areas. For the reasons discussed above in the “Supplementary Information” section of this final rule, after evaluating single-county locations bordered by multiple locality pay areas, the Pay Agent has decided to include, as areas of application, Berkshire County, MA, in the Albany-Schenectady, NY, locality pay area and Harrison County, OH, in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH, locality pay area. Individuals concerned about locations that are bordered by multiple separate locality pay areas and remain in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area, under the locality pay area definitions implemented by these final regulations, may provide testimony to the Federal Salary Council on locations of concern.

Several commenters expressed concern that U.S. counties that are isolated off the coast of the U.S. mainland, and which do not meet criteria for areas of application, remain in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area under the changes these regulations will make in the definitions of locality pay areas. Some of these comments anecdotally referred to recruitment and retention challenges the commenters attributed to the locations being limited to “Rest of U.S.” locality pay. Federal agencies have considerable discretionary authority to provide pay and leave flexibilities to address significant recruitment and retention challenges, and information on these flexibilities is posted on the OPM Web site at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-and-leave-flexibilities-for-recruitment-and-retention.

One commenter opposed any movement of “Rest of U.S.” locations to separate pay areas, and said the Government should find less costly alternatives, such as moving Federal employment sites to areas with lower living or labor costs and increasing the use of telework. The Pay Agent does not believe that the need to vary pay levels geographically based on labor costs can be substantially reduced in the near term by relocating Government agencies' duty stations or expanding telework programs. In addition, such a comment is outside the scope of these final regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to establish locality pay area boundaries the Pay Agent has determined to be appropriate.

One commenter suggested that adjacent locality pay areas be combined into single locality pay areas, with resultant cost savings to the Government. Such a change would be a significant departure from current practices in the locality pay program and could have significant implications. The implications for adjacent locality pay areas are unknown and would have to be carefully considered. Individuals interested in pursuing this idea may provide testimony to the Federal Salary Council.

Some comments reflected a mistaken belief that the calculation of commuting interchange rates in the locality pay program includes only commuting by Federal employees, rather than commuting by all types of workers in assessed locations. Some commenters expressed the opinion that commuting interchange rates including only commuting for Federal employees should be considered in defining locality pay areas. In evaluating locations adjacent to basic locality pay areas as potential areas of application, commuting by all types of workers, not just Federal employees, is used as a criterion. Commuting interchange rates used in the locality pay program are a measure of economic linkage between a basic locality pay area and an adjacent location. Commuting interchange rates used in the locality pay program are used to indicate the extent to which a location is part of the locality pay area's entire local labor market, not to indicate the extent to which Federal employees commute between locations.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

OMB has reviewed this rule in accordance with E.O. 13563 and E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that these regulations would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they would apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 531

Government employees, Law enforcement officers, Wages.

Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

Accordingly, OPM is amending 5 CFR part 531 as follows:

PART 531—PAY UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE 1. The authority citation for part 531 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5115, 5307, and 5338; sec. 4 of Pub. L. 103-89, 107 Stat. 981; and E.O. 12748, 56 FR 4521, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 316; Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5303(g), 5305, 5333, 5334(a) and (b), and 7701(b)(2); Subpart D also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5335 and 7701(b)(2); Subpart E also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5336; Subpart F also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5304, 5305, and 5941(a), E.O. 12883, 58 FR 63281, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 682 and E.O. 13106, 63 FR 68151, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 224.

Subpart F—Locality-Based Comparability Payments 2. In § 531.602, the definitions of CSA and MSA are revised to read as follows:
§ 531.602 Definitions.

CSA means the geographic scope of a Combined Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Bulletin No. 13-01, plus any areas subsequently added to the CSA by OMB.

MSA means the geographic scope of a Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Bulletin No. 13-01, plus any areas subsequently added to the MSA by OMB.

3. In § 531.603, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
§ 531.603 Locality pay areas.

(b) The following are locality pay areas for the purposes of this subpart:

(1) Alaska—consisting of the State of Alaska;

(2) Albany-Schenectady, NY—consisting of the Albany-Schenectady, NY CSA and also including Berkshire County, MA;

(3) Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM—consisting of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM CSA;

(4) Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA-AL—consisting of the Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA CSA and also including Chambers County, AL;

(5) Austin-Round Rock, TX—consisting of the Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA;

(6) Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT-ME—consisting of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT CSA, except for Windham County, CT, and also including Androscoggin County, ME, Cumberland County, ME, Sagadahoc County, ME, and York County, ME;

(7) Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY—consisting of the Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY CSA;

(8) Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC—consisting of the Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC CSA;

(9) Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI—consisting of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI CSA;

(10) Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN—consisting of the Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN CSA and also including Franklin County, IN;

(11) Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH—consisting of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH CSA and also including Harrison County, OH;

(12) Colorado Springs, CO—consisting of the Colorado Springs, CO MSA and also including Fremont County, CO, and Pueblo County, CO;

(13) Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH—consisting of the Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH CSA;

(14) Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK—consisting of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK CSA and also including Delta County, TX, and Fannin County, TX;

(15) Davenport-Moline, IA-IL—consisting of the Davenport-Moline, IA-IL CSA;

(16) Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, OH—consisting of the Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, OH CSA and also including Preble County, OH;

(17) Denver-Aurora, CO—consisting of the Denver-Aurora, CO CSA and also including Larimer County, CO;

(18) Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI—consisting of the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI CSA;

(19) Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA—consisting of the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA CSA, except for Adams County, PA, and York County, PA, and also including Lancaster County, PA;

(20) Hartford-West Hartford, CT-MA—consisting of the Hartford-West Hartford, CT CSA and also including Windham County, CT, Franklin County, MA, Hampden County, MA, and Hampshire County, MA;

(21) Hawaii—consisting of the State of Hawaii;

(22) Houston-The Woodlands, TX—consisting of the Houston-The Woodlands, TX CSA and also including San Jacinto County, TX;

(23) Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL—consisting of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL CSA;

(24) Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN—consisting of the Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN CSA and also including Grant County, IN;

(25) Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS—consisting of the Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS CSA and also including Jackson County, KS, Jefferson County, KS, Osage County, KS, Shawnee County, KS, and Wabaunsee County, KS;

(26) Laredo, TX—consisting of the Laredo, TX MSA;

(27) Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ—consisting of the Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ CSA;

(28) Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA—consisting of the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA CSA and also including Kern County, CA, and Santa Barbara County, CA;

(29) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL—consisting of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL CSA and also including Monroe County, FL;

(30) Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI—consisting of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA;

(31) Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI—consisting of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI CSA;

(32) New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA—consisting of the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA and also including all of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;

(33) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL—consisting of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA;

(34) Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD—consisting of the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA, except for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;

(35) Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ—consisting of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ MSA;

(36) Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV—consisting of the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV CSA;

(37) Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA—consisting of the Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA CSA;

(38) Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC—consisting of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC CSA and also including Cumberland County, NC, Hoke County, NC, Robeson County, NC, Scotland County, NC, and Wayne County, NC;

(39) Richmond, VA—consisting of the Richmond, VA MSA and also including Cumberland County, VA, King and Queen County, VA, and Louisa County, VA;

(40) Sacramento-Roseville, CA-NV—consisting of the Sacramento-Roseville, CA CSA and also including Carson City, NV, and Douglas County, NV;

(41) San Diego-Carlsbad, CA—consisting of the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA MSA;

(42) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA—consisting of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA and also including Monterey County, CA;

(43) Seattle-Tacoma, WA—consisting of the Seattle-Tacoma, WA CSA and also including Whatcom County, WA;

(44) St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL—consisting of the St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL CSA;

(45) Tucson-Nogales, AZ—consisting of the Tucson-Nogales, AZ CSA and also including Cochise County, AZ;

(46) Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA—consisting of the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA CSA and also including Kent County, MD, Adams County, PA, York County, PA, King George County, VA, and Morgan County, WV; and

(47) Rest of U.S.—consisting of those portions of the United States and its territories and possessions as listed in 5 CFR 591.205 not located within another locality pay area.

[FR Doc. 2015-27380 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 390 RIN 3064-AE19 Removal of Transferred OTS Regulations Regarding Electronic Operations AGENCY:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) is adopting a final rule to rescind and remove from the Code of Federal Regulations the transferred regulation entitled “Electronic Operations.” This regulation was included in the regulations that were transferred to the FDIC from the Office of Thrift Supervision (“OTS”) on July 21, 2011, in connection with the implementation of applicable provisions of title III of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). There is no corresponding FDIC Electronic Operations rule and the rule is deemed obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome. Therefore, the FDIC has decided to rescind and remove the regulation in its entirety.

DATES:

The final rule is effective on November 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Maree, Legal Division, (202) 898-6543; Frederick Coleman, Division of Risk Management Supervision, (703) 254-0452.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. The Dodd-Frank Act

Title III of the Dodd-Frank Act 1 provided for a substantial reorganization of the regulation of State and Federal savings associations and their holding companies. Beginning July 21, 2011, the transfer date established by section 311 of the Dodd-Frank Act, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5411, the powers, duties, and functions formerly performed by the OTS were divided among the FDIC, as to State savings associations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), as to Federal savings associations, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”), as to savings and loan holding companies. Section 316(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5414(b), provides the manner of treatment for all orders, resolutions, determinations, regulations, and advisory materials that had been issued, made, prescribed, or allowed to become effective by the OTS. The section provides that if such materials were in effect on the day before the transfer date, they continue to be in effect and are enforceable by or against the appropriate successor agency until they are modified, terminated, set aside, or superseded in accordance with applicable law by such successor agency, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or by operation of law.

1 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

Section 316(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5414(c), further directed the FDIC and the OCC to consult with one another and to publish a list of the continued OTS regulations which would be enforced by the FDIC and the OCC, respectively. On June 14, 2011, the FDIC's Board of Directors approved a “List of OTS Regulations to be Enforced by the OCC and the FDIC Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” This list was published by the FDIC and the OCC as a Joint Notice in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011.2

2 76 FR 39247 (July 6, 2011).

Although section 312(b)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Dodd-Frank Act, codified at 12 U.S.C. 5412(b)(2)(B)(i)(II), granted the OCC rulemaking authority relating to both State and Federal savings associations, nothing in the Dodd-Frank Act affected the FDIC's existing authority to issue regulations under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDI Act”) and other laws as the “appropriate Federal banking agency” or under similar statutory terminology. Section 312(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the definition of “appropriate Federal banking agency” contained in section 3(q) of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813(q), to add State savings associations to the list of entities for which the FDIC is designated as the “appropriate Federal banking agency.” As a result, when the FDIC acts as the designated “appropriate Federal banking agency” (or under similar terminology) for State savings associations, as it does here, the FDIC is authorized to issue, modify and rescind regulations involving such associations, as well as for State nonmember banks and insured branches of foreign banks.

As noted, on June 14, 2011, pursuant to this authority, the FDIC's Board of Directors reissued and redesignated certain transferring OTS regulations. These transferred OTS regulations were published as new FDIC regulations in the Federal Register on August 5, 2011.3 When it republished the transferred OTS regulations as new FDIC regulations, the FDIC specifically noted that its staff would evaluate the transferred OTS rules and might later recommend incorporating the transferred OTS regulations into other FDIC rules, amending them, or rescinding them, as appropriate.

3 76 FR 47652 (Aug. 5, 2011).

One of the OTS rules transferred to the FDIC requires State savings associations to notify the FDIC at least 30 days before establishing a transactional Web site. The OTS rule, formerly found at 12 CFR part 555, subpart B (“part 555, subpart B”), was transferred to the FDIC with only technical changes and is now found in the FDIC's rules at 12 CFR part 390, subpart L (“part 390, subpart L”), entitled “Electronic Operations.” The FDIC has no such corresponding rule. After careful review of part 390, subpart L, the FDIC has decided to rescind part 390, subpart L, in its entirety, because, as discussed below, it is obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome.

II. Proposed Rule A. Removal of Part 390, Subpart L (Former OTS Part 555, Subpart B)

On July 21, 2014, the FDIC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Proposed Rule”) regarding the removal of part 390, subpart L, which governs electronic operations of State savings associations.4 The Proposed Rule would have removed part 390, subpart L, from the CFR in an effort to streamline FDIC regulations for all FDIC-supervised institutions. As discussed in the Proposed Rule, the FDIC carefully reviewed the transferred rule, part 390, subpart L, and determined that it should be rescinded because it is obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome.

4 79 FR 42231 (July 21, 2014).

III. Comments

The FDIC issued the Proposed Rule with a 60-day comment period, which closed on September 19, 2014. No comments on the Proposed Rule were received by the FDIC. Consequently, the final rule (“Final Rule”) is adopted as proposed without any changes.

IV. Explanation of the Final Rule

As discussed in the Proposed Rule, the OTS enacted the Electronic Operations rule, part 390, subpart L, unilaterally. This rule required savings associations to file a written notice with the OTS at least 30 days before establishing a transactional Web site. Neither the FDIC, the OCC, nor the FRB has a regulatory notice requirement similar to the Electronic Operations rule that requires insured depository institutions to notify the respective agency if they intend to establish transactional Web sites. Rescinding and removing the Electronic Operations rule will serve to streamline the FDIC's rules and eliminate obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome regulations. It will also facilitate uniform supervision regarding notification requirements for electronic operation for all FDIC-supervised insured depository institutions. Accordingly, the Final Rule removes and rescinds part 390, subpart L, in its entirety.

V. Administrative Law Matters A. The Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, the FDIC may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) control number.

The Final Rule rescinds and removes from FDIC regulations part 390, subpart L, because it is obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome. This rule was transferred with only nominal changes to the FDIC from the OTS when the OTS was abolished by title III of the Dodd-Frank Act. In republishing this rule, the FDIC made only technical changes to existing OTS regulations. The FDIC does not have a regulatory notice requirement similar to the Electronic Operations rule that requires insured depository institutions to notify the FDIC if they intend to set up transactional Web sites and, therefore, never established an information collection to account for the paperwork burden imposed on the public.

The Final Rule will neither create any new information collection nor modify any of the FDIC's existing information collections. Accordingly, the FDIC will not submit any information collection request to OMB.

B. The Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”),5 generally requires an agency to consider whether a final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined in regulations promulgated by the Small Business Administration to include banking organizations with total assets of less than or equal to $500 million).6 Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required if the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, and publishes its certification and a short explanatory statement in the Federal Register together with the rule. For the reasons provided below, the FDIC certifies that the Final Rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

5 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

6 78 FR 37409, 37411 (June 20, 2013).

As discussed in the Proposed Rulemaking, part 390, subpart L, was transferred from part 555, subpart B, which governed notification provisions for savings associations that intended to establish transactional Web sites. Part 555, subpart B became effective on January 1, 1999, and all savings associations were required to comply with it. The FDIC's Final Rule rescinds and removes part 390, subpart L, because it is obsolete, unnecessary, and burdensome. Since the Electronic Operations rule is being rescinded, the Final Rule will reduce the paperwork and other regulatory burdens on State savings associations by eliminating the requirement to provide the FDIC with notice before establishing a transactional Web site. Therefore, the Final Rule will have no significant economic impact on any State savings association.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

The Office of Management and Budget has determined that the Final Rule is not a “major rule” within the meaning of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (“SBREFA”), 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.

D. Plain Language

Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 12 U.S.C. 4809, requires each Federal banking agency to use plain language in all of its proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. In the Proposed Rule, the FDIC invited comments on whether the Proposed Rule was clearly stated and effectively organized, and how the FDIC might make it easier to understand. Although the FDIC did not receive any comments, the FDIC sought to present the Final Rule in a simple and straightforward manner.

E. The Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act

Under section 2222 of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (“EGRPRA”), the FDIC is required to review all of its regulations, at least once every 10 years, in order to identify any outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulations imposed on insured institutions.7 The FDIC completed the last comprehensive review of its regulations under EGRPRA in 2006 and is commencing the next decennial review, which is expected to be completed by 2016. The Proposed Rule solicited comments on whether the proposed rescission of part 390, subpart L would impose any outdated or unnecessary regulatory requirements on insured depository institutions. No comments on this issue were received. Upon review, the FDIC does not believe that rescinding part 390, subpart L, imposes any outdated or unnecessary regulatory requirements on any insured depository institutions. Rather, because the Electronic Operations rule is being rescinded, the Final Rule eliminates an outdated and unnecessary regulatory burden on State savings associations by eliminating the requirement to provide the FDIC with notice before establishing a transactional Web site.

7 Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 390

Banks, banking; electronic operations; savings associations.

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Board of Directors of the FDIC amends 12 CFR part 390 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 390—REGULATIONS TRANSFERRED FROM THE OFFICE OF THRIFT SUPERVISION 1. The authority citation for part 390 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1819.

Subpart A also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1820.

Subpart B also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1818.

Subpart C also issued under 5 U.S.C. 504; 554-557; 12 U.S.C. 1464; 1467; 1468; 1817; 1818; 1820; 1829; 3349, 4717; 15 U.S.C. 78 l; 78o-5; 78u-2; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 31 U.S.C. 5321; 42 U.S.C. 4012a.

Subpart D also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1817; 1818; 1820; 15 U.S.C. 78 l.

Subpart E also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1813; 1831m; 15 U.S.C. 78.

Subpart F also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552; 559; 12 U.S.C. 2901 et seq.

Subpart G also issued under 12 U.S.C. 2810 et seq., 2901 et seq.; 15 U.S.C. 1691; 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982, 3601-3619.

Subpart H also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1464; 1831y.

Subpart I also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1831x.

Subpart J also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1831p-1.

Subpart M also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1818.

Subpart N also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1821.

Subpart O also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1828.

Subpart P also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1470; 1831e; 1831n; 1831p-1; 3339.

Subpart Q also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462; 1462a; 1463; 1464.

Subpart R also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1463; 1464; 1831m; 1831n; 1831p-1.

Subpart S also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462; 1462a; 1463; 1464; 1468a; 1817; 1820; 1828; 1831e; 1831o; 1831p-1; 1881-1884; 3207; 3339; 15 U.S.C. 78b; 78 l; 78m; 78n; 78p; 78q; 78w; 31 U.S.C. 5318; 42 U.S.C. 4106.

Subpart T also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462a; 1463; 1464; 15 U.S.C. 78c; 78 l; 78m; 78n; 78w.

Subpart U also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462a; 1463; 1464; 15 U.S.C. 78c; 78 l; 78m; 78n; 78p; 78w; 78d-1; 7241; 7242; 7243; 7244; 7261; 7264; 7265.

Subpart V also issued under 12 U.S.C. 3201-3208.

Subpart W also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462a; 1463; 1464; 15 U.S.C. 78c; 78 l; 78m; 78n; 78p; 78w.

Subpart X also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462; 1462a; 1463; 1464; 1828; 3331 et seq.

Subpart Y also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1831o.

Subpart Z also issued under 12 U.S.C. 1462; 1462a; 1463; 1464; 1828 (note).

Subpart L—[Removed and Reserved] 2. Remove and reserve subpart L, consisting of §§ 390.220 through 390.222. Dated at Washington, DC, this 22nd day of October, 2015.

By order of the Board of Directors.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-27292 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0787; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-10-AD; Amendment 39-18307; AD 2015-22-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Division Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pratt & Whitney Division (PW) PW4164, PW4168, PW4168A, PW4164C, PW4164C/B, PW4164-1D, PW4168-1D, PW4168A-1D, PW4170, PW4164C-1D, PW4164C/B-1D, PW4050, PW4052, PW4056, PW4060, PW4060A, PW4060C, PW4062, PW4062A, PW4152, PW4156, PW4156A, PW4158, PW4160, PW4460, PW4462, and PW4650 turbofan engines including models with a “-3” suffix with a low-pressure turbine (LPT) 4th stage inner air seal (IAS), part number (P/N) 51N038, installed. This AD was prompted by the discovery, during routine overhaul of the LPT, of cracks in the barrel section of the LPT 4th stage IAS. This AD requires removal of the LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, according to a prescribed schedule. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT 4th stage IAS, which could lead to an uncontained IAS release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Pratt & Whitney Division, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108; phone: (860) 565-8770; fax: (860) 565-4503. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (781) 238-7125.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0787; 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:

Katheryn Malatek, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7747; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all PW PW4164, PW4168, PW4168A, PW4164C, PW4164C/B, PW4164-1D, PW4168-1D, PW4168A-1D, PW4170, PW4164C-1D, PW4164C/B-1D, PW4050, PW4052, PW4056, PW4060, PW4060A, PW4060C, PW4062, PW4062A, PW4152, PW4156, PW4156A, PW4158, PW4160, PW4460, PW4462, and PW4650 turbofan engines including models with a “-3” suffix with an LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2015 (80 FR 30963). The NPRM was prompted by nine occasions of discovering, during routine overhaul of the LPT, cracks in the barrel section of the LPT 4th stage IAS. The NPRM proposed to require removal of the LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, according to a prescribed schedule. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT 4th stage IAS, which could lead to an uncontained IAS release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (80 FR 30963, June 1, 2015)

The Boeing Company expressed support for the NPRM.

Request To Change Definitions

United Airlines and Delta Airlines requested that the Definitions paragraph be changed. United Airlines requested we change the definition of LPT overhaul from “maintenance which involves disassembly of the LPT rotor module” to “when the LPT module is disassembled sufficiently to gain access to the LPT 4th stage rotor assembly (disk/blade/seal).” Delta Airlines requested we change the definition of an LPT overhaul to “when all disks in the rotor are removed from the engine and the blades are removed.”

We agree that the definition of an LPT overhaul should be clarified. We changed the definition of an LPT overhaul to “An LPT overhaul is defined as when all disks in the rotor are removed from the engine and the blades are removed.”

Request To Change Applicability

Delta Airlines requested changing the applicability to include models with any dash number suffix.

We agree with the intent of this request. We changed the Summary, Discussion, and Applicability sections by adding “. . . including models with a “-3” suffix . . .” following the listed engine models as required.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously. We determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 72 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that 9 of the engines will require replacement parts during shop visit, the pro-rated cost of these parts cost will be $23,805 per engine, and compliance with this AD will require about 49 hours of labor per engine. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We also estimate that 63 of the engines will require replacement parts during LPT overhaul, the pro-rated replacement parts cost for these parts is $43,545 per engine, and that these 63 engines will require 0 additional hours of labor per engine since the parts are already exposed during LPT overhaul. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $2,995,065.

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

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 DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

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): 2015-22-03 Pratt & Whitney Division: Amendment 39-18307; Docket No. FAA-2015-0787; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-10-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective December 1, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to:

(1) All Pratt & Whitney Division PW4164, PW4168, PW4168A, PW4164C, PW4164C/B, PW4164-1D, PW4168-1D, PW4168A-1D, PW4170, PW4164C-1D, and PW4164C/B-1D turbofan engines with a low-pressure turbine (LPT) 4th stage inner air seal (IAS), part number (P/N) 51N038, installed.

(2) All PW4050, PW4052, PW4056, PW4060, PW4060A, PW4060C, PW4062, PW4062A, PW4152, PW4156, PW4156A, PW4158, PW4160, PW4460, PW4462, and PW4650 turbofan engines including models with a “-3” suffix with an LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, installed.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by the discovery, during routine overhaul of the LPT, of cracks in the barrel section of the LPT 4th stage IAS which could, if not corrected, result in uncontained IAS release, damage to the engine, and damage to the aircraft. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the LPT 4th stage IAS, which could lead to an uncontained IAS release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. For the engines listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD:

(1) At each LPT overhaul after the effective date of this AD, remove from service the LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038.

(2) At each engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, remove from service the LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, if it has more than 10,900 cycles since new.

(f) Installation Prohibition

(1) Do not install any LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, with more than 0 flight cycles on any engine listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD.

(2) Do not install on any engine listed in paragraphs (c)(2) of this AD, any LPT 4th stage IAS, P/N 51N038, which was previously installed on any engine listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD.

(g) Definitions

For the purposes of this AD:

(1) An LPT overhaul is defined as when all disks in the rotor are removed from the engine and the blades are removed.

(2) An “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges (lettered flanges). The separation of engine flanges solely for the purpose of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

(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 Katheryn Malatek, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7747; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on October 21, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-27184 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0498; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-152-AD; Amendment 39-18305; AD 2015-22-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-16-08, which applied to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, and 747SR series airplanes. AD 2007-16-08 required repetitive inspections for cracking of the station 800 frame assembly, and repair if necessary. This new AD continues to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the station 800 frame assembly, and repair if necessary, and expands the inspection area. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found at the forward and aft inner chord strap and angles on the station 800 frame on the left-side and right-side main entry doors. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracks that could extend and fully sever the frame, which could result in development of skin cracks that could lead to rapid depressurization of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 1, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 1, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.govby searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0498.

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-2015-0498; 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:

Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2007-16-08, Amendment 39-15147 (72 FR 44728, August 9, 2007). AD 2007-16-08 applied to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, and 747SR series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16606). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks found at the forward and aft inner chord strap and angles on the station 800 frame on the left-side and right-side main entry doors. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the station 800 frame assembly, and repair if necessary, and expand the inspection area. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracks that could extend and fully sever the frame, which could result in development of skin cracks that could lead to rapid depressurization of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015)

Boeing stated that it concurred with the contents of the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015).

Statement Regarding the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015)

United Airlines stated that it has reviewed the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015), and has no comment to submit.

Request To Clarify Inspection Requirements

UPS requested that we add an additional statement to paragraph (i) of the proposed AD (“Exception to the Service Information,”) to clarify that the removal of fasteners is not required for performing the surface high-frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections specified by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015). UPS stated that by adding the clarification that the removal of fasteners is not required, significant time and materials would be saved by operators when accomplishing this inspection and prevent unnecessary alternative method of compliance (AMOC) requests. UPS explained that Boeing agreed in a response to a service request that fastener removal is not required for performing surface HFEC inspections.

We agree because the clarification will reduce costs while ensuring the same level of safety. We have added the following sentence to paragraph (g) of this AD: “It is not necessary to remove fasteners while performing the surface HFEC inspections.”

Conclusion

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

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 16606, March 30, 2015).

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014. The service information describes procedures for accomplishing repetitive inspections for cracking of the station 800 frame assembly, 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 124 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Repetitive inspections Up to 53 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,505 per inspection cycle $0 Up to $4,505 per inspection cycle Up to $558,620 per inspection cycle.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We have determined that this 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 DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-16-08, Amendment 39-15147 (72 FR 44728, August 9, 2007), and adding the following new AD: 2015-22-01 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18305; Docket No. FAA-2015-0498; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-152-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 1, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2007-16-08, Amendment 39-15147 (72 FR 44728, August 9, 2007).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, and 747SR series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found on the station 800 frame on the left-side and right-side main entry doors (MED), at the forward and aft inner chord strap and angles, which are outside the inspection area of AD 2007-16-08, Amendment 39-15147 (72 FR 44728, August 9, 2007). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracks that could extend and fully sever the frame, which could result in development of skin cracks that could lead to rapid depressurization of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections of Station 800 Frame Assembly Between Stringer 14 and Stringer 30

    Except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014: Do a detailed inspection for cracking in the inner chord strap, angles, and exposed web adjacent to the inner chords, and do surface and open hole high-frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking in the inner chord strap and angles of the station 800 frame assembly between stringer 14 and stringer 30, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014. It is not necessary to remove fasteners while performing the surface HFEC inspections. Repeat the inspections at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014.

    (h) Repair of Cracking

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

    (i) Exception to the Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) The Condition column of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of the Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014, refers to total flight cycles “as of the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin.” This AD, however applies to airplanes with the specified total flight cycles or total flight hours as of the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the inspections and repairs of the inner chord strap and angles of the station 800 frame assembly between stringer 14 and stringer 18 required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 1, dated November 10, 2005, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2006-12-12, Amendment 39-14638 (71 FR 33595, June 12, 2006).

    (k) 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 (l)(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.

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2007-16-08, Amendment 39-15147 (72 FR 44728, August 9, 2007), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6432; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

    (m) 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.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2451, Revision 2, dated June 13, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) 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.

    (4) You may view this service information at 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 19, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-26979 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4345; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-049-AD; Amendment 39-18306; AD 2015-22-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited Helicopters AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding emergency airworthiness directive (AD) No. 2015-16-51 (Emergency AD 2015-16-51) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited (Bell) Model 429 helicopters. Emergency AD 2015-16-51 required inspections of each inboard and outboard tail rotor pitch link assembly for axial or radial bearing play, and if there was axial or radial bearing play, removing the tail rotor pitch link and inspecting for wear. Emergency AD 2015-16-51 was prompted by several reports of worn tail rotor pitch link spherical bearings. We are issuing this supersedure to retain the inspection requirements in Emergency AD 2015-16-51 while revising the applicability and compliance time to clarify that all Bell Model 429 helicopters require recurring inspections regardless of hours time-in-service (TIS) accumulated on the helicopter. These actions are intended to prevent pitch link failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective November 12, 2015.

    We must receive comments on this AD by December 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4345; 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 Transport Canada Emergency AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

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

    Discussion

    Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, issued Emergency AD No. CF-2015-16, dated July 2, 2015, to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Model 429 helicopters. Transport Canada advised that in-service reports showed that the tail rotor pitch link spherical bearings have experienced early and accelerated wear. On three occasions, bearings were found worn beyond limits during pre-flight inspections, showing a radial and axial play that was easily detectable. In one case, the spherical bearing separated from the tail rotor pitch link, resulting in damage to the tail rotor blade pitch horn assembly. In another case, the spherical bearing had been inspected and found acceptable during a maintenance inspection; about “1 hour air time” later, it was found worn beyond limits during a pre-flight inspection.

    On August 6, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-16-51, which was made immediately effective to all known U.S. owners and operators of Bell Model 429 helicopters. Emergency AD 2015-16-51 required, before further flight and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS, inspecting each inboard and outboard tail rotor pitch link assembly for axial or radial bearing play. Emergency AD 2015-16-51 also required, if there was axial or radial bearing play, removing the tail rotor pitch link and performing a dimensional inspection for wear. Finally, Emergency AD 2015-16-51 required, if wear exceeded the allowable limits, replacing the tail rotor pitch link assembly.

    Actions Since Emergency AD 2015-16-51 Was Issued

    On the same day that we issued Emergency AD 2015-16-51, Transport Canada issued a revised Emergency AD No. CF-2015-16R1, dated August 6, 2015, changing the applicability and compliance time to clarify that the inspections are required for all Model 429 helicopters. Transport Canada advises of the possibility that some operators would conclude that no action was required for low time helicopters. Transport Canada Emergency AD No. CF-2015-16R1 removes the following language from the applicability so that it applies to all Model 429 helicopters regardless of time: “that have accumulated 50 hours air time or more.” It also adds language to the compliance time so that the corrective actions must be accomplished within 10 hours air time “or before exceeding 60 hours air time since new, whichever occurs later.” Therefore, we are issuing this AD to make similar revisions.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Related Service Information

    Bell issued Alert Service Bulletin 429-15-16, dated February 18, 2015 (ASB) for Bell Model 429 helicopters, S/N 57001 and subsequent, which have accumulated more than 50 hours. The ASB specifies inspecting both inboard and outboard tail rotor pitch link assemblies for axial and radial play. If abnormal wear or bearing play is detected, the ASB specifies removing the affected tail rotor pitch link, performing a dimensional check of both axial and radial play, and replacing any tail rotor pitch link assembly 429-012-112-101 or -103 or pitch link bearing 429-312-107-103 that exceeds the allowable limits.

    AD Requirements

    This AD retains the inspection requirements of Emergency AD 2015-16-51 but revises the applicability and compliance time. This AD applies to Model 429 helicopters regardless of accumulated TIS. The inspections in this AD are required before further flight for helicopters with 50 or more hours TIS and before accumulating 50 hours TIS for helicopters with less than 50 hours TIS.

    Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada Emergency AD

    The Transport Canada Emergency AD requires compliance within 10 hours TIS or before exceeding 60 hours air time, whichever occurs later. This AD requires compliance before further flight for helicopters with 50 or more hours TIS. For helicopters with less than 50 hours TIS, this AD requires compliance before the helicopter accumulates 50 hours TIS.

    Interim Action

    We consider this AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking then.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 54 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 work hour. It will take about 2 work hours to do the inspections at an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter or $9,180 for the fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing a tail rotor pitch link assembly will take 4 work hours and required parts will cost $2,685 for a total cost of $3,025 per helicopter.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we found and continue to find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adopting this rule because the previously described unsafe condition can adversely affect the controllability of the helicopter, and the initial required corrective actions must be accomplished before further flight or before accumulating 50 hours TIS, depending upon the hours TIS accumulated on the helicopter.

    Since it was found that immediate corrective action was required, notice and opportunity for prior public comment before issuing this AD were impracticable and contrary to the public interest, and good cause existed to make the AD effective immediately by Emergency AD 2015-16-51, issued on August 6, 2015, to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. These conditions still exist and the Emergency AD is hereby superseded.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-22-02 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited: Amendment 39-18306; Docket No. FAA-2015-4345; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-049-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model 429 helicopters with a pitch link assembly part number 429-012-112-101 or -103 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a worn pitch link. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in pitch link failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes Emergency AD 2015-16-51, Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-23-AD, dated August 6, 2015.

    (d) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective November 12, 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

    (1) For helicopters with 50 or more hours time-in-service (TIS), before further flight, and for helicopters with less than 50 hours TIS, before accumulating 50 hours TIS, inspect each inboard and outboard tail rotor pitch link assembly for axial or radial bearing play. If there is axial or radial bearing play, remove the tail rotor pitch link and perform a dimensional inspection for wear. If there is wear that exceeds the allowable limits, replace the tail rotor pitch link assembly.

    (2) Thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS, repeat the inspections required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (h) Additional Information

    (1) Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 429-15-16, dated February 18, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in Transport Canada Emergency AD No. CF-2015-16R1, dated August 6, 2015. You may view the Transport Canada Emergency AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4345.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6720 Tail Rotor Control System.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 16, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27137 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2014-0225; Amdt. No. 91-331B] RIN 2120-AK78 Extension of the Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions (FIRs) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action extends the prohibition against certain flight operations in the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) flight information regions (FIRs) by all United States (U.S.) air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. This action also revises the FAA approval process for proposed operations authorized by other U.S. Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities to clarify the FAA's expectations regarding requests for approval and revises the approval conditions and information about requests for exemptions to reflect the termination of statutory authorization for the FAA's premium war risk insurance program. This action also makes minor non-substantive corrections to the wording of the rule. The FAA finds this action to be necessary to address a continuing hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on October 22, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Filippell, Air Transportation Division, AFS-220, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8166; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Executive Summary

    This action continues the prohibition on flight operations in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. This action also revises the FAA approval process for proposed operations authorized by other U.S. Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities to clarify the FAA's expectations regarding requests for approval and revises the approval conditions and information about requests for exemptions to reflect the termination of statutory authorization for the FAA's premium war risk insurance program. This action also makes minor non-substantive corrections to the wording of the rule. The FAA finds this action necessary to address a continuing hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations.

    II. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency for “good cause” finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” In this instance, the FAA finds that notice and public comment to this immediately adopted final rule, as well as any delay in the effective date of this rule, are contrary to the public interest due to the immediate need to address the hazard to U.S. civil aviation that continues to exist in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs, as described in the Background section of this rule.

    III. Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA is responsible for the safety of flight in the U.S. and for the safety of U.S. civil operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and U.S.-certificated airmen throughout the world. The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in title 49, U.S. Code. Subtitle I, section 106(f), describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Section 40101(d)(1) provides that the Administrator shall consider in the public interest, among other matters, assigning, maintaining, and enhancing safety and security as the highest priorities in air commerce. Section 40105(b)(1)(A) requires the Administrator to exercise his authority consistently with the obligations of the U.S. Government under international agreements.

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, subpart III, section 44701, General requirements. Under that section, the FAA is charged broadly with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing, among other things, regulations and minimum standards for practices, methods, and procedures that the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce and national security. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it continues to prohibit the persons subject to paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, from conducting flight operations in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs due to the hazard to the safety of such persons' flight operations, as described in the Background section of this rule.

    IV. Background

    On April 25, 2014, the FAA published SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, which prohibited flight operations in a portion of the UKFV FIR by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons were operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators were foreign air carriers (79 FR 22862). At that time, the FAA viewed the possibility of civil aircraft receiving confusing and conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian air traffic service providers when operating in the portion of the Simferopol (UKFV) FIR covered by SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, as an unsafe condition that presented a potential hazard to U.S. civil flight operations in the disputed airspace. Because political and military tensions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation remained high, the FAA was also concerned that compliance with air traffic control instructions issued by the authorities of one country could result in a civil aircraft being misidentified as a threat and intercepted or otherwise engaged by air defense forces of the other country. The FAA continues to have these concerns.

    On July 18, 2014 (UTC), the FAA expanded its flight prohibition through the issuance of Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) FDC 4/2182, due to ongoing safety concerns regarding U.S. civil flight operations in the entire UKFV and UKDV FIRs. The FAA determined that the ongoing conflict in the region posed a significant threat to U.S. civil aviation operations in these FIRs. In addition to a series of attacks on fixed-wing and rotary-wing Ukrainian military aircraft flying at lower altitudes, a Ukrainian An-26 flying at 21,000 feet southeast of Luhansk was shot down on July 14, 2014, and a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down on July 17, 2014, while flying over Ukraine at 33,000 feet just west of the Russian border. Two hundred ninety eight passengers and crew perished. The use of weapons capable of targeting and shooting down aircraft flying on civil air routes at cruising altitudes posed a significantly dangerous threat to civil aircraft flying in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs. The FAA published a final rule incorporating the expanded flight prohibition into SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, on December 29, 2014 (79 FR 77857).

    The FAA has continued to evaluate the situation in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs and has determined there is a continuing significant flight safety hazard to U.S. civil aviation from the ongoing risk of skirmishes in the area. There is also a potential for larger-scale fighting in eastern Ukraine involving pro-Russian separatists, which could result in civil aircraft being misidentified as a threat and then intercepted or otherwise engaged, as demonstrated by the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists have access to a variety of anti-aircraft weapons, to include man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and possibly more advanced surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs) that have the capability to engage aircraft at higher altitudes. Separatists have demonstrated their ability to use these anti-aircraft weapons by successfully shooting down a number of aircraft during the course of the fighting in eastern Ukraine in 2014. There is also continuing concern over the hazard to U.S. civil aviation from possible conflicting air traffic control instructions from Ukrainian and Russian air traffic service providers due to a dispute over responsibility for providing air navigation services in portions of the Simferopol (UKFV) FIR. In addition, there have been reported incidents of purposeful interference, including GPS jamming, in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs.

    Due to the previously described continuing hazards to U.S. civil aviation operations, the FAA is extending the expiration date of SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, to continue the prohibition on flight operations in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. This rule extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, from October 27, 2015, to October 27, 2016.

    The FAA will continue to actively evaluate the area to determine to what extent U.S. civil aviation may be able to safely operate therein. Adjustments to this SFAR may be appropriate if the risk to aviation safety and security changes. The FAA may amend or rescind this SFAR as necessary prior to its expiration date.

    Additionally, the FAA is revising its approval process for proposed operations authorized by other U.S. Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities to clarify the FAA's expectations regarding requests for approval. The FAA is also revising the approval conditions that will apply to operations authorized by other U.S. Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities and approved by the FAA, and the information about requests for exemption, to reflect the termination of statutory authorization for the FAA premium war risk insurance program. Section 102 of Division L of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235, December 16, 2014, inter alia, amended 49 U.S.C. 44302(f) and 44310(a) to specify the termination dates in those sections as December 11, 2014. The effect was to terminate coverage under FAA's premium war risk insurance program as of December 11, 2014. This action also makes minor non-substantive corrections to the wording of the rule.

    Because the circumstances described herein warrant immediate action by the FAA, I find that notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Further, I find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this rule effective immediately upon issuance. I also find that this action is fully consistent with the obligations under 49 U.S.C. 40105 to ensure that I exercise my duties consistently with the obligations of the United States under international agreements.

    V. Revised Approval Process Based on a Request From a Department, Agency, or Instrumentality of the United States Government

    If a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government determines that it has a critical need to engage any person covered under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, including a U.S. air carrier or a U.S. commercial operator, to conduct a charter to transport civilian or military passengers or cargo or other operations in either or both of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs, that department, agency, or instrumentality may request that the FAA approve persons covered under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, to conduct such operations. An approval request must be made directly by the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. Government to the FAA's Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS-1) in a letter signed by an appropriate senior official of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality. Requests for approval submitted to the FAA by anyone other than the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality will not be accepted and will not be processed. In addition, the senior official signing the letter requesting FAA approval on behalf of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality must be sufficiently highly placed within his or her organization to demonstrate that the senior leadership of the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality supports the request for approval and is committed to taking all necessary steps to minimize operational risks to the proposed flights. The senior official must also be in a position to: (1) Attest to the accuracy of all representations made to the FAA in the request for approval and (2) ensure that any support from the requesting U.S. government department, agency, or instrumentality described in the request for approval is in fact brought to bear and is maintained over time. Unless exigent circumstances exist, requests for approval must be submitted to the FAA not less than 30 calendar days before the date on which the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality wishes the proposed operations, if approved by the FAA, to commence.

    The letter must be sent by the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality to the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS-1), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591. Electronic submissions are acceptable, and the requesting entity may request that the FAA notify it electronically as to whether the approval request is granted. If a requestor wishes to make an electronic submission to the FAA, the requestor should contact the Air Transportation Division, Flight Standards Service, at (202) 267-8166 to obtain the appropriate email address. A single letter may request approval from the FAA for multiple persons covered under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, and/or for multiple flight operations. To the extent known, the letter must identify the person(s) expected to be covered under the SFAR on whose behalf the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality is seeking FAA approval, and it must describe—

    • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the mission being supported;

    • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the SFAR;

    • To the extent known, the specific locations in either or both of the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) FIRs where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted, including, but not limited to, the flight path and altitude of the aircraft while it is operating in either or both of the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) FIRs and the airports, airfields and/or landing zones at which the aircraft will take-off and land; and

    • The method by which the department, agency, or instrumentality will provide, or how the operator will otherwise obtain, current threat information and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations (e.g., pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight).

    The request for approval must also include a list of operators with whom the U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality requesting FAA approval has a current contract(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s) (or with whom its prime contractor has a subcontract(s)) for specific flight operations in either or both of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs. Additional operators may be identified to the FAA at any time after the FAA approval is issued. However, all additional operators must be identified to, and obtain an Operations Specification (OpSpec) or Letter of Authorization (LOA), as appropriate, from, the FAA, for operations in either or both of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs before such operators commence such operations. The revised approval conditions discussed below will apply to any such additional operators. Updated lists should be sent to the email address to be obtained from the Air Transportation Division by calling (202) 267-8166.

    If an approval request includes classified information, requestors may contact Aviation Safety Inspector Michael Filippell for instructions on submitting it to the FAA. His contact information is listed in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this final rule.

    FAA approval of an operation under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, does not relieve persons subject to this SFAR of their responsibility to comply with all applicable FAA rules and regulations. Operators of civil aircraft must also comply with the conditions of their certificate, OpSpecs, and LOAs, as applicable. Operators must further comply with all rules and regulations of other U.S. Government departments and agencies that may apply to the proposed operation, including, but not limited to, the Transportation Security Regulations issued by the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security.

    Revised Approval Conditions

    If the FAA approves the request, the FAA's Aviation Safety Organization (AVS) will send an approval letter to the requesting department, agency, or instrumentality informing it that the FAA's approval is subject to all of the following conditions:

    (1) The approval will stipulate those procedures and conditions that limit, to the greatest degree possible, the risk to the operator, while still allowing the operator to achieve its operational objectives.

    (2) Before any approval takes effect, the operator must submit to the FAA:

    (a) A written release of the U.S. Government from all damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses; and

    (b) The operator's agreement to indemnify the U.S. Government with respect to any and all third-party damages, claims, and liabilities, including without limitation legal fees and expenses, relating to any event arising from or related to the approved operations in either or both of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs.

    (3) Other conditions that the FAA may specify, including those that may be imposed in OpSpecs or LOAs, as applicable.

    The release and agreement to indemnify do not preclude an operator from raising a claim under an applicable non-premium war risk insurance policy issued by the FAA under chapter 443 of title 49, United States Code.

    If the proposed operation or operations are approved, the FAA will issue an OpSpec or an LOA, as applicable, to the operator authorizing the operation or operations, and will notify the department, agency, or instrumentality that requested the FAA's approval of any additional conditions beyond those contained in the approval letter. The requesting department, agency, or instrumentality must have a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement (or its prime contractor must have a subcontract) with the person(s) described in paragraph (a) of this SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, on whose behalf the department, agency, or instrumentality requests FAA approval.

    VI. Requests for Exemption

    Any operations not conducted under an approval issued by the FAA through the approval process set forth previously must be conducted under an exemption from SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607. A request by any person covered under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, for an exemption must comply with 14 CFR part 11, and will require exceptional circumstances beyond those contemplated by the approval process set forth previously. In addition to the information required by 14 CFR 11.81, at a minimum, the requestor must describe in its submission to the FAA—

    • The proposed operation(s), including the nature of the operation;

    • The service to be provided by the person(s) covered by the SFAR;

    • The specific locations in either or both of the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) FIRs where the proposed operation(s) will be conducted, including, but not limited to, the flight path and altitude of the aircraft while it is operating in the UKFV and/or UKDV FIRs and the airports, airfields and/or landing zones at which the aircraft will take-off and land); and

    • The method by which the operator will obtain current threat information and an explanation of how the operator will integrate this information into all phases of its proposed operations (e.g., the pre-mission planning and briefing, in-flight, and post-flight phases).

    Additionally, the release and agreement to indemnify, as referred to previously, will be required as a condition of any exemption that may be issued under SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607.

    The FAA recognizes that operations that may be affected by SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, may be planned for the governments of other countries with the support of the U.S. Government. While these operations will not be permitted through the approval process, the FAA will process exemption requests for such operations on an expedited basis and prior to any private exemption requests.

    VII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354), as codified in 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq., requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended, 19 U.S.C. Chapter 13, prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Agreements Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), as codified in 2 U.S.C. Chapter 25, requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.

    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined this final rule has benefits that justify its costs. This rule is a significant regulatory action as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, as it raises novel policy issues contemplated under that Executive Order; further, this rule is “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold identified above.

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

    This rule extends the existing prohibition against U.S. civil flight operations in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs. As we noted in the most recent previous amendment to SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607 (79 FR 77860, December 29, 2014), almost all U.S. operators already had voluntarily ceased their operations in these FIRs prior to the issuance of the FAA NOTAM on July 18, 2014 (UTC), prohibiting U.S. civil flight operations in these two FIRS in their entirety. Prior to the issuance of the July 18, 2014 (UTC) NOTAM, the FAA had already prohibited U.S. civil flight operations in a portion of the UKFV FIR due to a dispute between Ukraine and the Russian Federation over which country is responsible for providing air navigation services in the area, first via NOTAM and subsequently when the FAA initially published SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, on April 25, 2014. Consequently, no U.S. operators were operating in that portion of the UKFV FIR at the time of the December 29, 2014 amendment to the rule.

    Because of the continuing significant hazards to U.S. civil aviation discussed in the Background section of this final rule, the FAA believes that few, if any, U.S. operators presently wish to conduct operations in either of these two FIRS. Moreover, both the amendment published on December 29, 2014, and this rule, permit a U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality to request FAA approval on behalf of a person described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, to conduct operations under a contract (or subcontract), grant, or cooperative agreement with that department, agency, or instrumentality. As no U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality has requested such approval since December 29, 2014, there is apparently little demand for such approvals. Finally, the possibility of obtaining an approval, should one be requested, lowers the expected cost of the extended rule. Accordingly, the FAA believes the incremental costs of this final rule will be minimal. These minimal costs will be exceeded by the benefits of avoiding the deaths, injuries, and/or property damage that would result from a U.S. operator's aircraft being shot down (or otherwise damaged) while operating in either or both of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

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

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

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

    As described in the Regulatory Evaluation section of this preamble, the incremental costs of this rule are minimal. Therefore, as provided in § 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

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

    The FAA has assessed the effect of this final rule and determined that its purpose is to protect the safety of U.S. civil aviation from a hazard outside the U.S. Therefore, the rule is in compliance with the Trade Agreements Act.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155.0 million in lieu of $100 million.

    This final rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

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

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to this regulation.

    G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1F identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 5-6.6f of this order and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

    The FAA has reviewed the implementation of this SFAR and determined it is categorically excluded from further environmental review according to FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.6f. The FAA has examined possible extraordinary circumstances and determined that no such circumstances exist. After careful and thorough consideration of the action, the FAA finds that this Federal action does not require preparation of an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the requirements of NEPA, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, and FAA Order 1050.1F.

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

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

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

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

    C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

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

    IX. Additional Information A. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

    B. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Air traffic control, Aircraft, Airmen, Airports, Aviation safety, Freight, Ukraine.

    The Amendment

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

    PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40101, 40103, 40105, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

    2. Amend § 91.1607 by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (c), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 91.1607 Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 113—Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions (FIRs).

    (a) * * *

    (2) All persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and

    (c) Permitted operations. This section does not prohibit persons described in paragraph (a) of this section from conducting flight operations in either or both of the Simferopol (UKFV) or Dnipropetrovsk (UKDV) FIRs, provided that such flight operations are conducted under a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. government (or under a subcontract between the prime contractor of the department, agency, or instrumentality and the person described in paragraph (a) of this section) with the approval of the FAA, or under an exemption issued by the FAA. The FAA will process requests for approval or exemption in a timely manner, with the order of preference being: first, for those operations in support of U.S. government-sponsored activities; second, for those operations in support of government-sponsored activities of a foreign country with the support of a U.S. government department, agency, or instrumentality; and third, for all other operations.

    (e) Expiration. This SFAR will remain in effect until October 27, 2016. The FAA may amend, rescind, or extend this SFAR as necessary.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40101(d)(1), 40105(b)(1)(A), and 44701(a)(5), on October 22, 2015. Michael P. Huerta, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27334 Filed 10-22-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 866 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3472] Medical Devices; Immunology and Microbiology Devices; Classification of Autosomal Recessive Carrier Screening Gene Mutation Detection System AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified an autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system into class II (special controls). The special controls that apply to this device are identified in this order and will be part of the codified language for the autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system classification. The Agency has classified the device into class II (special controls) in order to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device.

    DATES:

    This order is effective October 27, 2015. The classification was applicable February 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sunita Shukla, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4647, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6406.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)), devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976), generally referred to as postamendments devices, are classified automatically by statute into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until the device is classified or reclassified into class I or II, or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent, in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and part 807 (21 CFR part 807) of the regulations.

    Section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, as amended by section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-144), provides two procedures by which a person may request FDA to classify a device under the criteria set forth in section 513(a)(1). Under the first procedure, the person submits a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act for a device that has not previously been classified and, after receiving an order classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, the person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2). Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and then a request for classification under the first procedure, the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence and requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. If the person submits a request to classify the device under this second procedure, FDA may decline to undertake the classification request if FDA identifies a legally marketed device that could provide a reasonable basis for review of substantial equivalence with the device or if FDA determines that the device submitted is not of “low-moderate risk” or that general controls would be inadequate to control the risks and special controls to mitigate the risks cannot be developed.

    In response to a request to classify a device under either procedure provided by section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA will classify the device by written order within 120 days. This classification will be the initial classification of the device.

    23andMe, Inc., submitted a direct de novo request for classification of the 23andMe PGS Carrier Screening Test for Bloom Syndrome under section 513(f)(2)(A)(ii) of the FD&C Act, based on a determination that there is no legally marketed device on which to base a determination of substantial equivalence.

    In accordance with section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1) of the FD&C Act. After review of the information submitted in the de novo request, FDA classified the device into class II because general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, and there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use.

    Therefore, on February 19, 2015, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. The classification of the device will be codified at 21 CFR 866.5940.

    The device is assigned the generic name autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system, and it is identified as a qualitative in vitro molecular diagnostic system used for genotyping of clinically relevant variants in genomic DNA isolated from human specimens intended for prescription use or over-the-counter use. The device is intended for autosomal recessive disease carrier screening in adults of reproductive age. The device is not intended for copy number variation, cytogenetic, or biochemical testing.

    A gene mutation detection system indicated for the determination of carrier status by detection of clinically relevant gene mutations associated with cystic fibrosis is separately classified under 21 CFR 866.5900—Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene mutation detection system (class II, special controls), and is thus not included in the de novo classification.

    FDA has identified the following risks to health associated with this type of device and the measures required to mitigate these risks in table 1.

    Table 1—Identified Risks and Required Mitigations Identified risks Required mitigations Incorrect understanding of the device and test system Special controls 1 and 4. Incorrect test results Special controls 2, 3, 5, and 6. Incorrect interpretation of test results Special controls 1, 3, 4, and 5.

    FDA believes that the following special controls, in addition to the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness:

    1. If the device is offered over-the-counter, the device manufacturer must provide information to a potential purchaser or actual test report recipient about how to obtain access to a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist or equivalent to assist in pre-and post-test counseling.

    2. The device must use a collection device that is FDA cleared, approved, or classified as 510(k) exempt, with an indication for in vitro diagnostic use in DNA testing.

    3. The device's labeling must include a prominent hyperlink to the manufacturer's public Web site where the manufacturer shall make the information identified in this subsection publicly available. The manufacturer's home page, as well as the primary part of the manufacturer's Web site that discusses the device, must provide a prominently placed hyperlink to the Web page containing this information and must allow unrestricted viewing access. If the device can be purchased from the Web site or testing using the device can be ordered from the Web site, the same information must be found on the Web page for ordering the device or provided in a prominently placed and publicly accessible hyperlink on the Web page for ordering the device. Any changes to the device that could significantly affect safety or effectiveness would require new data or information in support of such changes, which would also have to be posted on the manufacturer's Web site. The information must include:

    a. A detailed device description including:

    i. Gene (or list of the genes if more than one) and variants the test detects (using standardized nomenclature, Human Genome Organization (HUGO) nomenclature, and coordinates);

    ii. Scientifically established clinical validity of each variant detected and reported by the test, which must be well-established in peer-reviewed journal articles, authoritative summaries of the literature such as Genetics Home Reference (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/), GeneReviews (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1116/), or similar summaries of valid scientific evidence, and/or professional society recommendations, including:

    A. Genotype-phenotype information for the reported mutations.

    B. Relevant American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) or American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guideline recommending testing of the specific gene(s) and variants the test detects and recommended populations, if available. If not available, a statement stating that professional guidelines currently do not recommend testing for this specific gene(s) and variants.

    C. Table of expected prevalence of carrier status in major ethnic and racial populations and the general population.

    iii. The specimen type (e.g., saliva, whole blood), matrix, and volume;

    iv. Assay steps and technology used;

    v. Specification of required ancillary reagents, instrumentation, and equipment;

    vi. Specification of the specimen collection, processing, storage, and preparation methods;

    vii. Specification of risk mitigation elements and description of all additional procedures, methods, and practices incorporated into the directions for use that mitigate risks associated with testing;

    viii. Information pertaining to the probability of test failure (e.g., failed quality control) based on data from clinical samples, description of scenarios in which a test can fail (i.e., low sample volume, low DNA concentration, etc.), how customers will be notified, and followup actions to be taken; and

    ix. Specification of the criteria for test result interpretation and reporting.

    b. Information that demonstrates the performance characteristics of the device, including:

    i. Accuracy (method comparison) of study results for each claimed specimen type.

    A. Accuracy of the device shall be evaluated with fresh clinical specimens collected and processed in a manner consistent with the device's instructions for use. If this is impractical, fresh clinical samples may be substituted or supplemented with archived clinical samples. Archived samples shall have been collected previously in accordance with the device's instructions for use, stored appropriately, and randomly selected. In some instances, use of contrived samples or human cell line samples may also be appropriate; the contrived or human cell line samples shall mimic clinical specimens as much as is feasible and provide an unbiased evaluation of the device's accuracy.

    B. Accuracy must be evaluated as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA. Performance criteria for both the comparator method and device must be predefined and appropriate to the test's intended use. Detailed appropriate study protocols must be provided.

    C. Information provided shall include the number and type of specimens, broken down by clinically relevant variants, that were compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA. The accuracy, defined as positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA), must be measured; accuracy point estimates must be greater than 99 percent (both per reported variant and overall) and uncertainty of the point estimate must be presented using the 95 percent confidence interval. Clinical specimens must include both homozygous wild type and heterozygous genotypes. The number of clinical specimens for each variant reported that must be included in the accuracy study must be based on the variant prevalence. Common variants (greater than 0.1 percent allele frequency in ethnically relevant population) must have at least 20 unique heterozygous clinical specimens tested. Rare variants (less than or equal to 0.1 percent allele frequency in ethnically relevant population) shall have at least three unique mutant heterozygous specimens tested. Any no calls (i.e., absence of a result) or invalid calls (e.g., failed quality control) in the study must be included in accuracy study results and reported separately. Variants that have a point estimate for PPA or NPA of less than 99 percent (incorrect test results as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA) must not be incorporated into test claims and reports. Accuracy measures generated from clinical specimens versus contrived samples or cell lines must be presented separately. Results must be summarized and presented in tabular format, by sample, and by genotype. Point estimate of PPA should be calculated as the number of positive results divided by the number of specimens known to harbor variants (mutations) without “no calls” or invalid calls. The point estimate of NPA should be calculated as the number of negative results divided by the number of wild type specimens tested without “no calls” or invalid calls, for each variant that is being reported. Point estimates should be calculated along with 95 percent two-sided confidence intervals.

    D. Information shall be reported on the clinical positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for carrier status (and where possible, for each variant) in each population. Specifically, to calculate PPV and NPV, estimate test coverage (TC) and the percent of persons with variant(s) included in the device among all carriers: PPV = (PPA*TC * π)/(PPA*TC*π + (1 − NPA) * (1 − π)) and NPV = (NPA*(1 − π))/(NPA*(1 − π) + (1 − PPA*TC) * π) where PPA and NPA described either in paragraph (3)(b)(i)(D)(1) or in (3)(b)(i)(D)(2) that follow and π is prevalence of carriers in the population (pre-test risk to be a carrier for the disease).

    1. For the point estimates of PPA and NPA less than 100 percent, use the calculated estimates in the PPV and NPV calculations.

    2. Point estimates of 100 percent may have high uncertainty. If these variants are measured using highly multiplexed technology, calculate the random error rate for the overall device and incorporate that rate in the estimation of the PPA and NPA as calculated previously. Then use these calculated estimates in the PPV and NPV calculations. This type of accuracy study is helpful in determining that there is no systematic error in such devices.

    ii. Precision (reproducibility): Precision data must be generated using multiple instruments and multiple operators, on multiple non-consecutive days, and using multiple reagent lots. The sample panel must include specimens with claimed sample type (e.g. saliva samples) representing different genotypes (i.e., wild type, heterozygous). Performance criteria must be predefined. A detailed study protocol must be created in advance of the study and then followed. The “failed quality control” rate must be indicated. It must be clearly documented whether results were generated from clinical specimens, contrived samples, or cell lines. The study results shall state, in a tabular format, the variants tested in the study and the number of replicates for each variant, and what testing conditions were studied (i.e., number of runs, days, instruments, reagent lots, operators, specimens/type, etc). The study must include all nucleic acid extraction steps from the claimed specimen type or matrix, unless a separate extraction study for the claimed sample type is performed. If the device is to be used at more than one laboratory, different laboratories must be included in the precision study (and reproducibility must be evaluated). The percentage of “no calls” or invalid calls, if any, in the study must be provided as a part of the precision (reproducibility) study results.

    iii. Analytical specificity data: Data must be generated evaluating the effect on test performance of potential endogenous and exogenous interfering substances relevant to the specimen type, evaluation of cross-reactivity of known cross-reactive alleles and pseudogenes, and assessment of cross-contamination.

    iv. Analytical sensitivity data: Data must be generated demonstrating the minimum amount of DNA that will enable the test to perform accurately in 95 percent of runs.

    v. Device stability data: The manufacturer must establish upper and lower limits of input nucleic acid and sample stability that will achieve the claimed accuracy and reproducibility. Data supporting such claims must be described.

    vi. Specimen type and matrix comparison data: Specimen type and matrix comparison data must be generated if more than one specimen type or anticoagulant can be tested with the device, including failure rates for the different specimen types.

    c. If the device is offered over-the-counter, including cases in which the test results are provided direct-to-consumer, the manufacturer must conduct a study that assesses user comprehension of the device's labeling and test process and provide a concise summary of the results of the study. The following items must be included in the user study:

    i. The test manufacturer must perform pre- and post-test user comprehension studies to assess user ability to understand the possible results of a carrier test and their clinical meaning. The comprehension test questions must directly evaluate the material being presented to the user in the test reports.

    ii. The test manufacturer must provide a carrier testing education module to potential and actual test report recipients. The module must define terms that are used in the test reports and explain the significance of carrier status.

    iii. The user study must meet the following criteria:

    A. The study participants must be comprised of a statistically justified and demographically diverse population (determined using methods such as quota-based sampling) that is representative of the intended user population. Furthermore, the users must be comprised of a diverse range of age and educational levels that have no prior experience with the test or its manufacturer. These factors shall be well-defined in the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

    B. All sources of bias (e.g., non-responders) must be predefined and accounted for in the study results with regard to both responders and non-responders.

    C. The testing must follow a format where users have limited time to complete the studies (such as an onsite survey format and a one-time visit with a cap on the maximum amount of time that a participant has to complete the tests).

    D. Users must be randomly assigned to study arms. Test reports given to users must: (1) Define the condition being tested and related symptoms, (2) explain the intended use and limitations of the test, (3) explain the relevant ethnicities regarding the variant tested, (4) explain carrier status and relevance to the user's ethnicity, (5) provide links to additional information pertaining to situations where the user is concerned about their test results or would like followup information as indicated in test labeling). The study shall assess participants' ability to understand the following comprehension concepts: The test's limitations, purpose, and results.

    E. Study participants must be untrained, naive to the test subject of the study, and be provided only the materials that will be available to them when the test is marketed.

    F. The user comprehension study must meet the predefined primary endpoint criteria, including a minimum of a 90 percent or greater overall comprehension rate (i.e. selection of the correct answer) for each comprehension concept to demonstrate that the education module and test reports are adequate for over-the-counter use.

    iv. A summary of the user comprehension study must be provided and include the following:

    A. Results regarding reports that are provided for each gene/variant/ethnicity tested.

    B. Statistical methods used to analyze all data sets.

    C. Completion rate, non-responder rate, and reasons for non-response/data exclusion, as well as a summary table of comprehension rates regarding comprehension concepts (purpose of test, test results, test limitations, ethnicity relevance for the test results, etc.) for each study report.

    4. Your 21 CFR 809.10 compliant labeling and any test report generated must include the following warning and limitation statements, as applicable:

    a. A warning that reads “The test is intended only for autosomal recessive carrier screening in adults of reproductive age.”

    b. A statement accurately disclosing the genetic coverage of the test in lay terms, including, as applicable, information on variants not queried by the test, and the proportion of incident disease that is not related to the gene(s) tested. For example, where applicable, the statement would have to include a warning that the test does not or may not detect all genetic variants related to the genetic disease, and that the absence of a variant tested does not rule out the presence of other genetic variants that may be disease-related. Or, where applicable, the statement would have to include a warning that the basis for the disease for which the genetic carrier status is being tested is unknown or believed to be non-heritable in a substantial number of people who have the disease, and that a negative test result cannot rule out the possibility that any offspring may be affected with the disease. The statement would have to include any other warnings needed to accurately convey to consumers the degree to which the test is informative for carrier status.

    c. For prescription use tests, the following warnings that read:

    i. “The results of this test are intended to be interpreted by a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist or equivalent and should be used in conjunction with other available laboratory and clinical information.”

    ii. “This device is not intended for disease diagnosis, prenatal testing of fetuses, risk assessment, prognosis or pre-symptomatic testing, susceptibility testing, or newborn screening.”

    d. For over-the-counter tests, a statement that reads “This test is not intended to diagnose a disease, or tell you anything about your risk for developing a disease in the future. On its own, this test is also not intended to tell you anything about the health of your fetus, or your newborn child's risk of developing a particular disease later on in life.”

    e. For over-the-counter tests, the following warnings that read:

    i. “This test is not a substitute for visits to a healthcare provider. It is recommended that you consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your results.”

    ii. “The test does not diagnose any health conditions. Results should be used along with other clinical information for any medical purposes.”

    iii. “The laboratory may not be able to process your sample. The probability that the laboratory cannot process your saliva sample can be up to [actual probability percentage].”

    iv. “Your ethnicity may affect how your genetic health results are interpreted.”

    f. For a positive result in an over-the-counter test when the positive predictive value for a specific population is less than 50 percent and more than 5 percent, a warning that reads “The positive result you obtained may falsely identify you as a carrier. Consider genetic counseling and followup testing.”

    g. For a positive result in an over-the-counter test when the positive predictive value for a specific population is less than 5 percent, a warning that reads “The positive result you obtained is very likely to be incorrect due to the rarity of this variant. Consider genetic counseling and followup testing.”

    5. The testing done to comply with paragraph 3 must show the device meets or exceeds each of the following performance specifications:

    a. The accuracy must be shown to be equal to or greater than 99 percent for both PPA and NPA. Variants that have a point estimate for PPA or NPA of less than 99 percent (incorrect test results as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA) must not be incorporated into test claims and reports.

    b. Precision (reproducibility) performance must meet or exceed 99 percent for both positive and negative results.

    c. The user comprehension study must obtain values of 90 percent or greater user comprehension for each comprehension concept.

    6. The distribution of this device, excluding the collection device described in paragraph 2, shall be limited to the manufacturer, the manufacturer's subsidiaries, and laboratories regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.

    Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act provides that FDA may exempt a class II device from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act if FDA determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. For this type of device, FDA believes premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device type and, therefore, is planning to exempt the device from the premarket notification requirements of the FD&C Act. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, FDA is publishing a notice of intent to exempt an autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system under section 510(m) of the FD&C Act. If there are questions about 510(k) submission prior to finalization of the 510(k) exemption, you should contact FDA at the number provided in this Final order. Once finalized, persons who intend to market this device type need not submit a 510(k) premarket notification containing information on the autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system prior to marketing the device.

    II. Environmental Impact

    The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final administrative order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120, and the collections of information in 21 CFR parts 801 and 809 regarding labeling have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 866

    Biologics, Laboratories, Medical devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 866 is amended as follows:

    PART 866—IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 866 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 371.

    2. Add § 866.5940 to subpart F to read as follows:
    § 866.5940 Autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system.

    (a) Identification. Autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system is a qualitative in vitro molecular diagnostic system used for genotyping of clinically relevant variants in genomic DNA isolated from human specimens intended for prescription use or over-the-counter use. The device is intended for autosomal recessive disease carrier screening in adults of reproductive age. The device is not intended for copy number variation, cytogenetic, or biochemical testing.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). Autosomal recessive carrier screening gene mutation detection system must comply with the following special controls:

    (1) If the device is offered over-the-counter, the device manufacturer must provide information to a potential purchaser or actual test report recipient about how to obtain access to a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist or equivalent to assist in pre- and post-test counseling.

    (2) The device must use a collection device that is FDA cleared, approved, or classified as 510(k) exempt, with an indication for in vitro diagnostic use in DNA testing.

    (3) The device's labeling must include a prominent hyperlink to the manufacturer's public Web site where the manufacturer shall make the information identified in this section publicly available. The manufacturer's home page, as well as the primary part of the manufacturer's Web site that discusses the device, must provide a prominently placed hyperlink to the Web page containing this information and must allow unrestricted viewing access. If the device can be purchased from the Web site or testing using the device can be ordered from the Web site, the same information must be found on the Web page for ordering the device or provided in a prominently placed and publicly accessible hyperlink on the Web page for ordering the device. Any changes to the device that could significantly affect safety or effectiveness would require new data or information in support of such changes, which would also have to be posted on the manufacturer's Web site. The information must include:

    (i) A detailed device description including:

    (A) Gene (or list of the genes if more than one) and variants the test detects (using standardized nomenclature, Human Genome Organization (HUGO) nomenclature, and coordinates).

    (B) Scientifically established clinical validity of each variant detected and reported by the test, which must be well-established in peer-reviewed journal articles, authoritative summaries of the literature such as Genetics Home Reference (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/), GeneReviews (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1116/), or similar summaries of valid scientific evidence, and/or professional society recommendations, including:

    (1) Genotype-phenotype information for the reported mutations.

    (2) Relevant American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) or American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guideline recommending testing of the specific gene(s) and variants the test detects and recommended populations, if available. If not available, a statement stating that professional guidelines currently do not recommend testing for this specific gene(s) and variants.

    (3) Table of expected prevalence of carrier status in major ethnic and racial populations and the general population.

    (C) The specimen type (e.g., saliva, whole blood), matrix, and volume.

    (D) Assay steps and technology used.

    (E) Specification of required ancillary reagents, instrumentation, and equipment.

    (F) Specification of the specimen collection, processing, storage, and preparation methods.

    (G) Specification of risk mitigation elements and description of all additional procedures, methods, and practices incorporated into the directions for use that mitigate risks associated with testing.

    (H) Information pertaining to the probability of test failure (e.g., failed quality control) based on data from clinical samples, description of scenarios in which a test can fail (i.e., low sample volume, low DNA concentration, etc.), how customers will be notified, and followup actions to be taken.

    (I) Specification of the criteria for test result interpretation and reporting.

    (ii) Information that demonstrates the performance characteristics of the device, including:

    (A) Accuracy (method comparison) of study results for each claimed specimen type.

    (1) Accuracy of the device shall be evaluated with fresh clinical specimens collected and processed in a manner consistent with the device's instructions for use. If this is impractical, fresh clinical samples may be substituted or supplemented with archived clinical samples. Archived samples shall have been collected previously in accordance with the device's instructions for use, stored appropriately, and randomly selected. In some instances, use of contrived samples or human cell line samples may also be appropriate; the contrived or human cell line samples shall mimic clinical specimens as much as is feasible and provide an unbiased evaluation of the device's accuracy.

    (2) Accuracy must be evaluated as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA. Performance criteria for both the comparator method and device must be predefined and appropriate to the test's intended use. Detailed appropriate study protocols must be provided.

    (3) Information provided shall include the number and type of specimens, broken down by clinically relevant variants, that were compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA. The accuracy, defined as positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA), must be measured; accuracy point estimates must be greater than 99 percent (both per reported variant and overall) and uncertainty of the point estimate must be presented using the 95 percent confidence interval. Clinical specimens must include both homozygous wild type and heterozygous genotypes. The number of clinical specimens for each variant reported that must be included in the accuracy study must be based on the variant prevalence. Common variants (greater than 0.1 percent allele frequency in ethnically relevant population) must have at least 20 unique heterozygous clinical specimens tested. Rare variants (less than or equal to 0.1 percent allele frequency in ethnically relevant population) shall have at least three unique mutant heterozygous specimens tested. Any no calls (i.e., absence of a result) or invalid calls (e.g., failed quality control) in the study must be included in accuracy study results and reported separately. Variants that have a point estimate for PPA or NPA of less than 99 percent (incorrect test results as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA) must not be incorporated into test claims and reports. Accuracy measures generated from clinical specimens versus contrived samples or cell lines must be presented separately. Results must be summarized and presented in tabular format, by sample and by genotype. Point estimate of PPA should be calculated as the number of positive results divided by the number of specimens known to harbor variants (mutations) without “no calls” or invalid calls. The point estimate of NPA should be calculated as the number of negative results divided by the number of wild type specimens tested without “no calls” or invalid calls, for each variant that is being reported. Point estimates should be calculated along with 95 percent two-sided confidence intervals.

    (4) Information shall be reported on the clinical positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for carrier status (and where possible, for each variant) in each population. Specifically, to calculate PPV and NPV, estimate test coverage (TC) and the percent of persons with variant(s) included in the device among all carriers: PPV = (PPA * TC * π)/(PPA * TC * π + (1 − NPA) * (1 − π)) and NPV = (NPA * (1 − π))/(NPA *(1 − π) + (1 − PPA*TC) * π) where PPA and NPA described either in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A)(4)(i) or in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A)(4)(ii) of this section and π is prevalence of carriers in the population (pre-test risk to be a carrier for the disease).

    (i) For the point estimates of PPA and NPA less than 100 percent, use the calculated estimates in the PPV and NPV calculations.

    (ii) Point estimates of 100 percent may have high uncertainty. If these variants are measured using highly multiplexed technology, calculate the random error rate for the overall device and incorporate that rate in the estimation of the PPA and NPA as calculated previously. Then use these calculated estimates in the PPV and NPV calculations. This type of accuracy study is helpful in determining that there is no systematic error in such devices.

    (B) Precision (reproducibility): Precision data must be generated using multiple instruments and multiple operators, on multiple non-consecutive days, and using multiple reagent lots. The sample panel must include specimens with claimed sample type (e.g. saliva samples) representing different genotypes (i.e., wild type, heterozygous). Performance criteria must be predefined. A detailed study protocol must be created in advance of the study and then followed. The “failed quality control” rate must be indicated. It must be clearly documented whether results were generated from clinical specimens, contrived samples, or cell lines. The study results shall state, in a tabular format, the variants tested in the study and the number of replicates for each variant, and what testing conditions were studied (i.e., number of runs, days, instruments, reagent lots, operators, specimens/type, etc). The study must include all nucleic acid extraction steps from the claimed specimen type or matrix, unless a separate extraction study for the claimed sample type is performed. If the device is to be used at more than one laboratory, different laboratories must be included in the precision study (and reproducibility must be evaluated). The percentage of “no calls” or invalid calls, if any, in the study must be provided as a part of the precision (reproducibility) study results.

    (C) Analytical specificity data: Data must be generated evaluating the effect on test performance of potential endogenous and exogenous interfering substances relevant to the specimen type, evaluation of cross-reactivity of known cross-reactive alleles and pseudogenes, and assessment of cross-contamination.

    (D) Analytical sensitivity data: Data must be generated demonstrating the minimum amount of DNA that will enable the test to perform accurately in 95 percent of runs.

    (E) Device stability data: The manufacturer must establish upper and lower limits of input nucleic acid and sample stability that will achieve the claimed accuracy and reproducibility. Data supporting such claims must be described.

    (F) Specimen type and matrix comparison data: Specimen type and matrix comparison data must be generated if more than one specimen type or anticoagulant can be tested with the device, including failure rates for the different specimen types.

    (iii) If the device is offered over-the-counter, including cases in which the test results are provided direct-to-consumer, the manufacturer must conduct a study that assesses user comprehension of the device's labeling and test process and provide a concise summary of the results of the study. The following items must be included in the user study:

    (A) The test manufacturer must perform pre- and post-test user comprehension studies to assess user ability to understand the possible results of a carrier test and their clinical meaning. The comprehension test questions must directly evaluate the material being presented to the user in the test reports.

    (B) The test manufacturer must provide a carrier testing education module to potential and actual test report recipients. The module must define terms that are used in the test reports and explain the significance of carrier status.

    (C) The user study must meet the following criteria:

    (1) The study participants must be comprised of a statistically justified and demographically diverse population (determined using methods such as quota-based sampling) that is representative of the intended user population. Furthermore, the users must be comprised of a diverse range of age and educational levels that have no prior experience with the test or its manufacturer. These factors shall be well-defined in the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

    (2) All sources of bias (e.g., non-responders) must be predefined and accounted for in the study results with regard to both responders and non-responders.

    (3) The testing must follow a format where users have limited time to complete the studies (such as an onsite survey format and a one-time visit with a cap on the maximum amount of time that a participant has to complete the tests).

    (4) Users must be randomly assigned to study arms. Test reports given to users must: Define the condition being tested and related symptoms; explain the intended use and limitations of the test; explain the relevant ethnicities regarding the variant tested; explain carrier status and relevance to the user's ethnicity; and provide links to additional information pertaining to situations where the user is concerned about their test results or would like followup information as indicated in test labeling. The study shall assess participants' ability to understand the following comprehension concepts: The test's limitations, purpose, and results.

    (5) Study participants must be untrained, naive to the test subject of the study, and be provided only the materials that will be available to them when the test is marketed.

    (6) The user comprehension study must meet the predefined primary endpoint criteria, including a minimum of a 90 percent or greater overall comprehension rate (i.e. selection of the correct answer) for each comprehension concept to demonstrate that the education module and test reports are adequate for over-the-counter use.

    (D) A summary of the user comprehension study must be provided and include the following:

    (1) Results regarding reports that are provided for each gene/variant/ethnicity tested.

    (2) Statistical methods used to analyze all data sets.

    (3) Completion rate, non-responder rate, and reasons for non-response/data exclusion, as well as a summary table of comprehension rates regarding comprehension concepts (purpose of test, test results, test limitations, ethnicity relevance for the test results, etc.) for each study report.

    (4) Your 21 CFR 809.10 compliant labeling and any test report generated must include the following warning and limitation statements, as applicable:

    (i) A warning that reads “The test is intended only for autosomal recessive carrier screening in adults of reproductive age.”

    (ii) A statement accurately disclosing the genetic coverage of the test in lay terms, including, as applicable, information on variants not queried by the test, and the proportion of incident disease that is not related to the gene(s) tested. For example, where applicable, the statement would have to include a warning that the test does not or may not detect all genetic variants related to the genetic disease, and that the absence of a variant tested does not rule out the presence of other genetic variants that may be disease-related. Or, where applicable, the statement would have to include a warning that the basis for the disease for which the genetic carrier status is being tested is unknown or believed to be non-heritable in a substantial number of people who have the disease, and that a negative test result cannot rule out the possibility that any offspring may be affected with the disease. The statement would have to include any other warnings needed to accurately convey to consumers the degree to which the test is informative for carrier status.

    (iii) For prescription use tests, the following warnings that read:

    (A) “The results of this test are intended to be interpreted by a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist or equivalent and should be used in conjunction with other available laboratory and clinical information.”

    (B) “This device is not intended for disease diagnosis, prenatal testing of fetuses, risk assessment, prognosis or pre-symptomatic testing, susceptibility testing, or newborn screening.”

    (iv) For over-the-counter tests, a statement that reads “This test is not intended to diagnose a disease, or tell you anything about your risk for developing a disease in the future. On its own, this test is also not intended to tell you anything about the health of your fetus, or your newborn child's risk of developing a particular disease later on in life.”

    (v) For over-the-counter tests, the following warnings that read:

    (A) “This test is not a substitute for visits to a healthcare provider. It is recommended that you consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your results.”

    (B) “The test does not diagnose any health conditions. Results should be used along with other clinical information for any medical purposes.”

    (C) “The laboratory may not be able to process your sample. The probability that the laboratory cannot process your saliva sample can be up to [actual probability percentage].”

    (D) “Your ethnicity may affect how your genetic health results are interpreted.”

    (vi) For a positive result in an over-the-counter test when the positive predictive value for a specific population is less than 50 percent and more than 5 percent, a warning that reads “The positive result you obtained may falsely identify you as a carrier. Consider genetic counseling and followup testing.”

    (vii) For a positive result in an over-the-counter test when the positive predictive value for a specific population is less than 5 percent, a warning that reads “The positive result you obtained is very likely to be incorrect due to the rarity of this variant. Consider genetic counseling and followup testing.”

    (5) The testing done to comply with paragraph (b)(3) of this section must show the device meets or exceeds each of the following performance specifications:

    (i) The accuracy must be shown to be equal to or greater than 99 percent for both PPA and NPA. Variants that have a point estimate for PPA or NPA of less than 99 percent (incorrect test results as compared to bidirectional sequencing or other methods identified as appropriate by FDA) must not be incorporated into test claims and reports.

    (ii) Precision (reproducibility) performance must meet or exceed 99 percent for both positive and negative results.

    (iii) The user comprehension study must obtain values of 90 percent or greater user comprehension for each comprehension concept.

    (6) The distribution of this device, excluding the collection device described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, shall be limited to the manufacturer, the manufacturer's subsidiaries, and laboratories regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27197 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-409] RIN 1117-ZA30 Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Interim final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Drug Enforcement Administration is amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the company name for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler (containing 50 milligrams levmetamfetamine) to Aphena Pharma Solutions—New York, LLC. This over-the-counter, nonnarcotic drug product is excluded from the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

    DATES:

    This interim final rule is effective on October 27, 2015. Interested persons may file written comments on this rule pursuant to 21 CFR 1308.21(c). Electronic comments must be submitted, and written comments must be postmarked, on or before December 28, 2015. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period. Interested persons are defined as those “adversely affected or aggrieved by any rule or proposed rule issuable pursuant to section 201 of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811).” 21 CFR 1300.01(b).

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference “Docket No. DEA-409” on all electronic and written correspondence, including any attachments. The DEA encourages that all comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal which provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. Paper comments that duplicate electronic submissions are not necessary. Should you, however, wish to submit written comments, in lieu of electronic comments, they should be sent via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John R. Scherbenske, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received in response to this docket are considered part of the public record and will be made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to all comments received. If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place all of the personal identifying information you do not want made publicly available in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify the confidential business information to be redacted within the comment.

    Comments containing personal identifying information or confidential business information identified as directed above will be made publicly available in redacted form. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be made publicly available. Comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov may include any personal identifying information (such as name, address, and phone number) included in the text of your electronic submission that is not identified as directed above as confidential.

    An electronic copy of this document and supplemental information to this interim final rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov for easy reference.

    Legal Authority

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and they are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II.

    The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety. 21 U.S.C. 801.

    Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c) and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308. 21 U.S.C. 812(a).

    The CSA states that the Attorney General shall by regulation exclude any nonnarcotic drug which contains a controlled substance from the application of the CSA, if such drug may, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). Such exclusions apply only to specific nonnarcotic drugs following suitable application to the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.21. The current table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products is found in 21 CFR 1308.22. The authority to exclude such substances has been delegated to the Administrator of the DEA, 28 CFR 0.100, and redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control, section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    Background

    On December 10, 2013, pursuant to the application process of 21 CFR 1308.21, the DEA received correspondence from Aphena Pharma Solutions—New York, LLC (Aphena Pharma) stating that it had acquired Classic Pharmaceuticals LLC and requesting that the current exclusion for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler be transferred to Aphena Pharma. Aphena Pharma also stated that the manufacturing process (i.e., facility) and the formulation for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler had not changed.

    Based on the application and other information received, the DEA has determined that this product may, under the FD&C Act, be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). In addition, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control finds that the active ingredient in this drug product (levmetamfetamine) is a schedule II controlled substance 1 and is not a narcotic drug as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(17). The Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control therefore finds and concludes that this drug product continues to meet the criteria for exclusion from the CSA pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1).

    1 Levmetamfetamine is controlled in schedule II of the CSA because it is an isomer of methamphetamine.

    This exclusion only applies to the finished drug product in the form of an inhaler (in the exact formulation detailed in the application for exclusion), which is lawfully sold under the FD&C Act over-the-counter without a prescription. The extraction or removal of the active ingredient (levmetamfetamine) from the inhaler shall negate this exclusion and result in the possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    An agency may find good cause to exempt a rule from certain provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), including notice of proposed rulemaking and the pre-promulgation opportunity for public comment, if it is determined to be impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The DEA finds for good cause that it is unnecessary to seek public comment prior to amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the listing for this product, as the amendment is technical in nature and would not result in any substantive change. The DEA is merely changing the name of the company associated with the Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler as the result of the acquisition of Classic Pharmaceuticals LLC by Aphena Pharma. The manufacturing process (i.e., facility) and the formulation for the drug product Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler have not changed as a result of this acquisition.

    The APA requires the publication of a substantive rule to be made not less than 30 days before its effective date. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). However, this requirement need not apply for “a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction” or “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). This rule continues the exclusion of a nonnarcotic drug product from the provisions of the CSA. Given that this amendment to the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products is technical in nature and thereby would not warrant any further delay, the DEA finds that there is good cause to make this rule effective immediately upon publication.

    Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This regulation has been developed in accordance with the Executive Orders 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b) and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The DEA has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action, and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This product was previously exempted under a different company name. This action will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or tribal governments or communities; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

    Executive Order 13132

    This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    Executive Order 13175

    This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. This 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.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The DEA has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result “in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year. . . .” Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under provisions of the UMRA.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Congressional Review Act

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets. However, pursuant to the CRA, the DEA has submitted a copy of this interim final rule to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out above, 21 CFR part 1308 is amended to read as follows:

    PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 1308.22, remove the company name “Classic Pharmaceuticals LLC”, and add to the table, in alphabetical order, the company name listed below to read as follows:
    § 1308.22 Excluded substances. Excluded Nonnarcotic Products Company Trade name NDC code Form Controlled substance (mg or mg/ml) *         *         *         *         *         *         * Aphena Pharma Solutions—New York, LLC Nasal Decongestant Inhaler/Vapor Inhaler IN Levmetamfetamine (l-Desoxyephedrine) 50.00 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: October 20, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27264 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-367] RIN 1117-AB39 Schedules of Controlled Substances: Table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products: Vicks® VapoInhaler® AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Interim final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the listing for Vicks® VapoInhaler®, containing 50 mg levmetamfetamine in a nasal decongestant inhaler, marketed by The Proctor & Gamble Company. This over-the-counter, non-narcotic drug product is excluded from provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

    DATES:

    This interim final rule is effective on October 27, 2015. Interested persons may file written comments on this rule pursuant to 21 CFR 1308.21(c). Electronic comments must be submitted, and written comments must be postmarked, on or before December 28, 2015. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period. Interested persons are defined as those “adversely affected or aggrieved by any rule or proposed rule issuable pursuant to section 201 of the Act (21 U.S.C. 811).” 21 CFR 1300.01(b).

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference “Docket No. DEA-367” on all electronic and written correspondence, including any attachments. The DEA encourages that all comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal which provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. Paper comments that duplicate electronic submissions are not necessary. Should you, however, wish to submit written comments, in lieu of electronic comments, they should be sent via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODL, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John R. Scherbenske, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received in response to this docket are considered part of the public record and will be made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to all comments received. If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place all of the personal identifying information you do not want made publicly available in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify the confidential business information to be redacted within the comment.

    Comments containing personal identifying information or confidential business information identified as directed above will be made publicly available in redacted form. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be made publicly available. Comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov may include any personal identifying information (such as name, address, and phone number) included in the text of your electronic submission that is not identified as directed above as confidential.

    An electronic copy of this document and supplemental information to this interim final rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov for easy reference.

    Legal Authority

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II.

    The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety. 21 U.S.C. 801.

    Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c), and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308. 21 U.S.C. 812(a).

    The CSA states that the Attorney General shall by regulation exclude any non-narcotic drug which contains a controlled substance from the application of the CSA, if such drug may, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). Such exclusions apply only to specific non-narcotic drugs following suitable application to the DEA in accordance with 21 CFR 1308.21. The current table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products is found in 21 CFR 1308.22. The authority to exclude such substances has been delegated to the Administrator of the DEA, 28 CFR 0.100, and redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control, section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    Background

    On February 9, 2012, pursuant to the application process of 21 CFR 1308.21, the DEA received correspondence from The Proctor & Gamble Company (“P&G”) notifying the DEA that it had reduced the quantity of l-desoxyephedrine (levmetamfetamine) from 113 mg to 50 mg in their Vicks® InhalerTM product which is currently excluded under 21 CFR 1308.22. Levmetamfetamine is controlled in schedule II as an isomer of methamphetamine. 21 CFR 1308.12(d)(2). P&G requested that the DEA update the current exclusion for their Vicks® InhalerTM and indicated it had acquired Richardson-Vicks, Inc. (including its subsidiary, the Vick Chemical Company). The company also stated that the product name has been modified from Vicks® InhalerTM to Vicks® VapoInhaler® and that the change included a corresponding National Drug Code (NDC) number reassignment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. P&G also stated that the nomenclature for the active ingredient/controlled substance had been changed from l-desoxyephedrine to levmetamfetamine. P&G indicated that nothing in the formulation change affects other aspects of the drug delivery system.

    Based on the application and other information received, including the quantitative composition of the substance and labeling and packaging information, the DEA has determined that this product may, under the FD&C Act, be lawfully sold over-the-counter without a prescription. 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1). In addition, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control finds that the active ingredient in this drug product (levmetamfetamine) is a schedule II controlled substance and is not a narcotic drug as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(17). The Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control therefore finds and concludes that this product continues to meet the criteria for exclusion from the CSA pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(g)(1).

    This exclusion only applies to the finished drug product in the form of an inhaler (in the exact formulation detailed in the application for exclusion), which is lawfully sold under the FD&C Act over-the-counter without a prescription. The extraction or removal of the active ingredient (levmetamfetamine) from the inhaler shall negate this exclusion and result in the possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    An agency may find good cause to exempt a rule from certain provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), including notice of proposed rulemaking and the pre-promulgation opportunity for public comment, if it is determined to be impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The DEA finds for good cause that it is unnecessary to seek public comment prior to amending the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products to update the listing for this product, as the amendments are primarily technical in nature and would not result in any substantive change. The product was previously exempted under a different company name, which is no longer accurate due to acquisition of Vick Chemical Company by The Proctor & Gamble Company. Additionally, the product name has been modified and was reassigned a corresponding NDC number, and the nomenclature for the active ingredient has changed. Lastly, while the amount of the schedule II ingredient l-desoxyephedrine (levmetamfetamine) in this product has been reduced by half the original quantity, the changes in the formulation will not affect the effectiveness of the product or the public's ability to benefit from the use of the product. There is also no further formulation change which would affect other aspects of the drug delivery system.

    The APA requires the publication of a substantive rule to be made not less than 30 days before its effective date. 5 U.S.C. 553(d). However, this requirement need not apply for “a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction” or “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). This rule continues the exclusion of a nonnarcotic drug product from the provisions of the CSA. Given that these amendments to the table of Excluded Nonnarcotic Products are primarily technical in nature and thereby would not warrant any further delay, the DEA finds that there is good cause to make this rule effective immediately upon publication.

    Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This regulation has been developed in accordance with the Executive Orders 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” section 1(b) and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” The DEA has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action, and accordingly this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This product is a modified version of a product that is currently exempted under the DEA's regulations. This action will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or tribal governments or communities; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

    Executive Order 13132

    This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    Executive Order 13175

    This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. This 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.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The DEA has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result “in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year * * * .” Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under the provisions of the UMRA.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This rule does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Congressional Review Act

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets. However, pursuant to the CRA, the DEA has submitted a copy of this interim final rule to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out above, 21 CFR part 1308 is amended as follows:

    PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 1308.22, remove the product listed in the table for the company, “Vicks Chemical Co” and Trade name, “Vicks Inhaler,” and add to the table, in alphabetical order, the product listed below:
    § 1308.22 Excluded substances. Excluded Nonnarcotic Products Company Trade name NDC code Form Controlled
  • substance
  • (mg or mg/ml)
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Proctor & Gamble Co., The Vicks VapoInhaler 37000-686-01 IN Levmetamfetamine (l-Desoxyephedrine) 50.00 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: October 20, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27266 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9741] RIN 1545-BB23; 1545-BC07; 1545-BH48 General Allocation and Accounting Regulations Under Section 141; Remedial Actions for Tax-Exempt Bonds AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations on allocation and accounting, and certain remedial actions, for purposes of the private activity bond restrictions under section 141 of the Internal Revenue Code that apply to tax-exempt bonds issued by State and local governments. The final regulations provide State and local governmental issuers of tax-exempt bonds with guidance for applying the private activity bond restrictions.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These regulations are effective on October 27, 2015.

    Applicability Date: For dates of applicability, see § 1.141-15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Johanna Som de Cerff or Zoran Stojanovic, (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in these regulations has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-1451. The collection of information in these final regulations is in § 1.141-12(d)(3), which requires an issuer to make a declaration of official intent to remediate bonds. This collection of information is necessary for an issuer's redemption or defeasance of bonds to be treated as a remedial action under § 1.141-12 to preserve the tax-exempt status of the bonds. This collection of information is an increase in the total annual burden under control number 1545-1451. The respondents are State and local government issuers of tax-exempt bonds.

    Estimated total annual reporting burden is 30,250 hours.

    Estimated average annual burden per respondent is 3 hours.

    Estimated number of respondents is 10,100.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget. Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

    Background

    In general, interest on State and local governmental bonds is excludable from gross income under section 103 upon satisfaction of certain requirements. Interest on a private activity bond, other than a qualified private activity bond within the meaning of section 141, is not excludable under section 103. Section 141 provides certain tests that are used to determine whether a State or local bond is a private activity bond. These tests include the private business use test and the private security or payment test in section 141(b), and the private loan financing test in section 141(c). Section 145 provides similar tests that apply in modified form to qualified 501(c)(3) bonds.

    Final regulations (TD 8712) under section 141 were published in the Federal Register on January 16, 1997 (62 FR 2275) (the 1997 Final Regulations), to provide comprehensive guidance on most aspects of the private activity bond restrictions. The 1997 Final Regulations, however, reserved most of the general allocation and accounting rules for purposes of section 141. An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-142599-02) was published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2002 (67 FR 59767), regarding allocation and accounting rules for tax-exempt bond proceeds used to finance mixed-use output facilities. A notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing (REG-140379-02; REG-142599-02) was published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2006 (71 FR 56072), regarding allocation and accounting rules for tax-exempt bond proceeds, including special rules for mixed-use projects, and rules regarding the treatment of partnerships for purposes of section 141 (the Proposed Allocation Regulations). The Proposed Allocation Regulations also included amendments to regulations under section 145 on related matters that apply to qualified 501(c)(3) bonds. A public hearing was held on January 11, 2007. This document amends the Income Tax Regulations under sections 141 and 145 by adopting final rules on these topics. Certain provisions of the Proposed Allocation Regulations are not being finalized and are withdrawn. A partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking is published elsewhere in this edition of the Federal Register.

    A notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing (REG-132483-03) was published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2003 (68 FR 43059), regarding the amount and allocation of nonqualified bonds for purposes of certain remedial actions under sections 141 and 142 (the Proposed Remedial Action Regulations). The public hearing was cancelled because no requests to speak were received. Final regulations (TD 9150) were published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2004 (69 FR 50065), adopting the portions of the Proposed Remedial Action Regulations relating to section 142. Because of the interrelationship between the remedial action provisions under section 141 and the allocation and accounting rules, the portions relating to section 141 were not finalized at that time. This document adopts final rules regarding the amount and allocation of nonqualified bonds for purposes of the remedial action provisions under section 141. We refer to the Proposed Remedial Action Regulations and the Proposed Allocation Regulations collectively as the Proposed Regulations.

    Explanation and Summary of Comments I. Introduction

    After consideration of the public comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS adopt the Proposed Regulations, with revisions, as final regulations (the Final Regulations). This section discusses significant aspects of the public comments and the revisions made in the Final Regulations.

    II. General Allocation Rules

    The Proposed Regulations provided several allocation rules. Among these were rules regarding the allocation of proceeds of an issue of bonds that are obligations of a state or political subdivision under section 103(c)(1) (see § 1.150-1(b)) (proceeds) and all other sources of funds (other funds) to expenditures, to the project, and to the uses of the project (that is, governmental use or private business use). The Proposed Regulations provided that proceeds and other funds generally may be allocated to expenditures using any reasonable, consistently applied accounting method, and that the allocation of proceeds and other funds to expenditures must be consistent with the allocation of proceeds and other funds for purposes of the arbitrage investment restrictions under section 148.

    Commenters expressed concern that the consistency requirement was in conflict with the allowance of more than one method for allocating proceeds and other funds to projects. Commenters further questioned whether allocations of proceeds to expenditures were necessary other than for purposes of the arbitrage investment restrictions. The Final Regulations clarify that the issuer's allocation of proceeds to expenditures for purposes of the arbitrage investment restrictions also apply to expenditures for purposes of the private activity bond tests.

    The Proposed Regulations provided generally that proceeds and other funds allocated to capital expenditures for a capital project are treated as allocated ratably throughout the project in proportion to the relative amounts of proceeds and other funds spent on that project. The Proposed Regulations further provided that generally proceeds and other funds are allocated to both governmental use and private business use of the project in proportion to the relative amounts of each source of funding spent on the project. The Final Regulations adopt these general pro rata allocation rules as proposed.

    The Proposed Regulations defined a project to include functionally related or integrated facilities located on the same site, or on geographically proximate sites, that are reasonably expected to be placed in service within the same 12-month period. The Proposed Regulations provided certain special rules for the treatment of subsequent improvements to, and replacements of, a project. These proposed special rules treated subsequent improvements and replacements made more than 12 months after the original project was placed in service as part of the same project if the improvements and replacements were within the size, function, and usable space or the original design of the project.

    Commenters expressed various concerns about the definition of project in the Proposed Regulations. Some commenters were concerned that the narrow definition of project, which includes only geographically proximate facilities placed in service within a short period, is inconsistent with the private activity bond tests generally, which apply to all facilities financed by the proceeds of a single issue of bonds. Commenters also questioned how the definition of project would apply in the context of a capital improvement program financed by the proceeds of a single issue of bonds that involves multiple facilities in different locations (for example, different school buildings within a district) placed in service over more than 12 months. Conversely, other commenters expressed concern that the definition of project is so broad that it would allow properties that have different owners, types of ownership interests, or types of financing (that is, are financed from different sources) to be considered a single project.

    Commenters inferred that the treatment of subsequent improvements meant that the funds, which could include proceeds and equity, for the original project and the subsequent improvements would be allocated throughout the original project and the subsequent improvements, possibly subjecting assets financed solely with equity to the private activity bond restrictions. They expressed concerns that the special allocation rules for mixed-use projects (discussed in section III. in this preamble) would be unavailable for these improvements due to the timing requirement applicable to the election.

    The Final Regulations simplify the definition of project to cover all facilities or capital projects financed in whole or in part with proceeds of a single issue of bonds. This definition permits an issuer in its bond documents to identify as a single project all of the properties to be financed by proceeds of a single bond issue. Under this rule, issuers may identify specific properties or portions of properties regardless of the properties' locations or placed-in-service dates. This approach to the definition of project comports with the application of the private activity bond tests generally, which apply at the issue level. The Final Regulations also clarify through the examples that improvements financed with a later issue are a separate project.

    Commenters requested clarification that, consistent with longstanding practice, each undivided ownership interest in an output facility be treated separately for purposes of applying the allocation rules. The Final Regulations provide this clarification.

    Commenters also recommended extending the separate facility treatment for output facilities under the Proposed Regulations to other types of facilities. The Final Regulations do not adopt this recommendation because the use of output facilities is measured differently from the use of other facilities. The use of an output facility generally is measured in the amount of output purchased as a percentage of the facility's total available output. The amount of use by each user reflects the proportionate benefit of the available output to such user. Uses of other types of facilities are measured in various ways depending on how that use occurs (for example, in different discrete portions, at different times, or simultaneously) and may reflect simultaneous use by more than one user on a different, rather than proportionate, basis. Even without separate facility treatment, however, issuers may use proceeds to finance the governmental use portion of an eligible mixed-use project.

    III. Special Allocation Rules for Eligible Mixed-Use Projects A. In General

    The Proposed Regulations provided special elective allocation rules for mixed-use projects. In general, these special rules gave effect to congressional intent to permit funding of mixed-use projects in part with tax-exempt bonds and in part with other funds using reasonable, proportionate allocation methods that reflect proportionate benefits to the various users. See H.R. Rep. No. 99-426, at 538 (1985). The Proposed Regulations defined a mixed-use project as a project that is reasonably expected to be used for more than the de minimis amount (generally 10 percent) of private business use permitted under the private activity bond tests (de minimis permitted private business use). The Proposed Regulations provided two alternative elective allocation methods for a mixed-use project, the discrete physical portion allocation method (discrete portion method) and the undivided portion allocation method. The Proposed Regulations required the issuer to make a timely, written election, including preliminary and final allocations of proceeds and other funds, to use one of these alternative methods.

    The discrete portion method allowed for dividing a mixed-use project into physically discrete portions and allocating the different sources of funds to the various discrete portions using a reasonable, consistently applied method that reflects the proportionate benefit to be derived by the various users of the project. The discrete portion method had a number of limitations, including the physical constraints of a discrete portion under the proposed project definition, limitations on measurement of a discrete portion, limitations associated with the fair market value of a discrete portion, and comparability conditions on reallocations of discrete portions within a project.

    Under the undivided portion allocation method, projects were divided into governmental use and private business use portions on a notional, rather than physical, basis with tax-exempt proceeds allocated to the governmental use portion and the other funds allocated to the private business use portion. The availability of the proposed undivided portion allocation method was limited to circumstances in which the issuer reasonably expected that governmental use and private business use of the project would occur simultaneously on the same basis, or at different times.

    Commenters criticized the complexity of the Proposed Regulations' two special allocation methods and the administrative burdens associated with the election requirement for mixed-use allocations. Commenters also criticized the discrete portion method's overly rigid treatment of reallocations or “floating” allocations. To simplify these rules, commenters recommended expanding the availability of the undivided portion allocation method to include all measureable use, adopting the undivided portion allocation method as the general rule for allocating proceeds and other sources to the uses of a mixed-use project, and eliminating the discrete portion method.

    The Final Regulations adopt the recommendation to expand the availability of the undivided portion allocation method to include all measureable use and to make the undivided portion allocation method the exclusive allocation method for eligible mixed-use projects. Consistent with this change, the Final Regulations eliminate the discrete portion method and the election requirement. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the expanded version of the undivided portion allocation method in the Final Regulations generally will be simpler and more administrable than the two proposed allocation methods and will cover all circumstances otherwise covered by the discrete portion method under the Proposed Regulations. For example, unlike the proposed discrete portion method, which had significant constraints on “floating” allocations for administrability reasons, the undivided portion allocation method in the Final Regulations inherently allows floating allocations without further action or special tracking in that it involves allocations for an entire mixed-use project. Section III.B. in this preamble further discusses the undivided portion allocation method under the Final Regulations.

    Under the Final Regulations, the undivided portion allocation method is available for “eligible mixed use projects.” The Final Regulations define an “eligible mixed-use project” as a project that is financed with proceeds of bonds that purport to be governmental bonds when issued and qualified equity (discussed under Definition of qualified equity in section III.C. in this preamble) pursuant to the same plan of financing (discussed under Same plan of financing in section III.D. in this preamble). Further, to qualify, the project must be wholly owned by one or more governmental persons or by a partnership in which at least one governmental person is a partner. (See discussion under Partnerships in section IV. in this preamble.)

    B. Allocations to Uses of a Project

    Under the Proposed Regulations, the undivided portion allocation method limited the targeting of qualified equity to private business use of the project to that percentage of the private business use equal to the percentage of capital expenditures of the project financed by the qualified equity, and similarly limited the targeting of proceeds to government use of the project to that percentage of the government use equal to the percentage of capital expenditures of the project financed by the proceeds. For projects other than output facilities, these limits applied to each one-year period of the measurement period. Commenters requested that unused qualified equity be carried over from one year to another or, in lieu of a carryover provision, revising the limit from an annual limit to one spanning the entire measurement period.

    The Final Regulations do not adopt these recommendations. The general private business measurement rules, in contrast to those for use arising from output contracts, require a determination of the private business use of the proceeds on an annual basis as a preliminary step to determining the average private business use of the proceeds during the measurement period. When the amount of private business use of the project in any one-year period is less than the percentage of qualified equity, that qualified equity is not unused but, as the Final Regulations clarify, is allocated to governmental use of the project that is in excess of the percentage of proceeds. To allow carryover of private business use of the proceeds or in an amount determined solely over the measurement period would require revision of the measurement rules plus additional rules to prevent potentially abusive situations, thereby increasing complexity. The Final Regulations do, however, clarify that the annual limit only applies to use measured under the general measurement rules and not to use arising from output contracts.

    C. Definition of Qualified Equity

    The Proposed Regulations defined qualified equity to mean proceeds of taxable bonds and funds not derived from a borrowing that are spent on the same project as proceeds of the purported governmental bonds to which the private activity bond tests will be applied (the applicable bonds). The Proposed Regulations further provided that qualified equity does not include equity interests in real property or tangible personal property. Commenters suggested expanding the definition of qualified equity to include the value of contributed property not purchased with proceeds of tax-advantaged bonds, arguing that this contribution should be treated as the equivalent of cash. Commenters also suggested that qualified equity include funds used to redeem bonds.

    The Final Regulations adopt the proposed definition of qualified equity, with modifications. In recognition of the advent of expanded types of bonds that provide a Federal tax benefit (a tax-advantaged bond), which include, for example, a qualified tax credit bond under section 54A on which the interest on the bond is taxable, the Final Regulations clarify that “taxable bonds” that give rise to qualified equity exclude any tax-advantaged bond. The Final Regulations do not adopt the suggestion to include contributions of existing property as qualified equity for a project because that treatment would raise difficult issues of valuation and administrability and would be inconsistent with the rules governing allocations of proceeds of reimbursement bonds.

    The Final Regulations do not adopt the comment recommending that amounts (other than proceeds) used to redeem bonds be treated as qualified equity because permitting increased private business use for the redemption of bonds in the ordinary course would be inconsistent with the private activity bond restrictions on the issue of bonds being redeemed. The 1997 Final Regulations already address the use of funds to redeem bonds under certain conditions in which bond redemptions serve as a remedial action to cure violations of the private business use restrictions. Further, as discussed under Anticipatory redemptions in section V.A. in this preamble, the Final Regulations add a new remedial action provision permitting early redemption in anticipation of increased private business use.

    D. Same Plan of Financing

    The definition of “project” in the Proposed Regulations required spending the proceeds and other sources on the properties pursuant to the same plan of financing. Commenters requested clarification of the meaning of the same plan of financing. The Final Regulations clarify that “same plan of financing” has the same meaning as in § 1.150-1(c)(1)(ii) and that qualified equity is spent under the same plan of financing as proceeds of the applicable bonds if the qualified equity is spent on capital expenditures of the project no earlier than the earliest date on which the expenditure would be eligible for reimbursement were the bonds from which the proceeds are derived issued as reimbursement bonds and no later than the date that is the beginning of the measurement period for the project (other than amounts retained for reasonable purposes relating to the project as defined under the arbitrage investment restrictions).

    E. Allocation of Proceeds of Multiple Issues

    The Proposed Regulations provided that if proceeds of more than one issue are allocated to capital expenditures of a mixed-use project to which the issuer elects to apply the discrete physical portion or undivided portion allocation method, then proceeds of those issues are allocated ratably to a discrete portion or undivided portion to which any proceeds are allocated in proportion to their relative shares of the total proceeds of such issues used for the project (the multiple issue rule). Commenters suggested eliminating this rule to permit issuers to allocate proceeds of the different issues financing a project to take maximum advantage of the overall private business use permitted, such as disproportionately allocating proceeds of a larger issue or a general obligation issue (that is, one paid from generally applicable taxes, for which private business use may be 100 percent because the private security or payment test will not be met) to private business use.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS are concerned that a non-pro rata method of allocating proceeds of more than one issue to the uses of a project could not only lead to more private business use than when proceeds of a single issue are allocated, but would also be difficult to administer. Furthermore, this approach also would be inconsistent with the general allocation rule that allocates proceeds of two issues on a proportionate basis to the uses of a project that is not an eligible mixed-use project.

    Commenters also suggested that the proposed multiple issue rule would create a barrier to tax-exempt financing of projects, such as airports, that traditionally have been financed with a combination of tax-exempt governmental bonds and qualified private activity bonds to reflect the governmental and qualified private business use occurring, respectively, in different discrete portions of a project, as neither type of bond would meet the criteria for tax-exempt status if the proceeds of both types were allocated to the same portions. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that certain projects contain portions that, if treated as separate facilities, would be eligible for financing with different types of tax-exempt bonds. The Final Regulations remove this barrier to tax-exempt financing of projects through the definition of “project,” which allows each issuer to identify the different projects financed by its separate issues of governmental bonds and qualified private activity bonds.

    IV. Partnerships

    The Proposed Regulations generally treated a partnership as an entity that is a nongovernmental person for purposes of the private activity bond tests. However, if all of the partners in a partnership were governmental persons, the Proposed Regulations provided a limited exception that would treat the partnership as an aggregate of its partners (that is, as governmental persons) for these purposes. The preamble to the Proposed Regulations specifically requested comments on the usefulness of aggregate treatment for a partnership of governmental persons (or 501(c)(3) organizations for qualified 501(c)(3) bonds) and private businesses. The preamble to the Proposed Regulations further indicated that the Treasury Department and the IRS were considering aggregate treatment in at least the limited circumstance of partnerships involving a constant percentage (“straight up”) allocation of all partnership items. Commenters were in favor of aggregate treatment for such partnerships.

    In recognition of the development of various financing and management structures for government (or 501(c)(3) organization) facilities that involve the participation of private businesses, to provide flexibility to accommodate public-private partnerships, and to remove barriers to tax-exempt financing of the government's (or 501(c)(3) organization's) portion of the benefit of property used in joint ventures, the Final Regulations provide aggregate treatment for all partnerships. The Final Regulations further provide a rule for measuring the private business use of financed property resulting from the use of the property by a partnership that includes a partner that is a nongovernmental person. The amount of such use is the nongovernmental partner's share of the amount of the use of the property by the partnership, with such share defined as the nongovernmental partner's greatest percentage share of any of the specified partnership items attributable to the time during the measurement period that the partnership uses the property. The Final Regulations also provide that an issuer may determine the nongovernmental partner's share under guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

    The definition of qualified 501(c)(3) bonds under section 145(a) includes the private activity bond tests (with certain modifications) and an ownership test under which the property financed with qualified 501(c)(3) bonds must be owned by a 501(c)(3) organization or a governmental unit. In applying the private activity bond tests for purposes of qualified 501(c)(3) bonds, the Proposed Regulations treated a partnership as an aggregate if each of the partners was either a governmental person or a 501(c)(3) organization. The Proposed Regulations, however, did not apply such aggregate treatment for purposes of the ownership test. Commenters recommended applying aggregate treatment to partnerships for purposes of the ownership test, seeing no reason to distinguish between ownership for purposes of the ownership test and for purposes of the private activity bond tests, which also look to ownership of the financed property. The Final Regulations adopt this comment.

    V. Remedial Actions A. Anticipatory Redemptions

    The Proposed Allocation Regulations permitted proceeds of taxable bonds and funds not derived from borrowing that are used to retire tax-exempt governmental bonds to be treated as qualified equity under certain circumstances. This allows targeting of funds other than tax-exempt bond proceeds to finance portions of projects that are expected to be used for private business use in the future. The intent of this proposed rule is to encourage retirement of tax-exempt bonds before the occurrence of nonqualified use. The Proposed Allocation Regulations addressed when the bond must be retired, the issuer's reasonable expectations regarding use of the project, actual use of the project prior to the redemption, and the length of the term of the issue of which the bond to be retired is a part. Specifically, the bond to be redeemed was required to be retired at least five years before its otherwise-scheduled maturity date and within a period that starts one year before the deliberate act and ends 91 days before the deliberate act. Further, the issuer must not have expected that the project would be a mixed-use project. Thus, under the Proposed Allocation Regulations, an issuer could not use this anticipatory redemption for a project for which it had elected the special mixed-use allocation rules.

    Most commenters stated that the proposed provision would be of limited use and that the eligibility requirements are contrary to the policy of encouraging redemption of tax-exempt bonds earlier rather than later. Commenters recommended that the conditions for anticipatory redemption not be stricter than those under the existing remedial action regime for private business use, which permits a curative redemption or defeasance of nonqualified bonds within 90 days of the deliberate action causing the private activity bonds tests to be met. Commenters further suggested adding a provision to the remedial action rules permitting an issuer to redeem or defease bonds at any time in advance of a deliberate action that would cause the private business tests to be met. The suggested provision would require the issuer to declare its intent to redeem or defease the bonds that potentially could become the nonqualified bonds and identify the financed property. To encourage early redemption of tax-exempt bonds without imposing another set of rules for projects with unanticipated private business use, the Final Regulations adopt this recommendation to expand the remedial action rules to address this point.

    B. Nonqualified Bonds

    The Proposed Remedial Action Regulations included amendments relating to the amount and allocation of nonqualified bonds to be remediated as a result of a deliberate action causing the private business tests or the private loan financing test to be met. The Proposed Remedial Action Regulations provided that the amount of the nonqualified bonds is that portion of the outstanding bonds in an amount that, if the remaining bonds were issued on the date on which the deliberate action occurs, the remaining bonds would not meet the private business use test or private loan financing test, as applicable. For this purpose, the amount of private business use is the greatest percentage of private business use in any one-year period commencing with the one-year period in which the deliberate action occurs.

    Commenters requested that the amount of nonqualified bonds be determined using the average amount of private business use over the entire measurement period rather than the highest private business use in any one-year period. The Final Regulations do not adopt this recommendation because this request is inconsistent with the limitations on annual allocations of proceeds and qualified equity to the uses of the project. The Final Regulations adopt the amendment to the provision regarding the amount of nonqualified bonds as proposed.

    Commenters generally agreed with the proposed change that allows any bonds of any issue to be treated as the nonqualified bonds provided that the redemption or defeasance does not have the effect of extending the weighted average maturity (WAM) of the issue. Commenters, however, stated that some bond indentures require optional redemptions of a portion of a term bond to be used first to reduce the earliest mandatory sinking fund payments on the bond. In this case, the redemption or defeasance of the longest bonds would result in the extension of the WAM. Commenters recommended that the regulations permit bonds with longer maturities to be treated as the nonqualified bonds, as is permitted under the existing regulations. The Final Regulations adopt the rule as proposed, but provide a transition rule for outstanding bonds similar to that provided with respect to outstanding exempt facility bonds.

    The Final Regulations reduce the amount of nonqualified bonds. An issuer who chooses to redeem or defease the nonqualified bonds need only redeem or defease sufficient bonds such that the remaining bonds would not meet the private business use or private loan financing test. Thus, unlike under the previous definition of nonqualified bonds, not all of the private business use or private loan, as calculated under the remedial action rules, necessarily will be remediated. To take into account any such remaining unremediated private business use or loan should a subsequent deliberate action occur, a conforming change is needed pertaining to continuing compliance. The Final Regulations include this change.

    VII. Effective/Applicability Dates

    The Final Regulations generally apply to bonds sold on or after January 25, 2016. The rules regarding remedial actions, however, apply to deliberate actions that occur on or after January 25, 2016. The Final Regulations allow permissive application of (1) the partnership provisions, the allocation and accounting rules, and certain corresponding rules for qualified 501(c)(3) bonds in whole, but not in part, to bonds to which the 1997 Final Regulations apply; and (2) the multipurpose rule to bonds to which the refunding rules apply.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations. It is hereby certified that the collection of information in these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small governmental jurisdictions. This certification is based upon the fact that few small governmental issuers are expected to take an anticipatory remedial action and that the amount of time required to meet the recordkeeping requirement is not significant. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notices of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small governmental jurisdictions. No comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Johanna Som de Cerff, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions & Products), IRS. However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.141-0 is amended by adding an entry for § 1.141-1(e), revising entries for § 1.141-6 and § 1.141-12(d)(3) through (5), adding an entry for § 1.141-12(d)(6), revising the heading for § 1.141-15, and adding entries for § 1.141-15(b)(4), (e)(1), (e)(2), (l) and (m) to read as follows: § 1.141-0 Table of contents. § 1.141-1 Definitions and rules of general application.

    (e) Partnerships.

    § 1.141-6 Allocation and accounting rules.

    (a) Allocation of proceeds to expenditures, projects, and uses in general.

    (1) Allocations to expenditures.

    (2) Allocations of sources to a project and its uses.

    (3) Definition of project.

    (b) Special allocation rules for eligible mixed-use projects.

    (1) In general.

    (2) Definition of eligible mixed-use project.

    (3) Definition of qualified equity.

    (4) Same plan of financing.

    (c) Allocations of private payments.

    (d) Allocations of proceeds to common costs of an issue.

    (e) Allocations of proceeds to bonds.

    (f) Examples.

    § 1.141-12 Remedial actions.

    (d) * * *

    (3) Anticipatory remedial action.

    (4) Notice of defeasance.

    (5) Special limitation.

    (6) Defeasance escrow defined.

    § 1.141-15 Effective/applicability dates.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Certain remedial actions.

    (e) * * *

    (1) In general.

    (2) Transition rule for pre-effective date bonds.

    (l) Applicability date for certain regulations related to allocation and accounting.

    (1) In general.

    (2) Permissive application.

    (m) Permissive retroactive application of certain regulations.

    Par. 3. Section 1.141-1 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 1.141-1 Definitions and rules of general application.

    (e) Partnerships. A partnership (as defined in section 7701(a)(2)) is treated as an aggregate of its partners, rather than as an entity.

    Par. 4. Section 1.141-3 is amended by redesignating paragraph (g)(2)(v) as paragraph (g)(2)(vi) and adding new paragraph (g)(2)(v) to read as follows:
    § 1.141-3 Definition of private business use.

    (g) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) Special rule for partners that are nongovernmental persons—(A) The amount of private business use by a nongovernmental person resulting from the use of property by a partnership in which that nongovernmental person is a partner is that nongovernmental partner's share of the amount of use of the property by the partnership. For this purpose, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g)(2)(v)(B) of this section, a nongovernmental partner's share of the partnership's use of the property is the nongovernmental partner's greatest percentage share under section 704(b) of any partnership item of income, gain, loss, deduction, or credit attributable to the period that the partnership uses the property during the measurement period. For example, if a partnership has a nongovernmental partner and that partner's share of partnership items varies, with the greatest share being 25 percent, then that nongovernmental partner's share of the partnership's use of property is 25 percent.

    (B) An issuer may determine a nongovernmental partner's share of the partnership's use of the property under guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter).

    Par. 5. Section 1.141-6 is revised to read as follows:
    § 1.141-6 Allocation and accounting rules.

    (a) Allocations of proceeds to expenditures, projects, and uses in general—(1) Allocations to expenditures. The allocations of proceeds and other sources of funds to expenditures under § 1.148-6(d) apply for purposes of §§ 1.141-1 through 1.141-15.

    (2) Allocations of sources to a project and its uses. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section (regarding an eligible mixed-use project), if two or more sources of funding (including two or more tax-exempt issues) are allocated to capital expenditures (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)) for a project (as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section), those sources are allocated throughout that project to the governmental use and private business use of the project in proportion to the relative amounts of those sources of funding spent on the project.

    (3) Definition of project—(i) In general. For purposes of this section, project means one or more facilities or capital projects, including land, buildings, equipment, or other property, financed in whole or in part with proceeds of the issue.

    (ii) Output facilities. If an output facility has multiple undivided ownership interests (respectively owned by governmental persons or by both governmental and nongovernmental persons), each owner's interest in the facility is treated as a separate facility for purposes of this section, provided that all owners of the undivided ownership interests share the ownership and output in proportion to their contributions to the capital costs of the output facility.

    (b) Special allocation rules for eligible mixed-use projects—(1) In general. The sources of funding allocated to capital expenditures for an eligible mixed-use project (as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) are allocated to undivided portions of the eligible mixed-use project and the governmental use and private business use of the eligible mixed-use project in accordance with this paragraph (b). Qualified equity (as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section) is allocated first to the private business use of the eligible mixed-use project and then to governmental use, and proceeds are allocated first to the governmental use and then to private business use, using the percentages of the eligible mixed-use project financed with the respective sources and the percentages of the respective uses. Thus, if the percentage of the eligible mixed-use project financed with qualified equity is less than the percentage of private business use of the project, all of the qualified equity is allocated to the private business use. Proceeds are allocated to the balance of the private business use of the project. Similarly, if the percentage of the eligible mixed-use project financed with proceeds is less than the percentage of governmental use of the project, all of the proceeds are allocated to the governmental use, and qualified equity is allocated to the balance of the governmental use of the project. Further, if proceeds of more than one issue finance the eligible mixed-use project, proceeds of each issue are allocated ratably to the uses to which proceeds are allocated in proportion to the relative amounts of the proceeds of such issues allocated to the eligible mixed-use project. For private business use measured under § 1.141-3(g), qualified equity and proceeds are allocated to the uses of the eligible mixed-use project in each one-year period under § 1.141-3(g)(4). See Example 1 of paragraph (f) of this section.

    (2) Definition of eligible mixed-use project. Eligible mixed-use project means a project (as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section) that is financed with proceeds of bonds that, when issued, purported to be governmental bonds (as defined in § 1.150-1(b)) (the applicable bonds) and with qualified equity pursuant to the same plan of financing (within the meaning of § 1.150-1(c)(1)(ii)). An eligible mixed-use project must be wholly owned by one or more governmental persons or by a partnership in which at least one governmental person is a partner.

    (3) Definition of qualified equity. For purposes of this section, qualified equity means proceeds of bonds that are not tax-advantaged bonds and funds that are not derived from proceeds of a borrowing that are spent on the same eligible mixed-use project as the proceeds of the applicable bonds. Qualified equity does not include equity interests in real property or tangible personal property. Further, qualified equity does not include funds used to redeem or repay governmental bonds. See §§ 1.141-2(d)(2)(ii) and 1.141-12(i) (regarding the effects of certain redemptions as remedial actions).

    (4) Same plan of financing. Qualified equity finances a project under the same plan of financing that includes the applicable bonds if the qualified equity pays for capital expenditures of the project on a date that is no earlier than a date on which such expenditures would be eligible for reimbursement by proceeds of the applicable bonds under § 1.150-2(d)(2) (regardless of whether the applicable bonds are reimbursement bonds) and, except for a reasonable retainage (within the meaning of § 1.148-7(h)), no later than the date on which the measurement period begins.

    (c) Allocations of private payments. Except as provided in this paragraph (c), private payments for a project are allocated in accordance with § 1.141-4. Payments under an output contract that result in private business use of an eligible mixed-use project are allocated to the same source of funding (notwithstanding § 1.141-4(c)(3)(v) (regarding certain allocations of private payments to equity)) allocated to the private business use from such contract under paragraph (b) of this section.

    (d) Allocations of proceeds to common costs of an issue. Proceeds used for expenditures for common costs (for example, issuance costs, qualified guarantee fees, or reasonably required reserve or replacement funds) are allocated in accordance with § 1.141-3(g)(6). Proceeds, as allocated under § 1.141-3(g)(6) to an eligible mixed-use project, are allocated to the uses of the project in the same proportions as the proceeds allocated to the uses under paragraph (b) of this section.

    (e) Allocations of proceeds to bonds. In general, proceeds are allocated to bonds in accordance with the rules for allocations of proceeds to bonds for separate purposes of multipurpose issues in § 1.141-13(d). For an issue that is not a multipurpose issue (or is a multipurpose issue for which the issuer has not made a multipurpose allocation), proceeds are allocated to bonds ratably in a manner similar to the allocation of proceeds to projects under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (f) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of this section:

    Example 1.

    Mixed-use project. City A issues $70x of bonds (the Bonds) and finances the construction of a 10-story office building costing $100x (the Project) with proceeds of the Bonds and $30x of qualified equity (the Qualified Equity). To the extent that the private business use of the Project does not exceed 30 percent in any particular year, the Qualified Equity is allocated to the private business use. If private business use of the Project were, for example, 44 percent in a year, the Qualified Equity would be allocated to 30 percent ($30x) private business use and proceeds of the Bonds would be allocated to the excess (that is, 14 percent or $14x), resulting in private business use of the Bonds in that year of 20 percent ($14x/$70x). Conversely, if private business use of the Project were 20 percent, Qualified Equity would be allocated to that 20 percent. The remaining Qualified Equity (that is, 10 percent or $10x) would be allocated to the governmental use in excess of the 70 percent to which the proceeds of the Bonds would be allocated.

    Example 2.

    Mixed-use output facility. Authority A is a governmental person that owns and operates an electric transmission facility. Several years ago, Authority A used its equity to pay capital expenditures of $1000x for the facility. Authority A wants to make capital improvements to the facility in the amount of $100x (the Project). Authority A reasonably expects that, after completion of the Project, it will sell 46 percent of the available output of the facility, as determined under § 1.141-7, under output contracts that result in private business use and it will sell 54 percent of the available output of the facility for governmental use. On January 1, 2017, Authority A issues $60x of bonds (the Bonds) and uses the proceeds of the Bonds and $40x of qualified equity (the Qualified Equity) to finance the Project. The Qualified Equity is allocated to 40 of the 46 percent private business use resulting from the output contracts. Proceeds of the Bonds are allocated to the 54 percent governmental use and thereafter to the remaining 6 percent private business use.

    Example 3.

    Subsequent improvements and replacements. County A owns a hospital, which opened in 2001, that it financed entirely with proceeds of bonds it issued in 1998 (the 1998 Bonds). In 2017, County A finances the cost of an addition to the hospital with proceeds of bonds (the 2017 Bonds) and qualified equity (the 2017 Qualified Equity). The original hospital is a project (the 1998 Project) and the addition is a project (the 2017 Project). Proceeds of the 2017 Bonds and the 2017 Qualified Equity are allocated to the 2017 Project. The 2017 Qualified Equity is allocated first to the private business use of the 2017 Project and then to the governmental use of the 2017 Project. Proceeds of the 2017 Bonds are allocated first to the governmental use of the 2017 Project and then to the private business use of that project. Neither proceeds of the 2017 Bonds nor 2017 Qualified Equity is allocated to the uses of the 1998 Project. Proceeds of the 1998 Bonds are not allocated to uses of the 2017 Project.

    Par 6. Section 1.141-12 is amended by: a. Revising the last sentence of paragraph (d)(1). b. Redesignating paragraphs (d)(3) through (d)(5) as (d)(4) through (d)(6). c. Adding new paragraph (d)(3). d. Revising paragraph (i)(1). e. Redesignating paragraph (i)(2) as (i)(3). f. Adding new paragraph (i)(2). g. Revising paragraphs (j), and (k), Example 8.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1.141-12 Remedial actions.

    (d) * * * (1) * * * Except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, if the bonds are not redeemed within 90 days of the date of the deliberate action, a defeasance escrow must be established for those bonds within 90 days of the deliberate action.

    (3) Anticipatory remedial action. The requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section for redemption or defeasance of the nonqualified bonds within 90 days of the deliberate action are met if the issuer declares its official intent to redeem or defease all of the bonds that would become nonqualified bonds in the event of a subsequent deliberate action that would cause the private business tests or the private loan financing test to be met and redeems or defeases such bonds prior to that deliberate action. The issuer must declare its official intent on or before the date on which it redeems or defeases such bonds, and the declaration of intent must identify the financed property or loan with respect to which the anticipatory remedial action is being taken and describe the deliberate action that potentially may result in the private business tests being met (for example, sale of financed property that the buyer may then lease to a nongovernmental person). Rules similar to those in § 1.150-2(e) (regarding official intent for reimbursement bonds) apply to declarations of intent under this paragraph (d)(3), including deviations in the descriptions of the project or loan and deliberate action and the reasonableness of the official intent.

    (i) * * *

    (1) If a remedial action is taken under paragraph (d) of this section, the amount of private business use or private loans resulting from the deliberate action that is taken into account for purposes of determining whether the bonds are private activity bonds is that portion of the remaining bonds that is used for private business use or private loans (as calculated under paragraph (j) of this section);

    (2) If a remedial action is taken under paragraph (e) or (f) of this section, the amount of private business use or private loans resulting from the deliberate action is not taken into account for purposes of determining whether the bonds are private activity bonds; and

    (j) Nonqualified bonds—(1) Amount of nonqualified bonds. The nonqualified bonds are a portion of the outstanding bonds in an amount that, if the remaining bonds were issued on the date on which the deliberate action occurs, the remaining bonds would not meet the private business use test or private loan financing test, as applicable. For this purpose, the amount of private business use is the greatest percentage of private business use in any one-year period commencing with the one-year period in which the deliberate action occurs.

    (2) Allocation of nonqualified bonds. Allocations of nonqualified bonds must be made on a pro rata basis, except that, for purposes of paragraph (d) of this section (relating to redemption or defeasance), an issuer may treat any bonds of an issue as the nonqualified bonds so long as—

    (i) The remaining weighted average maturity of the issue, determined as of the date on which the nonqualified bonds are redeemed or defeased (determination date), and excluding from the determination the nonqualified bonds redeemed or defeased by the issuer in accordance with this section, is not greater than

    (ii) The remaining weighted average maturity of the issue, determined as of the determination date, but without regard to the redemption or defeasance of any bonds (including the nonqualified bonds) occurring on the determination date.

    (k) * * *

    Example 8.

    Compliance after remedial action. In 2007, City G issues bonds with proceeds of $10 million to finance a courthouse. The bonds have a weighted average maturity that does not exceed 120 percent of the reasonably expected economic life of the courthouse. City G enters into contracts with nongovernmental persons that result in private business use of 10 percent of the courthouse per year. More than 10 percent of the debt service on the issue is secured by private security or payments. In 2019, in a bona fide and arm's length arrangement, City G enters into a management contract with a nongovernmental person that results in private business use of an additional 40 percent of the courthouse per year during the remaining term of the bonds. City G immediately redeems the nonqualified bonds, or 44.44 percent of the outstanding bonds. This is the portion of the outstanding bonds that, if the remaining bonds were issued on the date on which the deliberate action occurs, the remaining bonds would not meet the private business use test, treating the amount of private business use as the greatest percentage of private business use in any one-year period commencing with the one-year period in which the deliberate action occurs (50 percent). This percentage is computed by dividing the percentage of the facility used for a government use (50 percent) by the minimum amount of government use required (90 percent), and subtracting the resulting percentage (55.56 percent) from 100 percent (44.44 percent). For purposes of subsequently applying section 141 to the issue, City G may continue to use all of the proceeds of the outstanding bonds in the same manner (that is, for the courthouse and the private business use) without causing the issue to meet the private business use test. The issue continues to meet the private security or payment test. The result would be the same if City G, instead of redeeming the bonds, established a defeasance escrow for those bonds, provided that the requirement of paragraph (d)(5) of this section is met. If City G takes a subsequent deliberate action that results in further private business use, it must take into account 10 percent of private business use in addition to that caused by the second deliberate act.

    Par 7. Section 1.141-13 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(1) and paragraph (g), Example 5, to read as follows:
    § 1.141-13 Refunding issues.

    (d) Multipurpose issue allocations—(1) In general. For purposes of section 141, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, § 1.148-9(h) applies to allocations of multipurpose issues (as defined in § 1.148-1(b)), including allocations involving the refunding purposes of the issue. An allocation under this paragraph (d) may be made at any time, but once made, may not be changed. An allocation is not reasonable under this paragraph (d) if it achieves more favorable results under section 141 than could be achieved with actual separate issues. Each of the separate issues under the allocation must consist of one or more tax-exempt bonds. Allocations made under this paragraph (d) and § 1.148-9(h) must be consistent for purposes of sections 141 and 148.

    (g) * * *

    Example 5.

    Multipurpose issue. (i) In 2017, State D issues bonds to finance the construction of two office buildings, Building 1 and Building 2. D expends an equal amount of the proceeds on each building. D enters into arrangements that result in private business use of 8 percent of Building 1 and 12 percent of Building 2 during the measurement period under § 1.141-3(g) and private payments of 4 percent of the 2017 bonds in respect of Building 1 and 6 percent of the 2017 bonds in respect of Building 2. These arrangements result in a total of 10 percent of the proceeds of the 2017 bonds being used for a private business use and total private payments of 10 percent. In 2022, D purports to make a multipurpose issue allocation under paragraph (d) of this section of the outstanding 2017 bonds, allocating the issue into two separate issues of equal amounts with one issue allocable to Building 1 and the second allocable to Building 2. An allocation is unreasonable under paragraph (d) of this section if it achieves more favorable results under section 141 than could be achieved with actual separate issues. D's allocation is unreasonable because, if permitted, it would allow more favorable results under section 141 for the 2017 bonds (that is, private business use and private payments that exceed 10 percent for the 2017 bonds allocable to Building 2) than could be achieved with actual separate issues. In addition, if D's purported allocation was intended to result in two separate issues of tax-exempt governmental bonds (versus tax-exempt private activity bonds), the allocation would violate paragraph (d) of this section in the first instance because the allocation to the separate issue for Building 2 would fail to qualify separately as an issue of tax-exempt governmental bonds as a result of its 12 percent of private business use and private payments.

    (ii) The facts are the same as in paragraph (i) of this Example 5, except that D enters into arrangements only for Building 1, and it expects no private business use of Building 2. In 2022, D allocates an equal amount of the outstanding 2017 bonds to Building 1 and Building 2. D selects particular bonds for each separate issue such that the allocation does not achieve a more favorable result than could have been achieved by issuing actual separate issues. D uses the same allocation for purposes of both sections 141 and 148. D's allocation is reasonable.

    (iii) The facts are the same as in paragraph (ii) of this Example 5, except that as part of the same issue, D issues bonds for a privately used airport. The airport bonds, if issued as a separate issue, would be qualified private activity bonds. The remaining bonds, if issued separately from the airport bonds, would be governmental bonds. Treated as one issue, however, the bonds are taxable private activity bonds. Therefore, D makes its allocation of the bonds under paragraph (d) of this section and § 1.150-1(c)(3) into 3 separate issues on or before the issue date. Assuming all other applicable requirements are met, the bonds of the respective issues will be tax-exempt qualified private activity bonds or governmental bonds.

    Par. 8. Section 1.141-15 is amended by: a. Revising the heading and paragraph (a). b. Adding paragraph (b)(4), c. Revising paragraphs (e) and (i). d. Adding paragraphs (l) and (m).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1.141-15 Effective/applicability dates.

    (a) Scope. The effective dates of this section apply for purposes of §§ 1.141-1 through 1.141-14, 1.145-1 through 1.145-2, and 1.150-1(a)(3) and the definition of bond documents contained in § 1.150-1(b).

    (b) * * *

    (4) Certain remedial actions—(i) General rule. For bonds subject to § 1.141-12, the provisions of § 1.141-12(d)(3), (i), (j), and (k), Example 8, apply to deliberate actions that occur on or after January 25, 2016.

    (ii) Special rule for allocations of nonqualified bonds. For purposes of § 1.141-12(j)(2), in addition to the allocation methods permitted in § 1.141-12(j)(2), an issuer may treat bonds with the longest maturities (determined on a bond-by-bond basis) as the nonqualified bonds, but only for bonds sold before January 25, 2016.

    (e) Permissive application of certain sections—(1) In general. The following sections may each be applied by issuers to any bonds:

    (i) Section 1.141-3(b)(4);

    (ii) Section 1.141-3(b)(6); and

    (iii) Section 1.141-12.

    (2) Transition rule for pre-effective date bonds. For purposes of paragraphs (e)(1) and (h) of this section, issuers may apply § 1.141-12 to bonds issued before May 16, 1997, without regard to paragraph (d)(5) thereof with respect to deliberate actions that occur on or after April 21, 2003.

    (i) Permissive application of certain regulations relating to output facilities. Issuers may apply each of the following sections to any bonds used to finance output facilities:

    (1) Section 1.141-6;

    (2) Section 1.141-7(f)(3); and

    (3) Section 1.141-7(g).

    (l) Applicability date for certain regulations relating to allocation and accounting—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this section, §§ 1.141-1(e), 1.141-3(g)(2)(v), 1.141-6, 1.141-13(d), and 1.145-2(b)(4), (b)(5), and (c)(2) apply to bonds that are sold on or after January 25, 2016 and to which the 1997 regulations (as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section) apply.

    (2) Permissive application. Issuers may apply §§ 1.141-1(e), 1.141-3(g)(2)(v), 1.141-6, and 1.145-2(b)(4), (b)(5), and (c)(2), in whole but not in part, to bonds to which the 1997 regulations apply.

    (m) Permissive retroactive application of certain regulations. Issuers may apply § 1.141-13(d) to bonds to which § 1.141-13 applies.

    Par. 9. Section 1.145-2 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(4) and (b)(5) and revising the first sentence of paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 1.145-2 Application of private activity bond regulations.

    (b) * * *

    (4) References to governmental bonds in § 1.141-6 mean qualified 501(c)(3) bonds.

    (5) References to ownership by governmental persons in § 1.141-6 mean ownership by governmental persons or 501(c)(3) organizations.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Costs of issuance. Sections 1.141-3(g)(6) and 1.141-6(d) do not apply to the extent costs of issuance are allocated among the other purposes for which the proceeds are used or to portions of a project. * * *

    Par. 10. Section 1.150-5 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 1.150-5 Filing notices and elections.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Section 1.141-12(d)(4);

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: October 6, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2015-27328 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Wage and Hour Division 29 CFR Part 552 RIN 1235-AA05 Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to Domestic Service; Dates of Previously Announced 30-Day Period of Non-Enforcement AGENCY:

    Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Policy statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department) previously announced that it would not bring enforcement actions against any employer for violations of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) obligations resulting from amendments to its domestic service regulations for 30 days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a mandate making effective its opinion affirming the validity of the regulatory changes. The Court issued its mandate on October 13, 2015; the Department's 30-day non-enforcement period will therefore conclude on November 12, 2015. From November 12, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise prosecutorial discretion pursuant to its previously announced time-limited non-enforcement policy.

    DATES:

    The Department will not bring enforcement actions against any employer for FLSA violations resulting from the revised domestic service regulations before November 12, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Ziegler, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room S-3502, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-0406 (this is not a toll-free number), email: [email protected]. Copies of this Policy Statement may be obtained in alternative formats (Large Print, Braille, Audio Tape, or Disc), upon request, by calling (202) 693-0675 (not a toll-free number). TTY/TTD callers may dial toll-free (877) 889-5627 to obtain information or request materials in alternative formats.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Non-Enforcement Period Until November 12, 2015

    The Department's Final Rule amending FLSA regulations regarding domestic service employment, 78 FR 60454 (October 1, 2013), which extends minimum wage and overtime protections to most home care workers, had an effective date of January 1, 2015. The Department did not begin enforcement of the Final Rule on that date both because of its time-limited non-enforcement policy, 79 FR 60974 (October 9, 2014), and because it was a party to a federal lawsuit regarding the amended regulations in which the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued opinions and orders vacating the rule's major provisions. Home Care Ass'n of Am. v. Weil, 76 F. Supp. 3d 138 (D.D.C. 2014); Home Care Ass'n of Am. v. Weil, 78 F. Supp. 3d 123 (D.D.C. 2015). On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the district court's judgment. Home Care Ass'n of America v. Weil, 799 F.3d 1084 (D.C. Cir. 2015). On September 14, 2015, the Department announced that it would not bring enforcement actions against any employer for violations of FLSA obligations resulting from the amended domestic service regulations for 30 days after the date the Court of Appeals issued a mandate making its opinion effective. 80 FR 55029 (September 14, 2015).

    The Court of Appeals issued the mandate directing the district court to enter a new judgment in favor of the Department on October 13, 2015. The Department will therefore not bring enforcement actions against any employer for violations of FLSA obligations resulting from the amended domestic service regulations before November 12, 2015.

    This 30-day non-enforcement policy does not replace or affect the timeline of the Department's existing time-limited non-enforcement policy announced in October 2014. 79 FR 60974. Therefore, from November 12, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the Department will exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whether to bring enforcement actions, with particular consideration given to the extent to which States and other entities have made good faith efforts to bring their home care programs into compliance with the FLSA since the promulgation of the Final Rule. The Department will also continue to provide intensive technical assistance to the regulated community up to and after December 31, 2015, as it has since promulgation of the Final Rule.

    II. Regulatory Requirements

    This Policy Statement is guidance articulating considerations relevant to the Department's exercise of its enforcement authority under the FLSA. It is therefore exempt from the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

    Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis. 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a). The Department has determined that this guidance does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. David Weil, Administrator, Wage and Hour Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27332 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-27-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0943] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Rich Passage, Manchester, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone encompassing all navigable waters within a designed area in the vicinity of the Manchester Fuel Piers, Manchester, Washington. This safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the waterway users and participants of a maritime training exercise. The temporary safety zone will prohibit any person or vessel not involved in the training exercise from entering or remaining in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound (COTP) or his designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 7 a.m. on November 2, 2015 until 6 p.m. on November 8, 2015. This rule shall be enforced during actual training operations occurring within the effective period while exercise participants are present in the safety zone.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-0943 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Kate Haseley, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; telephone 206-217-6051, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR—Code of Federal Regulations DHS—Department of Homeland Security E.O.—Executive order FR—Federal Register NPRM—Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L.—Public Law §—Section U.S.C.—United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule publishing an NPRM would be impracticable as delayed promulgation may result in injury or damage to the maritime public and response vessels prior to conclusion of a notice and comment period.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because immediate action is needed to minimize the potential impact to the waterway users and emergency response personnel involved in the training exercise.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard has authority to issue a rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port, Puget Sound has determined that potential hazards associated with the training exercise will be a safety concern for anyone transiting through the operational location of the exercise. A safety zone is needed to ensure the safety of the maritime public and emergency response vessels participating in the exercise by preventing collisions between exercising vessels and the maritime public, and by keeping the maritime public a safe distance away from elements associated with the exercise.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone that will encompass all navigable waters within an area established by the following points: 47°34′13″ N., 122°32′12″ W., thence southeast to 47°33′41″ N., 122°31′07″ W., thence southwest to 47°33′15″ N., 122°32′04″ W., thence south to 47°31′49 N., 122°31′47″ W., thence west to 47°31′55″ N., 122°32′28″ W., thence north to 47°33′20″ N., 122°32′29″ W., thence northeast to 47°34′08″ N., 122°32′17″ W., located near the Manchester fuel piers, Manchester, WA and is effective from 7 a.m. on November 2, 2015 until 6 p.m. on November 8, 2015 when vessel exercise participants are present in the safety zone. Vessels wishing to enter the safety zone must request permission to do so from the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001 or the on-scene Law Enforcement patrol craft, if any, via VHF-FM Channel 16. If permission for entry is granted, vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the limited nature of the size and duration of the temporary safety zone. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM Channel 16 about the safety zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the safety zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator, because the zone established in this rule is limited in nature of size and duration.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132.

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a temporary safety zone lasting less than 29 days that will prohibit entry into various training exercise operations within the designated area. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T13-300 to read as follows:
    § 165.T13-300 Safety Zone; Manchester, WA

    (a) Location. The temporary safety zone established in this rule will encompass all navigable waters within an area established by the following points: 47°34′13″ N., 122°32′12″ W., thence southeast to 47°33′41″ N., 122°31′07″ W., thence southwest to 47°33′15″ N., 122°32′04″ W., thence south to 47°31′49 N., 122°31′47″ W., thence west to 47°31′55″ N., 122°32′28″ W., thence north to 47°33′20″ N., 122°32′29″ W., thence northeast to 47°34′08″ N., 122°32′17″ W., located near the Manchester fuel piers, Manchester, WA.

    (b) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR 165, Subpart C, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or his designated representative. To request permission to enter the safety zone, contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001, or the on-scene Law Enforcement patrol craft, if any, via VHF-FM Channel 16. If permission for entry into the safety zone is granted, vessels or persons must proceed at the minimum speed for safe navigation and in compliance with any other directions given by the Captain of the Port, Puget Sound or his designated representative.

    (c) Dates. This rule is effective from 7 a.m. on November 2, 2015 until 6 p.m. on November 8, 2015. This rule shall be enforced during actual training operations occurring within the effective period while exercise participants are present in the safety zone.

    Dated: October 9, 2015. M.W. Raymond, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27304 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 1 [Docket No.: PTO-P-2014-0012] RIN 0651-AC95 Changes To Facilitate Applicant's Authorization of Access to Unpublished U.S. Patent Applications by Foreign Intellectual Property Offices AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The electronic sharing of information and documents between intellectual property (IP) offices is critical for increasing the efficiency and quality of patent examination worldwide. Current examples of this sharing include the priority document exchange (PDX) program and the program by which U.S. search results are delivered to the European Patent Office (EPO). In support of electronic file sharing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is revising its rules of practice to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office that is a party to an agreement with the Office access to all or part of the file contents of an unpublished U.S. patent application in order to satisfy a requirement for information imposed on a counterpart application filed with the foreign IP office. Previously, for unpublished U.S. patent applications, applicants followed one regulatory provision to provide the Office with authorization for a foreign IP office to access an application-as-filed and followed another regulatory provision to provide the Office with authorization to share the file contents with a foreign IP office. The final rule changes consolidate the specific provisions of the regulations by which applicants give the Office authority to provide a foreign IP office with access to an application in order to satisfy a requirement for information of the foreign IP office. The Office is also revising the rules of practice to indicate there is no fee for providing a foreign IP office with an electronic copy of an application-as-filed or an electronic copy of file contents pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement. Additionally, along with changes to the application data sheet (ADS) form, the final rule changes simplify the process for how applicants provide the Office with the required authorization, thereby reducing the resources applicants must expend to comply with these foreign IP office requirements, and enhance the quality of patent examination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The changes in this final rule are effective on November 30, 2015. The revised ADS form (PTO/AIA/14) will be posted on the Office's Web site on or before the effective date.

    Applicability Date: The changes to 37 CFR 1.14(h) apply to all patent applications filed before November 30, 2015, and to all patent applications filed on or after November 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susy Tsang-Foster, Senior Legal Advisor (telephone (571) 272-7711; electronic mail message ([email protected])) or Joseph F. Weiss, Jr., Senior Legal Advisor (telephone (571) 272-2259; electronic mail message ([email protected])), of the Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary: Purpose: 37 CFR 1.14(h) regulates access by foreign IP offices to U.S. applications. Formerly, 37 CFR 1.14(h) contained only a specific provision by which an applicant could authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office participating with the Office in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange agreement access to a U.S. application-as-filed. 37 CFR 1.14(h) is now expanded to also include a specific provision by which, under certain circumstances, an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of a U.S. patent application in order to satisfy the foreign IP office's requirement for information.

    Summary of Major Provisions: This final rule primarily provides a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to provide a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of a U.S. patent application where the foreign IP office has imposed a requirement for information on a counterpart application filed with that office and is a party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the Office to provide the required information from the U.S. application.

    This final rule also revises the rules of practice to indicate that there is no fee for providing a foreign IP office with an electronic copy of an application-as-filed or an electronic copy of file contents pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement. Previously, the regulations only indicated that there was no fee for providing a foreign IP office with a copy of an application-as-filed pursuant to a priority document exchange agreement.

    Additionally, the Office is revising the ADS form (PTO/AIA/14) as well as the PTO/SB/39 and PTO/SB/69 forms to facilitate applicant's authorization of access to unpublished U.S. applications by foreign IP offices.

    Costs and Benefits: This rulemaking is not economically significant as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    Background: The electronic sharing of information and documents between IP offices is critical for increasing the efficiency and quality of patent examination worldwide. The electronic sharing of documents between IP offices also benefits applicants by reducing the cost of ordering documents from one IP office and then filing them in another IP office where a counterpart application has been filed.

    Due to the confidential nature of unpublished U.S. patent applications, set forth in 35 U.S.C. 122, an applicant must provide the Office with written authority in accordance with 37 CFR 1.14 to grant a foreign IP office access to an unpublished U.S. patent application. With this grant of authority, the Office may provide the U.S. patent application-as-filed or the requested file contents, such as information and documents, from the U.S. patent application to the foreign IP office on behalf of the applicant. Previously, applicants used former 37 CFR 1.14(h) to authorize the Office to allow a foreign IP office participating in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange agreement access to an unpublished U.S. priority application-as-filed. Former 37 CFR 1.14(h), however, did not contain a specific provision by which an applicant could authorize the Office to provide a foreign IP office access to an unpublished U.S. patent application's file contents. As a result, U.S. applicants, unprompted by the rules, found it necessary to provide written authority for access by a foreign IP office to an unpublished application's contents in accordance with 37 CFR 1.14(c) in order to satisfy a requirement for information by the foreign IP office.

    General Discussion of the Changes to 37 CFR 1.14(h): The Office is revising 37 CFR 1.14(h) to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents (as opposed to a copy of the application-as-filed) of an unpublished patent application, including search results, to satisfy a foreign IP office requirement for information in a counterpart application filed by a U.S. applicant. The changes to 37 CFR 1.14(h) consolidate the provisions by which applicants can authorize the Office to give access to an unpublished application-as-filed or its file contents to a foreign IP office, while also clarifying for applicants the provision of 37 CFR 1.14 under which such access authorization can be provided. The final rule changes will further serve as a reminder of the opportunity for applicants to grant the Office the authority to provide a foreign IP office with access to file contents of an unpublished U.S. patent application.

    Any information concerning an unpublished application or documents from an unpublished application will only be shared in accordance with the authority provided by applicant and in accordance with the terms of an agreement between the Office and respective foreign IP offices. The Office is not requiring any fee for this service. In addition, sharing of information and documents would be limited to those foreign IP offices where applicant has filed a counterpart application and provided written authority to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an unpublished U.S. application.

    The changes to 37 CFR 1.14(h) emphasize the Office's continued support of work sharing efforts between IP offices to increase the quality of issued patents, as well as its commitment to assist in reducing the expenditure of resources of its applicants when complying with the requirements of a foreign IP office in a counterpart application.

    Revision to Application Data Sheet Form: In addition to the final rule changes, the Office is revising the application data sheet (ADS) form, PTO/AIA/14 (“the revised ADS form”). The revised ADS form includes separate access authorizations for the PDX program and for the program by which U.S. search results are delivered to the European Patent Office (EPO). The ADS form may be modified in the future to include access authorizations for new work sharing initiatives.

    In contrast to the previous version of the ADS form, the revised ADS form includes an “opt-out” check box for each access authorization and not an “opt-in” check box. Therefore, when an “opt-out” check box for a specific authorization is selected, the Office would not provide access to the contents of the application identified in the authorization.

    The revised ADS form will make it easier for applicants to give the necessary authorization for access to an application, as well as afford an applicant the opportunity to inform the Office that the required authority to allow a foreign IP office specific access to an application has not been given. The “Authorization to Permit Access” section containing an opt-in check box for the PDX program in the previous version of the ADS form will be replaced by the “Authorization or Opt-Out of Authorization to Permit Access” section in the first release of the revised ADS form, which is intended to contain two subsections. The first subsection will contain the authorization to permit access to the application-as-filed (the PDX program) and the authorization to permit access to the search results by the EPO. The second subsection will contain the corresponding “opt-out” check box for each authorization in the first subsection.

    Appropriate authorization language for access in any ADS generated by applicant must be the same as the authorization language provided in the Office's revised ADS form. Use of the same language will permit the Office to readily recognize that applicant has given the necessary authorization. If an applicant-generated ADS does not include the required authorization language for access by a foreign IP office, the ADS will be interpreted as not providing the authorization necessary to give a foreign IP office access.

    The submission of a properly signed revised ADS form with the appropriate authorization language on filing of the patent application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) would be a specific act authorizing access. In addition to an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), if an ADS is present upon the initial submission of a patent application under 35 U.S.C. 371, the submitted ADS containing authorization would be a specific act authorizing access. Where a revised ADS form, including the authorization language for access by foreign IP office(s) and signed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.14(c) and 1.33(b), has been submitted with an application, the Office would give the foreign IP office(s) access to the contents in accordance with the specific authorization language, upon request of the foreign IP office.

    If, however, applicant files a corrected ADS form (i.e., PTO/AIA/14) or a corrected applicant-generated ADS that was not submitted with an application, the authorization for access section will not be reviewed as any changes concerning authorization for access may not be readily apparent to the Office. Instead, applicants must use forms PTO/SB/39 and PTO/SB/69 (or an applicant-generated equivalent), as appropriate, to give or rescind authorization for access after the filing of the application. Forms PTO/SB/39 and PTO/SB/69 will be revised to include opt-in and opt-out check boxes for giving and rescinding the respective authorizations for access after the filing of an application. These two forms can be used in all applications, regardless of their filing dates. Therefore, a revised ADS form used to correct or update application data would only need to be signed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b) because the authorization for access section is not effective if the revised ADS form is not submitted with the application.

    To avoid duplicative processing, the Office is removing the opt-in check box and associated authorization language for the PDX program from the inventor's oath or declaration form PTO/AIA/08 (for applications filed on or after September 16, 2012). Form PTO/SB/39 for the PDX authorization and Form PTO/SB/69 for the search results to the EPO authorization will remain available for applicants that do not use an ADS or have selected the check boxes for opting out of specific authorizations for access by a foreign IP office on the revised ADS form submitted with the application, but later decide to give a foreign IP office access to the application.

    The changes to the Office's ADS form PTO/AIA/14 should reduce those instances where an applicant inadvertently fails to provide the authorization necessary to participate in PDX (by not selecting the opt-in check box for priority document exchange authorization on the previous version of the PTO/AIA/14 form submitted with the application) and, as a result, must expend resources to obtain and file a copy of a U.S. priority document with a foreign IP office. Similarly, this approach will help eliminate those instances where an applicant inadvertently fails to give the Office authority (by filing the former version of form PTO/SB/69) to provide the EPO with the search results from an unpublished U.S. priority application and, as a consequence, must expend resources to file the results with the EPO.

    If applicant has not provided proper written authority for access, the Office will not deliver an unpublished priority document or file contents of an unpublished application to a foreign IP office, even where a counterpart application has been filed. As discussed above, the revised ADS form would need to be executed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.33(b), and if there is written authority for any access by a foreign IP office, the revised ADS form also must be executed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.14(c). Applicants should be aware of the differences in signature requirements under 37 CFR 1.33(b) and under 37 CFR 1.14(c). For example, under 37 CFR 1.33(b) in applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, the following individuals can sign:

    • A patent practitioner of record;

    • A patent practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.34; or

    • The applicant under 37 CFR 1.42. Unless otherwise specified, all papers submitted on behalf of a juristic entity must be signed by a patent practitioner.

    By contrast, under 37 CFR 1.14(c) in applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, the following individuals can sign:

    • The applicant;

    • A patent practitioner of record;

    • The assignee or an assignee of an undivided part interest;

    • The inventor or a joint inventor; or

    • A registered attorney or agent named in the papers accompanying the application papers filed under 37 CFR 1.53 or the national stage under 37 CFR 1.495, if a power of attorney has not been appointed under 37 CFR 1.32.

    If the revised ADS form submitted with an application is not signed in accordance with the relevant rules, then applicant has not provided written authority for access by a foreign IP office to an application. As can be seen by a comparison of the individuals listed in both 37 CFR 1.33(b) and 37 CFR 1.14(c), in most instances an individual listed in 37 CFR 1.33(b) that can sign the revised ADS form can also give access to the application. For example, a patent practitioner of record can sign under both of these regulations. However, if a power of attorney has been appointed under 37 CFR 1.32, which was effective on filing, and a patent practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.34 signs the revised ADS form that is submitted with the application, the Office will not recognize that the applicant has provided written authority for access in the revised ADS form. Where forms PTO/SB/39 for PDX authorization and PTO/SB/69 for search results to the EPO authorization are used instead of the revised ADS form, these forms must still be executed in accordance with 37 CFR 1.14(c) even though written authority is provided for under 37 CFR 1.14(h) as amended by this final rule.

    The transaction of sharing documents and information from a U.S. application with a foreign IP office has several built in safeguards to ensure that only authorized sharing occurs. For example, in order for a foreign IP office to receive information about a U.S. application, the Office requires that the foreign IP office expressly identify the U.S. application number, along with other elements of bibliographic data for each U.S. application in its request, to ensure that only information pertaining to the correct U.S. application will be provided to the foreign IP office. Once the application is properly identified, the Office will then determine whether the requisite authorization for access exists in the U.S. application. The Office will only share information or other file content from a U.S. application with a foreign IP office when both the correct application is identified and the existence of proper authorization is confirmed. If an unpublished application, which has not been foreign filed, includes an unintended access authorization pursuant to revised 37 CFR 1.14(h), a foreign IP office would not obtain access because it would not have the information necessary to request access to that specific U.S. application.

    Further, the U.S. application's filing receipt will indicate whether applicant has provided written authority for access pursuant to 37 CFR 1.14(h). Applicants should inspect the application filing receipt and request a corrected filing receipt if authorization for access under 37 CFR 1.14(h) was incorrectly captured from the revised ADS form or from an applicant-generated ADS filed along with the application. If authorization for access was inadvertently given, a request for rescission of the authorization can be made by filing either the PTO/SB/39 form or the PTO/SB/69 form in each application where the authorization has been recognized by the Office. The Office should be informed of such rescission as early as possible so the Office has time to recognize the request for rescission and act upon it.

    Discussion of Specific Rules: The following is a discussion of the amendments to Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 1, in this final rule.

    Section 1.14: Section 1.14(h)(1) is amended to retain the first sentence of former § 1.14(h)(1) and include the provisions from former § 1.14(h)(3). Section 1.14(h)(1) also is amended to include that the date of filing of the written authority for priority document exchange may be provided to the respective participating foreign IP office, which codifies the practice set forth in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (1328 OG 90 (March 11, 2008)). In § 1.14(h)(1), the text added from former § 1.14(h)(3) has been amended to delete the language “indicated in the written authority.” This deleted language is not necessary as written authority for access under former § 1.14(h) and § 1.14(h) as amended in this final rule will result in access being granted to all PDX and WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS) participating foreign IP offices in which a subsequently filed application claims benefit of the earlier filed U.S. application.

    Sections 1.14(h)(1)(i) and (ii) also are amended to include the term “bibliographic data” to reflect that “bibliographic data” is used to ensure the correct application-as-filed is being provided to the participating foreign IP office requesting access in any access to the application-as-filed transaction. The term bibliographic data as used in § 1.14(h)(1) covers certain bibliographic data set forth in WIPO standard ST.9 for bibliographic data. The bibliographic data used to confirm that the correct application-as-filed is being provided may include the patent document identification, filing data, priority data, publication data, data concerning technical information such as patent classification (international or domestic), and the title of the invention.

    Section 1.14(h)(2) is revised to include a provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to grant a foreign IP office access to the file contents of an application where a counterpart application has been filed with a foreign IP office that has imposed a requirement for information on a counterpart application filed with the foreign IP office. The Office would only provide access to the relevant portion or portions of an unpublished U.S. application's file contents necessary to satisfy any requirement for information by the foreign IP office, triggered by the U.S. applicant filing a counterpart application with the foreign IP office. The Office and the foreign IP office would also need to have a bilateral or multilateral agreement for the Office to provide the required information. The agreement would provide for the secure transmission and receipt of any shared information. Section 1.14(h)(2)(i) is amended to include the term “bibliographic data” to reflect that “bibliographic data” is used to ensure the information is from the correct application for which access has been requested by the foreign IP office in any access to the application. The term bibliographic data as used in § 1.14(h)(2) includes the same types of bibliographic data set discussed above with respect to § 1.14(h)(1).

    Former 1.14(h)(2) has been moved to § 1.14(h)(3).

    Section 1.14(h)(3) is amended to indicate that written authority provided under §§ 1.14(h)(1) and (h)(2) should be submitted before the filing of any subsequent foreign application in which priority is claimed to the application. Section 1.14(h)(3) also is amended to indicate that the written authority under §§ 1.14(h)(1) and (2) must include the title of the invention (§ 1.72(a)), comply with the requirements of § 1.14(c), and must be submitted on an application data sheet (§ 1.76) or on a separate document (§ 1.4(c)).

    Section 1.19: Section 1.19(b)(1)(iv) is amended to indicate there is no fee for providing a foreign IP office with a copy of either an application-as-filed or patent related file wrapper and contents pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement (see § 1.14(h)).

    Comments and Responses to Comments: The Office published a notice of proposed rulemaking on July 11, 2014, proposing to amend its rules of practice to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign intellectual property (IP) office access to all or part of the file contents of an unpublished U.S. patent application in order to satisfy a requirement for information imposed on a counterpart application filed with the foreign IP office. See Changes to Facilitate Applicant's Authorization of Access to Unpublished U.S. Patent Applications by Foreign Intellectual Property Offices, 79 FR 40035 (July 11, 2014). The Office received comments from two intellectual property organizations, a patent practitioner, and a member of the public in response to this notice of proposed rulemaking. Three comments were very positive and supported the proposed changes. One comment opposed the proposed changes. Comments that supported the proposed changes are not discussed. The remaining comments and the Office's responses to those comments follow:

    Comment 1: Three comments suggested removing the language “indicated in the written authority” from “all foreign intellectual property offices indicated in the written authority” in proposed § 1.14(h)(2). Two comments noted that this specific language was excluded from proposed § 1.14(h)(1) relating to access to an application-as-filed. One comment asserted that this language may be inconsistent with the statement in the notice of proposed rulemaking that the written authority to provide access to this information would be provided on an “opt-out” basis on the ADS and that any such provision on the ADS would not include a list of foreign intellectual property offices. One comment questioned whether an applicant will have to specify in advance all foreign IP offices that will receive pre-publication information.

    Response: Section 1.14(h)(2) as adopted in this final rule does not include the language “indicated in the written authority.” Each written authorization on the revised ADS form will indicate either the specific foreign IP office(s) that is being granted access to the associated pre-publication information or that all the foreign IP offices participating with the Office in a particular work sharing initiative program are being granted access to pre-publication data.

    Comment 2: One comment stated that access to pre-publication documents under the proposed rule change facilitates implementation of global projects like the IP5's Global Dossier project. Another comment raised concerns that the proposed rule change will require all of the IP5 Patent Offices to have mutual agreements with each other in order to implement the Global Dossier to cover pre-publication information and suggested that the Office review this requirement in light of the prospective Global Dossier System.

    Response: The sharing of documents or information from unpublished U.S. applications between the Office and any foreign IP office has historically required a mutual agreement to cover these shared information or documents. An agreement is needed to ensure that the parties are aware of their obligations to one another (e.g., keeping pre-publication information in confidence). Additionally, as stated in the notice of proposed rulemaking, the Office and the foreign IP office would need to have a bilateral or multilateral agreement that provides for the secure transmission and receipt of any shared information. 79 FR at 40038. Furthermore, the agreement serves as notice to the public regarding what application information (with applicant's consent if the application is unpublished) the Office and other foreign IP office have agreed to share with one another to thereby reduce the resources applicants must expend to comply with any IP office's requirements for information imposed when a counterpart application is filed with a foreign IP office. Currently, the Office will not provide any information or documents from an unpublished U.S. application to a foreign IP office if the Office does not have an agreement to provide such information or documents. Should the Office determine that sharing documents from an unpublished U.S. application with other IP offices in the absence of an agreement would be beneficial, the Office would engage the public to seek its input.

    Comment 3: One comment requested seeing the proposed new ADS form before actual implementation of the final rule to be sure that the language in the ADS meets the needs of our applicants.

    Response: Due to IT constraints, the EFS-Web based version of the revised ADS form had to be finalized well in advance of the publication of the final rules. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the first release of the revised ADS form. The Office will consider these comments for the next release of the form.

    Comment 4: One comment asserted that the proposed rule change is based upon the assumption that a specific authority is required from an applicant in order to send out pre-publication information to a foreign IP office where applicant has filed an application and that the Office should reconsider this assumption. The comment further asserted that once an applicant files an application in a foreign IP office, applicant inherently agrees to the rules and requirements of that foreign IP office. Accordingly, the comment suggests that the Office does not need a separate authorization to either send a priority document or pre-publication information to that foreign IP office. Therefore, the comment requested that the Office reconsider the need for any authorization for access in this circumstance. The comment stated that if the Office adopts this position, then the entire authorization section from the ADS can be removed and a filing of an application in a foreign IP office by an applicant can serve as authorization for access to send priority documents and/or pre-publication information to that foreign IP office(s).

    Response: After due consideration of the comment, the Office has decided to not adopt the position expressed in the comment. The written authority requirement is in accord with 35 U.S.C. 122(a), and consistent with current Office policy, practice, and procedure regarding access. Therefore, the Office is retaining the requirement for written authority from an applicant for access to the file contents of an unpublished application.

    Comment 5: One comment opposed the proposed rule and asserted that the proposed rule will do great harm to independent inventors, university technology licensing organizations, small entity inventors, and overall U.S. development. Specifically, the comment alleged that the majority of foreign patent offices are integral parts of their national industrial development efforts and serve as collectors of information about U.S. technologies and that permitting these foreign governments to have access to unpublished patent applications will significantly undermine U.S. inventors and U.S. innovation.

    Response: Neither the proposed rule nor the final rule establish a new program for providing unpublished applications to foreign governments. Under the final rule, the Office would only provide information to a foreign IP office where the applicant has already filed a counterpart application with that foreign IP office coupled with applicant's written authorization for access in the U.S. application. Specifically, the Office would be satisfying a duty placed on a U.S. applicant by the foreign IP office due to the U.S. applicant filing a counterpart application with that foreign IP office. For example, the Office, after receiving applicant's written authorization for access, would provide the foreign IP office where the counterpart application was filed the required information, along with sufficient bibliographic data to confirm that the correct U.S. and foreign counterpart applications have been matched. Finally, the Office will not deliver an unpublished priority document, file contents of an unpublished application, including information about an unpublished application, to a foreign IP office, even where a counterpart application has been filed, if applicant has not provided proper written authorization for access.

    Rulemaking Considerations A. Administrative Procedure Act

    This rulemaking amends the rules of practice to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an application, and thus pertains solely to the process for an applicant to provide a limited waiver of confidentiality under 35 U.S.C. 122(a) to allow a counterpart IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an application. Therefore, the changes in this final rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure and/or interpretive rules. See Bachow Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (rules governing an application process are procedural under the Administrative Procedure Act); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (rules for handling appeals were procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for reviewing claims). The Office received no public comment on this section or any of the sections under the Rulemaking Considerations.

    Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or (c) (or any other law). See Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336-37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice” (quoting 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A))). The Office, however, published proposed changes for comment as it sought the benefit of the public's views on the Office's proposed changes to include a specific regulatory provision by which an applicant can provide the Office with authority to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an application.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    For the reasons set forth herein, the Deputy General Counsel for General Law of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that changes in this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    This rulemaking amends the rules of practice to include a specific provision by which an applicant can authorize the Office to give a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an application. This rulemaking consolidates and clarifies in one place—37 CFR 1.14(h)—existing procedures in both 37 CFR 1.14(c) and (h) relevant to authorizing the Office to provide a foreign IP office access to all or part of the file contents of an application or to an application-as-filed. Moreover, the use of the revised forms discussed (PTO/AIA/14; PTO/SB/39; and PTO/SB/69) will provide applicants that wish to provide a foreign IP office access to their applications greater ease and efficiency in transmitting the requisite authorization. The changes in this rulemaking do not require any applicant to provide the Office with this authority. There is no fee for this service. Therefore, the changes in this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review)

    This rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    D. Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    The Office has complied with Executive Order 13563. Specifically, the Office has, to the extent feasible and applicable: (1) Made a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs of the rule; (2) tailored the rule to impose the least burden on society consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; (3) selected a regulatory approach that maximizes net benefits; (4) specified performance objectives; (5) identified and assessed available alternatives; (6) involved the public in an open exchange of information and perspectives among experts in relevant disciplines, affected stakeholders in the private sector, and the public as a whole, and provided on-line access to the rulemaking docket; (7) attempted to promote coordination, simplification, and harmonization across government agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (8) considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public; and (9) ensured the objectivity of scientific and technological information and processes.

    E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This rulemaking does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment under Executive Order 13132 (Aug. 4, 1999).

    F. Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    This rulemaking will not: (1) Have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; or (3) preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary impact statement is not required under Executive Order 13175 (Nov. 6, 2000).

    G. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    This rulemaking is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211 because this rulemaking is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required under Executive Order 13211 (May 18, 2001).

    H. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rulemaking meets applicable standards to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden as set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 (Feb. 5, 1996).

    I. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    This rulemaking does not concern an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children under Executive Order 13045 (Apr. 21, 1997).

    J. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This rulemaking will not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Mar. 15, 1988).

    K. Congressional Review Act

    Under the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), prior to issuing any final rule, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will submit a report containing the final rule and other required information to the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office. The changes in this final rule are not expected to result in an annual effect on the economy of 100 million dollars or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets. Therefore, this final rule is not expected to result in a “major rule” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    L. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The changes set forth in this final rule do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

    M. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rulemaking will not have any effect on the quality of the environment and is thus categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. See 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.

    N. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) are not applicable because this rulemaking does not contain provisions which involve the use of technical standards.

    O. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) requires that the Office consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. This rulemaking involves information collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3549). The collection of information involved in this rulemaking has been reviewed and previously approved by OMB under OMB Control Numbers 0651-0031 and 0651-0032. The Office is not resubmitting an information collection package to OMB for its review and approval because the changes in this rulemaking do not change patent fees or change the information collection requirements (the estimated number of respondents, time per response, total annual respondent burden hours, or total annual respondent cost burden) associated with the information collections approved under OMB Control Numbers 0651-0031 and 0651-0032. The revised ADS form (PTO/AIA/14) as well as the PTO/SB/39 and PTO/SB/69 forms have already been reviewed and approved by OMB, or have been determined to not collect “information” within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 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 currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of information, Inventions and patents, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 37 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

    PART 1—RULES OF PRACTICE IN PATENT CASES 1. The authority citation for 37 CFR part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2).

    2. Section 1.14 is amended by revising paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 1.14 Patent applications preserved in confidence.

    (h) Access by a Foreign Intellectual Property Office. (1) Access to an application-as-filed may be provided to any foreign intellectual property office participating with the Office in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange agreement (participating foreign intellectual property office), if the application contains written authority granting such access. Written authority provided under this paragraph (h)(1) will be treated as authorizing the Office to provide the following to all participating foreign intellectual property offices in accordance with their respective agreements with the Office:

    (i) A copy of the application-as-filed and its related bibliographic data;

    (ii) A copy of the application-as-filed of any application the filing date of which is claimed by the application in which written authority under this paragraph (h)(1) is filed and its related bibliographic data; and

    (iii) The date of filing of the written authorization under this paragraph (h)(1).

    (2) Access to the file contents of an application may be provided to a foreign intellectual property office that has imposed a requirement for information on a counterpart application filed with the foreign intellectual property office where the foreign intellectual property office is a party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the Office to provide the required information from the application filed with the Office and the application contains written authority granting such access. Written authority provided under this paragraph (h)(2) will be treated as authorizing the Office to provide the following to all foreign intellectual property offices in accordance with their respective agreements with the Office:

    (i) Bibliographic data related to the application; and

    (ii) Any content of the application file necessary to satisfy the foreign intellectual property office requirement for information imposed on the counterpart application as indicated in the respective agreement.

    (3) Written authority provided under paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this section must include the title of the invention (§ 1.72(a)), comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, and be submitted on an application data sheet (§ 1.76) or on a separate document (§ 1.4(c)). The written authority provided under these paragraphs should be submitted before filing any subsequent foreign application in which priority is claimed to the application.

    3. Section 1.19 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 1.19 Document supply fees.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) If provided to a foreign intellectual property office pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement (see § 1.14(h)): $0.00.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27335 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2011-0799; FRL-9936-03-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; OR; Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing Facilities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve three state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon or ODEQ) and a specific portion of a fourth SIP submittal identified in a supplementary letter. These SIP submittals primarily include rule amendments related to control measures for volatile organic compounds from gasoline dispensing facilities in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study air quality management areas, as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The EPA received the SIP submittals from the ODEQ on February 5, 2009, November 1, 2010, May 25, 2011, and April 20, 2015, and the supplementary letter on September 18, 2015. The EPA is approving the SIP submittals because they are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 28, 2015, without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comment by November 27, 2015. If the EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2011-0799, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected].

    Mail: Claudia Vergnani Vaupel, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle WA, 98101.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle WA, 98101. Attention: Claudia Vergnani Vaupel, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2011-0799. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics, AWT-150, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. The EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Claudia Vergnani Vaupel at (206) 553-6121, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we”, “us” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    I. Introduction

    Section 110 of the CAA requires states to develop and submit to the EPA SIPs to ensure that state air quality meets National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Each federally-approved SIP protects air quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin through air pollution regulations and control strategies. The EPA-approved SIP provisions and control strategies are federally enforceable. States revise the SIP as needed and submit revisions to the EPA for review and approval.

    II. Background

    This action primarily addresses Oregon's SIP submittals dated February 5, 2009, November 1, 2010, and May 25, 2011. These submittals include amendments to rules that control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from gasoline dispensing facilities in the Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) of Portland-Vancouver (which includes portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties), Medford-Ashland, and Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS), as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The VOC rules were previously approved into the Oregon SIP to address Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements for ozone nonattainment areas. (See for example 45 FR 42265, June 24, 1980). The VOC RACT rules support continued attainment and maintenance of the ozone NAAQS. They address emissions during the delivery of gasoline from gasoline cargo tank trucks to gasoline dispensing facility storage tanks as well as the emissions during the refueling of individual vehicles at gasoline dispensing facilities. During delivery, the emission controls generally include submerged fill pipes and stage I vapor balance systems. Stage I vapor balance systems capture vapors and return them to the gasoline cargo tank truck to keep the vapors from being emitted to the air. During the refueling of individual vehicles, special fuel dispensing nozzles at the pump (known as “stage II”) capture vapors and direct them into the gasoline dispensing facility storage tanks.

    In general, the February 5, 2009 submittal amended the VOC rules to consolidate them with Oregon's then newly adopted rules that implemented the Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for gasoline dispensing facilities, (40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC) (gasoline dispensing facility NESHAP). The effect of Oregon's rule amendments was to incorporate the substantive stage I VOC RACT rule requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 340 division 232 “Emission Standards for VOC Point Sources” and division 242 “Rules Applicable to the Portland Area” into division 244 “Oregon Federal Hazardous Air Pollutant Program,” and to incorporate the permitting requirements for these facilities into division 216 “Air Contaminant Discharge Permits.” The November 1, 2010 and May 25, 2011 submittals made additional amendments to the rules for gasoline dispensing facilities. These three submittals also include minor amendments to other rules in divisions 200 “State of Oregon Clean Air Act Implementation Plan,” 209 “Public Notice Categories and Timing,” and 210 “Registration in General”.

    The April 20, 2015 submittal consists of comprehensive revisions to the ODEQ's air permitting and other air rules, including revisions to the rules for gasoline dispensing facilities in divisions 242 and 244. In a September 18, 2015 supplementary letter, the ODEQ requested that the EPA approve specific division 242 and 244 rules to ensure the most current version of the division 242 and 244 rules for gasoline dispensing facilities be approved into the SIP. Therefore, in this action, we are reviewing and acting only on the division 242 and 244 rule amendments in the April 20, 2015 submittal that were identified in the supplementary letter. We are not reviewing or acting on any other portion of the April 20, 2015 submittal at this time, but will address the remainder of that submittal in a future action. In addition, the ODEQ requested that the EPA approve the identified division 244 rules for gasoline dispensing facilities that replaced OAR 340-232-0070 and OAR 340-242-0520 in the February 5, 2009 submittal only to the extent they apply to sources in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs, as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

    III. The EPA's Evaluation

    In the February 5, 2009 submittal, the ODEQ repealed the SIP-approved rule OAR 340-232-0070 that applied to gasoline dispensing facilities in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs. The ODEQ also removed references to stage I vapor balance systems from the SIP-approved rules OAR 340-242-0500 and -0520, which applied to gasoline dispensing facilities in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, but retained the stage II vapor collection system requirements in those rules. The stage I vapor balance requirements contained in OAR 340-232-0070, OAR 340-242-0500 and OAR 340-242-0520 were added to sections of new rules in division 244 (-0030, -0234, -0238, -0240, -0242, and -0244) and to amended sections of existing rules in division 216 (-0020, including tables 1 and 2, -0040, and -0060). The ODEQ made further amendments to the rules for gasoline dispensing facilities in the subsequent submittals, as explained in section II.

    In addition to the VOC RACT gasoline dispensing facility rule amendments, the SIP submittals also include amendments to the following rules: OAR 340-200-0040, 340-209-0030, 340-210-0100, 340-210-0110, 340-210-0120, 340-216-0062, and 340-244-0020. A summary discussion of the rule amendments is provided below. A table that identifies which new rules address the SIP-approved gasoline dispensing facility provisions is included in the docket for this action.

    A. Emission Control Requirements

    As in the SIP-approved rules, the amended rules in OAR 340 divisions 244 and 216 continue to apply to the delivery of gasoline to a gasoline dispensing facility storage tank, require submerged filling and have specific piping requirements. The amended rules exempt all gasoline storage tanks with a capacity of less than 250 gallons from the submerged fill requirements. For tanks installed on or before October 14, 1999, this is more stringent than the SIP-approved rules which exempted tanks with a capacity of 1,500 gallons or less. However, the SIP-approved rules required submerged fill for all tanks installed after October 14, 1999. Thus, for those tanks with a capacity less than 250 gallons, the amended rules are less stringent. The ODEQ provided emissions estimates for these small tanks exempt from the submerged fill requirements under the amended rules and explained that, in general, such sources use the gasoline for their own equipment (e.g., golf courses to fuel golf carts or a facility that has a gasoline powered forklift) rather than for resale, and that not many tanks are under this size threshold. The ODEQ estimates increases in VOC emissions in the AQMAs from this minor exemption to be 55 pounds, or 0.027 tons, per year.

    The vapor balance system requirements in the amended rules are similar to the SIP-approved rules, including requirements that equipment be vapor tight, maintained in good working order, and properly connected. Both the amended and the SIP-approved rules exempt tanks with floating roofs from the vapor balance system requirements. Similar to the SIP-approved rule, the amended rules require that vapor balance systems meet certain specifications and demonstrate compliance. The amended rules cite more recently adopted test methods for compliance than the SIP-approved test methods. In addition, the new rules require a compliance demonstration every three years after the initial compliance demonstration for gasoline dispensing facilities with a monthly throughput of 100,000 gallons of gasoline or more. This is more stringent than the SIP-approved rule. In the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs, the amended rules continue to exempt gasoline storage tanks that have a capacity of 1,500 gallons or less from the vapor balance system requirements. However, in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, the requirements for vapor balance systems are slightly amended. In these counties, the SIP-approved rules required a vapor balance system for all tanks if the gasoline dispensing facility had an annual throughput of 120,000 gallons of gasoline or more regardless of the storage capacity of the tank. The amended rules exempt gasoline storage tanks that have a capacity less than 250 gallons from the vapor balance system requirements. The EPA does not consider this to be a relaxation of the SIP-approved rules because gasoline dispensing facilities that have an annual throughput of 120,000 gallons of gasoline or more would be expected to have storage tanks that are larger than 250 gallons.

    The amended rules do not specify that training and written instructions be provided to the operators of gasoline dispensing facilities and gasoline transport vehicles as in the SIP-approved rules. The management practices for gasoline dispensing facilities and cargo tanks included in OAR 340-244-0242 tables 2 and 3 provide a similar level of assurance, however, that equipment is operated properly. In addition, the new rules for gasoline dispensing facilities in division 244 also include other requirements that are not currently in the SIP but are based on the requirements of the gasoline dispensing facility NESHAP. These include a specific timeframe for demonstrating initial compliance with the vapor balance system, demonstrating monthly throughput, general duties to minimize emissions, notifications, recordkeeping, and reporting. These requirements are consistent with the gasoline dispensing facility NESHAP and will either reduce VOC emissions or enhance the enforceability of VOC SIP requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities. Thus, while a few aspects of the amended requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities are less stringent than in the existing SIP, given the overall strengthening of the requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in the identified areas under the amended rules, the EPA finds that the revisions to the requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs and in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or any other applicable CAA requirements. The EPA is therefore approving these requirements for the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.1

    1 The ODEQ has excluded from its submittal the following provisions in the emissions standards for gasoline dispensing facilities in division 244 that do not correspond to current SIP requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities or to provisions in the gasoline dispensing facility NESHAP: OAR 340-244-0238(1)(a) and (2)(c), 340-244-0240(1)(b) and (c), and 340-244-0242 (4)(c) and (d). The ODEQ has also requested that the EPA approve the definitions in OAR 340-244-0030 only to the extent needed to implement the requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in the division 244 requirements approved into the SIP.

    B. Permitting Rules

    The General Air Contaminant Discharge Permits (ACDPs) rules in the amended OAR division 216 have replaced the vapor balance system (stage I) and stage II vapor collection permit requirements in the SIP-approved rules. The EPA has approved the submitted amendments to division 216 (See 76 FR 80747, December 27, 2011). Like the SIP-approved rules, the amended rules include equivalent 2 permitting requirements, permitting fees, and a 10 year limit on the permit. Other administrative requirements, however, such as the requirement to notify the ODEQ of a change of ownership, the date for submitting renewal applications, and the requirement to keep a copy of the permit on site at the facility, are included in the SIP-approved rule, but are not included in the ODEQ's amended permit provisions for gasoline dispensing facilities. The EPA notes that the ODEQ includes these types of provisions in its general permit for gasoline dispensing facilities. Given the administrative nature of such requirements, the EPA concludes that the revisions to the permitting requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS or any other applicable CAA requirements.

    2 In the amended rules, stage I and stage II permits are required for gasoline dispensing facilities with a monthly throughput of 10,000 gallons of gasoline or more. We consider this requirement to be essentially equivalent to the SIP-approved rule, which (a) required vapor balance systems (stage I) and permits for gasoline dispensing facilities with greater than 1,500 gallon capacity as explained in our May 10, 2000 action (65 FR 29956), and (b) required stage II systems and permits for gasoline dispensing facilities (subject to those requirements in OAR 340-242-0520) with an annual throughput exceeding 600,000 gallons.

    C. Rule Amendments that the EPA is Not Approving

    The February 5, 2009, November 1, 2010, and May 25, 2011 submittals also include amendments to other rules that we are not approving in this action. The division 210 “Registration in General” rules have been superseded by a more recent submittal and have been approved by the EPA (See 78 FR 37124, June 20, 2013). The April 20, 2015 submittal superseded OAR 340-209-0030 and OAR 340-216-0062, and we will address them in a future action. We are also not approving OAR 340-244-0020, which was included in the February 5, 2009 submittal, because this rule addresses the authority of Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) to implement requirements within its jurisdiction, and LRAPA does not have jurisdiction in the geographic areas covered by this SIP approval. Finally, OAR 340-200-0040 describes the State's procedures for adopting its SIP and references all of the state air regulations that have been adopted by the ODEQ for approval into the SIP (as a matter of state law), whether or not they have yet been submitted to or approved by the EPA. The EPA is not approving the revisions to this provision in these SIP submittals because the federally-approved SIP consists only of regulations and other requirements that have been submitted by the ODEQ and approved by the EPA.

    IV. Final Action

    The EPA is taking the following action on the amendments to OAR Chapter 340 that were included in the February 5, 2009, November 1, 2010, and May 25, 2011 submittals and the division 242 and 244 rules in the April 20, 2015 submittal that were identified by the ODEQ for our review in the September 18, 2015 supplementary letter. We are acting on the most recent version of the rules in the submittal identified in parentheses below. Further action on the earlier adopted versions of these rules included in the submittals is not required because they are no longer in effect and have been superseded by the most recent submittal.

    We are approving the following rule amendments: OAR 340-232-0070 (repeal) (February 5, 2009 submittal); OAR 340-242-0500, -0510, -0520 (April 20, 2015 submittal as identified in the September 18, 2015 supplementary letter); 3 OAR 340-244-0030,4 -0232, -0234, -0236, -0238 (except (1)(a) and (2)(c)),5 -0239, -0240, -0242 (including tables 2 and 3), -0244 (except (1)(b) and (c)),6 -0246, -0248 (except (4)(c) and (d)),7 -0250 (April 20, 2015 submittal as identified in the September 18, 2015 supplementary letter); and OAR 340-244-0252 (February 5, 2009 submittal). At the ODEQ's request, the EPA is approving the identified requirements in division 244 only for sources in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and SKATS AQMAs as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The EPA notes that, although Oregon's rules for gasoline dispensing facilities also regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants, the EPA is approving these provisions for the purpose of regulating VOC emissions from these facilities. The EPA's authority to approve SIPs extends to provisions related to attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS and carrying out other specific requirements of section 110 of the CAA.

    3 By its terms, division 242 applies only in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.

    4 As discussed above, the ODEQ has requested that the EPA approve the definitions in OAR 340-244-0030 only to the extent needed to implement the requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in division 244 that are approved into the SIP.

    5 As discussed above, the ODEQ has excluded OAR 240-244-0238(1)(a) and (2)(c) from its submittal.

    6 As discussed above, the ODEQ has excluded OAR 340-244-0240(1)(b) and (c) from its submittal.

    7 As discussed above, the ODEQ has excluded OAR 340-244-0242(4)(c) and (d) from its submittal.

    As discussed above, we are not approving OAR 340-200-0040 (May 25, 2011); OAR 340-209-0030, OAR 340-210-0100, -0110, -0120, and OAR 340-216-0062, -0064 (November 1, 2010 submittal); OAR 340-216-0020, -0060 (May 25, 2011); or OAR 340-244-0020 (February 5, 2009 submittal).

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is approving regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is incorporating by reference the Oregon regulations (OAR Chapter 340) described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standard; and

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 28, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart MM—Oregon 2. In § 52.1970, paragraph (c), Table 2—EPA Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), is amended by: a. Removing the entry 232-0070; b. Revising entries 242-0500; 242-0510; 242-0520; c. Adding a header titled “Division 244—Oregon Federal Hazardous Air Pollutant Program” after the entry for “242-0790”, and adding entries 244-0030, 244-0232, 244-0234, 244-0236, 244-0238, 244-0239, 244-0240, 244-0242, 244-0244, 244-0246, 244-0248, 244-0250, and 244-0252 in numerical order and d. Adding footnotes 1 and 2, at the end of the table.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1970 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 2—EPA Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations Chapter 340—Department of Environmental Quality *         *         *         *         *         *         * Division 242—Rules Applicable to the Portland Area *         *         *         *         *         *         * Gasoline Vapors from Gasoline Transfer and Dispensing Operations 242-0500 Purpose and Applicability 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 242-0510 Definitions 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 242-0520 General Provisions 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Division 244—Oregon Federal Hazardous Air Pollutant Program1 2 General Provisions for Stationary Sources 244-0030 Definitions 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Only to the extent needed to implement the requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities in division 244 that are approved into the SIP. Emission Standards for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities 244-0232 Purpose 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0234 Affected Sources 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0236 Affected Equipment or Processes 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0238 Compliance Dates 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except (1)(a) and (2)(c). Emission Limitations and Management Practices 244-0239 General Duties to Minimize Emissions 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0240 Work Practice and Submerged Fill Requirements 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0242 Vapor Balance Requirements 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Including tables 2 and 3. Testing and Monitoring Requirements 244-0244 Testing and Monitoring Requirements 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except (1)(b) and (c). Notifications, Records, and Reports 244-0246 Notifications 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0248 Recordkeeping Requirements 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except (4)(c) and (d). 244-0250 Reporting Requirements 4/16/2015 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] 244-0252 General Provision Applicability 12/31/2008 10/27/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 Only for the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study air quality management areas, as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. 2 This approval is for the purpose of regulating volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27170 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0256; FRL-9935-66-Region 9] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Arizona; Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Due to the receipt of adverse comments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing the September 2, 2015 direct final rule that approves a state implementation plan (SIP) revision related to the removal of “Stage II” vapor recovery equipment at gasoline dispensing facilities in the Phoenix-Mesa area. The EPA will address the comments in a subsequent final action based upon the proposed rulemaking action, also published on September 2, 2105. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action.

    DATES:

    The direct final rule published at 80 FR 53001 on September 2, 2015 is withdrawn, effective October 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Buss, Air Planning Office (AIR-2), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne, San Francisco, California 94105; (415) 947-4152; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53001), the EPA published a direct final rule approving a SIP revision submitted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The revision provides for the phased removal of Stage II vapor recovery equipment at gasoline dispensing facilities in the Phoenix-Mesa area. Specifically, the revision eliminates the requirement to install and operate such equipment at new gasoline dispending facilities, and provides for the phased removal of such equipment at existing gasoline dispensing facilities from October 2016 through September 2018. In the direct final rule, the EPA stated that if adverse comments were received by October 2, 2015, the EPA would publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in a subsequent final rule. The EPA received adverse comments and is therefore withdrawing the direct final rule. The EPA will address these comments in a separate final action based on the proposed action also published on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53086). The EPA will not open a second comment period for this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 28, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Accordingly, the amendment to 40 CFR 52.120 which published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53001) on page 53007 is withdrawn as of October 27, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27028 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 55 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568; FRL-9917-72-Region 3] Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve an update to a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations for Maryland. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources for which Maryland is the designated COA. The intended effect of approving the OCS requirements for the Maryland Department of the Environment is to regulate emissions from OCS sources in accordance with the requirements onshore.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 28, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by November 27, 2015. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568, Dave Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and Air Toxics, Mailcode 3AP10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathleen Van Osten, (215) 814-2746, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On September 4, 1992, EPA promulgated 40 CFR part 55 which established requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources in order to attain and maintain Federal and state ambient air quality standards and to comply with the provisions of part C of title I of the CAA. Forty CFR part 55 applies to all OCS sources offshore of the states except those locations in the Gulf of Mexico west of 87.5 degrees longitude. Section 328 of the CAA requires that for such source locations within 25 miles of a state's seaward boundary, the requirements shall be the same as would be applicable if the source were located in the COA. Because the OCS requirements are based on onshore requirements, and onshore requirements may change, section 328(a)(1) requires that EPA update the OCS requirements as necessary to maintain consistency with onshore requirements.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 55.12 of the OCS rule, consistency reviews will occur: (1) At least annually; (2) upon receipt of a Notice of Intent under 40 CFR 55.4; or (3) when a state or local agency submits a rule to EPA to be considered for incorporation by reference in 40 CFR part 55. This proposed action is being taken in response to requirements submitted by Maryland. Section 328(a) of the Act requires that EPA establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries that are the same as onshore requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into 40 CFR part 55 as they exist onshore. This limits EPA's flexibility in deciding which requirements will be incorporated into 40 CFR part 55 and prevents EPA from making substantive changes to the requirements it incorporates. As a result, EPA may be incorporating rules into 40 CFR part 55 that do not conform to all of EPA's state implementation plan (SIP) guidance or certain requirements of the Act. Consistency updates may result in the inclusion of state or local rules or regulations into 40 CFR part 55, even though the same rules may ultimately be disapproved for inclusion as part of the SIP. Inclusion in the OCS rule does not imply that a rule meets the requirements of the Act for SIP approval, nor does it imply that the rule will be approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    EPA reviewed Maryland's rules for inclusion in 40 CFR part 55 to ensure that they are rationally related to the attainment or maintenance of federal or state ambient air quality standards or part C of title I of the CAA; that they are not designed expressly to prevent exploration and development of the OCS; and that they are applicable to OCS sources. EPA has also evaluated the rules to ensure they are not arbitrary or capricious. In addition, EPA has excluded administrative or procedural rules 1 and requirements that regulate toxics which are not related to the attainment and maintenance of Federal and State ambient air quality standards.

    1 Each COA that has been delegated the authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR part 55 will use its administrative and procedural rules as onshore. However, in those instances where EPA has not delegated authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR part 55, EPA will use its own administrative and procedural requirements to implement the substantive requirements.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is taking direct final action to incorporate the applicable provisions of the Code of Maryland Regulations into 40 CFR part 55 as required under section 328(a)(1) of the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on December 28, 2015 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 27, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Maryland Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 55 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries that are the same as onshore air control requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into 40 CFR part 55 as they exist onshore. 42 U.S.C. 7627(a)(1); 40 CFR 55.12. Thus, in promulgating OCS consistency updates, EPA's role is to maintain consistency between OCS regulations and the regulations of onshore areas, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action simply updates the existing OCS requirements to make them consistent with requirements onshore, without the exercise of any policy discretion by EPA. 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);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, nor does it impose substantial direct compliance costs on tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 28, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 55

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, Air pollution control, Hydrocarbons, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Outer Continental Shelf, Ozone, Particulate matter, Permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: March 10, 2015. William C. Early, Acting, Regional Administrator, Region III. Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on October 21, 2015.

    Accordingly, 40 CFR part 55 is amended as follows:

    PART 55—OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF AIR REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 55 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 328 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.) as amended by Public Law 101-549.

    2. Section 55.14 is amended as follows: a. By adding paragraph (d)(10). b. By revising paragraph (e) introductory text. c. By adding paragraph (e)(10).
    § 55.14 Requirements that apply to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries, by State.

    (d) * * *

    (10) Maryland.

    (i) 40 CFR part 52, subpart V.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (e) State and local requirements. State and local requirements promulgated by EPA as applicable to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries have been compiled into separate documents organized by State and local areas of jurisdiction. These documents, set forth below, are incorporated by reference. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register Office in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552 (a) and 40 CFR part 51. Copies may be inspected 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. Copies of rules pertaining to particular States or local areas may be inspected or obtained from the EPA Docket Center-Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004 or the appropriate EPA regional offices: U.S. EPA, Region I (Massachusetts) 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3912; U.S. EPA, Region III (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5000; U.S. EPA, Region 4 (Florida and North Carolina), 61 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA 30303; U.S. EPA, Region 9 (California), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; and U.S. EPA Region 10 (Alaska), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. For an informational listing of the State and local requirements incorporated into this part, which are applicable to sources of air pollution located on the OCS, see appendix A to this part.

    (10) Maryland.

    (i) State requirements.

    (A) State of Maryland Requirements Applicable to OCS Sources, January 8, 2014.

    (B) [Reserved]

    (ii) Local requirements.

    (A) [Reserved]

    3. In Appendix A to part 55, add an entry for Maryland in alphabetical order to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 55—Listing of State and Local Requirements Incorporated by Reference Into Part 55, By State

    Maryland:

    (a) State requirements.

    (1) The following State of Maryland requirements are applicable to OCS Sources, January 8, 2014, State of Maryland-Department of the Environment. The following sections of Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 26 Subtitle 11:

    COMAR 26.11.01-—General Administrative Provisions (Effective as of July 08, 2013) COMAR 26.11.02—Permits, Approvals, and Registrations (Effective as of December 20, 2012) COMAR 26.11.03—Permits, Approvals, and Registration- Title V Permits (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.05—Air Pollution Episode System (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.06—General Emission Standards, Prohibitions, and Restrictions (Effective as of July 08, 2013) COMAR 26.11.07—Open Fires (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.08—Control of Incinerators (Effective as of November 26, 2012) COMAR 26.11.09—Control of Fuel-Burning Equipment, Stationary Internal Combustion Engines and Certain Fuel-Burning Installations (Effective as of September 16, 2011) COMAR 26.11.13—Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.15—Toxic Air Pollutants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.16—Procedures Related to Requirements for Toxic Air Pollutants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.17—Nonattainment Provisions for Major New Sources and Major Modifications (Effective as of July 08, 2013) COMAR 26.11.19—Volatile Organic Compounds from Specific Processes (Effective as of November 09, 2012) COMAR 26.11.20—Mobile Sources (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.26—Conformity (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.33—Architectural Coatings (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.35—Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.36—Distributed Generation (Effective as of June 13, 2011)
    [FR Doc. 2015-27158 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE272 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Exchange of Flatfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is exchanging allocations of Amendment 80 cooperative quota (CQ) for Amendment 80 acceptable biological catch (ABC) reserves. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective October 27, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The 2015 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole Amendment 80 allocations of the total allowable catch (TAC) specified in the BSAI are 11,035 metric tons (mt), 52,390 mt, and 118,962 mt as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and as revised (80 FR 60073, October 5, 2015). The 2015 flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole Amendment 80 ABC reserves are 43,019 mt, 101,868 mt, and 82,051 mt as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and as revised (80 FR 60073, October 5, 2015).

    The Alaska Seafood cooperative has requested that NMFS exchange 600 mt of flathead sole and 1,350 mt of rock sole Amendment 80 allocations of the TAC for 1,950 mt of yellowfin sole Amendment 80 ABC reserves under § 679.91(i). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.91(i), NMFS exchanges 600 mt of flathead sole and 1,350 mt of rock sole Amendment 80 allocations of the TAC for 1,950 mt of yellowfin sole Amendment 80 ABC reserves in the BSAI. This action also decreases and increases the TACs and Amendment 80 ABC reserves by the corresponding amounts. Tables 11 and 13 of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and as revised (80 FR 60073, October 5, 2015) are further revised as follows:

    Table 11—Final 2015 Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserves, Incidental Catch Amounts (ICAS), and Amendment 80 Allocations of the Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean Perch, and BSAI Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole Tacs [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector Pacific ocean perch Eastern Aleutian District Central Aleutian District Western Aleutian District Flathead sole BSAI Rock
  • sole
  • BSAI Yellowfin sole BSAI
    TAC 8,000 7,000 9,000 17,187 65,915 159,398 CDQ 856 749 963 1,752 6,875 17,321 ICA 100 75 10 5,000 8,000 5,000 BSAI trawl limited access 704 618 161 0 0 16,165 Amendment 80 6,340 5,558 7,866 10,435 51,040 120,912 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative 3,362 2,947 4,171 1,708 13,318 44,455 Alaska Seafood Cooperative 2,978 2,611 3,695 8,727 37,722 76,457 Note: Sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.
    Table 13—Final 2015 and 2016 ABC Surplus,Community Development Quota (CDQ) ABC Reserves, and Amendment 80 ABC Reserves in the BSAI for Flathead Sole, Rock Sole, and Yellowfin Sole [Amounts are in metric tons] Sector 2015 Flathead
  • sole
  • 2015 Rock
  • sole
  • 2015 Yellowfin
  • sole
  • 2016 Flathead
  • sole
  • 2016 Rock
  • sole
  • 2016 Yellowfin
  • sole
  • ABC 66,130 181,700 248,800 63,711 164,800 245,500 TAC 17,187 65,915 159,398 24,250 69,250 149,000 ABC surplus 48,943 115,785 89,402 39,461 95,550 96,500 ABC reserve 48,943 115,785 89,402 39,461 95,550 96,500 CDQ ABC reserve 5,324 12,567 9,301 4,222 10,224 10,326 Amendment 80 ABC reserve 43,619 103,218 80,101 35,239 85,326 86,175 Alaska Groundfish Cooperative for 2015 1 3,836 24,840 35,408 n/a n/a n/a Alaska Seafood Cooperative for 2015 1 39,783 78,378 44,693 n/a n/a n/a 1 The 2016 allocations for Amendment 80 species between Amendment 80 cooperatives and the Amendment 80 limited access sector will not be known until eligible participants apply for participation in the program by November 1, 2015.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the flatfish exchange by the Alaska Seafood cooperative the BSAI. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of October 19, 2015.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27274 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 207 Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2012-1075; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-111-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate revised tasks specified in certain temporary revisions (TRs) to the airplane airworthiness limitations (AWLs). The NPRM was prompted by the need for more stringent inspection requirements for certain affected components. This action revises the NPRM by proposing to require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate certain revised AWL tasks instead of TRs, and by proposing to require repairs of affected components. We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the affected components, which could result in loss of structural integrity. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by December 11, 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., 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-2012-1075; 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 (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Zimmer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7306; 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-2012-1075; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-111-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

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2012 (77 FR 63282). The NPRM was prompted by a revision to the airplane AWLs to introduce more stringent inspection requirements on certain affected components. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate revised AWL tasks specified in certain TRs.

    Actions Since Previous NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012) Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012), we have determined that a repair requirement should be added to this SNPRM to correct fatigue cracking in the affected components.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier Inc. has issued the following AWLs.

    • AWL 52-11-131, “Passenger door—piano hinge half on door side,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Maintenance Requirements Manual (MRM) CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the piano hinge half on the passenger door side.

    • AWL 53-11-122, “Windshield center post and bulkhead aft post at FS202.75,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the windshield center post and bulkhead aft post at fuselage station (FS) 202.75.

    • AWL 53-21-118, “Potable water servicing door cut-out and internal structure,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the potable water servicing door cut-out and internal structure.

    • AWL 53-21-129, “Passenger door—piano hinge half on fuselage side,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the piano hinge half of the passenger door on the fuselage side.

    • AWL 53-41-199, “FS409.0 +128 vertical posts at BL0.0 and BL18.0 left and right local to WL69.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the FS409.0 +128 left and right vertical posts at buttock line (BL) 0.0 and BL18.0 local to water line (WL) 69.0.

    • AWL 53-41-200, “FS409.0 +128 frame cap aft and fwd splice angles at STR21 left and right,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the FS409.0 +128 frame cap aft and forward splice angles at stringer 21.

    • AWL 53-41-201, “FS559.0 pressure bulkhead web and cap angle local to BL9.0 and BL18.0 left and right,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the left and right FS559.0 pressure bulkhead web and cap angle local to BL9.0 and BL18.0.

    • AWL 53-61-156, “Rear pressure bulkhead forward face below floor,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the below floor forward face of the rear pressure bulkhead.

    • AWL 54-10-105, “Pylon track and support fitting,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the pylon track and support fitting.

    • AWL 54-10-106, “Pylon track and support fitting,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the pylon track and support fitting.

    • AWL 57-21-105, “Lower wing skin, between BL0.0 to wing station (WS) 314.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a detailed visual inspection of the lower wing skin, between BL0.0 to WS314.0.

    • AWL 57-21-112, “Lower wing plank splice joints at BL45.0, WS65.75, and WS148.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053. This AWL describes procedures for a special detailed inspection of the lower wing plank splice joints at BL45.0, WS65.75, and WS148.0.

    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 SNPRM.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We considered the comments received.

    Requests To Reduce the Number of Inspections

    Skywest Airlines (Skywest) and Expressjet Airlines (Expressjet) requested that we reduce the number of inspections proposed by the NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012) by specifying the AWLs in lieu of the TRs referenced in the NPRM. Skywest and Expressjet stated that many of the TRs have already been incorporated into the maintenance program; the proposed requirements would therefore create difficulty in tracking TRs for compliance because of the many anticipated alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that would be needed. Expressjet stated that the large number of proposed inspections will create a significant burden on the operator.

    Bombardier requested that we specify the AWLs and cited an example of two TRs issued for the same AWL.

    Air Wisconsin (AWI) provided specific references to TRs that have been superseded by subsequently published TRs and requested that we revise the NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012) to reference revised TRs that address the identified AWLs.

    We agree with the commenters' requests to specify the AWLs instead of the TRs. The entirety of each TR does not need to be mandated. By specifying the AWLs, we also eliminate AWI's concern over TRs that have been superseded. We have revised paragraph (g) of this SNPRM to remove the TRs and specify the AWLs that we propose to be incorporated into the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable.

    Request To Change Compliance Times for Tasks Without Phase-in Schedules

    AWI requested that, for those tasks without specific phase-in schedules, we change the compliance times to the times specified in the applicable TR, or “within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD,” whichever occurs later. AWI stated that although most of the tasks have phase-in schedules, some do not; therefore, the ability to perform these tasks on an entire fleet within the 60 days specified in the NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012) may not be realistic.

    We agree with the commenter's request to specify phase-in schedules for the AWL tasks without specific phase-in schedules. As stated previously, we revised paragraph (g) of this SNPRM to reference the AWLs in lieu of the TRs. We revised paragraph (h) of this SNPRM to specify where to locate compliance times for tasks with phase-in schedules and for those without phase-in schedules. In addition, new paragraph (h)(2) of this SNPRM provides a grace period of “within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.”

    Requests Regarding Previously Approved Repairs

    AWI requested that we approve AMOCs for the intervals and/or methods contained in technical repair data, e.g., repair engineering orders (REOs) or generic repair engineering orders (GREOs) that have been approved previously by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). AWI stated that many of these TCCA-approved REOs or GREOs have alternative inspection intervals that differ from the applicable AWL tasks stated in the TRs or the tasks contained within Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    Skywest and Expressjet requested that we allow previous AWL task repairs that have been approved by Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO) in the inspection areas. Skywest and Expressjet stated that this will reduce the number of AMOCs needed for previous repairs.

    We agree with the commenters' requests regarding previously approved repairs. We agree to include a provision in this SNPRM to allow for previously approved repairs in the inspection area that were approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. We have added this provision in paragraph (k) of this SNPRM.

    Request To Use Future Revisions of AWLs

    Expressjet requested that we allow the use of future revisions of the identified AWL tasks, provided they are approved by TCCA.

    We disagree to allow the use of future revisions of the identified AWL tasks as a method of compliance with this SNPRM. When referring to a specific document in an AD, using the phrase “or later approved revisions” violates Office of the Federal Register (OFR) regulations for approving materials that are incorporated by reference in rules. See 1 CFR 51.1(f). In general terms, we are required by these OFR regulations to either publish the service document contents as part of the actual AD language, or submit the service document to the OFR for approval as “referenced” material. In the latter case, we may only refer to such material in the text of an AD; the AD may refer to the service document only if the OFR approved it for incorporation by reference.

    To allow operators to use later revisions of the referenced document (issued after publication of the AD), either we must revise the AD to reference specific later revisions, or operators must request approval to use later revisions as an AMOC under the provisions of paragraph (k) of this SNPRM. Therefore, affected operators may request approval to use a later revision of the referenced AWL tasks as an AMOC using the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this SNPRM provided an adequate level of safety is maintained. We have not changed this SNPRM in this regard.

    Request To Permit Removal of TR From Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM

    Skywest requested that we permit removal of the TR when the required maintenance action is incorporated into an MRM revision. Skywest stated that referring to each TR becomes problematic because a standard revision of the MRM, when published, states that the incorporated TRs are to be removed and discarded.

    As stated previously, we have revised paragraph (g) of this SNPRM to remove the TRs and specify the AWLs that we propose to be incorporated into the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. Therefore, it is unnecessary to change this SNPRM in this regard.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

    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.

    Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM (77 FR 63282, October 16, 2012). As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    This SNPRM proposes to require revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these inspections is required by section 91.403(c) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 91.403(c)). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, an operator might not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval of an AMOC in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (k) of this SNPRM. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 575 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $48,875, or $85 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): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2012-1075; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-111-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by December 11, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 and subsequent.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Periodic inspections.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a revision to the airplane airworthiness limitations (AWLs) to introduce more stringent inspection requirements on certain affected components. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the affected components and consequent loss of structural integrity.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance Program or Inspection Program Revision

    Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the revised inspection requirements specified in the AWLs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(12) of this AD.

    (1) AWL 52-11-131, “Passenger door—piano hinge half on door side,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Maintenance Requirements Manual (MRM) CSP A-053.

    (2) AWL 53-11-122, “Windshield center post and bulkhead aft post at FS202.75,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (3) AWL 53-21-118, “Potable water servicing door cut-out and internal structure,” of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (4) AWL 53-21-129, “Passenger door—piano hinge half on fuselage side,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (5) AWL 53-41-199, “FS409.0 + 128 vertical posts at BL0.0 and BL18.0 left and right local to WL69.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (6) AWL 53-41-200, “FS409.0 + 128 frame cap aft and fwd splice angles at STR21 left and right,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (7) AWL 53-41-201, “FS559.0 pressure bulkhead web and cap angle local to BL9.0 and BL18.0 left and right,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (8) AWL 53-61-156, “Rear pressure bulkhead forward face below floor,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (9) AWL 54-10-105, “Pylon track and support fitting,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (10) AWL 54-10-106, “Pylon track and support fitting,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (11) AWL 57-21-105, “Lower wing skin, between BL0.0 to WS314.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (12) AWL 57-21-112, “Lower wing plank splice joints at BL45.0, WS65.75, and WS148.0,” of Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053.

    (h) Initial Compliance Times for AWL Tasks

    (1) For tasks with phase-in schedules specified in the AWLs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(12) of this AD: The initial compliance times are at the applicable times specified in the applicable AWL, or within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, except as specified in paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

    (2) For tasks with no phase-in schedules specified in the AWLs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(12) of this AD: The initial compliance times are at the applicable times specified in Appendix B—Airworthiness Limitations, of Part 2, Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of the Bombardier CL-600-2B19 MRM CSP A-053, or within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (i) Corrective Action

    If any damage (including, but not limited to, cracking, corrosion, and wear) is found during any inspection required by any AWL specified in paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

    (j) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revisions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used other than those specified in the AWLs identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(12) of this AD; unless the actions and intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD, or the actions and intervals are approved as part of a repair specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (k) 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 manager of 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) Previously Approved Repairs: Repairs approved before the effective date of this AD that meet the conditions specified in paragraphs (k)(2)(i), (k)(2)(ii), and (k)(2)(iii) of this AD are acceptable methods of compliance for the repaired area.

    (i) The repairs were accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO.

    (ii) The repair approval refers to MCAI Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2012-13, dated April 10, 2012, and provides an inspection program (inspection threshold, method, and repetitive interval).

    (iii) The operator has revised its maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include the inspection program (inspection threshold, method, and repetitive interval) for the repair.

    (3) 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.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2012-13, dated April 10, 2012, for related information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-0597-0002.

    (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. 2015-27267 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-140379-02, REG-142599-02] RIN 1545-BC07, 1545-BB23 General Allocation and Accounting Regulations Under Section 141 AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Partial withdrawal of notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document withdraws a portion of the notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2006 (71 FR 56072). The withdrawn portion relates to certain general definitions for purposes of section 141 of the Internal Revenue Code and the treatment of partnerships for purposes of section 145(a).

    DATES:

    As of October 27, 2015, the notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2006 (71 FR 56072) is partially withdrawn.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zoran Stojanovic, (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On September 26, 2006, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS published in the Federal Register proposed regulations (71 FR 56072; REG-140379-02, REG-142599-02) (the Proposed Regulations) that would amend certain regulations under sections 141 and 145. The Proposed Regulations include, among other provisions, certain general definitions for purposes of the private business tests under section 141 and rules regarding the treatment of certain partnerships for purposes of the modified private business tests and the ownership test under section 145. This document withdraws these general definitions and the provision relating to the treatment of partnerships for purposes of section 145, because these concepts either are unnecessary or are otherwise addressed as a result of other revisions to the remaining portions of the Proposed Regulations that are adopted as final regulations published elsewhere in this edition of the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Partial Withdrawal of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Accordingly, under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 7805, §§ 1.141-1(b) and 1.145-2(c)(3) of the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-140379-02, REG-142599-02) published in the Federal Register on September 26, 2006 (71 FR 56072), are withdrawn.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27319 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2015-0005; Notice No. 149A; Re: Notice No. 149] RIN 1513-AC14 Proposed Establishment of the Lewis-Clark Valley Viticultural Area and Realignment of the Columbia Valley Viticultural Area; Comment Period Reopening AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; Reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is reopening the comment period for Notice No. 149, which concerned the proposed establishment of the approximately 306,650-acre “Lewis-Clark Valley” viticultural area in portions of Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater and Latah Counties in Idaho and Asotin, Garfield, and Whitman Counties in Washington. Notice No. 149 also proposed to modify the boundary of the existing Columbia Valley viticultural area to eliminate a potential overlap with the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley viticultural area. This reopening of the comment period solicits comments from the public on issues that were raised in public comments received in response to Notice No. 149.

    DATES:

    For Notice No. 149, the proposed rule which published on April 14, 2015 (80 FR 19901), written comments are now due on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this proposal to one of the following addresses:

    http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for Notice No. 149 as posted within Docket No. TTB-2015-0005 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of Notice No. 149 for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    You may view copies of the petition, Notice No. 149, selected supporting materials, and all public comments associated with this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2015-0005 at www.regulations.gov. You also may view copies of the petition, Notice No. 149, the supporting materials, and all public comments associated with this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. Please call 202-453-2265 to make an appointment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    TTB received a petition from Dr. Alan Busacca, a licensed geologist and founder of Vinitas Consultants, LLC, on behalf of the Palouse-Lewis Clark Valley Wine Alliance and the Clearwater Economic Development Association. The petition proposed to establish the approximately 306,650-acre “Lewis-Clark Valley” AVA and to modify the boundary of the existing “Columbia Valley” AVA (27 CFR 9.74). The proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA is located at the confluence of the Snake River and the Clearwater River and covers portions of Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater, and Latah Counties in northern Idaho and Asotin, Garfield, and Whitman Counties in southeastern Washington.

    A small portion of the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA would, if established, overlap the southeastern corner of the established Columbia Valley AVA. To eliminate the potential overlap, the petitioner proposed to modify the boundary of the Columbia Valley AVA so that the overlapping area (hereinafter referred to as the “proposed realignment area”) would be solely within the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA. The proposed modifications would reduce the size of the approximately 11,370,320-acre Columbia Valley AVA boundary by approximately 57,020 acres.

    TTB published Notice No. 149 in the Federal Register on April 14, 2015 (80 FR 19901). In Notice No. 149, TTB described the characteristics of the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA and the rationale for the modification of the boundary of the Columbia Valley AVA and solicited public comment on the proposals. The comment period closed June 15, 2015.

    During the comment period, TTB received a comment from a vineyard owner within the proposed realignment area. According to the commenter, his vineyard is the estate vineyard for a winery that is also located within the proposed realignment area. The commenter stated that the proposed realignment area has characteristics similar to those of the Columbia Valley and should not be removed from that AVA. Specifically, the commenter stated, “The geology, soils, and climate of the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA are quite similar to those of the Columbia Valley and mostly lay within the elevations affected by the Missoula floods.” The comment is posted as Comment 35 within Docket No. TTB-2015-0005 at www.regulations.gov.

    Determination To Re-Open the Public Comment Period

    TTB reviewed all comments received in response to Notice No. 149 with reference to the original petition information. TTB believes that the comment period for Notice No. 149, which was open for 60 days, was adequate to obtain information on the initially proposed regulation. However, TTB notes that if the proposed realignment area were to be removed from the Columbia Valley AVA and placed into the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, wines made primarily from grapes grown within the proposed realignment area would no longer be eligible to be labeled with the “Columbia Valley” appellation of origin. Therefore, because of the potential effect on label holders if TTB were to adopt the proposed modification of the Columbia Valley AVA boundary, TTB has determined that it would be appropriate in this instance to re-open the comment period, for the specific purpose of obtaining further public comment on the proposed boundary modification, before taking any further regulatory action on this matter.

    TTB is, therefore, re-opening the comment period on Notice No. 149 for an additional 30 days, in order to obtain additional comments on the characteristics of the proposed realignment area. Comments on Notice No. 149 are now due on or before November 27, 2015. TTB is specifically interested in comments on whether the evidence provided in the petition to establish the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA and to modify the boundary of the Columbia Valley AVA adequately demonstrates that the characteristics of the proposed realignment area are more similar to those of the rest of the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA than to the distinguishing features of the Columbia Valley AVA, which are described in T.D. TTB-ATF 190 (69 FR 44897, November 13, 1984) and summarized in both the proposed Lewis-Clark Valley AVA petition and Notice No. 149. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments.

    How To Comment

    See the Public Participation section of Notice No. 149 for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    You may view copies of the petition, Notice No. 149, selected supporting materials, and all public comments associated with this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2015-0005 at www.regulations.gov. You also may view copies of all comments and documents associated with Notice No. 149 by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. Please call 202-453-2265 to make an appointment.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this document.

    Signed: October 21, 2015. John J. Manfreda, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27362 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2011-0799; FRL-9936-02-Region 10] Air Plan Approval; OR; Portland, Medford, Salem; Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Counties; Gasoline Dispensing Facilities AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve three state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon or ODEQ) and a specific portion of a fourth SIP submittal identified in a supplementary letter. These SIP submittals primarily include rule amendments related to control measures for volatile organic compounds from gasoline dispensing facilities in the Portland-Vancouver, Medford-Ashland, and Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study air quality management areas, as well as all of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The EPA received the SIP submittals from the ODEQ on February 5, 2009, November 1, 2010, May 25, 2011, and April 20, 2015, and the supplementary letter on September 18, 2015. The EPA is proposing to approve the SIP submittals because they are consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (Act or CAA).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2011-0799, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected].

    Mail: Claudia Vergnani Vaupel, U.S. EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: U.S. EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101. Attention: Claudia Vergnani Vaupel, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Claudia Vergnani Vaupel at (206) 553-6121, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the direct final action, of the same title, which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. The EPA is approving the State's SIP revisions as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the EPA views this as a noncontroversial SIP action and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule. If the EPA receives no adverse comments, the EPA will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    If the EPA receives adverse comments, the EPA will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. The EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27169 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0334; FRL-9936-17-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of Ozone AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires each State Implementation Plan (SIP) to contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. On May 11, 2015, the State of Washington made a submittal to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address these requirements. The EPA is proposing to approve the submittal as meeting the requirement that each SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in any other state.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0334, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] epa.gov.

    Mail: Jeff Hunt, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics (AWT-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Region 10 9th Floor Mailroom, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101. Attention: Jeff Hunt, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0334. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hunt at (206) 553-0256, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Information is organized as follows:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. State Submittal III. EPA Evaluation IV. Proposed Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), requires SIPs to contain “good neighbor” provisions to prohibit certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of pollution. There are four sub-elements within CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). This action addresses the first two sub-elements of the good neighbor provisions, at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). These sub-elements require that each SIP for a new or revised standard contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” or “interfere with maintenance” of the applicable air quality standard in any other state. We note that the EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the eastern portion of the United States in several past regulatory actions.1 We most recently promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which addressed CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in the eastern portion of the United States.2 CSAPR addressed multiple national ambient air quality standards, but did not address the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.3

    1 NOX SIP Call, 63 FR 57371 (October 27, 1998); Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), 70 FR 25172 (May 12, 2005); Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    2 76 FR 48208.

    3 CSAPR addressed the 1997 8-hour ozone, and the 1997 and 2006 fine particulate matter NAAQS.

    In CSAPR, the EPA used detailed air quality analyses to determine whether an eastern state's contribution to downwind air quality problems was at or above specific thresholds. If a state's contribution did not exceed the specified air quality screening threshold, the state was not considered “linked” to identified downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors and was therefore not considered to significantly contribute to or interfere with maintenance of the standard in those downwind areas. If a state exceeded that threshold, the state's emissions were further evaluated, taking into account both air quality and cost considerations, to determine what, if any, emissions reductions might be necessary. For the reasons stated below, we believe it is appropriate to use the same approach we used in CSAPR to establish an air quality screening threshold for the evaluation of interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone standard.

    In CSAPR, the EPA proposed an air quality screening threshold of one percent of the applicable NAAQS and requested comment on whether one percent was appropriate.4 The EPA evaluated the comments received and ultimately determined that one percent was an appropriately low threshold because there were important, even if relatively small, contributions to identified nonattainment and maintenance receptors from multiple upwind states. In response to commenters who advocated a higher or lower threshold than one percent, the EPA compiled the contribution modeling results for CSAPR to analyze the impact of different possible thresholds for the eastern United States. The EPA's analysis showed that the one-percent threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind states, while the use of higher thresholds would exclude increasingly larger percentages of total transport. For example, at a five percent threshold, the majority of interstate pollution transport affecting downwind receptors would be excluded.5 In addition, the EPA determined that it was important to use a relatively lower one-percent threshold because there are adverse health impacts associated with ambient ozone even at low levels.6 The EPA also determined that a lower threshold such as 0.5 percent would result in modest increases in the overall percentages of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution transport captured relative to the amounts captured at the one-percent level. The EPA determined that a “0.5 percent threshold could lead to emission reduction responsibilities in additional states that individually have a very small impact on those receptors—an indicator that emission controls in those states are likely to have a smaller air quality impact at the downwind receptor. We are not convinced that selecting a threshold below one percent is necessary or desirable.” 7

    4 CSAPR proposal, 75 FR 45210, 45237 (August 2, 2010).

    5See also Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document, Appendix F; Analysis of Contribution Thresholds.

    6 CSAPR, 76 FR 48208, 48236-37 (August 8, 2011).

    7 Id.

    In the final CSAPR, the EPA determined that one percent was a reasonable choice considering the combined downwind impact of multiple upwind states in the eastern United States, the health effects of low levels of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution, and the EPA's previous use of a one-percent threshold in CAIR. The EPA used a single “bright line” air quality threshold equal to one percent of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, or 0.08 ppm.8 The projected contribution from each state was averaged over multiple days with projected high modeled ozone, and then compared to the one-percent threshold. We concluded that this approach for setting and applying the air quality threshold for ozone was appropriate because it provided a robust metric, was consistent with the approach for fine particulate matter used in CSAPR, and because it took into account, and would be applicable to, any future ozone standards below 0.08 ppm.9

    8 Id.

    9 Id.

    II. State Submittal

    CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) and section 110(l) require that revisions to a SIP be adopted by the State after reasonable notice and public hearing. The EPA has promulgated specific procedural requirements for SIP revisions in 40 CFR part 51, subpart F. These requirements include publication of notices by prominent advertisement in the relevant geographic area, a public comment period of at least 30 days, and an opportunity for a public hearing.

    On May 11, 2015, Washington submitted a SIP to address the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The Washington submittal included documentation of a public comment period from March 9, 2015 through April 10, 2015, and opportunity for public hearing. We find that the process followed by Washington in adopting the submittal complies with the procedural requirements for SIP revisions under CAA section 110 and the EPA's implementing regulations.

    With respect to the requirements in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), the Washington submittal referred to applicable rules in the Washington SIP, 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI) data, and modeling conducted by the State using the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES2014, database version 20141021). Washington noted that efforts by the EPA and states to address ozone transport have historically been focused on reductions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), a precursor to ozone formation, and provided 2011 NEI data for the major NOX emissions categories in the State. Washington found that on-road mobile sources comprise 57 percent of total NOX emissions, non-road mobile sources represent 11 percent, and the third largest group, point sources, comprises 9 percent of all Washington NOX emissions in 2011. Washington then performed MOVES2014 modeling to look specifically at past and future trends in on-road and non-road mobile sources, the two largest source categories in Washington, for the years 2000 through 2020. The MOVES2014 modeling showed sustained, continuous reductions in NOX emissions from approximately 800 tons per day in 2000 to approximately 250 tons per day projected in 2020. Based on this evidence, and the EPA's draft photochemical air quality modeling data available at the time of Washington's submission, the State concluded that emissions of ozone precursors from Washington sources will not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state.10

    10See Memorandum from Stephen D. Page entitled “Information of the Interstate Transport ‘Good Neighbor’ Provision for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I),” January 22, 2015, available at: http://www3.epa.gov/airtransport/GoodNeighborProvision2008NAAQS.pdf.

    The Washington submittal provided further information to support this conclusion by citing the stationary source permitting regulations approved into the Washington SIP that require new sources and modifications to protect the ambient air quality standards, including the 2008 ozone NAAQS. With respect to new or modified major stationary sources, the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program in the Washington SIP requires an owner or operator to demonstrate that the source will not contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance in another state.

    III. EPA Evaluation

    On August 4, 2015, the EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) containing air quality modeling data that applies the CSAPR approach to contribution projections for the year 2017 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.11 The moderate area attainment date for the 2008 ozone standard is July 11, 2018. In order to demonstrate attainment by this attainment deadline, states will use 2015 through 2017 ambient ozone data. Therefore, 2017 is an appropriate future year to model for the purpose of examining interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA used photochemical air quality modeling to project ozone concentrations at air quality monitoring sites to 2017 and estimated state-by-state ozone contributions to those 2017 concentrations. This modeling used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.11) to model the 2011 base year, and the 2017 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2017. The EPA used nationwide state-level ozone source apportionment modeling (CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Technology/Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Analysis technique) to quantify the contribution of 2017 base case NOX and VOC emissions from all sources in each state to the 2017 projected receptors. The air quality model runs were performed for a modeling domain that covers the 48 contiguous United States and adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. The NODA and the supporting technical documents have been included in the docket for this action.

    11See 80 FR 46271 (August 4, 2015) (Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's Updated Ozone Transport Modeling Data for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)).

    The modeling data released in the NODA on July 23, 2015, is the most up-to-date information the EPA has developed to inform our analysis of upwind state linkages to downwind air quality problems. For purposes of evaluating Washington's interstate transport SIP submittal with respect to the 2008 8-hour ozone standard, the EPA is proposing that states whose contributions are less than one percent to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors are considered non-significant. The modeling indicates that Washington's largest contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.22 ppb and Washington's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.09 ppb.12 These values are below the one percent screening threshold of 0.75 ppb, and therefore there are no identified linkages between Washington and 2017 downwind projected nonattainment and maintenance sites. Note that the EPA has not done an assessment to determine the applicability for the use of the one percent screening threshold for western states that contribute above the one percent threshold. There may be additional considerations that may impact regulatory decisions regarding “potential” linkages in the west identified by the modeling.

    12 80 FR 46271 at page 46277, Table 3.

    IV. Proposed Action

    As discussed in Section II, Washington concluded that emissions from the State do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone standard in any other state. The EPA's modeling, discussed in Section III, confirms this finding. Based on the modeling data and the information provided in Washington's May 11, 2015 submittal, we are proposing to approve the submittal for purposes of meeting the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2008 ozone standard. The EPA's modeling confirms the results of the State's analysis: Washington does not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone standard in any other state.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, 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) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because it does not involve technical standards; 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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: October 15, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27153 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0592; FRL-9936-14-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Revision to Visibility Federal Implementation Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revise the Minnesota Federal implementation plan (FIP) for visibility, to establish emission limits for Northern States Power Company's (NSP's) Sherburne County Generating Station (Sherco), pursuant to a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement, signed by representatives of EPA, NSP, and three environmental groups, was for resolution of a lawsuit filed by the environmental groups for EPA to address any contribution from Sherco to reasonably attributable visibility impairment (RAVI) that the Department of Interior (DOI) certified was occurring at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0592, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 692-2551.

    4. Mail: Douglas Aburano, Chief, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0592. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available in www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, at (312) 886-6067 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Summerhays, Environmental Scientist, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6067, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. What regulations apply to RAVI? II. What is the history and content of the Sherco settlement agreement? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What regulations apply to RAVI?

    Section 169A of the Clean Air Act provides for a visibility protection program and sets forth as a national goal “the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.” 1 Pursuant to these statutory requirements, EPA promulgated regulations entitled “Visibility Protection” in subpart P of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR), specifically in 40 CFR 51.300 et seq., which include separate requirements addressing RAVI and regional haze. 45 FR 80084 (December 2, 1980). The term “reasonably attributable visibility impairment” is defined in 40 CFR 51.301 to mean “visibility impairment that is caused by the emission of air pollutants from one, or a small number of sources.” These regulations at 40 CFR 51.302(c)(1) provide that “[t]he affected Federal Land Manager may certify to the State, at any time, that there exists reasonably attributable impairment of visibility in any mandatory Class I Federal area.”

    1 In accordance with the mandate of section 169A(a)(2), 40 CFR part 81 subpart D (40 CFR 81.400 to 81.437) specifies the mandatory Class I Federal areas where visibility is an important value and the visibility is impaired by manmade air pollution.

    The visibility regulations also provide for periodic review, and revision as appropriate, of the long-term strategy for making reasonable progress toward the visibility goals, including review and revision as appropriate within three years of receipt of certification of RAVI from a Federal land manager (FLM). 40 CFR 51.306(c). The 36 affected states were required to submit revisions to their SIPs to comply with these requirements by September 2, 1981. 40 CFR 51.302(a)(1) (1981). See 45 FR 80084, 80091.

    Most states did not meet the September 2, 1981 deadline for submitting a SIP revision to address visibility protection. A number of environmental groups sued EPA, alleging that the Agency had failed to perform a nondiscretionary duty under section 110(c) of the Clean Air Act to promulgate visibility FIPs. To settle the lawsuit, EPA agreed to promulgate visibility FIPs according to a specified schedule. On July 12, 1985, EPA promulgated a FIP for the visibility monitoring strategy and new source review (NSR) requirements at 40 CFR 51.304 and 51.307. 50 FR 28544. See also 51 FR 5504 (February 13, 1986) and 51 FR 22937 (June 24, 1986). These provisions have been codified at 40 CFR 52.26, 52.27 and 52.28. On November 24, 1987, EPA continued its visibility FIP rulemaking by promulgating its plan for meeting the general visibility plan requirements and long-term strategies of 40 CFR 51.302 and 51.306. 52 FR 45132. The long-term strategy provisions have been codified at 40 CFR 52.29; the provisions specifically pertaining to Minnesota are at 40 CFR 52.1236.

    In the proposed rulemaking for the general visibility plan and long-term strategy requirements, EPA addressed certifications of existing visibility impairment submitted by the FLMs. 52 FR 7802 (March 12, 1987). EPA found that the information provided by the FLMs was not adequate to enable the Agency to determine whether the impairment was traceable to a single source or small number of sources and therefore addressable under the visibility regulations. For this reason, EPA determined that the implementation plans did not need to require best available retrofit technology (BART) or other control measures at that time. EPA also acknowledged, however, that the FLMs may certify the existence of visibility impairment at any time and that the FLMs therefore might provide additional information in the future on impairment that would allow EPA to attribute it to a specific source. EPA stated that in such cases, the information regarding impairment and the need for BART or other control measures would be reviewed and assessed as part of the periodic review of the long-term visibility strategy. 52 FR 7802, 7808. EPA affirmed these determinations in its final rulemaking. 52 FR 45136 (November 24, 1987).

    Based on this history, unless and until Minnesota submits a plan that EPA approves as satisfying the RAVI-related visibility planning requirements, the current plan for addressing RAVI is a Federal plan, and EPA has the authority and obligation to review the RAVI plan for Minnesota periodically and to make any necessary revisions. The adoption of the emission limits being proposed here is an element of fulfilling that responsibility.

    As will be discussed below, the settlement agreement regarding Sherco provides for the adoption of specified emission limits that address DOI's concerns that led to a RAVI certification at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks. Because these emission limits will address the concerns DOI raised in its RAVI certification, there is no need for us to evaluate whether Sherco is the source of the impairment in Voyageurs or Isle Royale or to determine the emission levels that would be achieved by BART if BART were necessary.

    II. What is the history and content of the Sherco settlement agreement?

    On October 21, 2009, DOI certified to EPA that RAVI was occurring at the Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks, in Northern Minnesota and Northern Michigan, respectively. DOI cited numerous results from an analysis described in Minnesota's regional haze submittal, which in DOI's view demonstrated that Sherco was the source of this RAVI.

    Separately, Minnesota submitted its regional haze plan on December 30, 2009, and submitted a proposed supplemental submission on January 5, 2012. In this plan as supplemented, Minnesota proposed no emission limits for Sherco (or for other electric generating units (EGUs) in Minnesota), relying instead on Federal trading program rules known as the Transport Rule to satisfy pertinent requirements for BART.2 EPA proposed to approve this element of Minnesota's plan on January 25, 2012, at 77 FR 3681, but stated that this proposal did not address whether Minnesota had satisfied the requirements that applied as a result of DOI's certification of RAVI.

    2 This proposal was consistent with a proposed finding by EPA that the Transport Rule provided better visibility protection than source-specific BART on electric generating units, and consistent with an associated proposed rule allowing states to rely on the Transport Rule in lieu of source-specific BART for these sources. This exemption applies only to NOX and SO2, but Minnesota found that no control was necessary to satisfy BART for other pollutants.

    Minnesota submitted a final supplemental regional haze submittal on May 8, 2012. In this submittal, Minnesota submitted source-specific limits on sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions from Sherco, which it found to represent BART. These limits applied to the stack serving Units 1 and 2, limiting SO2 emissions to 0.12 pounds per million British Thermal Units (lbs/MMBtu) and limiting NOX emissions to 0.15 lbs/MMBtu. EPA approved these limits as “an enhancement that make the Minnesota's submission more stringent than it would be if it simply relied on [the Transport Rule] to address” BART requirements for EGUs, thereby concluding that these limits in combination with the Transport Rule satisfied pertinent BART requirements for EGUs in the state. 77 FR 34801, 34803 (June 12, 2012). EPA took no action during that rulemaking as to whether Minnesota's plan satisfied requirements triggered by DOI's certification of RAVI.

    On December 5, 2012, with subsequent amendments on March 25, 2015, the National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota seeking to compel action by EPA to address DOI's RAVI certification. On July 24, 2014, pursuant to action by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, NSP gained standing as an intervenor in this case. These parties engaged in settlement discussions with EPA, leading to a draft settlement agreement that the parties signed on May 15, 2015. EPA published a notice soliciting comments on this settlement agreement on June 1, 2015, at 80 FR 31031. EPA received two sets of generally supportive comments, and on July 24, 2015, the Department of Justice notified the Eighth Circuit that the settlement agreement was final.

    The terms of this settlement agreement require EPA to propose new SO2 emission limits for Units 1 and 23 and for Unit 3 at Sherco. Specifically, the settlement agreement requires EPA to propose an emission limit for Units 1 and 2 of 0.050 lbs/MMBtu, expressed as a rolling 30-day average. EPA anticipates that NSP will be able to meet this limit through the use of low sulfur coal and the facility's existing flue gas desulfurization equipment. The settlement agreement requires EPA to propose an emission limit for Unit 3 of 0.29 lbs/MMBtu, also expressed as a rolling 30-day average. EPA anticipates that Northern States Power will be able to meet this limit with the facility's existing flue gas desulfurization equipment and increased use of desulfurizing reagent.

    3 Because Units 1 and 2 vent through a shared stack, the proposed emission limit applies to the combined emissions of these two units.

    The settlement agreement further states that compliance with these emission limits must be determined on the basis of data obtained by a continuous emission monitor operated in accordance with 40 CFR part 75. Compliance with the limits, expressed as limits on 30-day average emissions, must be determined by dividing the sum of the SO2 emissions over each period of 30 successive boiler-operating days by the total heat input over that same period. The settlement agreement provides that the data used to determine compliance shall reflect any bias adjustments provided for in appendix A to 40 CFR part 75, but shall not use substituted data provided for in 40 CFR part 75 subpart D.4

    4 The provisions of 40 CFR part 75 specify the requirements for operation and data reporting for continuous emission monitoring for facilities such as Sherco that are subject to the Acid Rain Program. Under 40 CFR part 75, such facilities must conduct periodic tests to determine whether the measurements underlying the reported emission values are biased; if the results fail to meet the criteria in 40 CFR part75 appendix A 7.6.4, reflecting sufficient underestimation to warrant adjustment, the measured results are multiplied times a bias adjustment factor computed in 40 CFR part 75 appendix A 7.6.5. For hours when the facility is operating but the emission monitor is not generating valid data, the settlement agreement specifies that data obtained by the “Missing Data Substitution Procedures” required for Acid Rain Program purposes in 40 CFR part 75 subpart D shall not be used.

    Finally, Paragraph 5 of the settlement agreement states that “Sherco Units 1 and 2 will achieve [its SO2 emission limit] starting October 1, 2015, . . . and . . . Sherco Unit 3 will achieve [its SO2 emission limit] starting June 1, 2017.” (Emphasis added). Paragraph 5 continues, “EPA agrees to propose such emission limitations . . . with a compliance date for Units 1 and 2 of October 1, 2015, and a compliance date for Unit 3 of June 1, 2017.” Attachment A to the settlement agreement states, for Units 1 and 2, “[i]nitial compliance with [the] limit shall be demonstrated no later than October 1, 2015,” and, for Unit 3, “[i]nitial compliance with [the] limit shall be demonstrated no later than June 1, 2017.”

    Accordingly, under the proposed rule, the first compliance demonstration for Units 1 and 2 would be computed on October 1, 2015, using data from the immediately preceding 30 boiler-operating days. Similarly, the first compliance demonstration for Unit 3 would use data from the 30 boiler-operating days immediately preceding June 1, 2017. For example, under this proposed rule, if the boilers operate every day, the first 30-day period for which compliance at Units 1 and 2 is required is the period from September 1 to September 30, 2015, and the first 30-day period for which compliance at Unit 3 is required is May 2 to May 31, 2017.

    EPA recognizes that the compliance deadline for Units 1 and 2 predates the prospective final rulemaking. Because NSP is a party to the settlement agreement, however, the company has had adequate notice that an initial demonstration of compliance with the limits for Units 1 and 2 would be required on October 1, 2015, notwithstanding provisions in the settlement agreement that would allow EPA to sign a final rulemaking as late as February 2016.

    On August 11, 2015, DOI wrote to EPA regarding the settlement agreement. DOI recounted that its prior letter, dated October 21, 2009, had “identified visibility impairment at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks likely attributable to [Sherco],” but noted that “a number of events have led or will lead to significant improvements in visibility at these Parks,” including the continued “trend of reducing sulfur dioxide emissions at Sherco” resulting from the settlement agreement. DOI concluded that “[a]lthough the settlement reaches a different result than the recommendation made in our [letter certifying RAVI], once implemented, the settlement achieves an outcome that addresses our visibility concerns at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks.”

    In light of this August 11, 2015 letter, EPA is proposing to find that the incorporation of these SO2 emission limits into the Minnesota visibility FIP satisfies any outstanding obligation EPA has with respect to DOI's 2009 RAVI certification. Specifically, EPA believes that the emission limits obviate the need for an analysis of the magnitude or origins of visibility impairment at Voyageurs or Isle Royale or potential BART control options at Sherco. While DOI's 2009 certification expressed particular concern with Sherco's NOX emissions, modeling in Minnesota's regional haze plan (particularly in the Sherco BART analysis) suggests that SO2 emissions have comparable visibility impacts to NOX at these parks. As a result, EPA anticipates that the visibility improvement that will result from the proposed SO2 emission limits, when considered in conjunction with the SO2 and NOX reductions already achieved by the Minnesota regional haze SIP, will be comparable to any improvement that might have resulted from additional NOX limits. To be clear, EPA is not proposing to find that the RAVI DOI certified in 2009 at Voyageurs or Isle Royale was attributable to emissions from Sherco, that Sherco is currently a source of RAVI, or that BART controls are necessary at Sherco. EPA is instead proposing to find that such determinations are no longer necessary in light of the significant emission reductions that will occur at Sherco as a result of the settlement agreement, which addresses the concerns DOI originally expressed in 2009.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    In accordance with the settlement agreement signed on May 15, 2015, by representatives of EPA, three environmental groups, and NSP, EPA is proposing to incorporate the emission limits identified in the agreement into the Minnesota visibility FIP. Specifically, EPA is proposing the following limits:

    —For stack SV001, serving Units 1 and 2, a limit on SO2 emissions of 0.050 lbs/MMBtu, as a 30-day rolling average, determined as the ratio of pounds of emissions divided by the heat input in MMBtu, both summed over 30 successive boiler-operating days, beginning on the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending September 30, 2015. For purposes of this limit, a boiler operating day is defined as a day in which fuel is combusted in either Unit 1 or Unit 2 (or both). —For Unit 3, a limit on SO2 of 0.29 lbs/MMBtu, as a 30-day rolling average, also determined as the ratio of pounds of emissions divided by the heat input in MMBtu, both summed over 30 successive boiler-operating days, beginning on the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending May 31, 2017.

    Additionally, in light of DOI's August 11, 2015 letter, EPA is proposing to find that the incorporation of these SO2 emission limits into the Minnesota visibility FIP satisfies any outstanding obligation EPA has with respect to DOI's 2009 RAVI certification. EPA intends to conduct no analysis of the magnitude or origins of visibility impairment at Voyageurs or Isle Royale or review of potential BART control options at Sherco in response to this certification.

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

    This proposed action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). As discussed in detail in section IV.C below, the proposed FIP applies to only one source. It is therefore not a rule of general applicability.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, a “collection of information” is defined as a requirement for “answers to . . . identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on ten or more persons. . . .” 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A). Because the proposed FIP applies to just one facility, the Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply. See 5 CFR 1320(c).

    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

    For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

    After considering the economic impacts of this proposed action on small entities, I certify that this proposed action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. EPA's proposal adds additional controls to a certain source. The Regional Haze FIP revisions that EPA is proposing here would impose Federal control requirements to resolve concerns that one power plant in Minnesota is unduly affecting visibility at two national parks. The power plant and its owners are not small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 of UMRA do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 of UMRA allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including Tribal governments, it must have developed under section 203 of UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements.

    Under Title II of UMRA, EPA has determined that this proposed rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures that exceed the inflation-adjusted UMRA threshold of $100 million by State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector in any one year. In addition, this proposed rule does not contain a significant Federal intergovernmental mandate as described by section 203 of UMRA, nor does it contain any regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) revokes and replaces Executive Orders 12612 (Federalism) and 12875 (Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications.” “Policies that have Federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that 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, EPA may not issue a regulation that has Federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or EPA consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. EPA also may not issue a regulation that has Federalism implications and that preempts State law unless the Agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation.

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, because it merely extends an existing FIP by promulgating emission limits for one source in accordance with a settlement agreement. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this action. In the spirit of Executive Order 13132, and consistent with EPA policy to promote communications between EPA and State and local governments, EPA specifically solicits comment on this proposed rule from State and local officials.

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

    Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This proposed rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule. However, EPA did discuss this action in a July 16, 2015, conference call with Michigan and Minnesota Tribes, and EPA invites further comment from tribes that may be interested in this action.

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

    Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under Executive Order 12866; and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that we have reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. EPA interprets E.O. 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the E.O. has the potential to influence the regulation. This action is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it is neither economically significant nor pertinent to an environmental health or safety risk that might have a disproportionate effect on children. However, to the extent this proposed rule will limit emissions of SO2, the rule will have a beneficial effect on children's health by reducing air pollution.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 requires Federal agencies to evaluate existing technical standards when developing a new regulation. To comply with NTTAA, EPA must consider and use “voluntary consensus standards” (VCS) if available and applicable when developing programs and policies unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.

    The EPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to this action. Today's action does not require the public to perform activities conducive to the use of VCS.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994), establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

    We have determined that this proposed rule, if finalized, will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it increases the level of environmental protection for all affected populations without having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-income population.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: October 9, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. Section 52.1236 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 52.1236 Visibility protection.

    (e)(1) On and after the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending on September 30, 2015, the owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall not cause or permit the emission of SO2 from stack SV001 (serving Units 1 and 2) to exceed 0.050 lbs/MMBTU as a 30-day rolling average.

    (2) On and after the 30-boiler-operating-day period ending on May 31, 2017, the owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall not cause or permit the emission of SO2 from Unit 3 to exceed 0.29 lbs/MMBTU as a 30-day rolling average.

    (3) The owners and operators of the facility at 13999 Industrial Boulevard in Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota, shall operate continuous SO2 emission monitoring systems in compliance with 40 CFR part 75, and the data from this emission monitoring shall be used to determine compliance with the limits in this paragraph (e).

    (4) For each boiler operating day, compliance with the 30-day average limitations in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section shall be determined by summing total emissions in pounds for the period consisting of the day and the preceding 29 successive boiler operating days, summing total heat input in MMBTU for the same period, and computing the ratio of these sums in lbs/MMBTU. Boiler operating day is used to mean a 24-hour period between 12 midnight and the following midnight during which any fuel is combusted at any time in the steam-generating unit. It is not necessary for fuel to be combusted the entire 24-hour period. A boiler operating day with respect to the limitation in paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall be a day in which fuel is combusted in either Unit 1 or Unit 2. Bias adjustments provided for under 40 CFR part 75 appendix A shall be applied. Substitute data provided for under 40 CFR part 75 subpart D shall not be used.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27168 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0259; FRL-9936-16-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Oregon: Interstate Transport of Ozone AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires each State Implementation Plan (SIP) to contain adequate provisions prohibiting air emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. On June 28, 2010, the State of Oregon made a submittal to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address these requirements. The EPA is proposing to approve the submittal as meeting the requirement that each SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit emissions that will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in any other state.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0259, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Kristin Hall, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics (AWT—150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Region 10 9th Floor Mailroom, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101. Attention: Kristin Hall, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT-150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0259. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin Hall at (206) 553-6357, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA.

    Information is organized as follows:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. State Submittal III. EPA Evaluation IV. Proposed Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), requires SIPs to contain “good neighbor” provisions to prohibit certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of pollution. There are four sub-elements within CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). This action addresses the first two sub-elements of the good neighbor provisions, at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). These sub-elements require that each SIP for a new or revised standard contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” or “interfere with maintenance” of the applicable air quality standard in any other state. We note that the EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the eastern portion of the United States in several past regulatory actions.1 We most recently promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which addressed CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in the eastern portion of the United States.2 CSAPR addressed multiple national ambient air quality standards, but did not address the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.3

    1 NOX SIP Call, 63 FR 57371 (October 27, 1998); Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), 70 FR 25172 (May 12, 2005); Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    2 76 FR 48208.

    3 CSAPR addressed the 1997 8-hour ozone, and the 1997 and 2006 fine particulate matter NAAQS.

    In CSAPR, the EPA used detailed air quality analyses to determine whether an eastern state's contribution to downwind air quality problems was at or above specific thresholds. If a state's contribution did not exceed the specified air quality screening threshold, the state was not considered “linked” to identified downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors and was therefore not considered to significantly contribute to or interfere with maintenance of the standard in those downwind areas. If a state exceeded that threshold, the state's emissions were further evaluated, taking into account both air quality and cost considerations, to determine what, if any, emissions reductions might be necessary. For the reasons stated below, we believe it is appropriate to use the same approach we used in CSAPR to establish an air quality screening threshold for the evaluation of interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone standard.

    In CSAPR, the EPA proposed an air quality screening threshold of one percent of the applicable NAAQS and requested comment on whether one percent was appropriate.4 The EPA evaluated the comments received and ultimately determined that one percent was an appropriately low threshold because there were important, even if relatively small, contributions to identified nonattainment and maintenance receptors from multiple upwind states. In response to commenters who advocated a higher or lower threshold than one percent, the EPA compiled the contribution modeling results for CSAPR to analyze the impact of different possible thresholds for the eastern United States. The EPA's analysis showed that the one-percent threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind states, while the use of higher thresholds would exclude increasingly larger percentages of total transport. For example, at a five percent threshold, the majority of interstate pollution transport affecting downwind receptors would be excluded.5 In addition, the EPA determined that it was important to use a relatively lower one-percent threshold because there are adverse health impacts associated with ambient ozone even at low levels.6 The EPA also determined that a lower threshold such as 0.5 percent would result in modest increases in the overall percentages of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution transport captured relative to the amounts captured at the one-percent level. The EPA determined that a “0.5 percent threshold could lead to emission reduction responsibilities in additional states that individually have a very small impact on those receptors—an indicator that emission controls in those states are likely to have a smaller air quality impact at the downwind receptor. We are not convinced that selecting a threshold below one percent is necessary or desirable.” 7

    4 CSAPR proposal, 75 FR 45210, 45237 (August 2, 2010).

    5See also Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document, Appendix F; Analysis of Contribution Thresholds.

    6 CSAPR, 76 FR 48208, 48236-37 (August 8, 2011).

    7 Id.

    In the final CSAPR, the EPA determined that one percent was a reasonable choice considering the combined downwind impact of multiple upwind states in the eastern United States, the health effects of low levels of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution, and the EPA's previous use of a one-percent threshold in CAIR. The EPA used a single “bright line” air quality threshold equal to one percent of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, or 0.08 ppm.8 The projected contribution from each state was averaged over multiple days with projected high modeled ozone, and then compared to the one-percent threshold. We concluded that this approach for setting and applying the air quality threshold for ozone was appropriate because it provided a robust metric, was consistent with the approach for fine particulate matter used in CSAPR, and because it took into account, and would be applicable to, any future ozone standards below 0.08 ppm.9

    8 Id.

    9 Id.

    II. State Submittal

    CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) and section 110(l) require that revisions to a SIP be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and public hearing. The EPA has promulgated specific procedural requirements for SIP revisions in 40 CFR part 51, subpart F. These requirements include publication of notices by prominent advertisement in the relevant geographic area, a public comment period of at least 30 days, and an opportunity for a public hearing.

    On June 28, 2010, Oregon made a submittal to address the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the ozone NAAQS. The Oregon submittal included public process documentation on the interstate transport submittal, including a duly noticed public hearing held on December 22, 2009. Oregon subsequently notified the EPA that a clerical error was made and that all interstate transport SIP documents had not been attached to the June 28, 2010 cover letter. The State transmitted the remaining documents to the EPA on December 23, 2010. We find that the process followed by Oregon in adopting the SIP submittal complies with the procedural requirements for SIP revisions under CAA section 110 and the EPA's implementing regulations.

    With respect to the requirements in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), the Oregon submittal stated that the area of highest Oregon emission densities (Portland metropolitan area) is separated from the nearest ozone nonattainment areas (in Nevada and California) by significant distances and major mountain ranges up to approximately 7,000 feet. The submittal noted that the Portland metropolitan area shares a common airshed with Vancouver, Washington metropolitan area. This bi-state airshed historically violated the one-hour ozone standard and emissions in the area have been managed under the Portland-Vancouver ozone maintenance plan. The Portland-Vancouver area is in attainment with the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    The Oregon submittal stated that meteorology and prevailing wind direction, the effect of significant topography on transport of pollutants, and characteristics of emissions sources in states bordering Oregon that are experiencing ozone attainment problems (California and Nevada) support a finding that emissions from Oregon sources do not significantly contribute to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance of, the 2008 ozone NAAQS in these nearby states. The Oregon submittal also asserted that the Oregon SIP provides authority to participate in regional air planning, collaborate with other states as necessary to address regional ozone issues should they arise, and control emissions from Oregon sources if necessary.

    The Oregon submittal also stated that Oregon Department of Environmental Quality consulted with air agencies in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California and other agencies to evaluate case-specific air quality problems that may involve regional transport of air pollution. These staff-level communications indicated no impacts on ozone concentrations in other states caused by transport from Oregon, and the submittal stated that this provided additional support for Oregon's assertion that emissions from Oregon sources do not significantly contribute to nonattainment in or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other states.

    III. EPA Evaluation

    On August 4, 2015, the EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) containing air quality modeling data that applies the CSAPR approach to contribution projections for the year 2017 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.10 The moderate area attainment date for the 2008 ozone standard is July 11, 2018. In order to demonstrate attainment by this attainment deadline, states will use 2015 through 2017 ambient ozone data. Therefore, 2017 is an appropriate future year to model for the purpose of examining interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA used photochemical air quality modeling to project ozone concentrations at air quality monitoring sites to 2017 and estimated state-by-state ozone contributions to those 2017 concentrations. This modeling used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.11) to model the 2011 base year, and the 2017 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2017. The EPA used nationwide state-level ozone source apportionment modeling (CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Technology/Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Analysis technique) to quantify the contribution of 2017 base case nitrogen dioxide (NOX) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from all sources in each state to the 2017 projected receptors. The air quality model runs were performed for a modeling domain that covers the 48 contiguous United States and adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. The NODA and the supporting technical support documents have been included in the docket for this SIP action.

    10See 80 FR 46271 (August 4, 2015) (Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's Updated Ozone Transport Modeling Data for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)).

    The modeling data released in the NODA on July 23, 2015, is the most up-to-date information the EPA has developed to inform our analysis of upwind state linkages to downwind air quality problems. For purposes of evaluating Oregon's interstate transport SIP with respect to the 2008 8-hour ozone standard, the EPA is proposing that states whose contributions are less than one percent to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors are considered non-significant. The modeling indicates that Oregon's largest contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.65 ppb and Oregon's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.65 ppb.11 These values are below the one percent screening threshold of 0.75 ppb, and therefore there are no identified linkages between Oregon and 2017 downwind projected nonattainment and maintenance sites. Note that the EPA has not done an assessment to determine the applicability of the one percent screening threshold for western states that contribute above the one percent threshold. There may be additional considerations that may impact regulatory decisions regarding “potential” linkages in the west identified by the modeling.

    11 80 FR 46271 at page 46276, Table 3.

    IV. Proposed Action

    As discussed in Section II, Oregon concluded based on its own technical analysis that emissions from the State do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone standard in any other state. The EPA's modeling, discussed in Section III, confirms this finding. Based on the modeling data and the information and analysis provided in Oregon's June 28, 2010 submittal, we are proposing to approve the submittal for purposes of meeting the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements for the 2008 ozone standard. The EPA's modeling confirms the results of the State's analysis: Oregon does not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone standard in any other state.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, 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) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

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

    • 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 se.);

    • 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 it does not involve technical standards; 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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: October 15, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27165 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 55 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568; FRL-9917-70-Region 3] Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to update a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (the Act). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources for which Maryland is the designated COA. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is taking this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568, Dave Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and Air Toxics, Mailcode 3AP10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cathleen Van Osten, (215) 814-2746, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication.

    Dated: March 10, 2015 William C. Early, Acting, Regional Administrator, Region III. Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on October 21, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27159 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 150902807-5949-01] RIN 0648-BE99 International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Vessel Register Required Information, International Maritime Organization Numbering Scheme AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to implement a resolution adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) by requiring U.S. vessels, fishing for tuna and tuna-like species with a capacity equal to or greater than 100 gross resister tons (GRT), to have an International Maritime Organization (IMO) number. The IMO numbers will be included with information the United States sends to the IATTC for vessels authorized to fish in the IATTC Convention Area for tuna and tuna-like species, and will enable more effective tracking of vessels that may be engaging in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted in writing by November 27, 2015. A public hearing will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST, on November 12, 2015, in Long Beach, CA.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this proposed rule and supporting documents, including the Regulatory Flexibility Act certification and Regulatory Impact Review, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0129, 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-2015-0129, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Attn: Chris Fanning, NMFS West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. Include the identifier “NOAA-NMFS-2015-0129” in the comments.

    Public hearing: The public is welcome to attend a public hearing and offer comments on this proposed rule from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST, on November 12, 2015, at 501 W. Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. The public may also participate in the public hearing via conference line: 1-888-790-6181, passcode 47596.

    Instructions: NMFS may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. 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).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Fanning, NMFS, West Coast Region, 562-980-4198.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS is issuing a proposed rule under the authority of the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950, as amended (TCA), to implement the new regional vessel register (RVR) requirements in Resolution C-14-01 (Resolution (Amended) on a Regional Vessel Register) adopted by the IATTC at its June 2014 annual meeting. U.S. vessels that have been authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the IATTC Convention Area of the eastern Pacific Ocean must be included on the RVR. NMFS adds authorized vessels to the RVR by submitting vessel information to the Secretariat of the IATTC. The Convention Area includes the waters bounded by the coast of the Americas, the 50 °N. and 50 °S. parallels, and the 150 °W. meridian. The proposed rule would require that U.S. fishing vessels of 100 GRT (or 100 gross tonnage (GT)) or greater operating in the IATTC Convention Area obtain IMO numbers.

    An IMO number is a unique vessel identifier that is permanently associated with the vessel hull, even if the vessel name changes or the vessel is reflagged to another nation. IMO numbers enable more effective tracking of vessels that may be engaging in IUU fishing. An estimated 120 U.S. vessels would be subject to this rule, of which approximately 90 percent already have an IMO number.

    Resolution C-14-01 requires each member of the IATTC, including the United States, to maintain a record of its fishing vessels authorized to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the IATTC Convention Area and to share the information in its record with the IATTC periodically for purposes of maintaining the RVR. In 2014, the IATTC decided to require an additional piece of information in members' records for fishing vessels of 100 GRT (or 100 gross tonnage (GT)) or greater: Either the IMO number or Lloyd's Register number. An IMO number, also known as an IMO ship identification number, is the number issued for a ship or vessel under the ship identification number scheme adopted by the IMO. As used in C-14-01, “Lloyd's Register number,” or “LR number,” has the same meaning as an IMO number except that an LR number refers to the number issued for a vessel not required to have an IMO number under IMO agreements. Accordingly, C-14-01 now requires IATTC members to ensure that IMO numbers or Lloyd's Register numbers are issued for such vessels. The administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme issues both types of numbers using the same numbering scheme. Hereafter, “IMO number” is used to refer to both IMO numbers and Lloyd's Register numbers. IHS Maritime, located in Surrey, England, currently issues IMO numbers via their Web site at: http://www.imonumbers.lrfairplay.com/default.aspx.

    For each of the subject fishing vessels, the proposed rule would require that the owner of the fishing vessel either ensure that an IMO number has been issued for the vessel or apply to NMFS for an exemption from the requirement. Resolution C-14-01 (at footnote 1) allows for an exemption from the IMO number requirement in extraordinary circumstances if the vessel owner has followed all appropriate procedures to obtain a number. In the event that a fishing vessel owner, after following the instructions given by the designated manager of the IMO ship identification number scheme, is unable to ensure that an IMO number is issued for the fishing vessel, the fishing vessel owner may request an exemption from the requirement from the West Coast Regional Administrator. Upon receipt of a request for an exemption, the West Coast Regional Administrator will assist the fishing vessel owner in requesting an IMO number. If the West Coast Regional Administrator determines that the fishing vessel owner has followed all appropriate procedures and yet is unable to obtain an IMO number for the fishing vessel, he or she will issue an exemption from the requirements for the vessel and its owner, and notify the owner of the exemption. NMFS notes that IHS Maritime is a private third party, and it is conceivable that an eligible vessel may not be able to complete the necessary steps and supply the required information, resulting in a denied vessel number request.

    To minimize the burden on affected U.S. businesses, NMFS is not proposing to require that vessel owners report the IMO numbers associated with their vessel to NMFS. NMFS will collect that information via data available from the United States Coast Guard and IHS Maritime directly.

    Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the TCA 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.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The small entities to which the proposed action would apply are all U.S. commercial fishing vessels that may target tuna and tuna-like species in the IATTC Convention Area. As of August 2015, there are 1,798 Pacific Highly Migratory Species permits. Of these, 118 vessels are 100 GRT or greater and 104 of the vessels have already been issued an IMO number. Thus, the proposed action would initially require 14 vessels to obtain IMO numbers. For these 14 vessels, the average annual revenue per vessel from all finfish fishing activities since 2010 has been $1.3 million, and less than $20.5 million when considering both an individual vessel or per vessel average. Complying with the IMO number requirement in this proposed action requires no out-of-pocket expenses because applications are free. The 30 minutes estimated to apply for an IMO number would not result in a significant opportunity cost to the fisherman considering it is a one-time occurrence for the life of the vessel hull. The rule is not expected to change fishery operations. Accordingly, the impact of this rule on the affected vessel owners' and operators' income is expected to be de minimis.

    This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control numbers 0648-0387. A request for revision to account for the additional information that would be required pursuant this rule is under OMB review. Public reporting burden for obtaining an IMO number, or for making an IMO exemption request are each estimated to average 30 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs ([email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285).

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. All currently approved NOAA collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Vessels, Reporting and record keeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: October 21, 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 300, subpart C, is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart C—Eastern Pacific Tuna Fisheries 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 300, subpart C, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

    2. In § 300.22, revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 300.22 Eastern Pacific fisheries recordkeeping and written reports.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Vessel information. (i) Information on each commercial fishing vessel or CPFV authorized to use purse seine, longline, drift gillnet, harpoon, troll, rod and reel, or pole and line fishing gear to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the Convention Area for sale shall be collected by the Regional Administrator to conform to IATTC resolutions governing the Vessel Register. This information initially includes, but is not limited to, the vessel name and registration number; the name and business address of the owner(s) and managing owner(s); a photograph of the vessel with the registration number legible; previous vessel name(s) and previous flag (if known and if any); port of registry; International Radio Call Sign; vessel length, beam, and moulded depth; gross tonnage, fish hold capacity in cubic meters, and carrying capacity in metric tons and cubic meters; engine horsepower; date and place where built; and type of fishing method or methods used. The required information shall be collected as part of existing information collections as described in this and other parts of the CFR.

    (ii) IMO numbers. For the purpose of this section, an “IMO number” is the unique six or seven digit number issued for a vessel under the ship identification number scheme adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and managed by the entity identified by the IMO (currently IHS Maritime) and is also known as a Lloyd's Register number.

    (iii) Requirement for IMO number. The owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for tuna and tuna-like species in the IATTC Convention Area shall ensure that an IMO number has been issued for the vessel if the vessel's Certificate of Documentation issued under 46 CFR part 67 indicates that the vessel's total internal volume is 100 gross register tons or greater. A vessel owner may request that an IMO number be issued for a vessel by following the instructions given by the administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme; those instructions are currently available on the Web site of IHS Maritime.

    (iv) Request for exemption. In the event that a fishing vessel owner, after following the instructions given by the designated manager of the IMO ship identification number scheme, is unable to ensure that an IMO number is issued for the fishing vessel, the fishing vessel owner may request an exemption from the requirement from the West Coast Regional Administrator. The request must be sent by mail to NMFS West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802, and must include the vessel's name, the vessel's official number, a description of the steps taken to request an IMO number, and a description of any responses from the administrator of the IMO ship identification number scheme.

    (v) Exemption process. Upon receipt of a request for an exemption under paragraph (b)(3)(iv) of this section, the West Coast Regional Administrator will, to the extent he or she determines appropriate, assist the fishing vessel owner in requesting an IMO number. If the West Coast Regional Administrator determines that the fishing vessel owner has followed all appropriate procedures and yet is unable to obtain an IMO number for the fishing vessel, he or she will issue an exemption from the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section for the vessel and its owner and notify the owner of the exemption. The West Coast Regional Administrator may limit the duration of the exemption. The West Coast Regional Administrator may rescind an exemption at any time. If an exemption is rescinded, the fishing vessel owner must comply with the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section within 30 days of being notified of the rescission. If the ownership of a fishing vessel changes, an exemption issued to the former fishing vessel owner becomes void.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27258 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 207 Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0080] Syngenta Seeds Inc.; Availability of Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact and Preliminary Decision for an Extension of a Determination of Nonregulated Status of Corn Genetically Engineered for Glyphosate and Glufosinate-Ammonium Resistance AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has reached a preliminary decision to extend our determination of nonregulated status of corn events Bayer/Genective S.A.VCO-01981-5 (hereinafter Genective VCO-01981-5 corn) and Pioneer's DP-004114-3 (hereinafter Pioneer 4114 corn) to Syngenta's corn event MZHG0JG in response to a request from Syngenta Seeds Inc. MZHG0JG corn has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate using the same mechanism of action as Genective VCO-01981-5 and also to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate using the same mechanism of action as Pioneer 4114. We are making available for public comment our preliminary finding of no significant impact for the proposed determination of nonregulated status.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before November 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0080.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0080, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    The Syngenta Seeds Inc. extension request, our preliminary finding of no significant impact, our preliminary determination, and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0080 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    Supporting documents and any comments we received regarding our determination of nonregulated status of the antecedent organisms, Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn, can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0046 and http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0026. Supporting documents may also be found on the APHIS Web site for MZHG0JG corn (the organism under evaluation) under APHIS Petition Number 15-124-01p, and the antecedent organisms Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn under APHIS Petition Numbers 11-342-01p and 11-244-01p.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147 Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3954, email: [email protected] To obtain copies of the supporting documents, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3885, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (PPA) (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,” regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered organisms (GE) and products are considered “regulated articles.”

    The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. Further, the regulations in § 340.6(e)(2) provide that a person may request that APHIS extend a determination of nonregulated status to other organisms. Such a request must include information to establish the similarity of the antecedent organism and the regulated article in question.

    On September 25, 2013,1 APHIS announced its determination of nonregulated status of corn (Zea mays) designated as event VCO-01981-5 (hereinafter Genective VCO-01981-5 corn), which was genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. On June 20, 2013,2 APHIS announced its determination of nonregulated status of corn designated as event DP-004114-3 (hereinafter Pioneer 4114 corn), which was genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium. APHIS has received a request for an extension of a determination of nonregulated status of Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn to corn designated as event MZHG0JG (APHIS Petition Number 15-124-01p) from Syngenta Seeds Inc. (Syngenta) of Research Triangle Park, NC. MZHG0JG corn expresses resistance to both glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium. In its request, Syngenta stated that this corn is similar to the antecedent organisms, Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn and, based on the similarity to these antecedent organisms, is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

    1https://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/11_34201p_det.pdf.

    2https://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/11_24401p_det.pdf.

    As described in the extension request, MZHG0JG corn was developed through agrobacterium-mediated transformation to stably incorporate the transgenes mepsps-02 and pat-09 into the MZHG0JG corn genome. The gene mepsps-02 encodes the enzyme modified 5-enol pyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (mEPSPS), a variant of the native EPSPS enzyme from corn, which contains two amino acid substitutions that were introduced specifically to confer resistance to herbicides containing glyphosate. The gene pat-09 encodes the enzyme phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces viridochromogenes. PAT acetylates glufosinate-ammonium, thus inactivating it and conferring resistance to glufosinate-ammonium in herbicide products. The antecedent organisms, Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn, were similarly genetically engineered to produce proteins which catalyze the same reactions as do the proteins produced in MZHG0JG corn. Based on the information in the request, we have concluded that MZHG0JG corn is similar to Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn. MZHG0JG corn is currently regulated under 7 CFR part 340.

    As part of our decisionmaking process regarding a GE organism's regulatory status, APHIS evaluates the plant pest risk of the article. In section 403 of the PPA, “plant pest” is defined as any living stage of any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of the foregoing.

    APHIS completed plant pest risk assessments (PPRA) on the antecedent organisms in which we concluded that Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn are unlikely to present plant pest risks. APHIS also prepared a plant pest risk similarity assessment (PPRSA) to compare MZHG0JG to the antecedents. As described in the PPRSA, the proteins expressed in MZHG0JG corn are similar to those expressed in Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn, and APHIS has concluded that the proteins expressed in Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn are unlikely to affect the plant pest risk of Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the safety of the proteins expressed in MZHG0JG corn and concluded that adverse effects will not occur to nontarget organisms. Therefore, based on our PPRAs for Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn and the similarity between Genective VCO-01981-5 corn, Pioneer 4114 corn, and MZHG0JG corn as described in the PPRSA, APHIS has concluded that the proteins expressed in MZHG0JG corn are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and that MZHG0JG corn is unlikely to pose a different plant pest risk than Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn.

    APHIS also prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for MZHG0JG corn based on our analysis of data submitted by Syngenta, a review of other scientific data, and field tests conducted under APHIS oversight. The EA was prepared to provide the APHIS decisionmaker with a review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the determination of nonregulated status for MZHG0JG corn. The EA was prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    In addition, APHIS has carefully examined the existing NEPA documentation completed for Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn and has concluded that Syngenta's request to extend a determination of nonregulated status to MZHG0JG corn encompasses the same scope of environmental analysis as Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn. Therefore, based on the similarity of MZHG0JG corn to Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn, APHIS has prepared a preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on MZHG0JG corn. APHIS is considering the following alternatives: (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not change the regulatory status of MZHG0JG corn and it would continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of MZHG0JG corn. APHIS' preferred alternative is to make a determination of nonregulated status of MZHG0JG corn.

    APHIS has analyzed information submitted by Syngenta, references provided in the extension request, peer-reviewed publications, and information in the EAs of the antecedent organisms. APHIS has also analyzed information in the PPRAs for the antecedent organisms, and other information. Based on APHIS' analysis of this information, the similarity of MZHG0JG corn to the antecedent organisms, our conclusion that the proteins expressed in MZHG0JG corn are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk, and our conclusion that MZHG0JG corn is unlikely to pose a different plant pest risk than Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn, APHIS has determined that MZHG0JG corn is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. We have therefore reached a preliminary decision to approve the request to extend the determination of nonregulated status of Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn to MZHG0JG corn, whereby MZHG0JG corn would no longer be subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms.

    Paragraph (e) of § 340.6 provides that APHIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing all preliminary decisions to extend determinations of nonregulated status for 30 days before the decisions become final and effective. In accordance with § 340.6(e) of the regulations, we are publishing this notice to inform the public of our preliminary decision to extend the determination of nonregulated status of Genective VCO-01981-5 corn and Pioneer 4114 corn to MZHG0JG corn.

    APHIS will accept written comments on the preliminary FONSI regarding a determination of nonregulated status of MZHG0JG corn for a period of 30 days from the date this notice is published in the Federal Register. The preliminary FONSI, as well as the extension request, supporting documents, and our preliminary determination with appended PPRSA for MZHG0JG corn, are available for public review as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. Copies of these documents may also be obtained by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    After the comment period closes, APHIS will review all written comments received during the comment period and any other relevant information. All comments will be available for public review. After reviewing and evaluating the comments, if APHIS determines that no substantive information has been received that would warrant APHIS altering its preliminary regulatory determination or FONSI, our preliminary regulatory determination will become final and effective upon notification of the public through an announcement on our Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml. APHIS will also furnish a response to the petitioner regarding our final regulatory determination. No further Federal Register notice will be published announcing the final regulatory determination regarding MZHG0JG corn.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of October. Michael C. Gregoire, Associate Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27296 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2014-0007] Monsanto Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status of Maize Genetically Engineered For Protection Against Corn Rootworm and Resistance to Glyphosate AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public of our determination that maize designated as event MON 87411, which has been genetically engineered for protection against corn rootworm and resistance to the herbicide glyphosate, is no longer considered a regulated article under our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our determination is based on our evaluation of data submitted by Monsanto Company in its petition for a determination of nonregulated status, our analysis of available scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to our previous notices announcing the availability of the petition for nonregulated status and its associated environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and finding of no significant impact.

    DATES:

    Effective October 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may read the documents referenced in this notice and the comments we received at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0007 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    Supporting documents are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 13-290-01p.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3954, email: [email protected]. To obtain copies of the supporting documents for this petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3892, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,” regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered “regulated articles.”

    The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. APHIS received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 13-290-01p) from Monsanto Company (Monsanto) of St. Louis, MO, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of maize (Zea mays) designated as event MON 87411, which has been genetically engineered for protection against corn rootworm and resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. The Monsanto petition states that information collected during field trials and laboratory analyses indicates that MON 87411 maize is not likely to be a plant pest and therefore should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

    According to our process 1 for soliciting public comment when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status of GE organisms, APHIS accepts written comments regarding a petition once APHIS deems it complete. In a notice 2 published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2014 (79 FR 13035-13036, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0007), APHIS announced the availability of the Monsanto petition for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days ending on May 6, 2014, in order to help identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition.

    1 On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing our public review process for soliciting public comments and information when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms. To view the notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0129.

    2 To view the notice, the petition, other supporting documents, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0007.

    APHIS received 423 comments on the petition. Issues raised during the comment period include the contamination of conventional crop production, the potential for disruption of trade due to the presence of unwanted genetically engineered commodities in exports, the potential for negative impacts to plant fitness and the environment, and health concerns. APHIS decided, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of the comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises substantive new issues. According to our public review process for such petitions (see footnote 1), APHIS first solicits written comments from the public on a draft environmental assessment (EA) and a preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for a 30-day comment period through the publication of a Federal Register notice. Then, after reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and the preliminary PPRA and other information, APHIS revises the preliminary PPRA as necessary and prepares a final EA and, based on the final EA, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document (either a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). If a FONSI is reached, APHIS furnishes a response to the petitioner, either approving or denying the petition. APHIS also publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the regulatory status of the GE organism and the availability of APHIS' final EA, PPRA, FONSI, and our regulatory determination.

    APHIS sought public comment on a draft EA and a preliminary PPRA from June 1, 2015, to July 1, 2015.3 APHIS solicited comments on the draft EA, the preliminary PPRA, and whether the subject maize is likely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS received 12 comments on the petition; one of these comments had 67 documents and published articles appended to it. The majority of comments expressed general opposition to APHIS making a determination of nonregulated status of GE organisms. Issues raised during the comment period included concerns regarding negative economic impacts to farmers, potential health and environmental impacts, inadequate or outdated data, and the possibility for insects to develop insecticide resistance. APHIS has addressed the issues raised during the comment period and has provided responses to comments as an attachment to the FONSI.

    3 80 FR 30997-30998.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    After reviewing and evaluating the comments received during the comment period on the draft EA and preliminary PPRA and other information, APHIS has prepared a final EA. The EA has been prepared to provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the determination of nonregulated status of maize designated as event MON 87411. The EA was prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). Based on our EA, the response to public comments, and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has reached a FONSI with regard to the preferred alternative identified in the EA (to make a determination of nonregulated status of maize designated as event MON 87411).

    Determination

    Based on APHIS' analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Monsanto, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the EA, the PPRA, comments provided by the public, and information provided in APHIS' response to those public comments, APHIS has determined that maize designated as event MON 87411 are unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and therefore are no longer subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain GE organisms.

    Copies of the signed determination document, PPRA, final EA, FONSI, and response to comments, as well as the previously published petition and supporting documents, are available as indicated in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this notice.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Michael C. Gregoire, Associate Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27284 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 21, 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 they are 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 and Nutrition Service

    Title: 7 CFR part 215—Special Milk Program for Children.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0005.

    Summary of Collection: Section 3 of the Child Nutrition Act (CNA) of 1966 (Pub. L. 89-642, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 1772) authorizes the Special Milk Program (SMP) for Children. It provides for appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to enable the Secretary of Agriculture, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary may deem in the public interest, to encourage consumption of fluid milk by children in the United States in (1) nonprofit schools of high school grades and under, and (2) nonprofit nursery schools, child care centers, settlement houses, summer camps, and similar nonprofit institutions devoted to the care and training of children, which do not participate in a food service program authorized under the CNA or the National School Lunch Act.

    Need and Use of the Information: The SMP is administered at the State, school food authority (SFA), and child care institution levels. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) collects information concerning the operation of the program including the submission of applications and agreements, submission and payment of claims, and the maintenance of records. Without this information FNS would not be able to reimburse schools and institutions in a timely manner to allow them to properly administer the program. In addition, data reporting would be delayed and the timely monitoring of program funding and program trends would be affected.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, and Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 3,933.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On Occasion, Monthly, and Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 14,914.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for Victims of Disasters.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0336.

    Summary of Collection: The authority to operate the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) is found in section 5(h) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, formerly the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended and the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, as amended by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Assistance Act of 1988 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish temporary emergency standards of eligibility for victims of a disaster if the commercial channels of food distribution have been disrupted, and subsequently restored. D-SNAP is a program that is separate from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and is conducted for a specific period of time. In order for a State to request to operate a D-SNAP, an affected area in the State must have received a Presidential Declaration of “Major Disaster” with Individual Assistance.

    Need and Use of the Information: This information collection concerns information obtained from State agencies seeking to operate D-SNAP. A State agency request to operate a D-SNAP must contain the following information: Description of incident; geographic area; application period; benefit period; eligibility criteria; ongoing household eligibility; affected population; electronic benefit card issuance process; logistical plans for Disaster SNAP rollout; staffing; public information outreach; duplicate participation check process; fraud prevention strategies; and employee application procedures. The Food and Nutrition Service reviews the request to ensure that all the necessary requirements to conduct a D-SNAP are met. If this collection is not conducted, D-SNAP would not be available to help meet the nutritional needs of disaster victims.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 9.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 90.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27187 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tongass National Forest Wrangell Ranger District; Alaska; Wrangell Island Project Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Corrected Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    A Notice of Intent (NOI) for this project was first published in the Federal Register (75 FR 81210) on December 27, 2010. Subsequent NOIs were published in the Federal Register noting the passage of time and procedural changes. This NOI is being published (1) to update the project schedule, (2) to note that M. Earl Stewart is the new Forest Supervisor of the Tongass National Forest and is the Responsible Official for this Project, (3) to note that the Proposed Action contains fewer acres for timber harvest, and (4) that the Forest Service is no longer proposing project-specific Forest Plan amendments in the alternatives.

    DATES:

    Comments submitted previously will be considered in the analysis. This corrected NOI triggers a public comment opportunity during which persons wishing to obtain standing under the pre-decisional administrative review, or “objection” process (36 CFR 218, Subpart B), may submit timely, written comments regarding the project. New or additional comments should be received by the Wrangell Ranger District by November 27, 2015, 30 days from date of publication of this Corrected NOI in the Federal Register. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in February 2016, and the final environmental impact statement is expected in May 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to: Tongass National Forest, c/o Andrea Slusser, P.O. Box 51, Wrangell, AK 99929, Attn: Wrangell Island Project EIS. Comments may be hand-delivered to the Wrangell Ranger District, 525 Bennett Drive, Wrangell, AK 99929, Attn: Wrangell Island Project EIS. Comments may also be sent via email to: [email protected], or via facsimile to 907-874-7595, Attn: Wrangell Island Project EIS.

    In all correspondence, please include your name, address, and organization name if you are commenting as a representative of an organization.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrea Slusser, Team Leader; Wrangell Ranger District, P.O. Box 51, Wrangell, AK 99929, 907-874-2323.

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the Wrangell Island Project is to respond to the goals and objectives identified by the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) to guide timber management to support the local and regional economies of Southeast Alaska, while moving the Wrangell Island Project Area towards the desired future condition for all resources.

    The underlying need for the Wrangell Island Project comes from the Forest Service's obligation, subject to applicable law, to seek to provide a supply of timber from the Tongass National Forest that meets market demand annually and for the planning cycle, and to restore and improve forest resources to a condition where they provide increased benefits to society.

    This project would contribute to the orderly flow of timber to large and small timber purchasers, mill operators, and value-added wood product industries in Southeast Alaska and benefit the local and regional economies of Wrangell and Southeast Alaska while also improving forest resource conditions. This project would help provide a reliable, long-term supply of “bridge” timber that would support local jobs and facilitate the industry transition to a sustainable wood product industry based on young-growth management on the Tongass National Forest.

    Proposed Action

    The Forest Service is proposing a multi-year project involving timber harvest and associated road construction and forest restoration activities. The proposed action includes the harvest of timber from approximately 5,290 acres of forested land. The harvest would produce an estimated 73 million board feet (MMBF) of sawtimber and utility wood that could be made available to industry. Timber harvest would occur with both even-aged (clearcut) and uneven-aged (partial cut) harvest using cable, helicopter and ground-based methods.

    The timber harvest would require approximately 18 miles of National Forest Road construction, six miles of reconstruction and approximately 13 miles of temporary road construction. Existing road systems and log transfer facilities would also be used as needed to transport the timber.

    Integrated restoration activities associated with the road system used for harvest would include road maintenance and improvements, invasive species treatments, erosion control, and fish passage improvements. All activities would be conducted in a manner conducive to moving resources towards the desired conditions described in the Forest Plan.

    Possible Alternatives

    In addition to the proposed action and the no action alternative, the Forest Service is considering a range of action alternatives with varying levels of harvest and road construction based on public input received to date. Because the Forest Plan is now undergoing an amendment process, the project will not propose any project-specific Forest Plan amendments.

    Responsible Official

    The responsible official for this project is M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor, Tongass National Forest, Federal Building, 648 Mission Street, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The responsible official will decide: (1) The estimated timber volume to make available from the project, as well as the location, design, and scheduling of timber harvest, road construction and reconstruction, and silvicultural practices used; (2) road and access management; (3) mitigation measures and monitoring requirements; and (4) whether there may be a significant restriction on subsistence uses.

    Preliminary Issues

    The initial scoping identified preliminary issues and concerns which may be analyzed in the EIS to disclose potential effects of the project on the following: Timber supply, timber sale economics, supporting the timber industry through the transition from old-growth harvest to young-growth management, road and access management, economic and rural stability, wildlife habitat, aquatic habitat (fisheries/hydrology/watersheds), soil productivity and slope stability, invasive species, heritage resources, roadless area characteristics, scenery, recreation, subsistence use, and climate change and carbon cycling. Preliminary key issues identified include timber supply, timber demand, scenery, wildlife habitat and access management.

    Preliminary List of Permits or Licenses Required

    All necessary permits would be obtained prior to project implementation, and may include the following:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    • Review Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation;

    • Solid Waste Disposal Permit State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources;

    • Authorization for occupancy and use of tidelands and submerged lands.

    Scoping Process

    The initial scoping period started when the NOI was published in 2010. This proposal has been listed on the Tongass National Forest Schedule of Proposed Actions since January, 2011. An updated scoping document has been posted on the Tongass National Forest public Web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/WrangellEIS, and a project update letter will be mailed out to those who previously commented.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record. Comments submitted anonymously will also be accepted and considered.

    Dated: October 19, 2015. M. Earl Stewart, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27204 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS-2015-0012] Notice of Request To Extend an Information Collection AGENCY:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces NRCS' intent to request an extension for currently approved information collection, Volunteer Program—Earth Team. This information collection is set to expire December 31, 2015. NRCS is seeking to extend the expiration date for the volunteer Interest and Placement Summary form and the Timesheet form to December 31, 2018. The collected information helps NRCS to match the skills of individuals interested in volunteering for opportunities that will further the agency's mission. Information will be collected from potential volunteers who are 14 years of age or older.

    DATES:

    Comments received by December 28, 2015 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted and identified by Docket Number NRCS-2015-0012, using either of the following methods:

    Government-wide rulemaking Web site: http://regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending comments electronically.

    Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attention: Docket No. NRCS-2015-0012, Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and Accountability, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.

    NRCS will post comments on http://www.regulations.gov. Do not include personal identifying information (PII) with your comments. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, telephone number, email address, or other PII, this information, including PII, may be available to the public. You may ask, in your comment, that your PII be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument should be directed to Michele Brown, National Volunteer Coordinator, 4407 121st Street, Urbandale, Iowa 50323; telephone: (515) 270-4864, ext. 102, and email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Volunteer Interest and Placement Summary Form

    Title: NRCS-PER-002, Volunteer Interest and Placement Summary Form.

    OMB Number: 0578-0024.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 3 years from approval date.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Collection of this information is necessary to match volunteer assignment to agency mission as required by Federal Personnel Manual, Supplement 296-33, Subchapter 3. Agencies are authorized to recruit, train, and accept with regard to Civil Service classification laws, rules, or regulations, the services of individuals to serve without compensation. Subject to certain conditions, most volunteers may assist in agency programs/projects, and may perform activities that agency employees are allowed to perform. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. Persons interested in volunteering must write, call, email, visit an NRCS office, or the NRCS Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov. The forms are available electronically and can be completed electronically.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 minutes per response.

    Type of Respondents: Retirees, students, teachers, or senior citizens.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 200.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 200.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 13 hours.

    Timesheet Form

    Title: NRCS-PER-004, Timesheet Form.

    OMB Number: 0578-0024.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 3 years from approval date.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The timesheet is an optional form and provides the volunteer or volunteer's supervisor a simplified method for tracking the volunteer's time. The form is placed in a volunteer “case file” and will be destroyed 3 years after the volunteer has completed service. In the event the volunteer is injured while engaged in volunteer activities and claims Workman's Compensation, the “case file” will be transferred to an Official Personnel Folder.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 minutes per response.

    Type of Respondents: Retirees, students, teachers, or senior citizens.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,120.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 3,760.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 474 hours.

    Comments are invited on (1) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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

    Signed this 16 day of October 2015, in Washington, DC. Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27286 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utility Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 22, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to Office of Management and Budget (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, New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. 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) 720-8681.

    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.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Certification of Authority.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0074.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, telecommunications, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, (RE ACT) and as prescribed by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-129, Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivables, which states that agencies must, based on a review of a loan application, determine that an applicant complies with statutory, regulatory, and administrative eligibility requirements for loan assistance. A major factor in managing loan programs is controlling the advancement of funds. RUS Form 675 allows this control to be achieved by providing a list of authorized signatures against which signatures requesting funds are compared.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information to ensure that only authorized representatives of the borrower signs the lending requisition form. Without the information RUS would not know if the request for a loan advance was legitimate or not and the potential for waste, loss, unauthorized use, and misappropriation would be increased.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 250.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 25.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Lien Accommodations and Subordinations 7 CFR part 1717, subparts R and S.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0100.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, authorizes and empowers the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make loans in the several States and Territories of the United States for rural electrification and the furnishing electric energy to persons in rural areas who are not receiving central station service. The RE Act also authorizes and empowers the Administrator of RUS to provide financial assistance to borrowers for purposes provided in the RE Act by accommodating or subordinating loans made by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, and other lending agencies.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will use the information to determine an applicant's eligibility for a lien accommodation or lien subordination under the RE Act; facilitates an applicant's solicitation and acquisition of non-RUS loans as to converse available Government funds; monitor the compliance of borrowers with debt covenants and regulatory requirements in order to protect loan security; and subsequently to granting the lien accommodation or lien subordination, administer each so as to minimize its cost to the Government. If the information were not collected, RUS would not be able to accomplish its statutory goals.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 15.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 290.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1717 Subpart D, Mergers and Consolidations of Electric Borrowers.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0114.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, telecommunications, water and waste and water facilities in rural areas. Loan programs are managed in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended and as prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-129, Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-tax Receivable, states that agencies must base on a review of a loan application determine that an applicant complies with statutory, regulatory, and administrative eligibility requirements for loan assistance.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information to streamline procedures and allow borrowers the flexibility to meet new business challenges and opportunities. The information is necessary for RUS to conduct business with successor entity while protecting the security of Government loans and avoiding defaults and to grant merger approval when required.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 140.

    Rural Utilities Service

    Title: Use of Consultants Funded by Borrowers, 7 CFR 1789.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0115.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the Department of Agriculture that makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, telecommunications, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. The loan programs are managed in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, and as prescribed by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-129, Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivable, which states that agencies must, based on a review of a loan application, determine that an applicant complies with statutory, regulatory, and administrative eligibility requirements for loan assistance. RUS has the authority to use consultants voluntarily funded by borrowers for financial, legal, engineering, and other technical services. However, all RUS borrowers are eligible to fund consultant services but are not required to fund consultants.

    Need and Use of the Information: RUS will collect information to determine whether it is appropriate to use a consultant voluntarily funded by the borrower to expedite a particular borrower application. If the information were not submitted, RUS would be unable to determine if using a consultant would accelerate the specific application process.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 2.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27285 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census [Docket Number 151008932-5932-01] Streamlining Summary Level 070 Tables in the 5-Year American Community Survey AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Final Program.

    SUMMARY:

    The Census Bureau hereby announces that it will streamline the production and release of American Community Survey (ACS) Summary Level 070 tables (state/county/county subdivision/place remainder (or part)) to the 15 tables necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ACS collects detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing data from about 3.5 million addresses in the United States and 36,000 in Puerto Rico each year. Annual data products are released in the form of 1-Year and 5-Year estimates with 5-Year estimates being produced for over 578,000 geographies by 87 different summary levels. Most summary levels and their corresponding geographies are then produced for approximately 1,000 detailed tables. As a cost-saving measure and to improve the usability of the estimates, the Census Bureau has decided to streamline the production and release of Summary Level 070 tables to the 15 tables necessary for delineation. Based on data user analytics, customer feedback, and responses from an earlier Federal Register Notice (June 5, 2015; 80 FR 32084) soliciting comments on the streamlining of the summary level, we believe that the streamlining of this summary level will not have a significant impact to our data users. Therefore, beginning in December 2015, the Census Bureau will be tabulating and releasing only those 15 tables for Summary Level 070 that are necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas (particularly for identification of New England City and Town Area principal cities), commuting analysis, and basic demographic and housing analysis.

    DATES:

    This Notice will be effective on December 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    KaNin Reese, Room 7H176F, U.S. Census Bureau, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division, Washington, DC 20233, by phone at 301-763-3493 or via email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Beginning with the 2010-2014 ACS 5-Year tables, the Census Bureau will streamline the production and release of Summary Level 070 tables (state/county/county subdivision/place remainder (or part)) to the 15 tables necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas (particularly for identification of New England City and Town Area principal cities) by OMB, for other commuting analysis, and for basic demographic and housing analysis. The Census Bureau conducts the ACS program under 13 U.S.C. Sections 141 and 193. Streamlining the tables in this summary level will save the Census Bureau over $100,000 over a 5-Year period.

    The Census Bureau has been reviewing and documenting the utility of releasing Summary Level 070 for all 1,000 tables for several years. In our last release, this summary level was produced for 69,939 unique geographies for about 1,000 tables with approximately 70 percent of all estimates produced as zero since place parts in county subdivisions represent very small areas. Not only is the data quality insufficient for many of the individual geographies, but very few data users are accessing the tables on American FactFinder or the summary files on the Census File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site. Further, based on user feedback, we have increasing concern that data users may be using the summary level incorrectly, mistaking these place parts in county subdivisions for place-level geographies.

    Since the ACS was created as the replacement for the Census long-form, the ACS began by producing the same summary levels that were produced in Census 2000. The purpose of Summary Level 070 (state/county/county subdivision/place remainder (or part)) is for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas under OMB standards. However, not all of the 1,000 detailed tables being produced for this summary level are needed for delineation. The Census Bureau has identified ten commuting tables necessary for the delineation process and for other commuting analysis, and five basic demographic and housing tables necessary for the tabulation of the summary level.

    The 15 tables available for Summary Level 070 include:

    1. B01001—Sex by Age

    2. B01003—Total Population

    3. B02001—Race

    4. B08007—Sex of Workers by Place of Work—State and County Level

    5. B08008—Sex of Workers by Place of Work—Place Level

    6. B08009—Sex of Workers by Place of Work—Minor Civil Division Level for 12 Selected States (CT, ME, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WI)

    7. B08301—Means of Transportation to Work

    8. B08302—Time Leaving Home to Go to Work

    9. B08303—Travel Time to Work

    10. B08601—Means of Transportation to Work for Workplace Geography

    11. B08602—Time Arriving at Work from Home for Workplace Geography

    12. B08603—Travel Time to Work for Workplace Geography

    13. B08604—Worker Population for Workplace Geography

    14. B25001—Housing Units

    15. B25003—Tenure

    Due to limited resources available to produce the full product package and limited user need, the Census Bureau has concluded that it will only produce the 15 tables above for Summary Level 070. If additional estimates are needed from this summary level, data users are encouraged to use block group or tract-level data, which will continue to be available on American FactFinder, the Census Application Programming Interface (API), and the summary files on the FTP site. Data are available at: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    Summary of Comments Received and the Response of the Census Bureau

    The Census Bureau published a Notice and Request for Comments on streamlining tables for Summary Level 070 in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32084). In response to the notice, the Census Bureau received only one comment. The comment was from a data user requesting that all tables currently produced for this summary level continue to be made available. The data user argued that this summary level provided useful estimates for those incorporated villages in the 12 minor civil divisions in New York state that are dependent within towns, but not necessarily contained completely within a single town and can cross town boundaries. For those incorporated villages, estimates would not be available. These estimates could be helpful to local governments that include place parts in county subdivisions. However, individual local governments have not expressed any interest in keeping these estimates available.

    In response to the commenter, the Census Bureau explained that due to budgetary constraints to the ACS, we could not continue to produce all tables for a summary level with so many geographies that so few people were using when the majority of the estimates were zero. However, 15 tables will continue to be produced for that summary level, which will provide basic demographic, housing, and commuting analysis as well as those tables necessary for the delineation of metropolitan, micropolitan, and related statistical areas (particularly for identification of New England City and Town Area principal cities) by OMB. Based on the singular user response, the Census Bureau determined that the need for this summary level was not substantial enough to warrant expenditure of the resources needed to produce it. Therefore, the Census Bureau determined that the original 15 tables selected to continue to be produced in Summary Level 070 were sufficient, and no other tables were added.

    The Census Bureau believes that these tables are sufficient for data user needs for this summary level. For data users who are accustomed to using Summary Level 070 tables, the Census Bureau suggests using block group or tract-level data, which will continue to be released annually through American FactFinder, Census API, and the summary files on the FTP site. By releasing only a few key demographic, social, and housing tables for this summary level, the Census Bureau believes that we are still meeting the true purpose, and maintaining the integrity, of Summary Level 070 tables while substantially reducing resources needed for the full production of the product.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27280 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Title: National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) Participant Letter(s) of Interest (LoI).

    OMB Control Number: 0693-XXXX.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: New information collection.

    Number of Respondents: 120.

    Average Hours per Response: 2 hours per response.

    Burden Hours: 240 Hours.

    Needs and Uses: New collaborative projects to address specific cybersecurity challenges. Technology providers having an interest in participating in an announced project are invited to submit Letters of Interest (LoI) in participation. NIST provides a LoI template to technology providers that express a desire to participate in a project.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.

    Frequency: Once per announcement.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

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

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

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27273 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-867] Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective: October 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Terpstra, at (202) 482-3965, or Alex Rosen, at (202) 482-7814, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) received an antidumping duty (“AD”) petition concerning imports of welded stainless pressure pipe (“welded stainless pipe”) from India filed in proper form on behalf of Bristol Metals, LLC, Felker Brothers Corporation, Outokumpu Stainless Pipe, Inc., and Marcegaglia USA Inc. (collectively, “Petitioners”).1 Petitioners are domestic producers of welded stainless pipe. On October 2, 2015, the Department requested additional information and clarification of certain areas of the Petition.2 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on October 6, 2015.3

    1See “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India Pursuant to Sections 701 and 703 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as Amended,” at Volume II, dated September 30, 2015 (“Petition”).

    2See the Department's letter to Petitioners, “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping Duties on Imports of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions,” dated October 2, 2015 (“AD Deficiency Questionnaire”) and the Department's letter to Petitioners, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions,” dated October 2, 2015 (“General Issues Questionnaire”).

    3See Petitioners' letter to the Department, “Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Response to Supplemental Questions {Volume II},” dated October 6, 2015 (“AD Petition Supplement”) and Petitioners' letter to the Department, “Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Response to Supplemental Questions {Volume I},” dated October 6, 2015 (“General Issues Supplement”).

    In accordance with section 732(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), Petitioners allege that imports of welded stainless pipe from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value within the meaning of section 731 of the Act and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 732(b)(1) of the Act, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed this Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the AD investigation that Petitioners are requesting. See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    Because the Petition was filed on September 30, 2015, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1), the period of investigation (“POI”) is July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is welded stainless pipe from India. For a full description of the scope of the investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.4 As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,5 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage scope. The Department will consider all comments received from parties and, if necessary, will consult with parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaires, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, which is the first business day after 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice.6 Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, November 20, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments.

    4See General Issues Questionnaire and General Issues Supplement. See also Petitioners' submission, “Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Revised Scope Definition,” dated October 15, 2015.

    5See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 May 19, 1997.

    6See 19 CFR 351.303(b)

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the records of the concurrent AD and CVD investigations.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”).7 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date when it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    7See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011) for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011; see also Enforcement and Compliance; Change of Electronic Filing System Name, 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014). Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook%20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Comments on Product Characteristics for Antidumping Questionnaires

    The Department requests comments from interested parties regarding the appropriate physical characteristics of welded stainless pipe to be reported in response to the Department's AD questionnaires. This information will be used to identify the key physical characteristics of the subject merchandise in order to report the relevant factors and costs of production accurately as well as to develop appropriate product-comparison criteria.

    Interested parties may provide any information or comments that they feel are relevant to the development of an accurate list of physical characteristics. Specifically, they may provide comments as to which characteristics are appropriate to use as: (1) General product characteristics and (2) product-comparison criteria. We note that it is not always appropriate to use all product characteristics as product-comparison criteria. We base product-comparison criteria on meaningful commercial differences among products. In other words, while there may be some physical product characteristics utilized by manufacturers to describe welded stainless pipe, it may be that only a select few product characteristics take into account commercially meaningful physical characteristics. In addition, interested parties may comment on the order in which the physical characteristics should be used in matching products. Generally, the Department attempts to list the most important physical characteristics first and the least important characteristics last.

    In order to consider the suggestions of interested parties in developing and issuing the AD questionnaires, all comments on product characteristics must be filed by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on November 10, 2015. Rebuttal comments must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on November 20, 2015. All comments and submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using ACCESS, as referenced above.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 732(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (“ITC”), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,8 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.9

    8See section 771(10) of the Act.

    9See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that welded stainless pipe constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.10

    10 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Antidumping Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India (“India AD Initiation Checklist”), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India (“Attachment II”). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioners have standing under section 732(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, Petitioners provided their shipments of the domestic like product in 2014, and compared their shipments to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.11 Because total industry production data for the domestic like product for 2014 is not reasonably available and Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production data,12 we have relied upon the shipment data provided by Petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.13

    11See Volume I of the Petition, at 2-3 and Exhibits I-1 and I-2; see also General Issues Supplement, at 3-8 and Exhibits I-9 and I-10.

    12See Volume I of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at 3-6 and Exhibits I-8 and I-9.

    13 For further discussion, see India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established industry support.14 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total shipments 15 of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).16 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total shipments of the domestic like product.17 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 732(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the shipments of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.18 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 732(b)(1) of the Act.

    14Id.

    15 As mentioned above, Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production data. Section 351.203(e)(1) of the Department's regulations states “production levels may be established by reference to alternative data that the Secretary determines to be indicative of production levels.”

    16See section 732(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17See India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    18Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the AD investigation that they are requesting the Department initiate.19

    19Id.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioners allege that the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product is being materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by reason of the imports of the subject merchandise sold at less than normal value (“NV”). In addition, Petitioners allege that subject imports exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(A) of the Act.20

    20See General Issues Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit I-11.

    Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; decline in shipments, production, and capacity utilization; underselling and price suppression or depression; inventory overhang; decreased employment, hours worked, and wages; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on profitability.21 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.22

    21See Volume I of the Petition, at 11-25, and Exhibits I-1, I-5, and I-7; see also General Issues Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit I-11.

    22See India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India.

    Allegations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value

    The following is a description of the allegations of sales at less-than-fair-value upon which the Department based its decision to initiate an investigation of imports of welded stainless pipe from India. The sources of data for the deductions and adjustments relating to U.S. price and NV are discussed in greater detail in the India AD Initiation Checklist.

    Export Price

    Petitioners based U.S. price on Indian welded stainless pipe offered for sale in the United States.23 Where applicable, Petitioners made deductions for the relevant movement charges based on publicly available information from several sources, consistent with delivery terms.24 After analyzing the reported movement charge information, the Department made two minor revisions to Petitioners' submitted calculation of U.S. price.25

    23See Volume II of the Petition, at Exhibit II-1 and AD Petition Supplement at Exhibit II-11.

    24See Volume II of the Petition, at Exhibits II-3,4,5,6,7 and AD Petition Supplement at Exhibit II-12 and 13.

    25 We disallowed Petitioners' deduction for foreign inland freight expenses based on insufficient support and made a correction to the calculation of U.S. inland freight fees that was inadvertently omitted from Petitioners' AD Petition Suplement. See discussion of minor revisions in the narrative of the India AD Initation Checklist and the calculation at Attachment V.

    Normal Value

    Petitioners based normal value on a price quote obtained by a market researcher for welded stainless pipe produced and sold in India having the same specifications as the welded stainless pipe in the U.S. price quote.26 Because the price quote was received from a distributor, Petitioners deducted a potential mark-up from this price, based on their knowledge of the industry. Petitioners made no additional deductions because, given the terms of sale, no further deductions would be appropriate.27

    26See Volume II of the Petition at Exhibit II-8. See also, the Department's memorandum “Telephone Call to Foreign Market Researcher Regarding Antidumping Petition,” dated October 7, 2015.

    27See AD Petition Supplement, at Exhibit II-14.

    Fair Value Comparisons

    Based on the data provided by Petitioners, there is reason to believe that imports of welded stainless pipe from India are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. Based on comparisons of EP to NV in accordance with section 773(a)(1) of the Act, the estimated dumping margins as calculated from data provided by the Petitioners and recalculated by the Department for welded stainless pipe from India is 32.06 percent.28

    28See India AD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment V.

    Initiation of Less-than-Fair-Value Investigation

    Based upon the examination of the Petition on welded stainless pipe India, we find that the Petition meets the requirements of section 732 of the Act. Therefore, we are initiating an AD investigation to determine whether imports of welded stainless pipe from India is being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value. In accordance with section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of this initiation.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law.29 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments.30 On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.31 The amendments to sections 771(15), 773, 776, and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this AD investigation.32

    29See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    30 In accordance with section 505(a) of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, amending section 773(b)(2) of the Act, for the investigation, the Department will request information necessary to calculate the CV and COP to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that sales of the foreign like product have been made at prices that represent less than the COP of the product. The Department will no longer require a COP allegation to conduct this analysis

    31See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice).

    32Id. at 46794-95. The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    Respondent Selection

    Petitioners name 13 companies as producers/exporters of welded stainless pipe from India.33 Following standard practice in AD investigations involving market economy countries, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports under the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) numbers listed in the “Scope of the Investigation” section above. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of publication of this Federal Register notice.

    33See Volume I of the Petition, at Exhibit I-4.

    Interested parties wishing to comment regarding respondent selection must do so within seven business days of the publication of this notice. Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time by the date noted above. We intend to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 732(b)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), copies of the public version of the Petition have been provided to the Government of India via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each exporter named in the Petition, as provided under 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We have notified the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 732(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of welded stainless pipe from India is materially injuring or threatening material injury to a U.S. industry.34 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; otherwise, the investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    34See section 733(a) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). Any party, when submitting factual information, must specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted 35 and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct.36 Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Please review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    35See 19 CFR 351.301(b).

    36See 19 CFR 351.301(b)(2).

    Extensions of Time Limits

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10 a.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.37 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 38 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with applicable revised certification requirements.

    37See section 782(b) of the Act.

    38See Certification of Factual Information to Import Administration during Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (Final Rule); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (Jan. 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in the investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is circular welded austenitic stainless pressure pipe not greater than 14 inches in outside diameter. References to size are in nominal inches and include all products within tolerances allowed by pipe specifications. This merchandise includes, but is not limited to, the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications. ASTM A-358 products are only included when they are produced to meet ASTM A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    Excluded from the scope of the investigation are: (1) Welded stainless mechanical tubing, meeting ASTM A-554 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; (2) boiler, heat exchanger, superheater, refining furnace, feedwater heater, and condenser tubing, meeting ASTM A-249, ASTM A-688 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; and (3) specialized tubing, meeting ASTM A-269, ASTM A-270 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    The subject imports are normally classified in subheadings 7306.40.5005, 7306.40.5040, 7306.40.5062, 7306.40.5064, and 7306.40.5085 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). They may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 7306.40.1010, 7306.40.1015, 7306.40.5042, 7306.40.5044, 7306.40.5080, and 7306.40.5090. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27364 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-868] Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe From India: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

    DATES:

    Effective date: October 20, 2015

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurel LaCivita at (202) 482-4243, or Mandy Mallott at (202) 482-6430, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petition

    On September 30, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) received a countervailing duty (“CVD”) petition concerning imports of welded stainless pressure pipe (“welded stainless pipe”) from India, filed in proper form on behalf of Bristol Metals, LLC, Felker Brothers Corp, Outokumpu Stainless Pipe, Inc., and Marcegaglia USA (collectively, “Petitioners”). The CVD petition was accompanied by an antidumping duty (“AD”) petition concerning imports of welded stainless pipe from India.1 Petitioners are domestic producers of welded stainless pipe.2

    1See “Petition for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India,” dated September 30, 2015 (“Petition”).

    2See Volume I of the Petition, at 2.

    On October 2, 2015, the Department requested information and clarification for certain areas of the Petition.3 Petitioners filed responses to these requests on October 6, 2015.4

    3See letter from the Department, “Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Imports of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions,” dated October 2, 2015 (“General Issues Questionnaire”); letter from the Department, “Petition for the Imposition of Countervailing Duties on Imports of Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Supplemental Questions,” October 2, 2015 (“CVD Deficiency Questionnaire”).

    4See letter from Petitioners, “Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Response to Supplemental Questions,” dated October 6, 2015, covering volume I (“General Issues Supplement”) and III (“CVD Supplement”) of the Petition.

    In accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), Petitioners allege that the Government of India (“GOI”) is providing countervailable subsidies (within the meaning of sections 701 and 771(5) of the Act) to imports of welded stainless pipe from India, and that such imports are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, an industry in the United States. Also, consistent with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, for those alleged programs in India on which we have initiated a CVD investigation, the Petition is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting their allegations.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because Petitioners are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act. The Department also finds that Petitioners demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the initiation of the CVD investigation that Petitioners are requesting.5

    5See the “Determination of Industry Support for the Petition” section below.

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.6

    6 19 CFR 351.204(b)(2).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is welded stainless pipe from India. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Comments on Scope of the Investigation

    During our review of the Petition, the Department issued questions to, and received responses from, Petitioners pertaining to the proposed scope to ensure that the scope language in the Petition would be an accurate reflection of the products for which the domestic industry is seeking relief.7 As discussed in the preamble to the Department's regulations,8 we are setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). The Department will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with the interested parties prior to the issuance of the preliminary determination. If scope comments include factual information (see 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), all such factual information should be limited to public information. In order to facilitate preparation of its questionnaire, the Department requests all interested parties to submit such comments by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, which is the first business day after 20 calendar days from the signature date of this notice. Any rebuttal comments, which may include factual information, must be filed by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 20, 2015, which is 10 calendar days after the initial comments deadline.

    7See General Issues Questionnaire and General Issues Supplement. See also Petitioners' submission, “Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India: Revised Scope Definition,” dated October 15, 2015.

    8See Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27323 (May 19, 1997).

    The Department requests that any factual information the parties consider relevant to the scope of the investigation be submitted during this time period. However, if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact the Department and request permission to submit the additional information. All such comments must be filed on the record of the concurrent AD investigation.

    Filing Requirements

    All submissions to the Department must be filed electronically using Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”).9 An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the time and date it is due. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with Enforcement and Compliance's APO/Dockets Unit, Room 18022, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, and stamped with the date and time of receipt by the applicable deadlines.

    9See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements); Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011), for details of the Department's electronic filing requirements, which went into effect on August 5, 2011. Information on help using ACCESS can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help.aspx and a handbook can be found at https://access.trade.gov/help/Handbook% 20on%20Electronic%20Filling%20Procedures.pdf.

    Consultations

    Pursuant to section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act, the Department notified representatives of the GOI of the receipt of the Petition. Also, in accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act, the Department provided representatives of the GOI the opportunity for consultations with respect to the CVD petition. As the GOI did not request consultations prior to the initiation of this investigation, the Department and the GOI did not hold consultations.

    Determination of Industry Support for the Petition

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires that a petition be filed on behalf of the domestic industry. Section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act provides that a petition meets this requirement if the domestic producers or workers who support the petition account for: (i) At least 25 percent of the total production of the domestic like product; and (ii) more than 50 percent of the production of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the petition. Moreover, section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act provides that, if the petition does not establish support of domestic producers or workers accounting for more than 50 percent of the total production of the domestic like product, the Department shall: (i) Poll the industry or rely on other information in order to determine if there is support for the petition, as required by subparagraph (A); or (ii) determine industry support using a statistically valid sampling method to poll the “industry.”

    Section 771(4)(A) of the Act defines the “industry” as the producers as a whole of a domestic like product. Thus, to determine whether a petition has the requisite industry support, the statute directs the Department to look to producers and workers who produce the domestic like product. The International Trade Commission (“ITC”), which is responsible for determining whether “the domestic industry” has been injured, must also determine what constitutes a domestic like product in order to define the industry. While both the Department and the ITC must apply the same statutory definition regarding the domestic like product,10 they do so for different purposes and pursuant to a separate and distinct authority. In addition, the Department's determination is subject to limitations of time and information. Although this may result in different definitions of the like product, such differences do not render the decision of either agency contrary to law.11

    10See section 771(10) of the Act.

    11See USEC, Inc. v. United States, 132 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (CIT 2001) (citing Algoma Steel Corp., Ltd. v. United States, 688 F. Supp. 639, 644 (CIT 1988), aff'd 865 F.2d 240 (Fed. Cir. 1989)).

    Section 771(10) of the Act defines the domestic like product as “a product which is like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the article subject to an investigation under this title.” Thus, the reference point from which the domestic like product analysis begins is “the article subject to an investigation” (i.e., the class or kind of merchandise to be investigated, which normally will be the scope as defined in the Petition).

    With regard to the domestic like product, Petitioners do not offer a definition of the domestic like product distinct from the scope of the investigation. Based on our analysis of the information submitted on the record, we have determined that welded stainless pipe constitutes a single domestic like product and we have analyzed industry support in terms of that domestic like product.12

    12 For a discussion of the domestic like product analysis in this case, see Countervailing Duty Investigation Initiation Checklist: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India (“India CVD Initiation Checklist”), at Attachment II, Analysis of Industry Support for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India (“Attachment II”). This checklist is dated concurrently with this notice and on file electronically via ACCESS. Access to documents filed via ACCESS is also available in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building.

    In determining whether Petitioners have standing under section 702(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we considered the industry support data contained in the Petition with reference to the domestic like product as defined in the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice. To establish industry support, Petitioners provided their shipments of the domestic like product in 2014, and compared their shipments to the estimated total shipments of the domestic like product for the entire domestic industry.13 Because total industry production data for the domestic like product for 2014 are not reasonably available to Petitioners, and Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production data,14 we have relied upon the shipment data provided by Petitioners for purposes of measuring industry support.15

    13See Volume I of the Petition, at 2-3 and Exhibits I-1 and I-2; see also General Issues Supplement, at 3-8 and Exhibits I-9 and I-10.

    14See Volume I of the Petition, at 3 and Exhibit I-1; see also General Issues Supplement, at 3-6 and Exhibits I-8 and I-9.

    15 For further discussion, see India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    Our review of the data provided in the Petition, General Issues Supplement, and other information readily available to the Department indicates that Petitioners have established industry support.16 First, the Petition established support from domestic producers (or workers) accounting for more than 50 percent of the total shipments 17 of the domestic like product and, as such, the Department is not required to take further action in order to evaluate industry support (e.g., polling).18 Second, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(i) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for at least 25 percent of the total shipments of the domestic like product.19 Finally, the domestic producers (or workers) have met the statutory criteria for industry support under section 702(c)(4)(A)(ii) of the Act because the domestic producers (or workers) who support the Petition account for more than 50 percent of the shipments of the domestic like product produced by that portion of the industry expressing support for, or opposition to, the Petition.20 Accordingly, the Department determines that the Petition was filed on behalf of the domestic industry within the meaning of section 702(b)(1) of the Act.

    16See India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    17 As mentioned above, Petitioners have established that shipments are a reasonable proxy for production data. Section 351.203(e)(1) of the Department's regulations states “production levels may be established by reference to alternative data that the Secretary determines to be indicative of production levels.”

    18See section 702(c)(4)(D) of the Act; see also India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    19See India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment II.

    20Id.

    The Department finds that Petitioners filed the Petition on behalf of the domestic industry because they are interested parties as defined in section 771(9)(C) of the Act and they have demonstrated sufficient industry support with respect to the CVD investigation that they are requesting the Department initiate.21

    21Id.

    Injury Test

    Because India is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Act, section 701(a)(2) of the Act applies to this investigation. Accordingly, the ITC must determine whether imports of the subject merchandise from India materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a U.S. industry.

    Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation

    Petitioners allege that imports of the subject merchandise are benefitting from countervailable subsidies and that such imports are causing, or threaten to cause, material injury to the U.S. industry producing the domestic like product. In CVD petitions, section 771(24)(A)-(B) of the Act provides that imports of subject merchandise from developing and least developed countries must exceed the negligibility threshold of four percent. Petitioners demonstrate that subject imports from India, which has been designated as a least developed country,22 exceed the negligibility threshold provided for under section 771(24)(B) of the Act.23

    22See section 771(36)(B) of the Act.

    23See General Issues Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit I-11.

    Petitioners contend that the industry's injured condition is illustrated by reduced market share; decline in shipments, production, and capacity utilization; underselling and price suppression or depression; inventory overhang; decreased employment, hours worked, and wages; lost sales and revenues; and negative impact on profitability.24 We have assessed the allegations and supporting evidence regarding material injury, threat of material injury, and causation, and we have determined that these allegations are properly supported by adequate evidence and meet the statutory requirements for initiation.25

    24See Volume I of the Petitions, at 10-25 and Exhibits I-1, I-5, and I-7; see also General Issues Supplement, at 9 and Exhibit I-11.

    25See India CVD Initiation Checklist, at Attachment III, Analysis of Allegations and Evidence of Material Injury and Causation for the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Covering Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe from India.

    Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation

    Section 702(b)(1) of the Act requires the Department to initiate a CVD investigation whenever an interested party files a CVD petition on behalf of an industry that: (1) Alleges the elements necessary for an imposition of a duty under section 701(a) of the Act; and (2) is accompanied by information reasonably available to Petitioners supporting the allegations.

    Petitioners allege that producers/exporters of welded stainless pipe in India benefit from countervailable subsidies bestowed by the GOI. The Department examined the Petition and finds that it complies with the requirements of section 702(b)(1) of the Act. Therefore, in accordance with section 702(b)(1) of the Act, we are initiating a CVD investigation to determine whether manufacturers, producers, or exporters of welded stainless pipe from India receive countervailable subsidies from the GOI.

    On June 29, 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which made numerous amendments to the AD and CVD law.26 The 2015 law does not specify dates of application for those amendments. On August 6, 2015, the Department published an interpretative rule, in which it announced the applicability dates for each amendment to the Act, except for amendments contained in section 771(7) of the Act, which relate to determinations of material injury by the ITC.27 The amendments to sections 776 and 782 of the Act are applicable to all determinations made on or after August 6, 2015, and, therefore, apply to this CVD investigation.28

    26See Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-27, 129 Stat. 362 (2015).

    27See Dates of Application of Amendments to the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws Made by the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, 80 FR 46793 (August 6, 2015) (Applicability Notice). The 2015 amendments may be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1295/text/pl.

    28Id. at 46794-95.

    Based on our review of the petition, we find that there is sufficient information to initiate a CVD investigation on 25 of the 50 alleged programs in India. For a full discussion of the basis for our decision to initiate or not initiate on each program, see the India CVD Initiation Checklist. A public version of the initiation checklist for this investigation is available on ACCESS.

    In accordance with section 703(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1), unless postponed, we will make our preliminary determination no later than 65 days after the date of this initiation.

    Respondent Selection

    Petitioners named thirteen companies as producers/exporters of welded stainless pipe in India.29 Following standard practice in CVD investigations, the Department will, where appropriate, select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports of welded stainless pipe during the period of investigation. We intend to release CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties with access to information protected by APO within five business days of publication of this Federal Register notice. The Department invites comments regarding respondent selection within seven business days of publication of this Federal Register notice.

    29See Volume I of the Petition, at Exhibit I-4.

    Comments must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically-filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5 p.m. ET by the date noted above. We intend to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 20 days of publication of this notice. Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(b). Instructions for filing such applications may be found on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/apo.

    Distribution of Copies of the Petition

    In accordance with section 702(b)(4)(A)(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.202(f), a copy of the public version of the Petition has been provided to the GOI via ACCESS. To the extent practicable, we will attempt to provide a copy of the public version of the Petition to each known exporter (as named in the Petition), consistent with 19 CFR 351.203(c)(2).

    ITC Notification

    We will notify the ITC of our initiation, as required by section 702(d) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determinations by the ITC

    The ITC will preliminarily determine, within 45 days after the date on which the Petition was filed, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of welded stainless pipe from India are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to, a U.S. industry.30 A negative ITC determination will result in the investigation being terminated; 31 otherwise, this investigation will proceed according to statutory and regulatory time limits.

    30See section 703(a)(2) of the Act.

    31See section 703(a)(1) of the Act.

    Submission of Factual Information

    Factual information is defined in 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) as: (i) Evidence submitted in response to questionnaires; (ii) evidence submitted in support of allegations; (iii) publicly available information to value factors under 19 CFR 351.408(c) or to measure the adequacy of remuneration under 19 CFR 351.511(a)(2); (iv) evidence placed on the record by the Department; and (v) evidence other than factual information described in (i)-(iv). The regulation requires any party, when submitting factual information, to specify under which subsection of 19 CFR 351.102(b)(21) the information is being submitted and, if the information is submitted to rebut, clarify, or correct factual information already on the record, to provide an explanation identifying the information already on the record that the factual information seeks to rebut, clarify, or correct. Time limits for the submission of factual information are addressed in 19 CFR 351.301, which provides specific time limits based on the type of factual information being submitted. Parties should review the regulations prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Extension of Time Limits Regulation

    Parties may request an extension of time limits before the expiration of a time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301, or as otherwise specified by the Secretary. In general, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after the expiration of the time limit established under 19 CFR 351.301 expires. For submissions that are due from multiple parties simultaneously, an extension request will be considered untimely if it is filed after 10:00 a.m. on the due date. Under certain circumstances, we may elect to specify a different time limit by which extension requests will be considered untimely for submissions which are due from multiple parties simultaneously. In such a case, we will inform parties in the letter or memorandum setting forth the deadline (including a specified time) by which extension requests must be filed to be considered timely. An extension request must be made in a separate, stand-alone submission; under limited circumstances we will grant untimely-filed requests for the extension of time limits. Review Extension of Time Limits; Final Rule, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013), available athttp://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-20/html/2013-22853.htm, prior to submitting factual information in this investigation.

    Certification Requirements

    Any party submitting factual information in an AD or CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.32 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials, as well as their representatives. Investigations initiated on the basis of petitions filed on or after August 16, 2013, and other segments of any AD or CVD proceedings initiated on or after August 16, 2013, should use the formats for the revised certifications provided at the end of the Final Rule. 33 The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the applicable revised certification requirements.

    32See section 782(b) of the Act.

    33See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”); see also frequently asked questions regarding the Final Rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/tlei/notices/factual_info_final_rule_FAQ_07172013.pdf.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    Interested parties must submit applications for disclosure under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305. On January 22, 2008, the Department published Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Documents Submission Procedures; APO Procedures, 73 FR 3634 (January 22, 2008). Parties wishing to participate in this investigation should ensure that they meet the requirements of these procedures (e.g., the filing of letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)).

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to sections 702 and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is circular welded austenitic stainless pressure pipe not greater than 14 inches in outside diameter. References to size are in nominal inches and include all products within tolerances allowed by pipe specifications. This merchandise includes, but is not limited to, the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications. ASTM A-358 products are only included when they are produced to meet ASTM A-312 or ASTM A-778 specifications, or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    Excluded from the scope of the investigation are: (1) Welded stainless mechanical tubing, meeting ASTM A-554 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; (2) boiler, heat exchanger, superheater, refining furnace, feedwater heater, and condenser tubing, meeting ASTM A-249, ASTM A-688 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications; and (3) specialized tubing, meeting ASTM A-269, ASTM A-270 or comparable domestic or foreign specifications.

    The subject imports are normally classified in subheadings 7306.40.5005, 7306.40.5040, 7306.40.5062, 7306.40.5064, and 7306.40.5085 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). They may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 7306.40.1010, 7306.40.1015, 7306.40.5042, 7306.40.5044, 7306.40.5080, and 7306.40.5090. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27376 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XX08 Marine Mammals; File No. 14628 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution (Charles W. Potter, Responsible Party), PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013 has been issued a minor amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 14628.

    ADDRESSES:

    The amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Skidmore or Amy Sloan, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requested amendment has been granted under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226), and the Fur Seal Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).

    The original permit (No. 14628), issued on November 18, 2010 (75 FR 72794) authorizes the salvage, collection, importation, exportation, receipt, possession, archive, and analyses of marine mammal and endangered species parts under NMFS jurisdiction. No live animal takes and no incidental harassment of animals are authorized. Parts are archived by the NMNH and used to support research studies and incidental education. The minor amendment (No. 14628-01) extends the duration of the permit for one year, through November 30, 2016, but does not change any other terms or conditions of the permit.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27208 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: NOAA's Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program National Evaluation System.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0658.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 8,086.

    Average Hours per Response: Awardee-respondents will complete an online survey in 60 minutes and teacher-respondents will complete two online surveys in 30 minutes each.

    Burden Hours: 1,773.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The NOAA Office of Education's Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program seeks to contribute to NOAA's mission by supporting education efforts to create an environmentally literate citizenry with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to protect watersheds and related ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems. B-WET currently funds projects in seven regions (California, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, New England, and the Pacific Northwest). B-WET has created an across-region, internal evaluation system to provide ongoing feedback on program implementation and outcomes to ensure maximum quality and efficiency of the B-WET program. The evaluation system is sustained by B-WET staff with occasional assistance from an outside contractor.

    B-WET awardees and the awardees' professional development teacher-participants are asked to voluntarily complete online survey forms to provide evaluation data. One individual from each awardee organization is asked to complete a form once per year of the award, and the teacher participants are asked to complete one form at the end of their professional development program and another form at the end of the following school year.

    Affected Public: State, local and tribal governments; not-for-profit institutions, business or other for-profit organizations, individuals or households.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

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

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

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27331 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE097 Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Front Street Transload Facility Construction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental take authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the Bergerson Construction, Inc. (Bergerson) to take, by Level B harassment, small numbers of two species of marine mammals incidental to the Front Street Transload Facility construction project in Newport, Oregon, between November 1, 2015, and October 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective November 1, 2015, through October 31, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for information on the incidental take authorization should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. A copy of the application containing a list of the references used in this document, NMFS' Environmental Assessment (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and the IHA may be obtained by writing to the address specified above or visiting the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/. Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shane Guan, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA established an expedited process by which citizens of the U.S. can apply for a one-year authorization to incidentally take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment, provided that there is no potential for serious injury or mortality to result from the activity. Section 101(a)(5)(D) establishes a 45-day time limit for NMFS review of an application followed by a 30-day public notice and comment period on any proposed authorizations for the incidental harassment of marine mammals. Within 45 days of the close of the comment period, NMFS must either issue or deny the authorization.

    Summary of Request

    On April 22, 2015, Bergerson submitted a request to NMFS requesting an IHA for the possible harassment of small numbers of Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) incidental to construction associated with the Front Street Marine Transload Facility in the city of Newport, Oregon, for a period of one year starting November 2015. NMFS determined the IHA application was complete on July 29, 2015.

    Description of the Specified Activity

    A detailed description of the Front Street Transload Facility construction project is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (80 FR 48500; August 13, 2015). Since that time, no changes have been made to the proposed construction activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS' proposal to issue an IHA to Bergerson was published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2015. That notice described, in detail, Bergerson's activity, the marine mammal species that may be affected by the activity, and the anticipated effects on marine mammals. During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received comments from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission). The Commission recommends NMFS issue the IHA, subject to inclusion of the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    The marine mammal species under NMFS jurisdiction most likely to occur in the proposed construction area are Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    Table 1—Marine Mammal Species Potentially Present in Region of Activity Species ESA status MMPA status Occurrence Harbor Seal Not listed Non-depleted Frequent. California Sea Lion Not listed Non-depleted Frequent.

    General information on the marine mammal species found in Oregon coastal waters can be found in Caretta et al. (2014), which is available at the following URL: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/pdf/po2013.pdf. Refer to that document for information on these species. A list of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action and their status are provided in Table 1. Specific information concerning these species in the vicinity of the proposed action area is provided in detail in the Bergerson's IHA application (Turner and Campbell, 2015).

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    The effects of underwater noise from in-water pile removal and pile driving associated with the construction activities for the Front Street Transload Facility in Newport, Oregon, has the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammal species and stocks in the vicinity of the action area. The Notice of Proposed IHA included a discussion of the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals, which is not repeated here. No instances of hearing threshold shifts, injury, serious injury, or mortality are expected as a result of the construction activities given the strong likelihood that marine mammals would avoid the immediate vicinity of the pile driving area.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The primary potential impacts to marine mammals and other marine species are associated with elevated sound levels, but the project may also result in additional effects to marine mammal prey species and short-term local water turbidity caused by in-water construction due to pile removal and pile driving. These potential effects are discussed in detail in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA and are not repeated here.

    Mitigation Measures

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    For the Front Street Transload Facility construction project, NMFS is requiring Bergerson to implement the following mitigation measures to minimize the potential impacts to marine mammals in the project vicinity as a result of the in-water construction activities.

    Time Restriction

    Work shall occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted. In addition, all in-water construction will be limited to the period between November 1, 2015, and February 15, 2016.

    Air Bubble Curtain

    Bergerson is required to install an air bubble curtain system around the pile during pile installation using an impact hammer.

    Establishment of Exclusion Zone and Level B Harassment Zones of Influence

    Before the commencement of in-water pile driving activities, Bergerson shall establish Level A exclusion zones and Level B zones of influence (ZOIs). The received underwater sound pressure levels (SPLs) within the exclusion zone would be 190 dB (rms) re 1 µPa and above. The Level B ZOIs would encompass areas where received underwater SPLs are higher than 160 dB (rms) and 120 dB (rms) re 1 µPa for impulse noise sources (impact pile driving) and non-impulses noise sources (vibratory pile driving and mechanic dismantling), respectively.

    Based on measurements conducted nearby in similar water depth and sediment type in the Yaquina Bay for the NOAA Marine Operation Center P Test Pile Program (Miner, 2010), average vibratory hammer sound pressure level for 24-inch steel pile at 10 meters from the pile is 157 dB re 1 μPa (Minor 2010; ICF Jones & Stokes and Illingworth and Rodkin 2009). Based on practical spreading model with a transmission loss constant of 15, the distance at which the sound pressure levels fall below the 120 dB (rms) re 1 μPa is approximately 1.8 miles from the pile (Miner, 2010).

    Modeling of exclusion zone and ZOIs for impact pile driving source level are based on measurements conducted at the nearby Tongue Point Facility in Astoria, Oregon, for installation of 24-in steel pile with an impact hammer (Illingworth and Rodkin, 2009). The result shows that the SPL at 10 m from the pile is 182 dB (rms) re 1 µPa. Nevertheless, a conservative 190 dB (rms) re 1 µPa value at 10 m and a practical spreading with a transmission loss constant of 15 are used to establish the exclusion zone and ZOI. As a result, the distance at which the SPLs fall below the 160 dB (rms) re 1 µPa behavioral threshold for impact hammering is approximately 0.62 miles. With a bubble curtain and an estimated 10 dB reduction in sound levels, the distance at which the sound pressure levels fall below the 160 dB RMS behavioral threshold for impact hammering is approximately 707 feet. The exclusion zone with the air bubble curtain system would be 7 feet from the pile.

    The exclusion zone for Level A harassment and ZOIs for Level B harassment are presented in Table 2 below.

    Table 2—Modeled Level A and Level B Harassment Zones for Vibratory and Impact Pile Driving Activities Pile driving methods Distance to 190 dB
  • (m)
  • Distance to 160 dB
  • (m)
  • Distance to 120 dB
  • (m)
  • Vibratory pile driving/removal NA NA 2,900. Impact pile driving 10/2.1 (with air bubble system) 1,000/215 (with air bubble system) NA.
    Soft Start

    A “soft-start” technique is intended to allow marine mammals to vacate the area before the pile driver reaches full power. Whenever there has been downtime of 30 minutes or more without pile driving, the contractor will initiate the driving with ramp-up procedures described below.

    For impact pile driving, the contractor would provide an initial set of strikes from the impact hammer at reduced energy, followed by a 30-second waiting period, then two subsequent sets. (The reduced energy of an individual hammer cannot be quantified because of variations between individual drivers. Also, the number of strikes will vary at reduced energy because raising the hammer at less than full power and then releasing it results in the hammer “bouncing” as it strikes the pile resulting in multiple “strikes”).

    For vibratory pile driving, the contractor will initiate noise from vibratory hammers for 15 seconds at reduced energy followed by a 30-second waiting period. The procedure shall be repeated two additional times.

    Shutdown Measures

    Bergerson shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is sighted approaching the Level A exclusion zone. In-water construction activities shall be suspended until the marine mammal is sighted moving away from the exclusion zone, or if the animal is not sighted for 30 minutes after the shutdown.

    In addition, Bergerson shall implement shutdown measures to prevent a take if a marine mammal species or stock that is not authorized under the IHA enters a zone of influence, or if the take of a specific marine mammal species or stock has reached the take limit issued under the IHA.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the applicant's proposed mitigation measures and considered a range of other measures in the context of ensuring that NMFS prescribes the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals.

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned .

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    (1) Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    (2) A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to received levels of pile driving and pile removal or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    (3) A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to received levels of pile driving and pile removal, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    (4) A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to received levels of pile driving, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    (5) Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    (6) For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammals species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization (ITA) for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth, “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for ITAs must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. Bergerson submitted a marine mammal monitoring plan as part of the IHA application. It can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by NMFS should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    (1) An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, both within the mitigation zone (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) and in general to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned below.

    (2) An increase in our understanding of how many marine mammals are likely to be exposed to levels of pile driving that we associate with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment, temporary hearing threshold shift (TTS), or permanent hearing threshold shift (PTS).

    (3) An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli expected to result in take and how anticipated adverse effects on individuals (in different ways and to varying degrees) may impact the population, species, or stock (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli;

    An increased knowledge of the affected species; and

    An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    Monitoring Measures

    During pile removal and installation, two land-based protected species observers (PSOs) would monitor the area from the best observation points available. If weather conditions prevent adequate land-based observations of the entire ensonified zones, boat-based monitoring would be implemented.

    The PSOs shall observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and for 30 minutes after all pile removal and pile installation work. If a PSO observes a marine mammal within or approaching the exclusion zone, the PSO shall notify the work crew to initiate shutdown measures. In addition, if a PSO observes a marine mammal species that is not authorized for take, or the take of such marine mammal species has reached the take limit, the PSO shall notify the work crew to initiate shutdown measures if the animal is approaching the zone of influence.

    Monitoring of marine mammals around the construction site shall be conducted using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 × 42 power).

    Data collection during marine mammal monitoring would consist of a count of all marine mammals by species, a description of behavior (if possible), location, direction of movement, type of construction that is occurring, time that pile replacement work begins and ends, any acoustic or visual disturbance, and time of the observation. Environmental conditions such as weather, visibility, temperature, tide level, current, and sea state would also be recorded.

    Reporting Measures

    Bergerson shall submit a final monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the construction work or the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes earlier. This report would detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed. NMFS would have an opportunity to provide comments on the report, and if NMFS has comments, Bergerson shall address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days.

    In the unanticipated event that the construction activities clearly cause the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this Authorization, such as an injury, serious injury, or mortality, Bergerson shall immediately cease all operations and immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the following information:

    (i) Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    (ii) Description of the incident;

    (iii) Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (iv) Environmental conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction, sea state, cloud cover, visibility, and water depth);

    (v) Description of marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (vi) Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    (vii) The fate of the animal(s); and

    (viii) Photographs or video footage of the animal (if equipment is available).

    Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS shall work with Bergerson to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. Bergerson may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    In addition, NMFS requires Bergerson to notify NMFS' Office of Protected Resources and NMFS' Stranding Network within 48 hours of sighting an injured or dead marine mammal in the vicinity of the construction site. Bergerson shall provide NMFS with the species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition, if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available).

    In the event that Bergerson finds an injured or dead marine mammal that is not in the vicinity of the construction area, Bergerson would report the same information as listed above to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    As discussed above, in-water pile removal and pile driving (vibratory and impact) generate loud noises that could potentially harass marine mammals in the vicinity of Bergerson's proposed Front Street Transload Facility construction project.

    As mentioned earlier in this document, currently NMFS uses 120 dB re 1 µPa and 160 dB re 1 µPa at the received levels for the onset of Level B harassment from non-impulse (vibratory pile driving and removal) and impulse sources (impact pile driving) underwater, respectively. Table 3 summarizes the current NMFS marine mammal take criteria.

    Table 3—Current Acoustic Exposure Criteria for Non-Explosive Sound Underwater Criterion Criterion definition Threshold Level A Harassment (Injury) Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS) (Any level above that which is known to cause TTS) 180 dB re 1 μPa (cetaceans).
  • 190 dB re 1 μPa (pinnipeds).
  • root mean square (rms).
  • Level B Harassment Behavioral Disruption (for impulse noises) 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms). Level B Harassment Behavioral Disruption (for non-impulse noise) 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms).

    As explained above, exclusion and ZOIs will be established that encompass the areas where received underwater sound pressure levels (SPLs) exceed the applicable thresholds for Level A and Level B harassments. In the case of Bergerson's proposed Front Street Transload Facility construction project, the Level B harassment ZOIs for impact and vibratory pile driving are at 215 m and 2,900 m from the source, respectively. The Level A harassment exclusion from impact pile driving is 2.1 m from the source.

    Incidental take is calculated for each species by estimating the likelihood of a marine mammal being present within a ZOI during active pile removal/driving. Expected marine mammal presence is determined by past observations and general abundance near the Front Street Transload Facility during the construction window. Ideally, potential take is estimated by multiplying the area of the ZOI by the local animal density. This provides an estimate of the number of animals that might occupy the ZOI at any given moment. However, there are no density estimates for any Puget Sound population of marine mammals. As a result, the take requests were estimated using local marine mammal data sets, and information from state and federal agencies.

    The calculation for marine mammal exposures is estimated by:

    Exposure estimate = N (number of animals in the area) * 30 days of pile removal/driving activity

    Estimates include Level B acoustical harassment during pile removal and driving. All estimates are conservative, as pile removal/driving would not be continuous during the work day. Using this approach, a summary of estimated takes of marine mammals incidental to Bergerson's Front Street Transload Facility construction work are provided in Table 4. The take calculation of California sea lion is described in Bergerson's IHA application. The take calculation of Pacific harbor seal is updated from Bergerson's IHA application and is described below.

    Surveys done at the time of the construction of the NOAA MOC-P facility show that the number of harbor seals using haulouts in Yaquina Bay fluctuates widely from day to day; therefore, the average daily count of seals at the haulout was used to estimate the number of seals that would likely be present within the project area during the entire anticipated work period. Because there is no data on the counts of harbor seals using the haulouts in Sally's Bend, the average daily count of harbor seals using the finger jetty haulout was used to estimate the total number of potential harbor seals subject to Level B harassment throughout the project period. Survey results for harbor seals using the Oyster Dock haulout were also used to yield more conservative take estimates. It is estimated that an average daily take of 34 seals, with a total of 1,020 harbor seal takes by Level B harassment for the proposed work period.

    Table 4—Estimated Numbers of Marine Mammals That May Be Exposed by Level B Harassment From Pile and Pile Driving Activities Species Estimated marine
  • mammal takes
  • Abundance Percentage
    Pacific harbor seal 1,020 16,165 6.31 California sea lion 1,100 296,750 3.71
    Analysis and Determinations Negligible Impact

    Negligible impact is “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes, alone, is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, NMFS must consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (their intensity, duration, etc.), the context of any responses (critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    To avoid repetition, this introductory discussion of our analyses applies to all the species listed in Table 4, given that the anticipated effects of Bergerson's Front Street Transload Facility construction on marine mammals are expected to be relatively similar in nature. There is no information about the nature or severity of the impacts, or the size, status, or structure of any species or stock that would lead to a different analysis for this activity, else species-specific factors would be identified and analyzed.

    Bergerson's proposed Front Street Transload Facility construction project would involve vibratory pile removal and vibratory and impact pile driving activities. Elevated underwater noises are expected to be generated as a result of these activities. The exclusion zone for Level A harassment is extremely small (2.1 m from the source) with the use of an air bubble curtain system. The small exclusion zone combined with the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures described above results in no expected Level A take of marine mammals. For vibratory pile removal and pile driving, noise levels are not expected to reach the level that may cause TTS, injury (including PTS), or mortality to marine mammals.

    Additionally, the sum of noise from Bergerson's proposed Front Street Transload Facility construction activities is confined to a limited area by surrounding landmasses (as shown in Figure 1 of the IHA application), which blocks underwater sound propagation; therefore, the noise generated is not expected to contribute to increased ocean ambient noise. In addition, due to shallow water depths in the project area, underwater sound propagation of low-frequency sound (which is the major noise source from pile driving) is expected to be poor.

    In addition, Bergerson's proposed activities are localized and of short duration. The entire project area is limited to Bergerson's Front Street Transload Facility construction work. The entire project would involve the removal of 25 existing piles and installation of 126 piles. The duration for pile removal and pile driving would be 30 days. These low-intensity, localized, and short-term noise exposures may cause brief startle reactions or short-term behavioral modification by the animals. These reactions and behavioral changes are expected to subside quickly when the exposures cease (Southall et al. 2007). Moreover, the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures are expected to reduce potential exposures and behavioral modifications even further. Additionally, no important feeding and/or reproductive areas for marine mammals are known to be near the proposed action area. Therefore, the take resulting from the proposed Front Street Transload Facility construction work is not reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the marine mammal species or stocks through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The proposed project area is not a prime habitat for marine mammals, nor is it considered an area frequented by marine mammals. Therefore, behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic noise associated with Bergerson's construction activities are expected to affect only a small number of marine mammals on an infrequent and limited basis.

    The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammals' habitat, as analyzed in detail in the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” section. The project activities would not modify existing marine mammal habitat. The activities may cause some fish to leave the area of disturbance, thus temporarily impacting marine mammals' foraging opportunities in a limited portion of the foraging range; but, because of the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that may be affected, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total marine mammal take from Bergerson's Front Street Transload Facility construction project will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Number

    Based on analyses provided above, it is estimated that approximately 750 harbor seals and 1,100 California sea lions could be exposed to receive noise levels that could cause Level B behavioral harassment from the proposed construction work at the Front Street Transload Facility in Newport, Oregon. These numbers represent approximately 4.6% and 3.7% of the populations of Pacific harbor seal and California sea lion, respectively, that could be affected by Level B behavioral harassment, respectively (see Table 5 above), which are small percentages relative to the total populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, which are expected to reduce the number of marine mammals potentially affected by the proposed action, NMFS finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no subsistence uses of marine mammals in the proposed project area; and, thus, no subsistence uses impacted by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    NMFS has determined that issuance of the IHA will have no effect on listed marine mammals, as none are known to occur in the action area.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and analyzed the potential impacts to marine mammals that would result from the Front Street Transload Facility construction project. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed in October 2015. A copy of the EA and FONSI is available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    Authorization

    NMFS has issued an IHA to Bergerson for the potential harassment of small numbers of two marine mammal species incidental to the Front Street Transload Facility construction project in Newport, Oregon, provided the previously mentioned mitigation.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27262 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Performance Review Board Membership AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is given of the names of members of a Performance Review Board for the Department of the Army.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: November 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Smith, Civilian Senior Leader Management Office, 111 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0111.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 4314(c)(1) through (5) of Title 5, U.S.C., requires each agency to establish, in accordance with regulations, one or more Senior Executive Service performance review boards. The boards shall review and evaluate the initial appraisal of senior executives' performance by supervisors and make recommendations to the appointing authority or rating official relative to the performance of these executives.

    The Department of the Army Performance Review Board will be composed of a subset of the following individuals:

    1. Ms. Lisha Adams, Executive Deputy to the Commanding General, United States Army Materiel Command.

    2. LTG Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General, United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    3. Mr. Gabriel Camarillo, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Policy and Logistics, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology).

    4. Ms. Gwendolyn R. DeFilippi, Director, Civilian Senior Leader Management Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

    5. Ms. Sue A. Engelhardt, Director of Human Resources, United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    6. Mr. Randall Exley, The Auditor General, Auditor General Office.

    7. Mr. Kevin M. Fahey, Executive Director for Agile Acquisition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).

    8. Mr. Patrick K. Hallinan, Executive Director of the Army National Cemeteries Program, Dept of the Army.

    9. Ms. Ellen M. Helmerson, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

    10. Mr. David Jimenez, Executive Technical Director/Deputy to the Commander, United States Army Test and Evaluation Command.

    11. MG Daniel I. Karbler, Commanding General, United States Army Test and Evaluation Command.

    12. LTG Mary A. Legere, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2.

    13. Mr. Mark R. Lewis, Deputy Chief Management Officer, Office of the Under Secretary of the Army.

    14. LTG Kevin W. Mangum, Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

    15. Mr. David Markowitz, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, G-3/5/7, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7.

    16. Ms. Kathleen S. Miller, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4.

    17. Mr. William Moore, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1/8 (Personnel and Logistics), United Stated Army Training and Doctrine Command.

    18. Mr. Levator Norsworthy Jr., Deputy General Counsel(Acquisition)/Senior Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel.

    19. Mr. Gerald B. O'Keefe, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army.

    20. Mr Philip R. Park, Acting General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel.

    21. Ms. Diane M. Randon, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.

    22. Mr. Jeffrey N. Rapp, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2.

    23. Mr. J. Randall Robinson, Principal Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Environment).

    24. Mr. Craig R. Schmauder, Deputy General Counsel (Installation, Environment and Civil Works), Office of the General Counsel.

    25. Mr. Karl F. Schneider, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

    26. Honorable Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).

    27. Ms. Caral Spangler, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller).

    28. MG Richard L. Stevens, Deputy Chief of Engineers/Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    29. Mr. Lawrence Stubblefield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Diversity and Leadership), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

    30. Mr. Donald C. Tison, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs, G-8, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8.

    31. GEN Dennis L. Via, Commanding General, United States Army Materiel Command.

    32. Honorable Debra S. Wada, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

    33. LTG Michael E. Williamson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).

    34. LTG Larry Wyche, Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Material Command.

    35. MG Mark W. Yenter, Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27235 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA) AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the USMA Board of Visitors (BoV). This meeting is open to the public. For more information about the BoV, its membership and its activities, please visit the BoV Web site at http://www.usma.edu/bov/SitePages/Home.aspx.

    DATES:

    The USMA BoV will meet from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2015. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting will be required to show a government photo ID upon entering the Capitol Visitors Center in order to gain access to the meeting location. All members of the public are subject to security screening.

    ADDRESSES:

    Capitol Visitors Center, Room HVC-200, the entrance is at the intersection of First Street SE. and East Capitol, Washington, DC 20515.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Deadra K. Ghostlaw, the Designated Federal Officer for the committee, in writing at: Secretary of the General Staff, ATTN: Deadra K. Ghostlaw, 646 Swift Road, West Point, NY 10996; by email at: [email protected] or [email protected]; or by telephone at (845) 938-4200.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The committee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This is the 2015 Fall Meeting of the USMA BoV. Members of the Board will be provided updates on Academy issues.

    Proposed Agenda: The Board Chair will discuss the following topics: The next meeting date: Monday, March 28, or April 4, 2016, at West Point, NY and give a summary of discussion topics. The Superintendent will then give the following updates: Key Past/Upcoming Events Since last Board of Visitors Meeting, Achievements/Accomplishments; Strategic Offsite (Assessment and Actions); Cadet Summer Training Highlights; Class of 2020 Admissions Update; Class of 2016 Branching Update; Outreach to the Army (Faculty Operational Experience, Department of the Army/Department of Defense Research); New York City Outreach by Cadets; Barracks Update; Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention and Cadets Against Sexual Harassment/Assault Program Update; Update on Plebe Pillow Fight, Boxing, and Grand Alliance Concussion Study; and Budget update

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165 and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mrs. Ghostlaw, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public attending the committee meeting will not be permitted to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the committee. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military post, security screening is required. A government photo ID is required to enter post. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. The House Visitors Center, Washington, DC is fully handicap accessible, with elevators and escalators available throughout the building. Wheelchairs are available for check out at the North and South coat checks; a driver's license is required, and will be held until the wheelchair is returned. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mrs. Ghostlaw, the committee's Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mrs. Ghostlaw, the committee Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the committee. The Designated Federal Official will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the committee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the committee until its next meeting.

    The committee Designated Federal Official and Chairperson may choose to invite certain submitters to present their comments verbally during the open portion of this meeting or at a future meeting. The Designated Federal Officer, in consultation with the committee Chairperson, may allot a specific amount of time for submitters to present their comments verbally.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27238 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open Subcommittee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Subcommittee (DAHASC), a subcommittee of the Army Education Advisory Committee. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Department of the Army Historical Advisory Subcommittee will meet from 8:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Department of the Army Historical Advisory Subcommittee, U.S. Army Center of Military History, 102 4th Ave., Bldg. 35, Washington, DC 20319-5060.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Stephen W. Lehman, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer for the subcommittee, in writing at ATTN: AAMH-ZC U.S. Army Center of Military History, 102 4th Ave., Bldg. 35, Fort McNair, Washington, DC 20319-5060 by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 685-2314.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subcommittee meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to review and approve the 2016 Army Historical Program Report.

    Proposed Agenda: The committee is chartered to provide independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Army on the educational, doctrinal, and research policies and activities of U.S. Army educational programs. At this meeting the subcommittee will review the 2016 Army Historical Program Report and the conformity of the Army's historical work and methods with professional standards. The subcommittee will also discuss ways to increase cooperation between the historical and military professions in advancing the purpose of the Army Historical Program, and the furtherance of the mission of the U.S. Army Center of Military History to promote the study and use of military history in both civilian and military schools.

    Public Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. Seating is on a first to arrive basis. Attendees are requested to submit their name, affiliation, and daytime phone number seven business days prior to the meeting to Mr. Lehman, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Members of the public attending the committee meetings will not be permitted to present questions from the floor or speak to any issue under consideration by the committee. Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military post, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter post. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. The U.S. Army Center of Military History is fully handicapped accessible. Wheelchair access is available in front at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Lehman, the committee's Alternate Designated Federal Officer, at the email address or telephone number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Written Comments or Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments or statements to the committee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the committee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Stephen W. Lehman, the committee Alternate Designated Federal Officer, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Each page of the comment or statement must include the author's name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. Written comments or statements being submitted in response to the agenda set forth in this notice must be received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official at least seven business days prior to the meeting to be considered by the committee. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will review all timely submitted written comments or statements with the committee Chairperson, and ensure the comments are provided to all members of the committee before the meeting. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the committee until its next meeting. Members of the public will be permitted to make verbal comments during the Committee meeting only at the time and in the manner described below. If a member of the public is interested in making a verbal comment at the open meeting, that individual must submit a request, with a brief statement of the subject matter to be addressed by the comment, at least seven (7) days in advance to the Committee's Alternate Designated Federal Official, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the committee Chairperson determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Committee's mission and/or the topics to be addressed in this public meeting. A 15-minute period near the end of the meeting will be available for verbal public comments. Members of the public who have requested to make a verbal comment and whose comments have been deemed relevant under the process described above, will be allotted no more than three (3) minutes during the period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by the Alternate Designated Federal Official.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27237 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0105] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Contract Audit Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to add a new System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Contract Audit Agency proposes to add a new system of records, RDCAA 900.1, entitled “DCAA Inspector General Records” to record information related to official DCAA Inspector General investigations and actions taken in investigative recommendations; to compile statistical information to disseminate to other components within the Department of Defense engaged in the Hotline Program; to provide prompt, responsive, and accurate information regarding the status of ongoing cases; and to provide a record of complaint disposition. Complaints appearing to involve criminal wrongdoing will be referred to the Defense Criminal Investigative Service or other criminal investigative units of DoD components.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Keith Mastromichalis, DCAA FOIA/Privacy Act Management Analyst, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 2135, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6219, Telephone number: (703) 767-1022.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Contract Audit Agency notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://dpcld.defense.gov/. The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on August 5, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. RDCAA 900.1 System name:

    DCAA Inspector General Records.

    System location:

    Office of Inspector General, Headquarters Defense Contract Audit Agency, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 2135, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6219.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    All persons (civilian, military, contractors, and/or members of the public) who have registered a complaint or request for assistance with the Defense Contract Audit Agency Inspector General. Individuals who are or have been involved in Inspector General Activities as participants, witnesses, subject matter experts, subjects or suspects.

    Categories of records in the system:

    Individual's name, case number, address, phone number, reports of investigations, statements of individuals, correspondence, inspections or inquiries pertaining to complaints made to or investigated by the Defense Contract Audit Agency Inspector General.

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    5 U.S.C. 301, Departmental Regulations; DoD Directive 5105.36, Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA); 5 U.S.C., Appendix 3, Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended; DoD Directive 5106.04, Defense Inspectors General; DoD Directive 5106.1, Inspector General of the Department of Defense (IG DoD); DoD Directive 7050.1, Defense Hotline Program; and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.

    Purpose(s):

    To record information related to official DCAA Inspector General investigations and actions taken in investigative recommendations. To compile statistical information to disseminate to other components within the Department of Defense engaged in the Hotline Program. To provide prompt, responsive, and accurate information regarding the status of ongoing cases. To provide a record of complaint disposition. Complaints appearing to involve criminal wrongdoing will be referred to the Defense Criminal Investigative Service or other criminal investigative units of DoD components.

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To Federal, state, and local agencies having jurisdiction over or investigative interest in the substance of the allegations for investigative, corrective action, debarment, or reporting purposes.

    To Government contractors employing individuals who are subjects of a hotline.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of DCAAs compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system.

    The complete list of DoD blanket routine uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Paper records and/or electronic storage media.

    Retrievability:

    By individual's name, subject matter, and case number.

    Safeguards:

    Access is limited to DCAA Inspector General staff. Records are accessed by properly screened and cleared personnel with a need-to-know. Paper records are stored in a secured room. Electronic media access is authenticated and validated through use of Common Access Cards (CACs) with encryption and user name and password verification.

    Retention and disposal:

    Closed case files not referred includes anonymous or vague allegations not warranting an investigation are destroyed or deleted after 2 years.

    Referred case files. Includes matters referred to U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) or the DoD Inspector General (DODIG) for handling, and support files providing general information that may prove useful in the investigation. Records are cutoff at closure, destroyed or deleted after 10 years.

    Completed case files includes complaint files, inquires, replies, comments, and other documents relating to the investigation of non-criminal allegations of misconduct and mismanagement.

    Final Reports are destroyed or deleted when 10 years old.

    Work papers and background material are destroyed or deleted when 10 years old.

    Electronic copies created on electronic mail and word processing systems are deleted after a record keeping copy has been produced.

    Automated and paper records are retained within the Office of the Inspector General for a period of 10 years after referral or closure.

    System manager(s) and address:

    Office of Inspector General, Headquarters Defense Contract Audit Agency, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 2135, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6219.

    Notification procedure:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Office of Inspector General, Headquarters Defense Contract Audit Agency, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 2135, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6219.

    The request must contain full name, complete return address, and daytime contact telephone number.

    Record access procedures:

    Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Office of Inspector General, Headquarters Defense Contract Audit Agency, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 2135, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6219.

    The request must contain full name, complete return address, and daytime contact telephone number.

    Contesting record procedures:

    DCAA's rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in DCAA Instruction 5410.10; 32 CFR part 317; or may be obtained from the system manager.

    Record source categories:

    Information is provided by complainants, witnesses, subjects, suspects, investigators, inspectors general, members of Congress and members of other branches of Government, as required.

    Exemptions claimed for the system:

    Investigatory material may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). However, if an individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit for which he would otherwise be entitled by Federal law or for which he would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of the information, the individual will be provided access to the information, except to the extent that disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

    Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for federal civilian employment, military service, federal contracts, or access to classified information may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), but only to the extent that such material would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

    An exemption rule for this system has been promulgated in accordance with requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(1), (2), and 3, (c) and (e) and published in 32 CFR part 317. For more information, contact the system manager.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27231 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-HA-0107] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Health Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Health Agency proposes to alter an existing system of records, EDTMA 02, entitled “Medical/Dental Care and Claims Inquiry Files” in its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

    This system provides information to maintain and control records pertaining to requests for information concerning an individual's TRICARE eligibility status, the medical or dental benefits provided under programs of TRICARE and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) and the processing of individual TRICARE and CHAMPVA claims.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Linda S. Thomas, Chief, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, Defense Health Agency, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101, or by phone at (703) 681-7500.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Health Agency notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on May 6, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EDTMA 02 System name:

    Medical/Dental Care and Claims Inquiry Files (November 18, 2013, 78 FR 69076)

    Changes:
    System location:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records Management, Administration and Management Directorate, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066, and contractors under contract to the Defense Health Agency.

    A listing of Managed Care Support contractors maintaining these records is available from the system manager.”

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “All individuals who seek information concerning health care under TRICARE and The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).”

    Categories of records in the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Inquiries received from private individuals for information on TRICARE and CHAMPVA, and replies thereto; Congressional inquiries on behalf of constituents and replies thereto; and files notifying personnel of eligibility or termination of benefits. Information may include the name, Social Security Number (SSN) and/or DoD Identification Number (DoD ID Number) of the sponsor and/or beneficiary; beneficiary's relationship to sponsor; date of birth, case number, dates of treatment, medical/dental diagnosis; Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) data, address, telephone number, marital status, adoption information, and sponsor name.”

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “10 U.S.C. Chapter 55, Medical and Dental Care; 38 U.S.C. Chapter 17, Hospital, Nursing Home, Domiciliary, and Medical Care; 32 CFR part 199, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS); and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.”

    Purpose(s):

    Delete entry and replace with “To maintain and control records pertaining to requests for information concerning an individual's TRICARE eligibility status, the medical or dental benefits provided under programs of TRICARE and CHAMPVA and the processing of individual TRICARE and CHAMPVA claims.”

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Delete entry and replace with “In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the Departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs consistent with their statutory administrative responsibilities under TRICARE and CHAMPVA pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Chapter 55 and 38 U.S.C. Chapter 17.

    Referral to Federal, state, local, or foreign governmental agencies, and to private business entities, including individual providers of care (participating and non-participating), on matters relating to eligibility, claims pricing and payment, fraud, program abuse, utilization review, quality assurance, peer review, program integrity, third-party liability, coordination of benefits, and civil or criminal litigation related to the operation of TRICARE.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys in situations where the matter directly or indirectly involves the TRICARE program.

    Disclosure to third-party contacts in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have, information necessary to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual concerning his or her entitlement, the amount of benefit payments, any review of suspected abuse or fraud, or any concern for program integrity or quality appraisal.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Defense Health Agency compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Note 1:

    This system of records contains individually identifiable health information. The DoD Health Information Privacy Regulation (DoD 6025.18-R) or any successor DoD issuances implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and 45 CFR parts 160 and 164, Health and Human Services, General Administrative Requirements and Security & Privacy, respectively, applies to most such health information. DoD 6025.18-R or a successor issuance may place additional procedural requirements on uses and disclosures of such information beyond those found in the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, or mentioned in this system of records notice.

    Note 2:

    Except as provided under 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2, records of identity, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment information of any patient maintained in connection with the performance of any program or activity relating to substance abuse education, prevention, training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research, which is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by a department or agency of the United States will be treated as confidential and disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized under 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2.”

    Policies and procedures for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

    Storage:

    Delete entry and replace with “Paper records and/or electronic storage media.”

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “Information is retrieved by the name, SSN and/or DoD ID Number of the sponsor or beneficiary.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Electronic media, data and/or electronic records are maintained in a controlled area. Records are maintained in a secure, limited access, or monitored area. The computer system is accessible only to authorized personnel. Entry into these areas is restricted to those personnel with a valid requirement and authorization to enter. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, passwords which are changed periodically, and administrative procedures.

    The system provides two-factor authentication through user IDs/passwords. Access to personal information is restricted to those who require the data in the performance of their official duties. All personnel whose official duties require access to the information are trained in the proper safeguarding and use of the information.

    All of the records must be properly secured for the duration of their life cycle. The safeguards in place for the paper records include placing the documents in locked file cabinets and storage rooms with limited access and electronic security measures. In addition, some of the records are housed in secure facilities monitored by security guards and video surveillance.”

    Retention and disposal:

    Delete entry and replace with “Close out at end of the calendar year in which received. Destroy 10 year(s) after cut off. When subject to one or more Litigation Holds, preserve records in compliance with the time restraints of the hold(s).”

    System manager(s) and address:

    Delete entry and replace with “Manager, Records Management, Administration and Management Directorate, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to Chief, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Service Center, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101.

    Requests should contain the full name and signature of the sponsor or beneficiary.

    If requesting information about a minor or legally incompetent person, the request must be made by the custodial parent, legal guardian, or party acting in loco parentis of such individual. Written proof of that status may be required before the existence of any information will be confirmed.”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to records about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Chief, FOIA Service Center, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101.

    Written requests for information should include the full name and signature of the sponsor or beneficiary.

    If requesting records about a minor or legally incompetent person, the request must be made by the custodial parent, legal guardian, or party acting in loco parentis of such individual. Written proof of that status may be required before any records will be provided.”

    Contesting record procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in OSD Administrative Instruction 81, 32 CFR part 311, or may be obtained from the system manager.”

    Record source categories:

    Delete entry and replace with “Contractors, Congressional offices, Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators, all branches of the Uniformed Services, providers of care, consultants, sponsor and/or beneficiary.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-27229 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary TRICARE, Formerly Known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS); Fiscal Year 2016 Mental Health Rate Updates AGENCY:

    Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Updated Mental Health Rates for Fiscal Year 2016.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice provides the updated regional per-diem rates for low-volume mental health providers; the update factor for hospital-specific per-diems; the updated cap per-diem for high-volume providers; the beneficiary per-diem cost-share amount for low-volume providers; and, the updated per-diem rates for both full-day and half-day TRICARE Partial Hospitalization Programs for Fiscal Year 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: The Fiscal Year 2016 rates contained in this notice are effective for services on or after October 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Health Agency (DHA), Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Section, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elan Green, Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Section, DHA, telephone (303) 676-3907.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The final rule published in the Federal Register (FR) on September 6, 1988 (53 FR 34285) set forth reimbursement changes that were effective for all inpatient hospital admissions in psychiatric hospitals and exempt psychiatric units occurring on or after January 1, 1989. The final rule published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1993 (58 FR 35-400) set forth maximum per-diem rates for all partial hospitalization admissions on or after September 29, 1993. Included in these final rules were provisions for updating reimbursement rates for each federal Fiscal Year. As stated in the final rules, each per-diem shall be updated by the Medicare update factor for hospitals and units exempt from the Medicare Prospective Payment System (i.e., this is the same update factor used for the inpatient prospective payment system). For Fiscal Year 2016, the market basket rate is 2.4 percent. This year, Medicare applied two reductions to its market basket amount: (1) A 0.5 percent reduction for economy-wide productivity required by section 3401(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which amended section 1886(b)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act, and (2) a 0.2 percent point adjustment as required by section 1886(b)(3)(B)(xii) of the Act as added and amended by sections 3401 and 10319(a) of the PPACA. These two reductions do not apply to TRICARE. Hospitals and units with hospital-specific rates (hospitals and units with high TRICARE volume) and regional-specific rates for psychiatric hospitals and units with low TRICARE volume will have their TRICARE rates for Fiscal Year 2016 updated by 2.4 percent.

    Partial hospitalization rates for full-day programs also will be updated by 2.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2016. Partial hospitalization rates for programs of less than 6 hours (with a minimum of three hours) will be paid a per diem rate of 75 percent of the rate for a full-day program.

    The cap amount for high-volume hospitals and units also will be updated by the 2.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2016.

    The beneficiary cost share for low-volume hospitals and units also will be updated by the 2.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2016.

    Per Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 199.14, the same area wage indexes used for the CHAMPUS Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG)-based payment system shall be applied to the wage portion of the applicable regional per-diem for each day of the admission. The wage portion shall be the same as that used for the CHAMPUS DRG-based payment system. For wage index values greater than 1.0, the wage portion of the regional rate subject to the area wage adjustment is 69.6 percent for Fiscal Year 2016. For wage index values less than or equal to 1.0, the wage portion of the regional rate subject to the area wage adjustment is 62.0 percent.

    Additionally, 32 CFR part 199.14 requires that hospital specific and regional per-diems shall be updated by the Medicare update factor for hospitals and units exempt from the Medicare prospective payment system.

    The following reflect an update of 2.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2016.

    Regional-Specific Rates for Psychiatric Hospitals and Units With Low Tricare Volume for Fiscal Year 2016 United States census region Regional rate Northeast: New England $871 Mid-Atlantic 840 Midwest: East North Central 726 West North Central 685 South: South Atlantic 864 East South Central 924 West South Central 787 West: Mountain 786 Pacific 930 Puerto Rico 593

    Beneficiary cost-share: Beneficiary cost-share (other than dependents of Active Duty members) for care paid on the basis of a regional per-diem rate is the lower of $229 per day or 25 percent of the hospital billed charges effective for services rendered on or after October 1, 2015. Cap Amount: Updated cap amount for hospitals and units with high TRICARE volume is $1,096 per day for services on or after October 1, 2015.

    The following reflects an update of 2.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2016 for the full day partial hospitalization rates. Partial hospitalization rates for programs of less than 6 hours (with a minimum of three hours) will be paid a per diem rate of 75 percent of the rate for a full-day program.

    Partial Hospitalization Rates for Full-Day and Half-Day Programs [Fiscal year 2016] United States census region Full-day rate
  • (6 hours or more)
  • Half-day rate
  • (3-5 hours)
  • Northeast: New England (Maine, N.H., Vt., Mass., R.I., Conn.) $349 $262 Mid-Atlantic: (N.Y., N.J., Penn.) 380 285 Midwest: East North Central (Ohio, Ind., Ill., Mich., Wis.) 335 251 West North Central: (Minn., Iowa, Mo., N.D., S.D., Neb., Kan.) 335 251 South: South Atlantic (Del., Md., DC, Va., W.Va., N.C., S.C., Ga., Fla.) 357 268 East South Central: (Ky., Tenn., Ala., Miss.) 388 291 West South Central: (Ark., La., Texas, Okla.) 388 291 West: Mountain (Mon., Idaho, Wyo., Col., N.M., Ariz., Utah, Nev.) 391 293 Pacific (Wash., Ore., Calif., Alaska, Hawaii) 385 289 Puerto Rico 250 188

    The above rates are effective for services rendered on or after October 1, 2015.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27234 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0104] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to add a new System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service proposes to add a new system of records, T4500c, entitled “DFAS Transportation Incentive Program System (TIPS)” to manage the mass transportation program for DFAS civilian and DFAS NAF employees applying for and in receipt of mass transit subsidies.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Gregory Outlaw, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150 or at (317) 212-4591.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on July 22, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. T4500c System name:

    DFAS Transportation Incentive Program System (TIPS).

    System location:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Indianapolis, 8899 East 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0201.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    DFAS civilian and DFAS NAF employees.

    Categories of records in the system:

    Name, date of birth, DoD ID Number, Employee ID Number, Point-to-point commuting expenses, commuting distance, type of mass transit used, home address, organizational affiliation of the individual, service, funding appropriation for benefit, office work number, work email address, duty/work address, transit authority card number, and usage from benefit provider.

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    10 U.S.C. 113, Secretary of Defense; 5 U.S.C. 301, Departmental regulations; 5 U.S.C. 7905, Programs to encourage commuting by means other than single-occupancy motor vehicles; DoD Instruction 1000.27, Mass Transportation Benefit Program (MTBP); E.O. 12191, Federal facility ridesharing program; and E.O. 13150, Federal Workforce Transportation.

    Purpose(s):

    This system will manage the mass transportation program for DFAS civilian and DFAS NAF employees applying for and in receipt of mass transit subsidies.

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the benefit provider for purposes of administering the Mass Transportation Benefit Program and/or verifying the eligibility of individuals to receive a fare subsidy pursuant to the transportation benefit program operated by DFAS.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses published at the beginning of the DFAS compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD blanket routine uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Paper records and electronic storage media.

    Retrievability:

    Retrieved by name and/or Employee ID Number.

    Safeguards:

    Records are maintained in a controlled facility. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, guards, and is accessible only to authorized personnel. Access to records is limited to person(s) responsible for servicing the record in the performance of their official duties and who are properly screened and cleared for need-to-know. Access to computerized data is limited to Common Access Card enabled users and restricted by passwords, which are changed according to agency security policy.

    Retention and disposal:

    Records are to be cut off at the end of the fiscal year. Records will be destroyed 3 years after the cutoff by degaussing, shredding, or burning.

    System manager(s) and address:

    TIPS Program Manager, Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Indianapolis, 8899 East 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0201.

    Notification procedure:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this record system should address written inquiries to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.

    Requests should contain individual's full name, Employee ID Number for verification, current address to reply, and provide a reasonable description of what they are seeking.

    Record access procedures:

    Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this record system should address written inquiries to Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.

    Request should contain individual's full name, Employee ID Number verification, current address to reply, and telephone number.

    Contesting record procedures:

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in Defense Finance and Accounting Service Regulation 5400.11-R, 32 CFR 324; or may be obtained from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.

    Record source categories:

    From the individual.

    Exemptions claimed for the system:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27232 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0098] Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness/National Security Education Program, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    On Friday, October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62523), the Department of Defense published a notice titled “Proposed Collection; Comment Request” for National Language Service Corps; DD Forms 2932, 2933, and 2934; OMB Control Number 0704-0449. Subsequent to the publication of the notice, the Department of Defense discovered that the notice was unnecessary as public comment had already been solicited in the preamble of the proposed rule that published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 (80 FR 9669-9673).

    DATES:

    The withdrawal of the notice is effective on October 27, 2015.

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27317 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0108] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service proposes to alter a system of records, T5500a, entitled “Congressional Inquiry File” in its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This system provides the ability to track and maintain a record of Congressional inquiries, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's responses.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective on the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Gregory L. Outlaw, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-HKC/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150 or at (317) 212-4591.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Finance and Accounting Service notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/. The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on January 15, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. T5500a System name:

    Congressional Inquiry File (February 23, 2009, 74 FR 8066).

    Changes: System identification:

    Delete entry and replace with “T5545”.

    Purpose:

    Delete entry and replace with “This system provides the ability to track and maintain a record of Congressional inquiries, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's responses.”

    Storage:

    Delete entry and replace with “Electronic storage media.”

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “Name and SSN.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records are maintained in a controlled facility. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, guards, and is accessible only to authorized personnel. Access to records is limited to person(s) responsible for servicing the record in the performance of their official duties and who are properly screened and cleared for need-to-know. Access to computerized data is limited to CAC enabled users and restricted by passwords, which are changed according to agency security policy.”

    Retention and disposal:

    Delete entry and replace with “Military Pay Input Transaction records may be temporary in nature and destroyed when actions are completed, they are superseded, obsolete, or no longer needed. Source data records may be cut off at the end of the payroll year and destroyed 6 years and 3 months after cutoff.”

    System manager(s) and address:

    Delete entry and replace with “Defense Finance and Accounting Service—Columbus, Accounting Service, 4280 East Fifth Avenue, Columbus, OH 43219-1879.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this record system should address written inquiries to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.

    Requests should contain individual's full name, SSN for verification, current address for reply, and provide a reasonable description of what they are seeking.”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this record system should address written inquiries to Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.

    Request should contain individual's full name, SSN for verification, current address for reply, and telephone number.”

    Contesting record procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in Defense Finance and Accounting Service Regulation 5400.11-R, 32 CFR 324; or may be obtained from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Program Manager, Corporate Communications, DFAS-ZCF/IN, 8899 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-0150.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-27233 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-HA-0106] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Defense Health Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Health Agency proposes to alter an existing system of records, EDTMA 04, entitled “Medical/Dental Claim History Files” in its inventory of record systems subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

    The Defense Health Agency and its contractors and DoD staff (including Military Treatment Facilities, clinics and TRICARE Regional Offices Staff) use the information to control and process health care benefits available under TRICARE and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), including the processing of medical or dental claims, the control and approval of medical or dental treatments, issuance of deductible certificates, and necessary interface with providers of health care. The system also supports audits of contractor-processed claims to determine payment and occurrence accuracy of the contractor's adjudication process.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Linda S. Thomas, Chief, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, Defense Health Agency, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101, or by phone at (703) 681-7500.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Defense Health Agency notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on May 6, 2015 to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EDTMA 04 System name:

    Medical/Dental Claim History Files (November 18, 2013, 78 FR 69076)

    Changes: System location:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records Management, Administration and Management Directorate, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066, and contractors under contract to the Defense Health Agency.

    A listing of Managed Care Support contractors maintaining these records is available from the system manager.”

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Eligible beneficiaries and all individuals who seek health care under TRICARE and the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).”

    Categories of records in the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “File contains claims, billings for services, applications or approval forms, enrollment and disenrollment files, recoupment files, third-party liability files, fraud and abuse files, the name, Social Security Number (SSN) and/or DoD Identification Number (DoD ID Number) of the sponsor and/or beneficiary; beneficiary's relationship to sponsor, case management files, resource sharing files, utilization management/quality assurance files, payment files, medical/dental records, family history files, records of grievances with a medical/dental provider, appeals, hearings, or any other correspondence, memoranda, or reports which are acquired or utilized in the development and processing of TRICARE or CHAMPVA claims.

    Records are also maintained on health care demonstration projects, including enrollment and authorization agreements, correspondence, memoranda, forms and reports, which are acquired or utilized during the projects.”

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “10 U.S.C. Chapter 55, Medical and Dental Care; 38 U.S.C. Chapter 17, Hospital, Nursing Home, Domiciliary, and Medical Care; 32 CFR part 199, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS); and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.”

    Purpose(s):

    Delete entry and replace with “Defense Health Agency and its contractors and DoD staff (including Military Treatment Facilities, clinics and TRICARE Regional Offices Staff) use the information to control and process health care benefits available under TRICARE and CHAMPVA, including the processing of medical or dental claims, the control and approval of medical or dental treatments, issuance of deductible certificates, and necessary interface with providers of health care. The system also supports audits of contractor-processed claims to determine payment and occurrence accuracy of the contractor's adjudication process.”

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Delete entry and replace with “In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the Departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs consistent with their statutory administrative responsibilities under TRICARE and CHAMPVA pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Chapter 55; and 38 U.S.C. Chapter 17.

    Referral to Federal, state, local, or foreign governmental agencies, and to private business entities, including individual providers of care (participating and non-participating), on matters relating to eligibility, claims pricing and payment, fraud, program abuse, utilization review, quality assurance, peer review, program integrity, third-party liability, coordination of benefits, and civil or criminal litigation related to the operation of TRICARE.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys in situations where the matter directly or indirectly involves the TRICARE program.

    Disclosure to third-party contacts in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have, information necessary to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual concerning his or her entitlement, the amount of benefit payments, any review of suspected abuse or fraud, or any concern for program integrity or quality appraisal.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Defense Health Agency compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    NOTE 1: This system of records contains individually identifiable health information. The DoD Health Information Privacy Regulation (DoD 6025.18-R) or any successor DoD issuances implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and 45 CFR parts 160 and 164, Health and Human Services, General Administrative Requirements and Security & Privacy, respectively, applies to most such health information. DoD 6025.18-R or a successor issuance may place additional procedural requirements on uses and disclosures of such information beyond those found in the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, or mentioned in this system of records notice.

    NOTE 2: Except as provided under 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2, records of identity, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment information of any patient maintained in connection with the performance of any program or activity relating to substance abuse education, prevention, training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research, which is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by a department or agency of the United States will be treated as confidential and disclosed only for the purposes and under the circumstances expressly authorized under 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2.”

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Delete entry and replace with “Paper records and/or electronic storage media.”

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “Information is retrieved by the name, SSN and/or DoD ID Number of the sponsor or beneficiary; name and SSN and/or Tax Identification Number of the provider; internal control number; classification of medical diagnosis; procedure code; geographical location of care provided; and selected utilization limits.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Electronic media, data and/or electronic records are maintained in a controlled area. Records are maintained in a secure, limited access, or monitored area. The computer system is accessible only to authorized personnel. Entry into these areas is restricted to those personnel with a valid requirement and authorization to enter. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, passwords which are changed periodically, and administrative procedures.

    The system provides two-factor authentication through user IDs/passwords. Access to personal information is restricted to those who require the data in the performance of their official duties. All personnel whose official duties require access to the information are trained in the proper safeguarding and use of the information.

    All of the records must be properly secured for the duration of their life cycle. The safeguards in place for the paper records include placing the documents in locked file cabinets and storage rooms with limited access and electronic security measures. In addition, some of the records are housed in secure facilities monitored by security guards and video surveillance.”

    Retention and disposal:

    Delete entry and replace with “Close out at end of the calendar year in which received. Destroy 10 years after cutoff. When subject to one or more Litigation Holds, preserve records in compliance with the time constraints of the hold(s).”

    System manager(s) and address:

    Delete entry and replace with “Manager, Records Management, Administration and Management Directorate, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9066.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to Chief, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Service Center, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101.

    Requests should contain the full name and signature of the sponsor or beneficiary.

    If requesting information about a minor or legally incompetent person, the request must be made by the custodial parent, legal guardian, or party acting in loco parentis of such individual. Written proof of that status may be required before the existence of any information will be confirmed.”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to records about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Chief, FOIA Service Center, Defense Health Agency Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, 7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101, Falls Church, VA 22042-5101.

    Written requests for information should include the full name and signature of the sponsor or beneficiary.

    If requesting records about a minor or legally incompetent person, the request must be made by the custodial parent, legal guardian, or party acting in loco parentis of such individual. Written proof of that status may be required before any records will be provided.”

    Contesting record procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in OSD Administrative Instruction 81, 32 CFR part 311, or may be obtained from the system manager.”

    Record source categories:

    Delete entry and replace with “Contractors, Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators, other Components of the Department of Defense, all branches of the Uniformed Services, Congressional offices, providers of care, consultants, and sponsor and/or beneficiary.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-27230 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0102] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to add a New System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense proposes to add a new system of records, DPA 02, entitled “AFNConnect (AFNC)” which will document the eligibility and continued validation of authorized individuals Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) who register an American Forces Network satellite decoder. AFNConnect provides U.S. military commanders worldwide a means to communicate internal information to OCONUS users. Records may also be used as a management tool for statistical analysis, tracking, reporting, evaluating program effectiveness, and conducting research.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cindy Allard, Chief, OSD/JS Privacy Office, Freedom of Information Directorate, Washington Headquarters Service, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155, or by phone at (571) 372-0461.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on September 25, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. DPA 02 System name:

    AFNConnect (AFNC)

    System location:

    American Forces Network—Broadcast Center (AFN-BC), 23755 Z Street, Riverside, CA 92518-2077.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Eligible military personnel (including retirees and reservists), DoD civilian employees, full time direct hire Department of State (DoS) employees, DoD contractors, and their Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) family members, to include widows, maintaining an Armed Forces Network (AFN) satellite decoder.

    Categories of records in the system:

    First and last name, location (duty station address/residence country and locality), Unit Identification Code (UIC), DoD ID Number, sponsor/dependent status, home telephone number, address, personal cell phone number, email address, office telephone number, grade/rank, date of birth, organization assigned to (i.e., Department, directorate, branch, office), status (i.e., active duty, retired, or permanently disabled) and decoder serial number.

    Authority for the maintenance of the system:

    10 U.S.C. 113, Secretary of Defense; DoD Directive (DoDD) 5122.05, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (ASD (PA)); DoDD 5105.74, Defense Media Activity (DMA); and DoD Instruction 5120.20, American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS).

    Purpose(s):

    To document the eligibility and continued validation of authorized OCONUS individuals who register an AFN satellite decoder. AFNConnect provides U.S. military commanders worldwide a means to communicate internal information to OCONUS users. Records may also be used as a management tool for statistical analysis, tracking, reporting, evaluating program effectiveness, and conducting research.

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the records contained herein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the Department of State to verify authorized personnel's use of an AFN satellite.

    Law Enforcement Routine Use: If a system of records maintained by a DoD Component to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the agency concerned, whether federal, state, local, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

    Disclosures Required by International Agreements Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed to foreign law enforcement, security, investigatory, or administrative authorities to comply with requirements imposed by, or to claim rights conferred in, international agreements and arrangements including those regulating the stationing and status in foreign countries of DoD military and civilian personnel.

    Congressional Inquiries Disclosure Routine Use: Disclosure from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice for Litigation Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to any component of the Department of Justice for the purpose of representing the Department of Defense, or any officer, employee or member of the Department in pending or potential litigation to which the record is pertinent.

    Disclosure of Information to the National Archives and Records Administration Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to the National Archives and Records Administration for the purpose of records management inspections conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    Data Breach Remediation Purposes Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a Component may be disclosed to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) The Component suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of the information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the Component has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Component or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Components efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Electronic storage media.

    Retrievability:

    Records are retrieved by various combinations of first and last name, email address, location (duty station address/residence country and locality), date of birth, and/or decoder serial number.

    Safeguards:

    Records are accessible only to personnel on a need-to-know basis to perform their duties. All records are maintained on a protected network. Access to the network where records are maintained requires a valid Common Access Card (CAC). Electronic files and databases are password protected with access restricted to authorized users and networks. Access to physical hardware (i.e. webservers, database servers) is controlled via electronic key lock and is monitored by closed circuit TV. All data transferred via web technologies is encrypted in transit and at rest.

    Retention and disposal:

    Destroy/delete six (6) years after user account or access is terminated.

    System manager(s) and address:

    Director, American Forces Radio and Television Service, Defense Media Activity, 6700 Taylor Avenue, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755-7061.

    Director, AFN-BC, Defense Media Activity, 23755 Z Street, Riverside, California 92518-2077.

    Notification procedure:

    Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system should address written inquiries to the Privacy Act Officer, Defense Media Activity, 6700 Taylor Avenue, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755-7061.

    Signed, written requests should contain first and last name, duty station address, and home or office phone number for positive identification of requester.

    Record access procedures:

    Individuals seeking access to records about themselves contained in this system of records should address written inquiries to the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Staff Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Center, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155.

    Signed, written requests should contain first and last name, home address and phone number for positive identification of requester and the name and number of this system of records notice.

    Contesting record procedures:

    The OSD rules for accessing records, for contesting content, and appealing initial agency determinations are contained in OSD Administrative Instruction 81, 32 CFR part 311, or may be obtained from the system manager.

    Record source categories:

    Individual and Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

    Exemptions claimed for the system:

    None.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27228 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0037] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by November 27, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Defense User Registration System (DURS) Records; DD Form 2345 Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Type of Request: Existing collection in use without an OMB control number.

    Number of Respondents: 605.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 605.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 101 Hours.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to collect registration requests, validate eligibility, and maintain an official registry that identifies individuals who apply for, and are granted access privileges to DTIC owned or controlled computers, databases, products, services, and electronic information systems. Authority for maintenance of the system: E.O. 13526, Classified National Security Information; DoD Directive (DODD) 5105.73 Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC); DoDD 5230.25 Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data from Public Disclosure; DoD Instruction (DODI) 3200.12 DoD Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program (STIP); DoDI 3200.14 Principles and Operational Parameters of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program; DoDI 5230.24 Distribution Statements on Technical Documents; DoD Manual 5200.01—Volume 3, DoD Information Security Program: Protection of Classified Information; and DoD Regulation 5200.2-R, Personnel Security Program.

    Affected Public: Federal Government; Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, Docket ID 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.

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27318 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0103] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense proposes to alter a system of records notice DWHS D01, entitled “DoD National Capital Region Mass Transportation Benefit Program” to manage the DoD National Capital Region Mass Transportation Benefit Program for DoD military and civilian personnel applying for and in receipt of fare subsidies. Used as a management tool for statistical analysis, tracking, reporting, evaluating program effectiveness, and conducting research.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before November 27, 2015. This proposed action will be effective on the date following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cindy Allard, Chief, OSD/JS Privacy Office, Freedom of Information Directorate, Washington Headquarters Service, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155, or by phone at (571)372-0461.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense notices for systems of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from the Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/.

    The proposed systems reports, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act, as amended, were submitted on October 15, 2015, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4c of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. DWHS D01 System name:

    DoD National Capital Region Mass Transportation Benefit Program (December 9, 2011, 76 FR 76959).

    Changes: Categories of records in the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Name, DoD Identification Number (DoD ID Number), point-to-point commuting expenses, type of mass transit used, city, state, and ZIP+4 of residence, organizational affiliation of the individual, office work number, DoD email address, duty/work address, Smartrip card number, and monthly amount spent from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Note: Last four of the Social Security Number (SSN) is no longer being collected but will be maintained in this system until the records retention period has been met.”

    Purpose(s):

    Delete entry and replace with “To manage the DoD National Capital Region Mass Transportation Benefit Program for DoD military and civilian personnel applying for and in receipt of fare subsidies. Used as a management tool for statistical analysis, tracking, reporting, evaluating program effectiveness, and conducting research.”

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

    Delete entry and replace with “In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the records contained herein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    To the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority for the purpose of crediting fare subsidies directly to the Smartrip Card of DoD military or civilian employees participating in the SmartBenefit program.

    Law Enforcement Routine Use: If a system of records maintained by a DoD Component to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the agency concerned, whether federal, state, local, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

    Congressional Inquiries Disclosure Routine Use: Disclosure from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice for Litigation Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to any component of the Department of Justice for the purpose of representing the Department of Defense, or any officer, employee or member of the Department in pending or potential litigation to which the record is pertinent.

    Disclosure of Information to the National Archives and Records Administration Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to the National Archives and Records Administration for the purpose of records management inspections conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    Data Breach Remediation Purposes Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a Component may be disclosed to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) The Component suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of the information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the Component has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Component or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Components efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individual's name and DoD ID Number.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records are maintained in a controlled facility. Physical entry is restricted by the use of locks, guards, and is accessible only to authorized personnel. Access to records is limited to person(s) responsible for servicing the record in performance of their official duties and who are properly screened and cleared for need-to-know. Access to computerized data is restricted by Common Access Card (CAC).”

    Retention and disposal:

    Delete entry and replace with “Destroy applications of employees no longer in the program, superseded applications, vouchers, spreadsheets and other forms used to document the disbursement of subsidies when three (3) years old.”

    System manager(s) and address:

    Delete entry and replace with “Director, Facilities Services Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system should address written inquiries to the Director, Facilities Services Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155.

    Written requests for information should contain the full name of the individual and DoD ID Number.”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system should address written inquiries to the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Staff Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Center, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155.

    Signed, written requests for information should contain the full name of the individual, DoD ID Number, and include the name and number of this system of record notice.”

    Contesting record procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “The OSD rules for accessing records, for contesting contents and appealing initial agency determinations are published in OSD Administrative Instruction 81; 32 CFR part 311; or may be obtained from the system manager.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-27227 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patent applications are available for licensing: Patent Application No. 62/156,092: PHOTONIC HYBRID RECEIVE ANTENNA for determining true time delay from each receiving element of an active electronically scanned array or a phased array antenna//Patent Application No. 62/141,977: RETRACTABLE SUPPRESSOR for gas generating systems such as a firearm//Patent Application No. 14/561,502: INTEGRAL MULTI-CHAMBERED VALVED SUPPRESSOR including a method of routing gas through baffled chambers and expansion chambers for reducing sound and flash//Patent Application No. 14/668,081: COMBINATION METAL OXIDE SEMI-CONDUCTOR FIELD EFFECT TRANSISTOR (MOSFET) AND JUNCTION FIELD EFFECT TRANSISTOR (JFET) OPERABLE FOR MODULATING CURRENT VOLTAGE RESPONSE OR MITIGATING ELECTROMAGNETIC OR RADIATION INTERFERENCE EFFECTS BY ALTERING CURRENT FLOW THROUGH THE MOSFETS SEMI-CONDUCTIVE CHANNEL REGION (SCR)//Patent Application No. 14/664,186: CONTROLLING CURRENT OR MITIGATING ELECTROMAGNETIC OR RADIATION INTERFERENCE EFFECTS USING MULTIPLE AND DIFFERENT SEMI-CONDUCTIVE CHANNEL REGIONS GENERATING STRUCTURES//Patent Application No. 14/724,267: APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR MODULATING CURRENT/VOLTAGE RESPONSE USING MULTIPLE SEMI-CONDUCTIVE CHANNEL REGIONS (SCR) PRODUCED FROM DIFFERENT INTEGRATED SEMICONDUCTOR STRUCTURES//Patent Application No. 14/230,486: PROCESS AND SYSTEM FOR GRAPHICAL RESOURCING DESIGN, ALLOCATION, AND/OR EXECUTION MODELING AND VALIDATION//Patent Application No. 14/873,739: APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR MODULATING CURRENT/VOLTAGE RESPONSE USING MULTIPLE SEMI-CONDUCTIVE CHANNEL REGIONS (SCR) PRODUCED FROM DIFFERENT INTEGRATED SEMICONDUCTOR STRUCTURES//Patent Application No. 14/873,680: CONTROLLING CURRENT OR MITIGATING ELECTROMAGNETIC OR RADIATION INTERFERENCE EFFECTS USING MULTIPLE AND DIFFERENT SEMI-CONDUCTIVE CHANNEL REGIONS GENERATING STRUCTURES.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent applications cited should be directed to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404

    Dated: October 21, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27276 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, November 12, 2015; 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Cities of Gold Conference Center; 10-A Cities of Gold Road; Pojoaque, New Mexico 87506.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board (NNMCAB), 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone (505) 995-0393; Fax (505) 989-1752 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Call to Order • Welcome and Introductions • Approval of Agenda • New Mexico Environment Department Remarks and Presentation • DOE Remarks and Presentation • Public Comment Period • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Northern New Mexico, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Menice Santistevan at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Menice Santistevan at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Menice Santistevan at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes and other Board documents are on the Internet at: http://www.nnmcab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on October 21, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27297 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Coal Council AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open virtual meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a virtual meeting via WebEx of the National Coal Council (NCC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (92, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, November 12, 2015; 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    If you wish to join the meeting you must register on-line by close of business on November 6, 2015 at the following URL: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=146687&.

    You are required to submit your name, organization, email address, telephone number and a request to join the meeting. The email address you provide in the on-line registration form will be used to forward instructions on how to join the meeting using WebEx. WebEx requires a computer, web browser and an installed application (free). Instructions for joining the webcast will be sent to you two days in advance of the meeting.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Robert J. Wright, U.S. Department of Energy, 4G-036/Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0001; Telephone: 202-586-0429.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Council: The National Coal Council provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy, on general policy matters relating to coal and the coal industry.

    Purpose of Meeting: The National Coal Council (the Council) will hold a virtual meeting via WebEx beginning at 11:00 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, November 12, 2015, for acceptance and discussion of the white paper, “Leveling the Playing Field for Low Carbon Coal”, from the National Coal Council Coal Policy Committee. After deliberation, the white paper will be forwarded to the Secretary of Energy.

    A draft of the white paper will be available five days before the WebEx (November 5, 2015) on the National Coal Council Web site at the following URL: http://www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/studies/2015/Leveling-the-Playing-Field-for-Low-Carbon-Coal-Fall-2015.pdf.

    Tentative Agenda 1. Call to Order 2. Report of the Coal Policy Committee on the White Paper 3. Motion on the Fate of the White Paper 4. Adjourn

    Public Participation: The virtual meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Council, you may do so either before or within 5 days after the meeting.

    Minutes: A link to the audio/video recording of the meeting will be posted within 10-days on the NCC Web site at: http://www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on October 21, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27299 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015; 1:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    New Mexico Highlands University Campus; 800 National Avenue; Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board (NNMCAB), 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone (505) 995-0393; Fax (505) 989-1752 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda

    • Call to Order • Welcome and Introductions • Approval of Agenda and Meeting Minutes of September 30, 2015 • Old Business • New Business • DOE Updates and Presentations • Update from NNMCAB Liaisons • Public Comment Period • Wrap-Up Comments from NNMCAB Members • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Northern New Mexico, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Menice Santistevan at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Menice Santistevan at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Menice Santistevan at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes and other Board documents are on the Internet at: http://www.nnmcab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on October 21, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27298 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Excess Uranium Management: Secretarial Determination of No Adverse Impact on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment Industries AGENCY:

    National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 2, 2015, the Secretary of Energy issued a determination (“Secretarial Determination”) covering the sale or transfer of high-assay low enriched uranium for medical isotope development projects. The Secretarial Determination covers transfers of up to 25 kilograms uranium (kgU) per year of low enriched uranium (LEU) at up to 19.75 percent uranium-235 for transfers in the two years following approval of the determination to support molybdenum-99 producers in commercial research and isotope production applications. For the reasons set forth in the Department's “Analysis of Potential Impacts of Uranium Transfers on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment Industries,” which is incorporated into the determination, the Secretary determined that these transfers will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium mining, conversion, or enrichment industry.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Randy Howell, NNSA Mo-99 Domestic Project Support, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone 202-586-8834, or email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) holds inventories of uranium in various forms and quantities—including low-enriched uranium (LEU) and natural uranium—that have been declared as excess and are not dedicated to U.S. national security missions. Within DOE, the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), the Office of Environmental Management (EM), and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) coordinate the management of these excess uranium inventories. NNSA down-blends excess highly-enriched uranium to high-assay low-enriched uranium—above the commercial level of 5 wt-% and up to about 19.75 wt-% of the isotope U-235—in support of its nonproliferation objectives and missions. Common applications of such high-assay materials are as fuels for domestic and foreign research reactors and as target materials for the production of medical isotopes.

    This notice involves high-assay LEU transfers of this type to support molybdenum-99 producers in either and/or both of the above applications. These transfers fulfill a directive in the American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-239, Division C, Title XXXI, Subtitle F, 42 U.S.C. 2065) for the Department to carry out a program of assistance for the development of fuels, targets, and processes for domestic molybdenum-99 production that do not use highly enriched uranium. These transfers also support U.S. nuclear nonproliferation initiatives, by providing a path for down-blended highly enriched uranium (HEU) and encouraging the use of LEU in civil applications in lieu of HEU.

    These transfers are conducted in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq., “AEA”) and other applicable law. Specifically, Title I, Chapters 6, 14, of the AEA authorize DOE to transfer special nuclear material; LEU is a type of special nuclear material. The USEC Privatization Act (Pub. L. 104-134, 42 U.S.C. 2297h et seq.) places certain limitations on DOE's authority to transfer uranium from its excess uranium inventory. Specifically, under section 3112(d)(2)(B) of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h-10(d)(2)(B)), the Secretary must determine that the transfers “will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium mining, conversion or enrichment industry, taking into account the sales of uranium under the Russian Highly Enriched Uranium Agreement and the Suspension Agreement” before DOE makes certain transfers of natural or low-enriched uranium under the AEA.

    On August 2, 2015, the Secretary of Energy issued a determination (“Secretarial Determination”) covering the sale or transfer of high-assay low enriched uranium for medical isotope development projects. The Secretarial Determination covers transfers of up to 25 kilograms per year of LEU at up to 19.75 percent uranium-235 for transfers in the two years following approval of the determination to support molybdenum-99 producers in commercial research and isotope production applications. The Secretary based his conclusion on the Department's “Analysis of Potential Impacts of Uranium Transfers on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment Industries,” which is incorporated into the determination. The Secretary considered, inter alia, the requirements of the USEC Privatization Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 2297h et seq.), the nature of uranium markets, and the current status of the domestic uranium industries, as well as sales of uranium under the Russian HEU Agreement and the Suspension Agreement.

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Anne M. Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, National Nuclear Security Administration.

    Set forth below is the full text of the Secretarial Determination.

    SECRETARIAL DETERMINATION FOR THE SALE OR TRANSFER OF URANIUM

    I determine that the transfer of up to the equivalent of 25 kgU of 19.75%-assay low enriched uranium per calendar year to support the development and demonstration of molybdenum-99 production capabilities will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic mining, conversion, or enrichment industry. I base my conclusions on the Department's “Analysis of Potential Impacts of Uranium Transfers on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment Industries,” which is incorporated herein. As explained in that document, I have considered, inter alia, the requirements of the USEC Privatization Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 2297h et seq.), the nature of uranium markets, and the current status of the domestic uranium industries. I have also taken into account the sales of uranium under the Russian HEU Agreement and the Suspension Agreement.

    Date: August 2, 2015. Ernest J. Moniz, Secretary of Energy Analysis of Potential Impacts of Uranium Transfers on the Domestic Uranium Mining, Conversion, and Enrichment Industries I. Introduction A. Legal Authority

    DOE manages its excess uranium inventory in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq., “AEA”) and related statutes. Specifically, Title I, Chapters 6-7, 14, of the AEA authorize DOE to transfer special nuclear material and source material. LEU and natural uranium are types of special nuclear material and source material, respectively.

    The USEC Privatization Act (Pub. L. 104-134, 42 U.S.C. 2297h et seq.) places certain limitations on DOE's authority to transfer uranium from its excess uranium inventory. Specifically, under section 3112(d) of the USEC Privatization Act (42 U.S.C. 2297h-10(d)), DOE may make certain transfers of natural or low-enriched uranium if the Secretary determines that the transfers “will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium mining, conversion or enrichment industry, taking into account the sales of uranium under the Russian Highly Enriched Uranium Agreement and the Suspension Agreement.” (42 U.S.C. 2297h-10(d)(2)(B)). The validity of any determination under this section is limited to no more than two calendar years subsequent to the determination (see Section 306(a) of Division D, Title III of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235)).

    B. Transfers Considered in This Determination

    The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-239, Division C, Title XXXI, Subtitle F, 42 U.S.C. 2065) directs the Department to carry out a program to provide assistance for the development of fuels, targets, and processes for domestic molybdenum-99 production that do not use highly enriched uranium (HEU). The transfer of small quantities of high-assay low enriched uranium (LEU) (LEU enriched above 5 wt-%, but below 20 wt-% U-235) is appropriate and necessary to assist parties engaged in research and development (R&D) and commercial demonstrations of the aforementioned fuels, targets, and processes. Material transfers under this determination will occur primarily during calendar years 2015 and 2016 and consist of no more than 25 kgU of material enriched at up to 19.75 wt-% of the isotope U-235 in any calendar year.1 Assuming a tails assay of 0.20 wt-% U-235, it would require approximately 1 MTU of natural uranium hexafluoride and approximately 1,100 separative work units (“SWU”) to produce that quantity of 19.75 wt-% LEU.

    1 If any transfers include material at an assay other than 19.75 wt-%, the amount will be converted so that the total amount in any calendar year is equivalent to no more than 25 kgU at 19.75 wt-%.

    II. Analytical Approach

    Consistent with the analytical approach outlined in the Department's prior Analysis of Potential Impacts of Uranium Transfers, 80 FR 26,366, 26,379-84 (May 7, 2015), this analysis evaluates two forecasts: one reflecting the state of the domestic uranium industries if DOE goes forward with the transfer and one reflecting the state of the domestic uranium industries if DOE does not go forward with the transfer. DOE compares these two forecasts to determine the relevant impacts on the domestic uranium industries. In conducting this comparison, DOE has developed a set of factors that this analysis considers in assessing whether DOE's uranium transfers will have an “adverse material impact” on the domestic uranium mining, conversion, or enrichment industries:

    1. Prices 2. Production at existing facilities 3. Employment levels in the industry 4. Changes in capital improvement plans and development of future facilities 5. Long-term viability and health of the industry 6. Russian HEU Agreement and Suspension Agreement

    While no single factor is dispositive of the issue, DOE believes that these factors are representative of the types of impacts that the proposed transfers may have on the domestic uranium industries. Not every factor will necessarily be relevant on a given occasion or to a particular industry; DOE intends this list of factors only as a guide to its analysis.

    III. Assessment of Potential Impacts

    There is currently no domestic commercial supplier of high-assay LEU. In particular, with the closing of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in 2013, the only remaining operational uranium enrichment facility in the U.S. is that operated by Louisiana Energy Services, LLC, which is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to possess LEU only up to 5 wt-% U-235,2 meaning no domestic commercial uranium enrichment facility is currently licensed to possess the high-assay LEU contemplated for transfer.

    2 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Materials License. License Number SNM-2010, Amendment 57, Docket Number 70-3103.

    Modern enrichment facilities are technologically able to produce such materials; however, due to the economics of enrichment, owners and operators of such enrichment facilities have thus far chosen not to pursue enrichment of high-assay LEU. To produce such LEU, a commercial supplier would need to secure an appropriate license or license amendment, a task that would require an investment of money and time. Projections of demand in the nuclear medicine industry lead to the forecast that the need for high-assay LEU in future years will range from tens to hundreds of kilograms. Compared to the thousands of metric tons of enriched uranium required by the commercial power industry, and given the costs required for licensing, the production of such small quantities of high-assay materials is not likely to be economically viable for private industry.

    There also does not exist currently a foreign commercial producer or supplier of high-assay low enriched uranium for use in domestic research reactors or medical isotope production applications; what high-assay LEU is produced internationally, for example to convert Russian-supplied reactors from highly enriched uranium (HEU) cores, is produced by a state-owned enterprise for official purposes via down-blending excess HEU.

    Given the specialized uses, designs, and regulatory requirements of the fuels and targets used for these isotope production purposes, it is not feasible to replace the DOE-sourced high-assay LEU used in research reactor fuel or targets with commercial-assay LEU because fuel or targets fabricated from commercial-assay LEU would generally not serve the intended purposes.

    Given the lack of commercial production or supply of such materials, an analysis of the impact of transfers based on an assessment of the six factors listed in Section II is straightforward: since the transfer of DOE material would not displace primary production of uranium concentrates, conversion services, or enrichment services, there is no impact on the domestic uranium industries with respect to any of the factors.

    Even if the DOE transfers would displace production among the domestic uranium mining, conversion, or enrichment industries, the amount is so small that the effects would be de minimis. With respect to the three uranium industries, in order to produce the amount of LEU in DOE transfers from primary production, it would require about 2500 pounds of uranium concentrates, 950 kgU of conversion services, and approximately 1,100 SWU of enrichment services. By comparison, the entire global fleet of nuclear reactors is expected to need in 2015 approximately 160 million pounds U3O8, 56 million kgU of conversion services, and about 45 million SWU.3 For further comparison, the U.S. uranium mining industry produced approximately 4.9 million pounds of U3O8 in 2014.4 The domestic conversion industry consists of only one facility. In recent years, that facility has produced between 11 and 12 million kgU. As mentioned above, there is only one currently operating enrichment facility in the U.S. The total capacity of that facility is currently about 3.7 million SWU.

    3 These estimates of global requirements come from an analysis prepared by Energy Resources International, Inc. (ERI), dated February 20, 2015. This report is available at http://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/excess-uranium-management. DOE tasked ERI to prepare this analysis to assess the potential effects on the domestic uranium mining, conversion, and enrichment industries of the introduction into the market of uranium transfers that are not the subject of this assessment. ERI develops its requirements forecasts for various customers. Because of ERI's general expertise in the uranium markets and contacts with market participants, DOE believes ERI's general market information is reliable.

    4 EIA, Domestic Uranium Production Report Q4 2014, 2 (January 2015).

    Given how small DOE transfers are compared to either global reactor requirements or domestic production, DOE concludes that transfers at this level would have almost no impact on the domestic uranium mining, conversion, or enrichment industries with respect to any of the six factors listed in Section II.

    DOE recently issued a determination that certain transfers of natural uranium in exchange for cleanup services at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant and of LEU in exchange for downblending services will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industries. The analysis supporting that determination also considered various other past transfers, the uranium from which may still be affecting markets. 80 FR at 26,385. In reaching the conclusion that transfers of up to 25 kg per year of high-assay LEU will have at most de minimis impacts on the domestic uranium industries, DOE takes account of the various transfers assessed for its recent determination.

    IV. Conclusion

    For the reasons discussed above, these transfers will not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium mining, conversion, or enrichment industry taking into account sales under the Russian HEU Agreement and Suspension Agreement.

    [FR Doc. 2015-27303 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-90-000] Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC.'s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is November 9, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27174 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-91-000] Blythe Solar 110, LLC; Supplemental Notice that Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding Blythe Solar 110 LLC.'s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is November 9, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27175 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-2-000] Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization October 19, 2015.

    Take notice that on October 7, 2015, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (FGT), 1300 Main St., Houston, TX 77002 filed a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205, 157.208 (b) and 157.216(b) of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act for authorization to replace approximately 3.39 miles of 8-inch lateral pipe and approximately 3.08 miles of 10-inch lateral pipe, and appurtenant facilities, with approximately 3.78 miles of new 12-inch replacement pipe and utilization of a 0.52 mile section of existing 10-inch pipe, south of Gandy Blvd. in Pinellas County Florida, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The project known as the 12-Inch St. Petersburg Lateral Relocation Project is being done due to a Florida Department of Transportation road project.

    The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this Application should be directed to Stephen Veatch, Senior Director of Certificates & Tariffs, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC, 1300 Main St., Houston, TX 77002, at phone (713) 989-2024 or facsimile (713) 989-1205, or via email to [email protected]

    Any person may, within 60 days after the issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. Any person filing to intervene or the Commission's staff may, pursuant to section 157.205 of the Commission's Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205) file a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the time allowed for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenter's will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with he Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenter's will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentary, will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests, and interventions via the internet in lieu of paper. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a) (1) (iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the “e-Filing” link. Persons unable to file electronically should submit original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: October 19, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27180 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-17-000.

    Applicants: Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers and Expedited Action of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5386.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2331-042; ER14-630-019; ER10-2319-034; ER10-2317-034; ER13-1351-016; ER10-2330-041.

    Applicants: J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation, AlphaGen Power LLC, BE Alabama LLC, BE CA LLC, Florida Power Development LLC, Utility Contract Funding, L.L.C.

    Description: Updated Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of JPMorgan Sellers.

    Filed Date: 10/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151020-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-47-006; ER14-594-006; ER14-2477-003; ER14-2476-003; ER14-2475-003; ER13-1896-009; ER12-2343-004; ER12-1544-004; ER12-1542-004; ER12-1541-004; ER12-1540-004; ER11-46-009; ER11-41-006; ER10-2981-006; ER10-2975-009.

    Applicants: Appalachian Power Company, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Kentucky Power Company, Kingsport Power Company, Wheeling Power Company, AEP Texas Central Company, AEP Texas North Company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Southwestern Electric Power Company, Ohio Power Company, AEP Energy Partners, Inc. CSW Energy Services, Inc., AEP Retail Energy Partners LLC, AEP Energy, Inc., AEP Generation Resources Inc.

    Description: Supplement to June 26, 2015 Updated Market Power Analysis in the Southwest Power Pool balancing area authority of the AEP MBR affiliates.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5403.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-2065-002; ER14-2472-002; ER15-1721-001.

    Applicants: Aequitas Energy, Inc., Agera Energy LLC, energy.me midwest llc.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Aequitas Energy, Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5388.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2274-001.

    Applicants: Aesir Power, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Aesir Power, LLC.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5393.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1061-001.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: NYISO compliance notify effective date and errata correction to shortage pricing to be effective 11/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151020-5209.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2631-003.

    Applicants: Odell Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Revised Application to be effective 11/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5350.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2742-000.

    Applicants: Panda Patriot LLC.

    Description: Supplement to September 29, 2015 Panda Patriot LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5397.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-120-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing—Reliability Must Run to be effective 10/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5349.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-121-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT Att K-Appx—FTR/ARR Revisions to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 10/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20151019-5355.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27182 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2438-121] Seneca Falls Power Corporation; C-S Canal Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application for Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    On October 13, 2015, Seneca Falls Power Corporation (transferor) and C-S Canal Hydro, LLC (transferee) filed an application for transfer of license of the Seneca Falls Hydroelectric Project No. 2438. The project is located on the Seneca River in Seneca, Yates, Schuyler, and Ontario counties, New York.

    The applicants seek Commission approval to transfer the license for the Seneca Falls Hydroelectric Project from the transferor to the transferee.

    Applicant Contact: For transferor: Mr. Scott Goodwin, President, Seneca Falls Power Corporation, 3330 Clayton Road, Suite B, Concord, CA 94519, telephone 925-692-2798. For transferee: Mr. Mark Boumansour, COO, C-S Canal Hydro, LLC, c/o Gravity Renewables, Inc., 1401 Walnut Street, Suite 220, Boulder, CO 80302, telephone: 303-440-3378 and Mr. Karl F. Kumli, III, Dietze and Davis, P.C., 2060 Broadway, Suite 400, Boulder, CO 80302, telephone: 303-447-1375.

    FERC Contact: Patricia W. Gillis, (202) 502-8735.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: 30 days from the date that the Commission issues this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2438-121.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27176 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-6-000] PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on October 19, 2015, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. filed Revisions to Operating Agreement, Schedule 1 RE FTR/ARR Revisions to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 9, 2015.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27172 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF14-21-000] Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, BP Alaska LNG, LLC, Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company, ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC, TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Supplemental Notice of Public Scoping Meetings for the Planned Alaska LNG Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will conduct additional public scoping meetings as part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Alaska LNG Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; and TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP (Applicants) in Alaska.

    More information about the Commission's EIS and the Alaska LNG Project is available in the Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Alaska LNG Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI), issued March 4, 2015. The NOI describes the scoping process that is under way seeking public participation in the environmental review of this project. An initial notice announcing public scoping meetings was issued on October 8, 2015. This supplemental notice announces additional public scoping meetings, listed on page 2, to provide an opportunity to submit verbal comments in addition to, or in lieu of, written comments on issues of environmental concern related to the Alaska LNG Project. Both written and verbal comments receive equal consideration. Please note that the scoping period will close on December 4, 2015.

    Additional information about the project is available from FERC's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC (3372) or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF14-21). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    Schedule and Locations for the Alaska LNG Project Public Scoping Meetings

    The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter to ensure comments are accurately depicted on the public record. The Commission invites you to attend one of the following additional public scoping meetings in the project area.

    Date and time Location November 17, 2015, 6:00 p.m Coldfoot Camp Dining Hall, Mile 175 Dalton Hwy., Coldfoot, AK 99701. November 17, 2015, 6:00 p.m Healy Tri-Valley Community Center, 0.5 Mile Healy Spur Rd., Healy, AK 99743. November 18, 2015, 6:00 p.m Tyonek Tribal Operations—Tribal Center, 100 A Street, Tyonek, AK 99682. November 18, 2015, 6:00 p.m Nenana Native Council—Tribal Center, 806 G Street, Nenana, AK 99760. November 19, 2015, 6:00 p.m Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, Khatnu 2 Room, 600 W. Seventh Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. November 19, 2015, 6:00 p.m Morris Thomson Cultural and Visitors Center, 101 Dunkel Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701. AK LNG representatives will be present one hour before the scoping meetings with maps depicting the project and to answer questions. The meetings will end once all speakers have provided their comments or at 9 pm, whichever comes first.

    Additional meetings in Nikiski, Houston, Trapper Creek, Kaktovik, Barrow, and Nuiqsut, Alaska, occurring during the week of October 26, 2015, were announced on October 8, 2015.

    Dated: October 20, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27177 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1936-002.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance filing per 9/21/15 Order—Revisions to OA Schedule 6-A to be effective 1/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20151021-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/12/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1940-007.

    Applicants: Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: Interregional Compliance filing M-3 to be effective 1/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20151021-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/12/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-131-000.

    Applicants: Heber Geothermal Company LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Petition for Approval of Initial Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 12/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20151021-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/12/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-132-000.

    Applicants: Michigan Electric Transmission Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Filing of Agreement for Sharing of Physical Security Related Asset Costs to be effective 12/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/21/15.

    Accession Number: 20151021-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/12/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 21, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27252 Filed 10-26-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM98-1-000] Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public Notice

    This constitutes notice, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2201(b), of the receipt of prohibited and exempt off-the-record communications.

    Order No. 607 (64 FR 51222, September 22, 1999) requires Commission decisional employees, who make or receive a prohibited or exempt off-the-record communication relevant to the merits of a contested proceeding, to deliver to the Secretary of the Commission, a copy of the communication, if written, or a summary of the substance of any oral communication.

    Prohibited communications are included in a public, non-decisional file associated with, but not a part of, the decisional record of the proceeding. Unless the Commission determines that the prohibited communication and any responses thereto should become a part of the decisional record, the prohibited off-the-record communication will not be considered by the Commission in reaching its decision. Parties to a proceeding may seek the opportunity to respond to any facts or contentions made in a prohibited off-the-record communication, and may request that the Commission place the prohibited communication and responses thereto in the decisional record. The Commission will grant such a request only when it determines that fairness so requires. Any person identified below as having made a prohibited off-the-record communication shall serve the document on all parties listed on the official service list for the applicable proceeding in accordance with Rule 2010, 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Exempt off-the-record communications are included in the