Federal Register Vol. 80, No.215,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 215 (November 6, 2015)

Page Range68743-69110
FR Document

80_FR_215
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 68884 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 68743 - Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private InvestmentPDF
80 FR 68852 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68842 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68843 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68839 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Italy: Preliminary Affirmative DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68854 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Affirmative DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68890 - In the Matter of CodeSmart Holdings, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 68901 - Agency Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review; Joint Comment Request; Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the AgenciesPDF
80 FR 68865 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program between the U.S. Department of Education and the Social Security AdministrationPDF
80 FR 68882 - North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2, Virginia Electric and Power CompanyPDF
80 FR 68880 - Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLCPDF
80 FR 68772 - Acetamiprid; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 68867 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 68872 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Debt Resolution ProgramPDF
80 FR 68851 - Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 68847 - Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68846 - Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 68849 - Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty DeterminationPDF
80 FR 68880 - Quarterly Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 68871 - National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics: MeetingPDF
80 FR 68872 - National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics: MeetingPDF
80 FR 68815 - Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio LicenseesPDF
80 FR 68904 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Revenue Procedure 2003-37; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 68808 - Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion EnginesPDF
80 FR 68836 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 39-Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Notification of Proposed Production Activity, KONE, Inc. (Elevator Parts), Allen, TexasPDF
80 FR 68836 - Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Rescission in Part; 2014/2015PDF
80 FR 68880 - Notice of Permit Modification Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 68893 - Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Open a Public Scoping Period, and To Hold a Public Scoping Meeting in Camden County, GeorgiaPDF
80 FR 68899 - SteelRiver Infrastructure Fund North America LP; SteelRiver Devco Holdings LLC; and SR Transportation Holdings LLC-Continuance in Control Exemption-West Belt Railway LLCPDF
80 FR 68900 - West Belt Railway LLC-Lease and Operation Exemption Including Interchange Commitment-Terminal Railroad Association of St. LouisPDF
80 FR 68858 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous FishPDF
80 FR 68859 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 68859 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 68857 - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 68876 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 68877 - Certain Height-Adjustable Desk Platforms and Components Thereof; Institution of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 68899 - San Pedro Railroad Operating Company, LLC, d/b/a San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad-Lease and Operation Exemption-Union Pacific Railroad CompanyPDF
80 FR 68860 - Procurement List; AdditionsPDF
80 FR 68860 - Procurement List; Proposed Addition and DeletionsPDF
80 FR 68870 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 68870 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 68878 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection: Public Safety Officer Medal of ValorPDF
80 FR 68835 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 68835 - Notice of National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship MeetingPDF
80 FR 68897 - Limitation on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation ProjectsPDF
80 FR 68874 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Native American Graves Protection and RepatriationPDF
80 FR 68834 - Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 68895 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; DiabetesPDF
80 FR 68874 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; ColoradoPDF
80 FR 68879 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured UnemployedPDF
80 FR 68898 - Hazardous Materials: Notice of Suspension of Del-Med, Inc., Edison, NJ for DOT-SP 8308PDF
80 FR 68904 - Advisory Committee: National Academic Affiliations Council Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 68778 - NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation SupplementPDF
80 FR 68868 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 68868 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 68869 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 68878 - Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From China and India; DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 68866 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 68778 - Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for GuamPDF
80 FR 68834 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 68875 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
80 FR 68856 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Socioeconomics of Ocean Guardian Schools-An Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries Educational ProgramPDF
80 FR 68765 - Watch, Watch Instruments, and Jewelry ProgramPDF
80 FR 68765 - Instruments and Apparatus for Educational and Scientific InstitutionsPDF
80 FR 68794 - Extension of Time To File Certain Information Returns; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 68766 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Placer County Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
80 FR 68890 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
80 FR 68807 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Placer County Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
80 FR 68866 - Pesticide Experimental Use Permit; Receipt of Application; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 68884 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Delete Rule 22.10, Limitations on DealingsPDF
80 FR 68888 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Modify Its Smart Versus Direct Routing ProtocolPDF
80 FR 68881 - DTE Electric Company; Fermi 2 Nuclear Power PlantPDF
80 FR 68871 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 68795 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification GuidelinesPDF
80 FR 68863 - Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Schofield Generating Station Project, United States Army Garrison, HawaiiPDF
80 FR 68863 - Army Education Advisory Committee Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 68864 - Army Education Advisory Subcommittee Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 68862 - Notice of Intent To License Government-Owned Inventions; Intent To License on a Partially-Exclusive BasisPDF
80 FR 68763 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 68761 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 68759 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 68758 - Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 69079 - Chlorpyrifos; Tolerance RevocationsPDF
80 FR 68749 - Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards UpdatePDF
80 FR 68873 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 68967 - Medicare Program; End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, and Quality Incentive ProgramPDF
80 FR 68768 - Air Plan Approval; WY; Update to Materials Incorporated by ReferencePDF
80 FR 68907 - Apprenticeship Programs; Equal Employment OpportunityPDF
80 FR 68780 - AssessmentsPDF

Issue

80 215 Friday, November 6, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

Army Army Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Schofield Generating Station Project, United States Army Garrison, Hawaii, 68863-68864 2015-28223 Intent to License Government-Owned Inventions; Intent to License on a Partially-Exclusive Basis, 68862 2015-28215 Meetings: Army Education Advisory Committee, 68863 2015-28218 Army Education Advisory Subcommittee, 68864-68865 2015-28217 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 68901-68904 2015-28369 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, and Quality Incentive Program, 68968-69077 2015-27928 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Montana Advisory Committee, 68834-68835 2015-28296 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 68860-68862 2015-28325 2015-28326 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 68901-68904 2015-28369 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 68835 2015-28320 Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility to Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance, 68835-68836 2015-28321 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 68865-68866 2015-28367 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Efficiency Standards: New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards, 68749-68758 2015-28078
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Air Plan Approval, WY; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference, 68768-68772 2015-27902 California; Placer County Air Pollution Control District, 68766-68768 2015-28274 Pesticide Tolerances: Acetamiprid, 68772-68778 2015-28356 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California; Placer County Air Pollution Control District, 68807-68808 2015-28271 Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines, 68808-68815 2015-28342 Tolerance Revocations: Chlorpyrifos, 69080-69110 2015-28083 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.:, 68867-68868 2015-28355 Pesticide Experimental Use Permit Application, 68866-68867 2015-28269 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments, 68758-68765 2015-28117 2015-28118 2015-28119 2015-28121 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Camden County, GA, 68893-68895 2015-28336 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees, 68815-68833 2015-28344 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 68868-68870 2015-28302 2015-28303 2015-28304 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation PROPOSED RULES Assessments, 68780-68794 2015-27287 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 68901-68904 2015-28369 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 68866 2015-28299 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes, 68895-68897 2015-28316 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 68901-68904 2015-28369 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 68870 2015-28323 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 68870 2015-28324 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Limitations on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation Projects, 68897-68898 2015-28319 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: KONE, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 39, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, 68836 2015-28341 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee, 68834 2015-28317 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

NOTICES Meetings: National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, 68871-68872 2015-28345 2015-28346
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 68871 2015-28264 Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Debt Resolution Program, 68872-68873 2015-28354 Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 68873-68874 2015-28008 Interior Interior Department See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Extension of Time to File Certain Information Returns; Comment Period Extension, 68794 2015-28279 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Revenue Procedure 2003-37; Correction, 68904 2015-28343 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration RULES Instruments and Apparatus for Educational and Scientific Institutions; CFR Correction, 68765 2015-28281 2015-28282 Watch, Watch Instruments, and Jewelry Program; CFR Correction, 68765-68766 2015-28284 NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, 68854-68856 2015-28447 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Italy, 68839-68841 2015-28452 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan, 68852-68854 2015-28455 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China, 68843-68845 2015-28453 Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea, 68842-68843 2015-28454 Certain Preserved Mushrooms from the People's Republic of China, 68836-68839 2015-28340 Melamine from the People's Republic of China, 68847-68849 2015-28351 Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago, 68849-68851 2015-28349 Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Melamine from the People's Republic of China, 68851-68852 2015-28352 Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago, 68846-68847 2015-28350 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Wearable Activity Tracking Devices, Systems, and Components Thereof, 68876-68877 2015-28329 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 from China and India, 68878 2015-28301 Certain Height-Adjustable Desk Platforms and Components Thereof, 68877-68878 2015-28328 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, 68878-68879 2015-28322 Labor Department Labor Department PROPOSED RULES Apprenticeship Programs; Equal Employment Opportunity, 68908-68966 2015-27316 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Distribution of Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed, 68879-68880 2015-28312 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Colorado, 68874 2015-28315 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplements, 68778 2015-28309 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries in the Western Pacific: Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for Guam, 68778-68779 2015-28298 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Socioeconomics of Ocean Guardian Schools—An Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries Educational Program, 68856-68857 2015-28287 Endangered and Threatened Species: Take of Anadromous Fish, 68858-68859 2015-28333 Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 68859-68860 2015-28332 New England Fishery Management Council, 68859 2015-28331 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, 68857-68858 2015-28330 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation, 68874-68875 2015-28318 National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 68875-68876 2015-28295 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Permit Applications: Antarctic Conservation Act; Modifications, 68880 2015-28337 National Women's National Women's Business Council NOTICES Meetings, 68880 2015-28348 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Construction Permit Applications: Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC, 68880-68881 2015-28357 Director's Decisions: Virginia Electric and Power Co., North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2, 68882-68884 2015-28361 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: DTE Electric Company; Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, 68881-68882 2015-28265 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 68884 2015-28482 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Hazardous Materials: Suspension of Del-Med, Inc., Edison, NJ, 68898-68899 2015-28311 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment (Memorandum of November 11, 2015), 68743-68747 2015-28466 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 68901-68904 2015-28369 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 68884-68888 2015-28268 Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., 68888-68890 2015-28267 Trading Suspension Orders: CodeSmart Holdings, Inc., 68890 2015-28413 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Continuance in Control Exemptions: SteelRiver Infrastructure Fund North America, LP; SteelRiver Devco Holdings, LLC and SR Transportation Holdings, LLC; West Belt Railway, LLC, 68899-68900 2015-28335 Leases and Operation Exemptions Including Interchange Commitments: West Belt Railway, LLC, 68900 2015-28334 Leases and Operation Exemptions: San Pedro Railroad Operating Co., LLC, d/b/a San Pedro and Southwestern Railroad from Union Pacific Railroad Co., 68899 2015-28327 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water, 68890-68893 2015-28272 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines, 68795-68807 2015-28256 NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee: National Academic Affiliations Council, 68904-68905 2015-28310 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Labor Department, 68908-68966 2015-27316 Part III Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 68968-69077 2015-27928 Reader Aids

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

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

80 215 Friday, November 6, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 433 [Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0047] RIN 1904-AD39 Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings' Baseline Standards Update AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is publishing this final rule to implement provisions in the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA) that require DOE to update the baseline Federal energy efficiency performance standards for the construction of new Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings. This rule updates the baseline Federal commercial standard to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2013.

DATES:

This rule is effective January 5, 2016.

The incorporation by reference of certain ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013 in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of January 5, 2016.

All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after November 6, 2016, using ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 as the baseline standard for 10 CFR part 433.

ADDRESSES:

This rulemaking can be identified by docket number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0047 and/or RIN number 1904-AD39.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical issues: Sarah Jensen, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Federal Energy Management Program, Mailstop EE-5F, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 287-6033, email: [email protected] For legal issues: Kavita Vaidyanathan, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-6609, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

This rulemaking incorporates by reference the following standard into 10 CFR part 433:

• ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, I-P Edition, Copyright 2013.

Copies of this standard are available from the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1791 Tullie Circle NE., Atlanta, GA 30329, (404) 636-8400, http://www.ashrae.org. The standard is discussed in greater detail in sections III and VI.N of this document.

Also, a copy of this standard is available for inspection at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. For information on the availability of this standard at DOE, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or email [email protected]

Table of Contents I. Executive Summary of the Final Rule II. Introduction III. Discussion of the Final Rule IV. Compliance Date V. Reference Resources VI. Regulatory Analysis VII. Congressional Notification VIII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Executive Summary of the Final Rule

Section 305 of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA), as amended, requires DOE to determine whether the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect revisions to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) Accordingly, DOE conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis that found ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 to be cost-effective. DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.1 Therefore, in this final rule, DOE updates the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 for buildings for which design for construction began on or after one year after the rule is published in the Federal Register. (42 U.S.C. 6834 (a)(3)(A)). Federal buildings are defined as follows: “any building to be constructed by, or for the use of, any Federal agency. Such term shall include buildings built for the purpose of being leased by a Federal agency, and privatized military housing.” (42 U.S.C. 6832 (6)). This term does not include renovations or modifications to existing buildings.

1 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2001) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 433, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA and Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at http://energy.gov/node/984581.

II. Introduction

ECPA, as amended, requires DOE to establish building energy efficiency standards for all new Federal buildings. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)) The standards established under section 305(a)(1) of ECPA must contain energy efficiency measures that are technologically feasible, economically justified, and meet the energy efficiency levels in the applicable voluntary consensus energy codes specified in section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)-(3))

Under section 305 of ECPA, the referenced voluntary consensus code for commercial buildings (including multi-family high rise residential buildings) is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(2)(A)) For the purposes of discussion in this preamble, all references to “Federal buildings” subject to 10 CFR 433 will include commercial and multi-family high-rise residential unless otherwise noted. DOE codified this referenced code as the baseline Federal building standard in its existing energy efficiency standards found in 10 CFR part 433. Also pursuant to section 305 of ECPA, DOE must establish, by rule, revised Federal building energy efficiency performance standards for new Federal buildings that require such buildings be designed to achieve energy consumption levels that are at least 30 percent below the levels established in the referenced code (baseline Federal building standard), if life-cycle cost-effective. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(A)(i)(I))

Under section 305 of ECPA, not later than one year after the date of approval of each subsequent revision of the ASHRAE Standard or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), DOE must determine whether to amend the baseline Federal building standards with the revised voluntary standard based on the cost-effectiveness of the revised voluntary standard. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) It is this requirement that this rulemaking addresses. ASHRAE has updated Standard 90.1 from the version currently referenced in DOE's regulations at 10 CFR part 433. In this rule, DOE revises the latest baseline Federal building standard for 10 CFR part 433 from ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013.

Section 306(a) of ECPA provides that each Federal agency and the Architect of the Capitol must adopt procedures to ensure that new Federal buildings will meet or exceed the Federal building energy efficiency standards established under section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6835(a)) ECPA Section 306(b) bars the head of a Federal agency from expending Federal funds for the construction of a new Federal building unless the building meets or exceeds the applicable baseline Federal building energy standards established under section 305. (42 U.S.C. 6835(b)) Specifically, all new Federal buildings must be designed to achieve the baseline standards in ASHRAE Standard 90.1 (and the International Energy Conservation Code for low-rise residential buildings) and achieve energy consumption levels at least 30 percent below these minimum baseline standards, where life-cycle cost-effective. (42 U.S.C. 6834 (a)(3)(A)). This requirement does not extend to renovations or modifications to existing buildings.

III. Discussion of the Final Rule

DOE is issuing this action as a final rule. As indicated above, DOE must determine whether the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect revisions to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(3)(B)) In this final rule, DOE determines that the energy efficiency standards for new Federal buildings should be updated to reflect the 2013 revisions to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 based on the cost-effectiveness of the revisions.

DOE reviewed ASHRAE Standard 90.1 for DOE's state building codes program and determined that the 2013 version of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 would achieve greater energy efficiency than the prior version. (See 79 FR 57900 (Sept. 26, 2014)) This determination was subject to notice and comment. See 79 FR 27778 (May 15, 2014). In that determination, DOE found that the 2013 version of Standard 90.1 would save 8.5% more source energy than the 2010 version of Standard 90.1.

In DOE's determination for the state building codes program, and again in this rule, DOE states that the cost-effectiveness of revisions to the voluntary codes is considered through DOE's statutorily directed involvement in the codes process. See 79 FR 57900. Section 307 of ECPA requires DOE to participate in the ASHRAE code development process and to assist in determining the cost-effectiveness of the voluntary standards. (42 U.S.C. 6836) DOE is required to periodically review the economic basis of the voluntary building energy codes and participate in the industry process for review and modification, including seeking adoption of all technologically feasible and economically justified energy efficiency measures. (42 U.S.C. 6836(b))

In addition to DOE's consideration of the cost-effectiveness of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 through its participation in the codes development process, DOE conducted an independent analysis of the cost-effectiveness of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. The results of the analysis are discussed below in section A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”.2 DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.3

2National Cost-Effectiveness of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Hart, R. et. al. PNNL-23834, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, January 2015. http://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Cost-effectiveness_of_ASHRAE_Standard_90-1-2013-Report.pdf.

3 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2001) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 433, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA and FONSI may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at http://energy.gov/node/984581.

In this rule, DOE updates the energy efficiency standards applicable to new Federal buildings based on the determinations made by DOE as to the energy efficiency improvements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, as compared to the predecessor version, and based on the considerations of cost-effectiveness incorporated into the codes processes, DOE's involvement in those processes, and DOE's own cost-effectiveness analysis.4 This final rule amends 10 CFR part 433 to update the referenced baseline Federal energy efficiency performance standards. No other changes are proposed to 10 CFR part 433 by this rule.

4 Determination Regarding Energy Efficiency Improvements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013: Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings; Notice of Determination September 26, 2014. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2014-BT-DET-0009-0006.

DOE also notes that there are a number of statutory provisions, regulations, Executive Orders, and memoranda of understanding that govern energy consumption in new Federal buildings. These include, but are not limited to, the Executive Order 13693 (80 FR 15871 (March 25, 2015)); sections 323, 433, 434, and 523 of EISA 2007; section 109 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58); and 10 CFR parts 433 and 435. This rule supports and does not supplant these other applicable legal requirements for new Federal buildings. For example, by designing buildings to meet the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 baseline, Federal agencies also help achieve the energy intensity reductions mandated under section 431 of EISA 2007.

Of particular significance is the Administration's Climate Action Plan, (CAP), issued June 2013, in which the President affirmed that the Federal government must position itself as a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency, and pledged that Federal agencies must surpass previous greenhouse gas reduction achievements, through a combination of consuming 20 percent of Federal electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and by pursuing greater energy efficiency in Federal buildings.5 Additionally, the President directed that efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings set in the first and second terms combined would reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030—equivalent to nearly one-half of the carbon pollution from the entire U.S. energy sector for one year. Today's rule, which DOE estimates will avoid cumulative emissions of 6,234,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2030, directly supports the Administration's undertaking to make energy efficiency in Federal buildings an essential stratagem in the government's enduring achievement of the greenhouse gas reduction goals set out in the CAP.

5 The President's Climate Action Plan, Office of the Executive Office of the President, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf, June 2013.

DOE further notes, on the subject of process loads, that the scope of building loads covered by ASHRAE Standard 90.1 broadened in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 and again in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 to cover “new equipment or building systems specifically identified in the standard as part of an industrial or manufacturing process.” 6 For example, Standard 90.1-2013 now includes escalator and moving walkway control requirements. Such requirements were not included in efficiency calculations under prior versions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1. Process loads are defined in 10 CFR 433.2 as “the load on a building resulting from energy consumed in support of a manufacturing, industrial, or commercial process. Process loads do not include energy consumed maintaining comfort and amenities for the occupants of the building (including space conditioning for human comfort).” Receptacle loads, also known as “plug loads” are defined in 10 CFR 433.2 as “the load on a building resulting from energy consumed by any equipment plugged into electrical outlets.” As in prior versions of the energy efficiency performance standards for new Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, DOE is maintaining the exclusion of process loads (for example, medical or industrial equipment) from the energy savings metric. Process loads typically involve specialized equipment for which improvements in energy efficiency may affect the functionality of the equipment or where improvements are not available at all. Some Federal buildings use most of their energy serving process loads, and application of the energy savings requirement to these buildings would likely place an undue burden on the rest of the building if the 30 percent savings is to be achieved.

6See section 2 in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, (I-P Edition)” and section 2 in “ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, (I-P Edition)” at: http://www.ashrae.org.

In addition, DOE is also maintaining its exclusion of receptacle loads for the purpose of calculating energy savings under the Federal building standards because they are difficult to anticipate at the design stage and would change over time. (See 72 FR 72565, 72567-72568 (Dec. 21, 2007))

This rule clarifies that Federal agencies should continue to consider the building envelope and energy consuming systems normally specified as part of the building design covered by ASHRAE Standard 90.1 when determining if a design meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and whether achieving energy consumption levels at least 30% below the relevant ASHRAE baseline building is life-cycle cost-effective. Receptacle and process loads not explicitly covered in Standard 90.1, such as specialized medical or research equipment and equipment used in manufacturing processes, may be excluded from the calculations as noted in the rule.

IV. Compliance Date

This final rule applies to new Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings for which design for construction begins on or after one year from the publication date of this rulemaking in the Federal Register. (42 U.S.C. 6834(a)(1)) Such buildings must be designed to exceed the energy efficiency level of the appropriate updated voluntary standard by 30 percent if life-cycle cost-effective. However, at a minimum, such buildings must achieve the energy efficiency equal to that of the appropriate updated voluntary standard. One year lead time before the design for construction begins is consistent with DOE's previous updates to the energy efficiency baselines and the original statutory mandate for Federal building standards. One year lead time before design for construction begins helps minimize compliance costs to agencies, which may have planned buildings in various stages of design, and allows for design changes to more fully consider life-cycle cost-effective measures (as opposed to having to revise designs in development, which may make incorporation of energy efficiency measure more difficult or expensive).

V. Reference Resources

The Department originally prepared this list of resources to help Federal agencies achieve building energy efficiency levels of at least 30 percent below ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004. The Department has reviewed these resources and believes that they continue to be useful for helping agencies maximize their energy efficiency levels. The Department has updated this resource list as necessary. These resources come in many forms and in a variety of media. Resources are provided for all buildings, and also specifically for commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings.

Resources for Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings 1. Energy Efficient Products—U.S. DOE Federal Energy Management Program and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Program http://energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-and-water-efficient-products

Federal agencies are required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to specify Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) designated or ENERGY STAR equipment, including building mechanical and lighting equipment and builder-supplied appliances, for purchase and installation in all new construction. This equipment is generally more efficient than the corresponding requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, and may be used to achieve part of the savings required of Federal building designs. (This rule does not specifically address the use of this equipment, but this Web site is listed for convenience because it is a very useful resource for achieving part of the energy savings required by the rule.)

2. Life-Cycle Cost Analysis—U.S. DOE Federal Energy Management Program

The life-cycle cost analysis rules promulgated in 10 CFR part 436 Subpart A Life-Cycle Cost Methodology and Procedures conform to requirements in the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-615) and subsequent energy conservation legislation, as well as Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. The life-cycle cost guidance and required discount rates and energy price projections are determined annually by FEMP and the Energy Information Administration, and are published in the Annual Supplement to The National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 135: “Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis” http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/ashb10.pdf.

3. ENERGY STAR Target Finder—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_bldg_design.bus_target_finder

ENERGY STAR is a Government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. The benchmarking tool and other information at the ENERGY STAR Target Finder Web site can be useful in determining an annual energy target for building design and computer simulations, evaluating cost-effectiveness of efficiency measures, and tracking a building's actual energy performance after construction.7

7 The use of EPA's Target Finder tool during the design process of applicable new Federal buildings helps ensure that buildings are on a pathway to meet the existing building Federal Sustainable Building Guiding Principle (Energy Efficiency: Option 1), which is to receive an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher in EPA's Portfolio Manager.

4. Building Energy Software Tools—U.S. DOE Building Technologies Program http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tools_directory/

This directory provides information on building software tools for evaluation energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings.

5. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013—ASHRAE http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/products/1865966

The baseline energy efficiency standard for commercial and multi-family high-rise buildings is ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2013. This link also contains a link to a read-only version of Standard 90.1-2013 under the Preview button.

6. Whole Building Design Guide—National Institute of Building Sciences http://www.wbdg.org/

A portal providing one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a “whole buildings” perspective.

7. Labs for the 21st Century—U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE http://energy.gov/eere/femp/laboratories-21st-century

A Web site focused on improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of laboratory space. This site includes training and educational resources and design tools focused on laboratories.

VI. Regulatory Analysis A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”

This final rule is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was subject to review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB has completed its review. As discussed previously in this rule, DOE is required to determine, based on the cost-effectiveness, whether the standards for Federal buildings should be updated to reflect an amendment to the ASHRAE standard. As stated above, DOE complied with the statutory language by analyzing the cost-effectiveness of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, and through DOE's involvement in the ASHRAE code development process, including the consideration of ASHRAE's cost-effectiveness criteria for Standard 90.1-2013.8

8 See infra at 1.

DOE has also reviewed this regulation pursuant to Executive Order 13563, issued on January 18, 2011. 76 FR 3281 (January 21, 2011). EO 13563 is supplemental to and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866.

Review under Executive Order 12866 requires an analysis of the economic effect of the rule. For this purpose, DOE estimated incremental first cost (in this case, the difference between the cost of a building designed to meet ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 and a building designed to meet ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010) for the Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family residential buildings sector, as well as life-cycle cost net savings. DOE determined that the total incremental first cost estimate is a savings of $1.2 million per year, with an average first cost decrease of $0.03 per square foot. DOE estimated $87.2 million in annual life-cycle cost (LCC) net savings for the entire Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise buildings sector with an average life-cycle cost net savings of $2.21 per square foot.

DOE's assumptions and methodology for the cost-effectiveness of this rule are based on DOE's cost-effectiveness analysis of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, as well as DOE's Environmental Assessment (EA) for this rulemaking.9 The EA identified a rate of new Federal commercial construction of 39.4 million square feet per year with a distribution of building types as shown in Table 1. As described in the EA, the distribution of building types is based on the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 GSA Federal real property reports. Table 1 also shows the prototype buildings incorporated into computer simulations that are used to estimate energy use in each building type. DOE derived these prototype buildings from 16 building types in 17 climate zones 10 using its Commercial Prototype Building models.11 Of the 16 prototype buildings, DOE developed costs for six prototype buildings to determine the cost effectiveness of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. DOE then extracted the cost-effectiveness information for those prototype buildings and weighted those values as appropriate to obtain an average cost effectiveness value for building types found in the Federal commercial sector, as discussed in the EA.

9 The Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2001) is entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 433, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update”. The EA and FONSI may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at http://energy.gov/node/984581.

10 Briggs, R.S., R.G. Lucas, and Z.T. Taylor. 2003. “Climate classification for building energy codes and standards: Part 1—Development Process.” ASHRAE Transactions 109(1): 109:121. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Atlanta, Georgia. The 90.1-2013 climate zone map may be viewed as Figure B.1 of the online version of Standard 90.1-2013 at https://ashrae.iwrapper.com/ViewOnline/Standard_90.1-2013_I-P.

11 DOE's prototype buildings are described at http://www.energycodes.gov/development/commercial/90.1_models.

Table 1—New Federal Commercial and High-Rise Multi-Family Construction Volume by Building Type Building type Fraction of
  • federal
  • construction volume
  • (by floor area)
  • Assumed prototypes
    Office 0.63 Small Office,* Medium Office, Large Office.* Education 0.083 Primary School,* Secondary School. Dorm/Barracks 0.09 Small Hotel,* Large Hotel, Mid-Rise Apartment,* High-Rise Apartment. Warehouse 0.15 Non-Refrigerated Warehouse. Hospital 0.04 Outpatient Healthcare, Hospital. * Indicates prototypes for which costs are available (See Table 2) Notes: 1. Note that first cost data is not available for the prototypes assumed for warehouses and hospitals. As described below, DOE considered costs for the warehouse and hospital to be equivalent to the weighted cost for the offices, education, and dorm/barracks, which represents 81% of the Federal building stock. 2. DOE has preliminarily determined incremental cost and the life-cycle cost net savings information for the building types and climate zones analyzed. This information is shown in Tables 2 and 3.
    Table 2—Incremental Construction First Cost (2013$) for ASHRAE 90.1-2013 vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Prototype Value ASHRAE Climate zone 2A 3A 3B 4A 5A Small Office First Cost ($2,601) ($906) ($1,358) $12,472 $9,072 $/ft2 ($0.47) ($0.16) ($0.25) $2.27 $1.65 Large Office First Cost $352,647 ($1,065,759) ($1,476,190) $98,124 ($1,014,770) $/ft2 $0.71 ($2.14) ($2.96) $0.20 ($2.04) Primary School First Cost $88,857 $119,646 $9,620 $167,916 $179,872 $/ft2 $1.20 $1.62 $0.13 $2.27 $2.43 Small Hotel First Cost $20,483 $18,527 $18,675 $32,441 $39,120 $/ft2 $0.47 $0.43 $0.43 $0.75 $0.91 Mid-rise Apartment First Cost $5,711 $23,214 $23,358 $12,891 $19,577 $/ft2 $0.17 $0.69 $0.69 $0.38 $0.58 1. Notes: Negative costs (shown in parentheses) indicate a reduction in cost due to changes in the code, usually due to reduced HVAC capacity.12

    DOE used data from Table 1 and Table 2 to calculate preliminary values for overall incremental first cost of construction for Federal commercial and high-rise, multi-family residential buildings. DOE calculated the incremental first cost of the Federal building types based on the DOE prototypes shown in bold font in Table 1. DOE then calculated the weighted average incremental cost for Federal building types based on the office, education, and dorm/barracks building types which represent an estimated 81% of new Federal construction. This weighted incremental cost was assigned to the warehouse and hospital building types and a total weighted incremental cost was calculated by multiplying the incremental cost for each Federal building type by the fraction of Federal construction shown in Table 1. For warehouses and hospitals DOE considered costs to be equivalent to the weighted cost for offices, education, and dorm/barracks.13

    12 In this particular transition from 90.1-2010 to 90.1-2013, the cost reduction was mainly because of smaller and less expensive HVAC equipment since the building load had decreased. This cost reduction is part of the first cost calculation. Note that in addition to reduced equipment costs, there is reduced ductwork or piping costs as well.

    13 There are no data for those years for warehouses or hospitals. It could be expected that costs to a warehouse would be less since it is a simpler building. We assumed both the warehouse and the hospital were the “average” of the data we did have. And so, the warehouse value is likely higher than it might have been and the hospital value is likely lower than it might have been had there been data available.

    The national total incremental first cost for building types was developed by multiplying the average (across climate zones) incremental first cost of the prototypes (determined from the DOE ASHRAE Standard 90.1 cost-effectiveness analysis) by the fraction of the Federal sector construction volume shown in Table 1.14 The resulting building type incremental first costs were then summed together to determine an overall incremental first cost for the entire Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family residential buildings sector. DOE estimates that total first cost outlays for new Federal buildings will be less under ASHRAE Standard 90.1 2013 than ASHRAE 90.1 2010, primarily due to cheaper equipment costs for some building types (See Table 2 and footnote 13 above). The resulting total incremental first cost estimate is a savings of $1.2 million per year. The average first cost decrease is $0.03 per square foot.

    14 For the Federal office building, the small and large office prototype first costs were averaged. For the Federal education building, the primary school prototype first cost was used. For the Federal dorm/barracks building type, the small hotel and mid-rise apartment prototype first costs were averaged.

    DOE also examined the relative impact of today's rule on the first cost of new constructed Federal buildings. Estimated construction costs for new Federal commercial and high-rise multifamily buildings were obtained from RS Means (2014) 15 for the 5 buildings types analyzed in DOE's cost-effectiveness methodology plus two additional building types that are reasonably common in the Federal sector—hospitals and warehouses. Weights for the Federal building types and relationships between Federal building types and the DOE prototypes used in the cost-effectiveness analysis are shown in Table 1. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 3. For the assumptions used in this rulemaking, the average cost of a new Federal building would be $135 per square foot. This cost may be multiplied by the 39.4 million square feet of new Federal construction per year used in this rulemaking to estimate the total cost of new Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family construction at $5.325 billion. Savings associated with this rulemaking are estimated at $1.2 million per year, indicating a potential cost reduction in new Federal construction costs of 0.023%.

    15 RS Means. 2014. RS Means Building Construction Cost Data, 72nd Ed. Construction Publishers & Consultants. Norwell, MA.

    Table 3—First Cost of Typical New Federal Building in $/ft2 BECP Prototype Building first cost $/ft2 Corresponds to Federal building type Federal
  • weighting
  • (%)
  • Weighted
  • cost
  • ($)
  • Small Office 132 Small Office 32 42 Large Office 166 Large Office 32 52 Primary School 138 Education 8 11 Small Hotel 111 Barracks/Dormitory 5 5 Mid-Rise Apartment 117 Barracks/Dormitory 5 5 Hospital 253 Hospital 4 10 Warehouse 63 Warehouse 15 9 Total 99 135

    Turning to LCC net savings, DOE estimated the LCC net savings to be $87.2 million for 39.4 million square feet of annual construction, with the average life-cycle cost net savings in year one estimated at $2.21 per square foot. Table 4 shows annual LCC net savings by prototype buildings. For LCC net savings, DOE used a similar approach to that used for incremental first cost. That is, DOE developed the national total annual LCC net savings 16 for building types by multiplying the average (across climate zones) LCC net savings (determined from the DOE ASHRAE 90.1 cost-effectiveness analysis) by the fraction of the federal sector construction volume shown in Table 1.17 The results of the building type LCC net savings were then summed together to determine the overall annual LCC net savings for the entire Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family buildings sector. The resulting total LCC net savings for 39.4 million square feet of annual construction was estimated to be $87.2 million. The average life-cycle cost net savings in year one was estimated to be $2.21 per square foot. Note the annual LCC savings are for one year of Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family residential construction and that those savings would accumulate over the LCC evaluation period. For the purpose of this analysis, DOE relied on a 30-year period.18

    16 The energy costs used were the national average energy costs used by ASHRAE in the development of Standard 90.1-2013. To quote the cost-effectiveness analysis report “Energy rates used to calculate the energy costs from the modeled energy usage were $0.990/therm for fossil fuel and $0.1032/kWh for electricity. These rates were used for the 90.1-2013 energy analysis, and derived from the US DOE Energy Information Administration data. These were the values approved by 90.1-2013”.

    17 For the Federal office building, the small and large office prototype life cycle costs were averaged. For the Federal education building, the primary school prototype life cycle cost was used. For the Federal dorm/barracks building type, the small hotel and mid-rise apartment prototype life cycle costs were averaged.

    18 Rushing, A, J Kneifel, and B Lippiatt. 2013. Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis-2013: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709.

    Table 4—Annual Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) Net Savings (2013$) for ASHRAE 90.1-2013 vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Prototype Value ASHRAE Climate zone 2A 3A 3B 4A 5A Small Office Total $21,600.00 $15,200.00 $10,800.00 $2,900.00 $5,000.00 $/ft2 3.93 2.76 1.96 0.51 0.91 Large Office Total 740,000.00 1,650,000.00 2,540,000.00 310,000.00 1,340,000.00 $/ft2 1.48 3.31 5.09 0.60 2.69 Primary School Total 246,000.00 116,000.00 398,000.00 70,000.00 109,000.00 $/ft2 3.33 1.57 5.38 0.95 1.47 Small Hotel Total 96,410.00 76,000.00 78,000.00 62,600.00 68,000.00 $/ft2 2.23 1.76 1.81 1.45 1.57 Mid-rise Apartment Total 59,600.00 22,600.00 23,800.00 29,200.00 28,500.00 $/ft2 1.77 0.67 0.71 0.87 0.84 B. Administrative Procedure Act

    DOE notes that the determination regarding ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 in the context of State building codes was subject to notice and comment in evaluating the voluntary consensus codes. See 76 FR 43298 (July 20, 2011) for the preliminary determination and 76 FR 64904 (October 19, 2011) for the final determination. The determinations made in the context of the State codes are equally applicable in the context of Federal buildings. DOE finds that providing notice and comment on the determinations again in the context of Federal buildings would be unnecessary. The fact that the voluntary consensus codes apply to Federal buildings as opposed to the general building stock does not require a different evaluation of energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, DOE notes that this rule, which updates energy efficiency performance standards for the design and construction of new Federal buildings, is a rule relating to public property, and therefore is not subject to the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, including the requirement to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking. (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2))

    C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking, 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003, to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the rulemaking process, 68 FR 7990. The Department has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of General Counsel's Web site: http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

    DOE has determined that a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law for issuance of this rule. As such, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply.

    D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This rulemaking will impose no new information or record keeping requirements. Accordingly, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance is not required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq).

    E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    The Department prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-2001) entitled, “Environmental Assessment for Final Rule, 10 CFR part 433, `Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings,' Baseline Standards Update,” 19 pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and DOE's NEPA Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021).

    19 The EA and FONSI may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at http://energy.gov/node/984581.

    The EA addresses the possible incremental environmental effects attributable to the application of the final rule. The only anticipated impact would be a decrease in outdoor air pollutants resulting from decreased fossil fuel burning for energy use in Federal buildings. Therefore, DOE has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), pursuant to NEPA, the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and DOE's regulations for compliance with NEPA (10 CFR part 1021).

    To identify the potential environmental impacts that may result from implementing the final rule on new Federal commercial buildings, DOE compared the requirements of the final rule updating energy efficiency performance standard for Federal new commercial and multi-family high rise residential buildings to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 with the “no-action alternative” of using the current Federal standards (ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010). This comparison is identical to that undertaken by DOE in its determinations of energy savings of those standards and codes.

    Accordingly, DOE concludes in the EA that new Federal buildings designed and constructed to Standard 90.1-2013 will use less energy than new Federal buildings designed and constructed to Standard 90.1-2010 because Standard 90.1-2013 is more efficient than Standard 90.1-2010. This decrease in energy usage translates to reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and mercury (Hg) over the thirty-year period examined in the EA. Cumulative emission reductions for 30 years of construction (2015 through 2044) and 30 years of energy reduction for each building built during that period can be estimated at up to 24,156,900 metric tons of CO2, up to 24,564 metric tons of NOX, and up to 0.3357 metric tons of Hg. DOE conducted a separate calculation to determine emissions reductions relative to the targets identified in the CAP. This calculation showed that the cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions through 2030 amounts to 6,234,000 metric tons of CO2.20

    20 See discussion of CAP calculations in footnote 12 on page 23 of the EA for this rule. The EA and FONSI may be found in the docket for this rulemaking and at http://energy.gov/node/984581.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations, 65 FR 13735. DOE examined this rule and determined that it does not preempt State law and does 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. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    G. Review Under Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform”

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, rather than a general standard and promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    H. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a) and (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA (62 FR 12820) (also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel). This final rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, so these requirements under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act do not apply.

    I. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This final rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    J. Review Under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”

    The Department has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988) that this rule would not result in any takings which might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    K. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516, note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (February 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (October 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed today's final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    L. Review Under Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget, a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use. DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that new construction in the commercial sector will range from 1.7 billion square feet per year in 2015 to 2.4 billion square feet per year in 2040.21 This rule is expected to incrementally reduce the energy usage of approximately 39.4 million square feet of Federal commercial and high-rise multi-family residential construction annually.22 Thus, the rule represents approximately 2.3% of the expected annual US construction in 2015, falling to approximately 1.6% in the year 2040. This final rule would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy and, therefore, is not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    21 See Table A5 of the 2015 Annual Energy Outlook (beta) at http://www.eia.gov/beta/aeo/#/?id=5-AEO2015 or Table A5 of the 2014 Annual Energy Outlook at http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser/#release=AEO2014&subject=0-AEO2014&table=5-AEO2014&region=0-0&cases=full2013full-d102312a,ref2014-d102413a.

    22 See Regulatory Analysis Section A. Review Under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” above for origin of the 39.4 million square foot estimate.

    M. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-275), as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-70). (15 U.S.C. 788) Section 32 provides that where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the NOPR must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition.

    Although section 32 specifically refers to the proposed rule stage, DOE is meeting these requirements at the final rule stage because there was no proposed rule for this action. This final rule incorporates testing methods contained in the following commercial standard: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, 2013, American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., ISSN 1041-2336.

    DOE has evaluated these standards and notes that the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard is developed under American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved consensus procedures, and is under continuous maintenance by a Standing Standard Project Committee. ASHRAE has established a program for regular publication of addenda, or revisions, including procedures for timely, documented, consensus action on requested changes to the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard. ANSI approved the final addendum for inclusion in the 2013 edition in September 2013. Standard 90.1-2013 was published in October 2013. However, DOE is unable to conclude whether ASHRAE Standard 90.1 fully complies with the requirements of section 32(b) of the FEAA (i.e. whether they were developed in a manner that fully provides for public participation, comment, and review). DOE has consulted with both the Attorney General and the Chairman of the FTC about the impact on competition of using the methods contained in these standards and has received no comments objecting to their use.

    N. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference

    In this rule, DOE incorporates by reference ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, (I-P Edition), Copyright 2013. This U.S. standard provides minimum requirements for energy efficient designs for buildings except for low-rise residential buildings. Copies of this standard are available from the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1791 Tullie Circle NE., Atlanta, GA 30329, (404) 636-8400, http://www.ashrae.org.

    VII. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this rule prior to its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    VIII. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 433

    Buildings and facilities, Energy conservation, Engineers, Federal buildings and facilities, Housing, Incorporation by reference.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2015. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Energy amends chapter II of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 433—ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FEDERAL COMMERCIAL AND MULTI FAMILY HIGH RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS 1. The authority citation for part 433 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6831-6832; 6834-6835; 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.

    2. Amend § 433.2 by adding in alphabetical order the definition of “ASHRAE Baseline Building 2013” to read as follows:
    § 433.2 Definitions.

    ASHRAE Baseline Building 2013 means a building that is otherwise identical to the proposed building but is designed to meet, but not exceed, the energy efficiency specifications in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, 2013 (incorporated by reference, see § 433.3).

    3. Amend § 433.3 by adding paragraph (b)(4) to read as follows:
    § 433.3 Materials incorporated by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (4) ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013, (“ASHRAE 90.1-2013”), Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, I-P Edition, Copyright 2013, IBR approved for §§ 433.2, 433.100, and 433.101.

    4. Amend § 433.100 by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); b. Adding paragraph (a)(4); and c. Revising paragraph (b).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 433.100 Energy efficiency performance standard.

    (a) * * *

    (2) All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after August 10, 2012, but before July 9, 2014, to:

    (3) All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after July 9, 2014, but before November 6, 2016 to:

    (4) All Federal agencies shall design new Federal buildings that are commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, for which design for construction began on or after November 6, 2016 to:

    (i) Meet ASHRAE 90.1-2013, (incorporated by reference, see § 433.3); and

    (ii) If life-cycle cost-effective, achieve energy consumption levels, calculated consistent with paragraph (b) of this section, that are at least 30 percent below the levels of the ASHRAE Baseline Building 2013.

    (b) Energy consumption for the purposes of calculating the 30 percent savings requirements shall include the building envelope and energy consuming systems normally specified as part of the building design by ASHRAE 90.1 such as space heating, space cooling, ventilation, service water heating, and lighting, but shall not include receptacle and process loads not within the scope of ASHRAE 90.1 such as specialized medical or research equipment and equipment used in manufacturing processes.

    5. Amend § 433.101 by: a. Revising the introductory text of paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3); b. Adding paragraph (a)(4); and c. Revising paragraph (b).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 433.101 Performance level determination.

    (a) * * *

    (2) For Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after August 10, 2012, but before July 9, 2014, each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the ASHRAE Baseline Building 2007 and proposed building by using the Performance Rating Method found in Appendix G of ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (incorporated by reference, see § 433.3), except the formula for calculating the Performance Rating in paragraph G1.2 shall read as follows:

    (3) For Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after July 9, 2014, but before November 6, 2016 each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the ASHRAE Baseline Building 2010 and proposed building by using the Performance Rating Method found in Appendix G of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 (incorporated by reference, see § 433.3), except the formula for calculating the Performance Rating in paragraph G1.2 shall read as follows:

    (4) For Federal buildings for which design for construction began on or after before November 6, 2016 each Federal agency shall determine energy consumption levels for both the ASHRAE Baseline Building 2013 and proposed building by using the Performance Rating Method found in Appendix G of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 (incorporated by reference, see § 433.3), except the formula for calculating the Performance Rating in paragraph G1.2 shall read as follows:

    (i) Percentage improvement = 100 × ((Baseline building consumption − Receptacle and process loads)− (Proposed building consumption − Receptacle and process loads))/(Baseline building consumption − Receptacle and process loads) (which simplifies as follows):

    (ii) Percentage improvement = 100 × (Baseline building consumption − Proposed building consumption)/(Baseline building consumption − Receptacle and process loads).

    (b) Energy consumption for the purposes of calculating the 30 percent savings requirements in § 433.100 shall include the building envelope and energy consuming systems normally specified as part of the building design by ASHRAE 90.1 such as space heating, space cooling, ventilation, service water heating, and lighting, but shall not include receptacle and process loads not within the scope of ASHRAE 90.1 such as specialized medical or research equipment and equipment used in manufacturing processes.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28078 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31042; Amdt. No. 3665] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 6, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    For Examination

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

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

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

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    The Rule

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

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

    Issued in Washington, DC on October 9, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 12 NOVEMBER 2015 Auburn, IN, De Kalb County, VOR-A, Amdt 10 North Adams, MA, Harriman-And-West, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Sidney, OH, Sidney Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Amdt 1 Sidney, OH, Sidney Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 28, Amdt 1 Sidney, OH, Sidney Muni, VOR-A, Orig Sidney, OH, Sidney Muni, VOR OR GPS RWY 23, Amdt 12B, CANCELED Effective 10 DECEMBER 2015 Bakersfield, CA, Meadows Field, ILS OR LOC RWY 30R, Amdt 31 Bakersfield, CA, Meadows Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 30R, Amdt 2 Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, GPS RWY 28R, Orig-A, CANCELED Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, ILS OR LOC RWY 10R, Amdt 28 Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10L, Orig, CANCELED Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 10R, Amdt 1 Monterey, CA, Monterey Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 10R, Orig, CANCELED Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 28R, Amdt 37 Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 28R, Amdt 3 Oakland, CA, Metropolitan Oakland Intl, RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 28R, Amdt 2 Delta, CO, Blake Field, RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Orig Delta, CO, Blake Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Dodge City, KS, Dodge City Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Amdt 1A Dodge City, KS, Dodge City Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 2 Enid, OK, Enid Woodring Rgnl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Amdt 1 Enid, OK, Enid Woodring Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 4 Enid, OK, Enid Woodring Rgnl, VOR RWY 35, Amdt 15 Humboldt, TN, Humboldt Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig Humboldt, TN, Humboldt Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Orig Humboldt, TN, Humboldt Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 1 Humboldt, TN, Humboldt Muni, VOR/DME-A, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Fort Worth, TX, Fort Worth Alliance, RNAV (GPS) RWY 16R, Orig Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake City Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 17, ILS RWY 17 (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 17 (SA CAT II), Amdt 14 Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake City Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Amdt 2
    [FR Doc. 2015-28117 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31043; Amdt. No. 3666] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 6, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    For Examination

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

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

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

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    The Rule

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

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

    Issued in Washington, DC on October 9, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

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

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

    * * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 12-Nov-15 AZ Globe San Carlos Apache 5/0529 09/30/15 GPS RWY 27, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 FL Brooksville Brooksville-Tampa Bay Rgnl 5/0653 09/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Amdt 1C. 12-Nov-15 CA Marysville Yuba County 5/0918 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig-C. 12-Nov-15 MN Mankato Mankato Rgnl 5/0985 10/06/15 COPTER ILS OR LOC RWY 33, Orig-B. 12-Nov-15 ND Harvey Harvey Muni 5/2418 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 CO Craig Craig-Moffat 5/2420 09/29/15 VOR/DME RWY 7, Amdt 2B. 12-Nov-15 MI Charlotte Fitch H Beach 5/2421 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 20, Orig. 12-Nov-15 MI Charlotte Fitch H Beach 5/2422 09/29/15 VOR RWY 20, Amdt 11. 12-Nov-15 AR Batesville Batesville Rgnl 5/2705 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 26, Amdt 1. 12-Nov-15 AR Batesville Batesville Rgnl 5/2706 09/29/15 LOC RWY 8, Amdt 1. 12-Nov-15 AR Batesville Batesville Rgnl 5/2707 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 8, Amdt 1A. 12-Nov-15 IA Harlan Harlan Muni 5/2965 09/29/15 GPS RWY 15, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 IA Harlan Harlan Muni 5/2966 09/29/15 GPS RWY 33, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 KS Hill City Hill City Muni 5/3297 09/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1A. 12-Nov-15 TN Winchester Winchester Muni 5/3334 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 18, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 TN Winchester Winchester Muni 5/3335 09/22/15 NDB RWY 18, Amdt 6A. 12-Nov-15 TN Winchester Winchester Muni 5/3336 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 18, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 TN Winchester Winchester Muni 5/3337 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 NY Farmingdale Republic 5/3360 09/22/15 NDB RWY 1, Amdt 14B. 12-Nov-15 NY Farmingdale Republic 5/3361 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 2C. 12-Nov-15 NY Farmingdale Republic 5/3362 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 2B. 12-Nov-15 TN Rockwood Rockwood Muni 5/3505 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 22, Amdt 1. 12-Nov-15 TN Rockwood Rockwood Muni 5/3508 09/22/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Orig. 12-Nov-15 WI Waukesha Waukesha County 5/6258 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 10, Orig. 12-Nov-15 NE Ord Evelyn Sharp Field 5/6260 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 MO Cassville Cassville Muni 5/6261 09/29/15 VOR RWY 9, Amdt 2. 12-Nov-15 TX Center Center Muni 5/6276 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig. 12-Nov-15 TX Center Center Muni 5/6277 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 17, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6278 09/29/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 14, Amdt 8A. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6279 09/29/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 32, Amdt 27A. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6280 09/29/15 NDB RWY 32, Amdt 20A. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6282 09/29/15 RADAR 1, Amdt 13A. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6283 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 14, Orig. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6284 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-B. 12-Nov-15 OH Youngstown/Warren Youngstown-Warren Rgnl 5/6285 09/29/15 VOR-A, Orig. 12-Nov-15 ID Coeur D'Alene Coeur D'Alene-Pappy Boyington Field 5/6537 09/29/15 VOR/DME RWY 2, Amdt 2B. 12-Nov-15 ID Coeur D'Alene Coeur D'Alene-Pappy Boyington Field 5/6538 09/29/15 ILS OR LOC/DME RWY 6, Amdt 5C. 12-Nov-15 ID Coeur D'Alene Coeur D'Alene-Pappy Boyington Field 5/6540 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-C. 12-Nov-15 ID Coeur D'Alene Coeur D'Alene-Pappy Boyington Field 5/6541 09/29/15 VOR RWY 6, Orig-C. 12-Nov-15 ID Coeur D'Alene Coeur D'Alene-Pappy Boyington Field 5/6542 09/29/15 NDB RWY 6, Amdt 2D. 12-Nov-15 WA Bremerton Bremerton National 5/6569 09/29/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 5. 12-Nov-15 CA San Diego San Diego Intl 5/6675 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 3C. 12-Nov-15 MO Springfield Springfield-Branson National 5/6815 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Amdt 2A. 12-Nov-15 TX Mount Vernon Franklin County 5/6817 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 12-Nov-15 TX Mount Vernon Franklin County 5/6818 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 12-Nov-15 CA Truckee Truckee-Tahoe 5/7132 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 20, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 CA Truckee Truckee-Tahoe 5/7133 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) Z RWY 20, Orig-B. 12-Nov-15 CA Truckee Truckee-Tahoe 5/7134 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Orig-A. 12-Nov-15 MN Mankato Mankato Rgnl 5/7267 09/22/15 ILS RWY 33, Amdt 1. 12-Nov-15 PA Altoona Altoona-Blair County 5/7687 09/30/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 21, Amdt 8. 12-Nov-15 PA Altoona Altoona-Blair County 5/7688 09/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Amdt 1A. 12-Nov-15 IN Auburn De Kalb County 5/7736 09/30/15 VOR RWY 9, Amdt 7C. 12-Nov-15 IN Auburn De Kalb County 5/7737 09/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 9, Orig-B. 12-Nov-15 IN Auburn De Kalb County 5/7738 09/30/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 27, Amdt 1B. 12-Nov-15 IN Auburn De Kalb County 5/7739 09/30/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Orig-B. 12-Nov-15 CA Marysville Yuba County 5/7760 09/29/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 14, Amdt 5D. 12-Nov-15 CA Marysville Yuba County 5/7761 09/29/15 VOR RWY 32, Amdt 10G. 12-Nov-15 CA Marysville Yuba County 5/7763 09/29/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 32, Orig-C. 12-Nov-15 IL Peoria General Downing-Peoria Intl 5/8231 09/29/15 VOR OR TACAN RWY 13, Amdt 23B. 12-Nov-15 OR Portland Portland Intl 5/9949 09/29/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 10L, Amdt 4A.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28118 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31044; Amdt. No. 3667] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 6, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    For Examination

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

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

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

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    The Rule

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

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

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    2. Part 97 is amended to read as follows: Effective 10 DECEMBER 2015 Atqasuk, AK, Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr Memorial, NDB RWY 24, Amdt 2A, CANCELED Cold Bay, AK, Cold Bay, VOR/DME OR TACAN-A, Amdt 4, CANCELED Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, ILS OR LOC RWY 2L, ILS RWY 2L (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 2L (CAT II), ILS RWY 2L (CAT III), Amdt 10 Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2R, Amdt 1 Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 20L, Amdt 1 Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 2L, Amdt 1 Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 20R, Amdt 1A Fairbanks, AK, Fairbanks Intl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 6 Koyuk, AK, Koyuk Alfred Adams, NDB/DME RWY 1, Amdt 1B, CANCELED Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 7L, Amdt 2D Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles Intl, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 24L, Amdt 3 South Lake Tahoe, CA, Lake Tahoe, VOR/DME OR GPS-A, Amdt 3C, CANCELED Boise, ID, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Fld, LOC BC RWY 28L, Amdt 1A, CANCELED Boise, ID, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Fld, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 10L, Amdt 3 Boise, ID, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Fld, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 10R, Amdt 2 Boise, ID, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Fld, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 28L, Amdt 5 Boise, ID, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Fld, RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 28R, Amdt 6 Chicago/West Chicago, IL, DuPage, VOR RWY 10, Amdt 12C, CANCELED Elkhart, IN, Elkhart Muni, VOR RWY 27, Amdt 15A, CANCELED Elkhart, IN, Elkhart Muni, VOR/DME RWY 36, Amdt 4A, CANCELED Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig Gary, IN, Gary/Chicago Intl, VOR/DME OR GPS RWY 2, Amdt 7, CANCELED Wabash, IN, Wabash Muni, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Wabash, IN, Wabash Muni, VOR-A, Amdt 11 Portland, ME, Portland Intl Jetport, ILS OR LOC RWY 11, ILS RWY 11 (SA CAT I), ILS RWY 11 (CAT II), ILS RWY 11 (CAT III), Amdt 4 Portland, ME, Portland Intl Jetport, RNAV (GPS) RWY 11, Amdt 4 Portland, ME, Portland Intl Jetport, RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 2 Portland, ME, Portland Intl Jetport, RNAV (GPS) RWY 29, Amdt 3 Portland, ME, Portland Intl Jetport, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 7 Baudette, MN, Baudette Intl, VOR RWY 30, Amdt 10, CANCELED Thief River Falls, MN, Thief River Falls Rgnl, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 2A, CANCELED Poplarville, MS, Poplarville-Pearl River County, RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig Poplarville, MS, Poplarville-Pearl River County, RNAV (GPS)-B, Orig Poplarville, MS, Poplarville-Pearl River County, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Asheville, NC, Asheville Rgnl, RADAR-1, Amdt 5A, CANCELED Asheville, NC, Asheville Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Orig Asheville, NC, Asheville Rgnl, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 9, CANCELED New Bern, NC, Coastal Carolina Regional, ILS OR LOC RWY 4, Amdt 1 New Bern, NC, Coastal Carolina Regional, RNAV (GPS) RWY 4, Amdt 1 Wilmington, NC, Wilmington Intl, TACAN-A, Amdt 1 Jamestown, ND, Jamestown Rgnl, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 6C, CANCELED Charleston, SC, Charleston Executive, RNAV (GPS) RWY 27, Amdt 2B Aberdeen, SD, Aberdeen Rgnl, NDB RWY 31, Amdt 10A, CANCELED Dyersburg, TN, Dyersburg Rgnl, VOR/DME RWY 4, Amdt 4, CANCELED Richfield, UT, Richfield Muni, RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1A Roanoke, VA, Roanoke-Blacksburg Rgnl/Woodrum Field, Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle DP, Amdt 11
    [FR Doc. 2015-28119 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No. 31045; Amdt. No. 3668] Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 6, 2015. The compliance date for each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is specified in the amendatory provisions.

    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    For Examination

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

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

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

    4. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Availability

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Availability and Summary of Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    The Rule

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 97

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

    Issued in Washington, DC on October 23, 2015. John Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service. Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

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

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

    * * * Effective Upon Publication AIRAC date State City Airport FDC No. FDC date Subject 10-Dec-15 CT New Haven Tweed-New Haven 5/0067 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 2, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 VA Blacksburg Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive 5/0384 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig. 10-Dec-15 VA Blacksburg Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive 5/0385 10/6/15 LOC/DME RWY 12, Amdt 1A. 10-Dec-15 VA Blacksburg Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive 5/0386 10/6/15 NDB-A, Amdt 4. 10-Dec-15 SC Loris Twin City 5/1076 10/6/15 GPS RWY 26, Orig. 10-Dec-15 LA Bogalusa George R Carr Memorial Air Fld 5/1114 10/7/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Amdt 1A. 10-Dec-15 AK Kiana Bob Baker Memorial 5/2959 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig. 10-Dec-15 AK Kiana Bob Baker Memorial 5/2960 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 AK Wales Wales 5/2969 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 18, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 AK Wales Wales 5/2971 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 UT Cedar City Cedar City Rgnl 5/3365 10/13/15 VOR RWY 20, Amdt 6B. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4370 10/19/15 VOR/DME OR TACAN RWY 21, Amdt 7. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4375 10/19/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 31, Orig. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4401 10/19/15 VOR/DME OR TACAN RWY 3, Amdt 6A. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4402 10/19/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 13, Orig. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4415 10/19/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 31, Amdt 9E. 10-Dec-15 KS Topeka Forbes Field 5/4421 10/19/15 NDB RWY 13, Amdt 7A. 10-Dec-15 NY Hornell Hornell Muni 5/4602 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 36, Orig. 10-Dec-15 TN Dickson Dickson Muni 5/4695 10/16/15 VOR/DME RWY 17, Amdt 4D. 10-Dec-15 TN Dickson Dickson Muni 5/4696 10/16/15 NDB RWY 17, Amdt 2C. 10-Dec-15 NY New York John F Kennedy Intl 5/5037 10/16/15 COPTER RNAV (GPS) 028, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 WI Appleton Outagamie County Rgnl 5/6204 10/6/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Orig. 10-Dec-15 WV Moundsville Marshall County 5/6267 10/16/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig. 10-Dec-15 WV Moundsville Marshall County 5/6268 10/16/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 WV Moundsville Marshall County 5/6269 10/16/15 VOR/DME-A, Amdt 2. 10-Dec-15 AK Atqasuk Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr Memorial 5/6532 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Amdt 1. 10-Dec-15 AK Atqasuk Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr Memorial 5/6533 10/13/15 NDB RWY 6, Amdt 2A. 10-Dec-15 AK Atqasuk Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr Memorial 5/6534 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 6, Amdt 1. 10-Dec-15 SC Greenwood Greenwood County 5/6959 10/6/15 NDB OR GPS RWY 27, Amdt 1A. 10-Dec-15 SC Hilton Head Island Hilton Head 5/7041 10/16/15 VOR/DME A, Amdt 10. 10-Dec-15 SC Hilton Head Island Hilton Head 5/7043 10/16/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 3, Orig. 10-Dec-15 SC Hilton Head Island Hilton Head 5/7044 10/16/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 21, Orig. 10-Dec-15 NY Glens Falls Floyd Bennett Memorial 5/7078 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 30, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 NY Glens Falls Floyd Bennett Memorial 5/7079 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 19, Amdt 1. 10-Dec-15 NY Glens Falls Floyd Bennett Memorial 5/7080 10/6/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 1, Amdt 4. 10-Dec-15 NY Glens Falls Floyd Bennett Memorial 5/7081 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 12, Orig. 10-Dec-15 NY Glens Falls Floyd Bennett Memorial 5/7082 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1. 10-Dec-15 AK Tok Tok Junction 5/7135 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 AK Tok Tok Junction 5/7136 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 7, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 MN Marshall Southwest Minnesota Rgnl Marshall/Ryan Fld 5/7677 10/6/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 2. 10-Dec-15 NY Oneonta Oneonta Muni 5/7752 10/16/15 LOC RWY 24, Amdt 2B. 10-Dec-15 NY Oneonta Oneonta Muni 5/7753 10/16/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 24, Orig-A. 10-Dec-15 PA Altoona Altoona-Blair County 5/7925 10/19/15 VOR-A, Amdt 5A. 10-Dec-15 AK Coldfoot Coldfoot 5/8238 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 1, Amdt 1B. 10-Dec-15 AK Coldfoot Coldfoot 5/8239 10/13/15 RNAV (GPS)-A, Orig-B. 10-Dec-15 MI Detroit Coleman A Young Muni 5/8400 10/6/15 ILS OR LOC RWY 33, Amdt 14B. 10-Dec-15 MN Windom Windom Muni 5/8581 10/6/15 RNAV (GPS) RWY 35, Orig. 10-Dec-15 AR Magnolia Magnolia Muni 5/9813 10/6/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 1. 10-Dec-15 KS Junction City Freeman Field 5/9816 10/6/15 Takeoff Minimums and (Obstacle) DP, Amdt 2.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28121 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration 15 CFR Part 301 Instruments and Apparatus for Educational and Scientific Institutions CFR Correction

    In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 10, in § 301.2, in paragraph (o), remove the term “, x-ray spectrometer” in both places it appears.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28281 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration 15 CFR Part 301 Instruments and Apparatus for Educational and Scientific Institutions CFR Correction

    In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 18, in § 301.8, in paragraph (b), remove the term “Customs” and add “Customs and Border Protection” in its place.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28282 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration 15 CFR Part 303 Watch, Watch Instruments, and Jewelry Program CFR Correction

    In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 38, in § 303.17, in paragraph (c), remove the last sentence and add the following two sentences in its place: “It is the responsibility of each program producer to make the appropriate data available to the Departments' officials for the calendar year for which the annual verification is being performed and no further data, from the calendar year for which the audit is being completed, will be considered for benefits at any time after the audit has been completed. In the event of discrepancies between the application and substantiating data before the audit is complete, the Secretaries shall determine which data will be used in the calculation of the duty refund and allocations.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-28284 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0643; FRL-9935-65-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Placer County Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Placer County portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns the necessary procedures to create emission reduction credits (ERCs) from the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulfur (SOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions due to the use and installation of a control device on stationary locomotive engines in rail yards. We are approving a local rule that provides administrative procedures for creating emissions reduction credits, consistent with Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) requirements.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 5, 2016 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by December 7, 2015. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0643, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: st[email protected]

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

    Instructions: Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html for further instructions. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. For the full EPA public comment policy and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Levin, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3848, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    Table 1 lists the rule addressed by this action with the dates that it was adopted by the Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD) and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

    Table 1—Submitted Rule Local agency Rule No. Rule title Adopted Submitted PCAPCD 515 Stationary Rail Yard Control Emission Reduction Credits 02-19-2015 06-26-2015

    On August 13, 2015, the EPA determined that the submittal for PCAPCD Rule 515 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

    B. Are there other versions of this rule?

    There are no previous versions of Rule 515 in the SIP, although the PCAPCD adopted an earlier version of this rule on October 9, 2008, and CARB submitted it to us on December 23, 2008. CARB withdrew the earlier version of Rule 515 on August 11, 2014.

    C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule?

    The purpose of Rule 515 is to provide owners of a rail yard located in Placer County with a mechanism for quantifying, certifying, and banking emission reductions from the installation and use of a control device that reduces emissions from locomotive engines in rail yards. Approval of Rule 515 into the SIP would allow these emission reductions to be used as offsets under PCAPCD's New Source Review (NSR) rule. The EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about this rule.

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

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

    In addition, a rule of this type that generates emission reduction credits for use as offsets in the NSR program must meet the NSR requirements for valid offsets (see section 173(c)) and meet the criteria set forth in the EPA's guidance concerning economic incentive programs.

    Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate enforceability and other requirements consistently include the following:

    1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

    2. State Implementation Plans; Nitrogen Oxides Supplement to the General Preamble; Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 Implementation of Title I; Proposed Rule,” (the NOx Supplement), 57 FR 55620, November 25, 1992.

    3. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook).

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

    5. New Source Review—Section 173(c) of the CAA and 40 CFR part 51, appendix S, “Emission Offset Interpretative Ruling” require certain sources to obtain emission reductions to offset increased emissions from new projects.

    6. “Improving Air Quality with Economic Incentive Programs,” EPA-452/R-01-001, January 2001.

    B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

    We believe this rule is consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability and economic incentive programs; and ensures that the emission reductions are real, surplus, quantifiable, enforceable, and permanent. This rule includes detailed emissions quantification protocols and enforceable procedures that provide the necessary assurance that the emission reduction credits issued will meet the criteria for valid NSR offsets. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

    C. Public Comment and Final Action

    As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving the submitted rule because we believe it fulfills all relevant requirements. We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted rule. If we receive adverse comments by December 7, 2015, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on January 5, 2016. This will incorporate the rule into the federally enforceable SIP.

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

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the CARB Regulations 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).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 5, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(463) to read as follows:
    § 52.220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (463) Amended regulations for the following APCDs were submitted on June 26, 2015 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Placer County Air Pollution Control District.

    (1) Rule 515, “Stationary Rail Yard Control Emission Reduction Credits,” amended on February 19, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28274 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0428; FRL-9932-61-Region 8] Air Plan Approval; WY; Update to Materials Incorporated by Reference AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; administrative change.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the materials that are incorporated by reference (IBR) into the Wyoming State Implementation Plan (SIP). The Regulations affected by this update have been previously submitted by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the EPA. In this action, the EPA is also notifying the public of corrections to typographical errors and minor formatting changes to the IBR tables. This update affects the SIP materials that are available for public inspection at the EPA Regional Office.

    DATES:

    This action is effective November 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification Number EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0428. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information 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 the hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region 8, Office of Partnership and Regulatory Assistance, Air Program, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129. The EPA requests that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. An electronic copy of the State's SIP compilation is also available at http://www.epa.gov/region8/air/sip.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Ayala, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6142, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The SIP is a living document which a state revises as necessary to address its unique air pollution problems. Therefore, the EPA, from time to time, must take action on SIP revisions containing new and/or revised regulations as being part of the SIP. On May 22, 1997 (62 FR 27968), the EPA revised the procedures for incorporating by reference Federally-approved SIPs, as a result of consultation between the EPA and the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The description of the revised SIP document, IBR procedures and “Identification of Plan” format are discussed in further detail in the May 22, 1997, Federal Register document. On November 2, 2006 (71 FR 64460) the EPA published the revised format of the IBR material for Wyoming as of August 31, 2006. Today's action is an update to the November 2, 2006 document.

    II. EPA Action

    In this action, the EPA is announcing the update to the IBR material as of September 1, 2015. The EPA is also correcting typographical errors, including omission and other minor errors in subsection 52.2620, paragraphs (c), (d), and (e).

    III. Good Cause Exemption

    EPA has determined that today's action falls under the “good cause” exemption in section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which, upon a finding of “good cause” authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation, and section 553(d)(3), which allows an agency to make a rule effective immediately (thereby avoiding the 30-day delayed effective date otherwise provided for in the APA). Today's action simply updates the codification of provisions which are already in effect as a matter of law.

    Under section 553 of the APA, an agency may find good cause where procedures are “impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Public comment is “unnecessary” and “contrary to the public interest” since the codification only reflects existing law. Likewise, there is no purpose served by delaying the effective date of this action.

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

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and is therefore not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Because the agency has made a “good cause” finding that this action is not subject to notice-and-comment requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute as indicated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, it is not subject to the regulatory flexibility provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), or to sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4). In addition, this action does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments or impose a significant intergovernmental mandate, as described in sections 203 and 204 of UMRA. This rule also 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, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it 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 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant. This rule does not involve technical standards; thus the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. The rule also does not involve special consideration of environmental justice related issues as required by Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). EPA's compliance with these statutes and Executive Orders for the underlying rules are discussed in previous actions taken on the state's rules.

    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. Section 808 allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. This action simply codifies provisions which are already in effect as a matter of law in federal and approved state programs. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). As stated previously, EPA has made such a good cause finding and established an effective date of November 6, 2015. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This change to the identification of plan for Wyoming is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    EPA has also determined that the provisions of section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act pertaining to petitions for judicial review are not applicable to this action. Prior EPA rulemaking actions for each individual component of the Wyoming SIP compilation had previously afforded interested parties the opportunity to file a petition for judicial review in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit within 60 days of such rulemaking action. Thus, EPA sees no need in this action to reopen the 60-day period for filing such petitions for judicial review for this “Identification of plan” update action for Wyoming.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2015. Shaun L. McGrath, Regional Administrator, Region 8. 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 ZZ—Wyoming 2. In § 52.2620 paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) are revised to read as follows:
    § 52.2620 Identification of plan.

    (b) Incorporation by reference. (1) Material listed in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with an EPA approval date prior to September 1, 2015, was approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Material is incorporated as it exists on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in the material will be published in the Federal Register. Entries in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with EPA approval dates after September 1, 2015, will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.

    (2) EPA Region 8 certifies that the rules/regulations provided by EPA in the SIP compilation at the addresses in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are an exact duplicate of the officially promulgated state rules/regulations which have been approved as part of the SIP as of September 1, 2015.

    (3) Copies of the materials incorporated by reference may be inspected at the EPA Region 8 Office, Office of Partnerships and Regulatory Assistance (OPRA), Air Program, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129 and 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: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    (c) EPA-approved regulations.

    Rule No. Rule title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • Effective
  • date
  • Final rule citation/date Comments
    Chapter 01. Common Provisions. Section 02 Authority 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 03 Definitions 2/14/2013 12/23/2013 78 FR 69998, 11/22/13 Section 04 Diluting and concealing emissions 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 05 Unavoidable equipment malfunction 1/30/2006 6/15/2010 75 FR 19886, 4/16/10 Section 06 Credible Evidence 12/8/2000 6/15/2010 75 FR 19886, 4/16/10 Section 07 Greenhouse gasses 2/14/2013 12/23/2013 78 FR 69998, 11/22/13 Chapter 02. Ambient Standards. Section 02 Ambient standards for particulate matter 9/7/2010 10/27/2014 79 FR 50840, 8/26/14 Section 03 Ambient standards for nitrogen oxides 12/19/2012 11/14/2014 79 FR 54910, 9/15/14 Section 04 Ambient standards for sulfur oxides 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 05 Ambient standards for carbon monoxide 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 06 Ambient standards for ozone 12/19/2012 11/14/2014 79 FR 54910, 9/15/14 Section 08 Ambient standards for suspended sulfates 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 10 Ambient standards for lead 9/7/2010 10/27/2014 79 FR 50840, 8/26/14 Section 12 Incorporation by reference 12/19/2012 11/14/2014 79 FR 54910, 9/15/14 Chapter 03. General Emission Standards. Section 02 Emission standards for particulate matter 11/22/2013 11/20/2014 79 FR 62859, 10/21/14 Section 03 Emission standards for nitrogen oxides 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 04 Emission standards for sulfur oxides 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 05 Emission standards for carbon monoxide 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 06 Emission standards for volatile organic compounds 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 09 Incorporation by reference 11/22/2013 3/23/2015 80 FR 9194, 2/20/15 Chapter 04. State Performance Standards for Specific Existing Sources. Section 02 Existing sulfuric acid production units 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 03 Existing nitric acid manufacturing plants 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Chapter 06. Permitting Requirements. Section 02 Permit requirements for construction, modification, and operation 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 04 Prevention of significant deterioration 3/28/2012 1/6/2014 78 FR 73445, 12/06/13 Section 14 Incorporation by reference 3/28/2012 1/6/2014 78 FR 73445, 12/06/13 Chapter 07. Monitoring Regulations. Section 02 Continuous monitoring requirements for existing sources 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Chapter 08. Non-attainment Area Regulations. Section 02 Sweetwater County particulate matter regulations 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 03 Conformity of general federal actions to state implementation plans 12/19/2012 9/16/2013 78 FR 49685, 8/15/13 Section 05 Incorporation by reference 12/19/2012 9/16/2013 78 FR 49685, 8/15/13 Chapter 09. Visibility Impairment/PM Fine Control. Section 02 Visibility 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Chapter 10. Smoke Management. Section 02 Open burning restrictions 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 03 Wood waste burners 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Section 04 Smoke management requirements 4/5/2005 1/11/2013 77 FR 73926, 12/12/12 Chapter 12. Emergency Controls. Section 02 Air pollution emergency episodes 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Chapter 13. Mobile Sources. Section 02 Motor vehicle pollution control 10/29/1999 8/27/2004 69 FR 44965, 7/28/04 Chapter 14. Emission Trading Program Regulations. Section 2 Western backstop sulfur dioxide trading program 5/7/2008 1/11/2013 77 FR 73926, 12/12/12 Section 3 Sulfur dioxide milestone inventory 5/7/2008 1/11/2013 77 FR 73926, 12/12/12 App A Web Chapter 14, Section 2 Monitoring Protocols 5/7/2008 1/11/2013 77 FR 73926, 12/12/12

    (d) EPA-approved source specific requirements.

    Regulation Rule title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • Effective
  • date
  • Final rule citation/date Comments
    Black Hills Power and Light Order containing schedule for compliance, interim requirements, and monitoring and reporting requirements 4/25/1979 8/1/1979 44 FR 38473, 7/2/79 FMC Corporation Order containing schedule for compliance, interim requirements, and monitoring and reporting requirements 4/25/1979 8/1/1979 44 FR 38473, 7/2/79

    (e) EPA-approved nonregulatory provisions.

    Rule No. Rule title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA
  • Effective
  • date
  • Final rule citation/date Comments
    (01) I Introduction 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (02) II Legal Authority 2/19/1976 9/30/1976 41 FR 36652, 8/31/76 (03) III Control Strategy 8/30/1984 11/11/1984 49 FR 39843, 10/11/84 (04) IV Compliance Schedule 5/29/1973 8/2/1973 39 FR 24504, 7/03/73 (05) V Emergency Episode Plan 8/26/1981 4/12/1981 47 FR 5892, 2/09/81 (06) VI Air Quality Surveillance 12/13/1988 9/9/1988 55 FR 28197, 7/10/88 (07) VII Review of New Sources and Modifications 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (08) VIII Source Surveillance 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (09) IX Resources 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (10) X Intergovernmental Cooperation 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (11) XI Reports and Revisions 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (12) XII Visibility Protection Class I 9/6/1988 3/17/1989 54 FR 6912, 2/15/89 (13) XIII Sweetwater PM10 Attainment Plan 1/25/1979 8/1/1979 44 FR 38473, 7/02/79 (14) XIV Stack Height Good Engineering Practice 12/9/1988 4/16/1989 54 FR 11186, 3/17/89 (15) XV Small Business Assistance Program 11/30/1993 8/19/1994 59 FR 31548, 6/20/94 (16) XVI City of Sheridan—PM10 Air Quality Control and Maintenance Plan 10/30/1990 7/25/1994 59 FR 32360, 6/23/94 (17) XVII PSD Implementation for NOx 11/20/1990 6/23/1991 56 FR 23811, 5/24/91 (18) XVIII Interstate Transport, Wyoming Interstate Transport SIP satisfying the requirement of Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) of the CAA for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 standards 4/15/2008 7/7/2008 73 FR 26019, 5/08/08 (19) XIX Powder River Basin PM10 Memorandum of Agreement 12/22/1993 10/11/1995 60 FR 47290, 9/12/95 (20) XX Addressing Regional Haze Visibility Protection For The Mandatory Federal Class I Areas Required Under 40 CFR 51.309 1/7/2011 1/11/2013 77 FR 73926, 12/12/12 (21) XXI Infrastructure SIP for Section 110(a)(2)—1997 PM2.5 NAAQS 3/26/2008 12/6/2013 78 FR 73445, 12/06/13 (22) XXII Infrastructure SIP for Section 110(a)(2)—2006 PM2.5 NAAQS 8/19/2011 9/9/2015 80 FR 47857, 8/10/2015 (23) XXIII Infrastructure SIP for Section 110(a)(2)—1997 Ozone NAAQ 12/10/2009 8/24/2011 76 FR 44265, 7/25/11 (24) XXIV Air Quality Control Regions and Emissions Inventory 1/22/1972 6/30/1972 37 FR 10842, 5/31/72 (25) XXV Wyoming State Implementation Plan for Regional Haze for 309(g) 1/12/2011 3/3/2014 79 FR 5032, 1/30/14 Excluding portions of the following: Chapters 6.4, 6.5.7, 6.5.8, and 7.5. EPA disapproved (1) the NOX BART determinations for (a) Laramie River Units 1-3, (b) Dave Johnston Unit 3, and (c) Wyodak Unit 1; (2) the State's monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for BART units; and (3) the State's reasonable progress goals.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27902 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0740; FRL-9936-12] Acetamiprid; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation revises existing tolerances with regional restrictions for residues of acetamiprid in or on clover, forage and clover, hay. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) requested this tolerance action under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective November 6, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before January 5, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0740, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0740 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before January 5, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0740, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, EPA/DC, (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of February 11, 2015 (80 FR 7559) (FRL-9921-94), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4E8307) by IR-4, IR-4 Project Headquarters, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.578 be amended by revising (increasing) tolerances for residues of the insecticide, acetamiprid (1E)-N-[(6-chloro-3-pyridinyl)methyl]-N'-cyano-N-methylethanimidamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on clover, forage from 0.10 to 0.3 parts per million (ppm) and clover, hay from 0.01 to 1.5 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Nisso America Incorporated, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. A comment was received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to this comment is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has modified the tolerance for clover, hay from what was requested. The reason for this change is explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . . . ”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for acetamiprid including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with acetamiprid follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    Acetamiprid is moderately toxic in acute lethality studies via the oral route of exposure and is minimally toxic via the dermal and inhalation routes of exposure. It is not an eye or skin irritant, nor is it a dermal sensitizer. Acetamiprid does not appear to have specific target organ toxicity. Generalized toxicity was observed as decreases in body weight, body weight gain, food consumption and food efficiency in all species tested. Generalized liver effects were also observed in mice and rats (hepatocellular vacuolation in rats and hepatocellular hypertrophy in mice and rats); the effects were considered to be adaptive. Other effects observed in the oral studies include amyloidosis of multiple organs in the mouse oncogenicity study, tremors in high dose females in the mouse subchronic study, and microconcretions in the kidney papilla and mammary hyperplasia in the rat chronic/oncogenicity study. No effects were observed in a dermal toxicity study in rabbits.

    In the rat developmental study, fetal shortening of the 13th rib was observed in fetuses at the same dose level that produced maternal effects (reduced body weight and body weight gain and increased liver weights). In the developmental rabbit study, no developmental effects were observed in fetuses at doses that reduced maternal body weight and food consumption. In the reproduction study, decreased body weight, body weight gain, and food consumption were observed in parental animals while significant reductions in pup weights were seen in the offspring in both generations. Also observed were reductions in litter size, and viability and weaning indices among F2 offspring as well as significant delays in the age to attain vaginal opening and preputial separation. In the developmental neurotoxicity study, parental effects were limited to decreased body weight and body weight gains, while the offspring effects noted were decreased body weights and body weight gains, decreased pre-weaning survival, and decreased maximum auditory startle response. In the acute neurotoxicity study, male and female rats displayed decreased motor activity, tremors, walking and posture abnormalities, dilated pupils, coldness to the touch and decreased grip strength and foot splay at the highest dose tested (HDT). There were clinical signs (decreases auditory startle, tremors) noted in rats and mice in the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) and subchronic mouse studies. However, no neurotoxic effects were seen in the subchronic neurotoxicity study in rats. No neuropathology was observed in the toxicology studies.

    In immunotoxicity studies performed in both sexes of rats and mice, no effects on the immune system were observed up to the highest dose, although significant reductions in body weight and body weight gain were noted at that dose.

    Based on acceptable carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice, EPA has determined that acetamiprid is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The classification is based on (1) the absence of an increase in the incidence of tumors in a mouse carcinogenicity study; and (2) in a rat chronic/carcinogenicity study, the absence of a dose-response and the lack of a statistically significant increase in the mammary adenocarcinoma incidence by pair-wise comparison of the mid- and high- dose groups with the controls. There was no clear evidence of a mutagenic effect. Acetamiprid tested positive as a clastogen in an in vitro study but not in an in vivo study.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by acetamiprid as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document, “Subject: Acetamiprid. Human Health Risk Assessment. . . . .for Use of the Insecticide on Clover. . . . .Interval (Regional Registration)” dated September 2, 2015 at pp. 42 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0740.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which the NOAEL and the LOAEL are identified. Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for acetamiprid used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III of the final rule published in the Federal Register of June 19, 2013 (78 FR 36671) (FRL-9391-2). However, in this tolerance rule, an additional new use is considered spot-on treatments for dogs. This newly proposed spot-on dog treatment to control fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes has potential for long-term exposure in residential indoor settings; therefore, the Agency selected additional endpoints and POD for the following exposure/scenarios: (1) Long-term (>6 months) incidental oral (hand-to-mouth in children) and (2) Long-term (>6 months) dermal. The endpoints/PODs selected were the same for both scenarios, based on effects observed in a rat chronic toxicity/oncogenicity study. In the study, at the LOAEL of 17.5 milligram/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day), decreased body weight and body weight gains were noted in females and hepatocellular vacuolation were noted in males. The NOAEL in the study is 7.1 mg/kg/day. The level of concern (LOC) is 100, based on an interspecies uncertainty factor of 10X, an intra-species uncertainty factor of 10X, and an Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safety factor of 1X.

    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to acetamiprid, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing acetamiprid tolerances in 40 CFR 180.578. EPA assessed dietary exposures from acetamiprid in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    Such effects were identified for acetamiprid. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model software with the Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID), Version 3.16. This software uses 2003-2008 food consumption data from the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed 100 percent crop treated (PCT) and tolerance-level residues in the assessment.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment, EPA used DEEM-FCID, Version 3.16 and food consumption data from the 2003-2008 USDA NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, EPA assumed 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues in the assessment.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that acetamiprid does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue and/or PCT information in the dietary assessment for acetamiprid. Tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for acetamiprid in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of acetamiprid. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    EPA used the Food Quality Protection Act Index Reservoir Screening Tool (FIRST) and the Provisional Cranberry Model to generate surface water Estimated Drinking Water Concentrations (EDWCs) for use in the human health dietary risk assessment, while the Pesticide Root Zone Model for Groundwater (PRZM-GW) was used to generate groundwater EDWCs. The EDWCs of acetamiprid for acute exposures are 88.3 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 49.7 ppb for ground water. For chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 32.2 ppb for surface water and 45.0 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 88.3 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 45 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Acetamiprid is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Controlling a wide variety of indoor and outdoor insect pests using insecticide traps, crack and crevice treatments, soil treatments, and sprays. There is also a proposal to register acetamiprid for use by homeowners and commercial applicators as a monthly topical spot-on product for dogs only (not cats) to provide continuous protection against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Residential exposure from proposed dog spot-on product is anticipated to result in dermal exposures for adult handlers. In addition, residential post-application dermal exposures are expected for adults and children 1 to 2 years old, and incidental oral exposures for children 1 to 2 years old. Inhalation exposure from the use of the spot-on product is considered negligible. Therefore, only dermal and incidental oral exposure were assessed for the proposed product.

    Residential post-application exposures are expected to be short- (1 to 30 days), intermediate- (1 to 6 months) for the indoor treatments, and long-term (greater than 6 months) in duration from pet spot-on products. Residential handler exposure is assumed to be short-term due to the intermittent nature of homeowner spot-on applications (once-monthly treatment).

    EPA assessed all these uses and conducted an aggregate residential exposure using the following assumptions:

    Residential handler exposures: The Agency used short-term and intermediate-term dermal and inhalation exposure estimates to adult applicators from applications to mattresses, cracks and crevices in the aggregate risk assessment.

    Post-application exposures: The Agency used short-term and intermediate-term dermal and inhalation exposure estimates to adults and children 1 to 2 years old from indoor applications (mattress treatment and crack and crevice treatments) and long-term dermal exposure estimates to adults and children 1 to 2 years old from contact with spot-on treated pets. In addition, the Agency used short-term and intermediate-term hand-to-mouth exposure estimates to children 1-2 years old from indoor applications and long-term hand-to-mouth exposure estimates from contact with spot-on treated pets.

    EPA combines risk values resulting from separate routes of exposure when it is likely they can occur simultaneously based on the use pattern and the behavior associated with the exposed population, and if the hazard associated with the PODs is similar across routes. Residential post-application inhalation exposure is expected to be negligible from the proposed spot-on product; therefore, a quantitative assessment was not performed.

    For children 1 to 2 years old, post-application dermal and incidental oral (hand-to-mouth) exposures were combined for short-, intermediate-, and long-term durations.

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/science/residential-exposure-sop.html.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found acetamiprid to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and acetamiprid does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that acetamiprid does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. The pre- and post-natal toxicity databases for acetamiprid include developmental toxicity studies in the rat and rabbit, developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study in rats and a 2-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats. There was no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility of rat or rabbit fetuses following in utero exposure to acetamiprid in the developmental toxicity studies. In the DNT and 2-generation reproduction studies there was no evidence of quantitative increased susceptibility observed. However, there was evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility of rat pups seen in the studies. In the DNT study in rats, although both maternal and offspring effects were seen at the same dose level, offspring animals were more severely affected. Decreased pre-weaning survival, and decreased maximum auditory startle response were observed in the presence of limited maternal toxicity (body weight effects). In the 2-generation reproduction study, effects observed were a decrease in mean body weight, body weight gain, and food consumption in the parental animals, and significant reductions in body weights in pups (both generations). Also, reduction in litter size and viability and weaning indices were seen among F2 offspring, as well as significant delays in the age to attain vaginal opening and preputial separation. These offspring adverse effects were more severe than the parental effects.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicology database for acetamiprid is complete.

    ii. Although there was evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility of the young in the DNT and 2-generation reproduction studies, there are clear NOAELs identified for the effects observed in the toxicity studies. Also, there was no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility of rat or rabbit fetuses in the developmental toxicity studies.

    iii. Acetamiprid produced signs of neurotoxicity in the high dose groups in the acute and developmental neurotoxicity studies in rats and the subchronic toxicity study in mice. However, no neurotoxic findings were reported in the subchronic neurotoxicity study in rats. Additionally, there are clear NOAELs identified for the effects observed in the toxicity studies. The doses and endpoints selected for risk assessment are protective and account for all toxicological effects observed in the database, including neurotoxicity.

    iv. EPA has used conservative assumptions in the exposure (food, drinking water, and residential) assessment, including the use of 100 PCT assumptions, tolerance-level residue values, and upper-bound estimates of potential exposure through drinking water. In addition, the residential exposure assessment was conducted such that residential exposure and risk will not be underestimated. The aggregate exposure and risk estimates considered are expected to over-estimate the actual exposure and risk anticipated, based on the current and proposed use patterns; no risk estimates of concern were identified.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to acetamiprid will occupy 67% of the aPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population subgroup receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to acetamiprid from food and water will utilize 61% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population subgroup receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., adult aggregate exposures reflect background exposure from food and water, plus long-term post-application dermal exposure from contact with dogs following spot-on treatment. For children 1-2 years old, long-term aggregate assessment reflects post-application dermal and hand-to-mouth (incidental) exposures from contact with spot-on treated dogs. The chronic dietary exposure and post-application pet spot-on residential exposure were aggregated and compared to the long-term POD. Adult and children long-term aggregate MOEs were 570 and 100, respectively, are ≥100, and indicate that risk estimates are not of concern. The chronic dietary exposure estimates are highly conservative, assuming tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT for all commodities. Therefore, EPA also considers the aggregate MOEs to be conservative estimates.

    3. Short- and Intermediate-term risk. Short-term and intermediate aggregate exposure take into account short- and intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Acetamiprid is currently registered for uses that could result in short- and intermediate-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short- and intermediate- term residential exposures to acetamiprid. Toxicological endpoints and POD for assessing short- and intermediate-term risks associated with exposure to acetamiprid are identical. Therefore, separate assessments are not being conducted for these durations. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short- and intermediate-term exposures which represent the combined short- and intermediate-term food, water, and residential exposures aggregate. Additionally, for adults, reflect dermal and inhalation exposures from applications to mattresses, cracks and crevices, and for children 1-2 years old short- and intermediate- term aggregate assessment reflects dermal, inhalation, and hand-to-mouth exposures from post-application exposures following indoor applications.

    EPA concluded the combined short- and intermediate-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 300 for adults and 110 for children. Both short- and intermediate- term aggregate MOEs are ≥100, and indicate that risks are not of concern. The chronic dietary exposure estimates are highly conservative, assuming tolerance-level residues and 100 PCT for all commodities. Therefore, EPA also considers the aggregate MOEs to be conservative estimates.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies, acetamiprid is classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to human” and not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

    5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to acetamiprid residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodologies are available to enforce the tolerance expression including; (1) gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC/ECD) and (2) high-performance liquid chromotography (HPLC) with tandem mass spectrometric detection liquid chromotography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).

    The methods may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established MRLs for acetamiprid in or on clover, forage or clover, hay.

    C. Response to Comments

    One comment expressed concern generally for pesticide residues remaining on harvested food crops and potential human health concerns. The commenter further states that “it is the responsibility of our government to protect American consumers for being harmed by the food they eat and that this action is a step in the right direction for establishing a safer, healthier food system . . . .” The Agency agrees with these comments.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    Available and relevant field trial data support a clover tolerance of 2.0 ppm, instead of the proposed tolerance of 1.5 ppm, in clover hay. The petitioner used residues in clover hay from all field trials which included pre-harvest intervals (PHIs) ranging from 27 to 63 days to calculate the proposed 1.5 ppm tolerance level. Since the proposed labeling stipulates a PHI of 30 days, EPA utilized only those residue data for clover hay collected at PHIs of 27-32 days as the input dataset for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tolerance calculation procedure, which yielded a clover hay tolerance level at 2.0 ppm.

    In clover forage, the recommended tolerance level includes an additional significant figure (0.30 ppm rather than 0.3 ppm). This is in order to avoid the situation where rounding of a residue result to the level of precision of the tolerance expression would be considered non-violative (such as 0.34 ppm being rounded to 0.3 ppm).

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, revised tolerances with regional restrictions are established for residues of the insecticide acetamiprid, (1E)-N-[(6-chloro-3-pyridinyl)methyl]-N--cyano-N-methylethanimidamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on clover, forage at 0.30 ppm and clover, hay at 2.0 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: October 29, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.578, revise the tolerance for commodities in the table in paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 180.578 Acetamiprid; tolerances for residues.

    (c) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Clover, forage 0.30 Clover, hay 2.0
    [FR Doc. 2015-28356 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1817 and 1852 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    As part of NASA's retrospective review of existing regulations pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, NASA conducted a comprehensive review of its regulations and published two final rules in the Federal Register. The final rule published on March 12, 2015, (80 FR 12935) requires the following editorial changes:

    • Renumber section 1817.7300 as 1817.7000 and section 1817.7302 as 1817.7002. The final rule published on March 12, 2015, redesignated subpart 1817.73 as 1817.70, but failed to address its subsections.

    • Correct the clause date at section 1852.215-81.

    List of Subject in 48 CFR Parts 1817 and 1852

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, NASA FAR Supplement Manager.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1817 and 1852 are amended as follows:

    PART 1817—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS 1. The authority citation for part 1817 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

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

    Subpart 1817-70 [Amended]
    1817.7300 and 1817.7302 [Redesignated as 1817.7000 and 1817.7002]
    2. Amend subpart 1817.70 by redesignating section 1817.7300 as 1817.7000 and section 1817.7302 as 1817.7002.
    PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 3. The authority citation for part 1852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    1852.215-81 [Amended]
    4. Amend section 1852.215-81 by removing “FEB 1998” and adding “APR 2015” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28309 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 150615523-5973-03] RIN 0648-XD998 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2015 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for Guam AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final specifications.

    SUMMARY:

    In this final rule, NMFS specifies a 2015 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for Guam. NMFS will allow the territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt each year to U.S. longline fishing vessels in a specified fishing agreement that meets established criteria. As an accountability measure, NMFS will monitor, attribute, and restrict (if necessary) catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna, including catches made under a specified fishing agreement. These catch limits and accountability measures support the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands.

    DATES:

    The final specifications are effective November 6, 2015, through December 31, 2015. The deadline to submit a specified fishing agreement pursuant to 50 CFR 665.819(b)(3) for review is December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the fishery ecosystem plans are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.

    Copies of the environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact for this action, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0077, are available from www.regulations.gov, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5176.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS is specifying a catch limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for Guam in 2015. NMFS is also authorizing the territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt of its 2,000 mt bigeye tuna limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels permitted to fish under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific (FEP). The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended these specifications.

    NMFS will monitor catches of longline-caught bigeye tuna by the Guam longline fisheries, including catches made by U.S. longline vessels operating under specified fishing agreements. A specified fishing agreement must meet specific criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819 (Territorial catch and fishing effort limits), which also governs the procedures for attributing longline-caught bigeye tuna. When NMFS projects a territorial catch or allocation limit will be reached, NMFS will, as an accountability measure, prohibit the catch and retention of longline-caught bigeye tuna by vessels in the applicable territory (if the territorial catch limit is projected to be reached), and/or vessels in a specified fishing agreement (if the allocation limit is projected to be reached). These catch and allocation limits and accountability measures are identical to those that NMFS specified in 2014 (79 FR 64097, October 28, 2014). NMFS notes that there is a pending case in litigation—Conservation Council for Hawai'i, et al., v. NMFS (D. Haw.), case no. 14-cv-528—that challenges the framework process allowing the U.S. Pacific Island territories to allocate a portion of their bigeye tuna catch limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels.

    You may find additional background information on this action in the preamble to the proposed specifications published on August 24, 2015 (80 FR 51193).

    Comments and Responses

    On August 24, 2015, NMFS published the proposed specifications for the three U.S. Pacific territories (Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and American Samoa) and request for public comments (80 FR 51193); the comment period closed on September 8, 2015. NMFS received comments from individuals, businesses, and non-governmental organizations on the proposed specifications and the draft EA. NMFS responded to comments on the proposed specifications for all three territories when it published the final 2015 bigeye tuna specifications for the CNMI (80 FR 61767, October 14, 2015), and does not repeat the comments and responses here.

    Changes From the Proposed Specifications

    In the proposed specifications published on August 24, 2015 (80 FR 51193), NMFS proposed to specify a catch limit of 2,000 mt of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each of the three U.S. Pacific territories. NMFS also proposed to authorize each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt of its 2,000 mt bigeye tuna limit to U.S. longline fishing vessels permitted to fish under the FEP.

    NMFS determined that the proposed catch and allocation limits were consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the approved coastal zone management programs of each of the three territories. At that time, the coastal management program of the CNMI concurred with this determination. The American Samoa coastal management program, however, requested an extension of time to review the proposed action. Under regulations at 15 CFR 930.41(b), NMFS approved the requested extension. Additionally, at that time, the Guam coastal management program also indicated that it was still reviewing the proposed specifications. For these reasons, NMFS implemented the 2015 limits only for the CNMI, effective October 9, 2015 (80 FR 61767, October 14, 2015).

    On October 12, 2015, the Coastal Management Program of Guam concurred with the NMFS consistency determination. Therefore, in this action, NMFS will implement the 2015 limits for Guam. We will consider the American Samoa review of the CZMA federal consistency determination before implementing a 2015 limit for American Samoa.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, NMFS PIR, determined that this action is necessary for the conservation and management of Pacific Island fishery resources, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for the certification in the proposed rule and does not repeat it here. NMFS received no comments on this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none has been prepared.

    There is good cause to waive the 30-day delay requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), and make this rule effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. NMFS closed the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna in the WCPO on August 5, 2015, because the fishery reached the 2015 U.S. WCPO catch limit (80 FR 44883, July 28, 2015). However, after NMFS implemented the 2015 limits for the CNMI, effective October 9, 2015 (80 FR 61767, October 14, 2015), the Governor of the CNMI immediately transmitted a specified fishing agreement that NMFS determined met the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819 (Territorial catch and fishing effort limits). As a result, U.S. vessels identified in the CNMI specified fishing agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna up to the amount 1,000 mt allocated.

    Should the fishery harvest the 1,000 mt allocation limit provided by the CNMI agreement before this rule becomes effective, NMFS would prohibit vessels from entering into specified fishing agreements with Guam during that period. Such delay could disrupt fishing operations and have negative financial effects on the fishing community, including vessels, restaurants, and other seafood-related businesses. This action is intended to ameliorate the potential for such impacts. Furthermore, NMFS has determined that this action is consistent with the conservation needs of target and non-target stocks, and would not result in significant impacts to the human environment. Finally, these specifications are only in effect through the end of 2015; delaying the effective date by thirty days would effectively reduce the available time to engage in fishing operations by half. Accordingly, NMFS finds it impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide a 30-day delay in effectiveness for this rule.

    This action is exempt from review under E.O. 12866 because it contains no implementing regulations.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28298 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 215 Friday, November 6, 2015 Proposed Rules FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 327 RIN 3064-AE40 Assessments AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and its authority under section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), the FDIC proposes to impose a surcharge on the quarterly assessments of insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more. The surcharges would begin the calendar quarter after the reserve ratio of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF or fund) first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent—the same time that lower regular deposit insurance assessment (regular assessment) rates take effect—and would continue through the quarter that the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent. The surcharge would equal an annual rate of 4.5 basis points applied to the institution's assessment base (with certain adjustments). The FDIC expects that these surcharges will commence in 2016 and that they should be sufficient to raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent in approximately eight quarters, i.e., before the end of 2018. If, contrary to the FDIC's expectations, the reserve ratio does not reach 1.35 percent by December 31, 2018 (provided it is at least 1.15 percent), the FDIC would impose a shortfall assessment on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more on March 31, 2019. Since the Dodd-Frank Act requires that the FDIC offset the effect of the increase in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion, the FDIC would provide assessment credits to insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion for the portion of their regular assessments that contributed to growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15 percent and 1.35 percent. The FDIC would apply the credits each quarter that the reserve ratio is at least 1.40 percent to offset part of the assessments of each institution with credits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by the FDIC no later than January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the NPR using any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include RIN 3064-AE40 on the subject line of the message.

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

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    Public Inspection: All comments received, including any personal information provided, will be posted generally without change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munsell W. St. Clair, Chief, Banking and Regulatory Policy Section, Division of Insurance and Research, (202) 898-8967; and Nefretete Smith, Senior Attorney, Legal Division, (202) 898-6851.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Policy Objectives

    The FDIC maintains a fund in order to assure the agency's capacity to meet its obligations as insurer of deposits and receiver of failed banks.1 The FDIC considers the adequacy of the DIF in terms of the reserve ratio, which is equal to the DIF balance divided by estimated insured deposits. A higher minimum reserve ratio reduces the risk that losses from bank failures during a downturn will exhaust the DIF and reduces the risk of large, procyclical increases in deposit insurance assessments to maintain a positive DIF balance.

    1 As used in this NPR, the term “bank” has the same meaning as “insured depository institution” as defined in section 3 of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(2).

    The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, contained several provisions to strengthen the DIF.2 Among other things, it: (1) Raised the minimum reserve ratio for the DIF to 1.35 percent (from the former minimum of 1.15 percent); 3 (2) required that the reserve ratio reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020; 4 and (3) required that, in setting assessments, the FDIC “offset the effect of [the increase in the minimum reserve ratio] on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10,000,000,000.” 5

    2 Public Law 111-203, 334(e), 124 Stat. 1376, 1539 (12 U.S.C. 1817(note)).

    3 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(B). The Dodd-Frank Act also removed the upper limit on the designated reserve ratio (which was formerly capped at 1.5 percent).

    4 12 U.S.C. 1817(note).

    5 12 U.S.C. 1817(note). The Dodd-Frank Act also: (1) Eliminated the requirement that the FDIC provide dividends from the fund when the reserve ratio is between 1.35 percent and 1.5 percent; (2) eliminated the requirement that the amount in the DIF in excess of the amount required to maintain the reserve ratio at 1.5 percent of estimated insured deposits be paid as dividends; and (3) granted the FDIC's authority to declare dividends when the reserve ratio at the end of a calendar year is at least 1.5 percent, but granted the FDIC sole discretion in determining whether to suspend or limit the declaration of payment or dividends, 12 U.S.C. 1817(e)(2)(A)-(B).

    Both the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDI Act grant the FDIC broad authority to implement the requirement to achieve the 1.35 percent minimum reserve ratio. In particular, under the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC is authorized to take such steps as may be necessary for the reserve ratio to reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020. Furthermore, under the FDIC's assessment authority in the FDI Act, the FDIC may impose special assessments in an amount determined to be necessary for any purpose that the FDIC may deem necessary.6

    6 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(5).

    In the FDIC's view, the Dodd-Frank Act requirement to raise the reserve ratio to the minimum of 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020 reflects the importance of building the DIF in a timely manner to withstand future economic shocks. Increasing the reserve ratio faster reduces the likelihood of procyclical assessments, a key policy goal of the FDIC that is supported in the academic literature and acknowledged by banks.7 In meeting the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDIC considered the tradeoff between building the DIF sooner rather than later and the potential cost of higher additional assessments for banks with $10 billion or more in assets.

    7 In 2011, the FDIC Board of Directors adopted a comprehensive, long-range management plan for the DIF that is designed to reduce procyclicality in the deposit insurance assessment system. Input from bank executives and industry trade group representatives favored steady, predictable assessments and found high assessment rates during crises objectionable. In addition, economic literature points to the role of regulatory policy in minimizing procyclical effects. See, for example: 75 FR 66272 and George G. Pennacchi, 2004. “Risk-Based Capital Standards, Deposit Insurance and Procyclicality,” FDIC Center for Financial Research Working Paper No. 2004-05.

    The purpose of the NPR is to meet the Dodd-Frank Act requirements in a manner that appropriately balances several considerations, including the goal of reaching the minimum reserve ratio reasonably promptly in order to strengthen the fund and reduce the risk of pro-cyclical assessments, the goal of maintaining stable and predictable assessments for banks over time, and the projected effects on bank capital and earnings. The proposed primary mechanism described below for meeting the statutory requirements—surcharges on regular assessments—would ensure that the reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent without inordinate delay (in 2018) and would ensure that assessments are allocated equitably among banks responsible for the cost of these requirements.

    II. Background

    The Dodd-Frank Act gave the FDIC greater discretion to manage the DIF than it had previously, including greater discretion in setting the target reserve ratio, or designated reserve ratio (DRR), which the FDIC must set annually.8 The FDIC Board of Directors (Board) has set a 2 percent DRR for each year starting with 2011.9 The Board views the 2 percent DRR as a long-term goal.

    8 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(A)(i).

    9 A DRR of 2 percent was based on a historical analysis as well as on the statutory factors that the FDIC must consider when setting the DRR. In its historical analysis, the FDIC analyzed historical fund losses and used simulated income data from 1950 to 2010 to determine how high the reserve ratio would have to have been before the onset of the two banking crises that occurred during this period to maintain a positive fund balance and stable assessment rates.

    By statute, the FDIC also operates under a Restoration Plan while the reserve ratio remains below 1.35 percent.10 The Restoration Plan, originally adopted in 2008 and subsequently revised, is designed to ensure that the reserve ratio will reach 1.35 percent by September 30, 2020.11

    10 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(E).

    11 75 FR 66293 (Oct. 27, 2010).

    In February 2011, the FDIC adopted a final rule that, among other things, contained a schedule of deposit insurance assessment rates that apply to regular assessments that banks pay. The FDIC noted when it adopted these rates that, because of the requirement making banks with $10 billion or more in assets responsible for increasing the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent, “assessment rates applicable to all insured depository institutions need only be set high enough to reach 1.15 percent” before the statutory deadline of September 30, 2020.12 The February 2011 final rule left to a later date the method for assessing banks with $10 billion or more in assets for the amount needed to reach 1.35 percent.13

    12 76 FR at 10683.

    13 See 76 FR 10673, 10683 (Feb. 25, 2011). The Restoration Plan originally stated that the FDIC would pursue rulemaking on the offset in 2011, 75 FR 66293 (Oct. 27, 2010), but in 2011 the Board decided to postpone rulemaking until a later date.

    The FDIC also adopted a schedule of lower regular assessment rates in the February 2011 final rule that will go into effect once the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches 1.15 percent.14 These lower regular assessment rates will apply to all banks' regular assessments. Regular assessments paid under the schedule of lower rates are intended to raise the reserve ratio gradually to the long-term goal of 2 percent.

    14 76 FR at 10717; see also 12 CFR 327.10(b). The FDIC adopted this schedule of lower assessment rates following its historical analysis of the long-term assessment rates that would be needed to ensure that the DIF would remain positive without raising assessment rates even during a banking crisis of the magnitude of the two banking crises of the past 30 years. On June 16, 2015, the Board adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking that would revise the risk-based pricing methodology for established small institutions, but would leave the overall range of rates and the assessment revenue expected to be generated unchanged. See 80 FR 40838 (July 13, 2015).

    In the FDIC's most recent semiannual update of the DIF's loss and income projections in October 2015, the FDIC projects that, under the current assessment rate schedule, the DIF reserve ratio is most likely to reach 1.15 percent in the first quarter of 2016, but may reach that level as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

    III. Description of the Proposed Rule A. Surcharges

    To implement the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, and pursuant to the FDIC's authority in section 7 of the FDI Act,15 the FDIC proposes to add a surcharge to the regular assessments of banks with $10 billion or more in assets. The surcharge would begin the quarter after the DIF reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent and would continue until the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent, but no later than the fourth quarter of 2018.16 The FDIC would notify those banks that would be subject to the surcharge in any quarter and the amount of such surcharge within the timeframe that applies to notification of regular assessment amounts.17

    15 12 U.S.C. 1817.

    16 A final rule adopting this proposal will become effective on the first day of a calendar quarter. If a final rule adopting this proposal is not yet effective on the first day of the calendar quarter after the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent, surcharges would begin the first day of the calendar quarter in which a final rule becomes effective. Thus, for example, if the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent on March 31, 2016 and a final rule does not become effective until the third quarter of 2016, surcharges would begin effective July 1, 2016.

    17 As with regular assessments, surcharges would be paid one quarter in arrears, based on the bank's previous quarter data and would be due the last day of the quarter. (If the last day of the quarter was not a business day, the collection date would be the previous business day.) Thus, for example, if the surcharge were in effect for the first quarter of 2017, the FDIC would notify the banks that they are subject to the surcharge and the amount of each bank's surcharge obligation no later than June 15, 2017, 15 days before the first quarter 2017 surcharge payment due date of June 30, 2017 date (and the payment due date for first quarter 2017 regular assessments). The notice could be included in the banks' invoice for their regular assessment.

    The FDIC proposes an annual surcharge rate of 4.5 basis points, which it expects will be sufficient to raise the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent in 8 quarters, before the end of 2018.

    Banks Subject to the Surcharge

    The banks subject to the surcharge (large banks) would be determined each quarter based on whether the bank was a “large institution” or “highly complex institution” for purposes of that quarter's regular assessments; however, an insured branch of a foreign bank whose assets as reported in its most recent quarterly Report of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks equaled or exceeded $10 billion would also be a large bank.18 19 20

    18 In general, a “large institution” is an insured depository institution with assets of $10 billion or more as of December 31, 2006 (other than an insured branch of a foreign bank or a highly complex institution) or a small institution that reports assets of $10 billion or more in its quarterly reports of condition for four consecutive quarters. 12 CFR 327.8(f). If, after December 31, 2006, an institution classified as large reports assets of less than $10 billion in its quarterly reports of condition for four consecutive quarters, the FDIC will reclassify the institution as small beginning the following quarter. 12 CFR 327.8(e). In general, a “highly complex institution” is: (1) an insured depository institution (excluding a credit card bank) that has had $50 billion or more in total assets for at least four consecutive quarters that is controlled by a U.S. parent holding company that has had $500 billion or more in total assets for four consecutive quarters, or controlled by one or more intermediate U.S. parent holding companies that are controlled by a U.S. holding company that has had $500 billion or more in assets for four consecutive quarters; or (2) a processing bank or trust company. If, after December 31, 2010, an institution classified as highly complex fails to meet the definition of a highly complex institution for four consecutive quarters (or reports assets of less than $10 billion in its quarterly reports of condition for four consecutive quarters), the FDIC will reclassify the institution beginning the following quarter. 12 CFR 327.8(g). In general, a “small institution” is an insured depository institution with assets of less than $10 billion as of December 31, 2006, or an insured branch of a foreign institution. 12 CFR 327.8(e).

    19 Assets for foreign banks are reported in FFIEC 002 report (Report of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks), Schedule RAL, line 3, column A.

    20 A large bank would also include a small institution if, while surcharges were in effect, the small institution was the surviving institution or resulting institution in a merger or consolidation with a large bank or if the small institution acquired all or substantially all of the assets or assumed all or substantially all of the deposits of a large bank.

    Banks' Assessment Bases for the Surcharge

    Pursuant to the broad authorities under the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDI Act, including the authority to determine the assessment amount, which includes defining an appropriate assessment base for the surcharge (the surcharge base), each large bank's surcharge base for any given quarter would equal its regular quarterly deposit insurance assessment base (regular assessment base) for that quarter with certain adjustments.21 The first adjustment would add the regular assessment bases for that quarter of any affiliated banks 22 that are not large banks (affiliated small banks).2324 The second adjustment would deduct $10 billion from the resulting amount to produce the surcharge base. In a banking organization that includes more than one large bank, however, the affiliated small banks' regular assessment bases and the $10 billion deduction would be apportioned among all large banks in the banking organization in proportion to each large bank's regular assessment base for that quarter.

    21 For purposes of regular assessments, the Dodd-Frank Act defines the assessment base with respect to an insured depository institution as an amount equal to:

    (1) The average consolidated total assets of the insured depository institution during the assessment period; minus

    (2) the sum of

    (A) the average tangible equity of the insured depository institution during the assessment period, and

    (B) in the case of an insured depository institution that is a custodial bank (as defined by the FDIC, based on factors including the percentage of total revenues generated by custodial businesses and the level of assets under custody) or a banker's bank (as that term is used in . . . (12 U.S.C. 24)), an amount that the FDIC determines is necessary to establish assessments consistent with the definition under section 7(b)(1) of the [Federal Deposit Insurance] Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(1)) for a custodial bank or a banker's bank.

    12 U.S.C. 1817(note).

    22 As used in this NPR, the term “affiliate” has the same meaning as defined in section 3 of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. 3(w)(6), which references the Bank Holding Company Act (“any company that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with another company”). 12 U.S.C. 1841(k).

    23 The term “small bank” is synonymous with the term “small institution” as it is defined in 12 CFR 327.8(e) and used in existing portions of 12 CFR part 327 for purposes of regular assessments, except that it excludes: (1) an insured branch of a foreign bank whose assets as reported in its most recent most recent quarterly Call Report equaled or exceeded $10 billion; and (2) a small institution that, while surcharges were in effect, was the surviving or resulting institution in a merger or consolidation with a large bank or that acquired of all or substantially all of the assets or assumed all or substantially all of the deposits of a large bank.

    24 As of June 30, 2015, 19 banking organizations had both large and small banks.

    Table 1.A gives an example of the calculation of the surcharge base for a banking organization that comprises three large banks but no affiliated small banks. Table 1.B gives an example of the calculation of the surcharge base for a banking organization that comprises three large banks and two affiliated small banks.

    Table 1.A—Application of $10 Billion Deduction within a Banking Organization [$ in billions] Affiliated large banks Assessment base A Share of $10 billion
  • deduction
  • % (A/$116)=B $ (B*$10)=C Surcharge base A-C
    #1 $25.00 21.6 $2.16 $22.84 #2 55.00 47.4 4.74 50.26 #3 36.00 31.0 3.10 32.90 Total 116.00 100 10.00 106.00
    Table 1.B—Application of $10 Billion Deduction for a Banking Organization Containing Large and Small Banks [$ in billions] Affiliated large and small banks Assessment base Share of large bank assessment base Calculation B
  • (%)
  • Addition of small bank
  • assessment share
  • Calculation C Share of $10 billion
  • deduction
  • Calculation D Surcharge base
    Affiliated Large Bank #1 A1=$35.00 A1/(A1+A2+A3) 31.0 A1[B*(A4+A5)] $39.18 (C/$126.50)*$10 $3.10 $36.08 Affiliated Large Bank #2 A2=$22.00 A2/(A1+A2+A3) 19.5 A2[B*(A4+A5)] 24.63 (C/$126.50)*$10 1.95 22.68 Affiliated Large Bank #3 A3=$56.00 A3/(A1+A2+A3) 49.6 A3[B*(A4+A5)] 62.69 (C/$126.50)*$10 4.96 57.73 Affiliated Small Bank #1 A4=$8.00 Affiliated Small Bank #2 A5=$5.50 Total $126.50 100 126.50 10.0 116.50

    Adding the assessment bases of affiliated small banks to those of their large bank affiliates would serve two purposes. First, it would prevent large banks from reducing their surcharges (and shifting costs to other large banks) either by transferring assets and liabilities to existing or new affiliated small banks or by growing the businesses of affiliated small banks instead of the large bank.25 Second, it would ensure that banking organizations of similar size (in terms of aggregate assessment bases) pay a similar surcharge. In other words, a banking organization with a large bank and one or more affiliated small banks would not have an advantage over a similarly sized banking organization that includes only a large bank but no affiliated small banks. For example, a banking organization that includes a large bank with $45 billion regular assessment base would pay the same as a banking organization that includes a large bank with a $35 billion regular assessment base and two affiliated small banks each with $5 billion regular assessment bases. In this example, the large bank in each organization would pay a surcharge based on a $35 billion assessment base (after deducting $10 billion from the $45 billion total in regular assessment bases).

    25 Some large banks, however, may be able to shift the burden of the surcharge by transferring assets and liabilities to a nonbank affiliate, or by shrinking or limiting growth.

    Although the regular assessment bases of affiliated small banks would be added to those of the large banks for purposes of determining the surcharge base for large banks, only large banks would be assessed the quarterly surcharge and, as described below, all small banks, including small banks affiliated with large banks, would be entitled to credits for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the increase in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent.

    Deducting $10 billion from each large bank's assessment base for the surcharge would avoid a “cliff effect” for banks near the $10 billion asset threshold, thereby ensuring equitable treatment. Otherwise, a bank with just over $10 billion in assets would pay significant surcharges, while a bank with $9.9 billion in assets would pay none. The $10 billion reduction reduces incentives for banks to limit their growth to stay below $10 billion in assets, or to reduce their size to below $10 billion in assets, solely to avoid surcharges.

    Like the proposed treatment of affiliated small banks, allocating the $10 billion deduction among large banks in a single banking organization that includes more than one large bank would ensure that banking organizations of a similar size (in terms of assessment bases) pay a similar surcharge. For example, a banking organization with multiple large banks would not have an advantage over other similarly sized banking organizations that have only one large bank because, instead of deducting $10 billion from each large bank in the organization, the deduction would be apportioned among the multiple affiliated large banks.

    B. Shortfall Assessment

    The FDIC expects that the proposed surcharges combined with regular assessments would raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent before December 31, 2018. It is possible, however, that unforeseen events could result in higher DIF losses or faster insured deposit growth than expected, or that banks may take steps to reduce or avoid quarterly surcharges. While not anticipated, these events or actions could prevent the reserve ratio from reaching 1.35 percent by the end of 2018. In this case, provided the reserve ratio is at least 1.15 percent, the FDIC would impose a shortfall assessment on large banks on March 31, 2019 and collect it on June 30, 2019.26 The aggregate amount of the shortfall assessment would equal 1.35 percent of estimated insured deposits on December 31, 2018 minus the actual fund balance on that date.

    26 The FDIC would notify each bank subject to a shortfall assessment of its share of the shortfall assessment no later than 15 days before payment is due.

    If a shortfall assessment were needed, the FDIC proposes that it be imposed on any bank that was a large bank in any quarter during the period that surcharges are in effect (the surcharge period). Each large bank's share of any shortfall assessment would be proportional to the average of its surcharge bases (the average surcharge base) during the surcharge period. If a bank were not a large bank during a quarter of the surcharge period, its surcharge base would be deemed to equal zero for that quarter.27 28

    27 Thus, for example, if a large bank were subject to a shortfall assessment because it had been subject to a surcharge for only one quarter of the surcharge period and assuming that the surcharge period lasted eight quarters, its surcharge base for seven quarters would be deemed to be zero and its average surcharge base would be its single positive surcharge base divided by eight.

    28 In the unlikely event that the reserve ratio had reached 1.15 percent (but not 1.35 percent) but had fallen below 1.15 percent on December 31, 2018 or had not reached 1.15 percent on or before December 31, 2018, the FDIC would impose a shortfall assessment at the end of the calendar quarter immediately following the calendar quarter in which the reserve ratio first reached or exceeded 1.15 percent. The aggregate amount of such a shortfall assessment would equal 0.2 percent of estimated insured deposits at the end of the calendar quarter in which the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent. If surcharges had been in effect, the shortfall assessment would be imposed on the banks described in the text using average surcharge bases as described in the text. If surcharges had never been in effect: (1) The shortfall assessment would be imposed on banks that were large banks as of the calendar quarter in which the reserve ratio first reached or exceeded 1.15 percent; and (2) an individual large bank's share of the shortfall assessment would be proportional to the average of what its surcharge bases were or would have been over the four calendar quarters ending with the calendar quarter in which the reserve ratio first reached or exceeded 1.15 percent. The shortfall assessment would be collected at the end of the quarter after the assessment was imposed. If the last day of the quarter was not a business day, the collection date would be the previous business day.

    If the reserve ratio remains below 1.15 percent for a prolonged period after 2018 (and never reaches 1.35 percent), the FDIC Board may have to consider increases to regular assessment rates on all banks (in addition to the shortfall assessment on banks with $10 billion or more in assets) in order to achieve the minimum reserve ratio of 1.35 percent by the September 30, 2020 statutory deadline.

    If a bank of any size acquired—through merger or consolidation—a large bank that had paid surcharges for one or more quarters, the acquiring bank would be subject to a shortfall assessment and its average surcharge base would be increased by the average surcharge base of the acquired bank.29

    29 With respect to surcharges and shares of any shortfall assessment, a surviving or resulting bank in a merger or consolidation would include any bank that acquires all or substantially all of another bank's assets or assumes all or substantially all of another bank's deposits.

    A large bank's share of the total shortfall assessment would equal its average surcharge base divided by the sum of the average surcharge bases of all large banks subject to the shortfall assessment.

    Using an average of surcharge bases should ensure that anomalous growth or shrinkage in a large bank's assessment base would not subject it to a disproportionately large or small share of any shortfall assessment.

    C. Payment Mechanism for the Surcharge and Any Shortfall Assessment

    Each large bank would be required to take any actions necessary to allow the FDIC to debit its share of the surcharge from the bank's designated deposit account used for payment of its regular assessment. Similarly, each large bank subject to any shortfall assessment would be required to take any actions necessary to allow the FDIC to debit its share of the shortfall assessment from the bank's designated deposit account used for payment of its regular assessment. Before the dates that payments were due, each bank would have to ensure that sufficient funds to pay its obligations were available in the designated account for direct debit by the FDIC. Failure to take any such action or to fund the account would constitute nonpayment of the assessment. Penalties for nonpayment would be as provided for nonpayment of a bank's regular assessment.30

    30 See 12 CFR 308.132(c)(3)(v).

    D. Additional Provisions Regarding Mergers, Consolidations and Terminations of Deposit Insurance

    First, under existing regulations, a bank that is not the resulting or surviving bank in a merger or consolidation must file a quarterly report of condition and income (Call Report) for every assessment period prior to the assessment period in which the merger or consolidation occurs. The surviving or resulting bank is responsible for ensuring that these Call Reports are filed. The surviving or resulting bank is also responsible and liable for any unpaid assessments on the part of the bank that is not the resulting or surviving bank.31 The FDIC proposes that unpaid assessments would also include any unpaid surcharges and shares of a shortfall assessment.

    31 12 CFR 327.6(a).

    Thus, for example, a large bank's first quarter 2017 surcharge (assuming that the surcharge was in effect then), which would be collected on June 30, 2017, would include the large bank's own first quarter 2017 surcharge plus any unpaid first quarter 2017 or earlier surcharges owed by any large bank it acquired between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 by merger or through the acquisition of all or substantially all of the acquired bank's assets. The acquired bank would be required to file Call Reports through the first quarter of 2017 and the acquiring bank would be responsible for ensuring that these Call Reports were filed.

    Second, existing regulations also provide that, for an assessment period in which a merger or consolidation occurs, total consolidated assets for the surviving or resulting bank include the total consolidated assets of all banks that are parties to the merger or consolidation as if the merger or consolidation occurred on the first day of the assessment period. Tier 1 capital (which is deducted from total consolidated assets to determine a bank's regular assessment base) is to be reported in the same manner.32 The FDIC proposes that these provisions would also apply to surcharges and shares of any shortfall assessment.

    32 12 CFR 327.6(b).

    Third, existing regulations provide that, when the insured status of a bank is terminated and the deposit liabilities of the bank are not assumed by another bank, the bank whose insured status is terminating must, among other things, continue to pay assessments for the assessment periods that its deposits are insured, but not thereafter.33 The FDIC proposes that these provisions would also apply to surcharges and shares of any shortfall assessment.

    33 12 CFR 327.6(c).

    Finally, in the case of one or more transactions in which one bank voluntarily terminates its deposit insurance under the FDI Act and sells certain assets and liabilities to one or more other banks, each bank must report the increase or decrease in assets and liabilities on the Call Report due after the transaction date and be assessed accordingly under existing FDIC assessment regulations. The bank whose insured status is terminating must, among other things, continue to pay assessments for the assessment periods that its deposits are insured. The FDIC proposes that the same process would also apply to surcharges and shares of any shortfall assessment.

    E. Credits for Small Banks 34

    34 Large banks would receive no refund or credit if surcharges brought the reserve ratio above 1.35 percent. Thus, for example, if the reserve ratio were at 1.34 percent at the end of September 2018 and were at 1.37 percent at the end of 2018, large banks would receive no refund or credit for the two basis points in the reserve ratio above 1.35 percent. Similarly, large banks would receive no refund or credit if a shortfall assessment brought the reserve ratio above 1.35 percent.

    Under the proposal, while the reserve ratio remains between 1.15 percent and 1.35 percent, some portion of the deposit insurance assessments paid by small banks would contribute to increasing the reserve ratio. To meet the Dodd-Frank Act requirement to offset the effect on small banks of raising the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent, the FDIC proposes to provide assessment credits (credits) to these banks for the portion of their assessments that contribute to the increase from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent.35 For purposes of awarding credits, a small bank would be a bank that was not a large bank in a quarter within the “credit calculation period.” The “credit calculation period” covers the period beginning the quarter after the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent through the quarter that the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent (or December 31, 2018, if the reserve ratio has not reached 1.35 percent by then). Small bank affiliates of large banks would be small banks for purposes of this definition. The FDIC would apply credits to reduce future regular deposit insurance assessments.

    35 Small banks would not be entitled to any credits for the quarter in which a shortfall was assessed because large banks would be responsible for the entire remaining amount needed to raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent.

    Aggregate Amount of Credits

    To determine the aggregate amount of credits awarded small banks, the FDIC would first calculate 0.2 percent of estimated insured deposits (the difference between 1.35 percent and 1.15 percent) on the date that the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent.36 The amount that small banks contributed to this increase in the DIF through regular assessments—and the resulting aggregate amount of credits to be awarded small banks—would equal the small banks' portion of all large and small bank regular assessments during the credit calculation period times an amount equal to the increase in the DIF calculated above less surcharges. Surcharges would be subtracted from the increase in the DIF calculated above before determining the amount by which small banks contributed to that increase because surcharges are intended to grow the reserve ratio above 1.15 percent, not to maintain it at 1.15 percent.37

    36 If the reserve ratio had not reached 1.35 percent by December 31, 2018, the amount calculated would be the increase in the DIF needed to raise the DIF reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to the actual reserve ratio on December 31, 2018; that amount equals the DIF balance on December 31, 2018 minus 1.15 percent of estimated insured deposits on that date.

    37 If total assessments, including surcharges, during the credit calculation period were less than or equal to the increase in the DIF calculated above, the aggregate amount of credits to be awarded small banks would equal the aggregate amount of assessments paid by small banks during the credit calculation period.

    This method of determining the aggregate small bank credit implicitly assumes that all non-assessment revenue (for example, investment income) during the credit calculation period would be used to maintain the fund at a 1.15 percent reserve ratio and that regular assessment revenue would be used to maintain the fund at that reserve ratio only to the extent that other revenue was insufficient. Essentially, the method attributes reserve ratio growth to assessment revenue as much as possible and, with one exception, maximizes the amount of the aggregate small bank assessment credit. The exception is the assumption that all surcharge payments contribute to growth of the reserve ratio (to the extent of that growth), which is consistent with the purpose of the surcharge payments.

    The FDIC projects that the aggregate amount of credits would be approximately $900 million, but the actual amount of credits may differ.

    Individual Small Banks' Credits

    Credits would be awarded to any bank that was a small bank at any time during the credit calculation period. An individual small bank's share of the aggregate credit (a small bank's credit share) would be proportional to its credit base, which would be defined as the average of its regular assessment bases during the credit calculation period.38 39 If, before the DIF reserve ratio reached 1.35 percent, a small bank acquired another small bank through merger or consolidation, the acquiring small bank's regular assessment bases for purposes of determining its credit base would include the acquired bank's regular assessment bases for those quarters during the credit calculation period that were before the merger or consolidation. No small bank could receive more in credits than it (and any bank acquired through merger or consolidation) paid during the credit calculation period in regular assessments while it was a small bank not subject to the surcharge.

    38 When determining the credit base, a small bank's assessment base would be deemed to equal zero for any quarter in which it was a large bank.

    39 Call Report amendments after the payment date for the final quarter of the surcharge period would not affect an institution's credit share.

    By making a small bank's credit share proportional to its credit base rather than, for example, its actual assessments paid, the proposal reduces the chances that a riskier bank assessed at higher than average rates would receive credits for these higher rates, thus reducing the incentive for banks to take on higher risk.

    Successors

    If any bank acquired a bank with credits through merger or consolidation after the DIF reserve ratio reached 1.35 percent, the acquiring bank would acquire the credits of the acquired small bank. Other than through merger or consolidation, credits would not be transferrable. Credits held by a bank that failed or ceased being an insured depository institution would expire.

    Use of Credits

    After the reserve ratio reaches 1.40 percent (and provided that it remains at or above 1.40 percent), the FDIC would automatically apply a small bank's credits to reduce its regular deposit insurance assessment by 2 basis points (annual rate) times its regular assessment base, to the extent that the small bank had sufficient credits remaining to do so.40 If a small bank's deposit insurance assessment rate were less than 2 basis points (annual rate), the credit would be used to fully offset the bank's quarterly deposit insurance assessment, but the assessment could never be less than zero.41

    40 The amount of credits applied each quarter would not be recalculated as a result of amendments to the quarterly Call Reports or the quarterly Reports of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks pertaining to any quarter in which credits have been applied.

    41 The FDIC expects that few small banks will have credits remaining after 12 quarters of credit use. Any remaining credits after 12 quarters of credit use would be used to fully offset a bank's entire deposit insurance assessments in future quarters until credits were exhausted, as long as the reserve ratio exceeded 1.40 percent.

    Under the FDI Act, the Board is required to adopt a restoration plan if the reserve ratio falls below 1.35 percent. Allowing credit use only when the reserve ratio is at or above 1.40 percent would provide a cushion for the DIF to remain above 1.35 percent in the event of rapid growth in insured deposits or an unanticipated spike in bank failures, and therefore would reduce the likelihood of triggering the need for a restoration plan.

    Notices of Credits

    As soon as practicable after the DIF reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent or December 31, 2018, whichever occurs earlier, the FDIC would notify each small bank of the FDIC's preliminary estimate of the small bank's credit and the manner in which the credit was calculated, based on information derived from the FDIC's official system of records (the notice). The FDIC would provide the notice through FDICconnect or other means in accordance with existing practices for assessment invoices.42

    42 See generally 12 CFR 327.2(b).

    After the initial notice, periodic updated notices would be provided to reflect the adjustments that may be made up or down as a result of requests for review of credit amounts, as well as subsequent adjustments reflecting the application of credits to assessments and any appropriate adjustment to a small bank's credits due to a subsequent merger or consolidation.

    Requests for Review and Appeals

    Proposed procedures under which a small bank that disagreed with the FDIC's computation of, or basis for, its credits could request review or appeal are set forth in Appendix 1.

    Appendix 1 Requests for Review and Appeals

    A small bank could request review if it disagreed with the FDIC's computation of or basis for its credits within 30 days from: (1) The initial notice stating the FDIC's preliminary estimate of a small bank's credit and the manner in which the credit was calculated; or (2) any updated notice. A request for review would have to be filed with the FDIC's Division of Finance and be accompanied by any documentation supporting the bank's claim. If a bank did not submit a timely request for review, the bank would be barred from subsequently requesting review of its credit amount.

    Upon receipt of a request for review, the FDIC also could request additional information as part of its review and require the bank to supply that information within 21 days of the date of the FDIC's request for additional information. The FDIC would temporarily freeze the amount of the proposed credit in controversy for the banks involved in the request for review until the request was resolved.

    The FDIC's Director of the Division of Finance (Director), or his or her designee, would notify the requesting bank of the determination of the Director as to whether the requested change was warranted, whenever feasible: (1) Within 60 days of receipt by the FDIC of the request for revision; (2) if additional banks had been notified by the FDIC, within 60 days of the last response; or (3) if additional information had been requested by the FDIC, within 60 days of receipt of any such additional information, whichever was later.

    The requesting bank that disagreed with that decision would be able to appeal its credit determination to the FDIC's Assessment Appeals Committee (AAC). An appeal to the AAC would have to be filed within 30 calendar days from the date of the Director's written determination. Notice of the procedures applicable to appeals would be included with that written determination.

    Once the Director or the AAC, as appropriate, had made the final determination, the FDIC would make appropriate adjustments to credit amounts consistent with that determination and correspondingly provide the affected bank[s] with notice or update in the next invoice. Adjustments to credit amounts would not be applied retroactively to reduce or increase prior period assessments.

    If the FDIC's responses to individual banks' requests for review of the preliminary estimate of their credit amount have not been finalized before the invoices for collection of assessments for the first calendar quarter following the quarter in which the reserve ratio reaches 1.40 percent, the FDIC would freeze the credit amounts in dispute while making any credits not in dispute available for use.

    IV. Economic Effects

    The FDIC estimates that it would collect approximately $10 billion in surcharges and award approximately $900 million in credits to small banks, although actual amounts could vary from these estimates. The FDIC projects that a shortfall assessment would be unnecessary.

    A. Accounting Treatment

    The FDIC's analysis is that banks would not account for future surcharges or a possible shortfall assessment in the Call Report and other banking regulatory reports based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as a present liability or a recognized loss contingency within the meaning of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 450—Contingencies because they do not relate to a current condition or event giving rise to a liability. Surcharges would become recognized loss contingencies in a then current quarter if (i) the bank is in existence during that quarter; and (ii) the bank is a large bank as of that quarter and therefore subject to the surcharge. Surcharges would be based on the bank's regular assessment bases in future periods, and recognized in regulatory reports for those periods, just as regular assessments are now (where each assessment is accounted for as a liability and expensed for the quarter it is assessed). A shortfall assessment would become a recognized loss contingency if (i) the reserve ratio had not reached 1.35 percent by the end of 2018; and (ii) the bank had been subject to a surcharge.

    B. Capital and Earnings Analysis

    Consistent with section 7(b)(2)(B) of the FDI Act, the analysis that follows estimates the effects of a 4.5 basis point surcharge on the equity capital and earnings of large banks.43 Because small banks would not pay surcharges, surcharges would affect neither their capital nor their earnings; however, the analysis also estimates the effect of credits on small bank earnings.

    43 Equity capital is defined as capital (stock and/or surplus earnings) that is free of debt, calculated as assets less liabilities.

    Staff estimated the effect of a 4.5 basis-point surcharge on large banks' earnings in two ways. First, as a percentage of adjusted earnings, to take into account the savings projected to result from lower assessment rates implemented in the future when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent. Second, as a percentage of current earnings. Current earnings are assumed to equal pre-tax income before extraordinary and other items from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Adjusted earnings are current earnings plus the savings to be gained by large banks from lower future assessments that will result from the lower assessment rate schedule will apply to regular assessments once the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent.

    Assumptions and Data

    The analysis is based on large banks as of June 30, 2015. As of that date, there were 108 large banks. Banks are merger-adjusted, except for failed bank acquisitions, for purposes of determining income.

    Although the surcharge is expected to continue for 8 quarters, the analysis examines the effect of the surcharge over one year. Each large bank's surcharge base is calculated as of June 30, 2015. Data from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 are used to calculate each large bank's current earnings and adjusted earnings. Capital for each large bank is the amount reported as of June 30, 2015. The analysis assumes that current earnings equal pre-tax income before extraordinary and other items from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Using this measure eliminates the potentially transitory effects of extraordinary items and taxes on profitability. In calculating the effect on capital and banks' ability to maintain a leverage ratio of at least 4 percent (the minimum capital requirement),44 however, the analysis considers the effective after-tax cost of assessments.45 The analysis assumes that the large banks do not transfer the one-time assessment to customers in the form of changes in borrowing rates, deposit rates, or service fees.

    44 See 12 CFR 324.10(a).

    45 Since deposit insurance assessments are a tax-deductible operating expense, increases in assessment expenses can lower taxable income and decreases in the assessment rate can raise taxable income.

    Projected Effects

    For almost all large banks, the effective surcharge annual rate measured against large banks' regular assessment base would be less than the nominal surcharge rate of 4.5 basis points because of the $10 billion deduction. The FDIC projects that the net effect of lower assessment rates that go into effect when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent and the imposition of the surcharge would result in lower assessments for nearly a third of all large banks. Specifically, the analysis estimates that 34 of the 108 large banks would pay lower assessments in the future.

    The analysis reveals no significant capital effects from the surcharge. All large institutions would continue to maintain a 4 percent leverage ratio, at a minimum, both before and after the imposition of the surcharge.46

    46 Of the 108 large banks, 107 continue to maintain a leverage ratio of at least 4 percent. The other large bank is an insured branch of a foreign bank and does not report income in its quarterly financial filings, so its regulatory capital ratios cannot be calculated.

    The annual surcharge would also represent only a small percentage of bank earnings for most large banks. In the aggregate, the annual surcharge would absorb 2.39 percent of total large bank adjusted earnings and 2.42 percent of total large bank current earnings.

    Table 2.A shows that as of June 30, 2015, for 84 percent of all large banks (89 large banks) the surcharge would represent 3 percent or less of adjusted annual earnings. For more than 94 percent (100 large banks), the surcharge would represent 5 percent or less of adjusted annual earnings. Only 6 large banks' adjusted annual earnings would be affected by more than 5 percent, with the maximum effect on any single bank being 8.7 percent.

    Table 2.A—The Effect of the Proposal on Adjusted Earnings of Individual Large Banks LARGE BANKS Surcharge relative to adjusted earnings Population Number Percentage of total large banks Assets Total
  • ($ in billions)
  • Percentage of total large banks
    Between 0% to 1% 22 21 546 4 Between 1% to 2% 36 34 2,026 16 Between 2% to 3% 31 29 6,806 53 Between 3% to 4% 5 5 2,248 18 Between 4% to 5% 6 6 439 3 Over 5% 6 6 663 5 All Large Banks 106 100 12,728 100 Notes: (1) Effect of Surcharge on Adjusted Earnings: Mean = 2.19%; Median = 1.92%; Max = 8.70%; Min = 0.04% (2) Two large banks were excluded from the original population of 108. One large bank is an insured branch of a foreign bank and does not report income in its quarterly financial filings an the second large bank reported negative income.

    When evaluating the effect of the surcharge on current earnings (that is, excluding the gains projected from lower future regular assessments), the effect of surcharges is slightly greater, as expected, but the results are not materially different. Table 2.B shows that, for 83 percent of large banks as of June 30, 2015, (88 large banks), the surcharge would represent 3 percent or less of current earnings. For 92 percent (98 large banks), the surcharge would represent 5 percent or less of current earnings. Only 8 large banks' current earnings would be affected by more than 5 percent, with the maximum effect on any single bank being 9.09 percent.

    Table 2.B—The Effect of the Proposal on Current Earnings of Individual Large Banks LARGE BANKS Surcharge relative to current earnings Population Number Percentage of total large banks Assets Total
  • ($ in billions)
  • Percentage of total large banks
    Between 0% to 1% 22 21 546 4 Between 1% to 2% 35 33 2.007 16 Between 2% to 3% 31 29 6,810 43 Between 3% to 4% 5 5 2,232 18 Between 4% to 5% 5 5 401 3 Over 5% 8 8 733 6 All Large Banks 106 100 12,728 100 Notes: (1) Impact of Surcharge on Current Earnings: Mean = 2.24%; Median = 1.95%; Max = 9.09%; Min = 0.04% (2) Two large banks were excluded from the original population of 108. One large bank is an insured branch of a foreign bank and does not report income in its quarterly financial filings an the second large bank reported negative income.

    Finally, credits would result in a small increase in small bank income. Almost every small bank would be able to use credits for at least five quarters. Small bank annual earnings, on average would increase by about 2.3 percent.

    V. Evaluation of the Proposal

    In 2011, when the FDIC adopted the lower assessment rate schedule that will go into effect when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent, the FDIC projected that the reserve ratio would reach 1.15 percent at the end of 2018, not long before the statutory deadline for the reserve ratio to reach 1.35 percent.47 The FDIC now projects that the reserve ratio is most likely to reach 1.15 percent in the first quarter of 2016, but may reach that level as early as the fourth quarter of this year, leaving additional time for the reserve ratio to reach the statutory target.

    47 76 FR at 10684.

    In all likelihood, under the proposal, the reserve ratio will reach 1.35 percent not later than the end of 2018. Reaching the statutory target reasonably promptly and in advance of the statutory deadline has benefits. First, it would strengthen the fund so that it could better withstand an unanticipated spike in losses from bank failures or the failure of one or more large banks.

    Second, it would reduce the risk of the banking industry facing unexpected, large assessment rate increases in the future. Once the reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent, the September 30, 2020 deadline will have been met and will no longer apply. If the reserve ratio later falls below 1.35 percent, even if that occurs before September 30, 2020, the FDIC would have a minimum of eight years to return the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent, reducing the likelihood of a large increase in assessment rates.48 In contrast, if a spike in losses occurs before the reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent, the Dodd-Frank Act deadline would remain in place, which could require that the banking industry—including banks with less than $10 billion in assets, if the reserve ratio fell below 1.15 percent—pay for the increase in the reserve ratio within a relatively short time. The proposal, therefore, reduces the risk of higher assessments being imposed at a time when the industry might not be as healthy and prosperous and can least afford to pay.

    48 See generally 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(E)(ii).

    In addition, large banks would account for future surcharges in the Call Report and other banking regulatory reports based on GAAP as quarterly expenses, as they do for regular assessments, effectively spreading the cost of the requirement over approximately eight quarters.

    As discussed above, FDIC analysis reveals no significant capital effects on large banks from the surcharge. On average, the annual surcharge would absorb approximately 2.4 percent of large bank annual income.

    VI. Alternatives Considered

    Described below are several alternatives that the FDIC considered while developing this proposal. The FDIC also invites comment on these alternatives and any views as to whether and why an alternative, rather than the proposal, should be adopted as a final rule.

    A. Shortfall Assessment Immediately After the Reserve Ratio Reaches 1.15 Percent Description of the Alternative

    As an alternative to the proposal, the FDIC considered foregoing surcharges and imposing a one-time assessment, similar to a shortfall assessment, on large banks at the end of the quarter after the DIF reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent. Thus, for example, if the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent as of June 30, 2016, the FDIC would impose the one-time assessment on September 30, 2016, and collect it on December 30, 2016.49 50 The aggregate amount of a one-time assessment would equal 1.35 percent of estimated insured deposits as of the date that the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent minus the actual fund balance on that date.

    49 As under the proposal, if the las day of the quarter was not a business day, the collection date would be the previous business day.

    50 A large bank might, however, have the option of paying (or be required to pay) its share of a one-time assessment in equal quarterly installments. One possibility would be to allow or require payment over four quarters; another would be to allow or require payment over eight quarters.

    The large banks that would be subject to a one-time assessment would be determined based upon their total consolidated assets for a period before the date of the NPR or their average total consolidated assets for several periods before the date of the NPR, such as average total consolidated assets over the last two quarters of 2014 and the first two quarters of 2015. While a large bank's assessment base for a one-time assessment would be determined similarly to the assessment base used for surcharges or a shortfall assessment, it would have to be determined based upon an assessment period before the date of the NPR or averaged over several assessment periods before the date of the NPR. Using assets and assessment bases for a period before the date of the NPR would prevent large banks from avoiding the assessment (and shifting costs to other large banks) by transferring assets to a nonbank affiliate or by shrinking or limiting growth.

    In other respects, a one-time assessment would generally be treated the same as a shortfall assessment under the proposal.51

    51 However: (1) Call Report amendments received by the FDIC after 30 days before the collection date would not affect the determination of whether a bank met the definition of a large bank; and (2) Call Report amendments received by the FDIC after 30 days before the collection date would not affect the size of a large bank's assessment base for the one-time assessment.

    Because large banks would be assessed for the entire increase in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent under a one-time assessment, small banks would not contribute to increasing the reserve ratio and would not receive credits.

    Economic Effects of a One-Time Assessment on Banks

    The FDIC estimates that a one-time assessment under this alternative would likely be approximately $13 billion, and would represent approximately 12 basis points of large banks' aggregate regular assessment base.

    Accounting Treatment

    As discussed above, the FDIC is of the view that large banks would account for surcharges as quarterly expenses and would not have to recognize in the Call Report and other banking regulatory reports based on GAAP a liability for them in advance. In contrast, the FDIC believes that a large bank's share of a one-time assessment would relate to a current period event or condition and could be probable and reasonably estimable. Therefore, under ASC Topic 450, if the FDIC adopted this alternative, large banks might have to recognize a liability for a one-time assessment. Recognition of such a liability could be as early as the date that the FDIC adopts a final rule (assuming that the FDIC adopts a one-time assessment in the final rule) or no later than when the FDIC determines that the reserve ratio has reached 1.15 percent.

    Capital, Earnings and Liquidity Analysis

    The FDIC estimates that, on average, a one-time assessment 52 would reduce large banks' annual earnings by approximately six-and-a-quarter percent,53 would not materially affect these banks liquidity,54 and would leave Tier 1 leverage ratios above the 4 percent regulatory minimum for all large banks.55 The FDIC estimates that a one-time assessment would equal less than 10 percent of annual earnings for 90 large banks, would not exceed 20 percent of annual earnings for 13 such banks, and would exceed 20 percent of annual earnings for only 3 such banks. The FDIC estimates that a one-time assessment would represent, on average, 0.30 percent of large banks' liquid assets and would not be more than 1.07 percent of any large bank's liquid assets.

    52 The estimate assumes an aggregate one-time assessment of approximately $12.7 billion, which is 0.2 percent of estimated insured deposits as of June 30, 2015.

    53 Earnings or income are annual income before assessments, taxes, and extraordinary items. Annual income is assumed to equal income from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

    54 Liquidity (or liquid assets) are defined as cash balances, federal funds and repos sold, and securities. Liquid assets are assumed to be the same as they were on June 30, 2015.

    55 Capital and liquid assets are assumed to be the same as they were on June 30, 2015. The estimate considers the effective after-tax cost of assessments in calculating the effect on capital. One covered bank is an insured branch of a foreign bank and is not required to report earnings and capital as part of its financial filings and, therefore, its Tier 1 leverage ratio cannot be determined.

    Evaluation of a One-Time Assessment

    The alternative of a one-time assessment when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent has several benefits. It would ensure that the DIF reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent immediately after the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent rather than later, as would occur using surcharges, which would: (1) Strengthen the fund more quickly, so that it would be in an even better position to withstand the effects of an unanticipated spike in bank failures; and (2) further reduce the risk of the banking industry facing unexpected, large assessment rate increases in the future when it may not be as healthy and prosperous as it is currently.

    On the other hand, large banks would have to recognize in the Call Report and other banking regulatory reports based on GAAP a large liability for a one-time assessment in advance, reducing income materially for the quarter in which the liability is recognized. In addition, because regular assessments would not contribute to increasing the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent if a one-time assessment were imposed, the amount collected from large banks in a one-time assessment is estimated to exceed the estimated total amount of proposed surcharges.

    The FDIC considers a one-time assessment when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent a reasonable alternative to the proposal in this NPR and is interested in comments on this approach. On balance, however, the FDIC considers the proposal the better alternative. As described above, in the FDIC's view, the proposal appropriately balances several considerations, including the goal of reaching the statutory minimum reserve ratio reasonably promptly in order to strengthen the fund and reduce the risk of pro-cyclical assessments, the goal of maintaining stable and predictable assessments for banks over time, and the projected effects on bank capital and earnings.

    B. Delayed Shortfall Assessment Without Surcharges

    A second alternative would be to impose no surcharges after the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent and if the reserve ratio does not reach 1.35 percent by a deadline sometime near the statutory deadline, to impose a shortfall assessment at the end of the following quarter, and to collect it at the end of the next quarter. Thus, for example, if the reserve ratio had not reached 1.35 percent by December 31, 2019, then the FDIC would impose a shortfall assessment on March 31, 2020, and collect it on June 30, 2020. The aggregate amount of such a shortfall assessment would equal the difference between 1.35 percent and the reserve ratio as of December 31, 2019 times the estimated insured deposits as of the deadline.

    As under the proposal, to ensure that the effect on small banks of raising the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent was fully offset, the FDIC would provide assessment credits to small banks for the portion of their assessments that contributed to the increase in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent. Assessment credits to small banks would be determined and applied as described above in the proposal.

    Size of a Delayed Shortfall Assessment

    The FDIC cannot accurately predict the size of a delayed shortfall assessment so far in advance of one. The size of a delayed shortfall assessment could vary widely depending on the condition of the banking industry and the economy. For example, if fund losses from failed banks remain relatively low, the amount of a delayed shortfall assessment could be less than the amount of aggregate surcharges under the proposal, since regular assessments would contribute longer toward raising the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent.56 Thus, if estimated insured deposits grow to $7.65 trillion on December 31, 2019 (a growth rate of approximately 4.2 percent per year from June 30, 2015), and the reserve ratio is 1.26 percent at December 31, 2019, then a delayed shortfall assessment imposed on March 31, 2020, would be approximately $7.2 billion, less than the estimated $10 billion aggregate amount of surcharges under the proposal.

    56 The FDIC reached this conclusion assuming that the lower regular assessment rates scheduled to go into effect when the reserve ratio reaches 1.15 percent.

    On the other hand, the amount of a delayed shortfall could be much larger than the amount of aggregate surcharges under the proposal, if, for example, fund losses increase. Thus, assuming again that estimated insured deposits grow to $7.65 trillion on December 31, 2019, if the reserve ratio as the result of increased losses is only 1.00 percent at December 31, 2019, a delayed shortfall assessment imposed on March 31, 2020, would be approximately $15.3 billion in order to raise the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent, more than the aggregate amount of proposed surcharges. Moreover, in this example, all banks, including small banks, would be responsible for approximately $11.5 billion in additional assessments to increase the reserve ratio from 1.00 percent to 1.15 percent. If losses between now and the end of 2019 were as large as they were during the recent financial crisis, a possibility that the FDIC is not predicting but cannot preclude, the amount of additional assessments that would be levied on all banks would be much larger than under the example. The actual amount of a delayed shortfall assessment would likely differ from any of these examples.

    For similar reasons (the difficulty of predicting insured deposit growth and fund losses over a lengthy period, for example), the FDIC cannot accurately predict the aggregate amount of credits that would be awarded small banks under this alternative.

    Evaluation of a Delayed Shortfall Assessment

    For several reasons, the FDIC is not proposing this alternative. First, compared to either surcharges or a one-time assessment, a delayed shortfall assessment is likely to significantly delay the reserve ratio's reaching 1.35 percent, leaving the fund more exposed to a spike in losses from future bank failures.

    Second, because the reserve ratio is likely to take significantly longer to reach 1.35 percent under this alternative, it increases the risk, as illustrated above, that banks—including small banks—might face sharp increases in assessments during a stressful period when they are less healthy and prosperous than they are now. As discussed earlier, once the reserve ratio reaches 1.35 percent, the September 30, 2020 deadline will have been met and will no longer apply. If the reserve ratio later falls below 1.35 percent, even if that occurs before September 30, 2020, the FDIC will have, under the FDI Act, a minimum of eight years to return the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent, reducing the likelihood of a large and potentially procyclical increase in assessment rates.57

    57 See generally 12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(E)(ii).

    C. Alternatives Based on Surcharges

    The FDIC has considered other alternatives that are essentially variations on certain aspects of the surcharge proposal.

    Method of Determining Surcharge Base

    To determine a large bank's surcharge base for a quarter, the proposal would use the bank's regular assessment base, but would add the regular assessment bases for that quarter of any affiliated small banks and deduct $10 billion from the resulting amount to produce the surcharge base. In a banking organization that includes more than one large bank, however, the affiliated small banks' regular assessment bases and the $10 billion deduction would be apportioned among all large banks in the banking organization in proportion to each large bank's regular assessment base for that quarter. Including affiliated small banks' regular assessment bases in a large bank's surcharge base would prevent a large bank from reducing its surcharges either by transferring assets and liabilities to existing or new affiliated small banks or by growing the businesses of affiliated small banks instead of the large bank. It would also ensure that that banking organizations of similar size (in terms of aggregate assessment bases) pay a similar surcharge.

    Rather than adding the entire regular assessment bases of affiliated small banks to those of large banks, an alternative would be to add to a large bank's assessment base each quarter only the amount of any increase in the regular assessment bases of affiliated small banks above their regular assessment bases as of June 30, 2015. Then $10 billion would also be deducted as under the proposal. Also, as under the proposal, in a banking organization that includes more than one large bank, the increase in affiliated small banks' regular assessment bases and the $10 billion deduction would be apportioned among all large banks in the banking organization in proportion to each large bank's regular assessment base for that quarter.

    Like the proposal, this alternative would prevent a large bank from reducing its surcharges by transferring assets and liabilities to existing or new affiliated small banks, or by growing the businesses of affiliated small banks instead of the large bank. Unlike the proposal, however, it would not ensure that that banking organizations of similar size (in terms of aggregate assessment bases) pay a similar surcharge. In addition, because the full amount of affiliated small banks' assessment bases would not be included in their large bank affiliates' surcharge bases, the risk that the reserve ratio will take longer than eight quarters to reach 1.35 percent or that a shortfall assessment would be needed would be increased, thus shifting some of the burden of surcharges to large banks without affiliated small banks.

    The FDIC also considered alternatives that would impose various types of documentation requirements on large banks to explain changes in assessment bases between quarters during the surcharge period. Although such an approach may help prevent or discourage a large bank from reducing its surcharges by transferring assets and liabilities to existing or new affiliated small banks, it likely would not be as effective as the proposed approach. Moreover, a documentation-based approach would introduce additional complexity to the rule and impose burden and recordkeeping requirements on large banks that are not associated with the proposed option. Finally, unlike the proposal, this alternative would not ensure that that banking organizations of similar size (in terms of aggregate assessment bases) pay a similar surcharge. For these reasons, the FDIC does not favor an alternative based on imposing additional documentation requirements.

    Method of Allocating Credits

    The proposal would allocate credits to small banks based upon their assessment bases during the surcharge period. An alternative would be to allocate credits based upon a small bank's actual assessment payments. Doing so, however, would grant relatively larger credits to riskier banks, since these banks would have paid higher assessment rates. For this reason, the FDIC does not favor this alternative.

    Length of Surcharge Period

    Under the proposal, surcharges would start the quarter after the DIF reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent, would be set at an annual rate of 4.5 basis points, and would continue until the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent, but no later than the fourth quarter of 2018. If necessary, a shortfall assessment would be imposed at the end of the first quarter of 2019.

    An alternative would be to charge surcharges at a somewhat lower rate for a longer period and only impose a shortfall assessment if the reserve ratio had not reached 1.35 percent by a date nearer the statutory deadline (the end of 2019, for example).

    The FDIC does not favor this alternative. In the FDIC's view, the proposal strikes the right balance after considering the statutory deadline for reaching the minimum reserve ratio and the goals of strengthening the fund's ability to withstand a spike in losses and minimizing the risk of larger assessments for the entire industry, as well as the effects on capital and earnings for surcharged banks.

    VII. Effective Date

    A final rule following this NPR would become effective on the first day of the calendar quarter that begins 30 or more days after publication of a final rule.

    VIII. Request for Comment

    The FDIC seeks comment on every aspect of this rulemaking, including the alternatives presented. In addition, the FDIC seeks comment on whether there are additional advantages, disadvantages or other effects of the proposal or an alternative that should be considered and why.

    IX. Regulatory Analysis and Procedure A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that each federal agency either certify that a proposed or final rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities or prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis of the proposal and publish the analysis for comment.58 Certain types of rules, such as rules of particular applicability relating to rates or corporate or financial structures, or practices relating to such rates or structures, are expressly excluded from the definition of the term “rule” for purposes of the RFA.59 This NPR relates directly to the rates imposed on insured depository institutions for deposit insurance. For this reason, the requirements of the RFA do not apply. Nonetheless, the FDIC is voluntarily undertaking a regulatory flexibility analysis and is seeking comment on it.

    58 See 5 U.S.C. 603, 604, 605.

    59 5 U.S.C. 601.

    As of June 30, 2015, of the 6,348 insured commercial banks and savings institutions, there were 5,088 small insured depository institutions as that term is defined for purposes of the RFA (i.e., those with $550 million or less in assets).60 As described in the Supplementary Information section of the preamble, the purpose of this NPR is to meet the Dodd-Frank Act requirements to increase the DIF reserve ratio from 1.15 to 1.35 by September 30, 2020, and offset the effect of that increase on banks with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets. The FDIC proposes to meet those requirements in a manner that appropriately balances several considerations, including the goal of reaching the statutory minimum reserve ratio reasonably promptly in order to strengthen the fund and reduce the risk of pro-cyclical assessments, the goal of maintaining stable and predictable assessments for banks over time, and the projected effects on bank capital and earnings. Both the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDI Act grant the FDIC broad authority to implement the offset requirement.

    60 Throughout this RFA analysis, a “small institution” or “small insured depository institution” refers to an institution with assets of $550 million or less. As of June 30, 2015, one insured branch of a foreign bank also had less than $550 million in assets.

    The proposed rule would affect small entities only to the extent that they would be eligible for credits in exchange for their contributions toward raising the deposit insurance reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent. For purposes of awarding credits, a small bank would be a bank that was not a large bank in a quarter within the credit calculation period. The FDIC is proposing to apply these credits to future regular assessments, resulting in estimated average savings of 2.2 percent of annual earnings. Thus, this initial RFA analysis demonstrates that, if adopted in final form, the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small institutions within the meaning of those terms as used in the RFA and the FDIC so certifies.61

    61 5 U.S.C. 605.

    The proposed rule does not directly impose any “reporting” or “recordkeeping” requirements. The compliance requirements for the proposed rule would not exceed (and, in fact, would be the same as) existing compliance requirements for the current risk-based deposit insurance assessment system for small banks. The FDIC is unaware of any duplicative, overlapping or conflicting federal rules.

    B. Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act

    The Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act requires that the FDIC, in determining the effective date and administrative compliance requirements of new regulations that impose additional reporting, disclosure, or other requirements on insured depository institutions, consider, consistent with principles of safety and soundness and the public interest, any administrative burdens that such regulations would place on depository institutions, including small depository institutions, and customers of depository institutions, as well as the benefits of such regulations.62

    62 12 U.S.C. 4802.

    This NPR proposes no additional reporting or disclosure requirements on insured depository institutions, including small depository institutions, or on the customers of depository institutions.

    C. 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. This NPR does not modify FDIC's Assessments information collection 3064-0057, Quarterly Certified Statement Invoice for Deposit Insurance Assessment. Therefore, no submission to OMB need be made.

    D. The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999—Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The FDIC has determined that the proposed rule will not affect family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, enacted as part of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681).

    E. Solicitation of Comments on Use of Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471 (Nov. 12, 1999), requires the Federal banking agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rulemakings published in the Federal Register after January 1, 2000. The FDIC invites your comments on how to make this proposal easier to understand. For example:

    • Has the FDIC organized the material to suit your needs? If not, how could the material be better organized?

    • Are the requirements in the proposed regulation clearly stated? If not, how could the regulation be stated more clearly?

    • Does the proposed regulation contain language or jargon that is unclear? If so, which language requires clarification?

    • Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the regulation easier to understand?

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 327

    Bank deposit insurance, Banks, Banking, Savings associations.

    For the reasons set forth above, the FDIC proposes to amend part 327 as follows:

    PART 327—ASSESSMENTS 1. The authority for 12 CFR part 327 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1441, 1813, 1815, 1817-19, 1821.

    § 327.11 [Amended]
    2. Revise § 327.11 to read as follows:
    § 327.11 Surcharges and Assessments Required to Raise the Reserve Ratio of the DIF to 1.35 Percent.

    (a) Surcharge.

    (1) Institutions Subject to Surcharge. The following insured depository institutions are subject to the surcharge described in this paragraph:

    (i) Large institutions, as defined in § 327.8(f);

    (ii) Highly complex institutions, as defined in § 327.8(g); and

    (iii) Insured branches of foreign banks whose assets are equal to or exceed $10 billion, as reported in Schedule RAL of the branch's most recent quarterly Report of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks.

    (2) Surcharge Period. The surcharge period shall begin the later of either the first day of the assessment period following the assessment period in which the reserve ratio of the DIF first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent, or the assessment period ending on September 30, 2016. The surcharge period shall continue through the earlier of the assessment period ending December 31, 2018, or the end of the assessment period in which the reserve ratio of the DIF first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent.

    (3) Notification of Surcharge. The FDIC shall notify each insured depository institution subject to the surcharge of the amount of such surcharge no later than 15 days before such surcharge is due, as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (4) Payment of Any Surcharge. Each insured depository institution subject to the surcharge shall pay to the Corporation any surcharge imposed under paragraph (a) of this section in compliance with and subject to the provisions of §§ 327.3, 327.6 and 327.7. The payment date for any surcharge shall be the date provided in § 327.3(b)(2) for the institution's quarterly certified statement invoice for the assessment period in which the surcharge was imposed.

    (5) Calculation of Surcharge. An insured depository institution's surcharge for each assessment period during the surcharge period shall be determined by multiplying 1.125 basis points times the institution's surcharge base for the assessment period.

    (i) Surcharge Base—Insured Depository Institution That Has No Affiliated Insured Depository Institution Subject to the Surcharge. The surcharge base for an assessment period for an insured depository institution subject to the surcharge that has no affiliated insured depository institution subject to the surcharge shall equal:

    (A) The institution's deposit insurance assessment base for the assessment period, determined according to § 327.5; plus

    (B) The total deposit insurance assessment base for the assessment period, determined according to § 327.5, of any affiliated insured depository institutions that are not subject to the surcharge; minus

    (C) $10 billion; provided, however, that an institution's surcharge base for an assessment period cannot be negative.

    (ii) Surcharge Base—Insured Depository Institution That Has One or More Affiliated Insured Depository Institutions Subject to the Surcharge. The surcharge base for an assessment period for an insured depository institution subject to the surcharge that has one or more affiliated insured depository institutions subject to the surcharge shall equal:

    (A) The institution's deposit insurance assessment base for the assessment period, determined according to § 327.5; plus

    (B) The institution's portion of the total deposit insurance assessment base of all affiliated insured depository institutions that are not subject to the surcharge, determined according to§ 327.5, obtained by apportioning the total deposit insurance assessment base of institutions not subject to the surcharge, determined according to § 327.5, among all institutions and affiliated insured depository institutions that are subject to the surcharge, in proportion to the respective deposit insurance assessment bases, determined according to § 327.5, of the institutions subject to the surcharge; minus

    (C) The institution's portion of a $10 billion deduction, obtained by apportioning the deduction among all institutions and affiliated insured depository institutions that are subject to the surcharge, in proportion to those institutions' respective deposit insurance assessment bases, determined according to § 327.5; provided, however, that an institution's surcharge base for an assessment period cannot be negative.

    (D) For the purposes of this section, an affiliated insured depository institution is an insured depository institution that meets the definition of “affiliate” in section 3 of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. 1813(w)(6).

    (6) Effect of Mergers and Consolidations on Surcharge Base.

    (i) If an insured depository institution acquires another insured depository institution through merger or consolidation during the surcharge period, the acquirer's surcharge base will be calculated consistent with § 327.6 and § 327.11(a)(5). For the purposes of the surcharge, a merger or consolidation means any transaction in which an insured depository institution mergers or consolidates with any other insured depository institution, and includes transactions in which an insured depository institution either directly or indirectly acquires all or substantially all of the assets, or assumes all or substantially all of the deposit liabilities of any other insured depository institution, but there is not a legal merger or consolidation of the two insured depository institutions.

    (ii) If an insured depository institution not subject to the surcharge is the surviving or resulting institution in a merger or consolidation with an insured depository institution that is subject to the surcharge or acquires all or substantially all of the assets, or assumes all or substantially all of the deposit liabilities, of an insured depository institution subject to the surcharge, then the surviving or resulting insured deposit institution or the insured depository institution that acquires such assets or assumes such deposit liabilities is subject to the surcharge.

    (b) Shortfall Assessment.

    (1) Institutions Subject to Shortfall Assessment. Any insured depository institution that was subject to a surcharge under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, in any assessment period during the surcharge period described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, shall be subject to the shortfall assessment described in paragraph (b) of this section. If surcharges under paragraph (a) of this section have not been in effect, the shortfall assessment described in paragraph (b) of this section will be imposed on insured depository institutions described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section as of the assessment period in which the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent.

    (2) Notification of Shortfall. The FDIC shall notify each insured depository institution subject to the shortfall assessment of the amount of such institution's share of the shortfall assessment as described in paragraph (b)(5) of this section no later than 15 days before such shortfall assessment is due, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

    (3) Payment of Any Shortfall Assessment. Each insured depository institution subject to the shortfall assessment shall pay to the Corporation such institution's share of any shortfall assessment as described in paragraph (b)(5) of this section in compliance with and subject to the provisions of §§ 327.3, 327.6 and 327.7. The payment date for any shortfall assessment shall be the date provided in § 327.3(b)(2) for the institution's quarterly certified statement invoice for the assessment period in which the shortfall assessment is imposed.

    (4) Amount of Aggregate Shortfall Assessment.

    (i) If the reserve ratio of the DIF is at least 1.15 percent but has not reached or exceeded 1.35 percent as of December 31, 2018, the FDIC shall impose a shortfall assessment on March 31, 2019, equal to 1.35 percent of estimated insured deposits as of December 31, 2018, minus the actual DIF balance as of that date.

    (ii) If the reserve ratio of the DIF is less than 1.15 percent and has not reached or exceeded 1.35 percent by December 31, 2018, the FDIC shall impose a shortfall assessment equal to 0.2 percent of estimated insured deposits at the end of the assessment period immediately following the assessment period during which the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent.

    (5) Institutions' Shares of Aggregate Shortfall Assessment. Each insured depository institution's share of the aggregate shortfall assessment shall be determined by apportioning the aggregate amount of the shortfall assessment among all institutions subject to the shortfall assessment in proportion to each institution's shortfall assessment base as described in this paragraph.

    (i) Shortfall Assessment Base if Surcharges Have Been in Effect. If surcharges have been in effect, an institution's shortfall assessment base shall equal the average of the institution's surcharge bases during the surcharge period. For purposes of determining the average surcharge base, if an institution was not subject to the surcharge during any assessment period of the surcharge period, its surcharge base shall equal zero for that assessment period.

    (ii) Shortfall Assessment Base if Surcharges Have Not Been in Effect. If surcharges have not been in effect, an institution's shortfall assessment base shall equal the average of what its surcharge bases would have been over the four assessment periods ending with the assessment period in which the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent. If an institution would not have been subject to a surcharge during one of those assessment periods, its surcharge base shall equal zero for that assessment period.

    (6) Effect of Mergers and Consolidations on Shortfall Assessment.

    (i) If an insured depository institution, through merger or consolidation, acquires another insured depository institution that paid surcharges for one or more assessment periods, the acquirer will be subject to a shortfall assessment and its average surcharge base will be increased by the average surcharge base of the acquired institution, consistent with paragraph (b)(5) of this section.

    (ii) For the purposes of the shortfall assessment, a merger or consolidation means any transaction in which an insured depository institution mergers or consolidates with any other insured depository institution, and includes transactions in which an insured depository institution either directly or indirectly acquires all or substantially all of the assets, or assumes all or substantially all of the deposit liabilities of any other insured depository institution, but there is not a legal merger or consolidation of the two insured depository institutions.

    (c) Assessment Credits.

    (1) Eligible Institutions. For the purposes of this paragraph (c) of this section, an insured depository institution will be considered an eligible institution, if, for any assessment period during the credit calculation period, the institution was not subject to a surcharge under paragraph (a) of this section.

    (2) Credit Calculation Period. The credit calculation period shall begin the assessment period after the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent, and shall continue through the earlier of the assessment period that the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent or the assessment period that ends December 31, 2018.

    (3) Determination of Aggregate Assessment Credit Awards to All Eligible Institutions. The FDIC shall award an aggregate amount of assessment credits equal to the amount resulting from multiplying the fraction of quarterly regular deposit insurance assessments paid by eligible institutions during the credit calculation period and the amount by which the DIF increase exceeds total surcharges imposed under paragraph (b) of this section; provided, however, that the aggregate amount of assessment credits cannot exceed the aggregate amount of quarterly deposit insurance assessments paid by eligible institutions during the credit calculation period.

    (i) Fraction of Quarterly Regular Deposit Insurance Assessments Paid by Eligible Institutions. The fraction of assessments paid by eligible institutions shall equal quarterly deposit insurance assessments, as determined under § 327.9, paid by eligible institutions during the credit calculation period divided by the total amount of quarterly deposit insurance assessments paid by all insured depository institutions during the credit calculation period, excluding the aggregate amount of surcharges imposed under paragraph (b) of this section.

    (ii) DIF Increase if the DIF Reserve Ratio Has Reached 1.35 Percent by December 31, 2018. The DIF increase shall equal 0.2 percent of estimated insured deposits as of the date that the DIF reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent.

    (iii) DIF Increase if the DIF Reserve Ratio Has Not Reached 1.35 Percent by December 31, 2018. The DIF increase shall equal the DIF balance on December 31, 2018, minus 1.15 percent of estimated insured deposits on that date.

    (4) Determination of Individual Eligible Institutions' Shares of Aggregate Assessment Credit.

    (i) Assessment Credit Share. To determine an eligible institution's assessment credit share, the aggregate assessment credits awarded by the FDIC shall be apportioned among all eligible institutions in proportion to their respective assessment credit bases, as described in paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section.

    (ii) Assessment Credit Base. An eligible institution's assessment credit base shall equal the average of its quarterly deposit insurance assessment bases, as determined under § 327.5, during the credit calculation period. An eligible institution's credit base shall be deemed to equal zero for any assessment period during which the institution was subject to a surcharge under subsection (a).

    (iii) Limitation. The assessment credits awarded to an eligible institution shall not exceed the total amount of quarterly deposit insurance assessments paid by that institution for assessment periods during any part of the credit calculation period that it was an eligible institution.

    (5) Effect of Merger or Consolidation on Assessment Credit Base. If an eligible institution acquires another eligible institution through merger or consolidation before the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches 1.35 percent, the acquirer's quarterly deposit insurance assessment base (for purposes of calculating the acquirer's assessment credit base) shall be deemed to include the acquired institution's deposit insurance assessment base for the assessment periods prior to the merger or consolidation that the acquired institution was an eligible institution.

    (6) Effect of Call Report Amendments. Amendments to the quarterly Reports of Condition and Income or the quarterly Reports of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks that occur subsequent to the payment date for the final assessment period of the credit calculation period shall not affect an eligible institution's credit share.

    (7) Award and Notice of Assessment Credits.

    (i) Award of Assessment Credits. As soon as practicable after the earlier of either December 31, 2018, or the date on which the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches 1.35 percent, the FDIC shall notify an eligible institution of the FDIC's preliminary estimate of such institution's assessment credits and the manner in which the FDIC calculated such credits.

    (ii) Notice of Assessment Credits. The FDIC shall provide eligible institutions with periodic updated notices reflecting adjustments to the institution's assessment credits resulting from requests for review or appeals, mergers or consolidations, or the FDIC's application of credits to an institution's quarterly deposit insurance assessments.

    (8) Requests for Review and Appeal of Assessment Credits. Any institution that disagrees with the FDIC's computation of or basis for its assessment credits, as determined under paragraph (c) of this section, may request review of the FDIC's determination or appeal that determination. Such requests for review or appeal shall be filed pursuant to the procedures set forth in paragraph (d) of this section.

    (9) Successors. If an insured depository institution acquires an eligible institution through merger or consolidation as described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, after the reserve ratio of the DIF reaches 1.35 percent, the acquirer is successor to any assessment credits of the acquired institution. Other than through merger or consolidation, as described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, credits awarded to an eligible institution under this paragraph (c) of this section are not transferable.

    (10) Mergers and Consolidation Include Only Legal Mergers and Consolidation. For the purposes of this paragraph (c) of this section, a merger or consolidation does not include transactions in which an insured depository institution either directly or indirectly acquires the assets of, or assumes liability to pay any deposits made in, any other insured depository institution, but there is not a legal merger or consolidation of the two insured depository institutions.

    (11) Use of Credits.

    (i) The FDIC shall apply assessment credits awarded under this paragraph (c) to an institution's deposit insurance assessments, as calculated under § 327.9, only for assessment periods in which the reserve ratio of the DIF exceeds 1.40 percent.

    (ii) The FDIC shall apply assessment credits to reduce an institution's quarterly deposit insurance assessments by the lesser of each institution's remaining credits or 0.5 basis points multiplied by the institution's deposit insurance assessment base in the assessment period. The assessment credit applied to each institution's deposit insurance assessment for any assessment period shall not exceed the institution's total deposit insurance assessment for that assessment period.

    (iii) Any credits remaining 12 assessment periods after the FDIC begins to apply the assessment credits under this section will be applied to the full amount of the assessment due for the following assessment period, and subsequent assessment periods, as determined under § 327.9, until the credits are exhausted.

    (iv) The amount of credits applied each quarter will not be recalculated as a result of amendments to the quarterly Reports of Condition and Income or the quarterly Reports of Assets and Liabilities of U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks pertaining to any quarter in which credits have been applied.

    (d) Request for Review and Appeals of Assessment Credits—

    (1) An institution that disagrees with the basis for its assessment credits, or the Corporation's computation of its assessments credits, under paragraph (c) of this section and seeks to change it must submit a written request for review and any supporting documentation to the FDIC's Director of the Division of Finance.

    (2) Timing. Any request for review under this paragraph must:

    (i) Be submitted within 30 days from

    (A) The initial notice provided by the FDIC to the insured depository institution under paragraph (c)(6) of this section stating the FDIC's preliminary estimate of an eligible institution's assessment credit and the manner in which the assessment credit was calculated; or

    (B) Any updated notice provided by the FDIC to the insured depository institution under paragraph (c)(6) of this section.

    (ii) Any requests submitted after the deadline in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section will be considered untimely filed and the institution will be subsequently barred from submitting a request for review of its assessment credit.

    (3) Process of Review.

    (i) Upon receipt of a request for review, the FDIC would temporarily freeze the amount of the assessment credit being reviewed until a final determination is made by the Corporation.

    (ii) The FDIC may request, as part of its review, additional information from the insured depository institution involved in the request and any such information must be submitted to the FDIC within 21 days of the FDIC's request.

    (iii) The FDIC's Director of the Division of Finance, or his or her designee, will notify the requesting institution of his or her determination of whether a change is warranted within the latter of the following timeframes:

    (A) 60 days of receipt by the FDIC of the request for review; or

    (B) If additional information had been requested from the FDIC, within 60 days of receipt of any such additional information.

    (4) Appeal. If the requesting institution disagrees with the final determination from the Director of the Division of Finance, that institution may appeal its assessment credit determination to the FDIC's Assessment Appeals Committee within 30 days from the date of the Director's written determination. Notice of the procedures applicable to an appeal before the Assessment Appeals Committee will be included in the Director's written determination.

    (5) Adjustments to Assessment Credits. Once the Director of the Division of Finance, or the Assessment Appeals Committee, as appropriate, has notified the requesting bank of its final determination, then the FDIC will make appropriate adjustments to assessment credit amounts consistent with that determination. Adjustments to an insured depository institution's assessment credit amounts will not be applied retroactively to reduce or increase the quarterly deposit insurance assessment for a prior assessment period.

    4. In § 327.35 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 327.35 Application of credits.

    (a) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (b) of this section, the amount of an eligible insured depository institution's one-time credit shall be applied to the maximum extent allowable by law against that institution's quarterly assessment payment under subpart A of this part, after applying assessment credits awarded under § 327.11(c), until the institution's credit is exhausted.

    By order of the Board of Directors.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 22nd day of October, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-27287 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-132075-14] RIN 1545-BM49 Extension of Time To File Certain Information Returns; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    This document extends the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-132075-14) that was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, August 13, 2015. The proposed regulations relate to extensions of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series (except Form W-2G).

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing for the notice of proposed rulemaking published on August 13, 2015 (80 FR 48472), is extended to January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132075-14), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132075-14), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG-132075-14).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan R. Black at (202) 317-6845 (not a toll free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A notice of proposed rulemaking that appeared in the Federal Register on Thursday, August 13, 2015 (80 FR 48472) announced that written and electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by November 12, 2015. In order to provide the public with a sufficient opportunity to submit comments, the due date to receive electronic comments and requests for a public hearing has been extended to Monday, January 11, 2016.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2015-28279 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 74 RIN 2900-A063 VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines AGENCY:

    Department of Veteran Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend its regulations governing the VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. VA seeks to find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified. The Verification Program has been the subject of reports from both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and VA's Office of Inspector General stating that despite VA's Verification Program, fraud still exists in the Veterans First Contracting Program. Some stakeholder feedback has been that the current regulations at 38 CFR part 74 are too open to interpretation and are unnecessarily more rigorous than similar certification programs run by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This proposed rule would clarify the eligibility requirements for businesses to obtain “verified” status, add and revise definitions, reorder requirements, redefine the definition of “control”, and explain examination procedure and review processes. This proposed rule would additionally implement new changes—references to community property restrictions, “unconditional” ownership, day-to-day requirements, and full-time requirements would be removed or revised and limited in scope; an exception for majority, supermajority, unanimous, or other voting provisions for extraordinary business decisions would be added.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by VA on or before January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AO63—VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines”. Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Leney, Executive Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Utilization (00VE), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-4300. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was provided with a 60-day comment period which ended on July 12, 2013. We received comments from 39 commenters; the issues raised by these comments have been considered in drafting this proposed rule. We thank all commenters for their participation in this process. The bases for the proposed amendments are as follows.

    Within § 74.1, VA proposes to create two new terms and amend or remove several definitions. New terms; “daily business operations” and “Permanent caregiver” would be added. The term “daily business operations” would replace “Day-to-day management” and “day-to-day operations” both of which would be removed; these definitions would be merged in order to simplify amendments made to § 74.4 while ensuring statutory requirements are still enforced/imposed. In addition, Permanent caregiver would be incorporated into § 74.1 whereas previously the concept and terminology was referenced in the regulation, most clearly at § 74.4(g)(1), but not defined. The term would be changed to permanent caregiver and references to personal caregiver would be removed. This amendment would create a definition which would account for definitions of similar and related terms found in 13 CFR 125.8(c), 13 CFR 125.8(d), 38 CFR 3.340(b), and 38 CFR 71.30. This change is intended to take multiple requirements, found throughout regulation, and synthesize them into a single cohesive definition. For purposes of this Part, a requirement that the applicant provide an explanatory statement which states the nexus between the veteran's disability and the need for the permanent caregiver to manage the concern would be added to assist in program administration.

    The following terms would be amended:

    The term Center for Veterans Enterprise would be changed to revise Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) to reflect the name change effectuated at 78 FR 59861, September 30, 2013. The definition of CVE would be further amended to reflect the change to the functions of this office.

    Joint venture would be amended to contain project and time restrictions utilized by other set-aside programs. VA has also added language to clearly address the current policy by indicating that at least one venturer must be a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB).

    The definition of Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization would be amended to more accurately convey the role fulfilled by this office with respect to VOSB matters.

    Participant would be amended to emphasize CVE's role in verifying status.

    Primary industry classification would be amended to make a technical change to use the acronym NAICS as it had already been spelled out and properly noted in a parenthetical earlier in the definition.

    Principal place of business would be amended to make a technical change, specifically the term “day-to-day operation” would be removed and replaced by “daily business operations” in accordance with the amended term from earlier in the definitions section.

    Service-disabled veteran would be amended as the current definition has led to confusion regarding the documentation necessary to establish a service-connected disability. This change would also help increase program efficiency by specifically referencing BIRLS, the system that allows CVE to quickly and accurately determine veteran status.

    Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern would be amended to remove reference to Reservists or members of the National Guard. This reference is appropriately addressed by the amended definition of Veteran. The word spouse would be removed in the first sentence and the word “the” would be added before “permanent caregiver”. This change would clarify for the public and potential participants the situations under which a permanent caregiver, previously referred to as a personal caregiver or spouse, would be able to maintain VOSB eligibility on behalf of a veteran. In the amended regulation, the requirements one must meet to serve as a permanent caregiver would be clearly defined. In order to avoid fraud, waste and abuse any spouse seeking to stand in for a veteran with permanent and severe disability would have to meet these same requirements. Therefore, the reference to spouse, separately from permanent caregiver, would be redundant and potentially confusing. Due to the use of the term “veteran” as opposed to “veteran or service-disabled veteran” throughout the amended regulation, a new last sentence would be added to clearly state that this change did not alter the requirements for an SDVOSB.

    Small business concern would be amended to make a technical change removing the word “is” simply for clarity.

    Surviving Spouse would be amended to make a technical change, specifically the Veterans Benefits Administration would be abbreviated as VBA.

    The definition for unconditional ownership would be removed; the concept of ownership as required for this program would be addressed only in § 74.3(b) to avoid any conflict in the interpretation of the meaning.

    Verification eligibility period would be amended to reflect the increased period for eligibility—which was changed from 12 months to 2 years; this amendment was established via 77 FR 38181, June 27, 2012. Additionally a technical change would amend the reference to Center for Veterans Enterprise by replacing it with the abbreviation CVE. A final technical change would replace the word “year” with “eligibility period” to agree with the change in the first sentence.

    Veteran would be amended to add a reference to VBA. This revised definition is meant to be inclusive of all persons who served on active duty and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. Historically the program has had an issue wherein applicants who did in fact qualify as veterans under the statutory definition, did not meet the standards outlined in § 74.1. This change is not intended to create a new class of veteran, but rather to clarify that those who are eligible under the applicable statutes will be found eligible for participation in this program.

    Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation is amended to remove Veterans Affairs and refer to VA as this is previously defined within the section.

    Section 74.2 would be amended by revising paragraphs (a)-(e) and adding new paragraphs (f) and (g). In both 2010 and 2012, GAO published reports tasking VA with reducing potential instances of fraud, waste and abuse. VA has found in its administration of the verification program that the use of the procedures identified in § 74.2(e) best protects VA acquisition integrity and diminishes ongoing exposure to fraud, waste and abuse. Therefore, for such limited situations as identified in § 74.2, and only in these limited instances, VA finds that immediate removal from public listing is warranted in order to protect the integrity of VA procurement. Accordingly, the amendments to § 74.2 would serve to more comprehensively outline the circumstances under which a participant would be found ineligible for the VOSB Verification program

    Section 74.2(a) would be amended to add the clause “submitted required supplemental documentation at http://www.VetBiz.gov,” to clearly explicate the key steps necessary for an application and verification. Additionally, a technical change would be made to use the abbreviated form “CVE” for consistency.

    Section 74.2 (b) would be amended to support the current policy use of good character to address the potential impact of criminal activity on eligibility and thus to better protect the government from fraud, waste and abuse. The title would be amended to reference the System for Award Management (SAM), which has replaced the Excluded Parties List System. Additionally, the language of the first sentence would be amended to address the impact of 38 U.S.C. 8127(g)(3), which now provides VA authority to exclude all principals in the business concern. Accordingly, the language of § 74.2 would be amended to provide notice that the debarment of any individual holding an ownership and control interest in the concern will impact the concern's eligibility.

    Section 74.2(c) would be amended by adding the phrase “false statements or information” to reference the title and provide further clarification on the eligibility requirements. The removal provision would be additionally reworded to clarify the current policy interpretation that removal is immediate. Finally a technical change would remove “the” before CVE in the last sentence.

    Section 74.2(d) would be amended by including tax liens and unresolved debts owed to various governmental entities outside of the Federal government as financial obligations that would disqualify an applicant for inclusion in the Vetbiz VIP database. The title would be additionally amended to reflect this change.

    Section 74.2(e) would be amended to clarify the consequences of SBA protest decisions and other negative findings. “Other negative findings” was additionally clarified by specifically referencing status protest decisions pursuant to 48 CFR 819.307. The title of this section would be accordingly amended to clarify this section is not limited to SBA decisions. In order to properly effectuate the provisions of the amended 48 CFR 819.307, § 74.2(e) would be amended to allow for immediate removal. The final sentence would be amended to take into account “other negative findings.”

    Section 74.2(f) would be added to better effectuate the licensure requirement previously found in § 74.21(9). Through administration of the program, VA has determined that continued inclusion of concerns who fail to obtain and keep current required licenses creates a significant risk to the procurement process. Therefore, immediate removal from the VetBiz VIP database is warranted to protect the agency from fraud, waste and abuse.

    Section 74.2(g) would be added to specifically reference SAM registration. SAM is a consolidated listing of previous databases and was not in existence at the time the original regulation was created and therefore was not referenced. Registration through SAM is required by 48 CFR 4.1200 (supplemented by 48 CFR 804.1102).

    Section 74.3(a) would be amended to simplify the title in order to avoid the potential for confusion. A technical change would remove the reference service-disabled Veteran. Reference to both veterans and service-disabled veterans in the regulation has proven to cause confusion for some applicants. By referencing only veterans, and making a change to the definition of service-disabled veteran owned small business, that confusion would be eliminated. The reference to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) would also be removed. Through years of program administration it has become clear that this exception does not fit within the verification program. ESOPs have changed in ways making evaluation very difficult. It is not clear how this exception benefits the veteran owner. Concerns having ESOPs could still be verified, so long as they meet all of the ownership requirements set forth in the regulation.

    Section 74.3(b) would be amended to directly address the concerns of VA in balancing commercially reasonable business practices against procurement integrity. Section 74.3(b) as it is currently written is considered by many in the veteran community to be unduly burdensome. VA considered these concerns and addressed them by proposing to limit the scope of unconditional ownership, accepting commercially reasonable conditions and excluding only those that create a significant risk of fraud, waste and abuse. The new language would outline the concept of commercially reasonable business practices and how they will be evaluated by the program. The exception for conditions after death or incapacity would remain unchanged. Section 74.3(b)(1) would be added to explain the process by which CVE will evaluate the commercial reasonability of conditions. This would be done on a case-by-case basis. Section 74.3(b)(2) would be added separately as the scenario addressed, regarding absence of fully vested interests, relates to a significant risk for fraud, waste and abuse, which would therefore bespecifically exempted from the commercial reasonability analysis described in § 74.3(b)(1).

    Section 74.3(c) would be amended by numerous technical changes. Specifically, subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3) would be removed from paragraph (b) and redesignated in new paragraph (c). Additional technical change to new paragraph (c) would remove references to “unconditional” as the requirements of this paragraph apply to all aspects of ownership. The reference to service-disabled veteran would be removed to conform with changes outlined in the explanation of § 74.3(a). Language would be added to paragraphs 74.3(c) (2) and (3) to align with a similar statement in paragraph (1) expressing how ownership must be demonstrated.

    Section 74.3(c) would be redesignated as § 74.3(d) to account for new § 74.3(c) having been added. A technical change would remove the reference to service-disabled veteran to conform with changes outlined in the explanation of § 74.3(a).

    Section 74.3(d) would be redesignated as § 74.3(e) to account for addition of new § 74.3(c). A technical change would remove the reference to service-disabled veteran to conform with changes outlined in the explanation of § 74.3(a). The clause relating to joint venture profit distribution would be removed from this section. This requirement would be now addressed in § 74.5. Section 74.4(d)(5) (redesignated § 74.4(e)(4)) would be amended to change “should” to “must” in order to create an enforceable requirement.

    Section 74.3(e) would be redesignated as § 74.3(f) to account for addition of new § 74.3(c). A technical change would remove the reference to service-disabled veteran to conform with changes outlined in the explanation of § 74.3(a). Section 74.3(e)(1) would be amended by a technical change to replace “application” with “VA Form 0877” in order to clarify the requirement and conform language to the rest of the regulation. Section 74.3(e)(1) would be changed to add a 30-day time period for submission of new application after a change in ownership. This change would provide the agency the ability to definitively and accurately track changes of ownership. By adding a time period for new application, the program would be better able to comply with its statutory mandate of verifying that all concerns listed in the VIP Database meet the ownership and control requirement of the regulation.

    Section 74.3(e)(3) would be amended by a technical change to replace “application” with “VA Form 0877” in order to clarify the requirement and conform language to the rest of the regulation.

    Section 74.3(e)(4) would be amended to add a reference to § 74.14 to demonstrate the potential impact of change of ownership on the eligibility period.

    Section 74.3(f) would be removed in its entirety. In administering the program, this requirement was found to be unduly burdensome on veterans. CVE has also found that implementation of this provision does not significantly reduce the risk of fraud, waste and abuse in the program.

    Section 74.4(a) would be amended to align with the changes made to definitions in § 74.1. The term “day-to-day management” would be removed as described above, and this would require the language of § 74.4(a) to be revised. The second sentence is moved from § 74.4(b) for organizational purposes and clarity.

    Section 74.4(b) would be amended to align with the changes made to definitions in § 74.1. The term “day-to-day management” would be removed as descried above, and this would require the language of § 74.4(b) to be revised. The last sentence would be amended to add a reference to § 74.4(j)(2) in order to properly identify the paragraph which establishes this requirement.

    Section 74.4(c)(1) would be amended by technical change to remove “or service-disabled veterans” to eliminate confusion. Veteran classification issues are already addressed in § 74.1 as described above. The second and third sentences would be edited to clarify that the requirements apply only to Veteran owners, as opposed to non-Veteran owners of the concern. Section 74.4(c)(2) would be amended by technical change to redesingatelist as (c)(3). Section 74.4(c)(3) would be amended by technical change to be listed as (c)(2). The new organization would more logically group related concepts. Section 74.4(c)(4) would be amended by a technical change to be listed as § 74.4(d). This amendment would make it clear that this requirement applies to all aspects of control, not just those detailed in § 74.4(c). An additional technical change would amend the reference to paragraph (f) to paragraph (h) to correspond with redesignating of sections described below.

    Section 74.4(e) would be amended and reorganized. VA would reorganize this provision, as well as following paragraphs of § 74.4 to clarify that there are certain control requirements that apply to all business entities, while others apply to specific business types (e.g. Corporation, LLC, Partnership). This new organization would clearly lay out the generally applicable standards in paragraph (e) and then move to the specific requirements for different business types in the following paragraphs. In the current version of the regulation, these general and specific requirements exist, but are not laid out in a logical and clear manner.

    A new provision would be added in at § 74.4(e) in order to describe the general control requirements outlined in the explanation above. A reference to “extraordinary business decisions” would be added at § 74.4(e)(1) and (3) to clarify existing program policy. This exception would protect the minority owners of firms thereby encouraging investment and participation in veteran owned businesses. Section 74.4(d) would be redesignated as § 74.4(f) to account for addition of new § 74.4(d) and § 74.4(e). Language would be added to refer to § 74.4(e)(1) to assimilate the exception created therein. Section 74.4(e) would be redesignated as § 74.4(g) to account for addition of new § 74.4(d) and § 74.4(e). Language would be added to refer to § 74.4(e)(1) to assimilate the exception created therein. Section 74.4(f) would be redesignated as § 74.4(h) to account for the addition of new § 74.4(d) and § 74.4(e). Section 74.4(f) is would also be amended to account for the general requirements of 74.4(e) and to emphasize the specific criterion relating only to incorporations. Section 74.4(f) (new § 74.4(h) would also be amended to succinctly and clearly encapsulate the exception created in existing § 74.4(f)(1) (i), (ii), and (iii), and referenced in § 74.4(c)(4). The language “at any time for any reason” would be added to focus the provision on commercially reasonable business structures. VA intends these changes to simplify requirements relating to control and delete redundancies. Section 74.4(g) and its associated subparagraphs would be redesignated as § 74.4(i). It would be further amended by technical change to remove the word “such” from the second sentence in order to clarify that these limitations apply to all non-Veterans. This change would help to guard against fraud. The term “personal caregiver” would be changed to “permanent caregiver” to be consistent with the definition added to § 74.1. Section 74.4(g)(3), redesignated as § 74.4(i)(3), would be amended to replace the word “salary” with “compensation” in order to be consistent. Additionally, in order to reflect current program policy, the word “dividends” would be replaced by the word “distributions” with regard to sources of compensation. This reference would be moved to directly follow the word “compensation” for clarity. Section 74.4(i) would be redesignated as § 74.4(j) with conforming and clarifying changes.

    Section 74.5 would be revised to include joint ventures. The language would be reworded to clearly establish that 38 CFR part 74 does not supersede 13 CFR part 121 with respect to size determinations. A paragraph (b) would be added to specifically address eligibility of joint ventures. Subparagraph (b)(2) would be moved from its previous placement in 38 CFR 74.3(d)(2) for organization and to address all joint venture issues in one section. Additionally, the language would be edited in order to clarify that the VOSB entity, rather than the individual Veteran owner(s), must be entitled to the distribution. Subparagraphs (b)(1) and (b)(3) would be added to provide notice of the requirements outlined elsewhere in VA Regulation (819.7003).

    Section 74.10 would be amended to remove reference to physical address for CVE. Addresses or methods for submission may change over time, and this change allows CVE to make reasonable and necessary adjustments without the need for amendment of the regulation.

    Section 74.11 would be amended by a technical change to redesignate paragraphs (c)-(g) to account for addition of new paragraph (c). Additionally, “Center for Veterans Enterprise” would be changed to “CVE” in paragraph (a). Finally, “[t]he CVE” would be changed to “CVE” in paragraph (a).

    Section 74.11(c) would be added to address the potential circumstances created if CVE does not receive all requested documentation. As a result of statutory changes, the program now must certify applicants prior to admission in the database. In order to comply with the statute, VA requests documentation to demonstrate eligibility. This paragraph would put the public on notice that failure to adequately respond to these document requests may render CVE unable to verify the eligibility of a concern and therefore may result in denial. The original § 74.11(c) would be redesignated as § 74.11(d) and would be amended by a technical change to insert a reference to the newly added paragraph (c). Additionally, the reference to paragraph (d) would be changed to paragraph (e) to account for redesignating. The term “totality of circumstances” would be added to clarify long standing CVE interpretation and procedure. References to § 74.11(b) and § 74.13(a) would be added to highlight all applicable exceptions. Finally, a last sentence would be added to clarify in the regulatory text longstanding VA policy that the applicant bears the burden of establishing VOSB status.

    Section 74.11(d) would be redesignated as § 74.11(e). The third sentence would be removed as it refers to withdrawal or removal of verified status. This issue is addressed in 38 CFR 74.21, which specifically deals with how participants can exit the VetBiz VIP database. Therefore, the removal would help to eliminate redundancy and reduce the likelihood of confusion. Current § 74.11(e) would be redesignated as § 74.11(f), and § 74.11(f) would be redesignated as § 74.11(g).

    The revised § 74.11(e) would consist of subparagraphs (1) and (2). Subparagraph (1) would continue to provide notice of the requirement for participants to provide notice to CVE of changed circumstances. Subparagraph (2) would specify that bankruptcy is a changed circumstance, and the section would include requirements to protect the agency through the bankruptcy process.

    Current section 74.11(g) would be redesignated as § 74.11(h). A second sentence would be added to increase program efficiency by ensuring that applicants provide updated contact information. This would allow the program to use the most efficient methods to dispatch determinations and ensure that applicants will receive determinations in a timely manner.

    Section 74.12 would be amended to expand the list of required documentation in order to provide notice of documentation that is routinely requested by CVE. This amended list would include documents previously referenced by § 74.20(b). While the documents would still be required for examination as described in § 74.20(b), they also are initially required for the application. As the application is a concern's first exposure with the process, VA finds this list would be more appropriately placed in this section to put the public on notice of the documentary requirements. Additionally, “electronic form” would be changed to “VA Form 0877” throughout for clarity. Similarly, “attachments” would be changed to “supplemental documentation” throughout. Finally, the last two sentences would be combined and slightly reworded for clarity.

    Section 74.13(a) would be amended to modify the start of the relevant 30-day time period. This change would provide the agency the ability to definitively and accurately track the request for reconsideration proceedings. Additionally, this change would provide the agency the ability to control the regulatory time period and consistently apply the subsequent provisions of the paragraph. The instructions for submission of a request for reconsideration would be changed to indicate that all instructions for proper submission will be found in the denial decision. Addresses or methods for submission may change over time, and this change would allow CVE to make reasonable and necessary adjustments without the need for amendment of the regulation. A sentence stating that the applicant may submit additional or amended documentation would be added to clarify existing program policy. Finally, the last sentence would be removed due to redundancy with the first sentence of paragraph (b).

    Section 74.13(d) would be amended to change “or” to “and” in the first sentence to accurately reflect the actions taken by CVE in these situations. Additionally, information regarding how an applicant can request a formal size determination from the SBA would be removed as individual business concerns cannot request formal size determinations. In an instance where CVE denies for size issues, CVE would request a formal size determination directly, and the company would be eligible to submit a request for reconsideration. A conforming amendment would be made to § 74.13(e). Section 74.13(g) would be amended to add a sentence to increase program efficiency by ensuring that applicants provide updated contact information. This would allow the program to use the most efficient methods to dispatch determinations and ensure that applicants will receive the determinations in a timely manner.

    Section 74.14 would be amended to include notices of verified status cancellation in the list of determinations that trigger a waiting period before a concern may submit a new verification application. This appears to have been an omission in the prior version of the regulation. Additionally, the waiting period would be expanded from 6 months to 12 months. The program has instituted several procedures to assist applicants to identify and address easily correctable issues that render the applicant ineligible. The class of notices listed in § 74.14 are generally issued to applicants with substantial issues causing ineligibility. The 12-month waiting period would ensure that applicants will be motivated to avail themselves of the resources provided by CVE and allow sufficient time for ineligible concerns to address significant issues. Additionally, this would increase the efficiency of the program by reducing the number of applications submitted by concerns that do not conform to the verification guidelines.

    The current text of § 74.14, as amended, would be designated as § 74.14(a) and new provisions would be added in § 74.14(b) providing for immediate removal of ineligible participants from the VetBiz VIP verification database. VA only intends, to the extent practicable, to list as verified in the VetBiz VIP database concerns which currently meet verification requirements. This would serve the important purpose of assisting COs in the procurement process by ensuring the database only includes concerns that are eligible for award of set aside procurements.

    Section 74.15(a) would be split into paragraphs (a), (b), and (c). A technical change would be made to what would be redesignated as § 74.15(a) to improve specificity. A change would be made to what would be redesignated as § 74.15(b) to require participants to inform CVE within 30 days of changes affecting eligibility, consistent with § 74.3(f)(1). A substantive change would be made to the list that would be redesignated as § 74.15(c), which would be expanded to include all situations in which the eligibility period may be shortened. Section 74.15(b) would be removed because it dealt with affiliation. Section 74.5 would state that the SBA will make determinations on affiliation. Therefore, any shortening of the eligibility period due to an affiliation determination would result from an SBA determination. This scenario would be addressed by § 74.2(e), and is referenced appropriately at what would be designated § 74.15(c). Finally, paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) would be redesignated as (d), (e) and (f) respectively.

    Section 74.20(b) would be amended by minor technical changes in the first three sentences for simplicity and clarification. In the first sentence, the phrase, “or parts of the program examination” would be removed. In the second sentence, “location” would be changed to “location(s).” In the third sentence, the word “[e]xaminers” is changed to “CVE.” Section 74.12, “[w]hat must a concern submit to apply for VetBiz VIP Verification Program,” would fully address the required documentation necessary for verification and therefore the complete list would be removed from § 74.20 in order to avoid redundancy and confusion.

    Section 74.21 would be extensively reordered for clarity and to conform with changes made to other sections of the regulatory text. Section 74.21(a) would be amended by a technical change to remove reference to the “verified' status button” in order to reflect the current graphical user interface of the VIP database. Additionally, “Vendor Information Pages” would be changed to “VIP.” Section 74.21(b) would include a technical edit, “Vendor Information Pages” changed to “VIP.” Section 74.21(c) would be added to reference the immediate removal provisions established by and clarified in § 74.2. Previous § 74.21(c) and associated subparagraphs would be redesignated as § 74.21(d) and associated subparagraphs. Additionally, reference to the “'verified' status button” would be removed to reflect the current graphical user interface of the database. Section 74.21(c)(5) would be removed as involuntary exclusions would now be addressed in § 74.2. Section 74.21(c)(6) would be redesignated as § 74.21(d)(5) to account for deletion of (c)(5). Additionally, the phrase “or its agents” would be added to clarify who may request documents. Section 74.21(c)(7) would be redesignated as § 74.21(d)(6) to account for deletion of (c)(5). Section 74.21(c)(8) would be removed as the action addressed by that provision would now be addressed in § 74.2. Section 74.21(c)(9) would be removed as the provision would now be included in § 74.2 as a grounds for immediate removal. Section 74.21(c)(10) would be redesignated as § 74.21(d)(7). The term “application” would be removed as VA Form 0877 reflects current program requirements. 60 days would be changed to 30 days to conform with revised § 74.3(f)(1) of this part. Section 74.21(e) would be added as notice to the public that failure to report changed circumstances within 30 days is in and of itself good cause to initiate cancellation proceedings.

    Section 74.22(a) would be amended to base the start of the relevant 30-day time period on the date on which CVE sent notice of proposed cancellation of verified status. This change would provide the agency the ability to definitively and accurately track the cancellation proceedings. Additionally, this change would provide the agency the ability to control the regulatory time period and consistently apply the subsequent provisions of the paragraph. section 74.22(e) would be amended by a technical change to replace “Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization” with ”OSDBU.”

    Section 74.25 would be amended by a technical change to replace “Department” with “VA.” Additionally, the provision would be revised to expand the pool of individuals required to provide personally identifiable information.

    Section 74.26 would be amended by technical change to reflect the amended title of § 74.12.

    Section 74.27 would be amended to reword the first sentence to specify that all documents submitted to the program, not only those used to complete applications, will be stored electronically. Additionally, “VetBiz Vendor Information Pages” would be changed to “CVE” in order to clearly denote who will be in possession of the documents and responsible for their retention. The location reference would be removed due to the electronic nature of the records to be maintained by the program. The second sentence would be revised to indicate that any owner information provided will be compared to any available records. Finally, references to records management procedures to be followed and procedures governing data breaches would be added.

    Section 74.28 would be amended to abbreviate references to VA and CVE.

    Section 74.29 would be amended to refer to VA's records management procedures, which would govern, absent a timely written request from the Government Accountability Office.

    Effect of Rulemaking

    The Code of Federal Regulations, as proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent the exclusive legal authority on this subject. No contrary rules or procedures would be authorized. All VA guidance would be read to conform with the rule finally adopted if possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no provision constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). This proposed rule would generally be small business neutral, as it would apply only to applying for verified status in the VetBiz.gov Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database. The proposed regulation would merely seek to clarify and streamline the existing rule and would add no additional burdens or restrictions on applicants or participants with regard to the VA VOSB Verification Program. The overall impact of the proposed rule would be of benefit to small businesses owned by veterans or service-disabled veterans. VA estimates the cost to an individual business to be less than $100.00 for 70-75 percent of the businesses seeking verification, and the average cost to the entire population of veterans seeking to become verified is less than $325.00 on average. On this basis, the Secretary certifies that the adoption of this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of §§ 603 and 604.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages, distributive impacts and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” which requires review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) 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; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    This proposed rule would affect the verification guidelines of veteran-owned small businesses, for which there is no Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program number.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on October 20, 2015, for publication.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 74

    Administrative practice and procedure, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses, Veterans.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Michael P. Shores, Chief Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, we propose to amend 38 CFR part 74 as follows:

    PART 74—VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for Part 74 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501 and 513, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise § 74.1 to read as follows:
    § 74.1 What definitions are important for VetBiz Vendor Information Pages (VIP) Verification Program?

    For the purpose of part 74, the following definitions apply.

    Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) is an office within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is a subdivision of VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. CVE receives and reviews all applications for eligibility under this part and maintains the VIP database. CVE assists VA contracting offices to identify veteran-owned small businesses and communicates with the Small Business Administration (SBA) with regard to small business status.

    Daily Business Operations are, at a minimum, the marketing, production, sales, and administrative functions of the firm, as well as, the supervision of the executive team, the implementation of sound policies and the setting of the strategic direction of the firm.

    Days are calendar days. In computing any period of time described in part 74, the day from which the period begins to run is not counted, and when the last day of the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the period extends to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. Similarly, in circumstances where CVE is closed for all or part of the last day, the period extends to the next day on which the agency is open.

    Eligible individual means a veteran, service-disabled veteran, or surviving spouse, as defined in this section.

    Immediate family member means father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, and mother-in-law.

    Joint venture is an association of two or more small business concerns to engage in and carry out no more than three specific or limited-purpose business ventures for joint profit over a two year period, for which purpose they combine their efforts, property, money, skill, or knowledge, but not on a continuing or permanent basis for conducting business generally. A joint venture must be comprised of at least one veteran owned small business. For VA contracts a joint venture must be in the form of a separate legal entity.

    Negative control includes, but is not limited to, instances where a minority shareholder has the ability, under the concern's chapter, by-laws, or shareholder's agreement, to prevent a quorum or otherwise block action by the board of directors or shareholders

    Non-veteran means any individual who does not claim veteran status, or upon whose status an applicant or participant does not rely in qualifying for VetBiz Vendor Information Pages (VIP) Verification Program participation.

    Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is the office within VA that establishes and monitors small business program goals at the prime and subcontract levels. OSDBU works with VA Acquisitions to ensure the creation and expansion of small businesses opportunities by promoting the use of set-aside contracting vehicles within VA procurement. OSDBU connects and enables veterans to gain access to these federal procurement opportunities. The Executive Director, OSDBU, is the VA liaison with the SBA. Information copies of correspondence sent to the SBA seeking a certificate of competency determination must be concurrently provided to the Director, OSDBU. Before appealing a certificate of competency, the Head of Contracting Activity must seek concurrence from the Director, OSDBU.

    Participant means a veteran-owned small business concern which CVE has “verified” and deemed eligible to participate in VA's veteran-owned small business program.

    Permanent caregiver is the spouse, or an individual, 18 years of age or older, who is legally designated, in writing, to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of the service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability, as determined by VA's Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), to include housing, health and safety. A permanent caregiver may, but does not need to, reside in the same household as the service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability. The applicant or participant must demonstrate that but for the permanent and severe disability the veteran would meet the requirements of this part. There may be no more than one permanent caregiver per service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability. To be eligible for VetBiz VIP Verification, the applicant must provide the following:

    (1) Appointment of the Permanent Caregiver. A permanent caregiver must be formally appointed. This can be accomplished by: (i) Order of a court of competent jurisdiction; (ii) designation of the VA, National Caregiver Support Program, as the Primary Family Caregiver of a veteran participating in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (this designation is subject to the Veteran and the caregiver meeting other specific criteria as established by Public Law 111-163 and the Secretary and may be revoked if the eligibility criteria do not continue to be met); or (iii) a legal designation which clearly states that the permanent caregiver will undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of the service-disabled veteran.

    (2) Determination of Disability. A written determination from VBA that the veteran has a permanent and total service-connected disability as set forth in 38 CFR 3.340.

    (3) Explanatory Statement. A written statement that must include: (i) The rationale for the appointment of the permanent caregiver; (ii) an explanation of how the appointment contributes to the veteran's well-being; (iii) an explanation of why the permanent caregiver is needed to manage the applicant concern (including how the permanent caregiver is actually representing the veteran's interests in controlling/running the concern); and (iv) the veteran's consent to the appointment of the permanent caregiver.

    Note to Definition of Permanent Caregiver:

    In the case of a service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability lacking legal capacity, the permanent caregiver shall be a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody.

    Primary industry classification means the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code designation which best describes the primary business activity of the participant. The NAICS code designations are described in the NAICS Manual published by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

    Principal place of business means the business location where the individuals who manage the concern's daily business operations spend most working hours and where top management's current business records are kept. If the office from which management is directed and where the current business records are kept are in different locations, CVE will determine the principal place of business for program purposes.

    Same or similar line of business means business activities within the same three-digit “Major Group” of the NAICS Manual as the primary industry classification of the applicant or participant. The phrase “same business area” is synonymous with this definition.

    Service-disabled veteran is a veteran who possesses a service-connected disability rating between 0 and 100 percent. For the purposes of VA's veteran-owned small business program the service-connected disability can be established by either registration in the Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) maintained by the VBA, a disability rating letter issued by VA, or a disability determination from the Department of Defense.

    Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concern (SDVOSB) is a business not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans, or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans, or in the case of a veteran with a permanent and severe disability, the permanent caregiver of such veteran. In addition, some businesses may be owned and operated by an eligible surviving spouse. Ownership and control by a veteran, as opposed to a service-disabled veteran, will not meet the SDVOSB requirements set forth in this Part.

    Small business concern—CVE applies the small business concern definition established by 48 CFR 2.101.

    Surviving spouse is any individual identified as such by VA's VBA and listed in its database of veterans and family members. To be eligible for VetBiz VIP Verification, the following conditions must apply:

    (1) If the death of the veteran causes the small business concern to be less than 51 percent owned by one or more veterans, the surviving spouse of such veteran who acquires ownership rights in such small business shall, for the period described in paragraph (2) of this definition, be treated as if the surviving spouse were that veteran for the purpose of maintaining the status of the small business concern as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business.

    (2) The period referred to in paragraph (1) of this definition is the period beginning on the date on which the veteran dies and ending on the earliest of the following dates:

    (i) The date on which the surviving spouse remarries;

    (ii) The date on which the surviving spouse relinquishes an ownership interest in the small business concern;

    (iii) The date that is 10 years after the date of the veteran's death; or

    (iv) The date on which the business concern is no longer small under Federal small business size standards.

    (3) The veteran must have had a 100 percent service-connected disability or died as a direct result of a service-connected disability.

    Note to Definition of Surviving Spouse:

    For program eligibility purposes, the surviving spouse has the same rights and entitlements of the service-disabled veteran who transferred ownership upon his or her death.

    VA is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Vendor Information Pages (VIP) is a database of businesses eligible to participate in VA's Veteran-owned Small Business Program. The online database may be accessed at no charge via the Internet at http://www.VetBiz.gov.

    Verification eligibility period is a 2-year period that begins on the date CVE issues its Notice of Verified Status Approval letter establishing “verified” status. The participant must submit a new application for each eligibility period to continue eligibility.

    VetBiz.gov (VetBiz) is a Web portal VA maintains at http://www.VetBiz.gov. It hosts the Vendor Information Pages database.

    Veteran has the meaning given the term in section 101(2) of Title 38, United States Code, as interpreted through Title 38 of the CFR. In addition, any person having a determination of veteran status from VBA, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable will be deemed to be a veteran for the purposes of this program.

    Veteran-owned small business concern (VOSB) is a small business concern that is not less than 51 percent owned by one or more veterans, or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans; the management and business operations of which are controlled by one or more veterans and qualifies as “small” for Federal business size standard purposes. All service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns (SDVOSBs) are also, by definition, veteran-owned small business concerns. When used in these guidelines, the term “VOSB” includes SDVOSBs.

    Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) is the set of rules that specifically govern requirements exclusive to VA prime and subcontracting actions. The VAAR is chapter 8 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations, and supplements the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which contains guidance applicable to most Federal agencies.

    3. Revise § 74.2 to read as follows:
    § 74.2 What are the eligibility requirements a concern must meet for VetBiz Vendor Information Pages (VIP) Verification Program?

    (a) Ownership and control. A small business concern must be owned and controlled by one or more eligible veterans, service-disabled veterans or surviving spouses, have completed the online VIP database forms, submitted required supplemental documentation at http://www.VetBiz.gov, and have been examined by VA's CVE. Such businesses appear in the VIP database as “verified”.

    (b) Good character and exclusions in System for Award Management (SAM). Individuals having an ownership or control interest in VetBiz verified businesses must have good character. Debarred or suspended concerns or concerns owned or controlled by debarred or suspended persons are ineligible for VetBiz VIP Verification. Concerns owned or controlled by a person(s) who is currently incarcerated, or on parole or probation (pursuant to a pre-trial diversion or following conviction for a felony or any crime involving business integrity) are ineligible for VetBiz VIP Verification. Concerns owned or controlled by a person(s) who is formally accused of a crime involving business integrity are ineligible for VetBiz VIP Verification. If, after verifying a participant's eligibility, the person(s) controlling the participant is found to lack good character, CVE will remove the participant from the VIP database immediately, notwithstanding the provisions found in § 74.22 of this part.

    (c) False statements. If, during the processing of an application, CVE determines, by a preponderance of the evidence standard (in keeping with other administrative actions), that an applicant has knowingly submitted false information, regardless of whether correct information would cause CVE to deny the application, and regardless of whether correct information was given to CVE in accompanying documents, CVE will deny the application. If, after verifying the participant's eligibility, CVE discovers that false statements or information has been submitted by a firm, CVE will remove the participant from the VetBiz VIP database immediately, notwithstanding the provisions of § 74.22 of this part. Whenever CVE determines that the applicant submitted false information, the matter will be referred to the Office of Inspector General for review. In addition, CVE will request that debarment proceedings be initiated by the Department.

    (d) Financial obligations. Neither a firm nor any of its eligible individuals that fails to pay significant financial obligations, including unresolved tax liens and defaults on Federal loans or State or other government assisted financing, owed to the Federal government, the District of Columbia or any state, district, or territorial government of the United States, is eligible for VetBiz VIP Verification.

    (e) Protest Decisions or other negative findings. Any firm verified in the VetBiz VIP database that is found to be ineligible by a SDVOSB/VOSB Status Protest decision will be immediately removed from the VetBiz VIP database, notwithstanding the provisions of § 74.22 of this part. Any firm verified in the VetBiz VIP database that is found to be ineligible due to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) protest decision or other negative finding may be immediately removed from the VetBiz VIP database, notwithstanding the provisions of § 74.22 of this part. Until such time as CVE receives official notification that the firm has proven that it has successfully overcome the grounds for the determination, that the decision is overturned on appeal, or the firm applies for and receives verified status from CVE, the firm will not be eligible to participate in the 38 U.S.C. 8127 program.

    (f) Permits, licenses and state charters. A concern must obtain and keep current any and all permits, licenses, and charters required to perform contracts sought by the concern. If CVE determines that an applicant fails to meet this requirement CVE will deny the application. If after verifying the participant's eligibility CVE discovers that the participant no longer satisfies this requirement, CVE will remove the participant from the VetBiz VIP database immediately, notwithstanding the provisions of § 74.22 of this part.

    (g) System for Award Management registration. All applicants for VetBiz VIP Verification must be registered in SAM at http://www.sam.gov, or its successor prior to application submission.

    4. Revise § 74.3 to read as follows:
    § 74.3 Who does the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) consider to own a veteran-owned small business?

    An applicant or participant must be at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned by one or more veterans.

    (a) Direct ownership. Ownership by one or more veterans must be direct ownership. An applicant or participant owned principally by another business entity that is in turn owned by one or more veterans does not meet this requirement; however, ownership by a trust, such as a living trust, may be treated as the functional equivalent of ownership by a veteran where the trust is revocable, and the veteran is the grantor, a trustee, and the sole current beneficiary of the trust.

    (b) Unconditional ownership. Ownership must not be subject to prohibited conditions which cause or potentially cause ownership benefits to go to another (other than after death or incapacity).

    (1) CVE will analyze conditions on ownership on a case-by-case basis. A condition(s) which is determined to align with commercially reasonable business practices will not be considered a prohibited condition. For purposes of determining commercial reasonability CVE will consider factors, including but not limited to, general use of similar conditions by concerns within the same or similar line of business and uniform applicability of the condition(s).

    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a veteran's ownership interest must be fully vested with immediate entitlement to all associated benefits.

    (c) CVE will evaluate ownership according to the following criteria for specific types of small business concerns.

    (1) Ownership of a partnership. In the case of a concern that is a partnership, at least 51 percent of each class of partnership interest must be owned by one or more veterans. The ownership must be reflected in the concern's partnership agreement.

    (2) Ownership of a limited liability company. In the case of a concern that is a limited liability company, at least 51 percent of each class of member interest must be owned by one or more veterans. The membership interests must be reflected in the concern's operating agreement.

    (3) Ownership of a corporation. In the case of a concern that is a corporation, at least 51 percent of each class of voting stock outstanding and 51 percent of the aggregate of all stock outstanding must be owned by one or more veterans. The ownership interests must be reflected in the concern's stock certificates and stock ledger.

    (d) Stock options' effect on ownership. In determining ownership, CVE will disregard any unexercised stock options or similar agreements held by veterans. However, any unexercised stock options or similar agreements (including rights to convert non-voting stock or debentures into voting stock) held by non-veterans will be treated as exercised, except for any ownership interests that are held by investment companies licensed under Part 107 of title 13, Code of Federal Regulations.

    (e) Profits and distributions. One or more veterans must be entitled to receive:

    (1) At least 51 percent of the annual distribution of profits paid to the owners of a corporate, partnership, or LLC applicant or participant;

    (2) 100 percent of the value of each share of stock owned by them in the event that the stock is sold; and

    (3) At least 51 percent of the retained earnings of the concern and 100 percent of the unencumbered value of each share of stock owned in the event of dissolution of the corporation, partnership, or LLC.

    (4) An eligible individual's ability to share in the profits of the concern must be commensurate with the extent of his/her ownership interest in that concern.

    (f) Change of ownership.

    (1) A participant may remain eligible after a change in its ownership or business structure, so long as one or more veterans own and control it after the change. The participant must file an updated VA Form 0877 and supporting documentation identifying the new veteran owners or the new business interest within 30 days of the change.

    (2) Any participant that is performing contracts and desires to substitute one veteran owner for another shall submit a proposed novation agreement and supporting documentation in accordance with FAR Subpart 42.12 to the contracting officer prior to the substitution or change of ownership for approval.

    (3) Where the transfer results from the death or incapacity due to a serious, long-term illness or injury of an eligible principal, prior approval is not required, but the concern must file an updated VA Form 0877 with contracting officer and CVE within 60 days of the change. Existing contracts may be performed to the end of the instant term. However, no options may be exercised.

    (4) Continued eligibility of the participant with new ownership requires that CVE verify that all eligibility requirements are met by the concern and the new owners. Therefore, submissions made in accordance with paragraph (f)(1) of this section shall be treated as a reapplication and will be processed by CVE pursuant to section 74.14 of this part.

    5. Revise § 74.4 to read as follows:
    § 74.4 Who does CVE consider to control a veteran-owned small business?

    (a) Control means the strategic policy, long-term decision-making authority, and the management of daily business operations for the VOSB. An applicant's or participant's management must be conducted by one or more veterans. Many persons share control of a concern, including each of those occupying the following positions: Officer, director, general partner, managing partner, managing member and manager. In addition, key employees who possess expertise or responsibilities related to the concern's primary economic activity may share significant control of the concern. CVE will consider the control potential of such key employees on a case-by-case basis.

    (b) Control is not the same as ownership, although both may reside in the same person. CVE regards control as including both the strategic policy setting exercised by boards of directors and the management of daily business operations. Individuals managing the concern must have managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to run the concern. A veteran need not have the technical expertise or possess a required license to be found to control an applicant or participant if he or she can demonstrate that he or she has ultimate managerial and supervisory control over those who possess the required license(s) or technical expertise. However, where a critical license(s) is held by a non-veteran having an equity interest in the applicant or participant firm, the non-veteran may be found to control the firm pursuant to paragraph (j)(2) of this section.

    (c)(1) An applicant or participant must be controlled by one or more veterans who possess requisite management capabilities. Veteran owners need not work full-time but must show sustained and significant time invested in the business. A veteran owner engaged in employment or management outside the applicant concern must submit a written statement supplemental to the application which demonstrates that such activities will not have a significant impact on the owner's ability to manage and control the applicant concern. Applications from concerns seeking joint-venture status are exempt from the requirement to submit a supplemental written statement.

    (2) One or more veterans who manage the applicant or participant must devote full-time to the business during the normal working hours of firms in the same or similar line of business. Work in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the applicant or participant may be considered to meet the requirement of full-time devotion. This applies only to a subsidiary owned by the VOSB itself, and not to firms in which the veteran has a mere ownership interest.

    (3) An eligible full-time manager must hold the highest officer position (usually President or Chief Executive Officer) in the applicant or participant.

    (d) Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, a veteran owner's unexercised right to cause a change in the management of the applicant concern does not in itself constitute veteran control, regardless of how quickly or easily the right could be exercised.

    (e) The veteran(s) upon whom eligibility is based must control the applicant or participant's governing body. Control may be established through actual numbers, voting based on ownership interest held by directors, members, managers or partners, bloc voting (e.g., where two or more directors vote as a single block pursuant to a written agreement), or weighted voting (e.g., in a concern having a two-person board of directors where one individual on the board is a veteran and one is not, the veteran vote must be weighted—worth more than one vote—in order for the concern to be eligible for VetBiz VIP Verification). Where a concern seeks to comply with this paragraph:

    (1) The veteran(s) upon whom eligibility is based must have control over all decisions of the governing body, with the exception of extraordinary business decisions. Extraordinary business decisions include, but are not limited to, acceptance of new capital contributions, addition of members to an LLC or partnership, amendment of an operating or partnership agreement in a manner that materially alters members' rights, material amendments to bylaws, issuance of additional shares of capital stock, and the sale or lease of all or substantially all of a concern's assets.

    (2) Provisions for the establishment of a quorum cannot permit non-veterans, such as directors, members, managers or partners to control the governing body, directly or indirectly;

    (3) A veteran upon whom eligibility is based must be able to unilaterally amend the governing documents without requiring the consent of non-veterans, such as shareholders, directors, members, managers or partners, except amendments that are extraordinary business decisions;

    (4) Any executive committee of the applicant's or participant's governing body must be controlled by veteran(s) acting as director(s) unless the executive committee can only make recommendations to and cannot independently exercise the authority of the board of directors;

    (5) Non-voting, advisory, or honorary directors, members, managers or partners may be appointed without affecting veterans' control of the governing body.

    (6) Arrangements regarding the structure and voting rights of the board of directors, or other governing bodies, must comply with applicable state law.

    (f) In the case of a partnership, one or more veterans must serve as general partners, with control over all partnership decisions, except as provided in paragraph (e)(1). A partnership in which no veteran is a general partner will be ineligible for participation.

    (g) In the case of a limited liability company, one or more veterans must serve as management members, with control over all decisions of the limited liability company, except as provided in paragraph (e)(1).

    (h) In the case of a corporation, one or more veterans must control the board of directors of a corporate applicant or participant. CVE will deem veterans to control the board of directors when veterans owning at least 51% of voting stock have the power to unilaterally, or through a block voting agreement, remove any director at any time for any reason.

    (i) Non-veterans may be involved in the management of an applicant or participant, and may be stockholders, partners, limited liability members, officers, or directors of the applicant or participant. However, with the exception of a surviving spouse, or permanent caregiver who represents a severely disabled veteran owner, no non-veteran or immediate family member may:

    (1) Exercise actual control or have the power to control the applicant or participant;

    (2) Be a former employer or a principal of a former employer of any affiliated business of the applicant or participant, unless it is determined by the CVE that the relationship between the former employer or principal and the eligible individual or applicant concern does not give the former employer actual control or the potential to control the applicant or participant and such relationship is in the best interests of the participant firm; or

    (3) Receive compensation in any form, including distributions, from the applicant or participant as directors, officers or employees, which exceeds the compensation to be received by the highest officer (usually President or Chief Executive Officer). The highest ranking officer may elect to receive less compensation than a non-veteran only upon demonstrating that it helps the applicant or participant.

    (j) Non-veterans or entities may be found to control or have the power to control in any of the following circumstances, which are illustrative only and not all inclusive:

    (1) Non-veterans control the board of directors of the applicant or participant, either directly through majority voting membership, or indirectly, where the by-laws allow non-veterans effectively to prevent a quorum or block actions proposed by the veterans.

    (2) A non-veteran or entity, having an equity interest in the applicant or participant, provides critical financial or bonding support or a critical license to the applicant or participant. For the purposes of this part, financing, bonding or licensure will be deemed critical where the withholding or withdrawal of the support may cause a business to fail to meet its financial obligations, may allow a non-veteran or entity to significantly influence business decisions, or may result in a dependent relationship with a non-veteran or entity.

    (3) A non-veteran or entity controls the applicant or participant or an individual veteran owner through loan arrangements. Providing a loan guaranty on commercially reasonable terms does not, by itself, give a non-veteran or entity the power to control a firm.

    (4) Business relationships exist with non-veterans or entities which cause such dependence that the applicant or participant cannot exercise independent business judgment without great economic risk.

    6. Revise § 74.5 to read as follows:
    § 74.5 How does CVE determine affiliation?

    (a) CVE does not determine affiliation. Affiliation is determined by the SBA in accordance with 13 CFR part 121.

    (b) Joint ventures may apply for inclusion in the VetBiz VIP Verification Program. To be eligible for inclusion in the VetBiz VIP Verification Program a joint venture must demonstrate that:

    (1) The underlying VOSB upon which eligibility is based is verified in accordance with this part;

    (2) The underlying VOSB upon which eligibility is based is entitled to at least 51% of the net profits earned by the joint venture;

    (3) The joint venture agreement complies with the requirements set forth in 13 CFR 125.15(b)(2).

    7. Revise § 74.10 to read as follows:
    § 74.10 Where must an application be filed?

    An application for VetBiz VIP Verification status must be electronically filed in the Vendor Information Pages database located on the CVE's Web portal, http://www.VetBiz.gov. Guidelines and forms are located on the Web portal. Upon receipt of the applicant's electronic submission, an acknowledgment message will be dispatched to the concern containing estimated processing time and other information. Address information for the CVE is also located on the Web portal.

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0675.)

    8. Revise § 74.11 to read as follows:
    § 74.11 How does CVE process applications for VetBiz VIP Verification Program?

    (a) The Director, CVE, is authorized to approve or deny applications for VetBiz VIP Verification. CVE will receive, review and examine all VetBiz VIP Verification applications. CVE will advise each applicant within 30 days, when practicable, after the receipt of an application whether the application is complete and suitable for a verification examination and, if not, what additional information or clarification is required to complete the application. CVE will process an application for VetBiz VIP Verification status within 60 days, when practicable, of receipt of a complete application package. Incomplete application packages will not be processed.

    (b) CVE, in its sole discretion, may request clarification of information relating to eligibility at any time in the eligibility determination process. CVE will take into account any clarifications made by an applicant in response to a request for such by CVE.

    (c) CVE, in its sole discretion, may request additional documentation at any time in the eligibility determination process. Failure to adequately respond to the documentation request shall constitute grounds for a denial.

    (d) An applicant's eligibility will be based on the totality of circumstances existing on the date of application, except where clarification is made pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, additional documentation is submitted pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, as provided in paragraph (e) of this section or in the case of amended documentation submitted pursuant to section 74.13(a) of this part. The applicant bears the burden to establish its status as a VOSB.

    (e)(1) Changed circumstances for an applicant occurring subsequent to its application and which adversely affect eligibility will be considered and may constitute grounds for denial of the application. The applicant must inform CVE of any changed circumstances that could adversely affect its eligibility for the program (i.e., ownership or control changes) during its application review.

    (2) Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a change in circumstance requiring additional protection for the agency. Should a VOSB enter into bankruptcy the participant must:

    (i). Inform CVE of the filing event within 30 days;

    (ii). Specify to CVE whether the concern has filed Chapter 7, 11 or 13 under U.S. Bankruptcy code; and

    (iii) Any participant that is performing contracts must assure performance to the contracting officer(s) prior to any reorganization or change if necessary including such contract's in the debtor's estate and reorganization plan in the bankruptcy.

    (f) The decision of the Director, CVE, to approve or deny an application will be in writing. A decision to deny verification status will state the specific reasons for denial, and will inform the applicant of any appeal rights.

    (g) If the Director, CVE, approves the application, the date of the Notice of Verified Status Approval letter is the date of participant verification for purposes of determining the participant's verification eligibility term.

    (h) The decision may be sent by mail, commercial carrier, facsimile transmission, or other electronic means. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all contact information is current in the applicant's profile.

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0675.)
    9. Revise § 74.12 to read as follows:
    § 74.12 What must a concern submit to apply for VetBiz VIP Verification Program?

    Each VetBiz VIP Verification applicant must submit the VA Form 0877 and supplemental documentation as CVE requires. All electronic forms are available on the VetBiz.gov VIP database Web pages. From the time the applicant dispatches the VA Form 0877, the applicant must also retain on file, at the principal place of business, a complete copy of all supplemental documentation required by, and provided to, CVE for use in verification examinations. The documentation to be submitted to CVE includes, but is not limited to: Articles of Incorporation/Organization; corporate by-laws or operating agreements; shareholder agreements; voting records and voting agreements; trust agreements; franchise agreements, organizational, annual and board/member meeting records; stock ledgers and certificates; State-issued Certificates of Good Standing; contract, lease and loan agreements; payroll records; bank account signature cards; financial statements; Federal personal and business tax returns for up to 3 years; and licenses. These materials shall be filed together to maximize efficiency of verification examination visits, and will provide CVE with sufficient information to establish the management, control and operating status of the business on the date of submission.

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0675.)
    10. Revise § 74.13 to read as follows:
    § 74.13 Can an applicant ask CVE to reconsider its initial decision to deny an application?

    (a) An applicant may request that the Director, CVE, reconsider his or her decision to deny an application by filing a request for reconsideration with CVE within 30 days of CVE sending the denial decision. “Filing” means a document is received by CVE by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on that day. Requests for reconsideration must be submitted in accordance with the directions and to the address identified in the denial letter. The filing party bears the risk that the delivery method chosen will not result in timely receipt at CVE. An applicant may submit additional or amended documentation as directed by CVE.

    (b) The Director, CVE, will issue a written decision within 60 days, when practicable, of receipt of the applicant's request. The Director, CVE, may either approve the application, deny it on the same grounds as the original decision, or deny it on other grounds. If denied, the Director, CVE, will explain why the applicant is not eligible for the VetBiz VIP Verification and give specific reasons for the denial.

    (c) If the Director, CVE, denies the application solely on issues not raised in the initial denial, the applicant may ask for reconsideration as if it were an initial denial.

    (d) If CVE determines that a concern may not qualify as small, they may directly deny an application for VetBiz VIP Verification and may request a formal size determination from the SBA. A concern whose application is denied because it is other than a small business concern by CVE may request that CVE reconsider the decision pursuant to this section. A favorable determination by SBA will enable the firm to immediately submit a new VetBiz VIP Verification.

    (e) A denial decision that is based on the failure to meet any veteran eligibility criteria is not subject to a request for reconsideration and is the final decision of CVE.

    (f) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the decision on the request for reconsideration shall be final.

    (g) The decision on the request for reconsideration may be sent by mail, commercial carrier, facsimile transmission, or other electronic means. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all contact information is current in the applicant's profile.

    11. Revise § 74.14 to read as follows:
    § 74.14 Can an applicant or participant reapply for admission to the VetBiz VIP Verification Program?

    (a) Once an application, a request for reconsideration, or an appeal of a verified status cancellation has been denied, or a verified status cancellation has been issued, the applicant or participant shall be required to wait for a period of 12 months before a new application will be processed by CVE.

    (b) Participants may reapply prior to the termination of their eligibility period. If a participant is found to be ineligible the participant will forfeit any time remaining on their eligibility period and will be immediately removed from the VetBiz VIP Verification database. An applicant removed pursuant to this section may ask CVE to reconsider its decision in accordance with section 74.13 of this Part. The date of a new determination letter verifying an applicant will be the beginning of the next two-year eligibility period.

    12. Revise § 74.15 to read as follows:
    § 74.15 What length of time may a business participate in VetBiz VIP Verification Program?

    (a) A participant receives an eligibility term of 2 years from the date of CVE's Notice of Verified Status Approval letter establishing verified status.

    (b) The participant must maintain its eligibility during its tenure and must inform CVE of any changes that would adversely affect its eligibility within 30 days.

    (c) The eligibility term may be shortened by removal pursuant to § 74.2 of this Part, application pursuant to § 74.14(b) of this Part, voluntary withdrawal by the participant pursuant to § 74.21 of this Part, or cancellation pursuant to § 74.22 of this Part.

    (d) CVE may initiate a verification examination whenever it receives credible information concerning a participant's eligibility as a VOSB. Upon its completion of the examination, CVE will issue a written decision regarding the continued eligibility status of the questioned participant.

    (e) If CVE finds that the participant does not qualify as a VOSB, the procedures at § 74.22 of this Part will apply, except as provided in § 74.2 of this Part.

    (f) If CVE finds that the participant continues to qualify as a VOSB, the original eligibility period remains in effect.

    13. Revise § 74.20 to read as follows:
    § 74.20 What is a verification examination and what will CVE examine?

    (a) General. A verification examination is an investigation by CVE officials, which verifies the accuracy of any statement or information provided as part of the VetBiz VIP Verification application process. Thus, examiners may verify that the concern currently meets the eligibility requirements, and that it met such requirements at the time of its application or its most recent size recertification. An examination may be conducted on a random, unannounced basis, or upon receipt of specific and credible information alleging that a participant no longer meets eligibility requirements.

    (b) Scope of examination. CVE may conduct the examination at one or all of the participant's offices or work sites. CVE will determine the location(s) of the examination. CVE may review any information related to the concern's eligibility requirements including, but not limited to, documentation related to the legal structure, ownership and control. As a minimum examiners shall review any or all of the organizing documents, financial documents and publicly available information as well as any information identified in section 74.12 of this part.

    14. Revise § 74.21 to read as follows:
    § 74.21 What are the ways a business may exit VetBiz VIP Verification Program status?

    A participant may:

    (a) Voluntarily cancel its status by submitting a written request to CVE requesting that the concern be removed from public listing in the VIP database; or

    (b) Delete its record entirely from the VIP database; or

    (c) CVE may remove a participant immediately pursuant to § 74.2; or

    (d) CVE may remove a participant from public listing in the VIP database for good cause upon formal notice to the participant. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Submission of false information in the participant's VetBiz VIP Verification application.

    (2) Failure by the participant to maintain its eligibility for program participation.

    (3) Failure by the participant for any reason, including the death of an individual upon whom eligibility was based, to maintain ownership, management, and control by veterans, service-disabled veterans or surviving spouses.

    (4) Failure by the concern to disclose to CVE the extent to which non-veteran persons or firms participate in the management of the participant.

    (5) A pattern of failure to make required submissions or responses to CVE or its agents, including a failure to make available financial statements, requested tax returns, reports, information requested by CVE or VA's Office of Inspector General, or other requested information or data within 30 days of the date of request.

    (6) Cessation of the participant's business operations.

    (7) Failure by the concern to provide an updated VA Form 0877 within 30 days of any change in ownership, except as provided in paragraph 74.3(f)(3) of this part.

    (d) The examples of good cause listed in paragraph (c) of this section are intended to be illustrative only. Other grounds for canceling a participant's verified status include any other cause of so serious or compelling a nature that it affects the present responsibility of the participant.

    (e) Failure to inform CVE of any such changed circumstances, as outlined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, within 30 days constitutes cause for which CVE may cancel verified status of the participant.

    15. Amend § 74.22 by revising paragraphs (a) and (e) to read as follows:
    § 74.22 What are the procedures for cancellation?

    (a) General. When CVE believes that a participant's verified status should be cancelled prior to the expiration of its eligibility term, CVE will notify the participant in writing. The Notice of Proposed Cancellation Letter will set forth the specific facts and reasons for CVE's findings, and will notify the participant that it has 30 days from the date CVE sent the notice to submit a written response to CVE explaining why the proposed ground(s) should not justify cancellation.

    (e) Appeals. A participant may file an appeal with the Executive Director, OSDBU, concerning the Notice of Verified Status Cancellation within 30 days of receipt of CVE's cancellation decision. “Filing” means a document is received by CVE by 5:30 p.m., eastern time, on that day. Documents may be filed by hand delivery, mail, commercial carrier, or facsimile transmission. Hand delivery and other means of delivery may not be practicable during certain periods due, for example, to security concerns or equipment failures. The filing party bears the risk that the delivery method chosen will not result in timely receipt at CVE. Submit appeals to: Executive Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and Center for Veterans Enterprise (00VE), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420. A formal decision will be issued within 60 days after receipt. The decision on the appeal shall be final.

    16. Revise § 74.25 to read as follows:
    § 74.25 What types of personally identifiable information will VA collect?

    In order to establish owner eligibility, VA will collect individual names and Social Security numbers of all owners who represent themselves as having ownership interests in a specific business seeking to obtain verified status.

    17. Revise § 74.26 to read as follows:
    § 74.26 What types of business information will VA collect?

    VA will examine a variety of business records. See section 74.12, “What must a concern submit to apply for VetBiz VIP Verification Program?”

    18. Revise § 74.27 to read as follows:
    § 74.27 How will VA store information?

    VA stores records provided to CVE fully electronically on the VA's secure servers. CVE personnel will compare information provided concerning owners against any available records. Any records collected in association with the VetBiz VIP verification program will be stored and fully secured in accordance with all VA records management procedures. Any data breaches will be addressed in accordance with the VA information security program.

    19. Revise § 74.28 to read as follows:
    § 74.28 Who may examine records?

    Personnel from VA, CVE and its agents, including personnel from the SBA, may examine records to ascertain the ownership and control of the applicant or participant.

    20. Revise § 74.29 to read as follows:
    § 74.29 When will VA dispose of records?

    The records, including those pertaining to businesses not determined to be eligible for the program, will be kept intact and in good condition and retained in accordance with VA records management procedures following a program examination or the date of the last Notice of Verified Status Approval letter. Longer retention will not be required unless a written request is received from the Government Accountability Office not later than 30 days prior to the end of the retention period.

    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 8127(f))
    [FR Doc. 2015-28256 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0643; FRL-9935-64-Region 9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Placer County Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision to the Placer County portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns the necessary procedures to create emission reduction credits (ERCs) from the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC), oxides of nitrogen (NOX), oxides of sulfur (SOX), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions due to the use and installation of a control device on stationary locomotive engines in rail yards. We are proposing to approve a local rule that provides administrative procedures for creating emissions reduction credits, consistent with Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) requirements.

    DATES:

    Any comments on this proposal must arrive by December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0643, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

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

    Instructions: Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html for further instructions. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. For the full EPA public comment policy and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Levin, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3848, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal addresses the following local rule: Placer County Air Pollution Control District Rule 515 Stationary Rail Yard Control Emission Reduction Credits. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, we are approving this local rule in a direct final action without prior proposal because we believe this SIP revision is not controversial. If we receive adverse comments, however, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in subsequent action based on this proposed rule.

    We do not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If we do not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: September 25, 2015. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28271 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 60 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0866; FRL-9935-90-OAR] RIN 2060-AS43 Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amendments to the standards of performance for stationary compression ignition (CI) internal combustion engines to allow manufacturers to design the engines so that operators can temporarily override performance inducements related to the emission control system for stationary CI internal combustion engines operating during emergency situations where the operation of the engine or equipment is needed to protect human life, and to require compliance with Tier 1 emission standards during such emergencies. The EPA is also proposing to amend the standards of performance for certain stationary CI internal combustion engines located in remote areas of Alaska.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 21, 2015.

    Public hearing. If anyone contacts us requesting to speak at a public hearing by November 13, 2015, a public hearing will be held on November 23, 2015. If you are interested in attending the public hearing, contact Ms. Melanie King at (919) 541-2469 or [email protected] to verify that a hearing will be held.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0866, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    The EPA requests that you also submit a separate copy of your comments to the contact person identified below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). If the comment includes information you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected, you should send a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI or otherwise protected.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. The EPA also relies on materials in Docket ID Nos. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0708, EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0295, and EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-1032, and incorporates those dockets into the record for this proposed rule.

    Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available (e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute). Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742. Visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm for additional information about the EPA's public docket.

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this proposed rule will be available on the World Wide Web (WWW). Following signature, a copy of this proposed rule will be posted at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/icengines/.

    Public hearing: If anyone contacts the EPA requesting a public hearing by November 13, 2015, the public hearing will be held on November 23, 2015 at the EPA's campus at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Please contact Ms. Melanie King at (919) 541-2469 or at [email protected] to register to speak at the hearing or to inquire as to whether or not a hearing will be held.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Melanie King, Energy Strategies Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-01), Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-2469; facsimile number: (919) 541-5450; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Organization of this document. The information presented in this preamble is organized as follows:

    I. General Background II. Temporary Override of Inducements in Emergency Situations A. Background B. Proposed Amendments III. Remote Areas of Alaska A. Background B. Proposed Amendments IV. Impacts of the Proposed Action A. Economic Impacts B. Environmental Impacts V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review, and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations I. General Background

    On July 11, 2006, the EPA promulgated standards of performance for stationary CI internal combustion engines (71 FR 39154). These standards, known as new source performance standards (NSPS), implement section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), and are issued for categories of sources that cause, or contribute significantly to, air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. The standards apply to new stationary sources of emissions, i.e., sources whose construction, reconstruction, or modification begins after a standard for those sources is proposed. The NSPS for stationary CI internal combustion engines established limits on emissions of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO) and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC). The emission standards are generally modeled after the EPA's standards for nonroad and marine diesel engines. The nonroad CI engine standards are phased in over several years and have Tiers with increasing levels of stringency. The engine model year in which the Tiers take effect varies for different size ranges of engines. The Tier 4 final standards for new stationary non-emergency and nonroad CI engines generally begin with either the 2014 or 2015 model year.

    In 2011, the EPA finalized revisions to the NSPS for stationary CI engines that amended the standards for engines with a displacement greater than 10 liters per cylinder, and also for engines located in remote areas of Alaska (76 FR 37954). In this action, the EPA is proposing amendments to the NSPS regarding performance inducements for Tier 4 engines and the criteria for defining remote areas of Alaska. The proposed amendments are discussed below.

    II. Temporary Override of Inducements in Emergency Situations A. Background

    Many Tier 4 final engines are equipped by the engine manufacturer with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to reduce emissions of NOX. The consumable reactant in an SCR system is typically supplied as a solution of urea in water known as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Engines equipped with SCR generally include controls that limit the function of the engines if they are operated without DEF, or if the engine's electronic control module cannot otherwise confirm that the SCR system is properly operating. Such controls are generally called “inducements” because they induce the operator to properly maintain the SCR emission control system. In normal circumstances, if inducements begin, the engine operator is expected to perform any necessary maintenance to avoid shutdown. Manufacturers as well as owners and operators of nonroad and stationary CI Tier 4 certified engines have raised concerns regarding the inducements being triggered and engines shutting down during emergency situations. Triggers could include a temporary supply shortage of DEF, a freeze warning, a blocked DEF hose, or a disconnected or faulty DEF pump or sensor. These inducements can be triggered because of an actual emission problem (such as a blocked DEF line or an empty DEF tank), or because of a sensor problem that reports a false positive problem even though the emission controls are still functioning properly. While the EPA is confident that DEF is now widely available and easily obtainable across the United States, the EPA is concerned that in emergency circumstances, such as the aftermath of storms like Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, there may be a possibility of temporary disruptions in DEF supply, disruptions in communications between operators and service centers, or delays in response time for engine repair service. In an emergency situation, allowing inducements to impact engine performance may endanger human lives for engines that are providing life-saving emergency service, such as engines providing emergency power for a hospital. As an example, the Johns Hopkins Health System indicated that the availability of emergency power “can be the difference between life and death for critically ill patients. Disruption of emergency power for any reason could have catastrophic results for patients in surgery, for patients on respirators, and for patients receiving medical gases, to name a few.” (See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0866.)

    The EPA's existing nonroad and stationary engine compliance regulations in 40 CFR 1068.101(b)(1)(ii) allow operators to temporarily disable or remove emission controls to address emergency situations, with a limited exemption from the prohibition that normally applies for tampering with certified engines.1 However, until recently, the regulations did not allow manufacturers to design the emission controls to be disabled or removed in emergency situations. With modern electronically controlled engines, many emission controls are integrated into the engine's control software, and there is no way for the operator to selectively disable emission control software, while maintaining engine function. In order to permit engine manufacturers to design the emission controls to be disabled or removed in emergency situations, the EPA amended the emission standards for nonroad CI engines to allow manufacturers of nonroad CI engines to give operators the means to temporarily override inducements while operating in emergency situations (79 FR 46356, August 8, 2014). At that time, the EPA indicated that the amendments did not apply to stationary CI engines. Engine manufacturers and owners and operators of stationary CI engines have indicated that it would be appropriate to extend the provisions to stationary CI engines, since they can also be used in emergency situations, and many engines are dual-certified for both nonroad and stationary use. To address concerns about stationary CI engines shutting down during emergency situations and endangering human lives, the EPA is proposing in this action to allow manufacturers of stationary CI engines certified to the Tier 4 standards to give operators the means to temporarily override inducements while operating in qualified emergency situations. The EPA is also proposing to require engine operators to meet the Tier 1 emission standard in 40 CFR 89.112 that applies to the engine's rated power during the qualified emergency situation. The specific amendments the EPA is proposing are discussed in more detail below. If adopted, these provisions will make available stationary engines that will allow operators to use the flexibility already provided under 40 CFR 1068.101(b)(1)(ii) to ensure that emission controls will not impede the engine from providing life-saving emergency service. The flexibility the EPA is adopting is very narrow and contains several provisions to ensure the need for the relief.

    1 “This [tampering] prohibition does not apply in any of the following situations: . . . (ii) You need to modify the engine/equipment to respond to a temporary emergency and you restore it to proper functioning as soon as possible.” 40 CFR 1068.101(b)(1)(ii).

    B. Proposed Amendments

    As discussed previously, on August 8, 2014, the EPA promulgated provisions allowing manufacturers of nonroad engines certified to the emission standards in 40 CFR part 1039 to give operators the means to temporarily override emission control inducements while operating in emergency situations, such as those where operation of the engine is needed to protect human life (79 FR 46356). These provisions, which are codified in 40 CFR 1039.665, allow for auxiliary emission control devices (AECDs) that help to ensure proper function of engines in emergency situations. AECDs are any element of design that senses temperature, motive speed, engine revolutions per minute, transmission gear, or any other parameter for the purpose of activating, modulating, delaying, or deactivating the operation of any part of the emission control system. The provisions of 40 CFR 1039.665 allow the engine manufacturer to include a dormant feature in the engine's control software that could be activated to override emission control inducements. In this action, the EPA is proposing to adopt those same provisions for stationary CI engines certified to the standards in 40 CFR part 1039 and used in qualified emergency situations. It is important to emphasize that the EPA is confident that Tier 4 engines will function properly in the vast majority of emergency situations. Thus, the EPA expects that AECDs allowed under this proposed provision will rarely be activated. The EPA is proposing this provision merely as a precaution to ensure that stationary CI engines can continue to operate in emergencies.

    The proposed amendments allow engine manufacturers to design into their stationary CI engines a dormant AECD that can be activated for up to 120 engine hours per use during a qualified emergency situation to prevent emission controls from interfering with engine operation. The EPA is proposing that engine manufacturers can offer, and operators can request, re-activations of the AECD for additional time in increments of 120 engine hours in cases of a prolonged emergency situation. During the emergency situation, the engine must meet the Tier 1 emission standard in 40 CFR 89.112 that applies to the engine's rated power. Operators activating the AECD will be required to report the incident to the engine manufacturers, and engine manufacturers will submit an annual report to the EPA summarizing the use of these AECDs during the prior year. These proposed amendments are discussed in more detail below.

    1. Definition of Qualified Emergency Situation

    The EPA is proposing to use the definition of qualified emergency situation established in the August 8, 2014, amendments for nonroad engines. This definition is found in the introductory text to 40 CFR 1039.665, and specifies that a qualified emergency situation is one in which the condition of an engine's emission controls poses a significant direct or indirect risk to human life. An example of a direct risk would be an emission control condition that inhibits the performance of an engine being used to rescue a person from a life-threatening situation (for example, providing power to a medical facility during an emergency situation). An example of an indirect risk would be an emission control condition that inhibits the performance of an engine being used to provide electrical power to a data center that routes “911” emergency response telecommunications.

    2. Basic AECD Criteria

    Section 1039.665 specifies provisions allowing for AECDs that are necessary to ensure proper function of engines and equipment in emergency situations. It also includes specific criteria that the engine manufacturer must meet to ensure that any adverse environmental impacts are minimized. These criteria are:

    • The AECD must be designed so that it cannot be activated more than once without the specific permission of the certificate holder. Reactivation of the AECD must require the input of a temporary code or equivalent security feature.

    • The AECD must become inactive within 120 engine hours of becoming active. The engine must also include a feature that allows the operator to deactivate the AECD once the emergency is over.

    • The manufacturer must show that the AECD deactivates emission controls (such as inducement strategies) only to the extent necessary to address the expected emergency situation.

    • The engine controls must be configured to record in non-volatile electronic memory the total number of activations of the AECD for each engine.

    • The manufacturer must take appropriate additional steps to induce operators to report AECD activation and request resetting of the AECD. The EPA recommends including one or more persistent visible and/or audible alarms that are active from the point when the AECD is activated to the point when it is reset.

    • The manufacturer must provide purchasers with instructions on how to activate the AECD in emergency situations, as well as information about penalties for abuse.

    3. Emission Standards During Qualified Emergency Situations

    The EPA is proposing to require stationary CI engines to meet different emission standards for the very narrow period of operation where there is an emergency situation with a risk to human life and the owner or operator is warned that the inducement is about to occur. The EPA is proposing that the emission standards that apply when the AECD is activated during the qualified emergency situation are the Tier 1 standards in 40 CFR 89.112. Engine manufacturers indicated that meeting the Tier 2 or 3 standards in 40 CFR 89.112 is not feasible because the base engine used in Tier 4 configurations does not have exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which is the engine design technology used to meet the Tier 2 and 3 standards. The EGR is not needed for Tier 4 because NOX is controlled by the SCR.2 The Tier 1 requirement applies only when there is a qualified emergency situation and bypass of inducements is necessary to ensure continued operation of the engine. Once the emergency situation has ended and the AECD is deactivated, the engine must comply with the otherwise applicable emission standard specified in 40 CFR 60.4202. Engine manufacturers must provide data demonstrating that the engine complies with the Tier 1 standard when the AECD is activated when applying for certification of an engine equipped with an AECD.

    2 See Docket Id No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0866.

    4. Approval, Recordkeeping and Reporting for Engine Manufacturers

    Manufacturers may ask for approval of the use of emergency AECDs at any time; however, the EPA encourages manufacturers to obtain preliminary approval before submitting an application for certification. Otherwise, the EPA's review of the AECD, which may include many unique features, may delay the approval of the application for certification.

    The manufacturer is required to keep records to document the use of emergency AECDs until the end of the calendar year 5 years after the onset of the relevant emergency situation. The manufacturer must submit an annual compliance report to the EPA within 90 calendar days of the end of each calendar year in which it authorizes use of an AECD. The annual report must include a description of each AECD activation and copies of the reports submitted by owners or operators (or statements that an owner or operator did not submit a report, to the extent of the manufacturer's knowledge). If an owner or operator fails to report the use of an emergency AECD to the manufacturer, the manufacturer, to the extent it has been made aware of the AECD activation, must send written notification to the operator that failure to meet the submission requirements may subject the operator to penalties.

    5. Engine Owner or Operator Requirements

    Owners or operators who purchase engines with this dormant feature will receive instructions from the engine manufacturer on how to activate the AECD in qualified emergency situations, as well as information about penalties for abuse. The EPA would consider appropriate use of this feature to be during a situation where operation of a stationary CI engine is needed to protect human life (or where impaired operation poses a significant direct or indirect risk to human life), and temporarily overriding emission controls enables full operation of the equipment. The EPA is adopting this provision to give operators the means to obtain short-term relief one time without the need to contact the engine manufacturer or the EPA. In a qualified emergency situation, delaying the activation to obtain approval could put lives at risk, and would be unacceptable. However, the EPA retains the authority to evaluate, after the fact, whether it was reasonable to judge that there was a significant risk to human life to justify the activation of the AECD. Where the EPA determines that it was not reasonable to judge (1) that there was a significant risk to human life; or (2) that the emission control strategy was curtailing the ability of the engine to perform, the owner or operator may be subject to penalties for tampering with emission controls. The owner or operator requirements also include a specific prohibition on operating the engine with the AECD beyond the time reasonably needed for such operation. The owner or operator may also be subject to penalties for tampering if they continue to operate the engine with the AECD once the emergency situation has ended or the problem causing the emission control strategy to interfere with the performance of the engine has been or can reasonably be fixed. Nevertheless, the EPA will consider the totality of the circumstances when assessing penalties, and retain discretion to reduce penalties where the EPA determines that an owner or operator acted in good faith.

    The owner or operator must send a written report to the engine manufacturer within 60 calendar days after activating an emergency AECD. If any consecutive reactivations occur, this report is still due 60 calendar days from the first activation. The report must include:

    • Contact name, mail and email addresses, and telephone number for the responsible company or entity.

    • A description of the emergency situation, the location of the engine during the emergency, and the contact information for an official who can verify the emergency situation (such as a county sheriff, fire marshal, or hospital administrator).

    • The reason for AECD activation during the emergency situation, such as the lack of DEF, or the failure of an emission-related sensor when the engine was needed to respond to an emergency situation.

    • The engine's serial number (or equivalent).

    • A description of the extent and duration of the engine operation while the AECD was active, including a statement describing whether or not the AECD was manually deactivated after the emergency situation ended.

    Paragraph 1039.665(g) specifies that failure to provide this information to the engine manufacturer within the deadline is improper use of the AECD and is prohibited.

    III. Remote Areas of Alaska A. Background 1. Original Request From the State of Alaska

    The 2006 final NSPS for CI internal combustion engines included a provision that allowed the state of Alaska to submit for EPA approval through rulemaking process an alternative plan for implementing the requirements of the NSPS for public-sector electric utilities located in rural areas of Alaska not accessible by the Federal Aid Highway System (FAHS). The alternative plan was required to be based on the requirements of section 111 of the CAA, including any increased risks to human health and the environment, and was also required to be based on the unique circumstances related to remote power generation, climatic conditions, and serious economic impacts resulting from implementation of the final NSPS.

    The EPA communicated with officials from the state of Alaska on several occasions following the promulgation of the 2006 final rule. On October 31, 2008, the EPA received Alaska's request for several revisions to the NSPS as it pertained to engines located in the remote part of Alaska not served by the FAHS.3 After reviewing the information provided by the state of Alaska, the EPA agreed that the circumstances in remote Alaska required special rules. On June 28, 2011, the EPA promulgated several amendments for engines used in remote Alaska (76 FR 37954). The amendments of relevance for this action are as follows:

    3 Docket item No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0295-0012.

    • Exempting all pre-2014 model year engines from diesel fuel sulfur requirements;

    • Allowing owners and operators of stationary CI engines located in remote areas of Alaska to use engines certified to marine engine standards, rather than land-based nonroad engine standards;

    • Removing requirements to meet emission standards that would necessitate the use of aftertreatment devices for NOX, in particular, SCR, for engines used in remote Alaska (emission standards that are not based on the use of aftertreatment devices for NOX do apply);

    • Removing requirements to meet emission standards that would necessitate the use of aftertreatment devices for PM until the 2014 model year; and

    • Allowing the blending of used lubricating oil, in volumes of up to 1.75 percent of the total fuel, if the sulfur content of the used lubricating oil is less than 200 parts per million (ppm) and the used lubricating oil is “on-spec,” i.e., it meets the on-specification levels and properties of 40 CFR 279.11.

    In support of its October 31, 2008, request, the state of Alaska noted that remote communities in Alaska that are not accessible by the FAHS rely on diesel engines and fuel for electricity. These communities are scattered over long distances in remote areas and are not connected to population centers by road or power grid. These communities are located in the most severe arctic environments in the United States.

    The state of Alaska noted that remote villages in Alaska use combined heat and power cogeneration plants, which are vital to their economy, given the high cost of fuel and the substantial need for heat in that climate. Heat recovery systems are used with diesel engines in remote communities to provide heat to community facilities and schools. Marine-jacketed diesel engines are used wherever possible because of their superior heat recovery and thermal efficiency. The state of Alaska indicated that they have noticed great reductions in heat recovery when using Tier 3 non-marine engines. The state noted that reductions in fuel efficiency will lead to greater fuel use and greater emissions from burning extra heating oil. The EPA agreed with the state that there are significant benefits from using marine engines, and finalized a revision allowing engines in remote Alaska to use marine-certified engines. However, as the state of Alaska noted, marine-certified engines, particularly those below 800 horsepower (HP), are not required to meet more stringent requirements for reduction of PM emissions, which is the most significant pollutant of concern in these areas. Therefore, the EPA required that owners and operators of 2014 model year and later engines in remote areas of Alaska must either be certified to Tier 4 standards (whether land-based nonroad or marine) or must install PM reduction technologies on their engines to achieve at least 85 percent reduction in PM.

    The original request from the state of Alaska noted particular concern with NOX standards that would likely entail the use of SCR in remote Alaska. NOX reductions are particularly important in areas where ozone is a concern, because NOX is a precursor to ozone. However, the state of Alaska, and remote Alaska in particular, does not have any significant ozone problems. Moreover, the use of SCR entails the supply, storage, and use of a DEF that needs to be used properly in order to achieve the expected emissions reductions, and that may have additional operational problems in remote arctic climates. As noted above, these villages are scattered over long distances in remote areas and are not connected to population centers by road or power grid. The villages are located in the most severe arctic environments in the United States and they rely on stationary diesel engines and fuel for electricity and heating, and these engines need to be in working condition, particularly in the winter. The availability of DEF in remote villages may be an issue, which is notable given the importance of the stationary engines in these villages. Furthermore, the costs for the acquisition, storage, and handling of the DEF are greater than for engines located elsewhere in the United States due to the remote location and severe arctic climate of the villages. In order to maintain proper availability of the DEF during the harsh winter months, new heated storage vessels may be needed at each engine facility, further increasing the compliance costs for these remote villages. Given the issues that would need to be addressed if SCR were required, and the associated costs of this technology when analyzed under NSPS guidelines, the EPA agreed with the state of Alaska's argument that it is inappropriate to require such standards for stationary engines in remote Alaska 4 and amended the NSPS for stationary CI internal combustion engines to specify that owners and operators of new stationary engines in remote areas of Alaska do not have to meet the Tier 4 standards for NOX. However, owners and operators of model year 2014 and later engines that do not meet the Tier 4 p.m. standards would be required to use PM aftertreatment that achieves PM reductions of at least 85 percent. The use of PM aftertreatment will also achieve reductions in CO and NMHC.

    4 Note that this action applies to stationary engines only; it is unlikely that such an approach would be appropriate for mobile engines, given that they are less permanent in a village and can move in and out of areas as work requires.

    Finally, regarding allowing owners and operators to blend up to 1.75 percent used oil into the fuel system, the state noted that there are no permitted used oil disposal facilities in remote Alaskan communities. The state has developed a cost-effective and reliable used-oil blending system that is currently being used in many remote Alaskan communities, disposing of the oil in an environmentally beneficial manner and capturing the energy content of the used oil. The absence of allowable blending would necessitate the shipping out of the used oil and would risk improper disposal and storage, as well as spills. According to the state, blending waste oil at 1.75 percent or less will keep the fuel within American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications if the sulfur content of the waste oil is below 200 ppm. The state acknowledged the need for engines equipped with aftertreatment devices to use fuel meeting the sulfur requirements. The EPA agreed that the limited blending of used oil into the diesel fuel used by stationary engines in remote Alaska is an environmentally beneficial manner of disposing of such oil and is of little to no concern when kept within appropriate limits. Therefore, the EPA finalized amendments that permit the blending of fuel oil at such levels for engines in remote Alaska. The used oil must be “on-spec,” i.e., it must meet the on-specification levels and properties in 40 CFR 279.11.

    2. New Request From the State of Alaska

    On November 28, 2014, the EPA received a new request from the state of Alaska, which can be found in the docket for this rulemaking. The request asked that the EPA revise the criteria for remote areas of Alaska, which were established in the 2011 amendments as areas that are not accessible by the FAHS, to also include areas that are accessible by the FAHS, but face similar challenges to areas that are not accessible. The letter recommended that the EPA adopt the same definition for remote areas of Alaska in the NSPS that was adopted in the 2013 amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE), which can be found at 40 CFR part 63, subpart ZZZZ. The RICE NESHAP definition specifies that engines in areas that are accessible by the FAHS can be considered remote if each of the following conditions is met: (1) The only connection to the FAHS is through the Alaska Marine Highway System, or the stationary CI engine operation is within an isolated grid in Alaska that is not connected to the statewide electrical grid referred to as the Alaska Railbelt Grid; (2) at least 10 percent of the power generated by the engine on an annual basis is used for residential purposes; and (3) the generating capacity of the facility is less than 12 megawatts, or the engine is used exclusively for backup power for renewable energy.5

    5 See 40 CFR 63.6603(b).

    The state of Alaska provided information in a March 2, 2015, letter to the EPA to show that the communities in these additional FAHS-accessible areas face similar challenges to the communities in areas that are not accessible by the FAHS, and that the concerns that led to the 2011 amendments to the NSPS are also valid for the additional areas. As discussed previously, these challenges include inaccessibility, expense for DEF transport and storage, risk of engine shutdown, shortage of trained operators, and availability and cost of Tier 4 engines. The state noted that some of the communities are only accessible by road for a few months each year, or only by weekly ferry service; the alternative travel method is by floatplane. Thus, the delivery of DEF and the travel for engine service technicians to these areas would be much more costly than for areas that are not remote. The need to heat the DEF in the communities with a severe arctic climate would divert heat that is routinely used for space heating. Communities in these areas rely on diesel engines for electricity and heating, similar to the communities that are in areas that are not accessible by the FAHS, and failure of the engine to operate due to a shortage of DEF could present a risk to human life. The communities also have difficulty finding and retaining trained operators for the engines and aftertreatment devices, according to the state of Alaska.6

    6 The state noted in its letter that nonroad engines are typically brought in temporarily by contractors and, therefore, the concerns raised for stationary engines are not necessarily applicable for nonroad engines.

    Based on the information provided by the state, the EPA agrees that the circumstances that warranted different emission standards for new stationary CI internal combustion engines in areas of Alaska that are not accessible by the FAHS are also present in the additional FAHS-accessible remote areas identified in the RICE NESHAP definition.

    B. Proposed Amendments

    The EPA is proposing an amendment to the NSPS for stationary CI internal combustion engines that would align the definition of remote areas of Alaska with the definition currently used in the RICE NESHAP. The amendments specify that engines in areas that are accessible by the FAHS can be considered remote if each of the following conditions is met: (1) The only connection to the FAHS is through the Alaska Marine Highway System, or the stationary CI engine operation is within an isolated grid in Alaska that is not connected to the statewide electrical grid referred to as the Alaska Railbelt Grid; (2) at least 10 percent of the power generated by the engine on an annual basis is used for residential purposes; and (3) the generating capacity of the facility is less than 12 megawatts, or the engine is used exclusively for backup power for renewable energy. The Alaska Railbelt Grid is defined as the service areas of the six regulated public utilities that extend from Fairbanks to Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. These utilities are Golden Valley Electric Association; Chugach Electric Association; Matanuska Electric Association; Homer Electric Association; Anchorage Municipal Light & Power; and the City of Seward Electric System.

    The following provisions that are currently present in the NSPS for stationary CI internal combustion engines for engines that are located in areas of Alaska that are not accessible by the FAHS will be extended to stationary CI internal combustion engines located in the areas identified above:

    • Exemption for all pre-2014 model year engines from diesel fuel sulfur requirements;

    • Allowance for owners and operators of stationary CI engines to use engines certified to marine engine standards, rather than land-based nonroad engine standards;

    • No requirement to meet emission standards that would necessitate the use of aftertreatment devices for NOX, in particular, SCR (emission standards that are not based on the use of aftertreatment devices for NOX will apply);

    • No requirement to meet emission standards that would necessitate the use of aftertreatment devices for PM until the 2014 model year; and

    • Allowance for the blending of used lubricating oil, in volumes of up to 1.75 percent of the total fuel, if the sulfur content of the used lubricating oil is less than 200 ppm and the used lubricating oil is “on-spec,” i.e., it meets the on-specification levels and properties of 40 CFR 279.11.

    IV. Impacts of the Proposed Action A. Economic Impacts

    The EPA does not expect any significant economic impacts as a result of this proposed rule. A significant economic impact for the amendment allowing the temporary override of inducements in emergency situations is not anticipated because AECDs are expected to be activated rarely (if ever), and, thus, the impacts to affected sources and consumers of affected output will be minimal.

    The economic impact from the change to the criteria for remote areas of Alaska will be a cost savings for owners or operators of engines that are located in the additional areas that will now be considered remote. The precise savings depends on the number and size of engines that will be installed each year. Information provided by the Alaska Energy Authority indicated that one to two new engines are expected to be installed each year. Information provided by the state of Alaska indicated that the expected initial capital cost savings per engine ranges from $28,000 to $163,000, depending on the size of the engine. There will also be annual operating and maintenance cost savings due to avoidance of the need to obtain and store DEF.

    B. Environmental Impacts

    The EPA does not expect any significant environmental impacts as a result of the proposed amendment to allow a temporary override of inducements in emergency situations. The AECDs are expected to be activated rarely (if ever) and will only affect emissions for a very short period.

    The EPA also does not expect significant environmental impacts as a result of the proposed amendments to the criteria for remote areas of Alaska. As an example, allowing the use of a Tier 3 engine instead of a Tier 4 engine would result in less reductions for a 250 HP stationary CI engine of 5.4 tons per year (tpy) of NOX, 0.1 tpy of NMHC, 1.6 tpy of CO, and 0.3 tpy of PM, assuming the engine operates full time (8,760 hours per year).7 As stated previously, the state of Alaska estimates that only one to two new engines will be installed each year in the additional remote areas.

    7 Estimates are based on Tier 3 and Tier 4 emission factors for a 175-300 HP engine provided in Table A4 of Exhaust and Crankcase Emission Factors for Nonroad Engine Modeling—Compression-Ignition. NR-009d. Assessment and Standards Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-10-018. July 2010. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/models/nonrdmdl/nonrdmdl2010/420r10018.pdf.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review, and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0590. The proposed regulatory relief for stationary CI engines would be voluntary and optional.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. As mentioned earlier in this preamble, the EPA is harmonizing the NSPS for stationary CI engines in this action with an existing rule issued by the EPA for nonroad CI engines. Thus, this action is reducing regulatory impacts to small entities as well as other affected entities. The EPA is also including additional remote areas of Alaska in the regulatory flexibility provisions already in the rule for remote areas of Alaska, which further reduces the burden of the existing rule on small entities and other affected entities. We have, therefore, concluded that this action will relieve regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. This action does not contain a federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for the private sector in any one year. Engine manufacturers have the flexibility to choose whether or not to use optional AECDs.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This proposed rule would impose compliance costs primarily on engine manufacturers, depending on the extent to which they take advantage of the flexibilities offered. The proposed amendments to expand the areas that are considered remote areas of Alaska would reduce the compliance costs for owners and operators of stationary engines in those areas. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or indigenous populations. The provisions being proposed in this action are designed to eliminate risks to human life and are expected to be used rarely, if at all, and will only affect emissions for a very short period. Other changes the EPA is proposing to make have minimal effect on emissions.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 60

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter I, part 60 of the Code of the Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 60—STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE FOR NEW STATIONARY SOURCES 1. The authority citation for part 60 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart IIII—Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines 2. Amend § 60.4201 by revising paragraph (f)(1) and adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 60.4201 What emission standards must I meet for non-emergency engines if I am a stationary CI internal combustion engine manufacturer?

    (f) * * *

    (1) Remote areas of Alaska; and

    (h) Stationary CI ICE certified to the standards in 40 CFR part 1039 and equipped with auxiliary emission control devices (AECDs) as specified in 40 CFR 1039.665 must meet the Tier 1 certification emission standards for new nonroad CI engines in 40 CFR 89.112 while the AECD is activated during a qualified emergency situation. When the qualified emergency situation has ended and the AECD is deactivated, the engine must resume meeting the otherwise applicable emission standard specified in this section.

    3. Amend § 60.4202 by revising paragraph (g)(1) to read as follows:
    § 60.4202 What emission standards must I meet for emergency engines if I am a stationary CI internal combustion engine manufacturer?

    (g) * * *

    (1) Remote areas of Alaska; and

    4. Amend § 60.4204 by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 60.4204 What emission standards must I meet for non-emergency engines if I am an owner or operator of a stationary CI internal combustion engine?

    (f) Owners and operators of stationary CI ICE certified to the standards in 40 CFR part 1039 and equipped with AECDs as specified in 40 CFR 1039.665 must meet the Tier 1 certification emission standards for new nonroad CI engines in 40 CFR 89.112 while the AECD is activated during a qualified emergency situation. A qualified emergency situation is defined in 40 CFR 1039.665. When the qualified emergency situation has ended and the AECD is deactivated, the engine must resume meeting the otherwise applicable emission standard specified in this section.

    5. Amend § 60.4210 by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
    § 60.4210 What are my compliance requirements if I am a stationary CI internal combustion engine manufacturer?

    (j) Stationary CI ICE manufacturers may equip their stationary CI internal combustion engines certified to the emission standards in 40 CFR part 1039 with AECDs for qualified emergency situations according to the requirements of 40 CFR 1039.665. Manufacturers of stationary CI ICE equipped with AECDs as allowed by 40 CFR 1039.665 must meet all of the requirements in 40 CFR 1039.665 that apply to manufacturers. Manufacturers must provide data demonstrating that the engine complies with the Tier 1 standard in 40 CFR 89.112 when the AECD is activated when applying for certification of an engine equipped with an AECD as allowed by 40 CFR 1039.665.

    6. Amend § 60.4211 by adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 60.4211 What are my compliance requirements if I am an owner or operator of a stationary CI internal combustion engine?

    (h) The requirements for operators and prohibited acts specified in 40 CFR 1039.665 apply to owners or operators of stationary CI ICE equipped with AECDs for qualified emergency situations as allowed by 40 CFR 1039.665.

    7. Amend § 60.4214 by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 60.4214 What are my notification, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements if I am an owner or operator of a stationary CI internal combustion engine?

    (e) Owners or operators of stationary CI ICE equipped with AECDs pursuant to the requirements of 40 CFR 1039.665 must report the use of AECDs as required by 40 CFR 1039.665(e).

    8. Amend § 60.4216 by revising paragraphs (b) through (d) and (f) as follows:
    § 60.4216 What requirements must I meet for engines used in Alaska?

    (b) Except as indicated in paragraph (c) of this section, manufacturers, owners and operators of stationary CI ICE with a displacement of less than 10 liters per cylinder located in remote areas of Alaska may meet the requirements of this subpart by manufacturing and installing engines meeting the requirements of 40 CFR parts 94 or 1042, as appropriate, rather than the otherwise applicable requirements of 40 CFR parts 89 and 1039, as indicated in sections §§ 60.4201(f) and 60.4202(g) of this subpart.

    (c) Manufacturers, owners and operators of stationary CI ICE that are located in remote areas of Alaska may choose to meet the applicable emission standards for emergency engines in §§ 60.4202 and 60.4205, and not those for non-emergency engines in §§ 60.4201 and 60.4204, except that for 2014 model year and later non-emergency CI ICE, the owner or operator of any such engine that was not certified as meeting Tier 4 p.m. standards, must meet the applicable requirements for PM in §§ 60.4201 and 60.4204 or install a PM emission control device that achieves PM emission reductions of 85 percent, or 60 percent for engines with a displacement of greater than or equal to 30 liters per cylinder, compared to engine-out emissions.

    (d) The provisions of § 60.4207 do not apply to owners and operators of pre-2014 model year stationary CI ICE subject to this subpart that are located in remote areas of Alaska.

    (f) The provisions of this section and § 60.4207 do not prevent owners and operators of stationary CI ICE subject to this subpart that are located in remote areas of Alaska from using fuels mixed with used lubricating oil, in volumes of up to 1.75 percent of the total fuel. The sulfur content of the used lubricating oil must be less than 200 parts per million. The used lubricating oil must meet the on-specification levels and properties for used oil in 40 CFR 279.11.

    9. Amend § 60.4219 by adding in alphabetical order the definitions for “Alaska Railbelt Grid” and “Remote areas of Alaska” to read as follows:
    § 60.4219 What definitions apply to this subpart?

    Alaska Railbelt Grid means the service areas of the six regulated public utilities that extend from Fairbanks to Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. These utilities are Golden Valley Electric Association; Chugach Electric Association; Matanuska Electric Association; Homer Electric Association; Anchorage Municipal Light & Power; and the City of Seward Electric System.

    Remote areas of Alaska means areas of Alaska that meet either paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition.

    (1) Areas of Alaska that are not accessible by the Federal Aid Highway System (FAHS).

    (2) Areas of Alaska that meet all of the following criteria:

    (i) The only connection to the FAHS is through the Alaska Marine Highway System, or the stationary CI ICE operation is within an isolated grid in Alaska that is not connected to the statewide electrical grid referred to as the Alaska Railbelt Grid.

    (ii) At least 10 percent of the power generated by the stationary CI ICE on an annual basis is used for residential purposes.

    (iii) The generating capacity of the source is less than 12 megawatts, or the stationary CI ICE is used exclusively for backup power for renewable energy.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28342 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 25, 73, and 74 [GN Docket No. 15-236; FCC 15-137] Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) proposes to extend its foreign ownership rules and procedures that apply to common carrier licensees to broadcast licensees, with certain modifications to tailor them to the broadcast context. The Commission also seeks comment on whether and how to revise the methodology a licensee should use to assess its compliance with the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, in order to reduce regulatory burdens on applicants and licensees. Finally, the Commission makes several proposals to clarify and update existing foreign ownership policies and procedures for broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before December 21, 2015, and replies on or before January 20, 2016. The NPRM contains potential information collection requirements subject to the PRA, Public Law 104-13. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the potential new and modified information collection requirements contained in this NPRM. If the information collection requirements are adopted, the Commission will submit the appropriate documents to OMB for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will again be invited to comment on the new and modified information collection requirements adopted by the Commission.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. 15-236, by any of the following methods:

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

    Federal Communications Commission's ECFS Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email to [email protected], phone: 202-418-0530 (voice), tty: 202-418-0432.

    In addition to filing comments as described above, a copy of any comments on the PRA information collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the FCC via email to [email protected] and to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email to [email protected] or via fax at 202-395-5167.

    For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Cook or Denise Coca, Policy Division, International Bureau, FCC, (202) 418-1460 or via email to [email protected], [email protected] On PRA matters, contact Cathy Williams, Office of the Managing Director, FCC, (202) 418-2918 or via email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in GN Docket No. 15-236, FCC 15-137, adopted and released on October 22, 2015. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The document also is available for download over the Internet at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db1027/FCC-15-137A1.pdf.

    Comment Filing Procedures

    Pursuant to §§ 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated above. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the Commission's ECFS Web site at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.

    Synopsis of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to simplify the foreign ownership approval process for broadcast licensees by extending the streamlined rules and procedures developed for foreign ownership reviews for common carrier and certain aeronautical licensees under section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), 47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4), to the broadcast context. For ease of reference, the NPRM refers to broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees (including broadcast permittees) and to common carrier spectrum lessees collectively as “licensees” unless the context warrants otherwise. The NPRM also uses the term “common carrier” or “common carrier licensees” to encompass common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees unless the context applies only to common carrier licensees. “Spectrum lessees” are defined in section 1.9003 of Part 1, Subpart X, 47 CFR 1.9003. The NPRM also refers to aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed licensees collectively as “aeronautical” licensees. In using this shorthand, the NPRM does not include other types of aeronautical radio station licenses issued by the Commission.

    2. The changes proposed in the NPRM will facilitate investment from new sources of capital at a time of growing need for capital investment in this important sector of our nation's economy. The Commission believes that adopting a standardized filing and review process for broadcast licensees' requests to exceed the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4), as the Commission has done for common carrier licensees, will also provide the broadcast sector with greater transparency, more predictability, and will reduce regulatory burdens and costs.

    3. Specifically, the NPRM proposes to extend the foreign ownership rules and procedures established in the 2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order1 to broadcast licensees, with certain modifications to tailor them to this context. The NPRM also seeks comment on whether and how to revise the methodology a licensee should use to assess its compliance with the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4) in order to reduce regulatory burdens on applicants and licensees. Finally, the NPRM makes several proposals to clarify and update existing policies and procedures for broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees.

    1Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licenses Under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Amended, IB Docket No. 11-133, Second Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd 5741 (2013) (2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order).

    4. Section 310(b)(4) of the Act establishes a 25 percent benchmark for investment by foreign individuals, governments, and corporations in U.S.-organized entities that directly or indirectly control a U.S. broadcast, common carrier, or aeronautical radio licensee. Licensees request Commission approval of their controlling U.S. parents' foreign ownership under section 310(b)(4) by filing a petition for declaratory ruling. For the Commission to make the public interest findings required by that section of the Act, licensees file the petition and obtain Commission approval before direct or indirect foreign ownership of their U.S. parent companies exceeds 25 percent. The Commission assesses, in each particular case, whether the foreign interests presented for approval by the licensee are in the public interest, consistent with the Commission's section 310(b)(4) policy framework. The Commission's public interest analysis also considers any national security, law enforcement, foreign policy or trade policy issues that may be raised by the foreign ownership. The Commission coordinates as necessary and appropriate with the relevant Executive Branch agencies and affords appropriate deference to their expertise on these issues.

    5. To the extent the Commission adopts the NPRM's proposal to incorporate broadcast licensees into the regulatory framework for foreign ownership of common carrier licensees, with certain modifications applicable to broadcast licensees, the Commission proposes to codify the final rules in Part 1, subpart T, at sections 1.5000 through 1.5004, 47 CFR 1.5000-1.5004, and to remove sections 1.990 through 1.994, 47 CFR 1.990-1.994, from Part 1, subpart F. The NPRM generally refers to the rules by their current section numbers, but also refers as appropriate to the proposed rule sections.

    Proposals and Other Options To Modify Current Regulatory Framework

    6. In this NPRM, the Commission proposes to extend the foreign ownership rules and procedures applicable to common carrier licensees to broadcast licensees, with certain exceptions and proposed modifications. Specifically, the NPRM proposes to incorporate broadcast licensees into the Commission's rules that apply to petitions filed under section 310(b)(4) of the Act. The NPRM seeks comment on these proposals, as well as on any alternatives that commenters believe the Commission should consider. With respect to each proposal or proposed alternative, commenters should discuss, and, if possible, quantify, the likely costs and benefits of the proposal or proposed alternative.

    7. In the 2013 Broadcast Clarification Order, the Commission signaled that it might elect to create a standardized review process for broadcast licensees similar to that adopted in the common carrier context to streamline procedures.2 The Commission's subsequent experience with the 2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling3 illustrated a need for greater clarity and certainty in the foreign ownership context for broadcasters, as well as those seeking to acquire broadcast interests. The Commission believes that broadcasters can benefit from the streamlining measures that are applied to common carrier licensees that seek to exceed the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4). Furthermore, streamlining the Commission's filing and review processes may have the added benefit of attracting financial investment from new sources of capital for broadcasters.

    2Commission Policies and Procedures Under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act, Foreign Investment in Broadcast Licensees, MB Docket No. 13-50, Declaratory Ruling, 28 FCC Rcd 16244 (2013) (2013 Broadcast Clarification Order).

    3Pandora Radio LLC Petition for Declaratory Ruling Under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Amended, MB Docket No. 14-109, Declaratory Ruling, FCC 15-52, 30 FCC Rcd 5094, 5095, ¶ 4 (2015) (2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling), recon denied, FCC 15-129 (rel. Sept. 17, 2015).

    8. The NPRM tentatively concludes that the considerations underlying the adoption of the foreign ownership rules applicable to section 310(b)(4) petitions for common carrier licensees are generally applicable to broadcast licensees. The Commission's experience applying these rules in the common carrier context demonstrates that the process is efficient and that filers are benefitting from the formal guidance. Moreover, the rules ensure that the Commission is able to satisfy its obligations under section 310(b) with respect to foreign ownership, while coordinating applications and petitions with the Executive Branch, as needed. The NPRM proposes to apply these principles in the broadcast context and seeks comment on this approach. Commenters are encouraged to review the proposed rules, provide comment on the application of these rules to the broadcast sector, and propose alternative approaches that would promote the public interest.

    9. Significantly, under the proposed rules, a petitioner would be able to request (1) approval of up to 100 percent aggregate foreign ownership (voting and/or equity) by unnamed and future foreign investors in the controlling U.S. parent of a broadcast licensee, subject to certain conditions; (2) approval for any named foreign investor that proposes to acquire a less than 100 percent controlling interest to increase the interest to 100 percent at some time in the future; and (3) approval for any non-controlling named foreign investor to increase its voting and/or equity interest up to and including a non-controlling interest of 49.99 percent at some time in the future. Moreover, a petitioner would only need to obtain specific approval of foreign investors (i.e., individuals, entities, or a “group” of foreign individuals or entities) that hold or would hold, directly or indirectly, more than five percent, and in certain circumstances, more than ten percent of the U.S. parent's equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest in the U.S. parent. The Commission will continue to coordinate as necessary and appropriate with the Executive Branch regarding all petitions for declaratory ruling filed under section 310(b).

    10. The Commission believes that applying these rules to broadcast licensees in the context of section 310(b)(4) petitions will help improve access to capital from foreign investors and promote regulatory flexibility; preserve the Commission's statutory obligation, in consultation with the relevant Executive Branch agencies, to ensure that foreign ownership above the 25 percent benchmark serves the public interest; reduce uncertainty regarding the treatment of foreign investment in broadcast properties; and reduce burdens on filers by providing a streamlined, uniform process.

    11. Disclosable Interest Holders. Section 1.991(e)-(g) of the rules requires all section 310(b) petitions for declaratory ruling regarding proposed foreign investment in a common carrier licensee to contain the name, address, citizenship and principal business(es) of any individual or entity, regardless of citizenship, that directly or indirectly holds or would hold, after effectuation of any planned ownership changes described in the petition, at least ten percent of the equity or voting interests in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier licensee or a controlling interest. The Commission adopted the ten percent threshold to ensure consistency with the ownership disclosure requirements that apply to most common carrier applicants under the Commission's licensing rules, while preserving a meaningful opportunity for the Executive Branch agencies to review petitions for national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy concerns. The NPRM proposes to adopt a similar approach for broadcast licensees subject to the modifications described below.

    12. Rather than adopt the ten percent disclosable threshold for broadcast licensees, the Commission proposes to require that broadcast entities disclose their ownership interests based on the current attribution rules and policies applicable to broadcast licensees. The Commission's media attribution rules seek to identify those interests in or relationships to licensees that confer on their holders a degree of influence or control such that the holders have a realistic potential to affect the programming decisions of licensees or other core operating functions. Given the distinct nature of the services provided by common carriers and broadcast stations, different attribution standards apply to these services. For example, as noted above, the ownership disclosure requirements applicable to most common carriers require the disclosure of all ten percent interest holders (voting and equity); the broadcast attribution rules, however, generally require the attribution of individuals or entities that hold five percent or more of the voting stock, while non-voting stock interests are typically not attributable. The Commission believes that consistency with its broadcast attribution rules would ensure certainty and efficiency for broadcast firms with foreign ownership interests. Additionally, broadcast industry filers are familiar with the Commission's media attribution rules and are already required to disclose such interest holders on various Commission forms and applications (e.g., FCC Form 323, Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations). Given that familiarity, the Commission believes it would pose an undue hardship to establish a different disclosure threshold for broadcasters. The NPRM seeks comment on this proposal.

    13. Specific Approval of Named Foreign Investors. Section 1.991(i) of the rules requires a common carrier licensee filing a section 310(b)(4) petition to identify and request specific approval for any foreign individual or entity, or “group” of foreign individuals or entities, that holds or would hold directly, or indirectly through one or more intervening U.S.- or foreign-organized entities, more than five percent of the U.S. parent's total outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest. In addition, as a condition of the initial ruling, and with respect to any future interests that may be acquired by foreign investors, section 1.994(a)(1) similarly requires the licensee to file a new petition to obtain prior approval before any foreign individual, entity, or “group” not previously approved acquires a greater-than-five percent interest in the U.S. parent that does not qualify as exempt under section 1.991(i)(3). In circumstances where a foreign-organized entity requires specific approval, the petition must include the information specified in section 1.991(j), including the name and citizenship of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, ten percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval. The NPRM proposes to adopt a similar approach for broadcast licensees subject to the modifications described below.

    14. Consistent with the NPRM's proposal regarding disclosable interest holders in general, the Commission does not believe that it would be appropriate to require broadcast petitioners to use the ten percent standard specified in section 1.991(j)(ii)(2) for petitions filed by common carrier. Instead, the NPRM proposes again to rely on the attribution standards set out in section 73.3555 applicable to broadcast stations to determine which individuals and entities should be listed for each foreign entity for which the broadcast licensee seeks specific approval. The Commission believes that consistency with the broadcast attribution rules and the familiarity of broadcasters with these rules support such an approach. The NPRM seeks comment on this proposal.

    15. Insulation Criteria. For broadcast licensees, the NPRM proposes to rely on the broadcast insulation criteria set forth in the broadcast rules, rather than those applied in the common carrier context. The insulation criteria for broadcasters are governed by Note 2(f) of section 73.3555. Under the broadcast attribution rules governing partnership and limited liability company (LLC) interests, all general partners and non-insulated limited partnership and LLC interests are attributable. An exception from attribution applies only to those limited partners and LLC interest holders that meet the Commission's insulation criteria and certify that they are not materially involved in the management or operations of the entity's media interests. While there are many similarities in the insulation criteria under section 1.993 and Note 2(f) of section 73.3555, the broadcast criteria contain elements that are specific to media-related activities and reflect the distinct nature of broadcast operations.

    16. The Commission believes consistency with its broadcast insulation policies under its attribution rules is appropriate to apply in the foreign ownership context. Broadcast entities are already familiar with these insulation criteria, and those entities that have insulated certain interests have already executed their organizational documents based on these criteria. Adopting different criteria in this context may require these entities to revise and re-execute their organizational documents, renegotiate the roles of insulated interest holders, and operate pursuant to multiple insulation standards when seeking approval of foreign ownership above the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4). If the Commission were to adopt different criteria, what would the costs associated with applying the common carrier foreign ownership insulation criteria be for broadcasters? Are there any public interest benefits that would exceed such costs? Are there alternative insulation criteria for broadcast entities that might be more appropriate in the context of the Commission's foreign ownership review pursuant to section 310(b)(4)? Would the benefits of imposing any alternative criteria exceed the cost of compliance? The NPRM seeks comment on these issues.

    17. Service-Specific Rulings. Foreign ownership rulings issued to common carrier licensees cover, unless otherwise specified in a particular ruling, any common carrier radio service in any geographic location regardless of the particular wireless service(s) (e.g., Personal Communications Service) and geographic service area(s) authorized under the petitioner's existing license(s). Such rulings may also be issued when an applicant seeks authority in a contemporaneously filed application for an initial license or for consent to acquire licenses by transfer or assignment. The NPRM seeks comment on whether there are considerations unique to broadcasting that suggest a different approach.

    18. The Commission has noted in the past the important distinctions between common carrier services and broadcast media in the context of the public interest analysis under section 310(b)(4). For example, the Commission has noted that, while common carrier licenses are passive in nature and confer no control over the content of transmissions, broadcast transmissions have been found to present additional concerns because broadcasters exercise control over the content that they air. The Commission's approach to the benchmark for foreign investments in broadcast licensees has reflected “heightened concern for foreign influence over or control over broadcast licensees which exercise editorial discretion over the content of their transmissions.”

    19. Given these considerations, the NPRM seeks comment on how the Commission's process should be adapted, if at all, to address service-specific rulings. The foreign ownership rules that currently apply to common carrier licensees allow a ruling for such licensees that applies to all types of common carrier wireless services, e.g., satellite, CMRS, microwave, AWS. In addition, the rulings are not geographic specific. Thus, a licensee does not need separate rulings to provide service in the conterminous United States and Puerto Rico. However, given the foregoing issues, a broadcast ruling may require different parameters. The NPRM seeks comment on whether the Commission should issue rulings on a service and/or geographic basis. For example, to which services would a ruling apply? If a licensee has a ruling covering television licenses, would it need a new ruling if it later sought to acquire AM radio station licenses? Would a licensee with a ruling for an AM radio station in a small market require a new ruling if it sought to acquire a national chain of radio stations or additional stations in that small market?

    20. Similar questions arise if a common carrier licensee seeks to acquire a broadcast licensee. Would a ruling for common carrier licenses apply prospectively to broadcast licenses that the licensee sought to acquire? Given that the NPRM proposes to adopt differing requirements depending on service (e.g., different disclosable interest holders), how would such differences be reconciled if, for example, a common carrier ruling also were to cover the subsequent acquisition of a television station? The NPRM tentatively concludes that entities should not be required to provide the disclosable interest information for both common carrier and broadcast licensees if they propose to provide only one of those types of services, and that the Commission should conduct its public interest analysis for all services only where the applicant is to hold licenses as both common carrier and broadcaster. The NPRM seeks comment on this issue, including whether there is significant interest in the marketplace for entities with foreign ownership to hold both common carrier and broadcast licenses.

    21. Filing and Processing of Broadcast Petitions. Section 1.990(b) of the rules provides that petitions for declaratory ruling shall be filed electronically through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS). For broadcast petitions, however, the NPRM proposes that petitions for declaratory ruling be filed electronically as an attachment to the underlying applications for a construction permit or an assignment or transfer of control that are electronically filed through the Commission's Consolidated Database System (CDBS) or any successor database. As is the current procedure, such applications would be placed on a CDBS-generated public notice denoting that the application is “accepted for filing.” This public notice initiates the formal processing of the application, provides notice to interested members of the public who may wish to support or oppose the application, and triggers the legal timeframe for the filing of petitions to deny. Such a petition for declaratory ruling would separately receive a Media Bureau docket number for public notice and comment, in addition to the CDBS-generated public notice on the associated application.

    22. The NPRM also proposes that, in the absence of an underlying broadcast construction permit, assignment or transfer application, the broadcast petitioner would file its petition for declaratory ruling electronically with the Commission's Office of the Secretary via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) as a non-docketed filing. The petition will subsequently receive a Media Bureau docket number and a public notice seeking comment will be released. The petition would be reviewed and, after consultation with the relevant Executive Branch agencies, a decision issued. This proposal will facilitate an efficient, predictable filing and processing scheme for broadcast petitions for declaratory ruling whether or not those petitions are accompanied by a construction permit, or an assignment or transfer application. Broadcasters are familiar with both the Commission's CDBS and ECFS filing systems and, as such, the Commission expects implementation of these filing and notice measures will provide regulatory consistency. The NPRM seeks comment on this proposal.

    23. Methodology for Assessing Compliance with Section 310(b)(4). The NPRM proposes to adopt a rule applicable to U.S. public companies that would specify the information upon which a licensee's controlling U.S. parent may rely for purposes of determining its aggregate level of foreign ownership. Such a rule should provide greater clarity for U.S. public companies and reduce the burden of determining their aggregate levels of foreign ownership given the difficulties in ascertaining the citizenship of their shareholders. The NPRM seeks comment on adoption of such a rule, including the type of information that would likely be known to a U.S. public company in the normal course of business. The NPRM also seeks comment on specific alternative proposals to accomplish the Commission's goal of providing licensees with a more workable means of ensuring compliance with section 310(b)(4).

    24. In the 2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling proceeding, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Multicultural Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) raised concerns that the Commission's policies for calculating levels of foreign ownership in broadcast entities are “outdated” and should be modified to comport with current securities laws regarding widely-traded public entities. MMTC stated that broadcasters that are public companies need flexible, practical, and efficient means to estimate foreign ownership to comply with section 310(b)(4), which would attract new foreign capital that will be needed to help minority broadcasters “overcome a severe lack of access to domestic capital.” NAB also contended that the present policies tend to frustrate efforts to attract capital to broadcast firms. MMTC and NAB raise important issues, and the Commission stated in the 2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling that it would examine whether it is appropriate to revise the methodology for assessing broadcaster compliance with section 310(b)(4). These issues are not limited to broadcast licensees and also affect common carrier licensees' compliance with section 310(b)(4). Thus the NPRM seeks to address the practices used by any licensee in order to ensure compliance with section 310(b)(4). In addition, the NPRM seeks comment on whether any changes that the Commission makes regarding what licensees need to do to ensure compliance with section 310(b)(4) should also apply to ensuring compliance with section 310(b)(3).

    25. NAB maintains that the Commission's compliance policies are outdated, in part, because they pertain to regulations of some 40 years ago when Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations related to physically holding stock certificates. The current practice involves holding shares of publicly traded companies in “street name” (i.e., the broker holding legal title to a share on behalf of the beneficial owner). NAB notes that SEC rules specifically limit brokers from providing companies with shareholder information without shareholder permission, and, as such, widely-traded public entities have “little recourse” if the shareholder decides to remain anonymous. According to NAB, in light of current industry practices and SEC rules, the Commission cannot rationally assume that all unidentified shareholders are foreign. NAB claims that as many as 70 to 80 percent of publicly traded shares are held in street name, and that it is unlikely that the majority of shareholders are aware of, or care, if a brokerage firm holds their securities in street name.

    26. Since the issuance of the 2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling, the Commission has further considered the regulatory hurdles to certifying compliance with foreign ownership limits and for requesting Commission approval to exceed the statutory benchmark of 25 percent foreign ownership. In particular, the Commission notes the unique burdens its processes may exert on widely-held publicly traded companies, which do not necessarily have adequate means to ascertain and certify the citizenship of their shareholders. The Commission's aim is to provide licensees with greater flexibility in their regulatory filings and certifications.

    27. The NPRM seeks comment on what steps licensees should take to track their foreign ownership to ensure compliance with section 310(b)(4). Privately-held companies, partnerships and LLCs should have knowledge of all of their owners, and should be able to track their foreign ownership relatively easily. The NPRM seeks comment on the Commission's view that privately-held entities should have knowledge of the citizenship of their owners. The NPRM also seeks comment on whether it is appropriate to adopt any measures to facilitate their ability to demonstrate compliance with section 310(b)(4), including any or all of the proposals described in this NPRM.

    28. Publicly-traded companies face a more complicated challenge to demonstrate compliance with section 310 (b)(4). As NAB notes, most shares of publicly-traded companies are now held in street name and it can be difficult for the licensee to determine the citizenship of the beneficial owner of those shares. While publicly traded companies can undertake surveys of their shareholders' equity and voting interests, those surveys may not be able to ascertain the beneficial shareholders' citizenship. The Commission believes a U.S.-organized public company should, however, know, or can be expected to know, information about certain shareholders. For example, U.S.-organized public companies should know about the shareholders that are required to disclose their ownership pursuant to SEC rules—generally, those shareholders with greater than five percent ownership and institutional investors with greater than ten percent ownership. The NPRM states that the companies should also know the ownership of the shares registered with the company and the shares held by officers and directors. Are there other types of shares about which a U.S. public company could be expected to know?

    29. The NPRM seeks comment on the Commission's authority to provide licensees with greater flexibility to demonstrate compliance with section 310(b)(4). The NPRM specifically seeks comment on whether it would be consistent with the Commission's obligations under section 310(b)(4) to permit a licensee with a U.S.-organized public company in its ownership chain to rely solely on ownership information that is known or reasonably should be known to the public company to determine whether the licensee is in compliance with the foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4). If the Commission adopts this proposed approach, are there policy or legal reasons to limit its availability to U.S.-organized public companies, and/or companies for which a certain percentage of their officers and directors are U.S. citizens? What amount or type of shareholder data should licensees be required to produce to satisfy their “best efforts” to comply with section 310(b)(4)? Should equity and voting ownership in the U.S. public company be treated the same or, for example, should there be a different, greater obligation to know the voting ownership? Additionally, should the Commission accept shareholder street addresses, alone, as a proxy for citizenship? If the Commission were to adopt such an approach, would there be circumstances under which street addresses, without more, would not be an acceptable method of certifying foreign ownership levels? Finally, the NPRM seeks comment on how frequently a company should be required to assess the extent of its foreign ownership if the Commission were to adopt this approach.

    30. The NPRM also requests comment on alternatives to the Commission's proposed approach, such as the guidance provided in the 2015 Pandora Declaratory Ruling. In that proceeding, the Commission instructed Pandora on several methods for determining and certifying its foreign citizenship levels, including making changes to organizational documents. Further, Pandora committed to certify on a biennial basis its foreign ownership levels using measures, among others: Using The Depository Trust Corporation (DTC) SEG-100 or equivalent program; monitoring shares held by current and former officers and directors; monitoring relevant SEC filings, obtaining a non-objecting beneficial owner (NOBO) list, and requesting that all NOBOs provide citizenship information; and making reasonable efforts to secure the cooperation of the relevant financial intermediaries in obtaining citizenship information. The Commission stated that, consistent with existing compliance practices, it expected Pandora Media to use sources other than shareholder mailing addresses or corporate headquarters locations.

    31. The NPRM seeks comment on whether the use of street addresses, coupled with participation in SEG-100, would provide the Commission with sufficient information to discharge its public interest obligations pertaining to foreign ownership in broadcast licensees, while affording a more workable approach that may reduce the burden on publicly-traded companies. The NPRM observes that, under SEG-100, stock issuers approach DTC and request that their publicly traded securities be included in the program. DTC then updates its notations as to those requiring SEG-100 treatment and notifies all DTC participants that they must apply SEG-100 procedures to trades in the restricted company's stock. DTC participants are obligated to make inquiries of their account holders and to place the shares of such holders who are non-citizens in the DTC participant's segregated account. The NPRM asks commenters to raise any additional substantive and procedural issues that should be considered in modifying and supplementing the Commission's processes with regard to compliance with the broadcast foreign ownership rules and policies.

    32. The NPRM also solicits comment on NAB's suggestion that the Commission eliminate the presumption that unidentified shareholders be counted as foreign. In light of the difficulties public companies now face in obtaining information about their domestic as well as foreign shareholders, as the record in the Pandora proceeding indicated, the Commission seeks comment on alternatives to this presumption. If the Commission were to change this presumption, should applicants be allowed to extrapolate foreign ownership percentages based on known shareholders? For example, if ten percent of the identified shares are owned by foreign owners, should the Commission presume that ten percent of the unidentified shares are held by foreign owners? Alternatively, should the Commission extrapolate using a multiple? If so, what should that multiple be? Should there be an upper limit on the relative number of unknown shareholders that can be estimated under any such approach?

    33. In addition, is there a legal and policy basis for concluding in this proceeding, under section 310(b)(4), that the public interest would be served by permitting small foreign equity and/or voting interests in U.S. public companies—e.g., equity or voting interests that are not required to be reported under SEC Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1,—without the Commission's individual review and approval, even in circumstances where the U.S. public company may have aggregate foreign ownership (or aggregate foreign and unknown ownership) exceeding 25 percent? If so, does that basis extend to a finding that the public interest would be served by permitting a U.S. public company to have up to an aggregate less than 50 percent (or some higher level) non-controlling foreign investment, even with individual investments that may be required to be reported under SEC Rule 13d-1, without individual review and approval? The NPRM seeks comment on these approaches and asks commenters to provide any other suggestions.

    34. Corrections and Clarifications of Existing Rules. The Commission takes this opportunity to make certain technical corrections to the foreign ownership rules and seeks comment on proposed clarifying changes, as well as on any other changes commenters may suggest to improve the structure and clarity of the rules.

    35. First, in section 1.5001 of the proposed rules, which lists the required contents of petitions for declaratory ruling, the NPRM proposes to include a cross-reference to section 1.5000(c), the requirement that each applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee filing a section 310(b) petition for declaratory ruling certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of section 1.16 of the rules. The Commission has found that it is not uncommon for petitions to be filed without the required certification. The NPRM therefore includes in proposed rule section 1.5001(l) a cross-reference to the certification requirement to highlight to filers this critical aspect of the rules.

    36. Second, the NPRM proposes to include two Notes in section 1.5001(i) of the proposed rules to clarify that certain foreign interests of five percent or less may require specific approval in circumstances where there is direct or indirect foreign investment in the U.S. parent in the form of uninsulated partnership interests or uninsulated interests held by members of an LLC. Many limited partners and LLC members hold small equity interests in their respective companies with control of these companies residing in the general partner or managing member, respectively. However, for purposes of identifying foreign interests that require specific approval (and for determining a common carrier licensee's disclosable U.S. and foreign interest holders), uninsulated partners and uninsulated LLC members are deemed to hold the same voting interest as the partnership or LLC holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the licensee's vertical ownership chain. Depending on the particular ownership structure presented in the petition, an uninsulated foreign limited partner or uninsulated LLC member may require specific approval because the voting interest it is deemed to hold in the U.S. parent exceeds five percent and, because it is an uninsulated voting interest, it does not qualify as exempt from the specific approval requirements. The NPRM requests comment on the proposed language and placement of these Notes, which are intended to improve the clarity of the specific approval requirements as recodified in section 1.5001(i) of the rules.

    37. Third, the NPRM seeks comment on whether Commission precedent supports the inclusion of additional permissible voting or consent rights in the list of investor protections where the rights do not, in themselves, result in a limited partnership or LLC interest being deemed uninsulated within the meaning of that section. Similarly, the NPRM requests comment on whether Commission precedent supports the inclusion of additional permissible minority shareholder protections.

    38. Finally, the NPRM proposes to correct two cross-references, and to make additional clarifying changes.

    39. Transition Issues. Consistent with the approach adopted in the 2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order, the NPRM proposes that any changes adopted in this proceeding be applied prospectively. The NPRM proposes that existing foreign ownership rulings issued prior to the effective date of the rules adopted in this proceeding shall remain in effect. Specifically, as is currently the case under the Commission's foreign ownership rules for common carrier licensees, licensees subject to an existing ruling as of the effective date of the rules adopted in this proceeding would be required to continue to comply with any general and specific terms and conditions of their rulings, including Commission rules and policies in effect at the time the ruling was issued. The NPRM proposes that such licensees may, however, request a new ruling under any revised rules, but they are not required to do so. The NPRM tentatively concludes that this approach is appropriate because it will afford the Commission and the relevant Executive Branch agencies an opportunity to evaluate the potential effects of applying the new rules to licensees that are subject to an existing ruling. The NPRM seeks comment on this approach and on how to treat any requests for declaratory ruling that are pending before the Commission as of the effective date of the rules adopted in this proceeding. Should the Commission review these requests under the rules adopted in this proceeding? Are there other transition issues that the Commission should address?

    40. The NPRM reminds common carrier licensees with an existing foreign ownership ruling of their obligation to seek a new ruling before they exceed the parameters of their rulings, including those rulings issued prior to August 9, 2013, the effective date of the rules adopted in the 2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order. The NPRM notes, in particular, that a licensee's ruling issued prior to August 9, 2013, may be limited in scope to the particular wireless service(s) and geographic service area(s) of the licenses or spectrum leasing arrangements referenced in the petition for declaratory ruling. The Commission's decision in the 2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order to eliminate its practice of issuing rulings on a service- and geographic-specific basis did not apply retroactively to rulings issued prior to the effective date of the rules adopted in that proceeding. Failure to meet a condition of a foreign ownership ruling may result in monetary sanctions or other enforcement action by the Commission.

    41. Other Reforms to Foreign Ownership Review. Finally, the NPRM invites comment on any additional reforms that could further streamline Commission review of foreign ownership and bring its foreign and domestic investment review processes into closer alignment, while ensuring that important national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, trade policy and other public policy goals continue to be met. For example, are there certain types of applications that could be reviewed in a more streamlined manner than the proposals outlined in the NPRM? The Commission seeks comment on these and any other proposals that would streamline its process for analyzing foreign ownership under section 310(b)(4), while also serving its public interest goals.

    Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    42. This document contains proposed new and modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how it might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    43. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),4 requires that an initial regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for notice-and-comment rule making proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” 5 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 6 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.7 A “small business concern” is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    4See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).

    5 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    6 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    7 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

    44. In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on proposed changes and other options to incorporate broadcast licenses into the Commission's rules and procedures for analyzing foreign ownership of common carrier and aeronautical radio licensees under section 310(b)(4) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4), and to clarify certain aspects of those rules and procedures for broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees while continuing to ensure that the Commission has the information it needs to carry out its statutory duties. The proposals in the NPRM are designed to reduce to the extent possible the regulatory costs and burdens imposed on broadcast, wireless common carrier and aeronautical applicants, licensees, and spectrum lessees; provide greater transparency and more predictability with respect to the Commission's filing requirements and review process; and facilitate investment from new sources of capital, while continuing to protect important interests related to national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy.

    45. The Commission estimates that the rule changes discussed in the NPRM, if adopted, would result in a reduction in the time and expense associated with filing section 310(b)(4) petitions for declaratory ruling by broadcast licensees. For example, the NPRM proposes that U.S. parent companies of broadcast licensees that seek Commission approval to exceed the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4) include in their petitions requests for specific approval only of foreign investors that would hold a direct or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the U.S. parent that exceeds five percent (or exceeds ten percent in certain circumstances), or a controlling interest. Another proposal would, if adopted, allow the U.S. parent to request specific approval for any non-controlling foreign investors named in the section 310(b)(4) petition to increase their direct or indirect equity and/or voting interests in the U.S. parent at any time after issuance of the section 310(b)(4) ruling, up to and including a non-controlling 49.99 percent equity and/or voting interest. Similarly, the U.S. parent would be permitted to request specific approval for any named foreign investor that proposed to acquire a controlling interest of less than 100 percent to increase the interest to 100 percent at some future time. The NPRM also seeks comment on measures the Commission can take to reduce the costs and burdens associated with licensees' efforts to ensure that they remain in compliance with the statutory foreign ownership requirements, which apply broadly to broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio licensees.

    46. The Commission believes that the streamlining proposals and other options on which the Commission seeks comment in the NPRM will reduce costs and burdens currently imposed on licensees, including those licensees that are small entities, and accelerate the foreign ownership review process, while continuing to ensure that the Commission has the information it needs to carry out its statutory duties. Therefore, the Commission certifies that the proposals in the NPRM, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.8 The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including a copy of this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA.9 This initial certification will also be published in the Federal Register.10

    8 In the proceeding in which sections 1.990-1.994 were adopted, the Commission certified that the rules and procedures for analyzing foreign ownership of common carrier and aeronautical radio licensees under section 310(b)(4), which this NPRM proposes to apply with certain modifications to broadcast licensees, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. See 2013 Foreign Ownership Second Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd at 5813-15; 2011 Foreign Ownership NPRM, 26 FCC Rcd 11703, 11742-44 (2011).

    9 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    10Id.

    Ordering Clauses

    47. It is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in 47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 211, 303(r), 309, 310 and 403, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted.

    48. It is further ordered that notice is hereby given of the proposed regulatory changes to Commission policy and rules described in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and that comment is sought on these proposals.

    49. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 1, 25, 73 and 74

    Communications common carriers, Radio, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Satellites, Telecommunications, Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 1, 25, 73, and 74 as follows:

    PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 1 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 79, et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 160, 201, 225, 227, 303, 309, 310, 332, 1403, 1404, 1451, 1452, and 1455.

    §§ 1.990 through 1.994 [Removed]
    2. In Subpart F, remove the undesignated center heading “Foreign Ownership of Common Carrier, Aeronautical En Route, and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees” and §§ 1.990 through 1.994. 3. Add subpart T to read as follows: Subpart T—Foreign Ownership of Broadcast, Common Carrier, Aeronautical En Route, and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees Sec. 1.5000 Citizenship and filing requirements under section 310(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. 1.5001 Contents of petitions for declaratory ruling under section 310(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. 1.5002 How to calculate indirect equity and voting interests. 1.5003 Insulation criteria for interests in limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability companies. 1.5004 Routine terms and conditions.
    § 1.5000 Citizenship and filing requirements under section 310(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    The rules in this subpart establish the requirements and conditions for obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees and common carrier spectrum lessees that would exceed the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act. These rules also establish the requirements and conditions for obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in common carrier (but not broadcast, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed) radio station licensees and spectrum lessees that would exceed the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act.

    (a)(1) A broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station licensee or common carrier spectrum lessee shall file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval under section 310(b)(4) of the Act, and obtain such approval, before the aggregate foreign ownership of any controlling, U.S.-organized parent company exceeds, directly and/or indirectly, 25 percent of the U.S. parent's equity interests and/or 25 percent of its voting interests. An applicant for a broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station license or common carrier spectrum leasing arrangement shall file the petition for declaratory ruling required by this paragraph at the same time that it files its application.

    (2) A common carrier radio station licensee or spectrum lessee shall file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain approval under the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach, and obtain such approval, before aggregate foreign ownership, held through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that hold non-controlling equity and/or voting interests in the licensee, along with any foreign interests held directly in the licensee or spectrum lessee, exceeds 20 percent of its equity interests and/or 20 percent of its voting interests. An applicant for a common carrier radio station license or spectrum leasing arrangement shall file the petition for declaratory ruling required by this paragraph at the same time that it files its application. Foreign interests held directly in a licensee or spectrum lessee, or other than through U.S.-organized entities that hold non-controlling equity and/or voting interests in the licensee or spectrum lessee, shall not be permitted to exceed 20 percent.

    Note 1 to paragraph (a):

    For purposes of calculating its foreign ownership to determine whether it is required to file a petition for declaratory ruling under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section, a U.S.-organized publicly-traded company shall use information about its voting and non-voting stock available to it in the normal course of business, including ownership information required to be disclosed pursuant to rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, shares recorded in the company's shareholder register, shares held by the members of the company's Board of Directors and shares held by its officers. A U.S.-organized publicly-traded company is a company: That is organized in the United States; whose stock is traded on a stock exchange in the United States; that is headquartered in the United States; with a majority of members of its Board of Directors who are citizens of the United States; and with a majority of officers who are citizens of the United States.

    Note 2 to paragraph (a):

    Paragraph (a)(1) of this section implements the Commission's foreign ownership policies under section 310(b)(4) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4), for broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees and common carrier spectrum lessees. It applies to foreign equity and/or voting interests that are held, or would be held, directly and/or indirectly in a U.S.-organized entity that itself directly or indirectly controls a broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route, or aeronautical fixed radio station licensee or common carrier spectrum lessee. A foreign individual or entity that seeks to hold a controlling interest in such a licensee or spectrum lessee must hold its controlling interest indirectly, in a U.S.-organized entity that itself directly or indirectly controls the licensee or spectrum lessee. Such controlling interests are subject to section 310(b)(4) and the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The Commission assesses foreign ownership interests subject to section 310(b)(4) separately from foreign ownership interests subject to section 310(b)(3).

    Note 3 to paragraph (a):

    Paragraph (a)(2) of this section implements the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach adopted in the First Report and Order in IB Docket No. 11-133, FCC 12-93 (released August 17, 2012), 77 FR 50628 (Aug. 22, 2012). The section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach applies only to foreign equity and voting interests that are held, or would be held, in a common carrier licensee or spectrum lessee through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee or spectrum lessee. Foreign equity and/or voting interests that are held, or would be held, directly in a licensee or spectrum lessee, or indirectly other than through an intervening U.S.-organized entity, are not subject to the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach and shall not be permitted to exceed the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 310(b)(3). The Commission's forbearance approach does not apply to broadcast, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station licenses.

    Example 1.

    U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is wholly owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B. U.S.-organized Corporation B is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation C, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation D. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation B are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by U.S. citizens. Paragraph (a)(1) of this section requires that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of the 51 percent foreign ownership of its controlling, U.S.-organized parent, Corporation B, by foreign-organized Corporation D, which exceeds the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act for both equity interests and voting interests. Corporation A is also required to identify and request specific approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, that holds directly and/or indirectly more than five percent of Corporation B's total outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest in Corporation B, unless the foreign investment is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3).

    Example 2.

    U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by U.S. citizens. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation A are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation Y. Paragraph (a)(2) of this section requires that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of the non-controlling 49 percent foreign ownership of U.S.-organized Corporation A by foreign-organized Corporation Y through U.S.-organized Corporation X, which exceeds the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act for both equity interests and voting interests. U.S.-organized Corporation A is also required to identify and request specific approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, that holds an equity and/or voting interest in foreign-organized Corporation Y that, when multiplied by 49 percent, would exceed five percent of U.S.-organized Corporation A's equity and/or voting interests, unless the foreign investment is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3).

    Example 3.

    U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation C. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation A are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation Y. Paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section require that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of foreign-organized Corporation C's 100 percent ownership interest in U.S.-organized parent, Corporation B, and of foreign-organized Corporation Y's non-controlling, 49 percent foreign ownership interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A through U.S-organized Corporation X, which exceed the 25 percent benchmark and 20 percent limit in sections 310(b)(4) and 310(b)(3) of the Act, respectively, for both equity interests and voting interests. U.S-organized Corporation A's petition also must identify and request specific approval for ownership interests held by any foreign individual, entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, to the extent required by § 1.5001(i).

    (b) Except for petitions involving broadcast stations only, the petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be filed electronically on the Internet through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS). For information on filing your petition through IBFS, see part 1, subpart Y and the IBFS homepage at http://www.fcc.gov/ib. Petitions for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section involving broadcast stations only shall be filed electronically on the Internet through the Media Bureau's Consolidated Database System (CDBS) or any successor system thereto when submitted to the Commission as part of an application for a construction permit, assignment, or transfer of control of a broadcast license; if there is no associated construction permit, assignment or transfer of control application, petitions for declaratory ruling should be filed with the Office of the Secretary via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

    (c)(1) Each applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee filing a petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section shall certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of § 1.16 and the requirements of this paragraph. The certification shall include a statement that the applicant, licensee and/or spectrum lessee has calculated the ownership interests disclosed in its petition based upon its review of the Commission's rules and that the interests disclosed satisfy each of the pertinent standards and criteria set forth in the rules.

    (2) Multiple applicants and/or licensees shall file jointly the petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section where the entities are under common control and contemporaneously hold, or are contemporaneously filing applications for, broadcast, common carrier licenses, common carrier spectrum leasing arrangements, or aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station licenses. Where joint petitioners have different responses to the information required by § 1.5001, such information should be set out separately for each joint petitioner, except as otherwise permitted in § 1.5001(h)(2).

    (i) Each joint petitioner shall certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of § 1.16 with respect to the information that is pertinent to that petitioner. Alternatively, the controlling parent of the joint petitioners may certify to the information contained in the petition.

    (ii) Where the petition is being filed in connection with an application for consent to transfer control of licenses or spectrum leasing arrangements, the transferee or its ultimate controlling parent may file the petition on behalf of the licensees or spectrum lessees that would be acquired as a result of the proposed transfer of control and certify to the information contained in the petition.

    (3) Multiple applicants and licensees shall not be permitted to file a petition for declaratory ruling jointly unless they are under common control.

    (d) The following definitions shall apply to this section and §§ 1.5001 through 1.5004.

    (1) Aeronautical radio licenses refers to aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station licenses only. It does not refer to other types of aeronautical radio station licenses.

    (2) Affiliate refers to any entity that is under common control with a licensee, defined by reference to the holder, directly and/or indirectly, of more than 50 percent of total voting power, where no other individual or entity has de facto control.

    (3) Control includes actual working control in whatever manner exercised and is not limited to majority stock ownership. Control also includes direct or indirect control, such as through intervening subsidiaries.

    (4) Entity includes a partnership, association, estate, trust, corporation, limited liability company, governmental authority or other organization.

    (5) Group refers to two or more individuals or entities that have agreed to act together for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting, or disposing of their equity and/or voting interests in the relevant licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent.

    (6) Individual refers to a natural person as distinguished from a partnership, association, corporation, or other organization.

    (7) Licensee as used in §§ 1.5000 through 1.5004 of this part includes a spectrum lessee as defined in § 1.9003.

    (8) Privately held company refers to a U.S.- or foreign-organized company that has not issued a class of equity securities for which beneficial ownership reporting is required by security holders and other beneficial owners under sections 13(d) or 13(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. (Exchange Act), and corresponding Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

    (9) Public company refers to a U.S.- or foreign-organized company that has issued a class of equity securities for which beneficial ownership reporting is required by security holders and other beneficial owners under sections 13(d) or 13(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. (Exchange Act) and corresponding Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

    (10) Subsidiary refers to any entity in which a licensee owns or controls, directly and/or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the total voting power of the outstanding voting stock of the entity, where no other individual or entity has de facto control.

    (11) Voting stock refers to an entity's corporate stock, partnership or membership interests, or other equivalents of corporate stock that, under ordinary circumstances, entitles the holders thereof to elect the entity's board of directors, management committee, or other equivalent of a corporate board of directors.

    (12) Would hold as used in §§ 1.5000 through 1.5004 includes interests that an individual or entity proposes to hold in an applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee, or their controlling U.S. parent, upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition for declaratory ruling filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) or (2) of this part.

    § 1.5001 Contents of petitions for declaratory ruling under section 310(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    The petition for declaratory ruling required by § 1.5000(a)(1) and/or (2) shall contain the following information:

    (a) With respect to each petitioning applicant or licensee, provide its name; FCC Registration Number (FRN); mailing address; place of organization; telephone number; facsimile number (if available); electronic mail address (if available); type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)); name and title of officer certifying to the information contained in the petition.

    (b) If the petitioning applicant or licensee is represented by a third party (e.g., legal counsel), specify that individual's name, the name of the firm or company, mailing address and telephone number/electronic mail address.

    (c)(1) For each named licensee, list the type(s) of radio service authorized (e.g., broadcast service, cellular radio telephone service; microwave radio service; mobile satellite service; aeronautical fixed service). In the case of broadcast licensees, also list the call sign, facility identification number (if applicable), and community of license or transmit site for each authorization covered by the petition.

    (2) If the petition is filed in connection with an application for a radio station license or a spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire a license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control, specify for each named applicant:

    (i) The File No(s). of the associated application(s), if available at the time the petition is filed; otherwise, specify the anticipated filing date for each application; and

    (ii) The type(s) of radio services covered by each application (e.g., broadcast service, cellular radio telephone service; microwave radio service; mobile satellite service; aeronautical fixed service).

    (d) With respect to each petitioner, include a statement as to whether the petitioner is requesting a declaratory ruling under § 1.5000(a)(1) and/or (2).

    (e) Disclosable interest holders—direct U.S. or foreign interests in the controlling U.S. parent. Paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(4) of this section apply only to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) and/or (2) for common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants or licensees, as applicable. Petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) for broadcast licensees shall provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly, an attributable interest in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning broadcast station applicant(s) or licensee(s), as defined in the Notes to § 73.3555 of this chapter. Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly, an attributable interest in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)), the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly, an attributable interest in the U.S. parent, applicant(s), or licensee(s).

    (1) Direct U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s) as specified in paragraphs (e)(4)(i) through (iv) of this section.

    (2) Direct U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in each petitioning common carrier applicant or licensee as specified in paragraphs (e)(4)(i) through (iv) of this section.

    (3) Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) or in the applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2)), the petition shall state that no individual or entity holds or would hold directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the U.S. parent, applicant or licensee.

    (4)(i) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a corporation, provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, 10 percent or more of the outstanding capital stock and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest.

    (ii) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a general partnership, provide the names of the partnership's constituent general partners.

    (iii) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a limited partnership or limited liability partnership, provide the name(s) of the general partner(s) (in the case of a limited partnership), any uninsulated partner(s), and any insulated partner(s) with an equity interest in the partnership of at least 10 percent (calculated according to the percentage of the partner's capital contribution). With respect to each named partner (other than a named general partner), the petitioner shall state whether the partnership interest is insulated or uninsulated, based on the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003.

    (iv) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a limited liability company, provide the name(s) of each uninsulated member, regardless of its equity interest, any insulated member with an equity interest of at least 10 percent (calculated according to the percentage of its capital contribution), and any non-equity manager(s). With respect to each named member, the petitioner shall state whether the interest is insulated or uninsulated, based on the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003, and whether the member is a manager.

    Note to paragraph (e):

    The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

    (f) Disclosable interest holders—indirect U.S. or foreign interests in the controlling U.S. parent. Paragraphs (f)(1) through (3) of this section apply only to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) and/or § 1.5000(a)(2) for common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants or licensees, as applicable. Petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) for broadcast licensees shall provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, indirectly, an attributable interest in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning broadcast station applicant(s) or licensee(s), as defined in the Notes to § 73.3555 of this chapter. Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, indirectly, an attributable interest in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)), the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds, or would hold, indirectly, an attributable interest in the U.S. parent, applicant(s), or licensee(s).

    (1) Indirect U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.5002.

    (2) Indirect U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the petitioning common carrier radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.5002.

    (3) Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, indirectly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) or in the petitioning applicant(s) or licensee(s) (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2)), the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds indirectly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the U.S. parent, applicant(s), or licensee(s).

    Note to paragraph (f):

    The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

    (g)(1) Citizenship and other information for disclosable interests in common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees. For each 10 percent interest holder named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, specify the equity interest held and the voting interest held (each to the nearest one percent); in the case of an individual, his or her citizenship; and in the case of a business organization, its place of organization, type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)), and principal business(es).

    (2) Citizenship and other information for attributable interests in broadcast station applicants and licensees. For each attributable interest holder named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, describe the nature of the attributable interest and, if applicable, specify the equity interest held and the voting interest held (each to the nearest one percent); in the case of an individual, his or her citizenship; and in the case of a business organization, its place of organization, type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)), and principal business(es).

    (h)(1) Estimate of aggregate foreign ownership. For petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), attach an exhibit that provides a percentage estimate of the controlling U.S. parent's aggregate direct and/or indirect foreign equity interests and its aggregate direct and/or indirect foreign voting interests. For petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), attach an exhibit that provides a percentage estimate of the aggregate foreign equity interests and aggregate foreign voting interests held directly in the petitioning applicant(s) and/or licensee(s), if any, and the aggregate foreign equity interests and aggregate foreign voting interests held indirectly in the petitioning applicant(s) and/or licensee(s). The exhibit required by this paragraph must also provide a general description of the methods used to determine the percentages; and a statement addressing the circumstances that prompted the filing of the petition and demonstrating that the public interest would be served by grant of the petition.

    (2) Ownership and control structure. Attach an exhibit that describes the ownership and control structure of the applicant(s) and/or licensee(s) that are the subject of the petition, including an ownership diagram and identification of the real party-in-interest disclosed in any companion applications. The ownership diagram should illustrate the petitioner's vertical ownership structure, including the controlling U.S. parent named in the petition (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) and either

    (i) For common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees, the direct and indirect ownership (equity and voting) interests held by the individual(s) and/or entity(ies) named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section; or

    (ii) For broadcast station applicants and licensees, the attributable interest holders named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section. Each such individual or entity shall be depicted in the ownership diagram and all controlling interests labeled as such. Where the petition includes multiple petitioners, the ownership of all petitioners may be depicted in a single ownership diagram or in multiple diagrams.

    (i) Requests for specific approval. Provide, as required or permitted by this paragraph, the name of each foreign individual and/or entity for which each petitioner requests specific approval, if any, and the respective percentages of equity and/or voting interests (to the nearest one percent) that each such foreign individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning broadcast, common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s) for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), and in each petitioning common carrier applicant or licensee for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2).

    (1) Each petitioning broadcast, common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant or licensee filing under § 1.5000(a)(1) shall identify and request specific approval for any foreign individual, entity, or group of such individuals or entities that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, more than 5 percent of the equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the petitioner's controlling U.S. parent unless the foreign investment is exempt under paragraph (i)(3) of this section. Equity and voting interests shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section and in § 1.5002.

    Note to paragraph (i)(1): Solely for the purpose of identifying foreign interests that require specific approval under this paragraph (i), broadcast station applicants and licensees filing petitions under § 1.5000(a)(1) should calculate equity and voting interests in accordance with the principles set forth in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section and in § 1.5002 and not as set forth in the Notes to § 73.3555 of this chapter, to the extent that there are any differences in such calculation methods.

    (2) Each petitioning common carrier radio station applicant or licensee filing under § 1.5000(a)(2) shall identify and request specific approval for any foreign individual, entity, or group of such individuals or entities that holds, or would hold, directly, and/or indirectly through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that do not control the applicant or licensee, more than 5 percent of the equity and/or voting interests in the applicant or licensee unless the foreign investment is exempt under paragraph (i)(3) of this section. Equity and voting interests shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section and in § 1.5002.

    Note 1 to paragraphs (i)(1) and (2):

    Certain foreign interests of 5 percent or less may require specific approval under paragraphs (i)(1) and (2). See the Note to paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(C) of this section.

    Note 2 to paragraphs (i)(1) and (2):

    Two or more individuals or entities will be treated as a “group” when they have agreed to act together for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting, or disposing of their equity and/or voting interests in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent of the licensee or in any intermediate company(ies) through which any of the individuals or entities holds its interests in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent of the licensee.

    (3) A foreign investment is exempt from the specific approval requirements of paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section where:

    (i) The foreign individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, no more than 10 percent of the equity and/or voting interests of the U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) or the petitioning applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2)); and

    (ii) The foreign individual or entity does not hold, and would not hold, a controlling interest in the petitioner or any controlling parent company, does not plan or intend to change or influence control of the petitioner or any controlling parent company, does not possess or develop any such purpose, and does not take any action having such purpose or effect. The Commission will presume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the following interests satisfy this criterion for exemption from the specific approval requirements in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section:

    (A) Where the petitioning applicant or licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the applicant/licensee or U.S. parent is a “public company,” as defined in § 1.5000(d)(9), provided that the foreign holder is an institutional investor that is eligible to report its beneficial ownership interests in the company's voting, equity securities in excess of 5 percent (not to exceed 10 percent) pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(b), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation. This presumption shall not apply if the foreign individual, entity or group holding such interests is obligated to report its holdings in the company pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(a), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(a), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

    Example.

    Common carrier applicant (“Applicant”) is preparing a petition for declaratory ruling to request Commission approval for foreign ownership of its controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent”) to exceed the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act. Applicant does not currently hold any FCC licenses. Shares of U.S. Parent trade publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. Based on a shareholder survey and a review of its shareholder records, U.S. Parent has determined that its aggregate foreign ownership on any given day may exceed an aggregate 25 percent, including a six percent common stock interest held by a foreign-organized mutual fund (“Foreign Fund”). U.S. Parent has confirmed that Foreign Fund is not currently required to report its interest pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(a) and instead is eligible to report its interest pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b). U.S. Parent also has confirmed that Foreign Fund does not hold any other interests in U.S. Parent's equity securities, whether of a class of voting or non-voting securities. Applicant may, but is not required to, request specific approval of Foreign Fund's six percent interest in U.S. Parent.

    Note to paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(A):

    Where an institutional investor holds voting, equity securities that are subject to reporting under Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation, in addition to equity securities that are not subject to such reporting, the investor's total capital stock interests may be aggregated and treated as exempt from the 5 percent specific approval requirement in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section so long as the aggregate amount of the institutional investor's holdings does not exceed ten percent of the company's total capital stock or voting rights and the investor is eligible to certify under Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(b), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation that it has acquired its capital stock interests in the ordinary course of business and not with the purpose nor with the effect of changing or influencing the control of the company. In calculating foreign equity and voting interests, the Commission does not consider convertible interests such as options, warrants and convertible debentures until converted, unless specifically requested by the petitioner, i.e., where the petitioner is requesting approval so those rights can be exercised in a particular case without further Commission approval.

    (B) Where the petitioning applicant or licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the applicant/licensee or U.S. parent is a “privately held” corporation, as defined in § 1.5000(d)(8), provided that a shareholders' agreement, or similar voting agreement, prohibits the foreign holder from becoming actively involved in the management or operation of the corporation and limits the foreign holder's voting and consent rights, if any, to the minority shareholder protections listed in paragraph (i)(5) of this section.

    (C) Where the petitioning applicant or licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent is “privately held,” as defined in § 1.5000(d)(8), and is organized as a limited partnership, limited liability company (“LLC”), or limited liability partnership (“LLP”), provided that the foreign holder is “insulated” in accordance with the criteria specified in § 1.5003.

    Note to paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(C):

    For purposes of identifying foreign interests that require specific approval, uninsulated partners, uninsulated LLC members, and non-member LLC managers are deemed to hold the same voting interest as the partnership or LLC holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the petitioner's vertical ownership chain. See § 1.5002(b)(2)(ii)(A) and (b)(2)(iii)(A). Depending on the particular ownership structure presented in the petition, a foreign uninsulated partner, LLC member, or non-member LLC manager may be deemed to hold a direct or indirect voting interest in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) or in the petitioning applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2)) that requires specific approval because the voting interest exceeds the 5 percent amount specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section and, because it is an uninsulated interest, the voting interest would not qualify as exempt from specific approval under this paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(C) even in circumstances where the voting interest does not exceed 10 percent.

    (4) A petitioner may, but is not required to, request specific approval for any other foreign individual or entity that holds, or would hold, a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1)) or in the petitioning applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2)).

    (5) The minority shareholder protections referenced in paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(B) of this section consist of the following rights:

    (i) The power to prevent the sale or pledge of all or substantially all of the assets of the corporation or a voluntary filing for bankruptcy or liquidation;

    (ii) The power to prevent the corporation from entering into contracts with majority shareholders or their affiliates;

    (iii) The power to prevent the corporation from guaranteeing the obligations of majority shareholders or their affiliates;

    (iv) The power to purchase an additional interest in the corporation to prevent the dilution of the shareholder's pro rata interest in the event that the corporation issues additional instruments conveying shares in the company;

    (v) The power to prevent the change of existing legal rights or preferences of the shareholders, as provided in the charter, by-laws or other operative governance documents;

    (vi) The power to prevent the amendment of the charter, by-laws or other operative governance documents of the company with respect to the matters described in paragraph (i)(5)(i) through (v) of this section.

    (6) The Commission reserves the right to consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether voting or consent rights over matters other than those listed in paragraph (i)(5) of this section shall be considered permissible minority shareholder protections in a particular case.

    (j) For each foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section, provide the following information:

    (1) In the case of an individual, his or her citizenship and principal business(es);

    (2) In the case of a business organization:

    (i) Its place of organization, type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)), and principal business(es);

    (ii)(A) For common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees, the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval. Specify for each such interest holder, his or her citizenship (for individuals) or place of legal organization (for entities). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.5002.

    (B) For broadcast applicants and licensees, the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, an attributable interest in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval. Specify for each such interest holder, his or her citizenship (for individuals) or place of legal organization (for entities). Attributable interests shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in the Notes to § 73.3555 of this chapter.

    (iii)(A) For common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station applicants and licensees, where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval.

    (B) For broadcast applicants and licensees, where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, an attributable interest in the foreign entity, the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, an attributable interest in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval.

    (k) Requests for advance approval. The petitioner may, but is not required to, request advance approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section to increase its direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests in the controlling U.S. parent of the broadcast, common carrier or aeronautical radio station licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), and/or in the common carrier licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), above the percentages specified in response to paragraph (i) of this section. Requests for advance approval shall be made as follows:

    (1) Petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1). Where a foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section holds, or would hold upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition, a de jure or de facto controlling interest in the controlling U.S. parent, the petitioner may request advance approval in its petition for the foreign individual or entity to increase its interests, at some future time, up to any amount, including 100 percent of the direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests in the U.S. parent. The petitioner shall specify for the named controlling foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) the maximum percentages of equity and/or voting interests for which advance approval is sought or, in lieu of a specific amount, state that the petitioner requests advance approval for the named controlling foreign individual or entity to increase its interests up to and including 100 percent of the U.S. parent's direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests.

    (2) Petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1) and/or (2). Where a foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section holds, or would hold upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition, a non-controlling interest in the controlling U.S. parent of the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1), or in the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), the petitioner may request advance approval in its petition for the foreign individual or entity to increase its interests, at some future time, up to any non-controlling amount not to exceed 49.99 percent. The petitioner shall specify for the named foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) the maximum percentages of equity and/or voting interests for which advance approval is sought or, in lieu of a specific amount, shall state that the petitioner requests advance approval for the named foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) to increase their interests up to and including a non-controlling 49.99 percent equity and/or voting interest in the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(2), or in the controlling U.S. parent of the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.5000(a)(1).

    (l) Each applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee filing a petition for declaratory ruling shall certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of § 1.16 and the requirements of § 1.5000(c)(1).

    § 1.5002 How to calculate indirect equity and voting interests.

    (a) The criteria specified in this section shall be used for purposes of calculating indirect equity and voting interests under § 1.5001.

    (b)(1) Equity interests held indirectly in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent. Equity interests that are held by an individual or entity indirectly through one or more intervening entities shall be calculated by successive multiplication of the equity percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain, regardless of whether any particular link in the chain represents a controlling interest in the company positioned in the next lower tier.

    Example under § 1.5000(a)(1).

    Assume that a foreign individual holds a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A which, in turn, holds a non-controlling 40 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. The foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B would be calculated by multiplying the foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A by that entity's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. The foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B would be calculated as 12 percent (30% × 40% = 12%). The result would be the same even if U.S.-organized Corporation A held a de facto controlling interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B.

    (2) Voting interests held indirectly in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent. Voting interests that are held by any individual or entity indirectly through one or more intervening entities will be determined depending upon the type of business organization(s) in which the individual or entity holds a voting interest as follows:

    (i) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening corporations shall be calculated by successive multiplication of the voting percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain, except that wherever the voting interest for any link in the chain is equal to or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it shall be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest.

    Example under § 1.5000(a)(1).

    Assume that a foreign individual holds a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A which, in turn, holds a controlling 70 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. Because U.S.-organized Corporation A's 70 percent voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B constitutes a controlling interest, it is treated as a 100 percent interest. The foreign individual's 30 percent voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A would flow through in its entirety to U.S. Parent Corporation B and thus be calculated as 30 percent (30% × 100% = 30%).

    (ii) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening partnerships shall be calculated depending upon whether the individual or entity holds a general partnership interest, an uninsulated partnership interest, or an insulated partnership interest as specified in paragraphs (b)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section.

    (A) General partnership and other uninsulated partnership interests. A general partner and uninsulated partner shall be deemed to hold the same voting interest as the partnership holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the vertical ownership chain. A partner shall be treated as uninsulated unless the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or other operative agreement satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003.

    (B) Insulated partnership interests. A partner of a limited partnership (other than a general partner) or partner of a limited liability partnership that satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003 shall be treated as an insulated partner and shall be deemed to hold a voting interest in the partnership that is equal to the partner's equity interest.

    Note to paragraph (b)(2)(ii):

    The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

    (iii) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening limited liability companies shall be calculated depending upon whether the individual or entity is a non-member manager, an uninsulated member or an insulated member as specified in paragraphs (b)(2)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section.

    (A) Non-member managers and uninsulated membership interests. A non-member manager and an uninsulated member of a limited liability company shall be deemed to hold the same voting interest as the limited liability company holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the vertical ownership chain. A member shall be treated as uninsulated unless the limited liability company agreement satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003.

    (B) Insulated membership interests. A member of a limited liability company that satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.5003 shall be treated as an insulated member and shall be deemed to hold a voting interest in the limited liability company that is equal to the member's equity interest.

    § 1.5003 Insulation criteria for interests in limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability companies.

    (a) A limited partner of a limited partnership and a partner of a limited liability partnership shall be treated as uninsulated within the meaning of § 1.5002(b)(2)(ii)(A) unless the partner is prohibited by the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or other operative agreement from, and in fact is not engaged in, active involvement in the management or operation of the partnership and only the usual and customary investor protections are contained in the partnership agreement or other operative agreement. These criteria apply to any relevant limited partnership or limited liability partnership, whether it is the licensee, a controlling U.S.-organized parent, or any partnership situated above them in the vertical chain of ownership. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the insulation of limited partnership and limited liability partnership interests for broadcast applicants and licensees shall be determined in accordance with Note 2(f) of § 73.3555 of this chapter.

    (b) A member of a limited liability company shall be treated as uninsulated for purposes of § 1.5002(b)(2)(iii)(A) unless the member is prohibited by the limited liability company agreement from, and in fact is not engaged in, active involvement in the management or operation of the company and only the usual and customary investor protections are contained in the agreement. These criteria apply to any relevant limited liability company, whether it is the licensee, a controlling U.S.-organized parent, or any limited liability company situated above them in the vertical chain of ownership. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the insulation of limited liability company interests for broadcast applicants and licensees shall be determined in accordance with Note 2(f) of § 73.3555 of this chapter.

    (c) The usual and customary investor protections referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall consist of:

    (1) The power to prevent the sale or pledge of all or substantially all of the assets of the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company or a voluntary filing for bankruptcy or liquidation;

    (2) The power to prevent the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company from entering into contracts with majority investors or their affiliates;

    (3) The power to prevent the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company from guaranteeing the obligations of majority investors or their affiliates;

    (4) The power to purchase an additional interest in the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company to prevent the dilution of the partner's or member's pro rata interest in the event that the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company issues additional instruments conveying interests in the partnership or company;

    (5) The power to prevent the change of existing legal rights or preferences of the partners, members, or managers as provided in the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or limited liability company agreement, or other operative agreement;

    (6) The power to vote on the removal of a general partner, managing partner, managing member, or other manager in situations where such individual or entity is subject to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, or other proceedings relating to the relief of debtors; adjudicated insane or incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction (in the case of a natural person); convicted of a felony; or otherwise removed for cause, as determined by an independent party;

    (7) The power to prevent the amendment of the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or limited liability company agreement, or other organizational documents of the partnership or limited liability company with respect to the matters described in paragraph (c)(1) through (c)(6) of this section.

    (d) The Commission reserves the right to consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether voting or consent rights over matters other than those listed in paragraph (c) of this section shall be considered usual and customary investor protections in a particular case.

    § 1.5004 Routine terms and conditions.

    Foreign ownership rulings issued pursuant to §§ 1.5000 through 1.5004 shall be subject to the following terms and conditions, except as otherwise specified in a particular ruling:

    (a)(1) Aggregate allowance for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1). In addition to the foreign ownership interests approved specifically in a licensee's declaratory ruling issued pursuant to § 1.5000(a)(1), the controlling U.S.-organized parent named in the ruling (or a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest formed as part of a pro forma reorganization) may be 100 percent owned, directly and/or indirectly through one or more U.S- or foreign-organized entities, on a going-forward basis (i.e., after issuance of the ruling) by other foreign investors without prior Commission approval. This “100 percent aggregate allowance” is subject to the requirement that the licensee seek and obtain Commission approval before any foreign individual, entity, or “group” not previously approved acquires, directly and/or indirectly, more than five percent of the U.S. parent's outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest, with the exception of any foreign individual, entity, or “group” that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3).

    (2) Aggregate allowance for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2). In addition to the foreign ownership interests approved specifically in a licensee's declaratory ruling issued pursuant to § 1.5000(a)(2), the licensee(s) named in the ruling (or a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest formed as part of a pro forma reorganization) may be 100 percent owned on a going forward basis (i.e., after issuance of the ruling) by other foreign investors holding interests in the licensee indirectly through U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee, without prior Commission approval. This “100 percent aggregate allowance” is subject to the requirement that the licensee seek and obtain Commission approval before any foreign individual, entity, or “group” not previously approved acquires directly and/or indirectly, through one or more U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee, more than five percent of the licensee's outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, with the exception of any foreign individual, entity, or “group” that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3). Foreign ownership interests held directly in a licensee shall not be permitted to exceed an aggregate 20 percent of the licensee's equity and/or voting interests.

    Note to paragraph (a):

    Licensees have an obligation to monitor and stay ahead of changes in foreign ownership of their controlling U.S.-organized parent companies (for rulings issued pursuant to § 1.5000(a)(1)) and/or in the licensee itself (for rulings issued pursuant to § 1.5000(a)(2)), to ensure that the licensee obtains Commission approval before a change in foreign ownership renders the licensee out of compliance with the terms and conditions of its declaratory ruling(s) or the Commission's rules. Licensees, their controlling parent companies, and other entities in the licensee's vertical ownership chain may need to place restrictions in their bylaws or other organizational documents to enable the licensee to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of its declaratory ruling(s) and the Commission's rules.

    Example 1 (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1)).

    U.S. Corp. files an application for a common carrier license. U.S. Corp. is wholly owned and controlled by U.S. Parent, which is a newly formed, privately held Delaware Corporation in which no single shareholder has de jure or de facto control. A shareholders' agreement provides that a five-member board of directors shall govern the affairs of the company; five named shareholders shall be entitled to one seat and one vote on the board; and all decisions of the board shall be determined by majority vote. The five named shareholders and their respective equity interests are as follows: Foreign Entity A, which is wholly owned and controlled by a foreign citizen (5 percent); Foreign Entity B, which is wholly owned and controlled by a foreign citizen (10 percent); Foreign Entity C, a foreign public company with no controlling shareholder (20 percent); Foreign Entity D, a foreign pension fund that is controlled by a foreign citizen and in which no individual or entity has a pecuniary interest exceeding one percent (21 percent); and U.S. Entity E, a U.S. public company with no controlling shareholder (25 percent). The remaining 19 percent of U.S. Parent's shares are held by three foreign-organized entities as follows: F (4 percent), G (6 percent), and H (9 percent). Under the shareholders' agreement, voting rights of F, G, and H are limited to the minority shareholder protections listed in § 1.5001(i)(5). Further, the agreement expressly prohibits G and H from becoming actively involved in the management or operation of U.S. Parent and U.S. Corp.

    As required by the rules, U.S. Corp. files a section 310(b)(4) petition concurrently with its application. The petition identifies and requests specific approval for the ownership interests held in U.S. Parent by Foreign Entity A and its sole shareholder (5 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest); Foreign Entity B and its sole shareholder (10 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest), Foreign Entity C (20 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest), and Foreign Entity D (21 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest) and its fund manager (20 percent voting interest). The Commission's ruling specifically approves these foreign interests. The ruling also provides that, on a going-forward basis, U.S. Parent may be 100 percent owned in the aggregate, directly and/or indirectly, by other foreign investors, subject to the requirement that U.S. Corp. seek and obtain Commission approval before any previously unapproved foreign investor acquires more than five percent of U.S. Parent's equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, with the exception of any foreign investor that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

    In this case, foreign entities F, G, and H would each be considered a previously unapproved foreign investor (along with any new foreign investors). However, prior approval for F, G and H would only apply to an increase of F's interest above five percent (because the ten percent exemption under § 1.5001(i)(3) does not apply to F) or to an increase of G's or H's interest above ten percent (because G and H do qualify for this exemption). U.S. Corp. would also need Commission approval before Foreign Entity D appoints a new fund manager that is a non-U.S. citizen and before Foreign Entities A, B, C, or D increase their respective equity and/or voting interests in U.S. Parent, unless the petition previously sought and obtained Commission approval for such increases (up to non-controlling 49.99 percent interests). (See § 1.5001(k)(2).) Foreign shareholders of Foreign Entity C and U.S. Entity E would also be considered previously unapproved foreign investors. Thus, Commission approval would be required before any foreign shareholder of Foreign Entity C or U.S. Entity E acquires (1) a controlling interest in either company; or (2) a non-controlling equity and/or voting interest in either company that, when multiplied by the company's equity and/or voting interests in U.S. Parent, would exceed 5 percent of U.S. Parent's equity and/or voting interests, unless the interest is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3).

    Example 2 (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2)).

    Assume that the following three U.S.-organized entities hold non-controlling equity and voting interests in common carrier Licensee, which is a privately held corporation organized in Delaware: U.S. corporation A (30 percent); U.S. corporation B (30 percent); and U.S. corporation C (40 percent). Licensee's shareholders are wholly owned by foreign individuals X, Y, and Z, respectively. Licensee has received a declaratory ruling under § 1.5000(a)(2) specifically approving the 30 percent foreign ownership interests held in Licensee by each of X and Y (through U.S. corporation A and U.S. corporation B, respectively) and the 40 percent foreign ownership interest held in Licensee by Z (through U.S. corporation C). On a going-forward basis, Licensee may be 100 percent owned in the aggregate by X, Y, Z, and other foreign investors holding interests in Licensee indirectly, through U.S.-organized entities that do not control Licensee, subject to the requirement that Licensee obtain Commission approval before any previously unapproved foreign investor acquires more than five percent of Licensee's equity and/or voting interests, with the exception of any foreign investor that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.5001(i)(3). In this case, any foreign investor other than X, Y, and Z would be considered a previously unapproved foreign investor. Licensee would also need Commission approval before X, Y, or Z increases its equity and/or voting interests in Licensee unless the petition previously sought and obtained Commission approval for such increases (up to non-controlling 49.99 percent interests). (See § 1.5001(k)(2).)

    (b) Subsidiaries and affiliates. A foreign ownership ruling issued to a licensee shall cover it and any U.S.-organized subsidiary or affiliate, as defined in § 1.5000(d), whether the subsidiary or affiliate existed at the time the ruling was issued or was formed or acquired subsequently, provided that the foreign ownership of the licensee named in the ruling, and of the subsidiary and/or affiliate, remains in compliance with the terms and conditions of the licensee's ruling and the Commission's rules.

    (1) The subsidiary or affiliate of a licensee named in a foreign ownership ruling issued under § 1.5000(a)(1) may rely on that ruling for purposes of filing its own application for an initial broadcast, common carrier or aeronautical license or spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire such license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control provided that the subsidiary or affiliate, and the licensee named in the ruling, each certifies in the application that its foreign ownership is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the foreign ownership ruling and the Commission's rules.

    (2) The subsidiary or affiliate of a licensee named in a foreign ownership ruling issued under § 1.5000(a)(2) may rely on that ruling for purposes of filing its own application for an initial common carrier radio station license or spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire such license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control provided that the subsidiary or affiliate, and the licensee named in the ruling, each certifies in the application that its foreign ownership is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the foreign ownership ruling and the Commission's rules.

    (3) The certifications required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section shall also include the citation(s) of the relevant ruling(s) (i.e., the DA or FCC Number, FCC Record citation when available, and release date).

    (c) Insertion of new controlling foreign-organized companies. (1) Where a licensee's foreign ownership ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a controlling interest in the licensee's controlling U.S.-organized parent, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1), or in an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, controlling foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain above the controlling U.S. parent, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1), or above an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2), without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized company(ies) are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the foreign investor approved in the ruling.

    (2) Where a previously unapproved foreign-organized entity is inserted into the vertical ownership chain of a licensee, or its controlling U.S.-organized parent, without prior Commission approval pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the licensee shall file a letter to the attention of the Chief, International Bureau, within 30 days after the insertion of the new, foreign-organized entity. The letter must include the name of the new, foreign-organized entity and a certification by the licensee that the entity complies with the 100 percent common ownership and control requirement in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The letter must also reference the licensee's foreign ownership ruling(s) by IBFS File No. and FCC Record citation, if available. This letter notification need not be filed if the ownership change is instead the subject of a pro forma application or pro forma notification already filed with the Commission pursuant to the relevant broadcast service rules, wireless radio service rules or satellite radio service rules applicable to the licensee.

    Note to paragraph (c)(2):

    For broadcast stations, in order to insert a previously unapproved foreign-organized entity that is under 100 percent common ownership and control with the foreign investor approved in the ruling into the vertical ownership chain of the licensee's controlling U.S.-organized parent, as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the licensee must always file a pro forma application requesting prior consent of the FCC pursuant to section 73.3540(f) of this chapter.

    (3) Nothing in this section is intended to affect any requirements for prior approval under 47 U.S.C. 310(d) or conditions for forbearance from the requirements of 47 U.S.C. 310(d) pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160.

    Example (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1)).

    Licensee of a common carrier license receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.5000(a)(1) that authorizes its controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent A”) to be wholly owned and controlled by a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”). Foreign Company is minority owned (20 percent) by U.S.-organized Corporation B, with the remaining 80 percent controlling interest held by Foreign Citizen C. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Parent A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Parent A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Parent A would not require prior Commission approval, except for any approval otherwise required pursuant to section 310(d) of the Communication+s Act and not exempt therefrom as a pro forma transfer of control under § 1.948(c)(1).

    Example (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2)).

    An applicant for a common carrier license receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.5000(a)(2) that authorizes a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”) to hold a non-controlling 44 percent equity and voting interest in the applicant through Foreign Company's wholly-owned, U.S.-organized subsidiary, U.S. Corporation A, which holds the non-controlling 44 percent interest directly in the applicant. The remaining 56 percent of the applicant's equity and voting interests are held by its controlling U.S.-organized parent, which has no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Corporation A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Corporation A. The insertion of the foreign-organized subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Corporation A would not require prior Commission approval.

    (d) Insertion of new non-controlling foreign-organized companies. (1) Where a licensee's foreign ownership ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a non-controlling interest in the licensee's controlling U.S.-organized parent, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1), or in an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain above the controlling U.S. parent, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1), or above an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2), without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized company(ies) are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the foreign investor approved in the ruling.

    Note to paragraph (d)(1):

    Where a licensee has received a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.5000(a)(2) and the ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a non-controlling interest directly in the licensee (subject to the 20 percent aggregate limit on direct foreign investment), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain of the approved foreign investor without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized companies are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the approved foreign investor.

    Example (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(1)).

    Licensee receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.5000(a)(1) that authorizes a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”) to hold a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in Licensee's controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent A”). The remaining 70 percent equity and voting interests in U.S. Parent A are held by U.S.-organized entities which have no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Parent A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Parent A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Parent A would not require prior Commission approval.

    Example (for rulings issued under § 1.5000(a)(2)).

    Licensee receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.5000(a)(2) that authorizes a foreign-organized entity (“Foreign Company”) to hold approximately 24 percent of Licensee's equity and voting interests, through Foreign Company's non-controlling 48 percent equity and voting interest in a U.S.-organized entity, U.S. Corporation A, which holds a non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interest directly in Licensee. (A U.S. citizen holds the remaining 52 percent equity and voting interests in U.S. Corporation A, and the remaining 51 percent equity and voting interests in Licensee are held by its U.S.-organized parent, which has no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Corporation A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Corporation A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Corporation A would not require prior Commission approval.

    (2) Where a previously unapproved foreign-organized entity is inserted into the vertical ownership chain of a licensee, or its controlling U.S.-organized parent, without prior Commission approval pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the licensee shall file a letter to the attention of the Chief, International Bureau, within 30 days after the insertion of the new, foreign-organized entity; or in the case of a broadcast licensee, the licensee shall file a letter to the attention of the Chief, Media Bureau, within 30 days after the insertion of the new, foreign-organized entity. The letter must include the name of the new, foreign-organized entity and a certification by the licensee that the entity complies with the 100 percent common ownership and control requirement in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The letter must also reference the licensee's foreign ownership ruling(s) by IBFS File No. and FCC Record citation, if available; or, if a broadcast licensee, the letter must reference the licensee's foreign ownership ruling(s) by CDBS File No., Docket No., call sign(s), facility identification number(s), and FCC Record citation, if available. This letter notification need not be filed if the ownership change is instead the subject of a pro forma application or pro forma notification already filed with the Commission pursuant to the relevant broadcast service, wireless radio service rules or satellite radio service rules applicable to the licensee.

    (e) New petition for declaratory ruling required. A licensee that has received a foreign ownership ruling, including a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest to such licensee formed as part of a pro forma reorganization, or any subsidiary or affiliate relying on such licensee's ruling pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, shall file a new petition for declaratory ruling under § 1.5000 to obtain Commission approval before its foreign ownership exceeds the routine terms and conditions of this section, and/or any specific terms or conditions of its ruling.

    (f) Continuing compliance. (1) If at any time the licensee, including any successor-in-interest and any subsidiary or affiliate as described in paragraph (b) of this section, knows, or has reason to know, that it is no longer in compliance with its foreign ownership ruling or the Commission's rules relating to foreign ownership, it shall file a statement with the Commission explaining the circumstances within 30 days of the date it knew, or had reason to know, that it was no longer in compliance therewith. Subsequent actions taken by or on behalf of the licensee to remedy its non-compliance shall not relieve it of the obligation to notify the Commission of the circumstances (including duration) of non-compliance. Such licensee and any controlling companies, whether U.S.- or foreign-organized, shall be subject to enforcement action by the Commission for such non-compliance, including an order requiring divestiture of the investor's direct and/or indirect interests in such entities.

    (2) Any individual or entity that, directly or indirectly, creates or uses a trust, proxy, power of attorney, or any other contract, arrangement, or device with the purpose or effect of divesting itself, or preventing the vesting, of an equity interest or voting interest in the licensee, or in a controlling U.S. parent company, as part of a plan or scheme to evade the application of the Commission's rules or policies under section 310(b) shall be subject to enforcement action by the Commission, including an order requiring divestiture of the investor's direct and/or indirect interests in such entities.

    PART 25—SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS 5. The authority citation for part 25 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Interprets or applies Sections 4, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 310, 319, 332, 705, and 721 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Sections 154, 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 310, 319, 332, 705, and 721 unless otherwise noted.

    6. Section 25.105 is revised to read as follows:
    § 25.105 Citizenship.

    The rules that establish the requirements and conditions for obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in common carrier licensees that would exceed the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Communications Act (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(3)) and/or the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4)) are set forth in §§ 1.5000 through 1.5004 of this chapter.

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 7. The authority citation for part 73 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 309, 310, 334, 336, and 339.

    8. Section 73.1010 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(9) and adding paragraph (a)(10) to read as follows:
    § 73.1010 Cross reference to rules in other parts.

    (a) * * *

    (9) Subpart T, “Foreign Ownership of Broadcast, Common Carrier, Aeronautical En Route, and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees”. (§§ 1.5000 to 1.5004).

    (10) Part 1, Subpart W of this chapter, “FCC Registration Number”. (§§ 1.8001-1.8005).

    PART 74—EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES 9. The authority citation for part 74 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 310, 336 and 554.

    10. Section 74.5 is amend by revising paragraph (a)(8) and adding paragraph (a)(9) to read as follows:
    § 74.5 Cross reference to rules in other parts.

    (a) * * *

    (8) Subpart T, “Foreign Ownership of Broadcast, Common Carrier, Aeronautical En Route, and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees”. (§§ 1.5000 to 1.5004).

    (9) Part 1, Subpart W of the chapter, “FCC Registration Number”. (§§ 1.8001-1.8005).

    [FR Doc. 2015-28344 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 215 Friday, November 6, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Walden, Colorado. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mbr/advisorycommittees.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., Mountain Standard Time.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Parks Ranger District Office, 100 Main Street, Walden, Colorado.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aaron Voos, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 307-745-2323 or via email at [email protected].

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Review and recommend projects authorized under Title II of the Act, and

    2. Update RAC members on the progress of previously approved projects.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by November 16, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Dennis Jaeger, RAC Designated Federal Officer, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest Supervisor's Office, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, Wyoming 82070; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 307-745-2467.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Dennis Jaeger, Forest Supervisor, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28317 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the Montana Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 1:00 p.m. (MDT) on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, via teleconference. The purpose of the planning meeting is for the Advisory Committee to continue their discussion and plans to conduct a community forum on Border Town Discrimination against Native Americans. Planning will include identifying specific issues to be addressed, presenters to be invited, and setting of the agenda.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-329-8862; Conference ID: 3946131. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-329-8862, Conference ID: 3946131. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Thursday, December 17, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=259 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda: Welcome and Introductions Norma Bixby, Chair Discussion of Specific Issues to Consider, Presenters and Setting the Briefing Agenda Montana State Advisory Committee Administrative Matters Malee V. Craft, Regional Director and Designated Federal Official (DFO) DATES:

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. (MDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference:

    Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-329-8862, Conference ID: 3946131.

    TDD: Dial Federal Relay Service 1-800-977-8339 and give the operator the above conference call number and conference ID.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malee V. Craft, Regional Director, [email protected], 303-866-1040.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28296 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Meeting AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) and Friday, December 4, 2015, 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET. During this time, members will continue to work on various Council initiatives which include: innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce talent.

    DATES:

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET Friday, December 4, 2015 Time: 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET ADDRESSES:

    Google, Inc., 25 Massachusetts Ave NW., #900, Washington, DC 20001.

    Teleconference: December 3-4, 2015 Dial-In: 1-800-369-1986 Passcode: 3758910
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council was chartered on November 10, 2009 to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters related to innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States. NACIE's overarching focus is recommending transformational policies to the Secretary that will help U.S. communities, businesses, and the workforce become more globally competitive. The Council operates as an independent entity within the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), which is housed within the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration. NACIE members are a diverse and dynamic group of successful entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors, as well as leaders from nonprofit organizations and academia.

    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Council's planned work initiatives in three focus areas: Workforce/talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The final agenda will be posted on the NACIE Web site at http://www.eda.gov/oie/nacie/ prior to the meeting. Any member of the public may submit pertinent questions and comments concerning the Council's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the contact information below. Those unable to attend the meetings in person but wishing to listen to the proceedings can do so through a conference call line: 1-800-369-1986, passcode: 3758910 for both meeting days on December 3rd and December 4th. Copies of the meeting minutes will be available by request within 90 days of the meeting date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Lenzer, Director, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Room 78018, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; email: [email protected]; telephone: 202-482-8001; fax: 202-273-4781. Please reference “NACIE December 3rd-4th Meeting” in the subject line of your correspondence.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Julie Lenzer, Director, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28320 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to Section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List of Petitions Received by EDA For Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [10/7/2015 through 10/22/2015 (amended)] Firm name Firm address Date accepted for
  • investigation
  • Product(s)
    Bliley Technologies, Inc 2545 West Grandview Boulevard, Erie, PA 16506 10/14/2015 The firm manufactures custom quartz crystals and crystal oscillators. Bonamar Corporation 7990 NW 53rd Street, Suite 336, Doral, FL 33166 10/22/2015 The firm manufactures crabmeat using a process that consists of pasteurizing/cooking and packing the crabmeat. Hastings Irrigation Pipe Co 1801 East South Street, Hastings, ND 68901 10/22/2015 The firm manufactures alumimun pipe. Automation Systems, LLC 2001 N. 17th Avenue, Melrose Park, IL 60160 10/22/2015 The firm manufactures bolt, screw, and washer assembled components for the automotive and commercial markets.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Miriam Kearse, Lead Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28321 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-70-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 39—Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Notification of Proposed Production Activity, KONE, Inc. (Elevator Parts), Allen, Texas

    KONE, Inc. (KONE) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Allen, Texas. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on October 29, 2015.

    The KONE facility is located within Site 21 of FTZ 39. The facility is used for the research, testing and manufacturing of elevator logic control enclosure electrification panels and pick-and-pack elevator part kits. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt KONE from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, KONE would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to elevator logic control enclosure electrification panels and pick-and-pack elevator part kits (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 2.7%) for the foreign status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Adhesives; plastic rods; plastic tubes; plastic bushings; self-adhesive plastic electrical tape; plastic bumper strips in rolls; plastic guides and covers; plastic cover seals; plastic gaskets; plastic insulation; rubber gaskets; rubber pads; rubber isolation parts; paper film displays; paper labels; paper drilling templates; printed product information; galvanized steel sheets; galvanized steel wire; stainless steel sheets; steel profile parts; steel sheet piling; steel tubes; threaded steel elbows; threaded steel fittings; steel pipe fittings; steel chains; steel anchors; steel screws, bolts and nuts; steel spacer studs; steel lock washers; steel washers; steel rivets; steel cotter pins; steel mesh; steel rods; steel brackets; steel cabinets; copper plates; copper screws; copper nuts; copper springs; aluminum spacers; metal cabinet locks; lock parts (latch cam); base metal hinges for metal cabinets; base metal brackets, covers and handles for metal cabinets; base metal conduits and plates; sensors meant for weighing; circuit board parts; gearless motor stub shafts; bushings; roller screws; shaft couplings; clutches; electric motors; electric motor parts; electrical transformers; static converters; power inducers; electrical transformer parts; magnets; electromagnetic braking units; emergency intercoms; adapter modules; intercom/telephone parts; speakers; computerized voice recorders; printed circuit parts; pilot alarms; light indicator panels; pilot lights for printed circuits; resistor assemblies; resistor parts; fuses; automatic circuit breakers; resistor capacitor unit protectors; relay units; circuit breakers; electronic seismic switches; switches; electrical connectors; electrical couplings; main controller CPU with printed circuit boards; electrical boards; box back panels; electronic integrated circuit parts; electrical encoders; electric conductors; LED display counters; and, LED speed-direction indicators (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 12.5%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 16, 2015.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28341 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-851] Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Rescission in Part; 2014/2015 AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: November 6, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain preserved mushrooms from the People's Republic of China (PRC) covering the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015. We preliminarily determine that the only respondent selected for individual examination in this review, Linyi City Kangfa Foodstuff Drinkable Co., Ltd. (Kangfa), is not eligible for a separate rate and, therefore, is considered part of the PRC-wide entity.1 We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Preserved Mushrooms from the People's Republic of China; 2014-2015 from Christian Marsh Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated November 2, 2015 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael J. Heaney, or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4475 or (202) 482-0649, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The products covered by this order are certain preserved mushrooms. The merchandise subject to this order is classifiable under subheadings: 2003.10.0127, 2003.10.0131, 2003.10.0137, 2003.10.0143, 2003.10.0147, 2003.10.0153, and 0711.51.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.2

    2 See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for a complete description of the Scope of the Order.

    Background

    On April 3, 2015, the Department published in the Federal Register, a notice of initiation of the antidumping duty administrative review of mushrooms from the PRC for the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015, with respect to the 63 companies named in the review requests submitted by interested parties.3 On April 29, 2015, the Department released to all interested parties having an administrative protective order (APO) CBP data for entries of the subject merchandise during the POR. We invited interested parties to comment regarding the CBP data and respondent selection. The Department received no comments concerning these CBP data. Moreover, based on our review of the CBP data, the Department determined that only Kangfa had reviewable entries. Accordingly, on June 11, 2015, the Department issued a questionnaire to Kangfa.

    3See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, Request for Revocation in Part, 80 FR 18202, 18207-08 (April 3, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    No Shipments Certifications

    On May 1, 2015, (1) Dezhou Kaihang Agricultural Science Technology Co., Ltd., (Dezhou Kaihang), (2) Fujian Haishan Foods Co., Ltd. (Fujian Haishan), (3) Inter-Foods (Dongshan) Co., Ltd. (Inter-Foods), (4) Shandong Fengyu Edible Fungus Corporation Ltd. (Fengyu), (5) Xiamen International Trade & Industrial Co., Ltd. (XITIC), (6) Zhangzhou Gangchang Canned Foods Co., Ltd. (Gangchang) and (7) Zhangzhou Hongda Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd. (Hongda) submitted no shipment certifications.4 On June 3, 2015, Guangxi Jisheng Foods, Inc. (Guangxi Jisheng) did so as well. On August 20, 2015, the Department sent inquiries to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to confirm the no shipments certifications received from the following companies: (1) The exporter/producer combination of Dezhou Kaihang/Fengyu; (2) the exporter/producer combination of Fujian Haishan/Hongda; (3) XITIC; and (4) Gangchang.5 On October 22, 2015, the Department sent an additional inquiry to CBP regarding the certification provided by Guangxi Jisheng.6 To date, the Department has received no information contrary to the no shipment claims submitted.

    4 The Department assigned separate “combination” rates to 1) Dezhou Kaihang/Fengyu and 2) Fujian Haishan/Hongda as the result of new shipper reviews. See Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review 80 FR 32352, (June 8, 2015) (Dezhou Kaiihang/Fengyu); see also Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Reviews 76 FR 67146, (October 31, 2011) (Fujian Haishan/Hongda).

    5 Inter-Foods currently does not have separate rate status, and did not have separate rate status during the POR. Therefore, the Department did not send an inquiry to CBP with regard to Inter-Foods.

    6 To date, we have received no response from CBP related to any entries for Guangxi Jisheng. We intend to revisit our preliminary determination of no shipments for Guangxi Jisheng should any information provided by CBP warrant such reconsideration.

    Based on the no-shipment certifications and our analysis of the CBP information, we preliminarily determine that Dezhou Kaihang/Fengyu, Fujian Haishan/Hongda, XITIC, Gangchang, and Guangxi Jisheng did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. In addition, for Dezhou Kaihang/Fengyu, Fujian Haishan/Hongda, XITIC, Gangchang, and Guangxi Jisheng, the Department finds that consistent with its refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy (NME) cases, it is appropriate not to rescind the review in part in this circumstance but, rather, to complete the review with respect to these companies and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.7 If the Department continues to determine in the final results of this review that these companies have no reviewable transactions, we intend to instruct CBP to continue to collect cash deposits of estimated antidumping duties at the current rate in effect for those companies.8

    7See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011).

    8 We note that the current rate in effect for the Guangxi Jisheng is the rate applicable to the PRC-wide entity.

    Partial Rescission

    Section 351.213(d)(1) of the Department's regulations provides that the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party that requested the review withdraws its request for review within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The Department published the Initiation Notice on April 3, 2015.9

    9See Initiation Notice at 18207-08.

    On July 2, 2015, Monterey Mushrooms withdrew its request for review of 27 companies, including (1)Fujian Tongfa Foods Group Co., Ltd. (Fujian Tongfa), (2) Mikado Food China Co., Ltd. (Mikado), (3) Xiamen Hua Min Import & Export Co., Ltd., (4) Zhangzhou Tan Co. Ltd., Fujian, China and (5) Zhangzhou Yuxing Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd. No other party has requested a review of any of the five companies indicated above. Because all review requests have been timely withdrawn, we are rescinding this review with respect to these companies. For the remaining 22 companies, there continue to be active review requests; therefore, we are not rescinding the review for those companies.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, please see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    On July 6, 2015, Kangfa withdrew from participation in this review prior to responding to the Department's questionnaire issued on June 10, 2015.10 We therefore determine that Kangfa is ineligible for a separate rate and is part of the PRC-wide entity.11

    10See July 6, 2015 letter from Kangfa to Secretary of Commerce: Re: Certain Preserved Mushrooms from China Withdrawal from Administrative Review (Kangfa Withdrawal Letter).

    11See Preliminary Decision Memorandum; Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 18203 (providing that mandatory respondents will not be eligible for separate rate status “unless they respond to all parts of the questionnaire as mandatory respondents.”).

    Additionally, the Department preliminarily determines that the remaining 51 companies did not demonstrate their eligibility for separate rate status in this review because they have not filed either separate rate applications or separate rate certifications.12 As a result, the Department is preliminarily treating these 51 companies as part of the PRC-wide entity.

    12 These 51 exporters are 1) Agrogentra & Co., Ltd., 2) Ayecue (Liaocheng) Foodstuff Co., Ltd, 3) Blue Field (Sichuan) Food Industrial Co., Ltd., 4) Casia Global Logistics Co., Ltd., 5) Changzhou Chen Rong- Da Carpet Co., Ltd., 6) China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corp., 7) China Processed Food Import & Export Co., 8) DHL ISC (Hong Kong) Limited, 9) Dujiangyan Xingda Foodstuff Co., Ltd., 10) Fujian Blue Lake Foods Co., Ltd., 11) Fujian Golden Banyan Foodstuffs Industrial Co., Ltd., 12) Fujian Pinghe Baofeng Canned Foods, 13) Fujian Yuxing Fruits and Vegetables Foodstuffs Development Co., Ltd., 14) Fujian Zishan Group Co., Ltd., 15) Guangxi Eastwing Trading Co., Ltd., 16) Guangxi Hengyang Industrial & Commercial Dev., Ltd., 17) Guangxi Hengyong Industrial & Commercial Dev. Ltd., 18) Inter-Foods (Dongshan) Co., Ltd., 19) Jiangxi Cereal Oils Foodstuffs, 20) Joy Foods (Zhangzhou) Co., Ltd., 21) Kangfa, 22) Longhai Guangfa Food Co., Ltd., 23) Primera Harvest (Xiangfan) Co., Ltd., 24) Shandong Jiufa Edible Fungus Corporation, Ltd., 25) Shandong Xinfa Agricultural Science Corporation Ltd., 26) Shandong Yinfeng Rare Fungus Corporation, Ltd., 27) Shenzhen Syntrans International Logistics Co., Ltd., 28) Sun Wave Trading Co., Ltd., 29) Sunrise Food Industry & Commerce, 30) Shouguang Sunrise Industry & Commerce Co., Ltd., 31) Thuy Duong Transport And Trading Service JSC, 32) Tianjin Fulida Supply Co., Ltd., 33) Xiamen Aukking Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd., 34) Xiamen Carre Food Co., Ltd., 35) Xiamen Choice Harvest Imp., 36) Xiamen Greenland Import & Export Co., Ltd., 37) Xiamen Gulong Import & Export Co., Ltd., 38) Xiamen Huamin Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd., 39) Xiamen Jiahua Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd., 40) Xiamen Longhuai Import & Export Co., Ltd., 41) Xiamen Longhuai Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd., 42) Xiamen Longstar Lighting Co., Ltd., 43) Xiamen Sungiven Import & Export Co., Ltd., 44) Zhangzhou Golden Banyan Foodstuffs Industrial Co., Ltd., 45) Zhangzhou Long Mountain Foods Co., Ltd., 46) Zhangzhou Longhai Minhui Industry & Trade Co., Ltd., 47) Zhangzhou Tan Co., Ltd., 48) Zhangzhou Tongfa Foods Industry Co., Ltd., 49) Zhangzhou Yuxing Imp. & Exp. Trading Co., Ltd., 50) Zhejiang Iceman Food Co., Ltd., and 51) Zhejiang Iceman Group Co., Ltd.

    The Department's change in policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.13 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the PRC-wide entity is not under review and therefore its rate is not subject to change. The rate previously established for the PRC-wide entity in this proceeding is 308.33 percent.14

    13See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013).

    14See Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014; and Partial Rescission of Review, 80 FR 32355, 32357 (June 8, 2015).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Normally, the Department discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of the notice of preliminary results in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because the Department has preliminarily determined that Kangfa is ineligible for a separate rate, there are no calculations to disclose. Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of the preliminary results.15 Rebuttals to case briefs may be filed no later than five days after the deadline for filing case briefs and all rebuttal comments must be limited to comments raised in the case briefs.16 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.17 Case and rebuttal briefs must be filed electronically via ACCESS.18

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    16See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    17See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    18See 19 CFR 351.303(b).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.19 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues parties intend to present at the hearing. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Prior to the date of the hearing, the Department will contact all parties that submitted case or rebuttal briefs to determine if they wish to participate in the hearing. The Department will then distribute a hearing schedule to the parties prior to the hearing and only those parties listed on the schedule may present issues raised in their briefs.

    19See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Unless extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any briefs, within 120 days after the publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(1).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of the review, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.20 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of review. We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate relevant entries from the PRC-wide entity (including Kangfa) at the current rate for the PRC-wide entity (i.e., 308.33 percent). For the companies identified above that were found to have made no shipments during the POR, we intend to instruct CBP to liquidate any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) at the PRC-wide rate.21

    20See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    21See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements, when imposed, will apply to all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For any previously reviewed or investigated PRC and non-PRC exporter not listed above that received a separate rate in a previous segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (2) for all PRC exporters that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity (i.e., 308.33 percent); and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied the non-PRC exporter. These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Respondent Selection 4. Scope of the Order 5. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments 6. Partial Rescission 7. Non-Market Economy Country Status 8. Separate Rates Determination 9. Companies That Did Not Establish Their Eligibility for a Separate Rate 10. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-28340 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-475-833] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Italy: Preliminary Affirmative Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (“corrosion-resistant steel”) from Italy. The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bob Palmer, Irene Gorelik, and Katie Marksberry, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone 202.482.9068, 202.482.6905, and 202.482.7906, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are corrosion-resistant steel products from Italy. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memo.1 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memo is a public document and is on file electronically in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building, as well as electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the CRU. In addition, parties can directly access a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memo on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memo and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memo are identical in content.

    1See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Italy: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination,” dated concurrently with this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memo”).

    Adverse Facts Available

    Section 776(a) of the Act provides that, subject to section 782(d) of the Act, the Department shall apply “facts otherwise available” if: (1) Necessary information is not on the record; or (2) an interested party or any other person (A) withholds information that has been requested, (B) fails to provide information within the deadlines established, or in the form and manner requested by the Department, subject to subsections (c)(1) and (e) of section 782 of the Act, (C) significantly impedes a proceeding, or (D) provides information that cannot be verified as provided by section 782(i) of the Act. Furthermore, section 776(b) of the Act provides that the Department may use an adverse inference in applying the facts otherwise available when a party fails to cooperate by not acting to the best of its ability to comply with a request for information.

    In this case, the Department twice requested information with respect to the Industrial Development Grants Under Law 488/92, Technological Innovation Grants and Loans Under Law 46/82, and Certain Social Security Reductions and Exemptions (“Sgravi” Benefits) from the Government of Italy. The Government of Italy withheld necessary information with respect to each of these programs, failed to provide information in the form and manner requested, and did not provide requested information by the deadlines for submission of the information, as explained in more detail in the Preliminary Decision Memo. Furthermore, the Department has concluded that the Government of Italy did not cooperate to the best of its ability in providing the requested information. Accordingly, pursuant to sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act, we have preliminarily determined that for each of these programs, the application of adverse facts available is warranted. For the Industrial Development Grants Under Law 488/92 and Technological Innovation Grants and Loans Under Law 46/82 programs, we have preliminarily determined as adverse facts available that these programs are de facto specific, in accordance with section 771(5A)(D)(iii) of the Act. For the Sgravi Benefits, we have preliminarily determined that the reduced tax revenue due to the Government of Italy under these provisions constitute financial contributions within the meaning of section 771(5)(D)(ii) of the Act as revenue forgone. We have also preliminarily determined that revenue forgone under these provisions is either de facto specific, in accordance with section 771(5A)(D)(ii) of the Act, or regionally specific, in accordance with section 771(5A)(D)(iv) of the Act.

    In addition, one company selected as a mandatory respondent, Ilva S.p.A., did not respond to the Department's questionnaires or participate in the investigation. Accordingly, as adverse facts available, pursuant to sections 776(a) and (b), we have preliminarily determined that Ilva benefitted from certain countervailable programs during the POI and calculated a rate for Ilva based on those programs. For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memo.

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated an individual rate for each producer/exporter of the subject merchandise individually investigated. We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate (percent) Acciaieria Arvedi S.p.A., Finarvedi S.p.A., Arvedi Tubi Acciaio S.p.A., Euro-Trade S.p.A., and Siderurgica Triestina Srl., collectively, the Arvedi Group 0.38 (de minimis). Marcegaglia S.p.A. and Marfin S.p.A., the Marcegaglia Group 0.04 (de minimis). Ilva S.p.A. 38.41. All Others 13.06.

    In accordance with section 703(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of corrosion-resistant from Italy as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, except for the Arvedi Group and the Marcegaglia Group, as described below. Section 703(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. On October 29, 2015, we preliminarily found that critical circumstances exist for imports produced or exported by Ilva S.p.A.2 For Ilva S.p.A., in accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, suspension of liquidation of corrosion-resistant steel from Italy, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice, the date suspension of liquidation is first ordered. Because we preliminarily found critical circumstances do not exist for all other producers and exporters, we will begin suspension of liquidation for such firms on the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the amounts indicated above. Further, because we reached a negative preliminary countervailing duty determination for the Arvedi Group and the Marcegaglia Group, we will not instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of entries for these companies.

    2See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 80 FR _____ (November ___, 2015) (signed October 29, 2015).

    In accordance with sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as mandatory respondents by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States. Under section 705(c)(5)(i) of the Act, the all-others rate excludes zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated as well as rates based entirely on facts otherwise available. Where the rates for the individually investigated companies are all zero or de minimis, or determined entirely using facts otherwise available, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs the Department to establish an all-others rate using “any reasonable method.” Where the countervailable subsidy rates for all of the individually investigated respondents are zero or de minimis or are based on AFA, the Department's practice, pursuant to 705(c)(5)(A)(ii), is to calculate the all others rate based on a simple average of the zero or de minimis margins and the margins based on AFA. Notwithstanding the language of section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, we have not calculated the “all-others” rate by weight averaging the rates of the two individually investigated respondents plus the margin based on AFA, because Ilva failed to report volume data that would enable the Department to determine the all-others rate based on a weighted-average. Therefore, and consistent with the Department's practice, for the “all-others” rate, we calculated a simple average of the two responding firms' rates and the AFA rate for the non-responsive company.3

    3See, e.g., Countervailing Duty Investigation of Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Determination, 79 FR 10097 (February 24, 2014); see also, Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From Taiwan: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 79 FR 61602 (October 14, 2014) and accompanying IDM at VIII. Calculation of the All Others Rate.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.4 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs,5 and request a hearing.6 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    4See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d).

    6See 19 CFR 351.510.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memo I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Injury Test VII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences VIII. Subsidies Valuation IX. Benchmarks and Discount Rates X. Analysis of Programs XI. Calculation of All Others Rate XII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIII. Conclusion Appendix II

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. If steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28452 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-580-879] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (corrosion-resistant steel) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Myrna Lobo, or Jun Jack Zhao, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2371, and (202) 482-1396, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are corrosion-resistant steel products from Korea. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    1See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination: Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the Republic of Korea,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated a CVD rate for each individually investigated producer/exporter of the subject merchandise. For the programs found to be countervailable, we determined that there is a financial contribution and benefit, and that the resulting subsidy is specific, within the meaning of sections 771(5) and 771(5A) of the Act. Sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act state that for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an all-others rate, which is normally calculated by weight averaging the subsidy rates of the companies selected for individual investigation by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States. However, under section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the all-others rate may not include zero and de minimis rates or any rates based entirely on facts otherwise available. In this investigation, the only rate that is not de minimis or based entirely on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd./Dongbu Incheon Steel Co., Ltd. (Dongbu). Consequently, the rate calculated for Dongbu is also assigned as the “all-others” rate. We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate Union Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd./
  • Dongkuk Steel Mill Co., Ltd
  • 0.69 percent (de minimis).
    Dongbu Steel Co., Ltd./Dongbu Incheon Steel Co., Ltd 1.37 percent. All-Others 1.37 percent.

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of corrosion-resistant steel from Korea as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the rates indicated above for companies other than Union/Dongkuk. Section 703(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. On October 29, 2015, we preliminarily found that critical circumstances exist for imports produced or exported by the “all-others” companies. Accordingly, for the “all-others” category, in accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, suspension of liquidation of corrosion-resistant steel from Korea, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice, the date suspension of liquidation is first ordered. Because we find critical circumstances do not exist for Dongbu/Dongbu Incheon, we will begin suspension of liquidation for such firms on the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Further, because we reached a preliminary negative determination for Union/Dongkuk, we will not instruct CBP to suspend liquidation of entries for this company.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.2 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.3 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    3See 19 CFR 351.309(c)-(d), 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Injury Test VII. Subsidies Valuation VIII. Benchmarks and Discount Rates IX. Analysis of Programs X. Disclosure and Public Comment XI. Conclusion Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28454 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-027] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (corrosion-resistant steel) from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective date: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Halle, David Lindgren, or Spencer Toubia, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-0176, (202) 482-3870, or (202) 482-0123, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are corrosion-resistant steel products from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.1 For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    1See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    2See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    The Department notes that, in making these findings, we relied, in part, on facts available and, because we find that one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.3 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    3See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated an individual estimated countervailable subsidy rate for YPC.4 Additionally, in accordance with sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weight averaging the subsidy rates of the companies selected for individual investigation by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States. However, under section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the all-others rate excludes zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated as well as rates based entirely on facts otherwise available. Therefore, we have excluded the rates based entirely on facts otherwise available assigned to Angang Group Hong Kong Company Ltd. (Angang), Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. (Baoshan), Duferco S.A. (Duferco), Changshu Everbright Material Technology (Everbright), and Handan Iron & Steel Group (Handan) from the all-others rate. Because the only individually calculated rate that is not zero, de minimis, or based on facts otherwise available is the rate calculated for YPC, in accordance with section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the rate calculated for YPC is preliminarily assigned as the “all-others” rate. The preliminary estimated countervailable subsidy rates are summarized in the table below.

    4 The cooperating, individually-investigated exporter/producer is Yieh Phui (China) Technomaterial Co., Ltd. (YPC).

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Yieh Phui (China) Technomaterial Co., Ltd 26.26 Angang Group Hong Kong Company Ltd 235.66 Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd 235.66 Duferco S.A., Hebei Iron & Steel Group, and Tangshan Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd 235.66 Changshu Everbright Material Technology 235.66 Handan Iron & Steel Group 235.66 All-Others 26.26

    In accordance with section 703(d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the rests indicated above. Section 703(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. On October 29, 2015, we preliminarily found that critical circumstances exist for imports produced or exported by Angang, Baoshan, Duferco, Everbright, and Handan.5 Accordingly, for these companies, in accordance with section 703(e)(2)(A) of the Act, suspension of liquidation of corrosion-resistant steel from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation,” shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice, the date suspension of liquidation is first ordered. Because we find critical circumstances do not exist for YPC and for all-other producers and exporters, we will begin suspension of liquidation for such firms on the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    5See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances,” (signed October 29, 2015).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.6 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.7 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    6See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)-(d), 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Injury Test VII. Application of the CVD Law to Imports from the PRC VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences IX. Subsidies Valuation X. Benchmarks and Discount Rates XI. Analysis of Programs XII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIII. Conclusion Appendix II—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28453 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-274-806] Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) determines that melamine from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (“Trinidad and Tobago”) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The final weighted-average dumping margins for the investigation of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago are listed in the “Final Determination” section, infra.

    DATES:

    Effective: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurel LaCivita, 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; telephone: (202) 482-4243.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 17, 2015, the Department published its Preliminary Determination. 1 We invited interested parties to comment on our Preliminary Determination of sales at LTFV. For a discussion of the events that occurred in this investigation subsequent to the Preliminary Determination, including parties' case and rebuttal briefs, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.2

    1Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 80 FR 34621 (June 17, 2015) (“Preliminary Determination”).

    2See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago,” dated concurrently with this notice (“Issues and Decision Memorandum”).

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation (“POI”) is October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014. This period corresponds to the four most recent fiscal quarters prior to the month of the filing of the petition, which was November 2014.3

    3See 19 CFR 351.204(b)(1).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).4 The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive. For a complete description of the merchandise subject to this investigation, see Appendix I.

    4 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i) of the Act, from June 13, 2015, to July 15, 2015, we conducted verifications of the sales and cost information submitted by Southern Chemical Corporation, Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (“MHTL”) and Helm Italia S.R.L.5 We used standard verification procedures, including an examination of relevant accounting and production records and original source documents provided by respondents.6

    5See Memorandum to the File, “Verification of the Cost Response of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago,” dated July 31, 2015. See also Memorandum to the File, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago: Constructed Export Price, Home Market, and Third-Country Sales Verifications of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited, Southern Chemical Corporation and Helm Italia S.R.L.,” dated September 10, 2015.

    6Id.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    We addressed all issues raised by parties in case and rebuttal briefs in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.7 Appendix II to this notice includes a list of the issues which the parties raised and to which the Department responded in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum is available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed and electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    7See Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    Changes Since the Amended Preliminary Determination

    Based on the Department's analysis of the comments received and our findings at verification, we made certain changes to MHTL's margin calculations. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    All-Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated all-others rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted-average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. In this investigation, we calculated a weighted-average dumping margins for MHTL, the sole mandatory respondent, that was above de minimis and not based on section 776 of the Act. Accordingly, we have assigned MHTL's individually calculated margin as the all-others rate for this investigation.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the estimated final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Producer and/or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • MHTL 172.53 All Others 172.53
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose to parties the calculations performed in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” section, which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after June 17, 2015, the date of publication in the Federal Register of the affirmative Preliminary Determination.

    Further, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price as follows: (1) For the mandatory respondent listed above, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the dumping margin which the Department determined in this final determination adjusted, as appropriate, for export subsidies found in the final determination of the companion countervailing duty investigation; 8 (2) if the exporter is not a mandatory respondent identified in this investigation, but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the producer of the subject merchandise; and (3) the cash deposit rates for all other producers or exporters will be 172.53 percent. The suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    8 In this case, although the product under investigation is also subject to a countervailing duty investigation, the Department found no countervailing duty determined to constitute an export subsidy. Therefore, we did not offset the cash deposit rates shown above for purposes of this determination.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we notified the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of the final affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. As the Department's final determination is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will determine, within 45 days, whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago. If the ITC determines that such injury does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

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

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).9 Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of this investigation irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this investigation. Melamine that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    9 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Appendix II—Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Changes Since the Preliminary Determination V. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Depreciation Expense of Urea Plant Comment 2: Natural Gas Curtailments Comment 3: G&A Expenses Comment 4: CV Profit Comment 5: Treatment of Certain Commission Expenses Comment 6: Omission of Certain Expenses from ISE in the United States Comment 7: Treatment of CV Selling Expenses VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-28350 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-021] Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of melamine from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”). For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Suspension of Liquidation” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Medley, 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; telephone 202-482-4987.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The petitioner to this investigation is Cornerstone Chemical Company (“Petitioner”). The Department selected five mandatory respondents; Far-Reaching Chemical Co., Ltd. (“Far-Reaching Chemical”), Zhongyuan Dahua Group Co., Ltd. (“Zhongyuan Dahua”), Qingdao Unichem International Trade Co., Ltd. (“Qingdao Unichem”), M and A Chemicals Corp China (“M&A Chemicals”), and Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (“Shandong Liaherd”). All five mandatory respondents and the Government of the PRC refused to participate in this investigation.

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation for which we are measuring subsidies is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

    Case History

    The Department published its Preliminary Determination on April 20, 2015.1 In it, the Department applied an adverse inference to find that the programs on which the Department initiated this investigation and the programs which the Department subsequently included in this investigation pursuant to allegations made by Petitioner,2 are countervailable. Further, the Department applied an adverse inference in its calculation of the ad valorem estimated countervailable subsidy rate for Far-Reaching Chemical, Zhongyuan Dahua, Qingdao Unichem, M&A Chemicals, and Shandong Liaherd. The Department invited, but did not receive, interested party comments on the Preliminary Determination. Thus, we have made no changes from the Preliminary Determination with respect to the determination to apply adverse inferences. However, as explained below, we made certain changes to the ad valorem final subsidy rate.

    1See Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 21706 (April 20, 2015) (“Preliminary Determination”), and the accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See the Department's memorandum entitled “Countervailing Duty Investigation on Melamine from the People's Republic of China: January 27, 2015 New Subsidy Allegations,” dated March 25, 2015.

    Also in the Preliminary Determination, pursuant to section 705(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”) and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(4), we aligned the final countervailing duty (“CVD”) determination with the final antidumping duty (“AD”) determination. On July 2, 2015, the Department postponed the final AD determination (and, thus, the instant, aligned, CVD determination) until November 2, 2015.3

    3See Melamine from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 38175 (July 02, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).4 Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of this investigation irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this investigation. Melamine that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    4 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Use of Facts Otherwise Available, Including Adverse Inferences

    For purposes of this final determination, we relied on facts available and applied an adverse inference, in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act, with regard to (1) the existence of a financial contribution, benefit, and specificity for the alleged subsidy programs and (2) the net subsidy rates assigned to Far-Reaching Chemical, Zhongyuan Dahua, Qingdao Unichem, M&A Chemicals, and Shandong Liaherd. A full discussion of our decision to rely on adverse facts available (“AFA”) is presented in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum under the section “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences.” However, for this final determination we are making certain changes to the AFA rates.5 Specifically, we are revising the AFA rates for “Preferential Export Financing from the Export-Import Bank of China” and “Reduced Fee Export Insurance” to reflect the highest calculated CVD rates for these programs.6

    5See Memorandum to the File titled “Melamine from the People's Republic of China: Final Calculations,” dated November 2, 2015.

    6Id. See also Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part, 80 FR 34888 (June 18, 2015), and accompanying issues and decision memorandum (where we calculated a rate of 4.25 percent for the similar program “Export Seller's Credits from the Export Import Bank of China”), unchanged in Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Duty Determination and Antidumping Duty Order; and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 47902 (August 10, 2015).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we have calculated individual rates for Far-Reaching Chemical, Zhongyuan Dahua, Qingdao Unichem, M&A Chemicals, and Shandong Liaherd. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an “all-others” rate equal to the weighted average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act states that if the countervailable subsidy rates for all exporters and producers individually investigated are zero or de minimis rates, or are determined entirely under section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated, including averaging the weighted average countervailable subsidy rates determined for the exporters and producers individually investigated. As described above, all of the mandatory respondents' subsidy rates were calculated entirely under section 776 of the Act. Therefore, we have resorted to “any reasonable method” to derive the “all-others” rate, as described under section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act. We are basing the “all-others” rate on the simple average of the five rates determined for the mandatory respondents, consistent with section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act.7

    7See, e.g., Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, 79 FR 68858 (November 19, 2014).

    We determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Far-Reaching Chemical Co., Ltd 154.00 M and A Chemicals Corp China 154.00 Qingdao Unichem International Trade Co., Ltd 154.00 Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co., Ltd 8 156.90 Zhongyuan Dahua Group Co., Ltd 154.00 All Others 154.58

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination, and pursuant to section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of melamine from the PRC that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after April 20, 2015, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register. In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after August 18, 2015, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from April 20, 2015, through August 17, 2015.

    8See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 7, where we explained that the AFA rate applicable to Shandong Liaherd includes additional grant programs applicable only to Shandong Liaherd based upon information contained in Shandong's Liaherd's financial statements. See also “Initiation Checklist: Melamine from the People's Republic of China” (December 2, 2014).

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act and will require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (“APO”), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

    In the event that the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation that is subject to sanction.

    This determination is published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28351 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-274-807] Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to a producer and exporter of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago. For more information on the estimated subsidy rate, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Johnson or Patricia Tran, Office III, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4793, or (202) 482-1503, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Petitioner in this investigation is Cornerstone Chemical Company. In addition to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the mandatory respondent is Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd. (MHTL). The period of investigation for which we measured subsidies is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

    Case History

    The events that occurred in this investigation since the Department published the Preliminary Determination on April 20, 2015,1 are discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.2 The Final Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Final Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Final Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Final Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Determination, 80 FR 21708 (April 20, 2015) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance regarding “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago,” dated concurrently with this notice (Final Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).3 Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of this investigation irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this investigation. Melamine that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    3 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The Department has conducted this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The subsidy programs under investigation, the changes we made since the Preliminary Determination, the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs filed by interested parties, and a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions are discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum. A list of subsidy programs and the issues that parties raised is attached to this notice as an appendix.

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a subsidy rate for MHTL, the only company subject to individual examination in this investigation. We determine that MHTL's total estimated net countervailable subsidy rate is 6.79 percent ad valorem. 4

    4 We intend to disclose to parties the calculations performed in this proceeding within five days of the public announcement of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that, for companies not individually investigated, we will determine an “all others” rate equal to the weighted-average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable subsidy rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. Where the rates for investigated companies are zero or de minimis, or based entirely on facts otherwise available, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs the Department to establish an “all others” rate using “any reasonable method.” As MHTL is the only company subject to individual examination in this investigation and its rate is not zero, de minimis, or based on facts otherwise available, we have assigned the 6.79 percent ad valorem rate calculated for MHTL as the “all others” rate in this investigation.

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination and pursuant to section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits and suspend liquidation of all entries of subject merchandise from Trinidad and Tobago, which were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after April 20, 2015, the date of the publication of the Preliminary Determination. In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we later issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the collection of cash deposits and suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after August 18, 2015, but to continue the collection of cash deposits and suspension of liquidation of all entries from April 20, 2015, through August 17, 2015.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act and will require a cash deposit of estimated duties for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. However, if the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

    In the event that the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation that is subject to sanction.

    This determination is published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background A. Since Publication of the Preliminary Determination B. Comments 3. Scope of the Investigation 4. Subsidies Valuation A. Period of Investigation B. Allocation Period C. Attribution of Subsidies D. Denominators E. Discount Rates 5. Analysis of Programs A. Programs Determined to Be Countervailable 1. Fiscal Incentives Act: Tax Programs a. Corporate Tax Exemption b. Customs Duties: Import Duties and VAT Exemption 2. Provision of Natural Gas for Less Than Adequate Remuneration (LTAR) B. Program Determined Not to Be Countervailable 1. Provision of Electricity for LTAR C. Program Determined to Not Confer a Subsidy to MHTL 1. Bailout Program D. Programs Determined Not To Be Used 1. Certain Income Taxes under the Fiscal Incentives Order 2. Land and Building Taxes 6. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether MHTL Was Cross-Owned with Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Limited (CLICO) Comment 2: Whether the CLICO Bailout Should Be Attributed to MHTL Comment 3: Whether Any Bailout Subsidies Were Extinguished When CLICO Sold Its Shares in MHTL Comment 4: Whether the Provision of Natural Gas for LTAR Is Countervailable Comment 5: Whether the Import Duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) Exemption Is Countervailable Comment 6: Whether the VAT Benefit Calculation Should Be Revised Comment 7: Whether MHTL's Sales Denominator Should Be Revised 7. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-28349 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-020] Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 18, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) published the preliminary determination of sales at less than fair value (“LTFV”) of melamine from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”).1 The Department requested from interested parties, but did not receive, comments on the Preliminary Determination, which was based entirely on adverse facts available. The Department, thus, determines that melamine from the PRC is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at LTFV, as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is April 1, 2014, though September 30, 2014. The final weighted-average dumping margin of sales at LTFV is listed below in the “Final Determinations” section of this notice.

    1See Melamine from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 34891 (June 18, 2015) (“Preliminary Determination”).

    DATES:

    Effective: November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Terpstra, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3965.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 18, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Determination. 2 In the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that the mandatory respondents did not establish their eligibility for a separate rate and were thus part of the PRC-wide entity. In addition, because the PRC-wide entity failed to cooperate to the best of its ability in complying with our requests for information, we preliminarily determined an estimated weighted-average dumping margin based on adverse facts available for the PRC-wide entity in accordance with section 776 of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308.3 The Department invited all interested parties to provide comment on these findings. No interested party provided comments on our preliminary determination. Therefore, this final determination does not differ from the Preliminary Determination. On July 2, 2015, the Department postponed the final determination until November 2, 2015.4

    2See Preliminary Determination and accompanying Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from the People's Republic of China,” dated June 10, 2015 (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    3Id.

    4See Melamine from the People's Republic of China: Postponement of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 38175 (July 2, 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).5 Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of this investigation irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of these investigations. Melamine that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    5 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Separate Rate

    In the Preliminary Determination, we determined that none of the exporters subject to this investigation demonstrated their eligibility for a separate rate and as such are part of the PRC-wide entity.6 No party commented on this determination. As a result, for this final determination, we are continuing to treat these exporters as part of the PRC-wide entity and subject to the PRC-wide rate.

    6See Preliminary Determination, and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 3-5.

    PRC-Wide Entity

    In the Preliminary Determination, the Department assigned to the PRC-wide entity a rate of 363.31 percent based upon AFA.7 Given that the Department did not receive any comments from interested parties, for this final determination, the Department continues to assign an AFA rate of 363.31 percent to the PRC-wide entity.

    7See Preliminary Determination, 80 FR at 34892.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the estimated final weighted-average dumping margin is as follows:

    Exporter Weighted-average margin
  • (percent)
  • PRC-Wide Entity 8 363.31
    Disclosure

    8 The PRC-wide entity includes the mandatory respondents Allied Chemicals Inc., Xinji Jiuyuan Chemical Co., Ltd., Sichuan Golden Elephant Sincerity Chemical Co., Ltd., and Zhongyuan Dahua Group Inc., which withdrew from the investigation prior to respondent selection. The PRC-wide entity also includes 26 exporters which received a quantity and value questionnaire from the Department but did not respond to the questionnaire. Those companies are: Anhui Jinhe Industrial Co., Ltd., Anhui Sunson Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Chengdu Yulong Chemical Co., Ltd., Fujian Sangang (Group), Hebei Jinglong Fengli Chemical Co., Ltd., Hefei Tianfeng Import & Export Co Ltd. China, Henan Zhongyuan Dahua Group Co., Ltd., JianFeng Chemicals, Jiangsu Heyou Group Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Sanmu Group Corporation, Kaiwei Investment Group, M and A Chemicals, Corp China, Nanjing Deju Trading Co Ltd. China, Nantong Zixin Industrial Co., Ltd., OCI Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. China, Panjin Zhongrun Chemical Co., Ltd., Qingdao Shida Chemical Co., Ltd. China, Shandong Jinmei Mingshui Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Shandong Sanhe Chemical Company Ltd., Shandong Xintai Liaherd Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Yixing Melamine Co., Ltd., Sichuan Chemical Works Group Ltd., Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Well Hope Enterprises Limited, and Zhejiang Fuyang Yongxing Chemical Co., Ltd.

    Normally, the Department discloses to interested parties the calculations performed within five days after the date of publication of the notice of final determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because there are no changes to our Preliminary Determination, and because we continue to apply AFA to the PRC-wide entity, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, there are no final calculations to disclose.

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to continue to suspend liquidation of all imports of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after June 18, 2015, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205 (d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds U.S. price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies,9 as follows: (1) The rate for the exporters listed in the chart above will be the rate we have determined in this final determination; (2) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash-deposit rate will be the PRC-wide rate; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash-deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These suspension-of-liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    9See section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    As stated previously, we will adjust cash deposit rates by the amount of export subsidies, where appropriate. In this LTFV investigation, with regard to PRC-wide entity, export subsidies constitute 9.66 percent 10 of the final calculated countervailing duty rate in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation, and, thus, we will offset the PRC-wide rate of 363.31 percent by the countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies (i.e., 9.66 percent) 11 to calculate the cash deposit rate for this LTFV investigation. We are not adjusting the PRC-wide rate for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through because we have no basis upon which to make such an adjustment.12

    10 The following subsidy programs in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation are export subsidies: Preferential Export Financing from the Export-Import Bank of China (4.25%), Reduced Fee Export Insurance (4.25%), Grants to Cover Legal Fees in Trade Remedy Cases (0.58%), and Cash Grants for Exports (0.58%).

    11See Melamine from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, dated concurrently with this notice.

    12See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section, “Section 777A(f) of the Act.”

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

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our final determination of sales at LTFV. As our final determination is affirmative, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, the ITC will, within 45 days, determine whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded by reason of imports or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation of the subject merchandise. If the ITC determines that material injury, threat of material injury, or material retardation does not exist, the proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury, threat of injury, or retardation does exist, the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order (“APO”)

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

    This determination and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: October 30, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28352 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-583-857] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From Taiwan: Preliminary Negative Countervailing Duty Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are not being provided to producers and exporters of certain corrosion-resistent steel products (corrosion-resistant steel) from Taiwan. The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joy Zhang or Cindy Robinson, Office III, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1168 and (202) 482-3797, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are corrosion-resistent steel products from Taiwan. For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.1 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See Memorandum, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from Taiwan: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Negative Determination,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    New Subsidy Allegations

    On October 1, 2015, the Department initiated an investigation of certain additional and new subsidy programs based on AK Steel's New Subsidy Allegations (NSA) with repect to Prosperity Companies,2 Yieh Phui Companies,3 and the Taiwan Authorities (TA).4 We did not receive questionnaire responses from Prosperity Companies, the Yieh Phui Companies, and TA until October 16, 19, and 20, 2015, respectively.5 The timing of the NSA questionnaire responses submitted by these parties does not give us sufficient time to incorporate them into our preliminary determination. We intend to examine these programs after the preliminary determination time permitting.6

    2 Including the mandatory respondent, Prosperity Tieh Enterprise Co., Ltd. (PT), and PT's following crossed-own affiliates: Hong-Ye Steel Co., Ltd. (HY), Prosperity Did Enterprise Co., Ltd. (PD), and Chan Lin Enterprise Co., Ltd. (CL) (collectively Prosperity Companies). See PT's initial questionnaire responses dated August 7, at 1-3.

    3 Including the mandatory respondent Yieh Phui Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Yieh Phui), and Yieh Phui's following crossed-own affiliates: Yieh Corporation Limited (YCL); Shin Yang Steel Co., Ltd. (Shin Yang); and Synn Industrial Co., Ltd (Synn).

    4See Memorandum to Erin Begnal, “Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel (CORE) Products from Taiwan: Decision Memorandum on New Subsidy Allegations,” dated October 1, 2015 (NSA Decision Memorandum).

    5See Yieh Phui, PT, and TA's NSA questionnaire responses dated October 16, 2015, October 19, 2015, and October 20, 2015, respectively (NSAQR).

    6See Preliminary Decision Memorandum for further details.

    Negative Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    For this preliminary determination, we have calculated a de minimis countervailable subsidy rate for each individually investigated producer/exporter of the subject merchandise. Consistent with section 703(b)(4)(A) of the Act, we are disregarding these rates and preliminarily determine that no countervailable subsides are being provided to producers/exporters of the subject merchandise in Taiwan. Because the rates calculated for the individually investigated companies are de minimis, the all others rate is also de minimis.

    We preliminarily determine the estimated countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate Prosperity Tieh Enterprise Co., Ltd. (PT); Hong-Ye Steel Co., Ltd. (HY); Prosperity Did Enterprise Co., Ltd. (PD); and Chan Lin Enterprise Co., Ltd. (CL) (collectively Prosperity Companies) 0.00 percent ad valorem, de minimis. Yieh Phui Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Yieh Phui); Yieh Corporation Limited (YCL); Shin Yang Steel Co., Ltd. (Shin Yang); and Synn Industrial Co., Ltd (Synn) (collectively Yieh Phui Companies) 0.00 percent ad valorem, de minimis. All Others 0.00 percent ad valorem, de minimis.

    Because we preliminarily determine that the CVD rates in this investigation are de minimis, we will not direct CBP to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise.

    On October 29, 2015, we preliminarily found that, with regard to Taiwan, critical circumstances exist for imports of subject merchandise from “All Other” produers and exporters and did not exist for the mandatory respondents, the Prosperity Companies and the Yieh Phui Companies.7 Thus, based on the Preliminary Critical Circumstances Determination, the retroactive collection of cash deposits would apply with regard to companies subject to the all others rate, contingent upon the Department reaching an affirmative result in the preliminary determination. As indicated in this notice and as further explained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, we have preliminarily determined that countervailable subsidies are not being provided to producers and exporters of corrosion-resistant steel from Taiwan and, thus, we are issuing a preliminary negative countervailing duty determination. Accordingly, we also preliminarily determine that critical circumstances do not exist with regard to imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Taiwan.

    7See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India, Italy, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan: Preliminary Determinations of Critical Circumstances, 80 FR ___ (November ___, 2015) (signed October 29, 2015) (Preliminary Critical Circumstances Determination).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted by the respondents prior to making our final determination.

    U.S. International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination within five days of its public announcement.8 Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.9 For a schedule of the deadlines for filing case briefs, rebuttal briefs, and hearing requests, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)-(d), 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Injury Test VII. Subsidies Valuation VIII. Benchmarks and Interest Rates IX. Analysis of Programs X. Disclosure and Public Comment XI. Conclusion Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosionresistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28455 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-533-864] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From India: Preliminary Affirmative Determination AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (“corrosion-resistant steel”) from India. The period of investigation is January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective November 6, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jerry Huang, Andrew Devine, or Matthew Renkey, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone 202.482.4047, 202.482.0238, and 202.482.2312, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are corrosion-resistant steel products from India. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“Act”). For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memo.1 The Preliminary Decision Memo is a public document and is on file in the Central Records Unit (“CRU”), Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building, as well as electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the CRU. In addition, parties can directly access a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memo on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Preliminary Decision Memo and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memo are identical in content.

    1See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from India: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination,” dated concurrently with this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memo”).

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 703(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, we calculated an individual rate for each producer/exporter of the subject merchandise individually investigated. We preliminarily determine the countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited 2.85. Uttam Galva Steels Limited and Uttam Value Steels Limited 7.71. All Others 5.28.

    In accordance with sections 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation of all entries of corrosion-resistant steel from India that are entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above.

    In accordance with sections 703(d) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not investigated, we apply an “all-others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as respondents by those companies' exports of the subject merchandise to the United States. Under section 705(c)(5)(i) of the Act, the all-others rate should exclude zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated. Where the rates for the investigated companies are all zero or de minimis, section 705(c)(5)(A)(ii) of the Act instructs the Department to establish an all-others rate using “any reasonable method.” We have not calculated the “all-others” rate by weight averaging the rates of the two individually investigated respondents, because doing so risks disclosure of proprietary information. Therefore, and consistent with the Department's practice, for the “all-others” rate, we calculated a simple average of the two responding firms' rates.2

    2See, e.g., Countervailing Duty Investigation of Chlorinated Isocyanurates from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Determination, 79 FR 10097 (February 24, 2014).

    Verification

    As provided in section 782(i)(1) of the Act, we intend to verify the information submitted in response to the Department's questionnaires prior to making our final determination.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose calculations performed for this preliminary determination to the parties within five days of the date of public announcement of this determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.3 A table of contents, list of authorities used and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department. This summary should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.

    3See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.4 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number; the number of participants; and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date, time and location to be determined. Parties will be notified of the date, time and location of any hearing.

    4See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memo I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances VI. Injury Test VII. Subsidies Valuation VIII. Benchmarks and Discount Rates IX. Analysis of Programs X. Calculation of the All Others Rate XI. ITC Notification XII. Disclosure and Public Comment XIII. Verification XIV. Conclusion Appendix II—Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are certain flat-rolled steel products, either clad, plated, or coated with corrosion-resistant metals such as zinc, aluminum, or zinc-, aluminum-, nickel- or iron-based alloys, whether or not corrugated or painted, varnished, laminated, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating. The products covered include coils that have a width of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels and high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels. IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum.

    Furthermore, this scope also includes Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS), both of which are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation:

    • Flat-rolled steel products either plated or coated with tin, lead, chromium, chromium oxides, both tin and lead (“terne plate”), or both chromium and chromium oxides (“tin free steel”), whether or not painted, varnished or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances in addition to the metallic coating;

    • Clad products in straight lengths of 4.7625 mm or more in composite thickness and of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness; and

    • Certain clad stainless flat-rolled products, which are three-layered corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel products less than 4.75 mm in composite thickness that consist of a flat-rolled steel product clad on both sides with stainless steel in a 20%-60%-20% ratio.

    The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7210.30.0030, 7210.30.0060, 7210.41.0000, 7210.49.0030, 7210.49.0091, 7210.49.0095, 7210.61.0000, 7210.69.0000, 7210.70.6030, 7210.70.6060, 7210.70.6090, 7210.90.6000, 7210.90.9000, 7212.20.0000, 7212.30.1030, 7212.30.1090, 7212.30.3000, 7212.30.5000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7212.50.0000, and 7212.60.0000.

    The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7210.90.1000, 7215.90.1000, 7215.90.3000, 7215.90.5000, 7217.20.1500, 7217.30.1530, 7217.30.1560, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.91.0000, 7225.92.0000, 7225.99.0090, 7226.99.0110, 7226.99.0130, 7226.99.0180, 7228.60.6000, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-28447 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request: Socioeconomics of Ocean Guardian Schools—An Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries Educational Program AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dr. Danielle Schwarzmann, 301-713-7254 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for a new information collection to provide benefit throughout the sanctuary system and specifically our sites that work with Ocean Guardian Schools. The National Ocean Service (NOS) proposes to collect information from parents and teachers about the attitudes and preferences and economic value they receive from being involved with an Ocean Guardian school.

    Up-to-date socioeconomic data is needed to support the further development and improvement of Ocean Guardian Schools. These schools receive funding from the NOAA Office of Education and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Schools may apply for funding up to five years. A number of schools have continued their Ocean Guardian School projects after the five years. From 2010-2015, the total funding received by 71 schools was $544,315.

    Although the costs and sources of funding are known, there is limited information known about the economic value participants place on this program and the economic value created by these schools and their many activities. Currently, there is no information available that provides estimates of the value of education programs like Ocean Guardian to parents and teachers. Ocean Guardian Schools receive funding to develop projects to help protect the ocean in the future and promote ocean conservation and stewardship. Projects include recycling, beach clean-up days, installing rain barrels, installing wildlife structures, composting, and energy reduction.

    The types of data targeted for this collection are: Attitudes and preferences towards the projects and student involvement, importance of/satisfaction with the program and attributes of the program, extent of reach (are parents aware of their student's involvement and are they too learning about ocean stewardship), level of teacher, student, parent and administrative involvement, and teachers' and parents' willingness to pay. The primary focus for the survey will be to gather data on parents' and teachers' willingness to pay for this program. Specifically, researchers will collect data to determine the economic value teachers, administrators and parents place on this program. The information collected will help to inform Ocean Guardian Schools about areas for improvement and the value that their programs create for the community.

    II. Method of Collection

    Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms. Methods of submittal include email of electronic forms, and mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-XXXX.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (request for a new information collection).

    Affected Public: State, local and tribal government, business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 60 teachers/other faculty; 900 parents.

    Estimated Time per Response: 45 minutes per survey for teachers/other faculty; 20 minutes per survey for parents.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 342.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28287 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE301 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) Working Group comprised of Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team members. The working group will explore and evaluate options in developing an HAPC designation process for the Western Pacific region.

    DATES:

    The working group will meet on November 23, 2015. For specific times and agendas, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The HAPC working group meeting will be held at the Council office, 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813; telephone: (808) 522-8220. WebEx and teleconference facilities will be provided for the meeting. The teleconference numbers are: U.S. toll-free: 1-888-482-3560 or International Access: +1 647 723-3959, and Access Code: 5228220; The web conference can be accessed at https://wprfmc.webex.com/join/info.wpcouncilnoaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council; telephone: (808) 522-8220.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HAPC working group members will explore different process options for designating Habitat Areas of Particular Concern in the Western Pacific Region. The purpose of this meeting is to evaluate process options to be consolidated into a report to the Council's Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team. A public comment period will be provided. The order in which agenda items are addressed may change. The meetings will run as late as necessary to complete scheduled business.

    Schedule and Agenda for the HAPC Working Group Meeting November 23, 2015—2 p.m.-4 p.m. 1. Introductions 2. HAPC Process Options 3. Evaluation 4. Public Comment 5. Other Business Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808) 522-8220 (voice) or (808) 522-8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28330 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE306 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Applications for three new scientific research permits and two permit renewals.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received five scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, and eulachon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/preview_open_for_comment.cfm.

    DATES:

    Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on the applications should be sent to the Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232-1274. Comments may also be sent via fax to 503-230-5441 or by email to [email protected] (include the permit number in the subject line of the fax or email).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rob Clapp, Portland, OR (ph.: 503-231-2314), Fax: 503-230-5441, email: [email protected]). Permit application instructions are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Species Covered in This Notice

    The following listed species are covered in this notice:

    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Lower Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS).

    Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened LCR; threatened PS.

    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Columbia River (CR).

    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR.

    Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened Southern (S) distinct population segment.

    Authority

    Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR parts 222-226). NMFS issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits.

    Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS.

    Applications Received Permit 15582-2R

    The City of Bothell, Washington is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead. The purpose of the study is to develop a baseline and trend analysis to inform management decisions that could affect or be affected by stream water quality. These surveys would entail collecting macroinvertebrate samples and surveying streams for fish. The project would benefit listed salmonids by determining fish diversity in the monitored streams and generating information to help guide management decisions that would help remedy stream degradation. The researchers propose to capture fish using backpack electrofishing equipment and dip nets. The captured fish would be transferred to buckets via dip nets, anesthetized, identified by species, enumerated, measured, and released when recovered. The researchers do not propose to kill any listed fish, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities.

    Permit 15611-2R

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take adult LCR Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon while operating a fish collection facility on the North Fork Toutle River in Washington State. The fish collection facility is located at river mile 47.5, approximately 1.3 miles downstream from the Mount St. Helens sediment-retention structure. The purpose of the project is to trap and haul salmon and steelhead around the sediment retention structure. The WDFW would also collect scientific information and tag a portion of the fish to monitor migration patterns and spawning success. The primary benefit of the activities would be to allow listed salmon and steelhead to spawn in historically accessible habitat upstream of the sediment retention structure. The work would also benefit the fish by generating information on the species migration and spawning timing and location. The WDFW proposes to operate the trap several days a week during the species' upstream migration. Captured fish would be transported in a tanker truck and released upstream of the sediment retention structure. The WDFW does not intend to kill any fish being captured but some may die as an unintentional result of the activities.

    Permit 18908

    The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) has requested a five-year permit to annually take juvenile PS Chinook and PS steelhead in the Skagit River watershed. The purpose of the study is to help SFEG identify sites in need of restoration and target enhancement efforts. The project would benefit listed salmonids by helping guide projects designed to provide restored and high-quality rearing habitat. The SFEG proposes to capture fish using a beach seine and dip net. Fish captured in the seine (and kept in the water) would be removed using a small dip-net, quickly identified by species, and then immediately released into the water outside of the seine. The researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities.

    Permit 19559

    The AMEC Foster Wheel (AMECFW) is seeking a three-year research permit to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in the northern Puget Sound. The AMECFW research may also take adult S eulachon, for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The researchers propose to use hydroacoustics to map herring school size and distribution from Point Whitehorn to Sandy Point (Whatcom County; WA). They would then use lampara seine/dip net surveys to confirm the species distribution and abundance information generated by the hydroacoustic surveys. The researchers may encounter a small number of listed salmonids and eulachon as bycatch in the netting/seining operations, but those animals would be released immediately without further handling or sampling. The researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities.

    Permit 19738

    The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is seeking a five-year research permit to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in streams of northwest Puget Sound. The purpose of the study is to correctly type streams to ensure that riparian habitat buffers and fish passage structures adequately support or improve conditions for aquatic species, including listed salmonids. The WDNR proposes to capture fish using backpack electrofishing equipment. The captured fish would be counted, identified, measured and released. The researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed salmonids being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities.

    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal Register.

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28333 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE303 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Scientific & Statistical Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Monday, November 23, 2015, beginning at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Boston Logan, 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02128; phone: (617) 567-6789.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Committee will receive an update on the Council's groundfish catch advice project. There will be discussion of the Groundfish performance report as well as an update on progress of the Risk Policy Workgroup—receive a presentation on the draft road map for implementing a risk policy. They will also develop comments for Council consideration on proposed NOAA Fisheries EBFM policy. They will receive an update on Council activities related to EBFM. There will be a discussion on improving control rules for making acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendations. They will discuss SSC organizational issues. They will consider other business as needed.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28331 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE305 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (Council) River Herring and Shad (RH/S) Committee will hold a public meeting to review recent developments in RH/S conservation and to consider potential RH/S activities for 2016.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, November 23, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar. Webinar connection details will be available at: http://www.mafmc.org.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council's River Herring and Shad Committee will meet Monday, November 23, 2015 at 1 p.m. to review recent developments in RH/S conservation and consider potential RH/S activities for 2016. Specific topics may include, but would not be limited to: The NMFS River Herring Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG), voluntary RH/S bycatch reduction programs, RH/S catch data, lawsuits, river herring genetics studies, and studies on environmental drivers of river herring distribution. The Committee will also consider what 2016 actions may be appropriate to recommend to the Council, including the planned revisit of the RH/S Stock in the Fishery question, as well as whether new information suggests a revisit of potential time/area hotspot closures may be appropriate. Contact Jason Didden at (302) 526-5254 if you have questions about using a webinar to participate in a meeting.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28332 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective: December 6,2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions

    On 6/12/2015 (80 FR 33485-33489), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are added to the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 5130-00-NIB-0075—3/8 Drive Shallow Standard, SAE 6 Point Fasteners, 12 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0076—3/8 Drive Deep Standard, SAE 6 Point Fasteners, 12 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0077—1/2 Drive Shallow Standard, SAE 6 Point Fasteners, 11 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0078—1/2 Drive Deep Standard, SAE 6 Point Fasteners, 13 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0079—3/8 Drive Shallow Metric, 6 Point Fasteners, 14 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0080—3/8 Drive Deep Metric, 6 Point Fasteners, 14 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0081—1/2 Drive Shallow Metric, 6 Point Fasteners, 15 Pieces 5130-00-NIB-0082—1/2 Drive Deep Metric, 6 Point Fasteners, 15 Pieces Mandatory Purchase For: Broad Government Requirement Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Wiscraft, Inc., Milwaukee, WI Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Kansas City, MO Distribution: B-List NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 4240-00-NIB-0237—5' Illuminating Grip Wrap 4240-00-NIB-0238—10' Illuminating Grip Wrap 4240-00-NIB-0239—SCBA ID Tags 4240-00-NIB-0240—One-Sided Exit Sign, Silver Frame, Post Mount 4240-00-NIB-0241—Two-Sided Exit Sign, Silver Frame, Post Mount 4240-00-NIB-0242—One-Sided Exit Sign, Silver Frame, Wall Mount 4240-00-NIB-0243—One-Sided Exit Sign, No Frame, No Mount 4240-00-NIB-0244—25' Illuminating Tape 4240-00-NIB-0245—50' Illuminating Tape 4240-00-NIB-0246—25' Illuminating Tape with Arrows 4240-00-NIB-0247—50' Illuminating Tape with Arrows 4240-00-NIB-0248—Illuminating Helmet Band Mandatory Purchase For: 100% of the requirements of the Department of Defense Mandatory Source of Supply: Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Cincinnati, OH Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA Distribution: C-List Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28326 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Addition and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed addition to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add a service to the Procurement List that will be provided by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments Must Be Received On Or Before: 12/6/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information or to submit comments contact: Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503 (a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Addition

    If the Committee approves the proposed addition, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the service listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following service is proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Service Service Type: Help Desk Support Service. Mandatory for: U.S. Army, Army Training Support Center, Combined Arms Center for Training, 3306 Wilson Avenue, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA. Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: ServiceSource, Inc., Alexandria, VA. Orion Career Works, Auburn, WA. Contracting Activity: W6QM MICC-FDO, Ft Eustis, VA. Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7510-01-429-6946—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 6-hole. 7510-01-429-7418—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7510-01-429-7414—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Black. 7510-01-429-7413—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Black. 7510-01-429-7034—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Sections, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7035—DAYMAX System, Itinerary Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7038—DAYMAX System, `Things to Do' Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7040—DAYMAX System, Account Ledger Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7041—DAYMAX System, Assignment List Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7046—DAYMAX System, Account Ledger Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7050—DAYMAX System, Task Plan Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7051—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7052—DAYMAX System, DIA`Log' Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7053—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7059—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7063—DAYMAX System, Priority Tabs, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7065—DAYMAX System, Agenda Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7066—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7068—DAYMAX System, Project Coordinator Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7069—DAYMAX System, Daily Coordinator Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7072—DAYMAX System, Project Coordinator Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7074—DAYMAX System, Agenda Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7076—DAYMAX System, Itinerary Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7081—DAYMAX System, Journal Refill, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7412—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7510-01-429-7415—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Black. 7510-01-429-7416—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Navy. 7510-01-429-7417—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Navy. 7510-01-429-7472—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Burgundy. 7510-01-429-7474—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Navy. 7510-01-429-7475—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, DOD Logo, 3-hole, Zipper Closure, Burgundy. 7510-01-429-7477—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, 7-hole, Zipper Closure, Woodland Camouflage. 7510-01-429-7835—DAYMAX System, Vinyl Zipper Pouch, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7838—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 6-hole. 7510-01-429-7841—DAYMAX System, `Things to Do' Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-9609—DAYMAX System, Journal Refill, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7843—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-9985—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-9986—DAYMAX System, Ruler/Pagemark, 3-hole. 7510-01-463-0794—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 6-hole. 7510-01-463-0802—Logo, Customized, Silkscreen. 7510-01-485-6563—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 7-hole. 7510-01-485-6564—DAYMAX System, Vinyl Zipper Pouch, 7-hole. 7510-01-485-6565—DAYMAX System, Ruler/Pagemark, 7-hole. 7510-01-485-8334—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 7-hole. 7510-01-463-0796—DAYMAX System, `Things-To-Do' Refill, 6-hole. 7530-01-429-6938—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 3-hole. 7530-01-429-6940—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 7-hole. 7530-01-429-6948—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Graph, 3-hole. 7530-01-429-9505—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Graph, 7-hole. 7510-01-429-7043—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Sections, 7-hole. 7510-01-545-3775—DAYMAX System, 2014, Calendar Pad, Type II. 7510-01-545-3792—DAYMAX System, 2014, Calendar Pad, Type I. 7510-01-588-0116—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, JR, 6-hole. 7510-01-588-0120—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, JR, 6-hole. 7510-01-588-0132—DAYMAX System, 2014, Week at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0137—DAYMAX System, 2015, Week at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7530-01-545-3737—DAYMAX System, 2014, Appointment Refill. 7530-01-545-3743—DAYMAX System, 2015, Appointment Refill. 7530-01-587- 9717—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage. 7530-01-587- 9717L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage w/logo. 7510-01-588-0144—DAYMAX System, 2014, Month at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0149—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0150—DAYMAX System, 2015, Month at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0153—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0161—DAYMAX System, 2014, Day at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0163—DAYMAX System, 2015, Day at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0165—DAYMAX System, 2015, Month at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0167—DAYMAX System, 2015, Day at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0192—DAYMAX System, 2014, Week at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0182—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0184—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0190—DAYMAX System, 2014, Month at a View, GLE, 7-hole. 7510-01-588-0194—DAYMAX System, 2015, Week at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7510-01-588-0200—DAYMAX System, 2014, Day at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole. 7530-01-587-9593—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9593L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9594—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9594L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9597—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9597L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9599—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9599L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9613—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9613L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9615—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9615L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9618—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9618L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9708—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9708L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9621—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9621L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9622—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9622L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9634—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9634L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9643—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9643L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9647—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-587-9647L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9661—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9661L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9678—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9678L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9684—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9684L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9685—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9685L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9687—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9687L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9705—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9705L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9704—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9704L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9706—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9706L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9707—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9707L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9709—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9709L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9711—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black. 7530-01-587-9711L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo. 7530-01-587-9712—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9712L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9719—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy. 7530-01-587-9719L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy w/logo. 7530-01-587-9720—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage. 7530-01-587-9720L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage w/logo. 7530-01-587-9722—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage. 7530-01-587-9722L—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage w/logo. 7530-01-587-9731—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage. 7530-01-587-9731L—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage w/logo. 7530-01-588-0039—DAYMAX System, 2015, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-588-0039L—DAYMAX System, 2015, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-588-0108—DAYMAX System, 2014, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy. 7530-01-588-0108L—DAYMAX System, 2014, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo. 7530-01-588-0128—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage. 7530-01-588-0128L—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage w/logo. 7530-01-588-0122—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Cam. 7530-01-588-0122L—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage w/logo. 7510-01-565-8330—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Burgundy. 7510-01-565-8331—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR Deluxe, Zipper Closure, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage. 7510-01-565-8334—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 6-hole. 7510-01-566-3925—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 6-hole. 7530-00-NSH-0099—DAYMAX System, Polyethylene Black Binder, 6 Ring. 7510-01-565-8332—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR Deluxe, Zipper Closure, 6-hole, Black Denier. 7510-01-565-8333—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, Zipper Closure, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage. 7510-01-565-8335—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Black. 7510-01-565-8336—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Navy. Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA. Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY. Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28325 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Notice of Intent To License Government-Owned Inventions; Intent To License on a Partially-Exclusive Basis AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Army. The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center intends to license these inventions on a partially-exclusive basis to Biodetech LLC, a Maryland corporation with principal offices at 2224 Choate Rd., Fallston, MD 21047. The inventions to be licensed collectively enable the Agents of Biological Origin Identifier (ABOid) system, and are disclosed in U.S. Patent 8,412,464, issued April 2, 2013 and entitled “Methods for detection and identification of cell type” and U.S. Patent 8,224,581, issued July 17, 2012 and entitled “Methods for detection and identification of cell type.”

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for more information and/or objections should be directed to Jonathan Sampson, telephone: 410-436-3771, [email protected], U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), AMSRD-ECB-PI-BP-TT, Bldg. E3330/Rm. 241 5183 Blackhawk Road, APG, MD 21010-5424. Any requests or objections should be made within 15 days of the publication of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Yocum, Office of Research and Technology Applications, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, AMSRD-ECB-PI-BP-TT, Bldg. E3330/Rm. 241 5183 Blackhawk Road, APG, MD 21010-5424, telephone: 410-436-5406, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    None.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28215 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Army Education Advisory Committee Meeting Notice 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 Army Education Advisory Committee. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Army Education Advisory Committee will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 2, 2015 and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Army Education Advisory Committee, Lewis and Clark Center, 100 Stimson Ave., Bell Conference Room, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Wayne Joyner, the Designated Federal Officer for the committee, in writing at ATTN: ATTG-ZC, TRADOC, 950 Jefferson Ave., Fort Eustis, VA 23604, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (757) 501-5810.

    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: The purpose of the meeting is to collect and analyze data dealing with how to blend the best characteristics of civilian and military educational institutions to create a premier learning environment, how the Army manages and assesses talent, and will finalize provisional subcommittee findings and recommendations.

    Proposed Agenda: December 2-3: 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. The committee will review and evaluate information related to Army University, Talent Management, and how socio-cultural considerations can be embedded at all levels and in all domains of Army Leader Development. It will also discuss and deliberate provisional findings and recommendations from its subcommittees.

    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. Joyner, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Because the meeting of the committee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military base, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter base. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. Lewis and Clark Center is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available in front at the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Mr. Joyner, 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 Mr. Joyner, 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. The Designated Federal Official will review all submitted written comments or statements and provide them to members of the committee for their consideration. 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. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the committee until its next meeting. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Committee is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Committee during the 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 business days in advance to the committee's Designated Federal Official, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Designated Federal Official will log each request, in the order received, and in consultation with the committee Chair, 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 minutes during the period, and will be invited to speak in the order in which their requests were received by Designated Federal Official.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28218 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Schofield Generating Station Project, United States Army Garrison, Hawaii AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Army announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed lease of land and granting of easements on Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to Hawaiian Electric Company (Hawaiian Electric) for the construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a 50-megawatt (MW) capacity, biofuel-capable generating station, referred to as the Schofield Generating Station, and associated power poles, high-tension power lines, and related equipment and facilities. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FEIS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of the Schofield Generating Station and associated infrastructure.

    DATES:

    No decision will be made until 30 days after publication of the NOA in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the FEIS may be obtained by contacting: Department of the Army, Directorate of Public Works, United States Army Garrison, Hawaii ATTN: IMHW-PWE (L. Graham), 947 Wright Avenue, Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 96857-5013; or by email to [email protected]

    The FEIS can also be viewed at the following Web site: http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/schofieldplant.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Please contact Ms. Lisa Graham, NEPA Coordinator, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii. Ms. Graham can be reached by phone at (808) 656-3075, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Proposed Action, referred to as the Schofield Generating Station Project (SGSP), consists of:

    (1) The Army's lease of 8.13 acres of land and the related granting of a 2.5-acre interconnection easement on Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield to Hawaiian Electric to construct, operate, and maintain a 50-MW capacity renewable energy generating station to include associated power poles, high-tension power lines, and related equipment and facilities.

    (2) The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources granting of a 1.28-acre easement and a 0.7-acre conservation district authorization to Hawaiian Electric allowing for the construction of a 46 kilovolt (kV) electrical power transmission line between the SGSP site and the existing Wahiawa Substation.

    (3) Hawaiian Electric's construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of a 50 MW capacity, biofuel-capable generating station and 46 kV sub-transmission line required to connect the Schofield Generating Station to the Hawaiian Electric grid.

    The primary purpose of the Proposed Action is two-fold: To provide improved energy security to the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii at Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia and to provide new secure, firm, flexible, and renewable energy generation to the grid on Oahu, Hawaii.

    The needs for the Proposed Action are to increase energy security for the Army and Oahu; assist the Army in supporting renewable energy-related laws and Executive Orders and meeting its renewable energy goals; assist Hawaiian Electric in meeting the Hawaii Renewable Portfolio Standard goals; and improve future electrical generation on Oahu.

    The electricity produced by the SGSP would normally supply power to all Hawaiian Electric customers through the island-wide electrical grid. During outages that meet the criteria specified in the Operating Agreement between the Army and Hawaiian Electric, SGSP output would first be provided to Army facilities at Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia up to their peak demand of 32 MW, to meet their missions, and would additionally support the grid up to the station's full capacity. If there were a full island outage, the generating station could be used to restart other generating stations on the island.

    Under the No Action Alternative, the Army would not lease the property or grant the easement and Hawaiian Electric would not construct and operate the SGSP.

    The FEIS evaluates the impacts on land use; airspace use; visual resources; air quality, including climate and greenhouse gasses; noise; traffic and transportation; water resources; geology and soils; biological resources; cultural resources; hazardous and toxic substances; socioeconomics, including environmental justice; and utilities and infrastructure.

    Impacts were assessed assuming full-time operation of the generating facility (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). Under normal conditions, the facility would likely operate less than full-time, so projected impacts could be less.

    Anticipated impacts would be less than significant for all resources. All activities would fall within existing regulations, permits, and plans. Best management practices and design measures that would avoid or minimize adverse effects would be implemented for these resources: Visual, air quality, noise, traffic and transportation, water, geology and soils, biological resources, cultural resources, and hazardous and toxic substances.

    Comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) are addressed in the FEIS. Changes made to the text of the DEIS include minor additions and edits only. No substantive changes to the alternatives considered or the findings of the impact analysis were required or made.

    Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28223 Filed 11-5-15; 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 Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Board of Visitors, a subcommittee of the Army Education Advisory Committee. This meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Board of Visitors Subcommittee will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 2 and 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Building 326, Weckerling Center, Presidio of Monterey, CA 93944.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Detlev Kesten, the Alternate Designated Federal Officer for the subcommittee, in writing at Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, ATFL-APAS-AA, Bldg. 634, Presidio of Monterey, CA 93944, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at (831) 242-6670.

    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 provide the subcommittee with briefings and information focusing on DLIFLC issues and challenges.

    Proposed Agenda: December 2—The subcommittee will receive briefings from DLIFLC personnel. The subcommittee will be updated on the Institute's accreditation. December 3—The subcommittee will have time to discuss and compile observations pertaining to agenda items. General deliberations leading to provisional findings will be referred to the Army Education Advisory Committee for deliberation by the Committee under the open-meeting rules.

    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. Kesten, via electronic mail, the preferred mode of submission, at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Because the meeting of the subcommittee will be held in a Federal Government facility on a military base, security screening is required. A photo ID is required to enter base. Please note that security and gate guards have the right to inspect vehicles and persons seeking to enter and exit the installation. Weckerling Center is fully handicap accessible. Wheelchair access is available on the right side of the main entrance of the building. For additional information about public access procedures, contact Dr. Savukinas, the subcommittee'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 subcommittee, in response to the stated agenda of the open meeting or in regard to the subcommittee's mission in general. Written comments or statements should be submitted to Mr. Kesten, the subcommittee 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. The Alternate Designated Federal Official will review all submitted written comments or statements and provide them to members of the subcommittee for their consideration. 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 subcommittee. Written comments or statements received after this date may not be provided to the subcommittee until its next meeting. Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140d, the Committee is not obligated to allow a member of the public to speak or otherwise address the Committee during the 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 business days in advance to the subcommittee'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 Subcommittee Chair, determine whether the subject matter of each comment is relevant to the Subcommittee'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 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. 2015-28217 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program between the U.S. Department of Education and the Social Security Administration AGENCY:

    Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice of the computer matching program between the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The computer matching program will begin on the effective date specified in paragraph 5.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is provided under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended by the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-503) and the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Amendments of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-508) (Privacy Act) (5 U.S.C. 552a); the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Final Guidance Interpreting the Provisions of Public Law 100-503, the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988, 54 FR 25818 (June 19, 1989); and OMB Circular A-130, Appendix 1.

    1. Name of Participating Agencies.

    The U.S. Department of Education and the Social Security Administration.

    2. Purpose of the Match.

    The computer matching program will assist ED in its obligation to ensure that borrowers with disabilities who have loans under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.), more efficiently and effectively apply for total and permanent disability discharge of their student loans.

    3. Authority for Conducting the Matching Program.

    ED's legal authority to enter into this computer matching program and to disclose information as part of this computer matching program is section 437 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1087(a)), the regulations promulgated pursuant to that section (34 CFR 682.402(c)), and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3)).

    SSA's legal authority to disclose information as part of this computer matching program is section 1106 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1306), the regulations promulgated pursuant to that section (20 CFR. part 401), and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3)).

    4. Categories of Records and Individuals Covered by the Match.

    The records to be used in the match are described as follows:

    ED will disclose to SSA the name, date of birth (DOB), and Social Security number (SSN) of individuals who owe a balance on one or more title IV, HEA loans, or who have a loan written off due to default from the system of records entitled “National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)” (18-11-06), as last published in the Federal Register in full on June 28, 2013 (78 FR 38963-38969) and as last updated on April 2, 2014 (79 FR 18534-18536).

    The ED data described in the preceding paragraph will be matched with SSA data recorded in the Disability Control File (DCF), which originate from the Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits (SSR/SVB), 60-0103, published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2006 (71 FR 1830) and updated on December 10, 2007 (72 FR 69723), and the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) SSA/ORSIS 60-0090, published on January 11, 2006 (71 FR 1826) and updated on December 10, 2007 (72 FR 69723) and on July 5, 2013 (78 FR 40542), in order to provide ED with Medical Improvement Not Expected disability data.

    5. Effective Date of the Matching Program.

    The effective date of the Computer Matching Agreement (CMA) and the date when the match may begin shall be whichever date is the latest of the following three dates: (1) The date of the last signatory to the CMA; (2) at the expiration of the 30-day public comment period following the publication of this matching program notice in the Federal Register; or (3) at the expiration of the 40-day period following ED's transmittal of a report concerning the matching program to OMB and to the appropriate Congressional Committees, along with a copy of the CMA, unless OMB waives 10 or fewer days of this 40-day review period for compelling reasons, in which case, 30 days plus whatever number of the 10 days that OMB did not waive from the date of the transmittal of the report to OMB and Congress. The matching program will continue for 18 months after the effective date and may be extended for an additional 12 months if the conditions specified in 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)(2)(D) have been met.

    6. Address for Receipt of Public Comments or Inquiries.

    Individuals wishing to comment on this matching program or obtain additional information about the program, including requesting a copy of the computer matching agreement between ED and SSA, may contact Lisa Oldre, Program Operations Specialist, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, 830 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20202-5320. Telephone: 202-377-3249. As a secondary contact, individuals may contact Pam Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, 830 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20202-5320. Telephone: (202) 377-3554.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, you may call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to either contact person listed in the previous paragraph.

    Electronic Access to the Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Authority:

    The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a).

    Dated: November 3, 2015. James W. Runcie, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28367 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-72-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—BP Energy contracts 911301 and 911302 to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/26/15.

    Accession Number: 20151026-5341.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-73-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Shell Energy Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-74-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Tenaska Marketing Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-75-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Occidental Energy Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-76-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/27/15 Negotiated Rates—MMGS Inc. (HUB) 7625-89 to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5232.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-77-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/27/15 Negotiated Rates—Emera Energy Services, Inc. (HUB) 2715-89 to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5244.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-78-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Munich Re Trading Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/27/15.

    Accession Number: 20151027-5247.

    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 28, 2015 Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28299 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0692; FRL-9935-98] Pesticide Experimental Use Permit; Receipt of Application; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's receipt of an application 91163-EUP-R from Texas Corn Producers Board requesting an experimental use permit (EUP) for the Aspergillus flavus strains TC16F, TC35C, TC38B, and TC46G. The Agency has determined that the permit may be of regional and national significance. Therefore, because of the potential significance, EPA is seeking comments on this application.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0692, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general. Although this action may be of particular interest to those persons who conduct or sponsor research on pesticides, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    3. Environmental justice. EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of any group, including minority and/or low income populations, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical or disproportionately high and adverse human health impacts or environmental effects from exposure to the pesticide(s) discussed in this document, compared to the general population.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    Under section 5 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136c, EPA can allow manufacturers to field test pesticides under development. Manufacturers are required to obtain an EUP before testing new pesticides or new uses of pesticides if they conduct experimental field tests on 10 acres or more of land or one acre or more of water.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 172.11(a), the Agency has determined that the following EUP application may be of regional and national significance, and therefore is seeking public comment on the EUP application:

    Submitter: Texas Corn Producers Board, (91163-EUP-R).

    Pesticide Chemical: Aspergillus flavus strains TC16F, TC35C, TC38B, and TC46G.

    Summary of Request: The applicant seeks permission to test an end-use product, FourSure, containing as active ingredients four strains of Aspergillus flavus (TC16F, TC35C, TC38B, and TC46G) to control aflatoxin on 4,500 acres/year of corn in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas from 2016 to 2018.

    Following the review of the application and any comments and data received in response to this solicitation, EPA will decide whether to issue or deny the EUP request, and if issued, the conditions under which it is to be conducted. Any issuance of an EUP will be announced in the Federal Register.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: October 23, 2015. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28269 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9023-8] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa.

    Weekly Receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 10/26/2015 Through 10/30/2015 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eis/search. EIS No. 20150304, Draft, VA, SD, NHPA Section 106 Consultation: Reconfiguration of VA Black Hills Health Care System, Comment Period Ends: 01/05/2016, Contact: Luke Epperson 605-720-7170. EIS No. 20150305, Draft, FERC, AK, Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project-FERC Project No. 13563-003, Comment Period Ends: 12/29/2015, Contact: John Matkowski 202-502-8576. EIS No. 20150306, Final, BLM, WAPA, NM, Southline Transmission Project, Review Period Ends: 12/07/2015, Contact: Mark Mackiewicz 435-636-6316.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Energy's Western Area Power Administration are joint lead agencies for the above project.

    EIS No. 20150307, Final, DOE, VT, New England Clean Power Link Project, Review Period Ends: 12/07/2015, Contact: Brian Mills 202-586-8267. EIS No. 20150308, Final, USFWS, MA, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Review Period Ends: 12/07/2015, Contact: Nancy McGarigal 413-253-8562. EIS No. 20150309, Draft, BIA, OK, Osage County Oil and Gas, Comment Period Ends: 12/21/2015, Contact: Jeannine Hale 918-781-4660. EIS No. 20150310, Final, DOE, MN, Great Northern Transmission Line Project, Review Period Ends: 12/07/2015, Contact: Dr. Julie Ann Smith 202-586-7668. EIS No. 20150311, Draft, GSA, DC, FBI Headquarters Consolidation, Comment Period Ends: 01/06/2016, Contact: Denise Decker 202-746-7891. Amended Notices EIS No. 20150303, Revised Final, USFS, NV, Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment, Review Period Ends: 11/30/2015, Contact: James Winfrey 775-355-5308.

    Revision to the FR Notice Published 10/30/2015; Correction to the EIS Status should be Revised Final.

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Karin Leff, Acting Director, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28355 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0180] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before January 5, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0180.

    Title: Section 73.1610, Equipment Tests.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 500 respondents; 500 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 250 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $0.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 73.1610 requires the permittee of a new broadcast station to notify the FCC of its plans to conduct equipment tests for the purpose of making adjustments and measurements as may be necessary to assure compliance with the terms of the construction permit and applicable engineering standards. FCC staff use the data to assure compliance with the terms of the construction permit and applicable engineering standards.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28303 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0920] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before January 5, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0920.

    Title: Application for Construction Permit for a Low Power FM Broadcast Station; Report and Order in MM Docket No. 99-25 Creation of Low Power Radio Service; §§ 73.807, 73.809, 73.810, 73.827, 73.850, 73.865, 73.870, 73.871, 73.872, 73.877, 73.878, 73.318, 73.1030, 73.1207, 73.1212, 73.1230, 73.1300, 73.1350, 73.1610, 73.1620, 73.1750, 73.1943, 73.3525, 73.3550, 73.3598, 11.61(ii), FCC Form 318.

    Form No.: FCC Form 318.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; State, local or Tribal governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 21,019 respondents with multiple responses; 27,737 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .0025-12 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; On occasion reporting requirement; Monthly reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in sections 154(i), 303, 308 and 325(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 35,471 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $39,750.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households; thus, there are no impacts under the Privacy Act.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this information collection.

    Needs and Uses: This submission is being made as an extension to an existing information collection pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507. This submission covers FCC Form 318 and its accompanying instructions and worksheets. FCC Form 318 is required: (1) To apply for a construction permit for a new Low Power FM (LPFM) station; (2) to make changes in the existing facilities of such a station; (3) to amend a pending FCC Form 318 application; or (4) to propose mandatory time-sharing.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28304 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-xxxx] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before January 5, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Approval Number: 3060-xxxx.

    Title: Ensuring Continuity of 911 Communications Report and Order.

    Form No.: N/A.

    Type of Review: New information collection.

    Respondents: Business or for profit.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 570 respondents; 570 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0-70 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Initial point of sale disclosure and third party disclosure requirement which occurs on an annual basis.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 4(i), and 251(e)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 251(e)(3); section 101 of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-283, 47 U.S.C. 615a-1; and section 106 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 47 U.S.C. 615c.

    Total Annual Burden: 1,888 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No Cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission is not requesting respondents to submit confidential information to the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: We create new section 12.5 of our rules to place limited backup power obligations on providers of facilities-based fixed, residential voice services that are not line-powered to ensure that such service providers meet their obligation to provide access to 911 service during a power outage, and to provide clarity for the role of consumers and their communities should they elect not to purchase backup power.

    Specifically, we require providers to disclose to subscribers the following information: (1) Availability of backup power sources; (2) service limitations with and without backup power during a power outage; (3) purchase and replacement options; (4) expected backup power duration; (5) proper usage and storage conditions for the backup power source; (6) subscriber backup power self-testing and monitoring instructions; and (7) backup power warranty details, if any. Each element of this information must be given to subscribers both at the point of sale and annually thereafter, as described in the rule.

    The disclosure requirements are intended to equip subscribers with necessary information to purchase and maintain a source of backup power to enhance their ability to maintain access to reliable 911 service from their homes.

    We permit providers to convey both the initial and annual disclosures and information described above by any means reasonably calculated to reach the individual subscriber. For example, a provider may meet this obligation through a combination of disclosures via email, an online billing statement, or other digital or electronic means for subscribers that communicate with the provider through these means. For a subscriber that does not communicate with the provider through email and/or online billing statements—such as someone who ordered service on the phone or in a physical store and receives a paper bill by regular mail—email would not be a means reasonably calculated to reach that subscriber.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28302 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than December 3, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Yvonne Sparks, Community Development Officer) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034:

    1. Republic Bancorp, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Cornerstone Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Cornerstone Community Bank, both in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 3, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28324 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than November 23, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. The 2012 Clair J. Lensing Irrevocable Trust, Susan J. Elizondo GST-Exempt Under the Trust, James F. Lensing GST-Exempt Under the Trust, and Clair J. Lensing Jr. GST-Exempt Under the Trust, with Hills Bank & Trust Co., Hills, Iowa, as trustee; Susan Elizondo, Bettendorf, Iowa, James F. Lensing, Mason City, Iowa, and Clair J. Lensing Jr., Oelwein, Iowa, as beneficiaries, to join the Lensing Family Control Group and retain voting shares of Fayette Bancorporation, Marion, Iowa, and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of Citizens Savings Bank, Hawkeye, Iowa, Maynard Savings Bank, Maynard, Iowa, and Shell Rock Bancorporation, Shell Rock, Iowa, and thereby retain Security State Bank, Waverly, Iowa.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Robert W. Frei, Wagner, South Dakota; to join the Frei Family Group and to acquire voting shares of Commercial Holding Company, Wagner, South Dakota, and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of Commercial State Bank, Wagner, South Dakota.

    2. The Voting Trust Agreement Among Certain Shareholders of NW Bancshares, Inc., Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (“Colbert Family Voting Trust”), B. James Colbert, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Bradford J. Colbert III, Plymouth, Minnesota, individually and as trustees of the Colbert Family Voting Trust, and the following parties to the Colbert Family Voting Trust, the B. James Colbert Exempt QSST Trust, the Thomas John Despins Exempt QSST Trust, the Penny D. Jurss Exempt QSST Trust, the Bradford J. Colbert III Exempt QSST Trust, the Dee Dee A. Korth Exempt QSST Trust, and the Thomas James Despins Exempt QSST Trust, all of Chippewa Falls Wisconsin, (B. James Colbert and Bradford J. Colbert III, trustees); Thomas John Despins, De Pere, Wisconsin, Penny D. Jurss, Wales, Wisconsin, and the B. James Colbert and Kathryn M. Colbert Revocable Trust dated September 25, 2001, Kathryn M. Colbert, individually and as trustee, both of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, as a group acting in concert, to acquire and retain voting shares of NW Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire and retain voting shares of The Northwestern Bank, both in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 3, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28323 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this Information Collection Request must be received no later than January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 10-29, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Maternal and Child Health Bureau Performance Measures for Discretionary Grants

    OMB No. 0915-0298—Revision.

    Abstract: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) proposes to continue using reporting requirements for grant programs administered by MCHB, including national performance measures, previously approved by OMB, and in accordance with the “Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993” (Pub. L. 103-62). This Act requires the preparation of an annual performance plan covering each program activity set forth in the agency's budget, which includes establishment of measurable goals and may be reported in an annual financial statement, which supports the linkage of funding decisions with performance. Performance measures for MCHB discretionary grants were initially approved in January 2003. Approval from OMB is being sought to continue the use of performance measures. Most of these measures are specific to certain types of programs and will not be required of all grantees. The measures will be categorized by domains (Adolescent Health, Capacity Building, Child Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs, Lifecourse/Crosscutting, Maternal/Women Health, and Perinatal/Infant Health). Grant programs would be assigned domains based on their activities.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The performance data will serve several purposes including grantee monitoring, program planning, performance reporting, and the ability to demonstrate alignment between MCHB discretionary programs and the MCH Title V Block Grant program. The overall number of performance measures has been reduced from what is currently used, and the structure of the system has been revised to better measure the various models of programs and the services each funded program provides. This revision will allow a more accurate and detailed picture of the full scope of services provided by grant programs administered by MCHB.

    Likely Respondents: The grantees for Maternal and Child Health Bureau Discretionary Grant Programs.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this Information Collection Request are summarized in the table below.

    The estimated response burden is as follows:

    Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Burden hours
  • per response
  • Total
  • burden hours
  • Grant Report 700 1 700 41 28,700

    HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28264 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics: Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the following advisory committee meeting.

    Name: National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Full Committee Meeting.

    Time and Date November 18, 2015  8:30 a.m.-5:40 p.m. EST November 19, 2015  8:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST

    Place: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 3311 Toledo Road, Auditorium A and B, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782. (301) 458-4524.

    Status: Open.

    Purpose

    At this meeting the Committee will hear presentations and hold discussions on several health data policy topics. The Committee will hear updates from the Department, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator focused on the Interoperability Roadmap. The Committee will review proceedings from the November 17, 2015, “Workshop on Advancing Community-Level Core Measurement: Proposing a Roadmap for HHS” held the day prior to the Committee meeting to determine next steps for the Population Health Subcommittee. In its designated role as the ACA Review Committee, the Standards Subcommittee will provide an update on preliminary findings and recommendations from the June 16-17, 2015 hearing on the status of adoption and implementation of HIPAA standards and operating rules. The Committee will review its strategic plan for 2016 and all Subcommittees will report on their workplans and next steps. In addition, the Committee will be briefed on and discuss the recent implementation of ICD-10. After the plenary session adjourns, the Working Group on HHS Data Access and Use will continue strategic discussions on building a framework for guiding principles for data access and use.

    The times shown above are for the Full Committee meeting. Subcommittee issues will be included as part of the Full Committee schedule.

    Contact Person for More Information: Substantive program information may be obtained from Rebecca Hines, Executive Secretary, NCVHS, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3311 Toledo Road, Room 6316, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, telephone (301) 458-4715. Summaries of meetings and a roster of committee members are available on the NCVHS home page of the HHS Web site: http://www.ncvhs.hhs.gov/, where further information including an agenda will be posted when available.

    Should you require reasonable accommodation, please contact the CDC Office of Equal Employment Opportunity on (301) 458-4EEO (4336) as soon as possible.

    Dated: October 28, 2015. James Scanlon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28346 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4151-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics: Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the following advisory committee meeting.

    Name: National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Population Health Subcommittee Meeting.

    Time and Date November 17, 2015 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST

    Place: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 3311 Toledo Road, Auditorium A and B, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, (301) 458-4524.

    Status: Open.

    Purpose

    On November 17, 2015, the NCVHS Population Health Subcommittee is holding a Workshop entitled “Advancing Community-Level Core Measurement—Proposing a Roadmap for HHS.” The Workshop objectives are to: Identify a balanced and parsimonious set of domains through which multi-sectoral community partnerships can assess, measure and improve local health and well-being, and; ultimately produce a proposed Roadmap for the Department of Health and Human Services to advance well-informed, community-driven action by promoting such set of domains along with suggested measures to facilitate greater availability and use of data within communities.

    During the Workshop, participants will review the range of domains in current use for assessing community health and well-being with the aim of identifying a balanced set that encompasses the key determinants of health and that is consistent across all geographic levels. Recent efforts to streamline community health assessment have brought a new focus to the need to achieve parsimony in measuring health and well-being. This Workshop aims to leverage the momentum of both recent and long-standing projects by the IOM, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (e.g., Community Health Rankings), data intermediary organizations, federal agencies (e.g., Community Health Status Indicators), state agencies, NCVHS, and others.

    Contact Person for More Information: Substantive program information may be obtained from Rebecca Hines, Executive Secretary, NCVHS, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3311 Toledo Road, Room 6316, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, telephone (301) 458-4715. Summaries of meetings and a roster of committee members are available on the NCVHS home page of the HHS Web site: http://www.ncvhs.hhs.gov/, where further information including an agenda will be posted when available.

    Should you require reasonable accommodation, please contact the CDC Office of Equal Employment Opportunity on (301) 458-4EEO (4336) as soon as possible.

    Dated: October 28, 2015. James Scanlon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28345 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4151-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5835-N-23] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Debt Resolution Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Demarco, Director, Financial Operations Center, U.S. Department of HUD, 52 Corporate Circle, Albany, NY 12203, email at [email protected], 1-800-669-5152 extension 2859. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Debt Resolution Program.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0483.

    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: HUD-56141, HUD-56142 and HUD-56146.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: HUD is required to collect debt owed to the agency. As part of the collection process, demand for repayment is made on the debtor(s). In response, debtors opt to ignore the debt, pay the debt or dispute the debt. Disputes and offers to repay the debt result in information collections. Borrowers who wish to pay the debt in installments must sign a written Repayment Agreement (HUD-56146). Borrowers who wish to pay less than the full amount due must submit a Personal Financial Statement (HUD-56142) and Settlement Offer (HUD-56141). HUD uses the information to analyze debtors' financial positions and then approve settlements and repayment agreements. Borrowers who wish to dispute must provide information to support their position.

    Respondents: Individuals and household.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 650.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 2101.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Average Hours per Response: one hour.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 641.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: October 27, 2015. Janet M. Golrick, Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Associate Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28354 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5828-N-45] Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the Homeless AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice identifies unutilized, underutilized, excess, and surplus Federal property reviewed by HUD for suitability for use to assist the homeless.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Juanita Perry, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 7266, Washington, DC 20410; telephone (202) 402-3970; TTY number for the hearing- and speech-impaired (202) 708-2565 (these telephone numbers are not toll-free), or call the toll-free Title V information line at 800-927-7588.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 24 CFR part 581 and section 501 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11411), as amended, HUD is publishing this Notice to identify Federal buildings and other real property that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. The properties were reviewed using information provided to HUD by Federal landholding agencies regarding unutilized and underutilized buildings and real property controlled by such agencies or by GSA regarding its inventory of excess or surplus Federal property. This Notice is also published in order to comply with the December 12, 1988 Court Order in National Coalition for the Homeless v. Veterans Administration, No. 88-2503-OG (D.D.C.).

    Properties reviewed are listed in this Notice according to the following categories: Suitable/available, suitable/unavailable, and suitable/to be excess, and unsuitable. The properties listed in the three suitable categories have been reviewed by the landholding agencies, and each agency has transmitted to HUD: (1) Its intention to make the property available for use to assist the homeless, (2) its intention to declare the property excess to the agency's needs, or (3) a statement of the reasons that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use as facilities to assist the homeless.

    Properties listed as suitable/available will be available exclusively for homeless use for a period of 60 days from the date of this Notice. Where property is described as for “off-site use only” recipients of the property will be required to relocate the building to their own site at their own expense. Homeless assistance providers interested in any such property should send a written expression of interest to HHS, addressed to: Ms. Theresa M. Ritta, Chief Real Property Branch, the Department of Health and Human Services, Room 5B-17, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (301) 443-2265 (This is not a toll-free number.) HHS will mail to the interested provider an application packet, which will include instructions for completing the application. In order to maximize the opportunity to utilize a suitable property, providers should submit their written expressions of interest as soon as possible. For complete details concerning the processing of applications, the reader is encouraged to refer to the interim rule governing this program, 24 CFR part 581.

    For properties listed as suitable/to be excess, that property may, if subsequently accepted as excess by GSA, be made available for use by the homeless in accordance with applicable law, subject to screening for other Federal use. At the appropriate time, HUD will publish the property in a Notice showing it as either suitable/available or suitable/unavailable.

    For properties listed as suitable/unavailable, the landholding agency has decided that the property cannot be declared excess or made available for use to assist the homeless, and the property will not be available.

    Properties listed as unsuitable will not be made available for any other purpose for 20 days from the date of this Notice. Homeless assistance providers interested in a review by HUD of the determination of unsuitability should call the toll free information line at 1-800-927-7588 for detailed instructions or write a letter to Ann Marie Oliva at the address listed at the beginning of this Notice. Included in the request for review should be the property address (including zip code), the date of publication in the Federal Register, the landholding agency, and the property number.

    For more information regarding particular properties identified in this Notice (i.e., acreage, floor plan, existing sanitary facilities, exact street address), providers should contact the appropriate landholding agencies at the following addresses: ENERGY: Mr. David Steinau, Department of Energy, Office of Property Management, OECM MA-50, 4B122, 1000 Independence Ave SW., Washington, DC 20585 (202) 287-1503; GSA: Mr. Flavio Peres, General Services Administration, Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal, 1800 F Street NW., Room 7040 Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501-0084; (These are not toll-free numbers).

    Dated: October 29, 2015. Norm Suchar, Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs. TITLE V, FEDERAL SURPLUS PROPERTY PROGRAM FEDERAL REGISTER REPORT FOR 11/06/2015 Suitable/Available Properties Building Oregon FAA Non Directional Becon (NDB) sites on 0.92 acres 93924 Pitney Lane., Sec 6, T 16S R4W, W.M. Junction City OR 97448 Landholding Agency: GSA Property Number: 54201540009 Status: Unutilized GSA Number: 9-OR-0806 Directions: Disposal Agency: GSA; Landholding Agency: FAA Tax Lot number 16040600; Lane County zoning is a 5 AC min. for residential (RR5) Comments: 25+ yrs. old; 50 sq. ft.; storage; 24+ mos. vacant; poor condition; 0.92 acres of land; contact GSA for more information. Unsuitable Properties Building Tennessee 2 Buildings Y-12 National Security Complex Oak Ridge TN 37831 Landholding Agency: Energy Property Number: 41201540001 Status: Unutilized Directions: 9828-01 and 9828-03 Comments: Public access denied and no alternative method to gain access without compromising national security. Reasons: Secured Area
    [FR Doc. 2015-28008 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCO956000 L14400000.BJ0000] Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; Colorado AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of filing of plats of survey; Colorado.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado State Office is publishing this notice to inform the public of the intent to officially file the survey plats listed below and afford a proper period of time to protest this action prior to the plat filing. During this time, the plats will be available for review in the BLM Colorado State Office.

    DATES:

    Unless there are protests of this action, the filing of the plats described in this notice will happen on December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    BLM Colorado State Office, Cadastral Survey, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215-7093.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Randy Bloom, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Colorado, (303) 239-3856.

    Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The plat and field notes of the dependent resurvey and survey in Township 46 North, Range 2 West, New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on October 6, 2015.

    The plat incorporating the field notes of the dependent resurvey in the NW1/4 Section 35 in Township 12 South, Range 103 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, was accepted on October 15, 2015.

    The plat and field notes of the dependent resurvey and subdivision of sections in Township 2 South, Range 83 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, were accepted on October 27, 2015.

    Dale E. Vinton, Acting Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Colorado.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28315 Filed 11-5-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-JB-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-WASO-CRPS-NAGPRA-19351; PPWOCRADN0, PCU00RP14.R50000 (166)] Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (National Park Service, NPS) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This collection is set to expire on November 30, 2015. We may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    DATES:

    You must submit comments on or before December 7, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the In