Federal Register Vol. 80, No.221,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 221 (November 17, 2015)

Page Range71681-71925
FR Document

80_FR_221
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 71921 - Establishing an Emergency Board To Investigate Disputes Between New Jersey Transit Rail and Certain of Its Employees Represented by Certain Labor OrganizationsPDF
80 FR 71845 - Sunshine Act Meetings; National Science Board; AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 71819 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) For the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, City of New York, NYPDF
80 FR 71870 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 71846 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 71791 - California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; In-Use Diesel-Fueled Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) and TRU Generator Sets and Facilities Where TRUs Operate; Request for Within-the-Scope and Full Authorization; Opportunity for Public Hearing and CommentPDF
80 FR 71771 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 238-Dublin, Virginia, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, CEI-Roanoke, LLC, (Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Bottling), Roanoke, VirginiaPDF
80 FR 71912 - U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy: Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 71772 - Certain Steel Nails From Malaysia: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
80 FR 71912 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Marcel Broodthaers” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 71773 - Carbazole Violet Pigment From India and the People's Republic of China: Continuation of the Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 71836 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TXPDF
80 FR 71838 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale, ARPDF
80 FR 71913 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “The Golden Age of King Midas” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 71840 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Hudson Museum, University of Maine, Orono, MEPDF
80 FR 71836 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Neville Public Museum of Brown County, Green Bay, WIPDF
80 FR 71837 - Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PAPDF
80 FR 71841 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington, INPDF
80 FR 71839 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Neville Public Museum of Brown County, Green Bay, WIPDF
80 FR 71835 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Neville Public Museum of Brown County, Green Bay, WIPDF
80 FR 71793 - National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; Notification of Public Teleconference Meetings and Public CommentPDF
80 FR 71795 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
80 FR 71693 - Safety Zone; Unexploded Ordnance Detonation; Passage Key, FLPDF
80 FR 71762 - Instituting Smoke-Free Public HousingPDF
80 FR 71846 - Notice of Permit Modification Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 71843 - TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc.: Grant of Expansion of RecognitionPDF
80 FR 71844 - Meetings of Humanities PanelPDF
80 FR 71809 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71784 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71681 - Reserve Requirements of Depository InstitutionsPDF
80 FR 71844 - NASA Advisory Council; MeetingPDF
80 FR 71818 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Previous Participation Certification; OMB No.: 2502-0118PDF
80 FR 71822 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Legal Instructions Concerning Applications for Full Insurance Benefits-Assignment of Multifamily Mortgages to the SecretaryPDF
80 FR 71823 - 60 Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request; Notice of Application for Designation as a Single Family Foreclosure CommissionerPDF
80 FR 71912 - International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 71841 - Boundary Revision of Acadia National ParkPDF
80 FR 71919 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 4255PDF
80 FR 71817 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Collection of Qualitative Feedback Through Focus Groups; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 71846 - Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power StationPDF
80 FR 71918 - Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds: Change In Business Address Colonial Surety CompanyPDF
80 FR 71801 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 71809 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 71919 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 71824 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 71851 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Constituting a Stated Interpretation With Respect to the Meaning, Administration, and Enforcement of Rule 28-EquitiesPDF
80 FR 71769 - Administration of Multiemployer Plan Participant Vote on an Approved Suspension of Benefits Under MPRA; HearingPDF
80 FR 71833 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications; Turner Endangered Species Fund, Bozeman, Montana; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 71834 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
80 FR 71907 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE))-Match Number 1098PDF
80 FR 71808 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 71810 - Organ-Specific Warnings: Internal Analgesic, Antipyretic, and Antirheumatic Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use-Labeling for Products That Contain Acetaminophen; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 71811 - Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease ProductPDF
80 FR 71803 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 71756 - Microbiology Devices; Classification of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus Species DetectionPDF
80 FR 71806 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 71804 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 71802 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 71908 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71755 - Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System OperatorsPDF
80 FR 71790 - Darren K. Vaughn, Scott M. Fodor, Trust; Notice of Transfer of ExemptionPDF
80 FR 71788 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 71789 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 71789 - Roger Rolfe; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 71918 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
80 FR 71774 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Determination on the Designation of Critical Habitat for Three Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Distinct Population SegmentsPDF
80 FR 71808 - Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases (BSC, OID)PDF
80 FR 71803 - Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis Meeting (ACET)PDF
80 FR 71801 - Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 71804 - Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 71807 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 71770 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Michigan Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Begin Preparations for a Public Hearing Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of Civil Asset Forfeiture in the StatePDF
80 FR 71771 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee to Begin Planning a Series of Public Hearings to Study Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in IndianaPDF
80 FR 71770 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Missouri Advisory Committee To Discuss Themes and Findings Resulting From Testimony Received Regarding Civil Rights and Police/Community Interactions in the StatePDF
80 FR 71813 - Request for Public Comment: 30-Day Proposed Information Collection: Indian Health Service (IHS) Sharing What Works-Best Practice, Promising Practice, and Local Effort (BPPPLE) FormPDF
80 FR 71816 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 71815 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Drug Accountability Report Form and Investigator Registration Procedure in the Conduct of Investigational Trials for the Treatment of Cancer (NCI)PDF
80 FR 71816 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 71814 - Center for Scientific Review: Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 71815 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 71731 - Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive AuctionsPDF
80 FR 71794 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 71913 - Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
80 FR 71845 - Notice of Permits Issued Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 71817 - Intent To Request Renewal From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Aircraft Operator SecurityPDF
80 FR 71913 - Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations (CNLs) and Extension of Deadline for Filing Petitions for 2015 CNLs WaiversPDF
80 FR 71880 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the RiverFront Strategic Income Fund Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
80 FR 71892 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for BZX OptionsPDF
80 FR 71887 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration Categories and To Retire Other Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 71862 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
80 FR 71868 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Constituting a Stated Interpretation With Respect to the Meaning, Administration, and Enforcement of Rule 28PDF
80 FR 71900 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of an Advance Notice To Modify the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin Methodology by Incorporating Variations in Implied VolatilityPDF
80 FR 71858 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Proposed New Rule G-42, on Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors, and Proposed Amendments to Rule G-8, on Books and Records To Be Made by Brokers, Dealers, Municipal Securities Dealers, and Municipal AdvisorsPDF
80 FR 71847 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 71873 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Qualification and Registration of Permit HoldersPDF
80 FR 71871 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
80 FR 71879 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
80 FR 71850 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
80 FR 71842 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 71853 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Discontinue the NYSE Realtime Reference Price Market Data Product OfferingPDF
80 FR 71883 - Self-Regulatory Organizations: Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Delete Exchange Rule 610, Limitations on DealingsPDF
80 FR 71855 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding NASDAQ Last Sale PlusPDF
80 FR 71890 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Making Certain Representations Relating to the NYSE Best Quote & Trades Data FeedPDF
80 FR 71876 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to a Corporate Transaction Involving Its Indirect ParentPDF
80 FR 71864 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to a Corporate Transaction Involving Its Indirect ParentPDF
80 FR 71903 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration Categories and To Retire Other Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 71867 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Making Certain Representations Relating to the NYSE Best Quote & Trades Data FeedPDF
80 FR 71915 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision of an Approved Information Collection; Comment Request; Company-Run Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions With Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection ActPDF
80 FR 71834 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; North DakotaPDF
80 FR 71833 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; MontanaPDF
80 FR 71895 - THL Credit, Inc., et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 71906 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71871 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71785 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71786 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 71812 - National Advisory Council on Migrant Health Request for Nominations for Voting MembersPDF
80 FR 71812 - National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice; Notice for Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 71915 - Meeting Notice-U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 71907 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 71826 - John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System; Availability of Draft Maps for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 71787 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Guaranty Agencies Security Self-Assessment and AttestationPDF
80 FR 71787 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 (MGLS:2017) Recruitment for 2017 Operational Field TestPDF
80 FR 71690 - Freedom of Information Act ProceduresPDF
80 FR 71695 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Additional Regulations for the Benton Clean Air Agency JurisdictionPDF
80 FR 71914 - Notice of Meeting of the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS)PDF
80 FR 71686 - Rules, Regulations, Statements of General Policy or Interpretation and Exemptions Under the Fair Packaging and Labeling ActPDF
80 FR 71747 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 71751 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 71749 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 71745 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 71684 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 71702 - Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone OperationsPDF
80 FR 71681 - Implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal AwardsPDF

Issue

80 221 Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Contents AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71784 2015-29337 Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71784-71786 2015-29201 2015-29248 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71802-71807, 71809 2015-29272 2015-29273 2015-29274 2015-29297 Charter Renewals: Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 71807-71808 2015-29257 Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, 71804 2015-29258 Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, 71801-71802 2015-29259 Meetings: Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, 71803 2015-29260 Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, 71808-71809 2015-29261 Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 71803-71804, 71808 2015-29276 2015-29282 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71809 2015-29338 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Indiana Advisory Committee, 71771 2015-29255 Michigan Advisory Committee, 71770 2015-29256 Missouri Advisory Committee, 71770-71771 2015-29254 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Unexploded Ordnance Detonation; Passage Key, FL, 71693-71695 2015-29347 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Company-Run Annual Stress Test Reporting Template and Documentation for Covered Institutions With Total Consolidated Assets of $50 Billion or More Under the Dodd-Frank Act, 71915-71918 2015-29211 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Implementation, 71681 2015-28733 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71786 2015-29197
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Guaranty Agencies Security Self-Assessment and Attestation, 71787-71788 2015-29190 Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 Recruitment for 2017 Operational Field Test, 71787 2015-29189 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Washington; Benton Clean Air Agency Jurisdiction, 71695-71702 2015-29180 NOTICES California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards: In-Use Diesel-Fueled Transport Refrigeration Units and Generator Sets and Operating Facilities, etc., 71791-71793 2015-29368 Meetings: National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; Public Teleconference, 71793-71794 2015-29349 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 71684-71686 2015-28822 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 71751-71755 2015-28892 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 71749-71751 2015-28885 General Electric Co. Turbofan Engines, 71747-71749 2015-28898 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 71745-71747 2015-28882 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum through Incentive Auctions, 71731-71744 2015-29239 Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, 71702-71731 2015-28778 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71794-71795 2015-29238 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators, 71755-71756 2015-29268 NOTICES Combined Filings, 71789 2015-29265 Exemption Transfers: Darren K. Vaughn; Scott M. Fodor, Trust, 71790 2015-29267 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: Roger Rolfe, 71789-71790 2015-29264 Staff Attendances, 71788 2015-29266 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System RULES Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, 71681-71684 2015-29336 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71795-71801 2015-29348 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 71801 2015-29298 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission RULES General Policy or Interpretation and Exemptions under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, 71686-71689 2015-28918 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Meetings: Transit Advisory Committee for Safety, 71914-71915 2015-29178 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds: Colonial Surety Co.; Change in Business Address, 71918 2015-29299 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications, 71824-71826 2015-29291 Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications: Turner Endangered Species Fund, Bozeman, MT; Correction, 71833 2015-29286 John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System: Availability of Draft Maps for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 71826-71833 2015-29191 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Microbiology Devices: Classification of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus Species Detection, 71756-71762 2015-29275 NOTICES Guidance for Industry: Organ-Specific Warnings; Internal Analgesic, Antipyretic, and Antirheumatic Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use—Labeling for Products that Contain Acetaminophen, 71810-71811 2015-29281 Issuance of Priority Review Voucher; Rare Pediatric Disease Product, 71811-71812 2015-29280 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 71918-71919 2015-29263 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: CEI-Roanoke, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 238, Dublin, VA, 71771-71772 2015-29366 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Requests for Nominations: National Advisory Council on Migrant Health; Voting Members, 71812-71813 2015-29196 National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, 71812 2015-29195 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing, 71762-71769 2015-29346 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Designation as a Single Family Foreclosure Commissioner, 71823-71824 2015-29331 Legal Instructions Concerning Applications for Full Insurance Benefits; Assignment of Multifamily Mortgages to the Secretary, 71822-71823 2015-29332 Previous Participation Certification, 71818-71819 2015-29333 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, New York, NY, 71819-71822 2015-29464 Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Indian Health Service Sharing What Works—Best Practice, Promising Practice, and Local Effort Form, 71813-71814 2015-29251 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Administration of Multiemployer Plan Participant Vote on an Approved Suspension of Benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act; Hearing, 71769 2015-29289 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-29293 71919-71920 2015-29328 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbazole Violet Pigment from India and the People's Republic of China, 71773-71774 2015-29361 Steel Nails from Malaysia, 71772-71773 2015-29364 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Electronic Devices Containing Strengthened Glass and Packaging Thereof, 71842-71843 2015-29220 Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Montana, 71833-71834 2015-29205 North Dakota, 71834-71835 2015-29206 Oregon/Washington, 71834 2015-29284 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council, 71915 2015-29193 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA Advisory Council, 71844 2015-29335 National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Humanities NOTICES Meetings: Humanities Panel, 71844-71845 2015-29339 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Drug Accountability Report Form and Investigator Registration Procedure in the Conduct of Investigational Trials for the Treatment of Cancer, 71815-71816 2015-29246 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 71814-71815 2015-29243 2015-29244 National Cancer Institute, 71816 2015-29245 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 71816 2015-29247 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Determination on the Designation of Critical Habitat for Three Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Distinct Population Segments, 71774-71784 2015-29262 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Boundary Revision of Acadia National Park, 71841 2015-29329 Inventory Completions: Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 71841-71842 2015-29354 Hudson Museum, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 71840-71841 2015-29357 Neville Public Museum of Brown County, Green Bay, WI, 71835-71836, 71839-71840 2015-29351 2015-29352 2015-29356 Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale, AR, 71838-71839 2015-29359 Repatriation of Cultural Items: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, 71837-71838 2015-29355 Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, 71836-71837 2015-29360 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 71845 2015-29482 Permits and Permit Modifications: Antarctic Conservation Act, 71846 2015-29345 Permits: Antarctic Conservation Act, 71845 2015-29235 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES License Amendment Applications: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station; Withdrawal, 71846 2015-29300 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 71846-71847 2015-29404 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Expansions of Recognition: TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc., 71843-71844 2015-29344 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Disputes; Establishment of Emergency Board To Investigate (EO 13711), 71921-71925 2015-29498 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-29202 71871, 71906-71907 2015-29203 Applications: THL Credit, Inc., et al., 71895-71900 2015-29204 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 71870-71871 2015-29408 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 71871-71873, 71892-71895 2015-29223 2015-29231 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 71879-71880 2015-29222 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 71873-71876 2015-29224 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 71850-71851 2015-29221 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 71862-71863 2015-29229 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 71864-71866 2015-29214 ISE Gemini, LLC, 71876-71879 2015-29215 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 71883-71887 2015-29218 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 71858-71862 2015-29226 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 71847-71850 2015-29225 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 71855-71858, 71903-71906 2015-29213 2015-29217 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 71887-71890 2015-29230 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 71853-71855, 71868-71870 2015-29219 2015-29228 NYSE Arca, Inc., 71880-71883, 71890-71892 2015-29216 2015-29232 NYSE MKT, LLC, 71851-71853, 71867-71868 2015-29212 2015-29290 Options Clearing Corp., 71900-71903 2015-29227 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71907 2015-29192 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 71908-71911 2015-29269 Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 71907-71908 2015-29283 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Golden Age of King Midas, 71913 2015-29358 Marcel Broodthaers, 71912 2015-29362 Meetings: International Security Advisory Board, 71912 2015-29330 U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, 71912 2015-29365 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Rescinded for Consumptive Uses of Water, 71913 2015-29236 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Generalized System of Preferences: Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations and Extension of Deadline for Filing Petitions for 2015 CNLs Waivers, 71913-71914 2015-29233 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Maritime Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Aircraft Operator Security, 71817 2015-29234 Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Qualitative Feedback through Focus Groups, 71817-71818 2015-29302 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Freedom of Information Act Procedures, 71690-71693 2015-29183 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 71921-71925 2015-29498 Reader Aids

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80 221 Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Rules and Regulations CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE 2 CFR Part 2205 45 CFR Parts 1235, 2510, 2520, 2541, 2543, 2551, 2552, and 2553 RIN 3045-AA61 Implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards AGENCY:

Corporation for National and Community Service.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) published an interim final rule adopting and implementing the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) on December 19, 2014. CNCS publishes this final rule to adopt and implement the interim final rule without change.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy Borgstrom, Associate Director for Policy, at the Corporation for National and Community Service, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20525, phone 202-606-6930. The TDD/TTY number is 800-833-3722.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 19, 2014 (79 FR 75871), the Office of Management and Budget issued a joint-agency interim final rule that implemented the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). Through that interim final rule, CNCS adopted and implemented the Uniform Guidance and made specific exceptions to the rule. These exceptions are published in 2 CFR part 2205. Additionally, CNCS removed 45 CFR parts 2541 and 2543, which were superseded by the Uniform Guidance and made other conforming amendments to its regulations. The interim final rule was effective on December 26, 2014, and the public comment period closed on February 17, 2015.

CNCS did not receive any comments addressing its regulations. Accordingly, and without change, CNCS adopts and implements the Uniform Guidance as published on December 19, 2014.

Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866

CNCS has determined that the rule is not an “economically significant” rule within the meaning of E.O. 12866 because it is not likely to result in: (1) An annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or an adverse and material effect on a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal government or communities; (2) the creation of a serious inconsistency or interference with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) a material alteration in the budgetary impacts of entitlement, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) the raising of novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605 (b)), CNCS certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, CNCS has not performed the initial regulatory flexibility analysis that is required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) for major rules that are expected to have such results.

Unfunded Mandates

For purposes of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, as well as Executive Order 12875, this regulatory action does not contain any Federal mandate that may result in increased expenditures in either Federal, State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or impose an annual burden exceeding $100 million on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no new information collections subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3506).

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

Executive Order 13132, Federalism, prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has Federalism implications if the rule imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments and is not required by statute, or the rule preempts State law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. The rule does not have any Federalism implications, as described above.

Accordingly, under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 12651c(c), CNCS adopts the interim rule adding 2 CFR part 2205 and amending 45 CFR parts 1235, 2510, 2520, 2541, 2543, 2551, 2552, and 2553, which published at 79 FR 75871 on December 19, 2014, as final, without change.

Dated: November 6, 2015. Jeremy Joseph, General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-28733 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 204 [Regulation D; Docket No. R-1524] RIN 7100 AE-38 Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Board is amending Regulation D, Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions, to reflect the annual indexing of the reserve requirement exemption amount and the low reserve tranche for 2016. The Regulation D amendments set the amount of total reservable liabilities of each depository institution that is subject to a zero percent reserve requirement in 2016 at $15.2 million (from $14.5 million in 2015). This amount is known as the reserve requirement exemption amount. The Regulation D amendments also set the amount of net transaction accounts at each depository institution (over the reserve requirement exemption amount) that is subject to a three percent reserve requirement in 2016 at $110.2 million (from $103.6 million in 2015). This amount is known as the low reserve tranche. The adjustments to both of these amounts are derived using statutory formulas specified in the Federal Reserve Act.

The Board is also announcing changes in two other amounts, the nonexempt deposit cutoff level and the reduced reporting limit, that are used to determine the frequency at which depository institutions must submit deposit reports.

DATES:

Effective date: December 17, 2015.

Compliance dates: The new low reserve tranche and reserve requirement exemption amount will apply to the fourteen-day reserve maintenance period that begins January 21, 2016. For depository institutions that report deposit data weekly, this maintenance period corresponds to the fourteen-day computation period that begins December 22, 2015. For depository institutions that report deposit data quarterly, this maintenance period corresponds to the seven-day computation period that begins December 15, 2015. The new values of the nonexempt deposit cutoff level, the reserve requirement exemption amount, and the reduced reporting limit will be used to determine the frequency at which a depository institution submits deposit reports effective in either June or September 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Clinton N. Chen, Attorney (202/452-3952), Legal Division, or Ezra A. Kidane, Financial Analyst (202/973-6161), Division of Monetary Affairs; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact (202/263-4869); Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 19(b)(2) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 461(b)(2)) requires each depository institution to maintain reserves against its transaction accounts and nonpersonal time deposits, as prescribed by Board regulations, for the purpose of implementing monetary policy. Section 11(a)(2) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 248(a)(2)) authorizes the Board to require reports of liabilities and assets from depository institutions to enable the Board to conduct monetary policy. The Board's actions with respect to each of these provisions are discussed in turn below.

1. Reserve Requirements

Pursuant to section 19(b) of the Federal Reserve Act (Act), transaction account balances maintained at each depository institution are subject to reserve requirement ratios of zero, three, or ten percent. Section 19(b)(11)(A) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 461(b)(11)(A)) provides that a zero percent reserve requirement shall apply at each depository institution to total reservable liabilities that do not exceed a certain amount, known as the reserve requirement exemption amount. Section 19(b)(11)(B) provides that, before December 31 of each year, the Board shall issue a regulation adjusting the reserve requirement exemption amount for the next calendar year if total reservable liabilities held at all depository institutions increase from one year to the next. No adjustment is made to the reserve requirement exemption amount if total reservable liabilities held at all depository institutions should decrease during the applicable time period. The Act requires the percentage increase in the reserve requirement exemption amount to be 80 percent of the increase in total reservable liabilities of all depository institutions over the one-year period that ends on the June 30 prior to the adjustment.

Total reservable liabilities of all depository institutions increased by 6.4 percent, from $7,026 billion to $7,476 billion between June 30, 2014, and June 30, 2015. Accordingly, the Board is amending Regulation D to set the reserve requirement exemption amount for 2016 at $15.2 million, an increase of $0.7 million from its level in 2015.1

1 Consistent with Board practice, the low reserve tranche and reserve requirement exemption amounts have been rounded to the nearest $0.1 million.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act (12 U.S.C. 461(b)(2)), transaction account balances maintained at each depository institution over the reserve requirement exemption amount and up to a certain amount, known as the low reserve tranche, are subject to a three percent reserve requirement. Transaction account balances over the low reserve tranche are subject to a ten percent reserve requirement. Section 19(b)(2) also provides that, before December 31 of each year, the Board shall issue a regulation adjusting the low reserve tranche for the next calendar year. The Act requires the adjustment in the low reserve tranche to be 80 percent of the percentage increase or decrease in total transaction accounts of all depository institutions over the one-year period that ends on the June 30 prior to the adjustment.

Net transaction accounts of all depository institutions increased 8.0 percent, from $1,904 billion to $2,056 billion between June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Accordingly, the Board is amending Regulation D to increase the low reserve tranche for net transaction accounts by $6.6 million, from $103.6 million for 2015 to $110.2 million for 2016.

The new low reserve tranche and reserve requirement exemption amount will be effective for all depository institutions for the fourteen-day reserve maintenance period beginning Thursday, January 21, 2016. For depository institutions that report deposit data weekly, this maintenance period corresponds to the fourteen-day computation period that begins December 22, 2015. For depository institutions that report deposit data quarterly, this maintenance period corresponds to the seven-day computation period that begins December 15, 2015.

2. Deposit Reports

Section 11(b)(2) of the Federal Reserve Act authorizes the Board to require depository institutions to file reports of their liabilities and assets as the Board may determine to be necessary or desirable to enable it to discharge its responsibility to monitor and control the monetary and credit aggregates. The Board screens depository institutions each year and assigns them to one of four deposit reporting panels (weekly reporters, quarterly reporters, annual reporters, or nonreporters). The panel assignment for annual reporters is effective in June of the screening year; the panel assignment for weekly and quarterly reporters is effective in September of the screening year.

In order to ease reporting burden, the Board permits smaller depository institutions to submit deposit reports less frequently than larger depository institutions. The Board permits depository institutions with net transaction accounts above the reserve requirement exemption amount but total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits below a specified level (the “nonexempt deposit cutoff”) to report deposit data quarterly. Depository institutions with net transaction accounts above the reserve requirement exemption amount and with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits greater than or equal to the nonexempt deposit cutoff are required to report deposit data weekly. The Board requires certain large depository institutions to report weekly regardless of the level of their net transaction accounts if the depository institution's total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits exceeds or is equal to a specified level (the “reduced reporting limit”). The nonexempt deposit cutoff level and the reduced reporting limit are adjusted annually, by an amount equal to 80 percent of the increase, if any, in total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits of all depository institutions over the one-year period that ends on the June 30 prior to the adjustment.

From June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2015, total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits at all depository institutions increased 5.3 percent, from $10,256 billion to $10,798 billion. Accordingly, the Board is increasing the nonexempt deposit cutoff level by $16.9 million to $416.9 million in 2016 (from $400.0 million for 2015). The Board is also increasing the reduced reporting limit by $77 million to $1.901 billion for 2016 (from $1.824 billion in 2015).2

2 Consistent with Board practice, the nonexempt deposit cutoff level has been rounded to the nearest $0.1 million, and the reduced reporting limit has been rounded to the nearest $1 million.

Beginning in 2016, the boundaries of the four deposit reporting panels will be defined as follows. Those depository institutions with net transaction accounts over $15.2 million (the reserve requirement exemption amount) or with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits greater than or equal to $1.901 billion (the reduced reporting limit) are subject to detailed reporting, and must file a Report of Transaction Accounts, Other Deposits and Vault Cash (FR 2900 report) either weekly or quarterly. Of this group, those with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits greater than or equal to $416.9 million (the nonexempt deposit cutoff level) are required to file the FR 2900 report each week, while those with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits less than $416.9 million are required to file the FR 2900 report each quarter. Those depository institutions with net transaction accounts less than or equal to $15.2 million (the reserve requirement exemption amount) and with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits less than $1.901 billion (the reduced reporting limit) are eligible for reduced reporting, and must either file a deposit report annually or not at all. Of this group, those with total deposits greater than $15.2 million (but with total transaction accounts, savings deposits, and small time deposits less than $1.901 billion) are required to file the Annual Report of Deposits and Reservable Liabilities (FR 2910a) report annually, while those with total deposits less than or equal to $15.2 million are not required to file a deposit report. A depository institution that adjusts reported values on its FR 2910a report in order to qualify for reduced reporting will be shifted to an FR 2900 reporting panel.

3. Notice and Regulatory Flexibility Act

The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) relating to notice of proposed rulemaking have not been followed in connection with the adoption of these amendments. The amendments involve expected, ministerial adjustments prescribed by statute and by the Board's policy concerning reporting practices. The adjustments in the reserve requirement exemption amount, the low reserve tranche, the nonexempt deposit cutoff level, and the reduced reporting limit serve to reduce regulatory burdens on depository institutions. Accordingly, the Board finds good cause for determining, and so determines, that notice in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b) is unnecessary. Consequently, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, do not apply to these amendments.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 204

Banks, Banking, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board is amending 12 CFR part 204 as follows:

PART 204—RESERVE REQUIREMENTS OF DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS (REGULATION D) 1. The authority citation for part 204 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 248(a), 248(c), 371a, 461, 601, 611, and 3105.

2. In § 204.4, paragraph (f) is revised to read as follows:
§ 204.4 Computation of required reserves.

(f) For all depository institutions, Edge and Agreement corporations, and United States branches and agencies of foreign banks, required reserves are computed by applying the reserve requirement ratios below to net transaction accounts, nonpersonal time deposits, and Eurocurrency liabilities of the institution during the computation period.

Reservable liability Reserve requirement Net Transaction Accounts: $0 to reserve requirement exemption amount ($15.2 million) 0 percent of amount. Over reserve requirement exemption amount ($15.2 million) and up to low reserve tranche ($110.2 million) 3 percent of amount. Over low reserve tranche ($110.2 million) $2,850,000 plus 10 percent of amount over $110.2 million. Nonpersonal time deposits 0 percent. Eurocurrency liabilities 0 percent.
By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Director of the Division of Monetary Affairs under delegated authority, November 12, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2015-29336 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0929; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-218-AD; Amendment 39-18323; AD 2015-23-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. This AD was prompted by multiple reports of chafing found on an electrical wiring harness in the aft equipment bay, caused by contact between the wiring harness and a neighboring hydraulic line. This AD requires an inspection, repair if necessary, and modification of the wiring harness installation to ensure that the wiring harness routing is correct and a minimum clearance between the wire and the hydraulic line is maintained. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafing on an electrical wiring harness, which could cause an electrical short circuit or lead to a malfunction of the flight control system, the engine indication system, or the hydraulic power control system; and adversely affect the continued safe operation and landing of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective December 22, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0929 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone: 514-855-5000; fax: 514-855-7401; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0929.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Assata Dessaline, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Service Branch, ANE-172, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone: 516-228-7301; fax: 516-794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2015 (80 FR 26490).

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-32, dated September 8, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes. The MCAI states:

There have been multiple in-service reports of chafing found on an electrical wiring harness in the aft equipment bay. An investigation determined that the chafing was attributed to contact between the wiring harness and a neighboring hydraulic line. This chafing could cause an electrical short circuit or lead to a malfunction of the flight control system, the engine indication system, or the hydraulic power control system; which could adversely affect the continued safe operation and landing of the aeroplane.

This [Canadian] AD mandates the inspection [general visual inspection], rectification as required [repair of damage (including wear and chafing)], and modification of the wiring harness installation to ensure the correct wiring routing and a minimum clearance between the wire and the hydraulic line is maintained.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0929-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 26490, May 8, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

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

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 26490, May 8, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 26490, May 8, 2015).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Bombardier, Inc. has issued Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014. The service information describes procedures for an inspection, repair if necessary, and modification of the wiring harness installation to prevent contact with the hydraulic line. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 107 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $64 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $43,228, or $404 per product.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0929; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-23-07 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18323. Docket No. FAA-2015-0929; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-218-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective December 22, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model BD-100-1A10 (Challenger 300) airplanes, certificated in any category, having serial numbers 20003 through 20382 inclusive, 20384, and 20386.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by multiple reports of chafing found on an electrical wiring harness in the aft equipment bay, caused by contact between the wiring harness and a neighboring hydraulic line. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafing on an electrical wiring harness, which could cause an electrical short circuit or lead to a malfunction of the flight control system, the engine indication system, or the hydraulic power control system; which could adversely affect the continued safe operation and landing of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection, Repair, and Preventive Modification

Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

(1) Do a one-time general visual inspection to detect damage (including wear and chafing) of the wiring harness, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier, Inc. Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014. Repair any damage before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier, Inc. Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014; except, where Bombardier, Inc. Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014, specifies to contact Bombardier for repair instructions, repair using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(2) Modify the wiring harness routing, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier, Inc. Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014.

(h) Definition of General Visual Inspection

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is a visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

(j) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-32, dated September 8, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0929-0002.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

(i) Bombardier, Inc. Service Bulletin 100-24-24, dated June 6, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

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

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

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

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 30, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-28822 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 500 and 502 RIN 3084-AB33 Rules, Regulations, Statements of General Policy or Interpretation and Exemptions Under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission amends the rules and regulations promulgated under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (“Rules”) to: Modernize the place-of-business listing requirement; incorporate a more comprehensive metric chart; address the use of exponents with customary inch/pound measurements; delete outdated prohibitions on retail price sales representations; and acknowledge the role of the weights-and-measures laws of individual states.

DATES:

This rule is effective on December 17, 2015. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Relevant portions of the proceeding, including this document, are available at the Commission's Web site, www.ftc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Megan E. Gray, Attorney, (202) 326-3408, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction

Congress enacted the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, 15 U.S.C. 1451 et seq., (“FPLA” or “Act”) in 1966 to enable consumers to obtain accurate package quantity information to facilitate value comparisons and prevent unfair or deceptive packaging and labeling of “consumer commodities.” 1 Pursuant to the FPLA, the Commission promulgated the Rules, which generally concern products consumed during household use. However, several categories of these products are exempt from FTC regulations under the FPLA.2 Moreover, the FTC has excluded certain others from the Rules.3

1 Consumer commodities are any food, device, or cosmetic, and any other article, product, or commodity that is customarily produced or distributed for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption or use by individuals for purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered within the household, and which usually is consumed or expended in the course of such consumption or use. 15 U.S.C. 1459(a). The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) administers the FPLA with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. 15 U.S.C. 1454(a); 15 U.S.C. 1456(a).

2 15 U.S.C. 1459(a)(1-5) (excluding, among other products, specified categories of meat, poultry, tobacco, insecticide, fungicide, drug, alcohol, and seed products).

3 16 CFR 503.2, 503.5. Many products outside the scope of the FPLA and the Rules nevertheless fall within the purview of individual state laws. 15 U.S.C. 1461. See also National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 130, Uniform Laws and Regulations in the areas of legal metrology and engine fuel quality (2015 ed.) (compilation of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to product labeling and packaging).

Section 1453 of the Act directs the Commission to issue regulations requiring that all “consumer commodities” be labeled to disclose: (a) The identity of the commodity (e.g., detergent, sponges), which must appear on the principal display panel of the commodity in conspicuous type and position so that identity is easy to read and understand; 4 (b) the name and place of business of the product's manufacturer, packer, or distributor; 5 and (c) the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count, with such disclosure's placement and content in accordance with the Rules.6 The Rules detail how units of weight or mass and measure must be stated, and require use of both U.S. (e.g., pounds, feet, and gallons) and metric measures.7 The Rules also require net quantity disclosures for packages containing more than one product or unit, including: (a) “multi-unit packages”; 8 (b) “variety packages”; 9 and (c) “combination packages.” 10

4 16 CFR 500.4.

5 16 CFR 500.5.

6 16 CFR 500.6(b). The Office of Weights and Measures of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, is authorized to promote, to the greatest practical extent, uniformity in state and federal regulation of the labeling of consumer commodities. 15 U.S.C. 1458(a)(2).

7 Congress amended the FPLA in 1992 to require use of metric measurements, in addition to customary inch/pound measures. Pub. L. 102-245 (February 14, 1992); Pub. L. 102-329 (August 3, 1992). In 1994, the FTC modified its regulations accordingly. 59 FR 1872 (Jan. 12, 1994).

8 16 CFR 500.27.

9 16 CFR 500.28.

10 16 CFR 500.29.

In addition, the Act grants the FTC authority to issue rules to prevent consumer deception and facilitate value comparisons.11 The FTC has used this authority to address three types of representations: “cents-off,” 12 “introductory offer,” 13 and “economy size.” 14

11 15 U.S.C. 1454(c). This discretionary authority enables the FTC to address four situations: (1) Setting standards for characterizing package sizes to supplement the net quantity statement (e.g., establishing a uniform size for a single sheet of toilet paper); (2) regulating packaging that claims a product price is lower than its customary retail price; (3) requiring labels to use common names or listing ingredients in order of decreasing prominence; and (4) preventing nonfunctional slack-fill. 15 U.S.C. 1454(c).

12 A cents-off representation is one in which “cents-off” or a similar term is used to indicate that the consumer commodity is being offered for sale at a price lower than the ordinary and customary retail price. 16 CFR 502.100.

13 An introductory offer is one in which “introductory offer” or a similar phrase is used to indicate that the consumer commodity is being offered for sale at a price lower than the ordinary and customary retail price. 16 CFR 502.101. The Rules prohibit introductory offers in a trade area for a duration in excess of six months. 16 CFR 502.101(b)(3).

14 An economy size representation is one in which “economy size” or similar phrase is used to indicate that the consumer commodity has a retail sale price advantage due to the size of that package or the quantity of its contents. 16 CFR 502.102.

As part of its ongoing regulatory review program, the Commission published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) in March 2014 seeking comment on the economic impact of, and the continuing need for, the Rules; the benefits of the Rules to consumers; and any burdens the Rules place on businesses.15

15 79 FR 15272 (March 19, 2014).

In response, the Commission received fifteen comments. Based on these comments, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on February 2, 2015, proposing several amendments to modernize the place-of-business listing requirement, incorporate a more comprehensive metric chart, address the use of exponents with customary inch/pound measurements, delete prohibitions on certain retail price sale representations, and acknowledge the role of weights-and-measures laws of individual states.16

16 80 FR 5491 (February 2, 2015).

The Commission received nine comments in response to the NPRM, one from a nonprofit association representing officials and consumers affected by the Rules and eight from individuals.17 The nonprofit association approved of the Commission's proposals.18 One individual approved of the Commission's proposal to modernize the place-of-business listing requirement and acknowledge the role of weights-and measures of individual states; he also suggested the Commission amend Section 500.5(b) to delete the Rules' “actual corporate name” requirement, as well as amend the Rules to acknowledge that FDA labeling rules could be relevant to an entity's FPLA compliance and that the FDA has not finalized its proposal to permit metric measurements.19 One individual approved of the Commission's proposal to modernize the place-of-business listing requirement; she did not address the Commission's other proposals.20 Six individuals discussed extraneous topics not material to this rulemaking.21

17 The Commission posted the comments at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-599. Each comment has a number correlating to the date of submission. This notice cites comments using the last name of the individual submitter or the name of the organization, followed by that number.

18 Packaging and Labeling Subcommittee of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (“NCWM”) (1).

19 Schindler (3).

20 Lynn (5).

21 Willey (2), Signer (4), Nagpal (6), Gordon (7), Vita (8), Anonymous (9). For example, Gordon (7) commented on labels for genetically modified foods.

II. Procedures for Promulgating Regulations Under FPLA

Commission Rule 1.26 sets forth the procedures for promulgation of rules under authority other than section 18(a)(1)(B) of the FTC Act; it governs these FPLA amendments.22 The effective date of any regulations issued under the FPLA will not be prior to 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.23

22 16 CFR 1.26(f).

23 16 CFR 1.26(f).

III. Amendments

Based on its consideration of the record, the Commission amends the Rules as explained below.

A. Modernize the Place-of-Business Listing Requirement

Currently, the Rules require a label to conspicuously state the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor and further specify that the place of business statement contain the street address, city, state, and ZIP code. The street address, however, may be omitted if it is listed in a current city or telephone directory.24 The Commission proposed revising this exception to permit a business to omit the street address if it is listed in any readily accessible, well-known, widely published, and publicly available resource, including but not limited to a printed directory, electronic database, or Web site. The inclusion of “any readily accessible, widely published, and publicly available resource” in the exception provides flexibility and is intended to encompass new technologies that meet these requirements.

24 16 CFR 500.5(a)-(e). The Act itself requires the label to include the place of business, but does not specify to what level of detail. 15 U.S.C. 1453(a)(1).

All the comments addressing this proposal supported it.25 One individual suggested that the Commission delete the requirement that certain business entities use their “actual corporate name” (as opposed to their fictitious or doing-business-as name). However, he acknowledged that the requirement did not burden business and he did not demonstrate any benefit associated with his suggested amendment.26 Accordingly, the Commission adopts its proposed amendment without change.

25 NCWM (1), Schindler (3), Lynn (5).

26 Schindler (3).

B. Incorporate a More Comprehensive Metric Chart

Section 500.19(a) currently contains an incomplete metric conversion chart that fails to list possible, albeit uncommon, conversion factors that a packager might use, such as weight expressed in grain, or length expressed in rods. The Commission proposed to correct this omission by deleting the current chart and incorporating by reference the complete metric conversion chart published in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 133, Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods (2015 ed., Exhibit E, pgs. 135-157).27 Members of the public can access the Handbook online at NIST's Web site, www.NIST.gov.

27 The NPRM proposed to incorporate a metric conversion chart from NIST Handbook 130, but the Final Rule incorporates the metric conversion chart from NIST Handbook 133. NIST Handbook 133's metric conversion chart is consistent with the table provided in NIST Handbook 130, but provides a more comprehensive listing of metric conversion factors. This revision does not change the obligations of entities subject to the Rules. Therefore, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, the Commission finds “good cause” for foregoing additional public comment because this change is merely ministerial and further public comment is “unnecessary.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

The only comment addressing this proposal approved its adoption.28 Accordingly, the Commission adopts this proposed amendment without change for the reasons explained in the NPRM.

28 NCWM (1).

C. Address the Use of Exponents With Customary Inch/Pound Measurements

In the current rule (Section 500.22), exponents are not listed for customary inch/pound measurements, but are included in the metric examples listed in Section 500.23(b) (e.g., cubic centimeter—cm3). Because exponents are not listed in the customary inch/pound measurements, affected businesses might think they are not permitted, although they are common in the marketplace and historically sanctioned by the Office of Weights and Measures of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, which is authorized to promote uniformity in labeling regulations.29 Therefore, the Commission proposed to clarify the Rules to expressly permit exponents with customary inch/pound measurements (e.g., cubic inches—in3).

29 NCWM (1).

The only comment addressing this proposal approved its adoption.30 Accordingly, the Commission adopts this proposed amendment without change.

30 NCWM (1).

D. Delete Prohibitions on Certain Retail Price Sales Representations

The Commission proposed to eliminate sections addressing when and how a packager or labeler represents a commodity to be “cents off,” an “introductory offer,” or “economy size.” 31 The Commission originally promulgated these provisions to curtail certain price representations that were commonly used in a deceptive manner during the 1960s and 1970s. However, these representations are now rarely seen in the modern marketplace. Indeed, they have been absent for some time.32 Should they re-appear, the Commission has other tools at its disposal to ensure they are not used deceptively.

31 15 U.S.C. 1454(c)(2).

32 In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked similar regulations for “cents off” and economy size representations, on the grounds that such representations were no longer used in the marketplace. 62 FR 39439 (1997).

The only comment addressing this proposal approved its adoption.33 Accordingly, the Commission adopts this proposed amendment without change.

33 NCWM (1).

E. Acknowledge the Role of Weights-and-Measures Laws of Individual States

Many products outside the Commission's FPLA purview fall within the purview of weights-and-measures laws of individual states; amending the Rules to acknowledge the state role would aid compliance efforts by alerting businesses that state laws may apply. Therefore, the Commission proposed to amend the Rules to state “[m]any products exempted through proceedings under section 5(b) of the Act and section 500.3(e) of this chapter or excluded under part 503 of this chapter nonetheless fall within the purview of the weights-and-measures laws of individual states.”

The two comments addressing this proposal approved its adoption.34 One, however, favored further clarification to indicate that FDA also has a role in FPLA regulation, but did not provide any indication that entities were unfamiliar with this fact. Accordingly, the Commission adopts this proposed amendment without change.

34 NCWM (1), Schindler (3).

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Rules contain various existing information collection requirements for which the Commission has obtained OMB clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”).35 Because the amendments do not trigger additional recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting requirements, there is no incremental burden under the PRA. See 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. None of the comments disputed the PRA analysis in the NPRM.

35 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. On April 6, 2015, OMB granted clearance through April 30, 2018, for these requirements and the associated PRA burden estimates. The OMB control number is 3084-0110.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) 36 requires the Commission to conduct an initial and final analysis of the anticipated economic impact of the amendments on small entities.37 The purpose of a regulatory flexibility analysis is to ensure the agency considers the impacts on small entities and examines regulatory alternatives that could achieve the regulatory purpose while minimizing burdens on small entities. Section 605 of the RFA 38 provides that such an analysis is not required if the agency head certifies that the regulatory action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

36 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

37 The Commission previously conducted an RFA analysis of the Rules. 59 FR 1862 (Jan. 12, 1994).

38 5 U.S.C. 605.

The Commission believes the amendments will not have a significant economic impact on small entities, although they may affect a substantial number of small businesses. The amendments expand labeling options to accommodate the rise of online media, remove unnecessary price statement prohibitions, or are technical in nature.

In the Commission's view, the amendments will not have a significant or disproportionate impact on the costs small entities incur in manufacturing, distributing, or selling consumer commodities. Indeed, the Rule revisions provide increased flexibility for companies complying with the Rules. Therefore, the Commission certifies that amending the Rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses.

Although the Commission certifies under the RFA that the amendments will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the Commission nonetheless has determined it is appropriate to publish a final regulatory flexibility analysis to ensure the impact of the amendments on small entities is fully addressed. Therefore, the Commission prepared the following analysis:

A. Need for and Objective of the Amendments

The objective of the amendments is to clarify and update the Rules in accordance with marketplace practices. The Act authorizes the Commission to implement its requirements through the issuance of rules. The amendments clarify and update the Rules, and provide covered entities with additional labeling options without imposing significant new burdens or additional costs.

B. Significant Issues Raised in Public Comments

In the NPRM's initial regulatory flexibility analysis, the Commission concluded that the proposed amendments would not have a significant or disproportionate economic impact (including compliance costs) on small entities that produce consumer commodities other than those commodities falling within the authority of other agencies or otherwise outside the Act's or Rules' scope. None of the comments disputed the initial regulatory flexibility analysis. The Commission did not receive any comments from the Small Business Administration.

C. Small Entities to Which the Amendments Will Apply

The amendments cover every company in the economy that produces consumer commodities other than those commodities falling within the authority of other agencies or otherwise outside the Act's or Rules' scope. Based on available information, it is not feasible for the Commission to estimate the number of entities within this class of industry that are also small companies within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.39 A substantial number of these entities likely qualify as small businesses. Nevertheless, the Commission estimates that the amendments will not have a significant impact on small businesses because the amendments do not impose any significant new obligations. The Commission sought, but did not receive, comment with regard to the estimated number or nature of small business entities, if any, for which the amendments would have a significant impact.

39 5 U.S.C. 601(3).

D. Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements, Including Classes of Covered Small Entities and Professional Skills Needed To Comply

As explained earlier in this document, the amendments expand labeling options to accommodate the rise of online media, remove unnecessary price statement prohibitions, or are technical in nature. The small entities potentially covered by these amendments will include all such entities subject to the Rules. The professional skills necessary for compliance with the Rules as modified by the amendments will include office and administrative support supervisors to determine label content and clerical personnel to draft and obtain labels and keep records.

E. Significant Alternatives to the Amendments

The Commission has not proposed any specific small entity exemption or other significant alternatives, because the amendments expand labeling options to accommodate the rise of online media, remove unnecessary price statement prohibitions, or are technical in nature. In addition, these changes provide new flexibilities for small entitities by, for example, allowing regulated entities to omit a business address from a label if the address is readily available in an online directory or other Web site. Under these limited circumstances, the Commission does not believe a special exemption for small entities or significant compliance alternatives are necessary or appropriate to minimize the compliance burden, if any, on small entities while achieving the intended purposes of the proposed amendments. Nonetheless, the Commission sought, but did not receive, comments on the need, if any, for alternative compliance methods to reduce the economic impact of the Rules on small entities.

None of the comments addressed the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis in the NPRM.

VI. Incorporation by Reference

Consistent with 1 CFR part 51, the Commission is incorporating the complete metric conversion chart published in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 133, Checking the Contents of Packaged Goods (2015 ed., Exhibit E, pgs. 135-157), as described in Section III.B above. The metric conversion chart provides a complete and up-to-date list of metric conversion factors for packagers.

The metric conversion chart is reasonably available to interested parties. Members of the public can access the metric conversion chart online at NIST's Web site, NIST.gov.

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Parts 500 and 502

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, Incorporation by reference, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Trade practices.

Under 15 U.S.C. 1454-1455 and as discussed in the preamble, the Federal Trade Commission amends title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations by amending parts 500 and 502 as follows:

PART 500—REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT 1. The authority citation for part 500 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1453, 1454, 1455.

2. In § 500.3, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 500.3 Prohibited acts, coverage, general labeling requirements, exemption procedures.

(d) Each packaged or labeled consumer commodity, unless it has been exempted through proceedings under section 5(b) of the Act, shall bear a label specifying the identity of the commodity; the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; the net quantity of contents; and the net quantity per serving, use or application, where there is a label representation as to the number of servings, uses, or applications obtainable from the commodity. Many products exempted through proceedings under section 5(b) of the Act and section 500.3(e) of this chapter or excluded under part 503 of this chapter nonetheless fall within the purview of the weights-and-measures laws of the individual states.

3. Revise § 500.5(c) to read as follows:
§ 500.5 Name and place of business of manufacturer, packer or distributor.

(c) The statement of the place of business shall include the street address, city, state, and zip code; however, the street address may be omitted if it is listed in a readily accessible, widely published, and publicly available resource, including but not limited to a printed directory, electronic database, or Web site.

4. In § 500.19, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 500.19 Conversion of SI metric quantities to inch/pound quantities and inch/pound quantities to SI metric quantities.

(a) For calculating the conversion of SI metric quantities to and from customary inch/pound quantities, the conversion chart published in the following handbook shall be employed: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 133, Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods, Appendix E—General Tables of Units of Measurements, 2015 Edition, adopted November 2014. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy of NIST Handbook 133 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Web site, http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/pubs/hb133.cfm. You may inspect a copy at FTC Library, (202) 326-2395, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-630, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

5. Revise § 500.22 to read as follows:
§ 500.22 Abbreviations.

The following abbreviations and none other may be employed in the required net quantity declaration:

Inch—in. Feet or foot—ft. Fluid—fl. Liquid—liq. Ounce—oz. Gallon—gal. Pint—pt. Pound—lb. Quart—qt. Square—sq. Weight—wt. Yard—yd. Avoirdupois—avdp. Cubic—cu. Note:

Periods and plural forms shall be optional. Exponents are permitted.

PART 502—REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 5(C) OF THE FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT 6. The authority citation for part 502 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 1454, 1455.

§§ 502.100, 502.101, and 502.102 [Removed and Reserved]
7. Remove and reserve §§ 502.100, 500.101, and 502.102.

By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-28918 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Parts 103, 161, and 175 [CBP Dec. 15-16] RIN 1651-AB05 Freedom of Information Act Procedures AGENCY:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) regulations. Due to the transfer of CBP from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and the subsequent promulgation of DHS FOIA regulations which provide that the DHS FOIA regulations generally apply to all DHS components, most of the CBP FOIA regulations have been functionally superseded. This document sets forth that, with the exception of a regulation pertaining to the treatment of confidential commercial information, CBP will apply the DHS FOIA and Privacy Act regulations for purposes of administering the FOIA. This final rule removes outdated regulations, aligns CBP's regulatory procedures for processing FOIA requests with those of DHS, thereby creating a consistent standard among the DHS components, and brings CBP within compliance of the FOIA guidelines developed by OMB.

DATES:

Effective: November 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shari Suzuki, Chief, FOIA Appeals, Policy & Litigation Branch, Office of International Trade, (202) 325-0121.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) (5 U.S.C. 552) provides for the disclosure of agency records and information to the public unless the records and information are exempted from disclosure. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) regulations specifically covering the production and disclosure of records under the FOIA are set forth in part 103 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR part 103) and consist of sections 103.1-103.13 (19 CFR 103.1-103.13).

Prior to March 1, 2003, the United States Customs Service (“Customs”) was a component of the Department of the Treasury. On November 25, 2002, the President signed the Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. 101 et seq., Public Law 107-296, (the “HSA”), establishing the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). Pursuant to section 403(1) of the HSA, Customs was transferred from Treasury to DHS effective March 1, 2003, and renamed as the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection or CBP).

DHS published FOIA and Privacy Act regulations in the Federal Register (68 FR 4056) as an interim rule on January 27, 2003. The DHS regulations specifically covering FOIA-related matters are set forth in subpart A of part 5 of title 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations (6 CFR part 5, subpart A) and consist of sections 5.1-5.12 (6 CFR 5.1-5.12).

Section 5.1(a)(2) (6 CFR 5.1(a)(2)) states that, except to the extent a DHS component adopts separate guidance under the FOIA, the provisions of the DHS FOIA regulations apply to each component of the Department. However, under these regulations DHS components may issue their own guidance pursuant to approval by DHS. As discussed in more detail below, CBP published in the Federal Register (71 FR 54197) a final rule on September 14, 2006, relating to the treatment of confidential commercial information. See also interim final rule issued on August 11, 2003 at 68 FR 47453. No other provisions of the CBP FOIA regulations have been amended since CBP became a part of DHS.

For additional resources, please see the CBP FOIA page online at http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia.

Need for Correction

Due to the promulgation of DHS FOIA regulations which provide that the DHS FOIA regulations generally apply to all DHS components except to the extent that a DHS component adopts separate guidance, most of the CBP FOIA regulations have been functionally superseded. The current CBP regulation, section 103.0, directs the public to the Treasury FOIA regulations found at 31 CFR part 1 and instructs that for any inconsistency between 19 CFR part 103 and the Treasury FOIA regulations, the Treasury FOIA regulations control. The existing CBP regulations are now obsolete and retaining inconsistent regulations causes confusion for those seeking to file a FOIA request. As a result, CBP is amending sections 103.0 through 103.3, removing and reserving sections 103.4 through 103.13 of Subpart A of Part 103, and directing readers to the DHS FOIA regulations. This will align CBP's regulatory procedures for processing FOIA requests and appeals with DHS procedures.

The DHS FOIA regulations reflect many Congressional amendments to the FOIA, for which conforming changes had not been made in the CBP FOIA regulations. The DHS FOIA regulations also reflect OMB's guidelines established in the Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines publication. In addition, DHS recently proposed additional updates to its FOIA regulations to update and streamline the language of several procedural provisions, and to incorporate changes brought about by the amendments to the FOIA under the OPEN Government Act of 2007, among other changes (80 FR 45101, July 29, 2015).

While in practice, CBP currently follows the FOIA, as amended, and the rules and procedures set forth in the DHS FOIA regulations, CBP hopes to eliminate confusion for the public making FOIA requests, as well as CBP personnel handling FOIA requests by removing conflicting and sometimes outdated CBP FOIA regulations and directing readers to the DHS FOIA regulations, as appropriate.

Discussion of Amendments

This document makes amendments to the scope section of part 103 (19 CFR 103.0), sections 103.1 through 103.3 of subpart A (19 CFR 103.1-103.3), and by removing sections 103.4 through 103.13 of subpart A of 19 CFR part 103 (19 CFR 103.4-103.13). Specifically, this document amends section 103.0 by removing references to the FOIA subject matters that are no longer discussed within Part 103 because they are now addressed in the DHS regulations and amends section 103.1 to account for CBP's move to virtual reading rooms (19 CFR 103.1). In addition, section 103.2 is revised to explain in paragraph (a) that CBP processes FOIA requests pursuant to the DHS FOIA regulations set forth in 6 CFR part 5, subpart A (19 CFR 103.2(a)), unless CBP provides a particular exception. Paragraph (b) of section 103.2 sets forth the exception that CBP will not apply the DHS FOIA regulation pertaining to the treatment of business information contained in 6 CFR 5.8 (19 CFR 103.2(b)). Rather, as explained below, CBP will continue to apply its current regulation in section 103.35 (19 CFR 103.35) which governs the treatment of confidential commercial information. A corresponding amendment is made to section 103.35 (19 CFR 103.35). Lastly, section 103.3 is revised to explain how CBP processes Privacy Act requests pursuant to the DHS Privacy Act regulations set forth in 6 CFR part 5, subpart B (6 CFR 5).

Exceptions to DHS Regulations

On September 14, 2006, CBP published a final rule in the Federal Register (71 FR 54197) governing the disclosure procedures that CBP follows when commercial information is provided to CBP by a business submitter. The rule finalized an interim rule in section 103.35 (19 CFR 103.35) to subpart C, published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2003 (68 FR 47453), in order to clearly set forth CBP's policy governing the disclosure of confidential commercial information that is provided to CBP by a business submitter.

As opposed to section 103.35 in title 19 CFR, the DHS FOIA regulation controlling the treatment of business information in 6 CFR 5.8 contains an affirmative requirement that a business submitter must identify information as privileged or confidential in order to be withheld from disclosure. In this regard, 6 CFR 5.8 specifically states that a submitter of business information must use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of their submission that they consider to be exempt from disclosure under the FOIA.

Section 5.8 of title 6 CFR also states that, before business information is released, notice will be provided to submitters whenever a FOIA request is made that seeks the business information that has been designated in good faith as confidential or when the agency has a reason to believe that the information may be protected from disclosure. When notice is provided by the agency, the submitter is required to submit a detailed written statement specifying the grounds for withholding any portion of the information and show why the information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

CBP has determined that 19 CFR 103.35 remains an effective regulation. In addition, CBP believes that this regulation should be retained in order to assure the public that CBP's established policy governing the treatment of confidential commercial information subject to FOIA requests will not change as a result of the amendments in this document. See 68 FR 47753 (August 11, 2003). For example, CBP will not require business submitters to designate information as protected from disclosure as privileged or confidential in order for CBP to withhold the information in response to a FOIA request. Therefore, CBP will continue to apply 19 CFR 103.35 in order to process confidential information under the FOIA. This action is fully consistent with DHS's recent proposed rule on FOIA, which explicitly proposed to incorporate the provisions of 19 CFR 103.35 into DHS's title 6 FOIA regulation. See 80 FR at 45103.

Other Changes

CBP has also determined that paragraph (b) of section 103.13 (19 CFR 103.13(b)), which provides that identifying data will not be eliminated from petitions by domestic interested parties, is more appropriately placed within 19 CFR part 175. Part 175 sets forth the regulations for petitions by domestic interested parties. As existing 19 CFR 103.13(b) is specific to petitions by domestic interested parties, this relocation will provide the public involved with such petitions with all relevant regulations in one location. Accordingly, this document moves the provision currently found in paragraph (b) of section 103.13 (19 CFR 103.13(b)) to the end of section 175.21(b) (19 CFR 175.21(b)).

This document also amends sections 103.31a, 103.32, 103.34, 161.15, and 175.21 (19 CFR 103.31a, 103.32, 103.34, 161.15, and 175.21) in order to remove references in these sections to the CBP FOIA regulations that are being removed and to update the references accordingly. In sections 103.31a and 103.32 (19 CFR 103.31a and 103.32), references to CBP FOIA regulations are removed and replaced with references to the DHS FOIA provisions at 6 CFR 5.3. In addition, the introductory paragraph to section 103.31a (19 CFR 103.31a) is revised to replace a reference to section 103.12(d), which is removed by this document, with text from current section 103.12(d) (19 CFR 103.12) providing that trade secrets and commercial or financial information are per se exempt from disclosure.

In sections 103.34, 161.15, and 175.21 (19 CFR 104.34, 161.15, and 175.21), the reference to CBP FOIA regulations are replaced with references to the FOIA statute at 5 U.S.C. 552. In addition, section 161.15 (19 CFR 161.15) is revised to replace a reference to section 103.12(g)(4) (19 CFR 103.12), which is removed by this document, with a reference to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(D) and text from current section 103.12(g)(4). Section 161.15 (19 CFR 161.15) is also being revised to replace a reference to 103.12(i) (19 CFR 103.12), which is removed by this document, with text from current section 103.12(i) which tracks the language found in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(7)(C)(2). Lastly, this document makes non-substantive amendments to these regulations to reflect the nomenclature changes effected by the reorganization of the U.S. Customs Service under DHS in 2003 and to remove the word consignee from section 175.21 to be consistent with the statutory amendments to 19 U.S.C. 1484(a)(2)(B).

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule is not a “significant regulatory action,” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this regulation.

Following the creation of DHS in 2003, DHS promulgated the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Procedures interim final rule set forth in 6 CFR part 5. For consistent and appropriate administration, CBP generally began applying the DHS FOIA procedures after their publication. However, the CBP FOIA procedures remained in the Code of Federal Regulations, sometimes causing confusion about their use among the public and agency personnel. Unlike the CBP FOIA regulations outlined in 19 CFR 103 subpart A, the DHS FOIA procedures are up-to-date and conform to FOIA guidelines established by OMB. This rule will serve to remove obsolete provisions of CBP's FOIA regulations and will establish uniform FOIA administration procedures among DHS and its component, CBP, in the Code of Federal Regulations. This rule will not affect CBP's current application of FOIA procedures as CBP already adheres to DHS FOIA regulations. Instead, the rule will provide greater clarity of CBP's application of FOIA procedures. Therefore, this rule will not have an economic impact on CBP or the public.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), CBP has determined that it would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to delay publication of this rule in final form pending an opportunity for public comment because the existing regulations are obsolete and maintaining inconsistent regulations causes confusion for the public. In addition, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), CBP has determined that there is good cause for this final rule to become effective immediately upon publication. CBP currently follows the DHS FOIA regulations as a matter of law and policy. The amendments contained in this document merely align CBP's regulatory procedures for processing FOIA requests and appeals with DHS procedures and bring CBP in compliance with OMB's guidelines established in the Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines publication.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996, requires agencies to assess the impact of regulations on small entities. A small entity may be a small business (defined as any independently owned and operated business not dominant in its field that qualifies as a small business per the Small Business Act); a small not-for-profit organization; or a small governmental jurisdiction (locality with fewer than 50,000 people). The Regulatory Flexibility Act applies only to rules subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) or any other law (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because this rule is not subject to such notice and comment rulemaking requirements, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply. However, as discussed above in the “Executive Orders 13563 and 12866” section, this rule will not have an economic impact on the public because it merely clarifies CBP's current adherence to DHS FOIA procedures rather than existing, outdated CBP FOIA regulations.

Signing Authority

This document is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.2(a), which provides that the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to CBP regulations that are not related to customs revenue functions was transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to section 403(1) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Accordingly, this final rule to amend such regulations may be signed by the Secretary of Homeland Security (or his delegate).

List of Subjects 19 CFR Part 103

Administrative practice and procedure, Computer technology, Confidential business information, Customs duties and inspection, Freedom of information, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

19 CFR Part 161

Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Imports, Law enforcement.

19 CFR Part 175

Administrative practice and procedure, Customs duties and inspection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Amendments to the CBP Regulations

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, parts 103, 161, and 175 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR parts 103, 161, and 175) are amended as set forth below.

PART 103—AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION 1. The general authority citation for part 103 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 552, 552a; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1624; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

2. Section 103.0 is revised to read as follows:
§ 103.0 Scope.

This part governs the production/disclosure of agency-maintained documents/information requested pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended (5 U.S.C. 552), the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a), and/or under other statutory or regulatory provisions and/or as requested through administrative and/or legal processes. In this respect, this part contains regulations on production or disclosure in federal, state, local, and foreign proceedings and includes specific information pertaining to the procedures to be followed when producing or disclosing documents or information under various circumstances. In addition, this part contains regulations on other information subject to restricted access. As information obtained by CBP is derived from myriad sources, persons seeking information should consult with the appropriate field officer before invoking the formal procedures set forth in this part. Except for 19 CFR 103.35, the regulations in this part supplement the regulations of the Department of Homeland Security regarding public access to records found at 6 CFR part 5. For purposes of this part, the CBP Office of the Chief Counsel is considered to be a part of CBP.

Subpart A—Production of Documents/Disclosure of Information Under the FOIA
3. Section 103.1 is revised to read as follows:
§ 103.1 Public Reading Room.

CBP maintains a virtual public reading room at http://foiarr.cbp.gov/ where the material required to be made available under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and this part may be inspected and copied.

4. Section 103.2 is revised to read as follows:
§ 103.2 Department of Homeland Security Freedom of Information Act Procedures.

(a) Department of Homeland Security FOIA Regulations. In order to process requests for documents/information and appeals under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended (5 U.S.C. 552), except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, CBP applies the Department of Homeland Security FOIA regulations in 6 CFR part 5, subpart A.

(b) Exception. Notwithstanding section 5.8 of Title 6, CBP retains its own policy on the treatment of confidential commercial information provided in § 103.35.

5. Section 103.3 is revised to read as follows:
§ 103.3 Department of Homeland Security Privacy Act Procedures.

Department of Homeland Security Privacy Act Regulations. In order to process access requests for documents/information and appeals under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a), CBP applies the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Act regulations in 6 CFR part 5, subpart B.

§§ 103.4 through 103.13 [Removed and Reserved]
6. Remove and reserve §§ 103.4 through 103.13. 7. In § 103.31a, revise the introductory text to read as follows:
§ 103.31a Advance electronic information for air, truck, and rail cargo; Importer Security Filing Information for vessel cargo.

The following types of advance electronic information are per se exempt from disclosure as either trade secrets or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, unless CBP receives a specific request for such records pursuant to 6 CFR 5.3, and the owner of the information expressly agrees in writing to its release:

§ 103.32 [Amended]
8. In § 103.32: a. In the parenthetical clause in the first sentence, add the words “or CBP Decisions” after the words “Treasury Decisions”; b. Remove the word “Customs” each place it appears and add in its place the term “CBP”; c. Remove the word “shall” each place it appears and add in its place the word “must”; and d. Remove the reference in the last sentence to “§ 103.5” and add in its place “6 CFR 5.3”. 9. In § 103.34: a. The section heading is revised; b. Paragraph (a) is amended by: i. Removing the word “Customs” each place it appears and adding in its place the term “CBP”; ii. Removing the phrase “the U.S. Customs Service” and adding in its place the term “CBP”; and c. Paragraph (b) is revised.

The revisions read as follows:

§ 103.34 Sanctions for improper actions by CBP officers or employees.

(b) Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(F), the Special Counsel, Merit Systems Protection Board, has authority, upon the issuance of a written finding by a court that a CBP officer or employee who was primarily responsible for withholding a record may have acted arbitrarily or capriciously, to initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against that officer or employee. Such proceedings are governed by Merit Systems Protection Board regulations found at Part 1201 of Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

10. In § 103.35, the first sentence of paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
§ 103.35 Confidential commercial information; exempt.

(a) * * * Notwithstanding 6 CFR 5.8, for purposes of this section, “commercial information” is defined as trade secret, commercial, or financial information obtained from a person. * * *

PART 161—GENERAL ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS 11. The general authority citation for part 161 continues to read and a specific authority citation for section 161.15 is added to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1600, 1619, 1624.

Section 161.15 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552.

12. Section 161.15 is revised to read as follows:
§ 161.15 Confidentiality for informant.

The name and address of the informant must be kept confidential. No files or information will be revealed which might aid in the unauthorized identification of an informant. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(D), specific informant records that are exempt from disclosure are those that could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a state, local, or foreign authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source. Informant records maintained by CBP under an informant's name or personal identifier that are requested by a third party according to the informant's name or personal identifier are not subject to the disclosure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a), unless the informant's status as an informant has been officially confirmed.

PART 175—PETITIONS BY DOMESTIC INTERESTED PARTIES 13. The general authority citation for part 175 continues, and a specific authority citation for section 175.21 is added, to read as follows: Authority:

R.S. 251, as amended, secs. 516, 624, 46 Stat. 735, as amended, 759; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1516, 1624, unless otherwise noted.

Section 175.21 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552.

14. In § 175.21, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
§ 175.21 Notice of filing of petition, inspection of petition, and inspection of documents and papers.

(b) Inspection of petition; inspection of documents and papers. The petition filed by a domestic interested party will be made available for inspection by interested parties in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(a). However, neither a petitioner nor other interested parties will in any case be permitted to inspect documents or papers of the importer of record which are exempted from disclosure by 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). Identifying data is not to be deleted from petitions filed by American manufacturers, producers, and wholesalers pursuant to section 516, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1516).

Dated: November 9, 2015. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
[FR Doc. 2015-29183 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0989] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Unexploded Ordnance Detonation; Passage Key, FL AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone within a 2000-ft radius of an ordnance detonation area. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by the unexploded ordnance detonation. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from November 17, 2015 through December 18, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 6, 2015 through November 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-0989 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Boatswain's Mate First Class Tyrone J. Stafford, Sector St. Petersburg Prevention Department, Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191 ext. 8307, email [email protected].

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest”. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard was not aware of the ordinance removal operation or details needed to implement a safety zone in time to publish an NPRM and to receive public comments. It is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to publish an NPRM because we must establish this safety zone by November 06, 2015 to ensure the protection of personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by the unexploded ordnance detonation.

We are issuing this temporary final rule and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register for the same reasons discussed above. The need for this safety zone has been deemed necessary as the detonation of unexploded ordnance will occur during the dates specified in this document.

The purpose of this event is to clear any unexploded ordnance from a former gunnery training site. The Passage Key Air-to Ground Gunnery Range area was formerly used for arial training during World War II. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE will search for and destroy any ordinance found in the vicinity of Passage Key with controlled explosives. The safety zone will incorporate a 2000-ft buffer area outside of the investigation and detonation area. The U.S. USACE will be responsible for the detonation of ordnance within the specified area.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated navigation areas and limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

The purpose of this rule is to protect the personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from November 06, 2015 through December 18, 2015. The safety zone will include waters within a 2000-ft radius of the unexploded ordnance detonation zone around the Passage Key Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range located in Manatee County, FL, identified by several law enforcement vessels showing flashing blue lights. All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering or remaining in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around the safety zone. The safety zone will only be enforced for a total of 36 days between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., in a location where commercial vessel traffic is expected to be minimal. Commercial vessel traffic may transit the safety zone to the extent compatible with public safety if authorized by the Captain of the Port or designated representatives. The Coast Guard will provide advance notification of the safety zone to the local community by a Local Notice to Mariners.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting no more than 36 days. It will prohibit entry within all navigable waters within a 2000-ft radius of an unexploded ordnance detonation zone identified by law enforcement vessels showing flashing blue lights in the vicinity of Passage Key Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range located in Manatee County, FL. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T07-0989 to read as follows:
§ 165.T07-0989 Safety Zone; Unexploded Ordnance Detonation; Passage Key, FL.

(a) Regulated areas. The following regulated area is a safety zone; all waters within a 2000-ft radius of the unexploded ordnance detonation zone around the Passage Key Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range located in Manatee County, FL, identified by several law enforcement vessels showing flashing blue lights.

(b) Definition. The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard boat coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officials designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg in the enforcement of the regulated areas.

(c) Enforcement period. This rule is effective without actual notice from November 17, 2015 through December 18, 2015. For purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 6, 2015 through November 17, 2015.

(d) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels desiring to enter or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg by telephone at (727) 824-7524, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization.

(2) If authorization to enter or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative. Recreational vessels authorized to enter the regulated area may be subject to boarding and inspection of the vessel and persons onboard.

(3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Local Notice to Mariners, and/or on-scene designated representatives.

Dated: November 10, 2015. G.D. Case, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, St. Petersburg.
[FR Doc. 2015-29347 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0600; FRL-9936-97-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Additional Regulations for the Benton Clean Air Agency Jurisdiction AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving revisions to the Washington State Implementation Plan (SIP) that were submitted by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) in coordination with Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) on August 25, 2015. In the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, the EPA approved numerous revisions to Ecology's general air quality regulations. However, our approval of the updated Ecology regulations applied only to geographic areas where Ecology, and not a local air authority, has jurisdiction, and statewide to source categories over which Ecology has sole jurisdiction. This final approval allows BCAA to rely primarily on Ecology's general air quality regulations for sources within BCAA's jurisdiction, including implementation of the minor new source review and nonattainment new source review permitting programs. This final action also approves of a small set of BCAA regulatory provisions that replace or supplement parts of Ecology's general air quality regulations.

DATES:

This final rule is effective December 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0600. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Programs Unit, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information please contact Jeff Hunt at (206) 553-0256, [email protected], or by using the above EPA, Region 10 address.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background Information II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background Information

On September 15, 2015, the EPA proposed to approve revisions to the general air quality regulations contained in the Washington SIP as they apply to BCAA's jurisdiction (80 FR 55280). An explanation of the CAA requirements, a detailed analysis of the submittal, and the EPA's reasons for approval were provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking, and will not be restated here. The public comment period for this proposed rule ended on October 15, 2015. The EPA received no comments on the proposal.

II. Final Action A. Regulations Approved and Incorporated by Reference Into the SIP

The EPA is approving and incorporating by reference into the Washington SIP at 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4, “Additional Regulations Approved for the Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) Jurisdiction” the BCAA and Ecology regulations listed in the tables below for sources within BCAA's jurisdiction.

Approved Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) Regulations State/local
  • citation
  • Title/subject State/local
  • effective date
  • Explanation
    Regulation 1 1.01 Name of Agency 12/11/14 1.02 Policy and Purpose 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-010. 1.03 Applicability 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-020. 4.01(A) Definitions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-030 (38). 4.01(B) Definitions—Fugitive Emissions 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-030 (39). 4.02(B) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Emissions 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-040(4). 4.02(C)(1) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-040(9)(a). 4.02(C)(3) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 Replaces WAC 173-400-040(9)(b).
    Approved Washington State Department of Ecology Regulations State/local
  • citation
  • Title/subject State/local
  • effective date
  • Explanation
    Chapter 173-400 WAC, General Regulations for Air Pollution Sources 173-400-030 Definitions 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-030(38); 173-400-030(39); 173-400-030(91). 173-400-036 Relocation of Portable Sources 12/29/12 173-400-040 General Standards for Maximum Emissions 4/1/11 Except: 173-400-040(2)(c); 173-400-040(2)(d); 173-400-040(3); 173-400-040(4); 173-400-040(5); 173-400-040(7), second paragraph; 173-400-040(9)(a); 173-400-040(9)(b). 173-400-050 Emission Standards for Combustion and Incineration Units 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-050(2); 173-400-050(4); 173-400-050(5). 173-400-060 Emission Standards for General Process Units 2/10/05 173-400-070 Emission Standards for Certain Source Categories 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-070(7); 173-400-070(8). 173-400-081 Startup and Shutdown 4/1/11 173-400-091 Voluntary Limits on Emissions 4/1/11 173-400-105 Records, Monitoring and Reporting 12/29/12 173-400-110 New Source Review (NSR) for Sources and Portable Sources 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-110(1)(c)(ii)(C); 173-400-110(1)(e); 173-400-110(2)(d);
  • —The part of WAC 173-400-110(4)(b)(vi) that says, “not for use with materials containing toxic air pollutants, as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC,”;
  • —The part of 400-110(4)(e)(iii) that says, “where toxic air pollutants as defined in chapter 173-460 WAC are not emitted”; The part of 400-110(4)(e)(f)(i) that says, “that are not toxic air pollutants listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xviii) that says, “, to the extent that toxic air pollutant gases as defined in chapter 173-460 WAC are not emitted”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxiii) that says, “where no toxic air pollutants as listed under chapter 173-460 WAC are emitted”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxiv) that says, “, or ≤1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”; The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxv) that says, “or ≤1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxvi) that says, “or ≤1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”; 400-110(4)(h)(xl), second sentence; —The last row of the table in 173-400-110(5)(b) regarding exemption levels for Toxic Air Pollutants. 173-400-111 Processing Notice of Construction Applications for Sources, Stationary Sources and Portable Sources 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-111(3)(h);
  • —The part of 173-400-111(8)(a)(v) that says, “and 173-460-040,”; 173-400-111(9).
  • 173-400-112 Requirements for New Sources in Nonattainment Areas—Review for Compliance with Regulations 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-112(8). 173-400-113 New Sources in Attainment or Unclassifiable Areas—Review for Compliance with Regulations 12/29/12 Except: 173-400-113(3), second sentence. 173-400-117 Special Protection Requirements for Federal Class I Areas 12/29/12 Except facilities subject to the applicability provisions of WAC 173-400-700. 173-400-118 Designation of Class I, II, and III Areas 12/29/12 173-400-131 Issuance of Emission Reduction Credits 4/1/11 173-400-136 Use of Emission Reduction Credits (ERC) 12/29/12 173-400-151 Retrofit Requirements for Visibility Protection 2/10/05 173-400-171 Public Notice and Opportunity for Public Comment 12/29/12 Except:
  • —The part of 173-400-171(3)(b) that says, “or any increase in emissions of a toxic air pollutant above the acceptable source impact level for that toxic air pollutant as regulated under chapter 173-460 WAC”; 173-400-171(12).
  • 173-400-175 Public Information 2/10/05 173-400-200 Creditable Stack Height & Dispersion Techniques 2/10/05 173-400-560 General Order of Approval 12/29/12 Except:
  • —The part of 173-400-560(1)(f) that says, “173-460 WAC”.
  • 173-400-800 Major Stationary Source and Major Modification in a Nonattainment Area 4/1/11 173-400-810 Major Stationary Source and Major Modification Definitions 12/29/12 173-400-820 Determining if a New Stationary Source or Modification to a Stationary Source is Subject to these Requirements 12/29/12 173-400-830 Permitting Requirements 12/29/12 173-400-840 Emission Offset Requirements 12/29/12 173-400-850 Actual Emissions Plantwide Applicability Limitation (PAL) 12/29/12 173-400-860 Public Involvement Procedures 4/1/11
    B. Regulations Approved But Not Incorporated by Reference

    In addition to the regulations approved and incorporated by reference above, the EPA reviews and approves state and local clean air agency submissions to ensure they provide adequate enforcement authority and other general authority to implement and enforce the SIP. However, regulations describing such agency enforcement and other general authority are generally not incorporated by reference so as to avoid potential conflict with the EPA's independent authorities. The EPA reviewed and is approving BCAA, Regulation 1, Article 2, General Provisions, as having adequate enforcement and other general authority for purposes of implementing and enforcing the SIP, but is not incorporating this section by reference into the SIP codified in 40 CFR 52.2470(c). Instead, the EPA is including sections 2.01, Powers and Duties of the Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA); 2.02, Requirements for Board of Directors Members (replaces WAC 173-400-220); 2.03, Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors; 2.04, Powers and Duties of the Control Officer; 2.05, Severability; and 2.06, Confidentiality of Records and Information, in 40 CFR 52.2470(e), EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures, as approved but not incorporated by reference regulatory provisions. Finally, for the reasons discussed above, the EPA is moving WAC 173-400-220, Requirements for Board Members; WAC 173-400-230, Regulatory Actions; WAC 173-400-240, Criminal Penalties; WAC 173-400-250, Appeals; and WAC 173-400-260, Conflict of Interest, currently incorporated by reference in 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4, to the list of provisions in 40 CFR 52.2470(e) that are approved but not incorporated by reference.

    C. Regulations Removed From the SIP

    The regulations contained in Washington's SIP at 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4 were last approved by the EPA on June 2, 1995 (60 FR 28726). The EPA is removing from this table WAC 173-400-010 and 173-400-020 because these provisions are replaced by the BCAA corollaries 1.02, Policy and Purpose and 1.03, Applicability, as shown in Attachment 2 of the SIP revision. We are also removing WAC 173-400-100, because this outdated provision is no longer part of the EPA-approved SIP for Ecology's direct jurisdiction under CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 2 and BCAA has requested that it be removed from the BCAA's jurisdiction under CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4. For more information please see the EPA's proposed (79 FR 39351, July 10, 2014) and final (79 FR 59653, October 3, 2014) actions on the general provisions of Chapter 173-400 WAC.

    D. Scope of Proposed Action

    This revision to the SIP applies specifically to the BCAA jurisdiction incorporated into the SIP at 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4. As discussed in the EPA's October 3, 2014 action on the general provisions of Chapter 173-400 WAC, jurisdiction is generally defined on a geographic basis (Benton County); however there are exceptions (79 FR 59653 at page 59654). By statute, BCAA does not have authority for sources under the jurisdiction of the Energy Facilities Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). See Revised Code of Washington Chapter 80.50. Under the applicability provisions of WAC 173-405-012, WAC 173-410-012, and WAC 173-415-012, BCAA also does not have jurisdiction for kraft pulp mills, sulfite pulping mills, and primary aluminum plants. For these sources, Ecology retains statewide, direct jurisdiction. Ecology also retains statewide, direct jurisdiction for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program. Therefore, the EPA is not approving into 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4 those provisions of Chapter 173-400 WAC related to the PSD program. Specifically, these provisions are WAC 173-400-116 and WAC 173-400-700 through 750.

    As described in the EPA's April 29, 2015 action, jurisdiction to implement the visibility permitting program contained in WAC 173-400-117 varies depending on the situation. Ecology retains authority to implement WAC 173-400-117 as it relates to PSD permits (80 FR 23721 at page 23726). However for facilities subject to nonattainment new source review (NNSR) under the applicability provisions of WAC 173-400-800, we are approving BCAA to implement those parts of WAC 173-400-117 as they relate to NNSR permits. See 80 FR 23726.

    Lastly, the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian reservations in the State, except for non-trust land within the exterior boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation (also known as the 1873 Survey Area), or any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is revising our incorporation by reference of 40 CFR 52.2470(c)—Table 4 “Additional Regulations Approved for the Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) Jurisdiction” to reflect the regulations shown in the tables in section III.A. Regulations to Approve and Incorporate by Reference into the SIP and the rules removed from the SIP in section III.C. Regulations to Remove from the SIP. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through http://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 Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because this action does not involve technical standards; and

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. This SIP revision is not approved to apply in Indian reservations in the State or any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 19, 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. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: November 3, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart WW—Washington 2. In § 52.2470, revise Table 4 in paragraph (c) and Table 1 in paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 52.2470 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 4—Additional Regulations Approved for the Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) Jurisdiction [Applicable in Benton County, excluding facilities subject to Energy Facilities Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) jurisdiction, Indian reservations and any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction, and facilities subject to the applicability sections of WAC 173-400-700, 173-405-012, 173-410-012, and 173-415-012] State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) Regulations Regulation 1 1.01 Name of Agency 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 1.02 Policy and Purpose 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-010. 1.03 Applicability 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-020. 4.01(A) Definitions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-030 (38). 4.01(B) Definitions—Fugitive Emissions 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-030 (39). 4.02(B) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Emissions 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-040(4). 4.02(C)(1) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-040(9)(a). 4.02(C)(3) Particulate Matter Emissions—Fugitive Dust 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-040(9)(b). Washington Department of Ecology Regulations Washington Administrative Code, Chapter 173-400—General Regulations for Air Pollution Sources 173-400-030 Definitions 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-030(38); 173-400-030(39); 173-400-030(91). 173-400-036 Relocation of Portable Sources 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-040 General Standards for Maximum Emissions 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-040(2)(c); 173-400-040(2)(d); 173-400-040(3); 173-400-040(4); 173-400-040(5); 173-400-040(7), second paragraph; 173-400-040(9)(a); 173-400-040(9)(b). 173-400-050 Emission Standards for Combustion and Incineration Units 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-050(2); 173-400-050(4); 173-400-050(5). 173-400-060 Emission Standards for General Process Units 2/10/05 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-070 Emission Standards for Certain Source Categories 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-070(7); 173-400-070(8). 173-400-081 Startup and Shutdown 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-091 Voluntary Limits on Emissions 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-105 Records, Monitoring and Reporting 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-107 Excess Emissions 9/20/93 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-110 New Source Review (NSR) for Sources and Portable Sources 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-110(1)(c)(ii)(C); 173-400-110(1)(e); 173-400-110(2)(d); —The part of WAC 173-400-110(4)(b)(vi) that says, “not for use with materials containing toxic air pollutants, as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC,”; —The part of 400-110(4)(e)(iii) that says, “where toxic air pollutants as defined in chapter 173-460 WAC are not emitted”; The part of 400-110(4)(e)(f)(i) that says, “that are not toxic air pollutants listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xviii) that says, “, to the extent that toxic air pollutant gases as defined in chapter 173-460 WAC are not emitted”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxiii) that says, “where no toxic air pollutants as listed under chapter 173-460 WAC are emitted”; —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxiv) that says, “, or ≤1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”;
  • —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxv) that says, “or ≤1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants”;
  • —The part of 400-110(4)(h)(xxxvi) that says, “or ≤ 1% (by weight) toxic air pollutants as listed in chapter 173-460 WAC”; 400-110(4)(h)(xl), second sentence;
  • —The last row of the table in 173-400-110(5)(b) regarding exemption levels for Toxic Air Pollutants.
  • 173-400-111 Processing Notice of Construction Applications for Sources, Stationary Sources and Portable Sources 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-111(3)(h);
  • —The part of 173-400-111(8)(a)(v) that says, “and 173-460-040,”; 173-400-111(9).
  • 173-400-112 Requirements for New Sources in Nonattainment Areas—Review for Compliance with Regulations 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-112(8). 173-400-113 New Sources in Attainment or Unclassifiable Areas—Review for Compliance with Regulations 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except: 173-400-113(3), second sentence. 173-400-117 Special Protection Requirements for Federal Class I Areas 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except facilities subject to the applicability provisions of WAC 173-400-700. 173-400-118 Designation of Class I, II, and III Areas 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-131 Issuance of Emission Reduction Credits 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-136 Use of Emission Reduction Credits (ERC) 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-151 Retrofit Requirements for Visibility Protection 2/10/05 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-161 Compliance Schedules 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-171 Public Notice and Opportunity for Public Comment 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except:
  • —The part of 173-400-171(3)(b) that says, “or any increase in emissions of a toxic air pollutant above the acceptable source impact level for that toxic air pollutant as regulated under chapter 173-460 WAC”; 173-400-171(12).
  • 173-400-175 Public Information 2/10/05 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-190 Requirements for Nonattainment Areas 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-200 Creditable Stack Height & Dispersion Techniques 2/10/05 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-205 Adjustment for Atmospheric Conditions 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-210 Emission Requirements of Prior Jurisdictions 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-560 General Order of Approval 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Except:
  • —The part of 173-400-560(1)(f) that says, “173-460 WAC”.
  • 173-400-800 Major Stationary Source and Major Modification in a Nonattainment Area 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-810 Major Stationary Source and Major Modification Definitions 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-820 Determining if a New Stationary Source or Modification to a Stationary Source is Subject to these Requirements 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-830 Permitting Requirements 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-840 Emission Offset Requirements 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-850 Actual Emissions Plantwide Applicability Limitation (PAL) 12/29/12 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 173-400-860 Public Involvement Procedures 4/1/11 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation]

    (e) * * *

    Table 1—Approved But Not Incorporated by Reference Statutes and Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanations Washington Department of Ecology Regulations 173-433-200 Regulatory Actions and Penalties 10/18/90 1/15/93, 58 FR 4578 173-400-220 Requirements for Board Members 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-230 Regulatory Actions 3/20/93 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-240 Criminal Penalties 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-250 Appeals 9/20/93 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 173-400-260 Conflict of Interest 3/22/91 6/2/95, 60 FR 28726 Olympic Region Clean Air Agency Regulations 8.1.6 Penalties 5/22/10 10/3/13, 78 FR 61188 Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency Regulations 8.11 Regulatory Actions and Penalties 09/02/14 09/28/15, 80 FR 58217 Benton Clean Air Agency Regulations 2.01 Powers and Duties of the Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA) 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 2.02 Requirements for Board of Directors Members 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Replaces WAC 173-400-220. 2.03 Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 2.04 Powers and Duties of the Control Officer 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 2.05 Severability 12/11/14 11/17/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] 2.06 Confidentiality of Records and Information 12/11/14 11/17/15] [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2015-29180 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 2, 15, 74, 87, and 90 [GN Docket Nos. 14-166 and 12-268; FCC 15-100] Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission takes several steps to accommodate the long-term needs of wireless microphone users. Wireless microphones play an important role in enabling broadcasters and other video programming networks to serve consumers, including as they cover breaking news and live sports events. They enhance event productions in a variety of settings—including theaters and music venues, film studios, conventions, corporate events, houses of worship, and internet webcasts. They also help create high quality content that consumers demand and value. In particular, the Commission provides additional opportunities for wireless microphone operations in the TV bands following the upcoming incentive auction, and provides new opportunities for wireless microphone operations to access spectrum in other frequency bands where they can share use of the bands without harming existing users.

    DATES:

    Effective December 17, 2015, except for the amendments to §§ 15.37(k) and 74.851(l), which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of the amendments when OMB approves. The incorporation by reference listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Murray, Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418-0688, email: [email protected], TTY (202) 418-2989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order (R&O), FCC 15-100, adopted August 5, 2015, and released August 11, 2015. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    Summary of Report and Order

    1. The repurposing of broadcast television band spectrum for wireless services set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, 79 FR 48441, August 15, 2014, will significantly alter the regulatory environment in which wireless microphones operate. Currently, wireless microphone users rely heavily on access to unused channels in the television bands. Following the incentive auction, with the repacking of the television band and the repurposing of current television spectrum for wireless services, there will be fewer frequencies in the UHF band available for use for wireless microphone operations. The Commission took several steps in the Incentive Auction R&O to accommodate wireless microphone operations—including providing more opportunities to access spectrum on the channels that will remain allocated for television post-auction and making the 600 MHz Band guard bands available for wireless microphone operations—while also recognizing that the reduction of total available UHF band spectrum will require many wireless microphone users to make adjustments over the next few years regarding the spectrum that they access and the equipment they use. To facilitate wireless microphone users' ability to make these adjustments, the Commission provided that users could continue to access spectrum repurposed for wireless services during the post-auction transition period, under specified conditions, as they transition affected services to alternative spectrum.

    2. This proceeding was initiated to explore steps to address wireless microphone users' longer term needs. The actions the Commission is taking in this R&O make additional spectrum resources available to accommodate wireless microphones users' needs over the long term. The Commission's goal is to enable the development of a suite of devices that operate in different bands and can meet wireless microphone users' various needs while efficiently sharing the spectrum with other users.

    I. Background

    3. In this proceeding the Commission uses the term “wireless microphones” to reference wireless microphones and other related wireless audio devices. The Commission has authorized wireless microphone operations in different spectrum bands to accommodate the growing use of these devices by different users. The technical and operational rules for wireless microphone operations in these different bands have varied, depending on the band, and generally are designed to enable wireless microphone users to operate in shared bands along with other users.

    A. Wireless Microphone Operations

    4. Under current rules, the Commission has authorized wireless microphones to operate both on a licensed basis, limited to specified users, and on an unlicensed basis. The table below sets forth the bands in which wireless microphones and related audio devices generally operate today pursuant to the Commission's rules.

    Frequency band Licensed/unlicensed Rule part 26.1-26.48 MHz (VHF) Licensed Part 74. 161.625-161.775 MHz (VHF) Licensed Part 74. Portions of 169-172 MHz band (VHF) Licensed Part 90. 88-108 MHz (FM) Unlicensed Part 15. 450-451, 455-456 MHz (UHF) Licensed Part 74. 54-72, 76-88, 174-216, 470-608, 614-698 MHz (VHF and UHF) Licensed and unlicensed Part 74 and Part 15 (waiver). 944-952 MHz (UHF) Licensed Part 74. 902-928 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz (ISM bands) Unlicensed Part 15. 1920-1930 MHz (unlicensed PCS) Unlicensed Part 15. Ultra-wideband (3.1-10.6 GHz) Unlicensed Part 15.

    5. Recent actions affecting operations in the TV bands. Most wireless microphones users today operate their devices on a secondary basis in the TV bands, with most operations occurring in the UHF TV bands. Recent actions taken by the Commission in three proceedings affecting the TV bands spectrum—which have involved the repurposing of UHF TV band spectrum for wireless services in the 700 MHz band (channels 52-69, the 698-806 MHz band), the development of rules for TV white space devices in the TV bands, and the repurposing of the 600 MHz Band following the upcoming incentive auction—have affected and will affect the future availability of spectrum for wireless microphone users and uses in these bands. These proceedings inform the instant proceeding, providing the backdrop for many of the issues the Commission is addressing in its efforts here to accommodate wireless microphone users and uses both in the near and longer term.

    6. In the Incentive Auction R&O (GN Docket No. 12-268) adopted in May 2014, the Commission adopted rules to implement the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, which will involve reorganizing the existing television band and repurposing a portion of the UHF television band for new wireless broadband services, and which will affect wireless microphone operations across the current TV bands. As part of its decision, the Commission took several actions to accommodate wireless microphone operations, including making rule revisions to provide additional opportunities for wireless microphone operations in the bands that will remain allocated for television following the incentive auction, permitting wireless microphone operations in the newly-designated 600 MHz Band guard bands, and providing for a transition period to give wireless microphone users that will need to cease operating in the spectrum repurposed for 600 MHz Band wireless services sufficient time to replace their equipment and move operations to other spectrum bands available for wireless microphone uses.

    7. Finally, concurrent with adoption of the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission adopted the TV Bands Wireless Microphones Second R&O, 79 FR 40680, July 14, 2014, (part of WT Dockets 08-166 and 08-167, ET Docket No. 10-24) to broaden the eligibility for wireless microphone operations in the TV bands to include entities that regularly utilize a substantial number of wireless microphones for large events and productions and which have the same needs for interference protection as existing low power auxiliary station (LPAS) licensees. Specifically, the Commission expanded part 74 LPAS eligibility to include qualifying professional sound companies and operators of large venues that routinely use 50 or more wireless microphones.

    B. Wireless Microphones NPRM

    8. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), 79 FR 69387, November 21, 2014 in this proceeding, the Commission examined wireless microphone users' needs and technologies that can address them, and sought broad comment on a variety of existing and new spectrum bands that might accommodate those needs in the future. It presented an overview of current wireless microphone operations, and observed that most wireless microphone operations today occurred in the TV bands. It also generally discussed wireless microphone operations in other bands, both on a licensed and an unlicensed basis. It discussed the many different types of users and uses (e.g., broadcasters, major sports leagues and theater/entertainment venues, houses of worship, conference centers, corporations, schools, etc.), different types of wireless microphones serving specific needs and applications (from extremely sophisticated, high fidelity microphones used in a professional setting, to microphones that do not require the same level of audio quality or performance to meet particular needs), and varying operational environments (both outdoor and indoor). It also noted that there had been many technological advances in recent years, and that many operations were being migrated to bands outside of the TV bands, including in bands available for unlicensed operations. Given that wireless microphones serve the needs of diverse users for different types of applications, and make use of several different frequency bands, it sought to develop a full record and framework for how best to accommodate these needs in the near and over the long term. In response to the NPRM, the Commission received nearly 90 comments and 17 reply comments.

    II. Discussion

    9. In this Order, the Commission takes several actions to accommodate wireless microphone users' needs in the coming years. Many types of users employ wireless microphones in a variety of settings. Wireless microphone operations range from professional uses, with the need for numerous high-performance microphones along with other microphones, to an individual consumer's use of a handheld microphone at a conference or in a karaoke bar. Through these actions, the Commission seeks to enable wireless microphone users to have access to a suite of devices that operate effectively and efficiently in different spectrum bands and can address their respective needs.

    10. As discussed below, the Commission adopts several changes in its rules for operations in the TV bands, where most wireless microphone operations occur today. With respect to the TV bands, the Commission revises its rules to provide more opportunities to access spectrum by allowing greater use of the VHF channels and more co-channel operations without the need for coordination where use would not cause harmful interference to TV service. It also expands eligibility for the licensed use of the duplex gap to all entities now eligible to hold LPAS licenses for using TV band spectrum. The Commission also will require new wireless microphones operating in the TV bands and certain other bands to meet the more efficient analog and digital European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standards, which will ensure more efficient use of the spectrum. In addition, the Commission addresses consumer education and outreach efforts that can help consumers transition out of the TV band spectrum that is repurposed for wireless services, and equipment certification procedures that will apply to wireless microphones in the future. The Commission also takes several additional actions with respect to other spectrum bands currently available for wireless microphone operations to enable greater use of these bands to accommodate wireless microphone uses in the future. Specifically, it adopts revisions to provide new opportunities for such use in the 169-172 MHz band and the 944-952 MHz band. Finally, the Commission opens up portions of three other sets of spectrum bands—the 941-944 MHz and 952-960 MHz bands (on each side of the 944-952 MHz band), the 1435-1525 MHz band, and the 6875-7125 MHz band—for sharing with licensed wireless microphone operations under specified conditions.

    A. Promoting Technological Advances

    11. In the NPRM, the Commission inquired about advances in the state of analog and digital wireless microphone technologies and the extent to which these technologies could be made more efficient for different types of operations, thereby increasing the number of microphones that could access a given amount of spectrum. In particular, the Commission asked whether it should adopt more spectrally efficient analog and digital emission masks for operations in certain bands. It also sought comment on other technological advances that could promote more opportunities for accommodating wireless microphone operations in different bands over the long term—including development of equipment with replaceable components, expanding the tunability of equipment within bands, the development of multi-band equipment, the use of databases, or the use of electronic keys or similar mechanisms.

    12. Wireless microphone manufacturers assert that significant steps have already been taken to make for more efficient use of available spectrum, including the increasing use of newer digital technologies that can greatly expand the number of microphones on a TV channel for many types of applications that do not require the highest sound fidelity. Several also state that more devices are increasingly being designed for operations in bands outside of the TV bands, including in bands permitting unlicensed operations, and that these new devices can efficiently and effectively accommodate many wireless microphone users' needs. Wireless microphone manufacturers generally asserted that adopting rules that require specific features (e.g., modular components, use of multi-band equipment, requirement for database connectivity, or use of electronic keys) are unnecessary and could impair design features and add costs and complexities.

    13. While many wireless microphone manufacturers explain that they are already committed to harnessing technological advances in this area, the Commission reiterates the importance of improved spectral efficiency, spectrum sharing, and flexibility. It expects wireless microphone manufacturers to continue to take advantage of technological advances to promote more efficient use of spectrum available for wireless microphone operations. To further promote efficient use, the Commission also is taking the step of adopting the more efficient ETSI standards for wireless microphones in several bands, as discussed below. The Commission also anticipates that future technological advances will enable wireless microphones to more effectively share the available spectrum resource, and require use of certain technological advances to protect incumbent operation when authorizing wireless microphone users to access the 1435-1525 MHz band spectrum in the future.

    B. Operations in Specific Bands

    14. In the sections below, the Commission addresses the actions that it is taking in this R&O with respect to wireless microphone operations in different spectrum bands. The Commission discusses each of the bands on which it sought comment in the NPRM, and its decisions regarding these bands and any revisions that it is adopting.

    1. VHF/UHF Television Bands a. Background

    15. The Commission's current part 74, subpart H rules authorize operations of wireless microphones and other LPAS on a licensed basis in the bands allocated for TV broadcasting (Channels 2-51, except channel 37). These LPAS devices are intended to transmit over distances of approximately 100 meters. In addition to wireless microphones, these LPAS devices include such uses as cue and control communications and synchronization of TV camera signals. The Commission's rules permit licensed LPAS operations on a secondary, non-exclusive basis. Entities eligible to hold these LPAS licenses include broadcasters, television producers, cable producers, motion picture producers, and qualifying professional sound companies and operators of large venues. Since 2010, the Commission also has permitted unlicensed operations of wireless microphones in the core television bands (channels 2-51, except channel 37) pursuant to a limited waiver and certain part 15 rules until such time as final rules for unlicensed operations under part 15 are adopted.

    16. Under the part 74 LPAS rules, licensed wireless microphones are permitted to operate with a maximum bandwidth of 200 kHz (made up of one or more 25 kHz segments). In the VHF band (channels 2-13, which include the 54-72 MHz, 76-88 MHz, and 174-216 MHz frequencies) power levels are limited to 50 mW, whereas in the UHF band (channels 14-51, except channel 37, which include the 470-608 MHz and 614-698 MHz frequencies), power levels can range up to 250 mW. The power levels for unlicensed wireless microphone operations pursuant to waiver, however, are limited to no more than 50 mW throughout the TV bands (both VHF and UHF). Licensed and unlicensed wireless microphones may operate co-channel with television stations at locations that are separated from television stations by at least 4 kilometers from their protected contours. In addition, licensed LPAS users may operate on a co-channel basis even closer to television stations provided that such operations have been coordinated with affected broadcasters.

    17. The particular television channels available for wireless microphone operations will vary depending on the specific location. In many instances these channels also are available for use by unlicensed white space devices. The Commission currently designates the two unused television channels (where available) nearest channel 37 (above and below) for wireless microphone uses, prohibiting white space devices on those channels. As discussed in the Incentive Auction R&O, following the incentive auction, these two channels will no longer be designated exclusively for wireless microphones following the repacking of the TV bands. On channels where both wireless microphones and white space devices may operate, licensed LPAS operators—including the newly eligible professional sound companies and venue licensees—will be able to register to obtain protection from interference from white space devices by reserving channel(s), on an as-needed basis, at specified locations and times of operation in the broadcast TV bands databases. In addition, under existing rules certain qualifying unlicensed wireless microphone operators can obtain interference protection from unlicensed white space devices at specified times by registering with the Commission, enabling them to have their operations included within the broadcast TV bands databases. The Commission also indicated that it would be taking steps in the Part 15 proceeding to make improvements to the registration system in the TV bands databases to enable more timely and effective reservation of channels that would be protected from unlicensed white space device operations.

    18. As set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, the current VHF/UHF television bands (channels 2-51, except channel 37) will be reorganized following the upcoming incentive auction. As a result of this auction, the amount of spectrum allocated for television services will be reduced and repacked, some of the current TV bands spectrum will be designated for 600 MHz Band guard bands (including the duplex gap), and other TV bands spectrum will be repurposed for 600 MHz Band wireless services. As discussed below, these revisions will affect wireless microphone operations, which currently operate throughout in existing TV bands, in several ways. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on wireless microphone operations with respect to each of these bands—the TV bands, the 600 MHz Band guard bands, and the 600 MHz Band being repurposed for wireless services.

    b. Discussion

    19. In this section, the Commission sets forth part 74 rule revisions to accommodate licensed wireless microphone (and other LPAS) operations in the VHF and UHF spectrum in the repacked TV bands that will continue to be available for TV broadcast services following the incentive auction. The Commission is not addressing in this proceeding certain issues relating to wireless microphone operations in the TV bands and in the repurposed 600 MHz Band since these matters are being addressed instead in the part 15 proceeding. In particular, it does not here address the rules for unlicensed wireless microphone operations in the TV bands and the repurposed 600 MHz Band, which are addressed as part of the Part 15 Report and Order (FCC 15-99, ET Docket No. 14-165, adopted August 6, 2015 and released August 11, 2015). Similarly, it does not address in this proceeding the technical rules for operations of unlicensed wireless microphones in the guard bands, including the duplex gap. Nor does it address here the technical rules for licensed wireless microphone operations in the duplex gap, since the technical issues relating to their operations are intertwined with the technical issues concerning unlicensed operations in the duplex gap and protection of licensed operations outside of the duplex gap. Finally, the Commission addresses revisions pertaining to the white spaces databases in the Part 15 Report and Order.

    (i) TV Bands (a) VHF Band Revisions

    20. Under the existing technical rules for LPAS operations under part 74, licensed wireless microphone users that operate on a secondary basis in the VHF band (channels 2-13) operate generally under the same technical rules as for operations in the UHF bands. However, with respect to power levels, VHF band operations are restricted to no more than 50 mW, well below the 250 mW levels permitted for operations in the UHF bands.

    21. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on the potential for expanding use of VHF television channel spectrum for wireless microphone operations. In particular, it asked whether it should revise the power limits for LPAS operations in the VHF band to conform to those applicable for LPAS devices in the UHF television band. The Commission asked whether allowing higher power limits would raise concerns regarding potential interference to TV stations operating in the VHF bands or the wireless video assist devices that operate in the upper VHF band. It also sought comment on the minimum co-channel separation distance, and whether that distance would need to be increased. In addition, it invited comment on other rule revisions that would facilitate more use of this spectrum.

    22. The Commission is revising its rules to provide more opportunities for licensed wireless microphone use of these VHF channels. While the Commission is not permitting power levels of up to 250 mW conducted power, it is revising the rules that currently measure the 50 mW limit in terms of conducted power, to specify the 50 mW limit in terms of effective or equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP), as suggested by Shure in its comments. Several reasons inform this approach. As noted by Shure, specifying the power levels in terms of EIRP instead of conducted power will be particularly beneficial to wireless microphone users in the VHF band, where the efficiency of antennas is lower due to the longer radio wavelengths. This approach will allow manufacturers to adjust the conducted power output of a device to compensate for low antenna efficiency, thus helping address wireless microphone operators' interest in making greater use of this spectrum without the need for a larger antenna. By revising the rules to specify the current 50 mW power limits in terms of EIRP, the Commission addresses the Consumer Electronic Association's concerns that wireless microphone operations do not increase the potential for interference to TV broadcasts. This revision represents a balance in addressing the concerns raised, and will increase the performance and usability of wireless microphones operating on this VHF spectrum without significantly increasing the risk of interference to TV. Specifying the power limit in terms of EIRP also ensures uniformity in the maximum radiated power for wireless microphone operations (licensed and unlicensed) in the VHF band. The change the Commission is making does not necessitate any increase in the four kilometer separation distance between wireless microphones and co-channel TV contours since the Commission is not allowing any higher EIRP than it assumed in establishing this distance. The Commission will accept applications to certify LPAS devices under this rule as soon as that rule becomes effective, and it will require applications to certify under this revised rule nine months following release of the Commission's (Forthcoming Channel Reassignment PN) to conform the date with related certification requirements the Commission is adopting.

    (b) Licensed Co-Channel Operations Closer Than Specified Separation Distances

    23. In the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission permitted licensed wireless microphone users to operate closer to television stations than permitted under the revised separation distances (i.e., no closer than 4 kilometers from the outside of the digital television contours) provided that they coordinated their operations with affected broadcasters. The Commission noted, however, that several commenters had proposed to permit wireless microphone operations on a co-channel basis without requiring coordination, such as in locations where the TV signal falls below specified threshold, where the microphones are shielded from the TV signals due to building attenuation, or where no over-the-air television receivers are in operation.

    24. In the NPRM, the Commission sought to develop a more extensive record on whether to permit licensed wireless microphone operations on a co-channel basis closer than the generally applicable separation distances set forth in its rules, without the need for coordination, noting its goal to provide more opportunities for licensed wireless microphone operations in the spectrum that will continue to be allocated for television services to the extent such operations would not cause harmful interference to TV operations. In particular, the Commission proposed to allow LPAS licensees to operate co-channel with television closer to the television station than provided by the separation distance rules in locations in which the co-channel TV signal is below a specified threshold. It sought comment on the suitable TV signal threshold, and whether other safeguards would ensure that licensed wireless microphone operators do not otherwise cause harmful interference to TV reception. It limited this proposal to licensed wireless microphone users, whom the Commission would expect to have the requisite wireless microphone systems, as well as technical and operational abilities, to be able to determine the level of the co-channel TV signals at a given location, and thus would be able to comply with such a threshold. The Commission also asked whether it should require licensed wireless microphone users to register their co-channel operations in the TV bands databases to provide information to any television licensee concerned about possible harmful interference. As an alternative, it sought comment on whether to permit co-channel licensed wireless microphone operations in indoor venues, such as in theaters or music auditoriums. It also invited comment on other approaches.

    25. The Commission will permit closer co-channel operations by licensed wireless microphone operators on any TV channel where the TV signal falls below a threshold of -84 dBm over the entire TV channel, provided certain conditions are met. Such operations will be limited to systems operating at an indoor location, and not in an itinerant fashion where the signal threshold could be ever-changing, and the location is not being used for over-the-air television viewing. The Commission also requires that the licensed operators have the requisite wireless microphone systems for determining the threshold at the location, as well as the professional qualifications for evaluating the signals, and that the signals be measured where the wireless microphones would be operated at the location, and must be scanned across the full six-megahertz TV channel; to the extent directional antennas are employed, they must be rotated to the place of the maximum signal at the location. The Commission believes this approach for licensed wireless microphone operations is reasonable for several reasons. As Sennheiser points out in its comments, the signals would exceed the threshold of visibility under the Advanced Television Systems Committee guidelines. The location of operations is indoors and contained, and wireless microphone signals do not generally transmit beyond very limited distances (e.g., generally ranging between 100-300 feet) at low levels. In addition, the Commission expects that there would be significant attenuation of the wireless microphone signal, both around the microphone (e.g., loss because it is hand-held, or because of body loss) and as a result of building and other attenuation, thus further reducing the likelihood of harming TV viewers outside of the location.

    (c) Adoption of ETSI Emission Mask Standards for Analog and Digital Wireless Microphones

    26. The technical rules applicable to part 74 LPAS devices operations in the TV bands set forth specified out-of-band emission mask requirements for wireless microphones, regardless of whether the device is analog or digital. These rules have not been revised since 1987.

    27. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed revising the emission masks applicable to wireless microphones and LPAS devices, with respect to both analog and digital wireless microphones, to comply with the applicable ETSI standards for analog and digital wireless microphones that operate over 200 kHz channels. Specifically, it proposed to require that emissions from analog and digital unlicensed wireless microphones comply with the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1, Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Wireless microphones in the 25 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range; Part 1: Technical characteristics and methods of measurement. Because the ETSI emission masks are defined only over a frequency range of plus or minus one megahertz from the wireless microphone carrier frequency, the Commission sought comment on the emission limits that should apply outside of this frequency range. In addition to the ETSI standards, or as an alternative, it inquired whether there are other technical standards that it should adopt to promote more efficient use of the spectrum available for wireless microphone operations in the TV bands. Finally, it asked that, if it were to decide to adopt revised standards, how quickly it should require new devices to comply with the new standards.

    28. To promote more efficient use of the limited TV band spectrum available for wireless microphones, the Commission is adopting the ETSI standard emission masks for LPAS devices used by wireless microphone licensees under its part 74 rules. Specifically, it will require that emissions from analog and digital unlicensed wireless microphones comply with the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08), Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Wireless microphones in the 25 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range; Part 1: Technical characteristics and methods of measurement. Requiring wireless microphones to meet these tighter emission requirements will protect authorized services in adjacent bands from harmful interference, and will improve spectrum sharing by wireless microphones. Outside of the frequency range where the ETSI masks are defined (one megahertz above and below the wireless microphone carrier frequency), the Commission will require that emissions comply with same limit as the edge of the ETSI masks, specifically, 90 dB below the level of the unmodulated carrier. The Commission is incorporating the emission mask requirements set forth in ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08) into the Part 74 Subpart H LPAS rules by reference and adding it to the list of measurement procedures in section 74.861. The Commission is not persuaded by Lectrosonics' comments that existence of its legacy unlicensed wireless microphones that would not be compliant with the new standard should prevent the Commission from establishing a more efficient standard for wireless microphone devices going forward. The Commission will require the LPAS devices to comply with this standard no later than nine months following release of the Channel Reassignment PN.

    (d) Other TV Bands Revisions

    29. In the NPRM, the Commission also sought comment generally on whether it should adopt any other rule revisions for operations of wireless microphones in the TV bands spectrum that would facilitate more effective and efficient operations in these bands. It asked that commenters provide detailed information on reasons for the proposed changes as well as the types of specific rules that they advocate.

    30. The Commission concludes that extending the existing waiver of its rules to permit nuclear power plants the continued use of spectrum in the core TV bands would serve the public interest. Consequently, the Commission hereby grants a permanent waiver of its rules to allow the continued use of wireless headsets at nuclear power plants, under the same conditions as the current waiver, in the spectrum that will continue to be allocated for television following the incentive auction. In addition, this waiver will permit nuclear power plants to continue to access the spectrum repurposed for 600 MHz wireless service during the transition period, but no later, provided that they meet the conditions for secondary operations in this band. The terms of this waiver do not extend to include operations in the 600 MHz guard bands, including the duplex gap, which will no longer be allocated for broadcast TV. As discussed in the Part 15 Report and Order, wireless microphone operations in these bands will be limited to 20 mW EIRP, which is more restrictive than allowed for wireless microphones in the TV bands. Further, the Commission is not granting, under the terms of this waiver, any right to continue to operate in the 600 MHz Band after the end of the post-auction transition period. Unlike the waiver the Commission is granting, nothing in the record before it indicates whether the 600 MHz wireless licensees might agree to the request of the Nuclear Energy Institute and the United Telecom Council relating to this issue, so the Commission declines to grant their additional request at this time.

    31. In granting this permanent waiver, the Commission declines to revise the part 74 LPAS rules to provide for such operations on a licensed basis. The Commission previously declined to make nuclear plants eligible under part 74, and the issues raised regarding the use of these particular devices involve considerations unique to the nuclear power industry, and do not apply to other part 74 LPAS licensees. Further, in light of the Commission's grant of a permanent waiver with the associated conditions, licensee status is not necessary.

    c. Eligibility for Licensed Operations in the Duplex Gap

    32. In the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission provided that broadcasters and cable programming networks using wireless microphones on a licensed basis would be able to obtain interference protection from unlicensed devices in a portion of the duplex gap at specified times and locations, on an as-needed basis. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether it should expand eligibility for licensed wireless microphone operations in the duplex gap to include all of the entities now eligible for Part 74 LPAS licenses in the TV bands. In particular, the Commission asked whether such expanded eligibility would create problems for broadcasters or cable programming networks operating on this spectrum, or whether these different users generally operate at different locations, such that their respective operations would not likely interfere with each other.

    33. As discussed in the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission provided that broadcasters and cable programming networks using wireless microphones on a licensed basis could operate in a portion of the duplex gap, where they would be protected from interference by unlicensed devices in order to have access to spectrum for certain programming, including emergency information. The Commission concludes that expanding eligibility to the other licensed part 74 entities should not cause any problems for broadcasters and cable programming networks since the licensed entities will be obligated to coordinate their operations when and where necessary. The Commission notes that, as a general matter, these different licensees will likely operate at different locations and not interfere with each other.

    d. Transition Out of the 600 MHz Band Repurposed for Wireless Services (i) Background

    34. Following the upcoming incentive auction, certain existing television channels in the UHF band will be repurposed for 600 MHz Band wireless services. In the Incentive Auction R&O the Commission provided for a multi-year period to help smooth the transition as wireless microphone operators take steps to obtain new equipment and transition out of the use of this spectrum no later than the end of post-auction transition period (i.e., 39 months after the issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN). Specifically, following the auction these operators may continue to access the 600 MHz Band during the transition period, but no later, subject to certain conditions. To the extent that either licensed or unlicensed wireless microphone users operate in the 600 MHz Band during this transition period, then consistent with their secondary or unlicensed status they will not be entitled to any interference protection from operations of the primary 600 MHz licensees, and they will be required to cease any operations in the 600 MHz Band if their operations cause harmful interference to any 600 MHz licensee's operations.

    35. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on how best to facilitate a smooth transition as wireless microphone and other LPAS users cease their operations on the repurposed 600 MHz Band frequencies no later than the end of the post-auction transition period. The Commission indicated that achieving a smooth transition will involve actions by it, by manufacturers and distributors of wireless microphones, and by the various wireless microphone operators themselves, both licensed and unlicensed users. Even though the specific UHF band frequencies repurposed for 600 MHz Band wireless services will not be known until following the auction, beginning preparation for transition as soon as possible will contribute to a smoother transition. The Commission observed that some wireless microphones are likely to be capable of operating on repurposed channels, while others will not. The Commission also pointed out that although the specific frequencies on which particular wireless microphones operate may be identified in the owner's manual, the channels often are not evident on the devices themselves.

    (ii) Discussion (a) Consumer Education and Outreach; Disclosure Requirements

    36. The Commission specifically sought comment in the NPRM on how best to inform users of wireless microphones on the changes following the auction that will affect their use of wireless microphones in the TV band spectrum that is being repurposed, including the steps necessary to prevent interference to new wireless operations in the 600 MHz spectrum, consistent with its goals expressed in the Incentive Auction R&O. The Commission anticipated a need for education and outreach directed at wireless microphone users, and that this should commence before the auction and continue even beyond the end of the 39-month transition period. The Commission proposed that these education and outreach efforts should be undertaken by it, manufacturers, wireless microphone users groups, and relevant trade publications and other possible sources of information for wireless microphone users. As a companion to these efforts, the Commission also proposed requiring that written disclosures accompany new devices at the point of sale to provide further education to wireless microphone users on the devices' operations. In considering these actions, the Commission drew extensively from the approach that it took with respect to the transition of wireless microphones out of the 700 MHz band. Its goals were to make information available so users, particularly unlicensed users, are aware that they must not cause harmful interference to new wireless operations in the 600 MHz band, and must cease operating their wireless microphones on the repurposed 600 MHz Band allocated for 600 MHz Band wireless services no later than the end of the transition period (i.e., 39 months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN); to set in motion a process so they are aware of relevant factors concerning the operation of wireless microphones that are currently in use; and to establish a means for users to locate additional spectrum and equipment for their operations that will be available for their use. The Commission believed that a successful consumer education and outreach campaign would involve its staff working with a broad group of interested entities, including wireless microphone manufacturers, wireless microphones users, and user representatives.

    37. The Commission sought comment on the particular actions that wireless microphone manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and other entities comprising the wireless microphone community should take to inform the wide range of wireless microphone users about the ongoing developments concerning wireless microphone use—particularly the need to vacate the repurposed 600 MHz Band, the timetable for doing so, and the conditions for operating in the band during the transition period. It asked what specific information should be provided to wireless microphone users to ensure that they know the requirements for operating in the repurposed spectrum during the transition period and the need to exit the band by the end of the transition, as well as what steps can be taken to provide wireless microphone users with information on the transition prior to the auction. In particular, the Commission inquired whether it would it be beneficial for wireless microphone users to have access to a database or some form of online mapping tool to help users that enter the location and operating frequencies to determine whether they can continue to operate in the repurposed 600 MHz Band during the transition period, and if so, who should be responsible for developing and maintaining (hosting) it. Similarly, the Commission asked whether it should work with wireless microphone manufacturers to obtain information on models of wireless microphones that it could list on its Web site in order to facilitate a smooth transition from the 600 MHz Band. In addition to steps that may involve manufacturers, the Commission sought comment on what steps other parties associated with the sale and operation of wireless microphones (e.g., trade associations, user groups, or industry associations), may be able to take to provide users with information relevant to the transition.

    38. The Commission also invited specific comment on what additional information it should make available for wireless microphone users, including Commission-issued consumer “fact sheets” and “frequently asked questions” (FAQ's) which would address, among other matters, information on operation in the 600 MHz Band, the reason for the need to operate on frequencies outside of that band following the transition, the availability of other frequency bands for wireless microphone use, and the need to comply with Commission rules.

    39. Finally, the Commission proposed to revise its point-of-sale disclosure requirement that it adopted in the TV Bands Wireless Microphones R&O, 75 FR 9113, March 1, 2010, in order to provide information to wireless microphone users that may have to purchase or lease new equipment so that they can vacate the repurposed 600 MHz Band. Specifically, with regard to sales of wireless microphones that are capable of operating in repurposed spectrum, the Commission proposed to require that such sales include point-of-sale disclosures that inform buyers that they are buying a microphone that cannot be used in certain frequencies following the transition. The Commission also sought comment on how point-of-sale disclosures could be designed to effectively address any ban on manufacturing and marketing of wireless microphones that are capable of operating in the repurposed 600 MHz Band. It also proposed that the revised point-of-sale disclosures direct buyers to the manufacturer's toll free telephone number or the manufacturer's Web site where the buyer can obtain more detailed information on the extent to which the microphone may be affected by repurposing the 600 MHz Band, and asked whether it should retain the existing language in the point-of-sale disclosure requirement that includes the Commission's toll free number and the Commission's Web site where users can obtain additional information on the operation of wireless microphones during the transition period and after the transition period. The Commission proposed that the effective date for any disclosure requirement, including a point-of-sale requirement, which it may adopt in connection with this or a related proceeding, would be 18 months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN, and sought comment on possible alternative dates as well. It requested comment on the particular factors that should enter into this determination.

    40. As set forth in the NPRM, consumer education regarding the operations of wireless microphones following the incentive auction is important. Consumers will need to be informed of the many changes that will affect their use of the current TV bands that is being repurposed, including their use of the 600 MHz guard bands and duplex gap, their continued use of repurposed 600 MHz Band during the post-auction transition period (i.e., the 39 months following issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN), and their need to cease operations in the 600 MHz Band no later than the end of the post-auction transition period. The steps required are similar to those taken in 2010 to inform consumers about their use of the TV bands that were repurposed for 700 MHz Band wireless services.

    41. Disclosure Requirement. The Commission requires anyone selling, leasing, or offering for sale or lease wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz Band to provide certain disclosures to consumers, pursuant to section 302. These entities must display the Consumer Disclosure, the text of which will be developed by Commission staff, at the point of sale or lease, in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. In addition, the Consumer Disclosure must be displayed on the Web site of the manufacturer (even in the event the manufacturer does not sell wireless microphones directly to the public) and of dealers, distributors, retailers, and anyone else selling or leasing the devices. The Commission finds that these disclosures are necessary to ensure that consumers are informed that the wireless microphones may be used, under specified conditions, no longer than the post-auction transition period, and to help ensure that wireless microphone users comply with their obligation during the transition period and cease operating on the 600 MHz band after the end of the transition period. The Commission delegates authority to its Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB), working with its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), to prepare the specific language, following issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, that must be used in the Consumer Disclosure and publish it in the Federal Register. As discussed above, there is more than one way in which the point-of-sale Consumer Disclosure may be provided to potential purchasers or lessees of wireless microphones, but each of them must satisfy all the requirements noted above, including that the disclosure be provided in writing at the point of sale in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. One way to fulfill this disclosure requirement would be to display the Consumer Disclosure in a prominent manner on the product box by using a label (either printed onto the box or otherwise affixed to the box), a sticker, or other means. Another way to fulfill the disclosure requirement would be to display the text immediately adjacent to each wireless microphone offered for sale or lease and clearly associated with the model to which it pertains. For wireless microphones offered online or via direct mail or catalog, the disclosure must be prominently displayed in close proximity to the images and descriptions of each wireless microphone. The Commission will require manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and other entities that sell or lease wireless microphones for operation in the 600 MHz Band to comply with the disclosure requirements no later than three months following issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, and it encourages these entities to provide consumers with the required information earlier.

    42. Consumer Outreach. In addition, the Commission finds that several means should be employed to provide as much notice as possible to users of the need to clear the 600 MHz Band of wireless microphones. The Commission directs CGB, working with WTB and OET, to establish a Web page on its Web site, and prepare and release consumer publications, including a Consumer Fact Sheet and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), that inform the public of its decisions affecting wireless microphone operations in the repurposed 600 MHz Band and the guard bands, as set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, this Order, and the Part 15 Report and Order. The Commission further directs its staff to identify and contact organizations that represent entities that are known to be users of wireless microphones in the 600 MHz Band, including groups that represent theaters, houses of worship, and sporting venues. The Commission will inform these entities of its decisions affecting wireless microphone operations in the repurposed spectrum and available resources for information on options for wireless microphone use going forward.

    43. Further, the Commission expects all manufacturers of wireless microphones to make significant efforts to ensure that all users of such equipment capable of operating in the 600 MHz Band are fully informed of the decisions affecting them, as set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, this Order, and the Part 15 Report and Order. Specifically, the Commission expects these manufacturers, at a minimum, to ensure that these users are informed of the need to clear the 600 MHz Band. Manufacturers also should inform users of wireless microphones that they may continue to operate in the 600 MHz Band until the end of the post-auction transition period, but only subject to the conditions set forth in these orders, including the early clearing mechanisms. Further, the Commission expects all manufacturers to contact dealers, distributors, and anyone else who has purchased wireless microphones, and inform them of its decisions to help clear the 600 MHz Band. Manufacturers should also provide information on these decisions to any users that have filed warranty registrations for 600 MHz Band equipment with the manufacturer. The Commission also expects manufacturers to post this information on their Web sites and include it in all of their sales literature.

    44. In addition, the Commission notes that manufacturers may choose to offer rebates and trade-in programs for any 600 MHz Band wireless microphones, similar to what was done with respect to transitioning wireless microphone users out of the 700 MHz band. The Commission encourages them to consider creating or establishing such programs here. In contacting dealers and distributors, it expects manufacturers to inform these entities that they should: (1) Inform all customers who have purchased wireless microphones that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz Band of its decision to clear the 600 MHz Band of such devices; (2) post such information on their Web sites; (3) include this information in all other sales materials; (4) provide information in sales materials, including on their Web sites, on the availability of any manufacturer rebate offerings and trade-in programs related to wireless microphones operating in the 600 MHz Band; and (5) comply with the disclosure requirements that the Commission is adopting in this Order.

    (b) Post-Auction Prohibition of the Certification, Manufacture, or Marketing of LPAS Devices Operating on the 600 MHz Band

    45. All wireless microphones that now operate in the TV bands are certified as compliant with part 74, subpart H of the Commission's rules. The Commission decided in the Incentive Auction R&O that all wireless microphones that operate in the portion of the TV bands that will be repurposed 600 MHz Band for licensed wireless services may continue to operate in that spectrum during the post-auction transition period but must cease those operations no later than 39 months after release of the Channel Reassignment PN. At the end of the post-auction transition, licensed microphones will be permitted to operate in a portion of the duplex gap, and unlicensed wireless microphones will be permitted to operate in the guard bands and duplex gap, pursuant to the rules adopted in the Part 15 Report and Order.

    46. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed to establish cutoff dates for the certification, manufacturing, and marketing of wireless microphones in the repurposed spectrum to ensure that manufacturers cease making and marketing equipment for operation in repurposed 600 MHz Band spectrum to ensure that manufacturers cease making marketing equipment that cannot be legally used after a certain date. Because similar technical requirements would apply to both licensed and unlicensed wireless microphones, the Commission proposed to apply to both the same transition rules for certification, manufacturing, and marketing in order to be the least disruptive to wireless microphone manufacturers and users. It proposed taking this action pursuant to its authority under section 302(a) of the Communications Act. This Order addresses these issues for licensed wireless microphones generally, and the Part 15 Report and Order addresses these issues for unlicensed wireless microphones.

    47. In this proceeding, the Commission proposed that parties could no longer submit applications to certify Part 74 wireless microphones that operate in repurposed TV spectrum beginning nine months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN, when the particular frequencies that will need to be vacated will first be identified. The Commission also proposed that it not certify wireless microphones under part 74 that would operate in the 600 MHz guard bands or the unlicensed portion of the duplex gap. The Commission also inquired whether parties should not be able to submit applications to certify wireless microphones that operate in repurposed TV spectrum later than 24 months after the effective date of the service rules that it adopts for licensed wireless microphones, and microphones that do not comply with the new rules may not be manufactured and marketed later than 33 months after the effective date of the service rules it adopts in this proceeding. The Commission also proposed that the effective date of any prohibition on manufacturing or marketing these devices will be 18 months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN. In addition, it requested comment on the economic costs and benefits of different effective dates for the proposed prohibition on manufacturing or marketing. Finally, to the extent that the Commission determines to prohibit such manufacture or marketing, it proposed that any such ban would not apply to devices manufactured in the United States solely for export.

    48. The Commission adopts its proposals for establishing cutoff dates for the certification, manufacturing and marketing of licensed wireless microphones in the TV bands, the guard bands (including the duplex gap), and the repurposed 600 MHz Band. The Commission adopts transition rules for the TV bands, the guard bands (including the duplex gap), and the repurposed 600 MHz Band that will allow it to gradually phase out older microphones and introduce new ones that are compliant with the technical rules for part 74 wireless microphones that it adopts in this proceeding and for unlicensed wireless microphones generally and for licensed wireless microphones in the duplex gap that it adopts in the Part 15 Report and Order. The Commission is aligning the transition periods as closely as possible with the post-auction transition schedule because this will ensure compliance with the post-auction 600 MHz Band plan and be less disruptive to wireless microphone manufacturers and users.

    49. The Commission adopts the cutoff dates proposed in the NPRM. It will require applications to certify wireless microphones under the modified part 74 rules nine months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN or no later than 24 months after the effective date of the new rules, whichever occurs first. The Commission will require that manufacturing and marketing of all part 74 wireless microphones that would not comply with the rules for operation in the 600 MHz Band cease 18 months after release of the Channel Reassignment PN or no later than 33 months after the effective date of the new rules, whichever occurs first.

    50. The Commission recognizes that it is important to provide manufacturers with sufficient time to design new products, obtain Commission certification, and commence manufacturing. It is equally important to allow manufacturers to sell existing devices that allow the public to continue providing service until new products are available in the marketplace. The cutoff dates that the Commission adopts for certification, manufacturing and marketing of wireless microphones appropriately balance these two goals, and it disagrees with the cutoff dates proposed by CTIA and Mobile Future. Manufacturers will not know what band plan they need to design and manufacture to until after the incentive auction is concluded, and it would be unreasonable to require that only certification applications complying with the new rules be accepted at the time the Channel Reassignment PN is released. Broadcast stations will be vacating the 600 MHz Band over a 39 month period after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN, and new wireless operations will be built out gradually as broadcast stations leave the band and most likely continuing beyond the 39 month transition period. It would be unreasonable to cut off manufacturing and marketing six months into the 39 month transition period since this would deny the public access to devices that would allow them to continue to provide service. The Commission concludes that the cutoff dates it has chosen will encourage manufacturers to concentrate on developing wireless microphones that operate in compliance with new part 74 and part 15 rules and ensure that manufacturers cease making and marketing equipment that cannot be legally used after a certain date. Finally, as proposed in the NPRM, the prohibition on manufacture and marketing will not apply to devices manufactured in the United States solely for export.

    (c) Modification of LPAS Licenses To Remove Authorization for Operations on the 600 MHz Band

    51. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed, pursuant to its authority under section 316 of the Communications Act, to modify existing LPAS licenses to the extent necessary to delete frequencies identified as repurposed for the 600 MHz Band in the Channel Reassignment PN, effective on the date that the post-auction transition period ends. In addition, it proposed that, following these license modifications, the LPAS licenses will continue to include authorization to use all frequencies currently included in those licenses other than the repurposed 600 MHz Band. Finally, the Commission proposed that if a licensed user must cease operations of a wireless microphone prior to the end of the post-auction transition period (i.e., because it causes harmful interference to any 600 MHz licensee's operations), the license relating to that wireless microphone will be modified automatically without Commission action to delete the authorization to operate on the repurposed 600 MHz Band, effective on the date that operations are required to cease.

    52. The Commission adopts the proposal set forth in the NPRM. As set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, during the transition period, wireless microphone users must cease operations if they would cause harmful interference to any 600 MHz wireless operations, and if there are violations of this requirement it will enforce its rules accordingly. The Commission declines the requests to permit wireless microphone operations in the 600 MHz Band following the transition period. As the Commission explained in the Incentive Auction R&O, establishing a hard date by which all licensed and unlicensed wireless microphone operations must cease provides needed certainty and clarity about transitioning out of the band, and no party petitioned for reconsideration of its decision on this matter. Finally, the Commission directs WTB to modify LPAS licenses to delete the affected frequencies from LPAS licensees' authorizations, effective at the end of the transition period.

    2. Miscellaneous VHF/UHF Bands a. 26.100-26.480 MHz, 161.625-161.775 MHz, 450-451 MHz, and 455-456 MHz Bands

    53. Wireless microphones operating pursuant to the part 74 LPAS rules also are authorized to operate on a licensed basis in small portions of certain broadcast bands, including the 26.100-26.480 MHz, the 161.625-161.775 MHz, the 450-451 MHz, and the 455-456 MHz bands. Eligibility for operating in these bands is limited to broadcasters and broadcast network entities. While the Commission did not propose any specific revisions concerning these rules in the NPRM, it sought comment on the current use of these bands for wireless microphone operations, and the more expansive use of these bands in the future. The Commission asked where there are technological advances that may promote more intensive use, and requested comment on any potential revisions that it should make to facilitate the use of these bands for wireless microphone operations.

    54. Given commenters' general view that additional use of these bands is limited, and considering the small amount of spectrum they offer, revision of its rules to permit expanded operations in these bands would not yield much benefit. Furthermore, the Commission has sought comment on revising the rules in these bands to allow for the use of digital technologies of Remote Pickup (RPU) stations in another rulemaking, which could result in more intensive use of these bands. The Commission therefore concludes that it will not make these bands available for wireless microphone operations other than as currently authorized, and subject to the outcome in the latter proceeding.

    b. 88-108 MHz FM Band

    55. As discussed in the NPRM, wireless microphone operations have long been permitted in the 88-108 MHz FM band on an unlicensed basis under section 15.239 of the Commission's part 15 rules. While the Commission did not propose any rule revisions in the NPRM, it sought comment on whether wireless microphone users continue to make use of this band for their operations and the extent to which existing or revised rules will be useful for accommodating wireless microphone users' needs in the future. To the extent that revisions were proposed, the Commission requested that parties submit technical information in support of their proposals, as well as analysis of the benefits of such revisions and likely impact on FM broadcasters.

    56. Based on the comments and record before the Commission, and the apparently minimal opportunity for making use of this band, it declines to make any revisions to the rules applicable to wireless microphone operations in the 88-108 MHz FM band.

    3. 169-172 MHz Band

    57. Under the Commission's part 90 rules, entities eligible to hold a Public Safety Pool or Industrial/Business Pool license may operate wireless microphone operations on a secondary basis on eight frequencies in the 169-172 MHz band, which is allocated primarily for Federal use. Specifically, these rules permit wireless microphones to be operated on only eight frequencies: 169.445 MHz, 169.505 MHz, 170.245 MHz, 170.305 MHz, 171.045 MHz, 171.105 MHz 171.845 MHz, and 171.905 MHz. The emission bandwidth may not exceed 54 kilohertz, the frequency stability of the microphones must limit the total emission to within ± 32.5 kilohertz of the assigned frequency, and operations may not exceed an output power level of 50 mW.

    58. Wireless microphone operations are not protected from other licensed operations in the band, and must not cause interference to any Government or non-Government operations, and wireless microphone license applications are subject to Government coordination. Other non-Federal operations in the band, which also are secondary to the Federal allocation, operate on 12.5 kilohertz channels, and include (1) operations on 36 specified frequencies between 169.425 MHz and 171.925 MHz for the purpose of transmitting hydrological or meteorological data (hydro channels), (2) operations on 9 frequencies between 170.425 MHz and 172.375 MHz for forest firefighting and conservation purposes (forest firefighting channels), and (3) operations on frequency 170.150 MHz for public safety purposes and broadcast remote pickup stations in certain parts of the country. The current 169-172 MHz band wireless microphone channels overlap the hydro channels, but not the forest firefighting channels or public safety operations on frequency 170.150 MHz.

    59. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on the current use of spectrum in the 169-172 MHz band for wireless microphones, and how the spectrum potentially could be used more expansively and intensively without interfering with Federal operations or the other secondary non-Federal services. It asked what steps it could take to make the band a viable option for more wireless microphone users, and sought comment on two specific approaches: Allowing wireless microphone licensees to combine each of the four neighboring pairs of channels with each other, making four larger-bandwidth channels available on new channel centers between the existing assignable frequencies; or making as much of the 169-172 MHz band as possible available for wireless microphone use and allowing operation with bandwidths of up to 200 kilohertz, subject to appropriate technical or geographic limitations.

    60. As noted above, the current 169-172 MHz band wireless microphone channels overlap the hydro channels, but not the forest firefighting channels. Making as much of the 169-172 MHz band as possible available for wireless microphone use and allowing operation with bandwidths of up to 200 kilohertz on center frequencies throughout the band, as advocated by the commenters, would result in wireless microphone channels overlapping forest firefighting channels. In another proceeding, a petition for rulemaking proposed to make the forest firefighting channels available for vehicular repeater systems (VRS) and other mobile repeaters by other firefighters fighting in-building fires. Despite the benefits that VRS use provides for first responders, the Commission denied that portion of the rulemaking petition. It noted concerns expressed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that an interference-free environment must be maintained on the forest firefighting channels because even VRS public safety operations on a secondary basis would pose a risk of creating conflicts with primary Federal safety operations. Consistent with this precedent, the Commission declines to allow wireless microphone operations on center frequencies throughout the band that would overlap forest firefighting channels.

    61. The Commission agrees with commenters that it should promote more opportunities for wireless microphone use of this band. Consequently, the Commission will pursue the approach of creating new channel centers between the existing neighboring pairs of channels (i.e., 169.475, 170.275, 171.075, and 171.875 MHz). The Commission concludes that the record supports permitting operation on these new channel centers with a bandwidth of up to 200 kilohertz, rather than merely combining the existing channels into new channels with a bandwidth of less than 120 kilohertz, because 200 kilohertz bandwidth will support higher audio quality, which could facilitate operation in the band by a wider range of users. Wireless microphones that have bandwidth exceeding 54 kilohertz will be required to comply with the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2008-11) that the Commission is adopting for licensed wireless microphone operations in the TV bands.

    62. In order to protect Federal operations and the other secondary non-Federal services, the Commission rejects the suggestion that it authorize wireless microphone operations in the 169-172 MHz band on an unlicensed basis pursuant to part 15. Unlicensed operations would eliminate the Federal Government's ability to review and object to new assignments in this primary Federal band. Instead, these operations will be licensed pursuant to part 90 and applications will be subject to Government coordination.

    4. 944-952 MHz Band and Adjacent 941-944 MHz and 952-960 MHz Bands

    63. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on making revisions to the rules in the 944-952 MHz band and the two adjacent bands, the 941-944 MHz and 952-960 MHz bands, to accommodate additional licensed wireless microphone operations.

    a. 944-952 MHz Band

    64. The Commission's part 74, subpart H rules authorize operations of wireless microphones on a licensed basis in the 944-952 MHz band. These LPAS operations are authorized on a co-primary basis along with other Broadcast Auxiliary Services (BAS) consisting of fixed Aural Studio to Transmitter links (STL) stations and fixed Aural Intercity Relay Links stations (ICR). Entities eligible for a license to operate wireless microphones are limited to broadcast licensees and broadcast network entities. LPAS devices using this particular band of spectrum may also be used to transmit synchronizing signals and various control signals to portable or hand-carried TV cameras which employ low power radio signals in lieu of cable to deliver picture signals to the control point at the scene of a remote broadcast. Under the applicable technical rules, the operating bandwidth for LPAS operations may not exceed 200 kHz, and the maximum transmitter power is 1 watt. Several manufacturers have developed wireless microphones that use this band.

    65. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on potential for more intensive use of this band for the licensed wireless microphone operations among the other BAS that use the band. It asked whether, considering that less spectrum may be available for wireless microphone operations in the UHF television bands, licensees expect to make greater use of this band in this band by migrating particular types of uses to this spectrum when they are spectrum-constrained in the TV bands, and whether this band is well-suited for high-quality uses. Because the Commission had proposed adopting ETSI standards for operations in the TV bands, it also proposed adopting these standards for LPAS operations in the 944-952 MHz band.

    66. The Commission also proposed expanding eligibility in the 944-952 MHz band to include all of the entities currently eligible under part 74 for licensed operation of LPAS devices in the TV bands, given that their wireless microphone needs are similar to those of broadcasters and broadcast network entities. It asked whether technical limitations and other considerations should be weighed when assessing expansion of licensee eligibility in this band to ensure that such eligibility expansion would not be problematic for existing LPAS operations in this band.

    67. Consistent with this record and in accord with adoption of the ETSI standard on emission masks for LPAS devices in the TV bands, the Commission will require that emissions from analog and digital wireless microphones comply with the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08), for future wireless microphones that will use this band—applying these revised standards to new equipment certified under Part 74 in the 944-952 MHz band 9 months after issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, consistent with the requirements for new equipment certified for LPAS devices that operate in the TV bands. Further, the Commission expands eligibility for operations in the 944-952 MHz band to include all entities currently eligible to hold LPAS licenses for operation in the TV bands. This step should help address the need for additional spectrum outside of the TV bands for this entire group of licensed users.

    68. Licensed LPAS users operating in the 944-952 MHz band (as in the TV bands) are subject to the frequency selection requirements contained in § 74.803 of its Rules. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) runs a local frequency coordination program for this band and asserts that coordination would have to be mandatory in order to avoid interference among different licensees. Accordingly, the Commission will also require wireless microphone users seeking access to this band to coordinate their proposed use through the local SBE coordinator.

    b. 941-944 MHz Band and 952-960 MHz Band

    69. The two bands immediately adjacent to 944-952 MHz band—the 941-944 MHz and the 952-960 MHz bands—are licensed for fixed services in varying bandwidths (from 12.5 kHz up to 200 kHz) in different areas and segments of these eleven megahertz. Most of the spectrum in these two bands is licensed for Private Operational Fixed (including business industrial and public safety) and Common Carrier Fixed Microwave Services authorized under part 101, and fixed Aural Broadcast Auxiliary Services (STL and ICR) authorized under part 74, while smaller portions are authorized for Multiple Address Systems (MAS), which consist of point-to-multipoint Fixed Microwave Services authorized under part 101 of the rules.

    70. Specifically, most of the 941-944 MHz band—the two and a half megahertz between 941.5-944 MHz—is available for licensing for Private and Common Carrier Fixed Microwave Services or for broadcast auxiliary stations. Fixed point-to-point links in these bands are typically used for long distance low data-rate links between locations that have line of sight capability. They employ directional antennas and operate with fairly high effective isotropic radiated power. Receive antennas are also directional, affording some rejection of unwanted signals off-axis from the main lobe of the antenna. The other portion, the half megahertz between 941-941.5 MHz, is authorized for MAS operations, specifically communications from MAS master stations to remote stations; consequently, transmission from the master station is generally omni-directional, generally within a 25-mile radius, to many remote stations. MAS historically has been used by the power, petroleum, and security industries for various alarm, control, interrogation and status reporting requirements as well as by the paging industry, and the licensing scheme adopted by the Commission was designed to accommodate these past and present uses. MAS licenses in this band are either geographically-based or site-based.

    71. Most of the 952-960 MHz band—6.8 megahertz of spectrum between 952.85-956.25 MHz and 956.45-959.85 MHz—is licensed for Private Operational Fixed Microwave Service (including business industrial and public safety) authorized under part 101. The remaining portions of the band are also authorized for MAS operations in three distinct portions, totaling 1.2 megahertz. The MAS bands are divided into two groups with differing licensing and service characteristics; these are commonly known as the 928/952/956 band—used for private internal or public safety communications, and the 928/959 MHz band—used by CMRS and paging network incumbents. The MAS portions of these bands have historically been used by the power, petroleum, and security industries for various Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) operations as well as by the paging industry. These licenses also could be either geographically-based or site-based.

    72. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed making unused portions of the 941-944 MHz and the 952-960 MHz bands available for licensed wireless microphone operations on a secondary basis, generally under the rules applicable for LPAS operations in the 944-952 MHz band, provided that incumbent users in the band could be protected from interference. The Commission inquired about the extent to which there are many locations in these bands where spectrum is unused, potentially available, and in sufficient bandwidth (e.g., 200 kHz) suitable for wireless microphone uses similar to their uses in the TV bands and 944-952 MHz band. Considering the different services and service rules that apply to portions of these bands, and the mix of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint services already operating in these bands, the Commission asked whether specific sub-bands would be more suitable than others for sharing with wireless microphones. In this regard, it first inquired about those portions of the spectrum available for licensing for fixed microwave services, which constitutes the majority of the spectrum in these bands. The Commission sought comment on the ability of wireless microphone users to determine the availability of suitable spectrum at particular locations in these portions of the band, and what issues or factors it should take into account to make spectrum available for wireless microphone operations while protecting the incumbent fixed services that operate in these bands. The Commission then made similar inquiries about making the portions of the spectrum in these bands that are authorized for MAS operations available for wireless microphone operations. Considering that many MAS systems are used by utilities for SCADA operations, it sought comment on whether these existing users operate in the same general geographic areas as wireless microphone users, or whether the wireless microphone operations would be separated geographically because these are different types of uses. It also asked about other factors that it should consider when determining whether and how to permit wireless microphone operations in these MAS portions.

    73. The Commission also sought comment on designing rules that would be necessary to address any interference concerns with particular incumbent operations that could arise. It asked whether certain types of services, such as fixed microwave services, would generally not be prone to interference, and whether others, such as MAS operations involving SCADA operations, could be more susceptible to interference and require more protected rules (e.g., rules to specify minimum separation distances, or create protection zones, or imposed greater limitations on power levels used by wireless microphones, or restricting use to indoors). In addition, the Commission sought comment on the technical rules that would apply to wireless microphone operations in these bands. It specifically asked whether wireless microphones should be permitted to operate under the same technical rules for LPAS operations that apply to operations in the 944-952 MHz band (e.g., power limits, maximum bandwidth, Out of Band Emissions (OOBE), including the ETSI standards that it proposed to apply to such operations. Finally, it sought comment on the equipment issues that would pertain to wireless microphone operations in these bands, including various issues relating to the certification process (e.g., whether manufacturers should be able to certificate equipment under the same rules and procedures for LPAS devices that operate in the 944-952 MHz band, or needed to develop new equipment for these bands that would be certificated in a different manner).

    74. Based on the record before us, the Commission will open most of the 941-944 and 952-960 MHz bands—the 2.5 megahertz of spectrum between 941.5-944 MHz and the 6.8 megahertz of spectrum between 952.85-956.25 MHz and 956.45-959.85 MHz—for use by wireless microphones and other LPAS license eligible entities currently operating in the TV broadcast bands and for whom it has expanded eligibility to operate in the 944-952 MHz bands. Because wireless microphones operate at low power over short distances, and fixed point-to-point systems employ directional antennas and operate with fairly high effective isotropic radiated power, the Commission believes that the risk of interference between LPAS operations and fixed point-to-point operations is low, and commenters generally agree with that conclusion. The Commission finds further support for its decision in parties' assurances that equipment to utilize these expanded bands could be brought to market quickly. Furthermore, it finds that LPAS operations in the these bands should be subject to the same part 74 technical rules that apply to LPAS operations in the 944-952 MHz band (e.g., the same power limits, maximum bandwidth, and coordination requirements). The Commission also adopts the ETSI standard for emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08); and will require emissions beyond +/−1 MHz from the carrier or center frequency to be attenuated by 90 dB. It will apply this standard to new licenses in the 941.5-944 MHz, 952.85-956.25 MHz and 956.45-959.85 MHz bands upon the effective date of this order. Consistent with the coordination requirements the Commission adopted for the 944-952 MHz band, it will also require wireless microphone users seeking access to the 941.5-944 MHz, 952.85-956.25 MHz and 956.45-959.85 MHz bands to coordinate their proposed use through the local SBE coordinator.

    75. The Commission does not, however, open the remaining portions of the bands authorized for MAS operations, in three distinct portions totaling 1.7 megahertz, for licensed wireless microphone operations. Unlike with fixed point-to-point operations, it concludes that there is a greater risk of interference from a wireless microphone being operated at close proximity to a MAS remote station. Unlike fixed point-to-point operations (including BAS studio transmitter links), geographic area MAS licensees may add master and remote stations throughout their service area without prior Commission approval, and incumbent MAS licensees are allowed to expand their systems under certain circumstances. Given the record before the Commission, including the concerns of representatives of MAS interests, it concludes that proponents of using the MAS bands for wireless microphones have not demonstrated that they can coexist with MAS without causing interference. Furthermore, there is only a relatively small amount of spectrum in discrete segments potentially unused and available in this 1.7 megahertz.

    5. Unlicensed Operations in the 902-928 MHz, the 2.4 GHz, and the 5 GHz Bands

    76. The 902-928 MHz, 2.4 GHz (2400-2483.5 MHz), and 5 GHz (5725-5850 MHz) bands generally permit operations of unlicensed devices pursuant to two part 15 rules, 47 CFR 15.247 and 15.249. Wireless microphones are among the devices that operate on an unlicensed basis in these bands under these rules.

    77. In the NPRM, the Commission sought general comment on the current and potential uses of the band for various wireless microphone operations, the types of applications for which the bands are best suited, the limitations associated with use of these bands, and technological advances that have improved the ability to make use of the band for wireless microphone operations. In requesting information on the use of these bands, it sought to develop a more complete record of how these bands are useful in meeting various needs of wireless microphone users. The Commission did not propose to revise any of these part 15 rules that apply to a broad range of unlicensed operations.

    78. The Commission concludes that although the use of these bands at this time may be more appropriate for certain types of wireless microphone applications, they nonetheless can support devices that are part of the suite of wireless microphone devices that accommodate the needs of various users. It also anticipates that further technological advances can make improvements in performance, and hence make use of these bands more attractive for meeting many wireless microphone users' needs. As noted above, the Commission did not propose to make any revisions of the rules applicable for a wide range of unlicensed uses in these bands, and decline here to make any revisions. It generally is not inclined to make changes to these rules without demonstrated need that changes would benefit the many users of these bands.

    6. 1920-1930 MHz Unlicensed PCS Band

    79. The 1920-1930 MHz band is allocated to Fixed and Mobile services on a primary basis and is designated for use by Unlicensed Personal Communications Service (UPCS) devices under the Commission's part 15 rules for unlicensed operations. To facilitate the sharing of spectrum in the UPCS band, the current rules require use of a “listen-before-transmit” protocol that specifies a process for monitoring the time and spectrum windows that a transmission is intended to occupy for signals above a defined threshold. Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology may be used in this band since it complies with the general rules for operating in this band. DECT-based radio technology facilitates voice, data, and networking applications with range requirements up to a few hundred meters. DECT technologies minimize interference and can be particularly effective for voice communications, and many manufacturers make wireless microphones that use this spectrum.

    80. In the NPRM, the Commission invited comment on the current and potential uses of the 1920-1930 MHz UPCS band for wireless microphone applications, advances in wireless microphone technologies making use of this spectrum, and the types of applications for which it may be best suited. It did not propose any revisions, but did ask generally whether it should consider any technical revisions that could make this band more useful for wireless microphone applications without adversely affecting operations of other users in the band.

    81. As discussed above, wireless microphone manufacturers are finding ways under the existing rules to make use of this unlicensed band to address particular types of wireless microphone users' needs. The Commission encourages wireless microphone users to make use of this band where it can effectively serve their needs. It did not propose revisions to the rules in this band, and recognizing the many other applications that make use of this band, it will not make revisions at this time.

    7. 1435-1525 MHz Band

    82. The 1435-1525 MHz band (1.4 GHz band) is shared by the Federal government and industry for aeronautical mobile telemetry (AMT) operations. AMT systems are used for flight testing of manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles, and associated communications such as range safety, chase aircraft, and weather data. The Department of Defense (DOD) is the major Federal user of the band, although the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) also have assignments within it. The commercial aviation industry uses the band for flight testing of new and modified commercial, corporate, and general aviation aircraft at various facilities across the United States. Both the FCC and NTIA recognize the Aerospace and Flight Test Radio Coordinating Council (AFTRCC) as the non-governmental coordinator for assignment of flight test frequencies in the band. Through the Special Temporary Authority (STA) process, professional sound engineering companies responsible for major event productions have obtained authority to operate both wireless microphones (and similar audio devices) and video equipment on a temporary basis (e.g., a few days or a week) to access this spectrum. These STAs supplement the parties' existing access to other spectrum resources (primarily the TV bands) for coverage of sporting and other public events at specified locations around the country. Under existing practice, the applicants have had to demonstrate that they have fully coordinated their proposed spectrum use with AFTRCC before the Commission will grant a STA. The STAs have provided the applicants access to up to 90 megahertz of spectrum in the 1435-1525 MHz band, and only when that spectrum is not subject to AMT use at the specified times and locations. Operators generally use equipment that has been specially developed or modified for use of the 1.4 GHz band spectrum.

    83. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed making the 1.4 GHz band spectrum available for use by wireless microphones on a secondary licensed basis, with use limited to licensed professional users at specified locations and times operating pursuant to specified safeguards designed to protect AMT use of the band. It sought general comment on the suitability of this spectrum for wireless microphone operations, and stated its commitment to ensuring that any wireless microphones operating in this spectrum are spectrally efficient and frequency agile.

    84. While the Commission sought to provide wireless microphone users in need of additional spectrum resources with access to the 1.4 GHz band spectrum to help accommodate those needs, it contemplated only limited use of this spectrum and did not propose to open it for either widespread or itinerant uses throughout the nation. In particular, the Commission proposed that wireless microphone uses be restricted to specific fixed locations, such as large venues (whether outdoor or indoor), where there may be a need to deploy large numbers of microphones (e.g., 100 or more), and only at specified times. It proposed limiting eligibility to professional users, including broadcasters, professional television and cable programmers, and professional sound engineering companies, and operators at major venues that manage and coordinate wireless microphone operations, i.e., the entities eligible for licensed LPAS operations in the TV bands. In proposing to require prior coordination with AFTRCC, the Commission sought comment on specific coordination mechanisms that would ensure that wireless microphone operations only occur at the locations and times where authorized, and would be effective in preventing the use of these devices at any other location or time without authorization.

    85. In considering the appropriate framework for wireless microphone operations in the band, the Commission noted that it already permits secondary, low power short-range Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) devices to share use of another band where AMT operations are primary (i.e., the 2360-2390 MHz band) pursuant to a specified coordination process. The Commission asked about the extent to which the rules for MBAN operations might serve as a model for rules that it should adopt for wireless microphone operations in the 1.4 GHz band. MBAN device operators are required to register each device with the frequency coordinator and provide specified information—including the frequencies to be used, the location of the devices, the power levels used, and point of contact information regarding the entity responsible for the MBAN device operations. MBAN devices also must cease transmission in the absence of a control message. The Commission further noted that, as part of the MBAN proceeding, it had recognized that specific tools, such as electronic keys, could be useful to coordinators as they sought to achieve mutually agreeable coordination agreements.

    86. The Commission sought comment on requiring that wireless microphone systems, which often are moved from one location to another (e.g., when used to cover different events), could only operate through use of an automatic mechanism (such as an electronic key, and location-awareness capability, or similar mechanisms) that would serve to prevent wireless microphones from operating unless on approved frequencies in the 1.4 GHz band at the approved location/venue(s) during approved time(s). In addition, the Commission invited comment on whether it should adopt point-of-sale restrictions that would enable only entities licensed to operate in this band (discussed below) to obtain the devices.

    87. To the extent the Commission decided to authorize wireless microphone operations in this band, it sought comment on the technical rules that would apply to devices that would use the band, including considerations designed to ensure that the primary AMT operations would be protected. It asked whether the technical rules should be the similar to those that apply to wireless microphones that operate in other bands, as well as whether ETSI standards should be adopted for those devices. To preserve maximum flexibility for wireless microphone operations in the band, it inquired whether it should require wireless microphones to have the capability of tuning across the band, as well as whether wireless microphones designed to operate in the 1.4 GHz band should have modular transmitting components that, if necessary, could be replaced to enhance frequency agility. In addition, the Commission asked whether there should be an interim process for permitting wireless microphone operations in the band as any necessary new devices are being made, and what device certification process should be employed. Finally, consistent with its proposal, the Commission envisioned adding a secondary mobile except aeronautical mobile service allocation to the 1435-1525 MHz band for limited use under the service rules it adopts for the band.

    88. As proposed in the NPRM, the Commission authorized limited use of the 1.4 GHz band for licensed wireless microphones operations, with secondary status in the band in the table of allocations, and only provided that certain conditions and safeguards designed to protect AMT services are met. Experience through the STA process demonstrates that, under proper conditions, wireless microphones will be able to operate in this band without interfering with the critical aeronautical flight test operations that rely on primary access to this spectrum. Eligibility to use this band will be restricted to professional users (to include broadcasters, professional television and cable programmers, and professional sound engineering companies, and operators at major venues that manage and coordinate wireless microphone operations). The Commission also adopted Shure's recommendation, and will permit 200 kHz analog and digital masks and adopt the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI standard EN 300-422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08), with power levels of up to 250mW consistent with the rules for UHF operations in the TV bands. To accommodate this limited use, the Commission is adding a new footnote, US84, to the Table of Frequency Allocations. This footnote explicitly permits secondary wireless microphone use in the 1435-1525 MHz band, which is already allocated to the mobile service on a primary basis but restricted to aeronautical telemetry.

    89. As proposed in the NPRM, the Commission is only authorizing limited use of this spectrum for licensed wireless microphone uses, where access may be important for certain specified events. It is not opening up this band either for widespread use or for itinerant uses throughout the nation. In particular, it is restricting use to specific fixed locations, such as large venues (whether outdoor or indoor), where there is a need to deploy large numbers of microphones (typically 100 or more) for specified time periods, for situations in which the other available spectrum resources are insufficient.

    90. Protection of primary service in the band by this new secondary service is of paramount importance. Wireless microphone use in the band must be coordinated with the non-governmental coordinator for assignment of flight test frequencies in the band (i.e., AFTRCC), and authentication and location verification will be required before a coordinated wireless microphone begins operation. Wireless microphones operating in this band must also be tunable across the entire 1435-1525 MHz band, as recommended by AFTRCC. This capability will facilitate coordination with incumbent users whose aeronautical testing may be variable across the band. Additionally, the Commission will authorize all microphones operating in a particular area to access no more than 30 megahertz in the 1435-1525 MHz band. This requirement will facilitate coexistence in the band by ensuring that wireless microphones operating be able to coordinate around AMT operations and by promoting the development of spectrally efficient technologies (e.g., digital technologies). The Commission also emphasizes that the STA process remains available to address extraordinary situations or special events requiring more spectrum access.

    91. The Commission is convinced that many of the elements that led to the successful adoption of the final MBAN service rules will also promote licensed secondary wireless microphone use of the 1.4 GHz band. Chief among these will be the cooperation of the AMT community in recognizing opportunities to share use of the band in those locations and times that will not interfere with the critical existing primary use, and the implementation of a coordination process to allow for such determinations in a timely and effective manner. However, the Commission recognizes that this coordination scenario is different from the MBANs case in that the secondary use will not be restricted to indoor locations in relatively limited and well-defined geographic places (i.e., hospitals). The Commission thinks there is good basis for AFTRCC's suggestions that equipment authentication be done through an automated mechanism and repeated regularly, that the equipment be designed to automatically cease operation in the absence of such registration and authentication, and that the equipment incorporate a geolocation capability more sophisticated than the manual entry of coordinates. Accordingly, the Commission will require manufacturers to design, and operators to use, software-based controls (or similar functionality) to prevent devices from operating in the band except in the specific channels coordinated with AFTRCC for any given location.

    92. The Commission will leave the details of these matters for resolution at a future time, to be informed by further negotiation between manufacturers and the flight test community. It is also not mandating, at this time, the use of a specific coordinator or coordinators to represent the wireless microphone community (analogous to the MBAN coordinator). The decision as to whether such a coordinator may be appropriate for the professional licensed wireless microphone user base (and consideration of whether such a coordinator would provide sufficient user oversight so as to allow greater flexibility in how 1.4 GHz wireless microphone equipment may be designed) will be better informed after further discussion by the interested parties.

    93. The Commission's intent is to provide a stable new environment for professional wireless microphone users, but it must also be mindful of the fact that, as noted above, wireless microphone use of the 1.4 GHz band will operate pursuant to a secondary allocation. In light of this regulatory status, and considering the history of wireless microphone users having to replace equipment as band availability has evolved, the Commission strongly encourages parties designing equipment for this band to incorporate design elements—such as modular transmitting components or wider tuning capability extending to other bands—that will allow the greatest future flexibility should regulatory circumstances ever change. The Commission reminds licensees and manufacturers that they will bear the future cost of any such changes and, therefore, that relatively small upfront costs to increase flexibility may prevent much greater costs associated with replacing equipment in the unforeseeable future. It intends to continue a dialog with the wireless microphone community so that licensees and manufacturers will be able to anticipate, well in advance, any new developments (e.g., the availability of other bands for wireless microphones) that might inform the design of new equipment.

    94. While the Commission concludes that the costs of the particular requirements it is establishing for wireless microphone use of the 1.4 GHz band are outweighed by the benefits of allowing licensed secondary use in a band that would otherwise not be available, it recognizes that the requirements are likely to limit 1.4 GHz wireless microphone use to a relatively limited community of professional users. The limited size of the user pool will facilitate coordinated use of the band and mitigate successfully AFTRCC's concerns regarding unauthorized users. The Commission also expects wireless microphone manufactures to continue to innovate and find further operational efficiencies, and believe that they will be able to draw on the experiences of MBAN proponents as they develop equipment designed to operate in the AMT space. Finally, because the Commission will continue to allow for the existing coordinated use of this band under the STA process, it is not establishing an interim process for permitting wireless microphone use under the new procedures pending the development of new equipment and final coordination and registration requirements.

    8. 3.5 GHz Band

    95. In the NPRM, the Commission noted the 3.5 GHz Band FNPRM adopted earlier in 2014, in which it sought comment various potential uses of the 3.5 GHz band as it developed rules for operating in that band, see 79 FR 31247, June 2, 2014. It made clear that all of the issues regarding the policies and rules for operations in the 3.5 GHz proceeding would be decided in that proceeding, but nonetheless sought general comment on whether wireless microphone operations potentially could be employed in the 3.5 GHz band to help accommodate particular needs of users.

    96. In April 2015, the Commission adopted rules for commercial use of 150 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band, see 80 FR 34119, June 15, 2015. These rules specified a federal/non-federal sharing arrangement of that band as part of a broader three-tiered sharing framework, which included Priority Access and General Authorized Access (GAA) tiers of service for commercial wireless use. This band potentially can provide opportunities for wireless microphone operations. Both tiers of service are open to any party eligible for a Commission license and could provide opportunities for wireless microphone operations.

    9. 6875-7125 MHz Band

    97. As the Commission discussed in the NPRM, the 6875-7125 MHz band (7 GHz band) has long been authorized for shared co-primary use for fixed microwave operations among TV BAS stations (including television studio-transmitter links, television relay stations, and television translator relay stations) under part 74 and cable television relay stations (CARS) under part 78 of its rules. Broadcast network and cable entities may also use the band on a secondary basis for mobile or temporary fixed microwave operations for TV and CARS pickup stations. In addition, broadcasters can operate certain BAS facilities in the 7 GHz band on a short-term, secondary basis without prior authorization for up to 720 hours a year. The BAS stations make it possible for television and radio stations and networks to transmit program materials from the sites of breaking news stories or other live events to television studios for inclusion in broadcast programs. The CARS stations enable cable operators to distribute programming to microwave hubs where it is impossible or too expensive to run cable and to cover live events. In 2011, the Commission also authorized Fixed Services (FS) microwave operations under part 101 (for Private, Common Carrier, or Public Safety microwave systems) to share use of the band, on a co-primary basis, but only in areas where BAS and CARS television pickup operations are not licensed and not on two 25 megahertz channels in the middle of the band reserved for TV pickup stations (channels at 6975-7000 MHz and 7000-7025 MHz).

    98. The 250 megahertz in the 7 GHz band is comprised of ten 25 megahertz channels. BAS and CARS licensees may be authorized to operate both fixed and mobile stations on any of these channels, and FS licensees on all but two of them (as noted above). The Commission has not otherwise adopted a formal, nationwide segmentation plan for the 7 GHz band to separate fixed and mobile operation. BAS and CARS licensees are authorized to operate on 25 megahertz channels, FS operators may be authorized to operate on 25 megahertz channels or on smaller channels of 5, 8.33 or 12.5 megahertz. Furthermore, all fixed BAS, CARS, and part 101 FS stations must engage in the same frequency coordination process required of all part 101 services, whereas temporary fixed or mobile TV pickup services continue to be subject to informal coordination procedures within their service areas.

    99. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed to permit licensed wireless microphone operations on available channels in this band, on a secondary basis, for entities eligible to hold BAS or CARS licenses. Considering the likelihood of significant areas of unused spectrum throughout this band, the Commission sought comment on whether spectrum in this band could be made available for relatively low power, short-range wireless microphone operations without interfering with existing services. Given that BAS and CARS licensees already use the 7 GHz band for certain types of video applications and programming production, it asked whether there would be synergies in permitting wireless microphone operations that could supplement those existing applications. The Commission sought comment on particular rules that could facilitate wireless microphone operations in the band while also protecting existing services, specifically inquiring whether it should make spectrum in all of the 7 GHz band available for wireless microphone operations on a secondary, non-interfering basis, or only make certain portions of the 7 GHz band available for wireless microphone operations. It also sought comment on what technical rules (LPAS or otherwise) would best facilitate wireless microphone operations in the band, whether such rules should include the ETSI standards, and what if any interference criteria such as geographic exclusion zones or OOBE limits would protect incumbent services in the band. Given that coordination among licensees currently is required, the Commission asked to what extent formal or informal coordination of wireless microphone operations should be required—i.e., whether wireless microphone users could share operations among themselves on the same private-sector, frequency-coordinated basis that exists for the use of BAS mobile shared spectrum. Finally, it sought comment on the availability of wireless microphone equipment for this band.

    100. The Commission will permit BAS and CARS eligible entities, as well as the other entities eligible to hold LPAS licenses under part 74, to operate wireless microphones on a licensed, secondary basis in the 7 GHz band on two 25 megahertz channels that it will set aside for such use on the top and bottom channels of this band (6875-6900 MHz and 7100-7125 MHz). It declines to make the entire band available for wireless microphone use because there has been no demonstration that there is a need for all 250 megahertz of spectrum to be made available for wireless microphone use. The Commission is particularly concerned about compatibility between wireless microphones and itinerant BAS operations in the two channels reserved for nationwide use. SBE originally supported use of one 25 megahertz channel in the band, and by offering twice as much spectrum, the Commission hopes to create the necessary flexibility for wireless microphones to opportunistically find frequencies they can use on a secondary basis without interfering with, or receiving interference from, primary users with whom they must share and who typically operate at a higher power. Additionally, the Commission is reassured in its approach to the 7 GHz band by the commenters stating that equipment for these bands is readily available internationally and could be easily brought to market. While Broadcast Sports, Incorporated (BSI) favored setting aside 13 megahertz spectrum segments only for wireless microphone use on a primary basis, the Commission declines to do so because the 7 GHz band should remain fully available for BAS, CARS, and point-to-point operations. It is concerned that granting LPAS exclusive or co-primary status could impede the growth of the important existing uses of the band. Furthermore, under the Commission's existing rules, LPAS users are required to avoid causing harmful interference to any other class of station authorized under its rules or the Table of Allocations. BSI has not explained why a different rule is necessary or appropriate in the 7 GHz band. Moreover, the Commission has endeavored to make two 25 megahertz channels available at the top and bottom of the band (more than BSI requested) so that wireless microphones will have additional flexibility to select specific frequencies within the channel that will not cause interference to other services in the bands.

    101. With respect to coordination, generally, in lieu of mandating specific interference criteria in its rules, the Commission expects applicants and licensees to work out interference issues in the frequency coordination process. FS, BAS, and CARS (other than mobile or temporary fixed operations) already operate in the 7 GHz band subject to a formal Part 101 coordination process pursuant to which all fixed station applicants must provide affected licensees and contemporaneous applicants with 30-day prior notification and an opportunity to participate in frequency coordination before filing their applications with the Commission. Mobile and temporary fixed stations are generally coordinated through local SBE coordinators pursuant to the requirements in section 74.638(d). The Commission will require new wireless microphone operations in the band to coordinate their operations through the local SBE coordinator. It will permit licensees to aggregate channels in these bands for wider-band transmission. Finally, it will apply the same part 74 technical rules applicable to wireless microphones in the TV broadcast bands to their operations in these bands, require that wireless microphones comply with the emission masks in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08) and will require that emissions beyond +/−1 MHz from the carrier or center frequency to be attenuated by 90 dB.

    10. Ultra-Wideband

    102. The Commission's rules for ultra-wideband (UWB) unlicensed devices are set forth in part 15, subpart F. Operating pursuant to the technical rules set forth in part 15, UWB devices can use spectrum occupied by existing radio services without causing harmful interference, thereby permitting scarce spectrum resources to be used more efficiently. Wireless microphones operating under these rules would be required to operate pursuant to the UWB rules for communications systems, which permit operations in the 3.1-10.6 GHz band. Under the UWB rules, these devices must be designed to ensure that operation can occur indoors only, or must consist of hand-held devices that may be employed for such activities as peer-to-peer operation. The Commission noted that at least one wireless microphone manufacturer has developed and markets wireless microphones that operate under these rules.

    103. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on the current and potential uses of UWB devices for wireless microphone applications. It asked whether there are there particular uses for which wireless microphones operating under UWB rules are well suited, such as indoor and/or short-range operations, and whether manufacturers are promoting the use of UWB wireless microphones for particular applications. Finally, it invited comment regarding steps that it should take to facilitate use of UWB devices for wireless microphone uses. It did not propose or seek comment on any rule revisions that would be designed to accommodate wireless microphone applications.

    104. While the Commission did not propose, nor is it adopting, any changes to these rules, it does encourage further developments that can enable various wireless microphone applications to meet particular consumers' needs. Any changes to the existing rules would require much more extensive technical justification and analyses, as an initial matter, which are not before the Commission.

    11. Other Potential Bands

    105. In the NPRM, the Commission invited comment on whether there are other bands not currently available for wireless microphone operations that may be useful in helping to accommodate their needs, whether in the nearer term and over the longer term. In particular, the Commission inquired about the 2020-2025 MHz band, asking whether this band might be technically suitable for wireless microphone operations, the potential equipment availability, and other issues that would need to be considered. It also requested comment on how a decision to permit wireless microphone operations in this band would affect its earlier decision to allocate those five megahertz for non-federal fixed and mobile service, whether allowing access would be helpful in accommodating wireless microphone operations, and whether use of this band for wireless microphones would advance its spectrum management goals, including promoting efficient use of spectrum.

    106. The Commission declines to take any action with respect to 2020-2025 MHz at this time. In the NPRM, it asked commenters who were interested in this band to address the technical suitability of this band for wireless microphones, to identify the potential availability of equipment for operations in the band, and to explain how wireless microphone use would be consistent with the Commission's earlier decision to allocate this band for non-federal fixed and mobile service. It also sought comment on how permitting wireless microphone operations would be advance spectral efficiency and other spectrum management goals. While certain parties express support for using this band for wireless microphones, the record currently before the Commission does not provide sufficient basis to make this spectrum available for wireless microphone operations at this time, particularly in light of the substantial steps it takes in this R&O to accommodate wireless microphone operations in other bands. Accordingly, while the Commission does not foreclose future consideration of wireless microphone operations in the 2020-2025 MHz band, it is not permitting wireless microphone access to this band at this time.

    III. Procedural Matters A. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    107. This Report and Order contains new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new or modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission previously sought specific comment on how it might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    B. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    108. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations, GN Docket No. 14-166 and Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No. 12-268.2 The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.3

    1See 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).

    2See Promoting Spectrum Access for Wireless Microphone Operations; GN Docket No. 14-166 and Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket 12.268 (FCC 14-145) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 29 FCC Rcd 12343, adopted September 30, 2014.

    3See 5 U.S.C. 604.

    C. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

    109. In this Report and Order, we take several actions to accommodate wireless microphone users' needs in the coming years. Many types of users employ wireless microphones in a variety of settings. Wireless microphone operations range from professional uses, with the need for numerous high-performance microphones along with other microphones, to the need for a handheld microphone to transmit voice communications, to a range of different uses and needs for different numbers of microphones in different settings. Through these actions, we seek to enable wireless microphone users to have access to a suite of devices that operate effectively and efficiently in different spectrum bands and can address their respective needs.

    110. We adopt several changes in our rules for operations in the TV bands, where most wireless microphone operations occur today. With respect to the TV bands, we revise our rules to provide more opportunities to access spectrum by allowing greater use of the VHF channels and more co-channel operations without the need coordination where use would not cause harmful interference to TV service. We also open up the licensed use of the duplex gap to all entities eligible to hold LPAS licenses for using TV band spectrum. We also will require new wireless microphones operating in the TV bands and certain other bands to meet the more efficient analog and digital ETSI standards, which will ensure more efficient use of the spectrum. In addition, we address consumer education and outreach efforts that can help consumers transition out of the TV band spectrum that is repurposed for wireless services, and equipment certification procedures that will apply to wireless microphones in the future. We also discuss several additional actions we are taking with respect to other spectrum bands currently available for wireless microphone operations to enable greater use of these band to accommodate wireless microphone uses in the future. Specifically, we adopt revisions to provide new opportunities in the 169-172 MHz band and the 944-952 MHz band. Finally, we open up three other sets of spectrum bands—portions of the 941-944MHz and 952-960 MHz bands, the 1430-1525 MHz band, and the 6875-7125 MHz band—for sharing with licensed wireless microphone operations under specified conditions.

    D. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IFRA

    111. There were no public comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

    E. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    112. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    F. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Final Rules Will Apply

    113. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.4 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 5 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.6 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 SBA.7

    4 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    5 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    6 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to the RFA, 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.” 5 U.S.C. 601(3).

    7 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632 (1996).

    114. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards.8 First, nationwide, there are a total of 28.2 million small businesses, according to the SBA.9 In addition, a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” 10 Nationwide, as of 2012, there were approximately 2,300,000 small organizations.11 Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” 12 Census Bureau data for 2012 indicate that there were 90,056 local governments in the United States.13 Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    8See 5 U.S.C. 601(3)-(6).

    9See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_March_2014_0.pdf (last visited May 2, 2014; figures are from 2011).

    10 5 U.S.C. 601(4).

    11 National Center for Charitable Statistics, The Nonprofit Almanac (2012).

    12 5 U.S.C. 601(5).

    13 U.S. Census Bureau, Government Organization Summary Report: 2012 (rel. Sep. 26, 2013), http://www2.census.gov/govs/cog/g12_org.pdf (last visited May 2, 2014).

    115. Low Power Auxiliary Station (LPAS) Licensees. Existing LPAS operations are intended for uses such as wireless microphones, cue and control communications, and synchronization of TV camera signals. These low power auxiliary stations transmit over distances of approximately 100 meters.14 The appropriate LPAS size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). The size standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.15 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.16 Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 had employment of 1000 employees or more.17 Thus, using this data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small. There are a total of more than 1,200 Low Power Auxiliary Station (LPAS) licenses in all bands and a total of over 600 LPAS licenses in the UHF spectrum.18

    14 47 CFR 74.801.

    15 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 517210).

    16 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 517210), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    17Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with 1000 employees or more.

    18 FCC, Universal Licensing System (ULS), available at http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home (last visited May 13, 2014).

    116. Low Power Auxiliary Device Manufacturers: Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” 19 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 750 or fewer employees.20 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for the entire year.21 Of this total, 912 establishments had employment of less than 500, and an additional 10 establishments had employment of 500 to 999.22 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    19 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=334220&search=2012 (last visited May 6, 2014).

    20 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 334220.

    21 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0731SG3, Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007 (NAICS code 334220), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3. The number of “establishments” is a less helpful indicator of small business prevalence in this context than would be the number of “firms” or “companies,” because the latter take into account the concept of common ownership or control. Any single physical location for an entity is an establishment, even though that location may be owned by a different establishment. Thus, the numbers given may reflect inflated numbers of businesses in this category, including the numbers of small businesses.

    22Id. An additional 17 establishments had employment of 1,000 or more.

    117. Low Power Auxiliary Device Manufacturers: Other Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing communications equipment (except telephone apparatus, and radio and television broadcast, and wireless communications equipment).” 23 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Other Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 750 or fewer employees.24 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 452 establishments in this category that operated for the entire year.25 Of this total, 448 establishments had employment below 500, and an additional 4 establishments had employment of 500 to 999.26 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    23 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 334290 Other Communications Equipment Manufacturing, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=334290&search=2012 (last visited May 6, 2014).

    24 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 334290.

    25 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0731SG3, Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007 (NAICS code 334290), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3&prodType=table (last visited May 6, 2014). The number of “establishments” is a less helpful indicator of small business prevalence in this context than would be the number of “firms” or “companies,” because the latter take into account the concept of common ownership or control. Any single physical location for an entity is an establishment, even though that location may be owned by a different establishment. Thus, the numbers given may reflect inflated numbers of businesses in this category, including the numbers of small businesses.

    26Id. There were no establishments that had employment of 1,000 or more.

    118. Television Broadcasting. This Economic Census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.” 27 The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts.28 The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,388.29 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.30 We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities.

    27 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, (partial definition), http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited May 6, 2014).

    28 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 2010).

    29See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. January 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    30 We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given.

    119. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included.31 Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

    31 “[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other or a third party or parties controls or has to power to control both.” 13 CFR 21.103(a)(1).

    120. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations to be 396.32 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.33

    32See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. January 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    33See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).

    121. There are also 2,414 low power television stations, including Class A stations and 4,046 television translator stations.34 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    34See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. January 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    122. Cable Television Distribution Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers; that category is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies.” 35 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees.36 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated for the duration of that year.37 Of those, 3,144 had fewer than 1,000 employees, and 44 firms had more than 1,000 employees. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of such firms can be considered small.

    35 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers,http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517110&search=2012 (last visited May 5, 2014).

    36 U.S. Small Business Administration, Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes, at 28 (2014), http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/size_table_01222014.pdf.

    37See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2007 Economic Census of the United States, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS code 517110, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5 (last visited May 7, 2014).

    123. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has also developed its own small business size standards, for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers, nationwide.38 Industry data indicate that of approximately 1,100 cable operators nationwide, all but ten are small under this size standard.39 In addition, under the Commission's rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.40 Current Commission records show 4,945 cable systems nationwide.41 Of this total, 4,380 cable systems have fewer than 20,000 subscribers, and 565 systems have 20,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    38 47 CFR 76.901(e). The Commission determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. Implementation of Sections of the 1992 Cable Act: Rate Regulation, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393, 7408 (1995).

    39 Industry Data, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, https://www.ncta.com/industry-data (last visited May 6, 2014); R.R. Bowker, Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2010, “Top 25 Cable/Satellite Operators,” p. C-2 (data current as of December, 2008).

    40 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    41 The number of active, registered cable systems comes from the Commission's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) database on Aug. 28, 2013. A cable system is a physical system integrated to a principal headend.

    124. Cable System Operators. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” 42 The Commission has determined that an operator serving fewer than 677,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.43 Industry data indicate that of approximately 1,100 cable operators nationwide, all but ten are small under this size standard.44 We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million,45 and therefore we are unable to estimate more accurately the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small under this size standard.

    42 47 U.S.C. 543(m)(2); see 47 CFR 76.901(f) & nn. 1-3.

    43 47 CFR 76.901(f); see Public Notice, FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator, DA 01-158 (Cable Services Bureau, Jan. 24, 2001).

    44 R.R. Bowker, Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2006, “Top 25 Cable/Satellite Operators,” pagesA-8 & C-2 (data current as of June 30, 2005); Warren Communications News, Television & Cable Factbook 2006, “Ownership of Cable Systems in the United States,” pp. D-1805 to D-1857.

    45 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to 76.901(f) of the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 76.909(b).

    125. Direct Broadcast Satellite (“DBS”) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS, by exception, is now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,46 which was developed for small wireline firms. Under this category, the SBA deems a wireline business to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.47 To gauge small business prevalence for the DBS service, the Commission relies on data currently available from the U.S. Census for the year 2007. According to that source, there were 3,188 firms that in 2007 were Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Of these, 3,144 operated with less than 1,000 employees, and 44 operated with more than 1,000 employees. However, as to the latter 44 there is no data available that shows how many operated with more than 1,500 employees. Based on this data, the majority of these firms can be considered small.48 Currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great investment of capital for operation: DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications Corporation (“EchoStar”) (marketed as the DISH Network).49 Each currently offers subscription services. DIRECTV 50 and EchoStar 51 each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Because DBS service requires significant capital, we believe it is unlikely that a small entity as defined by the SBA would have the financial wherewithal to become a DBS service provider.

    46See 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 517110).

    47Id.

    48See U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 517110), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    49See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming, Fifteenth Annual Report, MB Docket No. 12-203, 28 FCC Rcd 10496, 10507, para. 27 (2013) (“15th Annual Report”).

    50 As of June 2012, DIRECTV is the largest DBS operator and the second largest MVPD, serving an estimated 19.8% of MVPD subscribers nationwide. See 15th Annual Report, 28 FCC Rcd at 687, Table B-3.

    51 As of June 2012, DISH Network is the second largest DBS operator and the third largest MVPD, serving an estimated 13.01% of MVPD subscribers nationwide. Id. As of June 2006, Dominion served fewer than 500,000 subscribers, which may now be receiving “Sky Angel” service from DISH Network. See id. at 581, para. 76.

    126. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming in their own facilities or acquire programming. The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to viewers.52 The SBA size standard for this industry establishes as small any company in this category which receives annual receipts of $38.5 million or less.53 Based on U.S. Census data for 2007, a total of 659 establishments operated for the entire year.54 Of that 659, 197 operated with annual receipts of $10 million or more. The remaining 462 establishments operated with annual receipts of less than $10 million. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that the majority of establishments operating in this industry are small.

    52 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515210 Cable and Other Subscription Programming, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515210&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    53 See 13 CF R section 121.201 (NAICS code 515210).

    54 See U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ1, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Receipts Size of Establishments for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 515210), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ1.

    127. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” 55 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 750 or fewer employees.56 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for part or all of the entire year. Of this total, 912 had less than 500 employees and 17 had more than 1000 employees.57 Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    55 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=334220&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    56 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 334220).

    57See U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0731SG3, Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007 (NAICS code 334220), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3.

    128. Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing. The SBA has classified the manufacturing of audio and video equipment under in NAICS Codes classification scheme as an industry in which a manufacturer is small if it has fewer than 750 employees.58 Data contained in the 2007 U.S. Census indicate that 492 establishments operated in that industry for all or part of that year. In that year, 488 establishments had fewer than 500 employees; and only 1 had more than 1000 employees.59 Thus, under the applicable size standard, a majority of manufacturers of audio and video equipment may be considered small.

    58 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 334310).

    59See U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0731SG3, Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007 (NAICS code 334310), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3.

    129. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services.” 60 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). The size standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.61 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.62 Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 had employment of 1000 employees or more.63 Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, PCS, and Specialized Mobile Radio (“SMR”) Telephony services.64 Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees.65 Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half or more of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    60 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 517210 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517210&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    61 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 517210).

    62 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 517210), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    63Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with 1000 employees or more.

    64See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.

    65See id.

    130. Manufacturers of unlicensed devices. In the context of this FRFA, manufacturers of part 15 unlicensed devices that are operated in the UHF-TV band (channels 14-51) for wireless data transfer fall into the category of Radio and Television and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” 66 The SBA has developed the small business size standard for this category as firms having 750 or fewer employees.67 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for the entire year.68 Of this total, 912 had less than 500 employees and 17 had more than 1000 employees. Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    66 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=334220&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    67 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 334220).

    68 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0731SG3, Manufacturing: Summary Series: General Summary: Industry Statistics for Subsectors and Industries by Employment Size: 2007 (NAICS code 334220), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3.

    131. Personal Radio Services/Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (“WMTS”). Personal radio services provide short-range, low power radio for personal communications, radio signaling, and business communications not provided for in other services. The Personal Radio Services include spectrum licensed under part 95 of our rules.69 These services include Citizen Band Radio Service (“CB”), General Mobile Radio Service (“GMRS”), Radio Control Radio Service (“R/C”), Family Radio Service (“FRS”), Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (“WMTS”), Medical Implant Communications Service (“MICS”), Low Power Radio Service (“LPRS”), and Multi-Use Radio Service (“MURS”).70 There are a variety of methods used to license the spectrum in these rule parts, from licensing by rule, to conditioning operation on successful completion of a required test, to site-based licensing, to geographic area licensing. Under the RFA, the Commission is required to make a determination of which small entities are directly affected by the rules adopted. Since all such entities are wireless, we apply the definition of Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), pursuant to which a small entity is defined as employing 1,500 or fewer persons.71 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.72 Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 had employment of 1000 employees or more.73 Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of personal radio service and WMTS providers are small entities.

    69 47 CFR part 95.

    70 The Citizens Band Radio Service, General Mobile Radio Service, Radio Control Radio Service, Family Radio Service, Wireless Medical Telemetry Service, Medical Implant Communications Service, Low Power Radio Service, and Multi-Use Radio Service are governed by subpart D, subpart A, subpart C, subpart B, subpart H, subpart I, subpart G, and subpart J, respectively, of part 95 of the Commission's rules. See generally 47 CFR part 95.

    71 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS Code 517210).

    72 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 517210), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    73Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with 1000 employees or more.

    132. However, we note that many of the licensees in these services are individuals, and thus are not small entities. In addition, due to the mostly unlicensed and shared nature of the spectrum utilized in many of these services, the Commission lacks direct information upon which to base a more specific estimation of the number of small entities under an SBA definition that might be directly affected by our action.

    133. Motion Picture and Video Production. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing, or producing and distributing motion pictures, videos, television programs, or television commercials.” 74 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having $30 million dollars or less in annual receipts.75 Census data for 2007 show that there were 9,478 establishments that operated that year.76 Of that number, 9,128 had annual receipts of $24,999,999 or less, and 350 had annual receipts ranging from not less than $25,000,000 to $100,000,000 or more.77 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small entities.

    74 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 512110 Motion Picture and Video Production, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=512110&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    75 13 CFR 121.201, 2012 NAICS code 512110.

    76 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 512110), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    77See id.

    134. Radio Broadcasting. The SBA defines a radio broadcast station as a small business if such station has no more than $38.5 million in annual receipts.78 Business concerns included in this industry are those “primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public.” 79 According to review of the BIA Publications, Inc. Master Access Radio Analyzer Database as of November 26, 2013, about 11,331 (or about 99.9 percent) of 11,341 commercial radio stations have revenues of $35.5 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission notes, however, that, in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations 80 must be included. This estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies.

    78 13 CFR 121.201, 2012 NAICS code 515112.

    79 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515112 Radio Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515112&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    80See n.14.

    135. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific radio station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the definition of a small business on this basis and therefore may be over-inclusive to that extent. Also, as noted, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and the estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

    136. Radio, Television, and Other Electronics Stores. The Census Bureau defines this economic census category as follows: “This U.S. industry comprises: (1) establishments known as consumer electronics stores primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new consumer-type electronic products such as televisions, computers, and cameras; (2) establishments specializing in retailing a single line of consumer-type electronic products; (3) establishments primarily engaged in retailing these new electronic products in combination with repair and support services; (4) establishments primarily engaged in retailing new prepackaged computer software; and/or (5) establishments primarily engaged in retailing prerecorded audio and video media, such as CDs, DVDs, and tapes.” 81 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Electronic Stores, which is: All such firms having $32.5 million or less in annual receipts.82 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 11,358 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.83 Of this total, 11,323 firms had annual receipts of under $25 million, and 35 firms had receipts of $25 million or more but less than $50 million.84 Thus, the majority of firms in this category can be considered small.

    81 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, 443142 Electronics, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=443142&search=2012 NAICS Search (last visited May 6, 2014).

    82 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 443142.

    83 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Subject Series: Retail Trade, Estab & Firm Size: Summary Statistics by Sales Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS code 443142 (released 2010), http://www2.census.gov/econ2007/EC/sector44/EC0744SSSZ4.zip (last visited May 7, 2014). Though the current small business size standard for electronic store receipts is $30 million or less in annual receipts, in 2007 the small business size standard was $9 million or less in annual receipts. In 2007, there were 11,214 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 10,963 firms had annual receipts of under $5 million, and 251 firms had receipts of $5 million or more but less than $10 million. Id.

    84Id. An additional 33 firms had annual receipts of $50 million or more.

    G. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    137. In this proceeding, we invited comment on potential revisions to the existing rules for part 74 wireless microphone (and other LPAS) operations in the spectrum that will remain allocated for TV services following the repacking process. Specifically, we invited comment on revisions to the technical rules for LPAS operations on the VHF band; on permitting licensed LPAS operations on channels in locations closer to the television stations (including within the DTV contour), without the need for coordination, provided that the television signal falls below specified technical thresholds; on adoption of the ETSI emission mask standard for analog and digital wireless microphones; and general comment on other potential revisions concerning licensed LPAS operations in the TV bands.

    138. We understand the importance of the 944-952 MHz band for broadcasters as well as other licensed, professional wireless microphone users. Consistent with this record and in accord with adoption of the ETSI standard for LPAS devices in the TV bands. we also adopt the ETSI standards EN 300 422-1, section 8.3.1.2 for analog emissions and section 8.3.2.2 for digital emissions uniformly for future wireless microphones that will use this band—applying these revised standards to new equipment certified under part 74 in the 944-952 MHz band 9 months after issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, consistent with the requirements for new equipment certified for LPAS devices that operate in the TV bands. Further, we expand eligibility for operations in the 944-952 MHz band to include all entities currently eligible to hold LPAS licenses for operation in the TV bands, which should help address the need for additional spectrum outside of the TV bands for this entire group of licensed users.

    139. Licensed LPAS users operating in the 944-952 MHz band (as in the TV bands) are subject to the frequency selection requirements contained in section 74.803 of our rules.85 SBE runs a local frequency coordination program for this band and asserts its coordination would have to be mandatory in order to avoid interference among different licensees.86 Accordingly, we will also require wireless microphone users seeking access to this band to coordinate their proposed use through the local SBE coordinator.87

    85See 47 CFR 74.803.

    86 SBE Comments at 13.

    87 These processes are described on SBE's Web site. See The Society of Broadcast Engineers, Frequency Coordination, http://www.sbe.org/sections/freq_local.php.

    140. Consumer Outreach. We find that several means should be employed to provide as much notice as possible to users of the need to clear the 600 MHz Band of wireless microphones. We direct CGB, working with WTB and OET, to establish a Web page on the Commission's Web site, and prepare and release consumer publications, including a Consumer Fact Sheet and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), that inform the public of our decisions affecting wireless microphone operations in the repurposed 600 MHz Band and the guard bands, as set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, this R&O, and the Part 15 Report and Order. 88 We further direct Commission staff to identify and contact organizations that represent entities that are known to be users of wireless microphones in the 600 MHz Band, including groups that represent theaters, houses of worship, and sporting venues. We will inform these entities of our decisions affecting wireless microphone operations in the repurposed spectrum and available resources for information on options for wireless microphone use going forward.

    88 See part 15 Report and Order, section [__] (discussing requirements relating to unlicensed wireless microphones).

    141. Further, we expect all manufacturers of wireless microphones to make significant efforts to ensure that all users of such equipment capable of operating in the 600 MHz Band are fully informed of the decisions affecting them, as set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, this Report and Order, and the Part 15 Report and Order. Specifically, we expect these manufacturers, at a minimum, to ensure that these users are informed of the need to clear the 600 MHz Band. Manufacturers also should inform users of wireless microphones that they may continue to operate in the 600 MHz Band until the end of the post-auction transition period, but only subject to the conditions set forth in these orders, including the early clearing mechanisms. Further, we expect all manufacturers to contact dealers, distributors, and anyone else who has purchased wireless microphones, and inform them of our decisions to help clear the 600 MHz Band. Manufacturers should also provide information on these decisions to any users that have filed warranty registrations for 600 MHz Band equipment with the manufacturer. We also expect manufacturers to post this information on their Web sites and include it in all of their sales literature.

    142. In addition, we urge all manufacturers to offer rebates and trade-in programs for any 600 MHz Band wireless microphones, and widely publicize these programs to ensure that all users of wireless microphones are fully informed. To the extent manufacturers do not offer a rebate or trade-in program for 600 MHz Band wireless microphones, we strongly encourage them to create or re-establish such programs. In contacting dealers and distributors, we expect manufacturers to inform these entities that they should: (1) Inform all customers who have purchased wireless microphones that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz Band of our decision to clear the 600 MHz Band of such devices; (2) post such information on their Web sites; (3) include this information in all other sales literature; (4) provide information in sales literature, including on their Web sites, on the availability of any manufacturer rebate offerings and trade-in programs related to wireless microphones operating in the 600 MHz Band; and (5) comply with the disclosure requirements that we are adopting in this Report and Order.

    143. Disclosure Requirement. We require anyone selling, leasing, or offering for sale or lease wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz Band to provide certain written disclosures to consumers, pursuant to section 302. These entities must display the Consumer Disclosure, the text of which will be developed by Commission staff, at the point of sale or lease,89 in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. In addition, the Consumer Disclosure must be displayed on the Web site of the manufacturer (even in the event the manufacturer does not sell wireless microphones directly to the public) and of dealers, distributors, retailers, and anyone else selling or leasing the devices. We delegate authority to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, working with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Office of Engineering and Technology, to prepare the specific language, following issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, that must be used in the Consumer Disclosure and publish it in the Federal Register. As discussed above, there is more than one way in which the point-of-sale Consumer Disclosure may be provided to potential purchasers or lessees of wireless microphones, but each of them must satisfy all the requirements noted above, including that the disclosure be provided in writing at the point of sale in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. One way to fulfill this disclosure requirement would be to display the Consumer Disclosure in a prominent manner on the product box by using a label (either printed onto the box or otherwise affixed to the box), a sticker, or other means. Another way to fulfill the disclosure requirement would be to display the text immediately adjacent to each wireless microphone offered for sale or lease and clearly associated with the model to which it pertains. For wireless microphones offered online or via direct mail or catalog, the disclosure must be prominently displayed in close proximity to the images and descriptions of each wireless microphone. We will require manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and other entities that sell or lease wireless microphones for operation in the 600 MHz Band to comply with the disclosure requirements no later than three months following issuance of the Channel Reassignment PN, and we encourage these entities to provide consumers with the required information earlier.90

    89 By “point of sale or lease” we mean the place or Web site where wireless microphones are displayed or offered for consumers to purchase or lease.

    90 This disclosure requirement requires approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a new information collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). We anticipate approval of the requirement shortly following publication of a summary of this Report and Order in the Federal Register, sufficiently in advance of the date by which the disclosure requirement goes into effect.

    E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    144. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.91

    91See 5 U.S.C. 603(c).

    145. The rule revisions that we are adopting provide additional opportunities for licensed wireless microphone users, both in frequency bands in which they currently operate and in additional frequency bands. The majority of these changes are permissive, meaning that wireless microphone manufacturers may choose to incorporate new capabilities in future devices. We adopt rules to establish cutoff dates for the certification, manufacturing and marketing of licensed wireless microphones in the 600 MHz band repurposed for wireless services following the incentive auction. We will no longer accept applications to certify licensed wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz band nine months after the release of the Channel Reassignment PN or no later than 24 months after the effective date of the new rules, whichever occurs first. We will require that manufacturing and marketing of all licensed wireless microphones that would not comply with the 600 MHz Band cease 18 months after release of the Channel Reassignment PN or no later than 33 months after the effective date of the new rules, whichever occurs first.

    Report to Congress: The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.92 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Report and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.93

    92See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    93See 5 U.S.C. 604(b).

    146. The Office of Federal Register (OFR) recently revised the regulations to require that agencies must discuss in the preamble of the rule ways that the materials the agency incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested persons and how interested parties can obtain the materials. In addition, the preamble of the rule must summarize the material. 1 CFR 51.5(b). In accordance with OFR's requirements, the discussion in this section summarizes ETSI standard. The following document is available from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, 650 Route des Lucioles, F-06921 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France, or at http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_en/3004000_300499/30042201/01.04.02_60/en_30042201v01010402p.pdf. “ETSI EN 300 422-1 V1.4.2 (2011-08): Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Wireless microphones in the 25 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range; Part 1: Technical characteristics and methods of measurement, August 2011, IBR approved for section 15.236(g).” This standard requires wireless microphones to meet certain emission requirements which will protect authorized services in adjacent bands from harmful interference, and will improve spectrum sharing by wireless microphones.

    Congressional Review Act: The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    147. Pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 7(a), 301, 302, 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 157(a), 301, 302a, 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r), this Report and Order is adopted.

    148. Parts 2, 15, 74, 87, and 90 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR parts 2, 15, 74, 87, and 90, ARE AMENDED as set forth in the final rules.

    149. The rules adopted herein will become effective December 17, 2015, except for sections 15.37(k) and 74.851(l), which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the OMB under the PRA, which will become effective after the Commission publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.

    150. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    151. Pursuant to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), and section 1.925 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.925, that the waiver request filed on July 16, 2009 and revised on September 23, 2009 by the Nuclear Energy Institute and the United Telecom Council for waiver of parts 2 and 90 of the Commission's rules IS DISMISSED AS MOOT IN PART as set forth in the Order and otherwise denied.

    152. Pursuant to section 5(c) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. prepare the specific language that must be used in the Consumer Disclosure, as set forth in this Report 47

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 2

    Communication equipment and Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    47 CFR Part 15

    Communications equipment, Incorporation by reference, and Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    47 CFR Part 74

    Communication equipment, Education, Incorporation by reference, and Report and recordkeeping requirements.

    47 CFR Part 87

    Commination equipment and Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    47 CFR Part 90

    Communication equipment, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 2, 15, 74, 87, and 90 as follows:

    PART 2—FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, is amended as follows: a. Page 33 is revised. b. In the list of United States (US) Footnotes, footnote US84 is added.
    § 2.106 Table of Frequency Allocations.

    The revision and addition read as follows:

    BILLING CODE 6712-01-P ER17NO15.000 BILLING CODE 6712-01-C United States (US) Footnotes

    US84 In the band 1435-1525 MHz, low power auxiliary stations may be authorized on a secondary basis, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in 47 CFR part 74, subpart H.

    PART 15—RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES 3. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302, 303, 304, 307, 336, 554a and 549.

    4. Section 15.37 is amended by adding reserved paragraphs (i) and (j) and adding paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 15.37 Transition provisions for compliance with the rules.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (j) [Reserved]

    (k) Disclosure requirements for unlicensed wireless microphones capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band. Any person who manufactures, sells, leases, or offers for sale or lease, unlicensed wireless microphones that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band, as defined in this part, three months following issuance of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice, as defined in section 73.3700(a)(2) of this chapter, is subject to the following disclosure requirements:

    (1) Such persons must display the consumer disclosure text, as specified by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at the point of sale or lease of each such unlicensed wireless microphone. The text must be displayed in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. One way to fulfill the requirement in this section is to display the consumer disclosure text in a prominent manner on the product box by using a label (either printed onto the box or otherwise affixed to the box), a sticker, or other means. Another way to fulfill this requirement is to display the text immediately adjacent to each unlicensed wireless microphone offered for sale or lease and clearly associated with the model to which it pertains.

    (2) If such persons offer such unlicensed wireless microphones via direct mail, catalog, or electronic means, they shall prominently display the consumer disclosure text in close proximity to the images and descriptions of each such unlicensed wireless microphone. The text should be in a size large enough to be clear, conspicuous, and readily legible, consistent with the dimensions of the advertisement or description.

    (3) If such persons have Web sites pertaining to these unlicensed wireless microphones, the consumer disclosure text must be displayed there in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner (even in the event such persons do not sell unlicensed wireless microphones directly to the public).

    (4) The consumer disclosure text described in paragraph (k)(1) of this section is set forth as an appendix to this section.

    § 15.216 [Removed and Reserved]
    5. Section 15.216 is removed and reserved.
    PART 74—EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER PROGRAM DISTRIBUTION SERVICES 6. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 336, and 554.

    7. Section 74.801 is amended by adding in alphabetical order definitions for “600 MHz duplex gap,” .600 MHz guard bands,” “600 MHz service band,” and “Spectrum Act” to read as follows:
    § 74.801 Definitions

    600 MHz duplex gap. An 11 megahertz guard band that separates part 27 600 MHz service uplink and downlink frequencies, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in GN Docket No. 12-268, pursuant to section 6403 of the Spectrum Act.

    600 MHz guard bands. Designated frequency bands that prevent interference between licensed services in the 600 MHz service band and either the television bands or channel 37, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in GN Docket No. 12-268, pursuant to section 6403 of the Spectrum Act.

    600 MHz service band. Frequencies that will be reallocated and reassigned for 600 MHz band services as determined by the outcome of the auction conducted pursuant to part 27, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in GN Docket No. 12-268, pursuant to section 6403 of the Spectrum Act

    Note to definitions of 600 MHz duplex gap, 600 MHz guard bands, and 600 MHz service band:

    The specific frequencies will be determined in light of further proceedings pursuant to GN Docket No. 12-268 and the rules will be updated accordingly pursuant to a future public notice.

    Spectrum Act. Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).

    8. Section 74.802 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 74.802 Frequency assignment.

    (a)(1) Frequencies within the following bands may be assigned for use by low power auxiliary stations:

    26.100-26.480 MHz 54.000-72.000 MHz 76.000-88.000 MHz 161.625-161.775 MHz (except in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands) 174.000-216.000 MHz 450.000-451.000 MHz 455.000-456.000 MHz 470.000-488.000 MHz 488.000-494.000 MHz (except Hawaii) 494.000-608.000 MHz 614.000-698.000 MHz 941.500-952.000 MHz 952.850-956.250 MHz 956.45-959.85 MHz 1435-1525 MHz 6875.000-6900.000 MHz 7100.000-7125.000 MHz

    (2) [Reserved]

    (b) * * *

    (2) Low power auxiliary stations may operate closer to co-channel TV broadcast stations than the distances specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section provided that such operations either—

    (i) Are coordinated with TV broadcast stations that could be affected by the low power auxiliary station operation, and coordination is completed prior to operation of the low power auxiliary station; or

    (ii) Are limited to an indoor location that is not being used for over-the-air television viewing, and the following conditions are met with respect to the TV channel used: The TV signal falls below a threshold of −84 dBm over the entire channel; the signal is scanned across the full 6 megahertz channel where the wireless microphones would be operated; and to the extent that directional antennas are used, they are rotated to the place of maximum signal.

    9. Section 74.803 is amended by adding paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 74.803 Frequency selection to avoid interference.

    (c) In the 941.500-952.000 MHz, 952.850-956.250 MHz, 956.45-959.85 MHz, 6875.000-6900.000 MHz, and 7100.000-7125.000 MHz bands low power auxiliary station usage is secondary to other uses (e.g. Aural Broadcast Auxiliary, Television Broadcast Auxiliary, Cable Relay Service, Fixed Point to Point Microwave) and must not cause harmful interference. Applicants are responsible for selecting the frequency assignments that are least likely to result in mutual interference with other licensees in the same area. Applicants must consult local frequency coordination committees, where they exist, for information on frequencies available in the area. In selecting frequencies, consideration should be given to the relative location of receive points, normal transmission paths, and the nature of the contemplated operation.

    (d) In the 1435-1525 MHz band, low power auxiliary stations (LPAS) are limited to operations at specific fixed locations that have been coordinated with the frequency coordinator for aeronautical mobile telemetry, the Aerospace and Flight Test Radio Coordinating Committee. LPAS devices must complete authentication and location verification before operation begins, employ software-based controls or similar functionality to prevent devices in the band from operating except in the specific channels, locations, and time periods that have been coordinated, and be capable of being tuned to any frequency in the band. Use is limited to situations where there is a need to deploy large numbers of LPAS for specified time periods, and use of other available spectrum resources is insufficient to meet the LPAS licensee's needs at the specific location. All LPAS devices operating in a particular area in the band may have access to no more than 30 megahertz of spectrum in the band at a given time.

    10. Section 74.831 is revised to read as follows:
    § 74.831 Scope of service and permissible transmissions.

    The license for a low power auxiliary station authorizes the transmission of cues and orders to production personnel and participants in broadcast programs, motion pictures, and major events or productions and in the preparation therefor, the transmission of program material by means of a wireless microphone worn by a performer and other participants in a program, motion picture, or major event or production during rehearsal and during the actual broadcast, filming, recording, or event or production, or the transmission of comments, interviews, and reports from the scene of a remote broadcast. Low power auxiliary stations operating in the 941.5-952 MHz, 952.850-956.250 MHz, 956.45-959.85 MHz, 6875-6900 MHz, and 7100-7125 MHz bands may, in addition, transmit synchronizing signals and various control signals to portable or hand-carried TV cameras which employ low power radio signals in lieu of cable to deliver picture signals to the control point at the scene of a remote broadcast.

    11. Section 74.832 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(6) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 74.832 Licensing requirements and procedures.

    (a) * * *

    (6) Licensees and conditional licensees of stations in the Broadband Radio Service as defined in section 27.1200 of this chapter, or entities that hold an executed lease agreement with a Broadband Radio Service or Educational Broadband Service licensee.

    (d) Cable television operations, motion picture and television program producers, large venue owners or operators, and professional sound companies may be authorized to operate low power auxiliary stations in the bands allocated for TV broadcasting, the 941.500-952.000 MHz band, the 952.850-956.250 MHz band, the 956.45-959.85 MHz band, the 1435-1525 MHz band, the 6875-6900 MHz band, and the 7100-7125 MHz band. In the 6875-6900 MHz and 7100-7125 MHz bands, entities eligible to hold licenses for cable television relay service stations (see section 78.13 of this chapter) shall also be eligible to hold licenses for low power auxiliary stations.

    12. Section 74.851 is amended by revising the section heading and paragraph (i) and adding paragraphs (j), (k), and (l) to read as follows:
    § 74.851 Certification of equipment; prohibition on manufacture, import, sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or shipment of devices that operate in the 700 MHz Band or the 600 MHz Band; labeling for 700 MHz or 600 MHz band equipment destined for non-U.S. markets; disclosures.

    (i) Nine months after the release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice issued pursuant to Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Report and Order, GN Docket No. 12-268, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014), applications for certification shall no longer be accepted for low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band or the 600 MHz guard bands, or for low power auxiliary stations that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz duplex gap unless the operations are limited to the four megahertz segment from one to five megahertz above the lower edge of the 600 MHz duplex gap.

    (j) Eighteen months after the release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice issued pursuant to Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Report and Order, GN Docket No. 12-268, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014), no person shall manufacture, import, sell, lease, offer for sale or lease, or ship low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band or the 600 MHz guard bands, or low power auxiliary stations that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz duplex gap unless the operations are limited to the four megahertz segment from one to five megahertz above the lower edge of the 600 MHz duplex gap. This prohibition does not apply to devices manufactured solely for export.

    (k) Eighteen months after the release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice issued pursuant to Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Report and Order, GN Docket No. 12-268, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014), any person who manufactures, sells, leases, or offers for sale or lease low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices that are destined for non-U.S. markets and that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band or the 600 MHz guard bands, or low power auxiliary stations that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz duplex gap unless such operations are limited to the four megahertz segment from one to five megahertz above the lower edge of the 600 MHz duplex gap, shall include labeling and make clear in all sales, marketing, and packaging materials, including online materials, relating to such devices that the devices cannot be operated in the United States.

    (l) Disclosure requirements for low power auxiliary station and wireless video assist devices capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band. Any person who manufactures, sells, leases, or offers for sale or lease low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices that are capable of operating in the 600 MHz service band three months following issuance of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice, as defined in section 73.3700(a)(2) of this chapter, is subject to the following disclosure requirements:

    (1) Such persons must display the consumer disclosure text, as specified by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at the point of sale or lease of each such low power auxiliary station or wireless video assist device. The text must be displayed in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner. One way to fulfill the requirement in this section is to display the consumer disclosure text in a prominent manner on the product box by using a label (either printed onto the box or otherwise affixed to the box), a sticker, or other means. Another way to fulfill this requirement is to display the text immediately adjacent to each low power auxiliary station or wireless video assist device offered for sale or lease and clearly associated with the model to which it pertains.

    (2) If such persons offer such low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist device via direct mail, catalog, or electronic means, they shall prominently display the consumer disclosure text in close proximity to the images and descriptions of each such low power auxiliary station or wireless video assist device. The text should be in a size large enough to be clear, conspicuous, and readily legible, consistent with the dimensions of the advertisement or description.

    (3) If such persons have Web sites pertaining to these low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices, the consumer disclosure text must be displayed there in a clear, conspicuous, and readily legible manner (even in the event such persons do not sell low power auxiliary stations or wireless video assist devices directly to the public).

    (4) The consumer disclosure text described in paragraph (l)(1) of this section is set forth as an appendix to this section.

    13. Section 74.861 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(1) through (3), adding paragraph (d)(4), revising (e)(1)(i) and (ii), and adding paragraphs (e)(7) and (i) to read as follows:
    § 74.861 Technical requirements.

    (d) * * *

    (1) For all bands except the 1435-1525 MHz band, the maximum transmitter power which will be authorized is 1 watt. In the 1435-1525 MHz band, the maximum transmitter power which will be authorized is 250 milliwatts. Licensees may accept the manufacturer's power rating; however, it is the licensee's responsibility to observe specified power limits.

    (2) If a low power auxiliary station employs amplitude modulation, modulation shall not exceed 100 percent on positive or negative peaks.

    (3) For the 26.1-26.480 MHz, 161.625-161.775 MHz, 450-451 MHz, and 455-456 MHz bands, the occupied bandwidth shall not be greater than that necessary for satisfactory transmission and, in any event, an emission appearing on any discrete frequency outside the authorized band shall be attenuated, at least, 43+10 log10 (mean output power, in watts) dB below the mean output power of the transmitting unit. The requirements of this paragraph shall also apply to the applications for certification of equipment for the 944-952 MHz band until nine months after release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice, as defined in section 73.3700(a)(2) of this chapter.

    (4)(i) For the 941.5-952 MHz, 952.850-956.250 MHz, 956.45-959.85 MHz, 1435-1525 MHz, 6875-6900 MHz and 7100-7125 MHz bands, analog emissions within the band from one megahertz below to one megahertz above the carrier frequency shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3.1.2 of the European Telecommunications Institute Standard ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08),. Beyond one megahertz below and above the carrier frequency, emissions shall be attenuated 90 dB below the level of the unmodulated carrier.

    (ii) For the 941.5-952 MHz, 952.850-956.250 MHz, 956.45-959.85 MHz, and 1435-1525 MHz bands, digital emissions within the band from one megahertz below to one megahertz above the carrier frequency shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3.2.2 (Figure 4) of the European Telecommunications Institute Standard ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08. Beyond one megahertz below and above the carrier frequency, emissions shall be attenuated 90 dB below the level of the unmodulated carrier.

    (iii) In the 6875-6900 MHz and 7100-7125 MHz bands, digital emissions within the band from one megahertz below to one megahertz above the carrier frequency shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3.2.2 (Figure 5) of the European Telecommunications Institute Standard ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08). Beyond one megahertz below and above the carrier frequency, emissions shall be attenuated 90 dB below the level of the unmodulated carrier.

    (iv) For the 944-952 MHz band, the requirements of this paragraph (d)(4) shall not apply to the applications for certification of equipment for that band until nine months after release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice, as defined in section 73.3700(a)(2) of this chapter.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) 54-72, 76-88, and 174-216 MHz bands: 50 mW EIRP

    (ii) 470-608 and 614-698: 250 mW conducted power

    (7) Analog emissions within the band from one megahertz below to one megahertz above the carrier frequency shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3.1.2 of the European Telecommunications Institute Standard ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08). Digital emissions within the band from one megahertz below to one megahertz above the carrier frequency shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3.2.2 (Figure 4) of the European Telecommunications Institute Standard ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08). Beyond one megahertz below and above the carrier frequency, emissions shall be attenuated 90 dB below the level of the unmodulated carrier. The requirements of this paragraph (e)(7) shall not apply to applications for certification of equipment in these bands until nine months after release of the Commission's Channel Reassignment Public Notice, as defined in § 73.3700(a)(2) of this chapter.

    (i) The materials listed in this section are incorporated by reference in this part. These incorporations by reference were approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. These materials are incorporated as they exist on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in these materials will be published in the Federal Register. All approved material is available for inspection at the Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. SW., Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270 and is available from the sources below. It is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    (1) European Telecommunications Standards Institute, 650 Route des Lucioles, 06921 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France. A copy of the standard is also available at http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_en/300400_300499/30042201/01.03.02_60/en_30042201v010302p.pdf.

    (i) ETSI EN 300 422-1 V1.4.2 (2011-08): “Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Wireless microphones in the 25 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range; Part 1: Technical characteristics and methods of measurement,” Copyright 2011, IBR approved for section 15.236(g).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) [Reserved].

    PART 87—AVIATION SERVICES 14. The authority citation for part 87 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303 and 307(e), unless otherwise noted.

    15. Section 87.303 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(1) to read as follows:
    § 87.303 Frequencies

    (d)(1) Frequencies in the band 1435-1525 MHz are also available for low power auxiliary station use on a secondary basis.

    PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES 16. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7), and Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156.

    17. Section 90.265 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text and (b)(1) and (3) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 90.265 Assignment and use of frequencies in the bands allocated for Federal use.

    (b) The following frequencies are available for wireless microphone operations to eligibles in this part, subject to the provisions of this paragraph:

    Frequencies (MHz) 169.445 169.475 169.505 170.245 170.275 170.305 171.045 171.075 171.105 171.845 171.875 171.905

    (1) On center frequencies 169.475 MHz, 170.275 MHz, 171.075 MHz, and 171.875 MHz, the emission bandwidth shall not exceed 200 kHz. On the other center frequencies listed in this paragraph (b), the emission bandwidth shall not exceed 54 kHz.

    (3) For emissions with a bandwidth not exceeding 54 kHz, the frequency stability of wireless microphones shall limit the total emission to within ±32.5 kHz of the assigned frequency. Emissions with a bandwidth exceeding 54 kHz shall comply with the emission mask in Section 8.3 of ETSI EN 300 422-1 v1.4.2 (2011-08).

    (f) The materials listed in this section are incorporated by reference in this part. These incorporations by reference were approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. These materials are incorporated as they exist on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in these materials will be published in the Federal Register. All approved material is available for inspection at the Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. SW., Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270 and is available from the sources below. It is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    (1) European Telecommunications Standards Institute, 650 Route des Lucioles, 06921 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France. A copy of the standard is also available at http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_en/300400_300499/30042201/01.03.02_60/en_30042201v010302p.pdf.

    (i) ETSI EN 300 422-1 V1.4.2 (2011-08): “Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM); Wireless microphones in the 25 MHz to 3 GHz frequency range; Part 1: Technical characteristics and methods of measurement,” Copyright 2011, IBR approved for section 15.236(g).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2015-28778 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 27 and 73 [GN Docket No. 12-268; ET Docket Nos. 13-26 and 14-14; FCC 15-141] Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document resolves the remaining technical issues affecting the operation of new 600 MHz wireless licensees and broadcast television stations in areas where they operate on the same or adjacent channels in geographic proximity. Specifically, the Commission adopted the methodology and the regulatory framework for the protection of both wireless services and broadcasting in the post-auction environment that it proposed in October 2014. The Commission affirms its decision regarding the methodology to be used during the incentive auction to predict inter-service interference between broadcasting and wireless services. The Commission also affirmed its decision declining to adopt a cap on the aggregate amount of new interference a broadcast television station may receive from other television stations in the repacking process.

    DATES:

    Effective December 17, 2015, except for the amendments to §§ 27.1310 and 73.3700(b)(1)(iv)(B), which contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date once OMB approves.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aspasia Paroutsas, 202-418-7285, [email protected], Office of Engineering and Technology.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Third Report and Order and First Reconsideration Order, GN Docket No. 12-268; ET Docket Nos. 13-26 and No. 14-14, FCC 15-141, adopted October 21, 2015 and released October 26, 2015. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.

    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    Synopsis

    1. In the Third Report and Order the Commission adopts a framework to govern the interference environment in the 600 MHz Band where wireless operations and television stations may operate on the same or adjacent channels in nearby areas following the incentive auction. The Commission establishes a zero percent threshold for allowable harmful interference from 600 MHz wireless services to television stations assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band. In addition, the Commission requires 600 MHz wireless licensees to use the methodology in Bulletin OET-74 to predict potential interference to nearby co-channel or adjacent-channel television operations before deploying base stations, prohibits operation of wireless user equipment operating in the 600 MHz Band near these television stations' contours, and prohibits the expansion of television stations' contours that would result in additional impairments to wireless operations. The Commission also addresses the applicability of the ISIX Methodology previously adopted in other interference contexts, including between LPTV and TV translators and wireless operations, between television and wireless operations during the post-transition period, and in identifying impairments to wireless licenses along the borders with Canada and Mexico.

    2. In the First Order on Reconsideration, the Commission rejects a number of petitions for reconsideration of the ISIX Methodology that the Commission previously adopted for use during the incentive auction to predict the extent that 600 MHz Band wireless licenses may be impaired due to interference to, and from, television stations in the 600 MHz Band. The Commission also made a number of adjustments to the ISIX Methodology to be consistent with the decisions made in the Third Report and Order regarding OET-74, to reflect recent Commission decisions, and to reflect updates and revisions of input values and settings of the ISIX software. The Commission also affirmed its previous decision to not adopt a cap on new-station-to-station interference in the television station repacking process during the incentive auction and declined to establish a cap on population loss resulting from a new channel assignment in the repacking process.

    3. In the Incentive Auction R&O, 79 FR 48442, August 15, 2014, the Commission adopted a flexible band plan framework that accommodates market variation, that is, areas where broadcast stations are assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band. Because the amount of spectrum repurposed through the incentive auction and the repacking process depends on broadcaster participation and other factors, market variation will allow the Commission to avoid limiting the amount of spectrum repurposed across the nation to what is available in the most constrained market. However, market variation creates the potential for inter-service interference (“ISIX”) because in markets where broadcast television stations are assigned to channels within the 600 MHz Band, television and wireless services will be operating in close geographic proximity on the same and/or adjacent frequencies. There are four scenarios of potential interference when broadcast television and wireless operations are co-channel or on adjacent channels in nearby areas: (1) A digital television (“DTV”) transmitter causing interference to a wireless base station (Case 1); (2) a DTV transmitter causing interference to wireless user equipment (Case 2); (3) a wireless base station causing interference to a DTV receiver (Case 3); and (4) wireless user equipment causing interference to a DTV receiver (Case 4).

    4. In the ISIX R&O, 79 FR 76903, December 23, 2014, the Commission addressed potential interference between DTV stations and wireless service in areas with market variation. The ISIX R&O adopted a methodology for predicting inter-service interference during the incentive auction (“ISIX Methodology”), a methodology which necessarily is based on hypothetical 600 MHz Band network deployments, as the actual networks will not be deployed until after the auction. The companion ISIX Further Notice, 79 FR 76282, December 22, 2014, proposed a post-auction inter-service interference methodology for evaluating interference from wireless base stations to television reception, set forth in the Office of Engineering and Technology Bulletin No. 74 (“OET-74”). The ISIX Further Notice also proposed rules for preventing interference from wireless to broadcasting services on the same or adjacent channels in nearby markets in the Cases 3 and 4.

    A. Protecting Broadcast Television Receivers From Inter-Service Interference 1. Threshold for Interference From Wireless Operations to Television Receivers in the 600 MHz Band

    5. The Commission adopts a zero percent threshold for harmful interference from wireless operations to the reception of television station's signals in the 600 MHz Band. Under this standard, 600 MHz wireless licensees will not be permitted to cause harmful interference at any level within the noise-limited contour of a full power television station or the protected contour of a Class A television station to the degree it affects populated areas within those contours. The Commission finds that a zero percent threshold, with no rounding tolerance, is warranted in the post-auction environment. For the reasons discussed below, any interference standard other than zero presents practical difficulties given the multiple sources of potential interference to the reception of signals from television stations assigned to the 600 MHz Band and the continuing evolution of wireless networks. Furthermore, the Commission delegates authority to the Media Bureau to issue a Public Notice following completion of the incentive auction with the final contours of all television stations assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band. The Public Notice will include the technical parameters by which the television station contours can be generated regardless of whether the station will remain on its pre-auction channel or has been reassigned to new a channel.

    6. There will be numerous sources of potential interference to the reception of signals from television stations assigned to the 600 MHz Band because the five-megahertz wireless spectrum blocks will overlap in varying degrees with the six-megahertz television channels, creating the potential for multiple co- and adjacent-channel relationships between television stations and wireless operations in the same or nearby geographic areas. Moreover, wireless networks evolve over time with the deployment of additional base stations and the adjustment of base stations' technical parameters. Addressing the possibility of a television receiver receiving interference from multiple wireless networks that are continuously evolving presents significant practical difficulties, such as how to apportion the permitted interference among the multiple sources of interference and how to monitor compliance as wireless networks evolve. Given the different interference environment that television stations will face in the 600 MHz Band, the Commission finds that it would be impractical, if not infeasible, to manage any interference percentage other than zero percent.

    7. The Commission clarifies that the zero-percent interference threshold will prohibit 600 MHz wireless licensees from causing any interference to television receivers in any populated area of the noise-limited contour of a full power television station or the protected contour of a Class A television station. The Commission also adopts the proposal from the ISIX Further Notice to treat interference between television stations assigned in the 600 MHz Band as “masking interference” in evaluating wireless interference to a television station. Therefore, in a grid cell where masking interference to one television station from another television station is predicted, inter-service interference from wireless operations can be ignored.

    2. Determining Potential Interference From Wireless Operations to DTV Receivers a. Case 3: Interference to Television Receivers From Wireless Base Stations

    8. Adoption of OET-74. The Commission adopts OET-74, as proposed in the ISIX Further Notice, with several modifications as described in more detail below. OET-74 is to be used following the incentive auction to predict interference to television receivers operating in the 600 MHz Band from co-channel and adjacent channel wireless base stations in nearby markets. The adopted OET-74 Bulletin is included below. The Commission rejects the National Association of Broadcaster's (NAB's) claim that the Spectrum Act limits our authority to require the use of OET-74 to address inter-service interference following the auction.

    9. D/U Ratio Adjustment. The Commission adopts slightly revised desired/undesired (D/U) ratio thresholds from those proposed in the ISIX Further Notice. Under the methodology of OET-74, the D/U ratio is calculated at the population centroid in each two kilometer square cell in the television station's contour. This D/U ratio is compared to a threshold to determine if harmful interference is predicted to occur to DTV service in that cell. The D/U threshold is defined in OET-74 to include an adjustment factor “α,” which is dependent on the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ratio) of the received television signal. The “α” factor in the D/U threshold is necessary to account for the effect of the television signal strength on the amount of interference that the television receiver can tolerate when the desired DTV signal is weak. When the television signal strength is weak (i.e., closer to the noise floor), a lower amount of interference from the wireless base stations will impede television reception than if the television signal is stronger. CEA points out that for faint television signals, “α” increases exponentially under the proposed OET-74, which can result in a high D/U threshold that will require a large separation distance between wireless base stations and the television station's contour. To avoid such results and to conform OET-74 with the approach used in OET-69 and the Commission's rules, OET-74 as adopted will limit the use of the D/U adjustment factor “α” to situations where the signal-to-noise ratio of the desired DTV signal is greater than 16 dB and less than 28 dB. Specifically, the “α” factor will be limited to a maximum value of 8.

    10. In addition, the Commission removes the “α” factor in the D/U threshold in OET-74 as adopted when there is no overlap between the DTV signal and LTE signal (adjacent channel) in order to be consistent with the approach followed in the Commission's rules for DTV-to-DTV interference. The Commission's rules specify a constant D/U threshold for DTV-to-DTV adjacent channel interference. Consequently, OET-74 will not use a D/U threshold that varies with “α” for adjacent channel LTE-to-DTV interference. Also, OET-74 will set the required D/U threshold for LTE-to-DTV interference to -33 dB because the ATSC receiver guidelines specify that DTV receivers should have this level of tolerance of adjacent channel DTV interference, and measurements have shown that actual DTV receivers do in fact meet or exceed this level of performance in the presence of adjacent channel LTE interference.

    11. Aggregate Interference. OET-74 will incorporate the root sum square (RSS) method to predict the potential for aggregate interference to television receivers from multiple base stations for each co-channel or adjacent channel 600 MHz licensee. The methodology of OET-74, which is based on real-world network deployments, will allow for the aggregation of the field strength of interfering signals at the DTV receiver from the wireless base stations of a co-channel or adjacent channel 600 MHz wireless licensee. The Commission will not, however, require a 600 MHz wireless licensee to account for the aggregate interference generated by the wireless operations of other 600 MHz wireless licensees because it would require wireless licensees to incorporate each other's site-specific information into their OET-74 analysis.

    12. Intermodulation Interference. The Commission rejects arguments that it should study further the impact of third order intermodulation interference (IM3) from wireless services and television signals to television receivers. CEA claims that tests it conducted indicate that IM3 interference from LTE and DTV operations into DTV receivers poses a substantial risk to DTV reception, not only for legacy receivers currently in the market but also for future receivers that may need to continue receiving frequencies also used for LTE operations due to market variation. CEA further argues that IM3 from two LTE signals is a distinct potential problem in the 600 MHz Band that has not been adequately analyzed. Based on the present record, further analysis of intermodulation effects, either from DTV and LTE signals or two LTE signals, is not warranted. The Commission is not aware of any intermodulation interference concerns between DTV stations, which currently do not have to protect for intermodulation interference. Indeed, as CEA acknowledges, providing larger exclusions for interference protection reduces the efficiency of spectrum use. Protection of DTV receivers from the combinations of signals that can produce IM3 interference would impose additional constraints on the repacking process that would impact the Commission's ability to clear spectrum for new uses in the incentive auction and limit use of the recovered spectrum.

    13. The Commission does not expect that the potential for interference from intermodulation products from a DTV signal and an LTE signal or from two LTE signals will be significantly higher than that expected from two DTV signals. In addition, potential intermodulation interference can be mitigated through DTV receiver design, antenna reorientation, and other factors. In order to meet consumers' expectations, receiver manufacturers should design their products to operate without experiencing interference from signals permitted by the Commission's rules. To the extent that CEA and manufacturers believe that current models of DTV receivers are susceptible to IM3, the appropriate solution is for them to design their new products to be immune to such interference.

    14. “Error Code 3” Messages. When “error code 3” messages are returned by the software used to implement the Longley-Rice propagation model, OET-74 will use the desired and undesired signal strengths determined by the Longley-Rice propagation model in evaluating the subject cell for potential interference. The Commission declines to adopt NAB's suggestion that when an “error code 3” warning is returned and the desired signal strength calculated by OET-74 is below 41 dBμV/m, the threshold of service, the calculated desired signal strength be replaced with a signal strength equal to the threshold of service or threshold of service plus 3 dB. NAB's approach would be contrary to the goal of OET-74 which is to provide a methodology for predicting interference to television receivers based on the actual technical parameters of the television stations and wireless networks.

    15. Other OET-74 Technical Issues. The Commission rejects NAB's contention that it should evaluate interference to the reception of Class A station's signals using a one-kilometer grid instead of the two-kilometer grid proposed in OET-74 so as to be “consistent with current practice.” Using a different grid size for Class A stations than for full power stations would be inconsistent with the Commission's repacking methodology and would create a layer of unnecessary complexity for the ISIX and OET-74 calculations. Accordingly, the Commission will use a two-kilometer grid for the ISIX and OET-74 calculations for both full power and Class A stations.

    16. The Commission also rejects NAB's suggestion that OET-74 consider interference in all cells, and not only the populated cells. OET-74 will consider interference harmful only if the D/U ratio is below the threshold in a cell containing population.

    17. In addition, the Commission rejects NAB's argument that OET-74 should not rely on manufacturers' published antenna patterns for wireless base stations. According to NAB, the manufacturers' published patterns may suggest unrealistically superior performance, while the wireless licensee may adjust the antenna after installation to manage coverage or interference conditions, or the antenna alignment during installation may be imprecise. While the Commission is cognizant that wireless base station antenna installations may vary from the antenna manufacturer's specified patterns or may be misaligned, it sees no reason to modify the manufacturer's specified wireless base station antenna patterns based on NAB's assumptions, which may or may not be more accurate for any given base station installation.

    18. The Commission disagrees with Cohen, Dippell, and Everist, P.C.'s (“CDE”) claim that the FCC has not forecasted the potential interference to television receivers in cases where five megahertz 600 MHz licenses are aggregated. Given the DTV receiver performance measurements in the record and the fact that OET-74 is applicable to aggregated channels, CDE fails to articulate the need for additional testing of the effects of inter-service interference where five megahertz wireless licenses are aggregated. Nevertheless, based on examination of the record, the Commission concludes that the proposal for a separate analysis for each frequency overlap when two five-megahertz blocks are aggregated into a ten megahertz block would require additional effort by the wireless licensee without providing increased protection for DTV signal reception compared with a combined analysis of aggregated five megahertz blocks. For this reason, OET-74 will require that only a single interference analysis be performed when five megahertz blocks are aggregated. Therefore, in cases of aggregated wireless blocks the OET-74 analysis will be adjusted to reflect the amount of spectral overlap between the aggregated wireless signal and the DTV channel and the effective radiated power (“ERP”) as described. When the aggregated wireless signal completely overlaps the DTV channel, the analysis will use the values in the OET-74 tables associated with a spectral overlap of five megahertz and the ERP that is the portion of the power in the aggregated wireless signal that overlaps the six megahertz television channel. When the aggregated wireless signal overlaps the DTV channel by five megahertz or less, the analysis will use the values in the OET-74 tables associated with the amount of spectral overlap and the ERP of the overlapping wireless five megahertz block (i.e. the analysis will ignore the other five megahertz blocks of the aggregated signal). When the aggregate wireless signal is adjacent to the DTV channel (i.e. no overlap), the interference analysis will use the values in the OET-74 tables associated with the five megahertz block that is closest to the adjacent DTV channel and the ERP of that block. A wireless licensee with non-contiguous spectrum blocks will be required to conduct a separate OET-74 interference analysis for each spectrum block. In addition, a wireless licensee that is adjacent or co-channel to multiple DTV stations, will have to perform separate OET-74 interference analysis for each of the DTV stations.

    b. Case 4: Interference to Television Receivers From Wireless User Equipment

    19. The Commission adopts fixed geographic separation distances for Case 4. Specifically, 600 MHz wireless licensees will be required to limit the service area of their wireless networks so that wireless user equipment (i.e., mobile and portable devices) will not operate within the contour or within a set distance from the contour of a co-channel or adjacent channel television station. As proposed in the ISIX Further Notice, the Commission adopts a separation distance of five kilometers for co-channel operations, and one-half kilometer for adjacent channel operations. Therefore, wireless licenses that will be co-channel or adjacent channel to a television station in the 600 MHz Band uplink spectrum will have impairments that cover the area of the station's contour and an additional five kilometers if the television station is co-channel or one-half kilometer if the television station is adjacent channel to the wireless operations. The separation distance for adjacent channel operation will only apply to the first adjacent channel. Consequently, wireless user equipment may be operated within the contour of a television station if there is a frequency separation of at least six megahertz or more between the wireless spectrum block edge and a television channel edge.

    3. Obligations of 600 MHz Licensees in Markets With Variation a. Requirements on Wireless Base Station Deployment

    20. As proposed in the ISIX Further Notice, the Commission will (1) prohibit a 600 MHz wireless licensee from operating base stations within the contour of a co-channel or adjacent-channel full power and Class A television station, (2) require the 600 MHz wireless licensee to use OET-74 to predict interference to television receivers within such a station's contour prior to deploying base stations within a specified culling distance of the station's contour, and (3) prohibit operating base stations within that distance if harmful interference is predicted. The culling distances are specified in OET-74 and are based on the spectral overlap between wireless operations and television operations, and the power and antenna height of wireless base stations.

    21. The Commission finds that prohibiting wireless base stations from operating within the contours of co-channel and adjacent channel DTV stations is an appropriate safeguard for preventing interference to television receivers. The Commission also finds that requiring the use of OET-74 to identify potential interference from base stations located within the culling distance, and prohibiting operation of base stations within that distance if harmful interference is predicted, will ensure that television stations assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band are not subject to harmful interference from 600 MHz Band wireless operations following the auction.

    22. The Commission declines CTIA's request that the required use of OET-74 apply only to 600 MHz wireless licenses that have been formally designated as impaired during the incentive auction. Rather, as proposed, the OET-74 analysis must be performed for any base station located within the culling distance, even if the license was not identified as impaired during the auction. Qualified forward auction bidders will be provided information about the degree of impairment to the license, but such impairments will be estimated using the ISIX Methodology based on assumptions of a hypothetical wireless network deployment. Post-auction, the Commission's inter-service interference methodology will be based on the actual interference environment to protect DTV receivers. The Commission notes that qualified forward auction bidders will be able to determine prior to bidding whether they will be subject to regulatory requirements for a particular license because it will provide them with specific information about the television stations that will potentially cause impairments to wireless licenses (including the facility ID) prior to each stage of the auction.

    23. The Commission rejects CTIA's claims that the OET-74 methodology is burdensome and impractical. A new OET-74 analysis will be required only if a base station modification could result in an increase in energy in the direction of a full power or Class A television station's contour. CTIA's concerns over the number of base stations subject to the OET-74 analysis, especially with the deployment of small cell architectures, are exaggerated. Antennas at lower power and lower height as found in small cell architectures result in shorter culling distances, as small as three kilometers in some cases, thereby reducing the likelihood that an OET-74 analysis will have to be performed for small cell antennas.

    24. The Commission will require a 600 MHz wireless licensee to retain the latest copy of its OET-74 interference analysis for each co-channel or adjacent channel partial economic area (“PEA”) license area where any of its base stations fall within the specified OET-74 culling distances. The wireless licensee will be required to make this analysis available for inspection by the Commission at any time and to make this analysis available to a television station upon request when there are complaints of interference either from the subject television station or a station viewer. The Commission rejects NAB's request that wireless licensees be required to send all of their OET-74 analyses to all potentially affected broadcasters. The Commission finds that requiring wireless licensees to retain their most recent OET-74 analyses, which they may store electronically, and make them available in cases of interference complaints will more efficiently assist in the investigation and resolution of any complaints.

    b. Elimination of Actual Interference to Broadcast Television Stations in the 600 MHz Band

    25. The Commission adopts the proposal to require wireless licensees to eliminate any actual harmful interference to television reception within the contours of a full power or Class A television station in the 600 MHz Band, even if OET-74 did not predict such interference. The Commission also adopts the proposal for handling such interference incidents. As proposed in the ISIX Further Notice, a television station operating in the 600 MHz Band that experiences harmful interference from co-channel or adjacent channel wireless operations must first contact the wireless licensee to resolve the issue. The wireless licensee must provide to the television station the latest OET-74 analysis showing that no harmful interference was predicted to occur in the specific geographic area at issue. Wireless licensees and television stations are required to cooperate in good faith to resolve any disputes, so as not to unreasonably disrupt wireless and broadcast operations. In the event the parties do not reach resolution, the broadcaster can submit a claim of harmful interference to the Commission.

    26. The Commission declines CDE's requests that it create a toll-free number and a Web site for consumers to report potential inter-service interference problems or that it create an interference handbook that demonstrates how a television viewer may face interference. Instead, the Commission will rely on the framework described above, which requires television stations experiencing interference problems to contact wireless licensees to resolve the potential interference issues.

    c. Effect of Interference-Related Restrictions on Wireless Licenses

    27. A 600 MHz wireless licensee will hold a license for its entire PEA service area, but its operations will be limited only to those portions of the PEA where the licensee will not cause harmful interference to the reception of signals from television stations assigned to the 600 MHz Band consistent with the standards set forth above.

    28. As discussed in the Incentive Auction R&O, 600 MHz licensees will be required to meet the 600 MHz Band interim and final build-out requirements, except that they may show they are unable to operate in areas where they may cause harmful interference to the reception of the signals of television stations that remain in the 600 MHz Band due to market variation. The same exception to interim and final build-out requirements will apply to cases where 600 MHz licensees receive harmful interference from television stations assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band. The Commission adopts its proposal to require wireless licensees to use the ISIX Methodology it adopted for use during the auction for prediction of interference in the Case 1, 2 and 4 scenarios and the methodology in OET-74 for the Case 3 interference scenario to demonstrate that they cannot serve the entire PEA service area for purposes of fulfilling the build-out requirements of their license. If a licensee is not able to serve its entire license area, it must demonstrate why certain areas are excluded from its service area due to impairments when it files its construction notification. If the impairing television station ceases to operate before the construction benchmarks, the wireless licensee will be permitted to use the entire license area, and will be obligated to serve the area that was previously restricted in demonstrating that it has met its build-out requirements.

    B. Protecting Wireless Licensees in the 600 MHz Band from Inter-Service Interference

    29. In this section, the Commission adopts rules to ensure that 600 MHz wireless licenses obtained in the forward auction do not experience additional impairments following the incentive auction.

    1. Limitation on Expanding 600 MHz Broadcast Television Stations' Contour

    30. The Commission limits full-power and Class A television stations assigned to channels in the 600 MHz Band from expanding their noise-limited and protected contours, respectively, if doing so would increase the impairments to co-channel or adjacent channel 600 MHz wireless licenses, unless an agreement is reached with the co-channel or adjacent channel wireless licensee allowing for such expansion. For purposes of this limitation, impairments refer to both additional interference from a television station anywhere in the 600 MHz Band in a PEA (Cases 1 and 2), and to any increased restriction on wireless operations within a PEA in order to avoid causing harmful interference to television receivers within a television station's expanded contour (Cases 3 and 4). For purposes of this limitation, a television station's baseline contours are those set forth in its initial post-auction construction permit application. As the Commission stated in the Incentive Auction R&O, it will carefully consider requests for waiver of the limitation in extraordinary circumstances.

    31. CEA argues for a set distance between the edge of a wireless license area and the contours of a co-channel or adjacent channel television station beyond which the television station would be allowed to expand. The Commission rejects this proposal because the appropriate distance would depend largely on factors like transmitted power, antenna height, and antenna pattern, as well as terrain and frequency overlap, that vary by station. However, if the distance between the proposed expanded contour and a co-channel or adjacent channel wireless licensee's service area is greater than 500 kilometers, the television station will not be required to make a showing that its expanded contour does not cause additional impairments to the wireless operations.

    2. Predicting Potential Interference From LPTV or TV Translator Into Wireless Service

    32. As set forth in the Incentive Auction R&O, LPTV and TV translator stations in the 600 MHz Band may continue operating indefinitely unless a 600 MHz wireless licensee provides advance notice that it intends to commence operations and that the LPTV or TV translator station is likely to cause harmful interference to the wireless operations, based on the methodology the Commission adopts to prevent inter-service interference. As proposed in the ISIX Further Notice, 600 MHz wireless licensees will use the ISIX Methodology, as modified in the First Order on Reconsideration, for predicting interference to their operations from LPTV and TV translator stations for purposes of providing these stations with advance displacement notice.

    33. For this analysis, 600 MHz licensees will use the threshold values for the prediction of interference from full power television to wireless operations from the ISIX Methodology. With regard to adjacent channel interference, LPTV and TV translator stations are allowed to operate using either the same emission mask as a full power station or one of the other two alternative emission masks specified in the Commission's rules. The Commission analyzed the frequency dependent rejection (“FDR”) performance of wireless receivers in the presence of DTV signals using the three different emission masks and found that there is only a 1 dB difference in the threshold values for adjacent channel interference to the wireless service across the three masks, for both wireless base stations and user equipment. The Commission does not find this 1 dB difference to be significant enough to warrant using separate thresholds for each emission mask option. Therefore, the Commission adopts the same field strengths for co-channel and adjacent channel emissions from LPTV and TV translator stations to wireless service as the ISIX Methodology provides for full power television stations. The Commission will also use the antenna elevation patterns for LPTV and TV translator stations in the Consolidated Database System (CDBS) or LMS (Licensing and Management System), the successor system to CDBS. If CDBS/LMS does not include elevation pattern values for a given LPTV or TV translator station, the elevation pattern of these stations as they are defined in section 74.793(d) of the Commission's rules will apply. The Commission finds that the more conservative F(50,10) measure is appropriate when 600 MHz wireless licensees use the ISIX Methodology to predict if they will experience interference from LPTV or translator stations.

    34. The Commission will require that interference from analog LPTV and TV translator stations be analyzed using TVStudy's capability to replicate an analog signal as an equivalent digital signal and analyze the station as though it were operating in digital. The interfering field strength of the “replicated” analog television signal should be treated the same as an interfering digital television signal when conducting the interference analysis.

    C. Inter-Service Interference During the Post-Auction Transition Period

    35. The Commission adopts its proposal in the ISIX Further Notice to protect full power and Class A television stations that have not yet relocated from the 600 MHz Band during the Post-Auction Transition Period in the same manner that it will protect stations that remain in or relocate to the 600 MHz Band. A wireless operator commencing operations before the end of the Post-Auction Transition Period must perform an OET-74 analysis when it intends to deploy base stations within the culling distance of a co-channel or adjacent channel full power or Class A television station that is operating in the 600 MHz Band to predict whether its wireless operations in all or part of its license area would cause harmful interference to the reception of signals from nearby television stations, regardless of whether these television stations will be relocated by the end of the Post-Auction Transition Period. Consistent with the requirements adopted, the wireless licensee must retain the latest copy of its OET-74 interference analysis, make this analysis available for inspection by the Commission at any time, and make this analysis available to a television station upon request when there are complaints of interference either from the subject television station or a station viewer. In addition, if there are co-channel or adjacent channel television stations in the wireless licensee's uplink spectrum, the wireless provider must limit its service area to ensure that user equipment does not operate within five kilometers of the contour when co-channel or within a half kilometer when adjacent channel. Consistent with the rules set forth, once a nearby full power or Class A station has transitioned from its pre-auction channel, the 600 MHz Band licensee need no longer limit its operations in order to protect the station from inter-service interference.

    36. Television stations assigned to the 600 MHz Band in the repacking process may not actually relocate to their assigned channel until late in the Post-Auction Transition Period. However, the Commission will not permit wireless licensees to deploy networks in the period before the station relocates in areas that will potentially interfere with these television stations once they commence broadcasting. Consequently, television stations that have not yet constructed their new facilities will be protected from inter-service interference during the Post-Auction Transition Period based on the contours specified in their initial post-auction construction permits. Therefore, a 600 MHz wireless licensee that wants to commence operations prior to the end of the Post-Auction Transition Period will have to protect television stations that are operating co-channel or adjacent channel at that time and television stations that will be operating co-channel or adjacent channel by the end of the Post-Auction Transition Period.

    D. Assessing Interference From and to International Broadcast Television Stations During the Auction

    37. The Commission adopts its proposal to use the ISIX Methodology to identify impairments to repurposed 600 MHz spectrum along the international borders during the auction. During the incentive auction, the ISIX Methodology will be used to predict interference from U.S. television stations to Canadian wireless operators (Cases 1 and 2). In accordance with the U.S.-Canada Statement of Intent, the ISIX Methodology will use F(50,10) signal strength predictions for the signals from U.S. television stations and will assume the Canadian wireless base stations are 50 meters above ground level. Even though the U.S. and Mexico have not reached an agreement on inter-service interference between television and wireless operations across the U.S.-Mexico border, coordination letters have been exchanged which provide a channel plan for the reassignment of broadcast television stations in the border region. Because the ISIX methodology is not designed for analog signals, and Canada and Mexico have not completed their digital transitions, the Commission will use TVStudy's capability to “replicate” a Canadian or Mexican analog signal as an equivalent digital signal and analyze the station as though it is transmitting a digital signal.

    Summary of the First Order on Reconsideration A. ISIX Methodology

    38. In the ISIX R&O, the Commission adopted the ISIX Methodology for use during the incentive auction to predict the extent to which 600 MHz Band wireless licenses may be impaired due to potential interference to, and from, broadcast television stations assigned to the 600 MHz Band as a result of market variation. The Commission received several petitions for reconsideration regarding the ISIX Methodology.

    39. In its Petition for Reconsideration, NAB claims that the ISIX Methodology will fail to predict wireless impairments “with any useful degree of accuracy” because wireless carriers will have to use a “different methodology” following the auction based on real-world deployments. NAB repeats its recommendation made in several of its filings in this proceeding that, instead of the ISIX Methodology, the Commission should use a fixed distance-based approach, because doing so would be “far easier to implement and will not sacrifice meaningful spectral efficiency.” The Commission denies NAB'S petition for reconsideration because NAB offers no basis to revisit its conclusion that the ISIX Methodology accommodates market variation in a more spectrally efficient manner than a fixed distance-based approach and disagree with NAB's claim that the decision to use a different methodology to predict inter-service interference after the auction calls into question the accuracy of the ISIX Methodology for predicting impairments during the auction. NAB also claims that the base station antenna heights and powers assumed in the ISIX Methodology are less than what is permitted by the Commission's rules and therefore understates the potential for interference. The Commission rejects this claim because it was fully considered and rejected when the ISIX R&O was adopted.

    40. Sprint and NAB, sought reconsideration of the decision to use the F(50,50) statistical measure instead of the F(50,10) measure in the ISIX Methodology when estimating interference from television stations to wireless operations. The Commission denies Sprint's and NAB's Petitions for Reconsideration and affirms its conclusion that F(50,50) is an appropriate statistical measure for this purpose, whereas the F(50,10) measure is unnecessarily conservative. In any event, bidders in the forward auction will have the necessary information to make their own calculations of impairments based on any number of factors they wish to consider, including their choice of statistical parameter.

    41. The Commission will revise the ISIX Methodology to reflect the adjustments to the D/U thresholds for the Case 3 interference scenario it adopted in the companion Third Report and Order. These values are not assumptions that will change once the wireless networks are deployed. Accordingly, there is no basis to have interference threshold values applied during the auction to determine impairments that differ from the interference threshold values applied after the auction to determine interference. Therefore, the Commission will update the interference threshold values in the ISIX Methodology to be consistent with the values adopted above.

    42. The Commission also makes a number of miscellaneous changes to the ISIX Methodology. These changes were made to reflect updates and revisions of input values and software settings to improve functionality and to reflect the U.S.-Canada Statement of Intent and decisions the Commission made in the Bidding Procedures PN, 80 FR 61918, October 14, 2015. These changes are reflected in the Appendix D of the Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration describing the ISIX Methodology:

    • Updated references to the LPTV digital transition.

    • Updated references to license categories which were adopted in the Bidding Procedures PN.

    • Revised references to emission limits and receiver standards in paragraph 13 to reflect the use of the FCC's emission limits for DTV and wireless receiver performance standards published by 3GPP.

    • Provided threshold values for inter-service interference calculations in the repacking process along the border regions. These values do not relate to the computation of impairments on 600 MHz licenses.

    • Added an explanation in paragraph 31 that for Case 3, the base station transmitter azimuth pattern is assumed to be non-directional and is based on UHF DTV vertical pattern described in OET Bulletin No. 69, Table 8. However, the elevation pattern is assumed to be symmetrical above and below the maximum.

    • Table 14 lists the TVStudy settings unique to the ISIX Methodology.

    • In Table 15, the entry HAS_EPAT was changed from “False” to “True” because TVStudy will import the pattern in the XML scenario.

    • Paragraph 38 updated to indicate that the elevation pattern for each base station must be imported in the XML file and lists the values for the symmetrical generic pattern.

    B. Request for Additional Protection in the Repacking Process

    43. In the ISIX R&O, the Commission declined to adopt a cap on the amount of total or aggregate new station-to-station interference that a broadcast station will be allowed to receive as a result of the repacking process. The Commission denies the petitions for reconsideration of CDE and NAB requesting reconsideration of this decision. Neither CDE nor NAB challenge the staff study that concluded that approximately 99 percent of stations will not experience new interference above one percent or otherwise dispute the study's conclusion that stations are unlikely to be experience significant new interference as a result of the repacking process. The Commission explained in the ISIX R&O how an aggregate interference cap would deprive the repacking feasibility checker of its speed. CDE and NAB do not offer any reason to dispute this conclusion, nor do they propose a means of implementing an aggregate interference cap without compromising the speed of the bidding process.

    44. Because radio signals propagate differently on different frequencies, the signal of a station reassigned to a different channel will generally not be receivable in precisely the same locations within a station's contour as it was in its original channel. In its ex parte filings prior to adoption of the ISIX R&O, NAB asked the Commission to address both station-to-station interference and population loss resulting from new channel assignments by adopting a cap on “aggregate population loss,” which the Commission refused to do on procedural grounds. NAB ask for reconsideration of the Commission's decision declining to adopt a cap on population loss resulting from new channel assignments in the repacking process. The Commission grants in part and denies in part NAB's petition for reconsideration. The Commission expects most stations will not lose viewers as a result of terrain loss resulting from new channel assignments. Even if some stations are predicted to lose viewers as a result of terrain loss resulting from new channel assignments, the Commission's final television channel assignment plan selection procedure includes optimization techniques to address this concern.

    45. In the event some stations are predicted to lose viewers as a result of new channel assignments even after optimization techniques are applied, there will be post-auction solutions to address this situation. First, as adopted in the Incentive Auction R&O, a television station may request up to a one percent coverage contour increase as part of its initial post-auction construction permit application, subject to certain conditions. Second, the Commission amends its rules to provide that stations predicted to experience a loss in population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process—either because of new station-to-station interference or terrain loss resulting from a new channel assignment (or a combination of both)—may file an application proposing an alternate channel or expanded facilities in a priority filing window, along with a limited number of other stations that have been assigned the same priority. Third, the Commission proposed in the LPTV Third FNPRM to allow a full power station that is predicted to experience a loss in its pre-auction digital service area as a result of its new channel assignment to seek authority to deploy a digital-to-digital replacement translator (“DTDRT”) to serve the loss area.

    46. A cap on population loss resulting from new channel assignments as proposed by NAB would compromise the central objective of a successful auction to allow market forces to repurpose spectrum. NAB's proposed approach for incorporating its cap on population loss into the repacking process involves certain elements that are either infeasible or meaningless and, on the whole, would impede the Commission's ability to conduct a successful auction and thereby sacrifice the goal of repurposing spectrum.

    C. Use of TVStudy To Determine Coverage Area and Population Serviced by Television Stations

    47. The Commission denies Petitions for Reconsideration of the Incentive Auction R&O filed by the Affiliates Associations and CDE challenging the Commission's decision to use the TVStudy software and certain inputs in applying the methodology described in OET-69 to determine the coverage area and population served by television stations. The Commission explained in the Incentive Auction R&O why the TVStudy software and inputs are distinct from the OET-69 methodology and Affiliates Associations offer no basis to revisit this conclusion. Affiliates Associations and CDE take issue with the fact that, using identical inputs, TVStudy produces different results than previous versions of the software used to implement OET-69. The Spectrum Act mandates that the Commission use the “methodology described in OET Bulletin 69,” not particular software to implement that methodology or arrive at a pre-determined result. The Commission's decision to use software that is “user-friendly and better adapted to handle the kinds of computations the Commission will need to conduct in the reverse auction and repacking process called for by the Spectrum Act” is fully consistent with Congressional intent.

    48. Affiliates Associations also claims that the Incentive Auction R&O “fail[ed] to address” losses in “coverage area.” The Commission's decision pertaining to preservation of “coverage area” was affirmed by the D.C. Circuit. Affiliates Associations offers no basis to revisit the Commission's approach to preserving “coverage area.”

    Procedural Matters Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    49. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM).2 The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.3

    1See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 through 612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).

    2See Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, GN Docket No. 12-268, ET Docket No. 13-26, ET Docket No. 14-14, Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 29 FCC Rcd 13071 (2014) (ISIX R&O/FNPRM or ISIX R&O or ISIX Further Notice).

    3See 5 U.S.C. 604.

    A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Rules

    50. In the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission adopted a flexible band plan framework that accommodates market variation. Market variation occurs where broadcast stations remain on spectrum that is repurposed for wireless broadband under the 600 MHz Band Plan. In this Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration, it adopted the framework proposed in the inter-service interference, Further Notice (ISIX Further Notice) to govern the interference environment in the new 600 MHz Band due to market variation.

    51. The Commission adopted a number of measures to protect television reception for those television stations that will remain in the 600 MHz Band after the incentive auction. It adopted a zero percent threshold for interference from wireless operations to the reception of signals from television broadcast stations in the 600 MHz Band, which will prohibit 600 MHz wireless licensees from causing harmful interference at any level within the contour of a broadcast station. The Commission also adopted OET-74, a methodology for predicting interference to television receivers from wireless base stations. However, the Commission modified the D/U threshold used to determine if interference to television reception is occurring in OET-74 from what was proposed in the ISIX Further Notice so that the threshold does not become unrealistically large when the television signal is weak. Wireless licensees will be allowed to deploy base stations within a specified culling distance of co-channel or adjacent channel television stations only where they can demonstrate using OET-74 that they will not cause harmful interference to television reception within the stations' contours. In addition, the Commission prohibits the operation of wireless user equipment within five kilometers of the contours of co-channel television stations and one-half kilometer of adjacent channel television stations. It will require wireless licensees to eliminate any actual harmful interference to the reception of signals from television station in the 600 MHz Band, even if such interference was not predicted using OET-74.

    52. The Commission also adopted measures to protect the future operations of 600 MHz Band wireless licensees from television stations that remain in the 600 MHz band. It will prohibit broadcast television licensees who operate in the 600 MHz Band from expanding their noise-limited or protected contours if doing so would increase the potential for interference to a wireless licensee's service area or would result in additional impairments to the wireless licenses because of the obligations of the wireless licensee to protect television reception. The Commission also adopted the use of the ISIX Methodology specified in the ISIX R&O, as modified in the First Order on Reconsideration, for predicting when an LPTV or TV translator station will cause harmful interference to wireless operations. For this purpose, the ISIX Methodology will use the same threshold values for the prediction of interference from full power television to wireless operations as specified in the ISIX R&O and will use the F(50,10) statistical measure to predict the strength of the LPTV or TV translator signal.

    53. Under the rules adopted in the Incentive Auction R&O, 600 MHz Band wireless licensees are required to meet interim and final build-out requirements, but the build-out requirements only apply to areas they are permitted to serve. The Commission will require 600 MHz wireless licensees to use the ISIX Methodology and/or OET-74 to demonstrate that they cannot meet build-out requirements for portions of the geographic area covered by their license.

    54. U.S. television stations may cause interference to Canadian wireless operations after the incentive auction. For purposes of predicting these impairments during the incentive auction, the Commission adopts the use of the ISIX Methodology with adjustments to reflect an agreement reached with Canada.

    55. In the First Order on Reconsideration the Commission considered a number of petitions for reconsideration filed in response to the ISIX R&O. It affirmed our decision to use the ISIX Methodology to predict inter-service interference between television and wireless services during the incentive auction. The Commission modified the ISIX Methodology adopted in the ISIX R&O by making the same adjustment to the D/U threshold used to determine if interference will occur to television reception as we did for OET-74. The Commission also affirmed its decisions declining to adopt a cap on the aggregate amount of new interference a broadcast television station may receive from other television stations in the repacking process and declining to adopt a cap on population loss that a television station may experience because of a new channel assignment in the repacking process. The Commission amended its rules to provide that a television station that will experience a loss in population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process—either because of new station-to-station interference or terrain loss resulting from a new channel assignment (or a combination of both)—may file an application proposing an alternate channel or expanded facilities in a priority filing window. In response to a petition for reconsideration of the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission affirmed its decision to use the TVStudy software and certain inputs in applying the methodology described in OET-69 to determine the coverage area and population served by television stations when making new channel assignments during the incentive auction.

    B. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    56. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

    C. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    57. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    D. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    58. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.4 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 5 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.6 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 SBA.7

    4 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).

    5 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    6 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to the RFA, 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.” 5 U.S.C. 601(3).

    7 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632 (1996).

    59. Television Broadcasting. This economic census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.” 8 The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts.9 The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,388.10 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less.11 The Commission therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities.

    8 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    9 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 2010).

    10See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. Jan. 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    11 We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given the information provided above.

    60. The Commission notes, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included.12 Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

    12 “[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both.” 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1).

    61. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (“NCE”) television stations to be 395.13 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.14

    13See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. Jan. 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    14See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).

    62. There are also 2,414 LPTV stations, including Class A stations, and 4,046 TV translator stations.15 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    15See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of December 31, 2013 (rel. January 8, 2014), http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0108/DOC-325039A1.pdf.

    63. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 750 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for part or all of the entire year. Of this total, 912 had less than 500 employees and 17 had more than 1000 employees. Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    64. Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing. The SBA has classified the manufacturing of audio and video equipment under in NAICS Codes classification scheme as an industry in which a manufacturer is small if it has less than 750 employees. Data contained in the 2007 U.S. Census indicate that 492 establishments operated in that industry for all or part of that year. In that year, 488 establishments had fewer than 500 employees; and only 1 had more than 1000 employees. Thus, under the applicable size standard, a majority of manufacturers of audio and video equipment may be considered small.

    65. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite). The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services.” 16 The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). The size standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.17 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.18 Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 had employment of 1000 employees or more.19 Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, PCS, and Specialized Mobile Radio (“SMR”) Telephony services.20 Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees.21 Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half or more of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    16 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 517210 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517210&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    17 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 517210).

    18 U.S. Census Bureau, Table No. EC0751SSSZ5, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 (NAICS code 517210), http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5.

    19Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with 1000 employees or more.

    20See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.

    21See id.

    E. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    66. Wireless licensees in the 600 MHz Band will be required to conduct an interference analysis using OET-74 before operating a base station within the culling distance of the contour of a co-channel or adjacent channel broadcast television station. They will also be required to conduct an OET-74 interference analysis when making a modification to such a base station that could result in an increase in energy in the direction of broadcast station's contour. The wireless licensee will be required to retain the latest copy of their OET-74 analysis for each base station that is within the culling distance of a co-channel or adjacent channel broadcast station. The wireless licensee will be required to make this analysis available for inspection by the Commission at any time and to make this analysis available to a television station upon request when there are complaints of interference either from the subject television station or a station viewer. Wireless licensees and television stations will cooperate in good faith to resolve any disputes, as not to unreasonably frustrate wireless and broadcast operations. In the event the parties do not reach resolution, a broadcaster can submit a claim of harmful interference to the Commission.

    67. Wireless licensees in the 600 MHz Band will be prohibited from operating a base station within the contour of a co-channel or adjacent channel broadcast station. Wireless licensees will also be required to limit their coverage areas so that mobile and portable devices maintain a minimum distance of five kilometers from a co-channel broadcast station's contour and 500 meters from an adjacent channel broadcast station's contour.

    68. Wireless licensees will be required to eliminate any harmful interference that occurs to television reception within the contours of a co-channel or adjacent channel broadcast television station. This requirement to eliminate harmful interference applies even if the OET-74 analysis indicates that no harmful interference will occur.

    69. A broadcast television station in the 600 MHz Band will not be allowed to expand its contour such that it would increase impairments to a wireless licensee either by causing additional interference to the wireless licensee's service area or because of the obligations of the wireless licensee to protect television reception, unless an agreement is reached with the wireless licensee allowing the expansion.

    70. A wireless licensee that intends to commence operations will be required to use the ISIX Methodology adopted in the ISIX R&O, as modified in the First Order on Reconsideration, to determine if a LPTV or translator station will cause it harmful interference. The wireless licensee will then be able to send the required notification to the LPTV or translator station that will cause it harmful interference.22

    22 The requirement that the LPTV or translator station that will cause a wireless licensee harmful interference cease operation within 120 days after receiving notification from a wireless licensee that is going to commence operations was adopted in the Incentive Auction R&O. Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6834-6835, 6839-6841, paras. 657, 668-671.

    71. Wireless licensees will use the ISIX Methodology or OET-74 to show that they are unable to operate in portions of their license area for purposes of satisfying their build-out requirements. They will use the ISIX Methodology for demonstrating harmful interference from co-channel and adjacent channel broadcast television stations to their base stations and user equipment as well as demonstrating harmful interference from wireless user equipment to television receivers. They will use OET-74 for demonstrating harmful interference from wireless base stations to television receivers.23 If the impairing television station ceases to operate before the construction benchmarks, the wireless licensee will be permitted to use the entire license area, and will be obligated to serve the area that was previously restricted in demonstrating that it has met its build-out requirements.24

    23Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6883, 684, paras. 778, 781; 47 CFR 1.946(d). The construction notification will have to be filed within 15 days of the relevant milestone certifying that it has met the applicable performance benchmark within its permitted boundaries.

    24Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6606, para. 86 n. 277.

    72. A television station that will experience a loss in population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process—either because of new station-to-station interference or terrain loss resulting from a new channel assignment (or a combination of both)—may file an application proposing an alternate channel or expanded facilities in a priority filing window. Previously, our rules permitted a station to file an application in the priority filing window only when the greater than one percent loss in population served was from station-to-station interference.

    F. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    73. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.25

    25See 5 U.S.C. 603(c).

    74. Many of the reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance requirements we adopt here are designed to protect television broadcast stations and 600 MHz Band wireless licensees from harmful interference. Because many of these television broadcast stations and wireless licensees are small entities, the rules will protect the economic interest of small entities. Consequently, the effect of these rules on small entities can be viewed as a tradeoff between the compliance burdens of the rules on some small entities balanced against the interference protections supplied by the rules to other small entities. We conclude that the benefits of these rules in protecting small entities from interference is stronger than the compliance burdens that the rules place on small entities.

    75. For example, the adopted rules require wireless licensees to conduct an OET-74 interference analysis before locating a base station within the culling distance of a co-channel or adjacent channel television broadcast station. This rule will impact those wireless licensees that are small entities by requiring them to perform the OET-74 analysis and potentially preventing them from constructing base stations in portions of their licensed service areas. However, this requirement will help prevent harmful interference to the reception of signals from co-channel and adjacent channel television broadcast stations, many of whom are small entities. As an alternative to requiring an OET-74 analysis, we could have specified an exclusion zone around a broadcast television station's contour that wireless base stations could not be located within to prevent interference to television reception. However, this would have excluded the base stations from a much larger area than the adopted rules because it would not have taken into account the effects that terrain has on signal propagation and the characteristics of the base stations such as transmitted power and antenna height. Requiring an OET-74 analysis instead of relying on an exclusion zone thereby enables the wireless licensee to use a greater portion of its licensed service area, which is of significant economic benefit to the wireless licensee.

    76. As another example, the adopted rules prohibit television broadcast stations in the 600 MHz Band from expanding their contours in a way that will impair a wireless license by causing interference to a wireless licensee or because of a wireless licensee's obligation to protect television reception. This rule will impact television broadcast stations in the 600 MHz Band by preventing them from expanding their contours in the future, but the rule will protect the interests of wireless licensees by preventing impairments of their licenses.

    77. Some of the rules adopted here provide a means to implement rules we have previously adopted. For example, in the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission adopted rules requiring 600 MHz Band wireless licensees to meet build-out requirements.26 While the previously adopted rules do not require wireless licensees to build-out their networks in areas that are impaired by either receiving interference from television broadcasters remaining in the band or because they will cause interference to television reception, the rules do not specify how the wireless licensee will show what areas are impaired. For purposes of demonstrating impairments for the build-out requirements, the Third Report and Order will require 600 MHz wireless licensees to use the ISIX Methodology for showing interference from television broadcasters to wireless operations and for interference from wireless user equipment to television receivers and will require wireless licenses to use OET-74 to demonstrate interference to television receivers. This requirement will benefit 600 MHz Band wireless licensees by enabling them to exclude impaired locations of their licensed areas from the build-out requirements.

    26Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd at 6877-78, para 764.

    78. In the Incentive Auction R&O, we specified that LPTV and TV translator station in the 600 MHz band could continue to operate until a wireless licensee provided advance notice that it intends to commence operations and the LPTV or TV translator is likely to cause harmful interference. For purposes of providing this displacement notice, in the Third Report and Order the Commission specify that wireless licensees will use the ISIX Methodology to determine if the LPTV or TV translator stations will cause them interference for purposes of notifying the LPTV or TV translator stations. While this requirement will burden 600 MHz Band wireless licensees by requiring them to perform an ISIX Methodology interference study, it will benefit LPTV and TV translator licensees by allowing them to continue operating until their spectrum is actually needed by the wireless licensees. Consequently, this requirement represents a reasonable balancing between the interest of LPTV and translators, many of whom are small businesses, and 600 MHz Band wireless licensees, many of whom are also small licensees.

    79. To minimize the burdens on small businesses that are required by the rules we are adopting that require OET-74 and ISIX Methodology interference analyses, we intend to make a version of our TVStudy software available that can perform these analyses. The software can be used on a computer that costs less than $2000 and is available free online at http://data.fcc.gov/download/incentive-auctions/OET-69/. Because we are making this software available, licensees will not need to develop their own software or contract with an engineering consultant to perform these interference analyses. To further reduce the compliance burden on 600 MHz Band wireless licensees, we will not require them to share their OET-74 interference analysis with television broadcasters unless there is an actual interference complaint. The wireless licensee will be able to store the OET-74 analysis electronically, which will reduce the record keeping and compliance cost to the wireless licensee.

    80. Television stations that are relocated during the incentive auction may experience a change in coverage area due to terrain loss because of the different propagation characteristics at their new frequency. Television stations that experience a loss in population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process—either because of new station-to-station interference or terrain loss resulting from a new channel assignment (or a combination of both)—will now be permitted to file an application proposing an alternate channel or expanded facilities in a priority filing window. This will benefit television stations that experience such a loss of population serviced.

    81. Report to Congress: The Commission will send a copy of the Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration, including this FRFA, in a report to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.27 In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA.

    27 See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    Ordering Clauses

    82. Pursuant to the authority found in sections 1, 4, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 332, and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 6402 and 6403 of Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112-96, 126 Stat. 156, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 332, 403, 1452, and 1454, the Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration is adopted. The Commission's rules are hereby amended as set forth in Appendix B.

    83. The rules adopted herein will become effective December 17, 2015, except for Sections 27.1310 and 73.3700(b)(1)(iv)(B) of the rules which contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the effective date of this rule.

    84. Pursuant to Section 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 405, and 1.429 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.429, the Petitions for Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order in GN Docket No. 12-268, ET Docket No. 13-26, and ET Docket No. 14-14 filed by Cohen, Dippell, and Everist, P.C. and by Sprint Corporation are denied to the extent described herein.

    85. Pursuant to Section 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 405, and section 1.429 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.429, the Petition for Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order in GN Docket No. 12-268, ET Docket No. 13-26, and ET Docket No. 14-14 filed by the National Association of Broadcasters is granted in part and denied in part to the extent described herein.

    86. Pursuant to Section 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 405, and 1.429 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.429, the Petitions for Reconsideration of the Report and Order in GN Docket No. 12-268 filed by ABC Television Affiliates Association, CBS Television Network Affiliates Association, FBC Television Affiliates Association, and NBC Television Affiliates and by Cohen, Dippell, and Everist, P.C. are denied to the extent described herein.

    87. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration in GN Docket No. 12-268, ET Docket No. 13-26, and ET Docket No. 14-14, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    88. The Commission shall send a copy of this Third Report and Order and First Order on Reconsideration in GN Docket No. 12-268, ET Docket No. 13-26, and ET Docket No. 14-14 in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 27 and 73

    Communications equipment, Radio, Television, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 27 and 73 as follows:

    PART 27—MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302(a), 303, 307, 309, 332, 336, 337, 1403, 1404, 1451, and 1452, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Add an undesignated center heading and § 27.1310.to read as follows: Protection of Other Services
    § 27.1310 Protection of Broadcast Television Service in the 600 MHz Band from Wireless Operations.

    (a) Licensees authorized to operate wireless services in the 600 MHz band must cause no harmful interference to public reception of the signals of broadcast television stations transmitting co-channel or on an adjacent channel.

    (1) Such wireless operations must comply with the D/U ratios in Table 5 in OET Bulletin No. 74, Methodology for Predicting Inter-Service Interference to Broadcast Television from Mobile Wireless Broadband Services in the UHF Band ([DATE]) (“OET Bulletin No. 74”). Copies of OET Bulletin No. 74 may be inspected during normal business hours at the Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. SW., Dockets Branch (Room CY A09257), Washington, DC 20554. This document is also available through the Internet on the FCC Home Page at http://www.fcc.gov.

    (2) If a 600 MHz band licensee causes harmful interference within the noise-limited contour or protected contour of a broadcast television station that is operating co-channel or on an adjacent channel, the 600 MHz band licensee must eliminate the harmful interference.

    (b) A licensee authorized to operate wireless services in the 600 MHz downlink band:

    (1) Is not permitted to deploy wireless base stations within the noise-limited contour or protected contour of a broadcast television station licensed on a co-channel or adjacent channel in the 600 MHz downlink band;

    (2) Is required to perform an interference study using the methodology in OET Bulletin No. 74 before deploying or operating wireless base stations within the culling distances specified in Tables 7-12 of OET Bulletin No. 74 from the noise-limited contour or protected contour of such a broadcast television station;

    (3) Is required to perform an interference study using the methodology in OET Bulletin No. 74 when modifying a base station within the culling distances in Tables 7-12 of OET Bulletin 74 that results in an increase in energy in the direction of co-channel or adjacent channel broadcast television station's contours;

    (4) Is required to maintain records of the latest OET Bulletin No. 74 study for each base station and make them available for inspection to the Commission and, upon a claim of harmful interference, to the requesting broadcasting television station.

    (c) A licensee authorized to operate wireless services in the 600 MHz uplink band must limit its service area so that mobile and portable devices do not transmit:

    (1) Co-channel or adjacent channel to a broadcast television station within that station's noise-limited contour or protected contour;

    (2) Co-channel to a broadcast television station within five kilometers of that station's noise-limited contour or protected contour; and

    (3) Adjacent channel to a broadcast television station within 500 meters of that station's noise-limited contour or protected contour.

    (d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

    (1) Broadcast television station is defined pursuant to § 73.3700(a)(1) of this chapter;

    (2) Noise-limited contour is defined to be the full power station's noise-limited contour pursuant to § 73.622(e);

    (3) Protected contour is defined to be a Class A television station's protected contour as specified in section 73.6010;

    (4) Co-channel operations in the 600 MHz band are defined as operations of broadcast television stations and wireless services where their assigned channels or frequencies spectrally overlap;

    (5) Adjacent channel operations are defined as operations of broadcast television stations and wireless services where their assigned channels or frequencies spectrally abut each other or are separated by up to 5 MHz.

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 3. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336, and 339.

    4. Section 73.3700 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iv)(B) and adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:
    § 73.3700 Post-Incentive Auction Licensing and Operation.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (B) The licensee of any broadcast television station that the Commission makes all reasonable efforts to preserve pursuant to section 6403(b)(2) of the Spectrum Act that is predicted to experience a loss in population served in excess of one percent as a result of the repacking process, either because of new station-to-station interference or terrain loss resulting from a new channel assignment (or a combination of both), will be afforded an opportunity to submit an application for a construction permit pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section in the priority filing window required by paragraph (b)(1)(iv)(A) of this section.

    (i) A broadcast television station licensed in the 600 MHz band, as that band is defined in section 27.5(l)—

    (1) Shall not be permitted to modify its facilities, except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if such modification will expand its noise limited service contour (in the case of a full power station) or protected contour (in the case of a Class A station) in such a way as to:

    (i) Increase the potential of harmful interference to a wireless licensee which is co-channel or adjacent channel to the broadcast television station; or

    (ii) Require such a wireless licensee to restrict its operations in order to avoid causing harmful interference to the broadcast television station's expanded noise limited service or protected contour;

    (2) Shall be permitted to modify its facilities, even when prohibited by paragraph (i)(1) of this section, if all the wireless licensees in paragraph (i)(1) who either will experience an increase in the potential for harmful interference or must restrict their operations in order to avoid causing interference agree to permit the modification and the modification otherwise meets all the requirements in this part;

    (3) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

    (i) Co-channel operations in the 600 MHz band are defined as operations of broadcast television stations and wireless services where their assigned channels or frequencies spectrally overlap.

    (ii) Adjacent channel operations are defined as operations of broadcast television stations and wireless services where their assigned channels or frequencies spectrally abut each other or are separated by up to 5 MHz.

    [FR Doc. 2015-29239 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 221 Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4812; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-034-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that certain center and outboard stowage bin modules were incorrectly installed. This proposed AD would require an inspection of the center and outboard stowage bin modules for missing parts, quick release pins that are not fully engaged, and parts that are installed in incorrect locations; and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct incorrectly installed center and outboard stowage bin modules that might not remain intact during an emergency landing, resulting in injuries to occupants and interference with airplane evacuation.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4812.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4812; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stanley Chen, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917- 6585; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4812; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-034-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report that certain center and outboard stowage bin modules were incorrectly installed on Model 787-8 airplanes. The affected stowage bin modules had parts that were missing or incorrectly installed and quick release pins that were not fully engaged. The missing and incorrectly installed parts included quick release pins, load transfer bars, tie rods, quick release pin retainers, radial struts, and splice fittings. Missing or incorrectly installed parts affect the load capability of a stowage bin, and during an emergency landing that stowage bin might not remain intact. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct incorrectly installed center and outboard stowage bin modules that might not remain intact during an emergency landing, resulting in injuries to occupants and interference with airplane evacuation.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Boeing service information. This service information describes procedures for inspecting the installation of the center and outboard stowage bin modules and doing corrective actions.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250036-00, Issue 001, dated September 10, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250039-00, Issue 001, dated October 8, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250040-00, Issue 001, dated October 14, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250041-00, Issue 001, dated October 18, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250042-00, Issue 001, dated October 28, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250043-00, Issue 001, dated November 4, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250044-00, Issue 001, dated November 8, 2013.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250045-00, Issue 001, dated November 15, 2013.

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

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. Refer to this service information for details on the procedures and compliance times.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection 222 work-hours × $85 per hour = $18,870 $0 $18,870 $113,220

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements.

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Replacement 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 Up to $21,191 Up to $22,891.

    According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-4812; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-034-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in the service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(8) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250036-00, Issue 001, dated September 10, 2013.

    (2) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250039-00, Issue 001, dated October 8, 2013.

    (3) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250040-00, Issue 001, dated October 14, 2013.

    (4) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250041-00, Issue 001, dated October 18, 2013.

    (5) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250042-00, Issue 001, dated October 28, 2013.

    (6) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250043-00, Issue 001, dated November 4, 2013.

    (7) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250044-00, Issue 001, dated November 8, 2013.

    (8) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250045-00, Issue 001, dated November 15, 2013.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that certain center and outboard stowage bin modules were incorrectly installed. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrectly installed center and outboard stowage bin modules that might not remain intact during an emergency landing, resulting in injuries to occupants and interference with airplane evacuation.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Action

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 5., “Compliance,” of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(8) of this AD: Do a general visual inspection of the installations of the center and outboard stowage bin modules to determine if any part is missing, if any part is installed at an incorrect location, or if any quick release pin is not fully engaged; and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(8) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    (1) For airplanes having variable numbers (V/Ns) ZA177 through ZA183 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250036-00, Issue 001, dated September 10, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA100 through ZA105 inclusive, V/Ns ZA116 through ZA119 inclusive, V/N ZA135, and V/NsZA506 through ZA511 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250039-00, Issue 001, dated October 8, 2013.

    (3) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA460 through ZA464 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250040-00, Issue 001, dated October 14, 2013.

    (4) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA233 and V/Ns ZA236 through ZA240 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250041-00, Issue 001, dated October 18, 2013.

    (5) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA285 through ZA290 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250042-00, Issue 001, dated October 28, 2013.

    (6) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA270 through ZA271 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250043-00, Issue 001, dated November 4, 2013.

    (7) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA261 through ZA264 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250044-00, Issue 001, dated November 8, 2013.

    (8) For airplanes having V/Ns ZA536 through ZA538 inclusive: Use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB250045-00, Issue 001, dated November 15, 2013.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    Where the service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(8) of this AD specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Stanley Chen, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6585; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 4, 2015. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28882 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4023; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-29-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80E1 turbofan engines with rotating compressor discharge pressure (CDP) seal, part number (P/N) 1669M73P02, installed. This proposed AD was prompted by reports from the manufacturer of cracks in the teeth of two rotating CDP seals found during engine shop visits. This proposed AD would require stripping of the coating, inspecting, and recoating the teeth of the affected rotating CDP seals. We are proposing this AD to prevent cracking of the CDP seal teeth, which can lead to uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4023; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4023; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-29-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received reports from GE of cracks in the teeth on two rotating CDP seals found during engine shop visits. We learned that the current borazon-nickel seal tooth coating oxidizes during engine operation, which could lead to reduced cutting action, overheating of the seal teeth, and premature cracking of the seal teeth. This condition, if not corrected, could result in cracking of the CDP seal teeth, uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    Relevant Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0529, Revision 1, dated August 21, 2015. The SB describes procedures for stripping, inspecting, and replacing the seal tooth coating on the affected rotating CDP seals. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Other Related Service Information

    We reviewed GE CF6-80E1 (GEK99376) Engine Manual, Revision 42, dated March 15, 2014. The engine manual describes acceptable repair procedures for the seal teeth.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require stripping, inspecting, and recoating the teeth on the affected CDP seals.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 6 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 7 hours per engine to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Parts would cost about $7,835 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of this proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $50,657.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-4023; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-29-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 19, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80E1 turbofan engines with rotating compressor discharge pressure (CDP) seals, part number (P/N) 1669M73P02, installed.

    (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports from the manufacturer of cracks in the teeth of two rotating CDP seals found during engine shop visits. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the CDP seal teeth, which can lead to uncontained part release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (2) After the effective date of this AD, strip coating, inspect, and recoat the teeth of the rotating CDP seal, P/N 1669M73P02, in accordance with paragraph 3.C.(2) of GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0529, Revision 1, dated August 21, 2015, as follows:

    (i) For engines that have had stationary CDP seal, P/N 1347M28G02, repaired or replaced, strip coating, inspect, and recoat the rotating CDP seal at the next engine shop visit.

    (ii) For engines that have not had stationary CDP seal, P/N 1347M28G02, repaired or replaced, strip coating, inspect, and recoat the rotating CDP seal at the next part exposure.

    (f) Definitions

    (1) For the purpose of this AD, part exposure is defined as removal of the compressor rear frame from the high-pressure compressor module.

    (2) For the purpose of this AD, an engine shop visit is defined as the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

    (g) Credit for Previous Action

    If you stripped, inspected, and recoated the CDP seal, P/N 1669M73P02, using the procedures in ESM 72-31-10, REPAIR 002 of the GE CF6-80E1 (GEK99376) Engine Manual, Revision 42, dated March 15, 2014, or earlier versions, then you met the requirements of this AD.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

    (i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) GE SB No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0529, Revision 1, dated August 21, 2015 can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (i)(3) of this proposed AD.

    (3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on November 4, 2015. Carlos A. Pestana, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28898 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4814; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-105-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by the discovery of a number of incorrectly calibrated angle of attack (AOA) transducers installed in the stall protection system. This proposed AD would require replacement of incorrectly calibrated AOA transducers. We are proposing this AD to detect and replace incorrectly calibrated AOA transducers; incorrect calibration of the transducers could result in late activation of the stick pusher.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4814; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7318; fax 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4814; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-105-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2015-17, effective July 16, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The MCAI states:

    It was discovered that a number of [angle of attack] AOA transducers installed on Bombardier CL-600-2B19 aeroplanes were incorrectly calibrated due to a quality control problem at both the production and repair facilities. Incorrect calibration of the AOA transducer could result in a late activation of the stick pusher.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the replacement of the incorrectly calibrated AOA transducer.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4814.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier, Inc. has issued Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-164, dated March 30, 2015. The service information describes procedures for replacement of incorrectly calibrated AOA transducers with correctly calibrated AOA transducers. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 575 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $10,000 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $5,945,500, or $10,340 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-4814; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-105-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 through 7067 inclusive, 7069 through 7990 inclusive, and 8000 through 8999 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the discovery of a number of incorrectly calibrated angle of attack (AOA) transducers installed in the stall protection system.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replacement

    For AOA transducers identified in paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-164, dated March 30, 2015: Within 2,500 flight hours or 12 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD, replace the AOA transducers with correctly calibrated AOA transducers, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-164, dated March 30, 2015.

    (h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, an AOA transducer having a part number or serial number listed in paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” of Bombardier Service Bulletin 601R-27-164, dated March 30, 2015.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2015-17, dated July 16, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4814.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 5, 2015. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28885 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4813; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-161-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 99-16-01, for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). AD 99-16-01 currently requires repetitive inspections of certain bolt holes where parts of the main landing gear (MLG) are attached to the wing rear spar, and repair if necessary. Since we issued AD-99-16-01, we have determined that the risk of cracking in the rear spar is higher than initially determined. This proposed AD would add airplanes to the applicability, reduce the compliance times and repetitive intervals for the inspections, and change the inspection procedures. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the rear spar of the wing, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4813; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; fax: 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4813; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-161-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On July 21, 1999, we issued AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999). AD 99-16-01 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes).

    Since we issued AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), a fleet survey and updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses have shown that the threshold for the initial inspections and the intervals for the repetitive inspections need to be reduced.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0180, dated August 9, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    During full-scale fatigue testing, cracks were found on the rear spar from certain bolt holes at the attachment of the Main Landing gear (MLG) forward pick-up fitting and the MLG Rib 5 aft.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued * * * [an AD] (later revised) to require High Frequency Eddy Current (HFEC) or Ultrasonic (U/S) inspections of certain fastener holes where the MLG forward pick-up fitting and MLG Rib 5 aft are attached to the rear spar.

    Since DGAC France * * * [issued a revised AD, which corresponded to FAA AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), which superseded FAA AD 95-20-02, Amendment 39-9380 (60 FR 52618, October 10, 1995)] * * *, a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance analyses have been performed in order to substantiate the second A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise. The results of these analyses have shown that the threshold and interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of these cracks and accomplishment of an applicable corrective action.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of [the revised DGAC France AD], which is superseded, but reduces the related compliance times.

    The new, reduced threshold for the initial inspection ranges between 8,900 total flight cycles/20,000 total flight hours, and 34,600 total flight cycles/77,800 total flight hours, depending on the modification. The grace periods (750 or 1,500 landings) for airplanes that have exceeded the specified thresholds are unchanged from those provided in AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999). The new, reduced intervals for the repetitive inspections range between 4,000 flight cycles/9,000 flight hours (whichever occurs first), and 8,900 flight cycles/20,000 flight hours (whichever occurs first), depending on the modification. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4813. Clarification of Terminating Action for Certain Paragraphs

    We have determined that if the inspection in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) of the proposed AD was done it would terminate the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this proposed AD. We have revised paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this proposed AD to include accomplishment of the inspection in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) as a terminating action. We have also determined that if the inspection in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) of the proposed AD was done it would terminate the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this proposed AD. We have revised paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this proposed AD to include accomplishment of the inspection in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) of this AD as a terminating action.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 4, 2011. This service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections of certain bolt holes where parts of the MLG are attached to the wing rear spar, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Changes to AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)

    This proposed AD would retain all the requirements of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999). Since AD 99-16-01 was issued, the AD format has been revised, and certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding paragraph identifiers have been redesignated in this proposed AD, as listed in the following table:

    Revised Paragraph Identifiers Requirement in AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236
  • (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)
  • Corresponding
  • requirement in this
  • proposed AD
  •   paragraph (a)   paragraph (g)(1)   paragraph (b)   paragraph (g)(2)   paragraph (c)   paragraph (g)(3)   paragraph (d)   paragraph (g)(4)   paragraph (e)   paragraph (g)(5)   paragraph (f)   paragraph (g)(6)

    Certain notes that appeared in AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), were either removed due to the revised AD format or converted to regulatory text in this proposed AD.

    • Notes 1, 6, and 7 of AD 99-16-01 have been removed from this proposed AD. Due to the revised AD format, certain information in these notes is now included in the AD template.

    • The content of Note 2 of AD 99-16-01 is regulatory in nature; therefore, we have included that information in paragraph (k)(1) of this proposed AD.

    • The content of Note 3 of AD 99-16-01 has been redesignated as Note 1 to paragraph (g) in this proposed AD.

    • The content of Note 4 of AD 99-16-01 is regulatory in nature; therefore, we have included that information in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this proposed AD.

    • The content of Note 5 of AD 99-16-01 is regulatory in nature; therefore, we have included that information in paragraph (k)(3) of this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 71 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), and retained in this proposed AD, take about 226 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 99-16-01 is $19,210 per product, per inspection cycle.

    We also estimate that it would take about 226 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $1,363,910, or $19,210 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-4813; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-161-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes; Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; Model A300 F4-605R airplanes; and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by the results of a full-scale fatigue test when cracking was found on the rear spar of the wing, and the subsequent determination that the risk of such cracking is higher than initially determined. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the rear spar of the wing, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspections and Corrective Actions

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), with revised service information and reduced thresholds and repetitive intervals, for Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 252 through 553 inclusive; except those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 07601 has been accomplished prior to delivery.

    (1) Perform a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) rototest inspection to detect cracks in certain bolt holes where the main landing gear (MLG) forward pick-up fitting and MLG rib 5 aft are attached to the rear spar, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011. As of the effective date of this AD, only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011, may be used for the actions required by this paragraph.

    (i) For airplanes that have accumulated 17,300 total landings or less as of November 9, 1995 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)): Inspect prior to the accumulation of 17,300 total landings, or within 1,500 landings after November 9, 1995, whichever occurs later.

    (ii) For airplanes that have accumulated 17,301 or more total landings, but less than 19,300 total landings as of November 9, 1995 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)): Inspect within 1,500 landings after November 9, 1995.

    (iii) For airplanes that have accumulated 19,300 or more total landings as of November 9, 1995 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)): Inspect within 750 landings after November 9, 1995 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)):

    (2) If no crack is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, repeat that inspection thereafter at the time specified in either paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 07716 (as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6020) has not been accomplished, inspect at the time specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i)(A) or (g)(2)(i)(B) of this AD, as applicable.

    (A) For airplanes having MSNs 465 through 553 inclusive: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 13,000 landings, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A)(1) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (B) For airplanes having MSN 252 through 464 inclusive: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 8,400 landings, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (ii) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 07716 has been accomplished, inspect at the time specified in either paragraph (g)(2)(ii)(A) or (g)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD, as applicable.

    (A) For airplanes having MSNs 465 through 553 inclusive: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 11,800 landings, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(i)(B) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (B) For airplanes having MSNs 252 through 464 inclusive: Repeat the inspection within 10,700 landings following the initial inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,500 landings, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) has been accomplished.

    (3) If any crack is found during the inspection required by either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, prior to further flight, accomplish the requirements of either paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 07716 has not been accomplished: Oversize the bolt hole by 1/32 inch and repeat the HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin 300-57-6017, Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994. After accomplishing the oversizing and HFEC inspection, repeat the inspection, as required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, at the applicable schedule specified in that paragraph, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) or (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (A) If no cracking is detected, install the second oversize bolt in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin 300-57-6017, Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994.

    (B) If any cracking is detected, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate.

    (ii) For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 07716 has been accomplished: Repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116. After repair, repeat the inspections as required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD at the applicable schedule specified in that paragraph, until the inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) or (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) of this AD has been accomplished.

    (4) Perform an ultrasonic inspection to detect cracks in certain bolt holes where the MLG forward pick-up fitting and MLG rib 5 aft are attached to the rear spar, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 03, dated November 19, 1997; or Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011; at the time specified in paragraph (g)(4)(i) or (g)(4)(ii) of this AD, as applicable. As of the effective date of this AD, only Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011, may be used for the actions in this paragraph.

    (i) For airplanes not inspected prior to September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)), as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, dated November 22, 1993; or Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994: Inspect at the time specified in paragraph (g)(4)(i)(A), (g)(4)(i)(B), or (g)(4)(i)(C) of this AD, as applicable. Accomplishment of this inspection terminates the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

    (A) For airplanes that have accumulated 17,300 total landings or fewer as of the effective date of this AD: Inspect prior to the accumulation of 17,300 total landings, or within 1,500 landings after September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)), whichever occurs later.

    (B) For airplanes that have accumulated 17,301 total landings or more but fewer than 19,300 total landings as of September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)): Inspect within 1,500 landings after September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01).

    (C) For airplanes that have accumulated 19,300 total landings or more as of September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)): Inspect within 750 landings after September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01).

    (ii) For airplanes on which an HFEC inspection was performed prior to September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)), in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, or in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, dated November 22, 1993: Inspect at the time specified in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A) or (g)(4)(ii)(B) of this AD, as applicable.

    (A) If no cracking was detected during any HFEC inspection accomplished prior to September 1, 1999 (the effective date of AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999)), and if Airbus Modification 07716 has not been accomplished: Inspect at the time specified in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A)(1) or (g)(4)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes having MSNs 465 through 553 inclusive: Inspect within 13,000 landings after the most recent HFEC inspection, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 8,900 landings. Accomplishment of this inspection constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (g)(2)(i)(A) of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes having MSNs 252 through 464 inclusive: Inspect within 8,400 landings after the most recent HFEC inspection, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 5,500 landings. Accomplishment of this inspection constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (g)(2)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (B) If any cracking was detected during any HFEC inspection performed prior to the effective date of this AD, regardless of the method of repair, or if Airbus Modification 07716 has been accomplished: Inspect at the time specified in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) or (g)(4)(ii)(B)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes having MSNs 465 through 553 inclusive: Inspect within 11,800 landings after the most recent HFEC inspection, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 8,200 landings. Accomplishment of this inspection constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (2) For airplanes having MSNs 252 through 464 inclusive: Inspect within 10,700 landings after the initial inspection in accordance with paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, or within 7,500 landings after the most recent HFEC inspection, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,900 landings. Accomplishment of this inspection constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (5) If no cracking is detected during the ultrasonic inspection required by paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this AD, repeat that inspection thereafter at the time specified in paragraph (g)(5)(i) or (g)(5)(ii) of this AD, as applicable, until the initial ultrasonic inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD is done.

    (i) For airplanes having MSNs 465 through 553 inclusive: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 8,900 landings.

    (ii) For airplanes having MSNs 232 through 464 inclusive: Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 5,500 landings.

    (6) If any cracking is detected during any inspection performed in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (g)(4) or (g)(5) of this AD: Prior to further flight, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116; or the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (or its delegated agent); or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011; also reference Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6020, dated November 22, 1993, as an additional source of service information for installation of oversize studs in the bolt holes.

    (h) New Repetitive Inspections

    At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.B.(5), “Accomplishment Timescale,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011: Do ultrasonic inspections to detect cracks in the MLG attachment fitting holes on the wing rear spar, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.B.(5), “Accomplishment Timescale,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011. For airplanes modified as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6073, the initial inspection threshold is counted from the completion date of the modification. Clarification of compliance time terminology used in table 1, “Structural Inspection Program,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 04, including Appendix 1, dated February 24, 2011, is provided in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD. Accomplishment of the initial inspection terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g)(5) of this AD.

    (1) For pre-Airbus Modification 07716 or pre-Airbus Modification 11440 airplanes:

    (i) The term “flight cycles” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight cycles accumulated by the airplane.

    (ii) The term “flight hours” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight hours accumulated by the airplane.

    (2) For post-Airbus Modification 07716 airplanes:

    (i) The term “flight cycles” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight cycles accumulated by the airplane.

    (ii) The term “flight hours” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight hours accumulated by the airplane.

    (3) For post-Airbus Modification 11440 (Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6073) airplanes:

    (i) The term “flight cycles” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is flight cycles accumulated by the airplane after the modification was done.

    (ii) The term “flight hours” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is flight hours accumulated by the airplane after the modification was done.

    (4) For post-Airbus Modification 07601 airplanes:

    (i) The term “flight cycles” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight cycles accumulated by the airplane.

    (ii) The term “flight hours” in the “Inspection Threshold” column is total flight hours accumulated by the airplane.

    (i) Repairs

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (j) Repair Not Terminating Action

    Accomplishment of any repair as required by paragraph (i) of this AD is not terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using any of the following service information:

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, dated November 22, 1993, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 01, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994, which was incorporated by reference in AD 95-20-02, Amendment 39-9380 (60 FR 52618, October 10, 1995).

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 02, dated January 14, 1997, including Appendix 1, dated July 25, 1994, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (4) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6017, Revision 03, dated November 19, 1997, including Appendix 1, which was incorporated by reference in AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999).

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 99-16-01, Amendment 39-11236 (64 FR 40743, July 28, 1999), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0180, dated August 9, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4813.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 4, 2015. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28892 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM15-23-000] Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. DOE.

    ACTION:

    Order Granting Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline.

    SUMMARY:

    In this order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) grants a motion for a technical conference and request to postpone comment deadline that was filed in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (NOPR) that Commission issued on September 17, 2015.1 The Commission directs staff to convene a technical conference on December 8, 2015 and postpones the due date for comments on the NOPR until January 22, 2016, 45 days after the technical conference.

    1Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators, 152 FERC ¶ 61,219 (2015).

    DATES:

    The technical conference will be held on December 8, 2015 and NOPR comments will be due January 22, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Pierce (Technical Information), Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6454 [email protected]

    Kathryn Kuhlen (Legal Information), Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6855 [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Cheryl A. LaFleur, Tony Clark, and Colette D. Honorable.

    Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators

    Docket No. RM15-23-000

    Order Granting Motion for Technical Conference and Request To Postpone Comment Deadline (Issued November 10, 2015)

    1. On September 17, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to amend its regulations to require each regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) to electronically deliver to the Commission, on an ongoing basis, data required from its market participants that would (i) identify the market participants by means of a common alpha-numeric identifier; (ii) list their “Connected Entities,” which includes entities that have certain ownership, employment, debt, or contractual relationships to the market participants, as specified in the NOPR; and (iii) describe in brief the nature of the relationship of each Connected Entity. The NOPR states the information is being sought to assist the Commission in its screening and investigative efforts to detect market manipulation, an enforcement priority of the Commission. Comments on the proposed rule are due November 30, 2015, which is 60 days after publication in the Federal Register plus one day to accommodate the circumstance that the 60th day falls on a Sunday.

    2. On October 28, 2015, a group of entities (the Moving Entities) filed a Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline.2 The Motion asks that a technical conference be established and the comment deadline extended, or alternatively that if the technical conference request is denied, that the comment deadline be extended to January 29, 2016, which is two months beyond the current due date.

    2 Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Oct. 28, 2015) (Motion).

    3. Filings in support of the Moving Entities' request were made by the Commercial Energy Working Group,3 a consortium of entities composed of Trade Groups,4 the American Gas Association,5 a group of independent generation owners and representatives,6 and the International Energy Credit Association.7

    3 Comments of the Commercial Energy Working Group in Support of Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Oct. 29, 2015).

    4 Answer of Trade Groups in Support of Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Oct. 30, 2015).

    5 Comments of the American Gas Association in Support of Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Oct. 30, 2015).

    6 Comments of Independent Generation Owners & Representatives in Support of Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Nov. 4, 2015).

    7 Answer of International Energy Credit Association In Support Of Motion For Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline, Docket No. RM15-23-000 (Nov. 5, 2015).

    4. The Motion acknowledges and supports the important goals underlying the NOPR,8 but asserts that a technical conference “would help the Commission carefully consider whether the reporting requirements—as currently drafted—will achieve the desired benefits commensurate with the burden that would be placed on [affected parties], or whether the reporting requirements could be drafted in a manner that eliminates some of the burden while preserving the Commission's goal of detecting market manipulation.” 9

    8 Motion, p. 2

    9Id.

    5. Upon careful consideration of this request, the Commission concurs that a technical conference would be useful in understanding industry concerns and the extent of the burdens that would be imposed upon market participants under the draft regulatory language. Therefore, the Commission will hold a staff-led technical conference on December 8, 2015, with comments due 45 days thereafter.10

    10 A notice will be issued setting out the details of the technical conference, including the exact times and agenda.

    The Commission Orders:

    The Filing Entities' Motion for Technical Conference and Request to Postpone Comment Deadline is granted. The Commission directs staff to convene a technical conference on December 8, 2015. Comments will be due on January 22, 2016, 45 days after the technical conference.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: November 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29268 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 866 [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0103] Microbiology Devices; Classification of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus Species Detection AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reproposal of proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is re-proposing to classify in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus species (spp.) detection into class II (special controls) after considering, among other information, the recommendations of the Microbiology Devices Advisory Panel (the Panel). FDA is re-proposing to establish special controls in a draft special controls guideline that the Agency believes are necessary to provide a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the devices. In addition, FDA is re-proposing to restrict use and distribution of the devices. FDA is publishing in this proposed rule the recommendations of the Panel regarding the classification of the devices.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the proposed rule by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0103 for “Microbiology Devices; Classification of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus Species Detection.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beena Puri, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5553, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6202.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. Regulatory Authorities

    The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), as amended, establishes a comprehensive system for the regulation of medical devices intended for human use. Section 513 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360c) establishes three categories (classes) of devices, reflecting the regulatory controls needed to provide reasonable assurance of their safety and effectiveness. The three categories of devices are class I (general controls), class II (special controls), and class III (premarket approval).

    Under section 513(d) of the FD&C Act, FDA refers to devices that were in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-295)), as “preamendments devices.” FDA classifies these devices after it: (1) Receives a recommendation from a device classification panel (an FDA advisory committee); (2) publishes the panel's recommendation for comment, along with a proposed regulation classifying the device; and (3) publishes a final regulation classifying the device. FDA has classified most preamendments devices under these procedures.

    A person may market a preamendments device that has been classified into class III through premarket notification procedures, without submission of a premarket approval application (PMA), until FDA issues a final order under section 515(b) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360e(b)) requiring premarket approval.

    FDA refers to devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976, as “postamendments devices.” These devices are classified automatically by statute (section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act) into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until FDA classifies or reclassifies the device into class I or class II or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and 21 CFR part 807.

    Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(m)) provides that a class II device may be exempt from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) if the Agency determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

    Section 520(e) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360j(e)) authorizes FDA to issue regulations imposing restrictions on the sale, distribution, or use of a device, if, because of its potentiality for harmful effect or the collateral measures necessary to its use, FDA determines that absent such restrictions, there cannot be a reasonable assurance of its safety and effectiveness. Certain provisions of the FD&C Act relate specifically to FDA's authority over restricted devices. For example, section 502(q) and (r) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 352(q) and (r)) provide that a restricted device distributed or offered for sale in any state shall be deemed to be misbranded if its advertising is false or misleading or fails to include certain information regarding the device, or it is sold, distributed, or used in violation of regulations prescribed under section 520(e) of the FD&C Act, and section 704(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 374(a)) authorizes FDA to inspect certain records relating to restricted devices.

    B. Regulatory History—Background of the Device

    After the enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, FDA undertook to identify and classify all preamendments devices in accordance with section 513(b) of the FD&C Act. However, in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection were not identified and classified in FDA's initial efforts. FDA subsequently identified several preamendments devices for Bacillus spp. detection, including Bacillus spp. antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye (immunofluorescent reagents) used to presumptively identify bacillus-like organisms in clinical specimens, antigens used to identify antibodies to Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) (anti-toxin and anti-capsular) in serum, and bacteriophage used for differentiating B. anthracis from other Bacillus spp. based on susceptibility to lysis by the phage.

    Consistent with the FD&C Act, FDA held a panel meeting on March 7, 2002, regarding the classification of the preamendments in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection (Ref. 1). After the Panel meeting, FDA found three additional in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection to be substantially equivalent to another device within that type. These three devices have the same intended use as their predicate devices, but make use of newer nucleic acid amplification technology. While they exhibit technological differences from the preamendments Bacillus spp. detection devices, FDA has determined that they are as safe and effective as, and do not raise different questions of safety and effectiveness than, their predicates. (See section 513(i) of the FD&C Act).

    In the Federal Register of May 18, 2011 (76 FR 28688; 76 FR 28689), FDA proposed to classify these devices into class II, establish special controls in a draft special controls guidance entitled “Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” and limit the distribution of these devices to laboratories with experienced personnel who have training in principles and use of microbiological culture identification methods and infectious disease diagnostics and with appropriate biosafety equipment and containment. In the Federal Register of May 6, 2015 (80 FR 26059), FDA withdrew the previously issued draft special controls guidance entitled “Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection.” This withdrawal was part of FDA's Transparency Initiative and was part of a withdrawal of a number of guidances that had not been finalized for several years.

    II. Panel Recommendation

    During a public meeting held on March 7, 2002, the Panel made the following recommendations regarding the classification of in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection (Ref. 1).

    A. Classification Recommendation

    The Panel recommended that in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection be classified into class II. The Panel believed that general and special controls would provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the devices.

    The Panel recommended that the use of these devices be limited to prescription use, and also that distribution of the devices be limited to: (1) Persons with specific training or experience in the applicable testing methods and (2) facilities under the oversight of public health laboratories so that the laboratories could coordinate and communicate with state and local public health directors and so that performance of the devices in the laboratory might be systematically collated for interagency review (including FDA).

    The Panel suggested: (1) That FDA partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), and other appropriate Agencies involved in laboratory performance issues to develop practical ways to evaluate the performance of these devices; (2) that appropriate biosafety handling of the diagnostic specimens be followed by laboratories; and (3) that FDA develop testing guidelines to include recommendations on specimen selection, procedures, interpretation of results, and possibly public health notification.

    B. Summary of Reasons and Data To Support the Recommendations

    At the March 7, 2002, meeting, the Panel considered information from the literature presented by FDA (Refs. 2 to7), information presented at the meeting by representatives from USAMRIID who shared the historical perspective on their institution's use of devices for the detection of B. anthracis and their personal experience using these devices, and the Panel's personal knowledge and experience.

    Evidence presented to the Panel addressed how the preamendments devices of this type work and some of their limitations (Ref. 1). Bacteriophage tests are used for differentiating B. anthracis from other Bacillus spp. based on susceptibility to lysis by the phage. They have been shown to specifically lyse vegetative B. anthracis and not Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) strains, although the phage can fail to lyse rare strains of B. anthracis or lyse Bacillus strains other than B. anthracis. Bacillus spp. antisera tests conjugated with a fluorescent dye (immunofluorescent reagents) are used to microscopically visualize specific binding with cultured bacteria. Gram positive rods with capsules that fluoresce are presumptive evidence for identification of B. anthracis and must be confirmed with further testing. Antigen tests are used to identify antibodies to B. anthracis (anti-toxin and anti-capsular) in serum. They can be used for confirmation of anthrax if the patient survives the disease, because early antibiotic treatment does not abrogate antibody expression. However, such serological testing is most useful for monitoring responses to anthrax vaccines and for epidemiological investigations.

    III. Proposed Classification

    FDA is proposing the following identification based on the Panel's discussion and recommendation, FDA's experience with these devices, and other available information. An in vitro diagnostic device for Bacillus spp. detection is a prescription device used to detect and differentiate among Bacillus spp. and presumptively identify B. anthracis and other Bacillus spp. from cultured isolates or clinical specimens as an aid in the diagnosis of anthrax and other diseases caused by Bacillus spp. This device may consist of Bacillus spp. antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye (immunofluorescent reagents) used to presumptively identify bacillus-like organisms in clinical specimens; bacteriophage used for differentiating B. anthracis from other Bacillus spp. based on susceptibility to lysis by the phage; or antigens used to identify antibodies to B. anthracis (anti-toxin and anti-capsular) in serum. Bacillus infections include anthrax (cutaneous, inhalational, or gastrointestinal) caused by B. anthracis, and gastrointestinal disease and non-gastrointestinal infections caused by B. cereus.

    FDA is proposing to classify these devices into class II because general controls are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the devices, and there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide such assurance (see section V). For these devices, FDA believes that premarket notification is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness and, therefore, FDA does not intend to exempt the devices from premarket notification requirements.

    IV. Risks to Health

    Based on the Panel's discussion and recommendations, FDA's experience with these devices, and other available information, we believe the risks to health associated with the use of the device type are those discussed below. No new risks or significant changes in risks relating to this device type have been identified since the Panel meeting.

    Although there have been no reports to date, FDA believes that this type of device presents risks associated with false negative and false positive test results, which could result from device performance failures or errors in interpretation. A false positive result may lead to a patient undergoing unnecessary or ineffective treatment, and also could result in inaccurate epidemiological information on the presence of anthrax disease being publicized in a community, potentially leading to unnecessary prophylaxis and management of others. A false negative result may lead to delayed recognition by the physician of the presence or progression of disease and also could result in a failure to promptly recognize, control, and prevent additional infections. A false negative result could potentially delay diagnosis and treatment of infection caused by B. anthracis or other Bacillus spp.

    In addition, while there have been few reports to date, there may be risks to laboratory workers from handling cultures and control materials. Improper handling of cultures and control materials may expose laboratory workers to serious health problems associated with infection caused by B. anthracis or other Bacillus spp. Because handling the quality control organisms and those potentially present in the specimen may pose a risk to laboratory workers, FDA is proposing to restrict distribution of these products to laboratories that follow public health guidelines that address appropriate biosafety conditions, interpretation of test results, and coordination of findings with public health authorities.

    V. Special Controls

    Based on the Panel's discussion and recommendations, FDA's experience with these devices, and other available information, FDA is proposing to establish the special controls set forth in the draft guideline document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection” (Ref. 8). FDA believes that these special controls, in combination with general controls, are necessary to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the devices. As discussed further in section XI, for currently marketed devices, FDA does not intend to enforce compliance with the submission requirement for the special controls set forth in sections VI, VII, and IX of the special controls guideline. Manufacturers of such devices must comply with the underlying requirements for those special controls as well as the labeling special controls set forth in section VIII of the guideline.

    The class II special controls guideline, which sets forth criteria that are supplemental to other applicable requirements, addresses: (1) Specific information relating to the devices' intended use, components, testing procedures, specimen storage/shipping conditions, and interpretation/reporting that must be submitted to FDA; (2) detailed descriptive information submitted to FDA regarding the studies required to demonstrate appropriate performance and control against assays that may otherwise fail to perform to acceptable standards; (3) specific labeling requirements; and (4) certain information that must be submitted for in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection that use nucleic acid amplification.

    First, the submission of specific information to FDA related to the devices' intended use, components, testing procedures, specimen storage/shipping conditions, and interpretation/reporting would help mitigate the risks of false positive and false negatives as well as the biosafety risks of such devices because such information would help FDA to assess the safety and effectiveness of the devices. Second, detailed descriptive information regarding the studies required to demonstrate performance and control would mitigate the risk of false negatives and false positives by helping to ensure that the devices performs to acceptable standards. Third, specific labeling requirements would mitigate the risk of false positives, false negatives, and biosafety risks associated with the devices by helping to ensure that users understand the appropriate uses and limitations of the devices as well as the biosafety risks associated with the devices. Lastly, certain information that must be submitted to FDA for in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection that use nucleic acid amplification would mitigate the risk of false positives and false negatives, as such information would allow FDA to assess the safety and effectiveness of the devices and the regulatory controls necessary to address those issues as well as to ensure the devices performs to acceptable standards.

    Manufacturers of diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection would need either to: (1) Comply with the particular mitigation measures set forth in the special controls guideline or (2) use alternative mitigation measures, but demonstrate to the Agency's satisfaction that alternative mitigation measures identified by the firm would provide at least an equivalent assurance of safety and effectiveness.

    Table 1—Identified Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risks Mitigation measures A false negative test result may lead to delay of therapy and progression of disease and failure to promptly recognize, control, and prevent disease in the community The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” which addresses this risk through: Specific device description requirements, performance studies, labeling, and specific requirements for devices that use nucleic acid amplification. A false positive test result may lead to unnecessary or ineffective treatment and incorrect epidemiological information being publicized, potentially leading to unnecessary prophylaxis and management of others The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” which addresses this risk through: Specific device description requirements, performance studies, labeling, and specific requirements for devices that use nucleic acid amplification. Biosafety risks to laboratory workers handling test specimens and control materials The FDA document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” which addresses this risk through: Specific device description requirements and labeling. VI. Restrictions on Distribution and Use

    FDA also believes that restrictions on the distribution and use of the devices are necessary to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. FDA proposes to restrict distribution of the devices to laboratories that follow public health guidelines that address the appropriate biosafety conditions, interpretation of test results, and coordination of findings with public health authorities. As noted, the Panel was concerned that these devices be used by personnel sufficiently skilled to maximize device performance and to appropriately interpret and make use of test results. FDA believes that this proposed distribution restriction is necessary to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of these devices, and that it would be consistent with the intent of the Panel in its discussion of limitations on the distribution of the devices and on monitoring of test results.

    Further, FDA proposes to restrict use of these devices to be a prescription device in accordance with the terms set forth in proposed 21 CFR 866.3045(d).

    VII. Electronic Access

    Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the draft guideline may do so by using the Internet. A search capability for all Center for Devices and Radiological Health guidelines and guidance documents is available at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm. The draft guideline is also available at http://www.regulations.gov. Persons unable to download an electronic copy of “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” may send an email request to [email protected] to receive an electronic copy of the document. Please use the document number 1400038 to identify the guideline you are requesting.

    VIII. Environmental Impact

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

    IX. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed rule refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 807, subpart E, have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120 and the collections of information in 21 CFR parts 801 and 809 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    The labeling referenced in sections VI(A), VIII(A), and VIII(C) of the draft special controls guideline do not constitute a “collection of information” under the PRA because the labeling is a “public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    X. Clarifications to Special Controls Guidelines

    The draft special controls guideline reflects changes the Agency has made since the initial proposed rule to clarify its position on the binding nature of special controls. The changes include referring to the document as a “guideline,” as that term is used in section 513(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360c(a)), which the Agency has developed and disseminated to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for class II devices, and not a “guidance,” as that term is used in 21 CFR 10.115. The draft guideline clarifies that firms submitting 510(k)s would need either to: (1) Comply with the particular mitigation measures set forth in the special controls guideline or (2) use alternative mitigation measures, but demonstrate to the Agency's satisfaction that those alternative measures identified by the firm will provide at least an equivalent assurance of safety and effectiveness. Finally, the draft guideline uses mandatory language to emphasize that firms must comply with special controls to legally market their class II devices. These revisions do not represent a change in FDA's position about the binding effect of special controls, but rather are intended to address any possible confusion or misunderstanding.

    XI. Implementation Strategy

    FDA proposes the implementation strategy set forth below for these devices if a final rule becomes effective.

    • Devices that have not been legally marketed prior to the date of publication of any final rule, or devices that have been legally marketed, but are required to submit a new 510(k) under 21 CFR 807.81(a)(3) because the device is about to be significantly changed or modified: Manufacturers must obtain 510(k) clearance and comply with special controls before marketing the new or changed device.

    • Devices that have been legally marketed prior to the date of publication of any final rule, and devices for which 510(k) submissions have been submitted before the date of publication of any final rule: FDA does not intend to enforce compliance with the submission requirement for the special controls set forth in sections VI, VII, and IX of the special controls guideline. Manufacturers of such devices must comply with the underlying requirements for those special controls as well as the labeling special controls set forth in section VIII of the guideline.

    XII. Analysis of Impacts A. Economic Analysis of Impacts

    FDA has examined the impacts of this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Agencies to assess all 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, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Agency believes that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. Because of the minor impact expected from this proposed action, the Agency proposes to certify that the proposed rule, when finalized, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that Agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing “any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $144 million, using the most current (2014) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross National Product. FDA does not expect this proposed rule, when finalized, to result in any 1-year expenditure that would meet or exceed this amount.

    B. Summary of Costs and Benefits

    The proposed rule would require the adoption of practices most of which manufacturers of currently marketed in vitro diagnostic devices for Bacillus spp. detection already follow. The costs of the proposed rule, when finalized, will be due to manufacturers ensuring that product labeling is consistent with the special controls guideline document as well as conducting likely periodic quality control testing to assure that marketed devices continue to operate at appropriate levels of safety and effectiveness. The costs associated with ensuring labeling is consistent with the guideline are expected to be minor. The required labeling is similar to the cleared indications for use of currently cleared devices and so little change from current labeling is expected. However, because of this regulatory action, it is possible that these additional activities will result in minor cost increases. We have estimated that the proposed rule, if finalized, could result in, at most, annualized costs of approximately $2,300 (3 percent) or $2,500 (7 percent).

    There are unlikely to be any direct public health benefits from the proposed rule, if finalized, because the rule would require the adoption of practices most of which manufacturers of currently marketed devices already follow and would not change the expected use of the diagnostic product. However, we estimate the proposed regulation, when final, will result in quantifiable benefits of reducing the number of inquiries and incomplete 510(k) submissions from manufacturers to FDA (thereby reducing FDA resources needed to answer those inquiries and review those submissions) to be between approximately $1,400 and $3,400 per year. We believe that the unquantified benefits of the draft special controls guideline, which would help to ensure the quality of these devices, maintain their predictive value, and avoid potential future laboratory errors, cannot be estimated, but represent real benefits to the public health.

    The full discussion of economic impacts is available in Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0103 and at http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/EconomicAnalyses/default.htm (Ref. 9).

    XIII. References

    The following references are on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the Web site addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    1. Transcript of the FDA Microbiology Devices Panel meeting, March 7, 2002, available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfAdvisory/details.cfm?mtg=348. 2. Abshire, T. G., J. E. Brown, and J. W. Ezzell, “Validation of the Use of Gamma Phage for Identifying Bacillus anthracis,” 102nd American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting (poster #C122), 2001. 3. Abshire, T. G., et al., “Production and Validation of the Use of Gamma Phage for the Identification of Bacillus anthracis,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 43(9), pp. 4780-8, 2005, available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16145141. 4. Brown, E. R. and W. B. Cherry, “Specific Identification of Bacillus anthracis by Means of a Variant Bacteriophage,” Journal of Infectious Disease, vol. 96,p. 34, 1955, available at http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/96/1/34.long. 5. Brown, E. R. et al., “Differential Diagnosis of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus cereus var. mycoides,” Journal of Bacteriology, vol. 75, p. 499, 1958, available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC290100/pdf/jbacter00512-0024.pdf. 6. Buck C. A., R .L. Anacker, F. S. Newman, et al., “Phage Isolated from Lysogenic Bacillus anthracis,” Journal of Bacteriology, vol. 85, p. 423, 1963, available at http://jb.asm.org/content/85/6/1423.full.pdf+html?sid=c14df35d-1d7b-4cac-b55b-2097931a4623. 7. Parry, J. M., P. C. B. Turnbull, and J. R. Gibson, A Colour Atlas of Bacillus Species, Wolfe Medical Publications Ltd., London, 1983. 8. Draft Guideline for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff, “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection,” issued November 16, 2015, available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM470760.pdf. 9. “Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis, Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, and Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Analysis for Microbiology Devices; Classification of In Vitro Diagnostic Device for Bacillus Species Detection,” available at http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/EconomicAnalyses/default.htm. List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 866

    Biologics, Laboratories, Medical devices.

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

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

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

    2. Section 866.3045 is added to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 866.3045 In vitro diagnostic device for “Bacillus” spp. detection.

    (a) Identification. An in vitro diagnostic device for Bacillus species (spp.) detection is a prescription device used to detect and differentiate among Bacillus spp. and presumptively identify B. anthracis and other Bacillus spp. from cultured isolates or clinical specimens as an aid in the diagnosis of anthrax and other diseases caused by Bacillus spp. This device may consist of Bacillus spp. antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye (immunofluorescent reagents) used to presumptively identify bacillus-like organisms in clinical specimens; bacteriophage used for differentiating B. anthracis from other Bacillus spp. based on susceptibility to lysis by the phage; or antigens used to identify antibodies to B. anthracis (anti-toxin and anti-capsular) in serum. Bacillus infections include anthrax (cutaneous, inhalational, or gastrointestinal) caused by B. anthracis, and gastrointestinal disease and non-gastrointestinal infections caused by B. cereus.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls are set forth in FDA's guideline document entitled “Class II Special Controls Guideline: In Vitro Diagnostic Devices for Bacillus spp. Detection; Guideline for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.” See § 866.1(e) for information on obtaining this document.

    (c) The distribution of these devices is limited to laboratories that follow public health guidelines that address appropriate biosafety conditions, interpretation of test results, and coordination of findings with public health authorities.

    (d) The use of this device is restricted to prescription use and must comply with the following:

    (1) The device must be in the possession of:

    (i)(A) A person, or his agents or employees, regularly and lawfully engaged in the manufacture, transportation, storage, or wholesale or retail distribution of such device; or

    (B) A practitioner, such as a physician, licensed by law to use or order the use of such device; and

    (ii) The device must be sold only to or on the prescription or other order of such practitioner for use in the course of his professional practice.

    (2) The label of the device shall bear the statement “Caution: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a ____”, the blank to be filled with the word “physician” or with the descriptive designation of any other practitioner licensed by the law of the State in which he practices to use or order the use of the device.

    (3) Any labeling, as defined in section 201(m) of the FD&C Act, whether or not it is on or within a package from which the device is to be dispensed, distributed by, or on behalf of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor of the device, that furnishes or purports to furnish information for use of the device contains adequate information for such use, including indications, effects, routes, methods, and frequency and duration of administration and any relevant hazards, contraindications, side effects, and precautions, under which practitioners licensed by law to employ the device can use the device safely and for the purposes for which it is intended, including all purposes for which it is advertised or represented. This information will not be required on so-called reminder-piece labeling which calls attention to the name of the device but does not include indications or other use information.

    (4) All labeling, except labels and cartons, bearing information for use of the device also bears the date of the issuance or the date of the latest revision of such labeling.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29275 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 965 and 966 [Docket No. FR 5597-P-02] RIN 2577-AC97 Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would require each public housing agency (PHA) administering public housing to implement a smoke-free policy. Specifically, this rule proposes that no later than 18 months from the effective date of the final rule, each PHA must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products in all living units, indoor common areas in public housing, and in PHA administrative office buildings (in brief, a smoke-free policy for all public housing indoor areas). The smoke-free policy must also extend to all outdoor areas up to 25 feet from the housing and administrative office buildings. HUD proposes implementation of smoke-free public housing to improve indoor air quality in the housing, benefit the health of public housing residents and PHA staff, reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, and lower overall maintenance costs.

    DATES:

    Comment Due Date: January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposed rule. All communications must refer to the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting public comments.

    1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500.

    2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make comments immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the rule.

    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (fax) comments are not acceptable.

    Public Inspection of Public Comments. All properly submitted comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., weekdays, at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and downloading at www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leroy Ferguson, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410-0500; telephone number 202-402-2411 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and persons with speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary A. Purpose of the Proposed Rule

    The purpose of the proposed rule is to require PHAs to, within 18 months of the final rule, establish a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products, as such term is proposed to be defined in § 965.653(c). inside all indoor areas of public housing, including but not limited to living units, indoor common areas, electrical closets, storage units, and PHA administrative office buildings and in all outdoor areas within 25 feet of the housing and administrative office buildings (collectively, “restricted areas”). As further discussed in this rule, such a policy is expected to improve indoor air quality in public housing, benefit the health of public housing residents and PHA staff, reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, and lower overall maintenance costs.

    B. Summary of Major Provisions of the Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would apply to all public housing, other than dwelling units in mixed-finance buildings. PHAs would be required, within 18 months of the effective date of the final rule, to establish policies prohibiting lit tobacco products in all restricted areas. PHAs may, but would not be required to, further restrict smoking to outdoor dedicated smoking areas outside the restricted areas, create additional restricted areas in which smoking is prohibited (e.g., near a playground), or, alternatively, make their entire grounds smoke-free.

    PHAs would also be required to document their smoke-free policies in their PHA plans, a process that requires resident engagement and public meetings. The prohibition on lit tobacco would also be included in a tenant's lease, which may be done either through an amendment process or as tenants renew their leases annually.

    C. Costs and Benefits of This Proposed Rule

    The costs to PHAs of implementing smoke-free policies may include training, administrative, legal, and enforcement costs. Of these costs, HUD expects that the expense of additional enforcement efforts may be the highest. The costs of implementing a smoke-free policy as proposed by this rule are minimized by the fact that HUD guidance already exists on many of the topics covered by the smoke-free policy proposed to be required by this rule; that hundreds of PHAs have already voluntarily implemented smoke-free policies; and that infrastructure already exists for enforcement of lease violations, and violation of the smoke-free policy would be a lease violation. In addition, time spent by PHA staff on implementing and enforcing the smoke-free policy will be partially offset by the time that staff no longer have to spend mediating disputes among residents over smoking in secondhand smoke infiltration within living units. Given the existing HUD guidance, initial learning costs associated with implementation of a smoke-free policy may not be significant. For the hundreds of PHAs that are already implementing voluntary smoke-free policies, there will be minimal costs for these PHAs, and, generally, only if their existing policies are not consistent with the minimum requirements for smoke-free policies proposed by this rule.

    The benefits of smoke free policies, however, could be considerable. Over 700,000 units would be affected by this rule (including over 500,000 units inhabited by elderly households or households with a non-elderly person with disabilities), and their non-smoking residents would have the potential to experience health benefits from a reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke. PHAs will also benefit from a reduction of damage caused by smoking, and residents and PHAs both gain from seeing a reduction in injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by fires. Estimates of these and other rule-induced impacts are summarized in the following table:

    Impact Source Amount (discount rates in parentheses) Cost (potentially recurring but concentrated during first few years of the rule's implementation) PHA Compliance $3.2 million. Cost (recurring) Smoker Inconvenience $209 million. Cost (recurring) Enforcement Not quantified. Benefit (recurring) PHA Reduced Maintenance $16 to $38 million. Benefit (recurring) PHA Reduced Fire Risk $32 million. Benefit (annualized over 10 to 50 years) Non-Smoker Health Less than:
  • $148 to $447 million (3%)
  • $70 to $137 million (7%).
  • Benefit (recurring) Non-Smoker Well-Being (PHA residents who do not live in units with smokers) $96 to $275 million. Benefit (recurring) Smoker Health Not quantified. Partially Quantified Net Benefits (recurring) See above Less than: −$19 to $302 million (3%) −$97 to −$8 million (7%)

    For additional details on the costs and benefits of this rule, please see the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for this rule, which can be found at www.regulations.gov, under the docket number for this rule. Information on how to view the RIA is included below.

    II. Background A. The Effects of Smoking on Health

    Tobacco smoking has been determined to be a cause of diseases of nearly all organs in the body, and research continues to newly identify diseases caused by smoking, including diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and colorectal cancer. In addition to causing multiple diseases and cancers, tobacco smoking has many other adverse effects on the body, including inflammation and impairment to the immune system.1

    1 Office of the Surgeon General, “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress,” (2014), available at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/full-report.pdf.

    Adverse effects of tobacco use are not limited to the smoker. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (i.e., the smoke that comes from burning tobacco products and is exhaled by smokers) is responsible for the death of 41,000 adults non-smokers in the United States each year from lung cancer and heart disease.2 Secondhand smoke (SHS) contains hundreds of toxic chemicals and is designated as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.3 Exposure to SHS can also cause sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze, middle ear infections, and slowed lung growth and reduced lung function in children, and increased risk of stroke in adults.4 The Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to SHS, and that eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.5

    2Id.

    3 American Cancer Society, “Secondhand Smoke,” http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke.

    4 2014 Surgeon General's Report, footnote 1.

    5 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General,” (2006), available at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/secondhandsmoke/fullreport.pdf.

    The effects of SHS are especially damaging in children and unborn fetuses. The Surgeon General estimates that SHS is responsible for the death of hundreds of newborns from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) each year.6 Lead in SHS is also a significant source of lead in house dust and children's blood. The CDC confirmed the association between SHS exposure and blood-lead levels in youth and adults, concluding that youth with SHS exposure had blood lead levels high enough to result in adverse cognitive outcomes.7

    6Id.

    7 Patricia Richter et al., “Trends in Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Blood Lead Levels Among Youth and Adults in the United States: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2008,” Preventing Chronic Disease, (December 19, 2013), available at http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2013/pdf/13_0056.pdf.

    Approximately half of the U.S. population is protected from SHS exposure through statewide, municipal, and federal laws prohibiting smoking in indoor areas of public places and worksites, including bars and restaurants. However, an estimated 58 million Americans remain exposed to secondhand smoke, including 15 million children ages 3 to 11. The home is the primary source of exposure for children.8 Because SHS moves throughout buildings, individuals living in multiunit housing can be exposed to SHS even if no one smokes in their households. Surveys of multiunit housing residents indicate that 26 to 64 percent of residents reported SHS incursions into their units from external sources (e.g., hallways or adjacent apartments), and 65 to 90 percent of the residents experiencing such incursions were bothered by them.9

    8 2006 Surgeon General's Report, footnote 5; David M. Homa et al., “Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke—United States, 1999-2012,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (February 6, 2015), available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6404a7.htm?s_cid=mm6404a7_w.

    9 Kimberly Snyder et al., “Smoke-free Multiunit Housing: A Review of the Scientific Literature,” Tobacco Control (2015), available at http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2015/01/07/tobaccocontrol-2014-051849.short?rss=1.

    The movement of contaminants from SHS within buildings has also been documented through direct measurements of fine particles (an environmental marker of SHS) in indoor air. SHS can move both from external hallways into apartments and between adjacent units.10 A study of public housing documented lower concentrations of SHS contaminants in buildings covered by smoke-free policies (i.e., policies prohibiting the smoking of tobacco products in all indoor spaces) compared to buildings without these policies.11 Analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) demonstrated evidence of greater SHS exposure among children (aged 6 to 18) living in multiunit housing through measurements of cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in their blood.12 The study demonstrated that children living in non-smoking households in apartments had 45 percent higher levels of cotinine in their blood compared to children living in non-smoking households in detached homes. CDC researchers analyzed NHANES data over the period from 1999-2012 and reported that one of four nonsmokers (approximately 58 million people) continue to be exposed to SHS, with the highest exposures among children, non-Hispanic blacks, renters, and those living in poverty.13

    10 Brian A. King et al., “Secondhand Smoke Transfer in Multiunit Housing,” 12 Nicotine and Tobacco Research 1133 (2010), available at http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/11/1133.

    11 Elizabeth T. Russo, et al., “Comparison of Indoor Air Quality in Smoke-Permitted and Smoke-Free Multiunit Housing: Findings from the Boston Housing Authority,” 10 Nicotine and Tobacco Research 1093 (2014), available at http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/08/25/ntr.ntu146.abstract?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=comparison-of-indoor-air-quality-in-smoke-permitted-and-smoke-free-multiunit-housing-findings-from-the-boston-housing-authority.

    12 Karen M. Wilson et al., “Tobacco-Smoke Exposure in Children Who Live in Multiunit Housing,” 127 Pediatrics 85 (2011), available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/1/85.full.pdf+html.

    13 David M. Homa et al., “Disparities in Nonsmokers Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in the United States, 1999-2012,” Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, Early Release, 64 (February 3, 2015), available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm64e0203a1.pdf.

    The Surgeon General concluded in 2006 that separating smokers and nonsmokers, building ventilation, and cleaning the air cannot eliminate exposure to SHS; that can only be accomplished by eliminating smoking from indoor spaces.14

    14 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. See footnote note 2.

    B. The Financial Costs of Smoking

    Beyond the increased costs associated with higher healthcare expenses, tobacco smoking can have profound financial impacts on PHAs and owners of other multiunit properties. Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in multiunit properties.15 In 2011, smoking caused 17,600 residential fires resulting in 490 civilian deaths, 1,370 injuries, and $516 million in direct property damage.16 Smoking is especially dangerous in units where a household member is receiving oxygen for medical purposes. Research conducted by the U.S. Fire Protection Association found that for fire deaths during the period from 2007-2011 in which oxygen administration equipment was cited as being involved in the ignition, 82 percent involved smoking materials as the heat source.17

    15 U.S. Fire Administration, Residential Structure and Building Fires, http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/residential_structure_and_building_fires.pdf.

    16 Marty Ahrens, Ntl. Fire Protection Assn., “Home Structure Fires,” (April 2013), available at http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Research/NFPA%20reports/Occupancies/oshomes.pdf.

    17 John R. Hall, Jr., Ntl. Fire Protection Assn., “The Smoking-Material Fire Problem,” (July 2013), available at http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Research/NFPA%20reports/Major%20Causes/ossmoking.pdf.

    Smoking is also associated with higher maintenance costs for landlords of multiunit housing. Smoking indoors increases the cost of rehabilitating a housing unit because of the need for additional cleaning, painting, and repair of damaged items at unit turnover compared to non-smoking units. The cost of cleaning and renovating a smoking unit adds up quickly, and smaller properties generally pay more per unit than larger properties when repairing smoking damage. A survey of public and subsidized housing managers found that the additional cost of rehabilitating the units of smokers averaged $1,250 to $2,955 per unit, depending on the intensity of smoking.18 A study conducted in California found that the owners of multiunit housing could save over $18 million per year if the operators of all multiunit housing in the state adopted smoke-free building policies.19 Researchers from the CDC estimated that a nationwide smoke-free public housing policy would result in an estimated annual cost savings of $152.91 million, including $42.99 million in reduced renovation costs and $15.92 million in averted fire losses.20

    18 Ntl. Ctr. For Healthy Hsg., “Reasons to Explore Smoke-Free Housing,” (Early Fall 2009), available at http://www.nchh.org/portals/0/contents/nchh_green_factsheet_smokefree.pdf.

    19 Michael K. Ong et al, “Estimates of Smoking-Related Properties Costs in California Multiunit Housing,” 102 Am J Public Health 490 (2012), available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3487653/.

    20 Brian King et al., “National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States,” Preventing Chronic Disease (October 2014), available at http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/pdf/14_0222.pdf.

    Self-imposed rules prohibiting smoking in individual households (referred to as smoke-free home rules) are becoming increasingly common in the United States. CDC researchers found that the prevalence of smoke-free home rules among U.S. households increased from 43 percent in 1992-1993 to 83 percent in 2010-2011, including an increase among households with at least one adult smoker, implying that the smokers in these households agree to smoke outside of the home.21 Two national surveys discussed by the CDC researchers identified voluntary smoke-free home rules among residents of multiunit housing in over 70 percent of those surveyed. Additionally, CDC researchers, reviewing published studies, found that the majority of residents in multiunit housing expressed support for a complete smoke-free building policy in six of eight reviewed studies.22 The findings from these national and local surveys suggest that a smoke-free rule will be supported by a majority of public housing residents and will help those residents who already have a smoke-free home rule in place achieve the desired goal of eliminating the presence of SHS in their homes.

    21 Brian A. King et al., “Prevalence of Smokefree Home Rules—United States, 1992-1993 and 2010-2011,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Sept. 5, 2014), available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6335a1.htm.

    22 Kimberly Snyder et al., supra note 9.

    C. Moving to Smoke-Free Public Housing Units

    HUD determined that the advantages of smoke-free housing policies were sufficient to warrant action by HUD to promote the voluntary adoption of smoke-free policies by PHAs and the owners/operators of federally subsidized multifamily properties. In 2009, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing published a notice that strongly encouraged PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies in at least some of the properties that they managed (this notice was reissued in 2012).23 HUD's Office of Housing issued a similar program notice in 2010 that encouraged owners/operators of subsidized multifamily properties to adopt smoke-free policies (also reissued in 2012).24 The notices describe the advantages of smoke-free policies, identify required and recommended actions in implementing smoke-free policies, and provide links to resources (e.g., smoking cessation assistance for residents). In June 2012, HUD published more detailed information on smoke-free housing policies for residents and the providers of subsidized housing, referred to as “smoke-free toolkits.” 25

    23 PIH Notices 2009-21, “Non-Smoking Policies in Public Housing” and 2012-25, “Smoke-Free Policies in Public Housing”, available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/notices/pih.

    24 Housing Notices 2010-21, “Optional Smoke-Free Housing Policy Implementation” and 2012-22, “Further Encouragement for O/As to Adopt Optional Smoke-Free Housing Policies,” available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/notices/hsg.

    25 See: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/smokefreetoolkits1.

    In October 2012, HUD also published a Federal Register notice that solicited feedback on the HUD's smoke-free housing initiative, specifically seeking information on topics such as best practices and practical strategies from housing providers who have implemented smoke-free policies, potential obstacles to policy implementation and how these could be overcome, suggestions for supporting housing providers and residents to facilitate policy implementation, and feedback from housing providers who have decided not to implement smoke-free policies.26 HUD received many comments in response to this solicitation, largely from public health organizations and State and local health departments, expressing support for the concept and citing the great health risks posed by smoking and SHS.27

    26 77 FR 60712, “Request for Information on Adopting Smoke-Free Policies in PHAs and Multifamily Housing” (October 4, 2012).

    27 All public comments submitted on the October 4, 2012, notice can be found under docket 5597-N-01 in the www.regulations.gov portal at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=HUD-2012-0103.

    In 2014, HUD released additional guidance for PHAs and owners/agents of subsidized multifamily properties on implementing smoke-free policies. This guidance incorporates some of the feedback that HUD received from the 2012 Federal Register notice and includes summaries of interviews with nine early implementers of smoke-free housing policies, including administrators of public housing, subsidized multifamily housing, and market rate housing.28 The guidance includes best practices around enforcement, especially graduated enforcement to assist residents with compliance and prevent evictions.

    28 See: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=SFGuidanceManual.pdf.

    As a result of these combined actions, over 500 PHAs have implemented smoke-free policies in at least one of their buildings. While this voluntary effort has been highly successful, it has also resulted in a scattered distribution of smoke-free policies, with the greatest concentration in the Northeast, West, and Northwest, which also results in unequal protection from SHS for public housing residents. HUD recognizes that additional action is necessary to truly eliminate the risk of SHS exposure to public housing residents, reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, lower overall maintenance costs, and implement uniform requirements to ensure that all public housing residents are equally protected.

    Therefore, HUD is proposing to require PHAs to implement smoke-free policies within public housing except for dwelling units in a mixed-finance project. Public housing is defined as low-income housing, and all necessary appurtenances (e.g., community facilities, public housing offices, day care centers, and laundry rooms) thereto, assisted under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (the 1937 Act), other than assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act.

    While the smoke-free policy will also apply to scattered sites and single family properties, this requirement would not extend to public housing units that are part of a mixed-finance project because the PHA may not be the primary owner, and non-public housing units may be contained within the building. While smoking in single family units does not lead to smoke intrusion to adjacent units, the risk of fire and the increased unit turnover costs remain. Further, including all public housing units covered by this proposed rule means that all tenants will be treated equally and be subject to the same lease requirements. This prohibition on smoking would cover all types of lit tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. While the prohibition does not specifically cover waterpipe tobacco smoking (referred to as hookahs), such smoking involves lit charcoal and results in heating tobacco to temperatures high enough to produce secondhand smoke that contains harmful toxins.29 For this reason, HUD is seeking comment on whether to include a prohibition on waterpipe tobacco in the final rule.

    29 See World Health Organization. Advisory note: waterpipe tobacco smoking: 2nd edition (2015), available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/publications/prod_regulation/waterpipesecondedition/en/.

    The prohibition on the use of lit tobacco products in this proposal does not include electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”). The absence of a prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in this rule should not be read as an endorsement of e-cigarettes as an acceptable health alternative to cigarettes. The aerosol from ENDS typically contains nicotine derived from tobacco plants, and may contain other hazardous and potentially hazardous constituents such as formaldehyde and lead.30 Accidental ingestion of nicotine liquid used in ENDS can cause acute nicotine toxicity in children, accounting for an increasing proportion of exposure calls to poison control centers.31 ENDS may also present an additional enforcement challenge for PHAs that are implementing smoke-free policies because the user may appear to be smoking a conventional cigarette. In light of growing health concerns regarding exposure to the aerosol of these products among non-users, especially children and pregnant women, HUD is seeking additional comments on the issue of ENDS, and may prohibit the use of these products in public housing in the final rule. HUD encourages PHAs that already have smoke-free policies to consider whether ENDS should be included in their smoke-free policies.

    30 See Offerman, F.J. The hazards of e-cigarettes. June, 2014. ASHRAE Journal. See also National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, “Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury Through Workplace Tobacco Policies,” Current Intelligence Bulletin 67 (2015), available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2015-113/pdfs/fy15_cib-67_2015-113_v3.pdf.

    31 CDC. Notes from the field: Calls to Poison Centers for Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes—United States, September 2010-February 2014. MMWR 2014;63:292-93.

    In proposing this policy, it is important for HUD to clarify that HUD's proposal does not prohibit individual PHA residents from smoking. PHAs should continue leasing to persons who smoke. This rule is not intended to contradict HUD's goals to end homelessness and help all Americans secure quality housing. Rather, HUD is proposing a prohibition on smoking inside public housing living units and indoor common areas, public housing administrative office buildings, public housing community rooms or community facilities, public housing day care centers and laundry rooms, in outdoor areas within 25 feet of the housing and administrative office buildings, and in other areas designated by a PHA as smoke-free (collectively, “restricted areas”). PHAs will have the discretion to establish outside designated smoking locations outside of the required 25 feet perimeter, which may include partially enclosed structures, to accommodate smoking residents, to establish additional smoke-free areas (such as around a playground), or, alternatively, to make their entire grounds smoke-free. In addition, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act provides the participant the right to seek a reasonable accommodation, including requests from residents with mobility-impairment or mental disability. A request for a reasonable accommodation from an eligible participant must at least be considered, and granted in appropriate circumstances. To assist PHAs, HUD will work with its Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to develop guidance on accommodating persons with a disability related to smoke-free policies. The guidance will be informed by comments on the proposed rule and issued in advance of the final rule.

    The benefits of this proposed regulatory action may be substantial, and beneficiaries include both PHAs and residents of public housing. Over 700,000 units would be affected by this rule (including over 500,000 units inhabited by elderly households or households with a non-elderly person with disabilities), and their residents would have the potential to experience health benefits from a reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke. There are also over 775,000 children in these units. PHAs will benefit from a reduction of damage and renovation costs caused by smoking. Both residents and PHAs will gain from reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage caused by fires. The costs to PHAs of implementing the smoke-free policy proposed by this rule may include training, administrative, legal, and enforcement costs. Of these costs to PHAs, HUD expects that the expense of additional enforcement efforts may be the highest. The costs of implementing the smoke-free policy proposed by this rule are minimized by the fact that HUD guidance already exists on many of the topics covered by the proposed regulatory changes, and that over 500 PHAs have already implemented smoke-free policies. Given the existence of this HUD guidance, initial learning costs associated with implementation of a smoke-free policy as proposed by this rule may not be significant.

    There may be costs to residents as a result of eviction, particularly for persons with disabilities, and especially those with mobility impairments. HUD recognizes that this rule could adversely impact those with mobility impairment or particular frailties that prevent them from smoking in designated areas. As mentioned above, HUD will develop guidance on reasonable accommodation, and HUD solicits public comment on how to mitigate these potential adverse impacts.

    HUD recognizes that PHAs developing smoke-free housing policies may need technical assistance in writing the policies, engaging residents, and assisting residents who want to stop smoking. HUD will continue to provide free webinars and training sessions addressing these and related topics. PHAs are encouraged to work with their State HUD office, State and local tobacco prevention and cessation programs, state and community health organizations, and the Environmental Protection Agency's community-based asthma program network (www.asthmacommunitynetwork.org). CDC provides funding and technical assistance to State tobacco prevention and control programs and prevention and smoking cessation programs in every state and the District of Columbia (see http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/tobacco_control_programs/ntcp/index.htm). Contact information for local organizations will be provided through HUD's Web site on a page dedicated to smoke-free resources that is under development.

    D. Discussions With Stakeholders

    In addition to the October 2012 Federal Register notice soliciting information on adopting smoke-free policies in HUD subsidized housing, in March 2015, HUD reached out to organizations representative of the interests and concerns of PHAs to solicit feedback on moving forward with smoke-free policies in public housing. The organizations expressed support for smoke-free policies but also requested that any regulations requiring smoke-free policies allow sufficient flexibility for PHAs to tailor such policies to their local conditions. In this rule, HUD has strived to provide such flexibility.

    III. This Proposed Rule—Summary of Changes Applicability (§ 965.651)

    As stated above, this proposal would apply to all PHAs of any size and Moving-to-Work (MTW) agencies, but it would only apply to public housing, and would not apply to dwelling units in a mixed-finance project. Public housing is defined as low-income housing, and all necessary appurtenances (e.g., community facilities, public housing offices, day care centers and laundry rooms) assisted under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (the 1937 Act), other than assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act.

    Requirements (§ 965.653)

    In § 965.653, HUD provides that a PHA's smoke-free policy must prohibit all “lit tobacco products.” HUD proposes to define “lit tobacco products” as all lit tobacco products that involve the ignition and burning of tobacco leaves such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. HUD is proposing to require that PHAs prohibit all lit tobacco products not only in dwelling units, but also within indoor common areas and in outdoor areas within 25 feet of the housing and any PHA administrative office buildings (the “restricted areas”). Outside of these areas, PHAs would be permitted to limit smoking to outdoor designated smoking areas, which may include partially enclosed structures to accommodate residents who smoke, or, alternatively, to make their entire grounds smoke-free. PHAs that are not making the entire grounds smoke-free are encouraged to work with their residents to identify outdoor designated smoking areas that are accessible within the grounds of the public housing or administrative office buildings, that are not frequented by children (e.g., not a playground), and that are situated in a way that minimizes nonsmoking residents' exposure to secondhand smoke. While not required, a designated smoking area with shade and benches may assist residents with compliance.

    Implementation (§ 965.653)

    HUD is proposing to provide PHAs 18 months from the effective date of the final rule to implement smoke-free public housing, as proposed by this rule. HUD believes that 18 months will provide PHAs sufficient time to conduct resident engagement, to hold any public meetings that are required to amend their PHA plans, and to incorporate the required new lease provisions during tenants' recertifications or at a date before the policy is fully effective. PHAs that already have a smoke-free policy in effect will be required to review their existing policies for compliance with the requirements of this rule, as presented in the final rule, and amend their policies as necessary in the same timeframe of 18 months from the effective date of the final rule in order to implement smoke-free public housing, consistent with the requirements of the final rule.

    In addition, HUD is proposing to require PHAs to amend their PHA plans to incorporate the smoke-free policy. If the PHA determines the imposition of a smoke-free policy is a significant amendment to the PHA plan, the PHA must conduct public meetings in accordance with standard PHA Plan amendment procedures, and these meetings must be held in accessible buildings and provided in accessible formats, as necessary, for persons with disabilities and those who are limited in English proficiency. HUD would recommend that all PHAs conduct meetings with residents to fully explain the smoke-free building requirements and to best determine which outside areas, if any, to designate as smoking areas and to accommodate the needs of all residents.

    Lease Provisions (§ 966.4)

    HUD believes that the best way to implement smoke-free policies is to incorporate the prohibition on indoor smoking in the leases each tenant must sign. This will allow PHAs to use enforcement mechanisms already in place and provide an additional notification of the policy to tenants. HUD expects PHAs to follow the PIH administrative grievance procedures during enforcement of their smoke-free housing policies. Because some tenants may not be recertified before the policy takes effect, PHAs may require that all remaining leases be amended, or may establish their own schedule for lease amendments, provided that all leases are amended by the effective date of the policy.

    IV. Specific Questions for Comments

    While HUD welcomes comments on all aspects of this proposed rule, HUD is seeking specific comment on the following questions:

    1. What barriers that PHAs could encounter in implementing smoke-free housing? What costs could PHAs incur? Are there any specific costs to enforcing such a policy?

    2. Does this proposed rule adequately address the adverse effects of smoking and secondhand smoke on PHAs and PHA residents?

    3. Does this proposed rule create burdens, costs, or confer benefits specific to families, children, persons with disabilities, owners, or the elderly, particularly if any individual or family is evicted as a result of this policy?

    4. For those PHAs that have already implemented a smoke-free policy, what exceptions to the requirements have been granted based on tenants' requests?

    5. For those PHAs that have already implemented a smoke-free policy, what experiences, lessons, or advice would you share based on your experiences with implementing and enforcing the policy?

    6. For those PHAs that have already implemented a smoke-free policy, what tobacco cessation services were offered to residents to assist with the change? Did you establish partnerships with external groups to provide or refer residents to these services?

    7. Are there specific areas of support that HUD could provide PHAs that would be particularly helpful in the implementation of the proposed rule?

    8. Should the policy extend to electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes?

    9. Should the policy extend to waterpipe tobacco smoking? Does such smoking increase the risk of fire or property damage?

    V. Findings and Certifications Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866 (entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review”). OMB determined that this rule was economically significant under the order. The docket file is available for public inspection in the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. The initial Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) prepared for this rule is also available for public inspection in the Regulations Division and may be viewed online at www.regulations.gov, under the docket number above, or on HUD's Web site at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/ia/. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at (202) 708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Information Collection Requirements

    The information collection requirements contained in this proposed rule have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) and assigned OMB control number 2577-0226. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless the collection displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) establishes requirements for federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This rule will not impose any federal mandates on any state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector within the meaning of UMRA.

    Environmental Review

    A Finding of No Significant Impact with respect to the environment has been made in accordance with HUD regulations in 24 CFR part 50 that implement section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). The Finding is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, please schedule an appointment to review the Finding by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule prohibits smoking of tobacco in all indoor areas of and within 25 feet of any public housing and administrative office buildings for all PHAs, regardless of size.

    There are 2334 “small” PHAs (defined as PHAs with fewer than 250 units), which make up 75 percent of the public housing stock across the country. Of this number, approximately 378 have already instituted a voluntary full or partial policy on indoor tobacco smoking.

    HUD anticipates that implementation of the policy will impose minimal additional costs, as creation of the smoke-free policy only requires amendment of leases and the PHA plan, both of which may be done as part of a PHA's normal course of business. Additionally, enforcement of the policy will add minimal incremental costs, as PHAs must already regularly inspect public housing units and enforce lease provisions. Any costs of this rule are mitigated by the fact that PHAs have up to 18 months to implement the policy, allowing for costs to be spread across that time period.

    While there are significant benefits to the smoke-free policy requirement, the majority of those benefits accrue to the public housing residents themselves, not to the PHAs. PHAs will realize monetary benefits due to reduced unit turnover costs and reduced fire and fire prevention costs, but these benefits are variable according to the populations of each PHA and the PHA's existing practices.

    Finally, this rule does not impose a disproportionate burden on small PHAs. The rule does not require a fixed expenditure; rather, all costs should be proportionate to the size of the PHA implementing and enforcing the smoke-free policy.

    Therefore, the undersigned certifies that this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Notwithstanding HUD's view that this rule will not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, HUD specifically invites comments regarding any less burdensome alternatives to this rule that will meet HUD's objectives as described in the preamble.

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either imposes substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments or is not required by statute, or the rule preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. This final rule does not have federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments nor preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the Public Housing program is 14.872.

    List of Subjects 24 CFR Part 965

    Government procurement, Grant programs-housing and community development, Lead poisoning, Loan programs-housing and community development, Public housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Utilities.

    24 CFR Part 966

    Grant programs-housing and community development, Public housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the preamble, HUD proposes to amend 24 CFR parts 965 and 966 as follows:

    PART 965—PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS—GENERAL PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for 24 CFR part 965 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 1547, 1437a, 1437d, 1437g, and 3535(d). Subpart H is also issued under 42 U.S.C. 4821-4846.

    2. Add subpart G to read as follows: Subpart G—Smoke-Free Public Housing 965.651 Applicability 965.653 Smoke-free public housing 965.655 Implementation Subpart G—Smoke-Free Public Housing
    § 965.651 Applicability.

    This subpart applies to public housing units, except for dwelling units in a mixed-finance project. Public housing is defined as low-income housing, and all necessary appurtenances (e.g., community facilities, public housing offices, day care centers, and laundry rooms) thereto, assisted under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (the 1937 Act), other than assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act.

    § 965.653 Smoke-free public housing.

    (a) In general. PHAs must design and implement a policy prohibiting the use of lit tobacco products in all public housing living units and interior common areas (including but not limited to hallways, rental and administrative offices, community centers, day care centers, laundry centers, and similar structures), as well as in outdoor areas within 25 feet from public housing and administrative office buildings (collectively, “restricted areas”) in which public housing is located.

    (b) Designated smoking areas. PHAs may limit smoking to designated smoking areas on the grounds of the public housing or administrative office buildings, which may include partially enclosed structures, to accommodate residents who smoke. These areas must be outside of any restricted areas, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section. Alternatively, PHAs may choose to create additional smoke-free areas outside the restricted areas or to make their entire grounds smoke-free.

    (c) Lit tobacco products. Lit tobacco products are those that involve the ignition and burning of tobacco leaves, such cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. A PHA's smoke-free policy must, at a minimum, include a prohibition on the use of all lit tobacco products.

    § 965.655 Implementation.

    (a) Amendments. PHAs are required to implement the requirements of this subpart by amending each of the following:

    (1) All applicable PHA plans, according to the provisions in 24 CFR part 903.

    (2) Tenant leases, according to the provisions of 24 CFR 966.4.

    (b) Deadline. All PHAs must be in full compliance, with effective policy amendments, by [INSERT, AT THE FINAL RULE STAGE, THE DATE THAT IS 540 DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL RULE].

    PART 966—PUBLIC HOUSING LEASE AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE 3. The authority section for 24 CFR part 966 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 1437d and 3535(d).

    4. In § 966.4, revise paragraphs (f) (12) (i) and (ii) to read as follows:
    § 966.4 Lease Requirements.

    (f) * * *

    (12) * * *

    (i) To assure that no tenant, member of the tenant's household, or guest engages in:

    (A) Criminal activity. (1) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents;

    (2) Any drug-related criminal activity on or off the premises; or

    (B) Civil activity. For any units covered by 24 CFR part 965, subpart G, any smoking of lit tobacco products in restricted areas, as defined by 24 CFR 965.653(a), or in other outdoor areas that the PHA has designated as smoke-free.

    (ii) To assure that no other person under the tenant's control engages in:

    (A) Criminal activity. (1) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents;

    (2) Any drug-related criminal activity on the premises; or

    (B) Civil activity. For any units covered by 24 CFR part 965, subpart G, any smoking of lit tobacco products in restricted areas, as defined by 24 CFR 965.653(a), or in other outdoor areas that the PHA has designated as smoke-free.

    Dated: October 22, 2015. Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29346 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-123640-15] RIN 1545-BM86 Administration of Multiemployer Plan Participant Vote on an Approved Suspension of Benefits Under MPRA; Hearing AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearing on proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides notice of public hearing on proposed regulations relating to the administration of a multiemployer plan participant vote on an approved suspension of benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) that were issued in the Proposed Rules section of the Federal Register on September 2, 2015.

    DATES:

    The public hearing is being held on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 10 a.m. The IRS must receive outlines of the topics to be discussed at the public hearing by Monday, November 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public hearing is being held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224.

    Send submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-123640-15), Room 5205, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132634-14), Couriers Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS-2015-0041).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the regulations, the Department of the Treasury MPRA guidance information line at (202) 622-1559; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing and/or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing Regina Johnson at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject of the public hearing is the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-123640-15) that was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53068). The rules of 26 CFR 601.601(a)(3) apply to the hearing. Persons who wish to present oral comments at the hearing and who submitted written comments by November 2, 2015 must submit an outline of the topics to be addressed and the amount of time to be devoted to each topic by Monday, November 30, 2015.

    A period of 10 minutes is allotted to each person for presenting oral comments. After the deadline for receiving outlines has passed, the IRS will prepare an agenda containing the schedule of speakers. Copies of the agenda will be made available, free of charge, at the hearing or in the Freedom of Information Reading Room (FOIA RR) (Room 1621) which is located at the 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. entrance, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC.

    Because of access restrictions, the IRS will not admit visitors beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the hearing starts. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the hearing, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2015-29289 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    80 221 Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Notices COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Michigan Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Begin Preparations for a Public Hearing Regarding the Civil Rights Impact of Civil Asset Forfeiture in the State AGENCY:

    U.S. 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 that the Michigan Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. EST for the purpose of discussing preparations for a public hearing on the civil rights impact of civil forfeiture practices in the State. The Committee met on October 30, 2015 and approved a project proposal to take up a study on this topic and potential disparate impact or denial of equal protection under the law on the basis of federally protected classes.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-455-2296, conference ID: 4597163. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement at the end of the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan, 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=255. Click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links to download. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Introductions Donna Budnick, Chair Review and Discussion of Hearing Preparations: Civil Rights Impact of Civil Forfeiture Practices in Michigan Public Comment Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. EST.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-455-2296 Conference ID: 4597163 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29256 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Missouri Advisory Committee To Discuss Themes and Findings Resulting From Testimony Received Regarding Civil Rights and Police/Community Interactions in the State AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice 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 that the Missouri Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday January 20, 2016, for the purpose of discussing oral and written testimony received during two public meetings focused on civil rights and police and community interactions in Missouri. Themes and findings discussed during this meeting will form the basis of a report to be issued to the Commission on this topic.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-430-8709, conference ID: 8351674. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines according to their wireless plan, 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within thirty days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=258. Click on “meeting details” and “documents” to download. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Introductions Committee Discussion: Themes and findings resulting from Committee hearings on Civil Rights and Police/Community Relations in Missouri. (February 23, 2015 St. Louis; August 20, 2015 Kansas City) Open Comment Recommendations and Next Steps
    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. CST.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-430-8709 Conference ID: 8351674 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected]

    Dated November 10, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29254 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee to Begin Planning a Series of Public Hearings to Study Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana AGENCY:

    U.S. 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 that the Indiana Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. EST for the purpose of preparing for a series of public hearings to study Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-438-5453 conference ID: 2772442. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. 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 telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Member of the public are also invited to make statements during the scheduled open comment period. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days after the Committee meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and following the meeting at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=247 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda 1. Welcome and Roll Call 2. Preparatory Discussion Regarding Public Hearing “Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana”
    a. Agenda of Panelists b. Location c. Date and Time d. Schedule of Events 3. Open Comment 4. Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday December 2, 2015, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. EST.

    Public Call Information Dial: 888-438-5453 Conference ID: 2772442 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected].

    Dated: November 10, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29255 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-76-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 238—Dublin, Virginia, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, CEI-Roanoke, LLC, (Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Bottling), Roanoke, Virginia

    The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, grantee of FTZ 238, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of CEI-Roanoke, LLC (CEI), located in Roanoke, Virginia. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 6, 2015.

    The CEI facility is located at 4411 Plantation Road NE., Roanoke, Virginia. A separate application for subzone designation at the CEI facility has been submitted and will be processed under Section 400.31 of the FTZ Board's regulations. The facility is used for the bottling of cosmetics and personal care products. 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 CEI from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, CEI would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to bottles of cosmetics and personal care products (skin protection creams/lotions, shampoos and conditioners, hair sprays, deodorant/antiperspirants, after shave lotions, make-ups, exfoliants, skin preparations, cleansers, bath preparations, teeth whiteners, and moisturizing creams) (duty rate ranges from free to 5.8%) for the foreign status components noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components sourced from abroad include: Plastic bottles/containers/caps/lids/bottle collars/jars/tubes; glass bottles; decorative charms on chains; metal bottle collars/caps/lids; scent sprayers; and, scent pumps (duty rate ranges from free to 5.3%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 28, 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 FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pierre Duy at [email protected] or (202) 482-1378.

    Dated: November 9, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29366 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-557-816] Certain Steel Nails From Malaysia: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

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

    DATES:

    Effective Date: November 17, 2015

    SUMMARY:

    In response to a request from Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc. (Petitioner), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is initiating a changed circumstances review of the antidumping duty order on certain steel nails from Malaysia.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dena Crossland or Angelica Townshend, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3362 or (202) 482-3019, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    As a result of the antidumping duty order issued following the completion of the less-than-fair-value investigation of certain steel nails (steel nails) from Malaysia, imports of steel nails from mandatory respondent Inmax Sdn. Bdh. (Inmax Sdn) became subject to a cash deposit rate of 39.35 percent.1 During the investigation, the Department did not collapse Inmax Sdn with an affiliated company, Inmax Industries, since Inmax Industries was not operational during the period of investigation (i.e., April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014).2 Accordingly, any sales made by companies other than the mandatory respondents Inmax Sdn, Region International Co. Ltd., Region Systems Sdn. Bhd., and Tag Fasteners Sdn. Bhd., were subject to the “all others” rate of 2.66 percent. On September 2, 2015, the Department received a request from Petitioner to initiate a changed circumstances review of the Order alleging that since the imposition of the Order, Inmax Sdn has been evading the cash deposit rates established in the investigation by shipping its production through Inmax Industries which enters merchandise under the lower, “all others” rate. On October 15, 2015, the Department received a letter from Inmax Sdn and Inmax Industries requesting that the Department deny Petitioner's request. On October 23, 2015, Petitioner submitted a letter in response to the comments from Inmax Sdn and Inmax Industries' letter.

    1See Certain Steel Nails from Malaysia: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 34370 (June 16, 2015) (Amended Final); Certain Steel Nails from the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumpig Duty Orders, 80 FR 39994 (July 13, 2015) (Order).

    2See Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Steel Nails from Malaysia, and the accompanying decision memorandum at 10-13 (December 17, 2014); unchanged in the final determination, 80 FR 28969 (May 20, 2015) and Amended Final.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by this changed circumstances review is certain steel nails from Malaysia. For a full description of the scope of the order, see Appendix I to this notice.

    Initiation of Changed Circumstances Review

    Pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department will conduct a changed circumstances review upon receipt of information concerning, or a request from an interested party of, an antidumping duty order which shows changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a review of the order. However, section 751(b)(4) of the Tarriff Act of 1930 also provides that the administering authority may not conduct a changed circumstance review of an investigation determination within 24 months of the date of the investigation determination in the absence of “good cause.” In its request for initiation, Petitioner provided information indicating that since the Order, there has been a change in the trading patterns and activities of Inmax Sdn and Inmax Industries. Petitioner asserts that the information provided demonstrates that the Order is being evaded. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.216(c), based on the information provided by Petitioner regarding new trading patterns and possible evasion of the Order, the Department finds that there is sufficient information and “good cause” to initiate a changed circumstances review. Therefore, we are initiating a changed circumstances administrative review pursuant to section 751(b)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.216(c) and (d) to determine whether action is necessary to maintain the integrity of the Order. The Department intends to publish in the Federal Register a notice of preliminary results of the antidumping duty changed circumstances review in accordance with 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4) and 351.221(c)(3)(i), which will set forth the Department's preliminary factual and legal conclusions. The Department will issue its final results of review in accordance with the time limits set forth in 19 CFR 351.216(e).

    This notice is in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 9, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. Appendix I

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain steel nails having a nominal shaft length not exceeding 12 inches.3 Certain steel nails include, but are not limited to, nails made from round wire and nails that are cut from flat-rolled steel. Certain steel nails may be of one piece construction or constructed of two or more pieces. Certain steel nails may be produced from any type of steel, and may have any type of surface finish, head type, shank, point type and shaft diameter. Finishes include, but are not limited to, coating in vinyl, zinc (galvanized, including but not limited to electroplating or hot dipping one or more times), phosphate, cement, and paint. Certain steel nails may have one or more surface finishes. Head styles include, but are not limited to, flat, projection, cupped, oval, brad, headless, double, countersunk, and sinker. Shank styles include, but are not limited to, smooth, barbed, screw threaded, ring shank and fluted. Screw-threaded nails subject to this proceeding are driven using direct force and not by turning the nail using a tool that engages with the head. Point styles include, but are not limited to, diamond, needle, chisel and blunt or no point. Certain steel nails may be sold in bulk, or they may be collated in any manner using any material.

    3 The shaft length of certain steel nails with flat heads or parallel shoulders under the head shall be measured from under the head or shoulder to the tip of the point. The shaft length of all other certain steel nails shall be measured overall.

    Excluded from the scope of this investigation are certain steel nails packaged in combination with one or more non-subject articles, if the total number of nails of all types, in aggregate regardless of size, is less than 25. If packaged in combination with one or more non-subject articles, certain steel nails remain subject merchandise if the total number of nails of all types, in aggregate regardless of size, is equal to or greater than 25, unless otherwise excluded based on the other exclusions below.

    Also excluded from the scope are certain steel nails with a nominal shaft length of one inch or less that are (a) a component of an unassembled article, (b) the total number of nails is sixty (60) or less, and (c) the imported unassembled article falls into one of the following eight groupings: (1) builders' joinery and carpentry of wood that are classifiable as windows, French-windows and their frames; (2) builders' joinery and carpentry of wood that are classifiable as doors and their frames and thresholds; (3) swivel seats with variable height adjustment; (4) seats that are convertible into beds (with the exception of those classifiable as garden seats or camping equipment); (5) seats of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials; (6) other seats with wooden frames (with the exception of seats of a kind used for aircraft or motor vehicles); (7) furniture (other than seats) of wood (with the exception of i) medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture; and ii) barbers' chairs and similar chairs, having rotating as well as both reclining and elevating movements); or (8) furniture (other than seats) of materials other than wood, metal, or plastics (e.g., furniture of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials). The aforementioned imported unassembled articles are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4418.10, 4418.20, 9401.30, 9401.40, 9401.51, 9401.59, 9401.61, 9401.69, 9403.30, 9403.40, 9403.50, 9403.60, 9403.81 or 9403.89.

    Also excluded from the scope of this changed circumstances review are steel nails that meet the specifications of Type I, Style 20 nails as identified in Tables 29 through 33 of ASTM Standard F1667 (2013 revision).

    Also excluded from the scope of this changed circumstances review are nails suitable for use in powder-actuated hand tools, whether or not threaded, which are currently classified under HTSUS subheadings 7317.00.20.00 and 7317.00.30.00.

    Also excluded from the scope of this changed circumstances review are nails having a case hardness greater than or equal to 50 on the Rockwell Hardness C scale (HRC), a carbon content greater than or equal to 0.5 percent, a round head, a secondary reduced-diameter raised head section, a centered shank, and a smooth symmetrical point, suitable for use in gas-actuated hand tools.

    Also excluded from the scope of this changed circumstances review are corrugated nails. A corrugated nail is made up of a small strip of corrugated steel with sharp points on one side.

    Also excluded from the scope of this changed circumstances review are thumb tacks, which are currently classified under HTSUS subheading 7317.00.10.00.

    Certain steel nails subject to this changed circumstances review are currently classified under HTSUS subheadings 7317.00.55.02, 7317.00.55.03, 7317.00.55.05, 7317.00.55.07, 7317.00.55.08, 7317.00.55.11, 7317.00.55.18, 7317.00.55.19, 7317.00.55.20, 7317.00.55.30, 7317.00.55.40, 7317.00.55.50, 7317.00.55.60, 7317.00.55.70, 7317.00.55.80, 7317.00.55.90, 7317.00.65.30, 7317.00.65.60 and 7317.00.75.00. Certain steel nails subject to this changed circumstances review also may be classified under HTSUS subheading 8206.00.00.00 or other HTSUS subheadings.

    While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this changed circumstances review is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-29364 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-838, C-533-839, and A-570-892] Carbazole Violet Pigment From India and the People's Republic of China: Continuation of the Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

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

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (the ITC) have determined that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on carbazole violet pigment (CVP-23) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) and India would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States. The Department and the ITC have also determined that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on CVP-23 from India would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of net countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States. Therefore, the Department is publishing a notice of continuation for these AD and CVD orders.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: November 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kaitlin Wojnar (AD Orders), AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, or Jacqueline Arrowsmith (CVD Order), 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) 482-3857 or (202) 482-5255, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On April 1, 2015, the Department initiated 1 and the ITC instituted 2 five-year (sunset reviews) of the AD and CVD orders on CVP-23 from India and the PRC,3 pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). As a result of its reviews, the Department determined that revocation of the AD orders from the PRC and India would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and that revocation of the CVD order from India would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of net countervailable subsidies. Therefore, the Department notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins and the subsidy rates likely to prevail should the orders be revoked, pursuant to sections 751(c)(1) and 752(b) and (c) of the Act.4

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews, 80 FR 17388 (April 1, 2015).

    2See Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From China and India: Institution of Five-Year Reviews, 80 FR 17493 (April 1, 2015).

    3See Antidumping Duty Order: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From the People's Republic of China, 69 FR 77987, (December 29, 2004) and Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From India, 69 FR 77988, (December 29, 2004), see also Notice of Countervailing Duty Order: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From India, 69 FR 77995, (December 29, 2004).

    4See Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From India and the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Second Sunset Reviews of Antidumping Duty Orders, 80 FR 46955, (August 6, 2015) and Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From India: Final Results of Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 47462, (August 7, 2015).

    On November 6, 2015, the ITC published its determination that revocation of the AD order on CVP-23 from India and the PRC would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act.5

    5See Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 From China and India; Determinations, 80 FR 68878 (November 6, 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to this countervailing duty order is CVP-23 identified as Color Index No. 51319 and Chemical Abstract No. 6358-30-1, with the chemical name of diindolo [3,2-b:3′,2′-m] 6 triphenodioxazine, 8,18-dichloro-5, 15-diethy-5, 15-dihydro-, and molecular formula of C34H22Cl2N4O2. The subject merchandise includes the crude pigment in any form (e.g., dry powder, paste, wet cake) and finished pigment in the form of presscake and dry color. Pigment dispersions in any form (e.g., pigments dispersed in oleoresins, flammable solvents, water) are not included within the scope of the investigation. The merchandise subject to this countervailing duty order is classifiable under subheading 3204.17.9040 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    6 The bracketed section of the product description, [3,2-b:3′,2′-m], is not business proprietary information. In this case, the brackets are simply part of the chemical nomenclature. See December 4, 2003, amendment to petition at 8.

    During this sunset review period, there was one scope ruling completed between October 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011.7 The scope ruling was requested by Petitioners. On October 14, 2011, we determined that finished carbazole violet pigment exported from Japan, made from crude carbazole violet pigment from India, is within the scope of the CVD Order.

    7See Notice of Scope Rulings, 77 FR 38767 (June 29, 2012).

    Continuation of the Orders

    As a result of the determinations by the Department and the ITC that revocation of the AD orders would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States and revocation of the CVD order would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States. Pursuant to section 75l(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(a), the Department hereby orders the continuation of the AD orders on CVP-23 from India and the PRC, and the CVD order on CVP-23 from India. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise.

    The effective date of the continuation of the AD order and CVD order will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c)(2), the Department intends to initiate the next five-year review of these orders not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of this continuation notice.

    These five-year sunset reviews and this notice are in accordance with section 751(c) and 751(d)(2) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: November 9, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29361 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 150904820-5820-01] RIN 0648-BF34 Endangered and Threatened Species; Determination on the Designation of Critical Habitat for Three Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Distinct Population Segments AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of critical habitat determination.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, find that there are no marine areas within the jurisdiction of the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat for the Central and Southwest (Central & SW) Atlantic Distinction Population Segment (DPS), Indo-West Pacific DPS, or Eastern Pacific DPS of scalloped hammerhead shark. Based on a comprehensive review of the best available scientific and commercial data for use in the identification of critical habitat, we find that there are no identifiable physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of these scalloped hammerhead DPSs and found within areas under U.S. jurisdiction, or any areas outside of the geographical area occupied by the listed DPSs under U.S. jurisdiction that are considered essential to their conservation. As such, we find that there are no specific areas under the jurisdiction of the United States that meet the definition of critical habitat.

    DATES:

    This finding is made on November 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of the determination, list of references and supporting documents prepared for this action are available from the NMFS Office of Protected Resources Web site at http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/scalloped-hammerhead-shark.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maggie Miller, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 3, 2014, we published a final rule to list the Central and Southwest (Central & SW) Atlantic Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and the Indo-West Pacific DPS of scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Eastern Atlantic DPS and Eastern Pacific DPS of scalloped hammerhead sharks as endangered species under the ESA (79 FR 38213). Section 4(b)(6)(C) of the ESA requires the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to designate critical habitat concurrently with making a determination to list a species as threatened or endangered unless it is not determinable at that time, in which case the Secretary may extend the deadline for this designation by 1 year. At the time of listing, we concluded that critical habitat was not determinable at that time because: (1) Sufficient information was not currently available to assess impacts of designation; and (2) sufficient information was not currently available regarding the physical and biological features essential to conservation. We announced our intention to consider critical habitat for the Central & SW Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific, and Eastern Pacific DPSs in a separate rulemaking, and we requested relevant information from interested persons to help us: (1) Identify and describe the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the scalloped hammerhead DPSs; and (2) assess the economic consequences of designating critical habitat for the DPSs. We solicited input from government agencies, the scientific community, industry and any other interested party on features and areas that may meet the definition of critical habitat for the DPSs that occur in U.S. waters or territories, but we did not receive any response to this solicitation. Subsequently we researched, reviewed, and compiled the best available scientific and commercial data available to be used in the identification of critical habitat for the Central & SW Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific, and Eastern Pacific DPSs. However, as discussed below, based on these data we find that there are no identifiable physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the scalloped hammerhead DPSs and found within areas under U.S. jurisdiction. As such, we find that there are no marine areas within U.S. jurisdiction that meet the definition of critical habitat.

    This finding describes information on the biology, distribution, and habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks and the methods used to identify areas that may meet the definition of critical habitat. In this determination, we focus on those aspects directly relevant to the designation of critical habitat for scalloped hammerhead sharks. For more detailed information on the biology and habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks, refer to the status review report (Miller et al. 2014) and the proposed and final listing rules (78 FR 20717, April 5, 2013; 79 FR 38213, July 3, 2014).

    Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Biology and Status

    The following discussion of the life history and status of the scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs is based on the best scientific data available, including the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Status Review Report (Miller et al. 2014).

    All hammerhead sharks belong to the family Sphyrnidae and are classified as ground sharks (Order Carcharhiniformes). Most hammerheads, including the scalloped hammerhead shark, belong to the Genus Sphyrna. The hammerhead sharks are recognized by their laterally expanded head that resembles a hammer, hence the common name “hammerhead.” The scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) is distinguished from other hammerheads by a marked central indentation on the anterior margin of the head, along with two more indentations on each side of this central indentation, giving the head a “scalloped” appearance.

    Scalloped hammerhead sharks can be found in coastal warm temperate and tropical seas worldwide. They occur over continental and insular shelves, as well as adjacent deep waters, but are seldom found in waters cooler than 22° C (Compagno 1984; Schulze-Haugen and Kohler 2003). These sharks range from the intertidal and surface to depths of up to 450-512 m (Sanches 1991; Klimley 1993), with occasional dives to even deeper waters (Jorgensen et al., 2009). They have also been documented entering enclosed bays and estuaries (Compagno 1984).

    Both juveniles and adult scalloped hammerhead sharks occur as solitary individuals, pairs, or in schools. The schooling behavior has been documented during summer migrations off the coast of South Africa as well as in permanent resident populations, like those in the East China Sea (Compagno 1984). Adult aggregations are most common offshore over seamounts and near islands, whereas neonate and juvenile aggregations are more common in nearshore nursery habitats (Compagno 1984; Duncan and Holland 2006; CITES 2010; Hearn et al. 2010; Bejarano-Álvarez et al. 2011; Bessudo et al. 2011). It has been suggested that juveniles inhabit these nursery areas for up to or more than a year, as they provide valuable refuges from predation (Duncan and Holland 2006).

    The scalloped hammerhead shark is a high trophic level predator (trophic level = 4.1; Cortés 1999) and opportunistic feeder with a diet that includes a wide variety of teleosts, cephalopods, crustaceans, and rays (Compagno 1984; Bush 2003; Júnior et al. 2009; Noriega et al. 2011). In terms of reproduction, the scalloped hammerhead shark is viviparous (i.e., gives birth to live young), with a gestation period of 9-12 months (Branstetter 1987; Stevens and Lyle 1989), which may be followed by a one-year resting period (Liu and Chen 1999). Females attain maturity around 200-250 cm total length (TL) while males reach maturity at smaller sizes (range 128-200 cm TL). Parturition may be partially seasonal (Harry et al. 2011), with neonates present year round but with abundance peaking during the spring and summer months (Duncan and Holland 2006; Adams and Paperno 2007; Bejarano-Álvarez et al. 2011; Harry et al. 2011; Noriega et al. 2011). Females move inshore to birth, with litter sizes anywhere between 1 and 41 live pups. Observed maximum sizes for male scalloped hammerheads range from 196-321 cm TL, with the oldest male scalloped hammerhead estimated at 30.5 years (Piercy et al. 2007). Observed maximum sizes for female scalloped hammerheads range from 217-346 cm TL, with the oldest female scalloped hammerhead estimated at 31.5 years (Kotas et al. 2011).

    Based on the genetic diversity among subpopulations, geographic isolation, and differences in international regulatory mechanisms, we identified six DPSs of scalloped hammerhead sharks that are both discrete and significant to the taxon as a whole. The six scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs, which comprise the global population, are: (1) Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico DPS, (2) Central & SW Atlantic DPS, (3) Eastern Atlantic DPS, (4) Indo-West Pacific DPS, (5) Central Pacific DPS, and (6) Eastern Pacific DPS. All scalloped hammerhead sharks are both targeted and taken as bycatch in many global fisheries, with their fins a primary product for international trade. However, the exploitation by commercial and artisanal fisheries and lack of adequate regulatory mechanisms, combined with the species' biological vulnerability to depletion, has led to declines of the Eastern Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Central & SW Atlantic, and Indo-West Pacific DPSs to the point where the Eastern Atlantic and Eastern Pacific DPSs are presently in danger of extinction and the Central & SW Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific are likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

    Critical Habitat Identification and Designation

    Critical habitat is defined by section 3 of the ESA as: “(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed . . ., on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed . . . upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.” This definition provides a step-wise approach to identifying areas that may qualify as critical habitat for the listed scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs: (1) Determine the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing; (2) identify physical or biological habitat features essential to the conservation of the species; (3) delineate specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species on which are found the physical or biological features; (4) determine whether the features in a specific area may require special management considerations or protection; and (5) determine whether any unoccupied areas are essential for conservation. Our evaluation and conclusions as we worked through this step-wise process are described in detail in the following sections.

    Geographical Area Occupied by the Species

    We have interpreted “geographical area occupied” in the definition of critical habitat as the range of the species at the time of listing (45 FR 13011; February 27, 1980). Further, our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(h) state: “Critical habitat shall not be designated within foreign countries or in other areas outside of United States jurisdiction.” The distribution of the Eastern Atlantic DPS of scalloped hammerhead shark is found entirely in waters outside of U.S. jurisdiction. As such, we cannot designate critical habitat for the Eastern Atlantic DPS and will focus the following discussion on the other three listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs: Eastern Pacific DPS, Central & SW Atlantic DPS, and Indo-West Pacific DPS.

    Eastern Pacific DPS

    The Eastern Pacific DPS generally occurs off the coasts of Mexico and within the Gulf of California, from 32°N latitude south to northern Peru, around 4°S latitude. We characterize this geographical area as the “core range” or occupied area of the DPS (where one would most likely observe scalloped hammerhead sharks). This core range is entirely outside of U.S. jurisdiction. However, individuals of the species have been documented north and south of these core range boundary lines, but rarely and usually only during specific weather events. These observations primarily occur during strong El Niño events, defined as a positive sea surface temperature (SST) departure from normal greater than or equal to +1.5°C for 5 consecutive 3-month running mean SSTs, and represent an opportunistic northward displacement of the species (Siegel 1987; Shane 2001). It is important to note that these strong El Niño events are only identified as such after they have already occurred (since they are based on 3-month running averages), and, as such, are difficult to forecast. There is no information that the areas off southern California and areas north, and off Peru and Chile, are now or were historically used as habitat for the species. Given the amount of fishing effort as well as the human population density in these regions, it is highly unlikely that substantial concentrations of scalloped hammerhead sharks would have passed unnoticed. As such, we consider these areas outside of the core range to be used solely by vagrants (individuals that occur outside of their normal range) and only during rare weather events that are difficult to forecast. Below we provide further information on the occupation and use of these areas to support this conclusion.

    In southern California waters (which are under U.S. jurisdiction), the first verified observation of a scalloped hammerhead shark was in 1977 (Fusaro and Anderson 1980). Since then, observations have been sporadic and only associated with unusually warm water, as occurs during El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Based on the available information, we found confirmation of 26 scalloped hammerhead individuals in southern California waters since 1977 (Fusaro and Anderson 1980; Siegel 1985; Lea and Rosenblatt 2000; Shane 2001; Galante 2014). The majority of these observations occurred immediately before, during, and following the strong 1997-1998 ENSO event (Lea and Rosenblatt 2000; Shane 2001). Between 1997 and 1999, 19 young-of-the-year (YOY) (<100 cm TL) scalloped hammerhead sharks were caught in San Diego Bay (Shane 2001). Since 1999, only one scalloped hammerhead shark has been observed in southern California waters, caught on video by spear fishermen off Anacapa Island, Channel Islands in October of 2014 (Galante 2014). The observed scalloped hammerhead sharks consist of adult female and juvenile sharks, suggesting that during strong El Niño events, the species may use southern California waters as pupping and nursery grounds. The last strong (≥1.5°C SST) El Niño event to occur was in 1997-1998. Since then, there have been a number of weak (0.5 to 0.9°C SST anomaly) and moderate (1.0 to 1.4°C SST anomaly) El Niño events, but based on the observational data, these events do not appear to transform the southern California waters into occupiable habitat for the species.

    Similarly, in the central-south eastern Pacific, off the coasts of Peru and Chile, scalloped hammerhead observations are rare and also seem to be correlated with El Niño events. A single reference to the occurrence of the species in waters of Peru points to the presence of the species off Puerto Pizzaro in 1998, which is located in northern Peru, very close to the border of Ecuador (Love et al. 2005). As mentioned previously, 1997-1998 registered as a strong El Niño event, bringing much warmer waters to the eastern Pacific, and especially off the coast of Peru. This could explain the observation of the species in 1998, as, since then, no other observations of the species in the waters off Peru have been reported. In a recent paper that examined shark landings in Peru from 1996-2010, the authors found no records of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Gonzalez-Pestana et al. 2014).

    In Chile, the first record of the species is from 2006 and is based on the genetic identification of three dried shark fins that were stored in a commercial warehouse for export to the international market (Sebastian et al. 2008). It is unclear where these scalloped hammerhead sharks were caught, but the authors suggest that many of the pelagic sharks are caught by the artisanal and industrial swordfish fisheries operating in Chile's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and by the nearshore artisanal fisheries operating in north-central Chile. The sharks are generally landed at Coquimbo (29°579 S, 71°209 W); however, the authors obtained the three scalloped hammerhead shark fins from a storage warehouse in the town of Paico, in central Chile. This remains the only record of the species from Chile. Although the origin of the scalloped hammerhead sharks is uncertain, there was a weak El Niño event that occurred at the end of 2006 and could possibly explain the occurrence of these three sharks in Chilean waters at that time. However, given the extremely rare occurrence of the species in waters off Peru and Chile, even during El Niño events, these areas do not likely contain habitat for the species.

    For the foregoing reasons, we find that the geographical area occupied by the Eastern Pacific DPS at the time of ESA listing is the previously-defined core range of the species, which extends over a broad area of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Specifically, the geographical area occupied by the Eastern Pacific DPS includes all coastal and oceanic waters between 32°N and 4°S latitude, and follows the boundary lines of the DPS for longitude from 140° W to 150° W. We find that the geographical areas outside of this delineation where scalloped hammerhead sharks have been observed (i.e., areas off California, Peru and Chile) are used solely by vagrant individuals and only during rare weather events and, as such, are not identified as geographical areas occupied by the Eastern Pacific DPS at the time of listing. Given these findings, we conclude that there are no geographical areas occupied by the Eastern Pacific DPS that are within the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of listing.

    Central & Southwest Atlantic DPS

    The geographic range of the Central & SW Atlantic DPS includes all coastal and oceanic waters from 28° N. latitude to 36° S. latitude, following the boundary lines designated for this DPS. Although this range covers the territorial waters of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), as well as the Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge, there is little to no available information on the occurrence or distribution of the scalloped hammerhead shark within these waters at the time of listing.

    Smooth, scalloped, and great hammerhead sharks are noted as historically occurring in USVI and Puerto Rican waters. In terms of habitat use around the USVI, personal communication (from E. Kadison, Ecology Laboratory Specialist, University of the Virgin Islands) suggests that Magens Bay, St. Thomas, may be a breeding ground for hammerheads, based on anecdotal reports of large aggregations found in the bay; however, the species of the hammerheads within Magens Bay was unknown (E. Kadison, personal communication, 2015). We could find no other information on the use of Magens Bay by hammerhead sharks that could help clarify or support the anecdotal reports. Similarly, Salt River Canyon off St. Croix's north shore was also noted as a diving spot for seeing the “occasional” large hammerhead, but species was not identified (N2Theblue 2014). The scalloped hammerhead shark is included in St. Croix's checklist of marine and inland fishes based only on records of two individuals that were caught as bycatch in 1991 during fishing operations for bigeye scad (Tobias 1991; Smith-Vaniz and Jelks 2014). We also received a photo of a hammerhead shark from a researcher conducting a longline shark survey in the area, but upon inspection identified the shark as a great hammerhead (E. Kadison, pers. comm. 2015). In fact, the great hammerhead shark is noted as a “common Caribbean species” in these waters, often found inshore and around coral reefs (Smith-Vaniz and Jelks 2014), and thus may likely be the species observed in the above anecdotal reports.

    In waters off Puerto Rico, we found no information on the present distribution or habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks. The only information indicating the species' historical occurrence in Puerto Rican waters is its inclusion in a 1974 technical report that provides the common names of fishes in Puerto Rico (Erdman 1974; revised in 1983). Similarly, the presence and distribution of scalloped hammerhead sharks in the Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge are unknown. In 1998, seven scalloped hammerhead sharks were caught in the refuge during an exploratory longline fish research survey conducted by NMFS scientists (Grace et al. 2000), indicating its past occurrence in these waters. A number of more recent NOAA surveys have been conducted in the Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge; however, these surveys have focused on the nearshore reef habitat and fish assemblages and do not report any observations of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Miller 2003; Piniak et al. 2006). As such, we have no information on the present occurrence of the species in the Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge.

    Based on the foregoing information, we cannot establish if the geographical area occupied by the listed Central & SW Atlantic DPS includes any areas under the jurisdiction of the United States. Although scalloped hammerhead sharks have been included in historical checklists or observed in fish surveys conducted over 15 years ago, we have no information to indicate that the species was present in the territorial waters of Puerto Rico, USVI, or the Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge at the time of listing. Because all three species of hammerhead sharks are noted as occurring in these waters, with the great hammerhead shark described as “common,” we cannot assume that the anecdotal reports of hammerhead sharks specifically refer to scalloped hammerhead sharks. As such, we consider the waters under U.S. jurisdiction within the Central & SW Atlantic DPS range to be unoccupied areas at the time of listing.

    Indo-West Pacific DPS

    The geographic range of the Indo-West Pacific DPS includes all coastal and oceanic waters from 40° N. latitude to 36° S. latitude, and follows the boundary lines designated for this DPS.

    Although this range covers the territorial waters of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIAs), there is very little information on the occurrence, distribution, or use of habitat by the scalloped hammerhead shark within these waters at the time of listing. Most of the available information is based on personal observations and anecdotal reports of the species. In Guam, anecdotal reports suggest that Apra Harbor may have been used as a pupping ground for scalloped hammerhead sharks, based on the observed presence of young scalloped hammerhead sharks in Sasa Bay over a decade ago (D. Burdick, Research Associate, University of Guam, personal communication 2015). Over the time period of 1982-2004, a NMFS scientist working in Guam indicated that he personally observed and caught juvenile and adult scalloped hammerhead sharks in Apra Harbor (specifically the channel that connects the inner harbor and Sasa Bay) and observed juveniles near northern Piti, the Pago Bay river mouth, and the Ylig River mouth, and adults outside of Pago Bay and Tarague Beach (G. Davis, Assistant Regional Administrator for Habitat Conservation, NMFS, personal communication 2015). More recent observations, from Dr. Terry Donaldson (Professor, University of Guam), suggest that adults may periodically use Apra Harbor. He noted that he has personally observed them, albeit only very rarely over the past few years, in Apra Harbor and the inner harbor. The sharks occurred as solitary individuals (not schools), and he detailed one observation of a large adult feeding on a fish in the inner harbor. He also noted that neither he nor his technicians have observed any juveniles in Apra Harbor over the last few years.

    In terms of occurrence around the PRIAs, we received personal communication from NMFS research scientists that they have observed and recorded scalloped hammerhead sharks around the islands as recently as 2012 (I. Williams, Research Fish Biologist, NMFS; K. Lino, Marine Ecosystems Research Coordinator, NMFS; personal communication 2014). Since 2000, NMFS scientists have conducted tow diver surveys every 3 years at the PRIAs, during which they are at each island for 3-5 days surveying the reef. The survey method consists of two divers pulled behind a vessel surveying for large fish (>50 cm TL) and also looking at the benthic habitat of the islands' fore reefs from 30-60 feet (9.1 m-18.3 m) depths. According to their observations and records, schools of adult scalloped hammerhead sharks are most commonly observed at Jarvis and Baker Islands, although adult individuals tend to be observed daily at many of the islands during the survey period. No juveniles have been recorded during these surveys.

    In addition, these NMFS scientists, who survey at more than 50 U.S.-affiliated islands, atolls, and reefs, have never recorded scalloped hammerheads in American Samoa, Guam, or CNMI while conducting these reef surveys. Corroborating these observations, fishery observer data from 2006-2010 indicate that scalloped hammerhead sharks are also rarely observed caught in the American Samoa longline fishery, which primarily operates within the U.S. EEZ around American Samoa (Simmonds 2014). We could find no information on the present occurrence or distribution of scalloped hammerhead sharks around CNMI.

    The above information gives us confirmation of the past and perhaps present occurrence of the species in U.S. waters within the range of the Indo-West Pacific DPS. Specifically, at the time of listing, the geographical areas occupied by the Indo-Pacific DPS likely include waters off Guam and the PRIAs. Although observations of scalloped hammerhead sharks in American Samoa waters are rare, they still occur and, thus, we cannot rule out that habitats in these waters were being used, at least periodically, at the time of listing. However, given the severe lack of information about or observations of scalloped hammerhead sharks within waters of CNMI, we cannot conclude that this area was occupied by the species at the time of listing.

    Conclusion

    Based on the information above, we consider the geographical area occupied by Indo-West Pacific DPS of the scalloped hammerhead shark at the time of listing to include the waters under U.S. jurisdiction off Guam, the PRIAs, and American Samoa, and we consider the geographical areas occupied by the Eastern Pacific and Central & SW Atlantic DPSs at the time of listing to not include any waters under U.S. jurisdiction.

    Physical or Biological Features Essential for Conservation

    Within the geographical area occupied by an endangered or threatened species at the time of listing, critical habitat consists of specific areas on which are found those physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species (hereafter also referred to as “essential features”) and that may require special management considerations or protection. Section 3 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1532(3)) defines the terms “conserve,” “conserving,” and “conservation” to mean: “to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this chapter are no longer necessary.” Further, our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b) for designating critical habitat state that physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of a given species and that may require special management considerations or protection may include: (1) Space for individual and population growth, and for normal behavior; (2) food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; (3) cover or shelter; (4) sites for breeding, reproduction, rearing of offspring, germination, or seed dispersal; and generally, (5) habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historic geographical and ecological distributions of a species.

    For scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs, we define conservation as the use of all methods and procedures necessary to bring scalloped hammerhead sharks to the point at which factors related to population ecology and vital rates indicate that the population is recovered in accordance with the definition of recovery in 50 CFR 402.02. Important factors related to population ecology and vital rates include population size and trends, range, distribution, age structure, gender ratios, age-specific survival, age-specific reproduction, and lifetime reproductive success. Based on the available knowledge of scalloped hammerhead shark population ecology and life history, we have identified four biological behaviors that are critical to the goal of increasing survival and population growth: (1) Feeding, (2) pupping, (3) migration, and (4) breeding. In the following section, we evaluate whether there are physical and biological features of the habitat areas known or thought to be used for these behaviors that are essential to the species' conservation because they facilitate or are intimately tied to these behaviors and, hence, support the life-history needs of the species. Because these behaviors are essential to the species' conservation, facilitating or protecting each one is considered a key conservation objective for any critical habitat designation for this species.

    The Physical and Biological Features of Foraging Habitat That Are Essential to the Conservation of the Species

    Scalloped hammerhead sharks are opportunistic predators, with a high degree of trophic plasticity (Torres-Rojas et al. 2006; Rojas et al. 2014). They feed on a wide range of teleosts, crustaceans, and cephalopods (Klimley 1987; Torres-Rojas et al. 2006; Junior et al. 2009; Hussey et al. 2011). As juveniles, when they occur primarily in inshore and shallow coastal waters, their diet is a reflection of their habitat and consists of small reef fish and crustaceans. For example, in Kāne'ohe Bay, a coastal bay of Hawaii consisting of a shallow reef, YOY scalloped hammered sharks (47-84 cm TL) were observed feeding mainly on scarids and gobioids abundant around the reef (Clarke 1971). The species of gobioids were characterized as “rather ubiquitous and found in a variety of habitats in the bay” (Clarke 1971). For those YOY that were captured in a part of the bay characterized by dead and silted reefs and an absence of reef fish, stomach analysis showed that these sharks primarily foraged on crustaceans (principally alpheids), suggesting the species, even at a young age, is not limited in its foraging habits but rather adapts to its present habitat and feeds on whatever prey is available (Clarke 1971). Similarly, in an analysis of stomach contents from 556 juvenile S. lewini, ranging from 48-160 cm TL, Torres-Rojas et al. (2006) identified 87 prey species and concluded that S. lewini is a generalist, un-selective feeder, with the type and amount of prey consumed by the juvenile sharks primarily determined by abundance and availability.

    The species is also thought to undergo an ontogenetic change in feeding habits. This change is estimated to occur when the species reaches sizes of around 100 cm TL (Klimley 1987; Torres-Rojas et al. 2006; Kotas et al. 2012; Rojas et al. 2014). Generally, as the sharks become larger, they begin to venture into neighboring deep-water habitats to feed on the larger pelagic fishes and squid. In their analysis, Torres-Rojas et al. (2006) noted that scalloped hammerhead sharks <100 cm TL in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico, fed primarily on Loliolopsis diomedaea (46.7 percent Index of Relative Importance (IRI) in diet), a squid found in shallow waters, whereas sharks >100 cm TL had a diet consisting more of carangid fishes (30.6 percent IRI) and Abraliopsis affinis (33.9 percent IRI), a squid more commonly found in mid-depths and over continental shelves. Female scalloped hammerhead sharks are thought to undergo this ontogenetic shift in feeding habits at a smaller size than males, transitioning from juvenile foraging grounds in shallow, nearshore waters to foraging in pelagic, deeper water habitat. As Klimley (1987) observed in the Gulf of California, Mexico, females ≤160 cm TL had a higher percentage of pelagic prey and much lower percentage of benthic prey in their diet compared to males of similar sizes, consistent with this type of foraging behavior. Off the coast of South Africa, Hussey (2011) observed that the diet signatures for female sharks of 161-214 cm TL indicated prolonged residence in offshore-pelagic waters (as opposed to continental shelf habitats). The diet signatures of males and females became similar only after male size increased to >214 cm TL. These findings also seem to corroborate those from a detailed tracking study of a juvenile female that was initially tagged in a nearshore nursery ground (La Paz Bay, Mexico) (Hoyos-Padilla et al. 2014). The female was 95 cm TL when tagged and spent the next 8 months primarily in shallow waters (<50 m depths), close to shore and near the surface (Hoyos-Padilla et al. 2014). However, towards the end of the 10-month study period, the shark was tracked making an increasing number of deeper dives, between 150 to 250 m depths, indicating a transition to offshore waters (Hoyos-Padilla et al. 2014). At the point of recapture, 10 months later, the shark had attained a size of 123 cm TL, which appears to fall within the estimated sizes above which juvenile females begin their ontogenetic migration (Klimley 1987; Torres-Rojas et al. 2006; Kotas et al. 2012; Rojas et al. 2014). Klimley (1987) suggests that this offshore migration occurs sooner for females, enabling them to achieve faster growth to reproductively-active sizes through access to a greater abundance of prey. This, in turn, translates to females achieving maturity at similar ages as their male counterparts (Klimely 1987).

    Although little is known regarding the foraging behavior of adults, based on tracking and diet studies, it is thought that adults (and sub-adult females that have already migrated offshore) tend to exhibit a diel feeding pattern (Ketchum et al. 2014a, 2014b). During the day, sharks are observed refuging in large aggregations in shallow, nearshore coastal areas, off islands, and over seamount ridges (Klimley 1985; Ketchum et al. 2014a, 2014b). They tend to stay in a small core area, making occasional vertical dives through the mixed layer, and generally remaining above the thermocline in waters >23 °C (Bessudo et al. 2011; Ketchum et al. 2014a). These “refuge” areas tend to be located on the up-current side of islands and also correspond to where the pelagic assemblage is richer and represents lower-level trophic groups (such as trevally, pompano, and jacks) (Hearn et al. 2010; Bessudo et al. 2011; Ketchum et al. 2014a; 2014b; K. Lino, pers. comm. 2014). One theory is that this specific location on the island/seamounts, where the current splits to flow around obstacles, may cause an area of entrainment, providing the hammerheads with a food source upstream of the island (Hearn et al. 2010). Another theory is that the interactions between abrupt, sloping topography of seamounts and other bathymetrical features, and the impact of currents, tides, and internal waves, may enhance fluxes of near-bottom food particles, increasing abundance of benthic suspension feeders and further supporting higher densities of resident fish above seamounts (Mohn and Beckmann 2002; Hearn et al. 2010). However, feeding has not been observed at these refuge spots. Instead, it is thought that scalloped hammerheads may aggregate at these locations to reduce energy costs (these refuge spots are still areas of reduced currents relative to offshore) at areas that may provide some degree of food availability (with food-rich thermocline waters preferentially delivered to the up-current side of the island) and other benefits (such as cleaning stations), but that work more as a central and vantage location for foraging excursions into open waters (Ketchum et al. 2014a, 2014b). Based on tracking data, it is thought that individuals leave the adult aggregations at night to forage as solitary individuals in the neighboring deep-water pelagic habitats (Klimley and Nelson 1984, Klimley 1987, Klimley et al. 1988). Diet analysis shows that cephalopods, in particular, constitute an important prey item for adult scalloped hammerhead sharks. Deep-water squid species recorded in the stomachs of scalloped hammerhead sharks include: Ancistrocheirus lesueuri (Orbigny), Mastigoteuthis sp., Moroteuthis robustus (Verrill), Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny) (Klimley, 1987), Histioteuthis sp., Ommastrephes bartramii and Cranchiidae (Junior et al. 2009). Many of these cephalopod species have a wide geographic distribution, moving throughout the deep waters of the ocean, and, as such, it would be difficult to link these prey species to any “specific” areas within the oceanic geographic areas occupied by the scalloped hammerhead DPSs.

    Overall, the best available information indicates that scalloped hammerhead sharks are opportunistic feeders. The species, regardless of life stage, does not appear to be limited by foraging grounds, adapting to its present habitat by feeding on whatever prey are available. There does not appear to be a specific prey species that is required to be present in a habitat for successful foraging to occur. Nor are there any specific habitat characteristics that appear to be intimately tied with feeding behavior. As such, we are unable to identify any particular physical or biological features of areas that facilitate successful foraging. While the above information suggests that scalloped hammerhead sharks may aggregate in tropical waters, near seamount ridges or productive coastal areas that face the impinging current, these areas are thought to be used more for refuging purposes as opposed to foraging habitats. Although these refuging habitats may be linked to foraging activities, this is purely speculative. Additionally, the particular physical or biological features of these refuging habitats that make them preferential for scalloped hammerhead aggregations are uncertain and their importance to the life-history needs of scalloped hammerhead sharks is unknown. Furthermore, no scalloped hammerhead sharks of the Central & SW Atlantic DPS or Eastern Pacific DPS have been observed refuging or foraging in the geographic areas under U.S. jurisdiction. The same holds true for the Indo-West Pacific DPS, with the exception of a single, personal observation of an adult scalloped hammerhead shark feeding on a large mullet in the Inner Harbor of Guam (T. Donaldson, pers. comm. 2014). For the foregoing reasons, it is not possible to identify any physical or biological features related to foraging that are essential to the conservation of the species, nor are there any “specific areas” that appear to be used for foraging purposes within waters under U.S. jurisdiction.

    The Physical and Biological Features of Pupping Habitat That are Essential to the Conservation of the Species

    Scalloped hammerhead sharks are known to give birth in warm tropical and temperate shallow, inshore waters. The specific nursery habitat requisites for such factors as temperature, depth, and substrate, are highly variable. Below is a summary of the information on the habitat characteristics of known scalloped hammerhead nursery areas, identified as such based on the: (1) Common presence of neonates, YOY, and juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks in the area, (2) long residency period of immature individuals in these areas (e.g., weeks, months, years), and (3) repeated usage of the area over the years by these age classes (Salmon-Aguilar et al. 2009).

    Nursery habitats for scalloped hammerhead sharks are generally identified as shallow inshore areas, including bays and estuaries. Kāne′ohe Bay in Hawaii, for example, is a well-studied and confirmed nursery ground for scalloped hammerhead sharks (and is part of the range of the identified Central Pacific DPS, for which we determined listing was “not warranted”; 78 FR 20717, April 5, 2013). Kāne′ohe Bay is the largest bay in the Hawaiian Islands (61 km2), located on the windward side of Oahu, and is separated from the ocean by a large barrier reef (0-3 m deep) (Clarke 1971). There are also two channels that provide access to the ocean on either side of the bay, the North Channel (10 m deep) and the shallower Sampan Channel (3 m deep). Most of the bay is around 14 m deep, with the deepest spots at around 19 m. It has a muddy/silty bottom with temperatures ranging from 20-30 °C. Patch reefs and small islands are interspersed throughout the bay. As mentioned above, the scalloped hammerhead population within this bay has been studied for many years (Clarke 1971; Holland et al. 1993; Duncan and Holland 2006). The juveniles show a preference for the southern end of the bay, which is characterized as being more turbid and estuarine than the other parts of the bay. In fact, females tend to drop the pups in the bay at the start of the trade-wind season, which stirs up the bay and creates constantly turbid waters, allowing the juveniles to remain in the bay for a significant portion of the year (Clarke 1971). The preference for the turbid portions of the bay is thought to be a defense mechanism, protecting juveniles from predator visibility. Behavioral observations in this nursery habitat show that juveniles tend to refuge in aggregations during the day near the bottom (between 0.5 m and 1.5 m off the bay floor) and in deeper areas of the bay (Holland et al. 1993). At night, juveniles tend to disperse, possibly hunting where patch and fringing reef walls meet the bay floor (Holland et al. 1993).

    Identified nursery habitats in other regions also appear to share many of the same characteristics as those physical and biological features of Kāne′ohe Bay. For example, off the east coast of Australia, along the tropical northern Queensland coastline, there are a number of primarily shallow (<15 m) bays within which YOY scalloped hammerhead sharks of the Indo-West Pacific DPS have been observed (Simpfendorfer et al. 2014). These bays are protected seaward by the Great Barrier Reef and are also characterized by substrate that is dominated by silt and mudflats or mangrove-lined foreshores. The bays themselves tend to vary in other factors, such as freshwater input and seagrass abundance (Simpfendorfer et al. 2014). Young-of-the-year scalloped hammerheads have been observed in many of these bays (including Moreton, Rockhingham, Halifax, Cleveland, Bowling Green, Upstart, Repulse), but their spatial distribution indicates a preference for some (e.g., Rockingham, Cleveland, Repulse) more than others (Simpfendorfer and Millward 1993; Taylor 2008; Simpfendorfer et al. 2014; Australia Department of Environment 2014). The specific aspects of these bays that make them more preferential as nursery habitats over the others is not clear; although, based on information from Simpfendorfer et al. (2014), these bays receive a greater input of freshwater compared to some of the bays where scalloped hammerheads have not been observed. In Cleveland Bay, for example, freshwater flows from four creeks into the mangrove-dominated southern portion of the bay, causing significant drops in salinity in the summer (from 39% to 36%) (Kinney et al. 2011). This is also the part of the bay where large numbers of YOY scalloped hammerheads have been recorded throughout the year in depths <5 m (Simpfendorfer and Milward 1993). Other physical aspects of the bay include silty substrates with mangrove-lined shorelines, areas of coastal reefs, and warm temperatures (SST ranges from 22.5 °C in winter to 30.5 °C in the summer) (Kinney et al. 2011). In the intertidal surf zone of Cleveland Bay, which is characterized by mud and sand flats, neonates of S. lewini have also been caught, but this is a brief occurrence (Tobin et al. 2014). They appear to only be present during the summer, from October to January, in depths typically <0.5 m, and thus are assumed to utilize this area as either transient short-term protection from predators after birth or possibly for prey resources (shrimp, small fishes), after which the neonates disperse into the adjoining subtidal nursery area of Cleveland Bay (Tobin et al. 2014). This migration may explain why more S. lewini YOY were observed in the southern portion of the Bay from February to July (Simpfendorfer and Milward 1993).

    Apra Harbor, Guam, may also contain nursery habitat for the Indo-West Pacific DPS of scalloped hammerhead sharks, but this supposition is based only on anecdotal observations of juvenile sharks in Sasa Bay and both adults and juveniles in the channel connecting the inner Apra Harbor and Sasa Bay (personal communication, G. Davis and D. Burdick 2015). Sasa Bay, which is a no-take marine reserve, is a shallow bay (0-11 m) that primarily consists of sand/mud substrate, with patch reefs in deeper water and a mangrove swamp that extends along the coastline. The inner Apra Harbor has been extensively modified through dredging, construction activities, and landfills undertaken by the U.S. Navy since 1945 (Smith et al. 2009). The inner Apra Harbor now consists of a mud bottom of uniform depth, high turbidity, and an abundance of planktonic and benthic suspension feeders (compared to other parts of the harbor) but also has a relatively untouched mangrove area at the mouth of the Atantano River. Depths in the inner Apra Harbor range from 0-11 m, with some deeper areas of 11-18 m (Smith et al. 2009). On the opposite side of the island, the Pago Bay river mouth has also been identified as an area where juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks have been observed. This area consists of a fringing reef flat, shallow depths (<10 m) and temperatures that range from around 16 to 34 °C (Tsuda 2004). Further information about the habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks that could provide insight into the specific physical or biological features within these systems that support the life-needs of the species is unknown, with the only available information from general personal observations and interactions with the species.

    Off South Africa, nursery habitats for the Indo-West Pacific DPS have been identified on the continental shelf off the geopolitical provinces that encompass KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and northern Eastern Cape. This area is characterized by a narrow continental shelf and steep continental slope bordered at its eastern edge by the warm south-westward flowing Agulhas Current (Hussey et al. 2009). In Tugela Bank, KZN, YOY scalloped hammerheads were caught on trawling grounds in <50 m depths, where temperatures range from 21-27 °C. This area also coincides with the deepest deposit of mud originating from the discharges of numerous rivers in the area, and, as a result, the water is permanently turbid (Fennessy 1994). Young-of-the-year scalloped hammerheads were also caught year-round in the Transkei area where temperatures range from 16.5-22 °C (the coastal area just south of KZN), particularly the Port St Johns region which is the location of the mouth of the Mzimvbu River (Diemer et al. 2011). These temperatures and depths appear to be a bit cooler and deeper, respectively, than those described previously for nursery habitats in this DPS' range.

    In the range of the Eastern Pacific DPS, Zanella et al. (2009) noted significant catches of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks in the vicinity of the mouth of the Tarcoles River, Costa Rica. Within this area, YOY sharks primarily occurred in depths between 1 and 30 m, whereas larger juveniles occurred in deeper areas of 61-90 m. Most sharks were caught in the portion of the river mouth characterized by muddy substrate, and shallow and murky waters. This area, in particular, is characterized by higher sedimentation and nutrient flow due to the influence of a mangrove ecosystem surrounding the coast and river discharge from the Tarcoles River (Zanella et al. 2009).

    Other sites in the Eastern Pacific DPS range that have been identified as nursery areas are located in the Gulf of California and further south off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Sites in the Gulf of California include coastal waters off Mazatlan (Sinaloa) and San Francisquito and El Barril (Baja California). In the eastern Gulf of California, features of the areas where large numbers of YOY and juvenile S. lewini have been observed include both shallow and wide continental shelves (5-25 km), warm water temperatures, and highly productive waters. In 2014, Hoyos-Padilla et al. tracked an older juvenile female scalloped hammerhead shark in the Gulf of California (tagged in La Paz Bay) and found that the shark generally remained in depths less than 50 m, with a preference for temperatures of 23-26 °C. The onset of the birthing and nursery period in this area appears to be governed by temperature, when the temperatures increase from 18-19 °C in the spring to 30-31 °C in the summer. Significant upwelling events occur in the central and southern Gulf of California in winter and spring, generating high productivity and greater food availability during the peak breeding months and likely contribute to this area's importance as a nursery habitat for scalloped hammerhead sharks (Torres et al. 2008).

    The Gulf of Tehuantepec, off the southern coast of Mexico, is also thought to be an important spawning and nursery area for S. lewini based on the presence of YOY, juveniles, and pregnant females in these waters. It is characterized by a narrow continental shelf with rivers and temporal streams that form large coastal lagoons and estuaries, and well-developed mangrove forest communities that provide abundant food resources (Alego-plata et al. 2007; Rios-Jara et al. 2009).The region has a tropical warm sub-humid climate with an average annual temperature close to 26 °C (range 14-31 °C at 10 m depths; Tapia-Garcia et al. 2007). It also experiences numerous summer rains (annual rainfall = 2500-3000 mm), making this region one of the wettest of Mexico (Rios-Jara et al. 2009). It is during the wet season that observations of YOY and juveniles increase, with birthing thought to occur in July and August. From October to May, this region experiences the strong “Tehauntepec winds” that cause the collapse of the thermocline and create upwelling of nutrients (Tapia-Garcia et al. 2007), likely providing a source of greater food availability during the first years of growth for these juvenile sharks.

    From the best available information, the physical features of nursery areas in the Atlantic appear to be generally similar to those found in the Pacific. In the range of the Central & SW Atlantic DPS, Kotas et al. (2012) noted that in waters off Brazil pups tend to occur in shallow, coastal, turbid areas, in depths <20 m with sandy substrate. Juveniles are found near bays, estuaries, and over continental shelf in depths up to around 275 m (Kotas et al. 2012). No other information on nursery habitat characteristics for this DPS, especially those physical and biological features that directly support the life-history needs of the species, could be found. In fact, with the exception of the anecdotal information from Guam waters, there are no identified nursery grounds within waters under U.S. jurisdiction for either the Central & SW Atlantic DPS or the Indo-West Pacific DPS. The same is true for the Eastern Pacific DPS. Although YOY scalloped hammerhead sharks have been observed in U.S. waters off southern California, these individuals are identified as vagrants, with their occurrence associated only with rare strong ENSO events (Lea and Rosenblatt 2000; Shane 2001). In other words, the presence of YOY scalloped hammerhead sharks in California waters is not common, nor have scalloped hammerhead sharks displayed a repeated usage of these areas over the years. As such, we do not consider U.S. waters off southern California to contain identified nursery habitat for the Eastern Pacific DPS.

    Based on the foregoing information regarding known or presumed pupping areas for scalloped hammerhead sharks, the general physical oceanographic features that appear to be associated with this habitat include: (1) Relatively shallow inshore bays/estuaries with areas of moderate to high freshwater input; (2) tropical water temperatures (≥20 °C); (3) muddy/silty/sandy substrate bottom; (4) presence of patchy reefs, mangrove systems, or seagrass beds; and (5) areas within inshore habitats of higher turbidity/current flow. However, because of the variability in the presence of the above physical features in the different identified nursery areas (e.g., mud versus silt or sand, low temperatures (16-22 °C) versus higher temperatures (>30 °C), varying levels of salinity and freshwater input, shallow depths (<10 m) versus areas with deeper waters (up to 275m)) we can only characterize nursery grounds using broad terms to describe the physical features. Given this level of resolution, and the fact that these features vary even for nursery grounds within a DPS' range, it is unclear which of the above physical characteristics, if any, are necessary to facilitate successful pupping behavior. In other words, we cannot identify whether any or a combination of these characteristics of nursery grounds are essential for the conservation of the species. Although scalloped hammerhead sharks may prefer areas that contain these characteristics, the available information does not allow us to identify any physical or biological features within these areas that are essential to support the life-history needs of scalloped hammerhead sharks. Additionally, while the available data suggest nursery habitats share many of the above physical characteristics, these general features are relatively ubiquitous throughout the global range of the species and not all areas with the above features provide meaningful pupping or nursery habitat. Furthermore, there is no evidence of scalloped hammerhead sharks being limited to a specific nursery ground. In fact, Duncan et al.(2006) provided mtDNA data that argued against strong natal homing behavior by the species and anecdotal information of scalloped hammerhead sharks using artificially enlarged estuaries in Hawaii as nursery grounds (which were 100-600 km from confirmed nursery habitats). In other words, the species is highly migratory and does not appear to be limited to certain nursery areas.

    As mentioned previously, for the listed DPSs, there are no confirmed nursery grounds for the species in U.S. waters. Due to the rarity of the presence of the Central & SW Atlantic DPS in waters under U.S. jurisdiction, both historically and presently, these waters do not likely provide important pupping habitat. Similarly, the waters under U.S. jurisdiction in the Eastern Pacific are considered unoccupied areas used solely by vagrants of the Eastern Pacific DPS and only during rare weather events. As such, these waters do not provide important nursery habitat for the DPS. The anecdotal observations from Guam lend support to the potential use of waters under U.S. jurisdiction by juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks; however, without knowledge of the essential features that create meaningful pupping grounds, we cannot identify any areas that meet the definition of critical habitat. Simply the observation of the presence of juveniles utilizing these waters (with unknown abundance, duration, habitat use, or frequency of occurrence) is not enough information to indicate that these areas contain physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species. Additionally, the waters under U.S. jurisdiction for the Indo-West Pacific DPS represent an extremely small percentage of the suitable habitat available for the DPS (which comprises the waters of the entire Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean), and based on the absence of any recent observations of juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks utilizing waters off Guam, these waters under U.S. jurisdiction do not appear to contain important nursery habitat that could be characterized as essential for the conservation of the DPS.

    The Physical and Biological Features of Migratory Habitat That Are Essential to the Conservation of the Species

    Both small and large-scale migratory movements are a necessary component in the life-history of the scalloped hammerhead shark. Examples of small scale migratory movements (<300 km) include those undertaken for feeding and refuging (Ketchum et al. 2014b; Diemer et al. 2011; Hearn et al. 2010; Klimley and Nelson 1984). Large scale migrations have also been observed by scalloped hammerhead sharks and are thought to occur for foraging but also reproductive purposes (Ketchum et al. 2014b; Bessudo et al. 2011). Pregnant females must make large scale migrations from their offshore habitats to coastal inshore nursery habitats for successful reproduction. Similarly, juvenile females are also thought to make this migration in the opposite direction as they attain larger sizes (>100 cm TL). The extent of juvenile and adult male migrations is unknown, but as some have been observed in schools offshore (Klimley 1985; Ketchum et al. 2014) and some in nearshore nursery areas (Clarke 1971; Dudley and Simpfendorfer 2006), it is likely that a proportion of the male population may also undergo larger scale migrations. For logistical reasons, survey efforts have been focused in nearshore habitats, with a number of studies conducted around the island chains in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (Galapagos, Cocos Island, and Malpelo Island), part of the Eastern Pacific DPS range. For example, in the Galapagos, Ketchum et al. (2014b) tagged 134 scalloped hammerhead sharks, 80 percent of which were females. The most common movement exhibited by these sharks was short back and forth inter-island movement (<50 km), which was thought to represent focused foraging movements. However, five tagged scalloped hammerhead sharks were also tracked making long-distance migrations (>300 km) across the eastern Pacific, primarily during the warm season (March to May). One female (possibly mature with a size of 170 cm TL) was tracked moving from Wolf Island (Galapagos) to Cocos Island off Costa Rica, a distance of around 700 km. Two other female sharks (both likely mature, 200 cm TL) were tracked migrating from Darwin Island (Galapagos) to Cocos Island, a distance of 679 km. One of the females even returned to Darwin Island, indicating that these long distance migrations may be directed movements. Similarly, a female tagged at Malpelo Island (off Colombia) was tracked migrating to Cocos Island and then to Wolf and Darwin Islands. Results from another tagging study of scalloped hammerheads around Malpelo Island found many pregnant females leaving the island around March-April (Bessudo et al. 2011). As pupping tends to occur in the summer months off the continental Eastern Pacific (Torres et al. 2008; Rios-Jara et al. 2009; Zanella et al. 2009), it is thought that these long distance and seemingly directed movements across the Eastern Pacific may be conducted by female sharks during the final stages of the gestation period, with the sharks likely migrating to the continental coast for parturition (Bessudo et al. 2011; Ketchum et al. 2014b). Additionally, in the Ketchum et al. (2014b) study, one mature male scalloped hammerhead shark (218 cm TL) was also tracked making a long-distance migration. The shark travelled from Darwin Island to Malpelo Island (a distance of 627km) (Ketchum et al. 2014b). Given that this migration occurred during the same season as the female long-distance migrations, it could be that a small proportion of the mature male population may also undergo long-distance migrations, following reproductively active females to coastal nursery habitats for mating purposes.

    Although the available information suggests that these sharks do undergo short and long-distance migrations, the space or migratory corridor used by scalloped hammerhead sharks during these migrations remains unknown. In addition, we are not aware of any migratory tracking studies that have been conducted in waters under U.S. jurisdiction and, therefore, have no information on any potential migratory corridors that may exist within waters under U.S. jurisdiction for the listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs. Based on the foregoing information, we cannot identify any specific essential features that define migratory habitat for scalloped hammerhead sharks.

    The Physical and Biological Features of Breeding Habitat That Are Essential to the Conservation of the Species

    Important areas for mating are largely unknown for scalloped hammerhead sharks. To identify potential sites as mating grounds, we looked for the presence of both mature females and males. For the most part, adult females are usually found schooling offshore with subadult females (Klimley 1985; Ketchum et al. 2014b). Studies have documented that these schools also consist of a few adult males (Klimley 1985; Ketchum et al. 2014a, 2014b). As such, potential mating events may occur in these offshore refuging schools, but this has not been confirmed. Furthermore, none of these refuging schools described above have been observed in waters under U.S. jurisdiction for the listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs.

    Additionally, adult females, including ones that have recently given birth, are occasionally observed in identified nursery habitats along with adult males (Clark 1971; Dudley and Simpfendorfer 2006; Hussey et al. 2011). It is thought that mating may also occur during the principal pupping season, and potentially near these nursery areas (possibly over continental shelf or even near shelf slope; Kotas et al. 2012), with adult females moving inshore for a short time to mate and then proceeding to migrate offshore (Clarke 1971). Adult males, however, tend to be observed in larger numbers (sometimes with no evidence of mature females) staying in these inshore areas for longer periods of time, perhaps as a way to maximize the number of breeding females they can encounter (Clarke 1971; Dudley and Simpfendorfer 2006; Hussey et al. 2011; Yates et al. 2015). However, as stated above, the areas where scalloped hammerhead shark mating occurs remain unknown and purely speculative. There has not been any systematic evaluation of the particular physical or biological features that facilitate or are necessary for mating to occur. As such, we cannot identify physical or biological features of breeding habitat that are essential to the conservation of the species.

    Unoccupied Areas

    Section 3(5)(A)(ii) of the ESA defines critical habitat to include specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a threatened or endangered species at the time it is listed if the areas are determined by the Secretary to be essential for the conservation of the species. Regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(e) specify that we shall designate as critical habitat areas outside the geographical area presently occupied by a species only when a designation limited to its present range would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(h) also state: “Critical habitat shall not be designated within foreign countries or in other areas outside of United States jurisdiction.”

    As discussed previously, the waters off California are not considered part of the geographical area occupied by the Eastern Pacific DPS at the time of listing. We also conclude that it is not an unoccupied area essential to the DPS' conservation, given the rare, errant use of the area by vagrant scalloped hammerhead sharks in the past, with this use associated only with sporadic weather events, and the fact that we have no information to suggest the area is essential to the conservation of the DPS. Furthermore, for the areas under U.S. jurisdiction off USVI, Puerto Rico, Navassa Wildlife Refuge, and CNMI, which we could not conclude were occupied by the applicable scalloped hammerhead DPSs at the time of listing, we found no information that would indicate these areas are essential for the conservation of the listed DPSs. Scalloped hammerhead sharks are highly migratory, and although they may have historically been observed in these waters, the lack of historical or anecdotal data or information tends to suggest these may have been rare or sporadic occurrences as the shark passed through these waters. We do not find that these unoccupied areas under U.S. jurisdiction, which additionally comprise such small portions of the overall ranges of the listed DPSs, are essential to the conservation of the listed DPSs. As such, we find that there are no identifiable areas outside the geographical areas occupied by the listed DPSs that would meet the definition of critical habitat for the scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs.

    Any conservation actions for the listed scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs that would bring these DPSs to the point that the measures of the ESA are no longer necessary will need to be implemented by foreign nations. As noted in the final rule (79 FR 38213, July 3, 2014), the significant operative threats to the listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs are overutilization by foreign industrial, commercial, and artisanal fisheries and inadequate regulatory mechanisms in foreign nations to protect these sharks from the heavy fishing pressure and related mortality, with illegal fishing identified as a significant problem in areas outside of U.S. jurisdiction. Thus, recovery of the listed DPSs is highly dependent upon international conservation efforts. This includes increased protection for the listed DPSs from fishery-related mortality, especially within those foreign areas described above where the biological behaviors that support the life-history needs of the listed DPSs have been observed (e.g., the identified nursery grounds in foreign waters). We are committed to increasing the awareness of the threats to these listed DPSs and encourage the development of conservation programs by foreign nations and international regulations to protect these DPSs. For example, we recently collaborated with a coalition of countries to gain support for a proposal to add three hammerhead shark species (scalloped, smooth, and great) to Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In March 2013, at the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, member nations, referred to as “Parties,” voted in support of this proposal, an action that will complement existing international shark protection measures by ensuring trade of these hammerhead shark species is sustainable and does not threaten their survival. We will continue to be a leader in promoting the conservation and management of sharks globally, and will work internationally within regional fisheries management organizations and other international bodies to promote the adoption of conservation and management measures, particularly for the listed scalloped hammerhead shark DPSs.

    Critical Habitat Determination

    Given the best available information and the above analysis of this information, we find that there are no identifiable occupied areas under the jurisdiction of the United States with physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species or unoccupied areas that are essential to the conservation of the species. Therefore, we conclude that for the Eastern Pacific DPS, Central & SW Atlantic DPS, and the Indo-West Pacific DPS, there are no specific areas within their respective ranges and under U.S. jurisdiction that meet the definition of critical habitat. Since there is not any habitat of scalloped hammerhead sharks in waters under U.S. jurisdiction that is considered to be critical habitat, there is no critical habitat to designate under ESA section 4(a)(3)(A)(i).

    Although we have determined that no areas meet the definition of critical habitat for the listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs, the areas occupied by the DPSs under U.S. jurisdiction will continue to be subject to conservation actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the ESA, as well as consultation pursuant to section 7(a)(2) of the ESA for Federal activities that may affect the listed scalloped hammerhead DPSs, as determined on the basis of the best available information at the time of the action. Through the consultation process, we will continue to assess effects of Federal actions on these species and their habitat. In addition, the prohibitions against importing, exporting, engaging in foreign or interstate commerce, or “taking” of the scalloped hammerhead sharks of the Eastern Pacific DPS and Eastern Atlantic DPS under section 9 of the ESA continue to apply.

    References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29262 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force [Docket ID USAF-2013-0030] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Air Force Chief of Chaplains Office (DOD/USAF/HQ AF/HC), Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department of the Air Force announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Chaplain Corps Accounting Center, 266 F Street, Suite 2, JBSA Randolph, TX 78150-4583, email [email protected] or call (210) 652-5122 option 9.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: AF Form 4356, Chapel Tithes and Offering Fund (CTOF) Purchase Request, AF Form 4357, Chapel Tithes and Offering Fund (CTOF) Monthly Statement of Contract Services, and AF Form 4360, Chapel Tithes and Offering Fund (CTOF) Electronic Funds Transfer EFT, OMB Control Number 0701-TBD.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to enable the request of advance funds for purchase of supplies for chapel projects, or for the payment of contract payments to Non-personnel Service Contracts between the local base chapel and each individual contractor. Air Force Instruction 52-105V2 requires that all contract payments only be accomplished by EFT, the 4360 Form gives CCAC the information needed to pay by EFT.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 6,250 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 5,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 5.

    Annual Responses: 25,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes.

    Frequency: Annually.

    The Chaplain Corps Accounting Center (CCAC) requires the forms to be completed and submitted, to have all the information needed to process fund requests and payments. The calculation of average burden per response uses fifteen minutes as an average time for each form. The only members of the public that are affected are those who require funds from the CCAC.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29337 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2015-HQ-0045] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Civilian Human Resources Agency, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Civilian Human Resources Agency announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Department of Defense, Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) G-1, Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA), ATTN: Civilian Information Services Division (CISD), Mark A. Patterson, Chief, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060, or call CISD at 703-806-3232.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Army Recruitment & Personnel Management of Local Foreign National Employment; AE Form 690-70A; OMB Control Number 0702-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to issue referral notices to fill jobs, issue a priority placement referral for individuals under Reduction-In-Force (RIF), to generate termination notifications, and to apply for initial employment.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1,670.

    Number of Respondents: 10,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 10,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    This OMB number is being requested to support recruitment and personnel management of local foreign national (FN) employment. The following systems currently fall under this scope: Local National Staffing Suite [LNSS] and Korean National Recruitment System [KNRS].

    LNSS consists of the Local National Recruitment System (LNRS) and the Europe Summer Hire Application (ESH).

    AE Form 690-70A is the application form that employment respondents must complete to be considered for positions in Germany. The form is written in both English and German. The completed form is stored as a record of the respondent's personal information, education, employment history, military history, and availability, as well as a list of applicable language(s) and other skills. If this form is not submitted, the respondent will not be eligible for employment positions through LNSS. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on the AE Form 690-70A is entered into the LNSS system by the Administration Assistant.

    Local National Recruitment System (LNRS) is a component of Local National Staffing Suite (LNSS). LNRS was developed to automate German Local National (LN) recruitment processes for United States Army Europe (USAREUR). The application supports the Army Civilian Personnel Operations Center (CPOC) and services Civilian Personnel Advisory Centers (CPACs) in Europe. The application is primarily used to automate local national recruitment processes for USAREUR including Priority Placement, Reduction In Force, and Referrals, while taking into account the Local National Tariff Agreements. LNRS is accessible at the following URL: https://acpol2.army.mil/lnrs.

    Europe Summer Hire Application (ESH) is a component of Local National Staffing Suite (LNSS). ESH is a Web-based government developed Linux application accessible at https://acpol2.army.mil/sh/staffing/summerhire. ESH allows the accumulation of resume data for summer hiring of German local nationals to work in and support the Army USAREUR civilian personnel community. ESH is designed to contain and rank resumes of local nationals in USAREUR area to work in and support the Army civilian personnel community and to allow the HR Specialist to review the resume information. ESH consists of a Linux web/application server using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and a Linux database server using Oracle.

    Korean National Recruitment System (KNRS) respondents are employment applicants. KNRS was developed to provide immediate and accurate status/response to applicants via a Web-based interface. KNRS provides customers with a timely and more reliable customer service system. It also eliminates the long wait periods when recruiting Korean National (KN) employees to support the Army's FN mission. Respondents (applicants) enter their own employment application information directly into the electronic form in the system. The electronic form is a record of the respondent's personal information, education, employment history, military history, and other qualifications and skills. If this electronic form is not submitted, the respondent will not be eligible for the KN employment position. KNRS is accessible at the following URL: https://lr.acpol.army.mil/knrs/selfservice.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29248 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2014-0048] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Exchange Retail Sales Transaction Data Surveys; OMB Control Number 0702-XXXX.

    Type of Request: Existing collection in use without an OMB Control Number.

    Number of Respondents: 595,968.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 595,968.

    Average Burden per Response: 3 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 29,798.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to enable the Exchange to fulfill its mission and enhance the military community by providing a world-wide system of Exchanges with merchandise and household goods similar to commercial stores and services; for use in responding to individual patron satisfaction with the delivery of the Exchange benefit, and in determining the appropriate product availability meeting the Exchange customers' current/future needs and wants; to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Exchange's marketing programs; to determine actions required to settle customer complaints; to electronically notify potential customers, who voluntarily provide their email address, and other personal information about shopping at the Exchange using voluntary opt-in procedures.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29201 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DoD-2015-OS-0128] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the STEM Program Office, Mark Center, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Room 17C08, Alexandria, Virginia 22350-3600, ATTN: Karen Saunders or call STEM Program Office, at 571 2372 6542.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: SMART Program Documents, OMB Control Number 0704-0446.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is a statutory and functional necessary to administer the SMART scholarship program. The SMART Program requires a competitive application process. All awardees must be U.S. citizens at the time of application, 18 years or older as of 1 August 2015, able to participate in summer internships at DoD laboratories, willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD, be a current college student in good standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (as calculated by the SMART application), pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the 19 program funded disciplines, and eligible to obtain and maintain a secret level security clearance.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 420,000.

    Number of Respondents: 2,800.

    Responses per Respondent: 6.

    Annual Responses: 16,800.

    Average Burden per Response: 25 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondents are college students or current Department of Defense (DoD) employees who provide academic information to the SMART Program Office. The application is an on line form requesting academic merit, and compatibility with DoD workforce needs. The information collected consists of applications submitted by members of the general public and current DoD personnel who actively choose to become involved in SMART and thus become subject to information collection. The applications include information on academic records, community and volunteer activities, letters of recommendations from faculty and community leaders, a list of publications, work experience, certification of citizenship and personal contact information. All this information is necessary to evaluate and rank each candidate's credentials for awarding scholarships and determining whether the candidate meets specific DoD facility workforce needs. Having qualified candidates provide academic and work force compatibility with the mission of the DoD is essential in maintaining a STEM work for DoD Laboratories.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29197 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0131] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 (MGLS:2017) Recruitment for 2017 Operational Field Test AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0131. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E105, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela at (202) 502-7411or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 (MGLS:2017) Recruitment for 2017 Operational Field Test

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0911.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 21,232.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 6,947.

    Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-2018 (MGLS:2017) is the first study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. The study will focus on student achievement in mathematics and literacy along with measures of student socioemotional wellbeing and other outcomes. The study will also include a special sample of students with different types of disabilities that will provide descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services. Baseline data for the MGLS:2017 will be collected from a nationally-representative sample of 6th grade students beginning in January 2018, with annual follow-ups beginning in January 2019 and in January 2020 when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively. This request is to contact and recruit public school districts and public and private schools, beginning in January 2016, to participate in the MGLS:2017 Operational Field Test (OFT) which will take place from January to June 2017. The primary purpose of the OFT is to obtain information on recruiting, particularly for the targeted disability groups; obtaining a tracking sample that can be used to study mobility patterns in subsequent years; and testing protocols and administrative procedures. The OFT will inform the materials and procedures for the main study base year and follow-up data collections. The base year data collection will begin in January 2018. Because the MGLS:2017 Item Validation Field Test (IVFT) recruitment and data collection will still be ongoing at the time this request is approved, the burden and materials from the MGLS:2017 Recruitment for 2016 IVFT request (OMB# 1850-0911 v.3, 5, and 7) and from the MGLS:2017 IVFT Data Collection (OMB# 1850-0911 v.4) are being carried over in this submission.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29189 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0093] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Guaranty Agencies Security Self-Assessment and Attestation AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 17, 2015

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0093. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E105, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Guaranty Agencies Security Self-Assessment and Attestation.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0134.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 28.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 8,848.

    Abstract: The E-Government Act (Pub. L. 107-347) passed by the 107th Congress and signed into law by the President in December 2002 recognized the importance of information security to the economic and national security interests of the United States. Title III of the E-Government Act, entitled the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires each federal agency to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for the information and information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency, contractor, or other source. FISMA, along with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (Clinger-Cohen Act), explicitly emphasizes a risk-based policy for cost-effective security.

    FSA is initiating a formal assessment program of the Guaranty Agencies that will ensure the continued confidentiality and integrity of data entrusted to FSA by students and families. The assessment will identify security deficiencies based on the Federal standards described in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publications. The comprehensive self-assessment links all questions with a NIST control. This collection of information impacts 28 independently owned Guaranty Agencies (GAs) dispersed throughout the U.S. Each agency is under signed agreement with the Department of Education to service Federal Family Education Loans that have been turned over from the lending institutions to the GAs for the purpose of student loan collections.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29190 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's (Commission) staff will attend the following meeting related to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO)—PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) Joint and Common Market Initiative (Docket No. AD14-3-000):

    MISO/PJM Joint Stakeholder Meeting—November 18, 2015

    The above-referenced meeting will be held at: MISO Headquarters, 720 City Center Drive, Carmel, IN 46032-7574.

    The above-referenced meeting is open to the public.

    Further information may be found at www.misoenergy.org.

    The discussions at the meeting described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. EL13-88, Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL11-34, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL14-21, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL14-30, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. v. Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER11-1844, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER10-1791, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket Nos. ER13-1923, ER13-1938, ER13-1943, ER13-1945, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket Nos. ER13-1924, ER13-1926, ER13-1936, ER13-1944, ER13-1947, ER15-2200, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER13-1937, ER13-1939, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1174, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1736, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2022, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2445, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER16-56, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER15-2613, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-2616, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL15-99, Internal MISO Generation v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    For more information, contact Valerie Teeter, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (202) 502-8538 or [email protected]

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29266 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-31-000.

    Applicants: Slate Creek Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the FPA of Slate Creek Wind Project, LLC and Requests for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment.

    Filed Date: 11/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20151109-5244.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-32-000.

    Applicants: CPV Shore, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers, Confidential Treatment, Expedited Action and Shortened Comment Period of CPV Shore, LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5137.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-746-002.

    Applicants: RC Cape May Holdings, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Supplement to Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 11/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20151109-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2418-002.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: eTariff Migration Compliance Filing for BART NITSA Schedule 7 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 11/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20151109-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-132-001.

    Applicants: Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Filing of Agreement for Sharing of Security Related Costs to be effective 12/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-296-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: SWE (PowerSouth Territorial) NITSA Amendment (Add CVEC Talladega-Mitchell Rd DP) to be effective 10/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20151109-5206.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-297-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2652R3 Waverly Wind Farm LLC GIA to be effective 10/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-298-000.

    Applicants: American Electric Power Service Corporation.

    Description: Application for Limited Waiver of American Electric Power Service Corporation, on behalf of its state-regulated utility affiliates within PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Filed Date: 11/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20151109-5252.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-299-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas North Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: TNC-SolaireHolman 1 Interconnection Agreement to be effective 10/22/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5051.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-300-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Central Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: TCC-The City of Brownsville TX IA First Amend & Restated to be effective 10/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5056.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-301-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Distribution Service Agmt with Calleguas Municipal Water District to be effective 1/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-302-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: True-Up SGIA and Distribution Service Agmt US Borax to be effective 1/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-303-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: GIA & Distribution Service Agreement Ganna Halvorsen Covina Solar Project to be effective 1/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-304-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: BPA Construction Agmt—Conversion Ross-Lex-Swift to be effective 1/10/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    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: November 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29265 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CD16-2-000] Roger Rolfe; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On November 3, 2015, Roger Rolfe filed a notice of intent to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, pursuant to section 30 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by section 4 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (HREA). The proposed Rolfe Hydro Project would have an installed capacity of 2 kilowatts (kW) and would be located at the vault on the 6-inch diameter irrigation pipe on the Rolfe property. The project would be located near the town of Cimarron in Gunnison County, Colorado.

    Applicant Contact: Gabe Stephens, Black Canyon Resources, LLC, P.O. Box 1781, Gunnison, CO 81230, Phone No. (970) 946-5096.

    FERC Contact: Robert Bell, Phone No. (202) 502-6062, email: [email protected]

    Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Description: The proposed project would consist of: (1) Replacing the existing gate valves with an impulse turbine with an installed capacity of 2 kW; (3) a 15-foot-long, 8-inch-diameter discharge pipe reducing to 6-inch diameter connecting to the existing 6-inch-diameter irrigation pipeline; and (4) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an estimated annual generating capacity of 11.4 megawatt-hours.

    A qualifying conduit hydropower facility is one that is determined or deemed to meet all of the criteria shown in the table below.

    Table 1—Criteria for Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Statutory provision Description Satisfies
  • (Y/N)
  • FPA 30(a)(3)(A), as amended by HREA The conduit the facility uses a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(i), as amended by HREA The facility is constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of electric power and uses for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(ii), as amended by HREA The facility has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(iii), as amended by HREA On or before August 9, 2013, the facility is not licensed, or exempted from the licensing requirements of Part I of the FPA Y

    Preliminary Determination: Based upon the above criteria, Commission staff preliminarily determines that the proposal satisfies the requirements for a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, which is not required to be licensed or exempted from licensing.

    Comments and Motions to Intervene: Deadline for filing comments contesting whether the facility meets the qualifying criteria is 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Deadline for filing motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Anyone may submit comments or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.214. Any motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the “COMMENTS CONTESTING QUALIFICATION FOR A CONDUIT HYDROPOWER FACILITY” or “MOTION TO INTERVENE,” as applicable; (2) state in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) state the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of sections 385.2001 through 385.2005 of the Commission's regulations.1 All comments contesting Commission staff's preliminary determination that the facility meets the qualifying criteria must set forth their evidentiary basis.

    1 18 CFR 385.2001-2005 (2015).

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Locations of Notice of Intent: Copies of the notice of intent can be obtained directly from the applicant or such copies can be viewed and reproduced at the Commission in its Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (e.g., CD16-2-000) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29264 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 10309-001] Darren K. Vaughn, Scott M. Fodor, Trust; Notice of Transfer of Exemption

    1. By letter filed November 3, 2015, Darren K. Vaughn informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the Flying W Project No. 10309, originally issued July 21, 1987 1 has been transferred to Scott M. Fodor, Trust. The name of the project has been changed from Flying W to Scott M. Fodor, Trust. The project is located on an irrigation pipe near Emmett in Valley County, Idaho. The transfer of an exemption does not require Commission approval.

    1 40 FERC ¶ 62,056 (1987), Order Granting Exemption from Licensing (Conduit).

    2. Scott M. Fodor, Trust is now the exemptee of the Scott M. Fodor, Trust Project, No. 10309. All correspondence should be forwarded to: Scott M. Fodor, Trust, 10644 W. Coleman Road, Barryton, MI 49305.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29267 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224; FRL-9939-16-OAR] California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; In-Use Diesel-Fueled Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) and TRU Generator Sets and Facilities Where TRUs Operate; Request for Within-the-Scope and Full Authorization; Opportunity for Public Hearing and Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has notified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it has adopted amendments to its In-Use Diesel-Fueled Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) and TRU Generator Sets and Facilities Where TRUs Operate (together “2011 TRU Amendments”) regulation. By letter dated March 2, 2015, CARB asked that EPA authorize these amendments pursuant to section 209(e) of the Clean Air Act. CARB seeks confirmation that certain 2011 TRU Amendments are within the scope of prior authorizations issued by EPA, or, in the alternative, that such amendments merit full authorization. CARB also seeks a full authorization for other 2011 TRU Amendments. This notice announces that EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing to consider California's authorization request for the 2011 TRU Amendments and that EPA is now accepting written comment on the request.

    DATES:

    EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing concerning CARB's request on January 6, 2016, at 10 a.m. ET. EPA will hold a hearing only if any party notifies EPA by December 15, 2015 to express interest in presenting the Agency with oral testimony. Parties wishing to present oral testimony at the public hearing should provide written notice to David Dickinson at the email address noted below. If EPA receives a request for a public hearing, that hearing will be held at the William Jefferson Clinton Building (North), Room 5528 at 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. If EPA does not receive a request for a public hearing, then EPA will not hold a hearing, and instead will consider CARB's request based on written submissions to the docket. Any party may submit written comments until February 8, 2016.

    Any person who wishes to know whether a hearing will be held may call David Dickinson at (202) 343-9256 on or after December 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224, by one of the following methods:

    • Online at http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the Online Instructions for Submitting Comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (202) 566-9744.

    Mail: Air and Radiation Docket, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of two copies.

    Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Online Instructions for Submitting Comments: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224. EPA's policy is that all comments we receive will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will automatically be captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    EPA will make available for public inspection materials submitted by CARB, written comments received from any interested parties, and any testimony given at the public hearing. Materials relevant to this proceeding are contained in the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, maintained in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Headquarters Library, EPA West Building, Room 3334, located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open to the public on all federal government work days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; generally, it is open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566-1744. The Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center's Web site is http://www.epa.gov/oar/docket.html. The electronic mail (email) address for the Air and Radiation Docket is: [email protected], the telephone number is (202) 566-1742, and the fax number is (202) 566-9744. An electronic version of the public docket is available through the federal government's electronic public docket and comment system. You may access EPA dockets at http://www.regulations.gov. After opening the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, enter, in the “Enter Keyword or ID” fill-in box to view documents in the record. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (“CBI”) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality also maintains a Web page that contains general information on its review of California waiver and authorization requests. Included on that page are links to prior waiver and authorization Federal Register notices. The page can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cafr.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Dickinson, Attorney-Advisor, Transportation and Climate Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., (6405J), Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 343-9256. Fax: (202) 343-2804. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. California's TRU Regulations; Within-the-Scope Request and Request for Full Authorization

    CARB's TRU regulations require TRU engines to meet in-use standards that vary by horsepower (hp) range and have two levels of emissions stringency (LETRU and ULETRU—low-emission and ultra-low emission transportation refrigeration units, respectively) that are phased in over time.1 The 2011 Amendments provide owners of 2001 through 2003 model year (MY) TRU engines that complied with the LETRU in-use performance standards by specified compliance deadlines a one-year extension of the deadline to comply with the more stringent ULETRU in-use performance standards.2 The 2011 Amendments also clarify manual recordkeeping requirements for electric standby-equipped TRUs and ultimately require automated electronic tracking system requirements for such TRUs; establish requirements for businesses that arrange, hire, contract, or dispatch the transport of goods in TRU-equipped trucks, trailers or containers; and address other issues that arose during the initial implementation of the TRU regulation.3

    1 CARB's amended regulation is codified at California Code of Regulations (CCR), title 13, section 2477. EPA granted California a full authorization for the initial TRU regulation in 2009 (74 FR 3030 (January 16, 2009)). EPA confirmed California's 2010 amendments were within the scope of the initial TRU authorization in 2013 (78 FR 38970 (June 28, 2013)).

    2 The 2011 TRU Amendments also provide an extension of applicable compliance dates should compliant technology not be available.

    3 For a complete description of CARB's amended TRU regulation and the provisions which CARB seeks EPA's authorization see CARB's incoming request to EPA (and accompanying documents) submitted to the public docket at EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224.

    By letter dated March 2, 2015, CARB submitted a request to EPA pursuant to section 209(e) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) for confirmation that its 2011 Amendments fall within the scope of EPA's previous authorizations, or, in the alternate, a full authorization for those amendments. Included in the within-the-scope request are the 2011 Amendments that (1) extend the ULETRU compliance date for MY 2003 and older TRUs that complied with the LETRU standard by specified dates; (2) extend compliance dates when compliant technology is unavailable or delayed for certain reasons; (3) establish new exemptions; 4 and (4) allow in-use performance standards and associated compliance deadlines to be based on the year the TRU was manufactured instead of the TRU engine model year. CARB also seeks within-the-scope confirmation that certain amendments to its accompanying enforcement procedures are within the scope of prior EPA authorizations.5 CARB seeks a full authorization for a subset of the 2011 Amendments that set forth requirements for repowering TRUs with new replacement engines and that allow owners to repower TRUs with rebuilt engines meeting certain requirements. CARB also seeks a full authorization for a series amendments to the TRU accompanying enforcement procedures.6

    4 These new exemptions are listed in section II G of CARB's authorization request, EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224-0002 at p. 12-13.

    5 These amendments to the TRU accompanying enforcement procedures are listed in CARB's authorization request, EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0244-0002 at p. 24.

    6 These amendments to the TRU accompanying enforcement procedures are listed in CARB's authorization request, EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224-0002 at p. 25.

    II. Clean Air Act Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Authorizations

    Section 209(e)(1) of the CAA prohibits states and local governments from adopting or attempting to enforce any standard or requirement relating to the control of emissions from certain types of new nonroad vehicles or engines. The Act also preempts states from adopting and enforcing standards and other requirements related to the control of emissions from other types of new nonroad vehicles or engines as well as non-new nonroad engines or vehicles. Section 209(e)(2), however, requires the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, to authorize California to adopt and enforce standards and other requirements relating to the control of emissions from such preempted vehicles or engines if California determines that California standards will be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards. However, EPA shall not grant such authorization if it finds that (1) the determination of California is arbitrary and capricious; (2) California does not need such California standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; or (3) California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with [CAA section 209].7 In addition, other states with air quality attainment plans may adopt and enforce such regulations if the standards and the implementation and enforcement procedures are identical to California's standards. On July 20, 1994, EPA promulgated a rule that sets forth, among other things, regulations providing the criteria, as found in section 209(e)(2), which EPA must consider before granting any California authorization request for new nonroad engine or vehicle emission standards.8 EPA revised these regulations in 1997.9 As stated in the preamble to the 1994 rule, EPA has historically interpreted the section 209(e)(2)(A)(iii) “consistency” inquiry to require, at minimum, that California standards and enforcement procedures be consistent with section 209(a), section 209(e)(1), and section 209(b)(1)(C) (as EPA has interpreted that subsection in the context of section 209(b) motor vehicle waivers).10

    7 EPA's review of California regulations under section 209 is not a broad review of the reasonableness of the regulations or its compatibility with all other laws. Sections 209(b) and 209(e) of the Clean Air Act limit EPA's authority to deny California requests for waivers and authorizations to the three criteria listed therein. As a result, EPA has consistently refrained from denying California's requests for waivers and authorizations based on any other criteria. In instances where the U.S. Court of Appeals has reviewed EPA decisions declining to deny waiver requests based on criteria not found in section 209(b), the Court has upheld and agreed with EPA's determination. See Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Ass'n v. Nichols, 142 F.3d 449, 462-63, 466-67 (D.C. Cir.1998), Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Ass'n v. EPA, 627 F.2d 1095, 1111, 1114-20 (D.C. Cir. 1979). See also 78 FR 58090, 58120 (September 20, 2013).

    8 59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994).

    9 62 FR 67733 (December 30, 1997). The applicable regulations, now in 40 CFR part 1074, subpart B, § 1074.105, provide:

    (a) The Administrator will grant the authorization if California determines that its standards will be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as otherwise applicable federal standards.

    (b) The authorization will not be granted if the Administrator finds that any of the following are true:

    (1) California's determination is arbitrary and capricious.

    (2) California does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.

    (3) The California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 209 of the Act.

    (c) In considering any request to authorize California to adopt or enforce standards or other requirements relating to the control of emissions from new nonroad spark-ignition engines smaller than 50 horsepower, the Administrator will give appropriate consideration to safety factors (including the potential increased risk of burn or fire) associated with compliance with the California standard.

    10 59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994).

    In order to be consistent with section 209(a), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not apply to new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines. To be consistent with section 209(e)(1), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not attempt to regulate engine categories that are permanently preempted from state regulation. To determine consistency with section 209(b)(1)(C), EPA typically reviews nonroad authorization requests under the same “consistency” criteria that are applied to motor vehicle waiver requests. Pursuant to section 209(b)(1)(C), the Administrator shall not grant California a motor vehicle waiver if she finds that California “standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with [section 202(a)]” of the Act. Previous decisions granting waivers and authorizations have noted that state standards and enforcement procedures are inconsistent with section 202(a) if: (1) There is inadequate lead time to permit the development of the necessary technology giving appropriate consideration to the cost of compliance within that time, or (2) the federal and state testing procedures impose inconsistent certification requirements.11

    11Id. See also 78 FR 58090, 58092 (September 20, 2013).

    If California amends regulations that EPA has already authorized, California can seek EPA confirmation that the amendments are within the scope of the previous authorization. A within-the-scope confirmation, without a full authorization review, is permissible if three conditions are met.12 First, the amended regulations must not undermine California's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards. Second, the amended regulations must not affect consistency with section 202(a) of the Act. Third, the amended regulations must not raise any “new issues” affecting EPA's prior authorizations.

    12See 78 FR 38970, 38972 (June 28, 2013).

    In considering whether to grant authorizations for accompanying enforcement procedures tied to standards for which an authorization has already been granted, EPA addresses questions as to whether the enforcement procedures undermine California's determination that its standards are as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards, and whether the enforcement procedures are consistent with section 202(a).13

    13See CAA section 209(e)(2)(A)(i) and (iii), 42 U.S.C. 7543(e)(2)(A) (i) and (iii).

    III. EPA's Request for Comments

    As stated above, EPA is offering the opportunity for a public hearing, and is requesting written comment on issues relevant to a within-the-scope analysis and a full authorization analysis. Specifically, we request comment on whether the 2011 Amendments (1) undermine California's previous determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as comparable federal standards; (2) affect the consistency of California's requirements with section 209 of the Act; or (3) raise any other new issues affecting EPA's previous waiver or authorization determinations.

    Should any party believe that the amendments are not within the scope of the previous authorizations, EPA also requests comment on whether the 2011 Amendments meet the criteria for a full authorization. Specifically, we request comment on: (a) Whether CARB's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards is arbitrary and capricious; (b) whether California needs such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; and (c) whether California's standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are consistent with section 209 of the Act.

    IV. Procedures for Public Participation

    If a hearing is held, the Agency will make a verbatim record of the proceedings. Interested parties may arrange with the reporter at the hearing to obtain a copy of the transcript at their own expense. Regardless of whether a public hearing is held, EPA will keep the record open until February 8, 2016. Upon expiration of the comment period, the Administrator will render a decision on CARB's request based on the record from the public hearing, if any, all relevant written submissions, and other information that she deems pertinent. All information will be available for inspection at the EPA Air Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0224.

    Persons with comments containing proprietary information must distinguish such information from other comments to the greatest extent possible and label it as “Confidential Business Information” (CBI). If a person making comments wants EPA to base its decision on a submission labeled as CBI, then a non-confidential version of the document that summarizes the key data or information should be submitted to the public docket. To ensure that proprietary information is not inadvertently placed in the public docket, submissions containing such information should be sent directly to the contact person listed above and not to the public docket. Information covered by a claim of confidentiality will be disclosed by EPA only to the extent allowed, and according to the procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. If no claim of confidentiality accompanies the submission when EPA receives it, EPA will make it available to the public without further notice to the person making comments.

    Dated: November 9, 2015. Christopher Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29368 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9937-19-OECA] National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; Notification of Public Teleconference Meetings and Public Comment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hereby provides notice that the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a two (2) public teleconference meetings on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and Tuesday, December 15, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Items to be discussed by NEJAC over these coming meetings include respectively: U.S. Housing and Urban Development Final Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Assessment Tool; and Chemical Plant Safety and Community Revitalization: 20 Years of the Brownfields Program.

    There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the topics of the meeting.

    For additional information about registering to attend the meeting or to provide public comment, please see “REGISTRATION” under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The NEJAC teleconference meeting on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The NEJAC teleconference meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, will begin promptly at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions or correspondence concerning the teleconference meeting should be directed to Karen L. Martin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by mail at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (MC2201A), Washington, DC 20460; by telephone at 202-564-0203; via email at [email protected]; or by fax at 202-564-1624. Additional information about the NEJAC is available at: www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/nejac.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Registration

    Registrations for the December 2, 2015, meeting will be processed at http://nejac-teleconfence-december-2-2015.eventbrite.com. When registering, please provide your name, organization, city and state, email address, and telephone number for follow up. Please also state whether you would like to be put on the list to provide public comment, and whether you are submitting written comments before the Wednesday, November 25, 2015, noon deadline.

    Registrations for the December 15, 2015, meeting will be processed at http://nejac-teleconference-december-15-2015.eventbrite.com. When registering, please provide your name, organization, city and state, email address, and telephone number for follow up. Please also state whether you would like to be put on the list to provide public comment, and whether you are submitting written comments before the Thursday, December 11, 2015, noon deadline.

    Due to a limited number of telephone lines, attendance will be on a first-come, first served basis. Pre-registration is required.

    1. Registration for the December 2, 2015, teleconference meeting closes at Noon, Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 25, 2015. The deadline to sign up to speak during the public comment period, or to submit written public comments, is also Noon, Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

    2. Registration for the December 15, 2015, teleconference meeting closes at Noon, Eastern Time on Thursday, December 10, 2015. The deadline to sign up to speak during the public comment period, or to submit written public comments, is also Noon, Thursday, December 10, 2015.

    The Charter of the NEJAC states that the advisory committee “will provide independent advice and recommendations to the Administrator about broad, crosscutting issues related to environmental justice. The NEJAC's efforts will include evaluation of a broad range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement and economic issues related to environmental justice.”

    A. Public Comment

    Individuals or groups making remarks during the public comment period will be limited to seven (7) minutes. To accommodate the number of people who want to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a particular community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak. Written comments can also be submitted for the record. The suggested format for individuals providing public comments is as follows: Name of speaker; name of organization/community; city and state; and email address; brief description of the concern, and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do. Written comments received by registration deadline, will be included in the materials distributed to the NEJAC prior to the teleconference. Written comments received after that time will be provided to the NEJAC as time allows. All written comments should be sent to Karen L. Martin, EPA, via email at [email protected]

    B. Information About Services for Individuals With Disabilities or Requiring English Language Translation Assistance

    For information about access or services for individuals requiring assistance, please contact Karen L. Martin, at (202) 564-0203 or via email at [email protected] To request special accommodations for a disability or other assistance, please submit your request at least four working days prior to the meeting, to give EPA sufficient time to process your request. All requests should be sent to the address, email, or phone/fax number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Matthew Tejada, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. EPA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29349 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0027] 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 19, 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 [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 No.: 3060-0027.

    Title: Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station, FCC Form 301; FCC Form 2100, Application for Media Bureau Audio and Video Service Authorization, Schedule A; 47 C.F.R section 73.3700(b)(1) and (2), Post Auction Licensing.

    Form No.: FCC Form 2100, Schedule A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 3,080 respondents and 6,516 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1-6.25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Sections 154(i), 303 and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 15,287 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $62,775,788.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The collection is being made to the Office of Management (OMB) for the approval of information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Incentive Auction Order, FCC 14-50, which adopted rules for holding an Incentive Auction, as required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act). The information gathered in this collection will be used to allow full-power television broadcast stations that are relocated to a new channel following the Federal Communications Commission's Incentive Auction to submit a construction application to build new facilities to operate on their post-auction channel. Form 2100, Schedule A is also used to apply for authority to construct a new commercial AM, FM, or TV broadcast station and to make changes to existing facilities of such a station.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29238 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the final approval of a proposed information collection by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated authority. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the Paperwork Reduction Act Submission, supporting statement and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503.

    Final approval under OMB delegated authority of the extension for three years, with revision, of the following information collection:

    Report titles: The Complex Institution Liquidity Monitoring Report (FR 2052a) and the Liquidity Monitoring Report (FR 2052b).

    Agency form numbers: FR 2052a and FR 2052b.

    OMB control number: 7100-0361.

    Frequency: FR 2052a: Daily or monthly; FR 2052b: quarterly.

    Respondents:

    • FR 2052a: Bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies subject to the liquidity coverage ratio (together, U.S. firms) with total assets of $700 billion or more or with $10 trillion or more in assets under custody; U.S. firms with total assets of less than $700 billion and with assets under custody of less than $10 trillion, but total assets of $250 billion or more or foreign exposure of $10 billion or more; U.S. firms with total assets of $50 billion or more but total assets of less than $250 billion and foreign exposure of less than $10 billion; Foreign banking organizations (FBOs) that are identified as LISCC firms; FBOs with U.S. assets of $250 billion or more that are not identified as LISCC firms; and FBOs with U.S. assets of $50 billion or more but U.S. assets less than $250 billion that are not identified as LISCC firms.

    • FR 2052b: U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) not controlled by FBOs with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more but less than $50 billion

    Estimated annual reporting hours: FR 2052a: 714,480 hours; FR 2052b: 12,480 hours.1

    1 With the proposed revisions, the paperwork burden for 2015 is estimated to initially decrease, then incrementally increase for 2016, 2017, and 2018, for an annual net increase of 266,480 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: FR 2052a: ranges between 120 hours and 400 hours; FR 2052b: 60 hours.

    Number of respondents: FR 2052a: 48; FR 2052b: 52.

    General description of report: These reports are authorized pursuant to section 5 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1844), section 8 of the International Banking Act (12 U.S.C. 3106) and section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5365) and are mandatory, with voluntary early reporting on FR 2052a for U.S. firms with total consolidated assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms. Section 5(c) of the Bank Holding Company Act authorizes the Board to require BHCs to submit reports to the Board regarding their financial condition. Section 8(a) of the International Banking Act subjects FBOs to the provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act. Section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Board to establish prudential standards for certain BHCs and FBOs; these standards include liquidity requirements. The individual financial institution information provided by each respondent will be accorded confidential treatment under exemption 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)). In addition, the institution information provided by each respondent will not be otherwise available to the public and is entitled to confidential treatment under the authority of exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)), which protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information.

    Abstract: The FR 2052 reports are used to monitor the overall liquidity profile of institutions supervised by the Federal Reserve. These data provide detailed information on the liquidity risks within different business lines (e.g., financing of securities positions, prime brokerage activities). In particular, these data serve as part of the Federal Reserve's supervisory surveillance program in its liquidity risk management area and provide timely information on firm-specific liquidity risks during periods of stress. Analysis of systemic and idiosyncratic liquidity risk issues are then used to inform the Federal Reserve's supervisory processes, including the preparation of analytical reports that detail funding vulnerabilities. Additionally, FR 2052a will allow the Federal Reserve to monitor compliance with the liquidity coverage ratio.

    Current Actions: On December 2, 2014, the Federal Reserve published a notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 71416) requesting public comment for 60 days on the extension, with revision, of the FR 2052a and FR 2052b. The comment period for this notice expired on February 2, 2015. The Federal Reserve received eight comment letters on the proposed revisions to the FR 2052 reports: Two from trade associations, five from U.S. banking organizations, and one from an FBO. In addition, the Federal Reserve held several meetings with banks and trade associations. In general, the comments focused on scope of application, transition periods, timing of data submission, tailoring of the requirements to certain institutions, application to firms subject to the modified LCR, application to nonbank financial companies supervised by the Federal Reserve, availability of a template and mapping document, and other changes. The comments and responses are discussed in detail below. In addition, the Federal Reserve has revised the proposed reporting formats and instructions, as appropriate, in response to the technical comments received.

    Detailed Discussion of Public Comments Initially Proposed FR 2052a and FR 2052b Revisions

    The Federal Reserve initially proposed to revise the FR 2052a report by: (1) Modifying the firms that are required to respond, the applicable asset threshold, and frequency of reporting; (2) including a data structure that subdivides three general categories of inflows, outflows, and supplemental items into 10 distinct data tables; (3) requiring all U.S. firms with total assets of $250 billion or more or foreign exposure of $10 billion or more and all FBOs with total U.S. assets of $50 billion or more to report liquidity profiles by major currency for each material entity of the reporting institution; (4) collecting more detail regarding securities financing transactions, wholesale unsecured funding, deposits, loans, unfunded commitments, collateral, derivatives, and foreign exchange transactions; and (5) changing the structure of the collection to an XML format from a spreadsheet format.

    The Federal Reserve also initially proposed to revise the FR 2052b reporting panel by modifying the firms that are required to respond and the applicable threshold, and eliminating monthly reporting.

    Initially Proposed Reporting Panel and Frequency of Submissions 2

    2 SLHCs not subject to the LCR would not have been subject to these reporting requirements. However, the initial proposal noted that through future rulemakings these institutions may be subject to some form of liquidity monitoring.

    The scope of application, frequency, submission dates, and timing of submission that were initially proposed are shown in the following table.

    3 For U.S. bank holidays and weekends, no positions would have been reported. For data that would have been reported by entities in international locations, if there were to be a local bank holiday, those entities would have submitted data using the data from the previous business day.

    4 U.S. firms would have included nonbank financial companies that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has determined under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank (12 U.S.C. 5323) shall be supervised by the Federal Reserve and for which such determination is still in effect, where the Federal Reserve has applied the requirements of the liquidity coverage ratio to such company by rule or order.

    5 These firms would have complied with the transitions set forth in the LCR, which requires an LCR calculation monthly starting in January 2015. However, these firms would not have needed to report on the FR 2052a until this reporting as-of date.

    6 These firms would have complied with the transitions set forth in the LCR, which requires an LCR calculation monthly starting in January 2015. However, these firms would not have needed to report on the FR 2052a until this reporting as-of date.

    7 The frequency of the FR 2052a monthly report could have been temporarily adjusted to daily on a case-by-case basis as market conditions and supervisory needs changed to carry out effective continuous liquidity monitoring. The Federal Reserve anticipated frequency adjustments to be a rare occurrence.

    8 These FBOs would have been required to have the ability to report on each business day. If the FBO were consolidating a U.S. firm that would independently have to report daily, then the FBO would have had to report daily. The Federal Reserve would have tested these FBOs for their ability to report daily.

    9 FR 2052b reporting requirements would not have changed for U.S. BHCs (not controlled by FBOs) with total consolidated assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion, so the frequency and as-of date would have been the same as it had been.

    Report No. Reporter description Frequency First as-of
  • date
  • First submission
  • date 3
  • Timing of
  • submission
  • FR 2052a U.S. firms 4 with total assets ≥$700 billion or with assets under custody of ≥$10 trillion Monthly
  • Daily
  • 5 03/31/2015
  • 07/01/2015
  • 04/02/2015
  • 07/03/2015
  • T+2
  • T+2
  • FR 2052a U.S. firms with total assets <$700 billion and with assets under custody of <$10 trillion but, total assets ≥$250 billion or foreign exposure ≥$10 billion Monthly
  • Daily
  • 6 07/31/2015
  • 07/01/2016
  • 08/02/2015
  • 07/03/2016
  • T+2
  • T+2
  • FR 2052a 7 U.S. firms with total assets ≥$50 billion but, total assets <$250 billion and foreign exposure <$10 billion Monthly 01/31/2016 02/02/2016 T+2 FR 2052a FBOs with U.S. assets ≥$50 billion and U.S. broker-dealer assets ≥$100 billion Monthly
  • Daily
  • 03/31/2015
  • 07/01/2015
  • 04/02/2015
  • 07/03/2015
  • T+2
  • T+2
  • FR 2052a FBOs with U.S. assets ≥$50 billion and U.S. broker-dealer assets <$100 billion Monthly
  • Monthly 8
  • 01/31/2016
  • 07/31/2016
  • 02/02/2016
  • 08/02/2016
  • T+2
  • T+2
  • FR 2052b 9 U.S. BHCs (not controlled by FBOs) with total consolidated assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion Quarterly 12/31/2014 01/15/2015 T+15

    For purposes of the FR 2052 reports, a U.S. firm is a top-tier bank holding company (BHC), as that term is defined in section 2(a) of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1841(a)) and section 225.2(c) of the Federal Reserve's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.2(c)), organized under the laws of the United States and excludes any bank holding company that is a subsidiary of a foreign banking organization (FBO). For the purposes of the FR 2052 reports, foreign banking organization has the same meaning as in section 211.21(o) of the Federal Reserve's Regulation K (12 CFR 211.21(o)) and includes any U.S. bank holding company that is a subsidiary of an FBO. The FR 2052b report only applies to U.S. BHCs with total consolidated assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion that are not controlled by FBOs.

    Scope of Application

    The Federal Reserve has modified the scope of application for the FR 2052a from the proposal, which is set forth in the table above. These changes will not add additional burden on any firm based on the proposed scope of application, and in some cases the changes may result in less burden. Regarding the changes, the Federal Reserve will accord U.S. firms and FBOs of similar size the same treatment because similarly situated firms should be treated in a similar manner. Second, the Federal Reserve will implement three categories of treatment for both U.S. firms and FBOs, according to the asset size of the firm and whether it has been identified as a LISCC firm.10 Firms in the first category, U.S. firms with total consolidated assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms, will be required to submit the FR 2052a daily. Firms in the second category will be U.S. firms with total assets less than $700 billion and assets under custody less than $10 trillion, but total assets greater than or equal to $250 billion or foreign exposure greater than or equal to $10 billion, and FBOs with U.S. assets greater than or equal to $250 billion that have not been identified as LISCC firms. Firms in the second category will be required to submit the FR 2052a monthly. Firms in the third category will be U.S. firms with total assets less than $250 billion and foreign exposure less than $10 billion, but total assets greater than or equal to $50 billion, and FBOs with U.S. assets greater than or equal to $50 billion but less than $250 billion that are not identified as LISCC firms. Firms in the third category will be required to submit the FR 2052a monthly and will be granted additional time to submit the report.

    10 A list of the LISCC firms can be found at http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/large-institution-supervision.htm.

    As discussed further below, nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) are not included in the reporting panel for the FR 2052a.

    Firms whose asset sizes or identification as a LISCC firm causes them to cross the threshold from the third category to the second category, or from the second category to the first category, will be required to meet the applicable reporting requirements of the new category within three months of crossing the threshold. A firm whose asset size causes it to cross the threshold to the third category will have to meet the applicable reporting requirements within one year of crossing the threshold.

    In addition to these changes, the Federal Reserve will consider future enhancements to the thresholds that define the applicability of the reporting requirements that are more sensitive to liquidity risk. Any future enhancements would be proposed and subject to comment, and if finalized, firms whose reporting requirements change based on those enhancements would be provided sufficient time to comply.

    Transition Period

    Some commenters raised concerns about whether the proposed implementation schedule would allow sufficient time to implement reporting requirements. One commenter noted that banking organizations with less than $700 billion in assets and firms subject to the modified LCR methodology by the liquidity coverage ratio in the United States, finalized in September 2014 (LCR rule) 11 should not be required to report monthly on the FR 2052a before July 1, 2016. According to the commenter, the proposed timeline would divert resources from efforts to ensure daily LCR compliance by July 1, 2016, and potentially put those efforts at risk. This commenter asserted that monthly reporting on the FR 2052a cannot be equated to the monthly LCR calculations starting in July 2015 because the FR 2052a is much more granular than is necessary to compute the LCR and suggested that because FR 2052a reporting is more akin to the daily LCR calculation, it should be on the same timeline. The commenter also noted that for the same reasons and due to their smaller size, firms subject to the modified LCR methodology should not be required to submit reports until July 2016.

    11 79 FR 61440 (October 10, 2014).

    Other commenters noted that banks that were not required to report on the prior versions of the FR 2052a report should be provided more time to comply and suggested that these organizations not be required to comply with FR 2052a reporting until July 2016, January 2017, or July 2017, to allow sufficient time to enhance IT and other systems. A commenter pointed out that even if an extension was provided, these firms could continue to report on the FR 2052b in the interim.

    Similarly, one FBO commenter noted that implementing the proposed FR 2052a with its more granular and expanded data requirements would require considerable resources and operational effort to comply by February 2, 2016 for certain entities that were not required to report on the prior versions of the FR 2052a report. The commenter noted that G-SIBs were given a two-year lead time prior to the implementation of the FR 2052a reporting requirements and it would be appropriate for current FR 2052b filers and new FR 2052a filers to receive similar lead time.

    One commenter noted that the implementation schedule for FBOs with U.S. assets of $50 billion or greater and U.S. broker-dealer assets of less than $100 billion is unrealistic. The commenter noted that reporting challenges are magnified for FBOs that have not previously had the experience of filing the FR 2052a or FR 2052b. The commenter further noted that many of these firms are working to come into compliance with the Federal Reserve Board's intermediate holding company (IHC) requirement by July 2016. The commenter suggested that new FBO filers start with the FR 2052b report before moving to the FR 2052a report, with implementation dates of July 2016 for the FR 2052b and July 2017 for the FR 2052a. The commenter also noted that the LCR rule does not apply to many of these firms and that for FR 2052b FBO filers, no further requirement should be applied until the IHC requirements are clarified and there is an LCR rule in place for FBOs.

    Another commenter requested that firms forming IHCs have a reasonable transition time for reporting on a consolidated basis and legal entity basis and that entities required to consolidate pursuant to the IHC requirement, effective July 2016, should not be required to report on the FR 2052a beforehand.

    Based on comments and analysis of the transitions and effective dates, the Federal Reserve has extended the effective dates for firms to provide more time for them to complete the necessary system builds. The table below sets forth the revised transitions and effective dates for the FR 2052a. The effective date for the FR 2052b remains unchanged, which is also set forth in the table below. Further, for the FR 2052a filers, the Federal Reserve will require monthly submissions for all firms that are not U.S. firms with total assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms. For firms that submit monthly reports, consistent with current supervisory authority and processes, during periods of stress the Federal Reserve may temporarily request the FR 2052a liquidity data to be filed on a more frequent basis.

    In addition, for U.S. firms with total consolidated assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms, the Federal Reserve will collect data as of November 30, 2015 with a request for submission on December 2, 2015. Responses to this one-time information collection are voluntary.

    Timing of Data Submission

    The Federal Reserve received several comments related to the amount of time needed to prepare reports for submission. Most commenters disagreed with the proposal's requirement that reporting forms be submitted within two days of the as-of date. One commenter noted that the two-day lag does not provide enough time for quality assurance necessary for a regulatory report. In addition, some commenters expressed concern that the two-day lag is practically only 1.5 days because the proposed submission time is noon. One commenter specifically requested that advanced approaches firms with $700 billion or more in assets be given a full two-day reporting window.

    Other commenters stated that 15 days is an appropriate time period for firms that would have been required to report monthly and for firms that are currently reporting on the FR 2052b. One commenter suggested a five-day lag for regional banks subject to the full LCR. Another commenter offered that advanced approaches firms with less than $700 billion in assets and new FBO filers should have five days to submit the reports.

    As illustrated in the table below, the Federal Reserve will implement the following transition periods for the timing of the data submission. All firms subject to FR 2052a reporting requirements, except for U.S. firms with total assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms, will have a T+15 submission requirement at their first effective date. Subsequently, the timing of the submission will be reduced until it reaches the final timing of submission requirement. Because of the importance of timely liquidity data for the largest firms, the final timing of submission will remain T+2 days. However, for U.S. firms with total assets of $50 billion or more, but less than $250 billion and foreign exposure of less than $10 billion, and FBOs with U.S. assets of $50 billion or more and less than $250 billion that are not identified as LISCC firms, the final timing of submission requirement will be T+10 days due to these firms' smaller contributions to systemic risk. Additionally, for all FR 2052a filers, as set forth in the instructions, the Federal Reserve will change the submission time on the submission date to 3:00 p.m. ET, which will provide firms additional time to prepare the data submissions. The T+15 timing of submission requirement for the FR 2052b will remain unchanged.

    Final Reporting Panel and Frequency of Submissions  12

    12 SLHCs that are not subject to the LCR are not subject to these reporting requirements; however, through future rulemakings these institutions may be required to participate in some form of liquidity monitoring. Nonbank financial companies designated for Federal Reserve supervision by FSOC under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5323), to which the Federal Reserve has applied the requirements of the liquidity coverage ratio by rule or order are not subject to these reporting requirements unless included in the rule or order.

    The Federal Reserve has modified the scope of application, frequency, submission dates, and timing of submission as shown in the following table in response to public comments.

    13 For U.S. bank holidays and weekends, no positions should be reported. For data reported by entities in international locations, if there is a local bank holiday, submit data for those entities using the data from the previous business day.

    14 These firms must comply with the transitions set forth in the LCR. However, these firms do not need to report on the FR 2052a until this reporting as-of date.

    15 These firms must comply with the transitions set forth in the LCR, which requires an LCR calculation monthly starting in January 2015. However, these firms do not need to report on the FR 2052a until this reporting as-of date.

    16 Consistent with current supervisory authority and processes, during periods of stress the Federal Reserve may temporarily request the FR 2052a liquidity data on a more frequent basis.

    17 Consistent with current supervisory authority and processes, during periods of stress the Federal Reserve may temporarily request the FR 2052a liquidity data on a more frequent basis.

    18 The FR 2052b will not change for U.S. BHCs (not controlled by FBOs) with total consolidated assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion, so the frequency and as-of date would be the same as it is currently.

    Report No. Reporter description Frequency First as-of
  • date
  • First
  • submission
  • date 13
  • Timing of
  • submission
  • FR 2052a • U.S. firms with total assets ≥$700 billion or with ≥$10 trillion in assets under custody, and
  • • FBOs identified as LISCC firms
  • Daily 14 12/14/2015 12/16/2015 T+2
    FR 2052a • U.S. firms with total assets <$700 billion and with <$10 trillion in assets under custody, but total assets ≥$250 billion or foreign exposure ≥$10 billion, and Monthly 15 01/31/2017 02/15/2017 T+15 • FBOs that are not identified as LISCC firms, but with U.S. assets ≥$250 billion Monthly 16 07/31/2017 08/02/2017 T+2 FR 2052a • U.S. firms with total assets ≥$50 billion, but total assets <$250 billion and foreign exposure <$10 billion, and Monthly 07/31/2017 08/15/2017 T+15 • FBOs that are not identified as LISCC firms and with U.S. assets <$250 billion, but U.S. assets ≥$50 billion Monthly 17 01/31/2018 02/10/2018 T+10 FR 2052b 18 • U.S. BHCs (not controlled by FBOs) with total consolidated assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion Quarterly 12/31/2015 01/15/2016 T+15
    Tailoring

    One commenter noted that less complex financial institutions that are not internationally active should not be held to the same reporting standards as larger and much more complex financial institutions. Financial institutions that are less complex do not present significant risk to the financial system. Another commenter noted that the FR 2052a is not tailored to take into account the risk profile of the reporting firms. A few commenters disagreed with the requirement to provide specific maturity data for five years. These commenters argued that the data would not provide beneficial supervisory information. One of these commenters suggested that only payments within one year should be reported.

    One commenter noted that disaggregating principal and interest payments would be burdensome to respondents and unhelpful for the Federal Reserve because this approach would not consider balance sheet growth or other behavioral assumptions. Two commenters commented on derivatives reporting. One noted that the granular derivatives details required by the proposal are not necessary for calculating the LCR, and implementing it for regional banks would be burdensome and unhelpful to the Federal Reserve. The other commenter noted that the granularity of derivative reporting for advanced approaches banking organizations with less than $700 billion in assets and modified LCR banking organizations should align with the LCR. The commenter asserted that the proposed requirement to segregate information about payables and receivables and provide the margin information in more granular detail than required by the LCR would impose tremendous burden on the collateral tracking systems of firms.

    Another commenter stated that data elements related to broker-dealers are immaterial to regional banks and these banks should not be required to report them. The commenter stated that collecting that data would not be helpful to the Federal Reserve and would impose a burden on the banks.

    The Federal Reserve received two comments on reporting by currency. One commenter stated that reporting by major currency for regional banks that are subject to the full LCR is unnecessary because their foreign activities are limited (more akin to firms subject to the modified LCR) and the LCR does not require it. The commenter stated that because current systems only record in USD, additional implementation burden would be imposed. Alternatively, the commenter suggested establishing a threshold for reporting by major currency other than USD only if the percent of foreign currency liabilities to total liabilities exceeded, for example, 5 percent. Another commenter suggested that the FR 2052a should incorporate thresholds for reporting by major currency that align with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's LCR standard's definition of “significant currency,” which is when the aggregated liabilities in that currency exceed 5 percent of total liabilities. The commenter explained that if this suggestion is followed, a firm should be required to meet the threshold for four quarters before being considered a significant currency to prevent a currency from toggling between significant and not significant.

    The Federal Reserve notes that the FR 2052a was not designed solely for monitoring compliance with the LCR; rather, it is a supervisory liquidity report that also allows for monitoring compliance with the LCR. In the context of that supervisory purpose and based on an analysis of the reporting firms, the FR 2052a will be better tailored to the size and complexity of the firms. First, and as mentioned above, the timing of the data submission will be extended to T+10 days for the smaller firms subject to FR 2052a reporting requirements. In addition, the FR 2052a will be revised to have tailored data elements. The granularity of maturity data will be modified for firms subject to the FR 2052a that are not U.S. firms with total assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more or FBOs identified as LISCC firms, with only the residual value of products reported beyond one year. The residual value data will be required because it is necessary to have sufficient information on the liquidity profile of the firm. For the smaller firms subject to the FR 2052a, certain products, such as unencumbered assets, inflows from traditional loans, and interest and dividends payable, will be reported according to Appendix IV-b of the instructions. Consistent with the instructions, these firms will be permitted to report these particular products with less granularity, even within one year.

    The Federal Reserve views as inappropriate the elimination of reporting requirements related to broker-dealer activities for an entire segment of firms; however, where appropriate, certain products are tailored, as detailed in the instructions. For example, for derivatives collateral reporting, firms that do not meet a certain threshold may use a default sub-product. Additionally, the product for reporting interest payments may be ignored for amortizing products if the interest is aggregated with principal and reported in the product for principal amounts. Also, certain products which implicate inflows that are not part of the LCR calculation may be optionally ignored, such as sleeper collateral receivables and derivative collateral substitution capacity. There are also certain products that are specific to services provided by broker-dealers, so the FR 2052a will not require those specific products to be reported unless the firm has a significant broker-dealer.

    Lastly, firms subject to FR 2052a requirements that historically have less foreign currency exposure will only have to report in USD and will not have to report data required by the F/X table. Thus, U.S. firms with total assets of less than $700 billion and with assets under custody of less than $10 trillion, but total assets of $50 billion or more and FBOs with U.S. assets of less than $250 billion, but U.S. assets of $50 billion or more that are not identified as LISCC firms may report solely in USD and will not have to report data required by the F/X table. All other firms subject to FR 2052a requirements will report in the major currencies listed in the instructions and report data required by the F/X table. The FR 2052b will continue to be reported solely in USD.

    Modified LCR

    The Federal Reserve received the following comments specific to reporting by institutions subject to the modified LCR: (1) The proposed FR 2052a report materially expands the required time period bucketing to include 60 days of daily contractual cash flows and four periods of weekly contractual cash flows requiring fundamental changes to data, systems, and processes that have already been developed to support the FR 2052a and LCR calculations that extract data based on monthly cash flows; (2) the 60-day daily period maturity buckets go beyond the 30-day period that is necessary to compute the LCR and daily time bucket should only be 30 days for firms subject to the full LCR and should not exist for firms subject to the modified LCR; (3) maturity buckets for firms subject to the modified LCR should have no more granularity than monthly, which is what is needed for the LCR; (4) daily maturity buckets for days 31-60 should be phased in over time because systems have already been developed for the LCR's 30-day window; (5) the FR 2052a does not align with the modified LCR, requiring a parent-only report whereas a consolidated figure is required for the LCR; (6) firms subject to the modified LCR should be required to report only on the FR 2052b or an amended FR 2052b or the FR 2052a should be tailored to regional banks; and (7) required reporting for entities should be consistent with the requirements of the final LCR rule for modified LCR BHCs, i.e., global consolidated entity only, since modifying systems to include other reporting levels pose a significant operational task because systems and processes were built to support the calculation at the global consolidated entity.

    In response to the comments on the reporting requirements for firms subject to the modified LCR, as mentioned above, the Federal Reserve notes that the FR 2052a was not designed solely for monitoring compliance with the LCR; rather, it is a supervisory liquidity report that also allows for monitoring compliance with the LCR. For that reason, there are products and maturity buckets beyond what is necessary for an LCR calculation. All of the products and maturity buckets are required to appropriately monitor liquidity risk within a firm subject to the FR 2052a reporting requirement. For example, to understand a firm's liquidity risk profile, it is necessary to have information beyond the LCR's 30-day time horizon and on a parent-only basis, in addition to the consolidated holding company. However, as described above, for the smaller firms subject to the FR 2052a, the Federal Reserve will allow less granular maturity bucketing for certain products where receiving less maturity information is appropriate, such as unencumbered assets, inflows from traditional loans, and interest and dividends. Furthermore, as noted above, the Federal Reserve will extend the transitions and effective dates to provide sufficient time for system enhancements to meet the increased data requirements.

    Nonbank Financial Companies

    One commenter noted that nonbank financial companies designated by FSOC for supervision by the Board are implicated as covered in the FR 2052a update notice. The commenter requested that these companies have an opportunity to comment on the FR 2052a after being designated but before imposition of the LCR requirement and filing on the FR 2052a.

    Non-bank financial companies designated by FSOC for supervision by the Federal Reserve will not be automatically subject to FR 2052a reporting requirements based on being subject to the LCR. Because these companies may become subject to the LCR by rule or order, the Federal Reserve believes it is appropriate to subject them to supervisory reporting requirements also by rule or order to ensure that such requirements are appropriate for the specific nonbank financial company.

    Availability of Template or Mapping Document

    The Federal Reserve proposed to require the data in XML format. Two commenters requested that the Federal Reserve make available an Excel template to facilitate internal review of the data submission.

    In addition, the Federal Reserve requested comment on whether it should publish a description of how the FR 2052a data will be used to monitor LCR compliance. Several commenters agreed that the Federal Reserve should publish a description and specifically requested that the Federal Reserve should provide a reporting template that would illustrate how to calculate the reporting entity's LCR.

    In response to comments, the Federal Reserve has revised the FR 2052a instructions to include an appendix that maps the provisions of the LCR to the unique data identifiers that can be used to calculate an LCR. The Federal Reserve will not provide an Excel or other template, as firms subject to FR 2052a reporting requirements may, based on the description of data tables in the instructions and the appendix describing an LCR calculation, develop their own MIS to analyze FR 2052a data. This mapping document is not a part of the LCR rule or a component of the FR 2052a report. Firms may use this mapping document solely at their discretion.

    Other Changes

    One commenter provided an appendix describing certain technical issues with the calculation of the LCR using FR 2052a data. The Federal Reserve has resolved these issues through the appendix to the instructions that describes an LCR calculation by mapping the LCR provisions to the FR 2052a data. Another commenter noted that “material legal entity” should be defined more clearly, as entities falling under the definition would be an additional reporting entity. The Federal Reserve revised the instructions to provide additional information about what constitutes a material entity. In addition, the Federal Reserve will implement a supervisory process to determine which entities are deemed material. As described in the instructions, the Federal Reserve will consider characteristics of the entity, such as size, complexity, business activities, and overall risk profile.

    Another commenter noted that collateral value and collateral class fields should be better explained, in particular with respect to non-investment securities collateral, cross collateralization, and when collateral is all business assets. The Federal Reserve finalized as initially proposed because Appendix III to the instructions includes all collateral classes that are relevant for this report.

    The proposal would have required firms submitting the FR 2052a report to retain data for six months. The Federal Reserve will require firms to retain that data for one year after it is submitted because the Federal Reserve believes that one year is an appropriate amount of data in the event a firm needs to review previously submitted data.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3512 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number is 7100-0361. The Board reviewed the proposed information collection under authority delegated to the Board by OMB.

    The FR 2052 reporting forms are a part of the Federal Reserve's supervisory surveillance program in liquidity risk management. The information collected on the FR 2052 reporting forms will provide timely information on firm-specific liquidity risks during periods of stress and will be used to monitor the overall liquidity profile of institutions supervised by the Federal Reserve. These data provide detailed information on the liquidity risks within different business lines of these firms. In addition the information collected on the FR 2052a will be used to monitor compliance with the LCR by firms subject to the rule. The Federal Reserve will use this data to identify and analyze systemic and idiosyncratic liquidity risk issues at reporting firms and across the financial system and will also prepare analytical reports that detail funding vulnerabilities at reporting firms.

    The Board's collection of information on forms FR 2052a and FR 2052b is mandatory, with voluntary early reporting on FR 2052a for U.S. firms with total consolidated assets of $700 billion or more or with assets under custody of $10 trillion or more, and FBOs identified as LISCC firms, and is authorized pursuant to section 5 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1844), which authorizes the Federal Reserve to conduct information collections with regard to the supervision of BHCs, section 8 of the International Banking Act (12 U.S.C. 3106), which subjects FBOs to the provision of the Bank Holding Company Act, and section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. 5365), which requires the Federal Reserve to ensure that certain BHCs and nonbank financial companies supervised by the Federal Reserve are subject to enhanced liquidity requirements. As these data are collected as part of the supervisory process, they are subject to confidential treatment under exemption 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)). In addition, the institution information provided by each respondent will not be otherwise available to the public and is entitled to confidential treatment under the authority of exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)), which protects from disclosure trade secrets and commercial or financial information.

    The Board estimates that the burden of reporting on the revised FR 2052a will be between 120 and 400 hours per response for each reporting form. The Board estimates that the one-time implementation burden will be approximately 400 hours, which includes both the building of systems necessary to gather and report the data, as well as training of responsible staff. For firms that are required to report daily, the Board estimates that the burden for each response will be approximately 220 hours, while firms that required to report monthly will spend approximately 120 hours to prepare each response. The Board estimates that the burden of reporting on the revised FR 2052b will be approximately 60 hours per response for each reporting firm.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Board has considered the potential impact of the final rule on small companies in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Based on its analysis and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Nevertheless, the Board is providing a final regulatory flexibility analysis with respect to the FR 2052 reporting forms.

    Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration, a small entity includes a depository institution, bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total assets of $550 million or less (a small banking organization). As discussed above, the information collected on the FR 2052 reporting forms will be used to monitor the overall liquidity profile of large banking organizations supervised by the Board. These forms would collect information on the liquidity risks within different lines of business of these organizations. Firms would be required to report either daily, monthly, or quarterly depending on their size and complexity. The Board did not receive any comments on the proposed information collection notice regarding its impact on small banking organizations.

    The FR 2052 reporting forms will apply to BHCs with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more and to FBOs with U.S. assets of $50 billion or more. The FR 2052 reporting forms do not apply to small banking organizations, so there would be no projected compliance requirements for small banking organizations.

    The Board believes that the final information collection will not have a significant impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board and therefore believes that there are no significant alternatives that would reduce the economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 12, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29348 Filed 11-16-15; 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 December 2, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309:

    1. Edgar Ray Smith, III, William Kent Hood, Savannah K. Conti, William K. Conti, Amite Mini Storage, LLC, Hood Investments, LLC, WKH Management, Inc., Smith and Hood Investments, LLC, all of Amite, Louisiana; Sophia M. Pray, Hudson M. Pray, both of Hammond, Louisiana; Big 4 Investments, LLC, Roseland, Louisiana; to retain voting shares of First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of First Guaranty Bank, both in Hammond, Louisiana.

    2. Donald Joseph Leeper, Adairsville, Georgia; to acquire voting shares of NorthSide Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of NorthSide Bank, both in Adairsville, Georgia.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Yvonne Sparks, Community Development Officer) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034:

    1. John M. Huetsch, individually and as trustee of the John O. Huetsch Trust u/a dated 1/31/2012, both of Waterloo, Illinois; to retain voting shares of SBW Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of State Bank of Waterloo, both in Waterloo, Illinois.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 12, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29298 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response: Notice of Charter Renewal

    This gives notice under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) of October 6, 1972, that the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been renewed for a 2-year period through November 5, 2017.

    For information, contact Samuel L. Groseclose D.V.M., M.P.H., Designated Federal Officer, Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CDC, HHS, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop D44, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4027, Telephone 404/639-0637, Fax 404/639-7977.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29259 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-0600; Docket No. CDC-2015-0103] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, 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. This notice invites comment on CDC Model Performance Evaluation Program (MPEP) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Susceptibility Testing information collection. CDC is requesting a three-year approval for extension to the previously approved project used to collect data from participants to monitor and evaluate performance and practices among national laboratories performing M. tuberculosis susceptibility testing. Participation in this program is one way laboratories can ensure high-quality laboratory testing, resulting in accurate and reliable testing results.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0103 by any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    • Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. 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.

    Proposed Project

    CDC Model Performance Evaluation Program (MPEP) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Susceptibility Testing (OMB #0920-0600, expiration. 5/31/2016)—Extension—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    As part of the continuing effort to support domestic public health objectives for treatment of tuberculosis (TB), prevention of multi-drug resistance, and surveillance programs, CDC is requesting the Office of Management and Budget to extend approval of data collection from participants in the Model Performance Evaluation Program (MPEP) for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drug Susceptibility Testing. There are no changes requested for approval to number of respondents, information collection forms, burden, and other methodology to collect data from participants.

    While the overall number of cases of TB in the U.S. has decreased, rates still remain high among foreign-born persons, prisoners, homeless populations, and individuals infected with HIV in major metropolitan areas. To reach the goal of eliminating TB, the Model Performance Evaluation Program for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drug Susceptibility Testing is used to monitor and evaluate performance and practices among national laboratories performing M. tuberculosis susceptibility testing. Participation in this program is one way laboratories can ensure high-quality laboratory testing, resulting in accurate and reliable testing results.

    By providing an evaluation program to assess the ability of the laboratories to test for drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains, laboratories also have a self-assessment tool to aid in optimizing their skills in susceptibility testing. The information obtained from the laboratories on susceptibility practices and procedures is used to establish variables related to good performance, assessing training needs, and aid with the development of practice standards. The data collected over the previous three-year period enabled CDC to correlate testing practices with performance and to use this information to design training modules targeted to participants encouraging the adaptation of advanced testing methods. Extension of data collection will allow CDC to evaluate the effectiveness of these training modules by continually monitoring laboratory performance.

    Participants in this program include domestic clinical and public health laboratories. Data collection from laboratory participants occurs twice per year. The data collected in this program will include the susceptibility test results of primary and secondary drugs, drug concentrations, and test methods performed by laboratories on a set of performance evaluation (PE) samples. The PE samples are sent to participants twice a year. Participants also report demographic data such as laboratory type and the number of tests performed annually.

    There is no cost to respondents to participate other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Domestic Laboratory Participant Biosafety Compliance Letter of Agreement 93 2 5/60 16 MPEP Mycobacterium tuberculosis Results Worksheet 93 2 30/60 93 Online Survey Instrument 93 2 15/60 47 Total 93 6 156
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29272 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis Meeting (ACET)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Times and Dates:

    8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EST, December 15, 2015 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., EST, December 16, 2015

    Place: Corporate Square, Corporate Boulevard, Building 8, 1st Floor Conference Room, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, telephone (404) 639-8317.

    This meeting is also accessible by Webinar:

    December 15, 2015

    For Participants:

    URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/ Conference number: PW1126536 Audience passcode: 6816256

    Participants can join the event directly at:

    https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW1126536&p=6816256&t=c USA Toll-free +1 (888) 947-9021, Participant code: 6816256 December 16, 2015

    For Participants:

    URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/ Conference number: PW5803596 Audience passcode: 6816256

    Participants can join the event directly at:

    https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW5803596&p=6816256&t=c USA Toll-free +1 (888) 947-9021, Participant code: 6816256

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting room accommodates approximately 100 people.

    Purpose: This Council advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Director, CDC, regarding the elimination of tuberculosis. Specifically, the Council makes recommendations regarding policies, strategies, objectives, and priorities; addresses the development and application of new technologies; and reviews the extent to which progress has been made toward eliminating tuberculosis.

    Matters for Discussion: Agenda items include the following topics: (1) Overview of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); (2) Tuberculosis in Congregate Settings; (3) Updates from Workgroups; and (4) other tuberculosis-related issues.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person for More Information: Margie Scott-Cseh, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., M/S E-07, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, telephone (404) 639-8317 Email: [email protected].

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register Notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29260 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 80 FR 58479-58485, dated September 29, 2015) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and the Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the Influenza Coordination Unit (CVA4).

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (CVG) and insert the following:

    National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (CVG). The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) prevents disease, disability, and death through immunization and by control of respiratory and related diseases. In carrying out its mission, NCIRD: (1) Provides leadership, expertise, and service in laboratory and epidemiological sciences, and in immunization program delivery; (2) conducts applied research on disease prevention and control; (3) translates research findings into public health policies and practices; (4) provides diagnostic and reference laboratory services to relevant partners; (5) conducts surveillance and research to determine disease distribution, determinants, and burden nationally and internationally; (6) responds to disease outbreaks domestically and abroad; (7) ensures that public health decisions are made objectively and based upon the highest quality of scientific data; (8) provides technical expertise, education, and training to domestic and international partners; (9) provides leadership to internal and external partners for establishing and maintaining immunization, and other prevention and control programs; (10) develops, implements, and evaluates domestic and international public health policies; (11) communicates information to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of public health issues domestically and internationally, and to promote effective immunization programs; (12) aligns the national center focus with the overall strategic goals of CDC; (13) synchronizes all aspects of CDC's pandemic influenza preparedness and response from strategy through implementation and evaluation; and (14) implements, coordinates, and evaluates programs across NCIRD, Office of Infectious Diseases (OID), and CDC to optimize public health impact.

    After the Office of Science and Integrated Programs (CVG17) insert the following:

    Influenza Coordination Unit (CVG18). The mission of the Influenza Coordination Unit (ICU) is to synchronize all aspects of CDC's pandemic influenza preparedness and response from strategy through implementation and evaluation. In carrying out its mission, the ICU: (1) Serves as the principal advisor to the CDC Director on pandemic influenza preparedness and response activities, assisting the Director in formulating and communicating strategic pandemic initiatives and policies; (2) provides strategic leadership for CDC in the areas of pandemic preparedness and response, including setting priorities and promoting science, policies, and programs related to pandemic influenza; (3) strategically manages a budget and allocates funds across the agency to ensure appropriate resources for high priority areas; and (4) conducts ongoing evaluation and adjustment of pandemic preparedness and response activities, in coordination with the National Response Framework and other emergency preparedness guidance, to ensure optimal public health effectiveness and efficient use of human and fiscal resources by developing and leading an exercise program for the Agency, in collaboration with HHS and other partners.

    James Seligman, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29276 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases: Notice of Charter Renewal

    This gives notice under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) of October 6, 1972, that the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been renewed for a 2-year period through October 31, 2017.

    For information, contact Robin Moseley, M.A.T., Designated Federal Officer, Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, CDC, HHS, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop D10, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4027, telephone 404/639-4461 or fax 404/235-3562.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29258 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-16-0964] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Interventions to Reduce Shoulder MSDS in Overhead Assembly (OMB No. 0920-0964 Exp. 04/30/2015)—Reinstatement—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to promote safety and health at work for all people through research and prevention. Under Public Law 91- 596, sections 20 and 22 (Section 20-22, Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970), NIOSH has the responsibility to conduct research to advance the health and safety of workers. In this capacity, NIOSH proposes to conduct a study to assess the effectiveness and cost-benefit of occupational safety and health (OSH) interventions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers in the Manufacturing (MNF) sector.

    A reinstatement is necessary because there were significant delays in implementing the tooling intervention in the intended work processes. These delays were to a large degree due to business conditions and were outside of the control of investigators. As result, the study achieved approximately 50% of the original sample size approved by OMB in the original ICR request. The reinstatement is necessary to extend the duration of the ICR so that the additional participants can enrolled and data collection can continue.

    The U.S. Manufacturing sector has faced a number of challenges including an overall decline in jobs, an aging workforce, and changes in organizational management systems. Studies have indicated that the average age of industrial workers is increasing and that older workers may differ from younger workers in work capacity, injury risk, severity of injuries, and speed of recovery (Kenny et al., 2008; Gall et al., 2004; Restrepo et al., 2006). As the average age of the industrial population increases and newer systems of work organization (such as lean manufacturing) are changing the nature of labor-intensive work, prevention of MSDs will be more critical to protecting older workers and maintaining productivity.

    This study will evaluate the efficacy of two intervention strategies for reducing musculoskeletal symptoms and pain in the shoulder attributable to overhead assembly work in automotive manufacturing. These interventions are, (1) an articulating spring-tensioned tool support device that unloads from the worker the weight of the tool that would otherwise be manually supported, and, (2) a targeted exercise program intended to increase individual employees' strength and endurance in the shoulder and upper arm stabilizing muscle group. As a primary prevention strategy, the tool support engineering control approach is preferred; however, a cost-efficient opportunity exists to concurrently evaluate the efficacy of a preventive exercise program intervention. Both of these intervention approaches have been used in the Manufacturing sector, and preliminary evidence suggests that both approaches may have merit. However, high quality evidence demonstrating their effectiveness, by way of controlled trials, is lacking. This project will be conducted as a partnership between NIOSH and Toyota Motors Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), with the intervention evaluation study taking place at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. The prospective intervention evaluation study will be conducted using a group-randomized controlled trial multi-time series design. Four groups of 25-30 employees will be established to test the two intervention treatment conditions (tool support, exercise program), a combined intervention treatment condition, and a control condition. The four groups will be comprised of employees working on two vehicle assembly lines in different parts of the facility, on two work shifts (first and second shift). Individual randomization to treatment condition is not feasible, so a group-randomization (by work unit) will be used to assign the four groups to treatment and control conditions. Observations will be made over the 24-month study period and questionnaires will include the Shoulder Rating Questionnaire (SRQ), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, a Standardized Nordic Questionnaire for body part discomfort, and a Work Organization Questionnaire. In addition to the questionnaires a shoulder-specific functional capacity evaluation test battery will be administered at 90 and 210 days, immediately pre- and post-intervention, to confirm the efficacy of the targeted exercise program in improving shoulder capacity.

    In summary, this study will evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms and pain in the shoulder associated with repetitive overhead work in the manufacturing industry and the associated research project will disseminate the results of evidence-based prevention practices to the greatest audience possible.

    There is no cost to respondents other than their time. The estimated annualized burden is 236 hours.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Employees Informed Consent Form 63 1 5/60 Consent of Photographic Image Release 63 1 2/60 Physical Activity Readiness (PAR-Q) 63 1 2/60 Shoulder Rating Questionnaire 63 10 4/60 Disabilities of Arm Shoulder and Hand Dash (DASH) 63 10 6/10 Standardized Nordic Questionnaire for Musculoskeletal Symptom Instruments 63 10 4/60 Work Organization Questionnaire 63 3 26/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29273 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-1019; Docket No. CDC-2015-0102] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, 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.

    This notice invites comment on Integrating Community Pharmacists and Clinical Sites for Patient-Centered HIV Care. CDC is requesting a 3-year approval for revision to the previously approved project to administer a staff communication questionnaire for medical providers in order to determine how and if the model program improves patient outcomes through improved communication and collaboration between patients' clinical providers and pharmacists.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0102 by any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    • Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. 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.

    Proposed Project

    Integrating Community Pharmacists and Clinical Sites for Patient-Centered HIV Care (OMB 0920-1019, expires 8/31/2018)—Revision—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is a group of pharmacist provided services that is independent of, but can occur in conjunction with, provision of medication. Medication Therapy Management encompasses a broad range of professional activities and cognitive services within the licensed pharmacists' scope of practice and can include monitoring prescription filling patterns and timing of refills, checking for medication interactions, patient education, and monitoring of patient response to drug therapy.

    HIV-specific MTM programs have demonstrated success in improving HIV medication therapy adherence and persistence. While MTM programs have be shown to be effective in increasing medication adherence for HIV-infected persons, no MTM programs have been expanded to incorporate primary medical providers in an effort to establish patient-centered HIV care. To address this problem, CDC has entered into a public-private partnership with Walgreen Company (a.k.a. Walgreens pharmacies, a national retail pharmacy chain) to develop and implement a model of HIV care that integrates community pharmacists with primary medical providers for patient-centered HIV care. The model program will be implemented in ten sites and will provide patient-centered HIV care for approximately 1,000 persons.

    The patient-centered HIV care model will include the core elements of MTM as well as additional services such as individualized medication adherence counseling, active monitoring of prescription refills and active collaboration between pharmacists and medical clinic providers to identify and resolve medication related treatment problems such as treatment effectiveness, adverse events and poor adherence. The expected outcomes of the model program are increased retention in HIV care, adherence to HIV medication therapy and viral load suppression.

    On May 16, 2014 OMB approved the collection of standardized information from ten project sites over the three-year project period and one retrospective data collection during the first year of the three-year project period. The retrospective data collection will provide information about clients' baseline characteristics prior to participation in the model program which is needed to compare outcomes before and after program implementation. On August 17, 2015 OMB approved the conduct of key informant interviews with program clinic and pharmacy staff in order to evaluate the program processes, administration of a staff communication questionnaire, and OMB approved the collection of time and cost data to be used to estimate the cost of the model program.

    CDC seeks approval to administer a staff communication questionnaire for medical providers in order to determine how and if the model program improves patient outcomes through improved communication and collaboration between patients' clinical providers and pharmacists. The staff communication questionnaire for medical providers will be administered twice to program clinic staff. The staff communication questionnaire for medical providers is different from the previously improved staff communication questionnaire; the staff communication questionnaire for medical providers will be administered to program clinic staff whereas the staff communication questionnaire will be administered to program pharmacy staff.

    Pharmacy, laboratory, and medical data will be collected through abstraction of all participant clients' pharmacy and medical records. Pharmacy, laboratory and medical data are needed to monitor retention in care, adherence to therapy, viral load suppression and other health outcomes. Program specific data, such as the number of MTM elements completed per project site and time spent on program activities, will be collected by program. Qualitative data will be gathered from program staff through in-person or telephone interviews and through a questionnaire to program pharmacy staff and a separate questionnaire to program clinic staff.

    The data collection will allow CDC to conduct continuous program performance monitoring which includes identification of barriers to program implementation, solutions to those barriers, and documentation of client health outcomes. Performance monitoring will allow the model program to be adjusted, as needed, in order to develop a final implementation model that is self-sustaining and which can be used to establish similar collaborations in a variety of clinical settings. Collection of cost data will allow for the cost of the program to be estimated.

    There is no cost to participants other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 6,043.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Clinic Data Manager Project clinic characteristics form 10 3 30/60 15 Pharmacist Project pharmacy characteristics form 10 3 30/60 15 Clinic Data Manager *Patient Demographic Information form 10 100 5/60 83 Clinic Data Manager *Initial patient information form 10 100 1 1,000 Clinic Data Manager Quarterly patient information form 10 400 30/60 2,000 Pharmacist Pharmacy record abstraction form 10 400 30/60 2,000 Key informants Interviewer data collection worksheet 60 2 30/60 60 Project staff (pharmacists) Staff communication questionnaire 30 2 30/60 30 Project staff (medical providers) Staff communication questionnaire for medical providers 40 2 30/60 40 Clinic staff Clinic cost form 20 2 10 400 Pharmacy staff Pharmacy cost form 20 2 10 400 Total 6,043
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29274 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Notice of Charter Renewal

    This gives notice under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) of October 6, 1972, that the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been renewed for a 2-year period through November 5, 2017.

    For information, contact Gwendolyn Cattledge, Ph.D., Designated Federal Officer, Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, HHS, 1600 Clifton Road NE., M/S F63, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4027, Telephone 770/488-4655.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29257 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 80 FR 58479-58485, dated September 29, 2015) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and the Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the Influenza Coordination Unit (CVA4).

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (CVG) and insert the following:

    National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (CVG). The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) prevents disease, disability, and death through immunization and by control of respiratory and related diseases. In carrying out its mission, NCIRD: (1) Provides leadership, expertise, and service in laboratory and epidemiological sciences, and in immunization program delivery; (2) conducts applied research on disease prevention and control; (3) translates research findings into public health policies and practices; (4) provides diagnostic and reference laboratory services to relevant partners; (5) conducts surveillance and research to determine disease distribution, determinants, and burden nationally and internationally; (6) responds to disease outbreaks domestically and abroad; (7) ensures that public health decisions are made objectively and based upon the highest quality of scientific data; (8) provides technical expertise, education, and training to domestic and international partners; (9) provides leadership to internal and external partners for establishing and maintaining immunization, and other prevention and control programs; (10) develops, implements, and evaluates domestic and international public health policies; (11) communicates information to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of public health issues domestically and internationally, and to promote effective immunization programs; (12) aligns the national center focus with the overall strategic goals of CDC; (13) synchronizes all aspects of CDC's pandemic influenza preparedness and response from strategy through implementation and evaluation; and (14) implements, coordinates, and evaluates programs across NCIRD, Office of Infectious Diseases (OID), and CDC to optimize public health impact.

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the Office of Laboratory Science (CVG14).

    After the Office of Science and Integrated Programs (CVG17) insert the following:

    Influenza Coordination Unit (CVG18). The mission of the Influenza Coordination Unit (ICU) is to synchronize all aspects of CDC's pandemic influenza preparedness and response from strategy through implementation and evaluation. In carrying out its mission, the ICU: (1) Serves as the principal advisor to the CDC Director on pandemic influenza preparedness and response activities, assisting the Director in formulating and communicating strategic pandemic initiatives and policies; (2) provides strategic leadership for CDC in the areas of pandemic preparedness and response, including setting priorities and promoting science, policies, and programs related to pandemic influenza; (3) strategically manages a budget and allocates funds across the agency to ensure appropriate resources for high priority areas; and (4) conducts ongoing evaluation and adjustment of pandemic preparedness and response activities, in coordination with the National Response Framework and other emergency preparedness guidance, to ensure optimal public health effectiveness and efficient use of human and fiscal resources by developing and leading an exercise program for the Agency, in collaboration with HHS and other partners.

    James Seligman, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29282 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases (BSC, OID)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Time and Date: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EST, December 9, 2015 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., EST, December 10, 2015 Place: CDC, Global Communications Center, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Building 19, Auditorium B3, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

    Status: The meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available.

    Purpose: The BSC, OID, provides advice and guidance to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services; the Director, CDC; the Director, OID; and the Directors of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, and the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, in the following areas: Strategies, goals, and priorities for programs; research within the national centers; and overall strategic direction and focus of OID and the national centers.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include reports from the Board's Food Safety Modernization Act Surveillance Working Group and Infectious Disease Laboratory Working Group; brief updates on selected activities of CDC's infectious disease national centers; and updates and focused discussions on prevention of Legionella disease and efforts to better understand and address environmental factors contributing to infectious disease outbreaks.

    Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Contact Person for More Information: Robin Moseley, M.A.T., Designated Federal Officer, OID, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop D10, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Telephone: (404) 639-4461.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29261 Filed 11-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16BX; Docket No. CDC-2016-0092] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Cancellation of notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The notice “Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations” on Monitoring and Reporting for the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program Cooperative Agreement (80 FR 68543, November 5, 2015) is cancelled. This notice invited comment on a proposed information collection entitled “Monitoring and Reporting for the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program Cooperative Agreement,” where CDC would use the information collected to monitor cooperative agreement awardees and to identify challenges to program implementation and achievement of outcomes. This proposed data collection also received publication for public comment on November 9, 2015 under Docket ID 60Day-16-16BZ; Docket No. CDC-2015-0095.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    (404) 639-7570 or send comments to CDC, Leroy Richardson, 1600 Clifton Road, MS D-74, Atlanta, GA 30333 or send an email to [email protected]

    Dated: November 12, 2015. Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29297 Filed 11-12-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Permanency Innovations Initiative Evaluation: Phase 4

    OMB No.: 0970-0408

    Description: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to collect additional data for an evaluation of the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII). This 5-year initiative, funded by the Children's Bureau (CB) within ACF, is intended to build the evidence base for innovative interventions that enhance well-being and improve permanency outcomes for particular groups of children and youth who are at risk for long-term foster care and who experience the most serious barriers to timely permanency.

    Data collection for the PII evaluation includes a number of components beginning at different points in time. Phase 1 (approved August 2012, OMB# 0970-0408) included data collection for a cross-site implementation evaluation and site-specific evaluations of two PII grantees (Washoe County, Nevada, and the State of Kansas). Phase 2 (approved August 2013) included data collection for two more PII grantees (Illinois DCFS and one of two interventions offered by the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center's Recognize Intervene Support Empower [RISE] project). Phase 3 (approved July 2014) included data collection for an evaluation of another PII grantee intervention and two additional cross-site PII studies. The grantee intervention was a second RISE intervention, the Care Coordination Team (CCT). The two PII cross-site studies were a cost study and an administrative data study.

    The current request if for Phase 4 and includes data collection for another PII grantee, the California Department of Social Services' California Partnership for Permanency (CAPP) project.

    Respondents: Spanish and English speaking biological parents, legal guardians, foster parents (or caregivers)

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total number
  • of respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden
  • hours per
  • response
  • Total
  • annual
  • burden
  • hours
  • CAPP Parent-Legal Guardian Questionnaire 1673 558 1 .6 335 CAPP Caregiver Questionnaire 1763 587 1 .6 352 CAPP annual burden hours 687

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Researc